How to Remove Mapei Grout from Ceramic Tiles

Grout haze or grout smears as it is often called can be a huge problem when laying tiles. Grout haze is basically grout that has been left to dry on the surface of the tile after installation. It’s a common problem which is exacerbated by the use of quick drying products. Take for example this interesting Wood Effect Ceramic Tile installation at a house in Guildford following installation by a builder.

I was a bit slow in following up on the initial enquiry as we had been very busy so by the time, I got in touch I was told they had employed someone else to carry out the work. I apologised for my late response and said to call me if he needed help in the future. Three days later I got a call so we arranged a visit so that I could carry out a test and quote a price.

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles Before Removal Guildford

As it turns out the builder had returned and failed to remove the grout haze and so had a rival firm that seemed more interested in selling unnecessary sealer than fixing the problem. I was astonished to see what a state the builder had left his floor. Grout was all over the floor with footprints walked across thresholds and more. I could understand it if there was some grout was missed after installation but not to this level!

I carried out a successful test and confirmed to the customer that there was absolutely no need to rip and replace his £2k floor. We agreed a date to resolve the problem and to say he was relieved was an understatement!

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles Before Removal Guildford

Removing Polymer Grout Haze

The builders had used Mapei grout which contains polymers. Polymers offer better flexibility and adhesion, however in order to remove the grout haze we would first need to break down the polymers in the grout first and this is why the rival firm failed.

With that in mind, my first action was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and leave it to dwell for five to ten minutes. I then worked it into the tile using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After washing the soil away with warm water and extracting with a wet vacuum I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to treat the grout. Grout Clean-up is an acid-based product that breaks down the grout so it can be rinsed away and extracted as before. Afterwards I rinsed the floor with warm water and extracted again to remove any trace of product and neutralise the floor. After removing as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum I speed dried the tiles with a blower.

Wood Effect Ceramic Tile Installation Problem Resolved

Ceramic tiles won’t accept a sealer so once the floor had dried the job was finished and it took less than a day.

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles After Removal Guildford

The customer was over the moon with the difference. While his floor was in such a state, he has been unable to bring in new furniture as the serious possibility of removing the tiles was hanging over him.

Relieved that the problem was now resolved he kindly left the following review:

“I had a floor that had just been laid with very heavy grout haze. I had already had advice from two other professional floor cleaners who had advised me that the floor was irreparable and would need to be pulled up. As soon as I spoke with Rupert, it was clear he was extremely knowledgeable. He asked questions none of the other companies had. By understanding the specific nature of the problem, he was able to solve it by first removing the grout polymers and then applying an acid wash. The floor came up brilliantly. Rupert was the only person I spoke to that could fix this, everyone else told me I needed to replace my floor! Superbly knowledgeable, professional and did an excellent job. Don’t bother speaking to anyone else, just call Rupert! “

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles After Removal Guildford

 

Source: Grout Haze Removal Service in Surrey

Removing Grout Smears from a Porcelain Tiled Bathroom in Hertfordshire

A builder in Stevenage contacted us about cleaning up a Grout Haze problem in a bathroom that they had recently tiled. Ideally grout should be polished off the tile after installation as getting grout off the surface of tiles once it has dried can be difficult. It’s actually a common problem often referred to as Grout Haze or Grout Smears that ruins the look of the tile. To remove it you need to use an acidic product, but acids can cause damage, so you need to be careful. In fact, my customer had read several horror stories on-line where brick acid and other strong chemicals had been used to clean up tiles so had decided to call us in and have it done professionally rather than attempt to do it themselves.

Black Porcelain Bathroom Floor Before Cleaning Stevenage Black Porcelain Bathroom Floor Before Cleaning Stevenage

The tiling work had been carried out in the ensuite of a house in Stevenage as part of larger renovation project they were involved in and being a Black porcelain tile the grout smears were very obvious as you can see form the photographs on this page.

Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled Ensuite Floor

To remove the grout smears we used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acidic product available from Tile Doctor which penetrates beneath the surface and was specifically created for the removal of grout smears. It can also be used to remove efflorescence which are those white salt deposits that you often see on brickwork. We have used this product on numerous occasions on many different tile installations, so we were confident it would work well on the black porcelain.

We began by applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to the tiles with a sponge and then scrubbing it into each individual tile as we went. The tiles are then rinsed with water, inspected and cleaned again if required. I should mention that being an acid-based product, it is advisable to wear rubber gloves and eye protection and ensure any areas not requiring treatment are well covered and protected.

Black Porcelain Bathroom Floor During Cleaning Stevenage Black Porcelain Bathroom Floor During Cleaning Stevenage

Once done a second rinse was carried out and the resulting residue was removed with a wet vacuum before leaving the tiles to dry off.

This process was carried out throughout the bathroom and to both the floor and wall tiles. The room was quite large, so the job took most of the day to complete, working methodically around each area. Once the areas were dry, you could see that the grout haze was no longer there.

Black Porcelain Bathroom Floor After Cleaning Stevenage Black Porcelain Bathroom Floor After Cleaning Stevenage

The room was soon left looking much more presentable for the new owners who I’m sure would not have been impressed with the way it looked before. The builders were grateful that we had been able to get the tiles looking pristine and the room looking as good as new. Before leaving we discussed with them the best course of action on future projects to avoid the same problem and recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro as a general maintenance cleaner.

 

Source: Porcelain Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Hertfordshire