Grout Cleaning

Deep Cleaning Anti-Slip Ceramic Tiles at Banbury Sports Centre

We were contacted by a Sports Centre in Banbury regarding the shower facilities in the changing rooms. The rough nature of the anti-slip ceramic tiles had been trapping dirt and it had a build-up of mould in some areas. In addition, the grout on the wall tiles was very discoloured. Obviously, they are very heavily used, so keeping them maintained is paramount to extending the life of the area and of course keeping the customers happy too!

Ceramic Tiled Sports Centre Ceramic Shower Tile Banbury Before Cleaning

With Sports Centres and Gym’s closed around the country this was the perfect time to get some maintenance work done so I when they called, I was happy to take a look. They accepted my quote and I booked them in for a deep clean. With the facility closed to the public I pretty much had the whole facility to myself so social distancing was not a problem.

Banbury is at the North end on Oxfordshire but fortunately the M40 runs right through it, so it doesn’t take long for me to reach it.

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Shower Area

My first task was to give the shower tiles a clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was sprayed onto the tile. It was left for ten minutes so it could have time to break down the dirt before being scrubbed in.

After inspecting the shower tile, I could see more work would be needed, so I followed this with an application of another Tile Doctor product called Duo Clean. Again, this was sprayed onto all the shower tile including the floor but this time I left it to soak in for an hour. I then scrubbed the walls and floors and rinsed with water. Tile Doctor Duo Clean is a fast, effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. It cleans up grout and can also remove mould and blackspot from grout and silicone.

It was necessary to repeat the process as the tiles really were dirty, so I repeated the Tile Doctor Duo Clean process left for another hour, then scrubbed and rinsed. There were several shower areas to clean so I moved onto another shower whilst waiting for the first.

Ceramic tiles are sealed at the factory and so will not accept a sealer however grout is cementous and does benefit from being sealed so for this I recommend using an aerosol grout sealer as this is easy to apply.

Once dry the shower looked 100% cleaner and fresher than before unfortunately due to the Sports Centre being closed it will be a while before their customers will be able to appreciate my work.

Ceramic Tiled Sports Centre Ceramic Shower Tile Banbury After Cleaning

Before leaving I advised the centre manager about the common issues with shower tiles and how best to maintain them in the future. I suggested the use of our Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro cleaner which is a pH neutral tile cleaner which could be used in addition to their existing cleaning regime. Hopefully, this information gets passed to the cleaning team who look after the building however it might be a while before they return.

 

Professional Cleaning of Commercial Shower Tiling in Oxfordshire

Tumbled Marble Floor Honed and Sealed in Oxford

The owners of this house in the historic city of Oxford contacted Tile Doctor about their Tumbled Marble tiled floor which was not looking its best and was proving difficult to clean effectively. The floor is part of a kitchen/dining room where the grout had darkened substantially with dirt. Oxford is only 12 miles from by base in Chalgrove so I spoke to the client on the phone and arranged an appointment to visit the property and survey the floor.

I could see that sealer had also worn off which is a common problem with natural stone floor and dirt was now trapped in the pores of the stone. They had tried multiple types of household floor cleaners and nothing was getting the floor to look clean, and as it was so light in colour it was really looking quite dirty.

Tumbled Marble Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

We find the best way to renovate hard stone flooring such as Marble is to use a set of diamond burnishing pads which hone the stone and restore its appearance. I recommended this method to the homeowner and worked out a quote. The quote was agreed, and we set a date to do the work which given the size of the floor I calculated would take two days, one to burnish and one to seal.

Cleaning/Repairing a Tumbled Marble Tiled Kitchen/ Dining room Floor

The burnishing process starts with the application of a coarse 400-grit diamond pad which is applied using a rotary floor scrubber and lubricated with water. This pad is run over each tile two to three times and this effectively cleans the stone removing any old sealer in the process.

After rinsing the fine slurry off the floor with more water and extracting with a wet vacuum I turned my attention to the grout. For this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines and scrubbed it into grout with a stiff brush. The cleaner was then rinsed away with water taking the dirt with it and extracted as before using the wet vacuum.

I then continued to burnish and hone the Marble tiles starting with 800-grit pad and then followed by 1500-grit pad. Each pad was applied with water to lubricate and then the slurry rinsed and extracted off the floor as before. The floor was then left to dry out overnight.

Sealing a Tumbled Marble Tiled Kitchen/ Dining room Floor

On day two I returned and began work by checking the floor was dry enough to seal with a damp meter. All was well so I proceeded to apply the sealer. After discussing sealer options with the client, I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer which enhances the natural colours in the stone. It also provides durable protection by impregnating the pores of the stone preventing dirt from becoming engrained there. I applied two coats of Colour Grow allowing time in-between for the first coat to dry before applying the second.

Before leaving for the day I buffed the floor with a white pad to remove any excess sealer and give the floor a lovely sheen.

Tumbled Marble Floor After Cleaning Oxford

After I had finished the floor looked pristine and my client was over the moon.

 

Professional Renovation of a Tumbled Marble Tiled Floor in Oxfordshire

Revealing Copper Tones in a Coloured Slate Kitchen Floor in Abingdon

This customer had recently moved into a property in Abingdon and got in touch about having the coloured Slate floor tiles in the kitchen cleaned and sealed. There was a big variation in appearance from one end of the kitchen to the other and they had a hunch that the Slate had a lot more colours in it than they could see!

Coloured Slate Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Abingdon

I called in to survey the floor and could see that the main issue was the usual problem of the sealer wearing down in the high traffic areas allowing dirt to penetrate and build-up in the pores of the stone. I ran some tests on the tiles and carried out a test clean, the difference in the stone and grout was immediate, and the customer was happy to go ahead and have the whole floor done. We arranged to carry out the work later that month.

Cleaning a Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To clean the floor, I first spread a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean over a section of the slate tiles. It was then left to soak into the pores of the stone for ten minutes before working it into the slate with a mono rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I find the pad works well on tiles but can struggle in the recesses of the grout line, so I followed this up by running a stiff brush along the grout lines to get them clean as possible.

After scrubbing the floor in this manner, the dirt was released from the pores of the stone into the cleaning solution and I was then able to extract the resulting slurry from the floor using a wet vacuum. I worked in sections like this until the whole floor was completed. It was surprising how much dirt had been lifted and the Slate floor was a different colour after I had finished.

I then rinsed the floor with water a couple of times and then followed up by scrubbing the floor with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acidic product which cleans the stone further and removes any mineral deposits including grout smears. Being an acidic product, it also counters the alkalinity of Tile Doctor Pro Clean effectively leaving the floor with a neutral pH. I rinsed the floor a couple of times with water and then mopped the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Floor Cleaner.

That completed the first day, I left for the evening and the floor was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned on day two and tested the floor using the moisture meter to make sure it was dry. The readings were good, and I was satisfied it was dry enough to take a sealer. To seal the floor, I applied Tile Doctor Seal & Go which leaves the floor with a sheen finish that the customer wanted. The Slate was quite porous, so it took seven coats to fully seal the floor which took some time and you have to allow for each coat to dry before applying the next.

Coloured Slate Floor Tiles After Cleaning Abingdon

The floor was transformed by the time I had finished, and you can see from the after picture how clean the grout is and how the lovely Copper tones in the stone were now evident; the natural variations in colour were now as they should be. Clearly their hunch had been right!

The customer was very happy and left the following feedback which is always gratefully received as much of our work comes from recommendations.

“Very happy with the service we received. Barry did an excellent job restoring our floor and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.”

 

Professional Clean of a Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Oxfordshire

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 Clean and Silicone Replaced Oxford

Our clients contacted us in despair with their bathroom. The request was to renovate their ceramic tiled bathroom at a house in Oxford, a beautiful location, as most will know the city is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, which is in fact the oldest university in the English-speaking world, also known as the “city of dreaming spires”. They had tried many supermarket solutions to clean up the grout and sort out the silicone trim, to no avail. The ceramic tiles were in good condition so the specific focus for the client was on treating the dirty grout and silicone trim around the bath.

Bathroom Before Grout Clean and Silicone Replaced Oxford
The grout has gone black with mould in some places and this is a very common problem in UK bathrooms where it thrives in the warm damp conditions and is usually related to a lack of ventilation. The simple action of leaving a window and door ajar after having a shower helps to cross ventilate and can reduce the problem. Of course, this is not always desirable during cold weather so improved mechanical extraction is always better. Another option is to run the shower cold for a few minutes afterwards, in fact some modern showers have this feature built in for that purpose. I discussed the causes with the client, we agreed a quote and arranged a day to complete the work.

Cleaning and Grouting Ceramic Tiled Bathroom in Oxford

I started by spraying the grout with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean, this is a fast and effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. It cleans up grout and can remove mould and blackspot from grout and silicone and is suitable for use on plastic and enamel baths and showers. I left this to soak in for about 30 minutes, and then worked in sections spraying more Duo-Clean and scrubbing with a grout brush and rinsing each section with water. After cleaning the whole bathroom, I left it for an hour so that the grout had dried. I could then see if there were any places needing a second clean, in this case there were a few stubborn areas and so the process was repeated. Once I was satisfied I had fully cleaned the grout and tiles I took a break and left the bathroom so that the grout would completely dry out. At this stage the tile and grout were already looking much better.

Resealing Ceramic Tiled Bathroom in Oxford

After lunch I carefully removed all the silicone between the bath, sink and the wall tiles with a sharp knife. This is a little time consuming, but it is important to remove all of the old sealant in order to achieve the best finish. This was then cleaned up and then fresh mould resistant silicone put back in its place. This ensures everything is water tight

For aftercare we recommend the regular application of Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro, this is a powerful alkaline product especially formulated for cleaning shower Tile and Grout. It’s a highly effective cleaner that removes soap scum, body oil, mildew and algae from areas that have been neglected or subjected to frequent use. This will keep on top of the problem and ensure the bathroom continues to look nice and clean.

Bathroom After Grout Clean and Silicone Replaced Oxford
The client was very happy with the result which was completed in one day. The bathroom was certainly left looking very fresh, clean and much more appealing.

 

Re Grouting and Sealing Ceramic Tiles in Bathroom 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

Victorian Tiled Floor Refurbished in Farringdon

Apologies for the first photograph, I realise now it’s a little out of focus but hopefully you can see that the Victorian Tiled Floor pictured (at a residence in the market town of Farringdon, Oxfordshire) was not looking its best and this was mainly due to the fact that the house had recently undergone some extensive building work and had become very dirty in the process.

Victorian Tiles Before Refurbishment in Farringdon

Refurbishing Victorian Tiles

The first thing I did was protect the skirting board and doors from splashes and then to clean the floor I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and this was left to dwell on the floor for a good twenty minutes. It was then worked into the tile using a deck brush and then more Pro-Clean was applied so the floor didn’t dry. I then scrubbed the floor with a rotary floor machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. After I finished the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum and the whole floor was then rinsed with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product. The tiles were then inspected and the process re-applied to areas that needed it; I then left the floor for two days so it could dry thoroughly.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

When I returned the floor was dry so I sealed it using a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow followed by four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is a great combination as the Colour Grow impregnates the tile improving the colours and protecting it from within whilst Seal and Go adds a further layer of protection and also added a nice subtle shine that the customer wanted.

Victorian Tiles After Refurbishment in Farringdon
 

Victorian Tiled floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Farringdon

Ruined Limestone Tiled Floor Restored in Banbury

If you’re passionate about tiled floors and easily upset I suggest you look away now as believe it or not the photographs below are from a recently laid Limestone tiled floor in Banbury. It had been left in a very poor state by the tiler who had managed to cover in Grout Haze and then in the process of trying to rectify the problem by cleaning it off with acid managed to etch the surface of the Limestone making the situation even worse. Limestone being a calcareous stone can in fact be dissolved by acids, in face it’s not unknown for mildly acidic cleaning products to cause holes to appear in the surface over time.

Restoring Limestone Tiles

To resolve we had to strip back the Limestone surface using a set of burnishing pads, these diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours each one does a different job from honing to polishing. I started with the coarse pad together with water and then carried on through the set until I got to the finer pad removing the soiled water with a wet vacuum along the way. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a finishing pad to buff the floor up. This activity took most of the day so left the floor to completely dry overnight.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

The following day I checked the floor to make sure it had dried, which it had and started to seal the floor which was done using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer which is an impregnating sealer which gets into the pores of the Limestone to prevent dirt being trapped, the formula as well as providing stain protection also enhances the natural colours in the stone.

I think you will agree we achieved a good result given the original condition of the tile. I should also mention that I also gave the customer a finishing pad as they owned a floor machine and using this on the floor even once a month will keep the honed surface tight and keep the seal working longer.

Limestone Tile Restoration in Oxfordshire

=================================

Oxfordshire Tile Doctor

Scroll to top