The mosaics I create are mostly designed for outdoor use so they need to be able to withstand the elements. For a lot of my mosaic work, especially the items with seashells, I use epoxy grout.
Epoxy grout is a two-part adhesive made from epoxy resin and a filler. Unlike cement grout there is no grittiness and epoxy can be used as both an adhesive and a grout finish
The reasons I like to use epoxy grout are that it is:
- Extremely hard when dry. In fact in most cases, when put under stress, the tiles will crack before the epoxy grout does.
- Flexible and will not crack due to extreme temperatures. This is very important in mosaics that have large areas of grout.
- Fully weatherproof and will not stain. Unlike cement grout, which is porous, epoxy grout will not absorb any moisture. It is often used in commercial applications for swimming pools and wet areas.
- Gluing and grouting can be completed on the same day. After only a couple of hours your glued artwork is ready to grout.
- It sticks to almost anything. I have yet to find a surface that this grout will not adhere to.
The downsides of using epoxy grout for mosaics are that it is:
- Tricky to use. When mixed, epoxy has quite a stiff texture and dries quickly so I would not recommend using it unless you are quite experienced with grouting.
- Highly toxic. Gloves are a must and a mask must be worn as the fumes can be quite strong. You will also need a well ventilated work area. Disposal of empty containers can also be difficult.
- Expensive. Epoxy grout is quite a bit more expensive than cement-based grout but the time saved by completing your work in one day can even that out a bit.
- It sticks to almost anything! Be very careful of spillage. If this stuff dries on your nice wood floor it is there forever.
Okay, so now you know all the pros and cons of using epoxy grout for mosaics. To see me in action using epoxy grout check out the following short video on Instagram.