In the tile installation and custom woodworking business, dealing with maintenance problems usually results from choices made during the tile installation. For starters, the proper preparation of the surface to be tiled is the most important consideration to prevent future costly problems from occurring. Checking the slab for cracks and applying the right membrane prior to the installation will prevent the tiles and grout from cracking by allowing movement, which is caused by the building settling. Double rocking a shower, especially when there is a window, is just asking for trouble. A mortar bed will far outlast this installation. Tiling over plywood takes special precautions as well. Floors especially have too much deflection and movement which will show up at the first grout line crack you see. The underlayments installed today if not installed properly can cause an entire tile floor or kitchen counter to fail before the end of the first year. If you knock on the tiled floor and hear a hollow sound then you have a problem.
The right grout for the right area is also important if you care about how much work you will have to do to keep the job looking good. Dark grout should not be considered for a shower area because it can turn white from minerals and soap scum. White grout on floors or a kitchen counter will require sealing and a lot of elbow grease to keep it white. Sealing the new grout or natural stone surfaces with a good product won’t stop the area from getting dirty but will help it from staining as the spills are picked up rather quickly. Sealing will also help slow down the mildew and mineral deposit problems that are so common.
- Hydrogen Peroxide can be used straight from the bottle on some grout stains such as ink or rust.
- Liquid bleach can be used to remove some stains from polished marble. Apply full strength and cover stained area with a dampened paper towel. Allow to sit overnight.
- Rainex applied to new or newly cleaned shower glass or tile will prevent hard water build up. Too slippery for tiled shower floors.
- Do seal newly installed grout. Use a sealer that states oleophobic here to repel grease. Darker grouts in showers can turn white from calcium and minerals found in water. A less expensive silicon sealer is best here.
TILE MAINTENANCE DON’TS
- Never let anything acidic get on polished marble as it will etch or burn the surface. Examples: vinegar, lemon juice, hairspray.
- Don’t use Comet or other colored cleansers on colored grout or it can be permanently damaged.
- Don’t wash down your tile with the same dirty water that you did your dishes with, this will put food and grease stains right into your grout.
- Always use a clean cloth with clean soap and water.
For more questions on how to maintain your recently done custom woodworking or tile installation project, please contact Kraus Tile and Woodworking today.
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Tile Installation and Custom Woodworking - Helpful Hints
Kraustilenadwoodworking.com services east Long Island. These areas include: Montauk, Hither Hills, Amagansett, East Hampton, Northwest Harbor, Sag Habor, Shelter Island, Greenport, Southhold, Cutchogue, Mattituck, Bridgehampton, Tuckahoe, Shinnecock Hills, and Hampton Bays.