So you’ve decided to use tiles as part of your decorating project, but you’ve got some questions about tile maintenance. Maybe you want to know if you can clean a discoloured grout line. Maybe you want to know whether or not quarry tiles require sealing. Maybe you want to know how long tiles last. Here are a few FAQ’s I’ve answered recently. If they don’t answer your question, ask me directly at email@example.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!
Q. My new tiles have gone dusty and chalky after fixing. What has caused it? It looks fine when I wash it, but then goes back to looking hazy.
A. The most likely answer is that it is a grout film residue. This can happen if the if the tiles haven’t been cleaned sufficiently after grouting. Either by using a dirty sponge or the water wasn’t clean enough. When washed later, it will appear clean while still damp, but will dry cloudy again. There are solutions provided by LTP that will clean this depending on the tile. Please contact our Technical Help Line for further information.
Q. Do quarry tiles need sealing?
A. Most quarry tiles have a very low moisture absorption rate and therefore an impregnating sealer may have very little effect. However we would recommend purchasing an impregnator as a precaution as porosity from different tiles can vary. To help maintain them, we’d recommend a surface sealer (such as LTP Iron Wax) which will prevent surface staining, enrich the look and make it easier to clean. Surface sealers are not recommended for external use.
Q. If Porcelain is impervious, why do you recommend sealing Polished Porcelain tiles?
A. When the tiles go through the polishing process at the factory, it opens up microscopic pores on the surface. Before they leave the factory they go through another process called Nano-Sealing. This is done to protect the tile in transit. But it is recommended that the LTP MPG sealer is used before grouting to top up the Nano-Sealer and ensure future protection against surface staining.
Q. Can I clean discoloured grout lines?
A. Yes you can. To clean dirty grouting on floors between tiles, use LTP Grimex. To remove mould and mildew from wall tiles, use the LTP Mouldex. Apply the solutions, scrub with a brush and rinse with clean water. Once clean and dry, we’d recommend using the LTP Grout Protector to aid against future staining and cleaning.
Q. Once fixed, how do I maintain tiles?
A. There a many different products for the different types of tile. A universal cleaner such as the LTP Porcelain Floor Cleaner is a good all-rounder for most tile types. LTP Grimex can be use for a more intensive clean. We would also suggest the use of the LTP Grout and Tile Protector as an invisible repellent barrier to prevent staining and aid cleaning. Natural stones require regular cleaning and it is recommended that they are resealed every 2-4 years depending on usage and foot traffic. Please contact out Technical Helpline for advice in the different types of maintenance.
Q. What are the suggested products for sealing natural tiles?
A. For polished stone such as marble and granite, use the LTP MPG Sealer. For tiles with a natural matt finish like travertine, tumbled limestone and marble, the LTP Mattstone would be the suggested product. For natural finish tiles, you also have the chance to enhance the look by using the LTP Colour Intensifier as the primary impregnating sealer to give them a richer and deeper colour.
Q. How long will tiles last?
A. Providing they have been fitted correctly and been given the correct maintenance, tiles will last for years and survive up until the point you decide you want to redesign.
Q. My grout has dried patchy. Why has this happened and how can I fix it?
A. It could either be excess adhesive that has been pushed out from behind the tile. If the is the case the grout will need raking out and reapplying.
Or, it could adding too much water to the grout mix is the most common causes of efflorescence, meaning the salt contained in the cement is dissolved and separated when water is added. When the grout is mixed, applied and starts to dry, the moisture disperses and carries the salt to the surface. It’s a very common problem with some grouts but it should be fixable.
Using the LTP Grout Stain remover, some rubber gloves and a scrubbing brush, apply the solution neat to the affected areas and scrub it for a couple of minutes. You will notice it start to fizz showing that it is having an effect. Make sure you have a bucket of clean water to hand and rinse as you are going along. After a further rinse and allowing it to dry, you should see an improvement. If the problem remains, repeat as required.
Thanks for reading, and I hope these queries have answered your questions! If they haven’t, however, send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can ask me on social @wallsandfloors with hashtag #TileGuru.
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