making grout consistent color across room [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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09-01-2001, 01:10 PM
Hello fellow tilers,
I am tiling my new home and have a question.
A fairly large room is coming up, and I'm wondering if
there is a hint you might give me to assure consistent color
of grout if I stop partways across the room, or mix two batches for the job. The grout I'm using is from my daltile distributor, made by Custom Mfg., and is a mix-with-water type, with colorant already in the mix. Color I am using is oyster gray.

I've been perusing this messageboard and have gained some good tips from you guys already.

I'll be back with some questions when I approach the shower,
and am reading what has been answered about that already.

Jay Reynolds

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09-01-2001, 01:33 PM

To assure consistent grout colour,you should dry mix the contents of the bag or several bags if you are mixing more than one batch.Some of the components of the grout can settle in the bottom of the bag and can vary from bag to bag.

Also,try to use the same techniques on the consecutive areas.Measure the grout to water ratio on the first mix and mix similarly the other batches.Excessive water can affect the colour too.

Tooling the joints with the sponge is important too.If you spread the mortar with the float but don't strike it consistently with the sponge,you can end up with dark and light spots.Where you leave a joint to dry and start again the next day you may see a slight colour variation.Once the grout is dry there and the shades vary,I scratch with my thumbnail to blend the two together.Works great to keep nails trimmed too.

John Bridge
09-01-2001, 01:51 PM
Welcome, Jay.

What type of tiles are you using? Porcelain? Ceramic? Real hard or real soft?

09-02-2001, 09:12 AM
Thanks for the advice on getting consistent color. I bought plenty of grout at one time, and have been measuring. I've noticed the day after that some spots are dark/light. What i've done is to rub down the grout lines hard using a rag, which releases some surface sand and what appears to be a sort of white scum which looks like the latex portion. After doing this the dark/light colored spots blend in and everything looks ok.

My question for today is one I should have asked my tile distributor, but forgot. I have several expansion joints between concrete slabs which I need to fill, and have left without grout. What is the best filler to use there, and are these products available in colors to match grout colors?

Mr. Bridge, I'm using a marble look tile by Laughlin, style is Remington, it has a silk screened swirl pattern in gray
and stone-like ripples on the surface, it is a clay-based tile, 12", 1/4" thick. The slab is radiant heated using hot water in tubing on 12" centers, heated from a wood fired outdoor heater, with solar heating planned for the future.

Bathroom floor will be a combination of 2" sq porcelain buff tiles with a border of 1" yellow/black tiles. Walls will be 2x6 white ceramic laid in brick pattern with black trim, Shower will be yellow 4" ceramic with black trim and 1" buff porcelain in floor. I'll be asking about the shower pan stuff later.

Thanks for your help, guys.


John Bridge
09-02-2001, 09:57 AM
Hi Jay,

Please call me John. When someone says "Mr. Bridge" I duck. May be the IRS.

Major Grout manufactures have been pretty good about producing matching caulking for their grouts. Custom's, TEC, and C-cure I know about for sure. Get the "sanded" caulking.

To save yourself a lot of rubbing, you can use "grout cleaner" after the grout has set. It's a mild acid that will remove the white deposits from the surface. You would have to do the entire installation, though.

Bud Cline
09-02-2001, 10:38 AM

I would hereby like to nominate jayreynolds to be the recipient of the first monthly "John Bridge STAAB Award" (Smarter Than The Average Bear) for his recognition of the need to "honor slab joints" and to follow thru with the task.

Rob Z
09-02-2001, 11:06 AM

Good call, but for simplicity sake, could this be called the "Yogi" award?

Congrats, Jay!

John Bridge
09-02-2001, 11:12 AM
You know, you're right! Yogi award, whatever. Way to go, Jay.

Rob, send him the usual package -- T shirts, mugs, caps, beer coasters, etc. Shoot him a 6-pack too, will ya?