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Discuss My builder says epoxy grout too "inflexible"?! in the Tiling Forum area at TilersForums.co.uk.

  1. Tardigrade

    Tardigrade Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Hello,

    I'm tiling my bathroom. Rectangular tiles, brick pattern. Most are new stud walls with plasterboard. Floor to ceiling, but not floor itself, and quite a few corners / niches etc.

    I specified epoxy grout at onset (because: mumsnet :) ) so cost isn't an issue (for me). I liked the rave reviews of never having to seal or clean / no mould etc.

    On reminding him of the need to use epoxy grout he said:
    1) I want to use Mapei ultracolour plus (which he referred to as normal grout)
    2) Epoxy grout isn't "flexible" enough and as plasterboard/stud walls flex over time, I should expect tiles to crack if he goes ahead and uses it.

    a) is this even normal grout? Looks a bit different going by the marketing blurb
    b) is there any truth to epoxy's "inflexibility"?
    c) is this because he isn't following best practice and should eg have something else supporting the plasterboard?
    d) I've come across some grouts that appear to be a bit of a hybrid eg mapei flexcolour CQ - is there anything to this middle ground?

    I'm a bit worried about forcing a reluctant tradesman to do something he is less familiar with in case the quality suffers, and certainly don't want to be storing up problems but I want the quality outcome I paid for...thoughts?

    Thank you!
     
  2. macten

    macten Professional Tiler

    Location:
    Nottingham
    Epoxy grout is less flexible than a modified grout like UC+ but will be fine to use in your situation. Just be sure to use silicone at movement joints like you normally would.

    It is a bit of a pain to use so maybe he's trying to make his life easier.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2017 at 7:33 PM
  3. callatiler

    callatiler Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Yes definitely sounds as tho he is more interested in making his life easier and not what customer is wanting! Maybe he has never used epoxy, ask him.
     
  4. Tardigrade

    Tardigrade Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Thank you - total newbie so re: "movement joints":
    1) is this something done in any event, or something I have to do BECAUSE I want epoxy grout?
    2) Where are these things placed? It would seem to ruin the robustness if some proportion of the grout lines are just silicone or am I missing something?
    3) In what scenarios would my builder have a point? Just so I can see if there is any risk I'm near them!
     
  5. callatiler

    callatiler Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Internal joints should be clean and grout free ready for a matching silicone sealant finish. A wooden floor with too much movement would be unsuitable for epoxy grout unless overboarded to do away with any movement
     
  6. Tardigrade

    Tardigrade Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Thanks for the floor example. By internal joints, I take it you mean, as an example, the bit essentially between tiles and plasterboard in a 90 degree corner?
     
  7. callatiler

    callatiler Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Silicone should be used in corners of one tiled wall leading onto another tiled wall, also around bath/shower and tiles
     
  8. Tardigrade

    Tardigrade Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Thank you again! - and sorry to be so pedantic but to 100% confirm this is done regardless of grout type?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. callatiler

    callatiler Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Yes any grout type, you get exact matching colour silicones and grouts nowadays
     
  10. Tardigrade

    Tardigrade Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Perfect thanks so much
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. antonio

    antonio Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    italy
    sorry,
    I remain convinced that epoxy is more flexible
    Of any cement-based stucco.
    Also of ultracolor plus silicon based.
     
  12. Tardigrade

    Tardigrade Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Thanks - to clarify you are basically agreeing with the others that I should stick to my epoxy decision?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. callatiler

    callatiler Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Yes that's what he means
     
  14. Tardigrade

    Tardigrade Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Ta - don't suppose there are particular brands I should target? (I'm after pure/bright white to add some interest to coloured tiles).
     
  15. callatiler

    callatiler Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Most readily available would probably be Mapei Kerapoxy, most local CTD outlets hold stock and as far as epoxy grouts go quite easy, better to buy the Mapei Kerapoxy cleaner aswell for final clean up the following day after grouting
     
  16. Tardigrade

    Tardigrade Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Thanks so much!
     
  17. MissTiler

    MissTiler TTA Tile Fixer of the year winner 2017 Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler TTA Member JOTM Winner

    Location:
    Norf London
    epoxy grout is flexible.. Kerakolls is the easiest to use. Most places you have to order epoxy grout.
     
  18. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler Top Contributor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    And finally - if he's tried to wriggle out of using epoxy, for goodness' sake please don't let him TRY and use it now!
    You get one chance to do it right, and one chance only.
     
  19. Tardigrade

    Tardigrade Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Thank you also :) What a nice forum!

    (both) ps...your thoughts were spot on. It is his first time actually doing it. But he's done tiling for 5 years in his past emploment (despite being a general builder now), and he says he is perfectly aware of the differences. And I don't have the budget or time to manage a separate specialist so it's either that or give up on the epoxy :). I guess a bad job just has to be redone... (entire house near back to bricks refurb as background).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2017 at 7:34 PM
  20. Stustunz

    Stustunz Active Member

    Location:
    New Zealand
    The lighter colour expoxies yellow over time (all brands, people will try and say otherwise but they are full of it.Its just what a true epoxy does). Nothing is perfect.

    Clean your shower well rinse off properly after using hair conditioner dont use bar soap.Otherwise your silicon will go mouldy

    The mould has to have the right conditions is take hold.

    Ventilation is also important.

    Expoxy grout doesnt fix people not cleaning the shower.

    Expoxy only helps
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  21. jcrtiling

    jcrtiling Professional Tiler TTA Member Top Contributor

    Location:
    Salisbury
    Another thing with shower mould . If you have a shower cubicle and you have extractor you still won't get any air movement in cubicle so I think it is a good idea to leave cubicle door open if you have sliding doors to promote air movement in cubicle .
     
  22. CJ

    CJ Professional Tiler

    Location:
    Somerset
    Ventilation, or "lack" of it is the biggest problem with most grouts & silicons. Although a good grout & silicon have anti fungal properties (microban) you just cannot beat drying everything out after using showers etc.

    Extractors and window open does the world of good
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  23. bansko

    bansko Member of Tilers Forums

    People say he might be trying to wriggle out of using epoxy, well he might be doing you a favour. If he's never used epoxy before then don't expect the quality job you want, you will regret it. I've been tiling for over 40 years and I personally would try and talk the client out of using epoxy especially if all the fittings are in (not sure if they are). We use epoxy on large commercial jobs i.e. Swimming pools mainly and have 2 lads who are very good and quick but it takes years of experience to get to that standard, it's also been considered a health hazard and most tilers will refuse point blank to use it. I know we're only talking a bathroom here but be careful you can have a perfectly good tiling job ruined by using epoxy resin grout. There are many grouts available now with all these additives that are compatible with your requirements, but like has been mentioned earlier ventilation and a little maintenance is required.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  24. Dan

    Dan TilersForums.co.uk Est.2006 Staff Member Top Contributor NOT a Tiler

    Location:
    Staffordshire, UK
    If he sticks to the instructions to the letter, uses the right gear, and perhaps even checks the forum out or some YouTube videos, he should be fine.

    Test him & it on a small area behind the door or something first. So if it goes wrong or he hates it, it's not an eyesore.
     
  25. Dan

    Dan TilersForums.co.uk Est.2006 Staff Member Top Contributor NOT a Tiler

    Location:
    Staffordshire, UK
  26. Tony73

    Tony73 Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner

    Location:
    acton w3, london
    Mapei epoxy grout is hard to work with. (Don't like it at all) To me, Bisazza epoxy grout is easier to work with.
     
  27. CJ

    CJ Professional Tiler

    Location:
    Somerset
    Anyone used the kerakoll fugalite grout? Supposed to be foolproof.

    Wait and see on that one ;)
     
  28. antonio

    antonio Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    italy
    in my opinion the easiest remains kerakoll BIO fugalite.
    it takes almost half a time, compared to mapei, bisazza and normal fugalite
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  29. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler Top Contributor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    But in the UK it's all moaning about price. "Too expensive"!
    As a result, Kerakoll is very difficult to buy.
     
  30. antonio

    antonio Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    italy
    more cost, less work. it's the same
     
    • Agree Agree x 1

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