Dunstable Tile Cleaning

Cleaning and Grout Re-colouring for Porcelain Kitchen Tiles in Studham

This customer called us as she was deeply concerned by several problems with the grout between her large format white Porcelain kitchen tiles. The grout was not only very soiled, but had also cracked and dislodged in places because of her underfloor heating. The constant heating and cooling of the floor had caused the grout to expand and contract – and because it was not the flexible variety, it had cracked quite easily.

The tiles themselves were not proving too difficult to keep clean as Porcelain is naturally quite durable. However, every time the customer had cleaned the floor, the grout never really improved in condition. In fact, it was getting worse over time.

Porcelain Floor Tile Grout Before cleaning and recolouring Studham Porcelain Floor Tile Grout Before cleaning and recolouring Studham

A quote was given to restore the grout and the work was booked in the following month. The property was in Studham on the edge of the Chiltern Hills in Bedfordshire.

Cleaning and Re-Grouting for Porcelain Kitchen Tiles

The first thing we did was to protect the kitchen units with a plastic wrap and remove the plinths under the kitchen units to prevent them from exposure to any cleaning products. The tiles were vacuumed to remove any loose debris and dirt, before being washed using a mild solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is an alkaline-based cleaner that’s safe to use on tile and grout. As aforementioned, the Porcelain tiles were in good condition to begin with, so the cleaning process was not too intensive.

We also scrubbed the Pro-Clean into all the grout lines to remove as much staining as possible, as well as to prepare them for recolouring. Next, the area was rinsed with water to remove any trace of cleaning product and the resulting slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then dried quickly using fans so that we could assess how well the grout had responded to cleaning. Following this, any loose grout was dug out and replaced with fresh grout.

Grout Re-Colouring for Porcelain Kitchen Tiles

Once the grout was fully dry, we started the process of re-colouring it. This was done using our own Tile Doctor Grout Colourant, which seals and rejuvenates grout joints, protecting them from everyday staining and ingrained dirt.

Porcelain Floor Tile Grout During cleaning and recolouring Studham
There are 10 different colours of Grout Colourant available in our range, including Charcoal Grey, Black, Cappuccino, Limestone, and White – the latter being the colour the customer opted for this time. The product is applied by hand using a small brush. You allow it to dry partly and then any excess is wiped off the tiles, as once set it is extremely hard and durable.

Porcelain Floor Tile Grout Before cleaning and recolouring Studham Porcelain Floor Tile Grout After cleaning and recolouring Studham

The pictures above show the difference our grout re-colouring service can make. The customer commented that the work made the floor look newly installed, as she felt it had never looked truly clean before. Another satisfied customer and with the colourant protecting the grout it should stay that way for some time.

Porcelain Floor Tile Grout After cleaning and recolouring Studham
 

Tile and Grout Renovation of a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Bedfordshire

Large Grey Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Studham

Brazilian Slate is amongst some of the highest quality available in the world and the grey variant is particularly striking when used for large areas of flooring. I mention this as I recently encountered a fantastic Grey Brazilian Slate tiled floor in what turned out to be one our largest domestic restoration projects to date.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham
The floor, located at a property in the ancient, yet picturesque parish of Studham in South Bedfordshire, covered over 200m2. Unfortunately, it had been installed several years ago with very minimal sealant to keep it protected. This sealant has since worn away and the tiles had suffered as a result. They have become ingrained with dirt, leaving them dull and difficult to clean. Thankfully, we at Tile Doctor are perfectly equipped to resolve these common and highly problematic situations.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham
The owner was also concerned that areas of the hallway portion of the floor were missing grout and asked if this could be resolved as part of our restoration work. As I mentioned before it was a very large installation with slate tiles laid in four bedrooms, a large hallway with stairs, corridor to the kitchen and dining area, the kitchen and dining area itself, the utility room and the main sitting room. In short, it was no small area and I could envisage being there some time!

Fortunately, the customer arranged to have all furniture moved into storage, so we could have a clear area to work on and were able to get straight to work on arrival.

Cleaning a Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor

Due to the size of the job, the cleaning process was carried out over the course of four days by two Tile Doctor technicians on site. Our first course of action was to mix a strong solution of our reliable high-alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was applied and agitated into the tiles and grout using specialised grout brushes and a rotary machine with a 17” black scrubbing pad. This not only cleaned the tiles but also removed any old sealant remaining on the floor.

The resulting slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum. We then applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to all the grout lines, brushing the product in with grout brushes and using the wet vacuum to remove any excess chemicals. Grout Clean-Up is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which removes grout smears from the surface of the tile to ensure there’s nothing that can detract from its natural appearance.

We rinsed and mopped the floor with plain water to neutralise the floor in preparation for sealing and performed a final go over with the wet vacuum. Each area was dried with fans and the cleaning process began again in the next room. This work was repeated in each area as we moved from room to room.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Grouting in Studham
Once the hallway was cleaned, the next course of action was to grout to the areas where it was missing. We did this by matching the colour to the original grout as best as possible. The new grout was then allowed to dry before any excess was removed and a quick clean was performed to avoid any grout haze.

Sealing a Brazilian Slate Tile Floor

Each area was given at least 24 hours to dry before sealing and then sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealant. This sealer works really well on Slate adding robust protection whilst achieving a light sheen finish which gave the customer the look they were hoping to achieve.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Sealing in Studham
The Grey Brazilian Slate floor was given a new lease of life and no longer looked dull, as can be seen in the photographs below. Additionally, the customer was delighted with the results and left us the following positive feedback:

“Excellent service. Very friendly and very professional. I would certainly recommend.”

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham
As I mentioned at the start of this post it was a very large floor and as you can imagine it took some time to complete but was well worth the effort.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham
 

Professional Renovation of a Grey Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor in Bedfordshire

Newly Laid Quarry Tiled Terrace Treated for Grout Haze in Dunstable

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.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable
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:

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

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.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable
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.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable
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.

Dealing with Grout Haze on a Quarry Tiled Terrace in Bedfordshire

Terracotta Floor Maintained in Whipsnade

Pictures below of another Terracotta tiled floor that was deep cleaned and then sealed, this time in Whipsnade. You can see from the photograph below the floor was in good physical condition but was looking washed out and had staining to the grout.

Terracotta Floor Whipsnade Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

To deep clean the Terracotta tile and grout I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean to produce a heavy duty alkaline cleaner with nano sized abrasive particles that can clean deep into the tile. The resulting solution was left to soak into the Terracotta for 10-20 minutes before being worked in with a Rotovac machine fitted with a Tile and Grout head attachment. The Rotovac is a powerful and versatile tool that can also be used to clean carpet as well as tile and connects to separate machine that feeds high pressure water to the unit as well as generating a vacuum to remove the dirty water back to a separate tank. Once we were happy that the floor we left for the day so the floor could dry.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We returned two days later to seal the floor which we did using a combination of two compatible sealers. First off we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a premium impregnating sealer that soaks into the tile and brings out the natural colour. Once this was dry five coats for Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied which is a surface sealer that adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor as well as topping up the stain protection.

Terracotta Floor Whipsnade After Cleaning and Sealing
 

Terracotta Floor Maintained in Whipsnade

Tired Quarry Tiled Floor in Dunstable School Refurbished

Before and after photograph below of a Quarry Tiled floor at a school in Dunstable that was in such a bad state we had to apply grout colourant to the floor. Quarry tiles are fairly indestructible so ideal for use in schools etc. where they will see a lot of foot traffic and abuse, having said that they will fade with wear over time and naturally the grout can become ingrained with dirt if not protected.

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

It had been a while since the Quarry Tiles and Grout had been given a really deep clean to so we mixed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean and applied it to the floor and left to soak in for around 10 minutes; Pro-Clean is a multipurpose alkaline cleaning product designed specifically for cleaning tile and stone and NanoTech UltraClean adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution to make a more effective cleaner. The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and the grout lines scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with water which was removed using a wet vacuum, once the Quarry tiles were dry it was possible to spot the areas in need of further attention and these were scrubbed by hand together with more of the Pro-Clean/UltraClean mix and a steamer. At this stage it became apparent that that although the grout had improved it was too far gone and never going to make the grade and either needed to re-done or as per our suggestion re-coloured.

Grout Colouring

For floor grout we always recommend the use of an epoxy grout colouring product which not only completely covers the grout making it look new again but also provides a permanent barrier that prevents the grout from staining in future. They can be quite time consuming to apply however especially if you have a small format Quarry tile with lots of grouting.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once happy with the floor and it had time to dry off it was sealed with six coats of Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer which will provide future surface stain protection and also leaves a nice deep shine on the floor. It took a long time but I think you will agree from the before and after photograph below we managed quite a transformation.

 

Restoring Quarry Tiles at a School in Dunstable

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