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Unread 08-22-2003, 06:15 PM   #1
OnAMission
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Floor tile grout repair?

I was cleaning the floor grout so I could seal it and ran into a problem that is driving me nuts.

There were places where there was an adhesive/putty like substance on the tiles and sometimes on the grout that I could scrape away with a plastic putty knife. At least I could on the tile. The grout just chewed that thing up.

So I resorted to scraping with a screwdriver. (OK ... don't shoot me ... I don't recall reading anything about this anywhere on this forum ... not that it's not there ... so I started picking.) Worked fine on the sticky stuff ... but when it changed and was a harder gray substance that was all along the edge of 3 tiles, as well as a glob in the middle of a joint ... I messed up ... I guess.

As I scraped away at the gray ... thinking it was something on TOP of the grout and would chip off ... my sandy colored grout started disappearing and was overcome by an underlaying area that looks like the substance they set the tiles with that oozed up between the tiles. Apparently the grout didn't fully cover that stuff and and where it did ... it was a very thin layer. Now I have a mess along the edges of three tiles ... a hole in the grout that has a gray color to it.

If I can find a grout to match what is already here ... can I regrout this area to fill it in and cover up the gray? Do I need to try to remove any of the grout first? If so ... how? It's not falling apart like the grout in the shower.

Cathy
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Unread 08-22-2003, 08:30 PM   #2
Jason_Butler
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Cathy,

It's not uncommon for some of the thinset to ooze up between the tiles. It should be white or gray since I don't know of thinset in any other designer colors This should have been cleaned prior to grout.

You say it is a putty-like substance .....man I hope it's not mastic. Thinset dries hard and should be nothing like "putty".

In any case, you can remove the grout from the area in question and then regrout.

Can you tell us for sure if thinset was used?. If mastic was used in your installation on the floor, you may have bigger issues.

Jason
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Unread 08-22-2003, 08:48 PM   #3
OnAMission
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My husband says it looks like and feels like thinset (gray) that is showing through the grout in places. Underneath this hole in the grout ... the gray is solid ... not gooey. Mastic would be gooey, wouldn't it?

I don't know what the other substance is (putty-like and a beige color in some places and a lighter gray in others) ... maybe someone else tracked it in after the tile was down and it has nothing to do with the tile, other than that I find myself scraping it off as I clean? Whatever it is ... dirt does not seem to be adhering to it. If it did ... it wouldn't blend in with the tile so well that you can't see it unless the light is shining the right way.

I'm finishing cleaning the kitchen and utility room areas ... how long do I have to wait to seal the grout? I don't know how much longer I can keep my family out of the kitchen.

Guess I just skip over those three tiles for now ... and keep my hands away from the other areas I find and pretend they aren't there? I do believe that this is gonna end up being one of those 'good enough' things and I will become blind to the shortcomings I'm running across. At least the grout is getting clean!

Cathy
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Unread 08-23-2003, 12:16 PM   #4
fishinfarmgirl
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how long do I have to wait to seal the grout?

Hey Cathy~

The grout should cure for 72 hours before sealing according to my knowledge base. If I'm wrong you already know the guys will set me straight!

L

Good luck on the gooey stuff! Sure hope it isn't mastic! Maybe someone tracked in chewing gum before they grouted!
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Unread 08-23-2003, 04:46 PM   #5
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Cathy, is the putty stuff in front of the sink area? I have scraped plumbers putty out of grout joints a time or two. I agree with Linda on the sealer.
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Unread 08-23-2003, 04:54 PM   #6
OnAMission
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Davy ... it probably IS plumber's putty ... it IS in front of the sink ... in the utility room and in the bathrooms. Haven't found any in the breakfast area though. And my shower head WAS clogged with plumber's putty ... so maybe I can blame this one on them??? How did you get it out of the grout joints ... the scratch and pick method???

My grout has been in since at least early December ... I was just cleaning it ... still 72 hours before sealing? I went back and found the 'porcelin tile' thread where kemguru had indicated less time. I did a small section in the pantry ... and was about to forge on ahead ... but maybe not??? This is just like everything else in the world ... isn't it? More than one way to approach everything???

Cathy
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Unread 08-23-2003, 05:43 PM   #7
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Cathy, I always clean it out before grouting, which your tileman didn't do. If it looks real bad you can take out the grout in those areas and regrout. Sometimes new grout looks worse than if you'd left it alone.

I think 72 hours is recommended just to be safe. How long has it been since you cleaned it?
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Unread 08-23-2003, 05:56 PM   #8
OnAMission
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The section I'm working on now ... was cleaned yesterday morning. I'm not gonna be able to spend much more time on it today anyway ... so it might not be unreasonable to think it will be 72 hours by the time I get back around to it anyway.

As far as the putty and thinset issue goes ... there seems to be some of both.

The putty substance is on top of some of the tiles, as well as on top of some of the grout. It entered the picture after the grouting was done ... unless the tile guy left the mess himself WHILE he was grouting. I've been trying to scrape it off with a putty knife ... and failing that ... a screwdriver.

In addition to the putty stuff ... there is thinset that is appearing from underneth the grout. I've just about decided to pretend I never saw it ... you really have to be looking for it to notice it ... and who's gonna do THAT except some obsessive compulsive person who has nothing better to do with their time than crawl around on the floor looking for flaws in the grout?!? (It's time for me to go back to work!)

Cathy
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Unread 08-23-2003, 06:02 PM   #9
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Is it possible the putty was tracked in after the grouting and mashed in the joints?

If you wait til tomorrow for the rest of the sealing you'll be OK. Might run a fan just to make sure.
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Unread 08-23-2003, 06:16 PM   #10
OnAMission
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Thanks Davy ... think I'll try to cook dinner without spilling anything on the floor.

I got home this afternoon to find that my 14 year old son had mixed his dad some raspberry tea. Was all over the counter, all over the white porcelain sink and ... all over the towel that I fortunately had put in the floor in front of the sink (as well as the refrigerator.)

Maybe I'll get the kitchen done without strangling anyone!

Cathy
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Unread 08-23-2003, 06:40 PM   #11
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At least raspberry tea is better than KOOL AID! YIKES!

L
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Unread 08-23-2003, 08:29 PM   #12
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Putty

If your problem is plumber's putty, then I can tell you that I used some poultice that I got at HD to get some up off my new grout. But mine wasn't IN the grout - it just left a stain _on_ the grout. The poultice made the stain go away. Your problem sounds a little different, but this might help.

Brian
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