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Old 11-09-2010, 08:39 PM   #1
Apollo
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White Epoxy Grout Turning Yellow

Today I stopped by a previous job at the request of homeowner because she said that her white grout was turning yellow. Much to my suprise she wasn't kidding...Basically all the areas that get hit with water have gotten a dingy yellow look to it. It is a tub shower done with Kerdi and finished with Laticrete Spectra Lock Bright white grout. I know that it's white grout, but the shower is only 6 months old and got a yellow dingy look to it. All of the areas that don't get hit with water are just as nice as when it was installed, it's just the areas that get hit with water. I was wondering if anybody has had the same problem?

Here are some things that I think might be contributing to the problem, but I'm not sure.

She has been using a tile cleaning "product" (like Tilex) to clean the shower with. Would using a cleaner like this leave the grout looking this way?

The house was built in 1930's and has old cast iron plumbing, could there be calcium or other minerals built up in the pipes that could causing it to change color.

She is on public water which has a quite a bit of chlorine added to it. It is also nortoriously "hard" water.

I tried to hit it with 50/50 water & vinegar solution but it didn't do anything. Anybody know what might be causing it or have a solution to brighten it up. My next idea would be to hit it with a little sulfamic acid to eat the top layer off, but I have never tried it with epoxy grout.

I have attached a picture to get an idea of what it looks like.

P.S. - The flash over exagerates the yellow in it, plus the tiles are actually white, not yellow, but you can kind of see how it turns from white at the top to yellow near the bottom.

P.P.S - Gotta love the teal paint!
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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Shane, have you contacted your Laticrete rep about the problem?
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:56 PM   #3
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Not yet, just thought I would check the boards first to see if anybody had seen the problem before.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:20 PM   #4
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The rep would be my first stop.

I think it's been mentioned here in past, but I can't find it.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:26 PM   #5
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Can't really be of any help as to why... but....

Shop I used to sub for had the same problems with Spectralock Bright White yellowing. This was 5 years or so ago. They stopped using that particular color because of it but resumed using it 3 years ago and haven't seen the same problems.

The jobs in question were not mine so I never looked into it further, but yes, its has happened to others.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:27 PM   #6
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I guess my next step would be to find out who the rep is. I tried to find it on Laticrete's website, but to no avail. The only place that carries Laticrete within 100 miles of me is Lowe's so I don't know how helpful they would be in finding out that information. Does anybody from Washington know how to get in contact with our local rep?
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:30 PM   #7
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Looks like this problems was touched, though briefly, in the Spectralock thread.

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...low#post922277
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:33 PM   #8
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info. I will give them a call tomorrow and see what information I can get out of them. If they give me any answers, I will update you guys.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:19 PM   #10
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Epoxy wont stain

that can not be from properly installed epoxy grout, epoxy grout will not stain. It can be a combo of using a cleaner and the ph balance in the water but its not the grout if it was properly installed. Call the manufacturer of the grout and ask them they always know this, they work with it more than anybody here im sure.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:20 PM   #11
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what cleaning methods have you used to try to remove the discoloration?
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:37 PM   #12
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Welcome, Chris.

If you're in the tile trades, stop by the Professionals' Hangout and start an introductory thread, tell us a bit about what you do and get acquainted with some of the other pros.
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epoxy grout will not stain
Don't think Shane indicated any sort of stain, Chris, rather that the grout has discolored. Different issue, I think.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Epoxy wont stain
Gotta be careful with that one too..Epoxy will stain..It's just hard to stain.

Yellowing in Epoxy is the number 1 issue with Epoxy..usually has to do with U/V or too much hardener..Neither of these are likely candidates in this scenario. I would contact your Laticrete rep..They will be as interested as you in finding the cause
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:09 PM   #14
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Chris...as mentioned before I just tested a small area with a 50/50 water vinegar solution with no success. I don't want to try to do anything else until someone from Laticrete comes to look at it or let's me know what to do.

Plus, it's not a blotchy type staining, it's more of a uniform discoloring like CX was saying, just in all the wet areas.

I left a message with Laticrete support, (as it's Saturday). Hopefully they will get back to me Monday.

Here is a picture that I took just after installing it and here is a another picture of the yellowing I took the other day.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:06 AM   #15
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I just talked with Technical support, but he didn't have any answers to why it was doing it. His solution was to scrub it with Soft scrub with bleach and a nylon scrub pad and if that didn't work, he was going to send me grout colorant. It sure would be nice to know why though. He said that the only time he's seen it is when there is a lot of U/V light hitting the surface like Trask said, but this shower doesn't get any sunlight to it very often.
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