I Give Up - What Will Clean the White Film off our Porcelain Tile

jjsmomNovember 25, 2007

I've been reading tons and tons of posts and have learned alot. Now I have a problem and need your help.

Our contractor layed our porcelain tile floor in our master bathroom a week ago. I washed the floor yesterday and today with a neutral cleaner both times and I cannot get the floor clean. There is a white film on the floor and it looks horrible. How can I get this film off our porcelain tiles. If you can be specific as to the exact brand of cleaner I should use. The white film is driving me insane.

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bill_vincent

You've got one of two things going on there. Either the installer sealoed the porcelian, and what you're seeing is dried sealer on top of the tile, or it's grout haze. before I tell you how to treat it, you need to find out if your installer sealed the tile or not, because you need one of two totally different things depending on which it is.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 7:13PM
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cactuscatie

Bill, it's grout haze. He did not use a sealer.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 6:32AM
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bill_vincent

GO to either HD or Lowes, to their tile aisle. Either one will have what's called a non-acidic grout haze remover. Start with that. You may want to pick up a scrub brush, while you're there.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 8:12AM
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bill_vincent

You know what- scratch that. HAVE YOUR INSTALLER take care of it! This is HIS problem.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 8:13AM
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bill_g_web

Should frosted, (sanded), glass tile be sealed before grouting as well? The latest "This old House" mag had a remodeling story in which the owner listed "sanded glass tile in the shower" as something he would not do again because of the trouble removing the grout haze.

Thanks,

Bill

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 10:06AM
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bill_vincent

There's a really easy way for everyone to know whether or not a surface should be sealed or not: If it doesn't absorb, then it shouldn't be sealed. The sealers all of you usually talk about are what's called penetrating sealers. If they can't poenetrate, then the solids in the sealer end up sitting on the face of the tile and drying there, and then you get the same look as catie was speaking of-- a nice white haze on the face of the tile, that's a nightmare to get rid of.

And yes, glass of ALL types would fall under that heading.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:48PM
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cactuscatie

Thanks Bill for responding. I told our installer and he said he would take care of it.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 4:25PM
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monicakm_gw

MAN! That's what I hate about DIY...there's no one else to blame (g)
Bill, my glass tile manufacturer suggests sealing before grouting. This tile has what feels very like fine fissures on the surface.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 7:02PM
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bill_vincent

Just for _____ and grins, ask your manufacturer WHAT sealer they recommend.

Here's the problem, I have with that, Monica-- Even with those fine fissures, the sealer would still sit on top of the glass. But who knows-- lets see what they have to say. If they make a recommendation, use what they recommend (let me know what it is, too!), and then lets see what happens. If there's a problem, they should stand behind it, being it was their specific recommendation.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 8:04PM
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bill_vincent

If it were my installation, I'd be going no sealer, and then if there WERE a haze, or minute bits of grout caught up in "fine fissures", I'd be going to the nonacid haze remover I spoke of up above.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 8:06PM
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monicakm_gw

OK OK, you win! I won't make poor DH seal the tile before he gouts it. He's going to wonder about me (if he hasn't already). I've been adamant about sealing it since Westminster said to. Bill, have you ever installed Sonoma's Tantrum glass tiles?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 9:25PM
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bill_vincent

Monica, seriously-- find out what they want you to seal it with. This has me bigtime curious now.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 9:29PM
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dlm99

Hi Bill...just to clarify. You are saying that you should not use a sealer on porcelan floor? I was considering using a 16 x 16 white porcelan tile for my master bath floor rather than marble...thought it would be less maintenence. Now after reading these posts, I am rethinking this decision. Is it easy to clean speckles of hairspray and other bathroom used products off of a porcelan floor? How do you prevent this grout haze from happening in the first place? Tile woman suggests that I will need virtually no grout line with this tile.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 9:46PM
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bill_vincent

Okay, one at a time.

First, Correct-- no sealer on porcelain. Not only is it not necessary in that porcelain won't benefit from sealing, but it'll actually ruin the look of the tile, leaving a white haze on top of it.

I was considering using a 16 x 16 white porcelan tile for my master bath floor rather than marble...thought it would be less maintenence.

It is. Especially if you're going with a stark white porcelain in place of thassos marble.

Is it easy to clean speckles of hairspray and other bathroom used products off of a porcelan floor?

Just about everything will clean up pretty easily off porcelain.

How do you prevent this grout haze from happening in the first place?

By being meticulous when grouting that you clean the floor well. It's next to impossible to have no haze at all, but if the grout installation is done properly, all it should take to clean up afterward is a mop and plain clear water.

Tile woman suggests that I will need virtually no grout line with this tile.

If this is rectified porcelain, (which it sounds like it is) then I agree with her. You only need a minimal grout joint (1/16", +/-).

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 10:31PM
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bill_vincent

Just to clarify MY post-- even with porcelain, you can, if you wish, still seal the grout. Just not the tile.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 10:32PM
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monicakm_gw

Bill, just got off the phone with Westminster. NOT an easy company to talk to. They said it didn't matter what type of sealer as long as it was penetrating. I called back and said "my" tile guy (g) and I are confused. Since the sealer can't penetrate the glass, it's going to leave a hazy film which will be a bugger bear to clean. The person relaying in nfo to the receptionist is at lunch. I'm still not sure what I'll do at this point. DH will be grouting this weekend.
Monica

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 12:04PM
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bill_vincent

Go by the manufacturer's directions, and if it hazes over....

:-(

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 4:52PM
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monicakm_gw

Bill, it did NOT haze over :) And I'm so glad I sealed it first. The fissures/cracks on the surface of these tiles go all the way thru to the crushed glass on the inside. If not sealed, they'll become stained with the grout color. It appears I forgot one small (3" corner) and we did get some slight staining but it has since all but disappeared as the grout has dried. That was the only spot that slightly discolored so I know it made a difference. As for sealer haze...none :) All's well :)
Monica

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 8:38PM
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bill_vincent

Good deal.

See, I'm not afraid to learn, too. :-) I'd like to know how a penetrating sealer works on glass, though.

Mongo-- you know anything about this?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 9:19PM
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cruise1521

I ended up putting a sealer on our porcelain floor not it greesy feeling when I walk on it. What can I do to get rid of that greesy feeling and haze?
thanks!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 2:02PM
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