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Help - removing grout from limestone tile surface

Discussion in 'Tiling' started by Bubblyboo, 3 Nov 2016.

  1. Bubblyboo

    Bubblyboo

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    Hi,

    I really hope somebody can help me!

    My husband has laid some limestone tiles and they look great (he isn't a professional but did a good job IMHO)

    He sealed them first using a Fila product. We grouted them and thought we'd wiped off all the grout from the tile surface, but the grout has settled in the tiny little holes/dimples in the stone's surface (they're not honed they are tumbled I believe?).

    I've bought a residue remover from Topps Tiles for £12 and just bought Microscrub from amazon for £25. Neither have worked! It will 'scratch' out if I use my nail, but there are a lot of tiles here and we're desperate to put our furniture back again!!

    I don't know what to use as I know acidic products will ruin the tiles surface.

    Does anyone have any advice??

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. Paul C.

    Paul C.

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    Do you have any images? Sounds more likely to be travertine.

    Anyway, with tumbled tiles, you have to options. You can grout them by pointing the grout in to the joints, thus not getting any in the holes. However, the holes will be proper dirt catchers and will start to look very manky very quickly. Or there is option two, which is "in my opinion" the correct way (and sounds like this is what your husband has done), which is to slurry the grout over, filling in both the joints and the holes. Doing a similar thing to Honed and Filled, just without the honing.

    Only way to clear the holes if you are adamant it needs taking out, is to continue as you are doing. Picking little bits out at a time.... maybe with a dremel and small drill attachment to speed the process up a bit???

    Personally, I'd recommend leaving the grout in.
     
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  4. Bubblyboo

    Bubblyboo

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    Thank you so, so much for replying!!

    Leaving the grout in sounds great to me - less work . I just didn't want people to look and think we'd done a shoddy job.

    I'll try to attach a couple of pictures for you to see.

    Someone suggested using vinegar, which I did and now have etched the surface in a couple of places. I just feel like crying over it! I'm now trying to find something for that too - an alternative to Aqua Mix Renue that I can get in UK.

    Thank you again
     
  5. Paul C.

    Paul C.

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    Its personal preference at the end of the day. Some people like it with grout, some without. I would just be concerned about the muck getting in and making it less hygenic.

    As for the vinegar, on ceramic tiles, it might work. But the acid will badly attack any calciferous stone such as marble, limestone or travertine. You can only use alkaline cleaners. Although acid based will do a good job of getting grout off, it will dissolve the tile. You'd be better trying something like LTP Power Stripper as it will break down the grout, but it will still involve a huge amount of elbow grease.
     
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  7. Seafarer1966

    Seafarer1966

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    Try using a wallpaper steamer. To avoid steaming out your grouted seams blank them off with gaffer tape and cardboard. Try an inconspicuous bit first to see if it works.
    I used a steamer to get old tile adhesive off a wall. It worked for me.
     
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