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Help--shower tile covered with grout

Posted by lisalm (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 11, 14 at 17:49

I am so bummed--I have a cheap shower drop-in in my master bathroom, and I tried to have it jazzed up a little by having mosaic tile done all around it. The tile I picked is beautiful--sheets of rectangular tiles that are a mix of green and brown glass tile and lighter stone pieces that may be travertine. The guy who installed it did a decent job (far from perfect, but not bad). However, when he grouted, he clearly screwed up--I think he didn't wipe the grout soon enough, and ¾ of the tile was completely coated with grout. He used the pre-mixed kind, and it was supposed to be unsanded but it was a gritty mess. He tried to tell me that this happens with "porous" stones, but he was completely full of it--this was his error. He said he would try to take care of it, and I thought he had, but when I looked more closely after he left, it was a mess still. I have scrubbed with a nylon brush and water and vinegar solution. It helped some but not too much. What seems to be working is rubbing it with a soft sandpaper block. However, my hands and wrists are killing me, and it still looks rather filmy in spots and downright coated in others.

I thought about trying to use a grout film remover, but I read the label carefully, and it said not for use with natural stone (just ceramic tile).

Any idea what I can do? I almost wonder if a power sander/buffer would work (not that I have one of those).

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help--shower tile covered with grout

I don't use premixed grout, so I have zero first-hand experience.

If you know the manufacturer, call their tech support, or go to their web pages. The "technical documents" for the grout used will usually have cleanup information.

If you have a steam generator/machine you could try that. Steam should soften the film and it might make it easier to remove.

RE: Help--shower tile covered with grout

I found the best thing to remove dried on grout is a plastic rectangular scouring pad. You know the kind you buy from the grocery store. Mine are made from recycled beverage containers, so I assume that means plastic. The label on mine said test in an inconspicuous place, and not to be used on highly polished surfaces. I'm not sure about your glass tiles, are they not getting scratched from the sandpaper? On my unglazed porcelain tiles, the colour from the scouring pad actually comes off on my tile, at first I panicked, but that colour washes off quite easily. I figured out through trial and error, that if I saw the colour on the tile, that meant there was still some grout present (guess the fibres are being caught by the sanded grout), if there is no colour, all the grout is gone. My grout is a very similar colour to my tile, so not always easy to tell if there's any there.

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