Hazy Film On New Marble Floor

Removing Grout Haze - Cleaning grout

Removing Grout Haze - Cleaning grout

QUESTION:

We just has a marble (natural polished stone) floor & tub surround installed in our bathroom.

There is a haze on the tile from the install process that needs to be cleaned off before it is sealed.

What is the best way to do this? Thank you!

ANSWER:

It's important to thoroughly clean and remove excess grout after a floor tile installation. It's next to impossible, though, to completely clean the floor before the grout dries, so it is common for a hazy film to remain.

However, removing grout and grout haze from polished marble tile can be a delicate and tricky operation.

Two issues to consider....

1. Marble tile is soft and can easily scratch. When the grout is wet, risk of scratching is minimal, but you must be careful when removing dried grout.

If truly just a haze, then typically not a problem, but you should carefully sweep up all chunks and other debris prior to removing the grout haze.

2. Marble etching can occur from acidic and/or harsh chemicals.

Nearly all "grout haze removal" products are made with acids and will etch (burn) the marble floor tile ruining the polished finish and leaving it dull.

Grout Haze Removal Solutions



First, if you already have acetone or mineral spririts you can try to remove the haze with these. Neither will damage your stone at all and both are very good for cleaning most substances from the surface. However, grout haze (unless very faint) is often a difficult case and requires a specific type of cleaner.

Most likely you'll need to use a "marble-safe" grout haze remover like the Hard Water / Soap Scum / Grout Remover we recommend.

This product is labeled a "Bath & Shower" cleaner, but is very versatile and effective removing the more tenacious substances like hard water deposits and soap film that commonly occur in the shower.

Grout haze and hard water deposits are very similar and the above product is super-effective at removing both. The product is made specfically for use on marble, travertine, limestone and all natural stone, so it won't etch or damage the tile in any way.


Plus, after removing the grout haze you'll have the best cleaner to use on your shower and/or bathtub!

About Sealing Marble Showers



It's quite possible that your polished marble does NOT need sealing. Polished marble is highly resistant to staining.... it just isn't very absorbent contrary to popular myth.

Many people (even some in the stone industry) mistakenly believe that all stone must be sealed in all cases no matter what. This is not true.

Many, many natural stones never need sealing AND it also depends on where you are installing the stone... is staining a risk, etc.

You can easily determine when to seal or not by testing the stone using water to see how absorbent it is.

Understand sealing does nothing to prevent etching (corrosion due to a reaction with acids) of the polish.

The primary reason to seal is to decrease rate of absorption by the stone. It doesn't make the marble stain-proof.

So, sealing a stone that is not very absorbent to begin with does not gain you much except a possible big problem.

If you try to seal a stone that is not very absorbent, then the sealer will just dry on the surface (and not below the surface in the pores like its supposed to) leaving a dull streaky haze that must be removed using nasty chemicals.

So, you only want to seal if the marble really needs it and can "take" a sealer.

Also, considering that you aren't going to be spilling a lot of coffee, oil or wine in your bathroom, sealing is often useless overkill particularly in the shower/tub surround.

Sealing the marble floor tile in a bathroom is often a good idea as long as it will effectively absorb the sealer.

But after you clean the grout haze testing will give you a definitive answer, so you can make the best decision.

Comments for Hazy Film On New Marble Floor

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New marble floor
by: Anonymous

Hi, we have just had a new black and white marble floor installed during a bathroom renovation.
The installers used a wet sandy cement and installed the marble floor tiles before installing the ceramic wall tiles. The tiles were highly pollished but unsealed and they left a thick haze of grout over them for almost a week.
There seems to be water stains and blotches all over the marble which shows up more on the black, they are also coveried in dust and grout residue from the the walls and installation of a window in the bathroom. They have now been cleaned yet and the builders have bought in a stone restoration company (at my request) but I am extremely worried about what was to be my beautiful marble floor...and they expect us to pay for the pollishing and sealing. What do you think...any advice will be appreciated.

New Black Marble Floor
by: Anonymous

If the installers some how damaged your marble by etching (light dull spots) or staining (darker spots) then they should pay to have it re-polished.

Sealing is not always necessary nor always included as a responsibility of the installer, so I wouldn't get too bent about that. Actually with polished marble you may not even need to seal it, since polished marble is not very absorbent and doesn't stain easy.

The major problem you will encounter is etching from acidic bath products and/or alkaline cleaning products. Unfortunately, black marble will show blemishes, scratches, etc. worse than any other color.

Remove tile haze
by: Ron Duffy

"GOOF OFF" product works! Buy @ your paint store.

-------------

Possibly so, but I cannot find pH data on Goof Off to determine if it is too acidic/alkaline and therefor would not be safe for marble, travertine, limestone, slate.

marble tile sealing haze
by: Anonymous

The same thing happened to me. I installed a floor to ceiling marble bathroom in polished marble. I thought I was doing the right thing by sealing it and it left a streaky haze over my entire bathroom. I am so upset. what can I do to restore its once beautiful shine????????

===== ADMIN COMMENT:

This is a common error. Unfortunately, the idea that "all" stone "must" be sealed is false. It's a myth likely due to sealer manufacturers marketing their product and over-simplification of care and maintenance recommendations from those in the stone industry, media, etc.

It is true that many stones can benefit from application of a sealer. However, there are a lot of stone varieties (including granite, marble, travertine) that are naturally dense and virtually stain-proof without any sealer.

Marble is actually quite dense and not very absorbent. It does not stain easy. It does "etch" easily, however, and many mistake "etching" for "staining" and make the incorrect conclusion that "marble stains easy"... again another myth.

Marble that has a "polished" finish is even less absorbent and in many cases is essentially non-absorbent. Polished marble usually does not need (and cannot even absorb) a sealer.

When a sealer is applied to a polished marble it is highly likely to just sit and dry on the surface and leave a haze.

However, the haze can develop from improper application of a sealer as well even on a stone that does need sealing. You cannot let a sealer sit and dry on the stone as is often (incorrectly) recommended by installers.

To remove the haze you'll need to strip the dried sealer off the surface of the marble tile. Usually this requires the use of a powerful solvent like methylene chloride. Messy job.

Sometimes you get lucky and a little scrubbing with acetone does the job.

Complete instructions are provided in the All About Sealing e-book.

Once you strip off the dried sealer you'll see the shine of the marble tile again.

dull spots on polished marble
by: Anonymous

I wish I had found this website before I started my project. Lots of great information!

I installed my polished marble (dark brown in color) and I decided to seal the marble with 511 sealer. I dried it correctly and let it sit for 24 hrs.

I did not have any streaking the next day and the marble still looked great before grouting.

After I grouted, I wiped the floor down several times with a damp sponge. I now have lots of streaking and dull spots all over the marble....what do you think this is from?

I have tried to remove it with mineral spirits, and an approved DuPont haze remover and it was unsuccessful. Any advice would be much appreciated!

===== Countertop Specialty comment:

First, you got lucky when letting the 511 sealer sit and dry on the surface for 24 hours. That is not the correct application procedure.

Doing so can leave a haze on the surface. If the marble was absorbent enough, then it could have taken up all the sealer without issue. But just saying... not the right way to do it.

Also, you should wait at least 2-3 weeks after a installation before sealing a marble tile floor to let all the moisture evaporate first. Sealing it in can trap water and lead the stone to deteriorate.

And polished marble typically has a very low rate of absorption and rarely needs sealing. Often the sealer won't even absorb.

Although, it appears in this case the sealer was able to absorb and no haze was left.

Haze from sealer residue, will generally show once dried and cured. Typically this is right away... within a day.

Thus, the haze you currently have is not likely from improper sealing. Especially since you tried to clean it using mineral spirits.

Mineral spirits likely would have removed a sealer haze that was applied just 24 hours earlier.

The next possible culprit is grout haze. Even though you rinsed and wiped up the grout diligently it is difficult to remove it all. Grout haze is common.

Mineral spirits won't remove it. You used a dupont grout haze remover. I can't speak for the Dupont product, although I'd guess it would have some effect if this was grout haze.

We have great results with this Grout Haze / Hard Water / Soap Scum Remover. This product is primarily for bath & shower cleaning because that is where you see hard water and soap scum issues.

Grout haze and hard water are very similar. Both are tenacious and both are cleaned in the same manner. So, the above product works wonders to remove grout haze as well.

So, the mystery continues. Possibly it is sealer haze, but you need to use a stronger solvent.

Often only methylene chloride (found in paint strippers) will remove sealer haze. Test that out and see what happens. If nothing, have a pro take a look.

dull spots on polished marble
by: Anonymous

When I put the sealer on the surface, then I allowed it to sit for 3-5 mns before wiping off of the marble and drying.

Then I waited 24 hrs before grouting to allow it to "cure" as recommended by the manufacturer. It looked fine before grouting and did was nice and polished looking.

I was able to get some of the dull spots off by scrubbing several times with mineral spirits and acetone. I also reapplied sealer to remove some of the dull spots and that seemed to work.

I ordered methlyene chloride so will see if that works but i will probably try to get the cleaner that u recommended first. Do you think my problem is sealer?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Not sure... it's not clear if you noticed a problem before or after grouting. Also, are you noticing dull spots or streaks or haze.

If the surface was shiny and without streaks or anything weird 24 hours after sealing, then no sealer issue.

If you have haze or dullness after grouting, it is likely from the grout. Can be difficult to remove the excess grout completely, thus you would need to use the Grout / Hard Water / Soap Scum remover recommended.

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