efflorescence???? or bad grout job [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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10-07-2006, 04:09 PM
We had our mud room professionally tiled and the grout looks terrible! :complain: See pictures below. After asking 3 different tile shops and reading some of the advice here, I am confused :confused: as to what happened.

The tile was grouted just 2 days ago, half over a slab, half over porcelin tile. The white splotches showed up as soon it dried and the tiler showed me this AFTER he had already sealed it. :wtf:

Being natural DIYers, we tried to 'fix' it. We sanded back some of the sealer(we think) and tried the vinegar mix. I think it lightened the white spots but it is still noticable. But now I am not even sure what I am trying to solve....minerals or just bad grouting?

Is there anyway to remove sealer? Can I stain over sealer? Help!!


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10-07-2006, 05:15 PM
Kelly, it is probably efflorescence since it has nowhere else to go but through the joint.You may be able to scrape the joint a little witha grout saw to open pigments, then clean with vinegar/water, and a small scrub brush.But be advised each time you add water to an efflorescence problem you cause more to come out,sometimes it's best to let it keep coming out for awhile then clean it.

10-07-2006, 06:09 PM
as far as i know but im sure their are other causes, efflorecense is cause by water softeners or a ph of 7 or greater. Im not sure we dont really run into it that often with the brand of grout we use.

10-08-2006, 06:03 PM
The vinegar worked somewhat, but I am thinking of getting a stronger product to remove the white blotches.....I have slightly sanded the sealer off...is there an easier way to remove sealer. I am assuming I need to remove sealer first?

Has any one used the TEC wet look sealer?

Kelly :shake:

10-08-2006, 06:26 PM
Efflorescence is cause by the migration of salts and minerals through mud products and stones as they dry and rewet.It can even cause spalling, and destruction of stones.You might try looking up the manuf. for a stripper that will work.You may not have to strip it if the sealer wasn't applied that heavy, or if you scrape the joint some.

10-08-2006, 06:37 PM
You need to give the grout time to cure before treating it for the efflorescence or it will just come back. Give it 3 weeks or so. When the time comes, if the vinegar solution doesn't work try sulfamic acid. It can be purchased in the tile section at HD. Follow directions to the T..