Polished Marble Shower Tiles Now Dull

by Glenda
(Quitman, TX)

QUESTION:

We had 10" square marble shower tiles installed on the walls of our master shower 5 years ago. The color is a deep rust with white veins. The lower part of the shower has become quite dull over time, even though I have used a marble product that is for cleaning and sealing. There is no soap scum.


Is this globalized etching and would your Marble Polishing Paste restore the shine (so that the lower tiles will look like the upper tiles still do)?

ANSWER:

Yes, based on your description you most likely have globalized etching and the ETCH REMOVER / Marble polishing paste will do the trick for you restoring the color and shine.

But just to clarify, this product is for use on shiny "polished" marble, travertine and limestone.... not honed or tumbled.

My first thought was soap scum and even possibly hard water deposits because this is a common pattern for it, but if you feel you've conclusively ruled those out, then it has to be etching.

But it is not likely that the marble etching was caused by the marble cleaning product you used or else all of the marble shower tiles would be etched... unless you only clean the bottom half, which I doubt.

Two other possibilities are...

1. A product you regularly use in the shower is acidic and gets on the walls when rinsing, etc. just like soap scum does.

2. The water itself is acidic, which is the case with some city (and I imagine well) water supplies.

In either case you would not see etching right away. It would take a long time, which fits with your description.

Another consideration is the pattern of etching you see. It would be very unusual for the etching to be completely even all the way around.

Like soap scum, you'd expect to see more extensive and/or more severe damage in areas that have the greatest exposure to the shower water.

Of course, it is possible that with enough time the etching could become uniform enough that you'd have a hard time noticing a pattern.

You can experiment with products (dripping some on a tile) to see which (if any) etch, but if it's the water you'll likely just have to periodically re-polish the lower tiles with the Etch Remover / Marble Polishing Paste.

Comments for Polished Marble Shower Tiles Now Dull

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No idea of problem
by: gjggjg

I am in the same boat as the posted comment. I take great care in not using any common cleaners on my polished marble tiles in the shower.

They are only 2 years old. They were sealed, I have softened well water.

It has developed what looks like water spots on the tiles. You cannot scrape it off so it is not soap scum. It has also dulled the tile.

Oddly only where the water seems to hit and dry. I am thinking mine might be a little acidity to the water or the salt that softens the water. Still not sure.

I tried etch polish and OMG it brought it right back up to a high gloss shine. Yes it took a little bit of elbow grease but the results were amazing.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

I'll bet you diagnosed it correctly. I was going to suggest the water softener may be making your water acidic enough to etch the marble tile.

Consider having the water tested and the softener adjusted to make the water less acidic.

Glad the etch remover polish fixed it for you.

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