Ever wondered what is put in the spaces between tiles or how two tiles are joined? Often, rarely do we notice the material placed in the spaces between the tiles due to the high level of craft involved.
A neatly done job doesn’t expose the material put in the tile spaces; however, a keen observer will notice the presence of foreign material put in between the tiles. The material is known as grout.
Grout is filler material primarily used in ceramic tiles and pebbles to fill the voids left after their installation. With the grout, you can quickly achieve a smoother finish and strongly bond tiles. In painting, grout is used to fill voids left behind by masonry work, leading to better aesthetics and a uniform paint job. Whether you have renovations on your house tiles or are looking forward to putting tiles, you will need grout.
what is epoxy grout
Epoxy grout is a new type of grout made of epoxy raisins, silica gel, color pigments, and hardeners used with either tiles or natural stones. Due to their different colors, epoxy grout can be matched with any colored tiles.
You need not worry if you are installing either mosaic tiles or natural stones anymore because epoxy grout is recommended for use due to its inability to stain and waterproof capability. The grout also maintains a smooth and polished finish without any discontinuities showing.
Used in restaurants
Restaurant owners are now turning to epoxy grouts since they hardly stain and rarely absorb any water. With such properties, famous brands like Ceglite, Stainmaster, Mapei, and Spectralock have all reported a significant rise in the use of their products by contractors and homeowners. They have designed their products for heavy traffic areas previously strenuous to clean due to the frequent stain cleaning needed. Spilled coffee or soup hardly stains this type of grout.
Good for bathroom floor
Do you need grout for your bathroom tiles? You could be worried that the moisture will seep beneath the tiles via the grout. Popular epoxy grout manufacturers; Mapei, Spectralock, Ceglite, Stainmaster, and Spectralock, developed waterproof products. If properly installed, hardly any water will seep inside, giving the installed tiles a longer life.
Recommended grout for kitchen use
You will easily find a grout that goes with your chosen tile colors together with drawers and granite for your kitchen needs. Just as selecting the appropriate wires for your kitchen appliances is essential, so is grout for color matching to avoid the tile work being an eyesore. Stains and greases from foods made in the kitchen necessitate the need for Mapei epoxy grout application since they rarely get stained giving your kitchen a long-lasting clean and shiny look as if it were still new. Running tap water and water spills makes the need for grout a necessity. With Spectralock grout, your kitchen remains clean, making the food environment conducive and clean.
Great for general house renovations
Could your tile work need a retouch, and are you unable to decide what to use? Maybe a perfect job done as plasma cutter does or lasting joints like those of gasless MIG welding is what you need for your project. Unlike regular grout, Ceglite grout binds the tiles longer by leaving no pores that will lead to repairs required shortly.
Why Choose Epoxy Grout: Truth about Epoxy Grout vs. Regular Grout
There are a lot of misconceptions about grout that means the wrong type of material is sometimes chosen. When that’s the case, as you can imagine, it will not last nearly as long as it’s supposed to, and the results can be that you will have to spend money, time or both addressing it really early on.
Here we go through some of the pros and cons of epoxy grout, which will also help give you a better understanding of when one type is better than another.
Here are some of the most common pros, and if you scroll down the page, you can also see some of the reasons why you may not want to use epoxy grout, and where the regular stuff would be better suited.
While regular grout is not ideal for outdoor use, epoxy grout fits this description well, giving you maximum value for your money just like mini lathe machines. Whether in patios or corridors, Mapei grout fits in perfectly the tiles despite the heavy traffic in these areas. There is rarely any notable difference between newly applied grout and old grout with epoxy grout.
When using epoxy grout, rarely will you notice any stains. Both homeowners and hotel owners with this type of grout (Stainmaster) say that their kitchen granites and floors are less strenuous to clean as they hardly get stained. Little scrubbing is needed to clean the grout, which in turn makes it maintain its look.
Tile work completed by use of epoxy grout lasts longer compared to regular grout. Manufacturers of epoxy grout brands, such as Spectralock and Ceglite, ensure that it can withstand harsh climatic conditions, crack and stain resistant qualities that make it durable. As such extreme weather conditions such as winter rarely affect applied grout.
Epoxy is impervious to water making the tiles last longer, extending their use to tiles used in swimming pools. This property also helps in tile use in bathrooms and kitchens since they last long without forming mold, resulting from wet areas.
Disadvantages of Epoxy grout
Epoxy grout is generally more expensive than regular grout due to the more properties it has. The cost of acquiring the different grout brands is high, and it takes a longer time to apply it, thus increasing the labor costs. Each price makes it quite expensive to have the grout used at your home. However, it is long-lasting, making it less costly in the long run but expensive than regular grout.
Application of epoxy can be pretty cumbersome, and if you are not keen, it will stain the tiles, which is attributed to their nature of drying up fast. It will require two people to apply it where one applies while the other comes behind cleaning up to avoid the possibility of stained tiles. While mixing the amount needed for the work, you should also get them in bits adding application time.
best epoxy grout
Just as engine driven welders, there are various brands of epoxy grout based on the type of work you need to be done either in ceramic tiles, mosaic tiles, or natural stones. Different companies have come up to produce top quality brands such as;
Sanded vs. unsanded grout
Sanded grout is applied in more than an eighth-inch wide space and is made of sand particles that give grout better binding ability for larger sized areas because they rarely reduce in size when drying up. Sanded grout is also less expensive than unsanded grout.
Unsanded grout on the hand is used on grout spaces smaller than 1/8″, giving them a compact and long-lasting binding. It is preferred for smooth and shiny tiles since they hardly scratch the grouts.
How much grout do I need?
Calculating the amount of grout needed, just like ampere rating for wires, has been simplified by the emergence of websites and software that calculate, giving you the volume you need. All you need to have is tile measurements; length, width and thickness, floor area covered by tiles, grout length and depth, and the number of tiles used. Tile measurements can be gotten from their cartons, while you could multiply the number of cartons used and tiles per carton to get the number of tiles used.
How to use & install epoxy grout
The same way that there’s a right and a wrong way to use welding glasses, you will also want to use and install epoxy grout the right way. Here’s how.
- choose grout type
Before undertaking any grout project, first, choose the type of grout you need to install. It could be resin or regular. Once you are done, choose the color and brand of grout to apply based on the color of your tiles. Buy your preferred grout awaiting application.
- clean grout lines
Cleaning of grout lines always precedes its application to remove any dirt that may have been left. The essence of this exercise is to make sure that the dirt in the lines does not affect the integrity of the grout applied. Dirt in grout decreases its ability to bind the tiles together.
- Protect surfaces
Apply tape on the surfaces adjacent to the grout line to prevent the tiles from getting stained by the applied grout.
- Prepare equipment needed.
Before setting off to any work, prepare the tools you will need for application, including a trowel, sponge, and dry towel.
Mix the grout you intend to apply as per the manufacturer’s guide. For water-based grout, add little water for a thick consistency. Grout thickness should be similar to that of peanut butter. Once you get such character, you are ready for application.
N/B: For epoxy grout, mix for a small section to avoid drying up of the grout while applying it.
With the ready grout mix, use the trowel for application. For a consistent and regular mix, it is recommended that you apply it at an angle so that you can reach the furthest corners of the intended areas. Apply diagonally for a more compact tile job.
Clean residue grout
After application of the grout, clean grout that has spread out to the tile surface before it dries up to avoid staining the tiles. Each manufacturer is likely to include their own set of instructions on the package, so we’re sure that you should easily be able to get this job done even if you choose to do it yourself. If some of the information on this page contradicts what the grout manufacturer has included on their packaging, it’s important that you always go with what they’re recommending.
How to clean epoxy grout
This is probably the most helpful task after application. Cleaning epoxy grout can be a daunting task especially if you are alone because it dries up fast. To clean up, you first start with damp clothe to clean the excess grout and any spillovers. The wet tile does not clear all the grout, so you will need a trowel to scrub any grout that may have stained the surfaces and didn’t get cleared. Finally, get a clean, dry towel that will wipe off all the grout that is left.
Epoxy grout for pebble shower floor
Pebble showers are now more common but getting the ideal grout has been a daunting task for more homeowners. The moist bathroom environment with the wrong grout leads to the growth of molds or wore still grout wearing out after a short time. Epoxy grout is waterproof, making it ideal for moist surroundings even with steam since it is waterproof.
How long does it take for grout to dry?
Unlike Cementous grout, which takes around 48 to 72 hours to set, epoxy takes much less time. Epoxy grout takes only 24 hours to dry and ready for use, making it favorable for commercial spaces that need to be opened up soon.
It is always a good idea that you follow the manufacturers recommendations when it comes to letting the grout dry before you start exposing it to various elements that could damage it early on. By letting it properly dry, you’re setting it up for a good, long life where it can do the job that it is supposed to do – provide the protective elements that it is going to. While epoxy grout may be more expensive than the usual kind, it definitely has its advantages aby being able to dry so much faster.
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