How to Maintain Your Polished Porcelain Tiles

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Porcelain tiles, like all ceramic tiles, are made from clay and fired to high temperatures. However, porcelain is denser and more durable and therefore has a wider application than other types of ceramic tiles. In fact, porcelain is so dense it is often referred to as man-made granite!

There are three types of porcelain tiles – normal, glazed and polished.

Normal porcelain tiles have a matt finish and are typically used in high traffic areas where a non-slip surface is required.

Glazed porcelain is a normal porcelain which has a very hard wearing glaze added.

Polished porcelain is a normal porcelain which has been polished, often to a very high shine.

porcelain tiles


Keeping it Clean

The polishing process actually opens up the tiny surface pores of the tile, which allows minute particles of dirt and dust to become trapped on the surface. Consequently, polished porcelain needs a bit more attention to keep it looking sparkling.

Because of its density it will withstand most cleaning materials. However, because of its tendency to trap surface dirt particles, it should be given a periodic heavy duty clean. The most important part of such a clean should be the use of a wet vacuum to suck everything off the surface.


Our heavy duty clean for polished porcelain involves three main steps:

  1. A thorough surface clean, using an alkaline tile cleaner + a rotary scrubber.
  2. Removal of all waste, using a wet vacuum.
  3. A rinse with clean water, followed again by the wet vacuum to remove all moisture.


porcelain tile servicing


The above procedure is especially important for new tiles, most of which have a factory added protective layer of wax. If this wax is not removed properly, along with any grout haze, the tiles may look dull.

How Often?

It’s totally up to you. Many people like to give their tiles a really good clean once a year – others leave it for longer periods. It depends largely on the location of the tiles and the amount of wear and tear.

Don’t Use Bluestone on Your Floor!

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Don’t Use Bluestone on Your Floor! Unless it has been thoroughly sealed.

Bluestone (or Basalt) is an igneous stone but unlike granite, it is quite porous. We were recently asked to ‘fix up’ a new bluestone floor before the owners had even moved in. The tiles had been down for about two weeks, but were already showing stains, water marks, paint marks and footprints. The stone had not been sealed so some of the stains could not be removed. Fortunately, by using an enhancing sealer we were able to cover up most of the stains.

Bluestone looks great – tumbled, polished or honed – but architects and designers should study a bit more about the stone before specifying it. Not only is it a porous stone but it also contains a good proportion of calcium, which means it can be easily damaged by acid – so it’s a very sensitive material. Above all, if bluestone is to be used on a floor, it MUST be pre-sealed before installation. This will help to prevent staining during the installation process. After installation it should be cleaned with a neutral or alkaline cleaner and then sealed again.

Bluestone is a fabulous material for use on walls – but be careful if you plan to put it on the floor.

bluestone-before-afterIf you would like to find out more, call us on 0438 107 849.

Marble For Your Kitchen Benches

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Paul Chick talks about protecting your marble counter tops.

In a recent interview Paul was asked whether installing a marble bench top in a new kitchen is a good idea.
“It’s a great idea but only if you take the extra step of fully protecting the surface of the bench. Marble is an amazing natural product because there is such a wide range of colours and patterns to choose from. Depending on the mineral content of the stone and the impurities present during its formation, you can choose from almost pure white through pinks, greys, browns to greens and blacks. In many cases marble is the ultimate building product  . . . but it does have its limitations!”

What sort of limitations?
“In ‘stone talk’ marble is a relatively soft stone and it contains some minerals which have never reacted with other substances – these are called ‘free minerals’ (calcium is the most common). If you pour acid onto the surface of the marble it will immediately start to react with the calcium and you can end up with some pretty ugly ‘etch’ marks on the surface”.
“So in a kitchen you’ve got lemon juice, vinegar, beetroot, red wine and a whole bunch of other acid based products that can create havoc with the surface of your beautiful marble benches. This means you have to find some way of protecting the bench top from all of these potential hazards!”

P10008991-300x225Is that sort of protection possible?
“It certainly is through a treatment process called Clearstone!”    “Clearstone is the ultimate sealer because it also protects against etching. Once it has been treated your bench top CANNOT be stained and CANNOT be damaged by acids. And because the Clearstone process involves grinding the surface to remove all stains, it’s also the ideal way to rejuvenate old, worn and tired looking marble.


To find out more about the amazing Clearstone treatment for marble and other natural stone phone NeoTile on   0438 107 849 or email us at

How to Guarantee a Slip-Free Work Environment

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80%  of all work place accidents are related to slippery floors.

And the figure is growing! Every year thousands of Australians are injured from slip related accidents.

The OH & S implications for your company are daunting because legally you are responsible if one of your employees, or a member of the public, slips and falls while on your premises.

Financially this could be devastating! WorkCover NSW tells us that the average cost to an employer for one workers compensation claim for a slip related accident is around $19,000. Add to that the financial, emotional and physical costs to the injured worker and their family and the impact of one ‘little slip’ could be ruinous!

The NeoTile anti-slip treatment ensures outstanding underfoot safety on all slippery surfaces including porcelain, quarry and mosaic tiles, granite, marble, terrazzo and concrete.

The treatment can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, showers, laundries and on patios, steps, around pools – in fact anywhere where a floor surface is a slip hazard, especially when wet – inside or outside – domestic or commercial.

This unique three step system is used by many State and Local Government Departments, Health and Aged Care Groups, Hospitals, Nursing and Retirement Homes.

The NeoTile anti-slip solution is simple to apply, does not smell, can be walked on straight away and it’s GUARANTEED FOR TWO YEARS! It’s not a sealer or a coating, so it can’t rub off. The wetter the surface the more effective the grip becomes.

NeoTile clients include Wollongong Council, Sydney City Council, Lend Lease, Hyatt Hotels, Accor Hotels, Hindmarsh Builders, National Maritime Museum, Sydney Lyric Theatre, Dymocks, AV Jennings, Bradman Museum and the Sydney Hilton Hotel

We also supply and fix stair nosings and treads, reflective safety tapes and tactile indicators.

For a FREE inspection and quote simply fill out the coupon below, or phone NeoTile on: 0438 107 849.

Cost effective – fully guaranteed – no dry time – no disruptions  –  no preparation required – no smell.

How to Prevent Staining and Etching on Your Marble Benches

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What is the Difference Between Staining and Etching?

Limestone is a sedimentary rock, composed of calcite (from deposits of shells, bones, fossils, etc). Over millions of years, successive layers build up and the resulting pressure creates what we call limestone.

When limestone is subjected to heat and pressure in the earth’s crust over millions of years, the texture and chemical make-up of the stone changes. This process of metamorphosis creates marble. The wide variety of minerals and impurities present as the stone forms results in many different types of marble, ranging in colour from white, through pink, red, green, brown and gray to black.

A stain is formed when a chemical has left a coloured mark on the surface of the stone. Any oil or water borne impurity can create a stain if the stone is soft (like limestone) and if left on the surface for long enough.

Etching is a totally different issue. In my experience the majority of problems with marble bench tops in particular, are related to etching, not staining.

Here’s why  . . .

Marble and limestone are composed of calcite which is highly sensitive to acid spills.

  • All stone is alkaline by nature
  • Acids and alkalis (opposites) attract each other
  • If you drop lemon juice, vinegar or some other acid on your marble bench it is attracted to, and reacts with, the calcium (alkali) in the stone
  • This process, or reaction, actually creates a new compound on the surface of the stone
  • Your surface is now etched!

 Etching can appear as a blotch or dull spot. It can have a lighter colour, may feel rough and may look and feel as if the surface is pitted.

Some stones like marble, sandstone and limestone can be porous and therefore susceptible to staining and etching at the same time.


So . . . how do you fix it?

As always, prevention is best.

A good quality penetrating sealer, by filling the tiny little gaps or cavities in the stone’s surface, can help to repel surface stains. We use and recommendseveral water based sealers. We recommend that all marble, limestone, travertine and sandstone tiles should be sealed as a routine protection against surface staining.

However, even ten coats of sealer cannot prevent etching. 

People have said “but we sealed the marble – doesn’t that prevent acid damage?” 

Unfortunately No !

Sealers help to prevent surface stains by reducing the porosity of the stone but they cannot prevent acid corrosion (etching).

The only absolute protection against etching, that we have found, is Clearstone, which puts an impervious barrier over the entire surface. It’s like a layer of thin clear liquid glass that fills the imperfections leaving a smooth surface that prevents any materials/chemicals from coming in contact with the natural stone’s surface.

Once treated, the bench surface cannot be stained and cannot be etched! I say bench because that’s what Clearstone has been designed for. Also kitchen benches and bathroom vanities are typically subject to more acid spills than are floor tiles.

  • Clearstone permanently maintains the pristine nature of your stone
  • The Clearstone treatment removes all surface scratches and stains

What if my bench is already etched? 

The only way to fix etched stone is to mechanically grind the surface until you get to unaffected stone below the etching. The fact that this grinding will remove any gloss finish from the stone is not important if the Clearstone coating is to be applied. This is because the coating itself is polished to whatever level of shine is required (from honed all the way up to full gloss).

Paul Chick   . . .   NeoTile