....and would I even know if a brand was inferior? The job is going well and looking good. I feel a bit silly and pushy asking. Are there brands/types to stay away from?
I've used for the most part Laticrete, Mapei and Custom for years and years.
All are fine. Biggest problems I see on this forum are installation errors.
Using unsanded in too wide a joint which can lead to shrinkage cracks as the grout cures, that happens once in a while.
Most common error involves water. Too much water is used in the initial mix in order to make the grout easy to spread. Then afterwards, too much water used during the clean-up of the joints. Most common symptom of that is blotchy or uneven grout color.
I find most people don't mix grout long enough. When you mix it properly, it gets to that magical state where instead of troweling thick mud, you're troweling glass marbles. It just flows. Grouting should still be a workout of sorts, it does require effort to properly pack the joints, etc.
In the end it's not really the brand that causes problems, it's the methodology of the installer.
We had our tile guy use TEC XT grout for two of our bathrooms and for our Garage entryway/FR/Guest Bedroom tile. It's supposed to be stronger, more stain and crack resistant (than other cement-based grouts), and contains mold/mildewicides.
We had also considered Laticrete (Permacolor, I think?), when we did the bathrooms, but the TEC colors were a better match for most of our tile (we wanted to stick with one brand/type of grout for the whole project).
TEC XT does not need to be sealed, but it can be (with a solvent based sealer). It was easy enough to do when we sealed our stone tile (we used STT's SB Deluxe sealer).
It's like magic! I lie in bed worrying over the grout to go on the next day' (Grout is permanent. Permanent = Scary) I turn on the bedside light, reach for the iPad and throw out my question into cyber space and onto this forum.
I awaken to find that a wonderful resident pro, mongoct, came to the rescue.
While I was still sleeping.
Amazing ! Thank you soooooo much, mongo! You have really eased my mind.
P.s. if anone is interested, you can find the original post in decorating....mostly re. Grout color.