Grout is a thick paste that can be used in various applications. It can fill gaps; it can be used to reinforce structures and it is commonly used to fill cracks between tiles. Most grout is cement based. However, even though this type of grout is popular, it can also be problematic and there are many reasons why it might not be the best choice for your tile projects.
If you have found fault with using cement-based grout, you may consider epoxy to be a more good alternative. However, epoxy is not always the way to go. Read on to find out more about your choices in grout so you can determine which grout is right for your home.
Cement based grout is thinner than other types of cement. This consistency allows it to flow easily into cracks. However, it is also quite porous. This allows dirt and other elements to get into the cement. The dirt that gets into the cement leads to staining, mold and mildew. The staining that occurs can adhere to grout lines so that new grout lines can begin taking on discoloration as well.
Cement based products are not waterproof either. This means that excessive water can damage cement-based grout. This is especially common in showers and other areas of the bathroom,
Epoxy grout is made from epoxy resins and a filler powder. It is very durable offering a stronger bond and chemical resistance than cement grout. It is also waterproof and almost completely stain proof. However, even though there are many benefits involved with using epoxy grout, there are several drawbacks as well. One drawback is that epoxy tends to have a plastic-y appearance that some homeowners do not like.
Epoxy grout is more also expensive and it’s harder to work with. The fact that installing it requires more labor further adds to the expense. Epoxy is not as malleable as cement grout, so it takes longer to set up in the grout joint. Add to this the fact that it sets quicker than cement and contractors are looking at more work to be done in a shorter amount of time. With epoxy, an acid wash is also required to remove residue from tiles.
Epoxy vs. Cement
Both epoxy and cement have their advantages and disadvantages…so which one is right for you?
A contractor will have to look at each job to determine which type of grout will work best. In general, epoxy is recommended for tiled showers and floors as it adds a layer of protection under the tiles. It is also a good choice for back splash tiling.
If you are having work done in your house where grout is needed, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of cement and epoxy to determine which is best for you. Having trouble determining what is the best fit for your home? Let us know!