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I recently bought a home that has a ton of natural stone tile in the master bathroom. One of the first things I did was clean and seal all of it using Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator Sealer.

This worked great on the floor and the areas around the jetted tub where there isn't extended water contact. I'm not entirely happy with how this is working out in the shower.

The tile looks gorgeous when wet, but it gets very pale as it dries. I don't believe this is efflorescence since I cannot remove any debris with a stiff brush or razor blade. No amount of cleaning seems to get this looking nice and "dark" like it does when it's wet or the way the tile in the rest of the bathroom looks. Here is a pic:

Tile Wet and Drying

So here are my questions:

  1. What is the best way to regularly clean these tiles? And for deep cleaning? I used a miracle sealants tile cleaner initially.
  2. What is "wrong" with my shower tile and why is it looking so pale?
  3. Is there a different/better sealer I should be using to give it the darker look?

TIA for any care information you can share! I'd really love to keep these tiles looking beautiful for years to come.

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  • My experience with stone is it takes 2x the number of applications to completely seal it so it looks nice and doesn’t collect as much soap scum. Remember any strong cleaning agents will strip the sealant. I would clean it ant try another coat or 2 of your sealant of choice , when it starts to look dull clean and add another coat to tell the truth you may need to do this every year to keep the “wet” look.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 15, 2021 at 16:00
  • @EdBeal I actually did 3 coats of sealant and this was back in February.... so barely six months with the only cleaner being applied is Wet & Forget Shower. I'm not sure if that is considered "strong", but it claims to be safe for natural stone. The white haze doesn't seem to be soap scum as that is easily scrubbing off the walls when it begins to occur. Jul 15, 2021 at 21:08
  • Pirate, I have done several hundred tile jobs with natural stone, you have to fill the pores to prevent the haze. at 6 months that sounds short to me but I have had customers that needed 9 months before, that was for lime scale , I suggested coating until the surface was smooth they tried that but she did not like how slippery it became so there can be a negative and we have to choose the glossy wet look or the rougher haze when dry it all depends on how often you want to coat the surfaces. Note some of my wife’s fancy soaps with oils causes haze on our grout even days after sealing.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 16, 2021 at 2:53
  • @EdBeal is there a sealant you recommend for a wet look? The sealant I used definitely wasn't "thick" enough that it would "fill" the pores and create a smooth surface. And I would definitely prefer to have to seal less frequently. Jul 16, 2021 at 14:44
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    The last one I used that I thought worked was dominance They have a veterans discount and t tried it it was expensive but they based how many coats on the absorption of the tile. I will find a link I used it on unglazed clay and it worked really well. Note I was trying to match a used brick pathway outside I ended up having to coat the brick so the gloss matched the dirt and dust cleaned off easily and no freeze cracking outside. Will verify as I have some left.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 16, 2021 at 16:20

1 Answer 1

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Based on the info provided by Ed Beal, I looked into wet look sealants.

The water based StoneTech Enhancer Sealer product I chose has held up significantly longer to the same cleaning methods and soaps than the Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator Sealer. My tile always looks nice and dark now (after 8 mos), but I feel like I may need to continue to do a coat annually.

It is possible that the sealant will last longer than this if I discontinue using the Wet & Forget Shower cleaner. That is to be determined.

I still find the Miracle Sealants tile cleaners to be working well for deep cleaning.

Hope this helps anyone else trying to DIY shower seal.

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