The Porcelain Tile phenomenon (updated 7-26-2021) - Mike Pailliotet & Mark Saiger

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Mikey P

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I'm more than excited to announce that Stuart Rosen and Bryan Thomson will be showing you Phoenix Festers how to easily fix splotchy and scratched porcelain tiles...!

This is a BIG deal folks..
 

Mikey P

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Findings as of 7/24/21
The professional cleaner needs to explain to the customer prior to cleaning the reality of their faulty flooring.https://mikeysboard.com/threads/the...ke-pailliotet-mark-saiger.298401/post-4765474


You can safely assume that any and all of the wood and stone look "porcelain" tiles and planks made within the last five years can easily be damaged by what we'll call "chemical burn" (splotchy, Rorschach like spots), heavy foot traffic, office chair wheels and sharp objects, etc.

In order to make the photograph of whatever the tile is attempting to mimic, the top protective glaze is applied as thin as possible to provide realism. The durability of this glaze is very poor.

In some cases an additional protective coating is applied to protect the glaze in the shipping process, this layer is easily damaged and can often be removed with just isopropyl alcohol.

Chemical burn typically happens in traffic lanes and pivot areas, where the glaze is already worn, so be sure to inspect prior to estimating/cleaning for pre existing damage caused by the homeowner or prior professional cleanings.

All semblance of what traditional (real) porcelain should act like, such as highly scratch and chip resistant as well as staining and wear resistance has been lost on these new faux porcelain products. Explaining this to your customers is crucial.

When cleaning stick with liquid cleaning agents in the 4 to 8 range on the pH scale. Remember, the tile itself cleans up with just a neutral cleaner, a light scrubbing or dwell time and a 300-400 psi rinse. You goal is to get the grout as clean as possible WITHOUT harming the glaze. Many modern installs will have been installed with polymer fortified grout which cleans up very easily, without extreme chemistry or PSI.

Work in small areas no larger than 300 feet at a time and DO NOT let your cleaning agents dry before rinsing.

Run an "all fiber rinse" type product through your truckmount at all times.

Do not use the plastic ring option on your spinner tool or any other tool that can potentially scratch the tile, including a Teflon glided carpet wand

Use a flat mop or bonnet to remove all standing water after cleaning.


and the good news is..

MB Stone has developed a (easy) system featuring three components to fix the following:

1. moderate scratches
2. chemical burn
3. restore the finish on high polish tiles after scratch repair or fixing chemical burn.

Available for purchase soon and will be on display at Mikey's Fest and the Experience.


Make sure you realize that although you can now fix most any irregularity, that in the fixing process you are actually honing/removing more of the glaze and the tiles will continue to perform poorly. This needs to be explained to the homeowner in detail. Be prepared to reject cleaning projects if the homeowner is not understanding and willing to sign off on your company being responsible for any damaged that occurs during or after cleaning.
 
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Mikey P

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MB Stone has developed a (easy) system featuring three components to fix the following:

1. moderate scratches
2. chemical burn
3. restore the finish on high polish tiles after scratch repair or fixing chemical burn.



I did some testing on tiles that Ive severely tortured as well as on some that Ive just started to "eat through" the glaze today


Findings:

On some of the mat finish older/worn tiles I had to use componant#1 to even out the chemical burn, so it's not just for scratches.


#2 work quick and easy on new burns, especially on high polish tiles.
 
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Desk Jockey

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This looks like it would be an excellent replacement to the manually running grout channels. They offer a nylon bristle brush and they deliver to the US too.


 
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Mikey P

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getting back to the fix...

Small burns can be fixed by hand with a fiber pad punch out and in lite cases, just a MF towel, and the cream (#2).

It's important to work #2 as little as possible and to keep it wet when scrubbing. Much like stone restoration, check you progress often.

If overworked, an un-natural polish effect can happen with #3, but unlike stone, you can not reverse this polish/shine.

If VERY over-worked by going to heavy and hard and letting the cream dry, you can reach and start to remove the photograph.

As for cream #1:

It does need to be worked wet to dry in order to remove(lite) scratches and extreme chemical burn

It too can be over worked and caused damage, so work "lite" with a hand held polisher or by hand with a punch out vs a 100# pound floor machine.




I have not had the need to use #3 yet.
 

Todd C

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I’ve actually run into this a few times and didn’t realize this was such a wide spread problem. Thank you for all the research you are doing on the subject.

I luckily was able to correct the issue the few times I have seen this using acid. Ive been using powdered viper venom with citrus for years and now wonder if I need to make a change.
 
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Mikey P

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I’ve actually run into this a few times and didn’t realize this was such a wide spread problem. Thank you for all the research you are doing on the subject.

I luckily was able to correct the issue the few times I have seen this using acid. Ive been using powdered viper venom with citrus for years and now wonder if I need to make a change.

Acid works on newer installs where the Glaze is still relatively sound.


Be safe, switch to liquid and mild unless needed.

We all seem to be trained to grab the highest pH per carbonate boosted mega juice over and over rather than working our way into it..
 

Radar Foster

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Tremendous work so far Mike.... this is serious stuff that every cleaner needs to be aware of


the most significant trepidation Matt and I have involve tile floor cleaning. We caused manufactured finish removal a few years ago on an faux stone porcelain tile

it was barely noticeable and we escaped any liability. We chalked it up to using powdered Flex at a high dilution ratio and having the paste ‘burn ‘into the tile somehow


Currently we have scaled back to under promising and using neutral based cleaners for maintenance cleaning, rather than promising restorative results. Matt is relieved because he doesn’t like cleaning tile anyways

from the beginning, I only got into it because too many people were asking, but if we never got another order for a bathroom floor cleaning or ANY tile cleaning job I would be thrilled
 

Mikey P

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Tremendous work so far Mike.... this is serious stuff that every cleaner needs to be aware of


the most significant trepidation Matt and I have involve tile floor cleaning. We caused manufactured finish removal a few years ago on an faux stone porcelain tile

it was barely noticeable and we escaped any liability. We chalked it up to using powdered Flex at a high dilution ratio and having the paste ‘burn ‘into the tile somehow


Currently we have scaled back to under promising and using neutral based cleaners for maintenance cleaning, rather than promising restorative results. Matt is relieved because he doesn’t like cleaning tile anyways

from the beginning, I only got into it because too many people were asking, but if we never got another order for a bathroom floor cleaning or ANY tile cleaning job I would be thrilled

Train your repeats to clean more often so high pH products are not needed

Matt and you will love cleaning HS with a BrushGlide. Its Quicker and easier than carpet biz bang badda boom or what ever the New England euphemism for speedy is.
 
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Mikey P

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‘ Wicked quick kid”
Do you have a 12-in Devastator by chance?

If not, you may want to wait for us to develop the aw29 next.. Everybody has one of those sitting around, if you had ask me last week I didn't think it was going to work but now after using the evolution I have high hopes for the tiny and nimble aw29.. which would easily be our best seller..
 
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Mikey P

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Have your son ( and your special friends on waldopes) read this if they plan on being professional floor cleaners in 10 years...


Green Brush Glide use directions and suggestions



It has come to our attention at GreenGlides that far too many carpet cleaners are using their Teflon-glided wands on vinyl, tile, and stone surfaces that can be easily scratched and permanently damaged. Our goal was then to create a tool to replace the awkward, messy, streaky, and uncomfortable designs of the common hard surface wands available in our industry.

With our new Green Brush Glide, you’ll be able to safely, easily, and enjoyably clean vinyl, tile, and stone quicker than ever! The tufts on our GBGs are specifically designed to enhance water pick up and protect the floor and YOU from costly fixes or replacement.

Our GBGs work best with our selected wands and truckmounted extractors. The familiarity of your favorite high-performance carpet cleaning wand enhances your ability to use the GBG quickly and effectively. As with carpet cleaning, the larger the truckmount and the more efficient your vacuum hose setup is, the more pressure you will be able to use and the better recovery you will enjoy. Cleaners will love just how easy it is to clean under or around furniture and right to the very edge of baseboards on most any hard surface.

Our other goal with this project was to make hard surface cleaning easier and quicker so that cleaning companies can once again start cleaning whole homes, rather than just the three bedrooms of carpeting that is becoming so common. More and more homeowners are choosing to install vinyl and tile in their living, family, and dining rooms and we believe that if your company can offer to clean those floors for the same price as the carpet, they will.

We highly recommend that you or your phone staff start mentioning your “new service offering” when customers call in to place an order for just carpet cleaning. Explain how you or your techs can now quickly and efficiently rinse away mop water or Swiffer residues, pet hair, oils and accidents, germs (buzzword), and sticky messes that the average mop or vacuum has a hard time removing. You probably won’t be able to finish that sentence before they agree and ask for a quote. It does not take long for homeowners to realize that their new hard surface floors do not stay as clean or are as easy to clean as they had hoped, especially if their tiles or planks have faux wood grain.

The goal is to train your customers to clean ALL their floors more often so that restorative methods and prices can be avoided. Repeat that to yourself and think about just how long it takes to run a spinner tool followed by an edging tool, followed by acid cleaning for tough stains, followed by neutralizing and…you see my point? There really is no reason that you should have to charge any more than your current carpet cleaning rates when cleaning moderately soiled floors with our GBG and recommended process.

Just like with carpet cleaning, wouldn’t you rather clean lightly soiled carpet with a wand rather than perform restorative cleaning with a rotary extractor?

Here is something to chew on: many of your female clients place far more emphasis on their floor smelling and feeling great than they place on visible soil in the grout. Our industry needs to stop obsessing with using high pH chemistry, acids, and 1500 to 2500 PSI to get floors cleaned to OUR standards. All three of these actions can cause serious damage to floors, add lots of extra time to the cleaning project, and thus raise the prices of hard surface floor care to an amount that most homeowners can’t afford on a regular basis.





Processes:

Clean any carpet and upholstery first to avoid drips or foot traffic on the hard surface flooring.

Most vinyl floors can be cleaned with the same chemistry that you use on the carpeting, but there are some LVP-specific products available now and in many cases a simple “No Rinse, Neutral Ph” cleaner works wonderfully.

Wood or stone-look alike porcelain is very popular now, but due to very thin and delicate glaze/coatings on these tiles and planks, we recommend that you use neutral pH cleaning agents.

For natural stone, be sure to know exactly what it is you are cleaning and how that stone reacts to alkaline or acidic cleaning agents. If you aren’t sure, play it safe and use a neutral pH solution designed specifically for stone.



-Use a microfiber dust mop to sweep the floor if needed.

-Pour or spray down small puddles of your cleaning agent away from walls, furniture, or appliances and use a microfiber flat mop to spread the solution.

-Work in small areas to prevent the solution from drying (no more than 300 square feet at a time, less for porcelain).

-Allow 10 minutes of dwell time.

-Spend the 10 minutes scrubbing stubborn areas in the kitchen or bathrooms IF NEEDED. Use a Doodlebug, pole brush, or CRB as needed.

-Use an All Fiber Rinse through your truckmount (pH of 4 to 5) at low dilution (2 to 3 GPM) to help reduce water spotting or splotchiness on porcelain, vinyl, and wood. DO NOT USE ON MARBLE, TRAVERTINE, OR LIMESTONE.

-Start rinsing at 300 PSI and go up from there IF NEEDED. Soiled grout and embedded soil in faux wood grain will require 400 to 600 psi most likely. Anything higher than that and you would probably be better off using a spinner tool, although larger truckmounts and 2” wands can easily handle up to 1000 psi with excellent recovery.

-Rinse your way out of the room and follow up with a dry microfiber mop or bonnet to remove any remaining water from the floor.



Helpful tips:

-When rinsing grouted floors, work at a 45 degree angle to the grout line for better recovery.

-Be aware of MDF baseboards and keep your cleaning and rinsing solutions from getting underneath the gaps to prevent swelling.

-The brushes on your GBG are intended to protect the floor from being scratched, but if you have a small stubborn area that could use a scrubaduba, go ahead.

-If you are experiencing poor water recovery, check your inline and blower protection filters, keep your vacuum hose run as short as possible, replace any old and worn wand jets, or reduce your pressure.

-If you choose to use the GBG with wood flooring, turn your pressure all the way down at the truckmount and try reducing flow even more by adjusting the ball valve on your pressure line. All wood floor wet cleaning machines rely on a shower feed which is equivalent to less than 50 psi, keep that in mind. Look for pre-existing water damage on edges and seams and use any evidence of such to make a wise decision about whether to proceed with wet cleaning. The wrong decision can be VERY costly, so don't attempt to be a superhero with wood floors.

-DO NOT use this tool on Pergo/Laminate or MDF-type floors or raw or damaged wood floors.

-So that’s about it, go out and raise your job average by being an all surface cleaning professional!
 
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Radar Foster

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Can you put that in a video?
How’s this Marty?

I believe Sam Miller posted a link or pasted the porcelain. Tile phenomenon thread awhile back

We just have the 14 Devastator wands …. No 12 inch

I have a 14 Westpak Ti , Greenhorn CMP 14 and some PMF 12 inch wand back from my Bane clene days ( I could shoot you a picture, I have no idea what the model is)

If you have a brush glide that will fit any one of those I’ll buy it

the Westpak tile glide is OK, it leaves the tile a little wet but that is easy to corrrect with a dry pass. The real issue is the water shooting out the right side ( which could be reduced I imagine if I turn the jet inward a bit )
 

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Mikey P

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How’s this Marty?

I believe Sam Miller posted a link or pasted the porcelain. Tile phenomenon thread awhile back

We just have the 14 Devastator wands …. No 12 inch

I have a 14 Westpak Ti , Greenhorn CMP 14 and some PMF 12 inch wand back from my Bane clene days ( I could shoot you a picture, I have no idea what the model is)

If you have a brush glide that will fit any one of those I’ll buy it

the Westpak tile glide is OK, it leaves the tile a little wet but that is easy to corrrect with a dry pass. The real issue is the water shooting out the right side ( which could be reduced I imagine if I turn the jet inward a bit )
You won't realize how bad the ergos are on all hard surface wands until you try a brush glide on your favorite Carpet wand.
 
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Tom Forsythe

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The Saiger/Pailliotet interview...
I have closely read the above article 2 times. On page 18, third paragraph, it mentions the porcelain restoration cream can remove the glaze and the photograph under the glaze. I am sure that would be possible, however, is not this issue found only in polished porcelain tile and not glazed or full bodied porcelain tile?

Also we know that around 75% of new carpet is polyester and around 25% is nylon. Do we know the percentages of full bodied porcelain, glazed porcelain and polished porcelain tile? We know it is recent so is it 1 out 0f 8 (?) new floors, and non existent before 2018. So with the longevity of porcelain tiles we may run into this phenomenon 1 out of 30 (?) floors with new homes built in the last three years being the most likely danger zones.

On page 18, fifth paragraph do you identify polished porcelain through its porosity or absorption of water? Will it abrade or scratch more readily? At this point age but are there any other identifications? IPA rubbed over tile may remove weak finish? Any way it is an intriguing topic at least to me as there appears to be a lot more to learn on the topic. Good start!!
 

Mikey P

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On page 18, third paragraph, it mentions the porcelain restoration cream can remove the glaze and the photograph under the glaze.
yep, if worked too long wet to dry and with too aggressive a pad.

Most blemishes issues can be fixed BY HAND with just a white pad and the cream. A 175 would be used for efficiency
Do we know the percentages of full bodied porcelain, glazed porcelain and polished porcelain tile?
I doubt anyone outside of China would know that true number..


We know it is recent so is it 1 out 0f 8 (?) new floors
I would say 8 out of 10 wood or stone look porcelain planks are junk

Will it abrade or scratch more readily?
yes, far more easily.
unfortunately there is no quick chemical test as it typically takes many exposures to our Sodium metasilicate and percarbonate to damage the glaze


IPA rubbed over tile may remove weak finish
I have not seen this 1st hand. I would guess IPA is removing the protective coatings that are applied to protect tiles during shipping
 
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srosen

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I agree with Mike's answers-Just adding we wanted to find something that would solve the issue of getting a technician off a job when a porcelain tile cleaning job went bad. The products that will be in the kit will be a two step process for honed porcelain and a three step process for polished porcelain. As Mike explained one step used even by hand can repair blemishes while the other steps can remove some lite wear and produce a polish. I agree with you Tom there is more to learn here for sure.
 
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