Sanded grout used on marble tile scratched it all up

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Old 01-08-11, 12:59 AM
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Sanded grout used on marble tile scratched it all up

We're having renovations done and I wanted a kitchen countertop made of marble tile (I know this is the flooring section but figured it's still the best forum for this).

The contractor wanted to use epoxy grout which I thought would be the best even though I know nothing about installing tile other than seeing it done on TV. At the last minute he decided to use sanded grout. I looked at it after he left and the marble tiles are all completely scratched, not very noticeable from a distance but very noticeable from close.

Can the tiles be sanded with very fine sand paper and then re polished?

I did a test by taking a spare tile and scratching it very deeply with a knife (100 times worst than the scratches on the countertop) and then sanding it and I can get the deep scratch out but the the tile is no longer polished, with what do you polish marble tile?

What should I do about this? Is it an easy fix? If not, should the contractor be responsible for the costs of fixing it?

The contractor has been doing a pretty good job on most of the other parts of the renovations but I'm quite sure even though I never installed tile before that I would have done a much better job, the grout lines aren't even even, some are 1/4", others are 1/8", some tiles are a bit higher than others. Myself being a perfectionist, I would have done a much better job even with zero experience.

Thanks
 
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Old 01-08-11, 04:28 AM
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Marble is a soft stone, and not really a good choice for a countertop. Granite would have been much better. Sanded grout should not be used with polished marble, as it will scratch the suface, as you have already seen. Non sanded grout should have been used. No easy fix here. The installer should have known better than to use sanded grout, and yes, I think he should be responsible for his work.
 
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Old 01-08-11, 04:56 PM
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The hardware store tile section guy warned me they scratch but I search online and saw scratches can be polished out.

I really like marble and am ready to deal with having to polish it every few months to keep it looking good, it's really beautiful.

If the contractor doesn't get it fixed I will, I think a fine sanding and polish will get it looking better than new. I'll to a test on a spare tile first.
 
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Old 01-09-11, 12:56 PM
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That is not how marble gets its polish. After it's ground smooth, it is polished with buffers using an acid.

What you plan to do will not work. You need to have that work ripped out and re done correctly. Keep that guy away from tilework since it's obvious he is not a tile setter. That is what can happen when you hire a handyman to do tilework.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-09-11, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
That is not how marble gets its polish. After it's ground smooth, it is polished with buffers using an acid.

What you plan to do will not work. You need to have that work ripped out and re done correctly. Keep that guy away from tilework since it's obvious he is not a tile setter. That is what can happen when you hire a handyman to do tilework.

Jaz
I read several websites that explain you can remove scratches from marble with fine 400 grit sand paper followed by polishing it with marble polish. Why wouldn't that work?

Also when he came back he I showed him the scratches and he tried to say they were like that before. I also said I read that sanded grout shouldn't be used on marble because it will scratch it and he said that wasn't true.

For the floors he did have tile setters come and do it but for some reason he decided to do the countertop himself.

For all the rest he has been doing a very good job.
 
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Old 01-09-11, 04:04 PM
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The contractor has been doing a pretty good job on most of the other parts of the renovations but I'm quite sure even though I never installed tile before that I would have done a much better job, the grout lines aren't even even, some are 1/4", others are 1/8", some tiles are a bit higher than others. Myself being a perfectionist, I would have done a much better job even with zero experience.
If I ever made a mistake...I'd want it to be in your house since you're so easy.

Is that what you expect? For most of the work to be pretty good?

Polished marble tiles are set very close together, approximately 1/16" max. With the chamfered edges, the grout will appear a bit wider. But never 1/8" or more. They also need to be set very flat. This usually requires extra prep to get it flat. Natural stone tiles also require a much stiffer substrate than regular tiles do. If part of the job was to install these tiles on a floor, what did he do to meet L720 deflection requirements?

As for the polishing part. If you apply a polish, we're talking about a wax which will wear off and water spot. It will not look like polished marble's supposed to.

Installing polished marble 101 tells us to NEVER use sanded grout. Believe me, he is not a tile setter. Next time do not hire a handyman. You need to make him make it right otherwise he will continue and will claim zero complaints.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-10-11, 09:25 PM
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I know he isn't a tile setter, for all the floors he had tile setters come in and do it (and the floors aren't marble, I wanted them to be but he recommended against it), but I assume he figured the small countertop was too small a job to get the tile setters in again.

Anyway I've been experimenting on a spare marble tile and scratched it like the counter top with coarse 60 grit sandpaper. I then attempted to remove the scratches with medium followed by 400 grit sandpaper and it completely removes all scratches. Now all I need is find a proper polish, I'm quite sure there are many marble polishes that aren't wax based. I will go to tile shops and find something to bring the shine back.

Does anyone know of a good product to bring the original shine back to marble after it's been sanded?

Thanks
 
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Old 01-11-11, 06:41 AM
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I'm sorry to be terse but you're apparently not listening - Jaz knows his stuff and his recommendation to tear this out should carry a lot of weight. He has also already told you the polish is created with acid (not a DIY job) but that a wax based polish might work.

Good luck with this
 
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