Removing grout haze from new floor tile

sconti_95February 19, 2006

Just closed on our new home and the floor tile has a haze on it. I feel like when the tile guys grouted, they didn't clean there sponge frequently and as a result, left a haze on the tile. What can I use to get the haze off of the tile? Don't want the contractor to send there cleaning crew, because they are the worst. Have removed a lot of dirt using Swiffers and other means, but the haze still remains. Someone told me to use one part muriatic acid to three or four parts water, but that concerns me using the acid inside the house.

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We went through this...and I feel your pain. Our tile was very textural and had a low-gloss glaze on it. After the idiot installer left, it had a haze on it and there was grout accumulated in the texture of the tile that we couldn't wash off. You should contact the manufacturer of the tile - not the idiots who sold or installed it, to see if what was done was correct to begin with.

What we found out TOO LATE, was that the "professional installer" was supposed to coat this type of tile with the same thing they use on the grout to make it waterproof - BEFORE he does the grouting and only THEN can you get all the grout and the remaining "haze" off with a sponge and water, because of the slightly porous texture of the tile.

I should have suspected he was an idiot (even though he was the son-in-law of the store owner with years of experience), when he questioned putting 12-inch tiles on the wall on the tub surround.... He said he'd never seen that done! (Can you hear me scream???) I showed him the manufacturers brochure showing the 12-inch tiles on the wall as a tub surround. I still don't think he believed it could/should be done.....

Due to the differences in glazes and not doing what is suggested by the manufacturer, he screwed up ALL our very expensive tile (home entrance, kitchen backsplash, 2 bathroom floors, in front of the fireplace, and the tub surround (which went to the ceiling). And like you - the best we could hope for was to get the builder and everyone else associated with the finish-work out of the house ASAP so they wouldn't mess anything else up. We could fix all the screw-ups - we just didn't need them making any more.

It's a long sad story about the house we spent 3 months doing the finish work on - purchased and installed our own cabinets and trim, purchased the flooring, and a LOT of out-of-pocket money, but the deal for the house fell through on the day of the closing because of the builder and he wouldn't renegotiate. Thought he could make more money on it after all OUR investment in high-end finishes, and free labor. There were a bunch of lawsuits and we never got to move into the new home. He didn't get the place sold, wasn't allowed to build in this town again (we didn't know about another botched-up home he was being sued over), he filed bankruptcy, and we never got our money back for the things we paid for. Three years later, I'm glad I never had to live in that house of horrors - filled with THEIR mistakes and botched jobs....


    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 3:08PM
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Oh, my God, Grainlady, I really feel for you. I can't imagine. I would have lost it! Not quite sure I understand though. You contracted with the builder and then did your own finish work? And you had been paying him all along, aside from this work?

Anyway, sconti 95, I had the same problem and I found some stuff which I believe was called Grout Haze Remover (I can't remember, however, if we got it at Home Depot or one of the flooring places but you might try both). Its a small white plastic jug with a green label. I had hired a cleaning lady after the house was finished and gave this to her to try and it seemed to do a pretty good job.

If you can't find it, maybe I have the name wrong and I can look when I get home and give you the correct information but I think its right.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 9:52PM
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You might want to check with the pros at the John Bridge Tile forum. This subject comes up fairly frequently there.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 11:41PM
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Phosphoric acid. Follow indications on the label. You can also go to and order their grout haze remover, which is the product mentioned by Susan in Tx.

It WILL come off, but the installer should've entirely avoided the situation to begin with.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Here's my story: I tiled the bathtub surround with a lightly glazed, fairly textured tile. Even though I wiped and wiped the grout off the surface of the tiles, I was left the next day with a LOT of residue, especially in the depressed areas. (i'm referring to the tile indentations, not my own depression from this mess). Anyway... I read ALL the online suggestions and I tried this instead: I used my SHARK handheld steam cleaner and sprayed steam directly on the tile, avoiding the grout lines, and concentrating on the textured areas. Then I wiped the tile with a MAGIC ERASER cleaning pad and then a damp towel. TA-DA! The magic eraser needed to be rinsed after cleaning each tile. Oh, my goodness! I'm SO relieved. You can buy the steamer at Target and the Magic Erasers at any grocery store. I hope this helps somebody ...

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 10:35AM
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Thank you all for in put on how to clean grout haze. The workman tiled my outdoor patio and then we had rain for a week and a 1/2. The grout got all over my limestone tiles. It had been over 2 weeks so I knew I had to do something as soon as possible and did not want to use acid or strong chemicals. After reading several articles on vinegar I looked in the cabinet and found a bottle. It worked. I had to scrub the tile several times, I have a floor shampooer so I put the vinegar on the floor and left it for a 1/2 hour then used the floor shampooer to remove the vinegar. I then took boiling hot water and poured it all over the floor and again used the floor shampooer. I had to do this 3 times but most of the the grout haze is gone. I will probably do this one more time but I saved my tiles with vinegar and a lot of work.
Thanks to everyone for telling me their story.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 9:28PM
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    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 9:31PM
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Why is remodeling such a nightmare?? Our contractor for our remodel, whoever he used for the floor / master bath tile did a HORRIBLE job. We comnplained and complained. Finally fired the contractor - he was only costing us money at this point. Hired another tile layer to come in and tear out what he could (all kitchen cabinets are in, appliances, etc., and just tore out the whole dining room, to the tune of $2000 out of our pocket - above what we already paid the contractor. Will have to live with the shower as is. But, this tile layer said use vinegar. Just started that, but seems to be working. If anyone is remodeling in Brevard FL and wants to know who NOT to hire, drop me an email, I will gladly tell you the name of our contractor - the worst!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 7:38AM
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I came across this thread when looking for a way to remove grout haze on the tile my husband and I just laid around the shower, and I wanted to pipe in and say using the drywall sanding sponge and washing afterword with the vinegar worked wonders! Super easy, though tedious, and fixed what could have otherwise been a nightmare. It isn't the first time I've laid tile so I'm not sure why I accidently left it such a mess, but sanding it and vinegaring it was a great solution.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 4:06PM
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Distilled vinager and water, in a bucket 1 part vinager and the rest warm water.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 3:17PM
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