How to Seal A Slate Shower and Prevent Water Damage

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Slate is easily damaged by water. Here is how to prevent your slate shower from being damaged.

  • Know what kind of tile you have. Take a photo or sample to a tile store if in doubt. Many kinds of slate can be easily damaged by water. Slate is a metamorphic rock that was once clay and thus it can absorb water. If your slate shower is new you will want to skip to the last step and apply a sealer. If it is older and the waterproof sealer or tile sealer has worn off you can re-seal it by the following steps.
    Clean the surface of the slate with shower cleaner and then wipe down with clean water. Get the surface as clean as possible.

  • Dry the shower completely with a towel. Fix any broken grout at this time.
    If the waterproof tile sealer has completely worn off you will want to pull any water that has absorbed into the slate out. To do this place a space heater inside the shower stall. Use a heavy, 10 gauge extension cord no longer than 15 feet if you need more cord. Tape the faucet handles or shut off the supply to make sure nobody turns the water on with the heater inside.
    Allow the heater to dry out the shower stall completely and to pull any moisture out of the tile. It may take 24 hours or longer.

  • Seal the dried tile before it becomes wet again. Once the shower is completely dry to the bone you can apply the sealer. Use tile waterproofing sealer that is indicated for tubs and showers. Let the first coat dry, which may be in as little as thirty minutes and apply a second coat. You can use a 4 to 6 inch roller. Make sure you get the sealer into the grout lines.
    Apply at least three coats and allow to dry for at least 24 hours.

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