What caused my limestone tile to develop a yellow/brown stain along its edge?


Hi, I have limestone laid on new concrete last year and this year some edge around the grouting area turn brown or yellow. I have someone professional using efflorescence cleaner to clean and it’s still there. Can someone tell me what is it?


ANSWER -  Normally if you have a  yellow/brown rust-like color stain it is due to a combination of the stone being subjected to excessive moisture and due to the presence of metal, or that the limestone contains the ferrous oxide mineral.  It is not uncommon for natural stone to contain ferrous oxide or other metal based minerals that under a wet environment could lead to staining.

There are stone poultices that can be used to remove these stains depending on the source of the stain and how long it has been present.   You can normally purchase these poultices through companies who produce stone sealers and cleaners or you can hire a professional stone restoration company to attempt to clean it for you.

2 thoughts on “What caused my limestone tile to develop a yellow/brown stain along its edge?

  1. Andrea Kokinakes says:

    Hi, we have a white lime stone back patio with the yellow/brown rust stain spots. What can we use to get these spots out? Trying to clean then seal patio. Help!! 🙂

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Rust stains in natural stone is one of the hardest stains to remove. Many types of natural stone naturally has iron oxide minerals within it and if the stone is subjected to excessive moisture it can develop rust stains.

      If there is a metal material in contact with the stone and subject to moisture it can develop stains. If there is metal in the stone substrate that can develop stains.

      The superficial rust stains on the surface of the stone can be easy to remove, but underlying metal causing rust can be difficult to remove.

      There are some products on the market off the shelf that are rust removers for natural stone. You can experiment with those by doing an out of the way stone to see if it works satisfactory. You can buy poultices for removing rust stains. You can hire a professional stone restoration company to clean and seal the stone and they can attempt to remove the stain.

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