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Old 01-29-2008, 07:54 PM   #1
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Tinting/re-coloring grout


We just put down kitchen floor tile and grout a week ago. We wanted to wait the 72 hours as recommended after putting in the grout. Upon returning after that 72 hours, we discovered that we had lost power and all the freezer's ice had melted out onto the newly-laid tile, all over the grout. It changed the grout from a light brown to white-white. So I added a very thin layer of the original light-brown grout over top the white-white grout to try to change the grout color back to the original. It didn't work.

How hard is it to re-color grout? Our tiles are off-white. How much problem is there with the grout color going onto the tile and permanently staining it? We sure aren't happy with the grout color in the kitchen (half are white-white, half are light brown), but with the money we've invested in the tiles, we sure don't want to color the tiles a different color.

Any ideas?

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Old 01-30-2008, 12:44 PM   #2
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Tinting/re-coloring grout


What type of tiles are these? Ceramic, or a natural stone product. If it's normal floor tile (not a natural stone) then they should be all sealed up and impervious to the grout.

IMO, don't mess around with trying to "recolor" that grout. Just scrape out the damaged areas, and regrout.

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Old 01-30-2008, 02:43 PM   #3
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Jeeeeeez!!! Let's not move so fast - that's what's got you in the fix your in now.

That white is minerals from the water and could have been easily cleaned up with white vinegar and water, now it's anybodies guess what's going on.

Try the vinegar and water first before you go off the deep end and start taking things apart.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #4
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Tinting/re-coloring grout


Nate: This is porcelain tile. So you would scrape the grout?

Bud: I really didn't think I was moving too fast with these tile steps. I've been following timelines as shown on the back of these products. It's just that this unfortunate incident of the refrigerator losing electric and melting ice all over the floor happened just before the 72-hour wait before applying the grout was up. As far as this white vinegar and water that you mention, how should this be applied? Should I clean the grout with a 50% white vinegar and 50% water solution, OR should I clean with 100% white vinegar and then rinse with the water? I think I'll give that a try (find a white spot in the corner) before I try scraping as it sounds the easier of the two options.

I look forward to your responses. I really appreciate your trying to help me out.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:52 PM   #5
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If you immediately begin to remove the grout without trying some other remedies first then THAT'S MOVING TOO FAST.


I would mix white vinegar and warm water 50/50. Use a soft brush to scrub the white areas. Some of the liquid is likely to penetrate into the grout, that's a good thing to a point. Straight vinegar will also penetrate but linger longer and your house will be smelling like a salad for days.

The time lines don't mean that much and they aren't critical. If this had happened six weeks down the road from now you would still have the white grout to deal with.

Try this and if it doesn't work we'll do something else. I hate to see you have to remove that grout if it isn't completely necessary.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:13 PM   #6
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Tinting/re-coloring grout


Thanks, Bud, for the suggestion. I will do that when I head over there tomorrow after work. I'll post how it worked out. Will I see instant results after scrubbing the grout with vinegar and water? Or will it take a while to work? So would you use 100% vinegar? I don't mind using 100% vinegar if that'll fix the problem quicker as we're still in our other home while we're trying to sell it. Besides, the vinegar smell will match the vinegar smell coming from our carpet where I was trying to treat a stain with peroxide (I don't know why that carpet (berber?) smells like vinegar now). Gotta love fixer-uppers! It's been quite an experience!
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:34 PM   #7
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Bud, thanks for your suggestion to try the white vinegar/water combo. After 2 applications, it got rid of the white-white covering that appeared when the water ran over the grout. The grout is now sealed (we applied 2 coats), and the grout now looks great (and it's protected, too!). Which now makes all the money, time, and aggravation it took to lay the porcelain tile down all worth it.

We have 3 more bathrooms to tile. We'll definitely be back to this forum.

This site is the best.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:59 PM   #8
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Glad it worked out for you and we could save you some money and extra work. I'll tell you where to send my check later.

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