Epoxy Grout vs. Sanded Grout

If you ask the average homeowner what they know about grout, they will probably describe it as “the cement mixture between the tiles” or “the sand/stone textured stuff between the tiles on the shower wall.” The average homeowner has an idea of grout in relation to their experience with it.

The focus of this article is epoxy grout and sanded grout; what are they? Colored grout, which most homeowners and residents are more likely to encounter, is the grout that traditionally consists of Portland cement, plasticizers, carefully graded aggregate, water dispersing agents, and colorfast pigments. Colored grout fills gaps between tiles and creates a water-tight seal.

Epoxy grout is a chemical grout, whereas sanded grout is a cement grout. Sanded grout includes medium- to large-sized sand particles that can be seen and felt, and these sand particles typically earn sanded grout the description of being gritty. On the other hand, epoxy grout does not contain Portland cement, nor does it use water in the mixing process.

 Epoxy GroutSanded Grout
Composition of GroutEpoxy grout is composed of different elements and components than sanded grout. Epoxy grout is composed of silica fillers, epoxy resin, hardener, and pigment.Sanded grout is a typical, traditional cementitious grout composed of Portland cement, a water-retentive additive, colored pigments, and sand.
Mode of ApplicationEpoxy grout needs to be applied quickly and in small batches, because it cures fast. The application of epoxy grout is almost like pushing the grout into grout lines; epoxy grout is injected into fine grout lines.Sanded grout is easier to install in comparison to epoxy grout. The application of sanded grout is made by trowelling the grout into the grout joint, after which it takes approximately 24 hours to dry.  
PriceEpoxy grout costs a lot more than sanded grout; often, it costs three to five times more than sanded grout. Epoxy grout can cost as much as $8 per pound.Sanded grout is one of the most common kinds of grout, and it is also one of the cheapest. Unlike epoxy grout, sanded grout is relatively inexpensive. It may cost as low as $1 to$2 per pound.

Differences Between Epoxy Grout and Sanded Grout

Maintenance

To maintain the waterproof quality of grout, it is essential that you hire professionals to maintain it properly; this means that you should hire professionals to repair the grout if cracks form and occasionally seal the grout to keep its waterproof nature. Epoxy and sanded grout require maintenance, although the care needed by epoxy grout differs from that needed for the upkeep of sanded grout.

Sanded grout is more porous than epoxy grout, and it is also more likely to stain than epoxy grout. As a result of its relative porosity, sanded grout needs to be sealed yearly or bi-yearly with a penetrating sealer. Sealing sanded grout also ensures that it remains waterproof and free of stains.

While epoxy grout does not need to be sealed like sanded grout, epoxy grout can acquire stains from chemicals and other substances. The best way to remove these stains is by cleaning and scrubbing the stains (or you can scrub the tiles to do a more thorough job) with a mixture of water and vinegar or water and bleach.

Usage

Sanded grout and epoxy grout typically have different uses. It is recommended that professionals use sanded grout when the grout joints are wider than 1/8 inches; on the other hand, most epoxy grout in the market can barely fit in a grout joint 1/16 inches wide. Sanded grout is more fluid than epoxy grout, and it is a better choice if you are grouting under base plates or large equipment.

Epoxy grout is used over sanded grout (and other cementitious grout) in high traffic areas because it is more chemical, crack and stain-resistant than sanded grout. Epoxy grout is often used in challenging situations, such as areas that are likely to be wet, greasy, or contain acid. Epoxy grout is also used in areas with harsh weather conditions, such as extreme cold or humidity; this is because epoxy grout is more resistant to intense and sudden climate change.

Similarities Between Epoxy Grout and Sanded Grout

Similar Purpose

Grout joints are meant to be filled with grout to perform maximally and last longer. Although sanded grout and epoxy grout are used in different situations and applied differently, they are used for similar purposes. The base purpose is the need to fill grout lines between tiles. Aside from the cement applied to the bottom or downside of tiles to ensure that it adheres to the underlayment, it is also essential that the tiles stick to and bond with each other.

Epoxy and sanded grouts ensure that tiles adhere to each other, enhancing the strength and durability of the tile job.

Conclusion

Epoxy grout and sanded grout are two different kinds of grout used for various types of applications but serve the same purpose at the end of it all. Epoxy grout is a chemical grout, and chemical grouts contain solutions of two or more chemicals such as sodium silicates and urethanes. These chemicals in chemical grouts combine to form a solid precipitate or gel; the form that these chemical grouts, especially epoxy grout, take makes them trickier to install. The composition of sanded grout, a kind of cementitious grout, is different from that of epoxy grout. Sanded grout is composed of solid particles in a fluid such as water.

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