It has come to the IICRC's attention that there is an industry-wide problem with modern porcelain tiles manufactured from 2018 to present. Experts in the floor cleaning industry have identified that most porcelain tiles, especially the variety that mimic the appearance of stone or wood, are HIGHLY likely to be damaged by alkaline cleaning agents.
During the manufacturing process, a glaze is applied over the print of the stone or wood surface and baked on for durability. Recent changes to this process mean these once very durable tiles are now EASILY damaged by common cleaning solutions and practices. Unlike quality porcelain, some of these new tiles can easily be scratched by metal or other sharp objects.
Once the protective glaze has been compromised, the floor can appear splotchy or streaked after any sort of cleaning and the more the floor is cleaned, the more susceptible to splotchiness it becomes. In some cases, the splotchiness can be removed with pH balancing and mechanical buffing, but unfortunately in many cases the splotchiness is unfixable without causing further damage to the glaze.
It has been found that the damage can also occur when the home or business owner cleans their floors, as many consumer-grade cleaners are alkaline. It’s been proven that virucides are also potentially damaging.
The IICRC strongly recommends that only neutral-pH “no rinse” floor cleaning products be used on your porcelain tile floors. We also recommend that a new reusable microfiber mop head be used every 100 to 200 square feet so soil isn’t spread from area to area.
The professional floor cleaning industry leaders and experts have been monitoring this phenomenon for some time and found that the only thing consistent is its inconsistency. Our company needs to play it safe and use neutral to acidic cleaning agents. We will do our best to inspect the floor prior to cleaning for any potential damage that may have occurred when you, your housekeepers, or staff have cleaned, but the damage can be hidden under mop water residues and will only show up after we thoroughly rinse your floors.
If your grout soiling requires the use of an alkaline cleaning agent to get satisfactory results, you’ll need to sign a waiver that releases us from potential liability if your tile is damaged.