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Old 06-03-2019, 10:09 AM   #1
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Restoration of old shower walls


I have an old shower from the 60s which was over-tiled in the 80s. After taking the tiles off I found the original shower wall covered with nice tumbled pieces of marble. I am trying to restore that. Taking the tiles of was not a problem - removing the mud from the tumbled marble and its grout is a big one.
Scraping doesn't really do anything but using a rotating wire brush works perfectly without damaging the original grout at all. Problem is - the tumbled pieces of marble seem to turn dark or greyish-black when brushed.

Is there a way to avoid that or to clean it afterwards? If so what do I clean it with?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much.

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Old 06-03-2019, 06:28 PM   #2
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I would flood test the pan to make sure it's not leaking before investing a lot of time in cleaning the tiles.

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Old 06-04-2019, 11:02 PM   #3
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What Davy said. 60ish years is about the lifespan of a proper traditionally-built shower. The under-lying waterproof layer (likely lead) isn’t likely to be waterproof anymore.

Is this shower over a slab on grade, or over a wooden subfloor?

As to your question: the dark marks are likely tiny deposits from the wire brush that are wearing off onto the tile. They are called “metal marks” and just about impossible to get off with traditional cleaning methods. While I could tell you that using Bar Keeper’s Friend cleaner could possibly remove them...I’d be remiss in not telling you that the acid could physically damage the marble. Tumbled marble doesn’t have a glossy surface to be etched, but you may or may not see a change in its appearance that you might not like. If you do use a cleaner like this, it’s important to neutralize the acid pH afterwards with a very thorough flushing.

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