Mapei grout problem...help please!! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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DeniseW
03-06-2005, 06:28 PM
We have used Mapei Chamois grout, the color pre mixed in the bag already. Well, it is drying w/ a whitish color in some places. If you take your finger and wet it, it goes back to proper color. I have tried the tech line but of course it's sunday and no one is there :( Does anyone have any suggestions? My husband didn't want this tile in the first place so I am praying it's a minor thing...please help me!

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Davestone
03-06-2005, 06:29 PM
I've had Mapei actually turn yellow the next day, but a good cleanung and it turned out fine. :)

DeniseW
03-06-2005, 06:44 PM
what did you clean it with? I am reading it may be we used too much water in the wipe downs.

Davestone
03-06-2005, 06:48 PM
I used sure-clean,but H.D. and lowes sell a haze and latex remover.Also a 50/50 white vinegar and water works well.I'm sure it's o.k., unless you mixed it too wet or flooded it wiping it,i'd wait a day, then clean it,you'll be fine,you could always use an enhancing sealer to darken it, if you have to. :)

doitright
03-06-2005, 06:52 PM
Hi Denise, Welcome! :)

What Dave said.

Do you have any grout haze on your tiles? :shades:

DeniseW
03-06-2005, 06:56 PM
No we have no haze on the tile itself, just in various places the Chamois(medium brown) grout is quite white looking in some places after letting it sit (lemme see...5 hours later). So what is the most preferred solution? Acid wash or sealer colorant? We don't have the entire floor grouted yet, should we just finish it up...and do the colorant/sealer or acid wash all at same time?

doitright
03-06-2005, 07:34 PM
Hi Denise :)

Yes, complete grouting the floor. Try to mix small manageable batches. Also try to keep the consistency the same for each batch.

DeniseW
03-06-2005, 07:38 PM
yup, that is what hubby did. Mixed a smaller batch. From what I am finding on the internet, I think we used to much water in the wipe down. So now it's a matter of figuring out which is best....color sealant or acid wash.

jdm
03-06-2005, 08:37 PM
Try the 50:50 vinegar wash first. You can always go on to colorant if you're not satisfied.

DeniseW
03-06-2005, 08:46 PM
ah yes, I read about this. I read that someone had the grout turn lighter w/ that treatment .... what would cause this..sunlight? Hubby is tempted to just pull whatever he has done out and restart. He has about a third of the 170sqft done.

doitright
03-06-2005, 08:52 PM
Hi Denise :)

He better get on it if that's the route he's going to take. I never heard of vinegar & water yellowing the grout. Maybe I misunderstood the comment?

Personally, I would try the vinegar & water 1st. That's just me.

jdm
03-06-2005, 08:54 PM
Typically what happens is that with a little too much water you wash out some of the colorant in the grout leaving a thin film of whitish-gray cement on top of the correctly colored grout. The acetic acid in the vinegar actually dissolves the cement in the top bit of the grout and exposes the color you want.

DeniseW
03-06-2005, 09:04 PM
hmm well we might as well try the vinegar route b/c he can always choose to use a colored sealant if the vinegar doesn't work, correct?

doitright
03-06-2005, 09:07 PM
Yep, or still gouge it out.

DeniseW
03-08-2005, 07:41 AM
alright, hubby used less water in the wipe down (he didn't really use a whole lot in the first place but he REALLY watched it this time)and the rest of the room turned out just fine. So my next question is ...should we use the color sealant over the ENTIRE floor or just the effected area? Will there be a noticeable consistency difference? We haven't tried the vinegar yet, we wanted to make sure the grout had dried totally.

doitright
03-08-2005, 03:32 PM
Hi Denise :)

Let's not jump the gun here. Try the vinegar cleaning first. (Baby steps!) :nod:

Rhode Island Flooring
03-08-2005, 03:40 PM
make sure you always wipe in a diagnal across the tiles. or you dig out the grout. wipe once about 4 feet then flip, rinse sqweeze.!! :) repeat Ive never used a coloring agent but I do waite around 10 - 15 days and then seal it with some impregnator 511. jus follow all directions. You know grout is funny and meticulous in a way, right down to mixing speed. It takes a few days!!

DeniseW
03-08-2005, 04:20 PM
I tried the vinegar...no go. It helped SOME..but not totally. I don't know if I should keep doing it or just go to the color sealant. This is quite discouraging. :cry:

doitright
03-08-2005, 04:25 PM
Hi Denise :)

Did you agitate with stiff brush?

As a last resort, try full strength. Dampen the joint with water first, and rinse well afterwards. You should see some fizzing during the cleaning process.

gwalton
03-08-2005, 05:08 PM
I had the same problem but the grout never recovered. The color was suppose to be Mocha....most areas were gray! I didn't do a good job mixing the large bags of grout and didn't know the color would fade. The vingar solution did nothing but make it worse. I bought dye from the Grout Dye company (online) and it appears to work well. It does have a painted on appearence but you can't tell unless you get really close. Also, their mocha is more like stone gray. But it looks much better than the multi-tone of the original grout. If you order from them.....tell them you are in a hurry and rush the shipment. The 5 days they promise turned in to 2 weeks.

DeniseW
03-08-2005, 09:50 PM
i was under the assumption I could go to Lowes and get this stuff. I thought I read where I could find it there...am I wrong? I tried 3/4 vinegar and 1/4 water and used a stiff brush...no fizzing that I could see. You CAN see a bit of a diff but I'd say it's a 50% improvement...not sure if I should keep it up or not?

Mike2
03-08-2005, 10:14 PM
Sounds like it's working so keep it up Denise. Go with full strength vinegar as John suggested, let it dwel for 5 minutes then hit it with a brush.

DeniseW
03-09-2005, 08:54 AM
am having to do quite a lot of scrubbing for minimal results, am wondering if the colorant wouldn't be a quicker way to solve my problems? My bathroom is starting to smell like easter eggs! :idea:

doitright
03-09-2005, 09:18 AM
Hi Denise :)

If that's what you need to do, then let's move on. :nod:

Before you proceed with grout colorant or stain, make sure the rest of the grout is nice and clean (necessary for a good bond).

You may want to go over the vinegar treated area with a 1:4 solution of clear ammonia and water to neutralize the grout 1st.

DeniseW
03-09-2005, 09:34 AM
*laugh* before I move on, do you think I'm giving up too easily? I've read there is an acid to use too...Honestly, it's taken us so long to get this bathroom done, I just want this floor to be complete so we can get the toilet, vanity (laundry room connected) and washer and dryer upstairs! My husband isn't happy w/ me b/c I am the one that wanted the tile(he wanted to do linoleum or laminant flooring) and I just want to get this fixed so I can feel better about making him install it! :bow:

gwalton
03-09-2005, 11:17 AM
I was in the same situation...... I was tired of using vingar and getting NO good results. I just wanted to get done with the project. These folk like the vingar solution but I think it only works in certain situations. I know it didn't work for me (bad mixture). I was told you could purchase the grout dye (actually paint) at lowes, however if they have it....it is special order only. I used the dye (grout dye company) two days ago and there has been no fading....it has actually gotten darker. It is also very consistant in color, the dark areas and light areas now finally match.

DeniseW
03-09-2005, 01:57 PM
cool, when you ordered it, how many days did it take to come in? I am going to try one more suggestion that Home Depot had...(some acide that is made for this problem..sulfamic or something of that sort) and then I'm going to resort to ordering the colorant. Did you order something that was close to your color or did you order something way darker?

gwalton
03-09-2005, 05:06 PM
It took 2.5 weeks for the order to arrive. They say 5 days......don't believe it! I'm not sure if it is the best product available but it does work. We'll see how it wears. The color was not close to the Mocha that I bought from lowes. It has a toupe (spelling?) look to it. Similar to the Bone Mapei.....I believe it was one of the darkest colors available. But.....even though it is lighter than my wife preferred it looks much better than the grout...... I'm just happy I'm done with it! There was one more site.....if you have internet access search through Google for 'Grout Dye'. I believe there were a few sites that offered non-mixing , ready-to-use dyes. The Grout Dye Company is the one I used.

mrjetskey
03-09-2005, 05:23 PM
Why not just dampen the grout if you put it on yesterday and using a stiff brush to get just enough grout out of the bad spot to re-grout correctly like the rest of your floor turned out.ps if you wait too long it is tough to get grout out.but you only need to remove say a 1/16"of it in depth then regrout with properly mixed grout.after all only the top of the grout shows!!JUst an idea that worked for us once(first time we tiled also,too much wiping too quick)

gwalton
03-10-2005, 10:54 AM
That’s definitely the correct way to address a small area. For me, I had 215 sq. ft. of flooring, out of that about 1/3 of the grout faded. By the time I scrubbed it with vinegar multiple times the last thing I was going to do was start removing grout. I don’t understand why folks are so against using dye. It works really well. I’m sure it will eventually fade/discolor as well…..when that happens repaint it. It is much easier than trying to remove grout, especially for part-timers with kids! I guess there are traditionalists out there……

DeniseW
03-10-2005, 11:19 AM
well, this area is 175sq ft, 1/3 of which is having the grout issue. The other 2/3 is fine..as we made sure we used a very very tiny amount of water(to which I still think is crazy, the sponge was more dry than it was wet). I am trying the sulfamic acid that was recommended on another site as well as the HD people. I asked the person at Lowe's and he had NO idea what I was talking about. He had never heard of the problem or the acid I was looking for OR the color sealant :bang: I am praying this acid works(sulfamic is the name). I also read on another site that vinegar is a big no no in their eyes. I guess everyone has their own methods...I just hope ONE works for me! :idea:

cdahl
03-10-2005, 12:09 PM
Denise, A sulfamic acid cleaner should remove the white film on your grout(which sounds like efflorescence). If you are having a hard time, call MAPEI at 1-800-42-MAPEI and ask for me.

Craig Dahl

DeniseW
03-10-2005, 02:13 PM
so you work for Mapei cdahl? I have one question. The acid says to wait 10 days to use, can you tell me why this is beneficial? I would think the sooner I can get that layer off the better.

cdahl
03-10-2005, 03:39 PM
Yes I do.

If you would put too much on the grout, and it penetrated, you could interfere with the proper curing of the grout. But if you are careful you could do it now. Use the cleaner sparingly, and be sure rinse well with water when you're done.

It would not hurt to wait though. Your white haze on the grout is likely just a collection of salts from the grout curing. Efflorescence is the devil!

Craig

DeniseW
03-11-2005, 08:05 PM
ok so, I tried using this glyclic acid (or something spelled close to that...it was found next to the sulfamic acid so I bought both..the HD people said it was nearly the same thing?) and it is working some but not totally. I am finding when I use it...I get a film of slimey stuff that remains after I scrub but I am able to wipe it up w/ towel and rinse. Is this the stuff that is coming from the efflouresence? Also, in some places it looks heavier..is this b/c the acid is bringing it up but I am not rinsing it well enough? Some places looks better...some not at all. I was told this works just as well as sulfamic acid...maybe it doesnt?

zachs dad
01-08-2008, 11:40 AM
I believe I'm in the same situation, in that my beige sanded grout turned white after drying. I'm fairly certain I used too much water in the wipe down. However, now that I see the white grout, it doesn't bother me. Is the appearance the only issue? Am I asking for trouble if I go ahead and seal the grout without trying to restore its true color?

doitright
01-08-2008, 10:42 PM
Hi Zachs Dad :)

In situations like this, we normally like you to start a fresh thread.

I answer to your question, I would first try scratching the grout with your fingernail. If it is soft, I would replace it. If the grout passes that TEST, I would dampen the grout with water and see how it darkens. If it looks consistent you could go ahead and seal after it drys.

From what you are describing, I'd be concerned that too much latex is on the surface.

zachs dad
01-09-2008, 06:53 AM
Thanks much, John. I apologize for the newbie mistake.

The grout seems solid and the color looks consistent (full intensity of original grout color) when wet.

I assume when the sealer goes on, it will make the grout color reappear, but then go back to white once it dries? I guess my next step is to test it in an inconspicuous area.

Great forum, by the way. Glad I found it.

doitright
01-09-2008, 07:34 AM
Hi Zachs Dad :)

:tup2:

jessfretty
09-22-2009, 01:11 PM
My husband and I completed a couple of tiling projects in our home using "chamois" colored powder grout. The first time, it came out hazy, which we figure is due to over washing. The second project using the same color grout came out uniformally darker than the first project except the color didn't match "chamois" it looked more like "malt", which now clashes with our color scheme. We decided to go with plan B and order a colorant from aquamix.com and stain the grout. But to make sure I knew what color it was supposed to be, I went to Lowe's where I originially purchased the tile and grout and looked at their grouted sample display of the tile we purchased. Their display using "chamois" grout also looks more like "Malt". The person working in that department thought so too. And it clashed with the color scheme that it was meant for as well. So, if I order "chamois" colorant, how do I know that I'm getting the color on the official Mapei Color Palette? Right now, even the word "grout" makes me mad. I need a solution to this problem. Any suggestions?

Brian in San Diego
09-22-2009, 07:29 PM
Jessica,

It's a good idea to make a test board of any grout prior to putting in on a floor if the shade variation is enough to "clash with the color scheme" you have planned. At around 10 bucks a box it's a rather inexpensive investment for something you are going to have to live with for a long period of time.

Brian