Crackle Glaze Tiles & water marks

We were recently contacted by a customer who had concerns about her crackle glaze tiles that were installed in a shower area & sealed with LTP Crackle Glaze Sealer.

After using the shower small dark spots appeared. See images below.

Crackle glaze blog photos (1) with arrows Crackle glaze blog photos (2) with arrows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When newly laid crackle glaze tiles are fitted they will expand and contract with the change in temperature, especially in a wet room. This causes new cracks to form in the glaze, this new crack will be slightly porous and this will continue probably for about 6 months until the tiles have fully settled.

The customers concerns are as follows our answers in blue.

Q. Can mould grow as water can penetrate the tiles?

A. As far as we can gather from the information provided the dark marks that appear are drying out between wetting so the retention of moisture is relatively low. If ventilation in the bathroom is adequate, then we would not expect mould growth to be an issue. Cleaning the tiles with LTP Stonewash on a regular basis will help keep the surface clean without compromising the protection.

Q.Is the Crackle Glaze Protector adequate on its own? Why do you recommend the use of LTP Tile & Grout Protector Aerosol?

A. Crackle Glaze Protector contains a nano polymer that helps bridge the gaps between the crackles in the glaze. Filling these micro voids helps to ensure that stains and residual grout do not fill the cracks in the glaze, potentially altering the original character of the tile. Despite being an effective stain blocker the sealer does also need to remain breathable. This ensures that microscopic transition of moisture can still take place, even after the sealer has fully cured.  If moisture gets behind the tile then it should till dry out.  If moisture passes through a newly exposed crackle in the glaze due to settling then it should also still dry out.

Some customers prefer the convenience of topping the protection using the grout & tile protector because it is quicker and easier.  The polymer used in the grout & tile protector is slightly larger, so we would not normally suggest it is used as a primary sealer in place of the Crackle Glaze Protector on crackle glazed tiles

Q. Are tiles that have a water absorption rate of greater than 10% considered suitable for bathrooms?

A. Provided that the crackle glazed tiles are set into a flat even bed of adhesive with full contact to the reverse side of the tile without any voids, followed by a sufficient seal, then there should not be any great issues with water absorbsion/retention. We have seen on a  number of occasions installations where tiles have not been set into sufficient bed of adhesive allowing for voids between the all and the reverse side of the tile.  In wet areas such as shower enclosures moisture and condensation can build up behind the tiles and dwell within the open voids.  If the tile used has a relatively absorbent biscuit, then this moisture can travel from the reverse side of tile through to the face leaving a water mark that can take a longer time to dry out.

Crackle-glaze-pic-4

Crackle glaze tiles that have been sealed.

 

It is also recommended to seal before grouting or cutting the tiles, as grout can also enter these small cracks and become almost impossible to remove. There are different methods for sealing dependent on what colour grout is being used.

Crackle glaze 2 copy

Crackle glaze 3 copy

 

For regular cleaning the of the tiles we recommend using LTP stonewash, this will help keep surfaces clean without compromising the protection.

 

 

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

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Has your Natural Stone been damaged by Household Cleaner?

We were contacted recently by a customer whose pet had a little accident on their Stoneworks Tumbled Pietra Limestone and tried to remedy it by spraying CIF Bathroom cleaner on it, the result is shown in the photo below!

Stone damaged by Cif Spray

Stone damaged by Cif Spray-Image supplied by Stone Works Ltd

Our response to help rectify was…………….

LTP Grimex should be used to clean the surface of the stones that have been damaged by the CIF spray. This will help to neutralise the reaction that has caused a change in the character of the stones surface. The Lighter marks will still remain following cleaning, but LTP Grimexshould appear a little darker.

Remember to work on the entire piece of stone and not just the areas that are affected. This should be done in a way that does not allow the cleaning solution to spread over onto neighboring tiles, so whole pieces of stone, but only up to the grout joints.

Apply LTP Grimex diluted 1 : 3 with water and agitate the surface….leave for 10 – 15 minutes….agitate again and then rinse well using a sponge and water.

Leave the stone to dry.

 

Apply LTP Stone Oil to the surface and allow to absorb. Check the surface after 45
LTP-StoneOil5LTin_1L_Grp_Webminutes and then wipe up any excess from the surface. ThisLTP-Mattstone5L,1L_500ml_Grp_Web should be repeated until the colour of the stone has been restored. For extra protection and after a 24 hour curing time for the Oil a coat of LTP Mattstone can be used over the top.

 

LTP-Master500mlSpray_2011_Web

For dealing with spillages quickly when they occur we would suggest LTP Stonewash Spray.
This is a spray and wipe cleaner which will remove spillages without compromising the seal or damaging the surface of the stone.

For daily/weekly mopping use LTP Waxwash. This cleaner is PH Neutral and contains a trace of linseed oil, which makes it ideal for cleaning and embellishing sensitive sealed surfaces. A 1 ltr bottle is enough solution to wash a 20 sq.m LTP-Waxwash1L_Webfloor 40 times.

Hope this helps…

Customers response “Hip hip hooray”

  • It’s worked hooray
    Thank you so much
  • Please thank your guy for his help
    I can’t believe it

Thanks very much again xx

This information is offered without guarantee.  The material should be used so as to take account of the local conditions and the surfaces to be treated.  In case of doubt, the products should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

How to achieve different finishes on Natural Stone

Different finishes on natural stone

SEALING:                       LTP MATTSTONE                    500ml, 1 & 5ltr containers

LTP MATTSTONE (Natural Finish): Apply evenly to the surface using an applicator LTP-Mattstone5L,1L_500ml_Grp_Webpad or soft cloth.  Leave the sealer to absorb into the stone for 30 minutes.  Work into and then buff off any excess using a micro-fibre cloth. Apply further coats using the same method until the stone is fully saturated. Leave to cure overnight.  This should be done before grouting. Finish by applying a further coat of sealer making sure to cover the joints as well.

Buff off any excess sealer between coats…allow to dry for 24 hours before allowing heavy traffic.

SEALING:                       LTP STONEOIL                                    1 & 5ltr containers

LTP STONE OIL (Super Enhanced Finish) – Apply evenly to the surface using an applicator pad or soft cloth. Leave the sealer to absorb into the stone for 30 minutes. Work into and then buff off any excess using a micro-fibre cloth. Apply further coats LTP-StoneOil5LTin_1L_Grp_Webusing the same method until the stone is fully saturated. Leave to cure overnight. This should be done before grouting, followed by a second coat making sure to cover the joints as well. Blemishes and minor scratches when they occur can be treated with the application of a little more Stone Oil. For extra stain resistance in bathrooms and kitchens a thin layer of LTP Mattstone or Colour Intensifier can be applied over the Stone Oil.

SEALING:                    LTP COLOUR INTENSIFIER      500ml, 1 & 5ltr containers

LTP COLOUR INTENSIFIER & STAINBLOCK (Enhanced Finish) – Apply evenly to the surface using an applicator pad or soft cloth. Leave the sealer to absorb into the stone for 30 minutes. Work into and then buff off any excess using a micro-fibre cloth.LTP-ColourIntensifier5L_1L_500ml_Grp_Web Apply further coats using the same method until the stone is fully saturated. Leave to cure overnight. This should be done before grouting. Finish by applying a further coat of sealer making sure to cover the joints as well.

Buff off any excess sealer between coats…allow to dry for 24 hours before allowing heavy traffic.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
Over applied sealer left to dry on the surface can be removed with the application of a little more sealer, which should then be buffed immediately to remove the excess. If left for too long then removal can be achieved using LTP Power Stripper in which case surfaces will need to be re-treated.
This information is offered without guarantee.  The material should be used so as to take account of the local conditions and the surfaces to be treated.  In case of doubt, the products should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

Cleaning, Sealing and maintaining stone surfaces

Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Stone Surfaces 

Natural stone has been used on floors and walls for centuries. As with all natural materials, it does need a certain level of care.

 

Natural Stone Surfaces – Internal Application

The following instructions are appropriate for Travertine, Limestone, Marble, Sandstone, Terrazzo and some Granite.

STEP ONE: INITIAL CLEANING 

Before sealing natural stone must be thoroughly cleaned to make sure that sealing of the surface can be achieved effectively. This is true of newly installed surfaces, as well as existing, due to the contamination that can occur during fitting. Equipment recommended for this step is a bucket, mop, white emulsifying pad, 4pcs pole, sealant applicator & pad holder, microfibre cloth, scrubber or scrubber dryer machine.Stone_cleaning_and_seal_Pack1

Newly installed surfaces

LTP recommends LTP Grimex as the solution for cleaning newly installed natural stone surfaces before sealing. LTP Grimex removes grease, dirt and grime from the surface ensuring the natural stone surface is best prepared for application of a sealing product.

Cleaning newly installed stone surfaces

  1. Dilute LTP Grimex 1:10 with water.
  2. Apply solution to the surface with a mop or sponge. Under floor heating must be off.
  3. Agitate to release the residual dirt and grime from the surface with a mildly abrasive pad (LTP White emulsifying pad).  Rinse well using a sponge & water.
  4. Do not use acidic cleaners, such as LTP Grout Stain Remover.
  5. Allow the surface to dry (preferably for 24 hours).

Cleaning natural stone with LTP Grimex

Refurbishing used and heavily soiled stone surfaces

  • Before sealing the stone must be thoroughly cleaned. Old layers of sealer, residues from aftercare products and deposits must be removed from the surface and pores of the stone. Film forming layers of sealer should be removed with LTP Solvex before washing with LTP Grimex.
  • Depending upon the levels of dirt, dilute LTP Grimex 1:3 with water. Apply with a sponge or cloth and leave to sit on the surface of the tiles for 5-10 minutes.
  • Agitate the surface with a white emulsifying pad (for polished, smooth or honed surfaces) or scrubbing-brush ( LTP Deck brush) for Rough Cut surfaces and leave for a further 5 minutes (scrubber machines can be used).
  • Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface using a cloth or scrubber dryer machine.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues.
  • Allow the surface to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying the protective seal.
  • For the removal of other types of dirt: Do not use acid based cleaners on limestone or marble. If you are unsure please call our helpline on +44 (0) 01823 666213 for advice.

STEP TWO: PROTECT YOUR NATURAL STONE SURFACE FROM STAINS

To protect stone surfaces and help prevent staining natural stone should be sealed. LTP recommends applying LTP Mattstone for a natural (invisible finish) or LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock for an enhanced appearance. LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock deepens the colour and enhances the appearance of the stone surface.

Sealing prepared natural stone surfaces

  1. Surfaces must be clean and dry. Ensure under floor heating is off.
  2. Apply the product to the surface evenly using either LTP sealant applicator,a sponge, brush or soft cloth.
  3. Redistribute to remove excess product and avoid pooling on the surface.
  4. Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface for at least one hour.
  5. Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash surfaces for at least 3 days.

Sealing natural stone with LTP Mattstone, LTP Mattstone H20 or LTP Colour Intensifier.

  • LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone and LTP Colour Intensifier will make the surface water and oil repellent.
  • Prevents stains, aids cleaning and simplifies the removal of surface stains.
  • Provides an invisible barrier of protection that will not greatly alter the surface character.
  • There are no health concerns once the product has properly cured.
  • LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone and LTP Colour Intensifier are micro porous and so can be used on surfaces that have no damp proof course.
  • Suitable for internal and external use.
  • If surfaces are properly maintained we recommend touching up the protective treatment every 3-4 years.

NB. Always test the product on an inconspicuous area. Wet or non absorbent surfaces cannot be treated. LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone and Colour Intensifier are impregnating sealers which need to fully absorb. Do not allow the product to dry on the surface. Carefully buff with a soft cloth or machine to remove any excess. Remove unabsorbed impregnating sealer, if left to dry on the surface, by rubbing over with a little more sealer. Some stones may be darker after application. Acidic substances, if left on the surface, may damage stone.

STEP THREE: MAINTAINING YOUR NATURAL STONE WALL OR FLOOR

Using the correct maintenance product will increase the life of your floor seal, provide additional protection against staining and make sure your floor looks great. Common household cleaning products often contain harsh substances that can breakdown sealing products applied to stone. For this reason LTP recommends using LTP Waxwash on floors and LTP Stonewash for surfaces.

LTP Waxwash (for floors): Formulated for use on unglazed tiles such as travertine, stone, limestone, slate, terracotta and quarry. Ideal for washing floors sealed with LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. Use routinely in place of normal detergent.

LTP Stonewash (for walls): This gentle surface cleaner is formulated for use on limestone, marble, granite, slate and polished porcelain. Will clean without breaking down and removing protective seals.

Regular maintenance on stone floors

  1. Add one cap full of product per litre of water in a bucket.
  2. Wipe surface with the solution. Do not rinse.
  3. Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface during drying time – 20 minutes.

Maintaining natural stone with LTP Waxwash

A one litre LTP Waxwash will wash a 20 sq.m floor 40 times.

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.
At LTP we believe in helping to provide solutions and this is why we offer
a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on
+44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you. 
Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to purchase from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

PROBLEMS WITH STEAM CLEANING LIMESTONE

The simplicity of water-based steam cleaning can be appealing, but repeated use of too much super heated water can lead to risks of residual staining, mobilisation of salts and corrosion of hidden particles of Iron within some limestone surfaces.

 

Mud vein in limestone magnified 120 Microns

Surface of a Limestone magnified by 120 microns

Steam can penetrate the small cracks and fissures on the surface of the limestone.
This does clean the limestone, but will also embed water into the surface.
Repeated cleaning using a steam cleaner can activate salts and weaken the stone over time. This can also lead to spalling or fragmentation of the surface.

Cleaning to expose new fissuresCOMPROMISED SEALER?
Surfaces that have been treated with an impregnating sealers can also be compromised. Steam cleaning does not normally remove the impregnating sealer, however repeated use can expose new fissures and capillaries within the stone. The newly exposed and unsealed surface takes in more dirt and becomes harder to clean, which then requires more frequent cleaning. This increase in cleaning can exacerbate the problem.

 

SURFACE SEALER DAMAGE?Damage to stone surface

Sealers used to finish the surface of stone can also be damaged. Steam is often used to remove paints, wall papers and other
coatings from surfaces. If a film forming
sealer has been used then contact by a
steam cleaner can cause a partial separation of the seal from the surface of the stone causing it to turn white or opaque.

 

                                                                        Rust stains in Limestone after spalling
RUST STAINS ON THE SURFACE?                                  
Rust stains:  These stains are reddish-orange and are caused by the oxidation (rusting) of iron. The source of iron staining is normally from within the stone, as most of the iron on the surface is normally
removed or discarded at the point of fabrication by the quarry. Therefore most Iron remains hidden and within the stone rather than on it; however, water from steam cleaning penetrating through natural fissures in the  stone can activate or accelerate rusting.
CRUMBLING OF THE SURFACE?
Moisture from repeated steam cleaning can in someSpalling Limestone
cases cause spalling or fragmentation of the surface.
The migration of salts from moisture in the limestone can promote crumbling of the surface causing larger fissures and craters to appear. This is more
common in Limestone’s and marbles that contain naturally occurring mud or calcite veins which are more vulnerable to this issue.

 

WHAT TO DO?

COMPROMISED SEALER: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Grimex. Leave overnight to dry. Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

SURFACE SEALER DAMAGE: Remove the Film forming sealer using LTP Grimex or LTP Solvex. Leave overnight to dry. Re-apply the film forming sealer – LTP Ironwax Satin or LTP Ironwax Gloss. For routine aftercare use LTP Floorshine. This gentle cleaner will clean the surface and repair the seal where it has worn from abraision every time the floor is washed.

RUST STAINS ON THE SURFACE: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Power Stripper. Leave overnight to dry.Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

CRUMBLING OF THE SURFACE: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Grimex. Leave overnight to dry. Use a suitable resin stone filler of the correct colour to fill in the voids. Re- hone the surface of the stone using a twister pad and sponge down with a little water to remove any dust or sediment. Leave to dry. Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

This information is offered without guarantee.  The material should be used so as to take account of the local conditions and the surfaces to be treated.  In case of doubt, the product should be tried out in an inconspicuous area.

Common Problems when Fixing Stone Outside

Stone patios and white blooms- Efflorescence

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olive-limestone You’ve seen the magazine pictures: Designer patio’s decked out with stylish garden furniture, blue skies and a perfect sandstone/limestone  floor tiles… Yes all this is perfectly feasible but for a flawless floor you rely on that blue sky..infact from our experience at least 3 days of blue sky.     The most important factor when deciding  to seal any stone outside is the British Weather.. unless 3 dry days and nights (no rain…no dew) can be guaranteed then there is a strong chance your floor will not look like the one in the picture.

104

Kotah Black Limestone

A much more common scenario is a phone call to the supplier of the stone asking why the tiles and or grouting  have gone white overnight. salts on patio2photo 1

This is not a insurmountable problem as the bloom can easily be removed and in all the cases we have seen the tiles settle down over a period of time.

However, to save unnecessary worry it might be useful to learn why this issue can arise and how to resolve it.

All stones located outdoors can be susceptible to a condition known as efflorescence. It is caused by water moving through the substrate of a material collecting and carrying minerals and salts found in the mortar bed, grout, soil or the stone itself.

When the impure water reaches the surface  and evaporates, the minerals and salts will be left behind., these form those white marks or efflorescence, seen on the surface. Whilst this phenonemom is more common on unsealed surfaces it can also occur on sealed surfaces especially if the stone becomes wet before the sealer has fully cured, which can take up to three dry days.

Ironically once the stone is sealed this efflorescence can seem enhanced as the sealed surface traps the rain water on the surface which also evaporates leaving a white residue especially in hard water areas..  However no pain no gain.

It is important to go through this scenario and run the risk of a white bloom on the surface as it is only by fully sealing stone that will prevent water percolating through the stone and triggering the efflorescence cycle once again.

How to remove efflorescence:

If the surface is not a Limestone or a Sandstone containing high iron content then wash the surface with an acid based cleaner such as LTP Grout Stain Remover On acid sensitive surfaces then simply use water or a very mild solution of Grout stain remover (trial in a small area first). The efflorescence will fade and can be removed over time and provided the surface is properly sealed it will cease over a period of a few months.

What is the best sealer to use:

It is vital to use a breathable sealer that allows the transition of moisture from underneath, examples include

LTP Stone Oil (offers colour enhancement for Dark Stones)

LTP Mattstone H20.

LTP External Stone Sealer

One final bit of advice:

Do not over apply the sealer as the second cause of efflorescence , after the British weather , is too much sealer on the surface. As a rule of thumb it is best to apply roughly half as much sealer as would be appropriate for interior use.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

LTP Mouldex External Paving Cleaner

How do I clean my external paving stones?

IMAG0654

Before patio

Before using LTP Mouldex Paving Cleaner

LTP Mouldex is a highly effective HSE registered product which has been developed to Help restore natural stone and paving to its original colour.

After using LTP Mouldex Patio Cleaner

After using LTP Mouldex Paving Cleaner

KILLS & REMOVES:

  • Algae
  • Black Spot
  • Mildew
  • Mould
  • Lichen
  • Fungus
  • Pollution
  • Pollen stains

Anti-bacterial action helps prevent re-growth.

Suitable for use on all external stones and concrete paving.

Simple to use….apply and leave….scrub and rinse.

The fast acting formula will restore external paving and help prevent re growth.

Protecting stone surfaces after treatment with LTP Mattstone H20 will further reduce the possibility of black spot and mould spores from returning. It will also help prevent deep staining from falling organic matter and make any future cleaning much easier.

One 5ltr can will treat up to 50 sq.m deepending upon the extent of soiling.

LTP Mouldex 5ltr only £39.54 Inc VAT.  (click here to buy or find your nearest stockist)

2_73_e

 

For further information on the application of LTP Mouldex watch the video below.

 

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

How to Clean Porcelain Floor Tiles.

With the increasing popularity of using a light coloured grout with Glazed Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles there is a need to protect the grout from staining by using LTP 600ml Grout & Tile Protector.  The use of standard detergents or harsh abrasive cleaning agents over time will break down the protective seal leaving the grout susceptible to staining.

LTP Porcelain Floor Tile Cleaner has been specially formulated for the aftercare of all Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles without compromising the tile or grout seal.

  • Highly effective aftercare cleaner. Removes daily dirt and grime
  • 40 Washes from a litre bottle of product
  • Does not damage the tile or grout seal.
  • Ph neutral phosphate free formula
  • Does not leave a film on the surface of the tile.
  • No rinsing required
  • Fresh clean fragrance
  • Better value than a supermarket detergent

For further information on our LTP Porcelain Floor Tile Cleaner view our video below

 

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

 

 

 

Crackle Glaze Tiles, why the need to seal.

Crackle glaze tiles are created by the top glaze being put through a process called Crazing.* These can be seen because light reflects off the surfaces of the gaps.

Because the glaze has microscopic cracks and gaps, dirt and grout can get in to these and cause staining. To solve this we have a special sealer for crackle glaze tiles that, goes into the microscopic cracks to prevent dirt and grime from staining the tiles.

Crackle-glaze-pic-4

Crackle Glaze tiles that are sealed.

 

It is also recommended to seal before grouting or cutting the tiles, as grout can also enter these small cracks and become almost impossible to remove. There are different methods for sealing dependent on what colour grout is being used.

Dark coloured grout.

After 24 hours after laying tiles in to the  adhesive, apply sealer evenly using a micro-fibre cloth and several coats, a minimum of at least 3 coats should be applied. Allow 2 hours drying between coats and do not buff. Then leave for 24 hours to fully dry.

For further info please see our video for dark grout.

Light coloured grout.

After 24 hours after laying tiles in to the adhesive, apply sealer evenly using a micro-fibre cloth and leave for 20 minutes after application, buff well to work it into the crackles of the glaze. Leave to dry for 2 hours and apply second coat using same method. Then leave sealer to dry for a minimum of 12 hours.

For further info please see our video for light grout.

 

Crackle glaze 2 copy

Crackle glaze 3 copy

 

 

 

 

*Crazing occurs in regions of high hydrostatic tension, or in regions of very localized yielding, which leads to the formation of interpenetrating microvoids and small fibrils. Other methods include temperature changes, mostly from when in the kiln the tiles are removed when still hot so they cool quicker this causes the cracks to form, this is called thermal shock.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

Natural Stone and Tiles – Common Stains: Water

How to remove Water Stains ­from Natural Stone and Tiles

A water stain mark on natural stone

Natural stone and tiles are an investment that can add real quality to your home or office environment. When staining or marking of a stone surface on a kitchen, bathroom or office floor or work surface occurs, such as water stains; this can create a potentially difficult situation to resolve.

Understand your surface

Ensuring that you know what has caused stains on stone, the material stained and whether the surface is protected can all have a bearing on how you should address the issue. If you are in any doubt it is often more straightforward to seek expert assistance. At LTP we offer FREE technical assistance via our Helpline +44 ( 0) 1823 666213. In most cases, it will be easier to assist you if you are able to supply photographs of the issue and surface. Please send images to info@ltp-online.co.uk with as much information as possible.

Is your stone surface protected?

Natural stone protected with LTP Mattstone

Knowing if your stone surface or tiles has a protective seal applied is important in understanding the best solution to address the issue. Often when a protective seal is in place the method for tackling the problem is much less aggressive and simpler. Essentially this is because the stain is most often only affecting the protective seal.

To protect natural stone and tile surfaces to help prevent staining LTP recommends for following sealing products.  LTP Mattstone or LTP Mattstone H20 for a natural (invisible finish) or LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock for an enhanced appearance. LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock deepens the colour and enhances the appearance of the stone surface.

Common stains on natural stone and tiles – Water Stains

Water stains can appear on natural stone and tile surfaces such as floors and worktops when water is left to stand, as it dries into the surface it can cause a stain. This is most common with porous stone surfaces such as limestone, flagstones, sandstone and terracotta, but water stains can also affect glazed ceramics, porcelain and polished surfaces such as porcelain, granite and marble.

THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF WATER STAINS ARE OUTLINED BELOW…

Using the wrong maintenance cleaner can gradually affect the performance of the seal. This after a while allows water to penetrate beyond the seal. In areas of hard water, these water droplets can dry out to leave a lime deposit on the surface. Hard water stains are difficult to remove using normal detergents.

Repeated cleaning of stone surfaces using water and a mild detergent can create a film on the surface.  When we mop and clean our surfaces the water dries off to leave a very slight film of residual detergent. In the months that follow this can create a micron thick film across the surface.  Water droplets can dilute the detergent in the area that they sit on leaving a spot mark.  This all happens on a fairly microscopic level, which is why staining of this nature is sometimes only visible when looking across a surface towards a light source.

The LTP approach to removing water stains

The method that LTP recommends for tackling water stains differs depending upon the surface type.

LIMESTONE, MARBLE, TRAVERTINE AND OTHER ACID SENSITIVE SURFACES

For acid sensitive surfaces, we recommend using LTP Grimex or LTP Power Stripper. Simply wash the area as directed by the label instructions, rinse and allow to dry. Note that if the surface has a protective seal the surface may need re sealing. To make sure that you achieve a uniform finish a wider area may need treatment.

PORCELAIN, TERRACOTTA, SANDSTONE AND OTHER NON ACID SENSITIVE SURFACES

For surfaces that are not acid sensitive, we recommend using LTP Grout Stain Remover. Treat the affected area as directed by the product label, rinse and allow to dry. In some cases you can simply buff the surface to its original shine. Where this is not effective and to help maintenance you may consider applying LTP Glaze Protector.

If the stain persists repeat the treatment, if this is unsuccessful please contact our FREE helpline.

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.

At LTP we believe in helping to offer solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation
LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk and we will be happy to help you.

Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy or find out more about our range of products.