This kitchen floor at a property in Hampton may look like it is made from wood but is in-fact Porcelain tile in a very convincing wood effect. The tiled floor had been laid well but had not been cleaned off properly afterwards by the tilers. This is a common problem with tile installations and what should happen is the excess grout is polished off the tiles before it sets hard on the surface, a problem we call Grout Haze. This is especially important where the tile has a textured finish which can trap the grout much more easily and this was the case with these wooden plank effect Porcelain tiles. The grout also increased the textured nature of the surface, so it attracted dirt more easily and after a while the customer was finding it impossible to get the floor looking clean.
The kitchen had been newly installed, and the state of the tiles were dragging down the overall appearance of the room. Naturally, the owner was not happy and called us in to rectify the situation. The property is in Hampton which is a suburban area on the north bank of the River Thames, it is situated in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, which includes the historic Hampton Court Palace, once the home of Henry VIII.
Removing Grout Haze from a Wood Effect Porcelain Tiled Floor
This work actually took place earlier in the year and after visiting the property to survey the floor it wasn’t long before I was able to return and give the floor a deep clean. I got to work preparing the area first by taping the plinths and woodwork to prevent any damage to them.
Next, I tackled the grout haze by giving the floor a wash and scrub in Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This product is designed for removing grout haze or grout smears as its sometimes referred to. The kitchen area was a little tight for a rotary floor scrubbing machine, so I decided to tackle the problem by scrubbing each tile by hand. The method I used was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to the tiles and leave it for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and the now released grout haze and dirt is extracted using a wet vacuum. Whilst this was a more time-consuming method than using the rotary machine the overall result was the same.
With the grout haze removed the kitchen now looks stunning as was intended and our client should find the floor much easier to maintain going forward. Most Porcelain tiles are glazed at the factory and so in this case there was no need to apply a sealant to protect them and so the job was completed in a day.
For aftercare I recommend the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to ensure the floor was kept in great condition. It won’t leave any residue like some household cleaners and will ensure the Porcelain tiles are maintained and continue to look this great.