Epoxy Grout vs. Sanded Grout

When you’re remodeling your existing shower or building a new shower from the ground up, there are a lot of decisions to be made in terms of materials. It’s natural to spend a lot of time deciding what kind of tiles, pipes, and showerheads you’ll use. However, it’s also important to remember the smaller details, such as grout. The two most common forms of adhesive used in showers are epoxy grout and sanded grout. Each has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s worth taking some time to carefully consider your options. Our guide covers everything you need to know to help you make this important decision.

What is Epoxy Grout?

Let’s start off by defining some basic terminology. Grout is an adhesive substance traditionally used to hold tiles in place on floors or walls. If you look at a tiled surface, the lines of gray matter in between the tiles are made up of this substance.

Grout can be made from a variety of different materials, but the most common forms, and the ones to be discussed here, are epoxy and cement. So what exactly is epoxy? Epoxy, or epoxy resins, are chemical compounds, or polymers, that are typically used in industrial construction and processing. They are almost always derived from petroleum, and their consistencies can range from viscous liquid to solid paste, depending on the molecular construction and intended use.

In addition to tilework, epoxy resins are also used as a lining for canned foods to prevent direct contact with metal and prolong the preservation of foodstuffs. They are also found in automobiles, aircraft, sporting equipment, industrial machines, and more.

Epoxy resins are known to be a very reliable adhesive, which makes them an excellent option for your shower or backsplash.

What is Sanded Grout?

If you’re not using epoxy grout for your shower tiles, you’ll probably be using some form of cement grout, either sanded or unsanded. Let’s take a look at what cement grout is and what sets these two varieties apart.

  • Cement grout is an adhesive made from cement, usually mixed with some other material such as gravel or sand. Cement is most commonly made from either calcium silicate or lime, and then mixed with additional materials to be used on construction sites.
  • Sanded grout is cement grout with sand added as an aggregate material, while unsanded grout is pure unadulterated cement. The added material makes sanded grout more durable than its unsanded counterpart, but both can be appropriate under different circumstances.

The size and material of the tiles you’re using and the size of any spaces you’ll need to fill in with adhesive will affect your choice between these two grades. For this discussion, however, we’ll focus on the relative merits of sanded cement grout compared to epoxy grout.

What are the Benefits of Epoxy Grout?

The main reason epoxy grout is recommended over its cement counterpart is that it is extremely durable. The adhesive performance far outweighs any other forms, so it’s a safe choice for long-term use. Additionally, unlike cement, epoxy resin is actually waterproof, which makes it perfect to use in a wet environment like a shower.

So why consider cement grout? Well, epoxy grout is much more expensive, so if your budget is tight, you may have to sacrifice quality for cost. Also, epoxy is a lot more difficult to work with. This is no problem if you hire professionals to help with the installation, but if you’re remodeling your shower by yourself, you may want to stick with a more user-friendly material.

All in all, if you can afford the higher price tag and know what you’re doing, epoxy grout is going to be the best choice for performance and longevity.

What are the Benefits of Sanded Grout?

Sanded grout is more often praised for its affordability and ease of use. If you’re trying to remodel your bathroom on a tight budget, then this is the adhesive material for you. Also, if you love the thrill of do-it-yourself home renovations but you’d prefer to stick with more beginner-friendly materials, cement is much easier to work with than epoxy resins.

However, sanded grout also has a number of drawbacks associated with it. First of all, it is not waterproof, so it will deteriorate over time in a wet environment such as a shower. This can be mitigated by using a sealant over the exposed adhesive, but this adds an extra step to your remodel process.

Additionally, it will need to be scrubbed regularly to keep it looking nice, unlike epoxy, which does not stain. Cement is also more prone to mold and mildew than epoxy, so this should be kept in mind.

Which Type of Grout Should You Use for Your Shower?

The type of adhesive that you choose for your bathroom remodel needs to be the best choice for your situation. If you have the money and the expertise, or can hire someone who does, then definitely choose epoxy, as this is by far more durable and best for a wet environment.

However, if budget constraints are a concern, or you’ve never worked with a tile adhesive before, sanded grout may be the better option for you. It would be worse to waste a large sum of money on epoxy grout only to have the installation be a disaster. Just make sure you plan to use a sealant to protect the exposed lines from moisture.

Regardless of your choice of tile adhesive, your shower remodel is sure to be a success.

Remodel Your Shower in Style Today!

The type of adhesive you choose will significantly affect the overall integrity of your shower. But once you’ve made your decision, you can move on with the process and watch the bathroom appliance of your dreams come to fruition. The more you know about your bathroom remodel, the better your decisions will be. Make the choice that’s right for you, and enjoy all of the benefits that come with it.