Sad story of frosted glass tile. Can it be given a happy ending?

jimrechtSeptember 19, 2012

Hi All:

I have posted this question in the Remodel forum as well. Hope that's OK (and thanks to those who have responded there)!

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?

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You can try the johnbridge tile forums.

The short version is find someone who specializes in tile and grout restoration and let them try. Apparently the chemicals used are pretty hazardous. I wasn't able to find any info on the chemicals and potential damage to the tile.

I can tell you your tile turned clear from the gloss sealer and when its removed, it will appear frosted again. And that's all I know.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Oh man. Was this his first time using glass tile?? He should have sealed the grout only (glass is non-porous) with an appropriate applicator. It's time consuming to do it properly, but this is why you (or the people you hire) don't (shouldn't) cut corners.

There is one non-toxic product that might help. He can (and I mean he, not you) try this stuff, made to scrub off sealer from tile. I don't know whether it will work, but I hope so. Removing glass tile is not easy (ask me how I know - better yet, ask me about the surgery I had on my right hand to remove a shard of glass that lodged in my tendon). If it does work, he will then have to seal the grout correctly.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: AquaMix

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 4:13PM
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I have tried the Nano Scrub when I put way too much sealer on my grouted kitchen floor - it did NOTHING to remove the excess sealer.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Try applying acetone to a small test area and see if that does the trick.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 12:21AM
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