Grouting gone wrong - any input tile folks or others?

tartanhabitSeptember 8, 2012

Well, not only do I have a wall tile that I'm not loving (white looks more yellowish now that it's up and grouted), I have a floor problem.

When I came home from work the guys had been grouting the floor and there was a massive clean up operation going on. My contractor told me that the delorean gray grout I was using stained the tile blue. He seemed to think the admix I had purchased was the problem. Anyway, there was much scrubbing and running around with buckets of water - the grout is out but the tile has lost some of its luster and now has subtle blue gray patches. It's a porcelain tile with some texture. When I wet the tile and compare it to a fresh uninstalled tile I can see what looks like a gray grout substance in some of the more textured parts of the installed tile.

What went wrong? How to fix? Is this fixable? Do I have to take the whole lot up and start again? Is the admix I purchased to blame? I got it from a local tile store, not Home Depot and my contractor is trying to question whether I bought the right thing but it clearly said 'admix for grouting' on the bottle.


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To my eye, Delorean Gray does have a bit of blue in it.

I'd call Custom's tech support line with the brand of admix you used, as well as any info you have regarding the tile. Most grouts are already modified, using another company's admix in addition? It could have created problems. Or not. Even if it was a Custom admix, I don't believe they recommend adding admix to their already modified grouts, it's pretty much just for their saltillo grout which is a different from their regular grouts.

Custom does have caveat in their installation or whatever literature, essentially warning that using colored grouts on rough or textured tile may cause staining. They recommend a sealer prior to grouting.

You can also ask them about how to remove the residue.

Custom Building Products
Customer Support

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FWIW (not much, I admit), if I have a textured tile and a contrasting color grout, I'll sometimes use a grout bag instead of a grout float to place the grout.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Sealing textured tile before grouting is a "best practice". I'm also not that fond of some textured tile for flooring use as it will do the same "grab" with dirt and be really hard to clean.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 3:16PM
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You won't EVER see me seal porcelain. Not deliberately. You also won't see me use any kind of admix, being that almost all grouts these days are ALREADY modified, and mixing polymers could cause trouble (as you may be seeing now). As for gettin rid of the stains on the tile, look for a product from Hydroment called Remove. I had the very same problem several years ago, using a navy blue grout with a white tile. It stained everything, including the tile, baseboard, wood door trim, etc.. That Remove took it ALL off.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Oh my, there's hope! I'm going to hunt down Remove and talk to my contractor about adding Admix to the grout in the first place.

Bill, given this circumstance, would you still be against using a sealer on porcelain?

Thanks for your input all.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:16PM
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Mongoct - I did just check and it is Custom polyblend from HD that says on the packaging, mix with water. Why would my contractor use Admix then? I wish I did not have to get so involved in this issue as a homeowner, but wanting the best possible resolution for this, I guess I'm going to learn more than I ever wanted to know about grout problems! The admix was Garland White & co if that makes any difference.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Bill, given this circumstance, would you still be against using a sealer on porcelain?

not on a bet.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:01PM
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