In 2019, a couple of high-profile property listings caught the attention of people who follow the world of celebrity real estate in Manhattan. One was a Chelsea loft once owned by Lance Bass, a former member of the boy band known as NSYNC, and the other was a large SoHo condominium unit formerly owned by political strategist Paul Manafort. What these two properties have in common, aside from their million-dollar price tags, is that they both feature lavish master bathrooms complete with marble shower stalls. Marble in the shower is the ultimate in terms of interior decoration, particularly upscale marble such as Carrara. Knowing how sensitive marble can be to water stains, you may be wondering how it could be safely installed in a shower. It all boils down to proper maintenance.
Considering the Marble Finish
When marble tiles or slabs are cut and prepared for shower rooms, homeowners can choose between polished or rough surface finishing. Both look great, but the former is easier to maintain than the latter. When marble is polished to a high gloss, its porosity is reduced, thus making it less sensitive to water stains. Both finishes need to be sealed, but rough and textured tiles may have to be sealed more often, especially with lighter colored marble. Lighter colored natural stone requires more frequent sealing because it’s less porous, which makes it more susceptible to staining and etching.
In addition to sealing showers made of marble and other types of natural stone, you also need to clean them regularly. Here’s a quick video about Granite Gold Shower Cleaner®:
Hard Water Considerations
In the United States, a few regions are notorious for the high content of minerals in their water utility systems. Some of these regions include Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Tampa. In Canada, quite a few cities in the Ontario province and the Calgary metropolitan area are known for their high calcium and magnesium levels in their municipal water. What this means for homeowners who have marble in their showers is that they have to be on the lookout for hard water stains, and the best way to prevent them is by applying marble and granite sealer often.
Proper marble maintenance isn’t limited to tiles, slabs, and panels. In a space such as a shower, the grouting tends to be even more vulnerable because of its water absorption factor. Most of the issues involving mold growth in shower stalls begin at the grout level, particularly those equipped with steam fixtures. In addition to cleaning grout with a stone-safe grout cleaner, sealing the grout lines is crucial.
While it’s true that the sealant applied during marble shower installation is often of the penetrating kind, it’s not permanent. There’s some confusion in this regard because quartz, meaning engineered stone, does feature a permanent seal during the fabrication process, but this isn’t the case with marble. However, this varies upon installation, and you should consider having your marble sealed immediately following installation or do it yourself. The bottom line of marble in the shower is that it requires frequent sealing.
For tips on how to seal natural stone such as marble, granite, travertine, and slate, check out the other blogs on the Granite Gold® website, or you can contact one of our Stone Care Experts today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.