Grout Innovation Bolsters Hospital Project
When Kindred Healthcare, Inc. began construction on a new extension of its award-winning, long-term, acute-care hospital in the Sacramento, CA, area, Performance Tile & Stone of Rocklin, CA, won the contract for installing tile in the new facility. Kindred’s plans included a 2,200-square-foot industrial kitchen that specified 6- x 6-inch quarry tile and 100 percent solids epoxy grout. The installation was completed with CEG-Lite Commercial Epoxy Grout, a new product from Custom® Building Products of Seal Beach, CA.
Scott McAllister, Field Superintendent for Performance Tile & Stone, knew that epoxy grout was necessary for this application because it provides the stain and chemical resistance necessary for an installation that will be subjected daily to harsh sterilizing agents. However, he was concerned about the challenges of working with epoxy grout, including difficult workability and clean-up.
“One of the biggest challenges of most epoxy grouts is the clean-up, especially on the quarry tile that this job called for,” explained McAllister. “Because of the tile’s texture, the epoxy grout can grab the surface and stick, making it really difficult to remove. We usually have to pre-seal, which is an extra step, extra manpower, extra time and extra materials - all of which add up to additional cost. If there was a new option that would give us the same durability and performance, with easier use and clean up that didn’t require pre-sealing, then I wanted to know about it. We’ve been long-time customers of Custom and have a lot of confidence in the quality of their products, so we knew that if they had come out with a new epoxy formula, it was worth checking out.”
CEG-Lite™ Commercial Epoxy Grout is a lightweight, 100 percent solids epoxy grout. Formulated with Custom’s exclusive CustomLite™ Technology, new CEG-Lite represents a major breakthrough in epoxy technology, delivering high stain and chemical resistance as well as optimum handling characteristics and versatility, reports the manufacturer.
CEG-Lite Commercial Epoxy Grout is formulated with the same recycled content found in Custom’s other lightweight setting materials, and the company reports that it is the only 100 percent solids epoxy grout that contributes to LEED certification. The introduction of CustomLite’s lightweight recycled aggregate gives CEG-Lite a smooth creamy consistency that flows easily into grout joints and works effectively on vertical applications without additives.
McAllister and his Performance Tile & Stone team used CEG-Lite as part of a complete system of products for the Kindred hospital installation, including RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane and ProLite™ Tile & Stone Mortar, which qualified their project for Custom’s warranty protection. “Warranty protection was a key factor in our decision to try a new product and use the complete system, and Jim Tuttle [of Custom] really helped guide us in that regard,” he said. “Custom’s support was really helpful. Not only did they help with specifying products, but Jim also came out to the site several times, including the first day of grouting, to ensure that everything went smoothly and help troubleshoot if we had problems, but of course we didn’t.”
According to McAllister, CEG-Lite out-performed traditional epoxy grout and actually made his team more productive during the grout phase of the project. “It was so much easier to use and to clean up, and it had a significantly better pot life and much easier to smear,” he said. “Everything about CEG-Lite was easier. Eight of us were able to grout 2,200 square feet in less than two days. We were actually over-manned for this project, and will reduce our labor costs accordingly when we use CEG-Lite on our next job.
“Custom’s whole system worked perfectly together, and we didn’t have any issues,” McAllister went on to say. “We will definitely use CEG-Lite again the next time a project requires epoxy grout.”