Slate shower tile adds a touch of elegance to your bathroom. Ironically, the water that it is designed to come into contact with can ruin the slate if it is not adequately protected.
When you decorate your shower with slate, you want to be sure to seal the porous material with a protective coating that will keep the water out while maintaining its attractive earthen appearance. A stone enhancer will darken the slate but not seal it. To protect it from water, make sure to apply a sealer.
Sealing your slate shower tile will take a little while, but it can easily be done in a half-day. Follow this simple procedure.
Step 1: Clean Surface
Make sure you thoroughly clean the surface of the slate before you proceed. You want to get every last bit of dust, dirt, grime or anything else that may be sticking to the slate. If you seal and there is something stuck to the slate, it will be there indefinitely.
If you are opting to use a stone enhancer, apply it before the sealant. The enhancer will not protect from water; rather, it will bring out a darker, richer finish in the tile. Follow the instructions to a letter, but it is likely applied in the same manner as the sealant.
Step 2: Sealant
Pick a sealant. There are numerous brands available on the market. Surfacegard is one that works for stone, tile and granite and comes in a spray bottle. Other types come in small cans like paint. Read the directions completely before you start, knowing how many coats to apply and how long to let each one dry.
Step 3: Apply Sealant
Work in small areas. Don’t try to cover the entire slate area at once. Use either a sponge or a brush and work in the sealant after you spray it on or apply it. A brush is helpful to work it into all of the grout edges between the tiles. After you have covered one section, move on the next. Let the first coat dry completely per brand instructions.
Step 4: Apply Second Coat
You will probably be instructed to apply a second, maybe even a third coat in order to gain maximum efficiency from the sealant. Again, let each coat dry before applying the next.
After the entire slate area is finished, let it dry and wipe off any residue from the sealant. Surfacegard, for instance, calls for you to wipe off any remaining liquid 5 minutes after sealing. Carefully follow the directions for the best results.
Sealing your slate shower tile will take a little time, but it is something you can easily do yourself. It isn’t too expensive, and you will have the satisfaction of a job well done. The sealant does most of the work, and all you’ll need aside from that is a little elbow grease.