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Kitchen Design/Remodeling/Sealed marble backsplash has smudges all over it


Hello, We had a marble backsplash installed in our kitchen and had quite a few problems with the installer; he had to return several times to fix problems (wavy seams, chipped tiles, etc.)  A couple of months later, we noticed that when the sun hit the tiles, you could see that the surface is covered with swirling smudge marks.  I know the installer sealed the tile so we're thinking he sealed it when it was dirty with dried grout.  We tried cleaning it with a stone cleaner, but it made no difference. When the under counter lighting is on, the marble looks great, but when the lighting is off and the natural light hits it, it just looks terrible.  Can a professional installer unseal the tile, clean it and reseal it?  Thank you for your assistance.

Sorry to hear about the problems you have had with the backsplash. I'm sure it has been quite frustrating.

Yes, you can remove existing sealers, and I believe you have nailed it! The stone was likely sealed without properly cleaning and preparing it for sealers.

I would suggest using a Sealer Stripper like HMK R54 Stripper

This will remove existing sealers and clean all residue leaving the stone in its natural condition ready for a proper application of sealer.

Did you have a natural invisible sealer or a color enhancing sealer?

The best invisible sealer on the planet is HMK S34 Silicone Impregnator. I have used this for more than 30 years and have had great results with it.

If you want a color enhancer to deepen the colors of the stone (like when it is wet) then I would suggest HMK S44 Color Enhancer. This impregnator has extra stain protection elements which is great for a backsplash where food can splatter.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Torin Dixon

Kitchen Design/Remodeling

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Torin Dixon


All questions regarding fabrication and installation of natural stone tile and slab countertops, flooring, backsplash. All questions related to cleaning, sealing and stain removal of natural stone surfaces. All questions on importing process and selection of natural stone slabs and pricing issues. Granite, Marble, Limestone, Slate, Travertine, Onyx, Tile, Quartz countertops, Silestone, Eco Cannot answer questions on cabinet construction


Expert in traditional hand methods of natural stone fabrication. Expert in modern manufacturing techniques using latest machinery and equipment. Consultant of shop layout, design, and workflow analysis. Consultant of job costing, pricing structures, bidding processes of natural stone fabrication manufacturing. Expert in specifying stone maintenance cleaners and sealers Expert in stone restoration, stain removal and damage repair.

Former Vice Chairman of the Missoula Design Review Board advisory committee to the City of Missoula, Montana City Council National Association of Home Builders member Missoula Building Industry Association member Billings Home Builders Association member Bitterroot Building Association member Marble Institute of America member President-Tyler Boshae Foundation President-Club Twitch

Slippery Rock Gazette -Dimensional Stone Trade Magazine

Journeyman Marble Mason, Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen, Los Angeles, CA 1978

Awards and Honors
Numerous Parade of Homes winner as fabricator and installation contractor of granite and stone countertops and backsplash

Past/Present Clients
Thousands of residential and commercial clients from simple bathroom countertops in private homes to granite exterior cladding on high-rise buildings over a 34 year career.

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