How does grout colorant work? look? feel? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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11-25-2006, 09:50 PM
the grout bug finely hit me. i had great success with prism grout (now apparently discontinued), and some success with custom polyblend (not entirely thrilled - but it worked okay). for my latest project i had the opportunity to use mapei kericolor and the results aren't pleasing.

in short i ended up with the dreaded grey splotchy, uneven colored grout that so many others have posted about on the forums. at first i thought it was a curing issue, but i gave it a good week to cure/dry and the uneven color is still apparent. excessive water wasn't used during the clean up - so i'm not sure what caused the problem.

there are many posts about potential causes, so i don't want to rehash them here. right now, i am interested in potential fixes and want to explore grout colorant, dye, stain, etc.

my questions about these products:

1. are all these products the same (i.e. stain, epoxy, etc)?

2. what is the finish like on these colorants? do they look "plastic" like as if the grout lines were simply painted?

3. do these solutions soak into the grout or is it just a surface treatment?

4. how much like real grout does the end product appear?

5. how much like real grout does the end product feel like?

6. how difficult is it to apply these products properly?

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11-25-2006, 10:12 PM
Before using the colorant, try to fix your grout first. It could be as easy as washing it with vinegar (give it a few minutes with a little scrubbing) and rinsing. I've used colorant a couple times and never really liked the way it turned out. The joint looked painted to me. :)

11-25-2006, 11:01 PM
i was just reading the website. this is what they say about their product:

"Our system, will leave your grout texture looking natural not painted. "


"These products will not look like paint ; They dry to a matt finish while leaving your grout with it's natural texture. Our grout stain colorant formulae dries fast and is ready for traffic the same day. And it also seals your grout at the same time."

this simply sounds too good to be true.

11-26-2006, 08:17 AM
I've never used that brand, it may be great, don't know. Tile should be long lasting, 50 years or more. I can't see any stain or colorant lasting that long and would probably need to be maintained. I would still work on my original grout, may be less work unless it's in real bad shape.

Have you tried the vinegar wash yet?

Rob Z
11-26-2006, 08:49 AM
I agree with Davy. I would use vinegar or sulphamic acid first.

If you do try to color the grout, I can recommend Aqua Mix Grout Colorant. It is a PITA to use, but it does work and looks good.

11-28-2006, 09:05 PM
i've gotten around to doing the acid wash and things are looking better. however, the grout still looks splotchy and too white. i'll live with it for the time being and see if it works out.

however, i am still interested in hearing about grout colorant. it seems like a great idea - if the quality of the finished product is acceptable.

11-28-2006, 10:33 PM
We used grout colorant for a prior project - it worked pretty well. It seems a little more "painted" than normal grout, but the sanded texture of the grout still shows through. It has held up pretty well, with some small worn spots on the floor of a shower that is used twice a day. In the long run the shower will be used very rarely so we were willing to accept a little touch-up here and there, but I don't think I would recommend it for daily use.

Application and cleanup wasn't too bad with glass mosaic tile, but I'm not sure how it would be with less-sealed tile.