Huge grout problem [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-29-2003, 10:15 AM
I've grouted hundreds of jobs and never quite had anything like this happen.

It seems that the grout lost nearly ALL of its pigment after it dried.

I was using a typical grout color - haystack - but I can't remember the brand name.

Where I first started the job turned out pretty close to what I'd expect the color to be, but after only 20 feet of 'normal' coloring the other 250 or so turned victorian whitish.

The same bag of grout was used throughout, as was the same water source, float, and sponges. I also used the same technique of rough and finish washing on the first 20 feet that I did on the last 250.

I've never had this happen before. On occassion, using TEC grout I've had a few spots that were somewhat discolored, but not very noticeable. This job doesn't even have 'spots', it is ALL the same color.

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05-29-2003, 10:23 AM
Just to clarify-
-the water I used to wash the floor was changed many times
-clean water used in the mixes
-each mix was nearly the same consistency
-the thinset I used was white, but any joints that needed it were scraped, so thinset bleeding through is highly unlikely.
-the tile used was a thin ceramic, about half the thickness of your typical floor tile.
-the floor was set for a week prior to grouting it.

Any suggestions, solutions, or comments as to how this happened and how it may be fixed short of scraping it are most welcome.

Bill Vincent
05-29-2003, 12:21 PM
By any chance is part of the floor over radiant heat, or in direct sunlight?

05-29-2003, 03:10 PM
You think that running a kerosene 'jet engine' heater in an adjoining room would cause that problem? That thing puts out 45k BTU I think.

The heat itself is not hooked up in the house.

And sunlight isn't a factor.

I never considered heating....

05-29-2003, 04:32 PM
I've used Haystack grout before and had a similar issue. Regardless of how dry I mixed it, it seemed to dry lighter than expected.

I was able to use to grout / haze remover to take off some of the white layer but it still never really looked like the bag

Scratch through the surface of the grout and see if it is a different color underneath


Bill Vincent
05-29-2003, 05:17 PM
That's all well and good, but the question I have is why it turned out right on part of the floor, and not on the rest, which is why I was looking to see if there was some kind of localized influence, being that the grout batch, water, method of washing and water content were all atleast semi constant.

"Darth"-- where was that heater in relation to where the grout came out right?

05-29-2003, 06:08 PM
The part that came out mostly correct was in a laundry room furthest away from any heat source. Once you got out into the hallway, the discoloring began. Once you got into the kitchen, the game was over.

The kerosene heater was in the room right next to the kitchen and furthest away from the laundry room.

I think you may have put a solid finger on the problem.

05-29-2003, 06:13 PM
Now how to fix it?

Scratching the surface lead to the same incorrect color underneath.

I noticed that if I scratched the surface, put unmixed grout on, and scrubbed it with a wet sponge, SOME color would appear when it dried. Unfortunately, it's nearly the same thing as scraping it all out and starting all over.

Just fyi, my attempt to fix it with the dry grout was done when there was no heat source.


05-29-2003, 06:25 PM
Grout Stain to fix. you should be able to find the exact color you need...wipe on wipe off the stain will only absorb into the porous grout and not the tile..(that is as long as the tile is not too porous).

It stains and will also act as a sealer too..If you do it while the grout is new it works quite nicely..after the grout gets soiled it won't work very well though since the stain will not get absorbed nearly as good.

Here ya go.

And Customs "haystack" is available also

Then again if you don't like this choice the only other alternative I know of would require grout removal.

What caused it to happen...who knows..maybe you did not have to scrub or wash the grout as much when you stated cuase it did not bite into the tile yet but then you had to do more wiping so it took the pigment out...Customs never was my first choice for keeping it's wipe too many and the color does seem to just get easily wiped out.

John Bridge
05-29-2003, 06:47 PM
I use Haystack frequently. It's made by Custom and sold at Home Depot, as well as at many tile supply stores. We all have discoloation once in a while, but I've never heard of it going white (except on the surface). Grout stain sounds like the answer, though.