Bathroom floor & countertop tile questions...

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Old 04-14-06, 09:29 PM
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Bathroom floor & countertop tile questions...

I'm remodeling my bathroom and have a couple of questions:

1) I installed a black granite tile (12"x12") countertop in my bathroom, and would like to use the 3"x 12" leftover cut pieces for a countertop backsplash, with the factory cut edge on top. This edge, however, is not smooth and polished like the surface. It is straight, but you can see slight saw marks in it. I'm wondering if there is a way to smooth and polish this tile edge myself, so that it looks as smooth and shiny (or almost as smooth) as the tile surface. If not, is there an alternative, such as applying a black paint that would be durable, and look good?

2) I used ceramic tile on the floor, and though the tile itself looks good, I'm not all that happy with how the grout looks. It seems the green color I chose (Bay Leaf, by Custom Building Products) came out lighter than I expected (almost a light grey), and the color is not all that uniform (some darker patches here and there). When the grout is wet, it looks really good (darker and uniform). I haven't sealed it yet. I'm wondering if there is some sort of grout "stain" I could apply to the grout to darken it up, and make it look more uniform. I thought I heard somewhere that there was, but maybe I just dreamt it. Also, I have a ceramic tile floor in the other bathroom with a similar problem, but the grout is sealed there, and would like to know if sealed grout presents a problem. Thanks for any help you can provide!
 
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Old 04-15-06, 09:21 AM
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1) The edges and saw-marks can be sanded and removed using a sanding block and a 220 grit sandpaper. You can then use a 400-600 grit wet/dry paper to sand again, at that point you can then use a 1000 grit wet-sand paper to improve the luster. The edges can then be polished with a polishing rouge and a power buffer.

You will not be able to attain the factory high-gloss but you can get close with this method. The 220 sandpaper you find at the store will be aluminum-oxide and will wear rapidly but it will work. After that, the other papers can be found at an automotive supply store or an automotive paint supply store.

Close enough!

2) There are grout-stains available, Home Depot stocks some colors. You could also use a stone-enhancer/sealer to somewhat darken the grout but you should test this first to see what reaction you will get with your specific situation.

In the case of the already sealed grout there are also "topical" grout colorants available and in the case of the Home Depot products these two products may be one-in-the-same.
 
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Old 04-15-06, 09:49 AM
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Great info!! Thanks so much for your help. It's just what I was looking for!

James
 
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Old 04-15-06, 10:01 AM
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Your quite welcome.

I mentioned the aluminum-oxide sandpaper. This is usually the only form of sandpaper that is publicly available in most stores.

However, the best sandpaper to use is silicon-carbide if you can find it. I have never seen it anywhere and I special order it from a stone-tooling-supplier for my uses.

At any rate, you can do it and the results will be most acceptable I'm sure.
 
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Old 04-15-06, 10:27 AM
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Since I got ya here...how about another question...

What is considered the proper cure time for grout? My grout bag says to do a damp cure for 3 days before sealing. But I just got through looking into grout stains on-line, and they talk about new grout needing 30 days to cure before applying the stain.
 
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Old 04-16-06, 10:28 AM
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This can be a real-cloudy-subject.

If you are being super technical then the answer is 28 days. Most standard grouts are portland cement products and portland cement has always taken twenty-eight days to cure, not dry, cure.

Grout sealers vary as to when they can be applied. Some say the next day, some say 48 hours, some 72 hours, some two weeks, all of which would be well-ahead of the "cure".

If you are considering a grout stain, the same confusion exists.

The truth is that under most conditions the grout will be thoroughly dry (not cured) in about two to three days if you don't damp cure it. Damp curing slows the curing and drying process of course and the slower you can dry cement the stronger the cure, so they say. This is why they suggest you damp-cure your grout. I have NEVER damp-cured grout, not once in thirty years.

My suggestion is to choose the product you want that will offer the desired results and follow the instructions on the label.
 
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