Dried grout on stone help - mosaic backsplash

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Old 01-28-14, 07:40 AM
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Dried grout on stone help - mosaic backsplash

Hi all,

My husband and I took on our very first tiling job in the kitchen two nights ago. We put up a mixed mosaic backsplash - glass, brick, stone and slate we assume. All was going fairly decently until we started grouting (unsanded). I assumed we would sponge fairly quickly from when we grouted but the bag said to wait 15-20 minutes to start sponging. Well.. that is too long because the grout started really drying on the slate and stone pieces. The same night we put it up, we were able to take a lot of the excess dried grout off with a utility knife without scratching anything, but there are sooooo many pieces and we were tired.

Long story short, last night we headed back armed with vinegar and a nylon brush (which ate away at the grout lines, so no can do), a nylon cup brush on the drill (which so barely helped, dry or with water or with vinegar.. it just wouldnt take it off), and the utility knife seemed to still be the best option.

But before we head back tomorrow (need to rest our hands tonight), to start scraping with a utility knife, does anyone have any ideas on how to make the overall stone tiles cleaner? My husband doesnt think it looks that bad. I think it looks super sloppy. I almost want to say goodbye to the $700 we spent on this project and start again with no wait time after grouting, but we are broke now.. so any way to salvage this would be preferred. I just dont want to caulk or seal until it looks clean.

Pics below:

First pic - before grouting
Last pic - after grouting

All other pics are close ups of the grout stuck in the stone and the impossible grooves it has
 
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Old 01-28-14, 12:23 PM
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Did you try cheese cloth ?
 
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Old 01-28-14, 01:02 PM
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no... do we scrub with the cheesecloth with water or dry?

also, should we be re-grouting the grout line holes that happened when we were experimenting with vinegar?
 
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Old 01-28-14, 02:30 PM
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I usually buff it dry - and the longer it set the more difficult it will be to clean up. Try wrapping the cheesecloth around a small putty knife, and only put pressure where you want to clean, so you don't scratch the glass.

As for the holes re-grout if it bothers you.

You house is the opposite of mine - my wife would give me a pass, and I would be the one cleaning the tile!
Don't forget to seal it when you are satisfied.
 
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Old 01-28-14, 02:50 PM
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ok, thanks.. will try the cheesecloth. - hopefully that works as all I can see is dried grout. Husband thinks it looks rustic and nice, but maybe because I know how clean it looked before grouting, I'm having an issue with the contrasting grout color in all of the grooves/pores.

Do you all think it is very obvious? I think it looks okay from far away, but up close it seems to messy.
 
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Old 01-29-14, 10:55 AM
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I would cleanup the ones that bother you the most first - like standing in front of the sink. It always bothers the person who did the work.
 
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Old 01-29-14, 11:22 AM
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the bag said to wait 15-20 minutes to start sponging


For the benefit of any reading in the future, mix your grout as dry as you can and sponge immediately. I usually take the sponge and work it in a circular motion until the grout lines are uniform. Then begin wiping with clean sponge at 45* angle to the grout lines. No more than one wipe per side of sponge then rinse. Cheers for following directions, but darn the grout manufactures for putting in general instructions that don't apply to all applications.

Unfortunatly you are looking at dried cement. It will come off, but not without some elbow grease. Don't worry at this point about the main grout lines as you can re-apply and smooth everything out later. Take a scotchbrite or other kitchen scrubbing pad. Wet it and rub with force on the areas you wish to clean up. I would test on some of your left over scrap mosaic to make sure it does not scratch anything. I have my doubts about cheese cloth as that would be a grout haze application not a "over grout" application. For deep ridges use a plastic knife and toothpicks. Grout in the tiny holes in the stone is natural. Try to stay away from anything metal (putty knife) or wire brushes as they will scratch the stone.
 
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Old 01-29-14, 02:35 PM
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we did the same sponge technique, but just a few minutes too late. the grout was already finding its home in all of the grooves

as long as the grout isnt sealed, we can rest our hands a bit more cant we? or do we need to tackle the scraping and brushing immediately before the grout fully cures?
 
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Old 01-29-14, 07:42 PM
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The longer you wait, the more labor it will take. Get it while it is relatively young and definitely don't seal it until you are happy with the results.
 
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Old 01-25-15, 08:20 AM
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Hey, I need the help! I have that exact same style of backslash in my house, which was installed last year.

I need to redo a portion of it, but I can't find the name of the brand and style that the tile is. Could the OP tell me what the name brand and style of the mosaic is? Ive searched everywhere trying to figure this out!

Thank you
 
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Old 01-25-15, 09:12 AM
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Welcome but sorry, but the OP has never come back, so doubt you'll get an answer.
 
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