How to fix marble-water problem?
Our bathroom was just redone as part of a major renovation, and we have marble that I love, love love for vanity counter and wall/floor tiles in walk-in shower. It's called Azul Cielo -- light blue and sparkly. Here's the problem... the contractor put at least one coat of sealant on, but the marble seems to darken too easily with water. Sounds like the lighter the stone, the more sealant required? I've read tons of related threads, so understand that some darkening is fine, and the breathable sealer is desirable. But tell me if this is normal:
Unless the countertop is wiped down after splashing, we get a darker rim around the sink that lasts 12-24 hours as the marble dries again.
The soap dispenser always has a dark water ring under it, b/c a bit of water runs down the side every time you use it.
The bottom row of tile in the shower has turned permanently darker blue. I can't figure out if this is just that it is never fully drying out, and/or if the soap/water scum building up on the surface is trapping the water inside the tile?
During a shower, tiles halfway up the wall look like they absorb some water in from the grout line (it kind of "bleeds" into the tile).
The mini floor tiles are also getting patches of discoloration, which seems to coincide with where water may be seeping in at cracked grout lines (where wall meets YIKES).
I'm making DH nuts with my worrying that the tile isn't sealed right. We understand it's not a big deal to put more coats on, but want to make sure we do it right...
- Should we use whatever product was used by our contractor (need to get brand from him), or is there something better that can just go on top?
- How dry does the tile have to be before you reseal? (i.e., are showers forbidden for 24 hours beforehand? or longer?)
- What is the best way to clean off my scummy tiles to see if they will dry out & lighten up? Is it the alcohol-water "home brew" that I saw someone mention on another thread?
- Will we ever get those mini-floor tiles to lighten up, especially if water is seeping in at cracked grout?
- Since some of the grout needs to be fixed, should that be done before or after more sealing? Or doesn't matter?
And finally, for my own sanity, when the water is absorbed by the tiles in the shower, how deep does it go? Is the wall/floor behind getting damp over time? That's the part that is really making me neurotic. (You can tell I'm a ceramic tile girl by history, trying to convert to the natural stone experience!)
Sorry for the long post. Better to tell you kind people than to make DH listen to it one more time. BTW, we moved in only a month ago, so I'm eager to get this fixed before we do some real damage to this stone.
Thanks in advance for your sage advice! And Happy New Year to all!