Monday, March 12, 2018

European Standard for Tile Adhesives

The European standards community created a classification system to help simplify the selection of tile installation materials which include adhesives, grouts, membranes and screed. The goal of the EuroNorm (EN) standards is to establish a product classification code for the European community to quickly and easily tell an architect, specifier, tile contractor or distributor and exactly how a product is designed to perform.

The standard demands for a proper performance test before it is provided with a Performance Certificate. This certificate consists of letters and numbers that are easy to understand. EN classification system is more encompassing than the ISO classification system.

The types of tile adhesives according to the EN 12004 are:

A. Types of Adhesives
·       Cementitious Adhesives             C
·       Dispersion Adhesives                 D
·       Reaction Resin Adhesives           R

B. Classes of Adhesives
·       Normal Adhesives                             1
·       Improved Adhesives                          2
·       Fast – setting Adhesives                    F
·       Adhesive with Reduced Slip        T
·       Adhesive with Extended Open Time   E
·       Deformable Adhesives                      S1
·       Highly Deformable Adhesives            S2

The different symbols and categories have their own meaning which are defined below:

Cementitious Adhesive– The C adhesive is a mixture of hydraulic binding agents such as portlland cement, aggregate and organic additives like moisture retention additive, latex polymers etc.) to be mixed with latex admix or water before mixing.

Dispersion Adhesive – The D type adhesive is a type of ready to use mixture composed of organic binding agents in the form of an aqueous polymer dispersion, organic additives and mineral fillers which are the mastic type products.

Reaction Resin Adhesive– This R type adhesive is a single or multi-component mixture of synthetic resin, mineral fillers and organic additives in which curing occurs by chemical reaction like epoxy or urethane based products.
Class 1 – Also called as 1 type, these adhesives have passed the minimum pass level tests that are mandatory for that adhesive type.

Class 2 – Also called as 2 type, these adhesives have passed the same test as Class 1 and other higher pass levels too.

Extended Open Time – It is the maximum time interval after the application at which tiles can be put in the applied adhesive and meet the tensile adhesion strength requirement which is always more than 30 minutes after the application of the adhesive. This designation is not applied to Reaction Resin Adhesive ( R ).

Slip – Resistance ( T ) – The downward movement of tile applied to a combed adhesive layer on a vertical surface must be ≤ 0.5mm for a C or D type adhesive and ≤ 5mm for a R type adhesive.

Fast – Setting ( F ) – They are adhesives that must achieve the minimum strength requirements of fast setting adhesives with accelerated cure time.

Deformability ( S ) – It is the capacity of hardened adhesive to be deformed by stresses applied between the tile and the substrate without any damage to the installed surface.

To pass S1 requirements an adhesive must be able to deform ≥ 2.5mm but < 5mm. To pass S2 requirements an adhesive must be able to deform ≥ 5mm.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Acidic cleaners’ vs. alkaline cleaners

Acid-based cleaners

For the purpose of cleaning cementitious grout acidic based tile and grout cleaners are extremely effective. By reacting with the cement in the grout, it removes the dirt present in it. It also removes a small top layer of the grout to expose the lower clean layer. Acidic based grout cleaners are particularly effective at cleaning and whitening white grouts that have stubborn stains on them. They are also very aggressive in removing soap scum and hard water deposits in ceramic and porcelain tile showers.

Acidic cleaners should not be used on marbles. Marble is made up of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which is highly reactive to even mild acids. When marble encounters an acidic agent, the acid dissolves parts of the marble surface exposing marble that was once below the surface. This newly exposed marble is unpolished, unlike its surroundings. Consequently, these etch marks show up as dull whitish marks compared to its nice polished surroundings.

RachTR XC2 is an acidic cleaner used for the easy cleaning and removal of lime and cement films, inorganic soiling and flash rust, also in connection with oily and greasy dirt. Appropriate for the cleaning of acid-resistant substrates.

Alkaline-based cleaners

Cleaning products having a PH of 12 or above tend to be aggressive in nature. They are designed this way so as to aggressively react with dirt, grease and other types of organic grime which is found quite often on tile floors and grout lines. With being extremely effective at cleaning most of the dirt like grease and grime they are also quite inexpensive compared to other available products. Alkaline cleaners can be used on all types of tiles, polished marble, granite, glass and metals.

RachTR XC1 is a general purpose alkaline hard surface cleaner and sanitizer. It is ideal for the quick and effective cleaning of shiny floor surfaces like polished marble, granite, etc.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Epoxy flooring Vs Polished Concrete Flooring

Deciding between polished concrete and epoxy flooring can be a very difficult task for an industrial company. This owes to the facts that both are based on similar foundations of a concrete slab but have very different flooring surfaces that find use in different environments. Concrete polished floors are created by continuous grinding with specialized machines. They have even finer polishing heads across a treated concrete slab for smooth, burnished surface. But, on the other hand, epoxy flooring is made up of multiple layers of two-component coatings. A fluid is applied to a mechanically prepared concrete surface which is cured chemically to form a durable, impervious and protective coating.

Polished concrete floors:

If the floor to be polished is not subject to harsh chemicals, extreme pH substances, wetness, and toxins then polished concrete floors are good options due to their less expensive nature. However, since polish concrete floors require regular and high maintenance they might not be the ideal solution.

Polished floors have less compressive strength than unpolished concrete, having good compressive strength is a necessary feature, and therefore trowelled epoxy floors can be considered a better solution.
Though polishing is a viable solution to even out concrete surface, however, it is not at all an option for old and cracked surfaces with significant issues. Polishing is best suited for new and fresh concrete that are relatively uniform and in the best shape.

The light reflecting the ability of the polished concrete is up to 100% improving the light efficiency of existing overhead fixtures and brightening the space overall, but this depends on the procedure and use of correct materials while installation.

Epoxy Flooring:

As discussed above polished concrete might be a suitable option for various industrial as well as domestic environments but there is quite a long list of noticeable shortcomings and thus epoxy flooring bubbles up as a better alternative. Resin-based flooring solutions such as epoxy are available in a range of job-specific design to protect the integrity of a concrete slab being exposed to a broad spectrum of environments and usage. Epoxy systems chosen correctly can provide a broad range of benefits by improving the concrete floor weight bearing capacity and impact resistance, imparting puncture and abrasion resistance, static control protection and ability to withstand most strenuous conditions.
Epoxy systems can hide imperfections in concrete and can be used to maintain slabs that might have been destroyed otherwise. The light reflective ability of epoxy resins is 300%, which reduces the need for additional lighting thus saving energy cost.

Since, while installation epoxy is in a liquid state, it covers the surfaces completely and gives a seamless and imperious look. After being cured resin based polish system are highly resistant towards solvents, acids, and alkaline. This is particularly an advantage to industries where harsh chemicals or toxins are used. Polish concrete floors are not designed to cope with such chemical exposure and thus might absorb or retain harmful chemicals and also allow pollutants to flow through the slab into the surrounding soil and environment. Resinous coating, if properly selected, erases all these kinds of risks and vulnerability by not allowing harmful chemicals to be absorbed but only adsorbed from where they can be easily disposed of. For industries, which prefer the appearance of polished concrete combined with superior strength durability, a performance epoxy coating is the best option

For further insight refer to our website

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Epoxy grout has become a lot popular in the recent years. It’s stain resistant, crack resistant and superior leveling property makes epoxy grouts a great choice for commercial use.

 It is sometimes that customers complain about tiled floors being too difficult to maintain. It is generally due to a layer of grout haze that is nearly invisible to the eye and sets itself during installation. A fine residue of epoxy resins is left behind due to improper cleaning during installation. Grout haze has become the most common issues with new owners of tiles and stones. After several frustrating attempts and a burning hole in your pocket, it still remains unaffected and dirty. People not being able to detect the problem fail to realize that it’s a haze layer sitting on the surface and not the tile or stone itself. Haze is simply a residue that has been left on the surface to dry.

Grout haze is often left ignored during installation due to the moisture created in the process. This leads to its permanent invisibility from the customer as the customer has never seen the tile/stone without the haze. However, with time the effects of the haze become visible dulling the surfaces completely and causing them to catch dirt quickly. Conventional cleaning methods like washing with soap, detergent and water are harmless against it, and this frustrates the customer even further.

Most of these difficulties can be avoided by following the guidelines developed specially for epoxy grout installation instead of adopting the same techniques used for current cement grout installation techniques.

 Initial cleaning methods:

After 30-45 mins of application of the grout, the surface of the tile and joint should be scrubbed with clean water and the scrubber provided with RachTR EG150 cleaning kit to remove any excess grout. Then use a clean thick towel to drag across the tile and remove residue. It is important that once the cleaning process has ended, no traces of RachTR EG150 are left behind visible.

Final cleaning:

The final and complete removal of the haze layer demands specially designed chemicals for the process. This cleaning cycle can be completed using the RachTR XC3, which can remove thin residues of grout several hours after application. RachTR XC3 is a unique product designed for the removal of epoxy grout film from tile, concrete and stone surfaces. It can eliminate the residue left behind after installation of epoxy grout. It is ideal for use with tiles, glass, and mosaics. To remove the haze the product must be left to react for a longer time(15-20 mins).

The efficiency of RachTR XC3 depends on the amount of resin residue left over the surface and the time passed after application. More amount of time lets it react with the surface haze even better. Cleaning must always be carried out while the grout is still fresh.

Generally, the problem is identified long after the grout is installed. RachTR XC3 is ineffective over the surface as hard film of epoxy residue is formed over the surface and that cannot be removed by a water-based remover such as XC3. For such conditions RachTR XC4 is of use. If the grout residue is not cleaned from the tile surface within 24 hours of installation then XC4 is to be used. RachTR XC4 is powerful solvent based cleaner used to remove the epoxy residue and thus haze from the tile. It is specially designed for quick and effective removal of cured epoxy residue such as epoxy grout residues from tiles. It is best suited for glazed floor tile, unglazed floor tile, quarry, marble, stone, slate, terrazzo, terracotta, brick.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Advantages of Epoxy Grouts over Cementitious Grout -A comparative study.

Epoxy grout has become more and more popular among tile contractors and builders. We find new benefits every time on using this product. Unlike cement grout, which is made from a cementitious powder mix, epoxy grout is made from epoxy resins and a filler powder. The grout is extremely durable and almost completely stain-proof. Regular grout isn’t waterproof, so unlike epoxy grout, it can absorb water when it’s wet and can stain pretty easily. If you’re tired of scrubbing the stain mass off your grout, epoxy grout could be your solution.

Epoxy grout is made from two different resins mixed with a filler, making it very waterproof and better suited to harsher cleaning products. Epoxy thin sets offer greater bond strength and chemical resistance than cementitious grouts. Although it has plenty of benefits, note that epoxy grout is more difficult to work with than regular grout. It also tends to look like plastic, which some homeowners don't like. Regular grout is very easy to shape in outside corners where tile wraps around a wall, curb or shower niche. It is harder to achieve the same effect with epoxy grout since it takes a little longer to set up in the grout joint.

We found it makes the most sense to grout a bathroom in three to five rounds. Epoxy grout sets quickly, so you don't want to mix all the grout in the bathroom and then rush it into place. Epoxy grout haze or residue on tile surfaces has a glossy sheen. Make sure your installer cleans your tile properly before and after grouting to avoid this.

The time necessary to clean the tile and the high price tag (it often costs three to fives times more than regular grout) can make some installers hesitant to work with epoxy grout. Some epoxy grouts are designed just for glass tile. Many brands have a regular epoxy and a special glass tile epoxy, too. The difference is the filler part of the grout. The filler for glass tiles is finer so it won’t scratch delicate tiles.

3 Key Steps for Grouting are:-

Brown, tan and mocha-colored grouts are hard to get right with regular grout. Many people are drawn to epoxy grout for its even color. The color of epoxy grout comes from the filler and is constant throughout. Regular grout can have its pigment removed during the cleaning phase.

You can make epoxy grouts sparkle by adding iridescent particles to your mix. Ask your contractor to prepare a sample board in advance to see how much sparkle you really want. The options are endless — you can even fine-tune colors by purchasing different fillers and blending them. Although opinions differ, we aren’t a fan of using a regular grout sponge with epoxy grout. The slightly coarser epoxy grout sponges tend to remove excess epoxy grout from the tile surface much better. Using an epoxy grout is completely different than using regular grout; no step is the same. From mixing to application to cleaning, epoxy grouting has its own set of rules. Make sure your bathroom professional has experience with the product and ask for a grout sample board before installation begins.

When comparing normal cement based grout to epoxy grout, one can realize the advantages of the latter over the former. It’s in your best interest to go for epoxy grout because
it has several advantages over normal grout. The most important benefit of epoxy grout is that it’s far easier to maintain and clean.

For all of those who already used products like the ones you can buy in the market, going back to other types of material is not an option. We think we will have some comments about this issue at the end of the post. But the fact is, epoxy grout can easily be cleaned using any normal alkaline based grout cleaning agent that dissolves all the dirt and grime present in grout lines. Now, can you remember doing that with the regular material? Could you easily clean all those brown smudges that penetrate deep inside? I know I couldn’t clean them all, and I was so mad at myself for wasting time to do that.

Normal grout is highly porous in nature and it absorbs all the dirt, grease and grime it comes in contact with. Epoxy grout, on the other hand, is non-porous and wouldn’t absorb any contaminant or stains. So cleaning of epoxy grout just needs dissolving and subsequent removing of grime and dirt that gets collected atop epoxy grout.
Another distinct advantage of epoxy is that unlike any normal grout it needs no sealing.
Because epoxy is not porous like normal cement based grout, it need not be sealed at all. Trying sealing epoxy grout is a sheer waste of time, effort, and money as it won’t absorb any sealer. On the contrary, sealing epoxy grout just encourages the accumulation of dirt and grime on a top layer of the dried sealant.

The epoxy haze that gets deposited on tiles, if not removed in time, necessitates the use of powerful stripping compounds for its removal. At times, the floor stripper could damage the correctly installed grout in grout lines. Sometimes getting rid of epoxy grout vapors becomes so difficult that it’s worthwhile to re-tile the surface completely.
Despite the limitations posed and enhanced the risk of installing epoxy sealer, you should still consider it for installing your tiles next time! Its unique and better properties coupled with the convenience of cleaning and negligible maintenance expense make epoxy grout a better option than normal grout.

Cementitious Grout
Epoxy Grout
Full Cure (Ready to Use)
14 to 21 days
4-7 days
Compressive Strength
30-40 Mpa
45-55 Mpa
Flexural Strength
7-12 Mpa
Shear Bond Strength
1.5-2.5 N/mm2
25-27 N/mm2
Water Absorption