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-   -   Seal Carrara Marble Shower? (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=123111)

elizhtownsend 06-14-2017 08:19 PM

Seal Carrara Marble Shower?
Hi -

I am having trouble getting a clear answer here, so I thought I would post a new thread for my particular situation. We just installed 2inch hex honed carrara marble mosaics on our shower floor and our bathroom floor (along with a shower niche). Wall tile is basic white subway tile. Grout is polyblend unsanded with 1/16 grout lines. I think the contractor installed the floor as follows: pre-sloped, then pan inserted, then additional sloping, then thinset/tile. My questions are:

(1) Should we seal our marble floors in the shower? I originally thought that sealing was a no brainer, but now I'm reading that the impregnating sealer (MB-24) may "trap" water in the marble, making matters worse in the shower. On the other hand, I'm also reading that carrara marble contains iron deposits that may cause rust with repeated water exposure, so I should seal it. Which is correct?

(2) If we should seal, how long do I have to wait for the tile/grout install to cure before I seal? It was grouted 1.5 weeks ago, but was exposed to water for grout haze cleaning 5 days ago.

(3) Slightly off-topic, but my contractor grouted at plane changes/corners, instead of caulking. Is that a risk for water getting under the tiles?

I'm in a bit of a rush because my in-laws are visiting this weekend and I would LOVE to not have to share a tiny 1950s guest bathroom with them :)

Thank you all very much!

cx 06-14-2017 10:53 PM

Welcome, Elizabeth. :)

Best thing you could do is not install that marble on your shower floor, but that ship has sailed, eh? Use the Advanced Search feature and enter marble shower and read about the various things you might be looking forward to.

The grout at plane changes won't make any difference in water getting into your shower floor. It's designed for water to get into it and pass through the drain's weep holes. The grout is likely to crack and look unsightly, though, and eliminate the ability for your walls and floor to move independently. The tile industry requires a flexible sealant be used in the tile surface at all changes of plane in the backing material. Your installer should know that.

Using a penetrating sealer on your floor may make it a bit easier to clean and all such sealers allow water vapor to pass through. Entirely up to you whether you seal or not. From all I've read here over the years I would not.

And now you're still looking for a clear answer, right? :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

elizhtownsend 06-15-2017 08:33 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks! For everyone's reference, here is a picture of the floor. As you can see, it's not 100% white. There is a good bit of gray, so maybe that will help blend any yellowing?

goosebahr 02-06-2020 09:00 AM

Elizabeth, how did your shower turn out? A lowes associate told me this would work fine in a shower floor. I finished installing and grouting this exact tile recently and stumbled on to some bad reviews before ever using my new shower.

What did you use to seal? How did it work?


Jared Bahr

fhueston 02-06-2020 09:06 AM

No Do not seal..I have an article on why..Send me an email and I will send it to you.

cx 02-06-2020 09:12 AM

Your article appears in our Liberry under Sealers, Fred.

goosebahr 02-06-2020 10:16 AM

I appreciate your feedback.

I reached out to the manufacturer. They reiterated that it should have not been used in the shower but since it has using an impregnating sealer would be best.

Some reviews on the Lowes website for the Anatolia Tile Carrara 12-in x 12-in Honeycomb Marble Wall Tile show people having yellowing tiles, I assume they did not seal.

I'm not quite sure what to do...

Tool Guy - Kg 02-07-2020 08:50 AM

You’re in a difficult situation, Jared. :( One option is to complain to Lowe’s who gave you inappropriate advice. In some rare cases, the box stores have acknowledged their responsibility and have offered to replace portions of the materials for a reduced or zero cost. Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of a box store accepting more responsibility (for labor) than that.

The second is to ask the manufacturer why or how sealing would be of benefit. While I don’t have high hopes for a good explanation, it may clarify the quality of their advice and help you weigh who you should or shouldn’t listen to.

Since it has been installed and the problem is an aesthetic one, you could opt to leave it as is and use the shower until the problem manifests itself. And if you get lucky that it doesn’t, then leave it alone. I don’t think I’d get my hopes up too high on this one. But it isn’t always a problem. Stone is not homogeneous, so it’s hard to predict with accuracy. We see lots of cases of problems. So we’re trying to be realistic in our advice to you.


goosebahr 04-24-2020 02:26 PM

All, I wanted to follow up for anyone else in my shoes. Per the manufacturer's recommendation of a water-based sealant, I sealed with Aqua Mix Sealer's Choice Gold, which appeared to be the best stuff at Home Depot.

The shower has been in use for 2 months and the tile has not yellowed so I'm very relieved. Hopefully, it stays that way. :cheers:

John Bridge 04-24-2020 04:10 PM

Hi all, :)

White/gray marble is pretty much waterproof when it's quarried. AquaMix is a good product, but it won't keep sanded grout from getting dirty. Imagine trying to wipe off a sheet of sandpaper. Contaminates just go deeper between the grains. Sealers won't alter that texture.

I would use the shower as is. Wipe it down with a dry towel after each session, and it'll probably give you many years of use. Also, never use anything acidic on marble. :)

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