Removing Grout Haze on New Carrara Marble Tile Installation
I just had my bathroom remodeled with white Carrara Marble with the grey veins running through. We accented it with the opposite, black tile with white veins. We put in on the shower walls, ceiling, bathroom floors and 1/2 up on some of the walls.
It looks absolutely gorgeous. The tile installer is supposed to come back this Saturday morning and seal the entire room. He told me to wash the walls down with 1 part white vinegar and 5 parts warm water before he comes by to remove all the residue of the grout. Is using vinegar correct or is there anything else that I should use?
Ahhhhh.... NO! It is not correct and I'm amazed that a marble tile installer is telling you to put vinegar(a damaging acid) on your marble AND that he wants you
to clean off the grout haze when it's his job to complete the install.
Vinegar would be okay to use on ceramic or porcelain for this purpose because it is acidic like most "grout remover" products.
But acidic foods/products like vinegar will etch marble and shouldn't be used for cleaning marble.
Etching is corrosion that eats at the marble destroying the shiny polished layer and exposing the more dull marble underneath so you get dull and light discolored spots.
Now if the marble tile has a rough honed or tumbled finish you wouldn't notice the etching as much as on a polished surface, but you still shouldn't use vinegar or any other acidic product on it.
I imagine that most of the marble tile you installed is polished though... correct?
You need to get a non-acidic grout remover product. I recommend using Soap Scum / Hard Water Remover
, which is safe for use on marble as are all the products we recommend.
And I'd make the installer do all the work and don't make final payment until you are satisfied that the job is done correctly and
without damage. Regarding sealing...
Marble tile is not
very porous or absorbent and often does not need sealing especially polished marble, which often cannot
be sealed because the sealer simply won't absorb.
This is a good thing. Means the marble will not readily absorb anything else either and will be very difficult to stain.
A couple other considerations:
1. You should wait at least 2-3 weeks before you seal any stone installation on a wall or floor to allow plenty of time for all moisture to evaporate from the stone and grout.
Not an issue with countertops since their underside is exposed.
2. Typically bathrooms aren't at much risk for staining, so sealing isn't that necessary especially in the marble shower.
The common wisdom is that you shouldn't seal stone in a wet environment like a shower since moisture could get trapped in the stone leading to degradation of the stone.
Plus, do you drink a lot of coffee and wine in the shower? Probably not and not many if any personal products stain and with all that water washing everything down the drain your risk of a stain in the shower is near zero unless you leave say a leaky bottle of an oily product in there.
The only surface I'd really consider sealing is the countertop, but remember it may not need or be able to take a sealer.
All you need to do is perform the water test
to determine if you should or shouldn't seal the marble vanity.
Also, I'd consider sealing the marble flooring if honed and/or if testing says it should.
But you shouldn't apply a sealer "just to be safe." If you try to apply a sealer to a stone that doesn't need it, you often end up with a streaky haze (much like the grout haze) that must be stripped off... not fun.
If you do seal anything I'd recommend using recommended marble & granite sealers
. They're the best for long-term marble maintenance.