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Unread 10-24-2019, 12:20 PM   #1
jcress
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Shower Floor Tiles White Film/Haze

We had the shower tiled about 1 1/2 years ago, the tiles around the perimeter have a white milky film that I have had no success removing. The tiles are and Excalibur Hex in smokey tan, made of natural stone. The manufacturer won't divulge the exact type of stone. The shower has been cleaned with a Lysol all purpose cleaner, that we now know can etch tile but the tile doesn't seem to be etched. I have some tile left over that I actually tested the cleaner on with no signs of etching. I also tested a strong acid that did etch the tile, but the etching did not turn the tiles white like in the shower. The etching only dulled the surface.

Nonetheless, I have tested the following on a single tile with no success removing the film:
Magic Eraser, barkeepers friend, and vinegar.

I have only tested in a small inconspicuous spot as I realize chemicals can damage stone. The floor pan appears to be constructed well and not holding water as it dries out evenly and quickly with no areas of tile or grout staying dark as if it were wet. The issue is only on the smooth tiles, not the grout our textured tiles. The textured tiles where a mix of darks and whites when new. Photos of the shower pan are attached.

Any advice on what to try next would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 10-24-2019, 12:26 PM   #2
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Shower Floor Tiles White Film/Haze

Another image of the shower floor, tiles are turning white mainly near the wall.
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Unread 10-24-2019, 04:51 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, Jamie.

A few question to get the ball rolling:
1) Do you know if the pan is waterproofed via a traditional heavy liner under a layer of deck mud? Or if it’s some sort of surface waterproofing? Any details you have might be helpful.
2) Can you remove ANY of the whiteness by scratching with a fingernail?
3) The resolution of the pictures is too low to see the fine detail. Can you get a close-up that really shows off the problem?

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Unread 10-25-2019, 12:03 PM   #4
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The shower pan is traditional liner, mud and tile. The areas showing white are very smooth and really can scratch anything off with your fingernail. I will try to get a closer picture this evening. Not sure how good the resolution will be with the amount of compression photos get when uploaded.
Thanks for the response
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Unread 10-25-2019, 12:14 PM   #5
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Attached is zoomed in photo. The smooth hex tile at the front is the original color. The ones closer to the wall are whitening and the half ones near the wall are almost solid white. It is definitely isolated to around the wall of the shower. Hopefully this photo gives enough detail, if not let me know and I'll get some more.
Thanks again.
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Unread 10-25-2019, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcress
...The areas showing white are very smooth and really can scratch anything off with your fingernail...
Your dictation program or auto spell corrector is probably messing with your grammar. The word “can” is in there, but it’s proceeded by “really” that normally would proceed the word “can’t” within this particular context.

1) So....if you would kindly clarify that.

2) Does the white stuff feel like 1000 grit sandpaper....or ever so slightly slippery?

3) And is the joint between the floor and wall uncaulked? Or is that a trick of the light?

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Unread 10-26-2019, 06:32 AM   #7
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I saw the floor/wall joints also, Bubba, it does appear there's no caulk appearing.

What's the water source, Jamie, city or well?
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Unread 10-28-2019, 07:24 AM   #8
jcress
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You are correct can should have been can't. The white film cannot be removed by scraping with your fingernail. Also, you are correct that the wall to floor transition is not caulked but grouted. I understand that the corners are typically caulked due to grout cracking in corners. Fortunately, so far we have no cracking at these transitions.

The surface of the tile feels no different than the tiles that don't have any of the film. I did test an acid on some left over tiles from the contractor to see if this was etching. The tile I tested did feel like ultra fine sand paper but still retained its color. The tiles in the shower feel no different than a brand new tile.

The water source is a well.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 08:40 AM   #9
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Further trial on a small area indicate the discoloration is likely a combination of etching and mineral build up on the etched areas from the well water. I actually rubbed a single tile with an ultra fine sand paper and the tile color was restored. It take some effort but the tile color was back to normal. The smooth tiles are a honed finish. Now the question is how do I fix all of them? Hopefully, one of the experts can chime in with how I can hone these tiles since it is mixed in with textured tiles. Can I just go over the whole floor with a white pad and honing powder? Any detailed how-to's would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
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Unread 10-31-2019, 12:34 PM   #10
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Hi Jamie,

I don't know if this has been mentioned, but try scrubbing with white vinegar and water mixed 50/50. Normally vinegar (acid) wouldn't be used on marble, but yours is not polished, so no problem. Rinse thoroughly before you let it dry.
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