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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just finished tiling the bathroom floor and it looks great. Shower walls, ceiling, and floor are next. I need to start thinking about grout. I used 1/16" in spacers, but due to it being cheaper tile, the edges are slightly slanted. While the gap at the bottom is spaced at 1/16" it measures just over 1/8" at surface level.


Would you use sanded or unsanded in this case? I'm guessing unsanded since most of the joint is 1/8 or less. The guy at the tile store was pushing tec power grout which claims to fill 1/16-1/2" but my research suggest it is either problematic or really hard to use (or both).

I'm afraid of epoxy.

Any suggestions? I can get Tec and Ardex products at the tile store, Custom at the orange store and Mapei at the blue store. I could probably get laticrete too if I drive a few towns over. I'm a beginner so ease of use is important.

Another thing seldom mentioned is the quality of the matching caulks. Do some brands have better quality matching caulks? Thanks
 

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I'm not educated to give you answers- but I can share a bit of what I've experienced.

The Ardex is lovely lovely stuff to work with. Their new color selection is as dirt ugly as it comes, but the formula is very nice. I just did an art piece that has grout lines from nearly nonexistent on up to ½", and the grout has not cracked even a wee hairline in that wide portion. I pay about $18 a box in my area.

I have used Bostik epoxy grout. It was so simple. The stress of fretting about the infamous grout haze nearly made my head pop off, but there wasn't the slightest problem. Work small areas, SMALL areas, clean a lot as you go- voila. Simple stuff.
I paid $245 for a bucket. Yes, I typed that correctly. I put it in granite, because the sparkly color was perfect for the job and I didn't know better, but its really supposed to be in glass tile and the claim is that its magical translucence and the light coming through the glass tile makes it glow blah blah blah... yeah, maybe. In my application, while applying it was so smooth... the look is lackluster and uninspired, and that price tag.... I'll never bother to repeat the experiment, not even with glass tile. That said- if there's some color you really fancy, don't let fear stop you. Look for good instructions, follow them, and there's no worries. But you'll need a good cleaner (about $32 a bottle) and a stack of micro fiber sponges won't go amiss (more $...)

Custom is fine- for bottom of the barrel. Really- tear up the color card and pretend it doesn't exist. It never holds its color. Every one of them goes dull grey with a tint of what it was supposed to be hanging around like a sad ghost. Its not anywhere near as nice to work with as the Ardex, anyway.

I have not tried any of the other brands yet.
 

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I've used the TEC Power Grout once and it was fine. I don't think the "problem" you mentioned is really a problem. I think if the edges of the tiles had no bevel at all, then you would have been the one with a problem with a 1/16" grout line, since precision cut tiles with no bevel can be difficult for amateur DIYers. Or maybe you're just that good! But unsanded would probably be the way to go. Remember you're not going to be filling in the grout to the very top of the tile. When sponging and shaping the grout joints, there will be a slight concave shape to the grout which means it's somewhere between 1/8" and 1/16" in practice.


Yes caulk quality varies of course. But the matching TEC caulk should be fine.


I use Mapei products the majority of the time, and needless to say I wouldn't do that if they didn't work well. I've heard good things about Laticrete but there is no dealer near me. I've been using a lot of Flexcolor CQ lately, and while it is sanded, they recommend it for grout joints 1/16" and larger. It is relatively expensive, but it needs no sealing, and it's very easy to work with because it's premixed. You can use a little and stop and come back any time without ever having to clean a bucket or a mixing paddle. It is worth it IMO. It does dry fairly quickly so it's best to work small areas at a time. The matching caulk is good quality.
 
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