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Old 07-10-2016, 01:20 AM   #1
emiliewasmyeve
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Marble Shower Floor Turning Grey--Help!

Despite the many warnings against using marble in a bathroom, we decided to go for it, accepting the maintenance. Our rehab was completed a week ago. The day after grout went in, and was rinsed, our contracted commented that some of the spots look more grey. We assumed it was from the manufacturing of the tile.

Tile was sealed before use.

Now, a week after use, those spots are definitely getting darker, and there's already some discoloration. From what I've managed to find online, it seems like there's moisture behind the tile. Question is, is this an installation error? Do I go back to the contractors with this problem?

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:40 AM   #2
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I believe your first sentence which you yourself state "many warnings"....kinda answers your question in regards to going back to contractor etc.

Do you happen to know what color thin set was used to install the marble Hexagons,to the pan? Grey,white etc?
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:41 AM   #3
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Any description of how shower floor was constructed will help us as well....Was a pvc shower pan used? If so, was a preslope installed UNDER the liner BEFORE mud went on top? Were the weep holes in the drain protected when mud bed was placed?

Can you leave it be for a few days and shower elsewhere to let it thoroughly dry to see if lightens back up?
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:21 AM   #4
emiliewasmyeve
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Thanks for your responses.

I know marble can be a difficult stone; I also know that many people, understanding that, have used it in bathrooms with success. So, there must be some subjectivity, here.

The question is this: Does marble generally naturally darken like that, clearly soaking with water (as you can see from the last photo), on a shower floor? There are numerous threads about this online. Some say these kinds of markings are clear signs of a problem; others don't. Some say that all marble will turn; some don't.

I have NO idea how the shower floor was laid, but if these markings are indicative of moisture under the tile, and the moisture shouldn't be under the tile, then something is wrong.

For what it's worth, that photo was taken a couple hours after after a couple of showers. Go 12 hours, and it does lighten a bit.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:50 AM   #5
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Darkening from moisture absorbtion is common. Some white stones look worse than others. Nothing unusual. You can likely find some detail of the shower that could have been better and made an improvement. But in the end, the stone still absorbs water and there isn't anything that will stop it, only slow it down.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:51 AM   #6
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Hi Danielle, welcome. The stone is just a floor and wall covering. It has nothing to do with the waterproofing, that's supposed to be behind the marble. So, it's normal for the marble to soak in water.

If a traditional pan liner type installation was installed, then a preslope under the liner is also supposed to be installed. The preslope is nothing more than a layer of cement that is pitched toward the drain so when the liner is installed on it, it has the same pitch toward the drain. That way when water soaks thru the marble it stops at the liner then slowly follows the pitched liner to the weep holes in the drain.

It's a system that works well when installed correctly but many installers will leave out one of those details Dave is talking about. Many times the preslope isn't installed under the liner causing the liner to be flat which then allows the water to pool. Another problem, the weepholes won't be left open and will fill with cement. Also, the wrong type of cement may have been used for the floor mud bed. It needs to be dry pack (deck mud) which is very porous which allows water to easily travel thru it. As you can see, there are several things that can have an effect on how the system works.

I don't know if all white colored marble turns dark when it gets saturated. I just know that I make sure my shower floors are installed correctly and I haven't had a problem with white marble on shower floors. About 4 years ago I installed a large shower with the same hex marble you have. I went back to this job a couple months ago to do another bathroom for these folks and the hex is still white. Is that because of the different batch of marble or because of the way I installed it? I can't say for sure.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:55 AM   #7
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That looks like a topical sealer may have been put on? That would be incorrect if so.
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:14 AM   #8
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Thanks, everyone. It sounds like it could either be a problem with installation OR just the nature of this particular stone. It does dry out rather quickly, which leads me to think its the stone, correct,

And it was sealed. Is there anything I can do to un-seal it (I know that sounds ridiculous), considering it shouldn't have been?
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:29 AM   #9
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Well, Matt is saying that a topical sealer shouldn't have been used, which I agree with. A penetrating sealer is usually used which would let the marble breathe. A topical sealer would likely leave a shine on top and would eventually peel off.

It's still hard for me to say if it's an installation problem or just the marble. Maybe others will give their opinion. You might try asking the installer about the preslope, etc. He might be offended, maybe not. If the liner was already installed by a plumber, then the plumber should have installed the preslope. But we have learned that it's best to have a preslope so as the tile installer, we won't install the tile if the preslope was left out.

I'm not sure what percentage of showers have preslopes these days, sometimes depends on if a permit was pulled and would need to be inspected. Some areas enforce it more than other areas. Many times it's left out if they know there won't be an inspection.

Did a plumber install the pan liner (if that's the type installation you have) or did the tile man?
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:36 AM   #10
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Thank you! We had the shower built from the studs. It was an old tub before the gut.

I'll ask about the preslope, gently.

StoneTech Bulletproof Sealer was used, FYI.
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:54 PM   #11
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So, our contractor is saying we should seal, again. Should we? Moving forward, what's the best path, giving our marble the best chance of holding its aesthetic?
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:39 PM   #12
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It's a new shower and you said it was sealed once. I don't see a reason to seal it again but you can if you want. Another coat won't keep the stone from turning dark, if that's what he is thinking.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:48 PM   #13
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I'm interested in the color of the thin-set,for what it's worth. Was/is the grout color,whiteish in nature?
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:50 PM   #14
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Hard to tell in pics,if the grout color a dirty white so to say,or a light grey color like say delorean grey.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:30 PM   #15
emiliewasmyeve
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Grout is platinum. Not sure about thinset.

It dries out in 4-5 hours, if that matters.

Contractor and designer both still urging reseal.
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