Restoring the Appearance of Encaustic Cement Tiles in Chipping Norton

The photographs on this page are of Encaustic Cement tiles where the grout had not been wiped off the surface properly after being laid. This in turn allowed dirt to become easily trapped and they soon became grubby. We see this problem a lot at Tile Doctor where it is commonly referred to has Grout Smears or Grout Haze. The customer from Chipping Norton had tried to remove it themselves without success and decided to give us a call.

Encaustic Cement Tiles Before Cleaning in Chipping Norton

If you haven’t come across them before Encaustic Cement tiles are often hand painted and are available in a range of beautifully artistic patterns. Being cement based however they do need to be sealed for best results.

Burnishing and Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

To remove the grout and dirt and restore the look of the tiles I opted to use diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Tile Doctor supply a set of these pads comprising of four pads of increasing grits. I started with the coarse 400-grit burnishing pads running it over the floor with a rotary floor machine and lubricated with a small amount of water. Following this I worked my way through the system, applying Medium 800-grit and Fine 1500-grit pads rinsing off the slurry generated in-between and extracting with a wet vacuum.

The last Very Fine, 3000-grit pad is applied dry with only a little water spayed onto the floor using a process we call a “Spray Burnish”. This really refines the look of the tiles and usefully leaves them dry. This process took up the whole morning and the next step would be to seal the tiles, so I went for lunch at this point to give the tiles more time to dry.

Sealing Encaustic Cement Floor Tiles

To be sure they were dry I tested the floor with a damp meter, the readings were fine, and I was satisfied I could go ahead and apply the sealer.

To seal the tiles, I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is an impregnating sealer that penetrates and occupies the pores of the tile thus prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. Colour Grow also leaves a matt finish which is ideal for this type of tile.

Encaustic Cement Tiles After Cleaning in Chipping Norton

With the grout and dirt removed and a sealer in place to protect them this floor will be much easier for the customer to keep them clean in future.

Get the Encaustic Look

If you like the look of Encaustic tiles but don’t want the hassle of having to maintain them it’s worth looking at their equivalent in Glazed Porcelain which are very low maintenance. CTD have a Cuban and Havana range which are inspired by the intricate geometric shapes found in Encaustic tiles, both are made from Glazed Porcelain which doesn’t need to be sealed and are therefore very low maintenance. CTD have over 100 tile shops in the UK and you can also buy on-line or order free samples via their website: www.CTDTiles.co.uk

 

Restoring the Appearance of Grubby Encaustic Cement Tiles in Oxfordshire

Grout Haze removed from Travertine Tiles in Henley-on-Thames

The photograph below taken at a house in Henley-on-Thames shows a Travertine tiled floor covered with grout haze smears across the surface of the tile. The tiler should of dealt with this after laying the floor however removing grout smears from natural stone is tricky as normally you would use acid but Travertine is very sensitive to acid so I suspect the tiler decided against it in-case the tiles were ruined.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Henleyon Thames

Refurbishing Travertine Tiles

The first step was to give the floor a general wash to remove any grit and to get the grout clean so we started by applying a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was spread over the floor with particular attention paid to getting the solution into the grout lines where it was scrubbed in with a stiff brush. Next we removed any trace of product by using a wet vacuum and rinsing thoroughly with clean water.

To remove the grout haze and restore the surface polish the floor needed to be burnished which is done using four diamond encrusted burnishing pads applied in the correct sequence of grits from coarse through to super fine. First using coarse pad number 1 we put some clean water on the floor and using our rotary machine slowly burnished the area making sure that we passed over each tile around four times. The coarse pad cuts into the surface grime of the floor and also removes sealers and in this case the grout haze. The resultant soiled water is rinsed away with clean water which in turn is removed using a wet vacuum. This process is then repeated with the remaining pads to hone and polish the floor, rinsing between each pad until a nice polish is built up on the tile. The floor is then given a final rinse and once we were satisfied that all the slurry had been removed we left the floor to dry.

Cleaning Travertine and Limestone Tiles

I returned the next day to seal the Travertine Tile for which I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that will occupy the pores in the stone preventing contaminates getting in there; Colour Grow also brings out the colours in the stone and in this case has done well to bring out the deep brown colours.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Henleyon Thames

The floor now looks 100% better and how it should have looked in the first place.
 
 

Travertine Tiled Floor Burnished and Sealed in Shropshire