1. PREPARATORY WORK: ELIMINATION OF EXCESS GROUT

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For tiles with a honed or polished surface, once work has been completed and in order to facilitate the final cleaning of the worksite, this procedure is of paramount importance as the first step in the process of cleaning following the grouting of ceramic tiles. For a proper and easy elimination of excess grout, we recommend following the instructions set out by the manufacturer of the grout; generally, it is recommended to follow the instructions below.

PLEASE NOTE:
For HONED and/or POLISHED tiles, do not mark the surface with pencils and/or indelible felt-tip pens.

1.1. CEMENT-BASED GROUT (CLASS CG IN ACCORDANCE WITH EN 13888)

  • Remove excess grout from surface, running the spatula or blade diagonally over the grout lines, while the mixture is still fresh;
  • Only clean off the excess grout once the mixture has lost its elasticity, usually some 10-20 minutes after spreading and with an firm, damp hard cellulose sponge, working diagonally across the grout lines;
  • Rinse the sponge frequently, using two different containers full of water: one used to take off the excess grout from the sponge, the other full with clean water, in order to rinse the sponge;
  • Once the grout is dry, rinse again with clean, warm water.  For large surfaces, use a sponge belt machine.

PLEASE NOTE:
Should the cleaning be done too early (when the mixture is still elastic), there is the risk that the grout in the grout lines will be partially removed and will therefore will later become more susceptible to variations of colour. In contrast, should the grout already have set, the use of a damp Scotch-Brite sponge is recommended to enable the removal of the grout from the tile surface.

1.2. EPOXY GROUT (CLASS RG IN ACCORDANCE WITH EN 13888)

PLEASE NOTE:
For the grouting of honed and/or polished surfaces, we advise to undertake a preliminary check on a small area of the surface first, as a test, perhaps on some surplus tiles, or on a part of the tile that is less visible.

  • While the mixture is still fresh, generously wet the surface emulsifying with a Scotch-Brite sponge, taking care to not remove too much grout from the grout lines;
  • The excess and now watery grout must now be removed with a hard cellulose sponge (which should be replaced once it becomes too impregnated with residue) which can also be used for the final adjustment of grouting.

It is vital to remove the epoxy grout as quickly as possible before it starts to harden, as the subsequent removal would be extremely difficult; should the epoxy grout have already started to harden, try to add 10% of ethanol to the water.

2. POST-INSTALLATION CLEANING

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TOOLS
FOR MANUAL CLEANING FOR CLEANING OF LARGE SURFACES
Broom, buckets, large broom, rough floor cloth, Scotch-Brite sponge Broom, buckets, mechanical brush machine with green disk, vacuum cleaner, cloths

The purpose of cleaning upon completion of the work is to eliminate all dirt residue (cement, mortar, grout, paint or any other material that could stain or scratch the ceramic) from the surface of the ceramic tile once it has been laid. The care with which this initial post-installation cleaning is undertaken (which is generally undertaken by the final users or by professional cleaning services), influences the cleanability of the ceramic surface for the duration of its life: excess residues are a catalyst for dirt. Once enough time has passed for the grout to mature (at least a two days of good weather), proceed to further cleaning using acid-based detergent, such as FILA DETERDEK, which should be applied by hand (using a sponge or cloth) or mechanically (a mechanical cleaning brush with green disk). Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions of use to the letter and avoid using strong and/or non specific acids even if diluted, as these can give off harmful smoke that can even penetrate and have a corrosive action.

PLEASE NOTE:
Should this cleaning procedure need to be done on a floor which has already been used and before using an acid-based cleaner, make sure to remove and neutralise any residual grease or the like, using an alkaline-based cleaner, such as FILA PS/87. It is important to take the precaution of protecting any CERAMIC decorations or inserts made of marble, granite, natural stone or metal inserts on the ceramic surface, by covering with masking tape. It is absolutely paramount to avoid using scoring pads made of steel or wire wool, as these could cause scratches on the surface of the tile.

2.1. METHOD FOR CLEANING CEMENT GROUT RESIDUE
Atlas Concorde recommends: Using a solution of buffered acid (dilute following manufacturer instructions, preferably in hot water as this increases the efficiency of the detergent), such as FILA DETERDEK, making sure that the manufacturer’s instructions have be followed to the letter.

RECOMMENDED QUANTITY AND PERCENTAGE OF SOLUTION TO BE DILUTED DEPENDING ON TYPE OF SURFACE

PRESENCE OF INSERTS AND/OR NATURAL MARBLE OR METALLIC DECORS POLISHED/HONED SURFACE
1 litre of acid solution per 100m2
in ratio of 1:25
(200cc in 5 litres of water)
3 litres of acid solution per 100m2
in ratio of 1:5
(1 litre in 5 litres of water)

 

  • Sweep the floor clean of every form of any dust residue from surface using a clean, dry cloth;
  • Only wet cement-based grout in order to protect it from an subsequent corrosive action from the solution of diluted acid to be used in the cleaning process; • Evenly distribute the diluted acid solution using:  

1. ON FLOORS: a mop or a rough floor cloth;  
2. ON WALLS: the non-abrasive part of a Scotch-Brite cloth (generally yellow in colour);

  • Allow to stand for 2-3 minutes depending on how soiled the tiles are;
  • Any residue dirt should be cleaned off by vigorously cleaning with:  

1. ON FLOORS: a large broom;  
2. ON WALLS: the abrasive part of a Scotch-Brite cloth (generally green in colour);

  • Remove residue using a ‘wet and dry’ vacuum cleaner on floors or using clean and dry cloths on walls;
  • Carefully rinse with warm water, repeating the operation until the surface is completely clean of any type of stain or rim.

On larger surfaces spread the diluted acid solution and agitate it using a mechanical cleaning brush with a green disk making sure to remove any residue dirt using a vacuum cleaner. Following the procedure, rinse only with water, which ideally should be hot.

Should some areas remain unclean, repeat the acid cleaning procedure where the dirt has been mist stubborn, other than where there are ceramic decors or inserts combined with materials subject to corrosion (eg. marble, metal, precious metals…) which, in any case, should have previously been protected using masking tape.

2.2. METHOD FOR CLEANING EPOXY GROUT RESIDUE

To remove smudges and water stain marks when epoxy grouts are used, use cleaners specifically designed for remove this type of organic residue, such as FILA CR10, following the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter.

  • Sweep the floor clean of every form of any dust residue from surface using a clean, dry cloth;
  • Evenly distribute the specific cleaner for epoxy residue, for example, undiluted FILA CR10, with: 

1. ON FLOORS: a mop or a rough floor cloth;  
2. ON WALLS: the non-abrasive part of a Scotch-Brite cloth (generally yellow in colour);

  • Allow to stand for 20-30 minutes depending on how soiled the tiles are;
  • Any residue dirt should be cleaned off by vigorously cleaning with:

1. ON FLOORS: a large broom;  
2. ON WALLS: the abrasive part of a Scotch-Brite cloth (generally green in colour);

  • Remove residue using a ‘wet and dry’ vacuum cleaner on floors or using clean, dry  cloths on walls;
  • Carefully rinse with warm water, repeating the operation until the surface is completely clean of any type of stain or rim.

Should there be any areas not completely cleaned, repeat the operation. On larger surfaces spread the diluted acid solution and agitate it using a mechanical cleaning brush with a green disk making sure to remove any residue dirt using a vacuum cleaner. Following the procedure, rinse only with water, which ideally should be hot.

RECOMMENDED QUANTITY OF FILA CR10

PRESENCE OF INSERTS AND/OR NATURAL MARBLE OR METALLIC DECORS POLISHED/HONED SURFACE
1 litre 4-5 m2
UN-DILUTED

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