David Mackowski of Quality Home Improvements switched from standard cement grout to epoxy grout two years ago to provide his customers with a low-maintenance material. The Raleigh, N.C., remodeler says Laticrete's SP100 grout worked well in his own home, and he decided it would prevent customer complaints and call backs about cracks and mildew.

SP100 consists of three parts that are mixed together: a resin, a hardener, and filler. The product costs five times more than standard grout, Mackowski says, takes three times the work to install, and increases labor costs by 50% to 100% over installing standard grout. All that extra time and money is worth it to Mackowski because of the superior performance of the product.

He says his tile subcontractor has to mask and cover any wood surfaces or cabinets in a bath or kitchen. "You have to be careful not to splash it around because it sticks to any surface. It requires a certain amount of neatness," Mackowski says. Once the epoxy is mixed, it has to be installed within one hour and has a 10-day curing period. He says the manufacturer does caution installers that the epoxy can cause some lower grade tiles to yellow or discolor.