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Unread 01-12-2015, 10:06 AM   #1
scoutyyyy
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Seal or no seal marble mosaic shower floor?

Hi - new to forum, been reading all night. We are 100% DIY-ing our master bathroom. We have honed 2" octogon carrara marble mosaic (has tiny black square accents) on shower floor that DH just installed and we are researching sealers. Many here have differing opinions: Seal-grout-seal again......Grout then seal...or with opaque marble, don't seal at all as it could trap water coming from underneath and never dry out. Help! Is there a consensus? DH got talked into Aqua Mix Cleaner and also the AM Sealer Choice Gold at TileCo will they suffice or should we go with another product?

Then there is the grout. Will be about 1/8", will the Spectralock Laticrete work for this? You all seem ok with the sanded grout for marble, so I think I'm good with that part. (DH was going to use Polyblend nonsanded but his previous DIY tiling projects do end up cracking so may be time to switch it up!). Would also like to do it all right the first time to avoid "picture frame" effect. I would like to keep cleaning and upkeep as minimal as possible if that's a factor.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 10:42 AM   #2
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Seal or no seal marble mosaic shower floor?

Seal or no seal marble mosaic shower floor?
Hi Scout,

Marble is a very porous limestone the Golden Rule (only rule)
with marble is to seal,seal and seal some more.
AquaMix is a reputable brand here in Australia, however the Golden Rule must be used 1st, that is test all products on a scrap piece(offcut) 1st.

Opaque marble, watch out for adhesive shadowing,and refer to rule number one.
Laticrete Spectralock is the only grout for wet areas.

Cheers Cobber.
P.S. If you wish to see what happens to unsealed marble, take a trip to your local cemetery.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 01:47 PM   #3
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Hi Scout, Welcome!

Dave has given some excellent advice.

How was the shower constructed? (Very important)

We normally like to see a surface waterproofing system installed under the marble. I don't know where you got the information about using sanded grout with marble is ok. Several factors must be considered to arrive at that conclusion.

Be sure to do your TEST panel with the same construction components, adhesive, sealer and grout. Also allow for proper cure times of each.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 02:20 PM   #4
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I read about using sanded grout in various threads here on the forum, which I am not allowed to link to. The authors were:
gueuzeman "Polished marble mosaic - grout questions"
John Bridge & DaveKB & dhagin "marble/mosaic grout horror"
Noonan & MarkTarkus & mctile etc "Grouting Marble Hex Floor"

Did I misread? The shower was constructed with dry mud and membrane.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 04:03 PM   #5
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Hi Scout

No, for the marble mosaics with wider joints, you didn't misread about using sanded grout. For unsanded grout most (if not all) manufacturers suggest grout joints up to 1/8". Yes there is a high probability of the grout shrinking. I will usually double grout to prevent that from happening.

You also can use Laticrete Permacolor which will work with grout joints down to 1/16". The SpectraLock may stain the marble.

Without a waterproof membrane directly under the stone, the risk is higher that the stone will darken. I always use a high polymer acrylic content thinset under my stone. This will lower the probability of darkening even more.

If you choose to seal all sides of the stone by dipping them in sealer and wiping off the excess, you will practically eliminate darkening altogether.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 04:13 PM   #6
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Thanks doitright. The mosaic sheets have already been laid so the construction is actually dry mud/membrane/dry mud and then thinset. Since I can't dip them in the sealer (great idea - will remember that next time) should I clean & seal well (down the sides) before grout, then grout and seal again?
Will the Aqua Mix sealer work for this? Do I need the AM cleaner at all?
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Unread 01-12-2015, 04:26 PM   #7
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Hi Scout

That's your best option at this time. What grout will you be using?

Yes, keep the cleaner, it's very good. If it's not prediluted, read the label for correct mixing instructions.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 05:19 PM   #8
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Looks like we'll use the Laticrete Permacolor in Silver Shadow unless you suggest otherwise. Here is a photo of the floor tile.

The 2nd photo is a Marble accent (surrounded by ceramic subway) which is where the exposed shower pipe will be mounted. I'm assuming we can do the same for this spot? Clean/seal/grout all walls and reseal? Can I still the same grout and sealer here as well? I only need to seal the marble correct? Do I even need to worry about doing anything with the grout around the subways?
Thank you!
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Unread 01-12-2015, 06:10 PM   #9
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Hi Scout

Wow, that's beautiful!

Silver Shadow is very common for the white marble. Yes, only seal the marble.

Make sure you grout manageable areas with the PermaColor. Sometimes it has been know to flash. Leave all perimeter joints free of grout. Complete the job with caulking all the perimeter corners with matching Latasil Silver Shadow Sealant.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 11:02 PM   #10
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Thanks for the kind words - hoping it comes out as planned. I'm a little confused by your terminology...for perimeter do you mean where the floor tile meets the wall tile or where wall tile meets the ceiling? When you say the Permacolor has been known to "flash"...does that mean it dries too quickly?
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Unread 01-13-2015, 02:09 AM   #11
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Hi Scout,
The tiling & effect looks as flash as a rats gold tooth!
Question number one:- Does the wall tiling "sit" on top of the floor tiles or visa versa:?
Question number two:- The hot melt glue gun is used for what?
Cheers Cobber
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Unread 01-13-2015, 09:38 AM   #12
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Thanks Dave - have no idea what that means.??
#1 - wall tile comes down on top but they basically meet at the same point.
#2 - We used the glue gun for the tile! No, just kidding. The glue gun has nothing to do with tile - it was used for the heated floor.

What does "flash" mean?? Which part is the perimeter?
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Unread 01-13-2015, 01:18 PM   #13
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Seal or no seal marble mosaic shower floor?

Gi'day Scott,

Thanks for reply Mate.
English language has nothing to do with Aussie slang. "Flash" means outstanding, excellent, eye catching, pretty as a blue ribbon hog.

Hot melt glue gun! Had me concerned there for a bit!

Cheers Cobber
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Unread 01-21-2015, 02:47 PM   #14
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Any other recommendations for grout? My tile company has to special order the Laticrete Permacolor and can't tell me when it will come in. Would
prefer not to sit around thus any other recs for the grout for honed marble?

I was going for Silver Shadow in color.
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Unread 01-21-2015, 03:56 PM   #15
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1 more question...as I was cleaning the tiles for sealing I noticed a lot of superficial scratches - is there a sealer that will "fill in" these so they aren't so noticeable? Will the Aqua Mix do that or should I look for different sealer?
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