The Porcelain Tile phenomenon (updated 6-9-2021) - Mike Pailliotet & Mark Saiger

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Mikey P

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Those articles and white papers deal with the high polish porcelains which I've messed with three or four and if helped other cleaners deal with but the cause and effect of those supposed protective coatings in my opinion are In a way the same thing that we're seeing with the matte finish tiles and just a crappy glaze that they're calling a protective coating, that nobody knows how to remove.. not the installer ..not the retailer and certainly not the customer or the carpet cleaner.
 

Mikey P

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I've subjected the four tiles that I was able to correct the pH damage by applying the the Italian porcelain restoration cream too to more high pH abuse and they seem to be much more resistant although not 100%.

The part two product that is sold as a protective coating seems to make no difference.


I was expecting them to be more susceptible to pH damage as I felt like I was potentially removing some of the glaze on these tiles.


The steps we took in Phoenix at the Clean center were more aggressive obviously and we definitely removed some of the glaze and made them far more susceptible.


When using the Italian cream less is more especially with the time used behind the Makita.
 

Tom Forsythe

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So are you saying that removal of existing finish is the key to the solution? Would the surface of these tiles once finish is removed be similar to standard American tiles or would it be porous like the surface of stone? Would a impregnating sealer or surface coating need to be applied as a necessity or an option?
 

Mikey P

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So are you saying that removal of existing finish is the key to the solution? Would the surface of these tiles once finish is removed be similar to standard American tiles or would it be porous like the surface of stone? Would a impregnating sealer or surface coating need to be applied as a necessity or an option?


I have more testing to do before I can come to a conclusion, on this batch.

The next batch from a different source could and will most likely react entirely different
 

The Great Oz

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Crappy Chinese products again. Cool.

Fixing the problem is not my monkey. The whole circus belongs to the manufacturers and the retailers that sell Chinese psuedo-porcelain tile as if it were real porcelain.

As usual, we'll just get to give the homeowner the bad news.

PS: That reasearchgate article is great. I just summarized it above.
 

Matt Wood

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Has anyone contacted the main corporate office at Home Depot and Lowes about this matter. For I'm certain this is where the problem has started since they love selling china products. I highly doubt it's coming from an independent Mohawk dealer

I think this is the source of the problem and needs to be addressed so they can adjust either the fine print on the selling of the product or just find another provider to stop this problem
 

Mikey P

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Has anyone contacted the main corporate office at Home Depot and Lowes about this matter. For I'm certain this is where the problem has started since they love selling china products. I highly doubt it's coming from an independent Mohawk dealer

I think this is the source of the problem and needs to be addressed so they can adjust either the fine print on the selling of the product or just find another provider to stop this problem
Not I.




The "source is China...

Tile retailers here in the US are at fault for selling us this phony porcelain, but I truly believe that they don't know it, yet.
 

Mikey P

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Here is the Darcie'fied version of my warning letter to our client base.

Feel free to modify for your own use.





It has come to (enter your company’s name) 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.

We have 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.

(enter company name) 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.

Here is a link to more helpful information on this subject (enter your website/blog info or feel free to copy mine @ https://connoisseurclean.com/blog/h...intain-your-tile-stone-vinyl-and-wood-floors/)

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. We at (enter company name) need 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.


The undersigned hereby assumes all risk of injury or harm as a result of the activities specified above and agrees to release, indemnify, defend, and forever discharge the releasee from all liability, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses, and causes of action due to using alkaline cleaning products on porcelain tiles and any attempts made to fix related damage or damage to the undersigned

X___________________________________________ Date_______________
 
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Mikey P

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a life long Mason told Mark Saiger yesterday that he and his cohorts have been aware of these "phony porcelains"(his words) for quite some time now. He also said that if you take one and break it in two and compare it to a ten year old "real porcelain, the difference is visible to the naked eye
 

Jim Pemberton

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Here is the Darcie'fied version of my waring letter to our client base.

Feel free to modify for your own use.





It has come to (enter your company’s name) 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.

We have 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.

(enter company name) 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.

Here is a link to more helpful information on this subject (enter your website/blog info or feel free to copy mine @ https://connoisseurclean.com/blog/h...intain-your-tile-stone-vinyl-and-wood-floors/)

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. We at (enter company name) need 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.


The undersigned hereby assumes all risk of injury or harm as a result of the activities specified above and agrees to release, indemnify, defend, and forever discharge the releasee from all liability, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses, and causes of action due to using alkaline cleaning products on porcelain tiles and any attempts made to fix related damage or damage to the undersigned

X___________________________________________ Date_______________

Well done.

I would find a different term than "acidic", since this is for public consumption and people have negative reactions to anything related to acid.

Perhaps this might be better:

"We at _______________ need to play it safe and use only neutral cleaning agents (or mild cleaning agents)."

I don't think that its otherwise important to them to understand the exact options we might use. Its more the need for them to understand that if the floor is excessively soiled, you might need stronger products that could create this issue you are warning them about.
 
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Mikey P

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So I messed around in the garage today taking a different approach to five more pH burned tiles.

Using the same Italian cream that I had used mechanically before, this time I used a 3-in hog's hair punch out and spent about 1 minute per 9-in by 9-in section.
I didn't let the cream dry out and didn't put much weight into it and guess what, this worked beautifully.
I can now safely assume that a typical 90 lb 175 and maybe even a quality white pad would do the same thing very quickly.
I realize now that we were working too hard and too fast in Phoenix and ended up over polishing and in one case removing some of the glaze by sitting on the tiles too long working the cream from wet the dry.

Stu Rosen is still not sure he wants this to be the product that he recommends to carpet cleaners so we are waiting on something else to come in from Italy that may also have some protective qualities to it.

And speaking of protective qualities, I'm finding that this creme make the tiles much more resistant to pH burn.
 
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Willy P

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I would love to see how a hi speed burnisher would work on that with a hogs hair pad.
 

Mikey P

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Is this what you use for most of your grout repairs?

Can you match it to most existing grout, when you aren't replacing all of the grout?

If not, how long is the wait before you can color seal it?
No I do not use that.

Come to my class in January
 

Condog

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Well done.

I would find a different term than "acidic", since this is for public consumption and people have negative reactions to anything related to acid.

Perhaps this might be better:

"We at _______________ need to play it safe and use only neutral cleaning agents (or mild cleaning agents)."

I don't think that its otherwise important to them to understand the exact options we might use. Its more the need for them to understand that if the floor is excessively soiled, you might need stronger products that could create this issue you are warning them about.
The undersigned hereby assumes all risk of injury or harm as a result of the activities specified above...

I added this to the waiver "This does not prevent the undersigned from legal action against tile manufacturer nor others, only XXX Carpet & Tile Cleaners."

So much legal jargon, I don't want the client thinking he/she is surrendering their right to action against other parties.

I wanted to assure them they aren't surrendering their claim to a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers, distributors, or company that didn't warn them and sold it to them.
 
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