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Epoxy Tile Grouting

Epoxy grout is a material used to fill spaces between tiles so as to keep them in place. Know its benefits, and how it is different from sanded grout by going through the story that follows.
Priyanka Kosta Sonkushre
Tile grout is a type of construction material used to seal joints and fill spaces between tiles used in places like the kitchen or the bathroom. Basically there are three types of tile grout; namely, epoxy, cement-based, and urethane. Epoxy grout contains plastic epoxy resins.
A single pack of this sealing material contains two items. One is a pack of epoxy resins, and the other pack contains a hardener. Both these materials must be mixed together just before grouting. Out of all the grouting materials available in the market, epoxy grout is the best.
The material is extremely hardy and can tolerate extreme environmental conditions, thereby making it suitable for outdoor use. It is true that one can face difficulties working with it because it sets very quickly, however, its advantages render it as one of the best tile grouting materials.
Benefits of Epoxy Tile Grout
  • Easy to Clean: Epoxy tile grout is suitable for places like the kitchen and bathroom which often get dirty. This is because it is very easy to clean and can tolerate regular cleaning agents.
  • Stain Resistant: Epoxy grout does not stain easily. Besides a handful, no other chemicals or stains can actually alter the color of the grout, leaving it as it is for a long period of time.
  • Mold and Mildew Resistant: As kitchen and bathroom tiles are constantly in touch with moisture, they become highly susceptible to mold and mildew growth.
Epoxy grout is resistant to the growth of microorganisms which is often a cause of worry in households.
  • Water Resistant: Most grout materials absorb water when they come in contact with it. However, epoxy grout is one of its kind which does not absorb water, thereby keeping the installation in good condition.
  • Withstands Liquids: Epoxy grouting material is capable of withstanding strong chemicals and acidic liquids. Certain liquids used for cleaning tiles are quite concentrated. Other grout materials may get damaged on coming in contact with them, but not this one.
  • Long Storage Period: The shelf life of epoxy tile grout is unlimited. The maximum storage period for other grouting materials is somewhere around 2 years, but this one has no time limit for storage if kept in an air-tight container.
  • High Tolerance: As mentioned before, this material has a high tolerance limit to extreme environmental conditions which makes it suitable for outdoor installation.
  • Zero Sealant Treatment: Other grout materials like sanded grout etc., call for application of a sealant every 2-3 years for protection against external factors and microbial attacks.
However, epoxy grout never requires sealant treatment after being installed.
  • Low Maintenance: All the benefits stated above decrease a lot of maintenance work which would otherwise be necessary if the grout used was not epoxy.

Epoxy Grout Vs. Sanded Grout

Sanded grout is a type of tile grout which is also commonly used for tile and stone installation with a grout width of ⅛ inches or more. Let's have a look at some of the differences between epoxy grout and sanded grout.
EPOXY GROUT - Made of epoxy resins
SANDED GROUT - Made of cement, sand, and additives

EPOXY GROUT - Mixed with hardener before use
SANDED GROUT - Mixed with water before use

EPOXY GROUT - Water and stain resistant
SANDED GROUT - Absorbs water and gets easily stained
EPOXY GROUT - Sealant not required
SANDED GROUT - Sealant required to prevent staining

EPOXY GROUT - Suitable for use on polished marble
SANDED GROUT - Produces scratches on polished marble

EPOXY GROUT - High cost of installation
SANDED GROUT - Low cost of installation
The advantages of using epoxy grout are many, however, it also has a few drawbacks. The first drawback is that it sets very fast. This makes its application a little difficult. Especially if the site of application is cold or has a cool surrounding, this resin takes no time to harden.
Therefore, it becomes a prerequisite to keep the working area warm enough so that it retains its spreading ability for some time. Mixing the hardener and the resin at the time of application can be messy for someone who is not a professional and is performing grouting for the first time. The second drawback is its ability to discolor porous surfaces.
For this reason, stones and tiles made up of porous material must be sealed prior to the application of grout. The third drawback of using epoxy tile grout is that it can be heavy on your pockets.
A cement-based grout costs $1-2 per pound as compared to epoxy grout that can cost $8 or more. Even though this grouting material has these drawbacks, it still continues to be one of the common choices for grouting due to its long-term benefits.