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West Kent Tile Doctor

Your local Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning and Sealing service Tel: 0345 512 0122 E-Mail: Kent@TileDoctor.co.uk

Grout Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Grout carried out in Kent

Cleaning and Renovating Grout

The top layer of grout is porous and can absorb grease, dirt and limescale. Spillages such as wine, lemonades or greasy substances will cause marks and patches in the joints in the floor. Grout between wall-tiles particularly in damp areas like bathrooms will become dirty and unattractive as a result of Mould, Mildew and Limescale.

Mould is one of the most unsightly problems, which usually starts off in the wettest area of the room, this could be the bottom of the shower or bath, then starts to spread and if left unchecked could cover a large area of the wall.

Another common issue we find is a problem known as Grout Haze or Grout Smearing where a thin layer of grout has been left to set on the surface of the tile. Once grout has set it is difficult to remove.

Discolouration of grout joints in bath or shower areas due to continued use of acid formulated shampoos and soaps. This causes yellow orange and pink stains to the grout over even a short period of time. Whilst Grout Joints can be cleaned, badly stained grout may need to be re-coloured.

Protecting your grout in advance with a sealer will prevent most of these issues and although relatively unknown in the UK, protection awareness is growing. Sealing forms an invisible barrier between the grout and the surface, this will then protect your investment for years to come.

We have solutions for all the problems listed above and below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past to resolve many of these issues. It should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.


Slate Tiled Wet Room Treated for Grout Haze and Restored in Sevenoaks

A builder had made a real mess of this customer’s new Slate tiled wet room. When installing any new natural stone tiles, it is always recommended to apply the sealer before grouting, since – as was the case here – the porosity of the stone can cause the grout to stick with to the stone, leaving a terrible blotchy and uneven appearance.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration Sevenoaks
What’s more, once stuck to the stone, the grout is essentially impossible for the tiler to remove. In this wet room, light grey grout had been left smeared all over the Slate tiled walls, causing haze in some places.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration Sevenoaks
Understandably, she was very upset with the situation and was eager to secure some professional help, courtesy of the Kent Tile Doctor. I travelled down to the property, situated in Sevenoaks, Kent, to set the problems right.

Restoring the appearance of a Slate Tiled Wet Room

To begin, I had to tape up all the chrome and metal fittings found around the bathroom to stop them coming into contact with the cleaning products. I them started the restoration by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a PH1 blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids for the removal of grout haze.

As it comes in a gel form, this product is especially effective on vertical or sloped surfaces, where more dwell time is required. A liquid product would, of course, simply run off the tiles. So, working on small areas at a time, I allowed the gel to dwell for around five minutes, before agitating the solution with a pan scrubber, and rinsing the gel off with water. Once I had completed this process on the whole of the wet room, I allowed the tiles to dry out before repeating the process on some of the areas suffering from thicker smears of grout.

Sealing Slate Wet Room Tiles

When I was happy that I had removed all of the grout smears, I ensured that all the tiles were dry before applying Tile Doctor Stone Oil. This product is an easy-to-apply, pre-polish impregnating sealer which is ideal for low porosity stone and also suitable for more porous stone, such as Terracotta. It is also specially designed to enhance the natural colours and textures of tiles, and improve mechanical strength once cured. The oil is particularly effective when used on dark stone, like this Slate, as it really helps to deepen the colour.

I returned the next day to seal the tiles completely using one coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to lock in the Stone Oil applied the previous day. Ultra Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection. It allows moisture vapour transmission and is an excellent grout sealer.

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration Sevenoaks
The customer was very happy with the results, which set this difficult problem right. In particular, she was worried that all of the tiles would have to be removed and the entire wet room would have to be redone. Thankfully that is no longer the case, and she can enjoy this fantastic Slate feature. All she needs to be concerned with now is ensuring the tiles are regularly maintained with professional care, including having the sealer topped up as and when necessary.

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration Sevenoaks
 

Professional Slate Tile Restoration in a Kent Wet Room

Reclaimed Quarry Tiles Patio Restoration in New Cross, SE London

This customer based in New Cross South East London had a significant problem with their patio. Their home is a period Victorian property so when choosing a stone for the patio, they bought reclaimed quarry tiles to marry up with the period of the house, and proceeded with their DIY project. Unfortunately they were not aware that quarry tiles are porous until sealed, and grout left on the tile and not wiped off immediately, will leave a grout haze or in this case stick to the tile altogether.

Quarry Tile Restoration Before
I inspected the tiles and confirmed this was the worst case of grout haze I had ever seen; un-deterred I proceeded to carry out a test clean (you can see this reflected in the photograph below) and this demonstrated successfully that the tiles could be restored.

Quarry Tile Restoration Tester

Cleaning Patio Quarry Tiles

Satisfied with the results of the test clean I proceeded to clean the rest of the floor. For this I used Tile doctor Grout Clean-Up which contains concentrated acid and is designed to penetrate below the surface to remove grout smears; this was diluted 1 to 1 with water which is a very strong mix. I sprayed the solution onto the tiles, working 1sqm at a time, leaving it to dwell on the tiles for a few minutes before scrubbing the tiles by hand with a rough pan cleaner. I then rinsed the area off with water and used my wet vac to remove the soiled solution. The strong mix had the desired effect on the Quarry tiles but it was necessary to go over the area again after spotting some of the worse stains the first application had missed. Happy with the result, I carried out this process across the rest of the patio, working 1 sqm at a time.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

When I was finished the customer was very happy with the result, and now had a patio they could use. The customer was keen to carry on with their DIY project, and wanted to seal the patio themselves, so I advised them to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour intensifier and impregnated sealer; this will both protect and enhance the reclaimed quarry tile into the future.

Quarry Tile Restoration After
 

Removing grout haze from reclaimed Quarry Tiles in London

Cleaning and Removing Grout Haze from a Quarry Tiled floor in Kemsing, Kent

The attached pictures are of a Quarry Tiled floor in a kitchen and family room of a cottage in Kemsing, Kent. The cottage was undergoing a full renovation and extension, and the quarry tiled floor was recently installed, however it was not sealed prior to grouting, and a grey grout haze was now sitting across the whole floor. Quarry tiles are highly porous and if not sealed before grouting the grout sitting on the tile soaks in leaving the colour of the grout as a haze over the tile.

Quarry Tile Floor Before

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

There had been a number of tradesmen working constantly on the premises so it was difficult to tell what was grout haze and what was builders mess so I the first job was to give the floor a good clean. For this I used a strong mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with water in a 3:1 ratio. I also added a squirt of Tile Doctor NanoTech Ultra-Clean which is an abrasive clean cleaner and processed to apply the solution to the floor. I left the solution to dwell on the floor for a short while and then scrubbed the floor using my weighted floor scrubbing machine fitted with a black 17inch scrubbing pad. The cleaning residue was removed using a wet vacuum and we could now see all the grout haze quite clearly.

Quarry Tile Floor Before

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles

To remove the grout haze one part Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up was mixed with three parts water and poured into a spray bottle; Grout Clean-up is a product specifically designed for removing grout haze. This was then sprayed onto the floor, covering an area of around 1m2 and spread so it covered the grout haze evenly. This was allowed to dwell on the tile for three to four minutes before I agitated the solution by hand with a pan scrubber and water. This was then vacuumed up before I took a scrubbing brush and clean water from another bucket and scrubbed the area, before again vacuuming up. This ensured that all the formula had been cleansed from the floor; this process was repeated across the whole floor, working on 1m2 at a time and then left to dry ready for sealing.

Quarry Tile Floor Before

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The floor was now ready for sealing; Quarry tile floors can accept two types of sealer, a topical sealer or an impregnated sealer. I usually recommend Tile Doctor Seal & Go for Quarry tiled floors which is a Topical sealer as it is easier to maintain. On this occasion however the customer wanted to wait until they had completed decorating and was happy to seal the floor themselves, so I gave them advice on what sealers to use and how best to use them and left them to it.

Quarry Tile Floor After Quarry Tile Floor After

 

Grout Haze removal from Quarry Tiles in Kent

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Kent Tile Doctor

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