We visited a lady in Luton who had just had a brand new Terrazzo tiled floor installed and had chosen not to have it sealed. Terrazzo is a beautiful tile made from natural stone and as such is very sensitive to acid.
Although this is common knowledge within the tiling industry, the builder who completed the initial installation of the Terrazzo floor did not make the client aware of the stone’s acid sensitivity. What’s more, he actually advised against sealing the floor. This resulted in the client unknowingly using an unsuitable cleaner and left what looked like water splashes all over the floor.
In a desperate attempt to remove the stains she applied vinegar to the floor. Since vinegar is an acid it caused a deep etching and immediately took away the shine of the tile, leaving in its place a dull mark. At this point she decided to contact the Bedfordshire Tile Doctor, and I came along to her rescue!
Burnishing an Acid Damaged Terrazzo Tiled Floor
To remove the etching I used a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Since the marks were particularly severe I opted to take the tile right back using an extra fifth pad rather than the usual four. The pads are applied in sequence from Coarse to Extra fine with a little water and a rinse between each pad. After the burnishing process was completed, all of the marks had been removed and were replaced by a beautiful polished shine.
Sealing a Terrazzo tiled floor
We then sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing a durable seal from within. This will help protect against dirt and stains in the future, and will also help to lessen the impact of mishaps should the floor become exposed to acidic products again. In addition, Colour Grow is a colour intensifying sealer so, as you can see from the photos, the lovely natural shades of the Terrazzo were accentuated.
With the floor restoration a success, my client was very happy and before leaving I advise her to use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Tile Doctor Stone Soap for regular cleaning as these products will maintain the floor without affecting the appearance of the floor or degrading the sealer.
The grout lines on this Porcelain floor in a Luton Kitchen was excessively stained and even with the application of the heavy duty cleaning products we have at our disposal it was very unlikely that it could be restored to its former standard. The best option therefore was to colour the grout using a Tile Doctor Grout Colouring kit.
Choosing a Grout Colour
The customer wasn’t completely sure which colour would suit best so I was able to test the effect of various colours within the Tile Doctor range by applying a small amount to the grout colourant in different colours to the floor and then wiping it off before it had chance to harden. This helped and the sandstone colourant was decided upon, the range includes a number of popular colours so it can be a tricky decision; I’ve included a table of the range below so you can see for yourself.
(Colors are displayed as accurately as possible. Some colors below may not represent exact grout colors. They may appear differently on computer monitors with different resolutions).
Before applying the colourant the grout needs to be clean and free of any debris; you can a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for this Tile Doctor however do sell a special Pre-Treater product that is recommended for this, its mildly acidic which etches the grout to provide a better bond. The Pre-Treater is safe to use on Porcelain tiles but for natural stone such as Marble or Travertine I would go with Pro-Clean.
Once the floor was dry I started with the application of the white colourant using a tooth brush to paint it onto the grout, pressing down firmly to make sure it is keyed into the original grout. Once the whole floor had been covered and all the grout lines coloured, we let it dry for several hours returning to clean up the tiles. Once all the excess colourant had been removed we used a polishing pad to buff the floor back to a polishes state.
Apologies for the photographs which are not my best but I think you can see the improvement.
These Porcelain floor tiles had been laid in the hallway of a block of flats in Luton and had seen a fair amount of foot traffic resulting in the usual build-up of dirt and grime making it well overdue for a deep clean.
Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tiles
To clean Porcelain tiles I would normally just apply Tile Doctor Pro-Clean however given the amount of dirt in the tile we needed all the help we could get so the Pro-Clean was mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which results in the creation of a powerful tile cleaner that contains Nano sized abrasive particles that can penetrate deep into the dirt. The cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for twenty minutes before scrubbing the floor with rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. You could see the dirt coming out of the floor at this point so once the whole floor was scrubbed I switched to a Rotovac machine which applies and removes water at high pressure to remove the soil and rinse the floor at the same time.
You can see from the photograph above which was taken with the Rotovac machine in use the difference in the tiled floor.
The Ceramic floor tiles shown below were installed in a Luton high street restaurant, as you can see they were far from clean, deeply stained and even the grout had gone black.
Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tiles
Given the amount of dirt on the tile and grout we decided to apply a very strong combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which results in the creation of a heavy duty stripper/cleaner containing nano sized abrasive particles that can penetrate deep into the dirt. The cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for twenty minutes before using a Rotovac machine which applies and removes water at high pressure to remove the dirt and rinse the floor.
Glazed ceramic tiles won’t take a sealer so once the entire floor was dry and stubborn areas re-done we were finished.