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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are just finishing up a job (upper floor update; 2 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms).

In one of the bathrooms, we laid grey ceramic floor tile, and used a marble mosaic around a drop in tub (all three sides exterior walls).

The grout color for the tub surround was never specced. After grouting the floor with Polyblend grout, the HO said she wanted the same color for the tub surround.

Unfortunately, the tub surround dried to a completely different color. After the floor was grouted, we weren't left with enough grout for the entire tub surround, so purchased another bag (from the same tile distributor in the same dye lot) and mixed the remaining.

Few questions:

A) what might have caused this? I was hoping that the grout was just drying slowly (due to being one exterior walls we never touched, so never re-insulated). We also sealed the marble before grouting, which also might have affected the outcome.

B) is there an easy(er) fix other than removing grout and re-grouting? I've seen people use grout dye/grout renew, but have no experience with it? We are wanting to lighten the grout colour.

Cheers,
 

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1) Just say no; don't change it. Grouts (especially portland cement grouts) are natural/variable materials, and you can waste a lot of time pursuing a match. Are you going to make up some custom mix to match the floor and from now till the end of time make custom batches for fixes and changes? If you've bought the same color from the same manufacturer, you've done the best you can expect to do, unless they are willing to pay for your time and materials to chase the perfect match.
2) Why on earth does anyone still use cement grouts in bathrooms (or just about anywhere) any more? Epoxy and urethane grouts are much more expensive, but it's the easiest sale in the world - they never need to be sealed, and they'll look like new 15 years after you install the tile. I know that there are all sorts of great sealers (a couple folks here have had success and recommend them) but the epoxies and urethanes simply work for everyone, including the worst, no-maintenance slob. Rant over.

Don't do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll have to look into the epoxy and urethane grouts for our next project.

I am no longer looking to match. Floor grout was spec'd to "Winter Grey" by Polyblend. Home owner said she wanted to match the tub surround grout with floor grout. Now that it is significant darker than the floor, she would like white. The marble pieces in the mosaic vary from grey to white.

I'm also just curious as to how/why it may have happened, so I can learn from it. As you said, being a portland cement base, it's possible that the floor had more eflloresence in the mix than the wall (floor used half of a 10 lb box, wall used the second half + 1/4 of another box, from same dye lot/distributor). But I'm also wondering if the sealed marble vs the unsealed ceramic absorbed the moisture from the grout differently. Grout was installed by the same setter, and she's pretty anal about her mix and slake time consistency.
 

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bathroom guru
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CarpenterSFO said:
1) Just say no; don't change it. Grouts (especially portland cement grouts) are natural/variable materials, and you can waste a lot of time pursuing a match. Are you going to make up some custom mix to match the floor and from now till the end of time make custom batches for fixes and changes? If you've bought the same color from the same manufacturer, you've done the best you can expect to do, unless they are willing to pay for your time and materials to chase the perfect match. 2) Why on earth does anyone still use cement grouts in bathrooms (or just about anywhere) any more? Epoxy and urethane grouts are much more expensive, but it's the easiest sale in the world - they never need to be sealed, and they'll look like new 15 years after you install the tile. I know that there are all sorts of great sealers (a couple folks here have had success and recommend them) but the epoxies and urethanes simply work for everyone, including the worst, no-maintenance slob. Rant over. Don't do it.
I haven't used cement based grouts for 6-7 years. Spectralock has been my standard grout ever since. Not only is it the best performing grout (like urethane!) I also find them easier to install. You never have to worry about mixing different batches too dry or too wet, no worries about blotchy colours, and, one grout does all... No more sanded / unsanded.
Btw...liked your rant! Lol
 

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Have Trowel, Do travel
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most of our jobs are "still" with cement grouts, never had a problem in 30 +yrs.
We only use the resin grouts in commercial kitchens, baths, and only when asked for.
Some of the old ways are still the best,
 

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most of our jobs are "still" with cement grouts, never had a problem in 30 +yrs.
We only use the resin grouts in commercial kitchens, baths, and only when asked for.
Some of the old ways are still the best,
And some are just stuck in their old ways and refuse to recognize the benefits of the new ways.

The fact is cementious grouts will stain and customers do not properly care for it. Why not give them a grout that won't stain and that is practically zero maintenance?
 

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Have Trowel, Do travel
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And some are just stuck in their old ways and refuse to recognize the benefits of the new ways.

The fact is cementious grouts will stain and customers do not properly care for it. Why not give them a grout that won't stain and that is practically zero maintenance?
my work should speak for itself, we do use it but only when called for,
btw, maybe you's have a sub grade grout, i dunno?
nevr had the problems with cement grouts that i have read on this forum.

or maybe, you's dont how how to use them :whistling
 

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my work should speak for itself, we do use it but only when called for,
btw, maybe you's have a sub grade grout, i dunno?
nevr had the problems with cement grouts that i have read on this forum.

or maybe, you's dont how how to use them :whistling
Mapei is hardly sub grade.

And I don't think I said anything about you having installation problems. I just addressed the fact that you are installing an inferior product that will stain and requires maintenance. Urethanes and Epoxy only require regular cleaning as with anything in life.
 

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Have Trowel, Do travel
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Mapei is hardly sub grade.

And I don't think I said anything about you having installation problems. I just addressed the fact that you are installing an inferior product that will stain and requires maintenance. Urethanes and Epoxy only require regular cleaning as with anything in life.
I am only pointing out that epoxy grouts we use only when needed,
kitchens rarely, even bathrooms we use them rarely, very.
And 100% of kitchens here are tile or stone.
We dont know what carpet is
 

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Hair Splitter
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I am only pointing out that epoxy grouts we use only when needed,
kitchens rarely, even bathrooms we use them rarely, very.
And 100% of kitchens here are tile or stone.
We dont know what carpet is
Right but you said some of the old was are still the BEST, which isn't true.

It is better to install epoxy or urethane in a wet area than a cementious grout. So the best way is to install the best product.
 

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If they don't want to pay for the upgrade (eg. when selling house, etc.), they get the standard grout. I used to try to build it in, but some folks are just too tight on the price.

As for color consistency, I mix it a little bit thicker, definitely let it slake as directed (which often gets conveniently forgotten), and force-fill the joints, as necessary (and a bit more) . Wring the hell out of the sponge before I go over it, too. A wet sponge washes out the pigment way too easily.
 

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Hair Splitter
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If they don't want to pay for the upgrade (eg. when selling house, etc.), they get the standard grout. I used to try to build it in, but some folks are just too tight on the price.

As for color consistency, I mix it a little bit thicker, definitely let it slake as directed (which often gets conveniently forgotten), and force-fill the joints, as necessary (and a bit more) . Wring the hell out of the sponge before I go over it, too. A wet sponge washes out the pigment way too easily.
Selling a house, maybe. But if they are staying, no way. Once I started using epoxy and urethanes, there was no going back. Most bathrooms we do $300 covers the grout and explaining that it won't stain and they don't have to ever seal it, the stuff sells itself.
 

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Bruno, I've been doing bathrooms for over 25 years and the number one complaint I've heard with regards to tile is grout issues. Epoxies and urethanes negate those issues. However, I like the fact a lot of contractors don't recommend them...makes my job to sell them that much easier!
 

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I only used epoxy grout in select commercial applications. The haze it leaves would never fly in residential. This is with laticrete epoxy and following instructions exactly.
 

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Hair Splitter
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I only used epoxy grout in select commercial applications. The haze it leaves would never fly in residential. This is with laticrete epoxy and following instructions exactly.
If you install it correctly haze isn't an issue. I have used epoxy a lot in residential. I switched to Urethane and the same rules follow. If you clean it well while you are installing, and don't do large of an area, you shouldn't have that much haze.
 

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'Shouldn't have that much haze'... that little bit of haze has been an issue on some commercial jobs and wouldn't fly in residential.I don't know what part of following directions exactly would cause it. Never had these problems with traditional grout.
 

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The one time we almost had haze problems with epoxy was the first time, working on too large an area. Since then, never a problem. That one time was on a backsplash with glossy tiles, and the haze got razored off. Epoxy and urethane are about all we do, commercial and residential, except in wide-grout saltillo and the like.

We just finished a flame-finish granite tile floor - pretty much the poster child for difficulty of clean-up for epoxy, and it came out perfectly.

My tile mechanic does hate it, though; I usually send him back for another round of clean-up with epoxy.
 

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If my PO asks,I set tile
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Reggie,
I figured i would try and help you out a bit regarding your actual question about the grout not matching. Seems like everyone has dropped their pants and has tape measures out.:cheesygri:cheesygri


Polyblend you say? There is your answer right there. Very inconsistent grout even when you mix according to directions. That's the nature of Polyblend.

Everyone can get back to talking about haze,epoxy, urethane or whatever didn't pertain to the OP question.

Its like the wild wild west here sometimes...thats why i like it!:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Reggie,
I figured i would try and help you out a bit regarding your actual question about the grout not matching. Seems like everyone has dropped their pants and has tape measures out.:cheesygri:cheesygri


Polyblend you say? There is your answer right there. Very inconsistent grout even when you mix according to directions. That's the nature of Polyblend.

Everyone can get back to talking about haze,epoxy, urethane or whatever didn't pertain to the OP question.

Its like the wild wild west here sometimes...thats why i like it!:thumbsup:
Thanks Evan. Hindsight is always 20/20...had I known they wanted the same grout on the tub surround, I would have gotten a 25lb bag and be done with it. I TRIED mixing the leftover from the floor, but obviously it wasn't enough.

The rest of the comments were a real eye opener. We have used epoxy on a few shower pans where it's required (little pebble tiles....PITA!) but I'll have to start doing some research into it.

I've had good success with Ardex grout for darker colors. Tends to be a much more consistent color.
 
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