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Discuss White grout dries brown after a few hours in the Tile Cleaning and Restoration Forum area at TilersForums.co.uk.

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  1. Chris B

    Chris B Active Member

    Location:
    Billericay Essex
    Hi everyone

    A newbie here, needing some professional advice please!

    We have a shower that was installed in an upstairs bathroom about 8 years ago. It's all been fine until now, but we are finding that the white grout around a few of our mosaic tiles is turning brown about 10-12 hours after we shower, ie as it dries out. As soon as it gets wet again it goes back to white.

    The affected patch is on a partition stud wall and is half way up. It's below the hose inlet for the hand held shower attachment but not directly below - probably a couple of inches to one side.

    We've scrubbed using bleach, cif, limescale remover and mould remover (on separate occasions, not together!), and as soon as the grout gets wet it's white again, but the discolouration still returns.

    It's been like this for the last couple of months. We wondered initially whether there could be a leak behind the wall but the patch is half way up the wall, so you would think that any water would run down and that the tiles below would also be affected. Nor is any water coming through the ceiling. We've also put a tissue against the grout but there's no obvious sign of damp.

    3 photos added, one showing the overall position in the shower, one a close up of the marks when dry and the third showing how they clear when wet.

    Any suggestions as to the next step would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
    Chris

    1.JPG 2.JPG 3.JPG
     
  2. jcrtiling

    jcrtiling Professional Tiler TTA Member Top Contributor

    Location:
    Salisbury
    Do you know what the background is on that wall . Could it possibly be ply .
     
  3. Chris B

    Chris B Active Member

    Location:
    Billericay Essex
    No, it’s definitely just a stud partition wall. I took a power socket off on the landing side to double check that.
     
  4. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler Top Contributor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Staining from behind, pulled through into the grout.
    It's a sign that there is water damage behind that area.

    Look closely at the top grout joints in the 2nd and 3rd photos.
    They have opened up, allowing water in.
     
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  5. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler Top Contributor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Your next step:
    You could rake out and re-grout that area, also check the silicone joint which looks compromised too.
    Check behind the shower valve that it's sealed too.
    That might last a while.

    Proper solution though is cut out and replace damaged areas.
    Two problems - 1) Any sheets of mosaic left over? 2) It's a job for an experienced pro only.
     
  6. Chris B

    Chris B Active Member

    Location:
    Billericay Essex

    Oh no, I was hoping you weren't going to say that lol.

    Just had another look in the shower with my glasses on(!) and it looks as if there's quite a lot of minor cracking in the grout.

    We've not got any spare mosaics. Do you think they are likely to get damaged if they are removed and refitted? Presumably it's going to be a massive job to redo the whole shower? We were concerned about using mosaic tiles when we first had the work done. And of course, the company that did it are no longer in business . . .
     
  7. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler Top Contributor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    No, you can't remove and re-fit. Impossible.
    Best brace yourself for a rip-out!
    Get someone in who can also do all the prep. It could need new wall boards, so plasterboard (tanked) or Wedi board (or similar).
    If I used mosaics like that, I would have specified an epoxy grout which as well as being easier to keep clean, is 100% waterproof.
     
  8. Chris B

    Chris B Active Member

    Location:
    Billericay Essex
    My day can only get better ....

    Thanks for your advice though, it’s appreciated.
     
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  9. wrighty

    wrighty Professional Tiler

    Location:
    Northumberland
    That was my first thought.
     
  10. wrighty

    wrighty Professional Tiler

    Location:
    Northumberland
    Yes,it may be a stud partition,but fixed to the studwork is it plywood or plasterboard?
     
  11. Tom Astley

    Tom Astley Professional Tiler

    Aren't these the tiles that had preformed grout lines in that were grouted in when fixed?

    If so then it is possible that you could just rake out the the grout back to the tile backer and regrout.

    urbanique_URBN3S_scored_mink_360x275.jpg.570x570_q85_crop_upscale.jpg
     
  12. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler Top Contributor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Well spotted! If they are then it becomes a lot easier.
     
  13. Plan Tec Tiling

    Plan Tec Tiling Administrator Staff Member Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    Wimborne, Dorset
    The grout joints look too inconsistent for it to be that type of tile? Plus, the vertical grout joint on the left is silicone!
     
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  14. Chris B

    Chris B Active Member

    Location:
    Billericay Essex
    I'm not really sure if they had pre-formed lines but they are definitely Villeroy and Boch Bernina Creme 3.3 x 7.5cm Mosaic. It looks from the web site as if they come in a large square like your image above but I thought they pulled apart into individual mosaic tiles.

    Example link here if it helps:

    Villeroy and Boch Bernina Creme 3.3 x 7.5cm Mosaic - https://www.tilesandbathroomsonline.co.uk/villeroy-and-boch-bernina-creme-3-3-x-7-5cm-mosaic

    Thanks everyone, can't believe how helpful this forum has been!
     
  15. Tom Astley

    Tom Astley Professional Tiler

    Arghhhh .... these are Mosaics on a mesh...just checked with Waxmans who sell them.

    I would be tempted to try and remove the grout first and regrout before ripping them off. A multi-tool should take this gout out quite easily, worth a try and possibly money saving.
     
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  16. Chris B

    Chris B Active Member

    Location:
    Billericay Essex
    Thanks Tom, I really appreciate your checking this out for me. I think I'm going to find a local tiler and get it done properly, not sure I trust myself with the multi tool, I'll end up cutting through the tiles lol!

    Final question. I know the cracked grout is going to let water through, but would those cracks allow enough through to cause this problem? There's no direct water jet onto that wall, it's only going to get sprayed (although we do admittedly have a 4 bar pump pushing the water upstairs). I'd have thought that any water would drop vertically but is it possible there could be a leak from behind the hand held shower outlet that's causing water to run down a pipe behind the affected area? Or is that too far fetched?
     
  17. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler Top Contributor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Water will indeed "suck" in through any tiny cracks. Capillary action!
    Infact, people forget that grout (unless epoxy) isn't waterproof but will soak water up and pass it through to the background.

    Worth checking for leaks - maybe cut out the wall behind?
     
  18. Paul C.

    Paul C. Professional Tiler

    Are you 100% sure there is no leak coming from the shower outlet?

    To me it looks like water has jetted out at a downward left angle from the outlet and trickled down the grout lines. Only asking because similar marks I have seen like that in the past in almost the same position have turned out to be rust..... maybe check the internals of the shower outlet to make sure there's no corrosion of some kind and try a rust cleaner (if you don't want to spend anything, you could try white vinegar) to remove the stain?

    Worth a go before ripping the lot out. I could be completely wrong but just saying what I see.
     
  19. Chris B

    Chris B Active Member

    Location:
    Billericay Essex
    Once again, thanks everyone. I’ll have a look at the internals first and try some vinegar but I think we’ll need to sort the cracks too.

    It’s just strange how the staining disappears when wet, that doesn’t feel like rust or water stain to me. I’ll report back!
     
  20. timeless john

    timeless john Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner Top Contributor

    Location:
    North East England
    Is there silicone around the cover plate for that shower head outlet. If not the water from the head above could be running down behind it.
     
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  21. Chris B

    Chris B Active Member

    Location:
    Billericay Essex
    I don’t think there’s silicone around the cover but it’s not caused any problems for 8 years so I’d have thought it unlikely that it would start now. But definitely another thing to rule out.....
     
  22. GAZ5518

    GAZ5518 Tiler Extraordinaire Professional Tiler

    Location:
    EPSOM
    I'd at this stage carefully rake out the stained area and hairline cracked areas... Re-grout in a good flexi grout.. Fingers crossed .. May be the ticket.. Worth a try!...but most certainly cracks due to movement/ delamination and staining more than likely from behind ( Impo)...
     
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