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Choose the right grout for shower: Epoxy vs. Cement

Epoxy grout vs. Cement grout?

This question often arises among consumers when it comes time to choose the right grout for shower. The choice must be taken seriously since the seams in the tiles perform an essential function – this is compensation between the tiles; since they tend to expand during use, the tiles cannot be laid without a seam since they will have nowhere to move except to rest against the adjacent tiles And, if you do not make a dividing seam, this threatens the tiles peeling off from the surface, and the larger the tiles or there are additional conditions in the form of floor heating, the wider the seam should be!

However, the tile joint is subject to different loads during operation since it is a compensation, so it must have elasticity. And since it is constantly subjected to mechanical load in the form of movement along it, it must have mechanical strength. On the street, it is exposed to precipitation and ultraviolet radiation. Also, the seam is exposed to various detergents during cleaning and, therefore, must be moisture-resistant, water-resistant, alkali-resistant, and even acid-resistant, depending on where it is used. And the tile joint must endure all this!

Another vital aspect is decoration since the correct choice of grout color will emphasize the appearance of the tile. It can be the color of the tile or contrasting since now there is a large assortment of grouts, making it easier to choose a color. But to ensure the grout does not change its appearance during use, choose a grout with the appropriate characteristics.

Let’s look at the main types of tile grout. The most common are epoxy and cement-based grouts!

First, look at cement grout; it has occupied a significant market share.

Cement grout

Cement grout is a classic option for grouting joints between tiles. It is a dry mixture based on cement with colored pigment and other additives to improve the cement mixture. Cement grout is mixed with water or water-based latex if specified in the technical sheet. Latex is added to enhance grout performance by some manufacturers. Still, some groups already have all the additives in the dry portion and, therefore, do not require the addition of liquid latexes.

Cement grouts come in different applications. The main difference is the grout selection according to the seam width. The grout fraction is smaller for ceramic tiles, grass, and mosaics, and the joint width ranges from 1 to 3 mm; for clinker or cast tiles, the fraction is more significant since the seam is generally recommended from 3 to 10 mm. The quality of cement grout depends on the quality of the components and the correct execution of the instructions provided. The main mistakes are:

  • adding dirty water to the grout;
  • using warm or hot water;
  • violation of the proportions specified in the instructions;
  • adding water to the grout again;
  • wipe down dirty tile surfaces;
  • not timely cleaning of grout;
  • adding components not specified in the instructions.

Cement grout remains one of the most widely used grouts in tiling and is a versatile product that can be used indoors or outdoors. Some grouts can be used in places with constant contact with water and those subject to thermal stress. Manufacturers have continued improving this product, even though new products with improved characteristics have now appeared.

Also Read: Quality Proximity: Find Exceptional SOP Writers Near Me

Next, let’s look at what epoxy grout is!

People often call it two-component, but the grout consists of three or more components.

The main components are epoxy resin plus a catalyst; after mixing them, a reaction occurs, and the grout begins to harden and gain strength. And the third component is a filler, mainly quartz sand. It can already be chemically, specially painted, or unpainted quartz with liquid dye added to the paste. Due to the difference in the technical process, grouting has different technological characteristics and nuances in operation.

One of the differences is that if the dye is in liquid form, the grout has a smaller fraction, but because of this, it is more difficult to wash out and cannot be used on delicate surfaces. If it contains pre-painted quartz, the grout has a slightly more significant fraction, and removing it from the grouted surface is more accessible.

These are minor general differences since each manufacturer has its secret for producing grout, and large manufacturers constantly improve their products, making them as harmless, solid, and easy to use as possible.

Main mistakes when working with epoxy grout :

  • violation of grout proportions;
  • using dirty tools;
  • wipe down a dirty surface;
  • using a non-professional tool when cleaning grout;
  • not using cleaners recommended by the manufacturer;
  • adding components not specified in the instructions;
  • performing work in violation of the temperature conditions specified in the instructions.
  • Cement and epoxy grout are materials for professional use; the work’s success largely depends on the performer, his skills, experience, and accuracy of following instructions. There are distinctive features in working with these groups. Still, the general principle remains the same: grouting is the final stage of laying tiles, which is very difficult to fix, and redoing may not be possible, or the cost will be very high.

Many professional companies provide services of epoxy grout in Melbourne for showers and balconies. You can choose the best one by comparing prices and considering their experience.

Let’s summarize our article with epoxy and cement grout characteristics, which may help you decide on the product choice.

Cement grout:

  • not a high price compared to epoxy;
  • large selection of manufacturers and colors compared to epoxy;
  • the cost of work is cheaper than with epoxy;
  • most artisans prefer to work with cement grout;
  • auxiliary tools and cleaners are cheaper than epoxy grout;
  • resistance of white flowers to ultraviolet radiation.

 

Epoxy grout (advantages in characteristics compared to cement grout).

  • mechanical abrasion strength;
  • color fastness to aging;
  • moisture and water resistance (almost zero water absorption);
  • high resistance to alkali and acids, salts;
  • resistance to dirt;
  • resistance to mold;
  • high resistance to freeze-thaw cycles.

 

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