Grout disaster

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Cshagood

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House issues new build, two years old now. Grout has been a general issue. Shower has a penny tile floor. Grey tile with black grout. The drain is in the center and the penny tile block seams are clearly visible and the black grout shouts the poor installation. The grout was suppose to be gray, but the contractor messed that up as well. The grout is unsealed poly blend from homedepot. We told the GC we were unhappy, but he would not budge. The GC was the tile installer and took it personally. We were living in an RV through a Colorado winter and let the issue go. In the last two years, the grout in areas has turn turned into faded splotches, but looks fine when wet. On impulse I took barkeepers friend and scrubbed the floor and let it dry. It faded the entire grout, but not in an attractive way. I sort of hyperventilate when I look at it and remind myself I hated it in the beginning. Can I use a grout colorant and sealer to fix it? I should have asked first, but the quarantine is affecting my judgement. Be kind.
 

DIYorBust

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Yes, the grout paint is an option for you. Another, which might be possible is to put new grout over the old. It may not leave an attractive appearance depending on the existing grout situation. There isn't much else I can thinkof short of retiling.
 

jadnashua

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The dulling of the color could be from efflorescence (essentially, salts dissolved out of the mortar underneath). That often occurs if the liner was installed flat on the floor with no preslope, or the weep holes in the drain were not protected, and the mud bed stays wet without the ability to properly drain.

You might try a grout cleaner. Or, a stiff brush and some white vinegar. After you're done, take some baking soda mixed in water, wet the surface to help neutralize the acid (it will foam up) and then rinse well. May not do anything, but it doesn't cost much. The mild acid in the vinegar will dissolve a very thin surface layer, bringing you back to the 'natural' surface.

Penny round tile would be a major pain to regrout. For grout to hold, you need to cut out at least 1/2 of the depth. It's one thing on a straight-edged tile, but an entirely different thing with a round one.

Grout colorant would still require a good cleaning before you applied it, so try the grout cleaner or vinegar first. Round tile would be harder to paint the grout , but possible.
 

DIYorBust

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Don't try to regrout penny tile. Just replace it if it comes to that. My contractor on a job recently offered to regrout an octagon and dot floor. I said there's no way you can do it, but he insisted. Boy did he regret that.
 

dj2

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You sound like a perfectionist.
As such, no matter what you do from this point on, it will not be acceptable to you...
Unless you decide to remove it all and re-do it from scratch.
One of your mistakes was not paying attention and letting the new house warranty expire.
 
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