Wrong Grout Colour used - Too Light......Help!!

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Posted by: from Burlington
10/13/2012 at 12:09:25 AM

Our tile guy messed up and did not buy the grout I chose. Now we are stuck with a brand new ugly floor tile job.

How can we darken the grout on a newly laid Chiseled Edge Travertine Stone Floor?

Is there a stain available somewhere? Any oil based stains out there?

We don't mind if the stone gets darker too, it looks better when wet (darker) anyway...but need to desperately fix these ugly white grout lines for cheap!

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Date/Time10/13/2012 at 1:28:40 AM

Hi Sandy:

I would go to a well established flooring store and get their assistance. Grout is porous, and there is the possibility of staining it. getting to your desired colour shade might be a problem. some grouts cure softer than others and are fairly easy to remove. Take the grout package with you and they will be able to advise you on what to do.


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Date/Time10/13/2012 at 1:30:12 AM

Hello Sandy,

Your Travertine Stone Floor should be sealed anyway. There are different sealers available. Some of them darken the stone others just sealed the stones without darkening it. And there are also sealers available which are "pushing" the structure like venes more out.

Tip: Buy or ask for small amounts of different sealers and make a mockup first. Try the different sealers on leftovers from your trevertine and let it dry to see which would be the best in your case.

I don't understand why your tile guy was using white grout on the floor ??? This is a NOGO! Never ever use white grout on a floor. All gray colors or in brown and light brown/beige would work. But not white.

Unfortunately there is not much you can do with the grout color. Travertine is very porous and If you would use "Stainer" the travertine would suck it up too. It could turn out terrible. So be careful and whatever you try, try it first on leftover pieces!.

Good luck

3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch

Maple Ridge, BC (Greater Vancouver)

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Date/Time10/13/2012 at 9:25:02 AM

Hi Sandy!

Well your tile guy should fix the problem and not walk away. If he did you wrong he should grind the grout up and redo it to the shade you wanted simple as that.

It isn't your fault it was done wrong that is why you hired someone to do the work so he needs to fix it. Own up to his mistake.

As it has been said you have to be very careful using stain at this point it could end up in a disaster worse then it may be now. So listen to the pros on this.


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Sandy in Burlington
Date/Time10/13/2012 at 1:36:48 PM

Thanks for your responses.

Tile guy admitted he got the wrong grout colour by accident & wants to help fix this, but is conveniently sick today. We will see if he shows on Monday.

For now, impatient.....we tried home depot stone specific sealer/enhancer. Looked good for a few hrs, but grout now lightening back again.

Next we will try Rona has Aqua mix - wet look sealer.


Was thinking about - Rona has by technical - nu look tinted sealer matte finish. It's meant for outdoor stone? Travertine is stone & can be laid outside too.....

Maybe this would be better because it has a tint in it?

Any thoughts on this??

Testing in closet & under kitchen cabinet placement.

What a horrible nightmare....probably better to have it all ripped out and do new again. Maybe he will agree to re do entire floor or give us our money back for this mess.

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Date/Time10/13/2012 at 3:23:19 PM

Sealers of any kind are not going to do the trick.

I would buy a groute scraper and remove a few milimeters of the groute everyware and then apply the color of grout you want. Short of that, use a oil based stain on the grout, This will take time and a very steady hand. As well as a few fine model paint brushes. Thin the stain out so it is easier to apply.

Having said all this, the tiler should be scraping and re-applying the groute for you.

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Sandy in Burlington
Date/Time10/13/2012 at 9:53:50 PM

Well, we tried out different sealer/stone enhancers.

1) StoneSpecific Enhancer - Home Depot : #1 It wins the title. It darkened the grout from off white to a beige, with 2 coats. Not as dark as originally chosen but good enough to be somewhat happy.

2) AquaMix Wet Look - Rona : Dried back to white, pointless

3) Techniseal Nu Look - Rona : For outdoor use, it made grout & stone dark but blotchy - no good.

4) Oil - just a regular everyday oil : worked awesome!! Darkened, but was slightly more grey than stone specific.

Now we found a possibility on our own since tile guy conveniently sick.

Let hope he shows Monday to either, fix the grout this way, give us our money back & rip out, or rip out & redo new for us.

Note, could not use a grout dye or cannot remove the grout as it's a chiseled travertine. Therefore no straight lines and it was also unfilled travertine so grout filled all it's holes too.

Almost impossible to remove all grouted areas to re do.

Nightmare of our 1st time self contracting new build!

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