There are generally two main factors in surfaces becoming compromised, the first (and possibly most important) is due to a poor initial clean, also known as the ‘builder’s clean’
Reason 1 -‘The Builder’s clean’.
The initial clean is a pivotal part of protecting and maintaining your stone or porcelain tiles, and needs to be carried out with more than just soapy water. Many customers have commented that their tiles look dirty after fitting and the feel does not match their initial samples. This is due to the stubborn residue (a grout haze) left on the surface of their stone or porcelain when fitted, which over time also attracts dirt. To remove grout professionally from the surface of your tiles you will need a suitable detergent to remove this from the surface.
We would recommend using LTP Grout Stain Remover as this can be diluted for the less stubborn blemishes, as well as used concentrated for the more severe. Always check with your retailer whether this is suitable for your natural stone tiles, as this cannot be used with acid sensitive surfaces such as limestone or marble, however if you seal the surface of limestone or marble tiles prior to grouting you will find the removal of the grout is easily done.
Image: Grout Stain Remover
Using the right detergent is important, because if you were to simply try to remove the haze with just water, 1) It wouldn’t work and 2), it would only spread the installation residue over the surface. Which will not only affect the appearance of the tiles, but would make any sealers redundant and actually attract dirt. This makes ongoing cleaning more difficult, and in extreme cases affect the slip rating; meaning a trip to A&E could be on the horizon!
REASON 2 – Failing to protect your grout lines.
When sealing the surface of natural stone tiles, it is normally the case that the grout lines are simultaneously sealed too. However, for tiles that you would not normally seal, such as some porcelain tiles, the grout lines are often forgotten about and will remain unsealed.
Protecting the grout joint is important as it is very porous, therefore can easily become stained and discoloured with dirt and general wear and tear, which will ruin the whole look of your tiled area. Making sealing your grout joint an absolute must, in order to prevent this!
TIP - Sealing the grout joint after your initial clean will make your life so much easier and will help you maintain that fabulous surface finish. There are many products available in the market, from easy sprays to liquids. You simply need to follow the suppliers instructions and you’re good to go!
Image: LTP Grout Protector
So even if your project has got off to a bad start, or upon ‘completion’ the grout haze is ruining the surface of your tiles, do not worry as these things can usually be rectified if you follow the correct procedures and use the correct products.