Colored Tile Grout Lightened


Stand up shower. 2"+ square tiles. Tiles are a mixed grey. Outside shower also tiled on floor and half walls. Grout is a darker grey...called natural grey from the grout charts I've looked at. This is a HUD wreck. Shower was covered with soap scum and it's been sitting a long time...years. I scrubbed the shit out of it with Comet spray bath/tile cleaner. Overall it cleaned it up good. Grout is nice and dark when it's wet. Dries light. Very pale grey. Looks like it was still loaded with soap scum. But toss a little water on it and it immediately goes back dark like it originally was (probably). The fact that it does this is either a sign of hope or no hope. Just not sure which. Used a nylon brush, a greenie pad and even tried on one inconspicuous spot a brass wire brush with the cleaner.
Except for a couple of small areas where I have to remove some tiles, fix backing then replace the tiles, the other tiles are sound - floor and wall.
I plan on stop by a tile store tomorrow and see what they have to say for a solution...besides regrout the whole damn thing.
Anyone have any similar experience or input?
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If the grout is ok except for the color, there are grout coloring products you can buy. I used white "grout coating" to whiten my bathroom grout (after I cleaned it). I think the brand was "Tile Gaurd". I was in the home labrynth the other day and saw they had some grout color products for other grout colors also, I've never used them though. The tile store will probably give the best advice.
If it was me and the tile store said to re-grout, I would try the coloring solution first anyway just because re-grout is so much work. Did I mention I don't like to re-grout...
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I used that grout coating once. It looked and held up for the 6 months or so I saw it. But it is a coating and someday will peel, especially on flooring), is my guess.
The tile places I called either never heard of (?!) or didn't have stains. I ended up with Polycure (see other followup). Better actually since it's just one product and no coloring so no matching is involved.
Thanks for the reply...
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Red Green wrote:

Seal it with a non-water base sealer...something that will retain the wet look when dry. You could even use oil poly by wiping/brushing on followed by a wipe down with thinner to get rid of any slopped onto the tile surface (that on the grout will have been sucked in).
Personally, I'd learn to like light grey.
--

dadiOH
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Thanks for the reply.
Well close on the oil poly dadiOH. As I said, need to do some repairs behind the wall at the shower floor. Tiles loose and press back for like 6" up. Obvious water got in and backing crumbling. That was verified today.
As it turned out,

turned out to be a good thing when I called the tile store this morning. Guy said there is a "Polycure" product that penetrates way into the grout and will restore and hold color. I had several squares in tact with grout I took off the wall. Took it in to the tile store. Guy tried it and it looked real good. Said to leave it on my sample for a few days/week and see if it retains to my satisfaction. If not, I can return it. Since I have the test tile section, I can see a cross section of the grout. Several hours later the grout is penetrated all the way through the full depth of the tile. You don't wanna know what this stuff costs, ugh! But it's better than regrouting.
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Outside the shower itself is the toilet. That floor and half wall is the same tile/grout. Even though also faded, it's much darker makeing the shower an obvious eyesore.
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