Tile glaze rubbing off! Help! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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12-10-2016, 03:21 PM
The glaze on my shower tile is soft and rubbing off. This is the second time it has happened. It has happened twice to two different brand of tiles. It happens about a one foot radius to the drain, where the water hits from the shower head. The floor seems to get good drainage. The grout is not sealed. I clean the tile with Comet cleaner. I rinse the shower after each use. I have a water softener installed. What is causing this? Hot water? Water softener? Any ideas would be helpful.

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Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
12-10-2016, 03:26 PM
Hi Socker and welcome! :wave:

If you could post a photo or two that would be helpful. In the reply box it's the paper clip icon or the Manage Attachments button below.

How long has this tile been installed and what sort of tile is it?

12-10-2016, 03:27 PM
Welcome, Socker. :)

Comet is some pretty abrasive cleaner, but I've never experienced it removing the glaze from a porcelain tile. Maybe you clean a lot more often than ever I did, though.

Think you're gonna need to tell us very specifically what tile you have on that shower floor.

A photo or two might help also. Use the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box to attach photos from storage on your computer.

12-10-2016, 03:39 PM
Comet today is much less abrasive than that sold years ago, but is NOT something you want to use on your tile at all! You want something designed to remove soap scum and maybe mineral deposits from the (probably) hard water...and an abrasive is not the best thing. The glaze is essentially a layer of thin glass...try rubbing a glass with Comet...it will haze over, a result of wearing away some of the glass. The glass is much thicker than the glaze!

For the highest durability, a through-body, unglazed porcelain tile is the most robust, and since the color goes all the way through, wearing off a bit likely wouldn't be as visible. IOW, stop using Comet on your tile, and don't use it on your porcelain or glazed sinks, either.

12-10-2016, 03:55 PM
The tile brand is American Olean. I don't clean it obsessively. I use a soft plastic bristle scrub brush and Comet. It must be something I am doing wrong, it's happened twice.

12-10-2016, 03:59 PM
Forgot to mention. The tile was installed 6 months ago.

12-10-2016, 05:25 PM
The tile brand is American Olean.Well, that narrows it down to only a thousand or so choices. Can you be a little more precise? :)

12-10-2016, 08:00 PM
CX, what additional information would you like to know? I provided brand of tile, how I cleaned it, when it was installed, a photo as requested. If you need further information to help me then ask. Thanks

12-10-2016, 08:23 PM
Hi Socker,

Well, American Olean makes several hundred tile products so narrowing it down a bit would be helpful.

The American Olean site might be helpful to you: http://americanolean.com/browse_product_series.cfm

Now, regardless of which particular tile it happens to be, Comet, or any other abrasive cleaner should NOT be used on your tile. So the first thing to do is to stop using abrasives to clean your tiles.

Tool Guy - Kg
12-10-2016, 08:40 PM
Hi, Socker.

Just the info that it's "American Olean" is like asking about a problem with your car and identifying your car only as a "Chevy". We're missing the model name.

Okay...that picture that you gave us. There's no perspective on that.
1) Can we assume that is a picture of floor tiles close to the drain?

It's extrordinary that this same problem has happened to you with two different tiles. Tile, in general, is super durable. Sure, a tile could be defective. But the same problem twice, in one household? No way. It seem evident that the tiles are being exposed to something it doesn't like. Yes, the Comet isn't good for routine maintenance, but it'll withstand a certain number of cleanings before it shows evidence of that. So, I'd ask:
2) How many times have you've cleaned with Comet in the last 6 months?

3) Then, is there ANYTHING unusual about hair or body chemicals that are used in the shower?

4) Does anyone use the shower for cleaning anything unusual...like, does anyone clean off car parts with nasty chemicals in a bucket in the shower or something?


EDIT: Looks like I type too slow, as I'm repeating others' advice. :)

12-10-2016, 09:35 PM
Ok, thanks for the guidance. Your feedback really helps me know what type of information you need. That is a lot more helpful than "Well, that narrows it down to only a thousand or so choices. Can you be a little more precise?" I am no tile expert. The information I detailed was a starting point for a conversation. Thanks, I'll get back to you. Thank you for your patience!

Tool Guy - Kg
12-10-2016, 09:44 PM
We're better remodelers and tilers and house builders and craftsman than we are comedians.....and sometimes it shows.

Except for me. I'm hilarious. :D

12-10-2016, 10:41 PM
Except for me. I'm hilarious.

Ain't that the truth! :lol2:

Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
12-11-2016, 01:00 PM
The fact that it was installed 6 months ago makes me think that it was a line with a cheaper type of glaze on it. Was this purchased at a big box store?

The other thing about knowing what the tile is that you can look up the manufacturer's cleaning instructions online. Sometimes that's helpful as well. :)

12-11-2016, 02:22 PM
hmmm - how about this one. It's hard to tell if it has the same darker shades or not, but it's pretty similar.


12-11-2016, 04:38 PM
One of the hassles you can have is that sometimes (not always) a company may sell what looks like the same product in tile stores and big box stores such as Lowes...they're only identical if the part number is identical, regardless of the name. Some of that is badge engineering so that they don't have to price match, but some of it relates to real differences in the product. Again, not always, but a tile store tends to have a higher quality version of similar products, and as a result, may have a higher price depending on what it is and their buying power (where the big box store shines). It's up to you to do some research and determine which one is the best value for your project.