Monday, July 19, 2010

Tile saga continues

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how my twice yearly tile resealing was delayed by pink grout stains in my marble bathroom. There's plenty of advice around the web about what to do about those stains and a good portion of it is just plain bad advice. I poured over the John Bridge tile forum and GardenWeb to assess the options and move forward.



My aunt's suggestion to try X-14 was foiled by the fact that the stuff isn't available in Virginia. I don't know why that is, but that options came off my list. I used a bleach pen a few times on the very bottom of the wall (where it hits the tub, so there was no chance of it connecting with the marble), but that didn't work.

At one point, I was walking by the local eco store and decided to pick up an "all natural" mildew product. I was a little worried that reviews of the product on Amazon were negative, but decided to give it a shot. The reviews focused on the product not being all natural. That really didn't concern me. I wanted it to work. I wanted my marble to be okay. On it went.

The marble wound up being just fine. The grout in some areas wound up looking minty green (this after I was assured the green color would not affect the tile or grout). To say I freaked out would be an understatement. I rinsed the eco product off and then threw together an OxyClean poultice and slathered it on the grout with a plastic knife, hoping it would pull the green off. Thank goodness, it worked.



But I had a new problem. A few of my tiles started to look funny as I rinsed the OxyClean off. Now, the OxyClean solution was suggested by major tile gurus on the tile forums (John Bridge being the ultimate stop for tile information). OxyClean isn't ph neutral, but when mixed with water, the tile experts said it was safe for super sensitive marble.



I presented my pictures to the forums and most over the homeowners couldn't spot what had happened. The tile experts did, of course. One of those gurus said that while he always suggests OxyClean, he suggests that it be mixed at half strength. Amazingly, it was his specific posts that led me to OxyClean in the first place and he had never mentioned a concentration before.

I was so sad. Other forum members and even Marc said that only I was noticing the damage and that in time, I wouldn't see it anymore. I'm not so sure of that. The bathroom was my first renovation project. I saved for months to do it and carefully gathered the materials over the course of many months. I don't know if I'll be able to over look my damaged tiles.

So...do you see the damage in these pictures?


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7 comments:

  1. Maybe I can see it? Maybe not? Regardless I'm really sorry that you are still having problems with the tile. Makes me wonder what we'll find on our new marble tile bedroom floor at the beach house after the summer rental season...

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  2. I don't see it, but i agree that it'll be annoying bcse you know what it looked like before. Grout stains, the worst! The tile guru should have included the diluting instructions!

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  3. oh no, I'm so sorry you are having so many issues cleaning the tile! I know what you mean about being about to see it, even when others say there is nothing wrong. It happens to me all the time- I really hope things work out and that you find the right soultion for your tile problem :)

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  4. Oh you poor thing! I'm so sorry you've been having such issues with your tile. :( It's seriously barely visible and something only you'd notice...but I totally get how much time, money and thought you've invested. I hope you can fix it!

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  5. I am not sure that I see it, but totally understand that situation where regardless of what others see, it bugs you because you know about it. Good luck!!

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  6. I think your marble looks great - I don't see any damage. I know how you feel, though - I remember when I spent a fortune replacing some of my windows, and within a few months the seals popped. I was so frustrated, but now I barely even notice.

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  7. Im sorry you are having issues (but i dont see anything in the photos if it makes you feel better). Im assuming the oxi clean etched your shiny tile which totally sucks. Maybe you could apply the stuff to all the tiles so it takes off all the coating?

    Is there a reason you seal the marble at all? My tile guy said that provided I sealed it the one time at intallation, that will last 10-20 years. He pointed to all the marble that is in NYC institutions that don't ever get touched as evidence. Of course I take his word with a big grain of salt but his advice suits my lazy side so Im all over it. So far its been 2 and a half years and I our marble looks pretty much the same as it did when we installed it.

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