Porcelain Tile & Grout Cleaning & Sealing

 

  1. Maintenance, Protection and Sealing
  2. Porcelain Tile Floor Cleaning

Most types of tiles that are made from clay or a mixture of clay and other materials and then kiln-fired, are considered to be a part of the larger classification called “Ceramic Tiles”. These tiles can be split into two groups, porcelain tiles and non-porcelain tiles. These non-porcelain tiles are frequently referred to as ceramic tiles by themselves, separate from porcelain tiles - confusing!

Non-porcelain ceramic tiles are generally made from red or white clay fired in a kiln. They are almost always finished with a durable glaze, which carries the color and pattern. These tiles are used in both wall and floor applications. Non-porcelain ceramic tiles are usually suitable for very light to moderate traffic and generally have a relatively high water absorption rating making them less frost resistant and they are more prone to wear and chipping than porcelain tiles. Porcelain tile is more scratch resistant than ceramic tile. Also, porcelain tile is fired at higher temperatures than ceramic, resulting in superior durability and stain resistance.

Porcelain unglazed tile is generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays which result in a tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth, with a sharply formed face. Porcelain tiles usually have a much lower water absorption rate (less than 0.5%) than non-porcelain ceramic tiles making them frost resistant. Full body porcelain tiles carry the color and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile making them virtually impervious to wear and are suitable for any application from residential to the highest traffic commercial or industrial applications. Because porcelain tile is fire-hardened and quite hard, it can be cleaned at pressures up to 1500 PSI if the grout is in good condition.

Porcelain unglazed tiles are similar to glazed tile, except that their surface is not coated. Full-body porcelain unglazed tiles do not show wear because their color extends throughout the tile, making them ideal for commercial applications.

PEI classes range from 0 to 5. The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating scale is not a measurement of quality. It is a scale that clearly indicates the areas of use each manufacturer recommends and has designed their tile to fit. A PEI 2 tile has been designed for areas where very low traffic and soiling is anticipated. In most cases the aesthetic detailing of these tiles is of prime consideration. You will often find high gloss levels, vibrant colorations and metallic elements in this group of tile. Conversely, a PEI 5 tile has been designed for abusive extra heavy foot traffic:

 What is a Sealer

A sealer is a transparent or coloured liquid that can be applied Natural Stones and other materials that are porous in nature.  Such materials are concrete and even tiles.  The sealer helps in preventing stains to occur from water or oil based materials.  A sealer decreases the absorbency of the stone and guards it from substances to allow staining to occur.

Tile & Grout Sealing

The Topical sealer is a sealer that when applied will coat the stone surface.

The Impregnating Sealer is also called the Penetrating Sealer.  This type of sealer

when applied will absorb into the stone and will protect the stone from within.

 Topical Sealers

The Topical Sealer is also called a Coating.  This is because it coats the stone surface with a layer of protective sheath which sits on the stone surface.

The Topical Sealers can be removable (also called strippable) or it can be permanent on the stone. The removable sealers can be easily peeled off from the stone surface.  It is usually water based in composite.  However, they are not designed for stones but there are good quality water based sealers available in the market which are specialized for stones.

It is important to note that the Permanent Coating Sealers are not easily removed and are not designed for stones.  It is therefore important to seek aid from an expert in the choice of Topical Sealer for your tile.

The function of a Topical Sealer is to prevent the tile from scuffs, scratches, stains and marring.  The only setback is as the Topical Sealer is soft in nature, it scuff and scratches easily instead.  It therefore has a short lifespan and therefore may need frequent reapplication.

The first step is to remove the older sealer and frequent removing can cause damage to the tile. However, if you apply the new sealer on an older coat, this will cause a build-up and give a wavy plastic look on the tile.  This process is called “stripping the sealer”.

Evidently, Topical Sealer may give a yellowish tinge to your tile, this is especially so if the tile is exposed to UV light. The sealer may change the tile appearance and may have an adverse reaction to heat and acids.

Most Topical Sealers are inexpensive and easy to apply in comparison to Impregnating Sealers.  Most sealers add shine and slip resistant properties to the applied tile.  However, it is important to consider the location of the tile and the after effects of frequent stripping and reapplying of the sealers.

Areas we service
Brisbane
Gold Coast / Tweed heads Australia
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