Cement tiles have been enjoying ever-increasing popularity in recent years. However, this flooring is one that is extremely sophisticated from manufacture to receipt. Sanding cement tiles should therefore only be done when there are no other options. Everything you need to know about sanding cement tiles is summarized below.
The production of cement tiles
To better understand why cement tiles require expertise and attention, first an overview of the manufacture and laying of these special tiles.
Cement tiles are produced in molds that have the same dimensions throughout. The raw tile is not burned, which is why the later dimensions are correspondingly uniform and sharp-edged analogous to the quality of the mold. First, marble powder or marble dust, color pigments and cement for coloration are introduced. Then it is filled with cement and the tile is pressed under high pressure. Then the tile has to dry for a long time. This effort explains the high cost of cement tiles in high-quality manufacturing.
Laying cement tiles
When laying cement tiles, the substrate must meet very specific requirements. The soil must not be wet or damp. Otherwise, it will lead to cement efflorescence. On the other hand, under certain circumstances (false glue), a tile may break like a net. Due to their low thermal expansion and straight edges, the cement tiles can be laid almost seamlessly (on a crunchy surface). Subsequently, a special grout (trass cement with quartz sand) must be filled.
Sealing or impregnating cement tiles
If the adhesive and tile are dry, they must be immediately impregnated or sealed. Otherwise, all kinds of liquids penetrate into the open-pored tile:
- Water and detergents
- Bathwater or urine (in toilets)
- Oils (for example in the kitchen)
- Acids (for example in the kitchen as vinegar, lemon juice, etc. or as a cleaner)
- Distilled water from steam cleaners
The sanding of cement tiles and why it is problematic
In the end, these are exactly the reasons why cement tile owners often try to repair them by sanding them. However, the color layer of marble dust and cement is relatively thin. However, these liquids penetrate much deeper and therefore can not be polished out.
Therefore, the sanding of cement tiles is extremely problematic. Even with cement efflorescence grinding does not help, because it is intended to counteract the effect, but not the cause.
Instead, you should periodically clean and impregnate or seal the cement tiles before wearing off the protection. However, if damage has occurred on the surface of a cement tile, it should be polished extremely carefully.Tips & TricksMany people underestimate the effect of distilled water. At the same time, however, a great many steam cleaners are operated with distilled water. Under other conditions (limescale on glazed tiles, for example) would be the properties of distilled water advantage, but not in Zementfliesen.Tipps & TricksDestilled water (or rainwater) is empty water, so pure H2O without ingredients. Therefore, distilled water literally absorbs substances like a sponge. For this reason, distilled water can not be transported through water pipes: it dissolves and absorbs lime as well as other substances and metals. Distilled water can thus severely damage the surface of a cement tile - especially when used regularly.