Sundries can range from products that are used during installation, including surface preparation and underlayments to after-care protection, cleaning and maintenance products and everything in between. The quality of flooring installation materials and application techniques are vital to a floor’s performance; for example, choosing the appropriate primer or underlayment provides protection from water intrusion, damages and cracking, as well as sound abatement properties. If sundry materials are not specified, selected and installed properly (or overlooked), the overall flooring system can fail.
Article by Elise Linscott
Floor Covering Weekley
Caulking – Sealant
Floor Protection & Taping
Metal Trims & Transitions
Patching – Mudding
Sills – Curbs – Kneewalls – Thresholds
Stains & Colorants
It is essential always to use a non-acidic cleaner specifically designed for tile and grout, not simply a general all-purpose fragranced cleaner. Acidic cleaners should only be used in problem cases performed by flooring professionals, such as removing grout haze. Tile-specific products are typically divided into 2 groups: routine (every day) neutral pH cleaners, and periodic (heavy duty) alkaline cleaners. The appropriate cleaner depends on the type and degree of cleaning required.
Tile-specific cleaning products can be purchased at most flooring and hardware stores. However, be cautious using just any supermarket or online brand cleaner. While some results can often appear effective at first, they can in fact damage the tile and/or grout over time. Quite often, acid, bleach, ammonia, color, and fragrance additives are commonly used in these products. These chemicals may NOT adversely affect the glazed surface of the tile (besides leaving residues and streaks) but can adversely affect the long-term performance of your floor. Certain chemicals not specifically formulated for use on grout, can break down the grout, breaking down pores. This makes it easier for the grout to accept future soil penetration and staining. The ease of future cleaning may not change dramatically, but the frequency and severity of cleaning required to maintain the appearance of the surface can change a great deal as well as the potential for discoloration and deposits on the surface. This can be avoided by simply using tile-specific neutral pH cleaners or in some instances, heavier duty alkaline cleaners.
For proper cleaning methods and steps for specific products, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions as stated on the packaging.