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Old 05-16-2016, 09:34 PM   #1
mar-cal
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"Mold" showing up

Well, here goes....I've been a tile contractor for 26 years and never (fingers crossed) have had any major problems. We just finished a job with very porous limestone (2 bathrooms). We sealed the tile before we installed it (front and back) and we sealed the tile after we installed it. We then grouted and then sealed the tile again. We verified that water definitely was beading up. We passed our pan test and made sure the weep holes were unobstructed during the install (standard stuff).

We get a call from the contractor saying the owners are saying there seems to be mold or some sort of dark stain showing up around the drain and now its gravitating up the walls UNDER the seal. We're of the opinion the tile is dirty (possibly a bad cut from the mountain). What are your thoughts? I've never experienced this....has anyone else?
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:18 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Ron.

Would you describe the method you used to install the shower, i.e. the waterproofing methods, materials used, etc.?

Exactly how long since it was finished?
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:31 AM   #3
Mr.Miyagi
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Do you know the name/origin of the limestone? Some limestones shouldn't be installed at all due to the porosity.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:00 AM   #4
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Did you do a pre-slope under the liner?
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:00 PM   #5
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Hi Ron, welcome. Keep in mind, Just because a shower has mold doesn't automatically mean it wasn't installed correctly. How well do they keep it clean?

About 6 months ago I tiled a shower for a guy and I also tiled his master shower about 3 years ago (with porcelain). While I was there this last time, he told me that the epoxy grout that I bragged about so much wasn't holding up very well. He said that the shower I tiled 3 years ago had mold in places, mostly in the grout joints. I told him to show me. We walked in the master bath and he pointed to the grout under the niche. I asked him what the white haze was on the tile and he said it looked like soap film. I said yes, you're right. And if you don't clean your shower, mold will sometimes show up on soap film. I was trying to tell him in a nice way that he was a slob and that he needs to scrub his shower down.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:23 AM   #6
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Those who tout mold free installations are setting themselves up for a lawsuit. If we remember science class in high school, mold spores are everywhere and if there is a food source, they will thrive.
I did a job with a pitted travertine, Told the customer not the best choice for a shower. They and the tile salesperson disagreed. After a month I get the call, mold. I go and look at it. The filthiest shower ever. They never cleaned it from day one. Soap scum everywhere. Being the idiot I am, I cleaned the shower and it looked like the day I left. Sealed it again and told them how much it would be for me to come out and do this once a month. Never heard from them again.
Just because its stone and a high performance grout does not mean it cleans itself!!
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:45 AM   #7
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I've had some of my customers read the marketing materials for the newer grouts and are surprised when they have to clean their shower. Now I tell them ahead of time that when they clean it the grout will turn back to it's original color. White will become white again!

Mold will grow in a one piece fiberglass shower. It will definitely grow on grout and tile.
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