I have been busy renovating a house I recently bought. One of my biggest challenges has been coming up with bathroom surfaces that are impermeable and impervious to water and stains. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are a good start, but traditional tile grout absorbs water. Sealers can temporarily prevent that, but eventually grout lines are going to form a breeding ground for mold and mildew. My goal with all my construction is zero maintenance, maximum durability, and minimal effort to keep things clean.
For bathroom walls acrylic solid-surfaces are a good solution. The cheapest I could find are Swanstone and U.S. Marble, but those are still at least $20/sq.ft.
I was getting ready to go with vinyl for the floors when I started hearing mention of epoxy grouts, which are truly impermeable and never need sealing. Combining that with the $.77 square-foot porcelain tiles Home Depot was selling sounded like a winning combination. It took some research but here’s what I found:
Laticrete makes a patented epoxy grout called SpectraLOCK, which consists of a two-part epoxy cement (“Parts A and B”) and a third “Part C” sanded filler. Lowes is apparently the only retailer that carries SpectraLOCK, and they only stock the smallest “Mini” containers. A Mini is good for about 25 sq.ft. of tile but costs $23. For anything bigger it is better to go online and buy “Full” A-B units, which are equal to four Minis. The epoxy is the expensive part but it’s very light. StoneTooling.com delivers Full A-B units for $50. You can then go to Lowes and get 4 Part C containers in whatever color you want for $12.
Laticrete sells “Commercial” units of SpectrLOCK which are equal to 4 Full units. StoneTooling.com delivers Commercial A-B units for $150. Lowes doesn’t usually stock the 16 Part C containers you would need in a single color, so at that point you would either have to special order or pay to ship them.