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Author Topic: Tile grout questions  (Read 1471 times)

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Offline lowpolyjoe

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Tile grout questions
« on: October 03, 2015, 11:22:51 PM »
Hey everybody.

Having some work done on the house and they laid tile and grout last week.  I've never done it myself (or even paid anyone to do it before now) so I don't know anything about the topic.  The color is pretty far off from what we requested even though the bag of mix they are using has the correct name on it.  The color is very inconsistent.  In some spots it's the dark "mushroom" color we requested, but 80% of it is a pretty bright off-white color.  I read that tile grout color varies by bag and you should mix bags together to reduce the effect...  but this just looks wrong to me. 

We've already told our contractor over the phone and Monday or Tuesday we will review it with him at the house.  I hate to make a fuss but the color is pretty far off from what we wanted and varies so much that it already has that 'dirty in spots' look - which is what I was
trying to avoid by selecting a darker color.

Pics are always tricky when talking about colors, but:

 

 


In a tile store today I saw a reciprocating saw blade designed for removing grout.   Is that what is commonly used?  How much risk to the tile (porcelain) is there if we have the grout removed and replaced?

Advice appreciated. 
Thanks

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 05:54:36 AM »
Maybe you or they could just add some more grout of the right color. I think you can also stain grout. When you get it an even color, you will want to seal it.
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Offline Just Me

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2015, 08:03:27 AM »
I have had that same issue with grout, on about the same color tile, and I know I mixed it well, twice, as directed so I would be curious what is the issue myself.

I have never seen a grout stain that looked good to me so I would be cautious with that.

Larry

Offline pabst79

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 12:01:11 PM »
You are right to be upset, the pics show an unacceptable grout job IMO. The joints need to be ground out and I would go with a new grout of a different brand name. Good luck!
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Offline redbeard

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2015, 01:30:04 PM »
The multi tool has better control than the sawzall tool removing grout. It's important to not scratch the tile when removing the grout. Fresh grout can easily be removed its time consuming especially cleaning the intersections, if color differences are obvious you want to remove the residual on the corners, scotch pad and razor blade is helpful.
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Offline 21incher

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2015, 04:49:16 PM »
Looks like it may be partially caused by the variation of the width of the grout lines. The narrower lines seem to pick up the color of the tile a little more. In the past I have had great results removing thin grout lines using old dental cleaning pics. I found a bach at a flea market, there were many different sizes and angles  and all made of a real hard stainless steel. :)
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Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2015, 10:16:11 PM »
Thanks everyone. 

I'm very frustrated by the situation.  I know it's a ton of work to remove the grout and redo it, but I'm not at all happy with how it looks now.   My worry is that they scratch or chip the tiles while removing the grout and/or the second grout job comes out just as bad as the first.

At first I did think it was just the width of the grout line or the depth of the grout that made the color look different.  That may be contributing, but I think the actual grout color definitely varies quite a bit.  Plus, why should the tile spacing or grout depth vary enough to make a visible difference  :(.   

I'm almost tempted to redo it myself, even though I have no idea what I'm doing.  But I really don't want to spend my free time doing *that*.   

Curious to hear what the contractor will say.  Will he try to pass it off as being fine or will he agree that it looks pretty bad.

It's too bad - the first day they worked on the tile there was a middle-aged guy who was very meticulous.  The following days they had a new guy and I'm thinking he may not have known (or cared) what he was doing.

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2015, 10:57:38 PM »
I re-grouted the tile floor in our bathroom. Best thing I found to remove the grout was a multi-tool with a carbide circular blade. The real gotcha is this. Be sure you get ALL the ground up grout dust out of the gap between the tiles. Otherwise, the new grout won't adhere  and will crack and break up, a real mess. I used compressed air to clean out between the tiles. I found the variation in tile spacing is due to different sizes of the tiles. The more expensive tiles are more uniform in size.
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Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2015, 11:13:07 PM »
What brand is the grout ? I like  TEC  or Laticrete , they mix up nice . I have also found that some darker colors tend to fade.  If all the bags come from the same batch they should match without mixing together .  Mixing wetter and drier batches will change the color of the grout.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2015, 12:00:52 AM »
I had a bit of a similar experience, not being satisfied with the "professional" job of laying up brick for a fireplace.
When the "boss" showed up to look at it, I just said "I've had several people look at it and ask me if I did the brick work" . 
I think the boss understood what that really meant in terms of the quality of their work .

Hope they make it right for you and don't mess it up further.
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Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2015, 11:49:07 AM »
What brand is the grout ? I like  TEC  or Laticrete , they mix up nice .
<snip>
Mixing wetter and drier batches will change the color of the grout.

I meant to check the bag so I could tell you guys what brand it was but I forgot (at work now).   I'll try to remember to check tonight and look online for some reviews.  Does grout have a shelf-life?  Interesting note about mixing wetter and drier - thanks for the tip.

I had a bit of a similar experience, not being satisfied with the "professional" job of laying up brick for a fireplace.
When the "boss" showed up to look at it, I just said "I've had several people look at it and ask me if I did the brick work" . 
I think the boss understood what that really meant in terms of the quality of their work .

Exactly - I hired professionals.  If I didn't care how it looked, I could have just done a crappy job myself and saved the money. 

I re-grouted the tile floor in our bathroom. Best thing I found to remove the grout was a multi-tool with a carbide circular blade. The real gotcha is this. Be sure you get ALL the ground up grout dust out of the gap between the tiles. Otherwise, the new grout won't adhere  and will crack and break up, a real mess. I used compressed air to clean out between the tiles. I found the variation in tile spacing is due to different sizes of the tiles. The more expensive tiles are more uniform in size.

Thanks.  Grout removal really sounds risky.  I'm not sure I trust them to do a thorough job of removing the existing grout and cleaning properly to redo it.   I think I'd rather have the wrong color than cracking grout. 

So angry about this situation.   >:(.  I can't see it ending well.

Offline ScottAR

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2015, 09:35:16 PM »
Color variation in my experience has been adding too much water to the mix.  I have seen several jobs like the pics and nearly every time the grout was mixed very thin.  Dry mix requires careful attention for gaps/pinhole spaces where adding water fills those in.  (they can be lazy)

When I did the bathrooms in our current house I added the bare minimum of water and although I had to go back in a couple spots for gaps it's dark and even.  (looks like shiny dirt clods or just past dirt clod stage)

If there is any leftover mix you can wet it up and watch the color wash out before the sand.  Easiest to see on a putty knife or similar. 
Scott
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Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 11:38:53 AM »
Thanks Scott

I forgot to take a look at the grout bag last night to get the brand name.   There is a good deal left.... i think 2 1/2 bags (25lb bags i think).  That seems like a lot of leftover given the amount of tile we bought. 

It would not surprise me if they thinned it too much - on purpose or by accident.  A few things I've seen them do makes me doubt their patience and attention to detail. 

Foreman was supposed to come by yesterday or today to review/discuss the grout issue, but still no word from him. 

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2015, 11:23:03 PM »
Measure the grout and the water to exact amounts , same every bucket  .  The bag has amounts for the bag ,you have to adjust for the amount you need /have enough time to place.  If it starts to harden ,dump it and mix a new batch NEVER add water to a mix that is setting up .
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Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Tile grout questions
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2015, 10:58:25 AM »
Finally remembered to snap a pic:

 


My wife got a call from the contractor (company owner) this morning.  The foreman had told him about the issue.  He said they will 'fix it' but did not elaborate.   

I would like to do the mix test to see how the color changes as you add more water ( just out of curiosity) , but I don't think i'll spend the time.

Thanks for all the great feedback


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