TECH TIP TUESDAY: Natural Stone on Shower Floors May Experience Discoloration

One of the new documents the NTCA Technical Committee is including in the 2017 Reference Manual (to be released August/September) addresses potential concerns when natural stone is installed in wet areas, especially on shower floors.  Recently, with many new stones entering the market, it seems that some of these materials at times experience discoloration, and the cause, cure and prevention or correction of this discoloration is unknown or may be difficult to correct.  The NTCA felt the issue is significant enough to draft a document and disclaimer that highlights the concern and alerts the tile contractor to request in writing from the supplier or homeowner/builder that the material is suitable for wet areas. It goes on to also request installation recommendations so that the proper materials are used for the natural stone.  In many instances, ceramic or porcelain tile substitutes, especially for the shower floor area, where the most discoloration seems to be taking place, could also be considered.

Forensic investigations by recognized consultants in the industry have determined that there is reasonable concern that some of these stones are being discolored, and that the tile installation was done according to industry standards.  This determination led the Technical Committee to develop the disclaimer that alerts the project owner that the tile contractor is not responsible for the stone’s performance or inherent characteristics.  For more information on this document and others in the Reference Manual, order your copy at www.tile-assn.com and visit the NTCA Store.