Best tile grout – Cement based or Epoxy based?
Tiling is one of the important finishing activities and the grout gives true finishing for the tile work.
Here in this article we would like discuss about the suitable grout for ceramic & vitrified tiles, especially in Toilets, Utilities & Balconies (highly debated areas).
Currently in the market there are two types of grouts available,
Cement based grouts are largely used for all type of tile works. This can be used in flooring of living room, bed rooms, kitchen, dining, toilets, utility, balcony, sit outs, etc., & also for the wall tiles. These grouts are not suitable only in water stored structures like water body & swimming pool due to the high water pressure.
Cement based grouts are expected to have a service life of 3 to 5 years, costs around Rs.30 to Rs. 50 per kg. These are easier for fresh application or reworks compared with Epoxy based grouts.
Epoxy based grouts can be used for all tiling works including water bodies and swimming pools. These grouts have higher adhesion and strength than the cement based grouts. These are expected to have a service life of 5 to 10 years, costs around Rs. 300 to Rs.500 per kg. Skill requirement for application is higher than its counter part.
Now coming to highly debated areas – Toilets, Utilities & Balconies (TUB)……
Our tiling areas can be classified in to three categories based on the water pressure,
1. No water pressure – Living, Dining, Kitchen, Bed rooms & related areas
2. Medium water pressure – Toilets, Utilities, Balconies(TUB) & related areas
3. High water pressure – Water bodies, Swimming pools & related areas
Every one accepts Cement based grouts for ‘No water pressure’ areas & Epoxy based grouts for ‘High water pressure’ area. the debate starts only in TUB & related areas.
The TUB and related areas grout requirement is to full fill its primary function of filling the tile gapes & to give moderate protection against the medium water pressure. These functions are very well achieved with Cement based grouts itself. Excluding the tiles & grouts, there should be a separate waterproofing work has to be done below the tiles to take care of waterproofing requirements.
Often people use Epoxy based grouts for TUB as a means of waterproofing with or without separate waterproofing below the tiles. This is happening mainly due to two reasons,
1. Inadequate knowledge on waterproofing
2. Sales pitch from grout manufacturers
Since the Epoxy based grouts are having high strength, it is very difficult to do any reworks/repair works. this becomes a disadvantage for TUB & related areas….
So now, you can decide on……. Which is the best type of grout for TUB?