Help - Tile is 'rusting'

sherrizFebruary 14, 2012

My beautiful Bianco Neve tile in the shower is getting spots that look like rust. They are appearing in scattered positions along the same horizontal line in the shower. This is a brand new install (we gutted to the studs). What is happening here?

Here is a link that might be useful: tile rust #1

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It's probably mold. If you have porcelain tile, use any bathroom cleaner that will remove mold.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Sophie Wheeler

There are iron inclusions in the stone. Yes, it's rust that you see. Chemical iron removers are acids that will etch stone and cannot be used on it. You can have the tiles individually replaced. This isn't the fault of anyone in the food chain here, so if you do elect to replace, it would be at your cost. You really cannot tell that there is iron in the stone until the rust starts happening.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Holly springs, am I destined for more rust? I've already replaced 7 tiles and it continues to spread It is where the shower water hits most. Does this happen with any marble type or the one I chose, biano neve?

We have a water softener. Could that be contributing?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 12:52AM
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Let me ask you-- Any chance that these spots could be over screws where they screwed the backerboard to the studs? I ask only because it's very peculiar that they would all occur in one horizontal line. If it weren't for that, I'd agree with the thought about iron inclusions in the stone. But expecially with white stones, there are times when if the water has chemicals in it that will react with iron based metals, that it will cause regular sheetrock screws (which alot of installers use for their backerboard installation) to rust, and especially with a white stone, it shows up coming through the stone very "nicely".

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 8:41AM
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Bill, It is possible that the spots are over the backerboard studs. How do I determine that? Do we have to go under the house to look? If in fact it is because of the screws, what can I do about this?

Also, the rust is happening at the edge of each tile near the grout line. The spots are not appearing in the center of the tile. Is that just a coincidence or due to something?

Finally, will I be facing rusty tiles for the rest of my life or will this eventually stop so I can replace the tiles and hope they don't rust again. Not every tile is rusting...

Many thanks.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 11:49AM
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Do you have a wide-open shot of all the stains so we can see the rough pattern?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Thanks, Mongo-- that was my next question.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:43AM
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All of the staining seems to be happening on the 2nd and 3rd rows of tile above the shower floor and one tile row above the shower bench. These are the areas that are getting the most water.

Here are more pics:

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:14PM
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Your pics:

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 4:56PM
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olychick - Many thanks for uploading my pics.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:06PM
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That definitely looks like something bleeding through. If it were rust from iron incllusions, the rust spots would be much "softer" stains, as in, appear a bit clouded. They would also appear to "run" from the spot of origin. These are solid stains with well defined edges. That said, I don't know if this would be from the screws. They appear to be too close. If they were screws, the stains would most likely (but not for sure) be about 16" apart, and (assuming these are 3x6 tiles) in the first pic, they appear to be about 9" apart, and in the last one, about 3" apart. Additionallhy, if it were screws, it would be very coincidental for them to all apear on the edges of the tile. I STILL think it's something coming from behind the tiles, though.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Sophie Wheeler

After viewing the pics, it's definitely something bleeding through. The only way to know is to pull one of the worse ones off and take a look.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 8:23PM
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