Tiles, because of their very nature, are usually in the settings that get dirty the most; pathways, porches, hallways, kitchen walls and floor, utility rooms, conservatories and bathroom walls and floors. With the best will in the world they will accumulate dirt, grease, limescale, soap scum and all manner of other nasty things with the grout and silicone often being the bits that look the grubbiest the quickest with dirt stains and sometimes mould.
But don’t panic, with a little bit of effort you can revitalise your tiles, grout and silicone. There are a few good products specifically for this purpose that are all available to buy from us at New Image Tiles.
A deep clean may seem overwhelming in a large space but if tackled in stages you can achieve great results at very little cost. Certainly cheaper than re-tiling and definitely worth considering first.
Best product for cleaning mouldy silicone
If the silicone around your basin, bath, shower or sink is mouldy or discoloured then LTP Mouldex is the product for the job of cleaning it. It will kill and remove the fungus, mould spores, algae and moss from the silicone –and grout- and its anti-bacterial action will help to prevent a reoccurrence.
Easily applied by spray, leave for an hour, or longer if possible, then rinse off with clean water. If necessary this can be done a couple of times. Should this NOT do the job then you could replace the silicone completely: simply cut out the bulk of the offending silicone with a safety blade or a silicone remover tool, then use Silicone Eater to remove any residue, after leaving for the recommended time scrape off the worst, wipe down with water and a soft cloth and you are ready to apply new silicone. Using a silicone finisher will give a neat and professional finish.
For a different look try using a coloured silicone to tone/match your tiles or grout colour.
Best product for cleaning mouldy grout
There are several options for dealing with stained or mouldy grout;
LTP Mouldex is always worth trying first.
Intensive cleaners i.e. LTP Grimex or LTP Power Stripper –these can be used inside and out and will remove almost any stains from your grout and tiles.
Grout Rescue is a permanent grout colourant and sealer that comes in a range of 8 neutral colours from white to black. If no amount of cleaning is getting the grout spotless then changing the colour could be a quick and cheap option. Easy to apply with a brush or sponge and 2 coats will transform the grout and seal it at the same time. When fully cured the seal will help to protect against mould, mildew and staining as well as water penetration.
Re-grouting is sometimes the only answer especially if the grout is old, brittle and cracking up. Using a grout rake, grout saw or electric grout remover the offending grout can be removed and new grout applied. Technological advances in grout ensure that they have high water resistance and are anti-fungal and mould resistant. Grout 3000 is durable and is available in a range of colours with matching silicone.
It is always worth sealing the grout, any grout, in fact all grout, on completion of a new job or after a thorough cleaning. LTP Grout & Tile Protector is an easy product to use. Just shake and spray and this product creates a colourless barrier and seals the grout helping to protect the grout from dirt, oil, grease and limescale- essential in this area-so that any dirt that sits in the grout lines will just lift away without staining or penetrating the grout. The areas that are most important to seal are floors, wet areas and behind your cooker in your kitchen.
Best products to clean and revitalise your tiles
Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles
These need very little maintenance other than cleaning to remove surface dirt- and as they are so durable they can suffer a good scrubbing or steaming with no ill effects. If your ceramic or porcelain tiles are very dirty and need a thorough cleaning that water alone and other products is not removing then LTP Grimex will remove stubborn dirt and grease. Tackle small areas at a time and always follow the instructions and don’t forget your marigolds- Grimex is strong stuff!
Once the tiles are cleaned then a glaze protector could be used which will give a ‘just washed’ look to the tiles and is resistant to wear and staining and should help with cleaning in the future.
There are specialised cleaners, should you wish to use one, and LTP Porcelain Floor Tile Cleaner or LTP Waxwash are gentle liquid soaps for weekly/monthly cleaning.
For everyday cleaning of all your tiles and surfaces try LTP Multiclean. This comes in a handy spray bottle, can be used on all surfaces to clean off fats, grease, dirt and bacteria and helps to inhibit limescale build-up and it smells nice too!
Natural stone tiles
These are a little more high maintenance than glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles- they do need a bit of TLC –Tile Loving Care.
Travertine, Limestone, Sandstone, Marble and Slate are all natural stones and will be porous to different degrees so will absorb dirt and grease, therefore it is important to create and maintain a seal so they always look fab and are easy to clean.
However, the seal will break down especially if the wrong cleaning products are used- no offence Mr Muscle but you are not the man for this job!!
There are two products that will remove just about anything from natural stone tiles; stubborn surface dirt, old sealer, grease etc. Both products are very strong and need to be used cautiously following the guidelines. LTP Grimex and LTP Power Stripper should leave the tiles dirt and grime free and ready to be re-sealed.
Impregnating sealers are absorbed into the stone’s surface and helps protect against staining, water penetration, dirt etc. whilst allowing the stone to breathe and enhancing the natural features of the material. LTP Mattstone and LTP Colour Intensifier are the most popular products to use to seal natural stone products whether they are on walls or floors, inside or out.
Encaustics, quarry and victorian tiles
These can be treated the same as natural stone tiles with the same products.
If you have inherited tiles and you are not sure what the construction or material is of those tiles there is a simple porosity test you can do to check and this will give you an idea about how much sealer should be applied, if any at all-
Apply a teaspoon of room temperature water to your tile-
- HIGH POROSITY- the water is absorbed within 5 minutes- apply 3-4 coats of sealer.
- MEDIUM POROSITY- the water is absorbed within 15 minutes- apply 2-3 coats of sealer.
- LOW POROSITY- the water is absorbed within an hour or longer- apply 1-2 coats of sealer.
- NON ABSORBENT- the water does not absorb- sealer is not required.
Whatever products you decide to use on your tiles always read and follow the instructions and guidelines and the Health and Safety advice.
New Image are always happy to advise you on any of the products or tiles that we supply. We know what we are talking about!
So go ahead and revitalise your tiles, you may be surprised at the results.