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What grout?

Julian and Ron have been asking Jacquela and Steven to pick grout colors for the tile — and which types of grout to use, where. Julian wants to get this tiling job done and dispatch his setters to the next house.

Above, two of the candidates for use with the wall tile in the master shower … Bleached Wood, the lighter color, and Delorean Gray, the darker sample stick.

Earlier this week, Jacquela and Steven selected these colors:

Kitchen, mudroom, mudroom bath, pantry hall, pantryWinter Gray
Bath 2, bath 3, utility roomWinter Gray
Porch, front entry, fireplace hearthPewter
Master bath floorDove Gray

With the walls of the master shower now cemented into place, and the gray quartz shelves also set into the shower, Jacquela and Steven are able to make the final grout selection:

Master shower wallsDelorean Gray

The maker of this grout is Custom Building Products. There are hundreds of other grout makers. This is one of two grout lines that Julian recommends.

Now we have to choose the type of grout.

Here’s what Steven learned earlier this week on a visit to ProSource. See this post as well …

There are two types of conventional grout — sanded and unsanded. Oversimplifying, sanded is recommended for wider grout joints. Unsanded is recommended for tighter grout joints. These products must also be sealed, especially when used in high traffic areas like kitchens, or when used in wet areas like showers. So … you have to buy the grout, install the grout, wait for it to cure, then you have to buy the sealer, apply the sealer, wait for it to cure — two products to do one floor, twice as much labor. And you must also come back in two or three years, every two or three years, to re-seal the grout. Figure 45-50 bucks in product for the initial install, plus labor.

Plus … the sanded and unsanded grouts must be mixed with water. Water contains chemicals, minerals and pollutants that change the color of the grout, especially as you finish out one bag of the powdered grout and move on to mix the next. You will never get a precise color match from bag to bag, mix to mix.

A third grout option is epoxy grout. Instead of mixing the grout powder with water, it is mixed with epoxy and becomes harder and more resistant to heavy traffic and exposure to water. Figure 70-90 bucks for product, plus labor.

The fourth and newest option appears to be “urethane” grouts — two part grouts that arrive in a bucket as powder with a sealed bag of urethane to mix on site. The pitch is that urethane grouts are stain proof, never change color, never need sealing, easy to clean. ProSource advises to estimate 70-90 bucks for product.

Based on his experience building and remodeling many homes, Ron advises Steven to bite the bullet and use the “Fusion” line of urethane grouts for the master shower, maybe everywhere else. It will cost more for the grout, but it will take a lot less labor to apply the grout, once; Julian will not have to come back to seal it, charging twice for labor.

Ron is building a spreadsheet to help Steven and Jacquela compute the costs.

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