Knowledge Centre

Grout & Epoxy

Learn all you need to know about grout & epoxy here by clicking any of the questions below to reveal their answers and click again to hide them.

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The basics...

What types of grout are there?

Grout generally falls into two camps, either cement-based or epoxy.

Most modern cement grouts are flexible to allow for movement within the subfloor or walls but remain structurally strong enough to fill grout joints from 2mm to 20mm - and are also antibacterial! However, there are cementitious grouts that are designed specifically for narrow or wide grout joints or specific tile materials - for this reason, you should check the packaging.

Epoxy will do all of the above and has the added characteristics of being waterproof, chemical resistant and sterile, but it does cost significantly more. Epoxy is more difficult to apply and requires the mixing of two chemical components to create the epoxy. It should be applied by a professional unless the user has experience or is very confident in its use.

Waterproof or Water-resistant?
Is grout waterproof?

It depends on the grout used but broadly speaking, the answer would be no.

Most common grouts are cement-based (cementitious), being porous in nature (this includes allowing the passage of water through them). Cementitious grout can stain and change colour when wet but does not break down when exposed to water. When using cementitious grout, it is wise to waterproof your walls by using a waterproof solution and tape called tanking.

Epoxy grout, however, is totally impervious to water and therefore waterproof. It is also chemically resistant, resistant to stains and retains the same shade of colour whether wet or dry due to the fact it’s impermeable. It is the perfect choice for many situations including food prep areas and operating theatres, as well as domestic situations.

Epoxy should be applied by a professional unless the user has experience or is very confident in its use!

If it is not waterproof, why is cementitious grout suitable for swimming pools?

Cement-based grouts are water-resistant not waterproof. This means it will not break down when subjected to immersion and will remain unaffected by constant submersion.

Why doesn’t the swimming pool leak if the grout is not waterproof?

The structure of the swimming pool must hold water in its own right, therefore it is tanked (waterproofed) before tiling and tested to ensure, once filled, the water level does not drop beyond the expected allowance. The tiling is applied as a decorative veneer and is not a factor in making the pool waterproof.

Waterproof or Water-resistant?
Is grout waterproof?

It depends on the grout used but broadly speaking, the answer would be no.

Most common grouts are cement-based (cementitious), being porous in nature (this includes allowing the passage of water through them). Cementitious grout can stain and change colour when wet but does not break down when exposed to water. When using cementitious grout, it is wise to waterproof your walls by using a waterproof solution and tape called tanking.

Epoxy grout, however, is totally impervious to water and therefore waterproof. It is also chemically resistant, resistant to stains and retains the same shade of colour whether wet or dry due to the fact it’s impermeable. It is the perfect choice for many situations including food prep areas and operating theatres, as well as domestic situations.

Epoxy should be applied by a professional unless the user has experience or is very confident in its use!