GROUTING TUMBLED MARBLE AND FANCY EDGING

I HAVE TILED MY SHOWER WITH A BEIGE TUMBLED MARBLE AND ALSO USED A BRONZE ROPE TO OUTLINE A MEDALLION I CREATED. I WANT TO GROUT USING A DARK COLOR. HOW DO I KEEP THE GROUT FROM GETTING INTO THE HOLES IN THE MARBLE AND THE DESIGN ON THE ROPE?
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Did you ask about this when you bought the stuff? You have some serious issues there.
Rope border is challenging but can be done with the skill of an experienced tileman. If you're a rookie, good luck. If you must do it yourself, tape over the rope border and do it as a stand-alone project later after you've grouted the rest of it. You'll need a lot of time as a novice to pick the grout out of the rope texture, and if you only spread the grout in the rope area, the grout won't set too fast and get away from you.
Secondly you cannot grout the tumbled marble without getting it into the holes. Maybe this post is a troll and I'm falling for it, but you've got to just smear that grout all over, and wash it off like usual.
Thirdly, you better seal that tumbled marble first or you may have a heck of a time getting the grout off the surface.
I'd re-think that "dark" grout color if I were you. If you want to bring out the beauty of that tumbled marble in the end, it's always best to match the grout as close as possible to the marble. This makes the grout appear in "the background" when finished, and the beauty of the natural stone is the dominant thing. Also, as you grout into the holes in the marble, you'll still see the areas where the holes were, letting the "old world" look of the tumbled marble be there, but the holes won't stand out. If you like the holes, just "wash out" a bit more as you sponge the grout in the middle of the tiles to dig out the hole's some. If you grout with a dark grout, you'll make the grid of dark grout the dominant thing in the end, and the holes will look awful.....the beauty of the tile will be relegated to the background.
Grouting can make or break a job so if you don't think you can do a GOOD job at this point, hire an expert to finish it.
thetiler
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Nice answer. It is always nice to see someone take the time to give a detailed answer and give practical advice.
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thetiler wrote:

This brings up a question for you. We purchased a home one time that had a coral-like material as tiles in the baths. The edges were square cut like marble and not rounded over like a ceramic. I called it coral because of the deep reddish brown color. The surface of the "coral" had many irregular voids, but none were filled with grout, as far as I could see. The spacing between the 9" tiles was about 3/16"" and the person doing the work used a sanded grout.
How was that done without getting grout into those voids? Did he use a pastry bag with masking tape?
Whatever the technique, he was darned good. There was also rope edging and the grout was perfect there as well.
Mark
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When I read the original post about "tumbled marble", I immediately assumed these were smaller tiles, maybe 4" to 6", with at least a 1/4" joint. It's hard to use a smaller joint as tumbled marble tiles are usually very irregular. Perhaps I should have asked how large the tiles were. I've done dozens of tumbled marble jobs, and they are usually small tiles, never over 6x6".
True, with a larger tile it is possible to grout only the joint itself without "spreading the grout" over all the tiles, as I stated. Some tradesman use a bag that squirts the grout into the joint, like a cake decorator uses.
Therefore........if you wanted to take the time to do it this way, assuming the tiles are larger than say 4", have fun! My opinion though, in a shower, is to fill the holes before the soap and body scum gets in there and makes a dirty mess. Personally I don't like the look of the holes, but we're all different.
thetiler
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Sorry, but if you're too stupid to type without having the caps lock on all the time, you're too stupid to lay tile...

Awh, gee, why does that not surprise me... Too bad this idiotic site doesn't put a valid domain on the return email address so that the entire domain could be killfiled...
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Have caps lock key repaired, please.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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