Maintaining your tiles

Initial Cleaning

Upon completion of tile lying, all traces of cement have to be removed in order to bring out the characteristic colours of the tiles.

This cleaning still comes within the tiles layers' work & represents the end of a well executed tiling job.

The cement is not yet set immediately after jointing. At this stage, remains of mortar and grout can still be wiped out with a piece of wet sponge or absorbed with soft wood saw dust and swept away.

Hard wood sawdust is unsuitable, since the tanning material contained in it may leave behind brown discolouration in the joints, especially in the joints.

Wall tiles are usually washed at right angles to the direction of joints and then dried with a lint free cloth. Tiles having matted or somewhat rough surface requires especially careful cleaning after the jointing procedure.

In order to prevent the cement residue from hardening on the surface of the tile and adhering to the surface in form of cement haze, or veil, the tile must be washed with adequate amount of water as soon as possible.

Subsequent acidic treatment can damage the glaze due to the aggressiveness of certain acidic agents.

Hardened cement residue can only be removed on chemical basis. Special acidic agents, the so-called cement haze removers, dissolve them. Unconsumed acid and reaction products should be carefully removed with water.

Otherwise, there is danger of silicic acid (developed out of cement during the dissolution process) drying on the tile and turning in to a grey film which cannot be removed.

For some type of tiles melting on a crystal glaze attains the desired rustic colouring. In this case, the surface is characteristically somewhat rough. Please be sure to wash off such tiles with sufficient water as soon as possible after joining, so that the cement does not get a chance to harden.

Here also, subsequent acidic treatment could lead to problem due to aggressive of the acid medium. Naturally high gloss glazed surface must be treated with more care than mat or unglazed tiles.

Regular Cleaning

Tile work is only rarely so dirty, that it requires the use of harsh media. Normally all-purpose house cleaners are sufficient and even a simple dish washing agent will do.

Soft soap has been a reliable tile cleaner for decades. In addition, many effective cleaners in liquid form or as spray are commercially available.

Brilliantly-glazed tiles should not be cleaned with scouring agents; they are just as sensitive as valuable china or crystal glass. In times, they could lose their brilliance and cater to the accumulation of dust.

All type of tiles can be kept clean most simply by sweeping, vacuuming, or wiping over with a damp cloth. However, in areas where the tiles are subjected to very severe condition of use resulting in to accumulation of grease/ oil etc. cleaning agents which can dissolve the grease and oil should be used.

The choice of cleaning agents will depend on the composition of the dirt. Normal dirt. Normal dirt dissolves in neutral or alkaline agents foam other types however including the frequently occurring lime deposits, only in acid medium.

Most of the commercially available cleaning agents give an alkaline or neutral reaction and can be used on ceramic floor and wall covering with no problem.

It is not advisable to treat floor tiles frequently with viscous polish. This causes an eventual build up of a smudgy film of wax, which attracts.

Frequently, calcium deposits should be removed from the tile in swimming pools or sanitary rooms. Calcium does not dissolve in the conventional household cleaners.

Acidic agents must be used; they are loosely termed as swimming pool cleansers and are available in swimming pool supply shops. When using swimming pool cleansing agent be sure to adhere to the following points:

    • These cleaning agents are usually in concentrated form and must be diluted according to the manufacturer's instructions.
    • They must be washed away thoroughly after the cleaning operation.
   • In order to protect the jointing, the tiles should be moistened beforehand so the jointing can absorb enough water to become       saturated.
    • Sensitive glazed requires a test run.

Special cleaning agents containing hydrofluoric acid are unsuitable for tiles because they attack all silicon material such as ceramics, glass, cement etc.

Special cleaning agents containing hydrofluoric acid are unsuitable for tiles because they attack all silicon material such as ceramics, glass, cement etc. Maintanance of Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles as is known, require very little cleaning effort. In fact, they are the most easily cleaned and maintained flooring material. The glaze on the tiles prevents the ingress of the dirt.

There are three main aspects of cleaning ceramics tiles the initial cleaning, regular cleaning and removal of specific contamination.

Specific contaminants

Contaminants, which are difficult to remove, may have many casuses. Generally it is necessary to ascertain the means by which they can be removed. Before you test the suitability or effectiveness of cleaning or stain of all kind, can fundamentally be eliminated better, the younger they are. If you act immediately, hot water may suffice.