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Epoxy Grout

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by Jeff Patterson in DIY Bathroom Remodel
Shower Grout-How to Install Epoxy Shower Grout

How awesome would it be to never have to seal your shower tile grout or worry about it staining?

This is what I was thinking after repetitively trying to clean our shower floor tile grout with no luck. So I decided to remove all of it and start over.

So which grout is the best option for a shower tile floor?

I’ve had a lot of luck using grout by Custom Building Products.  And their technical support line has always been really informative (think Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi, seriously, these people are awesome).

I researched their website, spoke to a technical representative, and decided to use epoxy grout.

Epoxy sounds a bit scary and I was nervous about using it. However, since it offers stain & chemical resistance that regular grout can’t match I decided it was the best choice.

Plus, the shower epoxy grout joints will be super durable and this means they also won’t crack or shrink  over time.

You should consider using epoxy grout for your shower grout for these reasons and because it isn’t hard to install. I’ll share the tips I got from Custom Building Products and you’ll discover that using epoxy grout is easier than cleaning your kitchen after Thanksgiving.

Here are the supplies you’ll need for this project

  • CEG Lite Commercial Epoxy Grout 
  • Five gallon buckets (3 total)
  • Grouting sponges with buff pad (3 total)
  • Microfiber cloths (3 total)
  • Dawn soap
  • Margin trowel
  • Grout float (made of hard rubber)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Spiral grout mixer (optional)
  • Drill (optional)
  • Timer
  • Old Towels

If you’re ready for shower grout that will look awesome and resist the test of time then epoxy grout is the way to go.

Let’s get started!!

Getting Started with Epoxy Shower Grout

Any time I use a new product it’s my habit to call the technical support line of the manufacturer. So the directions I’m providing today are from the notes I took while on the phone with Custom Building Products.

Custom Building Products makes grout and I’ve had success with their products in the past.

The first step is to add about 3 drops of Dawn dishwashing soap to the three buckets (5 gallon). Fill the buckets to within 5 inches from the top with warm water.

You’ll want to get this water along with your sponges & microfiber cloths ready before mixing the epoxy shower grout because once the grout is mixed you only have 40 minutes to work with it. Here’s a picture of all the supplies I used.

Shower Grout that Won't Stain or Need Sealed-Get your buckets of water ready

If you just installed your tile make sure all of them are fully embedded in the mortar. This ensures the tiles won’t sag, which can consequently create pinholes in your new grout (which absolutely sucks, I’ve had it happen).

Vacuum the tile and grout joints one final time. Then dampen your shower tile surface with the sponge and water from one of the buckets. Make sure water doesn’t puddle in the grout lines.

Add a rag to the drain, the last thing you want is epoxy grout clogging it (can you say nightmare),

Set your timer for 30 minutes. You’ll have 40 minutes to work the grout into the grout joints and clean up. But the timer will give you a 10 minute warning. You’ll  find that having a timer is really helpful because it  allows you to pace yourself (after all, this is kinda like running a race).

 

How to Mix Epoxy Shower Grout

Since you have a limited time frame to use epoxy grout in your shower get all your tools ready. Place your margin trowel, grout float, gloves, safety glasses, drill, and spiral mixer next to you.

You should also position an old towel (or two depending on your level of messiness) next to your working area. This gives you a space for the used bucket of epoxy grout when you’re done.

Applying epoxy shower grout is easiest when the temperature is between 70F and 85F (21C and 29C). The directions say that lower temperatures will make the epoxy grout stiffer and extend the setting time. Higher temperatures, on the other hand, will make the epoxy grout more fluid and shorten the setting time (which means you need to work FAST!!).

FYI, the temperature in our house was around 69F when I did this project.

CEG Lite epoxy shower grout can be found at Home Depot and one bucket cost about $24.

Shower Grout that Won't Stain or Need Sealed-CEG Lite Epoxy Grout

Our tile shower floor was roughly 32 inches by 58 inches and one bucket was more than enough.

CEG Lite consists of a Part A (which is the colored hardener) and a Part B.

Put on your gloves and get ready to have some fun.

Mix the Part B, which is already in the bucket, with your margin trowel. The mixed consistency should  be a thick peanut butter that looks and feels like it has sand in it (don’t spread this on toast).

If for some reason Part B is difficult stir you can put the top back on the bucket and soak it in warm tap water (120F) for 10-20 minutes. Go watch a Seinfeld rerun, I like the one where Jerry visits the boy in the bubble, haha.

After letting the Part B bucket return to room temperature mix it with your margin trowel (humming the Seinfeld theme song isn’t mandatory but makes epoxy grout stirring fun).

Open the Part A container and add all of it to Part B. Use your margin trowel to scoop out as much of Part A as possible since it contains your colorant.

Mix Part A and Part B together, scraping the bottom and sides of the container. I had to really turn over the mixture (like whipping up a cake batter) to get a homogenous consistency. This will take you a good 5 minutes. Make sure there are no color streaks so that your new grout color will look consistent.

You could use your drill and spiral grout mixer for a few minutes at a low speed to help with this process. I didn’t do this because you can easily cause the epoxy grout to “flash” set (envision your bucket of epoxy grout turning into a rock) if you mix it too quickly. Since I’m not Superman but regularly workout I decided to mix via margin trowel only.

The directions tell you that epoxies generate heat chemically. It makes sense that if you leave your mixed concoction in the bucket all the heat will cause it to prematurely set up. So it’s a good idea to scoop most of the epoxy grout onto your shower tile to extend the working time.

 

How to Apply Epoxy Shower Grout 

Pick the corner of your shower that’s the hardest to reach. Scoop your epoxy shower grout into this corner.

Use the rubber grout float at a 45 degree angle to smear and pack the epoxy grout into the grout lines.

Hold your grout flout at a 90 degree angle and move it diagonally across the tiles to remove excess grout. You’ll have to do this a few times because epoxy grout is very sticky. Make sure the grout joints are fully packed.

If you did remove some grout simply add more and pack it in place with the float. This takes patience and a sharp eye but you’ll be happier with the end result by being anal retentive.

Try removing as much of the epoxy shower grout as possible with the grout float. This will make the clean up process a lot easier (can you tell I’m talking from experience, haha).

Here’s a short video that shows you what to expect.

 

Learn how to remodel your bathroom, save money, and increase your home’s value with Bathroom Repair Tutor

 

 

How to Clean Up Epoxy Shower Grout

Cleaning up is the final step in applying epoxy shower grout and it could arguably be the most important thing you do.

Your goal is to clean off the excess grout, tool the grout lines smooth, and make sure there won’t be a hazy film left behind.

Move your first bucket of warm water into position. Dunk the sponge into the bucket then squeeze out the excess water.

Use the soft side of the sponge in a circular motion 1 or 2 times then turn it over and do the same thing with the nylon scrub pad.

Clean off your sponge in the bucket of water and repeat this process until the sponge becomes too gunky.

 

Shower Grout that Won't Stain or Need Sealed-Use both sides of the sponge to clean

 

Switch to your second bucket of water and use a new sponge once the grout becomes hard to remove. Continue this cleaning process until all of the epoxy shower grout is transferred from the surface of the tiles.

You may get away with using only 2 out the 3 buckets of water. But I had to use the third bucket in order to completely clean the tiles.

Now for the finishing touch.

Grab your microfiber cloth. Submerge it into your last bucket of water (which should be relatively clean) and squeeze most of the water out of it.

Place the cloth on the surface of the tiles then drag it diagonally across to remove any leftover grout haze.

 

Shower Grout that Won't Stain or Need Sealed-Use a microfiber cloth to remove epoxy grout haze

Do this for the entire shower tile surface area and double check that the grout lines still look good (I had to retool a few but it wasn’t a big deal).

You’ll love epoxy grout because it won’t stain or crack like the normal sanded or un-sanded varieties.

After speaking with LJ, the technical service rep for CEG Lite, I learned that epoxy grout is pretty much impermeable to water. This means that it makes your shower floor virtually waterproof and also eliminates the possibility of mold growing in the grout joints.

Mold and mildew will grow on the surface of anything, even epoxy shower grout. This is especially true in showers where soap, hot water, and skin oils create a buffet for growth.

But there’s no chance of the mold penetrating inside epoxy grout, there’s simply no space within the epoxy matrix for this to happen. This isn’t the case with sanded or un-sanded grout due to their structure having small pockets for mold to penetrate.

Here are some before and after pictures of my shower grout so you can see what I was dealing with (In case you need help removing old grout here’s a link to my tutorial)

Shower Grout that Won't Stain or Need Sealed-Old Grungy Grout

 

Shower Grout that Won't Stain or Need Sealed-New Epoxy Grout

 

What’s Next

Epoxy grout is a great option when tiling shower pans or shower walls. Especially if you want low maintenance bathrooms! 

Grab our free guide if you’re doing a DIY bathroom remodel – it shares how to remodel a bathroom in 10 days or less

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Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.

Ask your questions below and we’d be happy to help.

Cheers,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. Our online store has great supplies for homeowners doing a bathroom remodel. You’ll find shower systems, tiling tools, and more.

26 Comments
  1. SheilaG @ Plum Doodles says:

    I sure wish I had seen this before we had our shower done a few years ago. I wanted to use the epoxy grout, but the tile guy had never used it before, and seem reluctant, so rather than risking him doing it wrong, we went the traditional route. Next time!!!

    1. You know what’s crazy Sheila is that my mother-in-law is redoing her bathroom and the tile guys refused to use epoxy grout, stating it’s too hard to install.

      But if I can do it a pro should have no issues. I think first generation epoxy grouts were notoriously hard to work with. As you probably saw in my video I think anyone who’s handy can use the CEG-Lite epoxy grout from Custom Building Products.

      I was honestly scared I would mess up. Now I’m super happy I went for it and have great shower grout that is rock solid & stain resistant 🙂

      1. SheilaG @ Plum Doodles says:

        We had never heard of it when we came across it at one of the big flooring stores in Dalton, GA- it was from Mapei, though. Do you make grouting house calls?! 🙂

        1. Haha, it’ll cost you. Just kidding.

          Mapei is a fantastic brand. I went with CEG-Lite because of the great customer service from Custom Building Products.

  2. James says:

    Good morning,

    This seems to be what I’ve been looking for several years. How deep should I remove the old grout from the floor, before re-grouting it? I’ve gone down almost to the shower pan around the back and on the sides.

    James

    1. Great question James, I called Custom Building Products because I had the same one!!!

      They told me to remove the old grout to 1/2 the thickness of the surrounding tile. If your tile is 1/4 inch thick then remove 1/8 of an inch of grout at least.

      I hope that answers your question but let me know if it doesn’t 🙂

  3. Laura says:

    Can you use this on shower walls?

    1. Laura, you can use CEG Lite on vertical grout lines, too.

      Make sure the temperature isn’t too hot (within the recommended ranges) because the epoxy grout will be a bit runny 🙂

  4. denise says:

    Jeff, what tool did you use to remove the old grout?

    1. Denise, I used a Bosch oscillating multi tool for 95% of the grout and a Lowe’s triangular grout removal tool for the other 5% where the Bosch wouldn’t fit.

      The Bosch multi tool is pricey but won’t let you down 🙂

      1. Jonathan Davis says:

        Which tool head did you use?

  5. Gina says:

    Jeff, thanks so much for this tutorial along with the one on grout removal. We just built a house with a large, walk-in double shower (yay, no glass to clean!) but the white grout was stained from construction dust before we even moved in. Nothing has gotten it clean. I’d like to try epoxy grout but am concerned because of the size of the shower floor. Can this be done in sections or must it be done all at once? I’m wondering if sections wouldn’t bond well along the lines where they meet each other, since the older section would have already set up. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Hmmm Gina, that’s a good question.

      I’m not sure what to do. But I can give you some guidance.

      I’d be concerned with the color and texture of the new epoxy grout not matching with the existing grout that is stained.

      Do you only have small sections of grout that are discolored? If so, how big are they?

      And have you tried using OxiClean to get the grout back to how it use to look? This has been my “Go To” grout cleaner as of late and it works fantastically for light colored grout.

  6. Lori says:

    How do you use the OxiClean to clean the shower tile grout. I have not tried this before. I will contact Custom Building products tomorrow. I have a customer who put in his own tiled shower less than a year ago. While it is beautiful they have hard water and do not dry the shower down. The biggest problem for me as their housekeeper has been the epoxy grout that they used. I wish they would run their fan and dry down the shower with a large squeegee and microfiber cloth. I have tried to keep it clean but it is becoming a nightmare. Mold is setting up in the bottom as well as sides of the tile walls. I have never seen this happen in a new shower. I hate to use bleach but used a diluted solution on several area and rinsed quickly. It has not touched it. At least with normal grout I could have resealed it. I’m at a loss, the mold is spreading. I wanted to cry on the job the other day… I wonder if there was mold spores in the epoxy mix? It is happening on the shower pan floor as well as the walls. Any ideas? Thanks.

  7. Don Russell says:

    Hi Jeff..thanks for videos. How long does the epoxy grout have to cure prior to using the shower again?

  8. MIMI says:

    I did not clean the epoxy grout off my tile too good and have a mess. what do you suggest using to remove the epoxy grout from the tile.

    1. Not promising this will work Mimi, but you could try Sulfamic acid. Follow the directions and wear the protective clothing the bottle recommends. Keep us posted 😀

  9. Ellie McBride says:

    I used a Stain Free grout in my bathroom a few years ago but it’s pretty stained and even if I get the stains out by scaling the top layer off, or doing a hydrogen peroxide/backingsoda scrub for hours, it restains. Now what? Can I use a sealant on it? If so, what kind? Can I pull the top layer out and replace it with something I CAN seal or will the rubbery base reject the new grout? Do I need to start over?

  10. RON says:

    Jeff,
    Just bought a house and the basement tiles are smooth ceramic. The owner looks to have eyeballed the placement of the tiles into the mortar without using any spacers so the grout joints are either wide or very narrow but nothing is consistent. I would like to cover over the tiles. Is there a good skim coat that would smooth out the surface so that a vinyl square could be placed on top? Any other options you can think of? Great website by the way!!!

  11. Roger Karstofsky says:

    Hello,
    I watched your video on using epoxy grout on shower floor,did you remove all of the old grout before you installed epoxy grout.my shower floor only has a couple of cracks in the floor and some in the vertical wall joints so I do not think or want to replace all of the old grout.95 per sent of the grout looks perfect.any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Roger Karstofsky

  12. Scott says:

    I really want to use an epoxy grout for my newly tiled shower. The only problem is 40 minutes to do 3 walls a curb a niche a corner seat and a floor is impossible. Any suggestions? Ive put in so much work already I don’t want to rush through a step and compromise the whole project. But I also want to use the best products.

    1. Great question Scott.

      You might want to check out QuartzLock by Bostik. It’s a urethan grout.

      You still have to work quick but can use it on a 3×3 foot section at a time. Then remove excess with a damp sponge.

      The nice thing about urethane grout is that it’s pre-mixed, doesn’t need to be sealed, and has excellent color consistency.

      I’ll send you an email to make sure you get this info 🙂

      1. Jim` says:

        ” to do 3 walls a curb a niche a corner seat and a floor is impossible”. I have similar; way to much to grout in 40mins. I would find it hard to believe that if a job is too big to do in 40 mins you can’t use the CEG-Lite product. Is that what the tech support folks said. I would think an epoxy product would mate up to recent work no problem (much better in fact than std grout I would say). Can you pls elaborate on this or I can call tech support. Thanks for the great article!!! Jim

  13. Justin says:

    Hey Jeff, thanks for this in-depth tutorial. I’ve been watching a lot of your YouTube content during my remodel and I really appreciate the guidance and your friendly demeanor. Toward the end of this write-up you mention having to “tool the grout lines smooth”. Can you provide some more detail about this step of the process? Are you using the sponge for this? Or another tool? Thanks again.

    Best regards,

    Justin

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