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Unread 02-24-2020, 12:52 AM   #1
VTgal
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Pebble shower floor grout issue

I have had master bath remodel recently completed for new shower area. The walls are 12x24 tile with a Solistone flat pebble floor. My tile contractor used Mapei Flexcolor CQ grout for both walls and floor. He did seal floor before and after grouting as instructed by tile distributor. However, I was concerned after he completed his final sealing, telling me wait a few hours then rinse the grout haze off the pebble floor. Well, the sandy grout residue isn’t coming off the stones. Mortified I went on Mapei’s website and after finding it buried in their website, it seemed to indicate NOT to use CQ with pebble stones...but to use their FA grout. I addressed this with contractor & he said he used what the distributor gave him off the order. Is there anything that can be done to fix this problem. Thanks for any help or advice anyone can give me.:
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Unread 02-24-2020, 06:08 AM   #2
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Who was responsible for selecting and ordering materials, you or him?
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Unread 02-24-2020, 06:45 AM   #3
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My husband & I went to tile distributor to select our tile choices and the tile sales rep there made out the order for our tiler. We are the homeowners but we are not doing the work ourselves- we know nothing about the tile business, grout etc. We are relying on the experts.
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Unread 02-24-2020, 06:48 AM   #4
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Sales rep should have known better then. Like you said, it’s right in the instructions not to use with pebbles or when joint width exceeds 1/2”.

I’d contact Mapei and get their recommendations on next steps. And contact the tile distributor to see what they’re willing to do to make it right.
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Unread 02-24-2020, 06:52 AM   #5
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He should be familiar with the products and know the correct grout to use.
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Unread 02-24-2020, 08:38 AM   #6
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I'd deal directly with the tile distributor. That's who you made your deal with. He hired the installer.
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Unread 02-24-2020, 10:11 AM   #7
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Just for context, I worked for MAPEI when Flexcolor CQ came out and the instructions were written. The reason it's not recommended for pebbles is because it's difficult to keep the water from 'pooling' in wide joints if there isn't enough slope to the drain which can cause light areas to form on the grout surface over time. That doesn't sound like what's going on here though. If your issue is haze (the grit from the grout sticking to the tiles is because of grout haze), you can try a citrus based cleaner (Goo Gone, for example) and if that doesn't take it off, an epoxy grout haze remover should do the trick.
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Unread 02-24-2020, 10:27 AM   #8
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I truly appreciate all comments & advice here. Dan you recommended Goo Gone or epoxy cleaner - will those products work even though tiler put his last coat (1 coat) of sealer over the grout residue? Also do you think once these cleaners are used, we would get our smooth flat finish back on these beautiful pebbles?

Im guessing muriatic acid cleaner would possibly be too harsh & ruin the stones?
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Unread 02-24-2020, 10:39 AM   #9
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Welcome, Sterling.

The muriatic (hydrochloric) acid will not harm only the stones, but your lungs and potentially all the metalic fixtures in the area. You really, really don't want that stuff in your house.

And that is aside from the fact that it will have no effect at all on the haze from the Flexcolor CQ grout.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-24-2020, 11:30 AM   #10
speed51133
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acid will clean cement based messes. flexcolor is not cement.

it will also literally dissolve some of the stone and change the finish.
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Unread 02-24-2020, 12:46 PM   #11
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Flexcolor CQ is not recommended for Stone Pebbles because of joint size exceeding 1/2". The second reason it's not recommended for pebbles is because of the damming effect with this product it's difficult to keep the water from 'pooling' in wide joints causing light areas to form on the grout surface over time. If your issue is haze, I would recommend a Heavy Duty Stone, tile & grout cleaner or an epoxy haze remover.
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Unread 02-25-2020, 11:23 AM   #12
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Sterling, you may have to use a sealant stripper first but chances are pretty good the epoxy grout haze remover will remove both the sealer and the grout haze. As CX pointed out, acidic cleaners like muriatic are designed for cement-based grouts. Flexcolor is an acrylic-based grout so it needs a haze remover that works with resins (ie, the epoxy grout haze remover).
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Unread 02-25-2020, 05:21 PM   #13
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Thanks so much to all.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 11:03 PM   #14
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What type sealer to use with Flexcolor CQ & how many coats?

Unfortunately Flexcolor CQ grout was used with our flat Solistone pebble shower floor-our tiler (fireman who does tiling on the side) was not told it shouldn’t be used with flat pebbles. Nonetheless, the entire floor has been done and we can’t afford to have it torn out & redone. The tile distributor felt the CQ would be ok. Anyway, we are where we are. The tiler did not do a thorough cleaning of the tile so now we have a new tiler coming to clean off the sandy residue left. We’ve been told once the grout cleaner job is completed, we must wait 48 hrs before using the sealer. The previous tiler used Aqua mix sealer. I know that’s a diff manufacturer but is it ok to use and how many coats are recommended? Just one coat or more? The stones were sealed prior to grouting as recommended.
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Unread 03-15-2020, 01:41 AM   #15
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Many pros, and I’m among them, that consider sealing tile in a shower to have little or no benefit...and in some cases does more harm than good.

Serious question: what are you hoping the benefit of sealing the pebbles will be? Sealing tiles and/or grout is done to buy you time to clean off a potentially staining liquid before it becomes a permanent stain.

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