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Old 07-23-2008, 09:09 PM   #1
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Help! New grout color uneven


I had new tile installed in my kitchen yesterday. The grout was installed today and is about 10 hrs old. The installer told me it would be dry by tonight. The color is uneven, dark and light. Nothing was added to the grout. What went wrong? We used Lowe's brand Mapei sanded cement grout on a 1/8" line. Any insight is appreciated.

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Old 07-23-2008, 09:53 PM   #2
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Help! New grout color uneven


was the floor clean..was it grouted all at once or in small batches?my guess is small batches ,probably mixed with different amounts of water
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:56 PM   #3
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Help! New grout color uneven


Your installer should "fix" the issue, no matter what happened.

Here are 2 things that could have gone wrong:
1) Installer used multiple bags of grout and there was a slight difference in the lot colors. This can be alleviated by premixing all the dry powder together BEFORE adding water.
2) Too much water was used in the mix or in cleaning. Efflorescence can occur but makes the grout look white with a powdery finish.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:06 PM   #4
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Help! New grout color uneven


I bet you are right about using different amounts of water for each small batch. I'm not really sure how much water was used in the cleaning process. He only used one bag we had bought for him. If in the morning it is still uneven, I'm going to call him and have him come and take a look. Thanks to all.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:17 AM   #5
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Help! New grout color uneven


Strange: Same bag....?

Water is the only "link" that would have really affected it. Dirty or rusty water?

Hopefully it even oust when completely cured/dry...
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:38 AM   #6
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Help! New grout color uneven


I'd just let it dry first.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:23 AM   #7
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Help! New grout color uneven


Quote:
Water is the only "link" that would have really affected it.
Not necessarily true!

What type of tile adhesive was used?
What color was the adhesive?
What color was the grout?
Where adhesive purges between the tiles in existence?
What was the weather like during grouting?
Was a fan used to encourage drying?

Only ten hours may not be long enough to wait. Just because the grout is hard to the touch in a few hours doesn't mean the grout has had near enough time to cure.

Quote:
The installer told me it would be dry by tonight.
Someone has been watching too much Saturday morning TV.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:44 AM   #8
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Help! New grout color uneven


We bought Ultra-flex adhesive from Lowe's. We had a choice of white or gray color adhesive. We chose the gray. The grout was Mocha in color. The weather was around 101, sunny and hot (until the rain blew in from the tropical storm in South Texas. The fan was on high while grouting. I don't know what all of this means. My hubby just called and told me that he contacted Mapei (maker of the grout). They told him to wait another couple of days for drying time and if it still looked uneven he could use acidic chemicals but stated they were really harsh. Otherwise, he could take a damp sponge and go over only the light spots.

Mapei also stated if we used enhancer to NOT use sealer, and vice versa.

Hubby called the installer and he said if it did not dry out to just MOP the floor with plain water.

What are your thoughts?

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Old 07-24-2008, 05:11 PM   #9
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Help! New grout color uneven


The way it can work is if a mastic adhesive is used and hasn't been allowed enough time to completely dry it can effect the grout color.

The grey adhesive and mocha grout should be compatible, no issue there unless the adhesive was mastic. I don't know what "Ulte-Flex" is without a brand name. assuming that's not the brand name.

Days of high humidity or precipitation can have an effect on grout curing and color.

Adhesive standing tall in the grout joints in spots and not so tall in other spots can effect the grout color.

A fan should never be used.

Wait and see.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:10 PM   #10
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Help! New grout color uneven


FYI: "Ultra-set 2" is a polymer-modifed thinset mortar made by Mapei. Replaced Ultra-set 1 which had problems. I wonder what substrate he placed this on. Should be left for 24hours before grouting.
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:40 PM   #11
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Help! New grout color uneven


Quote:
Originally Posted by angus242 View Post
Your installer should "fix" the issue, no matter what happened.

Here are 2 things that could have gone wrong:
1) Installer used multiple bags of grout and there was a slight difference in the lot colors. This can be alleviated by premixing all the dry powder together BEFORE adding water.
2) Too much water was used in the mix or in cleaning. Efflorescence can occur but makes the grout look white with a powdery finish.
Before we go blaming installer for that, I'm gonna blame grout companies. I used Mapei one time. Same bag, same mixing technique, but grout from the bottom of the bag was different than grout from top. I, as an installer, am NOT going to mix a whole bag of grout at a time, nor am I going to dump the whole bag in a dry bucket and mix it to make sure colorant is distributed evenly - that is Mapei's job, which they suck at! had same exact thing with caulking. Great thing owner there was not too picky and it all worked out, but I am not using Mapei anymore.
Grout does need a day or two to dry up, you can't tell color variation accurately 2 hours after application.
Moping will not fix the problem, nor will the acidic chemicals. It sounds like the problem is that color was not mixed in withing grout evenly... Like I said it happens.
x2 on what ccarlisle said.

If you post pics of the floor, I'm sure we'd all get a better idea of it though
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:36 PM   #12
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Help! New grout color uneven


48 hrs has passed and grout is still very uneven. Hubby wants to go ahead and seal it. He's very frustrated right now. He just wants to get the remodeling over with. I know we shouldn't let the installer off, but if it is true about the Mapei product that was used on oiur floor, then what can a consumer do??

I read where someone used something called AquaMix grout color. I do a lot of shopping at Lowe's and Home Dept. Does anyone know of something I can look for there this weekend? I would be satisfied if I could just get the color to be consistent myself.

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Old 07-25-2008, 06:20 PM   #13
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Help! New grout color uneven


Regardless of the cause, grout colorant should take care of the problem. http://www.aquamix.com/products/pg_d...5042&pgid=8374

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Old 07-25-2008, 06:24 PM   #14
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Help! New grout color uneven


DON'T SEAL IT if you are considering a grout colorant, there are plenty available. Have hubby cool his jets until you guys can make an informed decision. No reason to make matters worse at this point.

Sealing the grout WILL NOT change anything and could screw up the ability to use a topical grout colorant.
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Old 07-25-2008, 06:33 PM   #15
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Help! New grout color uneven


x2 - do not seal it. Once you seal it, there is a good chance you won't even be able to color it. And (shall the need be) scraping it out, once sealed, will be a lot more pain in the... well, you know where.

Can't say for colorants, never used any. But had one homeowner who decided grout was too red after I did it... Had to scrape it out and redo (he paid for it - it was his fault). It's a little easier to scrape it out now, before it sat there for a week or two.
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