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Old 12-24-2017, 10:10 AM   #1
inspiration100
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Is my natural stone tile ruined?

Hi all,

I accidentally used some product that appears to have done some damage to my natural stone bathroom tile. I tested the product and it didn't seem to do anything. But when it dried, it broke my heart. I'm hoping it just removed a sealaer, but I don't know enough about this to know for sure. When it dries it looks light/washed out (top picture) but when it's wet it looks perfectly fine (bottom picture). If you think it's the sealer, what product would I use to re-seal this section? If not the sealer, is it fixable by a professional? Please see the attachment

I remember when the tile specialist added sealer, it darkened the color.

Thank you everyone for your input! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.
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Old 12-24-2017, 12:37 PM   #2
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Joe,

Welcome to the forum.

Do you know which products were used?

Sometimes we have had success grinding off the affected areas.
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome. A very small amount of zep grout cleaner was used in the corner. Will a sealer not fix this?
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Old 12-24-2017, 02:19 PM   #4
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First of all, there are many Zep products and some of them are acidic. Most likely you used a cleaner that etched the marble and it will have to be polished out. A sealer won't help if the cleaner has acid in it. Does the label say anything about not using it on marble and travertine?
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Old 12-24-2017, 04:32 PM   #5
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You said it looks the same as the rest of the stone when it's wet? Sounds like a penetrating sealer or stone enhancer is what you need.
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Old 12-24-2017, 10:18 PM   #6
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Hi, Joe.

Sorry to hear. Your Zep Grout Cleaner is indeed acidic. The pH is listed as being less than 1! Assuming the data sheet is correct, this is an extremely acidic chemical. The pictogram on the Safety Data Sheet shows it being corrosive to flesh and materials and that it causes severe burns to skin and eyes. It has a Health Hazard of "3". The 3rd ingrediant is hydrochloric acid. And the instructions warn that this cleaner is for "grout only" and to avoid contact with tile. Like you feared, it appears as though you've etched the surface of your stone. If so, the relatively smooth surface has been microscopically eaten away, leaving a microscopically rough surface that refracts light instead of reflect lights. In other words, the tile looks duller than it did.

Do a test to make absolutely certain of what's going on here. We're assuming you've etched the tile. But try this:
First, scrub a tiny area that has been affected with water and a white rag. Concentrate on a tiny little area. Scrub for 30 seconds or a minute. Rinse it and dry it completely. Now inspect for any improvements. If there's any improvement, you've got hope that your affected area is contaminated with residue and could possibly be cleaned away. But if there's no improvement, then you've physically damaged the surface.

The good news is that if you've etched the surface, it can be fixed. While we are extremely DIY-friendly on this forum, you may need to seep professional help. A professional stone restoration specialist can polish the microscopically rough surface to its previously smoother surface.

A cheap way to sometimes improve the look temporarily is to use an enhancing sealer. This slightly fills the microscopic rough texture and allows more like to reflect instead of refract. But make no mistake. This last method is a cover up job. It is not permanent.

Start with the test and tell us what you've got.


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Old 12-25-2017, 08:27 AM   #7
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Another reason to contact a stone restoration pro; You'll spend as much in tools and equipment as you would hiring them.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:20 PM   #8
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What happened to Joe?
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