Do you have customers who find tiled floor hard to keep clean? If so, it could well be a Grout Haze issue!
This is one of the most common complaints from new owners of stone and tile. After a few weeks of frustration trying to get their floor looking like the showroom version, they start to think that their tiles aren't up to standard. What they don't realise is that - in many cases - the problem is actually Grout Haze sitting on the surface, and not the stone or tile itself. Grout Haze is simply residue that has been left to dry on the surface of the tiles after grouting.
Grout Haze is often not picked up during installation as the moisture during the clean process momentarily masks the latex and cement deposits. Furthermore, grout haze itself is usually invisible to the customer, as they never had the opportunity to see the tiles in place without the haze. However the effects of Grout Haze are extremely visible, dulling the tiles, and causing them to get dirty very quickly - sometimes to the point of absorbing detailed footprints. This becomes all the more frustrating for the customer because conventional cleaning methods can't remedy the problem, and they can't see if the grout haze is still there. Grout Haze can be severe - covering the complete tiled area changing the aesthetic pleasure of the tiles.
There is no set formula for grout haze removal - it depends on the type of grout used and the texture of the surface. Epoxy grout is very hard, cement grout is more manageable and in between there are dozens of modified grouts containing a range of additives. However when tackling grout haze, it’s important to establish the length of time the tiles were first laid and the type of grout used. In most cases haze from a cement or latex modified grout can be removed with a Tile Warehouse cleaner; but the longer grout haze is left, the harder it is to remove as the grout bonds and binds itself into the pores of the tiles. This is more common with lappatto finish tiles, due to their finish.
A grout haze removal treatment needs to be carefully selected to remove all traces of grout without damaging the underlying stone or tile, or damaging and discolouring the grout itself. Good tiling practice is to complete a general clean as soon as you have finished tiling to get rid of any excess grout. However in some cases, particularly when construction on other parts of the building is still in progress, this clean-up process does not remove all traces of grout haze.
If you notice a haze of grout left on the tiles post installation, either buff it off with a dry soft towel or undertake one final clean. Grout Haze is generally easy to remove within 48 hours of grout application.
However, if after completing the steps above, you still have an issue, feel free to contact staff at your nearest Tile Warehouse store for expert advice!