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Unread 06-17-2020, 12:16 PM   #1
Seleur
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Grout and Marble

Hi everyone,

I had my bathroom completely redone with white Carrara marble about two years ago (a little shy of two years to be exact). The grout in the areas that get the wettest in the shower were turning orange / gross, so this week I cleaned them with a magic eraser which helped a bit. When doing this, I noticed some minor holes (or maybe stains / uneven spots?) in the wet areas of the grout. I also noticed that the marble is yellowing in some areas. Three photos are attached. A few questions for you experts:

(1) Do the holes / uneven areas look problematic? This only seems to be in the "wet" areas, the dry areas look perfect, so maybe the water has worn them down or stained them? Do I need to have the grout fixed?

(2) Is a magic eraser OK to use on the grout?

(3) The marble is getting yellow in some areas. Should I seal the marble? I've read mixed opinions on this; some say yes, some say it traps water / can degrade the marble over time.

Thank you!
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Unread 06-17-2020, 12:19 PM   #2
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One more photo showing uneven grout in the water area (again, this seems to have happened over time, maybe from the water; wasn't like this at install).
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Unread 06-17-2020, 01:51 PM   #3
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If you are using marble in the shower area, especially in a walk-in shower, the marble must be sealed with epoxy grout. Once the marble is discolorated, it is permanent. Even if you seal the marble, it is not 100% against discoloration.
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Unread 06-17-2020, 02:58 PM   #4
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Orangey stains are often a kind of mold, so more frequent cleaning would help. Mold takes food, moisture, and the spores. Once you have some, it will come back unless you work at it.
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Unread 06-20-2020, 07:21 AM   #5
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Just for clarification, you cannot "seal" marble with epoxy grout. While epoxy grout may prevent (most) water from penetrating into the marble from the edges. Marble is porous and will absorb some water through the face of the tile.
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Unread 06-20-2020, 08:44 AM   #6
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Also, when cleaning, be sure and use a cleaner designed for marble. Acidic cleaners will etch the surface.
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Unread 06-20-2020, 12:37 PM   #7
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Also, epoxy grout doesn't necessarily get along well with stone. The resin from epoxy may leech in the 4 edges of the stone and stain it with what is known as "Picture framing". Usually taking the form of a dark yellow shadow. If the resin from epoxy stains the stone, it's likely permanent. (A quick note that non-epoxy grouts may temporarily stain the tile in a similar manner, but which is quite different and usually temporary.) The fix to resin staining from epoxy grout is almost always a complete tear out. This doesn't happen with all stone and all epoxy. But it's an extremely costly mistake if it does occur. So, I'd advise anyone thinking about using epoxy grout with stone to mock up a test sample long before you commit to grouting your project.

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Unread 06-23-2020, 06:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses. To be clear, I was just asking about sealing with a regular impregnating sealer (e.g. 511), not epoxy grout. I've seen conflicting advice on whether to seal white carrara marble in a shower or not (e.g., on the one hand, there are concerns about potentially trapping water into the tiles; on the other hand, sealing helps prevent yellowing which I'm already noticing a little bit).

Separately - any concerns with the holes / uneven texture in the grout photos from the first post, or is that normal wear and tear? Just concerned about water getting into uneven areas / holes and getting stuck behind the tiles.

PS: The shower was installed with a laticrete waterproofing membrane, so maybe the water getting stuck thing isn't a concern?

Thanks!
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Unread 06-23-2020, 09:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather
If you are using marble in the shower area, especially in a walk-in shower, the marble must be sealed with epoxy grout.
Chris, I've never heard of this, either. Perhaps our new friend Heather will further enlighten us on the process.

All of the penetrating sealers, such as the 511 you mentioned. allow for the passage of water vapor and they allow some liquid water to pass as well, but usually not a lot. The water that gets trough the tiles can usually evaporate back through the surface, but with the marble it may not be fast enough to actually dry out between uses.

We (TYW) just see so many complaints about discoloration in marble showers that we generally just recommend against using such stone in that application.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-23-2020, 11:31 PM   #10
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, Chris.

We know you're not using epoxy grout. Dan's post #5 and my post #7 were meant to respond to Heather's post #3.

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Unread 09-27-2020, 03:51 PM   #11
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Hole in Grout

Hi everyone - I have Carrara marble shower walls surrounding a ceramic tub. The installation is about 2.5 years old now, and I've noticed some areas where the grout is degrading a bit. In particular, the photos below show a hole (one photo zoomed in, one zoomed out - both the same spot). This is the only area where I'm noticing an actual hole, versus some erosion and discoloration (maybe a few minor pinholes in other spots). Is this just an aesthetic issue, or could this compromise the water resistance and does it require a fix ASAP? The shower was installed with a laticrete waterproofing membrane that goes up to the ceiling on all walls in the shower. Thank you for your help!
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Unread 09-27-2020, 06:12 PM   #12
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The shower should not be compromised by those pinholes...if, it was built properly. It's aesthetic only. After 2-years, it's a bit harder to fill them in reliably, though. The same day, or maybe the next, it can be done, but with cement based grouts, generally, not later without removing a bunch and installing new. That will mean it's much harder to match both the surface and coloration.
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Unread 09-27-2020, 07:17 PM   #13
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Makes sense, thanks a bunch
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