For the last 18 years, I’ve been answering the multitude of questions for do-it-your-selfers and…
While ceramic and porcelain tile floors are great for durability and functionality, taking care of them in a commercial environment such as a restaurant, public bathroom or highly trafficked walkway can be difficult. Here are the 5 biggest issues that businesses and property managers face in maintaining their tile floors.
This is perhaps the most common grout issue in commercial settings, particularly in environments such as bathrooms and restaurants where spills from food, oils and other contaminants are common. Because of the porous nature of grout and the fact that it is recessed below the surface of the tiles, it is both difficult to get to and can retain bacteria that sits well beneath the surface.
Mops only move bacteria around and in bathrooms urine feeds on bacteria and spreads.
A Harris Interactive poll found that 79 percent of customers would not return to an establishment with a bathroom that they consider to be dirty. The numbers aren’t much better for dirty floors in other areas and these numbers do not account for the loss of reputation associated with unclean tile floors.
Bacteria and dirt trapped in grout lines not only looks bad but can retain unpleasant odors from spoiled foods, urine and other unhygienic bacteria. Many cleaning solutions not only do not fully clean grout lines but can create additional discoloration and permanent damage. Hygiene concerns associated with this harmful bacteria are particularly a concern for health care facilities and schools.
Stained, Discolored or Dirty Tiles
When tiles are porous, they will usually stain – and often permanently. Textured tiles will retain ground-in dirt in the surface of the tiles. Some cleaning products and processes can assist with managing the problem but will not eliminate it. Tiles can also grow to have a cloudy appearance on the surface. This usually means the wrong cleaning product for that type of tile has been used. In other cases, if a sealer has been applied to tiles incorrectly, is a poor product, or has been applied to non-porous tiles it can cause a milky white appearance on the surface. In these situations, the sealer must be stripped (removed) professionally and permanent damage can occur to tiles in these cases.
Moldy Grout Lines
Shower and bathroom mold growth is probably the most common and frustrating tile/grout related problem. Mould is a product of wet, humid conditions. Rooms with poor ventilation provide the perfect breeding ground for mold. Soap residue and body oils also create a food source for mold to grow.
Quite often, mold growth in showers and bathrooms is caused by a leak somewhere in the recess. A small hole in the grout or cracks in the shower corners is likely to cause water build-up and mold growth.
When mold develops in porous grout joints, no amount of scrubbing with heavy chemicals will resolve the problem in any sustained way. In fact, using mold-killing chemicals actually damages grout by disintegrating it, creating a far worse problem.
Difficulty Cleaning/Dull Appearance
This is a common issue that generally comes from one of several factors. Often times the wrong cleaning products are used.
It is important to seek professional advice as to which cleaning products are right for your particular type of tile.
Another issue has to do with the existing of ground in dirt that simply will not come up with standard cleaning products or has been so deeply ground into the porous tile surface that it cannot be removed without causing permanent damage to the tiles. In these cases tiles have a dull or darkish appearance that simply isn’t attractive. Finally the use of mops is perhaps the most common mistake used by cleaning crews. Mops simply move dirt around and do not create a clean surface. This has the same aesthetic effect and is generally unsanitary.
Slip and Fall Concerns
The danger of slip and fall accidents is particularly high on tile floors. In restaurants, bathrooms and anywhere moisture from outside might be tracked in by foot traffic, slip and fall concerns run high. If there are not smaller ¼” tiles with lots of grout lines, there is a good chance that feet will slide on these wet surfaces and create accidents. This is a huge liability for commercial properties and one that often is not considered until after floors are installed and problems begin to occur.
If you have any of these issues with your tile floors, Covertec Products can help you! Covertec is proud to carry an unmatched line of specialty sealers and cleaners for porcelain and ceramic tile that address all of these common problems and more. Our GlazeGuard tile sealer bonds incredibly well with tile surfaces of all types, protects grout lines and tile surfaces from bacteria and discoloration in the harshest environments and lasts for many years–even in high traffic conditions!
It is available in a variety of gloss levels from “Matte” to “Wet Look” so you don’t have to worry about your tile losing its lustre or like new appearance. Finally, we offer GlazeGuard with a variety of non-slip additives that will give you a tile floor that meets OSHA standards for floor safety and remains easy to clean and maintain. Covertec even carries a specialized cleaning solution for your tile floors that is the best on the market.
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