I received an enquiry from a customer in Sandhurst regarding their Ceramic tiled kitchen floor that they were struggling to get “looking clean”. Ceramic tiles are glazed and usually very easy to keep clean so intrigued I arranged a time for me to pop over and assess the problem.
Upon arrival the customer explained to me they had recently moved from Lancaster to be closer to their family and had inherited the ceramic tiled floor with the property. They had tried various solutions, but nothing seemed to get them clean. The Ceramic tiles had a slight texture to them which improves grip and makes them a popular choice in kitchens where the floor can get wet. The trouble with rougher surfaces though is they can trap dirt and as it turns out the previous homeowner had three dogs which no doubt had been kept in the kitchen.
After measuring and surveying the floor I ran some cleaning tests on the tiles to see which combination of product and cleaning method would have the most impact. During this I discovered the tiles had a thin layer of grout haze imbedded within the textured surface that had becoming imbedded with dirt, this would explain why they had struggled to get them clean. This must of happened when the floor was originally installed, the tiler didn’t polish off the grout thoroughly enough thereby leaving a thin layer of grout over the surface ruining their appearance. Happy with the demo a price was agreed, and the work was booked in.
Removing Grout Haze from a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor
Before starting I removed the kick boards from underneath the kitchen units and protected any exposed wooden areas with thin tape. Due to the previous cleaning tests, I knew exactly how to approach the floor and tackle the grout haze (aka grout smears).
Basically, to remove the thin layer of grout I applied a strong dilution of the aptly named Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. It’s a mild acidic cleaner that breaks down the grout and allows it to be removed. The solution is applied to the floor and allowed five to ten minutes to dwell before being agitated using a black pad fitted to a buffing machine. The slurry was then rinsed off with water and vacuumed away using a wet vacuum. Some areas were worse than others so for heavy grout haze build up I used Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a more powerful acidic cleaner that comes in gel form.
Applying a Light Grey Grout Colourant
Though everything cleaned up well the grout was still looking a little tired, the years of dirt had resulted in some deep staining which could not be removed and was letting down the overall appearance of the floor. To achieve a uniform finish throughout a light grey Tile Doctor Grout Colourant was carefully applied to each individual grout line, wiping away any excess that got onto the tiles. The colourant was left to dry for an hour before buffing the floor with a white pad. The colourant forms a permanent barrier over the grout sealing it in and making it much easier to clean.
One done the Ceramic tiles had never looked so good and the grout looked ever so fresh. As you can imagine my customer was very happy with the transformation achieved and left the following feedback:
Ceramic tiles are fairly robust and with the grout colourant providing a barrier over the grout the floor is set to stay looking good for some time to come. However, there are a lot of cleaners out there on the market, some of which are very strong and concerned they could have a negative impact on the grout colourant. As a result, I recommended they clean the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner going forward, it’s sold as a concentrate, so a small amount goes a long way.