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Old 12-09-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
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Are all grouts equal?


Hi,
I am getting ready to install 10x16 porcelain tile- subway style - in a tub/shower surround. The grout lines will be 1/8 and I planned on using sandless grout.
A designer at the shop where I bought the tile suggested Frost white MAPEI brand grout. (of course they sold out yesterday.)

Another place had TEC which did not quite have the shade (darker) but they had matching silicone ( even slightly more dark)

Another said they custom blend the colors... (but I have seen many of their displays with cracked/bad grout.

Is any one grout better than the other?
How about for cleaning/mold/mildew/endurance?

Thanks

Last edited by wraiththe; 12-09-2011 at 12:17 PM. Reason: title was wrong.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
getting ready to install 10x16 porcelain tile- subway style
You must mean "running bond" style? Tiles 10 X 16 are not usually considered subway tiles.

Any of the basic Portland grouts are the same thing, doesn't matter.

If you want to use an upgrade-grout use urethane grout.

Don't go screwin' around with someone that wants to "custom blend" any grout or caulk colors...you will never match it in the future. If you run short in the beginning you're screwed too.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:08 PM   #3
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Why is urethane better? Can I get it in various colors? Where can I get it?

Do you have to use an additive?
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Why is urethane better? Can I get it in various colors? Where can I get it?

Do you have to use an additive?
Research it.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:52 PM   #5
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I suppose I deserve that. I have doen some research, but a lot of what I read is not informative enough so far.

1) epoxy grout:
a) more expensive
b) harder to use
1) dries quicker- (how do you get it off the face of the tile when you are done?
c) lasts longer how long?
d) more color resiliant
e) more waterproof?
f) Very hard to remove
g) can use in corners and shift planes, but if there is s shift, the tile will probably crack instead.

2) unsanded grout
a) not as absorbant as sanded
b) wont scratch the sanded grout when installing
c) more prone to shrinkage than sanded grout
d) easier to remove than epoxy grout.
e) not really water proof (Bad)
f) for use in grout lines up to 1/8"
g) do not use at plane shifts/tub line - use caulk/silicone instead
h) more prone to staining and can mold/mildew
i) you can mix in additives
1) anti mold/mildew
2) latex (instead of water)
3) likened pound cake, opposed to angelfood cake - less porous
4) unspecified additive?
a) I cannot find much information on this... or if it is possible to mix it in with Mapei/TEC grout. (or if it is already in there.)
j) using sealer - likened to sherry on cake to make it last longer and protects grout from stains.

2) Sanded Grout
a) for grout lines 1/8" or larger
b) better for non glossy tile
c) stronger and less shrinkage than unsanded
d) harder to keep clean

I think that is most of what I have read.

I have also included a picture of my tile layout. I was going to do 1/8"
grout, but now I am thinking mabye 1/16" might be safer. I also tried to modify the photo to see what my Frost white (hey, I tried) grout would look like. Any comments to help me make a more informed decision.

(I am adding this as an afterthought. on looking at the pic online... I think I like the appearance of the larger grout lines better.)
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:23 AM   #6
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Still on a fence with grout choices -


Hi,
I am still on the fence about which grout to use for my shower. I am considering:

Mapei Kericolor S (is there a good additive to use w/?)
TEC Grout with additive (expensive)
Spectralock (Epoxy like grout) from Laticrete.

I admit I hate cleaning the shower every time after use... (why work up a sweat after getting clean?)
I am concerned with mold/mildew there are no windows, but we do have a ceiling fan.
Longevity, and the ability of the grout to cling to the tile well.
Appearance.

I am a little intimidated in the correct cleaning process during install - with the Spectralock and ruining the tile if not done properly.
with regular sanded - mold getting in the grout, like my last shower...

Can anyone say if I can do just as well with sanded grout?

15x10 glazed porcelain - 1/8" grout lines (actually I measured them and the spacers actually came up short.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:20 AM   #7
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That there is hardly a 'large' grouting job, comparatively speaking, so I wouldn't waste anymore time sitting on the fence about what type of grout would give you the best resistance against mould...I mean in the war against moulds, you have to know what battles to pick; for example, look at your fan closely as that will have much more of an impact on your mould growth than the 'type' of grout would.

Then take a regular grout and go for it.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:34 AM   #8
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If you have experienced mold issues on tile and grout in the past the mold didn't occur because of the tile or the grout. Growing mold is a maintenance issue.

Your best bet if you are anal about it is to use a urethane grout and be done with it. That won't stop mold in the future necessarily, nothing will except proper cleaning and maintenance.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:47 PM   #9
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Most of the mold was comming from behind the grout.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Most of the mold was comming from behind the grout.
Of course it was.
And what steps were being taken to prevent it?

Was the grout sealed properly?
Where the walls squeegeed after each use as recommended?
Was there proper ventilation to keep air moving and to dry the area regularly?

Grouts aren't usually waterproof, they require some help.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:54 AM   #11
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We had a guy come over to rework the grout and caulk about a year ago, he sucked and that is being nice. We squeegeed the shower almost every time we used it (last one to shower in the morning) and left the light and the fan on for @20 minutes or more after the shower.

The bath shower, was only now being used... for two years... When I went to change the caulk a few mos ago, black water poured out of the wall. The mold had gotten behind the green board which was backed by a gypsum firewall... which also had mold on the front and the back and got to the insulation. Luckily not into the wood. We had been cleaning it every so often, but with the wrong cleaners. I think my favorite to use was scrubbing bubbles. There was also some target bath cleaner that probably was not good for the bath either.

Our main shower: the soap dish was not installed properly. Water got behind it and soaked the greenboard which turned to mush and mold. There was a vapor barrier that kept the mold from hitting the wall behind it. That was several years ago.

And that is that. Now we will have to watch what we use to clean. Also now that the grout line is 1/8" I will make sure to get grout really in there... I hope. Thought about using a piping bag to start.

These pics are nothing compared to the shower. At least it never made it to the floorboards. I cannot find the worst one, behind the tiles on the first row.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:33 AM   #12
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Oh,Yuck---

That's a bad one--That's a good advertisement for using modern waterproofing over the backer board--
for using powder thinset instead of mastic---Tile and grout are not waterproof---they never were.

Some moisture will get behind the tile---that's the way it is--that surround had green board---now banned for use in wet areas in the US. And I would bet ,used bucket mastic---sure to fail.

Don't blame the grout for that failure---
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:50 AM   #13
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With the new information you've given, I still stick to the advice I posted earlier: take any regular grout and go to it. Because now you have a larger issue that really is worth your being in two minds over and spending time on that fence: shower construction - and no grout - no matter what type - will save you from the problems you'll get down the line, so you might as well just hold your nose and use the most practical and cheapest grout, probably the unsanded Mapei product in this instance...

For indeed, that shower is badly conceived from the start; you're not alone we've seen it hundreds of times. Your particular issue is the waterproofing of the walls. Right now they are not, so mould growth is inevitable. You have omitted the step that requires a membrane of some sort to be applied behind the tiles, a membrane that channels whatever water gets behind there away from the backing.

I would have hoped you came to this board first before you applied the tiles and asked because the advice here would have served you down the road...

By the way, just how did you stick those tiles on there, and make it look so neat?
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Your particular issue is the waterproofing of the walls. Right now they are not, so mould growth is inevitable. You have omitted the step that requires a membrane of some sort to be applied behind the tiles,
Obviously ccarlisle you didn't read the entire thread. That substrate is WEDI.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:29 AM   #15
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You mean there's another thread on this? Funny, I read it as there being greenboard behind his tiles...either way, doesn't change all that much.

Anyway, Merry Christmas, Bud!
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