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Flooring and Carpeting/to remove epoxy grout ?

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QUESTION: I've read that you can use a mixture of water and vinegar to remove epoxy grout from polished porcelain tiles. I hate to ruin my tile in order to find out if this is true. What do you suggest?

ANSWER: Thank you for your question Lee,

    While vinegar (weak acid) will have virtually zero effect on any kind of epoxy for removal purposes there is always a possibility that a polished surface "can" be effected...even a Porcelain one. I would resort to employing a "test" piece of tile using Baking Soda and an abrasive scrub pad (look for the white kind as they are less abrasive and less likely to damage anything). Just pretend that there is something on the surface like the epoxy and wet the tile...sprinkle Baking Soda directly on the surface and rub the surface vigorously doing your best to see if the polish is dulled by the effort. I am betting that it won't but use the test to gauge the likelihood of the possibility it happening. You can also attempt to use the fine razor blade and holder that window cleaners use to clean the dirt and soil from the window prepping to clean it off in order to remove all the excess material first which will make the removal of the balance much more likely and less likely to damage the surface of the tile. Ok Lee I hope this helps you with your problem, feel free to return anytime...

Perry V.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: any other suggestions to remove epoxy grout?

Answer
Welcome back Lee,

    The strongest positive for the employment of an epoxy grout as a conclusion to a tile installation is also the strongest negative to the same operation. What complicates this whole equation is the polished condition of the tile. Typically epoxy can be cleaned by employing the stronger solvents...acetone, xylene etc. but that chemical solution is too powerful for the polished surface in my estimation. In other words I don't know what would truly happen but I wouldn't try it. My best suggestion for you Lee is to contact the manufacturer of the epoxy that you purchased and consult with their "Tech Dept", every manufacture of material like this has one that is usually right on the container that the epoxy came in. Or simply reach out to their website where you could do the same thing you are currently doing with me but perhaps with a more positive outcome. There have been many advancements in bio-degradable solvents that I may not be aware of (can't do all the research and still work), you understand the problem. Anyway Lee I would pursue that pathway next and hopefully they can put you onto something that "they" produce that is an easy fix. Feel free to return anytime...

Perry  

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Perry Vellenga

Expertise

Ceramic Tile/Marble. I can answer questions about floor preparation, tile selection, layout questions, performance of products, expectations of finish, compatabilities, questions about grout and epoxies, evaluating an installer, asking the right questions to check competence...more? 33 years this August 2012/ many years in commercial application from exterior finishes to Mall store fronts/ interior finishes like floor packages in stores inside Malls examples: The Limited, Lerner/NY, Lane Bryants, Bombay Co., Now involved in Residential new construction covering all types of interior finishes and designs.

Experience

I worked in an exclusive field of floorcovering called "Tenant Development" which is by invitational bid only, by way of a National bid list. These are large floor packages usually over 3500 sq. ft. of 18" x 18" Marble and Granite and many other types of Marble and sizes. They are specialty stores where the floor package can cost upwards of $50,000 for one store. I have also done "Structure" stores and J. Riggins stores, Lane Bryant,Express and Body Shop stores where wood flooring is used. Presently work for a National Flooring Company in the Residential new construction arena that covers most interior design elements..Granite Slab tops/wood flooring both job finished and prefinished ect..

Publications
My response's are published all across the Internet and picked up by multiple Interior Design sites and Industry related web sites where people have questions...

Education/Credentials
too many most of which don't count...

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