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Old 03-20-2008, 03:26 PM   #1
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Stains in grout in natural slate shower floor and walls?

About 8 months ago, I put natural slate in a shower, for floor and walls. It looks great. However, given the metallic content of the slate, it oxidizes with water and produces an orange-like "rusty" stain in some of the adjacent grout (Polyblend, sanded).

How can I avoid this problem? I have applied TileLab a lot, both penetrating and matte finishing sealer, twice. But the stains show up again. I scrub and re-seal, but apparently I will have to clean and re-seal every 4 months or so. I have heard non-so-great reviews about TileLab. What kind of sealer will seal both slate and grout enough to avoid the rusty reaction? Would epoxy grout have been better than Polyblend (portland cement)?

(I know... slate (inexpensive one from Lowes) wasn't the best choice for a shower... but at least I get the rustic, earthy look...)

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Old 03-20-2008, 03:58 PM   #2
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I'm not sure if there is any solution to your problem. There is no stopping this that I am aware of, and eventually, the slate will start to flake as well. Hang in there, and hopefully someone who has worked with slate more then I, can answer.

Good luck!

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Old 03-20-2008, 04:08 PM   #3
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Hi M,

I don't know of a cure. It's probably iron oxide and it's part of the composition of the stone.
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Old 03-20-2008, 04:13 PM   #4
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You will not avoid this problem by continuing to seal it.. you'll just seal the stains in.

This is one of the reasons I will not install slate in a shower
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:44 PM   #5
Brian in San Diego
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I think you may have had better luck with an epoxy grout but even epoxy may not resist that type of staining completely. If you completely clean the stains and let it dry completely, you may have better luck with a product like Miracle impregnator or StoneTech impregnator pro.

If that doesn't work, I'll always think it should have.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:51 PM   #6
Conceptsplus- Randy Gilmore
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I love slate, but I don't like it in showers. Is tile lab a solvent based sealer? I don't know why anyone would use a water based sealer in a shower. It happens all the time.
Randy Gilmore

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