A TILE NATION
BATHROOM REMODELING BATH REMODEL
Tile Installation Contractor Since 1979
Master Craftsman Custom Tile Contractors
Cherry Creek/Washington Park Colorado
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| NATURAL STONE TILES – safe for shower installations?
There has been the occasional client who has been concerned with the use of natural
stone tile for their shower installation.
The question of whether it is safe to install natural stone tiles in one’s shower is
always answered in the affirmative. Yes it’s safe.
For years prior to the popularity of stone tiles used in today’s kitchen and bathroom
remodeling projects the affluent always used natural stone tiles in their home
designs of marble and granite for their elaborate and luxurious decor.
While these beautiful stone expressions were being installed in these residences by
their kitchen bathroom designers the rest of the nation was installing ceramic tile.
SHOWER TILE INSTALLATION:
Fast forward to today’s market and 70% of the tile installations that we install are
natural stone with the remaining 30% being split between glass tile, decorative
ceramic tile and ever increasingly imported Italian porcelain tile.
So why the concern for some homeowners about natural stone being installed in the
shower stall? Perhaps bad experiences with prior tile installations or horror stories
from neighbors and friends. Stories of mold and tile discoloration even of tiles
popping off the walls.
There is also the urban myth that stone tile requires a lot of maintenance and
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BATHROOM REMODELING with stone tile:
Sometimes mold is present in the shower and blamed on the stone tile
that was used for the installation.
Mold in a shower stall is not normal. It is evidence of a poorly built
shower due to a variety of reasons such as ventilation problems, the
wrong tile backer board and or setting mortars (thin set or glue) not
specified for the installation or improperly installed shower base and
pan liners or a combination of several of these.
This is a problem that would not be limited to just natural stone tiles but
any shower installation (no matter what type of tile installed) would face
the same problematic issues.
Discoloration in stone tile can be prevented by using mortar specifically
designed for the installation and tile it is designed to be installed with.
For instance using a gray poly-modified thin set with a white marble or
translucent onyx will cause discoloration in wet areas such as a shower
floor. Improper shower pans will discolor stone tiles and in some cases
actually push up the grout and loosen tiles because of the hydrostatic
pressure due to the inadequate drainage.
Again these are problems not isolated to natural stone tiles and in
combination with the above can reap havoc in your shower and shower
floor no matter what type of tile is installed.
STONE TILE SEALER ENHANCER
As for sealing natural stone tiles professional tile installers also have the
experience with the many sealants that are available.
A stone impregnator application with an enhancer will last for quite some
time thereby reducing the need to seal every 6 months. This helps with
maintenance issues that should be followed no matter what type of tile is
Usually you will be able to tell when to reseal your shower by taking note
of the surface of the tiles. Water beading on the surface let’s you know
there is no need to reseal. Water absorption and it’s time to seal again.
You’ll be surprised how infrequently you’ll need to seal as long as the
application was done with the specified sealer for the job.
Are natural stone tiles safe in shower installations? Most Definitely!
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