Help! - darkened shower floor grout

shel1776January 7, 2012

Our issue is one of darkened grout lines at the edges of our shower floor tile in a newly remodeled bathroom.

After using the shower only twice, we've noticed a persistent darkening of the floor tile grout near the walls, even after many days following the last exposure to water. Some of the darkening dries out, but some does not.

Since we're in Massachusettts, the shower was constructed with a flat copper pan then sloped mud in the pan, followed by porcelain mosaic tile with TEC AccuColor Sanded Grout mixed with Boost stain additive.

Our tiler was recommended by Bill Vincent and has indicated that discoloration like this can be normal. Before we accept the work of the tiler, we'd like the opinions of others as to how concerned we should be. Will this lead to mold problems or otherwise compromise the integrity of the constructed project? If it is not acceptable, what are the remedies?

Thanks for any advice.

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It still kills me that copper is considered the cadillac for pans in MA. I grew up in, and have worked in MA, so I'm plenty familiar with their methods. Some are so restrictive, some so lax, some so contradictory in nature.

It still comes down to the pan being flat, and any imperfections in the flatness can lead to birdbaths (ponding), especially in the folded corners of the pan.

While others will likely disagree, it's a failed installation in my world.

The irony is that the installation is legal, and while the worksmanship, materials, and methods can be impeccable, a mud bed that retains moisture can be problematic over time.

Some installations do need time to settle in. But if Bill recommended the guy, I figure your installer will give you a better analysis of what is occurring since he can put his eyes on the job, and he knows exactly how the floor and walls are detailed.

I'm in Thailand now and your photos aren't loading. Probably not an issue with your photos, but with my internet connection.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 11:35PM
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Persistant darkening of the grout is never a normal thing. The question is not that the edges are darkening, but why JUST the edges. I'm with Mongo. Flat bottom shower pans are known to cause problems, and yet, they're still the norm in Mass.. If your shower pan is holding water (i.e.-- not allowing water to get down the weepholes), it would cause the groutlines to darken, but then it would be MOST of the shower pan, not just a couple of small areas around the edges. Shoot me an email as to who it was. There are a couple that I recommend in the area.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Wow! Thanks Mongo for taking time to reply from halfway around the world!
Bill, thank you too for your help. I've just sent you an email.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 12:20PM
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We should be all on the same page. I sent an email to your installer, and he's also interested in figuring this out.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Was your issue with darkened grout at the edges of the shower floor resolved? What was the problem and the remedy?

We have a similar issue in our new construction all tile shower in a house that is 2 months old. Our GC has the subcontractors coming next week to investigate weep holes. We're looking for as much information as we can find in advance of their visit.

Thank you in advance for any tips.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 12:38PM
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