Tile grout as we traditionally would think of it is a cement-based mix, which has been around for a very long time. Modern manufacturing techniques and mixtures mean that there are lots of really good cement grout products on the market.
However, none of these are waterproof, will absorb water when wet, and stain over time, being quite difficult to clean.
The durability of cement grout can also be an issue, I'm sure we have all seen dirty, cracked, or totally missing grout before, just look around you when you are in a tiled area. If good quality cement grout is used and installed correctly by a professional, it can last a very long time, but the above-mentioned issues still exist and without continued maintenance (periodic sealing and cleaning) one, or all of the above can occur.
Epoxy grout eliminates all of the above issues, being totally waterproof, extremely robust, and almost completely stain-resistant.
Epoxy grout should really be used in all wet areas (showers/wet rooms etc). As mentioned, cement grout is not waterproof and over time will just deteriorate or at best become stained and unrecognisable from its original colour.
Epoxy grout has had a bad rap through the years, mainly because when it was first introduced it was very difficult to use, and very easy to create issues, leaving a residue that is difficult/impossible to remove if not applied correctly, curing and being very difficult to remove if not happy with the way it looks, white epoxy can yellow over time when exposed to UV (white anything can yellow over time when exposed to UV) but lots if not all of the modern epoxies from the best brands have very good UV resistance and shouldn't be an issue in most indoor environments in the UK (very low UV), the odour can be offensive, and unless experienced, the overall general experience of using epoxy grout can be unpleasant.
Having said this, modern epoxy grout is not as difficult to use and is extremely high-performing, just follow the manufacturer's guide and be prepared to take your time a little.
The benefits that you will see are worth it. All of the issues mentioned above with cement grout will be eliminated, no stains, no cracks, the colour will remain consistent, no need for any special maintenance.
Cost of epoxy grout
The cost of epoxy grout is higher than cement grout, but not exorbitantly so. What is the cost of grout to a project? Even a modestly budgeted bathroom of say £5k (very low price as I write this in 2023), the grout cost will be ~1% of the total budget. It's not worth considering, just use the best possible grout available and the cost of grout to the total budget may increase to ~2-3%, with the peace of mind that it will always be the same colour, will be waterproof, will not stain, be easy to clean, and outlast the tiles (they will be out of fashion before the grout needs replacing).
With the newer products available it can actually be just as easy, or even easier to apply,
Which brings us to:
With Perflex epoxy and polyaspartic grout, we can even eliminate the few drawbacks of traditional epoxy grout.
Easy to apply - You won't need any special training or a vast amount of experience as it is so easy to apply. No sponges, floats, buckets, water etc, just fill the joint with the gun and tube, and virtually no mess. The overall cost (including application) is also reduced as it will be quicker and easier, with no extra products required for sealing, cleaning, buffing etc.
Odour - there is no odour
Residue - The only residue is the thin track of waste which easily peels away from any tile or stone surface.
Mess - There is virtually no mess as it is quite a precise way of applying the grout, so you will have no grout being spread around your tile, tools, or yourself! There are plenty of examples of tilers applying Perflex in clean clothes and with no shoes on! It can be a very clean process.
Dust - There is no dust (better for your health)
Waste - There is no waste water (better for the enviornment), so no head scratching as to what to do with contaminated water (where does that water go?). The only waste is the thin, cured pieces, which are totally contained and can be disposed of in general waste.
P20 Epoxy for most indoor applications, 100% waterproof, extremely robust, consistent colour, will not stain and is easy to clean, no special maintenance products, just wipe clean.
P30 for all indoor and outdoor applications as it can withstand very extreme conditions (outdoors, sauna, swimming pool), very high temperatures, and very low temperatures, and is uneffected by UV for 30+ years, even white in places such as outdoors in Australia.
A grout that is easier to apply, will not stain, will have a consistent colour, and will last longer.
Too good to be true? Ask the thousands of people who have used the product in the UK via the Facebook page Perflex Tile Grout UK, Facebook trade group Perflex Trade, Instagram @perflexuk, and our TikTok page @perflexuk
There are lots of examples on our YouTube playlist, which can be viewed here.