Ask Bob. Crackle Maintenance. - Walker Zanger BlogWalker Zanger Blog

Ask Bob. Crackle Maintenance.

Q: I have installed a Walker Zanger crackle tile which the entire surface of the tile is covered in the white material that the tile is made from. It is a shower stall. I’m guessing the water has penetrated the tile and reacted to it. What are your thoughts?

Thanks, Mike

A: Hello Mike,

A crackle glaze tile requires sealing prior to grouting and then the grout must be sealed after it is fully cured (to be safe) after 72 hours.  Then, depending on the amount of usage the shower gets, the tiles must be resealed as part of the routine maintenance program.  For a master bathroom shower you may need to reseal every year where as a guest bath shower may be every 3-5 years.  The white buildup on the tile’s surface is most likely not particles from the tile’s clay body but it may be grout residue or efflorescence emanating from the thin-set and mortar bed. Hope this helped and thanks for your question!

2 Responses to “Ask Bob. Crackle Maintenance.”

  • Carol:

    Bob –
    We recently installed tile with a crackle finish in our shower. I fear it wasn’t properly sealed at the time. I noticed that it absorbed the water with each shower. Now I see that the tiles where the water hit (and where I cleaned) are dull and mottled looking. The tiles higher on the shower walls are still bright and polished. Is there a way to clear up the dullness so that we can seal them and regain the bright polished look?

    Thank you for any help you can give.

    • Golda Criddle:

      Hi Carol,
      Crackle glaze tile must be sealed with a “light, even coat” 24 hours prior to grouting. Seventy-two hours following the grouting process the grout must be sealed so, as a result, the tiles will then have two coats of sealer on them. Then you should allow another 72 hours for the sealer to fully cure before usage. If crackle tiles are used on shower walls (Never on shower floors or anywhere in a steam shower.) they may need to be re-sealed annually depending on the frequency of usage. A guest shower possibly every two to three years while a shower that’s used daily, every year.


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