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Unread 07-12-2011, 07:14 PM   #1
carrarakara
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Carrara backsplash: stained or just wet?

Hello all, I come seeking your boundless expertise.

Three nights ago I tiled my kitchen backsplash with 2" x 4" carrara marble subway tile. I used the mortar recommended by the department expert at Lowes which was Mapei Type 1. (The kind that comes pre-mixed in a bucket.)

Within an hour of installation I noticed the tile getting darker around the edges and then it turned gray completely. I thought it was just wet, but now three days later it's still dark. After talking with Mapei customer service on the phone they say it might be stained as Type 1 is not recommended for use with natural stone. (Thanks, Lowes. )

My question is, can it really be stained? The product is almost white in the bucket. I live in the steamy Southern US right now if that has anything to do with it. Will it eventually dry out or is it this color for good?

Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Unread 07-12-2011, 07:25 PM   #2
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Kara,

Welcome to the forum

The bad news;

There's no real good way to sugar coat this one. You've got a mess there and its going to get worse as the mastic dries. The pre-mixed stuff in a bucket isn't good for much, and should not have been used with a soft bodied, light colored natural stone like Carrera marble.

The good news;

Since mastic was used, you can probably scrape it all down, wash the tiles, see how they look after they dry, and use a white, dry powdered thinset to re-install the tiles.

In the future, when in a big box store limit your questions to ones that begin with "Where can I find the...."
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Unread 07-12-2011, 09:03 PM   #3
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Welcome Kara.

What Paul said. But I'd go speak with the *store manager* at the Lowe's and tell him the advice you were given by his employee is costing you both time & $ to remedy. And then ask what he's planning to do to compensate you.

You deserve some consideration here - maybe get a credit for the bucket of type 1 and a gift certificate...
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Unread 07-13-2011, 06:18 AM   #4
carrarakara
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Uuuurgh, so it really is stained? No amount of pointing fans or space heaters at it will change this? lol

Lowe's is sending someone out to the house this week. To do what, I have no idea.

I suppose the gray color isn't terrible, it just wasn't the look I was going for and unfortunately I don't have the funds to buy another load of marble. So it looks like I'll have to learn to love it.

Thanks anyway!
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Unread 07-13-2011, 06:33 AM   #5
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Kara,

I'd try to get Lowes to replace the tile too. It was their fault by giving you horrible advice.
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Unread 07-13-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
trecile
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Here is a PDF of the instructions for Mapei Type 1 Mastic, which I would print out and take with you to Lowes: http://www.mapei.it/Referenze/Multim...e_1_TDS_EA.pdf

You should highlight this part:
Do not use this adhesive for the installation of Rosso Levanto or Negro
Marquina marble, or green marble or granite, or their agglomerates.
Instead, use Kerapoxy ® or Planicrete® W. For all other marble types,
use the Granirapid ® or Kerabond/Keralastic system. When setting white,
light-colored or translucent marble,
use white Granirapid (see respective
Technical Data Sheets).
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Unread 07-14-2011, 06:05 AM   #7
carrarakara
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Well the guy from Lowe's came out and apologized and said we were indeed mislead on what mortar to use. He did however say that the marble was likely still wet, and to demonstrate he was able to simply pull one off the wall by hand and sure enough the adhesive at the center was still gooey. ("Extended working time", boy howdy is it ever.)

He did another experiment where he back buttered a tile and it turned dark, we put it out in the sun for a day and when the mortar had completely dried the tile was white again. So we have hope that this will eventually dry and lighten up.

He gave us a gift card for the value of the marble and all materials we used to do the project (!) but my question is: now that we know what mortar to use, what grout do we use when we're done? White unsanded I know, but any specific brands, components?

Thanks again you guys have been great.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 06:08 AM   #8
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Lowes carries either Mapei or Laticrete products (sometimes a little of both). Both companies make a cement-based unsanded modified grout. Either company's grout will be fine.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 01:00 PM   #9
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It can take weeks for the mastic to dry out behind the tile, but, if it didn't stain it based on your sample tile, it will eventually dry.

Since a backsplash on a counter doesn't normally see lots of moisture, it won't suck up moisture and get dark again, but would be a big problem in a shower. Many mastics will turn back into a paste if they see extended amounts of moisture.
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