My brand new white grout is uneven. Help! Bill? Mongo?

Anna VegiaJanuary 15, 2009


I just had 1.5" hex tile installed in my bath. The tiler used Bright White sanded grout. I saw the bag. The coloration of the grout doesn't look even. Some areas have a slight tannish tinge to them. At first I thought it just needed a good cleaning, but my contractor cleaned it, and it still looks uneven. I suspect the tiler mixed the grout in a dirty bucket. Is this possible? The contractor had to touch up some areas, and areas he grouted look great. Now the contractor wants to put a thin layer of properly mixed grout over the existing stuff. This makes me uncomfortable. Will the 2 layers bond together? I can imagine that it wouldn't take long before that new layer starts to crack and chip, and I think I'll have a mess on my hands. Any advice?

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How old is the brand new grout?

How long after it was installed did they touch it up?

Often times you'll need to give it several days to fully dry. You have moisture behind the tile as well as moisture in the grout that could be contributing to the blotchyness.

If more grout does need to be added, it's better to do it sooner rather than later. But why? Was the the initial application and cleaning done improperly, leaving the joints not full?

Otherwise a topical grout colorant might be your best bet, Aquamix makes an excellent one.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 5:59PM
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As long as the original grout is less than 48 hours old, it should bond fine. Mongo gave you one valid argument for the blotchiness in the grout (the need to fully dry first). There is another, though, which WOULD be helped by skim coating the grout, and this problem is more prevalent with white grout, especially with white tile, than any other because of the contrast. What you may be seeing is the color of the sand in the grout. If it wasn't properly mixed to start with, he may have clumps that contain more sand than the rest of the grout, and as a result, it would show as dark spots in the grout, with a tannish tinge (which is what made me think of this).

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 7:44PM
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Anna Vegia

I say brand new, but actually the grout is about 2 weeks old, maybe 3 in some areas. Definitely older than 48 hours old. The touch-up was done just a couple of days ago. It is possible that it's the sand, that was my first impression when I first saw it. Is it still too late for the skim coat? I'll bet he didn't mix it well, and the darker areas are the grout coming from the bottom of the bucket, where the heavier sand particles may have settled. He definitely seemed like he was in a hurry.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 11:16PM
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It's way too late for a skimcoat. There's a very good chance that it'll peel within a few months. It might be time for colorant.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 7:37AM
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Anna Vegia

I hate the idea of putting a colorant onto a new floor. Isn't that something that you'd put onto a floor that has gotten dingy with age? Does it need to be painted on? I'm worried that the colorant will peel over time, or that the sloppy tiler will slop the colorant all over the porcelain tiles. I'd almost rather leave it, but I'm very unhappy and disappointed with the whole thing. It doesn't look new, and it doesn't look professional. For what I paid for it, it should look amazing.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 8:48AM
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