Restoration of Viakal Damaged Marble Shower Tiles in Ealing

We recently received an enquiry from a customer in Ealing, East London who was concerned about their Marble Tiled Shower which had been damaged from the use of Viakal Limescale Remover. Unfortunately, this is a very common problem and we often receive calls from customers with similar issues. Limescale removal products such as Viakal and Cillit Bang are very effective but like any acidic product, they are very harmful to natural stone such as Limestone and Marble. With any cleaning product you should really read the label before use and in this case you will find they state the product should not be used on natural stone.

The Viakal had etched the surface of the Marble in several places where it had been applied and although the damage looked really bad I was happy to inform my customer there is a solution and that I could indeed restore the appearance of the stone.

Damaged Marble Shower Wall Before Restoration Ealing Damaged Marble Shower Wall Before Restoration Ealing

Polishing Damaged Marble Shower Tiles

My first task was to give the Marble tile and grout a good clean and remove any sealer and soap scum etc; to do this I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a small black scrubbing pad fitted to a hand-held machine. The Marble tiles were then rinsed with water to remove the soil generated by the cleaning process.

To fully restore the appearance of the Marble the next step required the application of coarse burnishing pads applied in sequence from very coarse to very fine using six-inch pads fitter to a handheld buffer. It’s a process that takes the polish off the stone and rebuilds it. A little water is needed to help lubricate with the coarser pads and the tiles are rinsed off between each one to remove any slurry generated during the process.

To achieve a very high shine the Marble tiles were then treated to an application of Tile Doctor Shine Powder which involves buffing crystallising polishing powder into the stone to build a deep durable finish

Sealing Marble Shower Tiles

The last step was to seal the Marble tile and grout to protect it going forward. Before sealing we needed to make sure that the tiles are dry and a damp meter is a very useful tool for this. A single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone whilst enhancing the natural colours in the Marble in the process.

Damaged Marble Shower Wall After Restoration Ealing Damaged Marble Shower Wall After Restoration Ealing

The work took three days in total but as you can see from the photographs on this page it was well worth the effort and the white streaky damage caused by the Viakal has now been removed and the stone has been transformed. My customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback.

I had serious acid etchings from spraying Viakal on my marble shower box and basin. Didi and his partner did a good job of polishing out the majority of the acid etchings. It was a 3 day job for them, and over all I was happy with the result and service.
Edward T, London

 
 

Acid Etched Marble Shower Tiles Restored in London

Limestone tiles hallway cleaned and polished in Notting Hill

This was a Limestone tiled hallway at a house in Notting Hill, London W2 where extensive renovations had just been completed. The floor had been badly affected by being left uncovered during the building works as well as having a build-up of many years of dirt and stains on its surface. The tiles had been laid more than twenty years ago and had not been cleaned or sealed since.

The customer was considering replacing the floor as she believed that it was beyond restoring. As well as ingrained dirt there were several quite severe rust stains and large ring-shaped marks that looked as if they had come off the bottom of paint or varnish tins.

Limestone Tile Cleaning During

Cleaning the Limestone Tiled Floor

I used a black buffing pad on my Numatic buffing machine and neat Tile Doctor “Pro-Clean” to perform an initial deep clean on the floor. In order to re-polish the floor and not leave it too porous I then used the a red and then a white diamond encrusted burnishing pad. Even after this some stains remained, so at this point I used Tile Doctor “Reduxa” stone stain remover to attack the stubborn ingrained marks. All of these were successfully removed except for two very deep rust stains which, never-the-less, were reduced in size and intensity by about 70%.

After this I used a yellow burnishing pad to return the floor to its original finish.
At this point, as one of the tiles was broken at the edge and a piece missing, I used Akemi stone floor repair filler to fill in the broken piece with a filler that is stronger than the original stone.

Limestone Tiles After Cleaning

Sealing the Limestone Floor

The next day I returned to seal using Tile Doctor “Colour Grow” Sealer.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a “before” picture until after I had started this job but still the transformation is clear from the photos that I took. When the limestone was fully restored it was found to have attractive bedding lines running through it and to be all-in-all a very nice looking floor.

Limestone Tiles After Cleaning

The customer was amazed by what had been achieved and very pleased that she had opted for restoration over the far more expensive option of replacement.
 
 

Limestone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in London

Emery and Cie Cement Encaustic tiles Restored in Ealing

This unusual Emery and Cie Cement Encaustic tiled floor in Ealing W5 had been poorly installed by the tiler with grout haze on the tiles and the wrong sealer used. Cement encaustic tiles are quite delicate and difficult to restore.

Cleaning Cement Encaustic Tiles

I used a red burnishing pad fitted to a buffing machine to cut into the tile surface and remove the grout haze and old sealer. The next step was to apply a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean letting it soak into the tile before working it in to the tile with a red buffing pad. The soiled cleaning solution was then removed using a wet and dry Vacuum and the floor washed down with clean water. This cleaned up the floor well but there were some stubborn stains which were removed using a steamer.

Cement Encaustics Before Emery and Cie Tiles After

Sealing Cement Encaustic Tiles

Once the floor had dried it was sealed using three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection. Last step was to burnish the tiles again with a green burnishing pad to bring up the shine.

Although the floor had been too damaged to be made perfect, it was very much better when I had finished and the customer was delighted with the result.

Cement Encaustic tiles cleaned and Sealed in London

Slate Tiled Wet Room floor in Ealing

This was a slate floor in a wet room in a house in Ealing W5. The black semi-riven slate had originally been sealed by the tiler on installation but had never looked how the customer wanted it to.

Cleaning Semi-Riven Slate Tiles

To strip off what was left of the old sealer we used Tile Doctor Remove and Go leaving it to soak into the floor for a while before working it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black buffing pad. The solution was then removed using a wet and dry Vacuum and the floor washed down with clean water. This work removed any remaining sealer but we still needed to give the floor a deep clean and so the whole process was repeated this time using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective heavy duty alkaline cleaning product ideal for cleaning up natural stone floors and grout. After we gave the floor a thorough rinse to remove any cleaning products and neutralise the floor ready for sealing, last step was to remove the water from the floor using the wet vacuum again and leave it to dry out overnight.

Semi Riven Slate Floor Before

Sealing Semi-Riven Slate Tiles

The next way came back and sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as you can see from the photographs did an excellent job lifting the colour out of the tile.

Semi Riven Slate Floor After
The customer was very pleased to have a well-sealed black slate with a slight sheen instead of the dull-looking grey floor she had had before.

Semi Riven Slate Tiled Bathroom floor Cleaned and Sealed in London