Why is my marble staining?
April 12, 2006 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Help! My new house seems to have marble in it that stains. What can I do?

Just bought a great house. The previous owner had fixed it up and flipped it. And he seemed to like marble. There are marble tiles (1' square) in the entryway and in the kitchen that stain when touched by water. The staining goes away once they're dry but WTF?
Might this not be marble?
Is there any way to seal this?
What if I spill red wine on the floor?(a distinct possibility where I'm concerned)
The stuff that's in the bathrooms doesn't have this problem, but it's quite noticeable in the entryway and inexplicably, on the kitchen floor.
posted by asavage to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It sounds like a porous material. The 'stain' is the liquid of course and when the liquid dries the stain is gone. If it's the same material in the bathroom, it was probably treated specially because that's a wet room. The flipper should have treated all the tiles, especially the kitchen.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:47 AM on April 12, 2006

Yeah, I'd go to a home depot or something and look for a marble sealer. I just did a search on home depot's site but it only pulled up concrete/vinyl floor sealers that don't work on marble. I'm sure there are some out there you just mop on, wait 12-24 hours, and walk on.
posted by mathowie at 8:03 AM on April 12, 2006

They may have been sealed a while back - its likely those surfaces have had higher wear being in a place with more traffic. You should seal natural stone tile once or twice a year. Its no big deal, Ask a tile specialist about the different sealers they recommend and it will be ready for any kind of stain.
posted by ernie at 8:03 AM on April 12, 2006

Marble is porous, and it does stain pretty easily. I've never had to seal it or really care for any, but I know it's a material that needs care. Googling "porous marble" brought up this site which talks about marble care.
posted by OmieWise at 8:09 AM on April 12, 2006

be careful when applying the sealant, some of them can change the color of the marble.

im sorry i don’t really have more detail just a distinct childhood memory of spending a weekend or two helping my dad grind away at one of his larger sculptures because he was unhappy with what the sealant had done to its color.
posted by phil at 8:20 AM on April 12, 2006

Spilling red wine on white marble is pretty much an unmitigated disaster.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:03 AM on April 12, 2006

Definitely seal the marble. It's a very porous rock and will suck up anything that lands on it, including odors. That could be an issue in the kitchen.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:37 AM on April 12, 2006

I just put unsealed, tumbled marble in my new bathroom. I did a LOT of research on sealants and finally found something that works. Here's the best stuff:


The two products I used were:

Mira Matte: Applied first, to bring out the grain and deepen the color of the marble.

511 Impregnator: Applied in two coats after the Mira Matte had dried. This stuff is the sealant. It will need to be applied twice a year to keep the marble sealed, but it's a pretty simple process and it dries in about an hour.

I tried two other products from Home Depot and they were crap. Miracle Sealants were recommended to me by one of the largest granite and marble companies in New England (Gerrity Stone). They know what they're talking about.

The Mira Matte was pretty cheap, but the 511 Impregnator runs about $100 for a gallon. I used about 1/3 of a gallon on my bathroom floor and shower/tub enclosure. (Two coats of sealant on about 130 square feet of 4x4" marble tiles.)

A good marble/stone/granite countertop company in your area should carry Miracle Sealants.

Good Luck!
posted by evoo at 12:58 PM on April 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

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