Mark Atkins, Technical Director at LTP, offers some timely advice on how to prevent unsightly resin residues forming when installing on-trend porcelain pavers outdoors.
It has been pretty incredible to see the rise of the porcelain paver this year. Domestic and contract customers have really embraced these new tiles. They do bring lots of benefits, in terms of their many practical features; durability and non-absorbency are big pluses outdoors. The new textured finishes also make them a lot more practical. But, like all new trends, they bring new challenges.
The main issues relate to residues. When using a brush-in jointing compound, it is very important to keep the surface of these tiles as wet as possible, so that any residue can be easily wiped away.
Porcelain tiles can dry out quite quickly, causing an element of the resin within the compound to cling to the surface. The textured nature of most external porcelains also makes it more difficult to apply grouts and jointing compounds.
Keeping the surface wetter for longer helps to improve and increase the working time of grouts and jointing compounds – and greatly reduces the possibility of grout and resin staining. Dried on jointing compound can be difficult to remove and the residue left can ruin an installation.
In response, LTP has developed two new products for unpolished porcelain. Our new Porcelain Tile Protector is applied before grouting. Once it has dried it helps with cement and jointing compound release.
For surfaces that have been stained, our new acid replacement Cement, Grout and Salt Residue Remover can also turn back the clock for cement stains. For removal of resin stains caused by jointing compounds we recommend that you use Solvex.
Aftercare education is also very important. We’re routinely recommending that customers don’t stop at the bi-folds when they’re cleaning porcelain that’s installed from inside to out. They need to keep going and mop the patio too! This greatly reduces the need for intensive cleaning outdoors; although we have various eco-friendly options up our sleeve should the need arise!
For information on caring for natural surfaces, visit www.ltp-online.co.uk, tel. 01823 666213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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