Litokol Grout for Glass Tile

poolprincessJuly 13, 2013

I am in the middle of a pool build and have my own thread on it, but thought this deserved it's own posting.

We went with one of the bigger pool builders in our area. We knew going into it they would be a little more "cookie cutter" but also knew they have a good reputation with quality work. We figured we could make it costume looking pool, by choosing our own designer and finishings.

Pool tile was huge to me because I see it as the "icing on the cake", after weeks of researching and obsessing, I decided on this beautiful Italian tile called Sicis in Zinnia 2. We were not disappointed when it arrived (I did order a small sample prior)

We told our PB and they said they called Sicis to get installation instructions and trusted him to get all the correct information. He asked about everything but the grout! He decided (without consulting with us or SICIS) that white sanded grout would be best for this beautiful iridescent tile. When we came home after they tiled it were VERY disappointed to say the least. It really cheapened our tile and looked so muted than without the grout.

Long story short after some research and calling SICIS again for grout recommendations they said they use LITOKOL grout. Of course no local tile place even heard about this grout. I managed to find some info on the internet and an email to the North American distributor (I guess this is very popular in Europe but new to this market) In minutes he was emailing me and put me in touch with the local distributor. The local distributor came to our house and showed us a sample on our tile next to the ugly white grout. OMG!!!! what a huge difference. I want the tile to be front and center not the grout and this grout does that!

The grout he showed us is called Crystal Glass Grout. It has glass composition remains and refracts the color of your tile so it enhances your tile and doesn't compete with it.

Also, we wanted to go with a SALT system and with this grout it will not be an issue.

I am writing this review because I was so impressed with the service of their grout company and the quality of product! He said he would come back to show the tile installers how to install the grout. There is also a video of it online somewhere. The grout is neat and is clear with little crystals in it and if you are looking into glass tile, this would be the only grout I would use!!

So now my PB is taking out all that white grouted tile and redoing the whole thing! Luckily I told him to stop with the white grout before he grouted our spa.

Anyway, here are some photos to show the difference. The difference shows up so much better in person though!

Left- LITOKOL tile R- white grout

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Here's another photo -top white grout bottom LITOKOL keep in mind this was a sample and the grout is not cleaned. The tile was already messed up from the white grout and some of the white grout was removed, we deiced to start over again this tile will be removed and retiled using the LITOKOL crystal grout.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Aqua-Link Pools and Spas

Please make sure your builder puts in isolation joints in the tile with a silicone that is rated for submersion. Glass tile is prone to cracking with temperature changes with half the tile being in water and the other half being exposed to air. The isolation joints helps relieve the expansion and contraction of the tile.

Laticrete is the only one that I know makes the silicone that is rated for swimming pools. It's called Latiseal.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 7:37PM
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This stuff is used for pools all over Europe and is supposed to be much better than Laticrete. Its part epoxy and has some sort of thermal expansion in it. Again, it's new to this market. I'm glad I found it because I would rather use a clear grout that morphs in my tile than use a colored grout for my glass tile. This brand has colored grout too with glimmer in it, but the crystal grout they makes is amazing with glass tile.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:53AM
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So much better! White grout is terrible on anything other than white tile. We have cobalt blue tile, and they were going to use white grout. So glad I caught it. Then they wanted to use some blue or grey that might or might not have matched. I had to push them to use black grout. Very glad I did. Looks great.

A lot of people seem to think that white is invisible but it's only invisible on white. On anything else it's a sore thumb!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 1:23PM
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Thanks! I agree! That's what really irritates me about some pool builders, they seem to think they know better than us! I was horrified after seeing our tile after they grouted it white. Looked like cheap pool tile, not expensive mosaic Italian tile. I can't believe how much grout makes a difference. I am so glad our PB agreed to pay for the tile and redo. What pisses me off though is any extra's we want upgraded now, he is quoting us premium for. This was his mistake, he didn't even bother to meet with us even though we asked to go over the tile. He just decided white grout was best. Boy was he WRONG!!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 4:58PM
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A similar thing happened to us with some kitchen floor tile. It was pre-cast/pre-finished terrazzo, and the company had very specific instructions about installation and a very helpful rep to answer questions. I gave all the info to the contractor. He ignored it and then wanted me to pay him to do a normal polish finish like they would do on unfinished tile. I refused and live with imperfect tile because the alternative was ripping out the kitchen and starting over, and a legal battle to get him to fix it. At least I refused to give him extra profit.

About changes... Yeah, they treat every change like you're an indecisive idiot and act like they've never heard of such a thing and they use it as an excuse to charge big for it because you have no alternative. They use change orders as their personal ATM machine. I'm not sure how to avoid that, except to have an agreement about competitively priced change charges before you start.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:59PM
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