mildew stain resistant grout: epoxy or other suggestions?

M_N_AJanuary 7, 2014

our rooms are kind of dark so the tiles we picked are all light color.

for maintenance concern, we are looking for solution of mildew stain resistant grout.

we found epoxy Grout such as SpectraLOCK. But a quick search seem to found lots of complains of messy sticky residue on the tiles which is hard to clean up, and sagging on vertical installations.

What's more, our contractors, though having many years of experience and being very careful and thorough, have not used expoxy group.

Should we give it a try?

is there other suggestions for best mildew stain resistant solutions? thanks!!

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Spectralock is pretty straight-forward. Just make sure the instructions are read and the methods and timelines are followed.

One thing I wouldn't do is force an epoxy grout on an installer if they are unwilling to use it. If they are willing to learn, great. If not, get a different crew or use a different product.

Heck, I never used epoxy grout until the first time I used it. You have to start some time!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 4:01PM
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I've started using "Fusion Pro," available at some Home Depots. It is a premixed product that, I think is silicone based. Never needs sealing and is anti-microbial. Holds colour perfectly and is relatively easy to use. It sets up pretty quickly and you DO need to do fairly small areas and start the clean-up within 2 minutes or less. It's become my "go to" grout.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 6:47PM
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Another vote for Fusion Pro. Easy to use if you follow the directions and StoneTech's advice to clean it right away. Custom Building Products describes it as "An advanced acrylic plus silicone resin with silica fillers and inorganic
pigments," Supposed to give the easy workability of cement based grouts with the 'bulletproof-ness' of epoxy and no mixing or color variation issues.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:53AM
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@mongoct, I posted the same on build forum and someone specifically called you out for comments:) my contractors seem to be willing to try. I just want to be the guinea pig. from what you say it seem to be easy to learn. Have you also heard of " a laticrete "epoxy" product that isn't entirely epoxy and had none of those issues and have no mildew... "

@StoneTech, I will look into Fusion Pro too

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:13AM
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on a similar note, any suggestion for mildew issue with caulking?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:14AM
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@stoneTech again, I just read on HD about fusion pro. some said "8 months after install this product has failed. Literally just crumbling away."
what could go wrong in installation?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:21AM
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I'm a total DIY'er and have used Spectralock multiple times. And as Mongoct says, I never used it until the first time I used it :) I have used it on slate, marble, and ceramic. Not big jobs but I am so happy with the product. And again, as Mongoct says, follow the product instructions! You don't have to mix the whole product up at one time either. I have weighed or measured the 2 part epoxy out and made just the amount I would need, such as the small amounts needed to make up my sample boards, to test different grout colors.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:49AM
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I looked and couldn't find anything from HD about it "crumbling away" but a search turned up 99% positive reviews. I've used it on anything from 1/16" up to 1/4" joints and, no problems. For interior use, it's 3 days "set" time as opposed to urethane's 7 days, and I like the urethane, too.

Set it, let it sit for three hours and you can spill coffee, wine, mustard (you get the idea) and wipe with a wet cloth. Perfectly clean....! Needs no sealing, color consistency is perfect, antimicrobial, etc.

Only reservation I can find is that you shouldn't use a "no rinse" enzematic cleaner with in a commercial kitchen area. Aside that, I wonder why I should have to mix grout again.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:06PM
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I too am a DIYer and have used SpectraLock on three tiling projects. As mentioned above, follow the directions, especially regarding working time. Also, I used the mix-and-freeze method mentioned in several threads on-line.

(Simply mix the epoxy components. Set aside what you will be able to use within the specified "working time". Immediately wrap the remainder in plastic wrap (Saran) and place it in the freezer. When you are ready to use the frozen grout, simply remove it from the freezer, cut off what you will use, knead it until soft/warm with your hands, and install. I've used grout that had been frozen for 3 days.)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Permacolor grout was the one I was referring to... We used silver shadow and siltstone--haven't had any discoloring issues or mildew in the year its been installed so far.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:07PM
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"Have you also heard of " a laticrete "epoxy" product that isn't entirely epoxy and had none of those issues and have no mildew... " "

I have to say I don't have a tremendously deep knowledge over Laticrete's epoxy products in terms of how much of an epoxy they truly are. Or are not.

The Spectralock formulation has certainy been modified over the years, probably a half-dozen times at least.

About all I can tell you is that there is Spectralock. Then there is Spectralock Premium. The main thing about the premium is that it has an anti-sag formulation which makes it easier for vertical applications. There are a few other tweaks as well. FWIW, there used to be an anti-sag additive the user could add to Spectralock if creep or sag was a problem. I never had to use it though.

Then there is Laticrete's IG2000. I think it's IG2000, or 2000IG. It definitely has "2000" in the name. I haven't used it in quite a few years. It's a hard core epoxy. None of the nice user-friendly features of the Spectralock grouts. It's mostly used for commercial installations. I've used it in restaurant kitchens, a veterinarians office, laboratories, etc.

Those are the three Laticrete epoxies I've used over the years.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:17PM
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@stonetech, I did not see 99% recommend. this is the link i found (73% recommend, sounds good), first lowest review says 8 months after install this product has failed. Literally just crumbling away.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:34PM
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NMA~All I can say is that my experience with it trumps the standard "Mix it yourself" grouts. One person had issues with it? Far less than the other grouts.

BTW, I went to the link and couldn't find what you described....

(I'm only a 38 year don't listen to me...)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 5:45PM
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oh stonetech, thanks for your information. in fact, this is probably the choice we are going with giving our contractor's background. quite glad to find this solution and thanks for all of your help. hope it works out

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 12:48AM
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I just tiled a bath, shower and two tile countertops with Fusion Pro. It is an acrylic polymer, as is corian and 100% acrylic paint. It cures by drying so like latex paint it gets stronger as it drys/cures. I cannot attest to its stain resistance, but I tiled my previous rent house bathrooms using epoxy grout and am banking on the Fusion Pro to be equally low maintenance. I like Custom products and so trust them with a new product. And I loved the install compared to epoxy.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 7:04PM
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Cabot & Rowe

add one more vote for usio Pro. It gets mighty hot down there in South Texas so working with Spectralock can be troublesome. Fusion is much more DIY friendly. he only limitations I am aware of; can't use it in steam rooms or ceement ponds.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Welcome aboard, HR!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:01AM
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What about using Fusion pro in showers? Some say that it's turning soft and getting that pink bacterial (?) growth.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 11:17AM
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We just installed the Fusion Pro in our shower floor. Don't know if I'll see any issues with it yet but the install went fairly easily as long as you are prepared (and a shout out to StoneTech and the others here who advised me!) to start wiping it off the tile as you go. You need to install in very small sections (2x2, 3x3) as it starts firming up rapidly. I have good ventilation in my bathroom now so I'm hoping no issues down the road, but it looks 10000000 times better than what the contractor originally put in.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 5:25PM
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Happy you like it. A great grout for the $!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 10:11PM
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We are starting a master bath remodel soon--
likely will have subway tile, mosaic w/mixed glass, ceramic, stone components, and trim pieces---
can we use the same grout for all types of tile?
Ordered sample of the mosaic from company that doesn't have local distributer and he recommened grount that has glass beads in it for the bling effect--
can't remember name==but said it really only worked with glass tiles/elements
so a ceramic/porceline subway would not really benefit--

I just want the same color throughout--
one that doesn't turn and doesn't mildew--we are in coastal FL and humid is our life...
Not sure who will be doing the tile work so can't talk to the installer yet for his recommendations/product experience

    Bookmark   October 29, 2014 at 10:34AM
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Epoxy floor coating is one of the oldest and still very popular ways to brighten up any environment. Epoxy paint is mold and mildew resistant, water resistant, dustless, and easy to clean. It covers a wide spectrum of both mildew and mold with a fast and slow release mechanism providing protection for the life of the coating.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2014 at 3:46AM
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I'm going to weigh in for Fusion Pro also. It is so lovely to work with, reasonably priced, and spreads just like a fluffy cake frosting. I've used it on wall tile with great results, no sagging, as well as on floors. Cleaned up easily too, just be dead certain to clean tools every 20 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2014 at 3:19PM
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