This article comes from a recently renovated house in the medieval cathedral city of Lichfield which is North of the new M6 Toll road. My customer had recently brought a house there and was refurbishing it from top to bottom, unfortunately however by the time the refurb was finished the new wood effect Porcelain tiled floor in the kitchen and hallway had become very dull & dirty.
Acid Washing Wood Effect Porcelain Tile
The tiled were basically dirty with plaster dust and I suspected grout smears to I decided the quickest and most effective method to clean them up would be to give the whole floor an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up.
Tile Doctor Grout Clean–Up is specially designed for removing excess grout as well as dealing with mineral salt problems so working in sections I applied the product to the floor and left to soak for five minutes before scrubbing into the tiles and then rinsing it off with cold water which was then removed with a wet vacuum. Some of the more stubborn areas had to be retreated and with a longer dwell time and more scrubbing but the process had the desired effect.
Once the whole floor was done I gave it a final rinse and used the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture from the floor as possible before leaving it to fully dry off overnight.
Sealing Wood Effect Porcelain Tile
There are a number of different types of Porcelain tile and most do not require a sealer however I had determined that this type was in fact the micro porous variety and would accept a sealer. If you’re having a new tiled floor laid it helps to keep some unused tiles back so you can test different sealers on them before applying the sealer to the actual floor. In this case three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied and this worked very well as you can see from the photographs below.
The customer said it looked better than it did when it was first laid so was very happy.
Porcelain tiles are very tough and a great choice for kitchens where they are likely to see a large amount of foot traffic, you do need to be careful however if they are the micro porous porcelain which as the name suggests are slightly porous and if not sealed will trap dirt. The other problem you are likely to have with any tiled floor is the grout which has a porous top layer that can become stained. This kitchen floor at a house in Warsash had both these issues and needed to be cleaned and re-sealed due to dirt becoming ingrained in the tile and grout making it difficult to clean and losing its appearance.
Cleaning and Preparing Porcelain Tile and Grout
To remove any remaining sealer and clean the tiles and grout a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak in to the surface for around ten minutes before scrubbing it into the tile with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and also a stiff hand brush along the grout lines. This was then washed down with warm water all of which was removed by a wet Vacuum. This stripping and cleaning process was repeated until the tile and the grout was looking new again after which the floor was given a thorough rinse in order to remove any trace of product and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum.
Sealing Micro Porous Porcelain
We left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal the floor first testing to ensure it was bone dry. Dry it was and so we proceeded to seal the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides strong stain protection as well as lifting the colours in the tile. For those technically minded people reading this post an impregnating sealer penetrates into the pores of the tile to occupy the holes and therefore prevent any dirt from resting there.
I took the picture above whilst the floor was drying but hopefully you can see the improvement in the look of the tile and how clean the grout has become.