Is My Grout Spreader Still OK?

I have a 2 year-old grout spreader that I had used only once. It has one problem even when it was new. When I used it to spread grout, some particules of the black rubber material will come off and got mixed into the grout. What does this mean?
Does this mean that the grout spreader is no good any more?
Does this mean that I had pressed down the grout spreader too hard?
Should I start using dark color grout just to blend in?
Thanks for any information.
Jay Chan
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Before I would use a tool that would ruin my project that close to completion - I would chunk it and get a new one. Changing grouts colors seems a bit extreme because of a sponge that sheds - regardless of the cause. I would also remove the grout that was embedded and re-use the same color I had intended on using prior to the mishap.
Jim

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I see. This means the grout spreader was no good when I bought it. Unfortunately, I cannot return it because it was two years old.
OK, I will get a new one. This time I will get a higher priced model instead of getting the least expensive one. I bought the least expensive one because I thought I would only need to use it once.
Thanks.
Jay Chan
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I don't know who sold you what, but no grout trowel I've ever seen could shed.
Wood handle. Metal back plate. Dense black rubber, Tan soft gum rubber layer that contacts the grout.
See what one looks like: http://www.marshalltown.com/catalog/display_item.asp?edino 423
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Dan G

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Jay, I think you had a black sponge float. The rubber I'm talking about is just like an inner tube, no pores. I don't see how one could possibly shed. Mine is over 5 years old with commercial use.
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I have checked grout trowels in a home center. And I find that the lower priced models all have that black sponge material that has many tiny voids (around $4 to $5 range). The slightly more expensive models have solid rubber material that don't have any void that I can see.
The one I have at home is one of the lowest price model. I guess I thought I only need to use it once; therefore, I chose the low-end model. Unfortunately, it didn't do good even the first time I used it.
I will get a new one that have solid rubber.
Thanks.
Jay Chan
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This discussion reminds me: I have a really nice bathroom floor with gray sexagonal tiles about 2" wide that dates from the 1940s or 1950s. It's in great shape, but the grout is failing, and I know that because when the cone washer failed in the toilet, all the water from the tank went on the floor and immediately through the grout to leak down the pantry ceiling below. I'd like to regrout this floor myself instead of paying $200 to have a highly respected professional do it (he already did the shower in that bathroom, perfectly). Is this a reasonable project for someone who's pretty handy but has never before done a grout job? Where can I find good instructions? And yes, I did dismantle the vintage toilet and replace the cone washer along with the flush valve ball so it no longer leaks and still works perfectly.
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snipped-for-privacy@suds.com wrote:

Tight joint I'd imagine. 'Tedious' day's work is an understatement. You'd need to scratch out at least some of the grout prior to re-grouting to make room for the new. . http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/print/0,17071,217076,00.html
For 2 bills I'd consider the pro. Sounds as if you're pleased with him.
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