Tough tiles – the properties of porcelain
Porcelain is a type of ceramic floor tile. Like all ceramic tiles, porcelain is normally finished with a surface glaze. Compared to regular ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles tend to be made with denser grade clay which is fired at higher temperatures. This makes them harder and less prone to water penetration.
Whereas many regular ceramic tiles have their colour and pattern as a finish on the surface of a plain tile, with porcelain tiles the whole tile is usually the same colour throughout. This means that any chip can be near invisible in a porcelain tile.
In recent years, the design possibilities with porcelain tiles have increased. You can now choose tiles that replicate natural stone or mimic wooden floors, but are more economic to install and easier to maintain.
Grout haze – the floor cleaning challenge on porcelain floor tiles
This stunning property had the benefit of elegant porcelain floor tiles in its downstairs rooms including the kitchen, utility and dining room. Over time the floor had become grubby from normal use including footsteps and paw prints. Because it had reached the point where the client could no longer get it to look its pristine best, they asked Saul Cornwell for cleaning help.
On investigation, the condition of the tiles may have been caused in part by grout haze over the tiles. This is a situation where excess grout is not completely removed from the surface of the tiles when they are installed. The layer of grout haze, although hardly visible provides a rough surface which attracts and traps dirt. With this issue it is near impossible to keep the floor looking clean with only regular sweeping and mopping.
Even without this problem, the grout between ceramic tiles and the tile surface can benefit from specialist stone floor cleaning from time to time.
Process – stone floor cleaning
To return the floor to ‘as new’ condition Saul at Cornwell Services began by thoroughly vacuuming the floor to remove dust and grit. He then chemically removed the remnants of any pre-existing seals from the surface of the tiles and deep cleaned the floor. The solution was machine scrubbed into the floor, rinsed and extracted into the waste tank of the machine.
The floor was then cleaned again using an acid-based product to remove any grout haze from when the floor was originally fitted. Once again, the floor was rinsed, and the slurry and dirty water was extracted into the machine.
To complete the stone floor cleaning process the floor was dried and sealed. Saul set up air moving fans to speed-dry the floor of this Bengeo home. The drying process usually takes a few days. The floor, including the grout lines must be thoroughly dry to accept the sealant. Once dry, the penetrating seal was applied to fill the pores and help prevent the ingress of water and oil-based spills and soils in future. With all marks and grubbiness from daily use eradicated, the colour of the porcelain floor after specialist cleaning was returned to its original light, bright and elegant condition.
Contact Saul for help or a quote
Cornwell Services cover Hertfordshire, Essex, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and north London. We clean and restore tiled stone floors and we also sand and refinish wooden floors, working for both homeowners and businesses.
For a quote or to get an answer to a question, please contact Saul at Cornwell Services on 07738 022813.