How many people have grout haze on their tiles? A bunch, I can assure you. If you look across your floor and you see cloudy uneven residues that will not respond to household chemicals, you may have grout haze.
During the grouting process, tiles have to be wiped free of grout residue before the grout sets up on the tile. Or at least buffed off the tile at some point. We see several efforts to conceal grout reside, from designing tiles that have a faux grout residue built in, to application of sealers to hide the mess.
Solutions to grout haze removal vary depending on the type of tile.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles will “give up” grout haze by application of an acid cleaner. We apply the acid with a floor machine followed by removal with the high heat/pressure spinner. This is potentially a DIY project. You will need acid cleaner, possibly a floor machine and a means (wetvac) to remove the slurry. If you go this route, test a small area with n acid cleaner, and see if you are able to mop up the residue. The key is to suspend the grout haze with the acid and recover it before it is reattaches to the tile.
Stone floors owners are not so lucky. Since stone is porous, the grout haze will penetrate the tile slightly. Couple this with the fact you can not use acid on stone (unless you want an acid washed look) and this project quickly moves to the professional category. This situation is almost always complicated by an installer that knows he has a grout residue problem and attempts to hide it with a stone (and sadly in some cases an acrylic sealer – suited for vinyl flooring) sealer. To further complicate the situation, the installer will improperly apply the sealer, (as sealers dry, the first part applied will prevent the sealer left above from penetrating and an impossible residue will form) leaving a visible residue along with the grout haze. Instillation of stone flooring requires a skill set most tile installers do not have.
This is a frequent situation and will not be fully appreciated until the problem is corrected. Many times a customer will tell us the floor never looked as good even after a new install. We correct this situation by using abrasive diamonds pads or honing powders followed by proper application of sealer, if necessary. This is never a project suited for DIY.