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Unread 07-10-2005, 08:18 PM   #1
JoshBailey23
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Grout dried to light

I've read a lot of archives on this topic but have a few questions. I tiled about 30 square feet of a kitchen backsplash using 1 inch by 1 inch slate tiles. I used a Home Depots Polyblend Natural Grey unsanded grout As stated in the title the grout dried several shades lighter than the sample.

What I've tried.
1. Tile lab acitic cleaner applied, scrubbed, and rinsed
2. 50:50 vinegar, applied, scrubbee and rinsed.

Why both of these helped to remove the haze on the tile it self, the grout is still a lighter grey than I'd like. It does look great when wet.

After reading these forums it appeared I may beable to use a stone enhancer to get a wet look on the tile, AND grout. I went to a local tile shop and got an enhancer, it made the tile look great but did not darken the grout which now makes the lighter grout even worse as the tile is darker. Luckily I only did a very small test area 4 inches by 4 inches so I should be able to strip it off.

The other choice I read about is aquamix grout colorant. However having 1 inch by 1 inch slate, and lots of grout lines it appears this may not be a good alternative. The directions indicate to seal the tile only before using the grout colorant which I'm afraid would be nearly impossible to just do the 1 inch tiles...I guess if you used a towel you could rub the tops of all the tile without getting the grout but it sounds like it could be trouble. Please let me know if you think this is still doable.

TYW Stone Beauty has been recommended a lot to give the tile and Grout a wet look so it looks like this would do the trick. Key being to darken the grout with the tile unlike the previous stone enhanceer/sealer I used. I don't see a place to get this anymore??? If you select TYW products from the TYW website it comes back with no products available.

I want to finish this project right, so please let me know what you'd do, and where I can buy the products do do the job. Thanks! Josh
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Unread 07-10-2005, 10:41 PM   #2
muskymike
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Hi Josh, it sounds like you might have wiped it too much. You can try the enhancer, it might darken it some.
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Unread 07-11-2005, 11:07 PM   #3
JoshBailey23
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Thanks Mike. Does anyone have a recommendation for an enhancer that is known for darkening the grout (giving it a wet look) as well as the slate?
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Unread 07-12-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
muskymike
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Hi Josh, check out the TYW store. There's enhancers that will make the slate look like it does when you wipe it with a wet sponge. I will darken the grout some prolly not too much. Very good product though , the enhancer.
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Unread 07-12-2005, 07:49 PM   #5
claycarson
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Josh -

If you definitely want to darken the grout, but not the tile, use a grout stain. If is designed so it sticks to grout, but not very well to tile or any smooth shiney surface.

Brands - iafsystems.com, Custom Polyblend (same folks who make the grout), or www.groutdye.com.

Check the color in advance and do a sample section first.

Added bonus - most stains are also sealers, so the grout is sealed at the same time.

Word o' caution - Don't, Don't, Don't, Don't let it dry on the surface of the tile. Kapeeeesh?

Durability - on a kitchen backsplash, I would expect it to last almost forever. If you spill highly caustic alkalines on it, you may see some of it come off.
If so, put a bit more back on.
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Unread 07-13-2005, 09:34 AM   #6
JoshBailey23
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Thanks all. It sounds like to really get the desired results I need to use a grout stain. I know I need to test, but just to confirm using this on 1 inch slate tiles (kitchen backsplash) is doable? In total I have about 17 linear feet to do by 18 inches high or 25 sq feet. Thats ~ 612 feet of grout lines!
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Unread 07-13-2005, 10:10 PM   #7
Tool Guy - Kg
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Enhancer should be darkening grout...

If this were me, I would be trying StoneTech's "Enhancer Pro". It should darken both the tile and the grout. I don't know why the stuff you used only darkened the tile.....thats a little strange. What kind was it? How much was the bottle? If it was good stuff, I would have to investigate first hand to see why it wasn't darkening. The last thing I would want to do is to stain 600 feet of grout lines. That would take forever and be messy.

If the enhancer was only a few bucks a bottle, then I'd be doing what I had to to get some high quality enhancer and do another test. See if it darkens the grout to your liking. If so, proceed onto a scrap tile. If you are good with this, then you know you can seal the whole kit and kaboodle and be satisfied.


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Unread 07-13-2005, 11:38 PM   #8
JoshBailey23
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It was masterwholesales house brand. It's a local shop in Seattle, they generally have pretty good stuff and prices in my limited experience...FWIW it was about $22 for a pint. It defintely improved the look of the stone...but I'll try one from TYW and see if I can get better results b\c 600 feet of grout stain seems like a real pain to me Thanks for the recommendation.
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Unread 07-14-2005, 06:12 PM   #9
claycarson
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When we do grout stain on small mosaic tile, one inch or so, we don't bother avoiding the tiles. We wipe it all over everything. So the stuff will go on the tile surface. If your slate has lots of small craggy pits, there is a risk the color will stick in there....don't let that happen.

But if that's not happening on your sample area, then go to town and do the whole thing. When you wipe, the stuff sticks to the rougher grout and as long as you did not wait too long, it comes off the smoother surface of the tile as you dry it..

Supposedly.

I'd really do a sample area.
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Unread 10-10-2006, 08:39 AM   #10
markanthony
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is it possible the reason the tile surface darkened, but not the grout b/c the grout is not absorbing as expected. as mentioned in my own thread, my polyblend "bone" grout seems to not get wet evenly when you put sealers on it. its like part of the grout has already been sealed, but i never sealed it. i brush it on and most of it gets dark, but some seems impervious to water.

having said this, if you use a grout colorant/stain do you think it will still coat it evenly to give the consistent look desired?
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