The Porcelain tiles in this bathroom installed at a house in the small village Inchinnan were in good physical condition but were looking dull and being let down by the grout which had gone dark in a number of areas. This is often the case with Porcelain floors which are very tough and generally out-live the life of the grout which has a porous top layer that is subject to staining especially from the dyes in personal products.
Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout
To get the tile and grout really clean a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the tile and grout and left to soak in to the surface for around ten minutes before scrubbing it in; the area was quite restrictive so this process was done by hand. The soiled cleaning solution was then then rinsed away with warm water which was removed by a wet vacuum and stubborn areas sport treated. The floor was then given a final wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner diluted with water to remove any remnants of Pro-Clean and then dried as much as possible.
The cleaning process made a big difference to the Tile and Grout however there grout still showed evidence of staining. To resolve this we would have need to laboriously scrape out the grout and re-grout it; however this does take a long time and there is a quicker solution by using a Grout Colourant. Grout Colourants apply a thin but impermeable epoxy layer on top of the existing grout and come in a range of colours which is handy if you want to completely alter the look of your floor. In this case however the customer was happy to have the white original colour of the grout restored; two coats were sufficient to achieve this.
Once done and dry we gave the floor another rinse with Neutral Cleaner and finished by buffing the Porcelain tiles with a white pad on a hand polishing machine which brought up the natural shine on the tiles.
Porcelain tiles are very hard wearing 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 can trap dirt and become difficult to clean. 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 was the case with the kitchen floor tiles at this house in Glasgow where you can see from the photograph below the improvement in the centre of the floor where we had test cleaned the tiles; the grout used was dark in colour which hides the dirt so unfortunately you cannot tell from the photograph the improvement in the grout.
Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout
To get the tile and grout really clean 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 bonnet machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and also a stiff hand brush along the grout lines. This was then rinsed away with warm water all of which was removed by a wet Vacuum. This whole process was repeated three times until we were satisfied that the tile and the grout was looking new again after which the floor was given a final wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum.
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.
Most Porcelain tiles are non-porous making them an ideal floor covering especially in high traffic areas, the porcelain tiles fitted at this house in Gamlingay however featured small pits in the surface and over the years the pits had become engrained with dirt which proved difficult to clean. The porcelain tiles had been fitted throughout the ground floor and this was a reasonable sized house so it was going to take some time to clean.
Cleaning Micro Porous Porcelain Tiles
To speed the job up we use a lot of machinery which can cause splashing so the first job was to protect all the walls with plastic sheeting and in the kitchen we removed the kick boards.
Working in sections the floor was wetted with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the tile for twenty minutes to help break down the dirt before it was agitated and worked into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.
The combination of Pro-Clean and scrubbing action loosened the ingrained dirt leaving a dirty cleaning solution; scrubbing pads can struggle to reach the grout so this was scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. Stubborn areas were re-treated and once we were happy with that section of floor it was pressure cleaned using a special spinner tool which applies clean under pressure as well as simultaneously extracting liquids from the surface. This tool has the added advantage of neutralising the floor ensuring no trace of chemical is left behind that could upset a sealer. Cleaning took much of the day so by the time we finished it was getting quite late so we left allowing the floor to dry off overnight.
Sealing Micro Porous Porcelain Tiles
We came back the next day to seal the floor and after checking the tiles had indeed dried we proceeded to apply Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer designed to fill up the pores in the tile so contaminates cannot get it in, the other advantage of this particular sealer is it does not change the look of the tile.
This Porcelain tiled floor was located in Hampton, Middlesex. The floor had been newly laid a year ago and had not been sealed. The Porcelain was of the semi porous variety and this type of Porcelain needs to be sealed to maintain its appearance and make maintenance easier. To make things worse the tiler had left a lot of grout residue on the surface of the tile which made the tile rougher, trapping the dirt and making it difficult to clean effectively.
Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout
To remove the grout haze it was necessary to give the tile and wash with an acid product known as Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, which is very effective at removing grout haze. Working in sections the product was diluted and then applied to the floor letting it soak in for a short while before being scrubbed in with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This action had the added bonus of cleaning the floor but you do have to be careful with acids no to leave them on the tile too long.
The soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the tile rinsed down with clean water. This process was repeated until I was satisfied the tile and grout was clear of grout residue.
Sealing Semi-Porous Porcelain Tiles
After allowing the floor to dry for 24 hours, we returned to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a solvent based impregnating sealer that’s ideally suited for semi porous Porcelain and provides a natural look.
I took the photograph above between sections so you could see the difference between the before and after and I think you will agree the treated tiles look much cleaner.
Our customer in Beaconsfield had been having great difficulty cleaning a textured Porcelain tiled floor that was installed in the kitchen and adjacent dining room; despite numerous attempts whatever she tried never have the desired effect. During the home survey we demonstrated on a single tile how using our cleaning agents we could remove the soiling and restore the original colour of the tile which hadn’t been seen for a number of years.
Scrubbing Micro-Porous Textured Porcelain Tiles
Equal amounts of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with Tile Doctor NanoTech UltraClean was spread evenly throughout the floor and worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad running at slow speed. The tiny abrasive particles in the cleaning solution worked deep into the tile to bring out the dirt so once the whole floor was treated in this manner we switched to the next machine.
The next machine we used was a truck mounted device that directs hot water onto the tile at high pressure using a second hose to remove the soiled solution back to a storage tank in the van. It’s a very effective machine that has an instant effect on the tile.
Once this process was completed we scrubbed out the grout lines using a mix of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which did a good job of cleaning the grout and also removed any soiling left from our previous clean. Once this was done we gave the floor a final clean and rinse and then left to dry overnight.
Sealing Micro-Porous Textured Porcelain tiles
Most porcelain tiles like ceramics won’t take a sealer however Micro-Porous Porcelain tiles do need sealing due to their porosity so we came back the 2nd day to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Seal And Go which will protect the tile from staining and aid the future maintenance. I should mention that we recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral tile cleaner for regular maintenance; its neutral PH formula is ideal for sealed floors as domestic acidic cleaners will eat away at the sealer over time and reduce its life.