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Why are my marble walls turning white in my shower and how do I clean them?

Q: We purchased and had some beautiful light tan/beige marble installed on our master bathroom floor, 42" glass enclosed (2 sides) shower walls and tub enclosure. After five years, where we attempted to keep the shower walls clean, there is a tremendous build up of some rough texture from the floor to about six feet up. It has lost its shine and is rough to the touch. All the tiles above are still shiny, but not as they were originally, and not rough to the touch. We have tried many commercial cleaners for marble to no avail. We had [a marble restoration franchise] look at it and got quoted a figure (fairly huge) to clean and finish the bath. We purchased a hand steamer which does very little good and are out of answers. Where do we go???

A: This is  problem I run across often in my stone forensic practice. It is repairable, but it is something you want a quality contractor to do.  What is happening is that stone is becoming etched (dulled), and you may also have a build up of soap and shampoo.  NO cleaner is going to restore the finish of the stone surface once it is etched. Your only solution would be to call in a pro and have the marble repolished to its original finish. Once restored, a quality contractor will have a few tips or maintenance procedures for you to follow to help protect your stone. In the meantime, you can check out our Stone Care Guide for more information. 

To find a Certified Stone and Tile PRO Partner in your area, click here. For additional information, read this related article: Why Is My Natural Stone Flaking?

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