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Unread 06-10-2021, 10:01 AM   #1
Krtka
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Gee WHIZ...dull spots on porcelain tile floor

I have 18" glazed porcelain tile flooring installed 10 years ago (new build). The tiles have a slight sheen compared to the reserve tiles that we purchased at the time of installation in case of need for replacement, so I presume the floor tiles have a sealant applied. A geriatric pet had an "accident" one night and though the pee was cleaned up the next morning we are left with a large dulled spot on the tiles. I tried vinegar, having read about a similar situation on this forum, but no change. Is it likely that the urine has affected the sealant? Will the floor need resealed, and if so, will the old sealant need to be removed? I attach a few photos but it's hard to get the right light/angle in a picture. Thanks in advance.
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Unread 06-10-2021, 01:00 PM   #2
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Welcome, Eileen.

I believe you're talking about a sealer rather than a sealant (yeah, there's a difference) and our knowledgeable folks will want to know just what sealer was used. Sounds like you might not really know.

Most penetrating sealers for use with ceramic and stone tiles and grout do not change the appearance of the surface at all, which makes me wonder even more what might on your tiles.

Gonna be tough to evaluate the damage or make recommendations for repair without that information, but let's see if someone else has better ideas than mine.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-10-2021, 09:52 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome to the forum, Eileen.

Pee is acidic. Vinegar is acidic. Acids do not clean. They eat....or etch.

If the pee really did etch the actual porcelain, then it has been physically damaged on a microscopic level and that’s not restorable. But for a couple reasons, don’t lose hope. Try a little test on an area off to the side of the pee damage. Use a high alkaline cleaner in a small spot by applying the cleaner, allowing it to dwell for 5 minutes, then scrub a small 1” circle by polishing it with a rag-covered finger. Then polish that dry and compare the sheen level of your clean spot to the damage. I’m hoping that you’ve cleaned away the topical coating of whatever is on there and the sheen level matches that of the accident spot.

Do you have any cleaner that has something like ‘heavy duty tile & grout cleaner’ at your disposal?

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Unread 06-11-2021, 04:55 AM   #4
Krtka
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Thanks for the welcome and the replies, CX and Tool-Guy KG!
We'll try asking our builder if he can dig up any info about the (presumed) sealer on the tile.
No ‘heavy duty tile & grout cleaner’ in my possession, but I can get some. Any recommendations?
We've been pretty faithfully using Bona Stone and Tile Cleaner. Could this be buildup rather than sealer and the pee just removed it? There are other, smaller spots on the floor where the finish has been altered by a spill or drips, like beneath the door of the washing machine and the refrigerator.
Appreciate your help!
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Unread 06-17-2021, 07:25 AM   #5
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Eileen,

If you are anywhere near a Floor & Decor, they offer the cleaner Tool Guy is referencing.

https://www.flooranddecor.com/tile-s...100650670.html

What he is suggesting is a good test to see if they coated the tile with something, as sealers and floor finishes will be stripped away with his cleaning procedure and the cleaner above. It's definitely worth a shot to see if you have some sort of coating on the tile.
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Unread 07-14-2021, 01:12 PM   #6
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Follow-up

I finally found some products to try as suggested on a small area of the floor adjacent to the pee. At the very lowest dilution per package directions, 1:5 (recommended for "light soil buildup", AquaMix Heavy Duty Tile & Grout Cleaner removed the sort of semi-gloss appearance and resulted in a matte appearance just like the original uninstalled tiles that we have in reserve. Additionally, use of TileLab Grout and Tile Cleaner & Resealer (touted as "safe for everyday cleaning") produced the same matte appearance.
From this, I assume that either we have some sort of build up from using Bona Tile cleaner, or there is some finish on the tile that is very easily removed. If this tile was sealed, I wouldn't think that an "everyday cleaner" would remove the finish. Hence the dull spots in various areas of the floor, beyond the pee.
My question: Do I clean the entire floor and bring it back to matte finish, and if I do that, is it advisable to seal glazed porcelain tile? What about the grout? Now I am wondering if the grout was ever sealed originally...
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Unread 07-14-2021, 10:06 PM   #7
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Yes, good news! Clean off that build-up to restore your tiles.

Attempting to seal glazed porcelain is pointless. Nothing positive can occur from trying to do so.

I’ll be straight to the point on the sealer: TileLab sealer is one of the least-solids/weakest sealers I know of. If you want to seal your grout, fine, but you might want a better quality sealer in case you actually need it. I personally wouldn’t bother due to the lack of benefit from doing so. But understand that NO penetrating sealer will protect from acidic urine. Sealer doesn’t work like that. The only job that sealing helps with is to buy you a few minutes of time when you accidentally spill a potential staining agent to clean it off before it becomes permanent.

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Unread 07-15-2021, 04:41 AM   #8
Krtka
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Thanks, Tonto!
I realize that the TileLab product is not a TRUE sealer, but thought that I would try it to test it out, as well. I first tried the 3 recommended AquaMix dilutions and the TileLab product on one of the original uninstalled tiles to make sure that I was not going to cause damage to the tile, and after my "experiment" there was no discernible difference on the tile, so then I felt safe trying the area near the pee. So we will roll up our sleeves, mix up some heavy duty cleaner, get a couple of buckets of water, and strip this build up.
Appreciate the expertise on this site!
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