Epoxy Grout Problems, Pros, and Cons
Epoxy grout is a unique and popular tiling grout that does not use Portland cement or water in the mixing process. It consists of hardener, pigments, epoxy resin, and silica fillers. Epoxy grout is a leading grout mixture that is becoming a favorite grouting mixture of the tilers. The reason behind the choice is that it is very strong and durable and is resistant to stains, cracks, and weather changes. But like everything in life, this coin also has two sides. Along with its many advantages, it has a few problems too. In this article we will try to give you a fair viewpoint on epoxy grout problems, pros and cons so that you can take an informed and aware decision before choosing the perfect grout for your tiles.
Epoxy Grout Advantages
- Epoxy grout is a very strong and exceedingly durable grout that is resistant to chemicals and can last a lifetime.
- It is non-porous and doesn’t allow the growth of mold or mildew on the tiles. This feature makes epoxy grout highly suitable for areas like kitchens and bathrooms, which are susceptible to damage by water.
- It is resistant to stains and very easy to maintain and hence gives you a fuss-free cleaning experience. The best thing about epoxy grout is that dust and grime can be easily cleaned with a wet sponge or damp cloth.
- Epoxy grout advantages also include being available in a wide range of colors. You can choose a color that will match the color of the tile to obtain a neat and seamless look for your bathroom or kitchen.
- Epoxy grout does not require sealing due to its property of being non-porous.
Epoxy Grout Problems
- Working with epoxy grout becomes a little complicated because two or three materials need to be mixed in exact proportions before its application. It is advisable to employ an experienced contractor for the job who has experience in working with this grout.
- Epoxy is a grout material that dries very quickly. It is imperative to make the mixture in batches to avoid wastage. You must keep in mind that once mixed, you will get a very limited amount of time to work with the grout.
- Another epoxy grout problem is that it is more time-consuming than using the traditional cement grout.
- It is expensive because both the cost of the material and its installation are high.
- Epoxy grout when exposed to sunlight for a prolonged period of time, may turn yellow which is not pleasing to the eyes
- It gives a slightly plastic appearance which is not very appealing to some.
Is Epoxy Grout Flexible?
Epoxy grout is not rigid or gritty like the regular cementitious grout. The hard fact is that, when we come to the epoxy grout vs. conventional grout debate, epoxy grout always scores points for its elasticity and durability. The difference is attributed more to the chemical make-up of the products and the benefits that come from being more waterproof and flexible. The flexible epoxy grout has been designed to absorb impact, vibration, and a small amount of stress and strain without cracking. This feature of flexibility makes it an ideal choice for balconies, kitchens, etc with higher foot traffic.
Is Epoxy Grout Worth the Money?
There is no doubt that epoxy is more expensive than regular grout. People are always on the fence when deciding is epoxy grout worth the money? The answer and choice become very easy if you like the idea of no maintenance, and you can manage the added expense. You might want to opt for it despite these initial upfront costs of using this product because you will find that there are savings to be made throughout the grout’s lifespan. When compared to traditional cement-based grouts, epoxy grout does not require regular sealing and it will not require re-grouting or refreshing anywhere near as quickly as its cement counterparts would. This grout has a proven significantly longer lifespan than other options. In general, you will realize that epoxy grout for tiles is well worth the additional price you invest in once. It will more than makeup for it in terms of saving on regular sealing and maintenance. Epoxy grout is an extremely low maintenance option in your home that you will not have you spend hours crawling around your kitchen and bathroom with a toothbrush cleaning the regular grout.
How to maintain Epoxy Grout?
- Epoxy grout is generally a stain and crack-free grout but still weekly or biweekly, give your grout a nice preventative clean with water and baking soda paste. Rub this paste in the grout with a grout brush or a used toothbrush and rinse thoroughly with clear water. The key things to remember are to be aware of high-traffic areas and these places need a little more maintenance. Here is a list of some preventive steps you can take so that your tiles look like new forever-
- Put walk-off mats at every entrance to your home. It is not just for decorative purposes, walk-off mats lower the amount of dirt coming into your home.
- Put mats or rugs in the kitchen and dining areas. Be aware of areas where food and water get collected, such as your sink, stove, under your pet’s food, and water bowls.
- Always ensure you follow the best mopping practices. The basic thing to keep in mind is to not overwet your floors. This is even more important when you are using the type of mop that you dunk into the water, and that gets dirtier each time you dunk it.
- Vacuum or sweep more often especially in the high traffic areas.
Does Epoxy Grout get moldy?
Mold has a tendency to grow in warm and damp areas where there is little to no circulation of air. Tiles and grout are prone to the formation of mold, especially in bathrooms, kitchens, and anywhere that supports these aforementioned conditions. Epoxy grout being nonporous and water-resistant restricts the growth of mold, but still, mold and mildew will grow on the surface of anything, even epoxy grout. This is more the case in showers where soap, hot water, and skin oils present a perfect medium for its growth. But there’s no or very little chance of the mold penetrating inside the epoxy grout because there’s simply no space within the epoxy matrix for this to happen. For this reason, epoxy grout is a popular choice among many homeowners and contractors. But that doesn’t mean epoxy grout is the answer to all of your mold problems. It still needs to be properly maintained and cleaned to avoid some of the issues that come with age and exposure, but using epoxy grout in your tile installations can definitely reduce your maintenance costs and efforts. With regular cleaning, you can keep mold away from your grout. Keep good ventilation and air circulation in rooms that are prone to moisture and reduce the risk of mold on your grout.
Does Epoxy Grout yellow over time?
People have a common complaint about the epoxy grout in their showers and floors turning yellow. There are a number of reasons behind this. Some of these are listed below
- Shampoos, soaps, and other toiletries used in showers contain chemicals that can cause discoloration.
- Skin and hair oils contain many contaminants that can cause yellowing of not only grout but also tile.
- Certain cleaners, mainly those that contain dyes, can cause discoloration of grout. Household bleach used for cleaning can discolor the grout.
- Certain water supplies can be hard and deposit minerals on the grout that can oxidize and cause yellow discoloration.
- Water used to mop floors gets dirty very fast. The dirt, oils, etc. can settle on the grout lines and form a yellow cast. You should keep your mop head clean and change the mop water frequently.
- Hairspray, air freshener, and other aerosol sprays can also cause grout discoloration.
There are a few tile types, like white marble, that contain iron, that can bleed into the grout and oxidize, causing the epoxy grout to turn yellow.
Why is my white grout turning orange?
Orange stains on your sparkling tiles and grout can either mean mold or iron in the water supply is discoloring your grout. The soap scum, which sometimes appears orange, white, gray, or even yellow in color, is the result of soap residue and hard water deposits building on the surface of the tile grout over time. A few more reasons have been discussed in the above column. When you observe the soap scum stains, clean them as soon as you notice them, to prevent mold and mildew from growing.
So, we have discussed at length epoxy grout advantages and epoxy grout problems, after all the debating we can fairly say that epoxy grout is a bit more expensive and requires skill to install but is still a better choice over the regular grout because of its various positive features. After all your beautiful home deserves the best and should look absolutely stunning.