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Unread 12-28-2021, 10:18 PM   #1
slindenkohl@gmail.com
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Is this tile job done poorly?

Hi, We are remodeling our bathroom using a General contractor and we've had several issues with the tile job. I would like to know if I am justified in demanding that they fix it.

One issue is that the "bright white" grout between our white ceramic wall tile looks dirty in many places. Is there a reason a bright white grout color would look dirty?

The other issue is that on the grey floor the grout looks like it is sunken in and not even with the top of the rectified tile. They were using sanded grout and 1/8 inch grout lines. I did notice when they finished the floor they wiped it down with water and there was a film of water on the tile that they left there to dry.

Photos are attached. Is this a poor grout job?
Thank you!!
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Unread 12-28-2021, 11:14 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Sandi.

You mention that your tile is white, but on my screen it looks mostly gray. The grout looks almost equally gray, certainly not bright white. So maybe that's just on my screen, or the picture, or the lighting, or something else entirely. So I can't comment on whether the color of the grout is correct or not.

Try taking a picture or two from a little further back and maybe it'll look a little different. Make sure the lighting isn't yellowish, and use some alternate lighting if necessary.

As for the grouting technique, it does look like it was washed down to the point that it's below the surface of the tile. I can see the edges of a couple of tile. In the second picture it looks like the tile on the top of the pic may be a little higher than the one on the bottom. Hard to say for sure. Do you notice any lippage throughout the installation? If so, that could be another reason that you're seeing grout that is below the tile surface.

I also see some pinholes in the grout, which is indicative of the grout joint not being filled, and being excessively washed.
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Unread 12-29-2021, 07:43 AM   #3
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Hi Sandi. The grout will not be completely even across the tiles. That said, like Kevin said, it does look like they may have rushed it a little, washing it down lower than necessary. Depending on the grout type and conditions, they might could have let it firm up in the joints a few more minutes before washing. Do you recall the grout brand and type used? I know it is sanded but was it Custom's Polyblend, Prism or maybe some other brand.

I can't really say about the shading but it shouldn't look dirty. How long has it been installed and have you tried to clean it?

It's normal for a grout haze to form after grouting. They should have wiped it off with a cheese cloth or soft rag afterwards.
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Unread 12-29-2021, 02:27 PM   #4
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I'm assuming you didn't post a picture of the bright white grout? It shouldn't appear dirty, if it is washed too much the pigment can wash away leaving you seeing the aggregate which is less white than the pigment. Just guessing without a picture.

As for the pictures you did post, it is not the best looking grout work I have ever seen but it doesn't appear that anything there is out of spec. Most grout will be concave to the surface of the tile due to the need to clean the grout with a sponge while it is still soft. They were likely a little aggressive with the cleaning step there. The pinholes also suggest they had too much air trapped with the grout. Incidentally those don't look like rectified tiles to me, rectified tiles typically have very square edges and those appear to have a cushioned edge.
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Unread 12-29-2021, 03:25 PM   #5
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Thank you for your advice

Thank you Kman and Davy!

I should not have brought up the white tile without including photos. There are problems with the white wall tile that was grouted with bright white as well as the gray floor tile grouting. So the first photos are the gray tile. Below are photos of the white tile. I think maybe this tile is not grouted well either.

In both cases, what are my options to "fix" this? I've been told you cannot just add more grout. Seems like I should get a grout specialist or another tile person to look at it.

These photos are of the white tile, which don't look very white in the photo. The first one shows a dirty looking grout line (doesn't look this bad in good light), the second is in the corner where the bench meets the wall looking dirty and rough. The third shows one of the nicer grout lines that then gets a little worse at the bottom third of the photo.

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Unread 12-29-2021, 03:28 PM   #6
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Grout used

Forgot to include a photo of the grout.
The grout on the left is the floor grout and on the right is the wall grout. Not sure if the wall grout is sanded. They were supposed to use a 1/8" grout line but didn't do that consistently especially in the corners where walls meet. I'm afraid this grout will fail soon. The grout is already cracking where they grouted next to the window.
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Unread 12-29-2021, 03:31 PM   #7
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how can the grout be fixed?

Hi Dan, the tile is from a manufacturer called Arizona Tile and it is listed as rectified. Thanks for your thoughts on this. Any thoughts on how to fix the dirty grout or subpar grout lines?
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Unread 12-29-2021, 03:36 PM   #8
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The permacolor, mixed and installed correctly, works very well.

The Polyblend, not so much.

The remedy for the color issue, short of removal and replacement, is grout stain. But that should be your installer's problem, not yours.
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Unread 12-29-2021, 05:31 PM   #9
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Sandi, you can check the instructions on the container and bag but if nothing has changed, I think the Polyblend is for joints down to 1/8 and the Permacolor can be used in joints as small as 1/16.

Like Dan mentioned, if the grout is washed too much it's easy to wash away some of the pigment. From what I've seen, some colors tend to be worse than others about doing this.
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Unread 12-29-2021, 07:40 PM   #10
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grout

Hi Kevin,
The polyblend was by custom building materials. The tile guy couldn't find the ash color at home depot so I went and bought it at a local building supply place. I asked for sanded grout that's what they gave me. What is wrong with it?
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Sandi
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Unread 12-29-2021, 08:31 PM   #11
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Generally, it's just really bad to wash out the color, as mentioned earlier. I had a bad experience with it where I used well water for mixing and cleaning. I ended up having to wait ten days, clean it with sulfamic acid crystals, then stain the grout.

I guess if I had to use it, I'd use distilled water for everything. Maybe that would help.

That may or not be the issue you're having there. It could just be the way the installer mixed and/or cleaned it.
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Unread 12-29-2021, 11:38 PM   #12
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Sandi, you mentioned grout where the walls meet. did they use grout where there's a change of plane? I'm not a professional, but I've seen a lot of grout crack in that situation since it's not supposed to be used there.
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Unread 12-30-2021, 03:36 PM   #13
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grout

Yes, they used grout everywhere, corners and where the walls meet the shower floor. I've read you need to remove the grout if you want to use caulk instead. Yet another issue with this job.
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Unread 12-30-2021, 04:10 PM   #14
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Should I demand that the grout be removed and redone?

Thanks everyone for your comments. My biggest concern is that the grout will fail sooner since it is so far below the surface on the bathroom floor and even the shower floor. It is a huge job to remove and then redo the bathroom floor grout. In the shower, I am also concerned the wall and/or floor grout will fail if they used too much water or didn't mix the grout right. Should I get it redone?
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Unread 12-30-2021, 05:31 PM   #15
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Sandi, you paid for the job to be done properly and it's not. I don't think it's unreasonable to have the parts that are unsatisfactory removed and regrouted.

One problem with spot-removing and regrouting is that it won't likely match the original job. Unless it's done wrong the second time.

But you have to give them the opportunity to fix it at least once.
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