What can I do about my Porcelain Tile Staining?

QUESTION

I recently renovated a house and chose Daltile Premium Gres Porcelain, series Avondale, West tower, which is a brown tone stone look. I had numerous conversations with my contractor about products I was choosing as I have small dogs and products needed to withstand the likely occurring accidents. Porcelain tile was represented as pretty much indestructible and easy to clean. However within a few months when one of my dogs had an accident even though I cleaned it up immediately it left a stain similar looking like a water stain when viewed in a certain light. My contractor came out and looked at the stain and he was totally surprised but upon contacting Daltile rep was given several cleaners to try, the last one being an acid based cleaner that they had to wear industrial rubber gloves to use! This product did work the best but I did not pay the money I invested in new flooring to have to maintain them in this way. When I spoke with the rep he told me that Porcelain isn’t impervious to everything and I could put a sealer on the tiles. I told him I felt their product was misrepresented because I had done extensive research on their site regarding the tiles specifications (stain percentage etc) and the only note of careful use was not to install on ramps as may be slippery. No indication that their product would not withstand every day living use as the majority of households have children and or pets and accidents of spillage and pet incidents are a common occurrence. Furthermore they did not advise contractors or users that their product should receive additional sealing. Dal Tile hasn’t even had one of their representatives come to my house to review the problem themselves. I’m sick that I have spent all the money I have on my new flooring and now I’m stuck in this situation as we know how horrible it is having to remove and reinstall another floor especially after I’ve just completed five months of construction finishing our retirement home. If I have them acid wash and seal the tiles what are Your recommendations for the optimum products to apply and will it fix the problem or is it going to be a chronic reoccurring nightmare?
I will be contacting Daltile executive offices in Texas to discuss this situation and need to know where I stand with the product.
Thank you for your consideration

ANSWER

ANSWER -  The Daltile Avondale West Tower product looks to be an unglazed/through-body porcelain tile.  It comes in polished and unpolished.  I am assuming you have the unpolished material.  Porcelain tile is very durable.  Unglazed porcelain tile is normally durable, but even thought technically it is impervious, it can stain.  During the manufacturing process there are out-gassing that creates microscopic pores that sometimes can trap in stains.   To remove deep stains you should  try a poultice that is normally used on natural stone to remove deep stains.

It is possible that the animal excretions were acidic and that it etched the tile surface, but again porcelain tile is very chemical resistant and I would not expect it to be affected.

Never use something acidic to remove stains unless it is a cementitious haze.  The acid can make it worst.  Applying a sealer might help even the stain out.  The sealer does help keep materials from penetrating the tile surface.  It is not only important to clean spills up right away, but you have to make sure you use the correct cleaner so no residuals of the spill remain on the tile that can penetrate the tile surface.

If you think your tile is sensitive to staining, there are laboratory tests protocols for testing tiles to determine if a tile is stain or chemical resistant.   If they are, then that might help you in your claim with the manufacturer.

2 thoughts on “What can I do about my Porcelain Tile Staining?

  1. Cleo Lowe says:

    Thank you so much for your response. What do I need to do to have a tile sample Lab tested so that we can determine the true problem with the product?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      The ASTM C650 Chemical Resistance Test and the ASTM C1378 Stain Resistance test on a porcelain tile costs about $600.00 plus the freight cost to ship the tile to the testing laboratory. You can have the testing performed at the Tile Council of North America testing laboratory. If you need an expert such as CTaSC to manage the testing process, evaluate the test results, and to prepare a brief report, it would cost about an additional $1,200.00.

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