Design

What damages porcelain stoneware and how to avoid it

reading time: 6 minutes

What damages porcelain stoneware - 1

Can anything threaten the beauty of one of the most hard-wearing of all covering materials?

Porcelain stoneware is a covering material with outstanding technical characteristics, which we might summarise as follows:

  • Extremely easy cleaning and care;
  • Non-absorbency (any stain can be removed because it remains on the surface);
  • Resistance to pressure, weights and abrasion;
  • Resistance to UV radiation and colour-fastness;
  • Immunity to time;
  • Durability.

As well as all the above, there is the impressive ability to interpret an infinity of styles and material effects, thanks to progress in ceramic printing technology. The aesthetic potential of stoneware is unrivalled by any other material (natural or man-made) on the market, because it can cover any surface and location with any colour, effect and texture.

 

SO WHAT DAMAGES PORCELAIN STONEWARE?

So what are those patches you can sometimes see on a surface, or when you view it against the light? What is the cause of those smears on tiles that occasionally emerge after cleaning, even on a freshly installed floor? What can reduce the ease of care of porcelain stoneware, bearing in mind that basically it is very easy to clean and keep clean?

 

1. INCORRECT OR LACK OF CLEANING AFTER INSTALLATION

Site-end washing of the floor is a fundamental procedure for the future appearance of porcelain stoneware tiles. If it is not carried out, ease of cleaning will inevitably be reduced by an often invisible coating left on the surface, which in the long term combines with the routine detergents and daily dirt to create a base to which more dirt and dust can adhere.

If you don’t know anything about the initial cleaning of porcelain stoneware, take a look at this: End-of-site washing: what it is and how it is performed.

 

2. USE OF UNSUITABLE DETERGENTS

Porcelain stoneware floors must be cleaned with specific neutral detergents: these products are increasingly available even in supermarkets, or can be obtained from builders’ merchants or DIY stores.

Never use detergents which contain waxes, oily substances or fragrances, or products which apply polish to the surface: apart from being unnecessary, they may also leave a film which is then hard to remove (and to which other dirt will stick).

Looking for specific tips? Take a look at these articles:

Cleaning matt porcelain stoneware

Cleaning glossy porcelain stoneware

 

3. USE OF CLOTHS AND ABRASIVE SPONGES

The only thing you need to wash porcelain stoneware floors is an ordinary soft cloth to be used wet (with an ordinary bucket or a mop and squeezer version). Scrubbing brushes and abrasive sponges should not be used, as they damage the tiles’ surfaces, especially if they are glossy or honed or contain metallic inserts.

 

4. FAILURE TO CLEAN JOINTS

Yes, the joints have to be cleaned too, and if possible with cleaners specially developed for joint fillers (epoxy, cement or acrylic grouting materials). In fact, dirt, liquid residues and - in the worse cases - mould may also build up between the tiles.

So every now and then thorough joint care is recommended (this is how to proceed).

 

5. USE OF POOR QUALITY PORCELAIN STONEWARE

Basically, caring for a good quality porcelain stoneware:

  • is very easy;
  • is very quick;
  • can be done without any outside help;
  • does not require any special equipment.

Damaged porcelain stoneware may be a sign of a bad purchase, with choice of a product which may be second grade or manufactured with obsolete technologies and machinery: in these cases, there is a greater risk that its surface will be less durable and resistant.

Every since its beginnings and the first tunnel kilns in the Fifties, Marazzi has focused on innovation, research and development, creating ceramic and porcelain stoneware tiles of exceptionally high quality and in line with the latest trends, in plants that are always up to date and often ground-breaking.

Today, Marazzi products are a jewel in the crown of Italian ceramics manufacturing: discover all tiles’ technological characteristics here.