Ask the Remodeler: How to remove sunscreen stains from marble

Ask the Expert Home Improvement
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Q. We have marble bathroom floor tiles that were severely damaged by repeated wetting with sunscreen spray. The shiny finish eroded, and the surface is now dull and rough. Can these be refinished, or will the tiles have to be replaced?


A. Yes, marble can be polished and refinished. We have done it many times for both countertops and floors. It can be pretty involved: The grout should be ground out and replaced to the extent possible and then the surface needs to be buffed, polished, and restored. Done properly, your floor tiles should look like new.

The corner pieces in this condo are separating. Why? —Handout

Q. I just noticed that in one area of my third-floor walk-up condo, the floorboards are separating from the wall, and in another, the corner pieces are coming apart. What could be causing this? I know it wasn’t like this just two weeks ago; I cleaned the baseboards myself.


A. I hate to say it, but this looks like water damage coming from behind the wall somewhere. When trim like that gets wet, it swells and contracts, and that can create the cracks you see. The little jog in the wall looks as if it could be a plumbing chase. I would recommend carefully prying off the baseboard to see what might be going on behind the wall. You may need to open up some of the wallboard as well.

Mark Philben is the project development manager at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge. Send your questions to [email protected]. Questions are subject to editing. Subscribe to our free real estate newsletter at Follow us on FacebookLinkedInInstagram, and Twitter @globehomes.