Ceramic Kitchen Tiles Refresh and Grout Recolouring in Warrington

It can be amazing and equally frustrating just how quickly grout can become dirty and discoloured. I was recently contacted by a couple in Warrington to see if I could help them with their Ceramic tiled kitchen floor that had only been laid six months earlier. To their dismay, in that short time the grout had become discoloured and difficult to clean. They had given up trying to resolve the situation by themselves and so turned to Tile Doctor for some professional assistance.

Naturally I was happy to assist and so arranged to visit the property to conduct a small cleaning test where I demonstrated how with a combination of the right tools and products I could indeed get the grout lines clean again. Seeing the results of the test, the couple were more than happy to book me to complete the job.

Kitchen tiles before cleaning and grout recolour in Warrington

Grout Cleaning for Dirty Ceramic Tiles

On my return to the property, I repeated the same successful test clean across the entirety of the floor. This involved the application firstly of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a strong cleaner, stripper and degreaser. I scrubbed the product thoroughly into all the grout lines, making sure I did not miss any dirt and stains.

I then started to clean the Ceramic floor tiles using our high alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This was scrubbed into the floor in a similar fashion to the Remove and Go and then rinsed off with plain water extracting the waste water with a Wet Vat. The floor was left to dry over lunchtime.

Recolouring Grout for Ceramic Tiles

In the afternoon, I explained that whilst I could get the grout clean it was only a matter of time before it became dirty again. So, to provide a permanent solution I recommended to the customer that we apply an epoxy Grout Colourant, which adds a protective barrier over the grout. An alternative would have been to apply a Grout Sealer however this is best applied to new grout and in this case would not have guaranteed the uniform appearance required.

Before applying the Grout Colourant, I made sure the grout lines were dry by giving them a quick blast with a heat gun. I then started to colour the grout lines with our White Grout Colourant, which is part of a range made by Tile Doctor and is available in ten popular colours, including Black, Charcoal Grey and even Cappuccino Brown.

The difference made to the floor was quite remarkable. Not only is the grout now a uniform brilliant white, but it should remain so for a long time to come. You can see this yourself in the photograph below!

Kitchen tiles after cleaning and grout recolour in Warrington

 
 

Restoring the Appearance of Grout on a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire

Recently Uncovered Victorian Tiles Completely Transformed in Lymm

When you uncover a tiled floor after it has been covered by carpet for many years, it’s almost a given that it will be in a bad state. However, my customer, who lives in the town of Lymm, wasn’t expecting the Victorian tiled hallway they had recently uncovered to be in quite so terrible a state. As you can see from the photograph, it has been completely devastated by paint plaster and a big pool of cement floor leveller. Understandably, the formerly colourful appearance of the tiles had completely drained and it would require a through restoration to get them back into a usable condition.

Victorian Floor Uncovered Before in Lymm

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I mixed a strong cleaning solution which consisted of Tile Doctor Remove & Go combined 50/50 with Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Remove & Go is a heavy duty remover that breaks down old sealers, along with adhesives, paint stains and other tough soil build up where as Pro-Clean is a versatile alkaline-based cleaner that reliably eradicates dirt on a wide variety of natural stone floors.

The solution was applied liberally across the floor, and left to dwell for a short period, allowing time for it to soften up the paint plaster. Next, I fitted a coarse scrubbing pad to my rotary cleaning machine and began to scrub the solution into the tiles, with a big difference to the appearance of the tiles being made quite quickly. The resulting cleaning slurry was promptly removed using a wet-vac machine.

I repeated the process two times to provide an extra thorough clean and then give the floor a thorough rinse. Some particularly stubborn marks remained on the floor which I was able to remove using Tile a Doctor Acid Gel, a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form that’s easy to control. The floor was then left to dry fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property and ran some damp tests. This is incredibly important to do before sealing any tiled floor because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor could be sealed, I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, our topical sealer which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish in one and ideal for Victorian tiles.

Victorian Floor Uncovered After in Lymm

It would be an understatement to say that this Victorian tiled floor was transformed. The customer was amazed at the results considering how bad a state the tiles had been in just a day earlier. When you have a situation like this, it’s hard to believe the tiles could ever be fully restored. Nonetheless, we could now see them in their full and original glory, and needless to say, the customer was very, very pleased with the result.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Lymm

Grout Colouring and Cleaning for Quarry Tiles in Appleton

It’s always a good idea to double-check any tile cleaning advice you receive with a professional. Sometimes advice can be inaccurate and cause more problems than good. Such was the case with this customer, who lives in the small town of Appleton near Warrington. He had been advised by his builder to use brick acid to remove carpet glue from a newly discovered Quarry tiled floor. Taking the advice, he had washed the floor several times with a solution of brick acid diluted with water. But while this seemed to successfully remove the carpet glue, it also severely discoloured the grout lines, leaving the entire floor looking grubby and unappealing.

The customer was just about to go on holiday, and asked me to see what could be done to restore the floor’s appearance while he was gone. With the house to myself, I got to work.

Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning in Appleton

Cleaning a Stained Quarry Tiled Floor

My first job was to strip the floor property to remove old sealers present on the tile using a strong dilution of our high alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean. We use this cleaner on all types of tile and natural stone due to its versatility and consistency.

I spread the solution onto the floor and left to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing with a black pad fitted to a floor rotary machine. This process also removed the years of dirt and dust that had penetrated through the recently removed carpet. I also paid attention to the grout lines giving them a good scrub with a stiff grout brush, but the acid staining proved to be impossible to remove completely.

While I’m not sure exactly how long the floor had been covered by carpet, it’s safe to say a deep clean had been long, long overdue. Once I had cleaned the floor to a high standard, I used a wet-vac to remove the now dirty cleaning solution from the floor, before leaving it to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

Upon my return to the property the next day, I tested to make sure the floor was dry enough to seal, which is important as excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Once satisfied, I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is our impregnating sealer designed to really bring out the natural colours in the tile, followed by two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to give the tiles a stain resistant, low-sheen finish.

After this was dry I coloured the grout lines with a matching Tile Doctor Grout Colourant to cover and hide the damage the acid had caused to the grout lines. Finally, I gave the floor three more coats of Seal and Go to add the finishing touches.

Quarry Tiles After Cleaning in Appleton

My customer returned from holiday to find a completely transformed floor. Looking at the before and after photos, it is easy to see why he was more than happy with the result! Another satisfied customer.
 
 

Restoration of Quarry Tiles in Appleton

Grubby, Unsealed Slate Tiles Revitalised in Lymm

One of the worst examples of bad tiling practice is to leave a newly installed floor unsealed and therefore unprotected. This is exactly the problem that had occurred at this property in Lymm, West Cheshire. A builder has installed a new Slate tiled floor in the kitchen of this property, but had neglected to seal it, leaning the tiles exposed to dirt, stains, and other general muck so they quickly lost their appearance. To be fair I could not fault the installation but the floor now looked terrible.

Slate Floor Before Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

The property owner was keen to have the grubby Slate tiles refreshed and sealed, so she gave me a call. I agreed to complete the work and travelled to the property in Lymm – which incidentally means “place of running water” in Celtic – and was named after an ancient stream that ran through the village centre.

Cleaning a Grubby Slate Tiled Floor

Upon my arrival at the property I got straight to work, cleaning the tiles with our heavy duty remover/cleaner, Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was applied to the floor, left to soak in and then scrubbed into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to break down the layers of muck. Normally I would use Remove and Go to strip away old coatings and sealers, but here of course there was no sealer to begin with just a lot of ingrained dirt.

I also carefully scrubbed the grout lines with a special grout brush as I went along. The grout lines are often where dirt can be come easily ingrained, and it was no different here. The floor was then rinsed off with clean water, and any resulting could residue was quickly removed using a wet vac machine. Finally, the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property and started by checking that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. This involved running damp tests to check for excess moisture. When satisfied, I proceeded to seal the floor with a single coat of our impregnating, colour enhancing sealer, Tile Doctor Colour Grow followed by two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which gives the tiles a fantastic sheen finish.

Refreshing Grout with a Grout Colourant

The customer requested for the grout lines to be recoloured, but first I had to leave the property overnight to allow the sealer to dry. The next morning, I coloured the grout lines with white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which is just a question of applying the colourant with a small brush and then wiping the excess off the tiles. It’s not a tough job but it can be quite fiddley and it does make a real difference to the appearance of the grout.

Slate Floor After Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

As you can see from the After photograph the white Grout Colourant contrasted very nicely against the naturally dark Slate. The absence of a sealer had left the floor looking very dull but now, with a fresh, robust seal, it has been completely revitalised. My customer was exceptionally pleased with her hugely improved kitchen floor.
 
 

Post Installation Treatment of a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire

Newly Discovered Quarry Kitchen Tiles Restored in Chester

If you’re a first time buyer in the process of renovating or redecorating your new property, you may well discover some fantastic tiled floors hidden under your carpets. Certainly in my experience this happens quite often, so it came as no surprise when I got a call from a couple who had pulled up the carpet in the kitchen of their new house in Chester to find Quarry tiles, along with some fantastic Victorian tiles in the hallway.

Quarry tiled floor Chester Before Cleaning

While the Quarry tiles were in relatively good condition – having been shielded by carpet for many years – the couple were still understandably keen to get them back to looking their very best. I was more than happy to help them do just that.

Quarry tiled floor Chester Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Before beginning the restoration, I removed the kick boards from the kitchen cupboards so as not to damage them. I then applied a solution of our versatile, high alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, and let it soak into the tiles for a short period before scrubbing it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Pro Clean is suitable for use on most natural stone tiles, including Quarry, Victorian and Slate, doing the trick to break down medium to heavy soil buildup.

The floor was then rinsed off with clean water, and the resulting slurry was promptly removed using a wet vac. I then left the floor dry out overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned to the property the next morning, and started out by taking a couple of damp meter readings to make sure the floor was dry enough to seal. This is an essential task before sealing any tiled floor as even the smallest amount of excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

To seal the floor, I firstly applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which really brought out the natural reddish shades in the Quarry. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Colour fills the pores in the stone and prevents dirt from becoming ingrained. I followed the application of Colour Grow by applying three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. As a topical sealer, Seal and Go Extra forms an additional stain resistant seal on the surface of the tiles to protect against dirt and stains. It also gave the tiles a quality sheen finish as requested by the customer.

Quarry tiled floor Chester After Cleaning

The customers were very happy with their newly restored Quarry tiled floor. They left the following feedback:

“We were both thrilled to bits with how nice the Quarry tiled kitchen floor looked, after being cleaned and sealed. Alastair was a pleasure to deal with and we would highly recommend him to anyone considering having their floor done.”

Quarry tiled floor Chester After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire

Grout Haze Removed from Wood Effect Porcelain floor tiles in Appleton

This request actually came from a local tilling company who needed assistance removing grout smears (aka grout haze) from Ceramic tiled floors that they had recently installed at a new housing estate in Appleton, south of Warrington. Busy tiling firms should take note as Tile Doctors are more than happy to add the final finishing touches to a tiled floor whether it’s sealing, polishing or simply removing excess grout as in this case.

Grout haze on Porcelain Wood Effect floor tiles in Appleton

Grout haze on Porcelain Wood Effect floor tiles in Appleton

If you take a close look at the above photograph you will see these are actually Wood Effect Porcelain tiles which are a new style of tile that have emerged over the last few years that allow you to have the beauty of a natural wood floor but with the ease of maintenance and durability of Porcelain. You will need to take a close look as unfortunately the grout smears hide a lot of the wood pattern.

Removing Grout Smears from Wood Effect Porcelain Tile

To remove Grout Haze you need to use an acid product and being a Tile Doctor I happened to have a bottle of Tile Doctor Grout Clean–Up in the van which is specially designed for removing excess grout as well as dealing with mineral salt problems. Working in sections I applied the product to the floor and left to soak for five minutes before scrubbing into the tiles and then rinsing it off and removing with a wet vacuum. This activity made a difference but more work was required so I repeated the process once more.

I was still left with some stubborn grout haze but fortunately I also had a bottle of Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a thick gel for use primarily on wall tiles as being a gel is doesn’t run down the walls as much. It’s also useful on floors so I applied Acid Gel to the stubborn parts with a paint brush and left to soak for five to ten minutes then scrubbed the said areas with a stiff brush. This did the trick and I was able to remove the remainder of the grout haze.

Grout haze removed from Wood Effect Porcelain floor tiles in Appleton

Grout haze removed from Wood Effect Porcelain floor tiles in Appleton

I have the floor a thorough wash to remove any trace of product and the results were quite a transformation.

Tiled FloorING Problems Professionally Resolved in Cheshire