Grout-Cleaning

Patchy Grout on Porcelain Floor Restored in Darton New Build

Recently it seems I am getting called out to an increasing number of new builds to sort out patchy grout issues. The reason why there have been so many issues arising is a bit of a mystery, but I put it down to a combination of things like poor quality grout, rushed installations, wet subfloors and the use of different batches.

Patchy Grout Before Applying Light Grey Grout Colourant

This recently built house in the village of Darton is a great example and in this case, I suspect two different batches of the same grout had been applied. Darton by the way is a small village in the Borough of Barnsley.

Invariably these problems are picked up by the new owner on their snagging list, with the tiler long gone and the builder keen to get their final payment it is always a tricky situation to resolve. I find the best solution is to apply a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant, it’s a much quicker process than removing the old grout and replacing with new. Most new homeowners would not appreciate us ripping up their brand-new rooms and generating lots of dust in the process! Also, by using the Tile Doctor Grout Colourant it adds a barrier of the grout preventing dirt from discolouring it further down the line.

Restoring grout a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor

Even though the house was brand new, the Porcelain Tiled floor was not looking great. The client was happy for me to go ahead and would take up the bill with the housebuilder. I first pre-treated it with Tile Doctors Grout Colourant Pre-Treatment. This removes any contamination from the grout which might affect the adhesion of the colourant and being an acid, it also etches the surface of the grout to ensure a superior bond with the colourant.

The client chose our Light Grey colour which is one of 10 colours we offer. Once the pre-treatment had been applied, scrubbed, rinsed, and vacuumed away the floor was left to dry. Once dry we started applying the colourant, this is done with a small brush (a toothbrush is ideal) carefully scrubbing colourant into each grout joint and wiping off any excess that gets on the tiles before it is able to dry.

Patchy Grout During Application of Light Grey Grout Colourant

Once complete the newly coloured grout lines totally transformed the floor and because the grout colorant is epoxy based the grout lines will stay stain free and never get dirty.
The porcelain tiles were factory sealed so there is no need to apply a seal to the floor.

I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor in the best condition. It is pH neutral so is far less harsh on the surface than the everyday household cleaners available. It has a minty fragrance and is mild enough to use daily. They were very happy that the floor now looked as it should have from the start and was the finishing touch to their beautiful new home.

Patchy Grout After Applying Light Grey Grout Colourant

 

Professional Kitchen Grout Restoration in South Yorkshire Kitchen

Dull Travertine Floor Filled, Polished and Sealed in Stocksbridge

Late last year I was called to a property in Stocksbridge, near Sheffield, to survey a Travertine tiled floor which had become dull, grubby and had completely lost its appeal. Over the years the floor had lost its shine, the grout lines were filthy and worse still holes had appeared in the stone which had then filled with dirt making it difficult to clean.

Travertine Floor Before Renovation Stocksbridge

I discussed with the client what we could do to restore the Travertine floor back to its’ former glory. I explained holes or pitting as it’s known is quite common with Travertine and is normally sold with the holes filled with a colour matching resin. In this case it’s possible the filler had come loose, or the Travertine had become eroded due to the constant use acidic cleaning products. To restore the floor, I would re-fill the holes, hone the floor and polish it and then finally seal it. I showed them a small test area and they were suitably impressed and were happy to go ahead with my quote. We arranged a convenient time for the work to be carried out.

Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

We started by preparing the Kitchen for floor cleaning which involves removing the kick boards under the units and protecting any exposed areas from splashing. Next, I sprayed the stone tile and grout with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, left it to soak in for then minutes and then scrubbed the area with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. This action was designed to get the dirt out of the holes and give the grout lines a good scrub. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

Travertine Floor Cleaning Grout Lines Stocksbridge

I then set about filling the many holes that had appeared in the floor, a colour matched epoxy resin is used to fill the holes so once filled they’re almost invisible. When the resin had set, we began honing and polishing the floor using the Tile Doctor burnishing system which involves the application of specialist floor pads encrusted with industrial diamonds.

Filling Pitted with Travertine Tile with Resin Stocksbridge

Four burnishing pads are used for this, each of a different grade from coarse to extra fine which slowly refine the stone. The first pad which is coarse 400-grit pad removes old sealers, grime and stains. We then start building the polish of the stone back up with the 800 and 1500-grit pads. You need to lubricate the process with water and then extract the fine slurry that is generated with a wet vacuum after each pad. This always makes a huge overall difference to the look of the floor and by the end of the first day the floor was starting to get its appearance back.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was then left overnight to dry out and we returned the following morning to finish off polishing the floor with our highest grade 3000-grit diamond pad. This last pad is applied with a little water which is sprayed on to the floor during application. This process leaves the floor dry, polished and ready for sealing.

To seal the floor three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied to the floor, you have to wait for the sealer to dry (usually 30 minutes) before applying the next so this took some time to complete. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that protects the floor from staining from within by soaking into the pores of the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained. It contains a colour enhancing formula that improves the colour and tone of the stone, additionally it will protect the floor against grime and stains and will ensure the floor is easier to keep clean.

Travertine Floor During Sealer Application Stocksbridge

For aftercare I recommended they should use Stone Soap for day to day cleaning. Unlike everyday household cleaners it has a pH neutral formula so will not prematurely erode the newly applied seal. It can be used regularly and will also help maintain the patina.

Travertine Floor After Renovation Stocksbridge

My client was over the moon with the new floor, the kitchen area had been transformed and they said they would happily recommend Tile Doctor to their friends.

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in South Yorkshire

Shower Cubicle Renovation in Bolton Upon Dearne

The pictures below detail the renovation of Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle at a property in Bolton Upon Dearne South Yorkshire. I was called in as the homeowners dreaded using the shower due to the state of the tiles, grout and cubicle in general.

Grubby Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Bolton-Upon-Dearne
As you can see from the photograph the grout was filthy, the silicone was mouldy, and the shower frame was caked in mouldy dirt. Over the years there had been a build-up of hard water and staining from products which leave a residue. They had used everyday cleaning products, but these had not been able to touch the problem as it had been left for too long.

I discussed with the clients how Tile Doctor could help, and how we would be able to deep clean the shower area and replace the mouldy silicone. I was confident we could get the renovate the cubicle and get it looking like new again. They were happy to accept my price and we arranged a time to complete the job. It would certainly be far cheaper than ripping out the shower cubicle and replacing with new.

Bolton Upon Dearne is a small village in the very middle of South Yorkshire, it is almost the same distance away from the centres of Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster. It has a rich history of coal mining but like many pit villages it has suffered since the pit closures of the 80’s and 90’s.

Cleaning/Repairing a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

To start the shower was treated with Tile Doctor Oxy Gel, being a gel this product sticks well to the vertical surfaces giving it time to break down grease and grime, you’ll see from the picture just how much dirt was released.

This was followed with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Duo Clean which is great for restoring lighter coloured grout back to its original state as well as removing mould. After scrubbing the soiled water was easily drained away using the shower hose. The transformation was amazing, the area already looked so much more inviting!

Grubby Shower Cubicle During Grout Cleaning Bolton-Upon-Dearne

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

Next the old silicone that had gone mouldy was removed with a sharp knife, this is a slow work as you have avoid damaging the tile or the shower tray. Additionally, a clean and dry surface is required for the new silicone to adhere well.

The tiles were Ceramic which are given a glazed surface during manufacture, so they don’t need a specialist sealant like natural stone. However, the surface of grout is cementous and attracts dirt easily so the whole shower wall was sealed using a can of Tile Doctor Wall and Grout Sealer. This gives a layer which will protect the tiles and grout and will ensure the tiles are easier to keep clean.

Grubby Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Bolton-Upon-Dearne
For everyday cleaning I recommended they use Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which is an effective, yet pH neutral tile and grout cleaner designed for everyday use in Bathrooms and Kitchens. The formula eliminates soap scum build-up and hard water deposits and its neutral formula won’t prematurely degrade the sealer. Used regularly this will prevent the build-up they had previously experienced and will keep the tiles looking good for some time to come.

As you can imagine my client was very happy with the completed work.

 

Professional Restoration of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle in South Yorkshire

Renovating a Paint Spotted Victorian Hallway Floor in Dinnington

The owner of this beautiful Victorian tiled hallway floor in Dinnington had wanted the floor restored for quite some time. The property had many Victorian features, but this floor had an unusual design which made it very special. The owners had researched how to clean it themselves but hadn’t managed to achieve the result they were hoping for. The main problem was that the floor had been spotted with small paint splashes from decades of decorating.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Dinnington Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning Dinnington

Dinnington officially forms part of in Rotherham and is the same distance from Rotherham as it is from Sheffield. The area was a big coal mining and steel producing area and unfortunately suffered huge job losses throughout the 80’s and 90’s so its not surprising that the local housing stock suffered for many years as a result.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We first treated the floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this acts quickly to break down any old sealers still present on the tiles and softens the old paint splashes. After a ten-minute dwell time a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad fitted to rotary floor buffer was applied to the tiles. More water was applied where required to help lubricate the process and make the pad really work its magic. The slurry generated was extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor inspected. The process was the repeated to ensure all the dirt was removed and the floor was as clean as possible.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning Dinnington

Once happy the Victorian tiles were as clean as the could be it was time to give the floor an acid wash which would remove any old mineral deposits including grout smears. We also recommended this for old Victorian floors which do not have a damp-proof membrane installed and can suffer from white efflorescent salt deposits as moisture rises through the tile. To do this Tile Doctor Acid Gel was scrubbed into the to the floor using a 200-grit burnishing pad to make the acid gel work hard. Afterwards we rinsed the floor several times removing the slurry with a wet vacuum. This kept the mess to a minimum and the floor was already looking great.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning Dinnington

The floor was left to dry over the weekend, and we would return the following week to carry out the sealing process.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The following Monday we returned to seal the floor. First, we used the moisture meter to test the floor, we needed to ensure it was as dry as possible before sealing it. The client wanted a traditional look, so we opted for Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that leaves matt finish. This product is perfect for this type of floor as it is fully breathable allowing moisture to pass through the tile and sealer and not become trapped under the floor where it could spread to the walls and cause rising damp.

Four coats of Colour Grow were applied in total allowing each to dry before applying the next. The sealer works by occupying the pores in the tile thereby protecting the floor and preventing dirt from becoming trapped making it much easier to clean.

I was very happy with the result; the floor was now in great condition and was one of the more dramatic in colour and pattern that I had come across. My customer also felt the same and left the following feedback for me.

“Matt did a professional and thorough job: our Victorian hall tiles really ‘pop’ with colour. Highly recommend. Karen T, Dinnington”

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Dinnington Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing Dinnington

 

Professional Renovation of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Rotherham

Large Travertine Floor Renovated at Whirlow Rental Property

Travertine tiled floors are a great feature but do need regular maintenance to keep them looking good. This rarely happens correctly in rental properties and this was certainly the problem at this property in the affluent Sheffield suburb of Whirlow.

My client had rented out their beautiful house for the last ten years but were now moving back in. The property had been given a deep clean following the last rental and they were very disappointed with the Travertine tiled floor which looked dull, dirty and generally un-inviting. They were contemplating have the floor replaced but thought they would contact Tile Doctor first to see if could be improved.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Whirlow Sheffield

I popped into the property to inspect the floor and work out the best method to clean the floor by completing a test clean. The Travertine responded well to the test and I was confident that the floor could be restored. The client was also pleased with the result and the potential of the floor and agreed our quote. We also agreed a date for the work which would take two days and booked it in for later in the month.

Cleaning a Travertine Tile and Grout

To rejuvenate Travertine, we use a system known as burnishing which gradually cleans and hones the stone to restore its polished appearance. It involves using a set of four diamond encrusted pads of different grits from coarse to fine. Each diamond pad is fitted to a rotary floor buffer and run over the floor with water for lubrication. The resulting slurry is then rinsed away with water and extracted using the wet vacuum.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Whirlow Sheffield

Halfway through the pads I turned my attention to the grout which due to being recessed can be missed by the pads. To get this clean I apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, leave it to soak into the grout for five minutes and then scrub it in by hand with a narrow brush. The soil was then rinsed away with water and extracted with a wet vacuum as before.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Grout Cleaning in Whirlow Sheffield

It was a large area, so the tile and grout cleaning process took some time to complete. Once done the floor was given a final rinse and extraction and then left to dry out overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Downstairs Floor

The following morning, I returned to site ready to seal the floor first checking with a damp meter that the tiles were dry. We selected to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the floor, this is a colour enhancing sealer which improved the colour in the stone whilst protecting it from the inside by occupying the pores. It provides durable protection but also allows the floor to breathe. Three coats were applied, each coat is left to dry before applying the next.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Polishing in Whirlow Sheffield

Our client was over the moon with the results and was so thankful they didn’t end up ripping the floor up. Not only had it saved them the additional cost but also the disruption of the work as they were keen to move back in.

I suggested that to keep the floor maintained, they should invest in some Tile Doctor Stone Soap. This product improves patina and is pH neutral so will ensure that the newly applied seal stays in place and the floor remains protected.

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Downstairs in South Yorkshire

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Revamp in Hillsborough, Sheffield

We were contacted by a family from Hillsborough, which is a suburb of Sheffield, who had seen some of the work we do renovating shower cubicles on the internet and wanted to know if I would do the same for their shower.

Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout Before Revamp Sheffield Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout Before Revamp Sheffield

One of the biggest problems affecting bathrooms is mould which thrives in a warm damp environment, the best way to prevent it is to extract the moisture created when having a shower with adequate ventilation. Other steps you can take to reduce mould include always leaving the door open after a shower to improve cross ventilation and rinsing the shower down with cold water afterwards. Tile Doctor also have a product called Aqua-Pro that you can spray on your tiles after use.

I went over to take a look and could see that the Ceramic tiles were only slightly stained and would no doubt clean-up easily however the grout had gone black in places with mould and orange in others due to the dyes in shampoos and soaps. Ceramic tiles are glazed and so usually very easy to keep clean however grout and silicone is more vulnerable and if you now cleaned on a regular basis mould can get a grip and it can prove very stubborn to remove.

Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout Before Revamp Sheffield

Cleaning Ceramic Bathroom Tile and Grout

The home owners had tried to rectify the problem before by applying more grout and silicone to the affected areas however this hadn’t cured the ventilation issue, so it wasn’t long before the problem resurfaced. I recommended replacing all the badly affected grout and the silicone sealer strip around the base of the shower to give the cubicle a fresh look.

My first task was to see how far we could get by cleaning the tile and grout using Tile Doctor Duo-Clean which is designed for use in bathrooms where it’s effective at cleaning grout and removing mould. It comes in a spray bottle so it’s just a question of spraying it onto the tile, grout and silicone and leaving it for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush or scouring pad. The soil was then rinsed off the tile and grout and the shower left to dry off for a while, so we could see which areas were so badly stained would need re-grouting.

The next step was to carefully remove the old silicone sealant from around the edges of the shower cubicle using a sharp knife, then using a combination of power tools and blades we removed the grout in the affected areas and put in new white grout to match the exiting.

While the grout was drying, the shower tray was cleaned up and new silicone sealant has added around the base of the shower cubicle using a premium mould resistant silicone that should be more resistant to staining.

Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout After Revamp Sheffield

The combination of cleaning and grout replacement worked a treat and the shower looks like a brand-new installation. This doesn’t resolve the ventilation issue, so I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro with instructions to spray the tiles down regularly in order to keep it looking fresh and clean.

Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout After Revamp Sheffield Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout After Revamp Sheffield

 

Professional Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning in Cheshire

Regrouting a Marble Tiled Wet Room in Endcliffe Sheffield

The owner of this house in the village of Endcliffe Sheffield was unhappy about the state of their Marble wet room and called me in to do something about it. The main issue was that mould had built-up across the bathroom especially on the grout and silicone sealant, the Marble tiles were also looking dull and needed sprucing up.

Marble Bathroom Tiles Before Cleaning Endcliffe Sheffield

Dealing with Mould in a Wet Room

Mould thrives in moist warm conditions and without adequate ventilation it will start to take hold. Often in cases like this we advise clients to improve the power of their extractor fan or leave a window and a door open after a shower, in this case however the wet room had no windows. Another option you can try is to run the shower cold for a few minutes after you have used it, this decreases the temperature and removes moisture from the air. That tip is easily forgotten when your in a hurry so regular cleaning with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean which is a tile cleaner and mould remover should allow you to keep on top of the problem.

Marble Bathroom Tiles Before Cleaning Endcliffe Sheffield Marble Bathroom Tiles Before Cleaning Endcliffe Sheffield

In this case the Mould had really taken a hold and I knew form experience that scrubbing with a powerful cleaner like Duo Clean was unlikely to get the grout back to the pristine condition the customer wanted so I decided to strip out all the affected grout and silicone and replace with new. It took some time but I have a special electric grout removal tool that comes in handy for these situations and so it wasn’t long before I had removed the worse of it. This was followed by carefully removing the silicone sealant that ran between the shower tray and Marble wall tiles with a sharp knife.

Polishing Marble Wall and Floor Tiles

Next, I turned my attention to the Marble tiles which had lost their shine and become dull. Marble is hard stone and to get the best out of it we find its best to burnish them with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads that remove the dirt and slowly bring back the polished appearance. Normally when we talk about burnishing it’s in relation to stone floor tiles however these pads also come in small six-inch size as well which will fit a hand buffer or Angle Grinder.

Marble Bathroom Tiles During Cleaning Endcliffe Sheffield

Like floor burnishing the pads are applied in sequence starting with the coarse 400-grit pad and moving up through the 800, 1500 and finally the very fine 3,000-grit pad. The lower grit pads need to be lubricated with water and you rinse between each pad with water to remove the slurry that is generated.

Finishing the Marble Wet Room Renovation

With the Marble tiles now looking good it was time to protect them from future staining by sealing them with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a premium sealer that leaves a natural look that doesn’t darken the colour of the stone.

I left the re-grouting to last as its easier to remove grout from a sealed tile and then finished by putting back the silicone strip, both the grout and the silicone we chosen for their anti-mould formula and before leaving I gave some advice on how to keep on top of the mould problem going forward.

Marble Bathroom Tiles After Cleaning Endcliffe Sheffield

My client was delighted with the result and relieved that they would no longer feel embarrassed when visitors ask to use the bathroom.

Marble Bathroom Tiles After Cleaning Endcliffe Sheffield

 
 

Dealing with Mould in a Marble Tiled Wet Room in Yorkshire

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South Yorkshire Tile Doctor

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