Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet


Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Tile Forum/Advice Board

Sponsors


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 08-10-2009, 02:14 PM   #1
slcorrigan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Why would grout dry two colors?

I recently had a ceramic tile backsplash installed in my kitchen and decided to go with a grey unsanded grout. When it dried, it dried two different colors! While some areas had grey grout, others on the same wall dried leaning towards a black color. It actually looked like some of it was still wet in areas. This was still like that two weeks later though! We decided to re-grout the area and went with black this time thinking it would cover easier. We even used a different brand this time and yet again, it dried - some grey and some black. What is happening??
__________________
Sam
slcorrigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 08-10-2009, 02:17 PM   #2
dbitton
Professional Stoner
 
dbitton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: WI
Posts: 125
Sounds strange to me... Are you mixing the grout dry before adding water?
__________________
Dave
dbitton is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-10-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
slcorrigan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
I am not doing the work myself but have an experienced tiler who is so assume he is mixing it first. He did the floor previously and it looks great.
__________________
Sam
slcorrigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-10-2009, 02:59 PM   #4
dbitton
Professional Stoner
 
dbitton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: WI
Posts: 125
If it's black grout drying grey then it's probably efflorescence. Does it brush off of the black grout? have you tried to scrape it a little?

If it's grey grout drying black then I'm not sure, but efflorescence is caused by the grout setting with too much water on it, or mixed too wet.
__________________
Dave
dbitton is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-10-2009, 03:15 PM   #5
Lazarus
Texas Tile Contractor
 
Lazarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 8,671
Unfortunately, grout, when done up in seperate batches can sometimes give varying results. Usually it's a function of the amount of water used, how wet it got in the cleaning process and even the quality of the water. Do they have well water, for instance? When in doubt, I'll buy distilled water for the mix. Many of the homes I do have well water with a high sulpher count.
__________________
Laz...


A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.

Last edited by Lazarus; 08-10-2009 at 03:16 PM. Reason: (lousy typing error...)
Lazarus is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-12-2009, 10:09 AM   #6
slcorrigan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Re: grout drying two colors

I think perhaps some are misunderstanding me - this is not two different colors on parts of the wall as a result of two batches of grout being mixed - this problem is around the subway tiles themselves..individually!
__________________
Sam
slcorrigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-12-2009, 10:15 AM   #7
Muddman
Potter, Contractor, Philosopher
 
Muddman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 918
Sounds like efflorescence to me. You need to clean the grout with a mild acid solution to remove it. It is caused by minerals in the water and/or grout settling on the surface as it dries. You can get grout cleaner at the store, start with a weaker one, then if that doesn't work, move to a stronger one.
__________________
Gregg

www.muddmandesign.com
Muddman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-12-2009, 10:21 AM   #8
cx
Moderator emeritus
 
cx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 95,318
Welcome, Sam.

How 'bout you post us some pichers of what you're seeing. We like pichers.

Have you tried scratching the surface of both color areas to see if the surface color extends deep into the grout or is just on or near the surface?
__________________
CX

Y'ALL NEW VISITORS READ THIS HERE!
cx is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-12-2009, 11:00 AM   #9
slcorrigan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Re: grout drying two colors

I tried scraping as suggested. When I scrapped the black portion, it took little effort and I found grey underneath. When I scrapped the grey portion, it too was grey underneath.

Being new to the forum, I was unaware I could attach a picture but will attempt to do so now. This is from the first attempt when the grey was the color of choice but it really doesn't look much different now since re-doing it with black.
Attached Images
  
__________________
Sam
slcorrigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-12-2009, 12:22 PM   #10
ob1kanobee
Registered User
 
ob1kanobee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Deland, FL.
Posts: 4,064
It is possible that when he is mixing the grout he is not allowing it to slake then remix (follow instructions on the bag for mixing).

It is also possible too much water is being used in the clean-up process.

I have seen this also when too much or too little water is used to mix the grout.

The other tilework he did looks good so it doesn't strike me that you have a water problem.

Sometimes when it is a backsplash the guys mix grout by hand and don't mix it good enough is another thing.

At this point, I would consider just staining the grout with a grout stain.

One other thing, is the grout sanded or unsanded? It looks unsanded but still hard to tell..................I have seen sanded grout dry like that in small joints such as your tile, especially grey grout or dark grey grout.
__________________
Ben

Rule number one in life: You go with what you got, imperfections and all.
ob1kanobee is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-12-2009, 03:43 PM   #11
Davy
Moderator -- Mud Man
 
Davy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Princeton,Tx.- Dallas area
Posts: 33,930
I would look at the edges of a left over piece of tile. Sometimes the edges have glaze on them, other edges not. This can cause the grout to dry out faster in some areas than others.

I would rub a grout joint lightly with fine steelwool but not hard enough to scratch the tile. Pinch a small piece of steelwool between your fingers and rub the grout.
__________________
Davy

www.davystephenstile.com
Davy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-13-2009, 07:40 AM   #12
slcorrigan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
It is unsanded grout.

Thanks to everyone who has responded. I am going to take all your suggestions to my tiler and we will have to come up with a plan as it is definately not to my liking right now.
__________________
Sam
slcorrigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-14-2009, 06:28 AM   #13
cadman8263
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 16
An interesting problem, what about trying an enhancer on the grout, in an area say behind the toilet to see if it darkens the grout uniformly?

Chuck
cadman8263 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-14-2009, 07:58 AM   #14
slcorrigan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Re : Chuck's suggestion

Just to clarify Chuck, this is my kitchen so no toilet but I could certainly try it behind the fridge. First tell me what an enhancer is though please??
__________________
Sam
slcorrigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-14-2009, 08:57 AM   #15
ob1kanobee
Registered User
 
ob1kanobee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Deland, FL.
Posts: 4,064
The results I have had with enhancer and grout is that the grout has to be uniform to begin with.

If you have very dark grout you will have very very dark grout after enhancer. If you have dark grout you will have darker grout after. Sometimes enhancer won't do anything for the grout. For instance, I have tried to make almond grout more of a tan before and it would't work yet it had worked before. Why, I don't know?

So based on the above it may work, it may not, it could still be blotchy only darker where it is already dark and just plain dark in some spots and some spots it might not do anything.

Just keep in mind that if you decide to take the risk and enhance it and it doesn't work, you are going to have to remove the grout and start over instead of just color sealing it now or "grout Staining" as the enhancer will either have to be chemically removed (have fun with that) or removed with a razor knife. As it sits now, you could just grout stain it and be done with it.

In answer to your question as to what is enhancer, it is a product that brings out the natural characteristics in stone sometimes if not usually darkening it. Some enhancers also function as sealers too.

http://www.aquamix.com/products/pg_d...830&pgid=37155

I would also be a little concerned what the enhancer could do to your tile. It might not do anything, so if you go that route, test a piece that you have not installed yet just to be safe.

One thing we always did was wet the grout or the tile with a fairly damp sponge to give us an indication of what enhancer may do. It is the best indicator I have found so far without unwanted consequences.
__________________
Ben

Rule number one in life: You go with what you got, imperfections and all.
ob1kanobee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Grout colors! icemaker Tile Forum/Advice Board 7 06-09-2008 07:16 AM
Using two grout colors sokoloff Tile Forum/Advice Board 7 01-29-2008 06:15 AM
Two Different Grout Colors Chappy_cby Tile Forum/Advice Board 2 08-09-2007 03:12 PM
Grout colors yadax3 Tile Forum/Advice Board 14 10-19-2004 08:06 AM
using two colors of grout vmaturo Tile Forum/Advice Board 11 09-05-2003 04:12 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:31 PM.


Sponsors

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC