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Unread 06-23-2009, 03:14 AM   #1
Tile Contractor-- Lafayette Area
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Chalmers,IN
Posts: 194

I am at my wits end, maybe I've already been at it for a while. 99 % of my installs are with ditra , so i dont think i git my efflorescence thru the portland cement from the slab ifn the ditra is there?.I have noticed ( at times ) a little blotchiness/whitish grout in the darker grouts than lighter, I dont believe I over wash my grout joints out either,( does anyone know of a certified grouting school, cause that always seem to be the reps/distributors reply= installers at fault) I use TEC XT or Laticrete (not perma color) mainly . I havent noticed the lati being as uneven in color as the TEC XT? It said on the bag of TEC xt that it does not prevent against efflorescence, cause it contains portland cement and I can understand that it (portland can and will cause efflorescence) But I started buying distilled water to mix and make my initial washes with TEC XT, so I was thinking that the distilled water might make a difference, bull chit, i was sadley mistakin. What the heck, lt. buff XT was what I used on 900 sq. ft ,over ditra ,over 3/4 " advantec, set with lati 254, tile was set with ditra set and each tile burned before setting, and the tile was not grouted before 50 hours of cure time.and it was hit and miss everywhere on that floor. 11 days later I cleaned and washed the grout with Aqua mix sulfamic acid crystals, cleaned the efflorescence right up, made the grout very consistent and am happy with the results from the sulfamic cleaning. But where does the "Buck" stop with the occurrence of the problems that I come across with efflorescence or color blochiness of the grouts? I cant expect the GC, home owner or myself to pay for the time spent and materials spent cleaning the floors , nor how can a grout manufacture who prints on the grout bags themselves, that efflorescence can occur cover the costs ?
Sorry for the rant and rave of the long post, I dont post much, but how does every one else deal with this? Is it something of more of a conscience decision to make things right with the grout ourselves as installers , or turn the cheek and let sleeping dogs lie if no one else at the job site notices that the grout has issues at times. I will try everything I can do to make it right before I leave a job site.
Corby, what friends I have call me!
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Unread 06-23-2009, 04:26 AM   #2
Tile Contractor -- Jacksonville, FL.
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Jax., Fl. (Dinsmore)
Posts: 3,018
Don't know what to say Corby; I use XT on half my jobs and never have had an efflourecesnse (i think i spelled that right) issue. Are you sure it's not just haze?
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Unread 06-23-2009, 04:51 PM   #3
scott anthony
Tile Man -- Central Florida
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Location: marion county
Posts: 1,647
I'm with ya Corby. I can't recall a problem for 4 years then in the last year they pop up. I am still trying narrow down the causes.
Are most of yours on clay body tiles mine are.
Right now I am doing two things different, A/C set on or above 80' til cure, and wait longer before the wash, 30 min is just crazy depending on the environmental conditions.
I'm working with one Thursday that I know already will turn.
This is a link that may help but its nothing I haven't been doing already.
Don't know how to help ya man, like you said the producers will point the finger right back at you one way or another. Have you ever tried to follow there instructions as on the bag? Impossible.
I am just as frustrated as you, as you can tell.
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Unread 06-23-2009, 05:11 PM   #4
Florida Tile & Stone Man
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Naples Fl.
Posts: 22,690
A couple things that used to help me.
1.The amount of thinset betwen tiles,or depth of the grout joint can mean a lot as far as getting consistent color,
2.Large body tile as you know tends to almost stop the thinset from curing,it can have an effect just like putting in the cuts while wet and grouting next day.
3.I got to where i knew almost every job i was gonna have to come back and clean, so i put it in my bid to come back in a couple days and clean and seal.This is much easier to do on new homes for builders,but you can still explain to homeowners it is necessary and make some extra money since you have to clean anyway.I go in with a buffer,and wetvac and i'm done next day.Put a couple fans on it overnight if you have to.

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Unread 06-23-2009, 07:57 PM   #5
Brian in San Diego
AC Specialist -- Schluterville Graduate
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Location: La Quinta, CA and Usk, WA
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There's a thread going on in the shallow end about this problem. Here's a link to a CBP technical bulletin addressing the problem.

Here's the experience of one person with the same problem.

If that doesn't work, I'll always think it should have.
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Unread 06-23-2009, 08:28 PM   #6
tile setter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: columbia, sc
Posts: 51

I am in the same boat as you. The job i'm doing now has the exact problem and is driving me crazy. It's Custom grout. I've noticed how many people here keep talking about how bad this grout sucks. I count myself in that group.
I had bleached out grout and thought it might be the water, so i switched to distilled water. Just re-grouted a shower with distilled water and the exact same thing happened. I guess I'll try the acid wash and pour more time and more frustration into the job. After this job, i'm never using Custom again.

Just because I talk slow doesn't mean I'm stupid.
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