QUESTIONGood Morning I was hoping you could help with us some information after finding your company on the internet. My husband and I just built a home in south Florida with a very reputable builder. We picked a shiny porcelain 24x24 inch tile. Nothing was mentioned to us or brought to our attention about having any issues with this type of tile. Upon closing on the home and moving in, we immediately noticed the “optic haze” on the tile which is beyond upsetting to both of us. The builder seems to want to take no responsibility for this since we signed off on all of our options for the home. In my research I keep reading that this seems to be more of a problem with tiles from China-is that true? I was wondering if you knew of any products or treatments that could be done to fix this. Any info you could provide to us would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much
ANSWERANSWER - Optical Hazing is a distortion condition that is found on some polished ceramic tile surfaces. The distortion is invisible under normal lighting and only noticeable when illuminated by light coming in from the side at a low angle. A variety of inconsistencies have been reported, including light-colored cloudy spots, dark shadow spots, dark shadow ribbons that run across the entire tile, wavy regions of inconsistent reflectivity, and fuzzy spots or distorted lines in a reflected image.
There isn't a lot of information available on this relatively new condition found on some tiles, although two possible common causes of optical hazing recently pointed out by TCNA is 1) the presence and/or partial removal of certain post-fire organic coatings, and 2) inconsistencies in the materials being polished or in the polishing process itself.
Post-Fire Organic Coatings mostly are wax-like consistency and several are described as “Nano-coatings”. Post-Fire Organic Coatings are intended solely to protect the products from scratches during handing and installation, some are intended to increase luster, and some are intended to improve stain resistance or a combination of those. If optical hazing is observed, the post-fire organic coatings can be contributing to the problem from foreign material that may have been encapsulated in the organic coating. In this case it is possible to clean the tile surface to remove the haze.
If the optical haze is caused by polishing inconsistencies at the factory, then it is possible to re-polish the tile after it is installed using stone restoration methods.
You can also consider adjusting or controlling the lighting in the tiled rooms to try to avoid or minimize the side lighting.
I have seen the optical hazing problem with tiles from China as well as from other countries. So we can't point to any particular country or manufacturer who has this problem.