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Old 01-22-2018, 11:29 PM   #1
mbam
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Limestone floor - new install, stained by grout

I recently had a new limestone floor installed. The stone has a brushed finish.

When I looked at the floor once it had dried overnight I noticed a discoloration (darker) and a change in surface finish along most of the joints. After a bit if "googling" I now know that this is called picture framing. I was advised to let the floor dry out for a couple of weeks to make sure it was not due to moisture. So - 2 weeks later still the same.

The darker areas also appear to have more gloss. So I am not sure if what I am seeing is an actual stain or the difference from a reflective versus refractive surface from the grout filling in the pores. I will say the installer used a much darker grout than I would have liked ( I was never consulted on color) but aside from the staining the joints are so thin the color doesn't bother me.


As he was doing the job I asked the installer about sealing before grouting and he assured me it was not needed. I now see that this is recommended.
Inside one of the areas that is going to be a closet I have tried scrubbing with water and then an alkaline cleaner. No change at all.

So here are the questions -

Should the floor have been sealed before grouting?
A local restoration guy has suggested honing the entire floor. I'm not against it at all but what are the chances of this solving the problem?
If I wanted to try this in my closet area myself to see result what grit powder would I use?
Is there anything else I should try?

Big thanks!!
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:17 AM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Marc,
The grit used on your limestone to finish it was probably 600 to 800. Try 600 in just a corner of your closet.


Did the installer use white or gray thinset?
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Old 01-23-2018, 04:30 PM   #3
mbam
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Thanks for the reply!

He did use white. Do you think honing will fix this? I guess I will try and find out
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:21 AM   #4
John Bridge
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I don't have a great deal of faith in it, but it's worth a try. Limestone is a very soft and difficult material to work with at best. Most of the limestone I've worked with is tough to grout. That's why most times pre-sealing is specified. Give it a try, though.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:53 AM   #5
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We honed most of the floor and at first I thought the problem was solved, however once we cleaned thoroughly I can see that there was very little improvement. For sure the overall appearance is better and more uniform but looking closely it is obvious that the grout is the problem.

And why the installer chose a dark red/brown is beyond me. He never asked what I wanted and the job was 1/2 done before I saw it. The joints are so small the color between the tiles doesn't bother me very much but the rest of the grout stuck on the tiles changes the appearance of the whole floor.

I am thinking that the entire floor needs to be surfaced. But is it possible to re-do the brushed finish?

The other thought I had was to use an acid cleaner to remove the grout and then re-hone to repair the etching. Is that a possibility? I'm not ever sure if an acid cleaner would do it.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:58 AM   #6
mbam
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Here are some pictures of a new tile and the problem ones

Any recommendations for someone in South Florida to tackle this?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:59 PM   #7
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First remove the grout and replace with a light color. The grout lines look a bit tight. Its recommended they should be no less than a 1/16.
I would use a product like Klenzstone #3 applied with a rotary brush. the product is acidic so I would let it dwell in sections then agitate an rinse.
Then run some nylo grit(120,180,500) brushes to make sure the grout was out of the face of the stone. Then produce a satin or flat uniform finish using a soft type of diamond impregnated pad.
I don't see the framing in your last pics just grout residue on the face of the stone.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:47 PM   #8
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Yep, the last pic shows that grout filled the pores and natural divots in the stone. Sure makes me wonder why the installer would use that grout color without giving you a choice.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:48 PM   #9
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Marc,

That doesn't look like a "honed" finish to me. It's very rough.
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