4 Steps to Keep Your Concrete Tiles Fresh

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Hello! My name is Norma. I would like to offer you a very warm welcome to my blog. Having a home which you enjoy living in is very important. After all, you spend a lot of your life at home. When I retired, I decided I was going to make my home into a palace. I called in a team of building and garden contractors and planned out the changes I would like to make. I am so pleased with the result of the work, I decided I would start this blog so I could continue to explore my new found passion.


4 Steps to Keep Your Concrete Tiles Fresh

23 January 2018
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog

Concrete tiles have been around for centuries, having been created in the 1800s from cement and mineral mixtures. They can be fashioned to look nothing like concrete or cement; you can easily mistake them for your regular ceramic tiles. Concrete is an ideal substitute if you're looking to install a cement floor without the work in pouring, staining and dyeing.

The life of your tiles will depend on how well the floor is treated. The advantage of concrete floors is that maintenance isn't much more than wiping down to remove dirt and polishing/sealing for protection. You may also have to remove stains occasionally, both from the tile surface and grout. This article highlights how to deal with these issues.

1. Identifying stains from other discolouration

You need to know whether the discolouration is caused by a stain or if it is a sign of surface damage. A general rule is that stains on concrete tiles will appear darker than the surface; lighter patches are often signs of damage, and no amount of stain removal will work on such patches.

2. Treating stains

Staining happens when spills are absorbed into the concrete, changing its colour. This is corrected by applying a poultice which breaks down and removes the stain-causing agent, restoring natural colour.

A poultice is made by combining an absorbent medium (more absorbent than cement) and a chemical that is determined by the type of staining agent. The chemical reacts with the staining materials, and then the medium draws both out to the surface, which is then wiped.

For the medium, you can use talcum powder or paper towels. Diatomaceous earth (it's the white stuff in pool filters, which you can buy at your local home improvement store) is ideal for larger stains. The chemical depends on the type of stain as follows:

  • Organic – For stains like tea, coffee, gravy or mustard, use hydrogen peroxide, the kind used in hair salons

  • Inorganic – For stains made by ink, dirt or colour dye, use hydrogen peroxide. Denatured/rubbing alcohol may be more effective for certain inks.

  • Oily – Use acetone.

  • Biological – For issues like mould and mildew, use mildew stain remover or household bleach.

3. Treating surface damage

Most often the surface damage is permanent (like what happens if bleach pours on coloured fabric — it removes the dye permanently) because it results from chemical damage. For this, you'll have to call in professionals who hone and polish the surface to remove the damaged layer.

4. Dealing with grout stains

Grout is used to bond tiles to the flooring and protects the tiles from chipping by repelling water. It can, however, be stained by other materials, as well as attract mildew or other discolouration. Concrete tiles should not be cleaned using anything corrosive. Look for peroxide-based cleaning agents and use according to instructions. Be sure to rinse properly so the grout doesn't get corroded in time.