QUESTIONEpoxy Grout - Is epoxy grout preferable to sanded or unsanded grout for ceramic tile and stone tile on the interior of homes. Please list the advantages and disadvantages.
ANSWERANSWER - Epoxy grout has significantly greater bond strength and compression strength over cementitious grouts. It is also very stain resistant.
Sanded grout is meant for grout joints that are 1/8” wide or more. Non-sanded grout is meant for grout joints that are 1/8” wide or less. Most epoxy grout will barely fit in a 1/16” wide joint. Grout joints are meant to be fully filled for maximum performance.
Epoxy grout requires more effort and labor to install than cementitious grout. The epoxy sets up fast and doesn’t have as much adjustability nor as forgiving as a cementitious grout. Installers who are new to installing epoxy grout without a lot of practice tend to struggle with the installation.
Porous stone and unglazed tile or textured tiles need to be protected when grouting with epoxy. The epoxy can stain in some cases and it can be difficult to remove from a textured surface. Using a penetrating type sealer or grout release can provide added protection.
A bad epoxy installation is normally very rough, has irregular joints, and has pin holes.
The epoxy itself maybe stain resistant, but if the surface of the epoxy grout is rough it will tend to pick up dirt easily and be difficult to clean. The surface of the finished epoxy grout should be smooth.
If installed well, epoxy grout can be very beneficial. Good Luck!