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Old 12-25-2008, 12:27 AM   #1
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


I used a product called Aquamix Professional Stone Enhancer to seal a natural stone tile backsplash yesterday. The bottle indicates a "dry time" of up to 24 hours. Today, the tiles still feel "slimy," not sticky or tacky, just slippery/slimy, so I am afraid to proceed with the grout. Does anyone know why the tiles would still feel slimy after 24 hours?

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Old 12-25-2008, 12:46 AM   #2
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


I'm going to move this over to the flooring/tile forum, where you'll hopefully get help from some tile pros.

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Old 12-25-2008, 12:59 AM   #3
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


Did you wipe away the excess after 5 minutes?
Be sure any sealer that does not penetrate surface is polished
dry off surface within 5 minutes of each application using absorbent
paper or cotton towels. If non-polished surfaces are left shiny after
application, surfaces must be wiped dry as this indicates surface
residue remains.

If Stone Enhancer is not WIPED COMPLETELY DRY within 5 minutes, a
residue may form.


Were the tiles previously sealed in some way?
Sealers and finishes should not be used before or after use of Stone Enhancer.

If neither of those are the problem, I'm at a loss too.
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Old 12-25-2008, 09:27 AM   #4
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


I think you are most likely right. The excess was not wiped off completely. Now I just wonder if using the recommended AquaMix product to remove the leftover residue will actually solve the problem or just smear the residue around like Goof-Off does when you try to remove a sticky label from something. Either way it is going to be a bit tricky since the backsplash is over a solid surface countertop (Hanstone) and I don't want the sealer removed from the Hanstone. Any thoughts?

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Old 12-25-2008, 11:17 AM   #5
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


Mask the heck out of the solid surface top with wide tape pressed/burnished down hard with a flexible putty knife.
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Old 12-25-2008, 12:23 PM   #6
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Mask the heck out of the solid surface top with wide tape pressed/burnished down hard with a flexible putty knife.

I'm sure that I can probably just use cardboard over the area I am working on - don't you think?
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:14 AM   #7
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


Tape down a sheet of wax paper first, then rosin paper or cardboard. Anything that may seep through the first layer, will be stopped by the wax. Wipe up anything you spill immediately, regardless.
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Old 12-26-2008, 06:50 AM   #8
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


if you are that concerned about the top tape down some plastic and cover that with a drop cloth, before you remove it from the back splash.
As what was said above the product must be wiped off, also are these tiles porcelain,?. I would not seal porcelain. I saw a porcelain floor that was sealed , the tile and the grout both, under the table it looked beautiful, but when you looked where the chairs slide or by archways you could see the sealer being worn away which made the hole floor look like crap.BOB
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:56 AM   #9
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


Has anyone used these "sealer removal products?" Will it work nicely or will it be a disaster?
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:30 PM   #10
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No, I have not used any sealant remover products before. I did once use a grout haze remover and while it took some work, it did ultimate do what it said it would.
I was curious about this situation so I called Aqua Mix to see what they had to say about this "residue" you're talking about. Here's what they recommend:
Since there's been a fair amount of time that has lapsed since the Stone Enhancer was applied, you need to forego the process listed on the Stone Enhance directions (it's been too long). Use Sealer & Coating remover. Apply liberally and wait about 30 minutes. Directly on top of that, apply NanoScrub and use a scrub pad to remove the residue. Rinse thoroughly with clean water when finished. When all is said and done, the only product Aqua Mix recommends putting back on will be the Pro Stone Enhancer. They do not recommend any other sealer over it.
Don't forget, the stone is already sealed. You are only dealing with the residue that's formed over the surface.

What kind of grout did you plan on using?

Also, if you have the HanStone counters I'm familiar with, they are quartz, not solid surface. You absolutely need to protect them from the sealant removers! The stripper(s) will attack resin and there's plenty of that in a quartz counter top. I would definitely use a thick plastic taped to the counter and then an additional layer (or two) of rosin paper or cardboard.

I'm sorry you learned one of the biggest lessons in tiling the hard way.....
read all instructions first! (and follow them).
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:16 PM   #11
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I wish it was my mistake. This was done by a tile guy. He said he likes to include the sealing work as part of his tile work. In his bid, he included the cost of the sealer. I had some of the Aquamix stuff from when we moved in and sealed our upstairs tile (2 years ago) and told him he was welcome to use it. It saved me a few bucks, but low and behold, he apparently chose to ignore the instructions. I'm guessing the sealers he is familiar with do not require wiping off. I too will call Aqua Mix to make sure it can be corrected without too much damage as the counters were rather expensive. Maybe the tile needs to be taken off and replaced if there is a risk of damage to the countertops???
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:56 PM   #12
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Aqua Mix will give you the exact same procedure they told me.

So the tile guy can't read. Hmmmm. Sure hope you didn't pay a lot for his services. Stone needs to be sealed. Any sealer I'm familiar with needs to have the excess removed. Common knowledge I would think...

Protecting your counters is not a hard thing to do. It's not like if a bit of sealant remover vapors come in contact with the counters they'll be ruined. Just make sure whether you or the tile guy are doing the stripping, cover the counters with plastic with either rosin or cardboard on top. IF some of the stripper gets on the cardboard, remove that piece of cardboard and replace with a new piece. There's no need to assume the counters will be damaged in any way if care is taken to cover them. And absolutely no reason to remove the tiles...
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:19 PM   #13
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Thanks Angus - I too called aqua mix and talked to two different people. They both agreed on the same two products you mentioned, but one guy told me to apply them at the same time and wait 30 minutes before wiping them off. A woman told me to only apply the sealer and coating remover, wait 30 minutes, then apply the nanoscrub; then wipe both off with a nylon scrub brush. I'm sure either way will work.

They were suprised that my tile guy sealed the tiles before grouting. I guess I'm still confused since my tile guy said that's how he always does it. He told me he uses an additive with the grout that makes the grout sort-of self-sealing. If it were me, I would have just grouted first and then used the aqua mix enhancer over the entire job; but then again, I'm not a tile installer. I just hope his grout additive doesn't screw up the tiles again once their stripped clean. Why did you ask what kindof grout I am using? I have no clue. It's just some powder that will match the stones nicely.

I plan on doing the stripping myself just so that I can be extra careful with the counters. I'll call the tile guy back when the stripping is over. I will use blue tape to tape 4 mil vapor barrier to the back of the counters and then put cardboard over the vapor barrier. It shouldn't be that big of a job as it's only about 15 linear feet of backsplash that's 18" high. I just hope it comes off easily with their recommended procedure. Thanks for all your help.

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Old 12-26-2008, 09:07 PM   #14
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Sealing a Tile Backsplash


Yes, the woman is who I spoke to also.

The reason I asked about the grout was there are different kinds and depending on what you choose, the (sealing) process may be different.

Yes, it is common to seal natural stone before installing. Perhaps the choice of sealant was the surprise. The stone enhancer is not what I would have chosen. For anyone else reading this thread that wants to know for future reference, I'd use a natural stone sealant (not enhancer) and then an epoxy grout. No need for further sealing.

That is something you might consider. Lowes sells it; Laticrete SpectraLOCK. Once on, it will not need sealing and it's stain resistant. It's a little different to use over a standard portland cement grout but much better (IMO). However, it's quite expensive. Expensive, but well worth it. And adding an additional sealer over the Aqua Mix stuff is something I'd be worried about. They really stressed not to put any other kind of sealer on the tiles other than what's already there. If you don't want to chance it, I'd look into the SpectraLOCK, even if it's around $75. Grout and you're all done.

If you don't use the SpectraLOCK and go with the tradional portland cement grout, just know that a latex additive will not be as stain resistant. I'm a bit leary of the phrase "self-sealing". It would be helpful if you mention the brand and type of grout proposed.

I used SpectraLOCK on the backsplash shown below. Aside from giving the natural stone a bit of a tint, there weren't any issues. What I mean by tint is if you wet the tiles, they change to about 1 shade darker. That's what the epoxy grout did, although the home owner had no idea it even occurred.
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:39 PM   #15
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Thanks again. I'm out of town right now so I can't tell you the name of the grout. I don't think ill be putting anything else on the stone once the residue comes off. How come you are suggesting the Spectralock if Aquamix advises not to put anything over the enhancer? I thought the enhancer is serving some sealing function so why would I want to put a second product over it. The Aquamix folks did say that the stripping procedure will not effect the sealer itself since it has already penetrated into the stone and I will just be removing the surface residue. By the way, I noticed that you are in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette.

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