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I have a similar problem to the previous person who wrote in. I have pebble tile (Botany Bay Sliced Olive) and the grout turned out way too light. I already cleaned it with sulphamic acid and am still not happy. I used grout release on the pebbles before grouting - is that the same as sealing them? I'd like to re color the grout but tried on some extra pebbles I have and it would not be easy to keep it off the stone!  Can I seal the the stones now?

Answer
Hello and thank you for contacting The Grout Dye Company.

Dear, Gail;

Sorry for the delay.  

Q. I have a similar problem to the previous person who wrote in.

I have pebble tile (Botany Bay Sliced Olive) and the grout turned out way too light.
I already cleaned it with Sulphamic acid and am still not happy.

A. It is very common for cement based grouts to dry lighter then there intended color.
Once the grout's color pigments are lost, usually due to over cleaning the grout with water.
The chances are that the pigments will never come back to the original color you intended to have.

Also, the use of products like Sulphamic acid either in liquid or crystal form are in general  
bad to use on grout and natural pebble stone and stone tiles.
Since they can etch a stones tile's surface & rarely work on restoring a grout to it's natural color.
 

Q. I used grout release on the pebbles before grouting. Is that the same as sealing them?

A. No, a grout release is generally made of paraffin wax and while it will protect the stone from absorbing the grouts color pigments and grout residual, it won't seal the stone, since the wax is broken down when you clean up the excess grout residual. For future projects I would recommend pre sealing your stone with a water based clear sealer.

Q. I'd like to re color the grout but tried on some extra pebbles I have and it would
not be easy to keep it off the stone!

A. Yes while most grout colorants will permeate an unsealed stone it doesn't mean that the grout cant be colored.
Applying a little water based sealer to a cotton rag and carefully sealing the stone, without allowing the grout to absorb the sealer, will allow the grout to be colored. This is of course tedious to do but it can be done.   

Q. Can I seal the stones now?

A. Please refer to answer above.  
Thank you;

Michael C. Malizia
The Grout Dye Company
www.groutdyestore.com
www.groutdye.com
www.tile-grout.net
www.groutdye.net
888-249-0240

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Michael C. Malizia

Expertise

I can answer questions about, Grout and ceramic tile restoration and installation. This topic generally focuses on new or old installations that have an existing problem. I can offer advice on how to correct common made installation mistakes. Such as, cementitious grout problems, efflorescence, ghosting, shading, and flashing. And tile installation problems such as, floor deflection, slip resistance, loose tiles, vapor transmission and many others. These are just a few of the problems associated with new tile and grout installations. I can also offer advice with restoring old tile and grout problems such as, sealer removal, re-sealing, grout re-coloring, grout repair, and caulking.

Experience

Have worked in many different phaces of construction since 1983, I am owner / operator of a Tile & Grout installation and restoration business. I am also a technical advisor for The Grout Dye Company. since 1995.

Education/Credentials
General studies

Past/Present Clients
Connecticut Stamford Hilton,Southampton hospital, Mcdonalds, Wading river hotel, Eastwind caterers, La pizzola, Setauket bagels, Sortsman kennels, Savinos resteraunt, Custom Building Products, Super-tec, Cancos, Southampton brick and tile, Tech, Dap, Poland spring water etc.

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