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Unread 03-27-2021, 11:05 AM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
Moderator -- Wisconsin Kitchen & Bath Remodeler
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oak Creek, WI
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Originally Posted by willspence
...Some people say sealing marble is a bad idea because it prevents any moisture that gets behind the tile from escaping… What do you think about that?
Tile and grout are not completely waterproof. When you’ve got a situation where more moisture is entering the tile assembly than is leaving, you have a potential for the exact problem you are concerned about...moisture that darkens the tile. However, the vast majority of problems occur in areas that are considered “continuously wet” a shower floor and the bottom few inches to the shower walls. On shower pans with surface waterproofing or traditionally built showers that are built with a clog to the weep holes or a lack of a pre-slope under the liner, there’s a higher potential for too much moisture to accumulate and darken the tile.

The same is not often true with tub walls. It’s not impossible for moisture to accumulate (like if you had a niche), but it’s not nearly as prevalent a problem as stone shower floors.

In your particular case, I don’t see it causing a potential problem on the tub walls. It may help with prevent hair colorants from staining the tub walls, but permanent hair colorants are chemically harsh to the sealer...they are quite alkaline on the pH scale, which means they will break down sealer relatively quickly. So...the sealer might help in this situation for only a single hair colorant session. Better than nothing, but...

As far as bad aim at the toilet, urine is acidic and an enemy to marble. Sealer has no ability to protect from acid. Normally, the first sign of damage to tile is that the high polish is physically etched to leave a dull spot on your tile. With your tile being honed, the damage won’t be as easy to detect. But it’s still being slowly etched with each pee. Cleaning the urine right away to neutralize the acid is the best way to prevent the damage, but let’s ask ourselves how quickly it’s typically cleaned up. Not right away.

You’ve already got the tile installed or I’d try to convince to to choose something else. So I’ll leave you with another warning: toilet bowl cleaner is very, very acidic. I’d go out of my way to protect the floor with an old towel when using harsh toilet bowl cleaners.

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