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Old 07-17-2008, 03:05 PM   #1
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Grout color rubs off


My husband tiled and grouted our bathroom using Mapei Keracolors sanded grout. The grout is medium blue, and looks great. The problem is, the color comes off when rubbed. If I rub it with a dry cloth, some color comes off, but it's even worse if it is wet. We sealed it 5 times with some old sealer, then thought the sealer was the problem, so we sealed it twice with new sealer. The water beads up and doesn't soak into the grout, so I think the sealer isn't at fault. I can't tell if actual grout is coming out, or if it's just the color. Either way, it's a problem.
Should we chip all the grout out and start over, or is there an easier way to fix it? Is the grout itself bad, or is is something we did wrong? My husband has already tiled and grouted other rooms with no problem, but he used a different color and brand before.

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Old 07-17-2008, 04:47 PM   #2
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Grout color rubs off


So......
Why is this a problem? Why are you rubbing it to begin with?

Any of the "hard-fast-colors" contain abundant color pigments and will transfer when rubbed. Black, and charcoal, and the primary colors, red, green, blue, will transfer.

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Old 07-17-2008, 09:35 PM   #3
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It's only a problem because we have 5 children who get the bathroom floor fairly wet after showers/baths , and also I will need to clean the floor. I did a test, just to see how much color would come up. I "spilled" a tablespoon of water on the floor (which is less water than my younger girls usually get on the floor), then wiped it up with an old towel. I wasn't pressing hard or anything--just enough to get the water up. The towel had blue all over it. If I leave the grout as it is, I'm going to have a boat load of blue-stained towels. (I washed the towel, and the grout color didn't all come out.) Is this normal?

Also, I decided I'd try removing a line of grout from a not-so-obvious spot, just to see how hard it would be. I used a flat-head screwdriver, and the grout comes out really easily. It just turns to powder. Obviously, I've never removed grout before now, but I'd always heard that it was really hard to do. It's messy, and would be time consuming, but it's not what I would consider hard. Of course, the grout has only been in for a month, so maybe that's why.

Last edited by lmlark; 07-17-2008 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:50 PM   #4
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Grout color rubs off


I'm wondering if you are wiping up some leftover grout haze that is remaining from the initial grout install. The grout colors should be fast by now. Adding the sealer should also bind the color.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:52 PM   #5
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Grout color rubs off


Thanks for your answers so far. How can I tell if it's the haze? And what do I do about it?
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:59 PM   #6
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Grout color rubs off


Is this old grout by chance? When did you buy it. Can you find codes on the bag? Blue isn't exactly a hot color, sometimes it could collect dust for a long time.

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Old 07-18-2008, 12:26 AM   #7
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Grout color rubs off


Great question. I didn't know grout could get old. I couldn't find any codes, so I called the company. The tech support guy I talked to said the color (Blue Berry) was discontinued years ago, and he was suprised we had even found any. My husband went to a local tile store, and they found it for us. Anyway, the tech support guy said it had probably expired years ago, but he didn't give me any additional help or info. What does that mean for my grout job? Do I need to remove it all? (It won't be hard, but it is annoying! I was looking forward to getting that 2nd bathroom up and running!) Or is there something else I can try first?
By the way, where on the bag is the expiration date? I am for sure checking any new grout I buy!
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:52 AM   #8
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Grout color rubs off


There are no "expiration dates" per se. Several of us have been suggesting such a thing but to no avail.

There are sometimes secret codes with the date of manufacture hidden in the code but that has never been public information.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:35 PM   #9
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Grout color rubs off


Grout, and all cementitious products have a shelf life of approx. 1 year IF not opened AND stored in a conditioned space. Anything older than that can be used at your risk.

I once did a repair with customer's old burgundy grout. It all seemed to be ok, but after a week or so, it had still not hardened and was bleeding. Ended up removing, regrouting and then staining a different color.

People think that as long as the materials isn't clumpy, it's still good.....wrong!

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Old 07-18-2008, 03:05 PM   #10
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Grout color rubs off


"Also, I decided I'd try removing a line of grout from a not-so-obvious spot, just to see how hard it would be. I used a flat-head screwdriver, and the grout comes out really easily. It just turns to powder..."

There's another clue for you: it shouldn't do that. Now either it was badly mixed and has turned crumbly because it wasn't wet enough OR too much water was used and has not taken at all OR it was mixed OK but there was no cement 'left' in it because of it's age.



The good thing is that you can check with grout colorant suppliers to see if they have a similar colour, then regrout it and stain it...
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:15 AM   #11
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Grout color rubs off


Thanks for all the information and help, everyone!
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:50 AM   #12
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Grout color rubs off


Lmlark- we recently built a new home and we have plans to seal the grout. I wanted to scrub some stains out prior to sealing and all of a sudden the grout rubbed off. I just used a plastic cleaning brush, dish washing soap, and water. The bristles created lines. It came off just like chalk! This is a new home and the grout should not be old! How can I fix this? The patio grout is super hard and nothing happens when I scrub it. What's the difference between these 2 grouts?
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:55 PM   #13
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Grout color rubs off


"This is a new home and the grout should not be old! How can I fix this? The patio grout is super hard and nothing happens when I scrub it. What's the difference between these 2 grouts? "



If it's a new home contact the builder and have him fix it,home is under warranty.

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