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Davery 06-06-2006 06:21 PM

Efflorescence?
 
I finished grouting last week and noticed I have a large difference in the shade of the grout. About 5% of the grout is several shades darker than it should be and about 90% is several shades lighter. I have used a vinegar and water solution with no effect. I have used a phosphoric acid and water mix (1 to 4) with no effect. I'm about to give up and stain the grout. Since I have to seal anyway, this should not be too much more work, right? Anyone have any solutions before I try the stain?

Don

John Bridge 06-06-2006 06:42 PM

Hi Don, not so fast. :)

I'll bet if you scratch the surface anywhere in that installation you'll find the right color of grout underneath. It's almost always a case of something or other migrating to the surface. Check it out.

If I'm right, I might recommend a little stronger acid treatment. Grout stain only works to darken the shade or to at least make grout the same shade throughout the installation. It does NOT make dark spots lighter. It might help to put a picture up here.

ob1kanobee 06-06-2006 07:34 PM

Wow thats really wierd. Sounds to me like the only way to get it pretty is to grout stain it, it's better than sealing in my opinion anyway.

jane m 06-06-2006 07:43 PM

Hi Don, had this same problem last week. You might have seen my thread. Toolguy recommended the vinegar, 1/2 and 1/2 or stronger if necessary. It did a pretty goodjob of evening out the lighter spots-revealing darker below the surface. I scrubbed it with a hard bristle brush that attaches to a broom handle from HD, and the top layer came right off.

However, I test sealed a spot, and 24 hours later 3" of an 18" joint was darker. But, 48 hours later it was almost even. So, I'm still nervous about sealing the whole thing. Anyway, did you use a stiff brush and scrub it a little? Also, in the past, I had what they called calcium deposits from the water, (and phosphoric acid did not work) so this time I used distilled water for grout mix and all cleaning. Maybe I'm crazy, but my grout turned out much better this time. Who knows....good luck.

Davery 06-06-2006 07:43 PM

I would post a picture if I could figure out how to do it.

xringdude 06-06-2006 07:48 PM

There some good instructions in the liberry on how to post pics at the correct size. hope that helps,
Stephen

Davery 06-06-2006 08:17 PM

We are on a well. Could well water cause this? If so, what do I do now?


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