Need Help On Grout

 
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:48 PM   #1
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Need Help On Grout


I have been grouting a bathroom I tiled with ceramic tile (shower, floor walls, etc.), and I am having a problem. The grout started out a dark brownish color, but the next day the majority of it had bleached out nearly white. There are some areas (especially around the edges) that are still dark. The same thing happened in 2 bathrooms. I had been told using distilled water when mixing the grout would keep the color darker, so I did that for the first bathroom. When it bleached out I scrapped the distilled water idea and just used plain tap water for the second bathroom, but it did the same thing. I recently did a kitchen with the same brand of grout, and it did fine. We spread the grout, let it set, cleaned up the joints with a barely damp sponge, and then wiped the tiles down one more time with a barely damp sponge. Does anyone know what could be going wrong? Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:20 PM   #2
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Re: Need Help On Grout


Somewhere along the line, you're using too much water, whtehr you're mixing it too loose, or putting too much water down when you wash-- it's one or the other.

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Old 01-14-2008, 08:31 PM   #3
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Re: Need Help On Grout


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post
I have been grouting a bathroom I tiled with ceramic tile (shower, floor walls, etc.), and I am having a problem. The grout started out a dark brownish color, but the next day the majority of it had bleached out nearly white. There are some areas (especially around the edges) that are still dark. The same thing happened in 2 bathrooms. I had been told using distilled water when mixing the grout would keep the color darker, so I did that for the first bathroom. When it bleached out I scrapped the distilled water idea and just used plain tap water for the second bathroom, but it did the same thing. I recently did a kitchen with the same brand of grout, and it did fine. We spread the grout, let it set, cleaned up the joints with a barely damp sponge, and then wiped the tiles down one more time with a barely damp sponge. Does anyone know what could be going wrong? Thanks for your help!
I've laid a lot of tile and I can't remember ever hearing about grout turning from dark brown to white when it dries. It is normal for grout to lighten some. If you got the grout at a tile store ask them what may have happened. If that doesn't work find a contact on the bag of grout.
You can stain the grout (in place) a uniform color but you will have to do some homework to find the right product. I know they are out there. Find a good tile store.
Good luck,
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:32 PM   #4
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Re: Need Help On Grout


I agree with the last post. How do you plan on fixing it?

First test the tile to see if this hurts them. You should have no problem with a through and through porcelain, but I don't know about a glazed porcelain or ceramic.


Put on a mild solution of muriatic acid with a stiff brush and wipe it off after a few seconds of fizzing. Mild means maybe 4 ounces of the storebought stuff to a gallon of water.

This should get rid of the whited-out area. Just test first where some cabinets or a washer & dryer might go, etc.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:53 PM   #5
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Re: Need Help On Grout


DO NOT use muriatic acid. If anything, use sulfamic acid. It's not quite as destructive.

As for grout colorant, if you want to go that route, here's a link:

http://www.1877floorguy.com/grcopr.html
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: Need Help On Grout


Bill,

I had the same problem with some through and through porcelain and the muriatic worked like a charm. I still have some areas which I didn't scrub, thinking they would eventually change over the course of weekly moppings, but they are still bleached out. I'll probably go back and scrub them sometime.

I tested on the tile alone first. I knew it wouldn't do anything, like pouring it in a glass. Then I tested in a corner and waited a day for it to dry completely out to see if that was different looking than when it was fresh and wet.

I went with this after trying the Banish product first. Is there anything in Banish besides water?

My tile was fairly rough textured and boy the muriatic made the colors pop out after the grout residue was completely gone. It looks clean clean clean compared to hazy.

I couldn't get any tile guys to recommend the muriatic. I've cleaned enough brickwork to know it would blend everything together nicely.

On another note, have you tried the phosporic acid? Sweet. The floor is transformed before your eyes.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:03 AM   #7
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Re: Need Help On Grout


I HAVE used phosphoric acid, and you're right-- it does work well. Problem is it's so expensive, and the sulfamic acid will do the same job with maybe just a little more elbow grease, and alot less money.

The reason I "lobby" against the muriatic acid as a recommendation in the forums is because it's so destructive. If someone isn't fully versed in its use it's a dangerous proposition, especially for residential use, and even more importantly, when it's an already occupied residence. Just the fumes are enough to ruin most metal finishes, not to mention what they can do to pets, etc.. So I stand by what I said. Yes, muriatic acid will clean up most efflourescence problems. But at what cost, if the user doesn't know what they're doing?
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:58 AM   #8
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Re: Need Help On Grout


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_Vincent View Post
Somewhere along the line, you're using too much water, whtehr you're mixing it too loose, or putting too much water down when you wash-- it's one or the other.
I agree with Bill, you're probably using too much water somewhere along the line. I would follow the direction. Also, start adding water into grout instead of the other way around. Take your time.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:13 AM   #9
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Re: Need Help On Grout


Bill,

where do I get the Sulfamic acid? What brands are available/stores carry it?

I cleaned 1800 sf combination 12x12 and 8x8 with about 3 quarts of the phosphoric, but I was being extremely miserly with it, which required more labor.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:34 PM   #10
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Re: Need Help On Grout


I agree with Bill. We had the same problem last month. Sulfamic acid work great. You can get it at any trade supply store. We get ours through Florida Tile. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:42 PM   #11
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Re: Need Help On Grout


You can also get it in the tile aisle at either Home Depot or Lowes.

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