Grout color much lighter then sample. Dye or ?

caflowerluverNovember 7, 2006

Just finished grouting all the tile in our kitchen and breakfast room (25x10). It is much lighter then the sample we picked it from, which was a perfect match to the tile. It is HD Polyblend sanded grout. Which would be better to darken the grout, dye or a sealer enhancer? What brand names do you recommend?



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You could try the enhancer in an out of the way area or corner. If that doesn't darken it up sufficiently, go with Aquamix's grout colorant. Of all of them out there, it's the best AND easiest to use that you'll find.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 7:56AM
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Bill - Thanks. Any brand of sealer enhancer or is there one that works best with this kind of grout? And this is with porcelain tile. Will it effect the tile color if some accidently got on it?
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 10:04AM
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I would definitely go with the Aquamix enhancer. By rights, you're not supposed to go over sealed grout with the colorant, which is why I said to try the enhancer in an out of the way corner. But using the Aquamix brand will give you more of a chance of the two being compatable. I DO believe that Aquamix says you can use the colorant over some of their sealers. You may want to contact them to find out for sure, or as I initially suggested, just do a small area in an out of the way spot, so if the enhancer doesn't darken the grout anough and you want to use the colorant, and the colorant has a hard time bonding, it won't be seen.

Didja get all that? :-)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 8:07PM
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Bill - Got it! Thanks! We picked up some sealer enhancer at HD. We had some left over grout, which we made into a sample piece, to try it on first. I will check it out in the morning to see how dark it makes it. Following your instructions, we can always dye it then seal it. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 12:33AM
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Actually, using the colorant also permanently seals the grout, as well.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 8:07AM
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Bill - Thanks again. I am using the vinegar solution to clean it first after reading about it on the John Bridge tile forum. It is removing a slight white haze, not much of a color difference but there is some. Then we will use the sealer enhancer and live with it. Life is too short!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 6:07PM
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Make sure you wait atleast 24 hours to make sure it dries completely before sealing.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 8:50PM
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Bill - Just a follow up. Yes, we waited the 24 hours. The Sealer Enhancer did nothing to change the color. If anything it looks more mottled, spotted or blotched with different shades and colors.

I know it is too late to ask, but is HD Polyblend bad grout? Should we have got a more expensive brand of grout from a tile store?

I hate to think of taking out this grout and regrouting but don't know what else to do. DH decided he did want to "paint" it with a colorant. Is there a real dye that penetrates and not just sits on the surface?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 4:43PM
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I know of many installers who've had problems with Custom's grouts. I'm one of em, and up until about 2 years ago, the only way I'd have used Custom's grouts was kicking and screaming, and without a warranty against shading and mottling. But in the last couple of years, they've done something to their grouts to improve them. I don't know if they just tightened up their QC or if they changed the manufacturing process, but yours is the first problem I've heard like this in quite some time now. You might think about getting a Custom Building Products rep in to take a look at it.

As for the colorant, Aquamix DOES sit on the surface, but I'm telling you-- this stuff is tough as nails. It's actually epoxy based, and it'll last just as long as the floor itself.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 5:04PM
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Bill - Thanks. I don't know what we will do. It was looking good until the grout got messed up.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 6:13PM
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Finally got a response to my email. They said to use Polyblend Grout Renew. They said you can use Polyblend Grout Renew to stain the grout to a uniform color.

Anyone ever use this product? I know we will have to remove the sealer first. It would have been nice if they had got back to us sooner before we had applied the sealer.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 3:22PM
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To tell you the truth, I've never even heard of it, but I don't deal with Custom's product line too much. I'm not a big fan of Custom's. :-)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 5:38PM
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Bill - To tell you the truth, after what happened, neither am I!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:15PM
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I just tiled two rooms this weekend. My bathroom, I used #35 Chapparal (beige) and Natural Grey in the utility room. I had 1/4" grout lines in both, so I chose HD's Sanded Polyblend. They've both cured for approximately 24 hours and consist of different shades too. Each room used one batch and we squeezed as much water out of the sponges as possible.

I'm not sure what caused this, but I've been reading the forums looking for solutions. I guess I'll try the 50% vinegar and 50% water trick, but I'm afraid to use any other methods, nor do I wish to invest any more time. Who knows, if I were to try regrouting, the results could be the same.

Is there a "wet look" sealer in the market that could give it consistency?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 12:07PM
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You might give it a little more time to let it dry out completely. It'll take atleast 72 hours to dry out, and I have a feeling you may see a difference.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 4:57PM
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I'm having the same trouble...grout should have been dark grey, which was perfect when wet but when dried it looks white. Contractor told me to use a stain but I'm afraid I'll mess it up worse. Has anyone used a grout sealer enhancer that actually worked by maintaining the "wet look" of the grout?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 2:02PM
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Enrich N seal. Test it first in an inconspicuous area.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 6:46AM
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We had the same problem...bought HD's polyblend colored grout (dark brown) and put it down and after it dried, looks like light gray. I tried scrubbing it, using the Tile Lab sulfamic acid, still dries light gray. When I wet it, it turns back to the dark brown...when it dries, looks light gray. Someone had said, not to expect it to look like it does when it is wet, only to expect what the dry powder looked like before mixed...NOT even close to what the powder was. The powder looked like cocoa and this is light gray/whiteish. AAAHHH...HELP!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 11:26AM
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If you like the way it looks wet, a color enhancing sealer may be just the ticket.

Like all the earlier posts said, try it in an out of the way spot first.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 2:40AM
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In response to the post above, I have used Polyblend Grout Renew in my kitchen and in my bathroom. The former was done about 3 years ago and still looks fabulous. When it gets dirty I use Clorox Cleanup Spray - let it sit for about 60 seconds then wipe with a damp sponge. I do this about twice per year and it has never faded and when I'm done it looks like brand new. I love the stuff. I used the sandstone color in the kitchen and the clorox cleanup doesn't seem to take the color out of the sealer. I just did one bathroom with Antique White and it looks awesome and I'm sure I can expect the same durability as my kitchen especially since there is less wear and tear in this bathroom. I am now in the process of doing our Master Bath in Bone. I love the product and can't say enough about it. I apply it with a child's toothbrush or I've also used a thin chip paint brush for wider grout lines of about 1/2"..seems to work well. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:05PM
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I just had the same problem in my project using Custom's Polyblend Natural Gray. I made a test batch, let it sit for 2 days, and the color looks great. When I did the actual job, the color is easily two shades lighter everywhere.

I am not sure why, but it appears that the technique has a lot to do with it. I've been now told that wiping too much while its wet (even with a pretty dry sponge) can lead to this. My test case was applied and briefly wiped once, where I wiped my actual job a few times while it was wet to clean it up nice before it dried.

I guess I will try the Acid wash as well to ensure its not Efflorescence. Otherwise, I plan to try to the Polyblend Grout Renew as well. It supposedly comes in every color, so it should hopefully get me back to the color I wanted.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 1:49PM
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I've just encountered the same problem. I was using light smoke #145, which is supposed to be a browny color, and it ended up a light grey. I'm guessing I wiped it too much during the clean up process - wish that was more clear in the instructions.

So I'm trying to find the Grout Renew in light smoke #145 but can't find it anywhere in my city - HD only caries 5 different colors of the renew but all of the colors of grout - go figure!

Does anyone know if you can buy Grout Renew online anywhere? or what other stores carry it? Did anyone else have problems finding their color of grout in the renew?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 12:20AM
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I don't know about the Grout Renew, but I know the Aquamix can be:

Here is a link that might be useful: Aquamix Grout Colorant

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 11:56AM
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What is it with Home Depot's brand of grout!?! We used two different light shades for our bathrooms and they looked great but when using it for our counter tops, entry hall and kitchen floor, it turned out terribly discolored, streaky and even white in some spots (used Light Smoke and Haystack).
Like "hurricane766" I'm trying to find Light Smoke renew but no luck so far.
Is it really about the procedure? (too much wiping, not dry enough sponge, etc.). I've done lots of grout and have never seen this happen (although in thinking back, I guess it was mostly light or off-white colors).

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 7:07PM
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A couple of comments. First, Custom grouts used to be the ONLY grouts I chronically had problems with color after completion. Whether it was too light, or mottling (different intensities of the grout throughout the joints), I could never get it right with Custom, and of course, according to their reps, it was all my fault. They changed something in their grouts about 4-5 years ago, and I've had no more problems from them. The second comment is that it could be due to a bunch of different things, from defect in the grout, to using too much water to mix (grout too thin), to using too much water on the grout when washing afterward-- those are the three most common, but there are many others, as well.

As for grout colorant, look in the following link for Mapei colors Mocha (for the Haystack)and Warm Grey (for the Light Smoke):

Here is a link that might be useful: Aquamix Grout Colorant

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 11:04PM
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I have the same problem (grout too light but darkens to correct color when wet). Are there any new developments in how to effectively treat this problem (with no or minimal risks of making it worse)? Grout is in the shower as well as other areas in the bathroom.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 1:41PM
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Having the same problem. Used Laticrete permacolor grout toasted almond-nice shade of medium tan. Tile Crossville strong series-color beige. Grout almost white!! Back to tile store. They called Laticrete. Gave them a piece of our tile and the box of grout as they wanted to test it. Returned 24+ hrs. later. It still looks almost white so nothing that DH did. Tile store gave us Aqua Mix Enhance N Seal as requested by Laticrete. Will try that this weekend. In the meantime we are returning the Laticrete permacolor-natural gray-that was bought for backsplash. Don't expect grout color to look exactly like sample stick/picture but should look close!!

The toasted almond is color at bottom of this chart.

This shows grout color looking so much lighter than expected and not what we wanted.

This shows how it looks when the tile and grout are wet-much closer to what we wanted.

This shows the test that they did at tile store. Blob of grout color on right is how it looks after drying for 24+ hrs. The left half shows how it looks with the Aqua Mix Enhance applied to it. It is a bit darker so we'll try this and keep our fingers crossed.

Any recommendations for brand of grout that will install close to sample sticks/pictures??

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:05AM
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damn wish I had read this before grouting...this is the second time I had tiled a floor and grouted both times with the Customs sold at HD. The color is inconsistent and I know we mixed the grout properly. I think when cleaning up we must have had too much water in the sponge. There is a caution on the custom's packaging saying do not have too wet of a sponge.

I spent so much time getting the tile down and it is not perfect but looks nice.

Should we clean using a 50/50 vinegar and water mix and then using one of the colorants mentioned here?

I was tempted to buy epoxy last night at Lowes and now wish I did but since I have not used that in the past I was worried about the learning curve.

Steve disappointed in NJ.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 10:31AM
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I have just had tile laid and have had the same problem with the grout, Sandstone, has now dried to 5 different shades, the lightest of which is almost white. The tile professionals I hired tried to use a grout enhanser, all that did was make the grout shiny light colored (they also dripped some on my cabinet and tile, which is now shiny, very bad), they will be fixing this problem but it will not be the same installers, I am going to the manager of installers with the hope that he will do it correctly.

So, I have now done some investigating and found out that I should try something by Custom Builders, after calling and talking with them, called "polyblend grout renew" which is a stain and sealer in one. I have hope that the grout will come out the color it is supposed to be otherwise I will just go with what I have, will be having new grout workers also.

My question is has anyone tried this grout renew and if so what were the results?

Thanks... Mari Upset and Shiny in TX

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 12:34PM
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I just finished with my first tile project and I have a wide variety of grout colors from HD #145 light smoke. Only a few places show the dark color that it is supposed to be, most of it is actually very very light gray. Anyone use the Grout Renew with success?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 6:29PM
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HD Polyblend 25 lb. #19 Pewter Sanded Grout didn't end up the nice dark pewter in the color swatch. (Why doesn't my HD provide actual samples of this stuff?!) Like others, wet, perfect match, dry, several shades lighter. However, no mottling or streaking here. It looks good, but I wanted my quartz tile and groiut to blend together, not the grout to frame the tile. Thx for the suggestions. I'll be stopping by the tile store on the way home.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 4:46PM
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I laid new porcelain tiles in March 2010, the grout color I selected was Tumbleweed but the color turned gray & white. It looked terrible & I was in a panic as to what to do. Of course the installer was not any help & said that it was the color I selected or the grout must have been old. Some of the grout got in the crevices of the tile & is the correct color so I do not know what went wrong. I researched on the computer & found C-Cure grout stain. I went to a local tile store & purchased C-Cure in Tumbleweed. You can not purchase this stain at Lowes or Home Depot only tile stores. This stain is assume!!! I stained the bathroom, hallway and kitchen floors & it matches the tile perfectly. I had not sealed the grouts lines so I did not have to worry about removing sealer. I stained the grout lines using a artist brush on my belly off & on for a few hours. It is very easy to apply & if you get some on your tile it just wipes off. If you miss some & it dries then all you have to do is scrap it off. I can not remember but I think this stain is not recommended for shower areas but I could be wrong. Oh, if you spill anything on the grout it just beads up & does not penetrate the grout. I would recommend this stain for any floor grout woes. After a year my floors still look like they were installed yesterday. Hope this helps anyone who is hesitant in applying stain because I can not give it enough praise.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 9:42AM
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Whew. I thought I was crazy until I found this thread. My kitchen tile was laid this past weekend, and I picked what I thought was a medium warm gray ("Quartz") from the grout selection sticks. Either the stick was aged and seriously off, or there was an issue with the Polyblend sanded grout itself, but it dried much lighter than I thought it would. In fact it ended up a delicate greyish shell PINK. Much lighter than the stick and definitely much pinker.

My DH was insisting it was the color I'd picked, but there's no way; the pink clashes with the warm peachy beige in the tile, and I know I wanted more contrast between tile and grout than I ended up getting.

It's fresh and unsealed, so I think I'll try applying Polyblend grout renew before we get the cabinets put in. Otherwise it will drive me bats.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 12:41PM
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Before I go and mess THIS up, does anyone have suggestions for successful use of Polyblend Color Renew?
1.) What is the easiest & fastest way to apply it while still ensuring full coverage.
2.) If I get it on the tile, will it stain that too? Do I have to wipe off immediately or will it not affect the tile at all?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 10:25PM
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I had the exact same problem. I did my own mosaic glass backsplash and used Polyblend unsanded grout in Earth. The color dried light greyish pink. I was given grout renew and it worked perfectly! I used a chip brush that was a little stifff from earlier use. I brushed it on about an 8 x8" section at one time and waited about 10 secs. then wiped it off with dampened paper towels (folded so they were flat). Kept doing this till paper towel was near clean. Took time but now my backsplash is beautiful. Remember glass tile is non-porous - if yours is not you'll have to adjust.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 1:09PM
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This seems to be a pretty common problem. I just finished tiling my bathroom and after 3 days, am not happy with the result of the grout colour. I used Polyblend sanded Bone #382 and it turned out a light cream colour as opposed to the medium beige colour sample on the box . I haven't sealed it yet and am going to try the PolyBlend Grout Renew in a few shades darker than Bone. I will post the results when finished.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 1:20PM
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Thank you for this post! So the Laticrete PermaColor Grout that I am planning to use dries lighter it looks like than the sample. I am trying to decide between Laticrete PermaColor Mushroom Versus their Antique White with my tiles and want the grout to be a little lighter than the Mushroom sticks. I love the Antique White but I wish it had a touch less yellow in it but maybe it does when it dries or it may dry too light.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 2:10PM
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I am getting ready to enhance the kitchen Backsplash with DuPont StoneTec Professional (rich color Enhancer Pro Sealer). I have NEVER done this and the guy would did our Backsplash said he never did either. So it's my job now I guess and wondering what are the steps I should take before I actually attempt this?
Our Backsplash is 3x6 subway tile with mosaic strip (approx 3x6 ) going down the middle. Can I enhance that also?

Here is a picture:

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 10:50PM
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