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Unread 10-21-2003, 01:19 PM   #1
Nora
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Question Need some professional advice

I could really use some help here. The builder of my house installed my floor tile (17" ceramic tile, about 1500 sq ft) with the wrong color grout. They are offering repair in the form of a stain-sealer, but I have been warned that stain will need a lot of maintenance. Is this true? Does the sealer part do the job as if the original grout were sealed? Anyone have any experience or advice? Thanks a lot.
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Unread 10-21-2003, 02:48 PM   #2
tileguytodd
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Nora,Fear not.A good quality product will last and be just as easy to maintain.May i suggest to you and your contractor our Tile Your World Stains ,which stain and seal in one operation.Available on line in our store.That is of course if we have a color that will suit you.Otherwise i reccomend Hydroment Grout Stains as a former product of choice. Good Luck to you and with that much tile to do,they will be there for awhile.Staining is time consuming and tedious work.Getting it right the first time's going to become a big priority for them from here on out
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:04 PM   #3
kemguru
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Hi Nora

Make sure he is wanting to use a product designed specifically for grout. These products can be broke down into two main categories, stains and colorants. Colorants are a thick topical finish and can be used to drastically change the color of grout. But you lose the natural texture of the joint (grit from sand) so you end up with a painted on look.

Stains are thinner and penetrate the grout much better than a colorant so you maintain the original texture of the grout, but a stain cannot drastically change the grout color. With stains, I recommend you stay within 4 or 5 shades of the grout color, so you can change it a bit, but don’t expect to go from black to white with a stain.

Both products are designed for your exact application. Use a cleaner designed for tile and sealed grout and both will last for many years. No worries.
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:09 PM   #4
wopboy
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Good point Todd. However, "the builder of my house installed my floor tile (17" ceramic tile, about 1500 sq.ft.) with the wrong color grout." . My house, my 17 " floor tile, wrong grout color, = remove the grout and regrout with the right color.

I don't want to be cruel but...why settle for less ? And if they damage the tile... we've all had to redo something or other.

good luck !
Jay
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:20 PM   #5
Sonnie Layne
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Ditto,

In other words, stain it, don't paint it. And as Kem has said, stain isn't gonna rescue something completely out of whack, but likely you're within reason, unless they went too dark and you're now trying to bring it back a lighter shade. You may have to consult a painter if that's the case.

da' painter,
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:24 PM   #6
Nora
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Jay

That was my first instinct - I paid them a ton of money to do that much tile and the grout color was an integral part of my decor. However, knowing less than nothing about tile installation I was just wondering how hard it would be on me (time, inconvenience) as well as them, and could the stain job be an acceptable substitute if the color and quality were right. Aaargh!
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:30 PM   #7
Sonnie Layne
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I'll also want to axe..... did the installer buy the wrong product, or did it just look different when it was laid vs. what the colour sample showed?

If they bought the wrong product, and the wrong product is lighter than what you wanted, give them the opportunity to stain it. Only dif between white and coloured grout is stain.

Be nice, be firm. Even someone like myself can make a mistake somehow somewhere, sometime.... I guess...
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:31 PM   #8
tileguytodd
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Jay ,not very understanding are you.Time and inconveniance are a definite issue.Dust and debris are another issue.Chipping tiles while trying to cut out and clean up the grout is yet another.Dealing with grout removal on that scale without having additional problems crop up is not a possibility,its a for sure.It is a can of worms you do not want to open.And i do know a little bit about it after over 20 years in the trade.Dont let contractors get a glimpse of an attitude like that Wopboy,you will pay double on everything you contract out.Triple from me
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:36 PM   #9
kemguru
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Stain will not “take away” from anything. In fact, there are a few well known home builders that either sell a stain job as an upgrade with the home or just automatically toss it in with the tile job. Reason for this is the builders got sick and tired of dealing with discolored (mottled) grout joints. I’m not talking wrong grout colors either. If it were a sandstone grout used, it would get stained with a sandstone stain. The stain seals the joint like none other can, but it also produces one consistent color. Basically, it is an upgrade from regular grout. If you don’t need to change the color all that much, say if you are just a few shades off from where you want to be, use the stain and enjoy. If the color is way off, I would then talk about regrouting. A colorant is not an upgrade in my book, unless, of course, you are coloring unsanded grout. Then the loss of texture from the colorant becomes mute.
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:41 PM   #10
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Thanks Todd.

Those were exactly my thoughts after thinking it over. We are already moved in and just thinking about moving all that furniture and the dust & noise and time involved seems like a nightmare.

By the way, it is not just that it turned out different than I expected - I actually have the sample of my color - a very nice medium beige - and the actual grout is a lightish gray. Besides, there is also tile around the fireplace done with the correct color (go figure!) and it is obvious that it does not match the floor.

I just wanted to ease my mind that the stain was not just a cheap way to get me off their backs.
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:45 PM   #11
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Nora

Wash a little spot on the floor with white vinegar and water. Mix it 50/50. Lets see if we can pull that color out.
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Unread 10-21-2003, 03:48 PM   #12
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Are we for sure a different color was used, or was the same grout used and it just turned out a different color?
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Unread 10-21-2003, 04:11 PM   #13
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Well, Tim, I am not a grout expert, but I know beige (it actually has a mild touch of terra cotta in it) from very light gray - I can't conceive that it just 'turned out' that much different - not just my opinion either - I have had several other opinions.

Excuse me if I sound crabby - I've been moving, I'm not as young as I used to be and I've spent a lot of $.

You guys have given me more info than I had before so I do appreciate it. I'll be sure to find out what product they want to use.
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Unread 10-21-2003, 04:38 PM   #14
kemguru
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Understand Nora

I’m just trying real hard to be as much help to you as I can possibly be, considering there could be thousands of miles between myself and your floor. I would just like to know for sure if the correct color was used on the floor or not, because now we know the correct color was used on the fireplace. Why in the world would he change colors mid-stream? Not saying he didn’t, just wondering why, if so. If the same color was used, there are many a reasons why you don’t have the color you want. Too much water in the grout during mixing or clean-up. Latex (the modified part of your modified grout) could be sitting on top. The joints were dirty, or there was too much thinset in the open joint, before grouting. All of which can be taken care of with stain or a good cleaning. I want to be sure before I tell you to do something, that’s all.

Scratch a joint real quick and see if it gets closer to your desired color.

Just another opinion
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Unread 10-21-2003, 04:51 PM   #15
Nora
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I will do that tonight Tim. I will try the scratch test and the vinegar cleaning. No matter the reason, I think the builder owes me the grout color I asked for, whether it takes cleaning or staining or what.

By the way, do the products called 'stain-sealer' actually seal as if you had applied a sealer? This is just one of a gazillion things in life I am ignorant of.
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