grout stains on tile?

jssaustintxJanuary 31, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I was debating grout color for my white, 1" hexagon floor tile (glazed). I went a little darker than I probably should have, a charcoal gray, but it's not too bad. I did a sample of Bill V.'s recommended Silver as a darker option than Warm Gray. It really was lovely, but still lighter than I wanted (or thought! I did) so I did samples of Gray and Charcoal Gray, too. I probably should have stuck with Gray... I went back and forth until the tile installer arrived to grout. I shrugged my shoulders and pointed to the Charcoal.Sigh.

So that's how I got where I am now. I think the guy who installed did a nice job, but on closer inspection, several tiles have dark marks on them. I don't think it's a haze per say, its more like the grout line has "leaked" onto the tile in places? I am wondering if there is a way to clean up the grout lines a bit where this has occurred- and the actual tiles themselves that look splotchy? It looks like something that you could rub right off the tile face, but to no avail. I've read a diluted solution of vinegar will clean the tile, but is bad for the grout? With 1" tile I don't have much margin for error in terms of keeping it out of the grout. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Are the dark marks raised or do they look more like scratches on the tile? If the latter, they could be metal marks (e.g. from a metal level or bar used to level the tiles themselves; our guys constantly checked and re-checked the tiles for level). They could also be pencil marks. Our guys sometimes marked tiles that needed to be cut.

If this is the case, depending on your tile (if glazed porcelain, s/b ok), try a little powdered Zud on a damp sponge, and rub the marks with it. If metal marks (or pencil), they should come off. I use Zud to remove knife marks on my dishes (or spoon marks inside white mugs--though I usually let those get really bad before thinking to do it!).

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:06AM
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JSS-- any chance you could take a couple of pics and post them?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Yep- will do tonight. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 9:14AM
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This is my first attempt at pics in a post. This photo is huge so I am not going to include the others. I noticed that if you click on the photo tho' it will link you to photobucket and you can see the rest. I should add that these marks are really not noticeable standing in the bathroom, but I have had to do some buffing, etc and on my hands and knees I noticed them. This probably seems super nit-picky, but I have already cleaned the more noticeable stains/smudges across the tile face... with a 50/50 vinegar water solution (is that BAD?). I am afraid to get any closer to the grout though which is why the smudging you still see is near the edges. I can live with it, but if there are any suggestions for cleaning up a bit more I would be grateful! (I should add that there are only some places like this throughout the floor, most of the grout lines are "tighter" and cleaner, which is probably why these stood out to me in the first place) Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 11:13PM
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Okay. That's no big deal. Get yourself a NON-acid grout haze remover. it'll take care of those little wisps coming off the grout joints. I was worried that you might have minute clefts in the tile that had coaught grout, in which case this wouldn't work. But this is just a matter of cleaning the grout job. No big deal. You can get it at either of the big box stores in the tile aisle.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 5:08PM
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So it IS haze! Thanks Bill, you're the best.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 7:33PM
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FWIW, I like the charcoal grout. Good choice.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Thanks! I liked it enough to pick it- and am liking it more and more. JSS

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 4:40PM
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