My outside entertainment area is tiled with non-slip ceramic tiles that have small granules in the ceramic. Over the years the tiles have accumulated some very stubborn dirt, especially around our pot plants, which have left circular stains that the traditional tile cleaner does not remove. What other cleaning methods can be used?
Ed replies: Stains caused by pots containing plants are difficult to remove. I suggest that you try Grout Off, diluted 5:1 (five parts Grout Off to one part water). Apply using a scrubbing brush and ensure that you clean the entire tile and not only part of it. Then rinse the area thoroughly using clean water.
Then neutralise the surface area with Easy Clean, diluted 5:1 (five parts Easy Clean to one part water). Apply using a scrubbing brush and rinse areas thoroughly using fresh water.
These products are available at leading hardware stores nationally.
For more information contact Chantal Pretorius at Tile and Floor Care on 011-822-6901.
|What about the tiles?
Can you give me some advice on my bathroom tiles? The bathroom currently has wall tiles about halfway up the wall, and they are the small tiles (150 x 150mm) and quite thin, about 5mm thick. As it is quite a major and messy job to remove all the tiles and replace them with new ones (I would do the job myself), I am considering any possible options.
I have heard that one can paint over old existing tiles. What preparation is required, what type of paint can be used and how is it applied? And, at the end of the day, is the finished job one that really looks good and has a professional finish?
Secondly, can one lay new tiles over the old existing tiles? If so, how do I go about doing this and is this an accepted practice?
Neville Mansergh, Phalaborwa
Kate van Niekerk from Tile Africa replies: You can tile over existing tiles, but we do not recommend this. Make sure the old existing tiles are clean and that there are no hollow tiles, otherwise both old and new tiles can come loose. Prepare a pourable slurry of TAL Keycoat primer and builders’ cement and brush it onto the old tiles with a block brush. Commence tiling with your tile adhesive of choice while the slurry is still tacky.
An alternative is to stick with the existing tiles if they are in relatively good condition and add a few rows of mosaic tiles to give an instant design lift to the wall. On a shoestring budget? Use glass mosaic sheets to create a border. Cut these horizontally into two or three strips. Mosaic sheets range from 150-230mm in length and cost between R25 and R150 per sheet, depending on the material, and one sheet can produce a border of up to one running metre, making this a cost-effective way to create an attractive border.
For more information, call Tile Africa’s toll-free number on 0800-002-783 or visit www.tileafrica.co.za.
Ed advises on painting tiles:
Painting over existing tiles can be done easily and effectively. The key to a successful project is the preparation. Clean the tiled surface with sugar soap to remove all grime build-up, such as dirt, grease or oil, as paint will not adhere to such surfaces. Remove all mould from the grout using grout cleaner or household bleach. Fix any loose grout and broken tiles before painting. The grout should be repaired and allowed to dry thoroughly before painting (about a week). Apply A. Shak’s TilePrime to the tiled surface using a brush or roller. Wait for the product to dry completely (about 24 hours) before applying two coats of semi-gloss enamel paint, allowing drying time between coats. Bathrooms and kitchens are subjected to more moisture so use enamel paint rather than water-based paint to avoid damp and mould. Allow the bathroom to dry out for at least a week or two before use.
I have a problem with tiles which broke because of the moving of the floor. When taking out the damaged tiles, I found the expansion joint. My first option would be to cut the tiles and lay them again, but not with the tile covering the joint. The joint strip, which was supposed to prevent the tiles from breaking, was not placed according to the expansion joint. The problem now is that the expansion joint is not straight. The joint starts in the middle of a tile on the one side and 10 metres further, it is nearly to the one side of the row of tiles I removed. I have two options. The first is to remove the joint strip and install a new strip all on the line of the expansion joint, which will mean that the lines will be totally skew. The second option is to find a product that can be guaranteed so I can just re-lay the tiles over the expansion joint without worrying it will break again due to movement.
Nico Coffee, Xtreme Renovations
Cindy Engels from A Shak replies: This query is not that easy to solve! I have discussed it with various experts and the conclusion seems to be the same each time.
The only way to do this and to prevent the tiles cracking again would be to fill in the existing expansion joint and cut a new one that would be straight with the line of the existing tiling. To cut the tiles to follow the existing expansion joint would be unsightly and from what I understand, you do not want to re-tile the entire room.
I have slate tiles in my bathrooms and inside my shower which aren't sealed. This causes a lot of grime build-up in the shower and the floors to are easily stained. What product can I use to clean this off as the grouting has also stained, and what product can I use to seal the tiles to get a matt and non-slip finish in the shower?
Jeremy Jewell, Johannesburg
Plan this project carefully, as it takes two days to complete the cleaning and sealing process, and your bathroom will be out of bounds for this period. To remove grime build-up in the shower and on floors, use Easy Clean, which is a neutraliser and degreaser. Use a hand pad and scrub the affected area till clean. The hand pad is similar to Goldilocks but a little harder and is preferable since it goes into all the pores. Remember to rinse the area thoroughly using fresh, clean water.
For mouldy and discoloured grout in the shower area, you can also use Mould Buster. This is sprayed onto the affected areas, which will bubble, releasing the dirt and mould. Then scrub the area using Easy Clean to neutralise the acid. Again, remember to rinse the area thoroughly with clean water. Allow to dry for two days.
If your slate tiles are black (medium porosity), use Deep Seal to seal the tiles. Apply using a sheepskin applicator, which is flat and woolly - similar to mutton cloth.
Apply thin coats at all times. The first coat should be applied in one direction - north to south. Allow to dry for 20 minutes.
Also apply the second coat in one direction - east to west. Allow to dry for 20 minutes. Test after the second coat to see whether you require a third coat. To do this, pour two tablespoons of water onto the sealed tiles; if the water penetrates after one minute, you need to apply a third coat.
If your slate tiles are brown or red (high porosity), use HP Sealer, which is applied using the same method as Deep Seal. Apply thin coats of sealant.
For more information, contact Tile and Floor Care toll free on 0800 006 173 or visit www.tfc.co.za
The tiles on our veranda become extremely slippery when it rains. Is there any product I can use to make the tiles non-slip?
Richard O’Donnell, Wilderness
Chantal Pretorius from Tile and Floor Care (TFC) replies: Anti Slip Treatment is an option, however this is not a DIY-friendly solution. I suggest you consult TFC, which has an in-house contracts team who will supply and apply the product. Contact TFC on 0800-006-173 to arrange.
Ed replies: Kate van Niekerk from Tile Africa replied to a similar query in 2009, where TFC’s Anti-Slip Treatment was recommended and the process explained as follows: This is a permanent treatment for tiles that are slippery and wet. The treatment works immediately and the process is irreversible and therefore TFC only allow trained professional contractors to do the application.
The contractor will do a sample tile, get your approval and then do the treatment. After treating the tile, the contractor will leave a guarantee and give advice on how to clean and maintain the tile.
The treatment is a two-part process and, when complete, the surface is neutral and hygienic. No damage is caused to the tile during the process. Very simply, the treatment creates microscopic mountains and valleys on the tile by rearranging the existing glaze on the surface of the tile. By creating these mountains and valleys, the surface allows for water to disperse and prevents the occurrence of hydroplaning.
Another feature is that tiny cup holes occur on the surface and these act like suction cups when treading on the floor. So you end up with a surface that disperses water and has a minute vacuum, basically the same principle as a good car tyre.
The advantages are many, the most obvious being safety and cost savings (versus ripping and replacing). The disadvantages are virtually nil. Bear in mind that there will be a change in the gloss level of the tile and a slight colour change. (The colour change is more prominent on dark tiles than light tiles.) It is impossible to change the physical characteristics of the surface of the tile without changing the aesthetic characteristics.
The tile does become slightly more difficult to clean after treatment, however, it will become slippery again if not cleaned properly.
For further information, phone Tile and Floor Care’s toll free line on 0800-006-173. All Tile and Floor Care products are available from Tile Africa branches, contact Tile Africa’s toll free number on 0800-002-783 or visit www.tileafrica.co.za