Epoxy grout with calacatta marble tile?

piscesgirlJuly 5, 2012

So we are in the planning/purchasing phase of our master bathroom remodel. When we purchsed the 12x12 calacatta marble tiles for the floor the tile shop owner sold us white epoxy grout. Now after reading the Spectralock website I see it's safe for marble but that white marble may soak up the grout through the sides of the tile and create a 'picture-frame' effect.

Also based on the Spectralock site, Epoxy contains sand and could scratch our polished marble tile.

We purchased the tile and epoxy while out of state so we can't take back/exchange for something else, so I am hoping we can use it. Otherwise we will just have to buy regular non-sanded grout and chalk it up to a learning experience.

Spectralock suggests conducting a test area prior to grouting to see if the results are acceptable. If we do a test area, how long would we have to wait to see results? I am assuming it would need to completely dry to truly know if we have the 'picture frame' effect. It is my understanding that once you mix epoxy you have a 80 minutes to work with it. Is it possible to only mix a little bit in order to test the product or do you have to mix it all at the same time? If we have to mix it all at once I am not sure how we can conduct a true test of the product and results.

- Has anyone used epoxy grout with calacatta marble?

- Could I use epoxy if I pre-seal the tile before grouting (after installation onto the floor) or would sealing the side of the tile prevent a good bond?

Thanks. I appreciate any advice.

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bill_vincent

Okay-- a couple of things. First, the sand in Spectralock is extremely fine. It's not going to scratch anything. Secondly, I've used standard sanded cement based grouts on polished marble before in commercial installations, and never scratched it, even grouting using a buffing machine and burlap. Secondly, if you're going to use epoxy on polished stone, you ought to consider as part of the process using an epoxy glaze remover. You WILL leave a little of the epoxy matrix on the face of the stone, and it'll be blatantly obvious, because of the polish, If you're having this done by a pro, he'll most likely want a premium for that (and rightly so). As for sealing prior to grouting, it won't help with epoxy.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 8:59AM
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piscesgirl

Thanks bill. So you don't think I will have an issue with the "picture frame" effect? Shouldn't I still test the tile?

Also regarding removing the cured epoxy film or haze -Laticrete suggests using a combination of a neutral pH detergent/water solution and extra LATICRETE SpectraLOCK PRO Grout Part C powder. They also recommend trying a combination of LATICRETE SpectraLOCK PRO Grout Part C powder with Miracle Company � Epoxy Grout Film Remover or Dominion Restoration - Petra 7. Is there an epoxy glaze remover you suggest?

Lastly, will we be ok to go with a 1/16" grout line with epoxy grout?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Epoxy grout with marble is pretty useless and expensive overkill. It's like putting a brand new set of suspenders onto a pair of pants that are so threadbare they're getting ready to fall apart. It's wasted money and effort. The marble is porous, and will need repeated sealing as regular maintenance. You might as well use standard grout and just plan on sealing the entire surface at one time, grout an all. (And none of that sealing will ever prevent the marble from being etched.) All the epoxy grout will do is make the install hell and cost a lot more, and possibly damage the tile itself with residue or grout remover if you don't have a VERY skilled installer who uses the right products and really knows what he is doing.

The standard epoxy removal tool of vinegar won't work in this situation as it will etch the marble, and frankly, I don't know of a product that will remove the haze and still leave the marble undamaged. However, my experience with epoxy is with "bulletproof" porcelain in order to create an almost "zero maintenance" environment, which is the very opposite spirit of any marble shower. I'm sure somewhere someone has created a grout haze remover that isn't acid based, but I'll bet from just my basic knowledge of chemistry it mostly involves elbow grease rather than chemical action.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 11:29AM
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bill_vincent

Thanks bill. So you don't think I will have an issue with the "picture frame" effect?

You may for a while, until the epoxy resins completely cure and dry out. No way around that with natural stone. That still doesn't stop those who wish to do this kind of installation.

Is there an epoxy glaze remover you suggest?

Hands down, Petra 7 is tops for removing epoxy haze, but I've yet to see any place where it's available to the general public. Stoine Tech makes an epoxy glaze remover that's almost as good, and IS available to the public, and will not harm polished stone.

Lastly, will we be ok to go with a 1/16" grout line with epoxy grout?

I won't say epoxy in general, but Spectralock will be fine.

Now....

Epoxy grout with marble is pretty useless and expensive overkill.

Useless, no. Overkill, I'll agree with. But that hasn't stopped those who've really wanted to use it.

I don't know of a product that will remove the haze and still leave the marble undamaged.

I just gave two, one of which is available to the public, and usually pretty easy to find.

I'm sure somewhere someone has created a grout haze remover that isn't acid based, but I'll bet from just my basic knowledge of chemistry it mostly involves elbow grease rather than chemical action.

My son and I, 2 months ago, cleaned about 2000 feet with the Stone Tech product in about 4 hours on this following installation:

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:16AM
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davidro1

I've installed lots of epoxy grout, and regular grout too. They both need cleaning from time to time. Epoxy can come back to the original light beige color. I use a steamer (cheap steam nozzle device) and a drop of bleach. The other kind of grout can be pretty good too, if you use GroutBoost. Web search this word.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:18PM
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pbx2_gw

How is GroutBoost & what is it used for?
Our tile dealer is pushing it as a 95% of the way grout stain resistor ADDITIVE vs. the added expense of an epoxy like Spectralock.

Still a rather large $750 upcharge for GroutBoost

Here is a link that might be useful: Groutboost Specs

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:21PM
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sserra85

$750 upcharge for grout boost? How much are you buying? In our area it goes for $65 for a 70oz jug (for 25lb sanded grout). I used Tec Power Grout in my own home and have been happy with it so far.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:42PM
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phiwwy

Our installer used boost in one of the bathrooms, as a way to best avoid stain and mildew. I think it was about $50/bottle. One bottle gets mixed with one container of grout instead of using water. Installer had no issue with using it. I think it was unsanded grout as well (I forget the brand, Tec I think) as we used a combination of glass and subway tile).

We used epoxy grout on the shower floors (ceramic tile) in our steam shower. Grout with boost was used on the walls, because we have some marble mosaic accents.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 1:50PM
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pbx2_gw

Not sure yet how much is being requested by our sub but 3 full bathrooms all tiled is what I am guessing right now is what GroutBoost is being used for.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 3:17PM
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MrsD

Bill, I know this is an old thread just seeing if I reach you. What do you know about TEC power grout. My installer likes and uses power grout. And I have Carrera marble in master bath, a Basketweave in another and calacatta gold marble subway in kitchen. Will my marble be ok with him using power grout and not scratch? I'm being told it won't scratch. Then my other question, is when a second coat of sealer is put on after the tile is grouted, will it still adhere to my tile? Just wondering if power grout getting on my tile would prevent the sealing of the stone? Thx

    Bookmark   March 13, 2015 at 8:04PM
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PRO
Creative Ceramic & Marble/ Bill Vincent

Mrs D-- I know I already answered you by email, but for the benefit of those searching the thread-- I'm not familiar with power grout. Not because it's not a good product (TEC has a terrific reputation), but because there are no distributors up here, unless you have a show room. That said, if your installer says he can do the installation without scratching the stone, I'd take him at his word. As for the sealer, personally, I'd prefer to seal it once-- when everything is done. Whichever way your installer wants to do it, I'd go with his recommendation. Some would rather seal twice, others all at one time.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2015 at 9:10PM
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PRO
John Whipple - By Any Design ltd.

I would not use an epoxy grout on Marble myself. Marble is like a sponge.

I only recommend one epoxy grout and it is the one from Laticrete that I use and have for years.

I have never used power grout. No opinion on that product.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2015 at 5:36AM
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Sophie Wheeler

PowerGrout is good stuff. It's all that my one installer uses. He switched to it for color consistency and the fact that it won't scratch marble or glass. And the no callbacks. That was worth the extra $ right there to him.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 16, 2015 at 8:30AM
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