What's my best grout choice for tight grout lines in a shower???

collins designDecember 11, 2010

I'm getting ready (finally!) to grout my bathroom walls. Last night I grouted the floor with Spectralock epoxy grout and it went well.

I need to choose a grout for the shower and bathroom walls. This is a bathroom that will be hard-used and cleaned by a teenager (not very carefully, in other words!) so I would like to use a pretty high-functioning grout.

I'd just use Spectralock, but I think it will be difficult to get that (sanded) into the VERy tight grout lines I have. The tiles are 4x4s butted up to each other with their little self-spacing lugs, so the joints are quite tight.

Then I thought I'd use Laticrete Permacolor, but it, too, seems to be sanded (like Spectralock, I think, it's a small-grained sand, but still rough).

Can anyone recommend a high-functioning grout that would be better for my application?

My criteria are:

1) white

2) excellent, fabulous stain- and mildew-resistance

3) not super difficult to use....



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How about TEC XT? Comes in both Sanded and Unsanded versions (for most colors), and is supposed to be more stain resistant and mold and mildew resistant than other cement-based grouts. It does require a longer cure time 7-10 days before getting wet or sealing (doesn't need to be sealed, but can be, with a solvent-based sealer, which we did when we sealed the marble and trav tile in both bathrooms). I sealed it in the MB at 7 days because I needed that bathroom functional "now" LOL.

It also requires a drier clean-up (just wring sponge out well when wiping off excess grout, according to the rep with whom I spoke during my grout "research"--there's a video you can watch, too). It's a little stickier than the reg TEC grout, so you might need a bit more elbow grease to remove grout haze, but that's about it.

We used the Bright White for the field tile in both upstairs baths (used the reg TEC in Bright White for our kitchen and guest bathroom since the XT either wasn't around then or we just didn't know about it at the time). We used both the Sanded and the Unsanded. The Unsanded is a bit whiter than the Sanded (because the sanded has actual grains of sand, which I'm sure you know), but both seem white enough. We used a very glossy, very white, Porcelanosa large format tile in the MB. Our grout lines are very tight, except for the White Thassos mosaic/border (which came pre-mounted on mesh), and the Unsanded worked very well. We also used it (in Almond) with the split faced trav mosaic in the hall bath which had practically non-existent grout lines in spots.

Of course, when I say "we" used any of these products, I mean our wonderful tile guys used them for us!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 12:11PM
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I was going to say the same thing.

Tec XT. We used it in our master. Unsanded on the walls as there like yours, it was tight tile joints.

We found the grout a bit thick, and as a terrible grouter, I can say it came out pretty well. It was a kind of beige color with white tile.

As previous poster stated- it has all the anti mildew stuff in it, stain resistant, yet not epoxy. Kinda like a cross over, the way I look at it.

I did seal it, but again, just to restate, it does require a SOLVENT based sealer.

18 months, and looking great. Including the sanded grout in the shower floor.

You know the tile experts will say no need to seal.

I will add though, that I used ordinary HD custom grout in the teen bathroom, also cleaned by them, and after 4 years, it really still looks good and cleans up easily. I had sealed that once at the install with a regular cheap sealer, but that was 4 years ago (all prior to my education here ;-).

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 6:01PM
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I did do the sealing myself (DH helped where I couldn't reach!). FWIW, we used STT's SB Sealer. Minimal odor (seriously) and very easy to use.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 7:01PM
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collins design

Thanks folks! I replied to this before but it disappeared...

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:37AM
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Avanti Tile & Stone (Stonetech)

Spectralock uses a VERY small-grained sand and is perfectly acceptable for tight joints. If you're concerned, use about 20% less of the dry sand in the mix.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 9:59PM
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collins design

Thank you... I've already grouted using Tec Accuculor XT, which is a highly modified portland cement grout thats supposed to be very very mildew/stain resistant. but I have to say, it was a lot more of a pain to work with than the Spectralock epoxy grout I used on the floor. Wish I had done that! But, the gout IS white, and I know that the white epoxy would go yellow, so hopefully it's all for the best :)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 6:25AM
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Your comment on epoxy grout is one more piece of evidence showing that homeowners can have success with it.

Professionals often shy away from epoxy grouts. I think professionals have so much experience with portland cement grouts that they cannot unlearn their habits. They think nothing of the work involved with portland cement grouts. But, they have found epoxy grout hard to do successfully.

Your comment on epoxy grout is one more piece of evidence showing that a person can successfully install epoxy grout, and quite easily too.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 8:12AM
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