When Good Tiles Go Bad
Tiles, whether on bathroom and kitchen walls or floors, patios, and entryways are a wonderful way to add elegance, color, texture, and style to a home – until they don’t. While tiles can be enduring and last for years, there comes a day when a homeowner realizes, her tiles have seen better days. Even the best maintained tile, be it ceramic, marble, or porcelain, eventually falls prey to the slings and arrows of everyday life. And even if the tiles retain their looks, there’s the matter of the grout which is actually harder to maintain than the tiles surrounding them, and becomes discolored and grungy, and in worst case scenarios accumulates organic growths such as mold and mildew.
Why Do Good Tiles Go Bad
Although tiles are low maintenance, it must be remembered that they are porous, even if they are glazed. This means not only do they get dirty, they absorb the dirt, especially in areas of high traffic such as entry ways and foyers where oil, fat, and even grass staining accumulates on their surfaces, along with scuff marks, scratches, and dulling patterns of uneven wear. The problem is compounded when the routine maintenance, be it sweeping, vacuuming, damp mopping or cleaning with non-soap based tile cleaners fails to restore them to their first-laid crispness, and the job is given over to more extreme measures like harsh cleaners and machinery which often end up doing more harm than good.
Abrasive cleaners, powders, and creams may remove the build-up of dirt, but they also wear away and pit the tile’s protective surface. along with any decorative design on the individual pieces. Such cleaners are especially harmful to ceramic tiles. Acid-based cleaning solutions are also anathema to ceramic tiles since they may damage the complex silicate materials that make up their glaze. Such damage may take the form of pitting and cupping or even worse cracking of the glaze, allowing dirt to enter and settle on the surface of the porous material of the underlaying material.
Two Choices to Restore the Glory
At this point some homeowners realize the problem is beyond them and resort to having the floors replaced, removing all the tiles and grout and having new ones put in and re-grouted. Although this can be an exciting endeavor, it is also a costly one and will take the involved rooms out of commission for several days.
Others decide they like the tiles despite their deterioration and turn to services that specialize in tile restoration in San Diego instead. In most cases this involves deep cleaning to restore the stone to its natural beauty and factory finish before applying a protective coating that will not only provide years of protection against every day wear but make the tiles easier to clean and maintain.
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