Grout is grout. This seems like a natural assumption to make, but it is a misconception. When doing regrout shower jobs or tile repair, you need to know that epoxy and cement are two different things. They’re both grout, but they play under different rules.
First, let’s look at each one’s properties and how they play in shower tile repair jobs.
Epoxy grout is made of epoxy resins, with a filler powder thrown in. Cement grout, on the other hand, is made of cement powder mixture. Epoxy grout is waterproof, unlike its cement counterpart. This means that it’s less likely to absorb moisture and stain.
Between the two, epoxy has better resistance to more powerful cleaning products. You’re less likely to damage it during shower tile repair than cement. The increased bond strength is also a plus until you find yourself in a situation where it’s going against you.
However, epoxy isn’t very pleasing to look at. It looks like cheap plastic, which is a problem for many homeowners looking to regrout shower for aesthetics.
Cement grout is easier to work with, as well. On outside corners, where the tile wraps around a wall or curb, it can be eased into place with minimal effort. Achieving this effect with epoxy is much harder and requires more time to set the joint correctly.
Epoxy grout sets faster, which is both good and bad. It’s good because you’re using less time. It’s bad if you’ve realised you made an error and needed to undo it before the whole thing sets.
Epoxy tends to have a glossy sheen. This requires proper cleaning before and after application to remove any residue that can make this gaudy.
The time it takes to clean the tiles is also a factor when selecting grout for shower tile repair. Epoxy is much faster. However, you’re paying for this. It can cost anywhere from three times to five times as much as cement grout.
Both types of grout can be matched seamlessly with the colour of your tiles. Whether you want them to be the same or to provide a contrast, either class will be easy to work with. However, we do recommend using a dull grey colour for your grout, because it helps mask wear and tear from the water.
Finally, if you’re using a grout sponge when you regrout a shower, it’s better on cement grout. It’s not as effective when used on epoxy.