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Unread 07-16-2015, 12:41 PM   #1
MyFakeName
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Roger's Bathroom Remodel Extravaganza

Thank god there is a forum like this otherwise I wouldn't know where to begin.

With that said. I don't know where to begin.

I have a million questions, but I think I'll start off with one topic at a time. Otherwise I'll overwhelm myself.

My Question:
I'm using Jeffery Cort Carrera Marble (8x12) in a Kerdi shower (going to a class in a couple weeks). What is the best way to seal the marble before I install and what is the best brand of sealant to use? Can I dip them in it? If I dip them do I need to worry about adhesion?

Thanks!
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Unread 07-16-2015, 12:55 PM   #2
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I'm not a pro - you may get other answers and I'd suggest that you listen to "them" not "me" if there is a difference of opinion.

I used Carrera marble in my shower and sealed *after* the tiles were installed and grouted. I believe you can seal before grouting, but you have to take care not to get sealer in the grout joints for the adhesion issue you alluded to. I don't know that it is that big of an issue in practice, but it could happen.

You will want to follow the manufacturers instructions for whatever sealer you choose, and I suspect you will find that the sealer is to be applied with a cloth or maybe with a spray pump...I haven't heard of soaking to apply the sealer, but again I'm an amateur.

I used Mircale brand 511 (I think) impregnator sealer. It seems to be well regarded. As I recall the instructions were to apply to the surface using a cloth, let it sit for a period of time (5 minutes) and then wipe off.

The sealer will protect the stone against staining to some extent, but it does not waterproof it. That's what the kerdi (or other waterproofing method) is for.


A few other things:

1. Use white thinset with your marble tiles - gray can stain it.
2. If you are considering using marble on the floors, I suggest you do a search of the forums - plenty of problems with light colored marble on floors.
3. If you are considering using large tiles on the floor, consider that they may be slippery....the grout joints provide much of the friction/traction that you rely on in a wet environment - tiles 2x2 or smaller are generally preferred (as I recall).

Good luck with your project and make sure you take your time - both to enjoy the process and to do it right. Ask questions about anything you don't understand even if (especially if) it seems obvious...My take: It's not hard to do it right, but it's easy to get it wrong. What I mean by this is that if you know what is required, the actual work isn't hard to do correctly, but there are plenty of opportunities to do miss something important...information is key, and you are in the right place to get good info.
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Unread 07-16-2015, 10:20 PM   #3
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Thank you very much. We'll actually be using matte porcelain tile on the floors.

The tile mfg says to use a high quality sealer. I have a call into them but I guess they don't want to endorse a particular product or something.

Regarding the sealing of the marble, can somebody else jump in to confirm or deny Steve's approach to sealing the tile? Is a dipping method a horrible idea?

Thanks!
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Unread 07-16-2015, 10:23 PM   #4
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Roger,

We get a ton of complaints on the website about the use of marble in a shower. How it stays wet, it changes color, loses its shine, spalls, chips, stains....

We do our very best to talk every customer out of using marble or travertine in a shower. They make very very good ceramic look a likes. No need to use real marble these days.

Just my 2 centavos.
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Unread 07-16-2015, 11:38 PM   #5
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Thanks Paul. Do you have any suggestions for good look alikes? I'm was planning on using honed marble if that makes my plan more doable...
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Unread 07-16-2015, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul
We get a ton of complaints on the website about the use of marble in a shower. How it stays wet, it changes color, loses its shine, spalls, chips, stains....
Paul tends to be right, so I won't argue with him, but I will say that most of the problems I have seen/read about were specific to the floor (and maybe the bottom 6 inches or so on the wall)....I think you will avoid the bulk of the issues if you avoid marble on the floor. Of course, you can avoid all of the issues by getting the simulated marble tiles.

FWIW, I did my floor in ceramic and walls in white carrera and I really like it. I haven't experienced the issues listed above. It has only been a year or so, though...in 5 years I'll might have dull, spalled tiles that have changed color - surely Paul's fault if that happens.
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Unread 07-17-2015, 09:08 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. Now I'm completely torn. Does anybody else have Marble showers they are happy with?
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Unread 07-17-2015, 09:14 AM   #8
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Welcome, Roger.

I'm sure there are a lotta them out there, but we tend to hear about the problem ones here on the forums and we hear of a lot of those kind.

Entirely up to you what you wanna try, of course. And feel free to blame Paul if you use marble and it doesn't work out. I'm sure he'll be at least partially responsible.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-17-2015, 10:16 AM   #9
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Thanks CX. I'm already blaming Paul for destroying my dreams. j/k
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Unread 07-17-2015, 11:36 AM   #10
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A hundred years ago, [ ] ... I had access to yards and yards of Rojo Alicante and several variations of White Carrera marble for the mere gift of a bottle of whiskey ... and going into a collapsed-roof warehouse full of the stuff, risking life and limb to get it out while the rest of the beams and roof might cave in anytime. Insurance had paid and the contents were going to the dump with the rest of the building as it was getting knocked down and my buddy ran the demo crew. Must have salvaged 20K sq. ft.

Inexperience allowed me to use it everywhere ... After a year or so, it was stained pretty noticeably. Then the de-lamination of the polished surface in the shower and steam room started - especially on the Rojo Alicante accents. After three or four years the areas around the tub(s) had changed color significantly and the lower 2 to 3 inches of the tiled backsplash along the sinks in the bathroom were graying.
Nothing we did could get it back to normal. Buy the third year, right after a thorough cleaning, we would look through the glass at the shower stall ... it looked dingy and dark from the waistline down and progressively got darker as you looked to the floor. Disgusting.
We tore it all out and went porcelain.

As others have said ... stick with a porcelain or ceramic tile for the areas you mentioned ... it'll last forever while never changing color.

Hope this helped.

Good luck.
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Unread 07-17-2015, 12:13 PM   #11
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Marca Corona Deluxe series is the best porcelain carrara look alike. Comes matte and polished, large format sizes and mosaics. Crossville has a line called Virtue, very nice, but it is closer to a calacutta (brown/taupe veining) and comes satin or unpolished finishes, many size options.
Neither is cheap, but both really nicereally nice.

I've had customers that did their entire bathrooms in marble and didn't experience any issues. So it does happen. I've also heard many complaints, usually irregularities which are hard to control for w/a natural stone and undetermined staining (how did it happen, nobody knows.) For all the money that's involved I couldn't be bothered w/the maintenance (annually sealing, not using commercial cleaning products ie:bleach or ammonia, polishing, etc.)
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Unread 07-17-2015, 10:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
I've had customers that did their entire bathrooms in marble and didn't experience any issues. So it does happen.
I hope I get to be one of those people. I really like the marble, and while I might choose a ceramic simulated marble tile if I were to do it again, I really don't like the thought of doing it again any time soon.

So far, after 14 months of twice daily use, it looks pretty much like it did after a month of use. cross the fingers, I will.
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Unread 07-18-2015, 10:06 AM   #13
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I always give a little speech to any customers that want natural stone installed. There's a big difference in the maintenance and the cleaning between a natural stone shower and a porcelain tile shower.

You have to be super careful what products you use with a marble shower because most of the products and tactics that one wants to use will scratch and damage the stone. It also needs to be sealed regularly as part of a maintenance program. I always recommend that they contact a stone maintenance company and get set up on a regular maintenance program.

The last thing I want to hear is "We didn't understand how much work this was..." or "I don't understand how someone would think it was a good idea to put this in a shower?" I've heard both of these although the last one was in regards to limestone.

Natural stone is beautiful but there's a price that comes with it.
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Unread 07-20-2015, 02:14 PM   #14
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Thank you very much for the replies. Based off of Richard's recommendation. I am looking at the Marca Corona Deluxe tiles.

I spoke with Marca Corona and they said I could use either a polished or natural finish tile for my shower. I was under th understanding that polished tile should not be used in wet areas because it would need to be sealed yearly. I mentioned this to them and they said simply "we don't suggest sealing porcelain tile". Now I'm confused, as I had read here and other places that polishing the porcelain opens up the pores which requires the sealing. They had never heard of this.

Opinions on this? Or are they blowing smoke?
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Unread 07-20-2015, 03:56 PM   #15
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I suspect the polished / natural finish refers to the marble that is being simulated, and not the tile itself. So you will get either a porcelain tile that looks like polished marble, or one that looks like natural (honed?) marble, but both will be a porcelain tile.

As I understand it, you do not need to seal porcelain tile.
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