So your tiles are dirty…should you be cleaning and sealing them?
People often think their tiles need to be sealed if they see they’re dirty. They think the tiles are porous and that’s why it accumulated all that gunk and stains. But this isn’t always the case.
What kind of tiles do you have and do they need sealing?
To know if your tiles really need sealing or not, it’s important to know first of all what kind of tiles you have. Two of the most common household tiles are factory-glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles.
These ceramic tiles just needed a heavy duty clean, not sealing
Glazed ceramic & porcelain tiles
Glazed tiles are ceramic and porcelain tiles that have an additional process in its manufacture. A layer of enamel or liquid glaze is applied, either sprayed on or painted on the surface of the tile. Once fired at high temperatures, a chemical reaction occurs which turns the glaze almost into glass. This makes glazed tiles resistant to water and stains. Their finish can either be matte, semi-gloss, high gloss or textured. Certain finishes however are harder to keep clean compared to others. Most importantly, because of the liquid glass top coat, glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles are non-porous so they do not require sealing.
When should you use tile sealers?
Since most common household tiles are glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles and are therefore non-porous and do not require sealing, when should you use sealers then?
Sealers are applied to tiles that are porous or have not been factory–glazed like marble, travertine, granite sandstone, slate and other natural stones. Terracotta and some polished porcelains which were not glazed at the factory also need to be sealed. Depending on the type of sealer, it will act like an artificial glaze or a scotchguard, serving as the tile’s protective barrier from stains, contaminants and day-to-day wear.
So if your tiles are non-porous and sealed but dirty, what should you do?
One thing about sealers: they may be great in preventing stains and making the tiles easier to clean, but they can‘t stop dirt from building up on them. Sealed or unsealed, all surfaces will eventually get dirty - yes, even with routine cleaning. How?
Even with regular maintenance cleaning, over time, microscopic layers of dirt and grime build up over time to the point where it becomes near impossible to get the tile to look good again.
In cases like this, a sealer is not going to solve your problem. A heavy-duty cleaning will.
This is usually carried out by a professional who has the equipment, chemicals and training to get the desired results. They can inspect and test if the tiles require sealing or professional cleaning.
If you would like to know more about any of our cleaning and sealing services click on the links below: