When shopping for tile installation materials, you will have to make several decisions. For instance, you will have to choose a suitable type of grout.
This decision isn’t always easy because there are different types of grouts in the market, and all promise better performance.
Today, we will focus on two of the most popular options; Polyblend and Prism Grout. Even though both grouts are made by the same manufacturer, they are very different.
Polyblend grout is available in two options; sanded and non-sanded. This means that you have two options. The sanded option is better because it is more durable and highly resistant to cracking.
Anyway, back to Polyblend, it is a cement-based polymer-modified grout. When used after tiles installation, it creates dense joints that are more resistant to wear and shrinking.
Polyblend grout can fill joints measuring 1/8″ to 1/2″. This is for the sanded type. As for the non-sanded, it can only be used on joints measuring 1/8″. It is suitable for both interior and exterior use.
Polyblend grout stands out as one of the easiest grouts to prepare. You only need to mix it with water, and it’s done. It is a durable option. That shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s polymer fortified.
Prism Ultimate Performance Grout
Also, from Custom Building Products, Prism is an excellent grouting material. It is a latex polymer-modified grout that contains cement and calcium. A quick look at the formula will show that this is not your typical grout.
There is a reason why Custom Building Products refers to Prism as an ultimate performance grout. This product is exceptionally durable.
It can withstand the toughest conditions, including extreme temperatures and humidity. In terms of color shading, the strong formula ensures the Prism grout retains its finish for the longest time.
While we are still on the formula, you should know that Prism contains fine and lightweight sand and recycled glass, making it easy to achieve a smooth consistency and application.
One of the features I love most about Prism is that it does not effloresce no matter what is thrown at it. Also, it can be used on joints measuring 1/2″.
According to the manufacturer, Prism doesn’t need to be sealed, but some users beg to differ. The good news about this grout is its fast setting, and the floor it’s being applied to can be walked on within four hours.
How Are They Different?
As mentioned earlier, Prism and Polyblend are made by the same company. However, there are a lot of notable differences between these two types of grouts. Let’s dive straight into them;
Polyblend is a cement-based polymer-modified grout. It’s this formula that makes it a durable grout.
On the other hand, Prism is a latex-polymer-modified grout containing cement and calcium. Prism’s strong formula makes it more durable than Polyblend.
• Type of Grout
Polyblend is available in two options; sanded and non-sanded. This availability gives you multiple choices depending on your taste and preference.
Prism is only available as a sanded option which contains fine particles of sand and glass.
• Tile Joint Size
Polyblend grout can be used on joints measuring up to 1/2″. The non-sanded variation of the Polyblend can be used to fill joints measuring 1/8″.
Prism can fill joints stretching up to 1/2″.
You need to pay keen attention to the maximum joint size of your grout. Because if the joints are too big for the grout to fill, it will not last. Prism can be used on bigger joints than the non-sanded variety of Polyblend.
• Stain Resistance
Polyblend grout offers moderate stain resistance. If you use it indoors, you don’t have to worry about this because it won’t be exposed to a lot of dirt and mud.
Prism grout offers better stain resistance than Polyblend. The reason behind this is Prism’s strong formula that can handle whatever it’s exposed to. Due to Prism’s better stain resistance capabilities, it is the ideal grout for outdoor use.
• Color Options
Polyblend outperforms Prism grout when it comes to color options. Polyblend has been around for a while now, as compared to its counterpart. That’s why it’s available in many color options.
If you are interested in a specific unique color, you have better luck with Polyblend grout.
Prism is available in limited color options. Before you dismiss it, you should know that the few colors available are from all hues.
Therefore, even if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, you can find something slightly resembling it.
While we are still on colors, some customers have claimed that Prism has truer colors than Polyblend.
• Curing Time
Polyblend has an estimated curing time of 24 to 48 hours. During that period, that area should be isolated. Premature exposure to traffic is most likely to lead to product failure.
Prism grout has a curing time of 4 hours. It is one of the quickest-drying grouts on the market. The shorter curing time of Prism grout gives it an advantage over Polyblend.
Therefore, if you are interested in wrapping up your tile installation job in the shortest time possible, Prism grout should be your safest bet.
How Are They Similar?
• Both Need Sealants
Custom Building Products claims that these two grouts do not need sealants. However, from most people’s experiences, you are better off sealing Prism and Polyblend grouts. A sealant ensures both grouts last longer and resists wear.
• Both are Easy to Work with and Clean-up After Installation
Prism and Polyblend are very easy to work with, from preparation to application. Unlike most grouts, Prism and Polyblend achieve a smooth consistency with ease. When applying it to the tiles, these grouts easily find their way into the tile joints.
When you are done, they are easy to clean up. However, this is only possible when you clean them right away.
Once Prism or Polyblend cures on the tile surface, removing it will be a nightmare. As easy as they are to clean, you shouldn’t leave them on for so long.
• Both Contain Fine Grain Sand
Another similarity between these two products is that they contain fine-grain sands. This ensures that the grout is easy to prepare and apply.
Pros of Polyblend Grout
• Polyblend grout is available in more color options. And the colors boast high consistency.
• It is effortless to prepare and install. Making it perfect for DIY jobs.
• It bonds well to joints and won’t come off easily.
• The manufacturer claims that it doesn’t need sealant. But if you want the grout to last longer, make sure that you seal it.
• It is resistant to shrinking.
Cons of Polyblend Grout
• Its stain resistance is mild.
• There have been reports of Polyblend cracking when dry.
Pros of Prism Grout
• It is a highly durable grout that will withstand lots of traffic.
• Perfect for use in outdoor applications because of its strong formula.
• You are guaranteed a uniform, consistent finish.
• It will withstand extreme temperatures and humidity.
• Prism works with all types of tiles.
Cons of Prism Grout
• The claims that it doesn’t need sealant are false.
• It hardens fast. You have to be quick when installing it, or a lot of it will be wasted on the bucket.
Which is Better? Polyblend vs. Prism Grout
If you are buying grout for tile installation, you should choose a durable grout with better features. Out of these two options, Prism Grout is superior.
It has a quicker curing time of fewer than five hours. Its rich formula makes it stain-resistant and able to withstand extreme outdoor conditions.
Be as it may, Polyblend also has its highlights, and you should not dismiss it. Polyblend is available in more color options. Therefore, if you are interested in something unique, you can go for Polyblend grout.