If you’re up to Finishes, you are almost there...well done! In this section, we’ll cover off everything you need to know to finish your DIY project off like a pro and keep your tiles looking amazing for years to come.
What Is Grout Haze?
After your tiles have been grouted, there's likely to be a bit of residue cement or cement-based grout, silicone leaching, and dirt on them. These will come off easily with a good thorough clean following our steps to remove grout haze and cleaning tiles.
Grout haze is simply an almost invisible residue of grout and latex that has been left to dry on the surface of the tiles after grouting. This will make a tile look dull, easily marked and difficult to keep clean. It’s part of having your tiles grouted and an easy clean solves the issue.
Grout haze is often not picked up during installation as the damp floor will hide any deposits. The effects, however, are noticeable, dulling the tiles and causing them to get dirty very quickly - sometimes even showing footprints. Conventional cleaning methods don’t remedy the problem and the grout haze will remain. This may be in certain patches or across the entire tiled area.
The ease of removal depends on the type of grout used, the texture of the tile surface and when the tiles were laid. The longer grout haze is left, the harder it is to remove as the grout bonds into any open pores on the tile surface. Cement grout and latex modified cement grouts can usually be removed with a Grout Haze Removal cleaner. Epoxy grout is very difficult to remove.
The aim is to remove all traces of the grout haze film on the surface without damaging the stone or tile, or damaging and discolouring the grout itself. It is best to complete a general clean as soon as you have finished tiling to remove any excess grout. Check out our cleaning and maintenance page for more information. If you notice a haze of grout left on the tiles after installation, either buff it off with a dry soft towel or undertake one final clean. Grout haze is generally easy to remove within 48 hours of grouting.
Removing Grout Haze
Follow the steps below to remove cement-based grout haze.
What you need:
Gloves and eye protection
Spray the bottle with warm water
Broom or vacuum
- Scrubbing Brush
- Bucket with Cold Water
- Lithofin KF Cement Residue Remover
- A wet vacuum cleaner or mop and bucket. If you don't have a wet vacuum cleaner some elbow grease will work just as well.
- Ensure you're wearing long sleeves, gloves and safety glasses.
- Begin by sweeping the floor to remove any loose debris.
- Saturate the grout joints with cool, clear water.
- Following the manufacturer's instructions, dilute Lithofin KF Cement Residue Remover to a ratio of 1 part Lithofin and 1 part warm water. Using a spray bottle, apply the solution to a section of the tiles being cleaned. Once the solution has been applied, do not allow the tiles to dry until it is thoroughly rinsed.
- After allowing the solution a good 10-15 minutes to break down the excess grout, dirt, and grease; scrub the tiles with a brush to lift all the dirt and remove with a wet vacuum cleaner. Repeat steps 4-5 if necessary.
- Finally, rinse thoroughly several times with cold water and scrub to ensure the complete removal of the acid cleaner. Use the wet vacuum cleaner to remove the excess water from the surface.
- Give your tiles a good clean, following the instructions below.
How To Silicone With Builder James Bawden
Our mate James Bawden runs you through the simple steps of siliconing.
Silicone is a necessary part of every tiling job no matter how big or small. Silicone should be used instead of grout in the joint where a tile meets another tile in a corner, or where a tile meets another surface e.g. where a kitchen splashback tile finishes on the benchtop or between the floor and the wall. Silicone can also be used as a movement or expansion joint.
Here's what you will need to silicone:
- A cloth
- Silicone (either acidic or neutral cured)
- Caulking gun
- Smoothing agent - such as Smoothtex A
- Paddle pop stick
- Your thumb :-)
- Before you start, wipe the corners or areas you are going silicone to ensure they are thoroughly clean and dry.
- Insert the silicone tube into the caulking gun. We suggest cutting the tip of your silicone at a 45-degree angle to help achieve a smooth trail.
- Trail the silicone and line the area in one smooth motion.
- Use a smoothing agent, spray over the trail and cut it back with a paddle pop stick in one smooth swipe.
- Using a little more smoothing agent, run your thumb over the trail once more to achieve a nice, smooth finish.
Our Hot Tip: We have everything you need in-store. Find you local Beaumont store here.
How To Silicone When Tiles Meet The Ceiling
When tiling to the ceiling, measure the tile to be cut and allow a gap between the top of the tile and the ceiling for a flexible joint such as caulking or silicone. It is important not to fill this gap with grout as it will only crack later. It is best to paint the ceiling first as paint will not stick to silicone.
The silicone at the top of the tiles will act as a movement joint as the ceiling is likely to move over time due to steam and heat. If the ceiling is not exactly level, you will need to measure and cut each tile to fit, keeping the joint width the same. If the ceiling is very uneven, you may find it easier to finish the tiling 75mm below the ceiling and paint the top of the wall.