Removing Stubborn Cement & Grout Residues From Porcelain & Ceramic Wall & Floor Tiles

The following is an intensive cleaning guide for removing cement and grout residues from the surface of porcelain and ceramic wall & floor tiles following installation.

Porcelain-Tile-Header-Image

 

FOR USE ON ALL TYPES OF PORCELAIN & CERAMIC WALL & FLOOR TILES

 

1ltr-+-5-Ltr-Grout-stain-reLTP GROUT STAIN REMOVER

A rapid action cleaning agent for removing cement residues, grout stain, efflorescence and other similar deposits.  This product can be used in diluted or concentrated form, to assist removal of stubborn residue.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • High performance  .
  • Targets heavy or light films.
  • Walls & floors.
  • Rapid action.
  • Easy to use.
  • Interior & Exterior.
  • Efflorescence remover
DIRECTIONS FOR USE: FLOORS- REMOVING CEMENT AND GROUT RESIDUES MANUAL APPLICATION

GSR-Directions-Manual-Application

Step 1.Dilute solution 1-1 with water.

Step 2. Apply to the surface and leave for 5 minutes.

Step 3. Scrub surfaces and grout joints to release the grout residue.

Step 4. Sponge up or extract released residues and rinse with water.

Step 5. Allow surfaces to dry before allowing traffic.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE:FLOORS-REMOVING CEMENT AND GROUT RESIDUES MACHINE APPLICATION

GSR-Directions-Machine-Application

Step 1.Dilute solution 1-1 with water.

Step 2. Apply to the surface and leave for 5 minutes.

Step 3. Scrub surfaces and grout joints to release the grout residue.

Step 4. Sponge up or extract released residues and rinse with water.

Step 5. Allow surfaces to dry before allowing traffic.

REMOVING EFFLORESCENCE,WATER AND RUST STAINS FROM THE SURFACE OF STEPS AND RISERS.

Removing efflorescence,water,rust from steps and risers

Step 1.Decant solution into spray bottle and label clearly. Surfaces should be as dry as possible before application.

Step 2. Spray the solution onto the surface making sure to work in manageable areas at a time.

Step 3. Agitate immediately using a short haired stiff bristled brush. Repeat application until residues are removed.

Step 4. Rinse well with plenty of cool water. This should be done at least twice.

Step 5. Allow surfaces to dry naturally.

DIRECTION FOR USE- REMOVING CEMENT RESIDUES FROM WALLS……

Removing cement residue from walls

Step 1. Dilute solution 1 :1 in water.

Step 2. Apply to the surface of the tiles using a microfibre cloth.

Step 3. Scrub immediately using a black emulsifying pad.

Step 4. Rinse with water several times.  Change rinsing water frequently.

Step 5. Allow surfaces to dry naturally.  On higher glazes buff with a dry cloth to finish.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION – CLEANING:
After applying the cleaning solution work in teams of two. One operator should agitate the surface using mildly abraisive pad or rotary machine.The other operator should use a sponge and water or wet vac for immediate rinsing & extraction. This will prevent released dirty residues reabsorbing into the surface and greatly reduce the drying time of surfaces. If a scrubbing machine is used, use cool water only within the tank on the machine. Do not put intensive cleaning solution through the machine as this will impair it’s effectiveness.
If applying to walls, steps or risers start on the top and work down. Try to work in manageable areas at a time and make sure to rinse well with plenty of water after each application. Rinsing should be repeated at least 2 times after cleaning. In areas where the staining is deep repeat the process until all of the stains have gone.

USEFUL EQUIPMENT: 4pc pole, pad holder, black emulsifying pad or rotary scrubbing machine with onboard water tank, stiff brush attachment for the machine, wet vac, buckets, sponges, absorbant towels (for spillage control), Plastic film and masking tape for covering and protecting any surfaces not to be cleaned. Avoid prolonged contact with metal surfaces. Rinse immediately. Ensure that any sensitive surfaces not to be cleaned are properly covered and protected before beginning. Ensure that gloves and eye protection and suitable clothing are worn at all times.

 

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

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How do I clean my external paving?

Featured

Patio’s can give that refined and uniform look to a garden area, a clean cut from grass to stone, and when newly laid they look fantastic.

olive-limestone

If you had them laid before the winter months however they probably won’t look the same now as they once did. With the amount of rain that we have had over the last few months, the probability is that you will have some form of green growth on the tiles.

This green growth is a mix of Algae, moss and lichen which builds up on the tiles, normally more common in areas of higher rainfall, as this is the perfect place for algae to grow, high rainfall and with areas for the algae to cling to.

However this isn’t the end of your patio, as this can be easily fixed with the correct tools.

Cleaning Patios With LTP Mouldex

Firstly you will want to brush the stone with a stiff bristle deck brush to remove any leaves, dirt or debris from the surface of the stone.

Making sure the area is now free of loose debris, pour LTP Mouldex direct on to the stone and spread out over the area with a brush or sponge. (Garden sprayers can be used)

Black limestone with LTP mouldex applied on it with a sponge.

Leave for a minimum of one hour, then add a little water and agitate with a emulsifying pad or stiff deck brush to help loosen algae, dirt and grime.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

Rinse thoroughly with water. Garden hoses and jet washes can be used. Be careful though as jet washes force water at the surface at high pressures and can cause damage to some stones.
Some stubborn stains and black spot will require longer treatment, in which case apply and leave overnight.

Rinse well with plenty of water

Rinse well with plenty of water

Once fully dry, (normally 24 hours) we recommend sealing with LTP Mattstone H20, this will prevent moisture and organic molecules from absorbing into the surface.

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

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

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

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.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

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)

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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.

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.

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.

Natural Stone and Tiles – Common Stains: Water

How to remove Water Stains ­from Natural Stone and Tiles

A water stain mark on natural stone

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. This is the first in a series of articles from the LTP Technical Team that identify the most common stain issues for natural stone and tiles.

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.

Natural Stone Tiles – How to Fix & Seal to Avoid Discolouration?

Installation of natural stone tiles can cause discolouration?

Poor tile installation and fitting of natural stone surfaces is often the cause of discolouration of the surface. Natural stone tiles should always be buttered on the back and then laid into an even bed of adhesive. Spot fixing often causes issues with discolouration of the tile surface.

Stone floor that has been spot fixed

Natural stone floor installed using spot fixing. This has caused discolouration of the tiles.

What is spot fixing?

This is a method of tile installation and slab laying that involves only placing enough grout or cement at the corners and centre of the tiles, in order that it is laid level. This process will leave voids between the adhesive, tile and the sub floor. These voids will be the root cause of the issue of staining and discolouration.

What causes the discolouration?

Tile installation requires the use of moisture with in the adhesive used to fix the tile. When using spot fixing to install tiled surfaces this moisture can collect in the voids between the tile, adhesive and sub floor. When this occurs, minerals from the adhesive or concrete sub floor become activated. These minerals can then travel through to the face of the stone leaving a ring mark or staining effect. Each ring outlines where the spot of adhesive is under the stone.

Interior floor showing spot fixing discolouration

When spot fixing is used the appearance of interior floors can be significantly effected

The difference between Natural Stone and Concrete?

Spot fixing natural stone is not the same as spot fixing a concrete paver. Concrete pavers are in general much denser with fewer larger capillaries. Fixing concrete to concrete with cement does not normally result in the same staining issues. However, when fixing a natural stone paver it is important to butter the back of each slab with mortar before laying them into an even bed of mortar to avoid staining.

Natural Stone Patio with Spot Fixing Discolouration

Spot fixing is also an issue when natural stone tiles are laid outside

Removing spot fixing discolouration

Removing staining associated with spot fixing is very difficult. This is because it is not just on or near the surface, but right through the stone. Scrubbing the surface with a residual grout or efflorescence remover such as LTP Grout Stain Remover may help to lighten the appearance of the ring marks, but it does not always completely eliminate them. It is also often harder to remove the marks if the surface is sealed when laid.

Acid based cleaners such as LTP Grout Stain Remover can also affect acid sensitive surfaces such as limestone or marble, however if the they are rough cut or tumbled the contact with an acid makes little difference to the overall appearance provided that it is applied evenly. Stones such as sandstone and slate are not normally affected.

Quite often the only effective method of resolving this issue is to rip up and replace and then complete tile installation correctly following your adhesive suppliers recommendations.

Laying natural stone tiles correctly

When laying natural stone tiles correctly we would suggest sealing the stone with LTP Mattstone, LTP Mattstone H20 or LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock, depending upon your surface type and desired finish. These are impregnating breathable sealers that will help to enhance and protect the stone and at the same time allow the microscopic transition of moisture.

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.

Natural Stone Surfaces – Traditional and Ageing Method

Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Stone Surfaces – Part Two

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

This is the second in a 16 part series of posts that will offer a comprehensive guide to cleaning, sealing and maintaining all types of stone, porcelain, quarry, terracotta and glazed ceramic tiles and surfaces. This post explains the LTP three-step approach to cleaning, protecting and maintaining natural stone surfaces where a traditional or aged appearance is required. Using traditional oil and wax based sealers will greatly enhance the appearance of reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled natural stone. If desired it can also provide stone surfaces with an instantly aged appearance. Traditional sealers will give natural stone a softer natural look. The following guide will explain the process and help keep your surfaces maintained and in good condition for many years.

Natural Stone Surfaces – Traditional & Ageing Method

The following instructions are appropriate for reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled natural stone.

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. Old layers of sealer, residues from after care products and deposits must be removed from the surface and pores of the tiles. Equipment recommended for this step is a bucket, mop, scrubber or scrubber dryer machine.

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 reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled stone surfaces

  1. Dilute LTP Grimex 1:5 with water.
  2. Apply solution to the surface with a mop or sponge. Turn off under floor heating.
  3. Agitate with a nylon pad or scrubbing-brush.
  4. Rinse well with clean water.
  5. Allow the surface to dry (preferably for 24 hours).

CLEANING NEWLY INSTALLED RECLAIMED FLAGSTONES, ROUGH CUT, HONED AND TUMBLED STONE SURFACES

Refurbishing used and heavily soiled stone surfaces

  1. Before sealing the surface must be thoroughly cleaned. Old layers of sealer, residues from after care products and deposits must be removed from the surface and pores of the tiles.
  2. Depending upon the levels of old wax and dirt, first remove old wax layers with LTP Solvex.
  3. Dilute LTP Grimex 1:5 with water and apply to the surface with a sponge.
  4. Agitate the surface with a nylon pad or scrubbing-brush and leave for a further 5 minutes (use scrubber machines on harder stone surfaces if required).
  5. Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface using a cloth or scrubber dryer machine.
  6. Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues.
  7. Allow the surface to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying the protective seal.

For the removal of other types of dirt refer to the list below. If you are unsure please call our helpline for advice.

  • Care product residues, oil, grease and dirt – use LTP Grimex or LTP Power Stripper.
  • Wax and acrylic layers, tar, paint, bitumen residues – LTP Solvex and then LTP Grimex.
  • Deeply engrained oil stains – LTP Spot Stain Remover and LTP Fullers Earth.

Step two: Protect your natural stone surface from stains

To protect reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled natural stone surfaces and help prevent staining LTP recommends the application of LTP Stone Oil or LTP Stone Oil Antique. Surfaces should then be finished with an appropriate wax. Your choice of product will depend upon whether a traditional or aged appearance is desired.

The equipment you will need for this task: bucket, sponge, grout float, sponge, paint brush, soft cloth.

Traditional method

LTP Stone Oil and LTP Clear Wax: Will help to protect against water, oil, grease, dirt, grime and aid maintenance.

  1. Apply evenly with paint brush or soft cloth. Turn off under floor heating.
  2. Fully saturate the stone with sealer. Remove any excess sealer on the surface after 1 hour.
  3. Grout the joints and clean off any excess grout from the surface within 12 hours.
  4. Allow the surface to dry and dust off any remaining cement residues.
  5. Finish with a good coat of wax. Buff well with a soft brush or machine.

Protect your natural stone surface from stains - Traditional method

Ageing the appearance (internal surfaces only)

LTP Stone Oil Antique applied after a coat of LTP Stone Oil and after grouting will deepen the colour of the stone and joints. This will give an aged appearance. The number of coats applied determine the depth of colour. Finish by polishing with LTP Antique Wax or LTP Clear Wax. To establish the correct number of coats for the desired finish, test this process on a spare piece of stone before proceeding.

Protect your natural stone surface from stains - Ageing method

Further information on traditional and ageing method protective seal treatments

  • LTP Stone Oil, LTP Stone Oil Antique and LTP Clear Wax will render the surface water and oil repellent.
  • These products help to prevent staining, aid cleaning and simplify the removal of surface stains.
  • LTP Stone Oil and LTP Stone Oil Antique will alter the natural character.
  • LTP Clear or LTP Antique Wax will give an easily maintainable hard-wearing satin sheen.
  • There are no health concerns once these products have properly cured.
  • LTP Wax is film forming so should not be used externally or used on surfaces that are damp or have no damp proof course.
  • LTP Stone Oil and LTP Stone Oil Antique are 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 Stone Oil and LTP Stone Oil Antique are impregnators 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. Unabsorbed sealer if left to dry on the surface should be rubbed over with a little white spirit.

Step three: Maintaining your reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled stone surfaces

Using the correct maintenance product will increase the life of your floor seal, provide more 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 sealed with LTP Stone Oil and LTP Stone Oil Antique and finished with wax.

Regular maintenance on reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled stone surfaces

  1. Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash newly sealed surfaces for 3 days.
  2. Add one capful of product per litre of water in a bucket.
  3. Mop surface with the solution. Do not rinse.
  4. Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface during drying time – 20 minutes.

REGULAR MAINTENANCE ON RECLAIMED FLAGSTONES, ROUGH CUT, HONED AND TUMBLED STONE SURFACES

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

Should you use a professional floor restoration company?

The application techniques described above are achievable by a competent DIY enthusiast using the products as described. However, natural stone products are often expensive and by nature each stone has its own characteristics. We often find that many of our customers prefer to use the experience and skills of a professional stone restoration and cleaning company to make sure that their project finished to the highest standard.

LTP is pleased to be associated with the following companies that specialise in natural stone restoration and cleaning:

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 buy from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

Porcelain and Ceramic tiled floors look great when just washed

How do I keep that clean shiny look for my tile floor?

Apply LTP Glaze ProtectorOne thing we are told time and time again is that our customers really like the appearance of their floor tiles when they have just been mopped. The question is “Is there anything I can use on my tile floor to make them stay like that?”

The answer is yes…

LTP has a product called LTP Glaze Protector.

RESTORE – REVIVE – RETAIN

Achieving and retaining that perfect looking tile floor is often the goal of our customers. LTP Glaze Protector provides a genuine solution for ceramic, porcelain and vitrified quarry surfaces. Simply follow this 3 step guide to a new looking shine floor.

Restore – Revive – Retain

1. Restore

Bring old tired floors back to life by giving them a really thorough clean with LTP Grimex. This will get the oldest dirtiest floors back to their original condition.

LTP Grimex

Cleaning Porcelain withLTP GrimexHeavy duty grime remover for interior and exterior use. Effective for removing oil, grease, ingrained dirt grime and old wax layers. Important: Test the solution on an inconspicuous area before general application. Any alkalinity remaining on surfaces treated with this product should be completely neutralised. This can be done with a little clean water applied by sponge.

Key facts:

  • Heavy Duty Grime Remover.
  • Removes oil, grease and dirt.
  • Removes old wax layers.
  • Suitable for interior use.

Buy LTP Grimex >>>

2. Revive

LTP Glaze Protector

LTP Glaze Protector gives a just washed lookCreate the ‘just washed’ look to your newly cleaned surfaces by applying LTP Glaze protector. This robust film forming sealer will enhance the appearance of even the dullest floor. It is easy to apply, quick drying and eases maintenance on rougher more textured surfaces. LTP Glaze Protector is quite unique and will give a clean and shiny sheen to ceramic tile floors or porcelain. It is a low maintenance, self shine, film forming sealer for all types of tiled floor including glazed or unglazed ceramic, porcelain, unpolished porcelain and vitrified quarry tile. Once applied this product will help protect and embellish the surface. LTP Glaze Protector delivers a high resistance to wear and helps prevent staining of your tile floor. Using this product will also help with ongoing maintenance and cleaning of your ceramic or porcelain tile floor.  

Key facts:

  • Low maintenance self shine sealer.
  • Highly resistant to wear and stains. 
  • For interior use only.

Buy LTP Glaze Protector >>>

3. Retain

A tile floor treated with LTP Glaze Protector should be maintained with LTP Floorshine to help reinforce protection and make sure your floor remains clean and looking great. 

LTP Floorshine

Buffing PorcelainLTP Floorshine is a highly effective maintenance cleaner for tiled surfaces and is ideal for all types of porcelain, ceramic and vitrified quarry tiles.Maintain the ‘just washed’ look with regular us of LTP Floorshine. In place of your normal detergent, simply put one cap full of Floorshine per litre of water and mop your surfaces. This product will clean your surfaces and repair the seal every time you use it. A one litre container is enough solution to wash a 20 square metre floor 40 times so it is very economical.

Key facts:

  • Cleaner for tiled surfaces.
  • Will help reinforce protection for surface sealers.
  • For interior use only. 

Buy LTP Floorshine >>>

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 buy from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

Grout care – cleaning and maintenance

How to get grout clean? – Top tips

Mould & Mildew on groutWhy does grout discolour and become dirty?

Most grout used in domestic situations such as bathrooms and kitchens is water-resistant and not water proof. This means that while your tiles may repel moisture your grout can often absorb it. When mopping dirt off the surface of tiles it is the moisture carrying dirt particles that absorbs into the grout causing it to discolour. In wet areas such as showers or wet rooms it is possible to get a build up of soaps, moisture and sebum within grouting. If not cleaned properly this will stay within the grout and encourage mould spores and mildew to grow.

Approaches to cleaning grout

Cleaning groutThere are many ways that people choose to tackle issues of mould growth, mildew and dirty grout between wall, floor and surface tiles. Household chlorine based bleach; baking soda and vinegar are three common approaches. While these methods can prove effective for cleaning glazed ceramic tiles, there are a number of issues that can make them inappropriate for use with natural stone and tiles. General-purpose chlorine bleach cleaners can damage the stone or the protective sealer applied to the surface. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on acid-sensitive stones such as limestone, marble and terrazzo as these may etch the stone surface and damage the polish or sealer. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface. This can also apply to glazed tiles. Hydrogen peroxide cleaners can also be mildly corrosive. They give short-term cleaning benefits with limited effectiveness on fungal spores, making them poor at preventing re contamination. Baking soda is a great option with fewer disadvantages. However it can often prove ineffective in tackling stubborn stains and often requires excessive scrubbing to deliver results. In all cases the use of highly abrasive cleaning tools such as wire wool should be avoided, as these will scratch the surface. Ensure you use an appropriate abrasive cleaning pad designed for natural stone.

LTP Tips for cleaning grout between tiles

LTP has been producing natural stone cleaning sealing and maintenance products for over 25 years. Our goal is to produce highly effective solutions design specifically for natural stone and ceramic tiles. To clean dirty grouting on floors and walls we recommend the use of LTP Grimex.

LTP GrimexLTP Grimex

An intensive grease and grime cleaner suitable for intensive cleaning of grout between glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles or unglazed natural stone. LTP Grimex is also excellent for renovating old quarry tiles, terracotta, slate, stone, marble and stone fireplaces.

For further information or to buy LTP Grimex >>

Please note: LTP Grimex will not damage natural stone surfaces if used correctly. It does however breakdown protective layers of sealer and waxes on the surface. It is therefore recommended that the product be tested on a small inconspicuous area before general application. Natural stone tiles should also be resealed after use. Glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles are not affected. Please contact our technical helpline for further advice and assistance.

LTP grout cleaning tips for mould growth and mildew

Grout is porous and absorbs water, especially in humid places like the bathroom. As a result, fungi such as mildew can often be found growing between tiles, in the grout. Removing unsightly mould growth and mildew stains can prove a difficult challenge. The LTP Research & Development Team has developed a unique solution to this problem called LTP Mouldex.

LTP MouldexLTP Mouldex

Formulated to cling to grout and remove mould spores, fungus, algae and moss from grouting, silicone seals and other damp places. LTP Mouldex has antibacterial properties that help to prevent re-growth. LTP Mouldex a 500ml trigger spray ideal for use on bathroom and kitchen wall tiles but can also be used to tackle small areas of floor grout.

For further information or to buy LTP Mouldex >>

When Grout Cleaning Tips Don’t Work

If all your grout cleaning attempts fail, it is time to remove the grout. This doesn’t automatically mean redoing the entire grouted area. If the stain only affects a small area, try removing just the small section affected by the mould growth or stain. For a shallow stain, use a hand-held rotary tool or mini sander to remove just the top layer of the grout. Take care not to damage your tiles. Re-seal the grout to give future protection. A deeper stain means more of the material will need removing. Removing such a stain may need a fresh coat of grout altogether.

The most important tip of all – Protect your grout!

Whether tackling mould growth, mildew, stubborn stains or ingrained grime, grout cleaning is not the most pleasant housekeeping job to perform. Most people avoid it as long as possible, which exacerbates the problem.

So the very best tip we can give is to make sure that you protect you grout and stone surfaces when they are installed and after intensive cleaning. Maintain your tile and stone surfaces regularly. Always make sure that you top up the protection to your grout after cleaning.

LTP Grout Protection

LTP offer two grout protection options:

LTP Grout Protector 1LLTP Grout Protector – 1L 

Recommend for sealing newly laid grout. LTP Grout Protector is a colourless barrier suitable for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Helps protect absorbent, porous grout joints from water, dirt, oil, grease, sebum and limescale. Ideal for use on newly laid glazed ceramic wall and floor tiles where in normal conditions unprotected grout joints quickly become dirty. This product is also ideal for sealing grout between natural stone tiles that have been sealed prior to being laid.

For further information or to buy LTP Grout Protector – 1L >>

LTP Grout & Tile ProtectorLTP Grout & Tile Protector
– 600ml Aerosol Spray

This product is an easy use as a top-up coat. Helps protect natural stone and all other types of masonry surface. Provides a colourless barrier that helps to protect porous wall and floor grout joints from penetration by water, dirt, oil, grease and limescale. Treated surfaces are easier to keep clean and repel dirt and grime. Ideal for use in wet rooms and shower enclosures as a top up protection for grout after intensive cleaning.

For further information or to buy LTP Grout & Tile Protector >>

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 buy from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

Natural Stone – Internal Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining

Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Stone Surfaces – Part One

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

This is the first in a 16 part series of posts that will offer a comprehensive guide to cleaning, sealing and maintaining all types of stone, porcelain, quarry, terracotta and glazed ceramic tiles and surfaces. This first post explains the LTP three-step approach to cleaning, protecting and maintaining natural stone surfaces used in internal situations. 

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, scrubber or scrubber dryer machine.

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.
  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 (such as boiled linseed oil) 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 nylon pad or scrubbing-brush 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 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.