QUESTIONI have a Porcelain tile installed in my home, (approximately 60 days ago). It appears excessively soiled. Even the uninstalled tiles look excessively dirty and they've been in my garage in storage.
The tile installer did use an epoxy grout, and he had to return to remove the haze.
What can I do to get the floor clean and keep it clean?
ANSWERAnswer - We have seen and investigated commercial projects where there was a glazed porcelain tile floor and some tiles got dirty easy and others didn’t. We were able to evaluate the tiles with a microscope and could see the texture of the glazed surface was different. One was more irregular and trapped dirty and the other was more smooth so dirt couldn’t be trapped.
We have also seen and investigated tile floors where an epoxy grout was used that left a haze. The haze would tend to attract dirt that cling to it. If the tile surface is scratch resistant and durable, a cleaning solution with silica sand and a scrubber machine would remove the haze.
In some cases where the tile surface has a texture that tends to get dirty easily, a penetrating sealer can be applied to the tile surface. The sealer acts as a bond breaker so dirt doesn’t tend to cling to it. With a glazed porcelain tile it is critical that when the sealer is applied it is immediately buffed dry with a lint free cloth as it will not absorb much other than maybe filling some of the pores in the glazed surface. If the sealer isn't wiped dry then it can become sticky causing another problem.
Sometimes the consumer has false expectations because sales people suggest tile is almost maintenance free. Tile floors are not self-cleaning. Often people use mops spreading dirty water and not rinsing the floor. The proper way to clean a tile floor is to use a scrub brush on an extended handle with tile cleaner added to the water. Water needs to be changed frequently. They need to use a wet/dry vacuum to pick up the dirty water. They then need to rinse the floor with the scrub brush and clean water. They need to use a wet/dry vacuum to pick up the dirty rinse water. Then allow the floor to dry without tracking over it.
The only way to determine whether there is a problem, or if you have false expectations, is to go through the investigative process and evaluate the floor as described above.