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Old 08-26-2011, 10:11 AM   #1
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Grouting slate


Laid my slate tile, sealed it three times as per the instructions...and yes water did bead up on the stone. Grouted last nite and I'm still trying to get my stones clean. I can't seem to remove the thin layer...my slate is now ashy...lol. I'm laughing but im really pissed. So...what did i do wrong this time? My contractors who did my slate basement bathroom used thr same sealer. They used thr bucket sanded grout and I'm using bagged sanded cement based...could that be thr difference?

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Old 08-26-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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Without brand names your information isn't very helpful.

The premixed bucket grout IS NOT the same as the bagged grout.

The "bucket grout" is a chemical-based grout and the "bagged grout" is a Portland cement based grout.

Slate is very porous and can be hard to clean as it is. I think the first thing I would do is allow everything to dry for a few days then seal it all one more time. I'll bet that solves your problem.

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Old 08-26-2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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That's actually what I did. I didn't grout until a good day after applying sealant. I used Surfaceguard Penetrating Sealant for natural stone.

And yeah, I researched the diference in grout and thought the bagged/cement type would more suitable and sturdy for my floor. Maybe I was wrong?

I stumble upon a tile warehouse in manhattan today and the guy there suggested Miracle 511 Penetrating.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:10 PM   #4
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I don't think the sealer is the issue, and you're using the right grout. Slate's very popular out here in the CO mtns... When grouting slate we always have 2 guys. A floater and a sponger. We get 10 grout sponges and 2 buckets of clean water. It's important to not float too far ahead of the sponger, and to change your sponge water often (every 50 sf or so). Get the slate as clean as you can and let the haze form for about 30 minutes. Now here's the most important part: towels. Soak a towel in a clean bucket of water and ring it out the best you can. Spread it out on the slate and wipe the tiles clean at a 45 degree angle to the grout lines. Clean out all the crevices good and use as many towels as it takes. Now repeat the toweling and you're good

Do not let it sit and dry on the slate any longer--Depending on how thick the haze is on your slate now, you might be able to get it off with a towel. We used this technique recently and it worked perfectly: use warm water and pour in some stone soap (we use stonetech, sold at Lowe's) If that doesn't work you'll need to acid wash it with Myradic Acid. I'm not sure that's something you'll want to attempt yourself or not. And FYI, 511 sealer is garbage, IMO. When you're done properly cleaning the slate use Stonetech Enhancer topcoat to bring all the brilliant colors out. Hope that helped
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:49 PM   #5
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BlueStone's technique is a good one with the exception of the acid wash. Muriatic acid indoors is not such a good plan. Sulfamic acid is much safer and actually made for this purpose. Generally Sulfamic acid should not be used until 10 days after grouting however.

Grouting some stone can be very difficult and a technique may not work the same every time. In addition to being porous slate has clefts that trap grout, always a pain.

Besides the clean up technique mentioned above, I've had good success first sealing the stone, then applying a grout release before grouting. Either way it's a lot of work and why we have to charge more $$ for stone and even more for slate and the like.

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And FYI, 511 sealer is garbage, IMO. When you're done properly cleaning the slate use Stonetech Enhancer topcoat to bring all the brilliant colors out.
What! Miracle Sealant's 511 Impregnator is garbage? You're kidding right? It's a sealer not an enhancer, you can't compare the two. Some people don't want the enhanced look since it changes the stone's look.

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Old 08-26-2011, 11:39 PM   #6
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Muriatic acid indoors is not such a good plan. Sulfamic acid is much safer and actually made for this purpose. Generally Sulfamic acid should not be used until 10 days after grouting however. Jaz
Thanks Jaz, that's good to know...Hopefully I'll never need it!

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What! Miracle Sealant's 511 Impregnator is garbage? You're kidding right? It's a sealer not an enhancer, you can't compare the two. Some people don't want the enhanced look since it changes the stone's look.

Jaz
Well I know that, but since they already sealed 3 times with penetrator the next step is enhancer. Slate is very dull and raw looking without it... And no, I don't like 511. We bought it at HD once in a pinch and was extremely disappointed. Just one guys opinion...
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:59 PM   #7
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We have vermont slate in out dining room and entry way and it is not sealed. I kind of like it that way. Great stuff...that slate!
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:19 AM   #8
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Jazman: just wanted to say, your info is great. I totally agree with you about the 511 too...regarding the sulfamic acid, I always hesitate before recommending it to customers, always want to find another solution first because the sulfamic acid can cause etching in the stone. This may not be such a big issue for slate...but again, it all depends on the person who has to live with this. Maybe you know of a technique to avoid this? (am i starting another thread? Hope not, don't mean to)
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:57 AM   #9
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We have vermont slate in out dining room and entry way and it is not sealed. I kind of like it that way. Great stuff...that slate!
Porgy and Bess didn't use Vermont slate that's a fact.

Porgy and Bess used some slate probably from Home Depot and that stuff isn't in the same world as Vermont slate so bringing that up is senseless.

Okay P&B here's my last effort to help you. You will never get the haze out of the tile you have now. I can tell that because of the issues you are having now. That tile is very porous and you have already stained it by using the Portland grout. The problem is retainage in the pores of the stone. It isn't coming out...period. I can assure you the same "retainage" took place using the chemical grout. The difference is you can't see it. Chemical grouts have different characteristics than cement grouts.

No matter what method of finishing and cleaning the grout you use, the tile will retain some of the grout residue. Doesn't matter if it has been previously sealed. I can tell you, that, had you not applied any sealer your problems would be even worse.

I'll say it one more time then I'm done.

Seal the entire floor one more time (maybe two more times) and the problem will go away.
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:13 PM   #10
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so bud whats the preferred grout for stone tile with uneven surface which i will be using in my laundry room where the dogs go to remove grass from their stomach?
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:50 PM   #11
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so bud whats the preferred grout for stone tile with uneven surface
What type of stone?

Portland cement grout is in my opinion still the best all around grout for use anywhere except with green marble.

The newer urethane grouts do a good job in most cases but I wouldn't want to have to clean a urethane grout from the cleaved surface of a sandy slate. One would also have to be careful using urethane's with a highly polished marble. They can dull the surface and the average person would never be able to regain the gloss and lustre of the stones surface.

Green marbles (not necessarily the color) are very sensitive to moisture in both setting materials and grouting. Epoxy thinset and epoxy grout are recommended for use with green marbles. Epoxy grouts can be more costly than necessary and very difficult to work with.

With slates and other sandstones and limestone's I would stay with a Portland grout. Portland grout is very forgiving in time to correct errors and tool. Its main downfall is the potential for haze when used with porous stones as was done above. But, it still isn't the end of the world.

Most natural stones will be best presented if they are first sealed a few times prior to grouting and then sealed again after the grout has cured.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:24 PM   #12
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It's funny...everyone has different opinions on slate. Some say if I've sealed it won't help to seal it again and others say seal it again.

What I did do is get some miracle heavy duty acidic cleaner and it removed a majority of the haze. I feel much better moving forward with my grouting project. I'll put another coat of sealant on after I grout, this time with the Miracle.

I just want to let u guys know how much help you all have been. Especially oh'mike, Jaz, and Cline. I know a million times more now than when i started and that alone is worth all thr mistakes I've made. I only wish i found this site before i started.

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