Universal Cleaning Services Can Restore your Stone,Tile and Grout!!!

By John Alderson

Call Universal Cleaning  today 919-602-5592 and get a FREE tile cleaning demonstration!


All hard surface floors can be divided into two categories Synthetic and Natural just like carpet, area rugs and upholstery. Identification is the most important steps before any cleaning can be done. Flooring manufacturers are making incredible look-a-likes out of wood, vinyl and ceramic tile that replicate real stone  color depth and definition with synthetic materials.  We will start with the synthetic floors since they are the most popular even though granite has become the norm for new homes. 

 Today’s super tough ceramic tile is clay-fired man made material pressed together with a lot of heat and pressure. Ceramic tile floor is the most common tile installed new in homes today. These surfaces may be glazed ceramic and do not usually require any protective treatment or sealers; however, sealing the grout is very important to protect it from stains, soil and moisture. Ceramic tile glazing gives protection against the absorption of dirt, stains and moisture as well a unique aesthetic effect.  Ceramic tiles today are manufactured to look like real stone; however, ceramic is much more durable and will not require as much maintenance or diamond polishing like stone.  Most people will fall in love with natural stone and install it in the showers and bathrooms where they should have installed ceramic tile instead.   

    Ceramic tile topical texture will vary from smooth, almost glass like – to  stone like texture. The rougher surfaces collect soil more easily and become difficult to clean by conventional methods with a mop and bucket or tooth brush.  Good news that ceramic tile will clean up to new like condition with professional cleaning. Recommended cleaning can vary on the installed location every 1-2 years is a good rule to follow. Usually the grout will be soiled long before the tile.  Universal Cleanings cutting edge cleaning systems can remove ground in soil and restore your floors beauty. Call Today at 919-602-5592 and schedule and FREE Tile Audit! 

A very hard material that is mostly resistant to chemical, abrading, freezing temperatures, and absorption of moisture.  Commercial installations are the most popular place for porcelain it’s used for residential installations. Porcelain tile requires sealing every 1-2 years depending on location of installation.  It can be diamond polished to a glass-like shine; however, it’s very costly and not recommended.
Unglazed Porcelain colored with different pigmented clays to create a unique texture in the surface of the tile.  

 Quarry tiles are an unglazed ceramic material excellent for exterior use and paving driveways, due to it’s resistance to freezing. It’s one of the most durable hard surfaces today because of the high baking temperatures and high quality clay and other materials.  It can be cleaned sometimes painted and sealed for protection.

  One of the oldest ceramic materials made by man, this type of floor is produced by mixing clay and water, allowing this to dry naturally, and then baking it in a kiln.  The soft, porous composition of the tile makes it easy to scratch and chip. It’s sometimes has efflorescence which is salts from within the tile wick to the surface, forming a white hazy deposit on the surface. It’s not visually present until it dries and leaves crystalline powder that would still be visible under a sealer or finish. Saltillo is commonly waxed to prevent stains and the wax can be cleaning problem flaking off during wear and cleaning.

Saltillo Tile clay floors may be sealed with a penetrating sealer. They may appear matte finish having no shine at all while others look like wet glass. Some Saltillo may have a white wash coloring with a tint applied to the tile before it’s sealed with a polymer coating. With age these finishes are worn off from daily use the reddish clay beneath will show through. Look for this evidence to determine weather this tile is white washed Saltillo.

VCT Tile (Vinyl Composite Tile) –
VCT is usually finished with a coat or coats wax and sealers. VCT is 12 inches by 12 inches in size.  Cleaning is usually done by stripping the floor and removing the old wax. Then fresh wax is applied to bring up a glossy shine. It’s usually used in commercial installations and some older homes. It does not tolerate water and if too much moisture gets below the tile it will affect the adhesive glue.

Vinyl Floor Tile
This flooring is relatively new and sold in different sizes and almost looks like real wood and stone. Very durable and far less expensive as it’s real wood and stone.  It’s also easy to clean and does not require much maintenance.  Good professional cleaning every 2 years to remove the ground in soil.
Cleaning Tip: Use a microfiber mop and mild solvent or dish soap will clean vinyl floors nicely.

Vinyl Floor Sheets Goods
Most common is the Vinyl sheet that comes in rolls. Very easy to install and maintain. More recent sheet goods have improved dramatically and almost look like wood, tile and stone.   


Stone is beautiful, expensive and requires regular maintenance/sealing.  If you have stone make sure when cleaning that stone specific products are used. Universal Cleaning Services Inc has stone cleaning products for sale. Please call if you have any questions at 919-602-5592.  Regular store bought products can damage stone and stain it. 



    Ahh… Marble!!!! Very beautiful and expensive! Marble tile stones have veins, swirls and bands that distinguish this stone from others.   Most consumers in the show room are naturally drawn to marble with out any knowledge of the stone. Marble may not be your best choice because of maintenance, sensitivity to acid and overall soft composition. Marble is a calcium carbonate stone a metamorphic rock and most Acid cleaners will etch marble on contact.  Marble is NOT a good choice for bathrooms because urine(human or animal) will etch and dull the finish. It is also NOT recommended in high traffic areas because it scratches and stains very easily.  It will require frequent professional cleaning, diamond polishing, sealing and general everyday cleaning to keep it looking its best.   Diamond polishing gives a high-gloss appearance.

Cleaning Tip:  Removing dry soil by vacuuming on a regular basis will help maintain your marbles beautiful high gloss appearance(vacuum once per person per week).  Do not use store bought products like window cleaners and other abrasive cleaners. These cleaners will build up in the stone and haze it or etch. Use only products designed for stone.  Universal Cleaning Services sells special stone cleaning wipes with sealer in them to also help keep your marble looking fantastic. 

    Slate is known for its natural beauty and durability. Slate can be installed indoors and outdoors. Slate can be used in bathrooms and showers; however, it will require regular professional cleaning and good sealers to protect it from moisture. In the Raleigh area we have hard water and slate has a rough texture where hard water will collect and eventually build up will occur.  Bare slate does not have a high gloss finish unless a stone enhancing coating is applied.  Slate can be a problem because of its high content of clay, especially in wet areas, and can develop efflorescence easily.  A quality silicone impregnator sealer can protect the stone and generate more durability.  Color-enhancers can be applied to slate and also several other high gloss finishes and matte finishes to create a eye popping colorful look.

    The appearance of terrazzo is more uniform than most natural stones. Terrazzo looks similar granite; however, Terrazzo is a man made tile with a mixture of Portland cement and marble chips or other stones. The natural stone chips can range in size. Terrazzo is very durable, less expensive than marble/granite and can be diamond polished, honed, and sealed.                                                                              

    Granite is one of the hardest natural stones available with a wide verity of beautiful colors and depth. It has low porosity, normally given a high glossed finish.  Granite is formed by volcanic action, and acid and scratch-resistant, as well.  Granite is not usually sealed in the factory and many new home buyers quickly find out after cooking there first meal and oil and water penetrate into the granite and stain it.   Sealing is required to protect this stone, especially when it’s installed in kitchens counter tops and bathrooms.

    Is limestone that has been formed in hot springs.  Water movement causes the erosion of the stone, creating numerous holes of varying sizes.  A polished travertine will have its holes filled with color-matched Portland cement filler or epoxy.  These fillers do not take a high polish and therefore, the overall polish is blotchy. Also the fillers can sometimes pop out leaving a hole in the tile. Universal Cleaning can repair this common issue.

    Is the term given to stone materials cut into thin, irregular shapes.  Flagstone adds a natural earthy look when installed and is frequently seen on patios, sidewalks, interior foyer entrances, and pool decks.  Flagstone is commonly sandstone.  You can also Flagstone should not be ground, and should only be cleaned and sealed.