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Unread 08-19-2003, 09:58 PM   #1
kareni
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Porcelin tile sealer?

We moved into a new house this June. We have porcelin tile in the kitchen and entry and need to have the grout sealed.
What is a good sealer?
What is the best way to apply it?
Can it get on the tile or is that a big no-no?

I am not a big DIYer, lol, so I need lots of direction. I have been putting this job off because I am afraid of ruining the tile, but I know it will be bad if I don't do it.

Also is there something I should clean the floor with BEFORE I seal? So far I have only used a wet mop on the floor.

Also can this sealer be used on the tiles on the back splash...they are the standard shiny beige tile?

Thanks for your help!
Karen

PS....some grout skim got on the hardwood flooring...how can I remove that?

Sorry I am asking so many questions
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Unread 08-19-2003, 10:45 PM   #2
kemguru
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Hi Karen

Congrats on the new pad! Is this a new tile install, or existing? How is the color of your grout, consistent or dirty in places? I know of a lot of good sealers, but I know of two great sealers, just depends on your answers to my previous questions. You could use TYW Stone Armor (natural look impregnator) or TYW Grout Stain & Seal (stains and seals your grout to produce one consistent color of your choice). Apply either one using a good sponge and just wipe the excess from the tiles, no worries.

As far s cleaning goes, if its new grout, just use TYW Neutral Tile & Stone Cleaner before sealing. You will want to use this as your daily cleaner after you get everything sealed. If we are dealing with old grout (a restore), then you will have to use TYW Tile & Grout Restorer to clean and open the pores in the grout. If there are any deep oil stains in the joints, you will have to remove those before using the Restorer. TYW Heavy Duty Cleaner & Stripper is the one for this job.

Whatever sealer you choose to go with, it can be used on the backsplash.

Was the wood sealed before the grout got stuck?
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Unread 08-20-2003, 06:18 AM   #3
OnAMission
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Uh-oh!!! My TYW products (no longer available) should be here today.

But I ordered the heavy duty cleaner/stripper, neutral cleaner, and stone armor (no longer available) sealer. Do I need the 'restorer' too?

Construction was apparently finished in January ... we occupied the house in May. Shower and floor grout already had some stains when we moved in ... and of course with three visually and physically 'impaired' kids ... there is more now.

Shower tile (6x6 ceramic high gloss glazed white) is reasonably clean but some of the grout is slightly stained from the red clay stains the construction workers left, as well as the assorted 'goos' the kids use in the showers. I rinse and wipe the tiles down after showering ... they don't. And they wonder why I occupy their showers periodically. Much easier to clean while you're IN there!

Floor tile (ceramic/porcelain??? matte finish) feels 'grimey' and has only been cleaned with a damp mop and occassionally a 'wet swiffer.' I have one of those squirty swiffer things for my wood floors (no ... I don't like it) ... but just use the wet swiffer on the tile floors because I didn't want to spray the swiffer cleaner on the grout since it hadn't been sealed. Some of it still made it's way into the grout though.

After several kitchen 'mishaps' (pizza sauce is a biggie ... then there's the broken bottle of butter flavoring) we do have grout areas that need special attention before sealing. I thought I had read that someone had used and was pleased with the results of the heavy duty stripper/cleaner ... but don't recall any mention of follow-up with the 'restorer.' Do I need to order that as well?

Cathy
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Unread 08-20-2003, 09:27 AM   #4
kemguru
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Hi Cathy

Your grout is still fairly new, use the stripper and see how it turns out. We are shooting for as clean and as consistent of a grout color you can get before sealing. Seeing that your grout is still somewhat new, after a good scrubbing with the stripper a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution just may be enough, if needed at all. Most likely in the shower where the clay stains are visible. Mop a couple times with the Neutral Cleaner after all the deep cleaning and before sealing. Try to keep the kiddies away from the clean areas before sealing (at least a day, sooner if you have some fans going).
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Unread 08-20-2003, 10:00 AM   #5
OnAMission
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Thank you! Thank you!

Still waiting for the UPS guy (gal?) ... didn't send any knee pads with that stuff did ya?

Cathy
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Unread 08-20-2003, 10:18 AM   #6
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Oh yeah ... mopping technique ... anyone got any special recommendations for the perfect mop?

We always used a string mop on our vinyl floors before (and what little tile we had back then.) Seemed to get edges and indentations cleaner with that thing than just shoving stuff into low spots with a sponge mop. And we definitely have low spots with this grout (in addition to the surface of the tile.)

Sorry Karen ... didn't mean to hijack your thread ... but we're in the same place and I'm ready to get started!


Cathy
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Unread 08-20-2003, 10:45 AM   #7
kemguru
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You bet ya! Just stick them peanuts from the box into one of them thick ziplock freezer bags and duct tape them to your knees, just wear long pants. Ouch!

String mop is the only way to go, for the reason you mentioned. Thanks, you saved me some typing.
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Unread 08-20-2003, 11:00 AM   #8
OnAMission
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OK ... so whre do you get the best mop wringer ... other than the 'man of the house?'

Or can I just continue slopping that solution on the floor and dry the excess off with old towels when I'm done?

Cathy
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Unread 08-21-2003, 07:36 AM   #9
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I won't argue the merits of the string mop when it comes to picking up dirt. There's no question it does a better job than a small sponge mop. The drawback is that the string mop is hard to impossible to control in corners, along baseboards and at transitions to other flooring materials such as carpet and wood.

So if you have a couple thousand feet of wide open area to mop, the string mop is the way to go, but if you have less than 500 square feet, and it's pretty much broken into smaller areas, you might want to try the Patti method. Hands and knees. Using a large hydra grouting sponge and a plastic bucket you can cover a floor in good time without slopping on adjacent floor coverings.

The key is in keeping your solution clean, and wiping up excess as you go. TYW neutral cleaner works great that way.

I have never been able to convince her she needs knee pads. She'll come around one of these days.
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Unread 08-21-2003, 07:43 AM   #10
OnAMission
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Tell Patti that she's a better man than I. I personally perfer the 'foot and towel' method ... forget the hands and knees stuff ... I got kids for that. Oh yeah ... I forgot ... they can't SEE anything on the floor. :-D

Cathy
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Unread 08-21-2003, 07:45 AM   #11
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Todd's going to jump in here pretty quick with an army blanket suggestion. Or was that baby blanket? Or was that someone else?
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Unread 08-21-2003, 07:55 AM   #12
OnAMission
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OK ... the 'shower in a box idea' might just mushroom into a 'tile care and maintenance in a box' thing.

Let's see ... there's the peanut/ziploc bag/duct tape knee pads and army blankets for mops?

Cathy
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Unread 08-21-2003, 08:28 PM   #13
kareni
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Wow! thanks for all the replies!
kemguru....It is new construction but I did get a small tea stain near the sink...I can live with it, I don't want to start stripping or staining the grout.
Yes the wood was finished before the grout went on. I wiped it with water a few days back, but it is still there. Should I try something stronger.
When I apply the sealer should I wipe it off the tile before or after it dries?

OnA Mission...thanks for asking these questions...I probably would have delt with them myself, now I have the answers..Thanks

I guess I'll have to go get a string mop...I use a might mop with a removable terry cloth...great for quickies.

Thanks for all your help!
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Unread 08-21-2003, 11:00 PM   #14
kemguru
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John

Mandy does it the same way as Patti. I don’t comment because it works and I don’t want to get stuck doing it myself. I can run a string mop perfectly, no slop on the base or carpet, but again, I don’t want to get stuck doing it. At least I haven’t heard a nair about Windex lately.

Cathy

The knee pads and army blankets sound just like a typical day in the field. When you have a tech, or yourself, miles from the shop and it’s just gotta get done, you improvise. The standard yellow Rubbermaid mop bucket and wringers at Home Depot are just fine. I have 6 or 7 sitting around. They don’t sell the heavy duty ones there anymore, but the lighter duty ones only run about $35.

Karen

Pour some hydrogen peroxide on the stain, then drop a little ammonia on the peroxide, wait for the bubbling to stop, blot up with a white towel. Done.

Let the sealer sit for 10 minutes or so, then buff the excess from the tiles using a clean white towel. You want to get the excess cleaned off before it drys.

Try a little liquid dish soap mixed with some bottled water on the grout residue. Apply and let dwell for an hour or so. Put some more solution on it and lightly scrape, preferably using something plastic. This should soften it up. If you need something a little tougher, add some white vinegar to that solution, mix half solution with half white vinegar. A white scrub pad could come in real handy too.
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Unread 08-22-2003, 05:14 AM   #15
OnAMission
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Windex? What Windex?

Ok you guys ... took me 45 minutes of reading old posts with 'WINDEX' in them to figure out what the heck you were talking about. Then I finally found it! But John didn't tell me about it the other day ... someone been pokin' him with a stick?

So where's the official Kemguru 'Hints from Heloise' section to keep us all straightened out?

Cathy
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