You don’t expect a new floor to need restoration. But this was the case with the kitchen floor of a family home in Baldock, Hertfordshire. The porcelain floor had only been installed six months earlier. It should have been in perfect condition. But sadly, right from first day it had only brought disappointment. Porcelain tile floor cleaning & restoration was needed.
Poor condition of the new porcelain tiled floor
Despite loving the style of the floor tiles that they had chosen, the floor itself had caused so much disappointment that the homeowners were considering taking it up and replacing it. The problem was that everything that came into contact with the floor in the smart kitchen-diner immediately showed, from drips to footprints and paw prints from the family dog. Once the floor became dirty, each mark was incredibly difficult or impossible to remove.
What caused this ceramic floor to attract dirt?
Saul at Cornwell Services examined the kitchen floor and was able to identify the underlying problem: the entire floor was covered with a grout haze. In addition, the tiled floor had never been sealed due to incorrect advice from the tile shop. There was nothing wrong with the tiles. Porcelain is a type of ceramic tile that is strong, fine-grained, smooth and relatively impervious to water. It’s ideal for high-moisture environments in the home. The problem was caused by poor installation.
What is grout haze?
Grout haze occurs when the tiler leaves a grout residue on the surface of the tiles by not thoroughly rinsing the sponge when removing the excess grout. This dries as a thin film of unsightly grout or haze on the surface of the tile. The haze has a rough, dirt-attracting texture. It’s also porous which makes everyday dirt very difficult to clean. Grout haze can only be removed by a professional.
Shhh! Secret grout floor cleaning project
Tackling the work involved some flexibility since the job was to be a surprise for the client’s wife and secrecy was paramount. That meant that inspecting the floor was carried out in secret. When it came to working on site, that had to be done in secret too. Saul hid the van out of sight and only arrived at the property once the lady of the house had left for work.
Seven steps: porcelain tile floor cleaning and restoration
Once Saul ascertained that the issues with the floor were primarily due to grout haze, he could formulate a plan of action to restore the floor to the state it should have been in when it was originally installed.
- Preparation: After thoroughly vacuuming the entire floor to remove debris, dust and grit, Saul prepared the floor for cleaning by masking off the kitchen units and any vulnerable surface to protect from the risk of splashes.
- Alkaline treatment: An alkaline stripping agent was applied to the tiled porcelain floor. This solution was thoroughly scrubbed into the floor with a rotary machine using brushes and pads. It dissolves dirt and any polymers which may have risen to the surface and could impede the efficiency of the cleaning. Alkaline cleaning agents are also highly effective at emulsifying most household dirt which is usually acidic in nature.
- Rinse: Next, the floor was rinsed with water under high pressure within our enclosed tooling to prevent splashing. The dirty water from this process is extracted directly into the waste tank in the van.
- Phosphoric treatment: Once the surface dirt had been successfully removed the grout problem could be tackled. A liberal coating of a phosphoric acid-based product was applied. This rapidly dissolves the grout haze. Because the haze is such a thin layer can be removed without damaging the actual grout lines themselves.
- Deep clean: A rectangular oscillating machine was used to agitate the surface. This reached into the corners so that all the residue was removed. It is painstaking work, on small areas at a time to retain control.
- Neutralise: The floor was thoroughly rinsed and neutralised afterwards.
- Impregnating seal: Once dry, and after making sure that all the haze and dirt was gone, a penetrating seal was applied to the clean floor tiles to help prevent the ingress of water and oil-based spills and stains in future.
The client was pleased, and his wife was surprised and absolutely delighted with the results that had been achieved in secret.
Don’t assume you need to replace your tiled natural stone floor or tiled ceramic floor due to its poor condition. Often with professional help it can be restored for a fraction of the cost to replace it. Call Saul for porcelain tile floor cleaning & restoration.
Please contact Saul at Cornwell Services on 07738 022813 for help to clean and restore the tiled floor in your home or business premises. We’re a Hertfordshire-based business and we cover Hertfordshire, Essex, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and north London.