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Unread 01-29-2019, 02:05 AM   #1
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Problem with grout color on floors but not walls

I am finishing the lower level of my house and have four different areas of tile. Two are on the floor over the concrete slab, one is shower walls with a cement board backer and the final is a backslash over drywall.

The grout on the shower walls and back splash turned out great and the color is exactly as it should be. However, the grout on the floor is turning out a very light gray, almost white in color. The fist area is done, it is not the color I wanted but I was going for a lighter color so I will just leave it.

The goal for second floor section is a darker gray. I have tried multiple brands including Custom, Mapei, and TEC as well as several colors and they all turn out the same when dry. I even used some from the same batch on the shower. I am using a scale to mix along with distilled water so everything is mixed correctly and the same. I have talked with several tile shops in town and all they can tell me is it must be something with the concrete. Any thoughts on what might be causing this or what I can do to achieve the desired color?
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Unread 01-29-2019, 09:02 AM   #2
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Welcome, Craig.

It'll help if you'll tell us very specifically what grout you used.

The most common problem we see with cementitious grout color being lighter than anticipated is the use of too much water when mixing and/or when cleaning the fresh grout. If you used the same grout on all your areas, I would suggest the difference between your wall grout and floor grout is not the difference in backing material but the difference in orientation with the floor grout being more likely to get washed out during the clean-up than the wall grout. But that's just a guess.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 01-29-2019, 09:13 AM   #3
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Hi Craig,

Scratch the floor grout in an out-of-the-way corner. See if the color is darker under the surface. If so you might try washing the floor with a white vinegar and water solution and then rinsing thoroughly. Use a scrub brush.
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Unread 01-29-2019, 05:57 PM   #4
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I've tried multiple brands (TEC, custom and mapei). Colors range from medium grays to charcoal. The floor section that is done is a mix of custom and TEC (not together if course) delorean gray. Shower is mapei silver (almost an exact match to sample) and backslash is custom delorean gray (again almost exact match, maybe even slightly darker).

For the bathroom floor that is not done, I've tried test areas of mapei silver, delorean gray, TEC charcoal and Custom pewter (the desired color). All seem dry to approximately the same color.

As for mixing, I'm using a scale to ensure the correct amount of water as well as consistency. I initially thought I was using too much water when cleaning. I am ringing out the sponge as much as possible, one swipe with an edge, flip to another edge, etc then rinse and repeat for the rest of the floor. Then after the recommend dry time I am buffing with microfiber/cheese cloth.

I did the scratch test. The powder appears darker but the scratched grout looks essentially the same.
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