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Unread 12-24-2019, 09:43 AM   #1
tjschultz2011
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Best 511 product for slate in a shower

Hi everybody,

I'm in the final stages of my shower project and I'm almost ready to seal the slate before grouting. I've been doing a little research on what sealer to use but I'm coming up with lots of conflicting info. I have easy access to Miracle 511 products at the local hardware store but I'm unsure which one to use. I have used their seal and enhance on slate before that wasn't in the shower but I believe I need something that will penetrate better for the shower. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Also, I'm well aware that this shower will require much more maintenance than a typical shower but I just love the look and decided to go with it anyway.

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Unread 12-24-2019, 03:21 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, TJ.

You might be coming up with a lot of conflicting info because there’s a lot of mis-leading and incorrect info on what sealer is and what it’s supposed to do. Sealer is meant to be a temporary stain blocker while you clean it up. It’s meant to buy you a few minutes of time for cleaning before a liquid stain becomes a permanent stain. It’s not really something that will help with the maintenance of a stone-clad shower.

It’s late to be asking this, but have you tested your slate to see if it’s appropriate to be used in such a wet location? Can you immerse a spare tile in a bucket of water overnight and scrub it without the water getting dirty? I ask because there’s a lot of very beautiful and colorful slate out there that can’t tolerate moisture. Instead of being an extremely durable material like Vermont Slate, it’s unfortunately closer to very hard mud.

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Unread 12-25-2019, 10:44 AM   #3
tjschultz2011
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Yeah I've tested a few pieces. Some of them hold up pretty well and some seem cheaper. I went through and tried to select the better ones for the shower and the rest will go in other parts of the bathroom. I know sealer isn't going to prevent the tile and from coming into contact with moisture but is there a better kind to use in the shower on slate? I've read that I would likely want a penetrating or impregnating sealer with many coats on the tile. Is water based better than solvent based for shower applications? I've also read that the solvent based ones can bleed colors and stain worse than water based. Is that accurate? I see a few different options at the local hardware store including the seal and enhance, H2O plus, and impregnator sealer. I've also read that the porous plus might be a good option (although they don't seem to have that one in stock currently). Which of these would be my best bet?

Thanks and Merry Christmas,
TJ
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Unread 12-25-2019, 11:43 AM   #4
Tool Guy - Kg
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Merry Christmas, TJ!

There are a number of folks, me included, that think sealing tile in a shower like this stone one is counter-productive. Instead of just slowing down the water the tile comes in contact with (during the shower)...it holds onto the moisture that gets in (which it most certainly will) for extended periods of time between showers. You will prevent the tile from drying out. Meaning that your tile that you’ve tested as being even a tiny, tiny bit sensitive to moisture will degrade at an accelerated pace with sealer on it compared to if you had just left it bare.

I’m of the mindset to leave the tile bare and concentrate, instead, on obtaining and regularly using some stone-specific pH neutral cleaner.

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Unread 12-25-2019, 12:57 PM   #5
tjschultz2011
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Ok, that makes sense. I have not heard of that method yet but, if enough people are of that opinion, I will consider doing it that way. I plan to have a small wall mounted fan just outside of the shower that will be on a swivel mount and can be turned on and pointed into the shower after using it to aid in drying it out quickly (the shower is about 38" wide by 7' deep with the walk-in entrance on the end).

My question then becomes what do I do about grouting? A lot of things I've read have said to seal before grouting as a grout release because the slate is so porous. If I don't seal, will I run into grout haze while grouting? Also, what type of grout is recommended for this application?

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TJ
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Unread 12-25-2019, 04:12 PM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjschultz2011
...if enough people are of that opinion, I will consider doing it that way.
Theres far more people that misunderstand the real purpose of sealer...so I kinna doubt folks will be lining up to agree with me.

As for grouting, you can simply use a “grout release” product. Just about every manufacturer of sealer makes one. They are pretty inexpensive. The goo Is applied to the face of the tile before grouting to keep the grout from bonding to the tile. But beware that it’s not foolproof...especially if the tile is heavily textured. The type of grout is usually more closely related to the grout joint width. How wide are your grout joints?

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Unread 12-25-2019, 06:36 PM   #7
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The grout joints are 1/8” to 1/4”
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Unread 12-25-2019, 09:00 PM   #8
Davy
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Do you have Chinese or Indian slate? We used to install a lot of it even in showers. Fortunately most of those were in guest bathrooms and were used very little. We would usually grout them unsealed. Wipe the slate down with a wet sponge to get some moisture in it and only spread about 10 sq ft at a time. I'd use a cement based grout like Prism.

I'm in line agreeing with Bubba.
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Unread 12-25-2019, 10:04 PM   #9
tjschultz2011
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Ok, thank you guys for the input. I believe this is indian slate.
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Unread 12-25-2019, 10:22 PM   #10
Tool Guy - Kg
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And I agree with Davy in using a sanded cement-based grout. Prism is made by Custom Building Products. Or Permacolor by Laticrete is another fantastic cement-based grout.

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Unread 12-26-2019, 06:59 AM   #11
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The Indian slate always seemed softer than the Chinese slate but maybe it's better these days. The Chinese wasn't much better. It's been probably 15 years since I've set any of it. It had some pretty colors though.
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