Questions and Answers

How much Epoxy Bond do I need?
What is the difference between epoxy grout and conventional grout?
Is there a product that fixes shower floor grout?
Is Silicone better than Epoxy Bond?
Is there a better solution?
How much Epoxy Bond do I need to fix my shower?
Is Epoxy Bond easy to use?
Why is my grout and tile cracking on my wood sub-floor?
What causes cracked or loose grout?
Tiling Over Tile?
Can I paint over grout?

How much Epoxy Bond do I need?

Q: How much Epoxy Bond do I need for a 4x4 standard shower floor perimeter (16 linear foot)?

A: You only need 1/2 kit, mix 6-7 cups (mix cups included with kit) sanded grout for perfect thickness!

What is the difference between epoxy grout and conventional grout?

Q: I need to fix my shower floor. Will epoxy grout work better?

A: Epoxy grouts offer greater bond strength and chemical resistance than regular grout. This performance comes at a price as epoxy grout is much more expensive than regular grout.

Is there a product that fixes shower floor grout?

Q: I keep using silicone and caulk, but it doesn't last and turns black. why?

A: Shower floors are complicated systems. They are not only faced with soap and shampoo residue that contain harsh chemicals detrimental to grout, but also expansion and contraction due to slight movement between changes of plain, or more commonly known as movement between shower floors and walls. Grout is not designed to withstand the pressure caused by this movement and will generally develop cracks and start to fail.

Outdated industry standards in the USA suggest to use silicone for all corners. So we use those products at shower floors and within a short period of time, we start to see mildew forming "inside the silicone" resulting in that dreaded black gunk!

silicone shower damage

I have been using Epoxy Bond since 2011 for all my grout repair jobs with great results. We no longer have to settle on a product like silicone that needs replacement on a regular basis.

 

Is Silicone better than Epoxy Bond?

Q: Why is industry standard of using silicone outdated?

A: The tile industry standards has a massive job of trying to stay current with products and uses as they are released by manufacturers.  There are standards that are currently being evaluated to see if they need to be updated. That is public information. It is a lengthy process I'm sure so we all have to be patient as those updates are released. 

We feel that Epoxy Bond outperforms silcone and caulk for wet areas such as shower floors and have been proving it since 2011 in our tile repair business. Proving it to an organization has been considered and would be a tall order to fill although not impossible. In the meantime we will keep keep replacing those outdated standards and products with materials that offer superior results for our customers.

more info...

 

Is there a better solution?

Q: I'm tire of replacing silicone. Will Epoxy Bond work better?

A: Epoxy Bond is designed to withstand 2 separate issues that other products can't duplicate. 

1. Fixes grout cracks permanently

2. Keeps mildew from forming, easily washes off with clean water and brush.

 

How much Epoxy Bond do I need to fix my shower?

Q: I have a standard shower approximately 4 ft x 4 ft, how much do I need?

A: 1/2 kit is all you need which covers over 50 linear foot (4x4 shower = 16 linear foot)

 

Is Epoxy Bond easy to use?

Q: I want to try using it, do I need special tools?

A: Each kit comes with, instructions, 2 part epoxy, gloves, mixing cups, applicator, gloves, and mixing stick. All you need is a microfiber towel, 12-15 oz disposable cup for mixing, bucket for washing/rinsing available at most home improvement stores.

We have YouTube videos for you to follow along and learn how we Mix and Apply!

 

Why is my grout and tile cracking on my wood sub-floor?

Q: Is this a minor or major issue? HELP!

A: There are many things that can cause excessive deflection in your subfloor (and consequent cracking in the tile) or you may have a perfectly sound subfloor but not have prepared the floor properly for tile.

Here are a few of the most common questions:

  1. Is the subfloor plywood over joists 16" on center? If not, has the installation system been designed to work with the actual type of subfloor present?
  2. What is the span of the joists? Are they suitably sized for the span to achieve the L/360 deflection standard under the expected live and dead load? Are there any cracked, rotted, or termite damaged joists?
  3. Was the subfloor screwed to the joists? Is there any possibility of movement between the subfloor and the joists themselves?
  4. Does the thinset used match the conditions present (was a polymer additive used and if so was it appropriate for the subfloor?)
  5. Was the thinset coverage satisfactory? What was the notch size of the trowel used?
  6. Were expansion joints used in the installation to allow for normal movement?
  7. Are any dimensionally unstable or questionable materials also in the tile/subfloor/joist sandwich? How about cushion vinyl, luaun, water-soluble patching compounds or mortar materials.
  8. Were all layers present installed according to the applicable ANSI standards?

 

What causes cracked or loose grout?

Q: I need to know if I should repair or replace my tile.

A: There are several things that can cause cracked grout and we would be guessing as to the cause. It could be that a field inspection is needed to determine why your grout is cracking.

Typically, the most common causes are as follows:

  1. Excessive deflection in the substrate. This movement can cause the grout to crack, and if sufficiently severe, can cause tile to crack.
  2. Grout that is insufficiently packed into the joint. This most often occurs with wall tile. If insufficient force is used while grouting wall tile, it is easy to "bridge" the joint where the grout does not penetrate to the back of the joint. This is especially true if sanded grout is used in joints narrower than 1/8". The sand grains can easily bridge a narrow joint - in this case the grout may be only on the surface and have little strength.
  3. Grout made with an excessive amount of water or polymer additive. The liquid that goes into the grout ultimately must evaporate (except for that consumed by cement hydration). This evaporation can cause pinholing in the grout and a weak grout structure.
  4. Grout packed after cement hydration started. All cement based materials have a pot life. Iif water is added to the mix after the grout begins curing in the bucket, the grout will be sufficiently plastic to pack but will not cure into a hard homogeneous block - rather it will be crumbly and weak.

Does your installer have any idea as to the cause? The least likely cause would be defective grout. Some other possible things to look for:

  • Spacing of joists
  • Type and size of floor joists
  • Span of floor joists
  • Direction of the plywood sheets and placement of gaps
  • Were there gaps between the sheets of plywood?
  • Type of adhesive and coverage of that adhesive

In some cases even the type of tile can affect this (high or low water absorption tile bodies can vary the methods and materials needed).

Therefore, you can see this can be difficult to assess without an on-site inspection. Usually minimum requirements are 16" o.c. (on center) joists (2X10 or better depending on span), 3/4-inch subfloor with 1/2" underlayment (or backerboards made for tile). The plywood sheets should be run with the long side perpendicular to the joists (both layers). The top sheet should be installed so that the joints don't fall over the lower layer gaps nor above the joists. The adhesive needs to coverage at least 80% in the dry areas. The grout should be very dry and well packed into the joints. The joints should not be flooded with water when they are being cleaned.

Joints cannot be "grouted over" successfully. At least 2/3 by depth of the old grout needs to be removed when replacing or repairing grout.

Generally, grout fails because of movement of the substrate or improper mixing and installation of grout. A ¾"-subfloor with 3/8"-underlayment may not fail but it is marginal and could cause problems. Stapling the two layers together could be problematical. The best method is to screw and glue the two sheets together. The underlayment should be plywood designed for that purpose too - not just any plywood will do.

 

Tiling Over Tile?

Q:  My shower floor tile and grout can't be cleaned anymore. Can I tile over tile?

A: This is done regularly where there is not a floor height or wall thickness limitation and where the existing tile is well-bonded. To insure a good bond to the existing tile, certain procedures need to be followed. We use ECO Prim Grip and Custom Building Products Versabond Fortified Thinset mortar

Watch how to tile over tile at your shower floor from start to finish on YouTube!

 

Can I paint over grout?

Q: My grout looks terrible, can I paint over it?

A: Changing grout color is more commonly done but; again, the results are generally not as good as the original item. The color in grout, unlike tile, comes from liquid dispersed pigments. Obviously, these are not fired but rather become part of the cement/sand matrix. Grout is usually colored with an epoxy paint made for the purpose and sold in tile shops. When the grout is new, has not been sealed, and the edge of the grout joint is neatly defined and when the adjoining tile surface is very smooth, sometimes good results can be achieved. However, if the grout is not porous (from sealer or dirt) or the adjoining tile is rough or absorptive, it may be impossible to get a satisfactory result.