This customer had a fantastic rough heather set Quarry tiled terrace laid on the exterior of their property in Dunstable. While from a distance the tiles appeared to be in quite good condition, there was one very obvious problem. The customer, following the advice of the retailer – but against best practice and the advice of the installers – opted to use a polymer-based white grout. To worsen the problem, the tiles were also not sealed before grouting, resulting in a blotchy white appearance once dried.
This was a big problem, and needless to say the customer was eager to set the situation right. The customer contacted me and I travelled to the property to see what could be done. Although it was virtually impossible to remove the problem entirely, I was able to eliminate most of it and significantly improve the condition of the tiles. Here’s how I did it:
Cleaning Badly Stained Quarry Tiles
Removing the blotchy white stains required the use of a number of different cleaning products, combined with lots of rinsing with clean water.
My initial attempts involved firstly the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, before scrubbing it into the tiles. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product that is often used to break down old sealers, adhesives and synthetic finishes, however, in this case it served to draw out the ingrained white stains.
I followed this up with an application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in gel form used to treat grout smears and efflorescence. It is not recommended for use on acid sensitive stone such as Limestone and Marble as it can cause etching, but here it helped make some good progress with cleaning the Quarry tiles.
Even after a long period of cleaning, some of the particularly ingrained polymer refused to budge. My best option was to use Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, which utilises nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the stone to eliminate stubborn marks. The product was brushed into the Quarry tiles in combination with a steamer, achieving some good results. We then brought in a spinning tool fitted to our truck-mounted cleaning machine to thoroughly rinse the tiles, leaving them much improved.
We used air movers to dry the terrace off quickly in order to see the final
result, which the customer was very pleased with, especially considering the extent of the staining. We then advised the client to wait until June or July to give the terrace another clean, along with a fresh seal using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer which will improve the appearance even further.