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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have any of you tile guys done labor/cost comparison with epoxy vs. grout and sealer.
Also what are your thoughts about epoxy?

Thanks
 

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Carpe Diem
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Also what are your thoughts about epoxy?
JARVIS!!!!! Calling Jarvis :laughing:

He'll be around shortly :whistling



I think the upgrade is well worth it. In the big picture, it's not that large of a premium when you're looking at the overall price of a project. If you compare just the cost of epoxy to cementitious grout, the scales look tilted.

Personally, I just switched to using QuartzLock urethane grout, which is in the same ballpark as epoxy. I've done quite a few jobs with it this year and it has been a pleasure to work with. I think it installs much easier than cementitious, it costs less then epoxy and gives the unsurpassed stain protection. Everybody wins!

Even when giving a choice to customers, it has been an easy up-sell!

Well worth it.
 

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bathroom guru
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Have any of you tile guys done labor/cost comparison with epoxy vs. grout and sealer.
Also what are your thoughts about epoxy?

Thanks

Hey Angus and OP

As Angus will tell you, I am a huge fan of Laticrete SpectraLock Epoxy Grout.

It is very easy to work with, once you've used it a couple of times. It has about the same absorption rate as porcelain tile >0.5%

Cost Comparison - $15.00 for conventional - $70.00 for Epoxy.

I do not give my customers a choice. It is, in my humble opinion, silly not to use epoxy (or urethane as Angus has been using)

I am usually doing bathrooms in the $15-25K range. An extra $2-300.00 is pretty cheap really.

I am able to sell an installation that will outlast anything AND be easy to maintain AND will look as good in 20 years as it does now.

I can't tell you about other brands of epoxy grouts - all I have ever heard is horror stories. After about 4-5 years of using SpectraLock I have had no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Angus,
Cost usually isn't an issue, but it is with my tile salesman, (I send client to his showroom) even though I share the budget with him and its an allowance to the customer he always spec's cementious grout with no sealer, then we have to go to client and ask for more $ to seal.
He thinks that he will lose the sale if he spec's epoxy, and his installers don't like it.
I'm just trying to give the clients the best product and want to arm myself with all the info.
It seems to be a easy sell and get closer in cost when have you add the sealer into the equation.
Thanks again,
Bill
 

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Carpe Diem
Joined
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20,716 Posts
Thanks Angus,
Cost usually isn't an issue, but it is with my tile salesman, (I send client to his showroom) even though I share the budget with him and its an allowance to the customer he always spec's cementious grout with no sealer, then we have to go to client and ask for more $ to seal.
He thinks that he will lose the sale if he spec's epoxy, and his installers don't like it.
I'm just trying to give the clients the best product and want to arm myself with all the info.
It seems to be a easy sell and get closer in cost when have you add the sealer into the equation.
Thanks again,
Bill
Maybe time to find a different supplier? Not being an ass but guys who are stuck in the past with old tiling methods or are afraid to try the new technologies available are holding you back. Epoxy is not new like urethane but the 2 are so superior to cementious, it's not funny. Super easy sale if you ask me.

QuartzLock rules!

I suppose I should just tell him what to spec.
:clap::clap::clap:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe time to find a different supplier? Not being an ass but guys who are stuck in the past with old tiling methods or are afraid to try the new technologies available are holding you back. Epoxy is not new like urethane but the 2 are so superior to cementious, it's not funny. Super easy sale if you ask me.
He's good in all other areas and has been doing it for 35yrs.
He supplies carpet hardwood and slabs as well, and it makes it easy being a one stop shop, for both me and my customers
He's not totally stuck in the past they will use Shulter systems and Wedi and the like, but this particular issue he is stubborn. ( I hope he doesn't read these forums)
Bill
 

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Have any of you tile guys done labor/cost comparison with epoxy vs. grout and sealer.
Also what are your thoughts about epoxy?

Thanks
Cost is never the issue for the client when we contractors are armed with the information for them.

I have been a certified installer of Laticretes Epoxy grouts since 2004 and use it on 95% of the jobs I quote.

If you think about why most of your "shower " clients call you in the first place, it is usually grout failure or deterioration.

When presenting the proposal to a client I tell them the features and benefits of the Epoxy grout and that "seals" the deal!
Easier maintenance, mold resistant, no colour fade( dependent on cleaning chemicals of course),,,, what else do they want?

As for your floor clients.... what is their big beef with their tiled floors?
Setting aside a poor installation, the clients number one beef is the maintenance of their grout.
Epoxy grout wipes clean with dish soap and water! What more could they ask for?


As for the cost breakdown, there is no comparison... they are not the same products.

Knowing what THE CLIENT wants, ease of maintenance and no mold, is key.

And as the guys who trained me used to say... "Knowledge is profit"

Thanks Glenn Prince, and the company he represents, for educating me when I started in this industry.

Happy to help whenever I can.

GDFC
 

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I use nothing but SpectraLock on my projects as well. It's built into my proposals from the beginning, and I use it as a selling point when competing against other builders. Once you've used it a few times, and learn its quirks, the labor isn't really that much different from a cementious grout.

Things to keep in mind on material cost:
It will hurt a lot more if you're off on your coverage estimate. In my area, Lowes is carrying the mini units of just about every color. If we're just a little short, we can run over and pick one up to finish.

Touch-ups the next day are expensive, since you can't just mix up a tiny bit of fill as you might with a cement grout. No matter how good you go over everything during wipe down--it's prone to open up in places as it flows into the voids of your thinset. Even after final wipe, make sure you go over it one last time to check for holes and low spots.


It takes some getting used to on both the bid side, and installation, but the benefits are well worth it to me. In addition to stain and mold resistance, you will LOVE how consistent the color is--another big selling point for me. No matter how much you dry mix cement grout, some colors never quite match the sample decks.
 

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I have used Mapei epoxy serveral times, usually on tile kitchen counters and backsplashes. After using it, there is no way I would use anything else in a kitched when grout staining is a really big issue. The application of it is far more labor intensive than cement based grout, but the future clean up benefit easily offset the cost.
 

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I do not give my customers a choice. It is, in my humble opinion, silly not to use epoxy (or urethane as Angus has been using)

I am usually doing bathrooms in the $15-25K range. An extra $2-300.00 is pretty cheap really.

Thanks Angus,
Cost usually isn't an issue, but it is with my tile salesman, (I send client to his showroom) even though I share the budget with him and its an allowance to the customer he always spec's cementious grout with no sealer, then we have to go to client and ask for more $ to seal.
He thinks that he will lose the sale if he spec's epoxy, and his installers don't like it.
I'm just trying to give the clients the best product and want to arm myself with all the info.
It seems to be a easy sell and get closer in cost when have you add the sealer into the equation.
Thanks again,
Bill
You guys are all throwing away a lot of profit by not upselling this grout as a extra.

Almost 100% of our clients add an extra $150-$500 to the job in (profit) shh... keep that quiet. They do it by chosing to upgrade to a maintenance free grout after the job is sold at an additional square foot price.

Upgraded grouts can be and dare I say it (should be) a huge profit center, easy to upsell, make sense to customers and are desired by them and are seen as valuable and worth paying more for. We haven't sealed grout in 2 years and we are being paid not to. Win/win for you and your customers.

Shhhhhh..... (Customers will willingly pay an extra $1-$2 a square foot for these products, I know because we do it on every job)

How many square foot of tile did you install last year? 1000....5000....10,000...30,000?
Now put a dollar symbol in front of that number and that's money you lit on fire. How would you like me to write you a check right now for that amount? That would be nice wouldn't it?
 

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bathroom guru
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You guys are all throwing away a lot of profit by not upselling this grout as a extra.

Almost 100% of our clients add an extra $150-$500 to the job in (profit) shh... keep that quiet. They do it by chosing to upgrade to a maintenance free grout after the job is sold at an additional square foot price.

Upgraded grouts can be and dare I say it (should be) a huge profit center, easy to upsell, make sense to customers and are desired by them and are seen as valuable and worth paying more for. We haven't sealed grout in 2 years and we are being paid not to. Win/win for you and your customers.

Shhhhhh..... (Customers will willingly pay an extra $1-$2 a square foot for these products, I know because we do it on every job)

How many square foot of tile did you install last year? 1000....5000....10,000...30,000?
Now put a dollar symbol in front of that number and that's money you lit on fire. How would you like me to write you a check right now for that amount? That would be nice wouldn't it?
Uh, not sure how I am throwing money away when it costs my clients an extra $200-$300 (as opposed to cement grout).

I prefer to sell my customers spectralock from the beginning - not low ball with cement grout, then try to "up-charge" them for epoxy.

Why would you price a job with normal grout only to try to upsell them later??

As stated above, I really do not give my customers an option.

Its either spectralock or you probably have the wrong guy for the job!!

Every presentation I do is aimed to educate homeowners on the best way to do tile. Many customers already have a crap tile job and do not want a repeat.
 

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He's good in all other areas and has been doing it for 35yrs.
He supplies carpet hardwood and slabs as well, and it makes it easy being a one stop shop, for both me and my customers
He's not totally stuck in the past they will use Shulter systems and Wedi and the like, but this particular issue he is stubborn. ( I hope he doesn't read these forums)
Bill
Hopefully he does read these forums....;)

there may also be a reason he is hesitant to use Epoxy grouts...

If he is in his late fifties, he was likely trained by tile and grout guys that were getting sick from some Epoxy grouts that were around back then.

There was a carcinigen in the grouts that were getting the guys pretty sick(cancer) after using the grout for a few years.

Fortunately for us, the industry got that ingredient identified and removed from the mix.. TWENTY years ago.

However, that fear took a long time to be removed from "top of mind awareness" when the term Epoxy Grout came up.

Those older tradesmen ( 55-70 yrs) had GOOD reason to stay away from the products back then.

It takes an entire generation to let go of the past when harm has been done.

Give your friend the benefit of the doubt and invite him to a job site where YOU are working with the NEW generation of epoxy grouts..

I am sure he has taught you a few things, and maybe you can return the favour on YOUR nickel this time :thumbsup:

GDFC
 

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Mike, your statement on upselling epoxy seems based on the assumption that I'm not charging for the added material and labor to install it.

Keeping the price low, and then offering the upgrade as an option is certainly one approach--and I wouldn't dissuade anyone from approaching it that way if you're hesitant to raise your rates across the board to make it your SOP.

There are great many things I do differently than the average contractor I compete with in order to deliver a superior product and experience. These things are part of my business model, and the reason I'm not the cheapest guy around. For me, the choice of epoxy grout is not an option.
 

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Paul
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Hey Angus and OP

As Angus will tell you, I am a huge fan of Laticrete SpectraLock Epoxy Grout.

It is very easy to work with, once you've used it a couple of times. It has about the same absorption rate as porcelain tile >0.5%

Cost Comparison - $15.00 for conventional - $70.00 for Epoxy.

I do not give my customers a choice. It is, in my humble opinion, silly not to use epoxy (or urethane as Angus has been using)

I am usually doing bathrooms in the $15-25K range. An extra $2-300.00 is pretty cheap really.

I am able to sell an installation that will outlast anything AND be easy to maintain AND will look as good in 20 years as it does now.

I can't tell you about other brands of epoxy grouts - all I have ever heard is horror stories. After about 4-5 years of using SpectraLock I have had no issues.
Couldn't have said it better :thumbsup:
 

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bathroom guru
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Why would a business owner even ask this question?

Because I offer my customers the best possible products and installation available.

Because I have certain procedures and installation methods that I know are going to last and I do not deviate from them.

If you want to play "games" with your customers by pricing products you know aren't the best, then as you say "up-charge" them, more power to ya.

I on the other hand do not play games such as those.
 
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