Glass tile tragedy -- can it be saved?

jimrechtSeptember 18, 2012

Our contractor installed about 50 sq. ft. of Akdo glass tile (Frosted Seashell, 1" x 6" 'bricks') on our kitchen wall, using a standard unsanded cementitious grout. It looked superb. Then he applied sealant, and that is when our troubles began:

First he sprayed on TileLab (HomeDepot's brand) "Grout & Tile Sealer," covering the entire surface (tile as well as grout), and allowed that to dry for 48 hours. The grout looked fine, but the tiles were now covered with streaks of a cloudy film. He tried using dry microfiber cloth to remove this film, without success.

Next, he sprayed the entire surface with TileLab Gloss Sealer and Finish. He told us this would soften the streaky film so that he could remove it. That did not work. And worse, now our beautiful frosted glass tile was no longer frosted. The glass surface is now shiny and the tiles are nearly see-through (no longer translucent).

So our question is: can our (once) beautiful tile be restored?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good lord.

Glass tile does not need sealing. It's not porous!

And honestly, neither does grout on a kitchen backsplash wall. Most grouts are modified and are plenty "sturdy enough" to deal with surviving unsealed on a wall, even a kitchen backsplash wall.

If I DID want to seal your grout, I would have applied the sealer just to the grout with a brush. Had any sealer gotten on the glass tile by mistake, I would have wiped it off immediately and not allowed it to dry on the surface of the glass. No how. No way.

Regardless, the products he used are typically used as sealers on porous tiles; natural stone, saltillo, brick, etc. And grout too if needed. But not on glass tile.

I highly recommend YOU call Custom's tech department. Tell them your story, and see if they can offer any advice. They may be able to tell you what stripper could possibly be used to remove the sealer, but in no way will they be able to guaranty that it won't affect the frost finish on the glass tile. Or that it will return your tile to it's "pre-sealed look". Nor should they, since for the most part, the product was improperly used.


Best of luck...and my condolences.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the tile face is smooth enough, a lot of single edge razor blades are in someones future.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You could try Barkeeper's Friend and a nylon scrubby first on a small area, otherwise I'd invest in a larger jug of the following.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aquamix sealer and adhesive remover

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"You could try Barkeeper's Friend and a nylon scrubby first on a small area"

Be very careful.

Glass tiles are often not all that hard and easily scratched (by powder scrubbers or metal razor blades).

A plastic scrapper is safer, but may not be hard enough to do the job.

If you use chemicals you have to be sire they do not carry anything into the grout joints and cause color changes.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 3:32PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Have exterior wall open-questions about improving insulation
I have a 1980s era house, so not the greatest in terms...
Just on observation
Just observing these forums I see the word "cheap"...
Precision Carpentry
question about getting a bid from contractors
We're getting ready to put an addition on our house...
Will installing vinyl siding over cedar siding create a rot problem?
We have a friend with cedar siding installed over house...
Dog Grooming/Bathing Station, show me your pictures, please
I really need to include a bathing/grooming area in...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™