Discolouration in natural stone tiles. Cause, repair, prevention
What is "dotted" installation?
It means applying mortar or cement only on the corners and in the centre of the tile. This habit allows for orifices to form between the adhesive, the tile and the floor, which will in turn lead to the discolouring and staining of the tile.
What is discolouration of natural stone cause by?
When you fix natural stone in place you use water. In the case of the "dotted" technique, water, in the form of moisture, builds up between the stone, the adhesive and the floor, which activates the minerals from the three components. The minerals come up to the surface of the stone, creating lighter stains on the tile.
Reducing discolouration and stains
Getting completely rid of these stains is somehow difficult because they are the result of water infiltration throughout the tile. Scrubbing the surface of the stone with a solution for removing grout or other residues (for instance, LTP Grout Stain Remover) can soften these stains, but will not remove them completely. Sometimes, it's even harder to remove the stains if the stone has been previously sealed. Moreover, the cleaning solutions based on acids (for instance, LTP Grout Stain Remover) can harm limestone or marble tiles. Stones like slate and sandstone are not normally affected by acidic solutions.
The best solution in the case of severe staining
It's a pity to not enjoy the beauty of natural stone tiles because they were not installed properly (next time, let the specialists handle it). Even so, there is a solution to fix the problem, and an easy one as well. The most effective way to deal with this is by replacing the damaged tiles with new ones that are installed correctly, according to the instructions offered by the adhesive producer.
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Correct installation of natural stone tiles
In order to correctly install natural stone, we recommend sealing it with LTP Mattstone, LTP Mattstone H20 or LTP Colour Intensifier, depending on the type of stone and finish. There are sealing solutions that allow the stone to breathe and the moisture to circulate while also protecting it.
Good to know
Always follow the instructions on the products' labels. Protect natural stone from acidic solutions. Do not use abrasive materials when cleaning polished and honed surfaces. Do not use usual detergents or powerful bleaching solutions on sealed surfaces, because they will eat away at the top layer of the sealant.
Also read Installing steps and counter-steps. Find out everything you need to know
For more suggestions about how to used natural stone call +40318.222.333, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or, better yet, visit our showroom in 137A Teisani Street, District 1, Bucharest, Romania.