With a proper tile job, your kitchen or bathroom can appear as though new life has been breathed into it. Choosing the correct type of grout will make all the difference because it seals the spaces between the tiles to create a waterproof surface, and adds to the overall aesthetic. You will find that there are two distinct types of grout, cement-based and resin-based.
Cement-based grout has long been the go-to option, but more and more builders and contractors are leaning towards using epoxy grout as it is highly resilient and is composed of two different resins. Another bonus to epoxy is that it does not absorb water, which translates into stain resistance.
If you are currently faced with deciding which grout to use for your renovations or initial building, the two primary choices you have are either traditional and cheaper cement grouting, or epoxy. Thus you have come here to discover which is the right option for you, and we will break down all the possible questions you might have.
Is Epoxy Grout The Right Choice?
You probably do not want to hear that it depends, but unfortunately, that is usually the case. It is best used with non-porous tiles such as ceramic or porcelain, as these do not permit the absorption of the grout into the tiles. Other types of tile include stone, for example, which will absorb the grout and ultimately damage them.
Epoxy is the better option for indoor tiling. We highly recommend not using it outdoors because prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause rapid discoloration.
Overall you will find that many people prefer epoxy grout as it is sturdy and durable. Although we do not recommend using it outdoors, it can withstand harsh weather conditions. For indoors mainly, it is resistant to stains and cracking. These factors make the grout an excellent option as it is durable and aids in the tiling process.
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If you are tiling a high-traffic area, then this is the right choice to go with as it:
- can resist stains
- is solid and rigid
- can withstand various cleaning materials
For all these reasons and its ability to withstand high humidity and extreme temperatures, it is more than likely going to be the best option.
What Is Epoxy Grout?
This type of grout is highly popular for tiling and general grout uses as it does not use water or cement within the mixing process. It is prevalent in areas where there is likely to be grease or acid spillage, such as in a kitchen or the bathroom, where harsh chemicals might be used.
The epoxy may imply that cement is used in the mix, but no percentage of cement is used in the combination. It also contains a hardener, which plays a pivotal role in the solidifying process.
Epoxy is far less porous than cement grout, so it will not absorb water and is a great go-to for any area such as a bathroom.
The Two Basic Types Of Epoxy Grouts
The two types include sanded and unsanded; however, it must be stipulated that the sand used in the sanded form is vastly different than that found in cementitious grouts. If you are doing a DIY job, whichever type you decide to use, you will find that the grouts give you a tiny amount of a challenge as they set relatively fast You will need to work efficiently.
The Pricing Of Epoxy Grout Vs. Cement Grouts
Some people still opt for cement grouts because they are substantially cheaper than epoxy grout. You are looking at between $2 and $4 per 2 pounds for cement grout, while epoxy will set you back at approximately $12 per bag. So at the end of the day, if you are on a tight budget, you may need to go with the cement option.
Is Epoxy Grout Better Than Regular Grout?
With any grout, to reap the optimal results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or seek the guidance of someone with knowledge on how to use the product best. Make sure you use the correct amounts of the various required components and fill the grout joints correctly. Also, clean the area afterward by using as little water as possible.
Overall when compared to cement grouts, epoxy has far more resistance to chemicals, and it is more flexible. It is ideal for commercial use, like in shopping malls and restaurants. It is also great for places where staining would usually occur in cement grout in high-traffic areas such as:
- entrance halls
BONUS: Epoxy cleans well with water, and most often it does not need to be sealed after installation.
However, for all these benefits, you are sure to pay a lot more, as we have seen.
Is Epoxy Grout The Best?
Truth be told, Epoxy grout is fast becoming the most widely used grout by homeowners and renovation companies alike. To fully understand why epoxy is the best, we need to make a head-to-head comparison between epoxy and cement grout.
Epoxy is composed of two-part epoxy resin, and mixed with a filler powder. This option is widely used because of its:
- stain resistance
When we speak about its non-porous quality, it means that it is waterproof and will not soak up water over time when the floors are cleaned.
Although there is sanded epoxy grout, it is very different from cement grout which is a mixture of:
Cement grout is susceptible to moisture, and over time (even in the installation), this can become a problem. The process often involves injecting the cement under pressure to fill the areas in question. Additionally, most cement grout is prone to stain.
How To Apply Epoxy Resin Grout
Applying epoxy grout between tiles can be done as follows:
- First, mix the grout and the filler according to the instructions issued by the manufacturer.
- Note that epoxy hardens rapidly. Don’t waste time, and have your tools ready.
- Using a trowel, fill the tile joints, and immediately follow along with a damp cloth to wipe any excess grout away.
- Be sure to wipe off any grout that spills over onto the tiles. Otherwise, it will cause a hazy stain.
- If there are remnants of the grout on the tiles, use a mixture of water and vinegar to remove them.
How Long Will Epoxy Grout Last?
Epoxy has come a long way, considering its humble beginnings. Many contractors will admit that they never used to like using epoxy grout as it was difficult to install and clean appropriately. Then there was also the case of pinholes that would appear following the cleaning away of excess grout. This was caused by sagging grout, and trapped air would surface and cause tiny bubbles.
These pinholes were almost impossible to fix as they tended to occur just as the grout was properly hardening. At this point, the excess epoxy was already hardened as well, so it couldn’t be used to fill in the spaces.
Spurred on by the complaints about their products, the manufacturers have now solved the problem of the previous versions. Resultantly we now have epoxy that:
- does not sag
- does not discolor for an extensive period
- is far simpler to install and clean
Additionally, epoxy that is kept in its original packaging will last indefinitely. Once it has been applied to the spaces between tiles and is set, epoxy grout will last between 8 and 16 years if properly maintained. The discrepancy in time is because it depends on where it is located.
Is Epoxy Grout Easier To Clean Than Other Grouts?
There are experiences of both kinds when it comes to whether epoxy grout is easier to clean or not. Some find that it has a higher chance of getting dirty and stained, while others have said that in their experience, epoxy is less likely to succumb to these two.
However, when it comes to cleaning epoxy grout versus cement grout, most agree that epoxy is easier to clean. All you have to do is firmly scrub the grout with a mixture of vinegar and water, or you can use bleach if the dirt or markings are more severe.
Using Epoxy Grout: Is It Easier, And What Is Different About It?
Epoxy grout features various benefits over cement grout, and one of these is its ease of use. In the past, it was indeed harder to work with, but nowadays, it is the more straightforward and common type of grouting used. The only problem with epoxy is that it tends to yield a plastic-looking finish which some homeowners do not find appealing.
Individuals sometimes prefer regular grout as it does not set as fast, so if you make a mistake, it can be remedied quickly. There are also certain areas where people prefer to use cement grout, such as outside corners, where the tile wraps around the shower niche or the curb.
The Pros And Cons Of Epoxy Grout: Let’s Take A Closer Look
You have come this far, and now it is time to examine the pros and cons of epoxy grout. You may be looking for a guiding hand, and therefore we have compiled the table below to help you make a final decision.
|The Pros Of Epoxy Grout||The Cons of Epoxy Grout|
|It is solid and durable||The combining of the materials must be done correctly to avoid issues|
|Resistant to strong chemicals, such as cleaning detergents and the like||You may need an experienced contractor for the job|
|It lasts for many years if you take proper care of it||It dries remarkably fast, and if you prepare too much in a batch, it will go to waste|
|It is non-porous and thus waterproof||It is more expensive than cement grout|
|It is less likely to encourage the growth of mold and bacteria||It can rapidly discolor if exposed to sunlight|
|It is highly stain resistant||The final appearance can seem plastic and seem cheap or tacky|
|Easy to keep clean, you can simply use bleach or vinegar and water.||It can be more challenging to work with|
|It comes in varying colors to match your tiles so that you can have a personalized touch||It will likely ruin any form of porous tiles, including natural stone|
|Can withstand high traffic areas such as in the bathroom, kitchen, or entrance hall|
|If used with metal or marble tiles, it will not scratch them|
We genuinely hope that you found this guide to be informative and that you now have a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages that come with using epoxy grout over other kinds. Also, keep all factors in mind, such as the fact that epoxy sets quicker and is more expensive. We have shown you the details, but it is now up to you to decide which you choose to use.
Cement grout should not be entirely disregarded as it certainly has its benefits, and there are certain areas you may want or need to use it. Also, one big difference between the two is the final appearance, where epoxy can yield an almost plastic look. Some homeowners do not appreciate this, and you may fall into this category. However, do not forget about all the pros to epoxy either!
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