In the vast majority of domestic projects, a cement-based grout is utilised. This is because cement-based grouts are more easily accessible and are easier to work with. Cementitious grout is made using a cement powdered mix to which you add water. The mixes come in both sanded and unsanded versions depending on the size of the gaps between the tiles. Course sanded grouts are not recommended for use with our mother of pearl mosaics. This is because the sharp sand in the mixture can cause scratches and markings to the mosaic. There are several additional disadvantages to using cementitious grouts, they are not waterproof so will absorb water and can stain and the porous nature also makes the cementitious grouts more prone to bacterial build-up and the formation of mould. General attention and maintenance may be necessary with cementitious grouts to keep them looking good for a long time. These additional maintenance steps not only take time but the use of harsh chemicals over time will damage your mosaics.
The standard alternative to a cementitious grout is epoxy grout. Epoxy grout will arrive in two parts, a resin and filler powder which you mix and then apply in the limited timeframe provided by the manufacturer. The greatest advantage of using epoxy grout is that it is waterproof. They are resin-based and once cured are impervious, so nothing can penetrate and stain. They will still get surface dirt but they can be cleaned easily and the grout will stay the same colour forever, even under UV light. Kerakoll offers two types of epoxy grout Fugalite and Fugalite Bio.
Kerakoll’s Fugalite Bio is a environmentally friendly epoxy grout, hypoallergenic making it safe for users with allergies; it is bacteriostatic and fungistatic, so mould and bacteria can not grow; it is also UV resistant and can be used safely inside and outside. Fugalite Bio also produces extremely low VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions, making it safe for the user and the homeowner as it doesn’t emit any harmful emissions. The bio variant is available in 24 natural shades which have an even distribution of colour, unlike other grouts which can appear patchy. Fugalite Bio is a marine rated product suitable for the most demanding areas.
The standard Fugalite also has the benefit of being antibacterial, antifungal and UV resistance but is not hypoallergenic. Fugalite comes in 28 colours you can choose from to find the best match for your project. Fugalite also has an even distribution of colour like Fugalite bio. Fugalite also shares Fugalite Bio’s low VOC credentials for safe working environments and is safe for clients. As a final plus point, you cannot get efflorescence using Fugalite.
These characteristics make the Fugalite range a perfect choice for faster, cleaner and safer installations, it makes the trader’s job easier, it is the safer option for the customer and looks fantastic with its range of consistent colour choices.
Cementitious grouts and epoxy grouts have been the main two grouts on the market for interior designers, the tile industry and customers for a while. However, advancements in technology now mean there are more advanced solutions available as we will explore next.