Shower and bathroom areas made from natural marble, limestone, travertine, onyx and granite look spectacular and can add value to any home, however constant daily exposure to heat, steam, moisture, acidic toiletries and mould cleaning products can cause grout to become discoloured, broken and dislodged.
Even if the stone tiles are in good condition, damaged grout can detract from the look of a marble or natural stone shower or bathroom. The Marble Man can however professionally remove and replace the damaged grout to restore the appearance of the area, without the entire shower or bathroom being repolished or honed.
Whether the stone is to be polished or not it will be thoroughly cleaned and anti-bacterial treated after the careful removal of the grout. Fresh grout colour matched to the existing grout will be inserted between the tiles and left for approximately 12 hours to cure. If the tiles are to be polished this will be completed the next day then if sealing is to be carried out this will be completed a day after polishing.
Silicone is the waterproof substance used to seal joins in a shower between the walls, floor and glass. When silicone becomes mouldy, stained and loose over time it can detract from the appeal of a natural stone shower even if the tiles are in good condition. It can also become damaged during the polishing process.
Some silicones are acidic and oil based and can stain and damage natural stone tiles, however The Marble Man uses a special silicone designed for use with marble and natural stone tiles. It is non-acidic so it won’t etch the stone, neutral cure and doesn’t leach oils into the stone. It also comes in a variety of colours to complement most stone tiles. Professionally re-fitted silicone will not only improve the look of the stone shower it will prevent water from leaking under the tiles.
Silicone installation is the last step in the restoration process in a shower. It occurs after cleaning, anti-bacterial treatment, polishing or honing and sealing. The silicone takes around 12 hours to cure so the shower must remain dry overnight for at least this duration..
Chip, Pit & Crack Repairs
Chips and pits found in natural marble, limestone and travertine showers, occur when heat and moisture over time causes the soft minerals in the natural stone tiles to ‘pop’ out. The continuing wet / dry cycle loosens the minerals with the constant expansion and contraction of the stone. Travertine, which has naturally occurring pits is usually pre-filled with resin for use in a shower and this resin can also become dislodged.
Before repairing a chip or pit, soap scum, dirt and bacteria is cleaned from the area using a solvent such as acetone, and a mould and anti-bacterial treatment. This prepares the section so that the epoxy resin can successfully attach to the marble, limestone or travertine tiles.
A pigment is added to the epoxy resin so that it matches the colour of the stone. The chip or pit is filled with the coloured epoxy resin, which hardens in approximately 5 minutes. The area is sanded to a smooth finish then the entire wall or floor is polished to a high gloss finish or honed to a satin or matt finish to match the existing stone surface. A sealer is usually applied to protect the stone.
Marble, limestone, onyx and travertine shower tiles are a stunning addition to a bathroom, however their appeal can sometimes be diminished when the grout in between the tiles becomes discoloured or stained. Over time, constant exposure to heat, moisture, shampoos, soaps and cleaning products can cause this change, leaving the stone shower looking dull and dirty, even though the tiles are not damaged.
If the grout in the shower is intact and in reasonable condition it can be re-coloured to restore the look of the shower, using a special pre-coloured epoxy glue. This process involves cleaning the existing grout and surrounding tiles with a soap scum remover, and a mould and anti-bacterial treatment. One to two coats of the coloured epoxy glue will be applied to the grout with a brush applicator and the excess washed off. The area is left to cure and dry for 24 hours.
Epoxy grout colouring is the perfect option for restoring the look of a marble, limestone or travertine shower, especially when the tiles are still attractive and don’t need to be polished or replaced.