The Flooring Lady
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Porcelain Tile Flooring

Porcelain tile is a durable and beautiful product that enhances floors, countertops, and walls. Porcelain floor tile is beautiful, durable, and easy to take care of when properly installed. Porcelain tile floors add a touch of elegance to any home or office they adorn. One question for you to evaluate is ceramic tile vs porcelain -- which one fits your style and budget best.

Porcelain tile flooring has been the choice of emperors, royalty, and priveledged people for centuries. Now it's readily available for you too from stores ranging from flooring specialty companies to wholesale porcelain tile outlets.

Porcelain is made up of tiles that are made of fired clays and crushed stones. While this makes porcelain flooring similar in manufacture to ceramic floors, porcelain is often considered the more luxurious and valuable product. Porcelain tile is prized as a flooring material because of its hardness. This type of floor offers the customer:
* Lasting, hard tile floors
* Easy cleaning
* Low moisture absorption
* Colors variety

With those advantages come disadvantages, including:
* High prices
* Lack of uniformity of size and shape

Porcelain is made similarly to other ceramics, although it is generally fired at higher temperatures. Porcelain tiles for the floor are made by combining natural products such as crushed China stone (a type of feldspar) and kaolinite with chemicals that give the porcelain strength. The "mud" is pressed, shaped, and glazed, then fired in a kiln at temperatures of 1200-1350 degrees Celsius (2192-2462 Fahrenheit). Before firing, some tiles may be given a coat of colored enamel to give the tiles a color or design. The resulting tiles are durable and slightly translucent.

Because of the high temperatures during firing, porcelain tiles have a very high hardness rating. The MOH (measure of hardness rating developed by the Porcelain Enamel Institute) of porcelain floor tiles varies with manufacturers, but tiles with a MOH rating of 6 or 7 are quite common. This very high hardness rating puts porcelain tile well above other flooring options when it comes to durability.

Porcelain has a long history. Used in China since the early Han Dynasty, old Chinese porcelain art tiles being one example we can see today, and in Europe since the early 1700s, porcelain has been used for many decorative and functional purposes. In Europe, Italian porcelain tile being some of the most prized, places of worship and fine homes began using decorative porcelain tiles for floors and walls, creating durable and elegant entranceways and artwork.

One drawback of porcelain is that tiles of this materials are not perfectly uniform in size, which can make installing porcelain tiles rather challenging. Porcelain tiles are fired in a kiln at such high temperatures that they generally become slightly distorted. When selecting porcelain flooring tiles, then, you will need to take extra care to choose the most uniform tiles you can. Working with porcelain tile during installation can be frustrating, or it can be an artistic endeavor with beautiful and interesting results.

Some homeowners find that having a professional install the porcelain tiles can also helps reduce the problems that uneven tiles can cause. They can also better handle porcelain tile cutting because they have the right tools and experince. Pricing porcelain tile installation has to be part of your consideration when evaluating the use of these tiles. Another small drawback of porcelain is its higher cost. Since the tiles are considered stronger and since they take more energy and heat to make, they often carry higher prices than other flooring materials.

Porcelain has many advantages as a flooring material, however. It is considered one of the strongest fired flooring options today. This type of tile simply provides a durability that is hard to match. Porcelain tile flooring is also very decorative, coming in a wide variety of glazes and finishes, ranging from matte to high gloss looks. Some porcelain tile even has a translucent look reminiscent of glass or gems. Many homeowners also appreciate the convenience of porcelain.

Cleaning porcelain floors is often as simple as using a damp mop and all-purpose cleaner. Mop your tile floor using warm water and a clean, nonabrasive cloth, mop or sponge. Cleaning products for porcelain tile help remove soils that sweeping, vacuuming or damp mopping leave behind. Part of the care for porcelain tile involves not only sealing the tile and grout after installation, but also removing dirt and grime regularly to help preserve the finish and look of porcelain floors. With a good glaze, stains are rare. Since porcelain tile is also has a very low moisture absorption rate, it is the perfect solution for bathrooms and kitchens. The low absorption rate can also help ensure high air quality in a home as the floor tile will not absorb chemicals and other unwanted substances.

Your home is your castle, and now you can make it look like that of royalty without emptying your coffers. If you need a high-quality flooring solution with a high hardness rating, porcelain tiles may be a great investment for you. The beauty and durability of these tiles is sure to please you for many years.

Comments

Your article says that porcelain tile needs to be sealed. I've read in several other articles -- and have been advised by a flooring specialist locally -- that it does not. If fact, that it doesn't need to be sealed is listed over and over again as one of its advantages. Could you double check on that?

Pat at August 4, 2007 10:58 PM

There are indeed many opinions on either side of the discussion of to seal or not to seal. Yes, porcelain is very hard, but sometimes even hard surfaces can benefit from a little protection.

Grout clearly needs to be sealed to keep it from absorbing stains and dirt. Whether you choose to seal the porcelain tiles at the same time I think is just a matter of preference. Perhaps a floor polish would be more to your liking. And maybe you want your floor to go bare.

If the manufacturer of your tiles says don't seal the them, and your flooring specialist says don't seal them, stick with that advice. At least they'll back their guarantees if you do as they suggest.

The Flooring Lady at August 5, 2007 10:23 AM

My bathrooms have old ceramic tile and grout floors...they are in good condition but filthy. How do I go about safely cleaning them (tile and grout) and then can I seal them somehow? The original shine is long gone and white is now gray....help!!

Anne Klenke at September 24, 2007 5:27 PM

I had a maintenance man years ago who cleaned my bathroom tiles with a diluted grout slurry. Not only did it clean the tiles but it also filled in the grout and made everything look fresh and new.

Maybe that could work for your situation too. Just use a grout mix with more water than directed. Be sure to use gloves when working with the grout slurry so you don't burn your skin (it hurts when you do that).

After the slurry has had a chance to dry, rinse the tile. Then you can either leave it alone or seal it so it's more impervious to water and dirt.

The Flooring Lady at September 24, 2007 10:06 PM

I uderstand we must wait 48 hrs. before sealing the grout on porcelin tiles , should the tiles being cleaned once more before sealing?

Doris at October 18, 2007 9:57 PM

PLEASE HELP I HAVE A HIGH GLOSS PORCELIN BLACK TILED FLOOR IN MY KITCHEN AND DINNING AREA I HAVE HAD IT DOWN FOR A YEAR NOW AND IT IS DULL AND DUSTY IT NEVER LOOKS CLEAN.I DID PUT A STAIN GUARD ON IT WHEN IT WAS LAYED.NOW WHEN I MOP IT IM LEFT WITH STREAKS OVER THE FLOOR THERE ALSO SEEMS TO BE A RESIDUE .ANY SUGGESTIONS
A WRIGHT

A WRIGHT at October 23, 2007 7:46 AM

You are right your tiles and grout should be clean and dry before sealing them. If you live in a humid climate you might wait even longer than 48 hours before sealing them.

The need to clean them again depends a bit on how well the tiles were cleaned after the grouting was finished, as well as how clean or dirty your area is. High dust or pollution locations may have more fall out on your tiles, thus requiring a quick cleaning. But be sure to let that job dry well before you seal the tiles.

The Flooring Lady at October 26, 2007 7:24 AM

I'm considering buying porcelain tile for my kitchen. Some tiles I have seen and like have divots or small round depressions in them for texture. How difficult is the tile to clean, considering a mop could leave dirt behind in the depressions? Does anyone have problems cleaning this type of tile?

Joy at October 27, 2007 1:27 PM

I'd love to hear others' experiences too.

My immediate answer is that it probably depends on how frequently you mop your floor as to how much those divots hold dirt. I've had porcelain tile counters and not had too much problem with those divots. The floor would probably be a similar experience.

The Flooring Lady at October 27, 2007 3:01 PM

A recent porcelain tile installation has to be redone.The contractor has recommended retiling on top of the existing tile.Your comments would be appreciated.

Gene at November 7, 2007 7:18 PM

You didn't mention why the installation has to be redone. But in general, I think that's a bad idea. Tell me more and I can elaborate on my reply.

The Flooring Lady at November 8, 2007 9:44 AM

I just had my bathroom tiled in white mosaic porcelain tiles with white grout..they now look dove grey..I want to now retile over them..is that OK?

cara at November 15, 2007 3:37 AM

Conceptually it's ok. But you have to determine if your subfloor -- joists and plywood/OSB -- are sturdy enough for another layer of tiles and grout.

Are the white-now-dove-grey tiles flat or slightly concave or even wavy? If they are flat you don't need to worry about the new layer of tiles getting adequate, even support. If they aren't perfectly flat and level, the tiles you lay on top may crack from inadequate support.

And finally you have to determine if the doors, cabinets and fixtures will be impacted by another layer of tile.

Another possibility is to apply a thin layer of grout that's dove grey so the tiles look white again.

The Flooring Lady at November 15, 2007 8:17 AM

One of the porcelain tile samples my husband and I are considering for our kitchen floor has a rough and sandy texture much unlike the other samples. Unfortunately, this is our favorite as far as color is concerned. Why does this tile have a different feel, and will this texture present a problem as far as maintainence?

tricia at December 23, 2007 12:18 PM

A rough texture sounds interesting for a kitchen floor. My first reaction is that the texture will keep the floor from being so slippery when wet. And it won't have a light glare the same way some porcelain tile floors can. And I'm guessing those are part of the reason the tiles were made that way.

Cleaning might by a bit harder if there is much dimpling and deep texture, but I think the trade-off for with the slippery aspect would be worth it. And other maintenance I can't see being any different than traditional shiny porcelain tile floors.

The Flooring Lady at December 23, 2007 12:42 PM


WHAT PRODUCT DO YOU RECCOMMEND TO APPLY TO A MATTE FINISH PORCELAIN TO GIVE IT A BIT OF A GLOSS?

DOUG at December 27, 2007 2:35 PM

It's been too long since I've had porcelain tiles to know what the best product is now. Anyone else?

The Flooring Lady at December 28, 2007 10:10 AM

I just laid down a porcelain tile floor in a front door foyer area. The tile color and the gray thin set color used to set the tile were similar. I have some small mortar chips and mortar haze in some indented areas on the tile that need to be cleaned up. I have used water and a small amount of ammonia with a synthetic scrub brush to remove it but it is a tedious process. Anyone with a better solution?

Also, it sounds as though I should seal the grout and tile. Will this enhance the color of the tile and make it appear as if it is wet?

Rich at January 2, 2008 1:12 PM

You can try using a green Scotchlight scrub pad or mop with a rugged flat surface and washable covers, but I'm afraid that could just be a tedious job, if it's not coming up with just plain vinegar water. Personally I wouldn't use the ammonia because of the fumes.

The tile doesn't need sealing because it's glazed. But yes, the grout should get sealed, and the tile will get sealed in the process. The sealant shouldn't impact the color of the tile, though the sheen could by increased, depending on what sealant you use.

The Flooring Lady at January 2, 2008 1:19 PM

I am considering buying some high gloss black porcelin tiles for throughout my apartment, but I am concerned that they will scratch and look ruined. Does porcelin scratch easily, and is it ok for high traffic areas?

lisa at January 4, 2008 4:32 AM

Porcelain can scratch and colored porcelain color fades with time. Have you noticed how tub manufacturers suggest not using powder cleaners on porcelain tubs -- it's the scratch factor they are wanting you to avoid.

And have you ever been in an older home that has porcelain colored bathroom fixtures or even a porcelain kitchen sink that look tired? Maybe it's the old cleaners, but in the home industry colored porcelain has a reputation for getting dull.

But, on the other hand, porcelain is rugged so with some regular maintenance and cleaning, it should look great for years. The black will show dust quite readily and will make the room seem darker -- but as long as you don't mind, enjoy the jazzy look. And consider putting a door mat/rug at the front door to minimize the actual dirt that's tracked into your home. Heck, you could even become a shoe-free house to protect your flooring investment.

The Flooring Lady at January 4, 2008 5:14 PM

Hello
We have finished tiling the house with glossy porcelin tiles, i'm finding that everything seems to be staining the tile and don't know how to take the stains out. The biggest stain is the black grout that the tilers used for the border, it has been sucked into the beige porcelin. What do you recommend to use?

jackie at January 11, 2008 9:48 PM

I'm surprised to hear about the porcelain tile sucking the grout color into the tile. Porcelain itself is impervious to that kind of action. Possibilities of what could be going on is the tiles were cut opening the tile to stains. Or, the tile could be of inferior quality and not have a tight seal so are allowing the staining material in.

What I think you should have done instead of using dark grout is to have a black porcelain tile used for the border and kept the grout matching the tile color better.

If the grout has truly been absorbed into the tile I don't think there is anything you can do, other than remove the stained tiles.

The Flooring Lady at January 13, 2008 1:08 PM

I have 18" square matte finish porcelain tiles throught the foyer, kitchen, den and utility room recently installed. What do I use to keep the tiles and grout clean?

Anonymous at January 19, 2008 8:00 AM

I assume the grout has been sealed.

Start with the basics of frequent vacuuming/sweeping and cleaning spills quickly.

For deeper cleaning I'm a big fan of vinegar and water. Use a 1:10 ration of vinegar:warm water and you are set to go. Be sure to change the solution often so you don't start smearing the dirt around instead of removing it.

The Flooring Lady at January 19, 2008 8:31 AM

I have install some 18 x 18 rectified porcelain tile and have yet to grout them. Should I make sure the grout is almost level to the tile to prevent possible chipping the sharp corners of the tile?

Thanks
Smitty

Smitty at January 25, 2008 8:27 PM

There are several benefits of bringing the grout level to the tile edges, including protecting corners and edges from chipping and eliminating a divot for dust, dirt and moisture to collect.

The Flooring Lady at January 26, 2008 12:30 AM

I just installed a low cost (Lowes - 98 cents per sq ft.) tile in my downstairs half bath. The job went well and looks good. I bought an $80 wet saw from Lowes and it worked well but had the normal mess of using a wet saw.
Now I'm about to tackle the upstairs full bath but I'm having second thoughts regarding regular ceramic vs porcelain! I just purchased a tile cutter (score and brake variety) at a local home show. At the show I was able to make several straight and curved cuts with perfection. I was excited about the ability to cut tiles easily and quickly with my new tool. When I tested it on some left over porcelain tiles back home about 1 out of 10 cuts actually worked as planned!!! I can only conclude that the difference is cutting ceramic vs cutting porcelain. If I choose a low cost ceramic tile I think I can easily use this tool for most of my cuts but the porcelain tiles are harder and potentially more durable then the comparibly priced ceramic tile. I'm torn between using porcelain again and dealing with the slow messy cutting or just trying ceramic and have easy cutting but less durable. In the upstairs bath I'll be laying tile over a wood sub floor so I'm leaning toward using Schluter Ditra underlayment.
Any suggestions or recommendations?
Thank
Ken

Ken at January 27, 2008 6:40 AM

You are facing a tough decision that has no black-and-white answer. Good luck with that one. And I don't have experience with Schluter Ditra underlayment so can't comment at all. Maybe someone reading this soon will have an idea to offer.

The Flooring Lady at January 27, 2008 9:41 AM

i have a doublewide moble home i want to install ceramic tiles through out the home recommend porclain, or ceramic?

kristal at February 4, 2008 4:55 PM

I recommend getting the tile you like best -- it fits your budget, style and color preferences. There are pros and cons to either type.

The Flooring Lady at February 4, 2008 7:44 PM

Hello Flooring Lady,
Thank you for the great information on caring for porcelain tiles. I just built a new addition with a laundry room, master bathroom, master bedroom, and porch off the master bathroom (through sliding glass doors). All, except the master bedroom, are tiled with porcelain tiles. I am still trying to decide what to do with the master bedroom floor. I have been quoted a reasonable price to tile the bedroom with the same tile as in the bathroom and porch. I thought that could give the room a nice flow from the indoors to the outdoors. However, I worry about tile in a bedroom. I am trying to increase the resale of my home. Could that be a turn off for buyers? Also, have you ever seen a bedroom with both tile and wood? The addition was built with all low or no VOC materials. Because of my desire for good air quality and a pet that claws at carpet, I am not interested in carpet.
I appreciate your advise.
Kathy

Kathy at February 8, 2008 3:29 PM

I like your idea of tying all the rooms and spaces together with the same flooring material. Not being able to see the color and size of the tiles hinders me a bit -- but not much. :~) Your desire for good air quality is smart and admirable and wanting to pet-proof your floor is smart.

I have not seen a bedroom with both tile and wood, but I'd love to. I value creative approaches to flooring and think you could do great things with your space. Unless you are planning to sell your home in the near future, don't worry about what a buyer would like because this should be for you. I'm not advocating doing something wild and expensive that could make an impact down the road, just suggesting that if you are creating a total look in your home for your pleasure and enjoyment, there will probably be buyers who will like what you have done. And besides that, buyers will make changes no matter what you do, so don't worry about them.

Have fun, keep your air quality and maintenance issues in the forefront of your mind and go for it.

The Flooring Lady at February 8, 2008 9:56 PM

We just had porcelain tiles installed in our home and were told we should wait two weeks to seal them. Is it okay to mop with water in the meantime or is it harmful for the grout to get wet? Is your vinegar solution okay as well?

Thanks!

Emily at March 16, 2008 7:31 PM

You don't say where in the home the tile has been installed, but it would make me a bit edgy to leave it unsealed for that long. I understand it's for the purpose of letting the cement and grout cure, but what if a staining substance gets dropped on the floor during that two weeks?

I'd be careful with how you clean it in these two weeks. Water should be fine as long as your mop isn't dripping wet -- damp mop. And I think the vinegar water cleaning would be fine too, again as long as it's not a wet mop.

The Flooring Lady at March 16, 2008 10:22 PM

I am having porcelain tile installed in my kitchen, probably 18x18. What is the recommended grout width?

Lynn at March 19, 2008 4:27 PM

Every tiler I've talked to and worked with has said the grout width is often a personal decision. There doesn't seem to be a right or wrong. If you go with a narrow width you'll get a floor that looks like a large piece of tile. If you go with wider grout widths you'll get more of a checkerboard pattern.

To help you decide what you want, lay tiles out on your floor in various close fits. When you decide on the look you want, go with it.

The Flooring Lady at March 19, 2008 4:49 PM

We had porcelain tile (matte finish) installed throughout our home (including bedrooms). Though I love the tile, it turns out I don't like the matte finish. We had tile in our old house that had a bit of a shine, which I loved. I've been told the low absorbency factor in porcelain tile prohibits putting any finisher (such as wax or any other floor finisher) on it because it would likely peel off. Do you agree with that or has anyone out there ever tried it? As it is, no matter how much I clean it, it never has a clean look (though it is).

Kathi at March 20, 2008 5:49 AM

I agree with the idea you can't put a tile sealer on it because it won't absorb it, though the grout still needs to be sealed. What I don't know is if there is a floor finish -- like polyurethane -- you could apply that would coat it and give you a shine.

What do you use to clean your floor? I'm testing a new product around my house that might be a good solution for you, though I don't have tile in my home so don't have a direct comparison. I'll try to find a way to let you know about it, after I've done a bit more testing, if it seems like a great cleaning product.

The Flooring Lady at March 20, 2008 10:49 AM

Thanks for your reply. I vacuum the floor first and then scrub it with a regular cotton string mop and water with a little vinegar added. I'd love to hear about the product you're trying and how it might work on my floors. I read online about a floor finish product that is made specifically for low-absorbing porcelain tile and would add shine. I may just try it in one room. Worse scenario would be that it doesn't work and I'll have to strip off what's left of it. Thanks again.

Kathi

Kathi at March 22, 2008 5:17 AM

is it worth it to buy an oreck steam mop for this kind of floor. It seems to be more sanitary

carol at March 23, 2008 9:28 AM

I don't have personal experience with any steam mop so don't know if they are worthwhile than any other cleaning method. And I don't know what affect the mop would have on the tile.

Anyone else have input here?

The Flooring Lady at March 23, 2008 10:55 AM

I just had porcelain installed in my kitchen & living area. I cleaned the floors 6 times with water & vinegas (after sealing the grout). The floors look streaked and dull.

Help!

SUZY at April 15, 2008 9:57 PM

What strength vinegar did you use? It should be pretty dilute. I've never had that problem with any of my flooring, but I hear others talk about having that problem. You should have a 1:15 vinegar:water solution.

The Flooring Lady at April 15, 2008 10:41 PM

I have the same problem - my tiles were installed 4 weeks ago and I already contacted to company who made them. They shouldnt sell tile that can be cleaned and never looks clean. what I dont understand is why all the tile stores dont know this drawback. They swear that unpolished porcelain is the way to go, especialy for the durability and foot traffic factor. I will probably change the tile and install something with a shiny finish, even though its gona kill me i dont know how long i can keep this up. let the tile mfger know how disappointed you are, some tiles are not meant to be sold.

donna at April 16, 2008 1:55 PM

I am in the same boat. Bought beautiful tile from a big home improvement store. Love the color, but it shows smudges and streaks and never looks clean, except for when I first mop it and it is wet...boy it looks beautiful when it is still wet. If only it could stay looking that way. It is my kitchen so I really want it to look clean.

Anyone know of a product that will work on porcelain? Like that product Kathi was talking about?

sandy at April 24, 2008 9:57 PM

I'm going to take a stab and guess that the product that Kathi was talking about is StoneTech™ Professional™ Bullet Proof™ Sealer from Bane-Clene. You might want to wander over to their site and read up on it. They also have a product to enhance the color of your tile - like the color it looks when it's wet. Here's a little info about about the sealer that I got from their site:

Maximum “Natural Look” Protection
Bullet Proof Stone Sealer provides maximum "natural look" protection for all natural stone including granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate, porcelain & ceramic tile, and grout. NOTE: This product does not enhance or change the appearance of the stone. If you want to enhance the color of the stone, use Enhancer Pro.

Benefits:

Advanced water-based fluorochemical formula.
Provides maximum protection against the toughest oil and water-based stains.
Bonds with the stone for improved wear resistance.
Easy to use and low odor.
Environmentally safe.
DO NOT use Bullet Proof on latex-modified grout!

I've never tried the product because I don't have tile in my home, but it sounds like a wonderful product and I've read many good things about it. Just make sure to follow their directions.

Good luck and be sure to post again with your results if you try it!

The Flooring Lady at April 25, 2008 1:17 AM

I sympathize with you Suzy, Donna and Sandy. Just as Sandy said, I LOVE my tile when it's wet. Once it's dry, it's back to the dull, smudgy look. I too was told this tile would be the easiest to maintain. Not so. The problem is that I made the selection myself so it's nobody's fault but my own. I should have done my homework! The product I'm going to try is Aldon System's "S-B-S Sealer" and then "Lifeguard" as a finisher. It's not cheap and will be a lot of work, but it's worth a try to me. We spent a fortune to put this tile throughout our home (including bedrooms), so we have to live with it. I'll check back after I've tried it.

Kathi

Kathi at April 25, 2008 6:44 AM

Thanks Kathi - looking forward to hear what you think of this product!

The Flooring Lady at April 25, 2008 8:28 PM

I've finally found the information I have been searching for. Every site I check says the same thing how durable and low maintenance these floors are. I am going crazzy trying to find what works on these floors. To me it seems like I have a dog running around on my floors after I wash them. They look beautiful when they are wet and dry all smudgy and blotchly. Please let me know if these products work that you are talking about

Tina at April 28, 2008 8:16 PM

I clean a wide range of homes and offices and have found that with shiny surface floors, like porcelain tile, you need to change your "water" frequently. And when you are finished with your mopping you need to go over the floor again to polish it.

It hasn't mattered what I have used to clean a floor regarding that streaked or hazy look. If I don't do that follow-up polish with a clean cloth -- I'm partial to micro-fiber mop heads -- my floors don't look the way I want them to.

I have also found a 10:1 water:vinegar solution works well to clean my floors. Following that with my polish wipe and the floors look great.

Anonymous at May 1, 2008 1:14 PM

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by to impart your own pearls of wisdom! I agree with what you wrote; I love the microfiber mops and that last stop of 'polishing' with a dry mop really does make a difference! You're so right; keeping the water in your mop bucket is so important - if you have dirty water then all you're doing is putting the liquidfied dirt back on your floors and you'll be noticing it as soon as your floor dries. Thanks for your insight!

The Flooring Lady at May 1, 2008 8:54 PM

One thing I did notice, I use a 15:1 water/vinegar mix rather than 10:1. I don't have streaking problems when I dilute it at 15:1. It makes it that much cheaper too and these days, ever extra little bit helps!

The Flooring Lady at May 1, 2008 9:02 PM

We just installed a glossy finish porcelain tile and it is beautiful. Here is the question, one of the guys at the supply house said that the manufacturers put a wax on the tile to protect it during shipping. He says you have to remove the wax before you seal. I cannot see or feel anything on this tile and no one else that I have talked to has ever heard of this. Do you have any insite on this? Thanks

Anonymous at May 2, 2008 4:40 AM

I have porcelian tile floors.Brand new home and tile was installed when house was built. They turned out beautiful. One thing I am having a problem with is cleaning...I mop floor with swifter (both wet and dry I've tried) and they both streak. I have tried the dry swifter jus using plain water and it still streaks somewhat. I have also tried windex with the dry swifter and it also streaks. This has been very frustrating for me. Although I know the floor is clean, when the light hits it you can see the straking and it looks dirty. I don't know what to do????

Anonymous at May 16, 2008 7:55 PM

Hi there - look at the posts from May 1, I'd suggest trying those. Vinegar and water usually work great.

The Flooring Lady at May 17, 2008 11:44 AM

Does anyone have any experience with a higher gloss porcelain tile? I am considering it for my bathroom and realize I need a non-skid rug by the tub. It's just me and my husband in our house.

Karen

Karen at June 29, 2008 5:20 PM

Hi Karen,

I personally don't have experience with this as I don't have it in my home. Glossy tile is attractive and you're realistically on track since you've already considered slippage issues. If you don't want a rug there all the time covering up your beautiful new floor, and putting up with a damp rug, you can always put down a towel that's been previously used, then when done in the bath area, pick it up and put it back in the dirty laundry.

The Flooring Lady at June 30, 2008 11:15 AM

I have lived with a beautiful porcelain tile kitchen floor for almost 5 years now. I love the tile, but hate the cleaning. My type of porcelain has ridges and crevaces where dirt builds up when I "conventionally" mop (I have 2 dogs, kids & grandkids - so I mop regularly :-). Can someone "out there" help me with cleaning this low lustre floor? Unless I get on my hands & knees with a scrup brush and hot water, nothing else gets in the "grooves" where the dirt is trapped. Any help out there????
Thanks you!

Linda at July 8, 2008 4:55 PM

Hi Linda,

About the only thing I can think of is something to help fill in those grooves & crevaces is some sort of floor polish, and being rather generous with it (in other words, a good 4 or 5 coats). Something else to consider would be some sort of polish used on commercial floors - they're much more durable. I have a friend who has the same problem, she has a floor that is linoleum, made to look like a realistic wood floor - complete with wood grain - lots of places for dirt to settle in the grain.

The Flooring Lady at July 9, 2008 3:58 PM

I just built a home and have textured porcelain tile in the kitchen, bathrooms and in the shower that look like stone. I have never had tile before this home. It is very dark, slate-looking tile with a near black grout. I find that baking soda and water removes soap scum beautifully- but I don't know if it is safe for porcelain. How can I care for my tile in the shower? Thank you!

Kristen at July 11, 2008 12:08 AM

Baking soda is one of the safest cleaning materials around. And porcelain tile is one of the most durable flooring materials available to you. Don't worry a bit about cleaning with the baking soda. And if you want to add a bit more strength in the shower, consider adding vinegar to your stable of cleaning materials.

Another possibility is Enviro-one which is a great all-purpose cleaner. I have used it in my house with success.

The Flooring Lady at July 11, 2008 9:50 AM

Thank you SO much for your help!!!! It can be hard to find good advice on the internet sometimes. I appreciate your quick response!

Baking Soda & Vinegar it is!! -and I don't have to buy (or smell) expensive formulated cleaners!

Thank you again, and God's blessings!

Kristen at July 11, 2008 1:25 PM

Thanks so much for your kind comment Kristen. Don't use baking soda and vinegar together though - use one or the other. They foam when mixed together. I also use a dry microfiber mop afterwards to 'polish' tiles, but only if it needs it - looks nice. ;o)

The Flooring Lady at July 12, 2008 10:57 AM

I have high gloss porcelain tile in my house, it is beautiful when clean but it shows every smudge and spot. The biggest issue I have found is that unless you are willing to mop it and then DRY IT, you will have streaks. I would never have picked this tile, it was here when we bought the house. I have tired everything, expensive tile cleaners (aldon) and cheap, even several steam cleaners, but they all streaked, and they all have to be dried (read you have to do double the amount of work). I pray to win the lottery so I can relace it !

Debra at July 12, 2008 12:31 PM

Hi Debra!

Yes, high gloss porcelain floors can be a challenge to keep up, but it's not so bad if you know some simple tips. Clean them with a simple vinegar and water solution (1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water). The biggest secret here is not to 'wet' mop the floor, just damp mop it. Of course, if it's gotten rather dirty you may need to actually wet mop it. The vinegar helps to cut streaking (just like on windows). If there is some streaking, you can still go over it with a dry microfiber mop to 'polish' it, it removes the streaking/smudges.

Sometimes cleaning your floor will require double the work, or even triple if you have to clean, rinse (with clean vinegar & water) and 'polish'. It can be done quickly though, unlike most commercial cleaners. Another added plus is that you don't have to expose yourself to chemicals - how eco-friendly is that?!

Good luck Debra, I hope you'll find that even if cleaning your floor requires two steps, that you'll be happier because it can at least be done quickly and with optimum results. ;~)

The Flooring Lady at July 12, 2008 1:26 PM

I was doing ok with my 3 year old porcelain tile, washing it with vinegar water until....

I read that the acid in vinegar will eat away at the alkaline grout and tile..... (Also windows/mirrors are alkaline based and vinegar will microscopically pit the surface, at first making for more surfaces for the light to reflect, making it "shinier" but over a little time dirt will settle in and impossible to clean.) Ammonia is alkaline but bad for breathing in.

Then I got a steam mop. And my troubles have begun. Hopefully it's only temporary, but if any of you have info on this, I'd sure appreciate it.

After first use, I saw the floor was hazy and streaky. We don't have hard water. Then I read that the microfiber mop heads need to be laundered to remove the coating. I did and tried 3 more times and I still have a hazy floor where it was days before lustrous, especially after vinegar/water mopping.

I tried hand washing one tile and rinsing and hand drying with a paper towel - didn't use heavy elbow grease - and no difference!

Anyone with experience or advice?

S at July 21, 2008 9:36 AM

What kind of a steam mop did you buy? I searched google and it looks like you're definitely not alone. Different theories though - from not using distilled water, to old waxes/polishes basically 'melting', the floor being too dirty, etc.

I've also read that you also have to go across the floor very slowly with a steam mop, to give the steam the proper amount of time to work and pick up the dirty water created by the steam.

I've also read posts from people about the streaks on the flooring, and others have told them that sometimes you have to use the steam mop 2 or 3 times before you get the desired results. Supposedly, this also has to do with old residues on floors.

I would have stuck with using the vinegar/water solution, it's what I've done for years and I sure can't tell over time where it's damaged anything.

The Flooring Lady at July 21, 2008 1:03 PM

I have just installed porcelain tile in my kitchen and wanted to know if I should clean it before I seal the grout joints. It is glazed and still has a haze from installation and joint grouting even though I cleaned as instructed per application directions. Thanks, Jeff

Jeff at July 23, 2008 4:36 AM

Yes, you should clean it. When you seal the grout, you're quite likely to get some of the sealer on the tiles, if you still have grout haze, then you're going to be sealing that onto your tiles as well.

The Flooring Lady at July 24, 2008 11:56 AM

Hi and thank you for responding. I just had porcellain tiles installed in shower and floors. The tileman said it was not necessary to seal them. What is your take on this. Thanks Rosaria

rosaria vento at July 31, 2008 11:00 AM

Hi Rosaria,

I disagree with your installer. The grout has to be sealed, right? The tile doesn't necessarily have to be tiled, but if nothing else, the grout does. He has to make sure all the grout haze is removed first too.

The Flooring Lady at July 31, 2008 9:21 PM

We have porcelain tile that were sealed with a penetrating grout sealer. Some of the sealer got on to the tiles & we used a stripper to remove it, then scrubbed it with hot water, and now have a white haze. How can we clean this up?

Larry at August 1, 2008 6:53 PM

Hi Larry,

It sounds like the grout may be causing the haze, but it's hard to tell with what little info I have to work with. I think it'd probably be best to find a product specifically formulated for removing grout haze that is ok to use on porcelain tiles. I'll bet that'll take care of it.

The white haze might also be caused from stripping the sealer itself - like when it hasn't been completely stripped. Try the stripper on a small spot of the haze, make sure to follow directions and leave it on long enough to thoroughly do its job and see what happens. It's possible that it's not grout haze and just the sealer not being removed from the tiles thoroughly. Good luck!

The Flooring Lady at August 1, 2008 9:30 PM

HELP!! We have an indoor swimming pool and have porcelain 12 by 12 unglazed tile surrounding deck approx 500 sq.ft.Over the years the light blue semi rough surface has become quite dirty. We have tried several cleaners that we could find as well as scrubbing on our hands and knees and nothing seems to take it out. The tile was never sealed. Please ...any suggestions. Thank you. Mark

Anonymous at August 2, 2008 1:21 PM

Well, now we have tried the stripper, vinegar & water, vinegar, quick N Brite, baking soda, M-30 cleaner..........now is there something we can put over the matte finish porcelain tiles to give it a darker look (like when it's wet) to blend with the sealer? I really appreciate this website.

Larry at August 3, 2008 9:43 AM

For Anonymous: AquaMix has good products for Porcelain Tile, starting with 3 heavy duty cleaners. Click the link, look over their products to decide what you want to use. If you can't find AquaMix products in your area you can probably find something similar. They also have the MSDS sheets available through the link on the bottom of every page at their site.

The Flooring Lady at August 3, 2008 10:43 AM

Hi Larry,

I'm not sure what you mean by "blend in with the sealer"....... does that mean you never got the sealer removed?

Use the link provided in the post above this one. AquaMix has products for what you need too. Again, if it's not available in your area, you can at least look up the MSDS sheet for the product you think would work so you can find a similar product from another company. Good luck!

The Flooring Lady at August 3, 2008 10:47 AM

We recently under went a complete kitchen remodel and installed porcelain tile; however; we thought we were getting standard porcelain but got a glazed porcelain instead. Any chance the pattern will wear off after a period of time or a certain number of cleanings.

Joe at August 3, 2008 10:59 PM

Hi Joe,

I wouldn't have a clue - do you know what the name of the tile is and who manufactured it? What kind of a pattern is it? Sorry, but I really need more information.

The Flooring Lady at August 4, 2008 10:15 AM

I just had a matte finish porcelain tile installed in living, dining room, kitchen. I wish I had purchased something with a bit of shine! Is there any way to accomplish this?

Renee at August 10, 2008 10:02 PM

Hi Renee,

You should be able to seal them and polish the sealer or apply a polish. Which one? I would recommend calling the manufacturer of your tile and asking what they recommend (explain your dilemma). I'm sure they'll be most helpful and steer you towards a product(s) that won't void your warranty.

The Flooring Lady at August 11, 2008 7:27 PM

HI,

WE ARE IN OUR 60'S AND REDOING A CONDO IN FLORIDA. WE ARE ON THE 6TH FLOOR OF THE BUILDING. WE LOVE THE WAY PORCELIN TILE LOOKS BUT WE ARE CONCERNED WITH THE UPKEEP. WE DON'T WANT TO BE SLAVES TO OUR FLOORS. MY CONCERN IS READING ALL THE OTHER EMAILS YOU HAVE RECEIVED REGARDING STREAKING ETC. WE ARE CONSIDERING PORCELIN TILE THROUGHOUT THE CONDO IN WHITE EITHER MAT OR GLOSSY WITH NO PATTERN ON THE TILES. IS THIS A PRACTICAL CHOICE? WE ARE ALSO CONSIDERING A HARDWOOD OR BAMBOO FLOOR. THE BAMBOO FLOOR IS BY TERAGREN AND CONSUMER REPORTS GIVES IT HIGH MARKS. PLEASE GIVE ME ANY AND ALL HELP.
THANK YOU,
PAM

PAM at August 16, 2008 11:34 PM

Hi Pam,

A matte finish will show less streaking, so that's definitely a good option to keep in mind. Many times streaking is merely caused by letting your rinse water get too dirty - usually damp mopping (microfiber mop) with a vinegar/water solution and going over it with a dry microfiber mop does lots to eliminate the problem.

Hardwood and bamboo flooring are other great options. You're going to have a tough decision to make as any of your ideas are excellent and any of them would be beautiful.

The Flooring Lady at August 17, 2008 12:44 AM

Pam,
My wife and I have bamboo floors in this house (oak in the last house) and really love the look and feel of the bamboo. My feeling is that the tile will be easy for you to maintain but it's harder than wood. That means if you are standing for a long time your feet, legs and back will suffer. And noise will echo more than with wood floors, though maybe not much more. Area rugs can take care of the noise issue. If salt and sand are concerns for you, go with the porcelain tile.

Fred at August 17, 2008 7:04 AM

I just has a polished porcelain tile floor and walk-in shower installed in my bathroom. There is something on many of the tikes that I have not been able to remove -- if you get the light angle right it looks like the tile's surface is scuffed. For the most part the marks are around the edges making me thing it was grout residue. I spoke with the tile setter and he said to clean the surfaces with a mild soap and water solution but that has not worked. The tiles are white and the blemish is not readily visible unless the light hits it just right. The tiles are class 5, so I can't imagine what's on the tile.

Any ideas?

Wayne Freeman at August 25, 2008 3:46 PM

Hi Wayne,

Sounds like grout haze to me too. Did the tile setter apply any sealers or finishes afterwards? If so, that'll need to be stripped to get the grout haze off, and if the tile setter is the one who applied a sealer or polish, then he should be responsible for stripping, cleaning the grout haze (making darn well sure that it's gone!) and resealing. I would think he sealed the grout at least, which is probably why it seems that the haze is worse at the edges.

There are products available at any local home improvement store (such as Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.) to remove grout haze.

The Flooring Lady at August 25, 2008 10:33 PM

Thanks for the info. The grout has not been sealed as the tile setter left that to me to do. The tiles themselves haven't been sealed either so hopefully I can get the haze off. Any particular cleaner you recommend? Thanks for the info.

Wayne Freeman at August 26, 2008 12:29 PM

There are products specially formulated for Porcelain tile that are made for grout clean-up. AquaMix is a very good product line - I don't know if their available in your area, but hopefully something similar is. Click on the link to read up on their products, there's also a link at the bottom of their page for the MSDS sheets - at least you'd know what kind of chemicals are used so you can find something similar.

The Flooring Lady at August 27, 2008 5:58 PM

I have a very matte finish porcelain tiles and would like to put a gloss finish on them. What can I use? It seems all the finishes I find are to seal Stone tiles only.
Thanks Bev

Beverly Kerber at August 28, 2008 11:26 AM

Hi Bev,
Click on link in the comment above yours. AquaMix has a product called Floor Shine and Hardener which has a very high gloss finish. Keep in mind though, that glossy floors are usually more slippery.

I don't know if AquaMix is available where you are, but you can order online or look for a similar product. MSDS sheets can be found by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page (on their website).

The Flooring Lady at August 29, 2008 10:34 PM

I need to replace my carpet in my living/dining room. I live in Indiana and am considering putting down tile. I need to know the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile? Also, I am considering hardwood floor as an option and can't make a decision. I have four children(ages 11-22)and two large inside dogs(the reason the carpet has to be replaced). Do you have any recommendations? Some of my friends think the tile will be too cold and show all kinds of dirt and others think hardwood will get scratched by my dogs> HELP!

Molly at August 31, 2008 5:55 AM

Porcelain tiles are formed under extremely high pressure and fired at very high temperatures. This make these tiles much denser and stronger than glazed ceramic tiles.

The easiest way to keep your dogs from scratching your flooring is to keep their toenails trimmed. ;~) Works wonders!

Tile is easy to clean - shouldn't need more that a vinegar/water (1:15 ratio) to clean. Use a microfiber mop and go over it with a dry microfiber mop or cloth to "polish" any streaks away.

It's important to install it correctly - make sure to seal the surface first with a product made for this (it makes the grout haze easy to clean up!). In short, makes one big job much easier and faster to do. To read more about products for these floors, visit AquaMix"> and look at the choices for ceramic and porcelain.

The coldness factor will vary from home to home - depends on what's underneath and how well the underneath is insulated, which is why some people choose to install in-floor radiant heat.

Hardwood is very good too, just be sure to use a good protectant over it, like Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane - and keep those doggie toenails trimmed! You probably won't have much of a problem though if you use varathane.

The Flooring Lady at August 31, 2008 12:42 PM

Molly, I just read the ceramic tile flooring article. If you read that and this you should have a good handle on the differences, as well as the pros and cons.

Sam at August 31, 2008 5:07 PM

Thank you Sam for checking in while I was away. ;~)

The Flooring Lady at September 1, 2008 8:29 PM

A large portion of my home has Porcelain floors. I have noticed that a white residue in on them. My daughter used a cleaner and I think she did not rinse it. I have tried celaning it up with warm water... You can only see the film when the sun is shining just wright... What should i use to bring them back...

Thanks

bobbie at September 2, 2008 5:06 PM

Hi Bobbie,
It might depend on what your daughter used. If the cleaner hasn't been rinsed off well, you need to rinse it really well and make sure to change your rinse water when it gets a little dirty - dirty rinse water can often cause streaks & smudges. It helps to use a microfiber mop and have another dry microfiber mop (or even a microfiber cloth) to sort of 'dry polish' the tiles and hopefully make the smudges disappear.

Hopefully, your daughter didn't use something acidic to clean the porcelain and lightly acid-etched the surface. Keep in mind that this is pretty hard to do. You didn't mention if there's any kind of a floor finish/polish has been applied to your porcelain, if so, perhaps the this has been etched. You'll probably need to strip it and re-do it, though sometimes just another coat fixes the problem. If not, then you'd definitely have to strip and re-do. Ugh.

I'd give the rinsing and going over it with dry microfiber first though. Chances are, that's all you'll need to do.

The Flooring Lady at September 2, 2008 11:18 PM

I have porcelain tile. The incorrect grout color was used during installation and the contractor chose to clean the grout and re-stain it. Now my tile has some type of residue that does not wash off - with normal mopping or professional attempts to clean using several different types of chemicals & buffing. The residue seems to have an oily component.
Any thoughts as to why this is happening?

Grace at September 8, 2008 2:17 PM

Hi Grace,

I don't know, any idea what kind of products they used? Does it appear to be a whitish color? If so, it's probably grout haze - from not cleaning the grout off the tiles well enough. Do you think it could be the grout stain? Was your floor sealed again after he stained the grout?

The Flooring Lady at September 8, 2008 10:53 PM

We have porcelain flooring in our kitchen. Since installation, we have wash it with vinegar & water, but the floor stilll looks dirty. Is there another cleaning solotion or product to use on the floor?

Kathy Horahan at September 11, 2008 4:51 AM

Hi Kathy,
You may need a separate bucket of rinse water and try to keep it as clean as possible. I have a feeling that when you're cleaning it, perhaps the solution is getting too dirty, which in turn, deposits that dirt right back on your floor. Using a microfiber mop works wonders, as well as having an additional mop head or microfiber cloth to run across the dry floor afterwards, to "polish" it.

You could also try Enviro-One or StainSolver. Both of these cleaning products are environmentally friendly and work very well. StainSolver is an oxygenating product that works even better than OxyClean - seems to get out stains better.

Another thought............ you said that your ceramic tile has looked like this since installation. Is it possible that the grout wasn't cleaned off well? This would cause a white haze or film, which could very much look like streaking as well. I presume your floor was sealed after installation? If so, and if it is haze, you need to think about stripping the entire floor, getting that grout haze off and re-sealing. If a contractor (installer, etc.) laid this floor, then you need to get a hold of them and tell them of the problem. They should make this 'right' at no charge to you. If it was a do-it-yourself project, then of course, you'll have to bear the brunt of stripping & resealing.

Good luck!

The Flooring Lady at September 11, 2008 6:13 AM

Recently laid an outside patio with porcelain tiles. Cleaned and buffed the tiles after sealing and still have some dullness/haze from the grout and/or thinset
What do you suggest to solve the problem?

Also, what is the most effective way to keep the surface shiny? I have to hose off the surface frequently from dust blowing in the desert and bird droppings.

Thanks in advance.

Jeff at September 13, 2008 8:48 PM

Is the polished porcelian an in (fashionable) thing or something you see lasting for many years to come still. I want to tiles but I want something that is not fashionable.

Kind regards
Mabore

Mabore at September 15, 2008 6:02 AM

Mabore,

It seems to me that to a certain extent all decorating options come in go in popularity, but I think there are basic standards for what is always good taste. Wood floors, Saltillo tile, and porcelain tile being among the flooring items I think will always be "in".

One thing that can change is, say with wood flooring, is the width of the planks or the type of wood. Saltillo tile variables might be tile size or color. I'm guessing that for porcelain tiles the shine factor can vary in popularity, but I feel porcelain will always be in good taste in general.

My caveat to decorating styles is that color seems to be the biggest fad that comes and goes -- neutral colors will generally be long lasting or in good taste. The shine factor is probably a less vital aspect of the "acceptability" of your tile choice.

The Flooring Lady at September 16, 2008 11:10 AM

Hi Jeff,
Are they really porcelain or ceramic (there is a difference!)?

If there was grout haze present before sealing, then it's going to still be there after sealing, because you just trapped it by sealing over it. You'd have to remove the sealer in order to remove the haze, then reseal.

The products at AquaMix will do the job, but it's going to be just that...... a job.

As far as keeping it shiny, I'm not really sure what you mean. Obviously dirt getting on the tiles are going to make them look dull until you clean them again. There's really nothing much that can be done to repel blowing dirt (or bird droppings!).

The Flooring Lady at September 16, 2008 8:19 PM

Hi flooring lady. I was just reading your comments to questions and you seem to be well informed on the subject. But then I guess if someone calls themselves "The Flooring Lady" they should know a thing or two about flooring. They call me "The Guy that screws everything up the first time but gets it right eventually or atleast gets it so no one can notice the screw up" but you can call me "The Guy" for short. I am preparing to install porcelain on our screened in porch. The porch juts out from the house and sits about 4 feet from the ground. It's 16' X 11' and has 2X8 floor joists running the length of the 11". The flooring that I will be installing the backer board and tiles on is 3/4" X 4" wooden tongue n groove boards. My questions are as follows. 1) Is 3/4 board okay to install the backer board to? 2) Should I apply more flooring such as plywood for more strength and density? C)Should I apply some kind of vapor barrier such as tar paper, plastic, etc. 5)Should I do any or all of these things? I'm from Georgia USA (No I have not seen Bigfoot) so we don't get a lot of freezing weather. What we get is a lot of humidity..... lots and lots of humidity and skeeters, thus a screened in porch.

Thanks in advance,
The Guy

gerry at September 17, 2008 1:08 PM

Hi Guy...........

Any and all of these things would be good, except for tar paper - it really doesn't make for a good moisture barrier. If there's a crawl space under the porch that you can access, it's really a very good idea to put plastic on the ground - and a little bit up the 'wall' of the crawl space. Raven Industries Rufco line is very good, you can read more about it here.

How far apart are the floor joists? What is the old T&G on? Plywood? What kind of shape is that in? If it's in good shape, doesn't give, swag, etc. then you may not even need the plywood on top of it (under the hardbacker board). It just depends on how sturdy the current floor layers are.

Sounds like you're using your noodle though with the questions you're asking! I'm hoping your joists are close enough together to withstand the extra weight, if not, you'll have to beef them up.

The Flooring Lady at September 18, 2008 7:23 AM

Hey thanks for the quick reply as I am planning to start the project this weekend. The 3/4 tongue and groove is in good shape and sitting directly on the 2X8 joists. The porch is solid. There is no crawl space under it. It was an add on, done before we bought the house. Just dirt under there. I have added 3 jack posts under there. I guess my concern is moisture coming up from the dirt and seeping through the 3/4 boards. I could put plastic on the ground under the porch if you think thats needed. My wife thinks it's needed, but only because that's where MY cat goes to do hiz biz. She says it's gross but it has no odor at all. I keep telling her we could get a litter box and put it in the house for him to use but she doesn't want to do that. Personally I think having a cat that does hiz biz outside is a good thing. But what do I know? Not much as far as she's concerned. It's just like the other day, I was at work and she called .... :-)

the guy at September 18, 2008 10:23 AM

Oops. the joists are 12' apart.

the guy at September 18, 2008 10:36 AM

make that 12"

gerry at September 18, 2008 1:23 PM

After further review, I find the joists are 16" apart

the guy at September 20, 2008 6:43 AM

Hi Guy,
Yeah, I think you should put plastic on top of the dirt - it really will help to keep the moisture vapors at bay. Chances are, your cat won't want to do his 'biz' there anymore because of the plastic.

Sounds like you should be ok with the joist spacing, but I would put layer hardbacker because you'll need that to support the tiles properly - but I'm sure you've already planned to that from the get go.

You've probably started your project, so I wish you luck!

The Flooring Lady at September 20, 2008 1:20 PM

Hey thanks again for the reply. I've just started to prepare the floor. There ARE a few places where the tongue n groove boards have a slight dip. A slight dip or minor buckleing where the they come together? They have been there a long time and are painted with flat paint. I'm thinking that the thin set I put on the T&G before putting down the backer board will take care of this??? The floor is level but when I lay a level on it, there are spaces 4 to 6"'s here and there where the T&G doesn't touch the bottom of a 4 ft level. A sag you might say, about 1/8' to 1/4' from the bottom of the level. If I put plywood down and screw it I would still have the same dips wouldn't I? And would still have to thicken up the thin set in those areas right? What do you think? If you say I'm thinking right about applying the thin set directly to the T&G, should I sand the flat paint that has been there since dial tone was invented, or apply the thinset right to the flat painted boards? The reason the boards and paint are in good shape is because they had 2 layers of outdoor carpet and a layer of plywood on them for forever and a day. NOW one last thing about the plastic. Three sides of the porch are open. About 4 ft from the ground with lattice running from the ground to the bottom of the porch. The one side is obviously connected to the house. I'm wondering how much good the plastic will do considering moisture is going to blow in under there anyway (on the outside edges) and will just sit on top of the plastic. I'm wondering if it would be better to apply something directly to the underside of the floor, between the joists? An insulating or moisture barrier material? If you like this idea do you have any suggestions on what product to use? I don't think this because of MY cat. He has plenty of other places to "go" I'm just not sure plastic is the right product in this situation? Lastly, THANKS for being there! I have learned a lot from you in a short period of time. I'm no brain but I'm no dummy either. It's nice to have someone like you for a weekend warrior like me to confirm my thoughts with and learn from.

Thanks,
The Guy

the guy at September 21, 2008 11:19 AM

Hi Guy,
Do you think the dip is caused from a weak joist or it was just made that way? I only ask because if it's a weak joist then you could always beef it up. If it's just how it was made, then there are self-leveling products that you can use for that small area.

Open on 2 sides, eh? Drat! No, I don't think all the moisture is caused by your cat either - LOL! I was referring to moisture from the earth/dirt.

Anyhoo, using something like the Raven Industries Rufco would still have to help, especially since it can be used on the underside of joists. Did you follow the Raven link from one of the other comments I wrote to you? I know it mentioned that it can be used on the underside of floor joists.

The Flooring Lady at September 22, 2008 6:11 AM

Hi Flooring Lady,

I have porcelain tiles as my kitchen counter top. I have opaque spots all over them. The tile is not even a year old and I cannot remove any of thes spots. They were not there when it was laid and I do not use any harsh cleaning products, nothing invasive was spilled on them, and Arizona Tile gives me no advice and why this is happening, can you?

marianne at September 22, 2008 8:15 AM

GREAT thanks TFL I have found some leveling compound and I checked out the Raven stuff. I will most likely use it. It's not a weak joist as the boards are running across the joists not with them.

The dipped space is in the same place (corridor) throughout the same set of boards. It's just the way it was done, from what I can tell. All in all the floor is solid. Wish me luck I will begin the "fun" stuff later today.

the guy at September 22, 2008 2:13 PM

Best of luck Guy - and have fun! :~)

The Flooring Lady at September 22, 2008 11:35 PM

I always do!!!!!
THANKS AGAIN

the guy at September 23, 2008 10:20 AM

Hi Marianne,

I'm not sure what's going on either. Is Arizona Tile tile the manufacturer or a store you bought the tile from? Are you positive it's porcelain tile or is it perhaps some other kind of ceramic - there is a difference. I ask because it sounds more like efflourescence, which you don't get on porcelain. Only other thing I can figure is it's got something to do with the sealer. Any idea what it was sealed with?

The Flooring Lady at September 24, 2008 5:36 AM

Had porcelain tile laid by non-licensed person. Bought tile at Lowe's. Now there appears to be many places where it finish is dull vs. shiny. No one wants to claim responsibility, each pointing the finger at the other. It is not something upon the tile but something taken off. Help. Anything available to restore finish???
Thanks

Carol at October 3, 2008 2:10 PM

Had porcelain tile laid a few weeks ago by unlicensed persons. Purchased tile at Lowe's. Noticed that the sheen is off on several of the tiles, not totally but in various areas. Manufacturer, seller, installer insist that the other is to blame. Do you know of anyway to bring the shine back? No I don't have an over that gets that hot. I am totally frustrated. Thanks

Carol at October 3, 2008 2:15 PM

Hi Carol,
Any idea what products were used on the floor? I presume the floor was sealed after grouting? The dullness could be from grout haze, it's unlikely that they would have used something that would dull some of the tiles. If it's grout haze, then the fault lies with the installer - for not totally removing the grout haze before sealing. The main reason why I think this is the cause is because it'd be awfully difficult to remove the 'shine' off of the tiles - they're porcelain, fired at a very high temperature.

The only way to remove the grout haze is to strip the dull tiles, which will most likely remove the haze as well and re-finish. Find out what was used as a sealer and/or polish, it's much easier to use the same product so that you don't run the risk of using two products that wind up not being compatible.

The Flooring Lady at October 3, 2008 10:03 PM

I purchased porcelain tile at Lowe's and had it installed by a professional installer. The tile has NOT been sealed yet but there are tiles that are dull and shiny. There appears to be tile haze but also, the tile feels very rough. Lowe's, of course, says it is the installer, the installer says there is something wrong with the material. If Lowe's gives me no recourse is there anything I can seal the tile and grout with to give it a medium shine? Thanks.

Barbara at October 11, 2008 5:37 PM

Hi Flooring Lady

What are the cleaning products for porcelain tile available in market.

Thanks
Dheeraj

Dheeraj at October 16, 2008 10:55 AM

Hi Dheeraj -

The two products I use the most are StainSolver and Enviro-One. You can read more about them by clicking on the links.

The Flooring Lady at October 17, 2008 8:58 PM

We just bought a house, and the flooring is porcelin tile. they did a terrible job putting it in. How do we remove it? we want to put in carpet. thank you

Anonymous at October 26, 2008 3:10 PM

Hi Flooring Lady,

I installed a porcelain tile floor in my kitchen and it turned out very well. One mistake I made in one area, however, was leaving the grout on too long and I have had to scrape off the excess. Yet, it appears that the stain is still there. I have tried Nanoscrub with some success, but I would like to get rid of the stain altogether. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Skip

Skip at October 29, 2008 7:16 AM

To anonymous -

You don't have to remove it - you can lay the carpet over it. Removing tile consists of breaking away (with a hammer) a section to get you started and then you should be able to get the rest up by prying under the tiles. Sometimes this is difficult, sometimes it's not! You do run the risk of bringing up some of your subfloor with the mortar (usually thin-set), but I can't tell you if you'll run into that not knowing what your subfloor consists of. Needless to say, if removing the tile seriously damages your subfloor you'll have to replace that too.

The Flooring Lady at October 30, 2008 7:09 AM

Hi Skip,
It sounds like you need something to remove the grout haze. You should be able to find something at your local home improvement store. You can also wander over to AquaMix - they have products specifically formulated for porcelain and are available at many stores as well.

The Flooring Lady at October 30, 2008 7:13 AM

We just purchased a house with porcelain tile through out. My problem is seeing water spots after I mop. I try to wring my mop as dry as I can but still water marks. Any suggestions? Thank you

Linda at November 25, 2008 12:17 PM

Hi Linda,
I'd suggest using a microfiber mop. Follow that with a dry microfiber mop head or microfiber cloth. Really works - it's the best way I've found to prevent streaks & spots on tile. What product(s) do you use to clean your tile? I use vinegar/water - 15 parts or so water to 1 part vinegar. Vinegar is great for being non-streaking.

The Flooring Lady at November 29, 2008 12:19 PM

I have had a beautiful white and black porcelain tiled floor in hallway but it is driving me mad to clean. The white tiles look very dirty and I dont know what to use. I am moping them all the time but they still look different. Can anyone recommend a good cleaner? Should I try white vinegar? Many thanks

Tia Sotiriou at December 11, 2008 9:46 AM

What do you mean by *different*?

You can use vinegar, just make sure to dilute it - I use a 1:15 ratio for cleaning floors. Best thing to use is a microfiber mop - get a spray bottle and spray the floor and use the microfiber mop followed with a clean mophead or microfiber rag to kinda buff it up.

The Flooring Lady at December 13, 2008 10:27 PM

Hi Linda,
We have old red tile dated back to maybe 1958 or older. My husband sprayed rubbing alchol on it and it turned white and what shall we do? Did this ruin the tile?
thank you Robin

robin wynkoop at December 15, 2008 10:31 AM

Hi Robin,
I doubt that this ruined the tile itself - it most likely has some sort of sealer or other floor finish on it and the rubbing alcohol started to dissolve it. You might try fine sanding the area and then applying sealer or finish but this could be tricky not knowing what it already has on it. This might be a good time for undertaking a project - stripping and resealing/refinishing the tile.

The Flooring Lady at December 15, 2008 12:58 PM

Hi, I installed a Black porcelain tile floor in my kitchen after laying it looks grey. I think my builders didn't seal it. What can i do now and how can i darken the tiles.

Sarika at December 18, 2008 3:07 PM

Hello Sarika,
Sorry about taking so long to answer, even The Flooring Lady has computer problems from time to time, and mine crashed!

Well, there's something wrong for sure if your black porcelain tile look grey. You need to talk to your builders. It could be that it has grout haze and could also be that they did seal it, but didn't remove all the grout haze first. Either way, whatever is making the tiles grey needs to come off and then the floor needs sealed. It will have to be stripped if it was already sealed. You definitely need to make a phone call because you're supposed to be a happy customer, right? Any professional wants to keep their customers happy and will do what it takes achieve this - they do have a reputation to maintain.

The Flooring Lady at December 23, 2008 11:04 AM

We put porcelain tile throughout our house at Thanksgiving. We have mopped at least 10 times trying to get the dusty film off. It seems to just smear it everytime. What can I do to get this dust off? It is getting lesser, but just won't go away.

Kim at December 23, 2008 6:00 PM

There seems to be a lot of discussion on Cleaning porcelain tile. My question is if you feel you've done a successful cleaning, Should you use any kind of polish or wax after cleaning to enhance the shine? If so what would you recommend. Thank You

Frank Locurcio at December 23, 2008 8:47 PM

I find the porcelain tile looks "unclean" and I cannot get the grout clean. I have white marble tiles that always seem to have a haze. The floor is definately clean though. The tile looks black against the floor. Is there a product to use that will clean the grout with the regular floor cleaning?

Karen at December 24, 2008 4:22 PM

Correction to my last post, the grout looks black against the white marblely looking tile. Sorry for the typo

Karen at December 24, 2008 4:23 PM

Thanks for the reply.... now i have another problem :-( i spilled warm oil on same black porcelain tiles and the stain would not go. Please suggest some product which can help me to remove the stain.

Sarika at December 26, 2008 5:38 PM

Hi Kim,
It sounds like you're not keeping the rinse water clean enough and just depositing the dirt right back on the tile. As much as it's a pain in the rear, this is what you really need to do. Using microfiber products helps enormously too.

The Flooring Lady at December 27, 2008 12:02 PM

Hi Frank - good question! It just depends. So long as the grout is sealed well, that should be all you need. Porcelain is very hard and durable and really shouldn't need anything else.

Of course, if you want to go through with polishing the tile or putting something over it, that's ok too. You just need to be sure that what you use is recommended for porcelain floors. Don't use products such as mop 'n' glo, orange glo, or things of that ilk. Remember too, that if you do use a sealer, wax or polish on it, over time it's going to need stripped and you'll need to do it all over.

You don't need fancy cleaners - just plain old vinegar & water does a very good job. Microfiber mops are wonderful things too and you can use a microfiber rag afterwards (or a clean dry mophead) to kinda 'buff' it.

The Flooring Lady at December 27, 2008 12:10 PM

Hi Karen,
Is this a newly-laid floor? It almost sounds like it has grout haze if it's still new-ish. It could also be a simple matter of making sure to have clean rinse water. It could be a build up of cleaning products. If it had been sealed or had waxes/polishes applied, they may need stripped.

As far as the grout: was it white to start with? If so, it sounds like the grout hasn't been sealed. You'll need to find a good grout cleaner and then seal the grout once it's clean and dry. Sometimes dark grout is intentionally used with light tile.

It's really hard for me to tell what is going on without knowing what the original grout color was, what kinds of products have been used, etc.

The Flooring Lady at December 27, 2008 12:15 PM

Hello Sarika,
Are you sure you actually have porcelain tiles? They sound more like stone. Porcelain should not absorb anything - even oil. It could also be possible (assuming you really do have porcelain tile) that they have been sealed with something that reacted with the oil? You really need to get a hold of your builder and find out what has been used on the floor before you try to figure out how to clean it.

The Flooring Lady at December 27, 2008 12:19 PM

I have a porcelain floor that was installed in January 08. While I love the floor I feel like it never looks clean enough. Can I safely put a shine on it? If so, what should I use? The grout has been sealed.

Thank you for any help you can give me.

Kathy at December 30, 2008 7:13 PM

Hi Kathy,
AquaMix has a good line of products for sealing porcelain flooring. Click on the link to read a brief description of product choices so you can get a feel of what type of product you would like. There are other brands that have similar products, I use AquaMix for reference since I'm more familiar with their products.

The Flooring Lady at January 4, 2009 1:19 PM

We Need 30,000 Square meters of full thickness Porclain tiles to be used in a newly built charity hospital. Color : White, thickness: 1cm , dimensions 50 by 50 cm and 60 by 60 cm. Please quote for various qualities available.

ABDUL WAHEED SHEIKH at January 8, 2009 8:40 AM

I'm sorry Abdul - this is not a site that sells products.

The Flooring Lady at January 12, 2009 8:20 AM

I have very light beige 18" rectified smooth porcelain tile throughout the house, and every since it was installed last year, I am unable to keep it streak-free. I have tried mopping and rinsing with water, water and vinegar, and rinsing again. I have tried sponge mops, rag mops, swiffer pads for drying. Short of doing one tile at a time and getting on my hands and knees to dry the tile immediately with a soft sock or t-shirt, nothing works, and even this method does not eliminate all streaking. Please help.

Maxine at January 18, 2009 8:47 AM

Hi Maxine,
Have you tried using microfiber mops or cloths? I use a microfiber mop with a vinegar/water solution, I make sure to keep my rinse water clean and I go over it with a clean micro fiber mop head - works wonders! You haven't used any products such as Mop 'n' Glo or Orange Glo have you? Hope not........

The Flooring Lady at January 19, 2009 8:38 AM

Hello,

My husband and I are considering a patio and driveway . We were wondering about the durablity and practicality of this as a product.
Please advise.
Thanks
Stefanie

Stefanie at January 26, 2009 8:02 PM

I have porcelain tile floors that are unpolished. I would like more of a shiny look. Is it possible to polish unpolished porcelain tile?

Pat Lackey at January 28, 2009 10:28 AM

Hi Stephanie,
How thick are the tiles? I wouldn't recommend for the driveway. Remember too, that they'll be very slippery when wet - something to think about if using for a patio.

The Flooring Lady at January 29, 2009 12:02 PM

Hi Pat,
Yes it is! You can use a polish or a sealer that is glossy (high sheen).

The Flooring Lady at January 29, 2009 12:33 PM

I have read some of the comments, and I have porcelian tile throughout our house, and I just do not know how to keep the clean look. I will also mention, I have a very busy 3 year old, and it seems to be my hallway that looks the dullest. I would love the shine back.

Shunna at January 31, 2009 2:57 AM

Here is a website that may help with your flooring problems. It is with ALDON...
http://www.aldonchem.com/section-problem-solving.htm

Cleaning & Restoration of Grout, Mortar, Tile, Stone, Brick, Slate, Marble, Granite, Limestone, etc.
The discussion on this page will describe surface cleaning and restoration as seperate steps. Some may be more aggressive than you need. Your testing will determine the products required.

For general cleaning of large wall and floor areas, see "Insta-Clean . However, see steps 2 and 3 below as they can also apply to all projects.

For small areas and spot cleaning:

The following applies to staining from food spills, etc. It is not applicable to color problems caused by color batch mismatches or materials that have been stained so badly that the surfacing material or grout has actually changed color permanently.

Step 1 - All Surfaces:

Use "Insta-Clean". Saturate and blot into a clean white cloth.
Insta-Clean
Note: If you are stripping the floor of old sealer, wait until you see the results of the stripping process. Aldon Premium Stripper will do most of the stain removal during the stripping process and save you this step.

See Step 2 if "Insta-Clean" has not removed the stains.
See Step 3 if "Insta-Clean" has removed the stains.

Step 2 (For the Grout Only) - if the stains have permanently discolored the grout:

Use "Grout Restoration". This product lets you adjust the strength to whatever is required to accomplish the restoration of the grout. At full strength, it will accomplish a light etching away of the grout surface. This should remove the top 1/64" to reveal unstained grout below.
Grout Restoration
Note: if your grout does not display some fizzing reaction on contact with "Grout Restoration", there is old sealer, wax, cleaner residue, or other coating material that has created a barrier. This barrier must be removed before continuing. For removing this barrier, Step 4 below.
Step 3 - All Surfaces

After getting the surfaces to look as good as possible, seal to protect in the future.
If, after taking all cleaning steps, there are still residual minor color differences from the stains - consider using the appropriate sealer for the surfacing that is designated "color enhancing". This effect tends to disguise minor discolorations by slightly darkening the grout ( and many surfaces ) to a degree that tends to disguise coloration problems. See the "Grout" page and your surfacing type page in the section.
Step 4 - Removing barriers of wax, old sealers, cleaning residue, etc.

Insta-Clean will break down many weak sealers, old waxes and cleaner residue. If "Insta-Clean" does not remove everything, you probably have old sealer that you may not have known about and is of a type not chemically effected by "Insta-Clean". In this case you will need "Premium Stripper".

Note:

If you are stripping the floor, wait until you see the results of the stripping process. Aldon "Premium Stripper" will do most of the stain removal during the stripping process and save you a step.


Premium Stripper
Note:
Sometimes cleaning is a trial and error process. The cause of the problem might be different than thought, or have multiple causes and results that must be handled in steps. In rare cases, it cannot be cleaned. Proceed as though it is an experiment whose results must be evaluated.

Any Aldon cleaner has more than one purpose. It is not limited to only this cleaning project.

Christel at January 31, 2009 6:19 PM

Hi Shunna,
Please read through the comments, I'm sure you'll find a few tricks to try! ;~)

The Flooring Lady at February 1, 2009 5:09 PM

hello please answer a question for me. after a tile floor has been grouted which leaves a haze on the floor,will mopping the tile several times with just water remove the haze. i CAN NOT get this floor clean no matter what i mop with. i have used vinegar with water and just plain hot water. not sure what else to do. very very dissapointed in the floor. it is dries very smudgy after i mop. i just dont feel like its clean. i 'm at my wits end with it. cant afford to replace the floor.just now getting back to normal after the hurricane. thanks cindy mcghee

cindy mcghee at February 2, 2009 12:48 PM

Hi Cindy,
It sounds like you need a product to actually remove the grout haze. Go to www.aquamix.com to get a good idea about what kind of products are available on the market. To clean your floor, you're on the right track using vinegar and water and this should work well after you get rid of the grout haze. I'd also suggest using a microfiber mop and also have a spare mophead (clean,dry) to go over the floor with afterwards to help get rid of any streaking, smudging - sort of 'buffing' it.

The Flooring Lady at February 3, 2009 7:59 AM

Please help! I have an old porcelin tile floor in my bathroom that has black built-up grime on the grout. My house is on the market and I am dying to de-grime the bathroon. The tiles are the really tiny ones from the '50's. Bleach and a toothbrush does not help. There must be a way to budge the grime! Thanks for any advice that you can give!

rebecca nordgren at February 16, 2009 5:13 PM

I would like to replace my living area vinyl floor and carpeted family room with tile. Problem is that I have 2 very old dogs that sometimes have accidents when no one is home to let them outside. I would like to use a tile that is approx 16x16 and have considered both ceramic and duraceramic. Which tile product is best suited to this use. Thanks for your help

petowner at February 17, 2009 7:37 AM

The biggest problem would be because of the acid in the urine sitting on the floor. This can strip sealers/finishes you apply to your ceramic. You might get around that by using a latex based grout and NOT sealing the floor - with many of the decorative glazes you really wouldn't have to. I really don't know enough about Congoleum's duraceramic to know how dog urine would affect it. You might try giving the company a call and ask them - they should be very helpful!

The Flooring Lady at February 19, 2009 10:25 AM

Hi Rebecca,

What I recommend in cases like this, and have done myself, is to make a slurry of grout (choose the color the grout was originally) and apply it to the floor. Scrub on in a circular motion as if you were washing it. Let it sit for a bit and then wash it off, gently. Wear rubber gloves because it will eat your skin (voice of experience here). It refreshes the grout and cleans the tiles too.

Also, look at the post that Christel left, above.

The Flooring Lady at February 20, 2009 11:40 AM

I Have large black porcelain tiles in my kitchen and would like to know the best way to clean them. everytime i clean them there seems to be water marks left on them.. I do not use alot off water, i use flash to clean them.. the only way i can get them clean is to go on my hands and knees and clean them with window spray and kitchen towel.. any ideas would be gratefully recieved..

many thanks.

N MacRae at March 1, 2009 4:20 AM

Hi N MacRae,
I'm not familiar with Flash, so I don't know if it's a good cleaning choice.

I recommend good ol' vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 15 parts water or so). Use a microfiber mop. I also keep a second microfiber handy or microfiber cloth to make sure the flooring is dry. Yeah, I like microfiber technology - helps so much with streaks and spots. ;~)

The Flooring Lady at March 1, 2009 12:54 PM

Can you please help. Have just had porcelain polished tiles laid. Tiles are factory sealed. Am having great difficulty getting tiles clean. Tiles have like a film on them. Tiler attempted to clean with vinegar but apparently let it dry before removing. Any advice appreciated.

Anonymous at March 15, 2009 12:23 AM

We just went through a flooded basement and consequently had to have all of our laminate flooring pulled up. We have been told that porcelain tile is the best option for a basement because if we ever have another flood, the tile will not be damaged and have to be removed and can be dried. What is your opinion?

Lynn at March 15, 2009 7:47 AM

To anonymous:

Were your tiles sealed first? Just curious. The only thing I can suggest is to keep trying different products to clean them - use a microfiber mop, keep your rinse water clean, and go over the floor with a spare clean mophead or microfiber cloth to help to kinda "buff" it, eliminating much streaking/spotting.

If that doesn't work, I'd suggest calling the installer and have him do something to get rid of the streaking (perhaps using a floor buffer). I'd hope he'd be more than willing to make your floor right by you.

The Flooring Lady at March 16, 2009 6:54 PM

Hi Lynn,
I disagree. Your best option is to figure out why/where your basement is leaking and address that problem before you do anything else. The solution might be as simple as installing French drains or sealing the floor and portion of the wall that is below ground level. If you can take care of 'why' water gets into your basement, then you can have any type of flooring you would like.

Depending on where the water is getting in at, even tile might not work.

The Flooring Lady at March 16, 2009 6:58 PM

in response to question whether tiles were sealed first. These tiles were factory sealed so not sealed by our tiler, as we were advised it was not necessary. Will try the microfiber mop or buffer, which is sort of what we were thinking. thanks for your help will let you know how we go.

Ann at March 17, 2009 3:23 AM

Hi Ann,
I hope he sealed the grout then. Many tile manufacturers are sealing their products with an aluminum oxide finish. This is widely used now in the manufactured hardwood flooring and lots of people don't like it because it streaks, smudges and leaves barefoot prints, so I would assume that even tile flooring coated with this product would have the same issues.

Contact the tile manufacturer directly to find out what the tile is sealed with, if you can successfully seal over their sealant and if they have a recommendation for a product. Also contact Varathane to ask if their Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane would seal over an aluminum oxide enhanced UV-cured acrylic urethane and scratch-resistant hardened acrylic top-coat (if my guess as to what it's sealed with anyway!).

If you don't mind, please post back to let me know if I was way off the mark or not regarding what the sealed your tile with.

The Flooring Lady at March 17, 2009 9:49 AM

I have glazed porcelain tiles. some of them seem to have a thin film of glue which is attracting dust and grime. I have tried cleaning it with water and vinegar, but nothing works. Do you ahve any suggestions.

Thanks

Kim at March 19, 2009 8:50 AM

Hi Kim,
I think you first need to determine what this film is. Do you think it's grouti haze? I seriously doubt it woul be glue. Have you tried gently scraping it off with a razor blade, x-acto knife or something of that sort? How long ago was this installed and was this film present then?

The Flooring Lady at March 20, 2009 10:49 AM

I am contemplating buying large porcelain tile for our common areas (kitchen, living room and dining room). I love the porcelain tile but it looks like it would be slippery. I am a little worried as we have a pool just outside these areas. Any thoughts?

BPP at March 25, 2009 4:38 PM

we bought and installed porcelain tile this week. we thought we were getting a slightly glossy finish but its matte (flat). is there any product or process that will give it a slight gloss, (no more than the shine of an unpolished fingernail).

Charles at March 26, 2009 12:07 PM

Can a product like Murphy's oil soap be used to clean porcelain tile? Just had ours installed (it looks so wonderful, but some dirt here and there Please aadvise, Thank you
stephanie

stephanie at March 26, 2009 6:32 PM

Hi BPP,
Yes, it will create a slipping danger if people come in from the pool dripping water. There are finishes that can be applied to help make it less slippery, but it will probably also make your tile look slightly different (less shiny). An other alternative is to instruct people not to come into the house ....... dripping and have a rug or even a towel at the doorway to wipe those wet feet on. ;~)

The Flooring Lady at March 27, 2009 6:28 PM

Hi Charles,
Visit AquaMix's website for sealers/finishes to help. I'm not saying you have to buy their products, but they do a very good job of describing what each product does and why/when to use it. Make sure that if there are any sealers on your tile/grout that it is compatible with the next product you choose.

The Flooring Lady at March 27, 2009 6:31 PM

Hi Stephani,
I would really suggest using a simple vinegar/water solution (1 part vinegar to 15 parts water or so). Use a microfiber mop and keep a second one handy for making sure you get the floor dry without streaking. Oh, if you don't want to invest in a second microfiber mop, you can always use a microfiber cloth. ;~)

The Flooring Lady at March 27, 2009 6:56 PM

we have brought a new house that has glazed porcelain tiles. On the tiles from the builders there are stains and when water drips on the tiles it leaves a mark! What can i use to clean the tiles, every mark even from sweaty feet show Help!!!

Anna at March 29, 2009 1:12 AM

Hi Anna,
What kind of stains did the builders leave behind? What color are they? What do you mean by water leaving marks when it dries? I'm not sure what kind of mark you're referring to that water leaves. Are you referring to mark from where the water was and evaporated (think of your dishes) or a whitish area like the water penetrates the sealer and then disappears after it's thoroughly dry again? I really need some clarification. :o(

The Flooring Lady at March 31, 2009 5:00 PM

I have Italian porcelain tile with a matte finish in the whole house. I have tried washing it with a mop/cool water/janitorial stuff cleaner and with a steam cleaner but they leave "wash" marks after drying. So I used a tile sponge, warm water with nothing in it, and dried it with a terry towel. It still leaves some "wash" marks where the light hits it. What can I do to get it so it looks like when it was in the showroom? Thanks.

Mary Kathryn at April 2, 2009 8:03 AM

Hi Mary,
The most important thing is to keep your rinse water as clean as possible - otherwise, you're just putting dirt back on the floor, which can cause smudges.

I'm also a big fan of microfiber technology. Also, try using a vinegar/water mixture (1 part vinegar to 15 parts water or so) for cleaning. Use a separate bucket for rinse water.

The Flooring Lady at April 3, 2009 2:16 PM

I have a similar problem as Anna, I have porcelain floor tiles that are neither matt or gloss but instead have a slight sheen to them. Even though the tiles are totally clean there is still always slight marks in the sheen that show when you look at them from certain light angles, its as though they need a good buff up. I have tried everything but nothing works, as soon as its walked on there back. I haven't tried the vinegar and water yet as I am scared it may damage the floor - please help as it drives me mad.

Clare at April 10, 2009 8:00 AM

Hi Clare,
Try the vinegar and water. Remember to keep your rinsewater pretty clean too. Microfiber products make a wonderful addition to your cleaning arsenal as well.

The Flooring Lady at April 14, 2009 1:53 AM

Had commercial company install glazed porcelain tile (Ragno). It is dull, uneven in color with no shine at all. I hate it! I have spent over $5000. so I can't just take it up and start over. Can I get a commercial buffer and buff, can I wax, please help with a suggestion. Please, some suggestions to try.

Sandy at April 19, 2009 8:19 AM

Hi Sandy,
It sounds like the company didn't seal it - which would be very odd. Did your contract state that they were to seal it? I would find out for starters. If it was sealed, it's possible that the grout wasn't cleaned off well before sealing - if it was sealed at all. Ragno's website is http://www.ragnousa.com/ -- just in case you need it. I can't advise you on a proper sealer if it wasn't sealed as you didn't mention which product line you had installed - Ragno has quite a few and manufacture tiles with different materials.

The Flooring Lady at April 20, 2009 12:17 PM

I have porcelain tile - I don't know too much about it as it was installed by the previous owner. It is textured though. Over the last year it looks as though the tiles have absorbed dirt...they are very grimey looking and I have tried scrubbing them with all sorts of products to no avail. I had a professional tile cleaning company come out and they told me they couldn't get the dirt all the way out, and that is just how porcelain tiles wear. Ideas? Help!
thanks!

dani at April 21, 2009 5:46 PM

Hi Dani,
You might want to look at the products that www.aquamix.com has for porcelain tile flooring. There are products for deep cleaning and once you've accomplished that, you should seal them. I'm not saying that you have to use their products, it's just that their site does an excellent job explaining what each product does. They do have really good products though. ;~)

The Flooring Lady at April 23, 2009 7:45 PM

My porcelain tile was professionaly installed and sealed and started showing spots and blotches. So I damp mopped thinking these were just water spots and now where the small blotches were are larger blotches and looks like the seal has started to come off. Should I try the vinegar & water and re-seal?

Barbara at May 5, 2009 12:33 PM

Hi Barbara,
Sometimes adding another coat of sealer will work to make 'splotches' go away, sometimes it won't. How long ago was this installed? If you tackle this yourself, make sure you use the same type of sealer that has been previously used. Doesn't have to be the same brand, but if it was a water based sealer, use another water based sealer. Oil based and water based sealers don't mix - you'll get a gooey, sticky mess.

The Flooring Lady at May 7, 2009 8:22 PM

My Step Daughter has matt finish porcelain tile in her home. They had it professionally installed and sealed. Over the past years the color has become dirty looking from foot traffic. She has tried scrubbing, steaming, etc. nothing seemed to get the dirt off. I tried a magic eraser on them. They look like new now. Even worked to some extent on some of the grout stains. It did take some time and a lot of elbow grease but the results were worth it. I recomend doing a test spot first.

Linda at May 12, 2009 9:19 AM

We just had a 20" square porcelain tile installed professionally--about 850 sf. We need to seal the grout, which we will be completing. What do you recommend for sealer and method of application? Does all porcelain tile need to be sealed? If yes, what sealer and method do you recommend?

Lynn at May 13, 2009 8:13 AM

Hi Linda,
Thanks for the info! Now, what is this 'magic eraser' and who makes it?

PS: Sounds like the floor needs to be resealed too - have to do that every 2 or 3 years.

The Flooring Lady at May 14, 2009 10:06 PM

Hi Lynn,
Yes, it really should be sealed or else the grout will get dirty - the sealer protects the finish on porcelain as well. Granted, porcelain is very durable to begin with, but an ounce of prevention.........

I usually recommend products made by AquaMix - see www.aquamix.com to look at their tile products. As far as a recommended method of application - that is going to depend on the product you purchase and what method is recommended for that particular product.

The Flooring Lady at May 14, 2009 10:14 PM

Hi there, I would like to remove this horrible glossy coat polish from my porcelain tiles. Is it safe to use thinners or maybe vinigar. The tiles naturally have a mat finish. What sealer should I use after the removal of the polish. From desiree 15 May 2009

Desiree at May 14, 2009 11:57 PM

Hi Desiree,
I would recommend stripping it with a product something along the lines of what Aquamix.com makes. You will have to seal again with a low-sheet (matte - not glossy) sealer. It's very important to have sealer at least on the grout and much easier just to seal the whole thing. Good luck!

The Flooring Lady at May 17, 2009 1:29 PM

Hi. Ive recently installed porcelian tiles throughout my home, including the kitchen. The tiles were sealed correctly but now there appears to be marks that just wont come off. It looks as if the tile has absorbed something prior to it be sealed. I have tried every product available and unfortunatly the products you have suggested are not available in my country. Please help!

Zee at May 20, 2009 2:12 AM

Hi Zee,
I doubt that any absorbed into the porcelain before it was sealed, though it is possible that there was something on the tile before it was sealed. What do these marks look like (color, etc.). If the marks are under the sealer then the only thing you can do is strip and reseal. If you hired somebody to install and seal the floors, then this person should have to remedy their own sloppy work at their expense to make their customer (you!) happy so that you'll tell your friends how wonderful they are! ;~)

The Flooring Lady at May 20, 2009 11:20 PM

Installed a porcelain floor in kitchen a few months ago. But, the contractor, who claimed he sealed, has 'disappeared'. Don't know what kind of seal was used.
The floor is stained and the spots have increased.
The tile store had no suggestions, except to say, 'too bad'.

Any suggestion for cleaning?

Myra at May 22, 2009 4:25 PM

The marks are grey in colour and look like spills. Do I need a special product to strip the floors?

zee at May 25, 2009 2:28 AM

Hi Myra,
Probably the best thing to do is strip and reseal since you wouldn't know what type of product/s were used. Whatever the installer used wasn't the correct type of product, if he sealed. Be sure to use products formulated for porcelain. aquamix.com has good products and they have a toll-free customer care number so you can ask them questions. Good luck!

The Flooring Lady at May 25, 2009 12:41 PM

hi just had a dark polished porcelain floor in kitchen every time its mopped it leaves a lot of water stains ,have to get on hands and knees 3 times a day . the floor has been sealed with a porcelain sealer even though the tiles are non pourous . please help urgent getting me down

gurdy at May 26, 2009 12:49 PM

Hi, exactly the same as gurdy. Can't tell you how depressing this is.Bought all times of mops, used detergents, used just water, everything leaves a cloudy film over the tiles. Am also getting on hands and knees to buff up. plse help. Lovely tile, but is now getting me depressed.


Ayesha

Ayesha at May 27, 2009 1:09 PM

Hi Ayesha & Gurdy,
It sounds like a vinegar/water mix might be good to use, as well as a microfiber mop. Read through the thread of comments for more details - link should be right under this post......

The Flooring Lady at May 27, 2009 8:23 PM

I bought a house with off white italian porcelain tile floors.
1. What cleaning product names would you recommend?
2. the builder said the grout is "laytex grout" and does not have to be sealed. Do you agree? I would rather seal the grout now if it is needed.
3. what do you recommend to clean the grout if needed.

Thanks!
Hilary

hilary at June 2, 2009 9:51 AM

Hi Hilary,
Latex grout does not have to be sealed, but it can still get discolored. I do recommend sealing, but it's up to you.

You can clean with a weak vinegar/water solution. If your grout becomes stained, it usually can't be removed completely, no matter what you use. That is why I always recommend sealing - just be sure the sealer is compatible with your grout.

The Flooring Lady at June 6, 2009 12:39 PM

I want to install a tile floor in the kitchen. Do I need to put cement board over the 5/8ths playwood flooring or can I put over a 3/8ths sheathing subfloor instead.

Mike at June 9, 2009 8:51 AM

Hi Mike,

Yes, you will need to install cement board over the plywood before installing the tile floor.

The Flooring Lady at June 13, 2009 2:15 PM

We are considering putting tile in our living and dining rooms. Very high traffic and walk into from outside (both rooms) Living room from the front, dining room from the back. We are a bit confused weather to use ceramic tile or porcelain. Does it make a difference? Also, should we do something different at the doors or just use rugs? Thanks for any input. :-)

Deloris at June 30, 2009 12:26 PM

Porcelain tile is more dense, less porous and less prone to moisture and stain absorption than ceramic tile is. Porcelain tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. You need to keep in mind that porcelain tile will not have an even color throughout the floor. Also, porcelain is very cold and hard underfoot so you need to decide if that's what you want in a living room area. If you do go with it, I would recommend using area rugs to add a bit of comfort and warmth.

The Flooring Lady at June 30, 2009 6:31 PM

How do I remove the water spots from my porceloin tile floor which is only 2 years old?

I have been using only water with a miricle cloth type mop and it is not left very wet when i am done and dries quickly.

Joe Benedetto at July 4, 2009 10:00 AM

Hi Joe, Please see my reply to Ayesha and Gurdy.

The Flooring Lady at July 6, 2009 12:28 PM

I am trying to choose a porcelain tile for our downstairs area (entry, den and kitchen) I am overwhelmed trying to decide on color.style. I like the rustic/textured tiles, but cannot decide on the level of color variation. I already have a busy granite on kitchen counters with marble backsplash. How do I figure this out?

caralynne gregg at July 7, 2009 4:43 PM

I've just had black porcelain floor tiles fitted in my kitchen, why can't I get rid of the white film over them? I've mopped it several times but it looks the same, also my son cooked bacon yesterday and splashes of fat on the tiles won't come off, has anyone got any suggestions. I'm beginning to think I made the wrong choice these tiles cost a fortune and they look awful.

Chris at July 8, 2009 12:37 PM

Hi Caralynne, I really can't advise you on color choice because that really is a matter of personal preference.

The Flooring Lady at July 8, 2009 1:05 PM

We are in the process of refurbishing a fifty-six year old home and preparing to sell it. The bathroom has gray porcelain tile on the floor that has been under carpet for the past 25 to 30 years. I would rather keep the existing flooring instead of covering it with linoleum, but there are a few problems. There are some rust spots from aerosol cans left on the floor (so the stains are at least 30 years old), and I just finished scraping paint and glue off of the floor as well. In light of these obvious problems, can you give me some ideas on restoration and stain removal? Thanks for your help.

Janice Colwell at July 8, 2009 1:11 PM

Hi Chris, I would suggest giving StainSolver a try. It's highly effective at removing oil stains.

The Flooring Lady at July 8, 2009 1:23 PM

Hi Janice, you could try using Bon Ami which is environmentally friendly to remove the rust stains. If that doesn't work then there are professional products available to clean and restore porcelain floors. I would definitely consult a professional if there are any chips or other imperfections in the old tile.

The Flooring Lady at July 8, 2009 1:36 PM

Hi,
We just tiled our kitchen using proclain tiles. The problem is that the follor looks very dull and we would like it to have a little more shinnhy sheen on it. The sample tile looked perfect to us. Is there anything we can do to improve the sheen?

Thanks

Levi at July 9, 2009 6:54 PM

Hi Levi, You didn't mention if a sealant had been put on it or not. If it hasn't been sealed, I would recommend Aqua Mix products.

The Flooring Lady at July 10, 2009 11:53 AM

I have recently installed porcelain flooring in my kitchen. It has a matte finish and I notice on some tiles there are water marks/spots that do not come off even after I wet mop the floor. Any suggestions on how I can get these water marks/drops removed. Also, with a matte finish, is there anyway I can ever get some kind of "shine"?

Karen at July 11, 2009 2:07 PM

Thanks, I tried the sealant and it looks much better.

Levi at July 12, 2009 3:50 PM

Hi Karen, please read through the rest of the comments in this thread. This has been addressed in other comments.

The Flooring Lady at July 14, 2009 8:30 AM

Hi I,m about to fix porcelain tiles to a bathroom wall,am I correct in assuming I cannot tile onto plasterboard do I need a special backing board such as aqua panel (concrete based style boarding) please advise
many thanks Mark (in the uk)

MARK GRIFFIN at July 14, 2009 2:07 PM

Hi Mark, I believe there is a primer that you can apply to drywall which would then allow you to afix the tile directly to the drywall. Consult your local home improvement store and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

The Flooring Lady at July 15, 2009 1:38 PM

I had porcelain tile installed in the kitchen, foyer and bathroom. My installer told me that you don't seal it due to it being nonporous. Now I'm reading that it should be sealed. Also, Can I use a steam mop on it.

Thanks,

Barbara at July 24, 2009 12:17 PM

Grout is porous and requires sealing and yes you can use a steam mop!

The Flooring Lady at July 27, 2009 7:42 AM

I love my tile floors. I love all things porcelain and have a sizable collection of porcelain dolls and cookware so the minute I found out they could be used as flooring, I switched

lily at July 29, 2009 6:56 AM

Hi there,
I have terrible trouble cleaning my porcelain floors - because they are so shiny they are like a mirror - water has to be instantly removed or they leave smears all over them. At the moment I am using a car shameze. Do you know of a steam mop that dries instantly because that's what I think I might need.
Hope to hear from you. Leticia Jones

Leticia Jones at August 3, 2009 1:51 AM

Leticia,

I can not recommend a steam mop as I'm not aware of your budget, the size of your home etc. I do suggest you ask a local professional and take a bit of time to research reviews online as well. You can go to Amazon.com or Epinion.com and type in steam mop to find a mop that fits within your price range and has favorable reviews. Thank you Leticia and Good Luck!

The Flooring Lady at August 3, 2009 8:32 AM

We had glazed porcelain tile installed for the kitchen floor. It has a lot of texture (Rocks Gold from The Tile Shop -- really does resemble rock surface). They say don't seal it, it is glazed porcelain. But it doesn't even look glazed -- no shine, gritty rock-like feel. It is so HARD to clean! A Swiffer or mop doesn't get into the texture. We bought a wet/dry vacuum with scrubbers, but they are level and don't get into the texture either. The only way to clean it is to play scullery maid on hands and knees with scrub brush. This isn't what I had in mind when selecting porcelain tile! The floor is nearly 300sf. Any suggestions? I'll pay anything at this point, if there is a machine with flexible scrubbers that get down into the texture!

Mary at August 15, 2009 6:03 AM

Mary,

Have you tried Stain Solver with your current cleaning methods? I would give that a try!

The Flooring Lady at August 17, 2009 10:17 AM

I was looking for Italian porcelain and then the guy showed me some beautiful porcelain at a much lesser cost made in China. I was reading that you have to be careful as they may not meet the standards. What kind of research should I do to make sure that this tile meets the Italian standards? And, like everyone else, do I need to seal it? Thanks

DENISE at August 17, 2009 10:23 PM

Oh, flooring lady, what if you put the epoxy grout in it? Does it still need sealing? I'm an amatuer and building our first home. Thanx!

Denise at August 17, 2009 10:26 PM

Denise,

I recommend you contact several local professionals asking them your questions to determine which tile will fit your lifestyle and budget along with installation issues that I discuss in this article.

The Flooring Lady at August 18, 2009 9:36 AM

What best determins the size tile to use. We have big living room and bed room but we want to tile into the hall and bedrooms also. 20" 18" seem so big our hall is 36" so you would have 2 tiles seems it would look funny.
Thanks

Don O at August 22, 2009 5:44 AM

Don O,

I would look at various decorating magazines or consult a local professional to determine which size tile appeals to you aesthetically, it is hard to determine for someone else what size tile to use or if you lay it diagonally or in a pattern of sorts.

The Flooring Lady at August 24, 2009 10:11 AM

Don, from my experience I'd say you want smaller tiles so your hall doesn't look like a road or runway. You can cut tiles and create any number of patterns with the resulting tiles -- basket weave, herringbone, the typical alternating tiles, diamonds, etc. I agree with The Flooring Lady that magazine pictures can help you find a style you like, and I agree with you that 2 tiles all the way down the hall might look funny.

Shelly Coxsmith at August 24, 2009 10:49 AM

I have porcelain tile and I sealed the grout 5 years ago. I need to clean the grout. What is the best way? I read somewhere not to use vinegar although a friend said it works. I've tried clorox and baking soda. Works ok but I want something great. The grime in the traffic areas has changed it from bone color to brown.

Alice at August 25, 2009 12:12 PM

Alice,

Dilute vinegar water (15:1 water:vinegar solution) it will clean general dirt fine, but it sounds as if you need something a bit more intense. I have had great success with StainSolver. If a regular mopping doesn't work everywhere use a brush and scrub lightly on the dirtier spots. For best results mop the product on, let it sit for awhile (the longer the better for really dirty areas) and then wash it off. If I can get my stained concrete clean you should be able to get your porcelain tiles clean!

The Flooring Lady at August 25, 2009 6:40 PM

Are high gloss porceline tiles any more slippy than other types of flooring. I want to do my kitchen, utility, toilet and study in them but i'm concerned about the safety aspect especially when wet

Gail at August 31, 2009 11:46 AM

Gail,

Yes, they are more slippery when wet! A matte finish will not be as slippery. If you do go with the high gloss think about using rubber backed rugs, a few mats at the front door and in front of the sink and in bathrooms and take care when wet!

The Flooring Lady at August 31, 2009 3:15 PM

I just built a home and installed Marazzi porcelain tile. I want to know what is the best way to clean/sanitize. Should I seal the tile or grout? I don't know where to begin with sealing if needed
Thanks!

Stephanie at September 1, 2009 9:22 AM

Stephanie,

Marazzi requires minimal maintenance but let me address your concerns on sealing the tile first.

Sealing is not required although I do recommend cleaning spills quickly to avoid stains especially if you are using lighter colored tile.

Now to tackle the cleaning. I would use clear clean water, a MicroFiber mophead or towel, a neutral pH liquid cleaner, like StainSolver, followed by a clear water rinse and wipe dry!

The Flooring Lady at September 2, 2009 9:05 AM

Will rubber-backed rugs discolor porcelain tile floors like they do vinyl???

Anonymous at September 7, 2009 11:25 AM

You'll be glad to hear that no, rubber-backed rugs will not discolor porcelain tile!

The Flooring Lady at September 9, 2009 12:40 PM

I have shiney recitified porcelain tile that looks like marble. I have cleaned it with vinegar and water. In the kitchen, the tiles have lost their shiney even consistency. Feeling the tiles, they are smooth, not cracked or anything like that but just seem to have a film on them. Someone suggested polishing. When installed the tiles were not sealed with anything so that is not the problem. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for your help.

Liz at September 11, 2009 5:36 AM

So glad I found your website! Can I assume that all porcelain tiles are the same quality no matter what manufacturer produced them? (I've looked for porcelain tile ratings -- other than for hardness, I can't find anything.#

Is it true that the hardness rating applies only to glazed porcelain tiles and not to the full body porcelain tiles? What are the pros and cons of each type? #I'm going to replace the flooring in my entire house with porcelain tile.)

Pat at September 12, 2009 10:15 PM

Liz,

Before you polish why not try my try my favorite cleaning solution Stain Solver to see if perhaps the film might just lift right off!

The Flooring Lady at September 14, 2009 10:55 AM

I am considering installing porcelain tile in my main entryway and living room, but have several concerns. I have several pets and, though it is not very often, they will have "accidents" from time to time and I wonder if that would stain the tile and/or grout. If the tile is in the entryway, will salt used for winter ice harm it? Also, do I have to seal the tile/grout every year even if it is glazed? One last question: what are the pros/cons of color-body versus glazed/non-glazed, etc.

Thanks!

Barb at September 15, 2009 7:27 AM

Pat,

Porcelain is an excellent choice for your home. Sadly, they are not all the same quality. The location where the tile was manufactured can make a difference to some extent as well as the manufacturer. I would research specific companies who offer the tile you are most interested in and use my go to source "google" to find pros and cons of that manufacturer and tile.

You can find more information on the hardness rating of tiles here on my site by reading my Tile Flooring Article.

The Flooring Lady at September 15, 2009 7:36 PM

Barb,

If left on any flooring surface even sealed concrete the accidents would be an issue. Would you be applying the salt directly on the tile or would the salt be tracked in? I recommend getting a nice size rug to catch as much of dirt and debris as possible no matter the flooring surface as it will extend the life of your floor.

Glazed tile only needs to have the grout sealed. Call the manufacturer of the grout to inquire their suggestions for sealing, normally it is done on a bi-yearly basis.

Could you clarify your last question "what are the pros/cons of color-body versus glazed/non-glazed, etc."

The Flooring Lady at September 15, 2009 9:48 PM

hi, I have a big problem with this porcelain tiles from this store that im cleaning.. this section has 2 porcelain cosmetic aisles, they spill lots of nail polish, and the tile has lots of stains, i don't know how to even the color of the tile without damaging it .. need help please,

Nancy Martinez at September 29, 2009 2:04 PM

Hi Nancy.

The only thing to do here is to strip the tile completely and re-wax.
That is only way to remove the polish and keep the tiles looking the same.

The Flooring Lady at October 1, 2009 9:51 AM

Hi. I have installed the Porceline tile [ Regal] the shiny finish on my father's home all throughout. It's been a week that the installer finished his job. But the whole floor doesn't look shiny. Looks like a screen of dust or dusty stain all over the tiles. I asked the installer he tells me there is no problem keep mopping the floor the stain will eventually disspears after a month. But I am concern if they have done something wron during installation or if they have wiped the extra grout late from the surface of the tile and that has left a permamnt stain on the Porcelin. I am very concern please help me and give me some hint how can I get it look all shiny and even.

Thank you very much
Atefeh

Atefeh Abbaspour at October 4, 2009 11:28 PM

Atefeh,

I would have to advise you to follow the advice the installer gives you. They really should know what is best for the floor.

If the floor does not come clean within the month, as he suggests, I would ask him to come out and look at it, and offer a solution.

The Flooring Lady at October 6, 2009 10:41 AM

Hi, We are just about finished having our house fully tiled with porcelain tiles & is about to be grouted this week. I want to make sure we get the best finish on the floor before sealing them (we will be cleaning & sealing ourselves)
I would like to know the best way to go about getting that clean streak free shiny finish as some of the tiles still have wax on them from the factory. I would say i need a machine to polish them as there is 155 s/m to cover. How would you reccomend we go about this?
Look forward to your advice!

Fiona at October 7, 2009 1:29 AM

Fiona,

After the grout is finished the floors will need to be cleaned, and it is possible that the factory wax will come off during cleaning.

You should always seal the floor first and then finish. Consult with a local dealer about the best wax to use to get the result you want, as well as, what speed buffer and type of pad to use to polish, and how to maintain. There are a lot of different types of waxes, not all are designed to give that high gloss.

The Flooring Lady at October 8, 2009 10:21 AM

What kind of all purpose cleaner would you recommend for cleaning a porcelain tile floor?

lauren at October 11, 2009 5:41 PM

I am tiling a bathroom for an elderly woman with balance issues (walks with walker) what kind of tile will be least slippery?

Jan Allen at October 12, 2009 6:56 AM

Jan,

Most tiles are slippery when wet, unless it designed to be a non-slip floor. You may want to read the article
Non-slip Kitchen Floors for some ideas of what would be best to use.

The Flooring Lady at October 14, 2009 8:49 AM

Lauren,

I would suggest that you mop your tile floor using warm water and a clean, nonabrasive cloth, mop or sponge. If you need to use a cleaner, I would suggest a vinegar:water solution 1:15 parts.

The Flooring Lady at October 15, 2009 1:50 PM

The area around the fountain has salt deposits. Actually it looks white. How do I remove the salts. Have tried lime-away. Not totally effective.
What do you suggest?

terry at October 16, 2009 1:09 PM

Inprocess of having porcelain tiles installed in kitchen. We are using epoxy grout which I understand will not require sealing, am I corect?
Thanks for your response.

Nancye at October 17, 2009 1:49 PM

I have decided on a particular glazed porcelain tile for my home, and the color is just what I want, however, it only comes in a flat finish and I would like for it to have some shine. Can a flat finish porcelain tile be polished or shined by a professional tile installer - if so, is this a common enough practice and what is the process called;is it polishing, waxing or something else?
Also, if it is possible to add shine to a flat finish, is the application temporary?
Thank you very much for your help.

Lynn at October 19, 2009 12:19 PM

Terry,

Vinegar and water may help remove the salt deposits. For everyday cleaning I recommend 1:15 parts, but you may want to try making it stronger on the stubborn deposits.

The Flooring Lady at October 20, 2009 1:41 PM

Nancye,

Epoxy grout is not suppose to need a sealer over it. If you are having these installed by a professional, be sure to ask them about the sealing and the proper care of your new floor.

The Flooring Lady at October 20, 2009 1:45 PM

Lynn,

Yes you can have the porcelain floors buffed and polished. That will bring some additional shine to it, but if it was finished to be flat it will only shine so much. You may want to consider refinishing the floors with high gloss water-based Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane if that is the look you are wanting.

The Flooring Lady at October 22, 2009 9:14 AM

hi, I am soo confused. I want to lay polished porcelain tiles throughtout my downstairs area. I have had conflicting information on the tiles. Do they come sealed or not? Some stockists have said they need sealing before grouting otherwise will stain, the installer has said that he would not recommend installing such tiles as they may become stained during the installation process. Please help!

angela at October 31, 2009 3:55 PM

Can you clean procelain tile floors with an amonia and water mixture?

Tamara at November 1, 2009 8:35 AM

Angela,

You should be able to get the tiles sealed or unsealed.

I would recommend following your installers recommendation, and just be sure that you have your concerns addressed in your agreement and warranty.

The Flooring Lady at November 2, 2009 4:34 PM

Tamara,

I would recommend a vinegar and water solution of 1:15 parts.

The Flooring Lady at November 2, 2009 4:48 PM

Hello FL,

I have lovely unglazed porcelain tiles laid in my house about 3 years ago. We have had them sealed and then 1 year later had them rebuffed. In any event they have become dirty and have this dark dirty film over them. The tiles are a very light matt cream colour and they have darkened. In any event I was previously mopping them with hot soapy (dishwashing liquid)water. After reading your comments I cleaned them with vinegar and water mop and now it looks like i have removed the dirty film off in some section while in other sections its still there. I showed my husband and he now thinks i have taken the sealer off the tiles. I dont know what to do. Should I give them another clean with the vingear and water?? or Do we need to re seal??

Please Please Please Help!!
Nada

Nada at November 5, 2009 4:11 AM

Hi Nada,

You can test to see if the sealer is still working by putting clean water on the groat and see if it beads. No problem in re-sealing the grout if it is clean to your satisfaction.

Just what I learned from reading about sealing tiles.

Jim

Jim at November 8, 2009 10:39 AM

Nada,

I would try to clean it again with the vinegar and water solution. It sounds as though it is beginning to come off, and may just need some extra cleaning to get the rest.

And, Jim is correct, you should be able to reseal the floor. But, you will want to remove the film before resealing.

The Flooring Lady at November 9, 2009 1:54 PM

Please could you tell me what i should seal my glazed porcelian tile with. Do I need to seal the tile and the grout, or just the grout?

Tanya B, at November 12, 2009 4:55 PM

Hey! We just had a porcelain tile floor installed. Do you recommend putting an area rug over a part of it in the living room? I was afraid it might darken the tile a bit.

Lisa at November 18, 2009 9:56 AM

Tanya,

Yes, both the tile and the grout should be sealed.
I usually recommend the water-based Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane.

You can also check with the manufacturer and ask what they suggest as the best product for the tiles.

The Flooring Lady at November 19, 2009 8:29 AM


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