The Truth About Epoxy Grout
By Zephyr and Stone
If you’ve fallen in love with a mosaic tile, but alarm bells are ringing at the thought of scrubbing all that grout, then listen up! There is an alternative to regular grout, that will see your cleaning time slashed, and your mosaic feature tiles sparkling like new in months and years from now.
Have we got your attention? Then let’s dive into all things epoxy grout!
So first things first. What exactly is grout, and how is epoxy grout different?
Traditional grout is made from a cement based mix. It’s not waterproof and actually absorbs water when it becomes wet. It also absorbs stains easily, as anyone who has scrubbed grout will attest to.
Epoxy grout on the other hand, is made of epoxy resins combined with a filler powder. This makes it waterproof and almost completely resistant to stains. It’s durability makes it the ideal choice for splashbacks, floors and high-traffic areas.
Epoxy grout won’t crack, shrink, or discolour, making it ideal for applying in wet areas, such as showers. It’s also highly resistant to the harsh chemicals found in cleaning products. As an added bonus, unlike traditional cement grout, epoxy grout does not need to be sealed, due to its non-porous nature.
Sound too good to be true? Let’s look at any downsides of this wonder-grout.
Epoxy grout is more difficult to apply than traditional grout. It takes longer to apply, and sets quickly, so must be applied in stages. Tiles must also be cleaned thoroughly prior to applying epoxy grout. Epoxy can discolour porous surfaces, such as natural stone, so these surfaces should be sealed prior to grouting.
Epoxy can also have a slightly plastic look to it, compared to the textured cement look of regular grout. Any epoxy residue left on tiles will have a glossy sheen to it, so must be cleaned thoroughly immediately after application. Due to it’s sheen, epoxy grout is also less forgiving and highlights imperfections in your tiling.
Epoxy grout also comes with a much higher price tag - expect to pay three to five times more than standard cement grout for your product. The extra time to apply epoxy and clean thoroughly afterwards also adds to the bottom line, making this grout a considerably larger investment.
• Z + S Tip •
If opting for epoxy grout, match your grout colour as closely as possible to your tile colour. This will make any imperfections in the tiling or grout less obvious. Also ensure your tiler is experienced in applying epoxy grout, as the steps involved differ significantly from traditional cement grout.
So there you have it. Grout, without the scrubbing. Despite some of it’s drawbacks, epoxy grout is a fabulous solution for splashbacks, wet areas and areas that experience high levels of traffic. We always opt for epoxy grout if installing a mosaic splashback behind a cooktop, or if installing a light coloured or white floor tile.