Polyblend Non-Sanded Grout driving me nuts! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-25-2004, 10:58 PM
I'm back with yet another question. It seems that everytime I use a non-sanded grout it wants to turn white in areas after grouting and drying out. This happened to the guys that I worked with before, and I believe that they used TEC non-sanded grout (not sure if that is right or not). Uba Tuba granite with charcoal non-sanded, both turned light to almost white in areas.
Anyways I just grouted a slate counter top with Delorean Gray Polyblend, because that is the color I was going to use on my marble floor and shower. You walk in at look at the counter top and it looks almost like I used white on half of it. How can I prevent this on the rest of the bathroom?
I used a sanded pewter on the bar floor at my house with no discolorization. I don't seem to have problems with sanded, but the rest of bathroom is marble so it seems that I have to play the lucky/unlucky game. This non-sanded seams to come out looking like half hell or close to complete hell. Any ideas here? I saw the vinegar, colorant, TYW stain ideas. We are talking almost 200 sq ft of tile by the time I grout the shower, pan and the floor along with including the countertop.
Another question that I have is what should I use to grout the outline base and the shower pan of my shower. I purchased some chaulk in the tube from custom blend to match the grout, but it said it should not be used on something that is submerged under water stressing shower pans or pools. I thought that I could use this for the floor corners and sides, but now I'm not sure. Can I use this and the same grout for the pan floor and sides/corners. What suggestions do you have for these areas?

I was going to add a pic, but I just misted the lines and now they look grey.

Thanks Bob

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08-26-2004, 12:12 AM
Use less water and cover the job with paper as soon as you can after cleaning to slow down the cure-rate. A fast cure and too much water (in the grout or used to clean ) will give you "white" joints. You want the grout to be stiff, like canned frosting, and you want to make sure to only use a damp sponge to clean up with. It if leaves a puddle, it's too wet.
Best of luck,

08-26-2004, 09:51 AM
Hi Bob. From my experience I sure agree with everything Shaughnn has said -- I'd underscore it all.

Like you, I have had this problem with Custom unsanded greys while at the same time no problems with sanded greys. Why, I have no idea other than it's a water thing. The good news is in each and every case where I've had surface discoloration, a vinegar wash afterwards has removed the white scum.

08-26-2004, 01:08 PM
I'd like to jump in here on bob's thread. (without hijacking it)
I am going to be grouting my bathroom soon ("soon" is relative, I guess) and just bought Mapei Unsanded grout for the shower walls in Ivory I believe, sounds white but is actually a beige/tan on the chart. I certainly don't want it to turn white on me. How would one go about covering up a vertical wall with paper as mentioned above. And would all advice above apply to a vertical wall also. I plan on 1/8 grout lines in shower, 3/16 outside the shower with sanded grout. sound OK?

Rd Tile
08-26-2004, 03:13 PM
Ken, no need for any paper or anything on the wall, you'll be fine.:)

09-12-2010, 01:53 PM
We are also having a really had time with our grout. We used Polyblend non sanded grout (natural gray) with slate. We have white grout lines after a week of drying (we followed the directions perfectly as we had never used non sanded grout before). We then called Polyblend to find out what to do to fix this. They recommended the following steps:
1. Buy Heavy duty cleaner & stripper (tile lab brand)
2. We have followed the instructions to the letter and still have white grout lines.
We were then told exactly how to mix the grout for the rest of the job by Polyblend. We are a little hesitant to use this stuff for any more of the project.
Mix all grout together in one tub to ensure uniformity in the grout color.
Use distilled water for mixing the grout with a ration of three parts dry grout to one part water.
Mist tile before grouting.
Let the grout set for 20 minutes and go over with a sponge that has been dipped in water and wrung out to the point that there is no more water to wring.
After the grout is dry go over the grout lines with a dry scrub brush to get all the chemical crystals off.

I have read the recommendations in the forum and have several questions.
1. Someone said use vinegar to remove the haze/discoloration.
--I have read elsewhere that vinegar will etch the slate.
2. Polyblend also suggested that I can dye the grout.
--Is this just nother ploy to steal more money on their products?
3. I have never had to use distilled water to mix grout for any other job although I have used only sanded grout until this job.
--Why distilled water - Is this another useless expenditure as we are slating and grouting 4000 sf?
4. After using the stripper, the grout is still white (but really clean).
--Is there anything else to be done here or do I just need to remove all the grout (about 500 sf) and start all over?
5. What can be done about the haze still in the natural grooves of the slate?
--We have scrubbed and rinsed for hours to no avail.

Sorry for the long post but we have been fighting with this for weeks and cannot seem to find anything that works! Any suggestions are appreciated!

09-12-2010, 02:01 PM

I feel bad for you. I hate that stuff, won't use it. Distilled water? really?:bonk:

Is the entire 4000 ft grouted?

I advise you to pick up some of laticretes permacolor...much easier to use IMO.

Is grout stain an option?

09-12-2010, 02:21 PM
You might want to give Laticrete 1600 a try next time. It seems to be much less prone to the efflourscence. I use it with their 1776 admix, and the resulting consistency is very pleasant to work with in addition to no white splotches.

But my absolute favorite now is spectralock grout. It costs considerably more, but works very well and no need for sealing, ever. I only use the 1600 on soft stone where I'm a coward to try the spectralock, which is sanded. Although Laticrete claims that the sand in spectralock is "rounder" and not as prone to scratching, I'm still afraid of it on glossy marble and such.

The Kid
09-12-2010, 02:52 PM
They have a colorant specically for this. Call their customer support, demand the coloant/stain, apply it, and move on.