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Unread 08-20-2020, 10:57 AM   #1
pilot25
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Marble backsplash questions.

I did a search and couldn't find what I was looking for.

Doing a backsplash in the kitchen with Daltile 3x6 subways marble polished. Not sure which size grout lines. 1/16th or 1/8. Any opinions?

Going to seal before grouting and using Mapei flex color CQ. Then seal the grout? Do I use different types of sealer? One for the marble then one for the grout?

In 3-6 months would I use the same sealer I used to seal the tile? Any brands you recommend?

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Unread 08-20-2020, 12:45 PM   #2
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Pilot

Mapei recommends a water based penetrating sealer for use with Flexcolor CQ such as Ultracare Penetrating Plus Stone ,Tile & Grout Sealer.
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Unread 08-20-2020, 09:29 PM   #3
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Hi, Pilot.

Your picture shows 1/8” wide grout lines. The industry standard is to make your grout lines a minimum of 3X the difference in facial dimensions from the smallest to biggest tile, and in all cases at least 1/16”. So, I’d line up a bunch of tiles on end and lay a straight edge across the top of them to help you measure the difference in size.

The surface of polished marble doesn’t often absorb any sealer, but you can test it and proceed with the pre-sealing if it does absorb.

As far as using that grout with natural stone:
You really need to make a mock-up board with some spare tiles to test your grout to ensure that it doesn’t absorb into the rough edges of the tile and permanently stain the edges darker. If the darkening is merely caused by the moisture in the grout, that’s a temporary issue and no big deal. But you can’t recover or fix permanent stains to the edges of the tile. For this reason, a test ahead of time is recommended.

And not many people apply sealer to a grout that doesn’t ever need it. Can you use sealer over it? Yeah, you can. Does it help? Depends on who you ask. Most of the folks that make money saying “yes” generally say “yes”. Most of the folks without a dog in the fight say “no”. I would say it’s a waste of money because sealing imparts the same qualities of non-porosity that this grout already has. There’s no magic to sealers. But you need to understand that no formulation of any grout, even sealed perfectly with the world’s best sealer is designed to do anything other than temporarily resist a potential liquid stain while you clean it off from the surface before it becomes a permanent stain. If you let spaghetti sauce boil on the stove top and it gloops onto the walls and you don’t bother to clean it off within a relatively short period of time, it can become permanent. Your grout already has the ability to temporarily hold back a stain while you clean it. Sealing it with additional products isn’t giving you additional stain resistant properties.

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Unread 08-24-2020, 06:41 PM   #4
pilot25
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Marble backsplash questions.

Thank you very much. I appreciate the thoughtful responses. Going to do a test this week.
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Unread 08-24-2020, 11:18 PM   #5
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Let us know if the spaghetti was any good!
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Unread 09-03-2020, 04:08 PM   #6
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Everything is going well. No staining or scratching of my test pieces with grout. Turns out they are honed not polished marble so it wasn't an issue.

I installed the backsplash and next is sealing the marble.

My local tile shop recommends I wait 7 days before sealing the marble. Then wait 72 hours then grout. Seemed excessive but I didn't ask why.

What do you pros do? I asked him if he did the install how long would it take and he said 2 day job. Install then next day seal and grout. So what the heck?
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Unread 09-03-2020, 05:10 PM   #7
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What bonding mortar did you use to install the marble?

"Pros" don't always read directions for the products they use, nor do they always follow them if they have read them.

You'll want to read and follow the directions on your penetrating sealer (I presume) as far as how long to wait after setting or/and before grouting.

I don't know why the tile shop recommended the 7 days, but maybe they knew something about your setting material?

Don't know what your sealer manufacturer might recommend, but 72 hours after grouting might be quite reasonable. 72 hours before grouting? Not familiar with that one.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-04-2020, 01:00 PM   #8
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Thanks. I'm pretty sure I misunderstood what he said. I was trying to absorb his instructions while wrangling with the kid and trying to get my wife to pick something other than marble. I failed at all three.

I used Mapei Ultraflex 2 and Aqua Mix Sealer's Choice Gold.

The Sealer says I can grout in 2 hours after final application.
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Unread 09-05-2020, 12:44 AM   #9
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The one thing I’d watch out for at this stage is a temporary (usually) problem of moisture from the setting material darkening the front face of the tiles. I’d want to wait a day or two after setting them to ensure the tiles weren’t darkening. If they did darken, I’d hold off on sealing until after the moisture dried from the tiles so as to not dramatically slow down the drying.

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Unread 09-05-2020, 10:50 AM   #10
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Marble backsplash questions.

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Unread 09-05-2020, 11:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Guy - Kg View Post
The one thing I’d watch out for at this stage is a temporary (usually) problem of moisture from the setting material darkening the front face of the tiles. I’d want to wait a day or two after setting them to ensure the tiles weren’t darkening. If they did darken, I’d hold off on sealing until after the moisture dried from the tiles so as to not dramatically slow down the drying.


Thank you. It's looking good after a couple days.
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Unread 09-05-2020, 03:51 PM   #12
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Well, the grouting is done and all is well. I forgot how much I hate grouting walls. Sloppy and back breaking. Not to mention it really shows the mistakes. Couple tiles have serious lippage. Luckily they are a little hidden.


Whatever you pros charge it is not enough.
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Unread 09-06-2020, 09:57 AM   #13
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Glad it worked out, Pilot.
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Unread 09-06-2020, 10:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot
I forgot how much I hate grouting walls. Sloppy and back breaking.
Well, then, I hope you'll give us a report on your first ceiling grouting, Pilot.
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