brett_halper

Marble backsplash yellowing right after grouting

Brett Halper
2 years ago

DIY doing my first tile job. I set all the tile and sealed with a sealing sponge. After at least 48 hours I started to grout (powdered unsanded with admixture) .


Was cleaning the haze immediately after with warm water and a sponge. I go to look at it this morning and I have a number of tiles with yellow "rectangles". Clearly this is either from the grouting or the act of cleaning it.

I've read that this might be caused by minerals in the water? In any case, just looking for some solutions to avoid this from happening again and also for removing these stains.

Thank you


Comments (76)

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    aha,,,found it.

    Phil, all the thinsets and grout sold at the tile shop, are MADE by the tileshop. I was a salesperson there, and ran the warehouse for about 3 years. As you may have read in the other thread, the sanded is a little "sandy", but it's still smooth flowing.

    In regards to the admix, it says on the bottle not to use with stone. This is true to a point. if you seal the stone before you grout, there is nothing to worry about. In the original test phases, with a light colored stone that wasn't sealed, it did have a tendancy to discolor the edge of the stone.

    even tho you sealed the tops, the admix mixture/grout seeped into the sides of the marble and discolored it. there's your issue, I believe. why it didn't do on all of them? who knows, maybe those were sealed or maybe it wasn't wet enough to seep into those.

    the guys over at JB don't care for this grout or thinset. it's more expensive than Custom products and you have to buy their ad-mixture instead of using water. that's quite the business they're running. they should have informed you that admixture isn't safe for soft, natural stone.

    http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=100187

    btw,,,here is the product manager over at Superior products if you have any complaints

    dan.holcomb@tileshop.com

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Great find beth. I did seal before grouting, but obliviously it must not have done a great job on sealing the edges, (again, with materials supplied by The Tile Shop) Time to go yell at The Tile Shop and get a refund of some extent.

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    2 years ago

    That admin is complete junk. The grout is too. But that admix belongs in the garbage.

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Beth, the backspash is about 75% grouted, so removing all of the current grout I think would be a really big job! In addition, I'd estimate there are 25+ tiles all over the place with this discoloration. I'm not even sure how to remove tiles that were on a sheet and then thinset to the wall, not to mention how to do it without destroying the wall behind them.


    At this point I'm going to use one of my spare sheets to run a test and do everything exactly like I've done on half of it, and no admixture (distilled water instead) on the other half. The way I can definitively say it was the admixture and The Tile Shop can compensate me for the materials of the original job as well as time/materials to fix (assuming it can be) the discolored tiles.

  • artistsharonva
    2 years ago

    The wall above is yellow in your photos. Was the wall behind your tile yellow then added grout over the yellow?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    artist,,,no. read the entire post. it's the additive.

    Brett-hope it works out. forgo their products and use Mapei or Laticrete grout and a proper thinset for marble tile.

  • PRO
    Astonia Stone Artisans
    2 years ago

    Go to the manager at the location you purchased from, show them what is going on. They are a good company- they will take care of you.

  • artistsharonva
    2 years ago

    Beth, is that a tile finish line? It appears there is a yellow wall. The mixer was yellow?

    See the tile line?

    Was the wall behind the tile in the beginning yellow? before they put the grout & additive over it?

    Could the old paint color have seaped through into the grout & additive & seen through the tiles?

    Most grouts & adhesives i have used have never been yellow.


  • katinparadise
    2 years ago

    following

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    artist,,,that's paint on the wall. if that was really the issue, it would be on every tile. it's not. and it's only around the edges on the others. This admix stuff he used w/his grout is known to discolor the edges of natural stone tile if it's not properly sealed.

    Besides, he used a thinset over that yellow. paint doesn't bleed through cement! it's his grout. the grout isn't yellow. it's the chemical in the admix that reacts w/the grout and discolors the stone. that's why I posted that link so he could read about these products from TheTileStore.

  • artistsharonva
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    No paints do not bleed through dry cement when dry.

    Paint pigments are put into wet cement when mixing to create a different color.

    I was just curious to know if it was possible that the yellow paint got mixed into the wet products he used & multiplied the yellowing problem.

    In regards to the chemical reaction that could of happen, here is a good link on why & how to fix.

    Why is My White Marble Turning Yellow?

    http://www.architecturalceramics.com/blog/2015/12/10/why-is-my-white-marble-turning-yellow/ refer to the TILE COUNCIL OF AMERICA HANDBOOK, and the DIMENSION STONE DESIGN MANUAL from the Marble Institute of America.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    artist,,yes. we are aware of that. but gray thinset was not used. it's also not iron oxide. as I've stated, it's the admix product that was mixed this grout.

    Paint pigments are put into wet cement when mixing to create a different color.

    what are you talking about? thinset is cement based. he used white thinset to set the tiles. you asked if the yellow paint from the wall was causing it. I said no. the yellow paint can't bleed through the cement (thinset). why are you talking about paint pigments???? no,,the yellow paint did not get mixed in. how in the world would yellow paint pigment from his wall get mixed into his batch of thinset? once he spread it on the wall, do you think pigments peeled off and somehow formed a perfect rectangle around the edge of his tile?

    do you see the pattern of the yellowing? it's around the edges. it's drawing it from the grouting process. if there was some unknown yellow paint pigment in the thinset, it would show up all willy nilly throughout the tiles.

    your link is talking about gray thinset. that isn' the issue here. if it was, all of the tiles would have issues, and not just around the edges. did you read the part that said the tiles that were not touched w/grout have no yellowing?? that poultice is for other yellowing issues. not ones caused by this admixture! you're just pulling off stuff you find on the internet without understanding what the cause is.

    this is not paint pigment that's leeched into the thinset! good lord.

    Thanks for the input, but I don't think you're getting the issue here. I've also posted links that comment on the yellowing of this admixture when mixed w/their grout.

    please, enough w/the yellow paint on the wall.

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Put down... Lol.

    Artist, appreciate the help, but I agree with Beth about complicating the issue. I know this thread is getting long, but if you read from the beginning and take note of my pictures /replies, I assure you that the same conclusion will be reached.

    I am very interested in knowing what can be done to fix it, but that is 100% a question for The Tile Shop as this is not some standard reaction.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    brett, it wasn't meant as a put down,,,but rather, read the entire post! artist, I don't know how many tile jobs you've done, but if you had, you'd realize you're really reaching for straws trying to blame the yellow paint. it's just not feasible. giving advice on technical issues that you don't have knowledge or experience with, isn't helping anyone.

    brett, keep us apprised as to what tileshop has to say. thanks

  • PRO
    Sombreuil
    2 years ago

    Let me introduce a little reality Beth. Thinset is cement, cement is caustic; caustics break down paint media; broken down media releases the pigment.

    If science = blame, that's a personal problem of perception. DBAD,

    Casey

  • artistsharonva
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    It was a just a question to try to help.

    I have done tile before, but they were opaque, so I asked a question.

    I have done many walls before with many different applications. I know certain paints bleed through if wall is not properly prepared. I wasn't sure if the tiles have some tranparency or the materials being used dry clear or if the chemicals were reacting like Sombreuil described.

    I have been reading this post It was just a question to try to help. Wanted to make sure the yellow wall was not a factor.

    Seems you all got it figured out.

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Part of the response from the store,

    "Also, we aren't convinced that the grout and/or admixture is the culprit behind the discoloration but we also aren't certain what exactly is. It could be the something on or in the walls or something else entirely. The reason we aren't 100% it is the grout or admixture is that the grout itself hasn't turned yellow, which if there were a yellowing agent in the grout we feel it would've affected that as well. Regardless of what has caused the yellowing, we are going to do a one-time replacement as I have indicated above once I have the information I asked for above. The reason I bring it up is because whatever is acting as the culprit may do so again with the new marble unless the problem is solved, and obviously none of us wants that. "


    I asked for clarification on the term "replacement" as providing me with $60 worth of tile is not a satisfactory resolution...

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Sombreuil,,,,really?? cement breaks down pigment in one day?? the day he grouts the paint pigment is going suddenly dissolve and chip and color just the edges of only certain tiles. just the ones he grouted. He covered thinset all over that paint and yet, surprisingly, only the tiles that the grout mixture touched, discolored. Hmmm. Casey, you failed chemistry and your detective tests. artist,,,I understand what your saying. if indeed the paint was bleeding through, it would bleed through all of it. all the tiles would show a pale yellow. including the middle parts. not just a rectangular edging (that mimics grouting). and as stated repeatedly, it's only doing it on the ones that were grouted,,,with the admix,,,that has a past history of discoloring stone tiles,,,that says right on the bottle,,"do not use on natural stone. May discolor". This has all been discussed. c'mon you guys. look at the evidence. I really hope you don't have to serve jury duty.

    Brett, you're using a different grout w/no admix, right? are you replacing all of the tiles on the wall, or just the ones that have discolored? And of course they aren't going to admit that it was their fault, or they'd have to pay for an entire rip out and redo. this way, they're leaving themselves a little out but they know damn well it's their stuff or they would have flat out told you 'no'. your complaint is not the first.

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Beth,

    I've stopped work on the project until I get some sort of resolution with this. I've got some tiles sitting on their side in a small pool of the admixture right now. Going to mix up a small batch of grout as well and do the same. If I can decouple my house/walls/etc from the equation and show discoloration with their products on their own, I think that is hard to deny.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    ok. good to know. I'd hate for to have to rip out the wall. is there a way you can set the tiles on a board with the same thinset and then grout? maybe you need all 3 components.

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Yep, good suggestion. I have a 2x2 piece of drywall and I'll make a mockup on there. Without knowing the effort required, I would think the easiest solution (to replacing 50+ tiles) would be to cut out the whole job and start a new with drywall to fit.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago

    well, that could be too! just don't paint the drywall yellow ;0

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Haha! To settle once and for all for the people who can't /don't want to read the whole thread... THERE IS NO YELLOW PAINT BEHIND THE BACKSPLASH. :-)

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    oh well gosh! I wish you'd have repeated that earlier so the flat earth society people could have seen that.

  • bridget_bonaventura
    2 years ago

    We just used the EXACT same tile and admixture/grout and had the same yellowing occur on multiple tiles less than 24 hours after we grouted. When I called the tile shop customer service they claim they have never heard of this problem occurring before. What ended up happening with your tile? I can’t imagine having to pull all of this up.

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Bridget-


    First of all, sorry that this is happening to you too. One question before I get into what you asked and a follow up for everyone; how many times did you seal the tile and with what application (sponge, spray, etc)?


    I have only worked with my local store on this matter, working through their management up to the district manager. At first it was the same "story" they are feeding you, they have never heard of this happening, and saying they have no idea what could have caused it, etc. They asked, "what I wanted". I asked for a full refund of the order ($920) and then a full replacement of all materials since I would need to tear down what was done and start again. They at first agreed to a refund OR a replacement of materials, but then reneged on that offer when I was discussing with the district manager. Instead of sticking with the "we have never heard of it", he said, "the only time we have seen this is the stone is not sealed properly." He continued to explain, as well all know, that marble is porous and needs to be sealed. He said it is common knowledge, which I disputed, that it has to be sealed AT LEAST THREE TIMES before grouting (as opposed to once). We argued back and forth for a bit about their responsibility of selling a product that has such a great risk of discoloring, but he always pulled out the "we are not responsible for product once it leaves the store". He even went so far as to reference the limited liability claim on the back of the admixture.


    In the end we settled on a replacement of the tile/trim/thinset, which made up the majority of the order. My wife is wanting her kitchen back, so we are hiring a local pro (that comes recommended from our neighborhood group) and providing the material (letting them source the grout/etc).


    I just got finished tearing out the damaged job. I'd HIGHLY recommend the Dremel Multimax with a flush blade. I was able to get out ~30sqft in just over 3 hours. I'll be putting up new drywall in its place (to prep for the new tile install) next weekend.


    I find it incredible that they continue to claim ignorance at all levels of the company in regard to this problem. If they only sold to Pros (a Sherman Williams analogous for tile), then fine, sell the product and nothing more. However, they promote themselves as a one-stop-tile-shop for DIY. So, when their salesperson picks out your entire order, I argue they have a responsibility to at the very least warn the consumer that this product combination can discolor if you don't do X, Y, and Z. If their sales people do not know this, then it is the managements responsibility to train their employees.



  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Bridget, Don't back down. They are liars. if you google your tile/admixure, you will find plenty of other people w/the same problem. What's ever in their admixture causes the discoloration. (there is even a warning on the bottle that says it may stain if not properly sealed). the problem is, sealing the top isn't going to prevent the mixture from being absorbed through the back of the tile. They just need to stop selling the admixture w/this marble tile.

    I would take pics, speak to a manager, reference this blog, Brett's same issue and hound them until they replace your tile. I would also post pics and spill your guts on any blog, their instagram page, Yelp, whatever it takes to get their attention. Maybe if enough people did this, they would stop selling those two items together or warn people first. your marble needs to be set w/a white thinset meant for natural stone mixed w/water. that's it. your marble tiles should have a coat or two of sealer applied to the front of the tile (no sides) before setting and grouting. grout w/a non-sanded type of grout.

  • bridget_bonaventura
    2 years ago

    Hi Brett- we sealed the marble twice as they told us to do at the store before we grouted. As you are, I’m very frustrated. I reviewed the total order with two people at the store and how to apply. This isn’t the first time I have had problems with them. Last year they recommended a tile installer who did a terrible job with our bathroom reno tile. We will see what corporate says but at this point I will never use them again and either will most of my family members.

  • PRO
    Affordable Quality Kitchens & Stone
    2 years ago

    Clean a test spot with acetone it should clean it up.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago

    Affordable Quality. No, it won't. If you'd taken the time to read this post you'd understand why. if it was as easy as 'clean it with acetone', we wouldn't be up to 54 comments addressing this issue! Read the entire thread before offering advice.

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Bridget- How did you apply the sealer?

  • smitrovich
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I realize this is a controversial subject, but I'm going add that I also think the yellow pigment is leeching through the tile from the paint on the wall—it's exactly the same color yellow. I know that doesn't really help you, but I do believe that's your problem. No amount of sealing would help with that.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    smitrovich,,,that's already been asked and answered. the wall behind the tile was NOT painted yellow.


    Haha! To settle once and for all for the people who can't /don't want to read the whole thread... THERE IS NO YELLOW PAINT BEHIND THE BACKSPLASH. :-)

    He had a different substrate behind the tile. Even if that was the case, which it's not, why would the yellow only show through on the tiles that were grouted and not the others??? it wouldn't. there is no yellow behind the tiles. the admixture was mixed w/the grout. that's why the grouted tiles have the yellow stain and the non-grouted tiles do not.

    it's the admixture that was mixed in w/the grout that has stained the tile. if you read the entire post, you'll see why. you'll also see the other complaints from other people who bought the exact same two products. (and there was no yellow anywhere near her wall!)

  • smitrovich
    2 years ago

    Beth—You know your stuff and I know you have a ton of knowledge and expertise when it comes to tile and installation, so I will absolutely defer to you. :)

    I did read what OP said, I just don't really believe it. I think there's some yellow paint under there, maybe not everywhere, but in places.

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I know there is no yellow paint behind the backsplash because:

    1) We had the kitchen painted 4 months ago. The kitchen used to be an off-white/pink.

    2) When I took down the old backsplash, which was solid granite glued in just a few spots, I could clearly see the old paint.


    The reason you might say you can see yellow paint behind the tile is the 6" backsplash, of which you pictured, is slightly higher than the previous granite, so the pencil trim sits on the transition to what was recently painted. The main 18" backsplash all had the original white from when the house was built (2005).

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago

    thanks for clearing this up again Brett. Smit,,it would seem logical to assume that, but logically speaking, the yellow paint would not 'ring' the edges of the tile, and only do the edges on the exact ones that were grouted. Don't know how much detective work you've encountered, but as the say, 'the proof is in the pudding'. I researched this product on other tile forums and found the exact same complaints. That, this OP's issue, other people that have popped w/the same issue, and the fact that The Tile Store is replacing all his tile and products, should tell you that this is not something new for these two products. if it was, The Tile Shop would have told him to go pound sand. I suspect they have been bombarded w/people complaining about the same thing . tThey prob hope the people will take their first response, "oh, you must not have sealed it properly', as the gospel and go away. others like Brett push the issue which is why he's getting a refund. It's 100% the admixture he was given to mix his grout. He didn't use water, just their mixture. that's the problem, hands down, case closed.

  • qttire1
    last year

    Brett. checking to see if you got your issue resolved. I just went through something very similar. I got marble tile from the tile shop and they gave me the admixture for the roteout and produced a ring around every tile but only where the grout is. Curious to see if there was a fix for this instead of replacing the tiles. I dont want to replace the whole master bath if necessary.



  • smitrovich
    last year

    When did you do the grout? The marble could just be wet and needs to dry. Marble is porous and absorbs moisture.

  • qttire1
    last year

    2 weeks ago. it’s dry by now. It’s the admixture I have a spot With no grout and there is no ring in that area but rings all around where there is grout

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year
    last modified: last year

    qttire- I don't know why TileShop pushes that admixture w/marble tile. I believe it's NOT supposed to be used with natural stone? can you read any of that on the bottle or instructions?

    They had a discussion on this over at the JohnBridge Tile forum. ( I noticed you posted over there too.

    The admixture is added for strengthening grout in high traffic areas and improving color. Hardly what you need in a bathroom w/white grout! It's a ploy to get you to spend more money. You didn't need it.

    anyone reading this, if buying tile from TileShop, do NOT buy their other products. Home Depot or Lowes carries perfectly fine Thinset mortar for marble tiles. They also carry quite a few variations of grout (cementious, epoxy or urethane) you don't need any of their admixture.

  • qttire1
    last year

    The bottle says Some natural stone. Of course they have never seen this before. I have a regional guy coming to look at it today. from what I have read there is no fix for it so not sure what they are going to do.

  • Brett Halper
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Sorry I missed the comment qttire1. I ended up tearing the whole backsplash down and then redoing it with distilled water (no admixture). Probably not what you wanted to hear, but it didn't get any better over time, if anything some areas became worse.

    Once I redid it, I had a few spots that were getting stained (similar yellowing, but only in small areas). I used a grout cleaner (acid free) and a stiff brush, just lathered it on the brush, gently dabbed it on the area, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub. On a few places the grout was a little thin so it poked through, just repaired that and it was good as new.

    As for dealing with the Tile Shop, I eventually got them to give me all new material, but they would not budge on either a refund or compensating me for my time/a pro to come do it (the 2nd time). Won't be shopping there again.


    Link to the grout cleaner: https://www.amazon.com/Rejuvenate-Grout-Deep-Cleaner-Non-Toxic/dp/B00ET4OVQW/ref=asc_df_B00ET4OVQW/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198100801330&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1599501639157599922&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033322&hvtargid=aud-801381245258:pla-318599283750&psc=1

  • qttire1
    last year

    WOW that sucks.... I got about 7500 worth of tile that has rings around all of it. My rings are not yellow but still the same thing you dealt with. I have a regional rep meeting me today to look at it. so after you re did everything no rings around the tiles but you had some yellowing on the grout? and this is why you used the grout cleaner?


  • qttire1
    last year

    what marble did you go with, it looks very similar to what I used.

  • qttire1
    last year

    Beth,

    The regional mgr came to my house today and he asked to see what mortar was used. I showed him a bucket of pre-mixed that my contractor left and he said that was the cause. He said the premix stuff caused the problem and I should have used the powder thin set and mixed it with water. I told him I did not think that was the issue. He gave me some super stain remover to try and fix it. After he left I called my contractor and he told me he only used that on the walls because it is stickier and used vesa bond on the floor. I emailed the mgr back letting him know we used approved thinset on the floor and now waiting on his response.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year
    last modified: last year

    qttire-the manager is trying to find any excuse to get out of this mess. There are plenty of other people w/the exact same complaint when using their Admixture. they know this.

    as for then premixed stuff, I'm assuming you mean Mastic? the white stuff in the plastic tub? That should never be used anywhere near water, like a shower. (I'm glad your guy used versabond) but as for him saying "he used in on the walls because it's stickier" ??? huh? (I've used Versabond on marble tiles on the wall, I've used it w/heavy Cement tiles on the wall, and have never had adherence issues. Your contractor is misinformed)

    No. That Mastic is NOT supposed to be used w/natural stone, especially marble. It will cause stains. (maybe down the road too). What wall did he use it on? Mastic stays wet and gooey a lot longer than the 'powdered' mortar. I really don't know why he chose to use it on the wall.


    Do you have pictures that show the entire wall/space? let me see where this going


    The only time I would ever use Mastic is on small tiles, ceramic or porcelain, and for something simple like a backsplash or mosaic table top or something.

    Mastic should not be used in the bathroom, with natural stone tiles, or with large tiles.

  • qttire1
    last year



  • qttire1
    last year

    This is what he used. I may be saying the wrong thing my contractor has been doing tile for years so he is pretty knowledgeable

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year

    oh yes,,,that's not mastic. when you mentioned premixed from the tub, it's usually Mastic! This one from Mapei is actually mortar, so it's ok. says right on it 'ok for natural stone'. I think the Rep may have thought he used Mastic as well.

    At any rate, the rep will be looking for any excuse on your part that relieves him of responsibility. That Admixture stuff is horrible. He knows it was the cause. Just don't relent.