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Unread 09-13-2013, 09:43 PM   #1
CSS
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Should I bleach the grout?

So long story short. I did shower repair for customer. Pan held water under test for 3 days. finish all customer says tile install looks great. But the grout doesn't match. I assure her it is the same color Mocha as original. She claims it is a gray. The tile is brown the grout on floor outside of shower is brown. I explain to her if she scrapes the grout surface she will see it matches. The customer wants me to come and bleach or what ever I need to do to make the new grout match. What do you think should I. I am always about customer satisfaction and giving 100%. If I try and fail then I will have another issue to deal with. I feel there is no good outcome here and wanted to know what some fellow pros think.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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How much time went by between the original install and the repair?

I hate to Monday morning quarterback but I always discuss this ahead of time to set the expectations that it's not going to match.

That being said, I think grout colorant would probably work but you'd probably have to do the entire bathroom.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 10:01 PM   #3
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I would guess 20 years. I did not do original. Tile is stacked tight with no joint so hard to stain.
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Unread 09-14-2013, 07:30 AM   #4
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Any time you are doing a repair, even if you have the same grout brand and color as the original, you have to tell the homeowner before you do the repair that the grout will not match exactly. There's no way they should expect it to after that long but letting them know ahead of time usually gets you off the hook. Even if it's only been a year or so, many times it won't match. It will usually even out some over time but may never match exactly, especially after 20 years. I would try a mix of 50% water and 50% vinegar. Let it sit on the grout 10 minutes and then scrub it with a plastic bristle brush, then rinse. You may have to go to 100% vinegar but like Jim said, you may have to do the whole shower and still it may not match.
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Unread 09-14-2013, 11:41 PM   #5
Calgary Dave
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Use the same explanation grout manufacturers do:

Quote:
Final installed shade can differ based on tile type, porosity, job site conditions and finishing techniques.
Even within a few months the old grout has seen hard water, soaps, shampoos, dirt, etc. No way to match an old grout perfectly.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 01:53 PM   #6
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I tried to explain that to customer. They seem to believe since I am tile pro I need to magically make it the same.
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Unread 09-16-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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That's why this discussion has to be made before you do the repair. During this discussion, if the homeowners tell you that they expect the grout to match perfectly, you have to walk away without doing anything.
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