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Old 07-04-2018, 11:19 AM   #1
RobertB0330
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Issue with Marble Tile Installation

Iím having a contractor redo my master bath. For the shower walls, we are using a small rectangular Thassos marble tile with a white grout. Unfortunately, when the contractor starting doing the grout, they used a dark grey grout instead. We caught the error about halfway through, and they removed the offending grout and completed the job with the right stuff. However, it looks like the darker grout stained the edges of the tile where it was used. (See pictures for the contrast.). A few questions:

1) Even where the dark grout wasnít used, there is some discoloration around the edges. (The uninstalled tile is pretty much perfectly white.) Iím fine with this, but want to understand if this is a temporary installation effect that will go away with time and/or whether thereís anything we can do now.

2) More importantly, does the contractor have an argument that the darkening is just temporary and/or not attributable to the grout that was used?

3) Is there anything that can be done to fix or limit this discoloration other than scrapping everything and starting over from scratch? I suspect that they are simply going to refuse to do that, so any alternatives other than a complete blow-up would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Images are, in order, good tile, bad tile, bad tile, good tile and finally a shot of the border, with good tile on the left side of the corner and bad on the right.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:42 AM   #2
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1. Hard to say, put a fan in the area and see what happens. It may just be the moisture from the grout.

What thinset was used for installation?

2. May be temporary, but keep in mind it may also return every time moisture is present.

3. Not really. Natural stone is inherently unpredictable, and in wet areas picture framing, discoloration, and staining are common issues.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:55 PM   #3
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4- what grout was used?
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:32 PM   #4
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We install a lot marble in showers even though we warn against this very problem. I had a white marble shower do the same thing. The framing around the tiles started showing up 6-8 months after we installed it. Not all the tiles, just one here and there. I asked the homeowner if she remembered me warning her against using it in the shower. She said yep, I remember. Like Ryan said, it's inherently unpredictable.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:56 PM   #5
RobertB0330
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White Versabond thinset and Mapei Ultracolor Plus FA grout (see pics for additional detail if needed).

In general, I appreciate the variability around natural stone, but in this particular case, the issue Iím concerned about seems to have been caused by initially using the darker grout, in that itís only present in the areas where they did that and it looks like a dark discoloration bordering the grout lines.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:00 PM   #6
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As the others have said, this 'halo' effect is common with natural stones, some more than others.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:13 PM   #7
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It's not always all that easy to scrub out the grout, even if it hasn't cured. Odds are, there was some slight remnants in the gap.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:30 PM   #8
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Robert, it's very possible that the dark colored grout stained the edges of the marble. It's just hard for us to know for sure since we have even seen the moisture in white grout discolor marble.

In the job I mentioned, I was more concerned with the white Carrera hex marble on the shower floor turning dark but it has stayed white. So, there doesn't seem to be a pattern to which marble will discolor. We never know.

Most installers on this forum will advise homeowners because we have seen a lot of discoloring of marble in many threads. You can do a search and find them if you want. The homeowners usually ignore my advice and I go ahead and install it anyway. Many times they will say that the folks at the tile shop told them it will work fine in a shower. Like they really have a clue what works.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:36 PM   #9
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