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Tile floor question

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BedokAmerican
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Tile floor question

Postby BedokAmerican » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:52 pm

Our condo living room has white tile flooring, the kind of flooring that's pretty common in Singapore. When the sunlight shines on it, you can see a spot that needs cleaning -- that kind of thing.

Ok, here's the situation: My 2-year-old son had a stomach virus a few weeks ago and threw up (vomited) a few times, including once on the tile floor. As I was cleaning him up, my husband put down a bunch of towels to get up the mess and then brought out a cleaner and mop. We then saw that there was a splatter mark still on the floor where our son threw up. I then got a sponge and more cleaner and cleaned again with no success. I also tried baking soda and same result. This is all despite the floor being cleaned almost immediately.

The area on the floor is smooth and the spot is not noticeable unless the light shines on it. But when the light shines on it, it's very noticeable. The landlord might notice as well when we move out.

I suspect acid might have eaten through the tile, although, like I mentioned, the area is perfectly smooth like the rest of the floor. Does anybody know of a way to get the floor looking normal again? Would it involve replacing the tile?

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Postby Steve1960 » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:59 pm

Have you tried bleach? Given the tiles are white it should be OK to try although of course I do not know the type of tile and its porosity etc.

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Postby Beeroclock » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 1:02 pm

This sounds like marble etching, assuming you have marble tiles? We've had this too with young kids. Any acidic liquid like lemon juice, vinegar. And also vomit/reflux due to stomach acids. It reacts with the marble.

You just need to re-polish and it will look as new. When we moved into our place we got everything re-polished and cost was $1,000+. But when we had a similar incident, called the same contractor back just to polish a small section and he did it for $100 or less if I recall correctly.

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Postby Beeroclock » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 1:06 pm

Beeroclock wrote:This sounds like marble etching, assuming you have marble tiles? We've had this too with young kids. Any acidic liquid like lemon juice, vinegar. And also vomit/reflux due to stomach acids. It reacts with the marble.

You just need to re-polish and it will look as new. When we moved into our place we got everything re-polished and cost was $1,000+. But when we had a similar incident, called the same contractor back just to polish a small section and he did it for $100 or less if I recall correctly.
Just to add I did first try myself with those marble polishing kits you can buy from DIY stores but they didn't work well for me. But the contractor with his polishing machine can do it quickly/properly and give an "as new" finish, just need to find someone who will give you a reasonable price.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 3:59 pm

Beeroclock wrote:
Beeroclock wrote:This sounds like marble etching, assuming you have marble tiles? We've had this too with young kids. Any acidic liquid like lemon juice, vinegar. And also vomit/reflux due to stomach acids. It reacts with the marble.

You just need to re-polish and it will look as new. When we moved into our place we got everything re-polished and cost was $1,000+. But when we had a similar incident, called the same contractor back just to polish a small section and he did it for $100 or less if I recall correctly.
Just to add I did first try myself with those marble polishing kits you can buy from DIY stores but they didn't work well for me. But the contractor with his polishing machine can do it quickly/properly and give an "as new" finish, just need to find someone who will give you a reasonable price.


Fine-grit sandpaper (just guessing; 600 grit and above).

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 4:32 pm


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Postby Beeroclock » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 5:35 pm

BedokAmerican, suggest you google marble etching and look at the images it throws up. If this is what you have, then from my experience the toothpaste/ baking soda/etc fixes may not suffice, versus a professional polish of the affected area.

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Postby QRM » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 7:21 pm

Boot polish works on dark colors, have you tried tooth paste / T-cut for car paint work? or try getting spray fixer from an art shop or hair spray it puts a matt surface layer down but will only be a temporary fix.

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 7:49 pm

QRM wrote:Boot polish works on dark colors, have you tried tooth paste / T-cut for car paint work? or try getting spray fixer from an art shop or hair spray it puts a matt surface layer down but will only be a temporary fix.

Something like this can be done on the shower marble walls but on the regular floor it will be visible. Tooth paste is worse than the marble polishing kits Beeroclock mentioned (they basically contain citric acid to gently etch the surface and alumina powder to polish it). Unfortunately I have exactly the same experience as Beeroclock - you can kill yourself doing it. I once spent 5h recovering the tiles (with power tools!) after my wife dropped on them a glass of red wine. The results were very so-so, far away for anything acceptable.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 9:03 pm

Beeroclock wrote:BedokAmerican, suggest you google marble etching and look at the images it throws up. If this is what you have, then from my experience the toothpaste/ baking soda/etc fixes may not suffice, versus a professional polish of the affected area.


Yes, by the images it appears they're tiles with marble etching.

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Postby Beeroclock » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:33 pm

x9200 wrote:
QRM wrote:Boot polish works on dark colors, have you tried tooth paste / T-cut for car paint work? or try getting spray fixer from an art shop or hair spray it puts a matt surface layer down but will only be a temporary fix.

Something like this can be done on the shower marble walls but on the regular floor it will be visible. Tooth paste is worse than the marble polishing kits Beeroclock mentioned (they basically contain citric acid to gently etch the surface and alumina powder to polish it). Unfortunately I have exactly the same experience as Beeroclock - you can kill yourself doing it. I once spent 5h recovering the tiles (with power tools!) after my wife dropped on them a glass of red wine. The results were very so-so, far away for anything acceptable.
5hours! You have some serious staying power, I got a sore arm after 5 mins and concede defeat, call in the pro.

Bedok, unless it particularly bothers you, may be better to leave it until you vacate and call in marble contractor at that time, in case you have some further of these incidents. I am always on tenterhooks when my young girl eating oranges!

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 25 Apr 2014 7:07 am

Well, not continuously for 5h but I was pretty desperate. The handover was in 2 days.

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Postby QRM » Fri, 25 Apr 2014 9:26 am

Invite all your chums over for a Moon-walk show down, every one has to bluetack those green pan scrubbing pads to their shoes. :D

Bit like those Japanese temples that get all the visitors to wear floor polishing over shoes cloths

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aster
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Postby aster » Sun, 27 Apr 2014 4:51 pm

x9200 wrote:Well, not continuously for 5h but I was pretty desperate. The handover was in 2 days.


Were there any issues with the handover though - did the landlord examine every part of the floor with a flashlight or did the entire process go smoothly and without incident?

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 28 Apr 2014 8:27 am

No, no issues, but the LL changed during the rental term and the new one was going to use the flat by herself and we knew they were going to redo everything anyway.
In another flat we hired a guy with the machine Beeroclock mentioned and also sanded/polished some parquets before handing the place over as we knew it was going to be further rented. I truly hate the marble floors.


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