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Unread 06-01-2014, 09:36 PM   #16
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Hey Clare,

I did not take out the old grout, and the staining did not subside on the area where I used the epoxy grout. However, the standard cementous Laticrete color matched the epoxy version perfectly, so everything at least matches. It sounds like you did a test area and had some staining. My recommendation would be to leave it as is and switch to the same color in a cementous grout and finish it up and live with the small area that is stained. No need to remove the old. The grout itself won't be any different in color. I hope that helps!

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Unread 06-02-2014, 12:42 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by clare
...We're getting the picture frame affect using grout we bought at The Tile Shop (brand Superior) and I'd like to change to the Laticrete. Unfortunately, they don't have the "whisper grey" that we started with...
Welcome to the forum, Clare. Jeff's problem was due to the epoxy resin, which is permanent. Your Superior grout from The Tile Shop is cement based. The cause of your "picture framing" is from moisture. Allow it to dry for a few weeks and it's likely to even back out. Whether it will re-occur with showers, I can't tell you.

One thing is for sure. The Tile Shop loves to recommend stone tile for all sorts of applications without explaining the repercussions of doing so. I've met lots of nice folks working there that unfortunately recommend stone without understanding why it's not a good idea.

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Unread 02-13-2021, 02:45 PM   #18
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Problem Solved

Problem solved -- but in the process I learned my lesson about tile guys not being the same as stone guys. The good news is that I am the tile guy. And while I'm not a stone guy now by any stretch, I now have a fuller appreciation of the difference.

It took a whole bunch of sample boards and some serious advice seeking, but I finally was able to grout my carrera marble without the dulling or picture-framing.

I laid a floor using beautiful sheets of 1" hexagon mosaic polished carrera using the appropriate white mortar, and then started sample-boarding grout colors. Every sample board produced dulled results, with the darker colors having a pronounced picture-framing effect shown elsewhere in this thread. The lighter grout hid some of this, but it still robbed the marble of all of the pop from the veining.

So I graduated to grouting boards with a marble sheet sample sealed first with 511 Impregnator Sealer. Then to boards sealed with two coats of the 511. No difference -- the marble was still dulled internally after grouting, and still stained by the grout at the edges for a picture frame effect. 3-4 days of curing calmed things down, but still the marble had no pop. Tried TENAX polish. No real difference -- it just gave me shiny-surfaced dull-looking marble.

So I entered the YouTube world and went down that black hole, reemerging with bleary eyes but no workable solutions. Called the grout manufacturer. Called the maker of the 511 sealer. Acting on that advice I wet the tile before installing the grout. Still got same result.

At wit's end and seriously behind schedule, I called an old friend who knew an ancient stone guy, sent him some pics and begged for help.

That's when I learned that, while 511 Impregnator Sealer says right on the container "511 Impregnator can be used as a grout release ..." it will not work as grout release for these situations. The reason is you need to flood (without clogging up) the grout lines to keep those thirsty tiles from soaking up the grout color from the sides. And even if you apply 511 that way (against the instructions and smelling up your work area to high heaven) it still won't work -- you'll just have yellow-y gray stone until the stuff evaporates out of it.

What worked? Aqua Mix Grout Release, used in combination with the Prism grout recommended elsewhere in this thread. Looks terrific. The veining pops. Just like out of the box.

Two caveats: I'd still be careful when using a darker grout shade. If your light-colored stone is as thirsty as mine, even using the grout release will still leave you with perceptible migration at the edges. That doesn't mean you have to use white grout, but Natural Gray showed some perceptible migration of the grout color at the edges (only one coat of grout release -- you can use two coats and that might block it completely I don't know). Secondly, by necessity I was using this approach on stone that already had two coats of 511 Impregnator infused in it prior to using the Aqua Mix Grout Release/Prism grout (I sealed the floor after laying it but before grouting.) I would not think that using the grout release on unsealed stone would make a difference, but I did not try it.

Lastly, I switched to the Prism grout at the same time I adopted using the Aqua Mix Grout release. You may get good results using just one or the other, but I wouldn't know that either. I can only say they worked well for me in combination.
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Unread 02-13-2021, 06:36 PM   #19
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Welcome, Marty.

Not likely to help any of the participants on this old thread, but your comments might help a future visitor looking through the archives. Thanks for the contribution.

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Unread 01-18-2022, 02:28 PM   #20
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Thanks for your tips Marty- I’m dealing with the same thing. Ready to grout my Carrara marble bathroom and seriously behind schedule. I’m going to test the following,

1) flexseal qc marble
2) flexseal qc on aqua mix grout release
3) flexseal qc on 511 impregnator

Hopefully one of these works, if not I’ll try prism grout. Just trying to avoid the picture framing (flexseal qc advertises this fortunately)

What I’m torn about is whether or not to use 511 sealer on top of everything in the shower. I don’t want my hard water staining my new marble. I’ve read so many conflicting comments on sealing v not sealing….
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