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Unread 06-16-2022, 09:07 AM   #1
nono
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Removal of Grout Haze on Tumbled Travertine Mosaic

Hello all, I'm a new member and reaching out because I need guidance/direction. I am an avid DYIer, and my latest project is our son's bathroom...full reno including converting the tub to a walk in shower. I work on it in my spare time, so this is a project that is ongoing (2 months, hoping to wrap up at the end of this month.) I used the Wedi System for waterproofing, and am tiling using a combination of Claros Silver tumbled travertine cobbles for the floor and back wall, with a matte white subway on the side walls. I started with the floor, because I didn't want to damage the wedi shower pan while standing on it to do the walls, and risk dropping something. So I tiled and grouted it first. I let it dry over a week before then standing on it to begin the tile work on the walls (which I'm just finishing.) Over the course of the last few weeks I've realized I made a big mistake with the floor stone. I never sealed it before grouting. I will not make that same mistake again with the shower wall...but now I'm researching how I can fix the floor, so that when I'm ready to grout the wall, they will match. The floor stone really absorbed the grout (which is a light grey color), both into the stone and into every crevice/pit of the stone and so now the stone is very muted as a result. I wouldn't really call it a haze...but I guess technically that is what it is. I've been researching grout release, grout haze removers, natural products (vinegar/water, hot sugar water soaked paper toweling) and frankly I'm overwhelmed at making the wrong decision. So much work has gone into this...and I'm disgusted with myself that I missed this crucial step after all the prep research I did and money I've invested for this project. So I found this forum and decided to ask those of you with experience at the best way to handle it. Here are my questions:
1. If I do nothing, will it eventually wear off with normal use (6-12 months down the road?) At which point I could seal it then?
2. If I chose to do nothing, will sealing it once I'm done with the rest of the wall tiles etc. make it permanent where it will never change?
3. What product do you recommend that you have experience with for this stone? I keep reading a lot of reviews, but none for someone using a haze removal product on tumbled travertine. I'm not sure it's allowed on the forum, but I'm asking for a specific product name...rather than an ingredient or type of product.
4. It has been about 6 weeks since I completed the floor...so I'm not sure if it's even possible to correct with that much time passed?
5. If I do tackle this, what would you recommend for scrubbing? I've read fine steel wool to scrubby pads, cheese cloth, scrub brushes etc.
6. Warnings...have any concerns to share?
I've uploaded a few photos to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The back wall of the shower is not yet grouted, and I'm still working on the side walls and ceiling. You can see the difference in coloration between the back wall and the flooring...with the flooring being much more pale due to the grout absorption.
Thank you in advance for any recommendations you can provide.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf shower 1.pdf (1.14 MB, 41 views)
File Type: pdf shower2.pdf (1.14 MB, 40 views)
File Type: pdf shower3.pdf (995.7 KB, 33 views)
File Type: pdf shower4.pdf (1.08 MB, 30 views)
File Type: pdf shower5.pdf (1.12 MB, 42 views)
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Last edited by nono; 06-16-2022 at 09:22 AM.
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Unread 06-20-2022, 05:09 PM   #2
Davy
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I don't think you'll get much of the grout out of the pores of the stone. I'm surprised you grouted so much before deciding that you didn't like it. It's always good to make a sample board to make sure you like the finished product. I guess you know that now. I'd leave it alone, or tear it out if you hate it that much.
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Unread 06-20-2022, 05:21 PM   #3
nono
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Davy, thank you.

I don't hate the grout...I love it. However, I screwed up when applying it...because I didn't seal my stone first...so the grout was absorbed by the stone giving the stone more of a haze that it would have if I had sealed it first. I'm trying to figure out how I can safely remove the excess grout haze...without damaging the stone.
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Unread 06-21-2022, 09:13 AM   #4
John Bridge
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Hi Nanette,

First I would try while vinegar mixed half and half with water. Use a scrub brush and then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Second, you can try sulfamic acid. Get it at Home Depot, etc. Follow the directions carefully. and rinse with clean water.
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Unread 06-21-2022, 04:08 PM   #5
Davy
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When the surface of the stone is that rough, sealing it first may or may not have helped. I would think grout release would have been the better choice. Try the acid John mentioned, let it dwell a few minutes before scrubbing. Rinse well.
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