The pictures below are of an Encaustic Cement tiled floor that had been installed in the bathroom of a property in Twickenham. At the time the tiles were installed, they did not seal them and had since accumulated dirt, especially in the grout lines.
Encaustic cement tiles have become extremely popular in the last few years with many beautiful artistic often geometric patterns available to choose from. The very nature of the cement-based tile however does make it slightly porous, and if left unsealed dirt will become ingrained in the tile making it difficult to remove and keep clean. Like grout they do therefore need to be sealed in order to keep them looking at their best for longer.
Cleaning Encaustic Cement Tile and Grout
Now we normally recommend using diamond encrusted burnishing pads when renovating Encaustic Cement tiles however in this case the face of the tiles were not too bad and it was really the grout that needed the most attention. So, to cut the cost for customer, I advised a straightforward alkaline scrub clean and seal.
To clean the tile and grout I sprayed the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak into the dirt for ten minutes. Space in the bathroom was quite tight so instead of using a mechanical floor scrubber I scrubbed the tile and grout by hand working the alkaline cleaning solution into the pores to release the grout in dirt.
After scrubbing the floor was rinsed with a little water and the soil removed with a wet vacuum. Afterwards the floor was inspected, and any stubborn areas retreated with repeat of the process. After a final rinse, the floor was dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum.
Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles
Fortunately, the weather has been amazing of late and so it did not take long for the floor to dry, being a small space and a little encouragement from a heat gun always helps. Removing excess moisture before sealing is essential as even a small amount can cloud the sealer resulting in an uneven appearance.
Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I proceeded to seal it by applying a couple two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow across the Encaustic tile and grout. As an impregnating sealer Colour Grow penetrates the pores of the cement occupying the space and thus prevent any dirt from becoming ingrained there. Colour Grow’s colour intensifying properties also helped to deepen the black colour of the tile enhancing the contrast between the tiles and grout.
Now the floor has been properly sealed it will be far easier for the customer to keep them clean in future. For maximum longevity of the sealer I recommend maintenance cleaning with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner. Don’t be tempted to use supermarket cleaning products without reading the label first, many are simply too strong for cleaning sealed surfaces and will strip off the sealer prematurely leaving the tiles unprotected.