Grout has many benefits when used for tile installation. It gives the tiles a better-looking finish while preventing debris from penetrating between and under the tiles.
Grout also improves the overall strength of the installed tiles. However, as beneficial as grout can be. You need to know that not all grout brands are made equally.
Some perform much better than others. Therefore, you must be keen when choosing grout for your tile installation job.
Mapei and Laticrete are two of the most popular grout manufacturers in the market. If you are stuck between choosing the two, here is a detailed comparison of both.
What is Laticrete Grout?
Laticrete makes various grouts, including cementitious grouts, premixed grouts, and epoxy grouts. One of the epoxy grouts made by Laticrete that has been around for more than a decade is the Spectralock.
Laticrete grouts are pretty durable and withstand the test of time. They are a go-to choice amongst professional installers and DIY enthusiasts.
Since color is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a grout, Laticrete grouts are available in 40 colors. That means you have a wide range of choices and are assured of finding a suitable color.
Laticrete, as a brand, implements cutting-edge grout technology to bring you the best products. The grouts made by this brand boast color consistency and superior strength.
There are many Latricete grout products. One of my favorites is the Spectralock Dazzle which glows in the dark. Overall, Laticrete makes quality grouts that contain impressive features.
What is Mapei Grout?
Mapei grouts are developed as a result of a series of serious lab trials. These grouts look good and are pretty durable compared to other brands.
One area where Mapei excels more than other grout manufacturers is color availability. You can choose from 44 different and unique colors.
The process of selecting these colors has been made easier thanks to the availability of a Mapei grouts app.
Mapei grouts come with several benefits. They are mold and dirt-proof. The manufacturers claim that these grouts are easy to apply and have been formulated to match the latest ceramic tiles.
These grouts are high-performance and water-repellent. You can use them in the shower, kitchen, or high-moisture areas without worrying about water damage.
Like Laticrete, Mapei makes different grouts such as epoxy, cementitious, and polymer-modified cementitious mortar. Besides grout, Mapei also makes sealants that ensure the grouts remain bonded to tiles for longer.
How are They Different?
Even though both companies make grout that can be used for tile installation. The formulas are different, and so are the features.
• Color Options
Laticrete grout has done a fantastic job at providing their clients with 40 unique colors to choose from.
Mapei has done an even better job. They have 44 unique colors to choose from, and there is an app that assists you in identifying a suitable color.
Color is a crucial factor to consider when choosing grout for tile installation. And you need to get it right the first time around because grout isn’t something you can install and remove easily.
According to most tile installers, Mapei offers a better color match. It should be your top choice if you want to use it for a backsplash.
• Ease of Use (Preparation and Installation)
Laticrete stands out as one of the easiest grouts to mix and install over tiles. Upon purchase, achieving perfect consistency with the different products may seem impossible.
But if you mix them correctly and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions, they will blend well. As for the installation, you only need a considerable amount of elbow grease, and the grout will adhere perfectly to the joints and lines.
As for Mapei grout, the installation is pretty tricky, especially when you buy their Flexcolor CQ. The problem with Mapei grouts is that they contain a lot of sand, making it hard to create a smooth finish during installation.
It’s also worth mentioning that Mapei grout is too quick to dry. You need to be fast during installation. Otherwise, it will be tough to work on all tiles.
Laticrete has a fine texture both during installation and after it has cured. That’s because the sand used is also very fine.
Mapei has a rougher texture because it contains bigger granules of sand. This is a complaint that many people have raised.
• Stain Resistance
Performance-wise, Laticrete grout is more resistant to stains. They can easily be cleaned when you pour oil, sauce, or food particles and won’t leave any stains behind.
Mapei, on the other hand, offers mild stain resistance. The likes of oil, sauce, and other stains remain visible even after cleaning. This is quite surprising, especially considering that Mapei grouts often contain a sealant on top.
How Are They Similar?
Though different in many ways, there are some notable similarities between Mapei and Laticrete grouts.
• Different Types of Grouts
Both Mapei and Laticrete grouts are available in various types. You can choose epoxy, cementitious, premixed, and polymer-modified grouts from both brands.
The availability of many grout options enables installers to choose a suitable formula that they are more comfortable working with.
Whether you are interested in Mapei or Laticrete grout, you will find it stocked in local hardware stores.
Alternatively, you can buy them online from popular platforms such as Amazon. You can also source Laticrete and Mapei grouts in big box stores near you.
• Industry-Grade Grouts
Laticrete and Mapei grouts are industry-grade products internationally recognized by professional tile installers. You are therefore assured they will perform a quality job.
Pros of Laticrete Grout
• Laticrete grout doesn’t need to be sealed for it to be able to keep dirt, debris, and stones away from the tile joints. Most Mapei grouts need to be sealed for maximum efficiency.
• Its ability to resist stains is exceptional. Therefore, Laticrete grout requires minimal maintenance as compared to Mapei grout.
• Nowadays, Laticrete grouts feature a non-sag formula that is effective for use on walls and floors.
• Laticrete is a high-performing grout. It is durable and can withstand exposure to moisture and traffic.
• Installation of Laticrete grout is easy. However, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding preparation and installation.
• The formula of Laticrete grout comprises Microban antimicrobial protection for mold prevention.
• Laticrete grout is available in various interesting finishes, such as the one that glows in the dark.
• Homeowners can choose from 40 color options.
Cons of Laticrete Grout
• It is more expensive than Mapei and other grouts.
• Though easy to install, cleaning up the mess is a bit laborious. You will need a lot of sponges and a considerable amount of elbow grease to get the Laticrete grout remains from the tiles.
Pros of Mapei Grout
• The one thing that makes Mapei grout stand out is its color consistency. From the 44 colors, you can easily find a suitable color to match your tiles. Mapei has made the choosing process easier by providing an app.
• It is mold-proof. Therefore, suitable for use in high-moisture areas.
• As long as it’s installed correctly, Mapei grout is quite durable.
• It is a fast-setting grout. That makes installation quick. But this can be a blessing in disguise, depending on how you use it.
• Mapei grout can connect joints stretching from 2 to 22m long.
Cons of Mapei Grout
• It dries too quickly. A lot of people have complained that Mapei grouts dry too fast. A pro tip when using Mapei, mix it in smaller batches. That will help in preventing wastage.
• Some of their grouts require a sealant. That means more work.
Which is Better? Laticrete or Mapei Grout
Even though both grout brands have exciting features, pros, and cons, Laticrete is undeniably the better option.
With Laticrete grout, you get to choose from 40 color matches. It’s easy to prepare and install. The texture is smoother, and you get better performance post-installation from Laticrete grout.
Even though Mapei grout has more color options and is slightly cheaper, its pros can’t outweigh the ones for Laticrete grout.