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Unread 03-18-2020, 06:15 AM   #16
Mr_Stop
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Just got a quote on a gallon from my distributor. It was almost 2x Mapei Flexcolor CQ, which I thought was already at a premium.

I'm hoping the price my distributor quoted is high because it is currently special order. Maybe it will come down as a normally stocked item?
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Unread 03-20-2020, 08:48 AM   #17
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If it's that expensive, I really don't see the benefit over the traditional two-part epoxy or the existing one-part grouts.
A lot of these products are driven by convenience. It's not that hard to mix the three parts of the traditional Spectralock.

This discussion reminds me of the selection of various wood staining products. You can do the one-does-it-all product and get a blotchy stain pattern. Or you can buy the pre-stain, stain and polyurethane finish coat. Three steps that take more application and drying time but will always result in a better finish that pops. Or one step and a meh/good-enough finish. Most people will be happy with the latter, especially if they're doing it themselves.

I am curious to learn about actual experience with this new Laticrete product, though. Chances are it will be good.
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Unread 03-20-2020, 10:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makethatkerdistick
...meh/good-enough...
"Meh" is almost a 4-letter word!
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Unread 03-23-2020, 07:39 AM   #19
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Jim, you asked this (sorry, I've never been able to figure out the quote function on here): "The video I saw shows that it's much harder than Fusion or Flexcolor. Does harder = better? It might."

Having been there for the development of Flexcolor CQ I can take a swing at answering that. With this type of system you have to look at hardness versus time. You can make a system that gets very hard very quickly but it's a bear to clean off of the tiles. Flexcolor had a version like that because originally we thought that's what we wanted but as we did applications with it, we realized that we really needed to find a sweet spot between applying and cleaning the grout and returning the installation to use. The 3 day waiting period for Flexcolor and similar chemistry products is to let the grout get hard enough to resist common causes of grout wear (sweeping, mopping, pet nails, moving furniture). For wet areas, it's best to wait 7 days because these grouts air dry, so time spent wet won't allow them to dry.

The other aspect of Flexcolor and similar grouts is that they do retain a certain amount of flexibility after they cure. While you often hear that a cement grout has 'powdered out' of the joint or cracked, this is rarely if ever the case with Flexcolor. Extremely hard grouts like epoxies don't flex at all. Again, it's a trade-off. Do you want extremely hard grout joints? Yes, if you do everything right in regards to movement accommodation throughout the rest of the installation (movement joints every 8-20 feet, gaps at the perimeters, silicone caulk at changes of plane for wet areas). If you shortcut any of these requirements, an extremely hard grout isn't going to be your friend.

Time will tell if Spectralock 1 hits the sweet spot for these various trade-offs.
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Unread 03-28-2020, 05:35 PM   #20
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Thanks, Dan! That's helpful. I always like to understand how products work.
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Unread 03-29-2020, 01:30 PM   #21
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Thought I would add my recent experience with Spectalock 1. I'm not a professional, and only working on a small bathroom project here at home. I did the grout on the shower and main floor, the application was easy and the clean up was very easy compared to my one experience using Flexcolor CQ. Don't know if this information will be of any use to others, but from this very limited example I am happy with the choice to use this particular grout. Time will tell how it holds up.

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Unread 03-29-2020, 04:59 PM   #22
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I have used Flexcolor on many shower floors and walls and recommend it highly....
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Unread 03-30-2020, 07:10 AM   #23
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Flexcolor has to be one of the easiest grouts to work with. The new Spectralock product has my interest. The beauty of Flexcolor is its ability to stay somewhat flexible. Any slight movement in the structure can be handled with the premium thinsets and flexcolor. I'm not sure with the new Spectralock. If it has flexibility it would surely be a game changer for sure.
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Unread 05-03-2020, 04:39 AM   #24
jondon
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Quote:
posted by Ryan:
Anyone use Spectralock 1 yet?

Wondering how easy to clean it is?
As a matter of fact I just used it. I was going to use SpectraLock Epoxy for an 800 sq ft basement plank job. I was looking up some info and came across SpectraLock 1. First off I am not a fan of premixed grouts. Tried them all, I never liked how hard they are to apply and the cleaning aspect seems to sometimes be a mystery but again I wasn't one to use them exclusively like some and they would know the secrets to success. I tried Laticrete's Plasma premixed years ago and that was a disaster. My first mud shower and I almost destroyed it with that junk. I vowed never again to use a premixed grout. I use Permacolor Select 80% of the time.

After speaking with my distributor people and getting good feedback I decided to give it a shot. I was prepared to use traditional SpectraLock Epoxy.

My results:

Cost is about the same as using SpectraLock Epoxy maybe a little bit more

Very easy to spread. My job was planks 6x40" 800 sq ft which I did in one day by myself, to include clean up.

As recommended I started wiping an area after about 15 minutes for it to set up but don't do too big an area or it is taxing to sponge.

Similarly to Epoxy I changed my cleaning water out often.

The sponges got saturated or gummed up like Epoxy and when they did I switched over to a new one.

For the final cleaning I used a doodle pad with plain water and fiber towels to dry.

After the final cleaning there was no residue on the tile. So I would say the SpectraLock 1 is designed to have an easier clean up but in the end the same psi strength for curing.

Another great plus is any void I had I could take a little out of the remaining container which I left for the customer. With Epoxy and Permacolor Select I would have to go back and mix a lot to get a little so this is a big plus.

Normally the first time I use a product I have some sort of problem but I got good guidance so I was prepared.

The main pros I see are the ease of application and clean-up with the ability to patch pinholes and such conveniently.

I don't have any negatives, as for the cost it is similar to Epoxy I would't use it on every application and this is only one job but I don't see any other testimonials here so I thought maybe I could help others who are curious.

As for the cost, it's the price of doing business. When it comes to thinset and grout Laticrete is my choice and I have tried many. Hope this helps someone.

When I see tile jobs 20 years old still in tact in great condition it is normally the grout that is discolored, if I can get the psi strength of epoxy in a premixed grout I am all in.
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Unread 05-03-2020, 06:11 AM   #25
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Jon were you satisfied with finished fullness of grout joints or did it sag?

Only premixed I’ve tried are quartzlock and fusion and in both cases it dried so quick on tile faces, but the joints were still soft and got wiped too low.
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Unread 05-03-2020, 07:09 PM   #26
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Lou yes I was, the key is to not wipe it right away. I think one of the problems I saw with Epoxy or any grout it wiping it without giving it time to set up. This is a key element of premixed grouts it needs to set up. My guys used to wipe the SpectraLock on shower walls right away and I was going behind them to fill. I get grout can be stressful when you have a lot to do, split it into 2 days and don't rush it. Grout will make or break your job. This stuff is the real deal and I will use it vs Epoxy.
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Unread 05-04-2020, 11:04 AM   #27
Metropolitan Ceramics
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The marketing on Spectralock 1 has me a little worried. It is claiming to have the same performance as Epoxy and to meet the A118.3 requirements but it is showing compliance with the strength and cleanability portions of the standard while omitting the chemical resistance requirements. If you read through the TDS, you'll see that it's not recommended for environments where epoxy is often used such as kennels and food preparation areas. As someone who makes quarry tile that does go in these areas, I will ask you to please follow their TDS requirements and don't use one component grouts like Spectralock 1 in commercial kitchens, kennels, breweries, dairies, or other locations where chemical resistance is going to be critical. It sounds like it has some wonderful features, but it's not epoxy grout despite the marketing hype.

I just posted this and hopped onto a Facebook group for tile installers. Sure enough, they were planning to use Spectralock 1 for a 'back of house' kitchen job they were tiling with (someone else's) quarry tile. Please be sure to follow the data sheets for any grout you're considering, there is some important language in the 'where not to use' section.
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Last edited by Metropolitan Ceramics; 05-04-2020 at 11:50 AM. Reason: I feel like Nostradamus...
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Unread 05-04-2020, 07:14 PM   #28
Lou_MA
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Thanks for feedback Jon. I may try it on a small project but still a bit gun shy.

With Fusion, I really squeegeed the tile faces as clean as I could while grouting but the residue flashed over so quick. It was either wait for joints to set up but then fight to get tiles clean. Or get after residue while fresh but wipe out the joints in the process. I was never able to get the timing down.
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Unread 05-04-2020, 07:24 PM   #29
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Lou,
As I said in the thread CX linked I was very happy with the Spectralock 1 in our bath remodel. The cleanup was very easy and the joints are nice and full. I was able to grout the walls in a 39" x 60" bath without having to change the water, tile was from shower floor to the ceiling. The only place I did go back and do a bit of extra cleanup was the glass mosaic band, hit that with Windex and a doodle pad the next day, there was no residue on any of the ceramic.
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Unread 05-05-2020, 03:13 PM   #30
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Good post, Dan
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