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Old 11-30-2009, 01:26 AM   #1
nivedl
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Slate Shower w/ Unknown Sealer

I recently purchased my first home and I am committed to doing things right. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My guest bathroom has a slate shower that needs a little work. It looks like the previous owner put some type of think, glossy topical sealer on the bottom. Strangely, it only extended a couple of inches up the sides. The rest of the sides look unsealed. I noticed that the coating on the bottom is beginning to flake off in a couple of spots. Unfortunately I have no idea what was used for the coating. I would like to remove it and coat all of the slate with the best sealer I can get. I have read in these forums that gloss 'n guard is good. How can I removed the old coating? Is it possible to remove only the flaking spots and coat over the remaining material? Although gloss n guard is recommended in these forums it says on the manufacturers website that it is not for use in showers. Is there a better product? I like the current look of the thick glossy coating (almost like glass) but I want it to last.

Some of the grout on the sides has some small cracks as well, but I have already found great advice on repairing this in these forums.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:12 AM   #2
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Welcome, Devin.

I would be concerned that your shower was actually leaking and the previous owner put that coating on the bottom as a temporary measure to sell the house.

But that might just be the cynic in me coming out.

I'd first wanna remove that coating and do a flood test of the shower floor before deciding to re-seal the shower.

The gurus here can tell you how best to go about the removal and re-sealing process. Some pichers of what you're looking at may help. We like pichers.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:21 PM   #3
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Since it is a shower you can seal the drain and flood the floor with a water based floor stripper and let dwell as long as you need. Maybe 2-3 hours if needed. Then you can scrub the sealer up. If the sealer does not budge then you may need (mek) base stripper (commondly known as paint stripper) to remove the coating. As said be concerned about leaking and previous homeowner band aid fix. It is not recommended to apply any type of topical sealer in shower on slate. Just remove sealer and should be as clean as gonna be. May need some grout work or call a professional. If the shower leaks then no sealer is gonna fix your problem and it is time to replace shower.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:45 AM   #4
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What will strip this stuff?

Thanks for the replies. Why are topical sealers not good for use in showers? I really like the look of the thick clear coat, I just wish it was covering all of the slate, not just the floor (see photo).

I just tried applying some laquer thinner to the sealant (following a test found on the Aldon website) and it did not seem to have any effect. The aldon site says this could mean it is a water based penetrating sealer or some other unknown material. I believe they said "High Risk Unknown" for resealing.
What can I use to strip this stuff off? There are a couple of additional concerns.

1.There is some copper sheeting incorporated into the shower that extends to the floor, so I would be concerned about flooding it with the stripper.

2. I live in Hawaii and I have limited access to specialty products. Shipping hazardous materials here is prohibitively expensive. My guess is that whatever was applied to the floor of the shower came from home depot.

I have attached a photo of the sealant. Near the bottom right side of the picture you can see where the person who put this stuff on did not even cover the entire surface! this is the area where a few parts have flaked off. It is really a beautiful shower (though you can not tell from the pic) and I hope I can save it.

Thanks for helping!
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:49 AM   #5
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An other pic

Here is a pic of more of the shower. It is just a guest bath and will hardly be used at all.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:34 PM   #6
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Topical coatings especially on shower floor can peal up and delaminate. Also showers have water proofing system that requires the stone to breath. IE if you put a topical sealer down then water will surely get past the topical. Then the water is trapped in what they call a water sandwhich and then the water gets into your walls and generally causes chaos and your shower fails. Probably they put down some polyurethane from home depot and if that is the case then paint stripper is the only thing to strip it up. I guess you could just go and seal the whole thing with poly and hope for the best or try to remove the sealer without damaging the copper. Not any majic bullets here.
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