The Aqua Mix Seminar Part 2: Grout Colorants


By Ryan D. Firey, Tile & Installation Consultant

As a company, we at Tile Lines pride ourselves on having the best know-how when it comes to anything tile-related. We are constantly working to expand our knowledge and keep up with the latest products and practices in the tile world.

Grout Colorant Bottle

Last November I took a trip down to California to learn more about Aqua Mix tile, stone, and grout care and maintenance products.

 

At this training seminar I gained a new respect for grout colorants. The colorants are available in 24 standard colors, with the option to order custom colors. The colorants do more than just change the color of your grout; they add an epoxy coating that will seal your grout for up to five years.

 

Grout colorants are easy to apply and are an inexpensive way to spruce up your existing tile installations. Our Aqua mix grout colorants can be applied over any type of grout, even epoxy. Additionally, they’re potent enough to turn a jet black grout into bright white!

How to Refresh and Recolor Your Grout


How to Use Grout Colorants

Using grout colorants is a very simple process.

 

CLEAN THE GROUT

 

First you want to pre-treat the existing grout with a thorough cleaning. For grout between acid-sensitive stones (like marble, travertine, or limestone) use Aqua Mix’s Heavy Duty Tile and Grout Cleaner.

 

If you’re working with a cement-based grout you can clean your grout using either the Pre-treat Colorant Cleaner or the Phosphoric Acid Substitute by Aqua Mix.

 

If you’re applying the colorant over epoxy grout, use the Aqua Mix Sealer and Coating Remover.

 

After the grout has been scrubbed clean, let it dry for 1-3 hours. Once the grout has fully dried, you can start applying the colorant.

 

APPLY THE COLORANT

 

Shake the bottle well and open the application tip, then squeeze a liberal bead of the colorant directly on to the existing grout joints.

 

While the colorant is still wet take the applicator and gently brush the bead of colorant into the grout joints, until you can no longer see the original grout color.

 

  • A good tip that I learned is to cut the bristles on your applicator brush to the same width of your grout joints. The applicator brush has a ½” wide head that can be trimmed down to an eighth or a sixteenth of an inch wide, making the application easier and less wasteful.

 

After the grout joints have been completely covered by the colorant you want to let them sit for 1 hour.

 

After waiting an hour, mist the grout joints with clean water and gently scrub the excess colorant off with a nylon scrub pad.

 

  • If you are trying to go from a dark color to a light color, you have to apply more than one coat. It is recommended that you allow at least two hours of drying time in between coats.

 

Grout colorants are a quick and inexpensive way to completely rejuvenate your existing tile projects. Let us know if you want to tackle your own colorant project!


Read the Technical Data Sheet for Aqua Mix Grout Colorants

UPDATE: April 2017, Miracle Grout Pens

We're now stocking Grout Pens by Miracle! Available in white, gray, and buff. 

 

PROS: an easier and cleaner application process compared to the grout colorants.

 

CONS: only three colors, compared to the 20+ colors in the Aqua Mix colorants line.


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Comments: 4
  • #1

    Rich (Tuesday, 14 January 2014 15:41)

    Can Aquamix grout colorants be used on Urethane grout? If so then how should the grout be prepared before applying the colorant?

  • #2

    tilelines (Tuesday, 14 January 2014 17:10)

    Hi Rich,

    Yes, the grout colorants can be used over urethane grout. AquaMix won't warrant or recommend the use of colorants on urethane, since urethane grouts are relatively new and there hasn't been enough testing yet, but we've done our own testing on behalf of some of our customers and had no problems with the colorants on urethane grout.

    First, make sure the grout and tile are very clean and dry before the application. We recommend Aqua Mix's Phosphoric Acid Substitute if the tile is porcelain, ceramic, granite, or slate. If your tiles are marble, travertine, or limestone, use Aqua Mix's Concentrated Tile & Stone Cleaner instead (it's less potent, but it won't damage your stone).

    Once the tile is clean and dry, apply the grout colorant according to the directions. Test it in a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure the color looks how you want it to look.

    We tested this process over a year ago, and the results are still pristine. Good luck with your project!

  • #3

    Melanie (Friday, 04 July 2014 16:09)

    Hello,
    My backsplash is 3/4" x 3/4" mosaic (limestone and glass tile mix). I chose a brownish/grey grout (Mapei-05 Chamois), but unfortunately the installer did not seal the stone before grouting so all of the limestone darkened and all the divots in the stone were filled in with the brownish/grey color.
    Now I'm looking into lightening the grout using the AquaMix product, but it seems it is only recommended for non-porous tile that can be wiped clean easily. The tutorials I've seen on this site and others also show using a toothbrush to minimize how much of the product goes on the tiles. Given that mine is a tiny mosaic I imagine I'll have to smear the colorant over the whole area, much like the installer did when grouting. But will it sponge off fairly easily or will it stick to the limestone? I don't mind if it creates a whitewash effect on the limestone because it was darkened by mistake, but I don't want it to appear that I got paint on the stone.
    I'd appreciate if you could share your expertise with me.
    Thanks!

  • #4

    tilelines (Monday, 07 July 2014 13:13)

    Hello Melanie,

    Yes, you can use the grout colorant in this situation, but it will take a bit of elbow grease and some time.

    1. Clean the tile with a stone-friendly tile cleaner.

    2. Once the tile is clean and dry, apply a sealer to the stone. It will be easiest to apply the sealer to everything, but if you have the time and the patience you could apply it to just the limestone squares.

    3. Once the sealer has cured, apply the grout colorant to *the grout lines only*. Because the grout colorant is an epoxy, smearing it over everything could result in that "spilled paint" look, and it will require more intensive clean up and a lot of your colorant will go to waste.

    4. Clean up the applied colorant as recommended in our article above.

    Unfortunately, once the pigments in the grout stain the stone, there's not much that can be done to clean it up, but the grout colorant will brighten the overall look of the installation.

    I hope that helps, and good luck with your project!