Grout Cleaning

Limestone Floor Cleaned and Polished in Hammersmith

Recently I paid a visit to a customer in Hammersmith whose whole ground floor was covered in Limestone tiles. It was a nicely situated Victorian house, but the Limestone floor was a big concern for the owner. The floor had been installed during a house renovation approximately seven years earlier and hadn’t been treated since. The Limestone was now looking dull and in need of a renovation to bring back the polished appearance.

Limestone Floor Before Polishing in Hammersmith
Limestone was used throughout the property including the Hallway and Kitchen which are typically the busiest area’s and so not surprisingly they had seen the biggest build-up of soiling. This is not an unusual situation for stone floors which will trap dirt in the pores of the stone once the sealer wears off. Sealer wear is inevitable and will usually last between three to five years depending on use and what is used to clean the floor.

Limestone Floor Before Polishing in Hammersmith
I explained the process of renovating and honing the Limestone and bringing back its appearance, after agreeing on details we chose the dates. The job was scheduled for 3 days to be completed.

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tile and Grout

When we arrived on the first day, we set about covering the skirting boards and furniture, to protect from any splashes. Then starting in the Kitchen and Dining area the first phase involved giving the floor an initial clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The primary focus was on the grout lines which were hand scrubbed using a stiff grout brush.

Then the solution was spread all over the tiles and left for approximately ten minutes to allow it to soak into the pores of the stone and break down the dirt and what was left of the old sealer. I used a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine to work the solution into the floor. Then the floor was then carefully rinsed, and the soil extracted with a vacuum.

The floor was already showing improvement when I moved onto phase two which reconditions the stone using a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing Pads. There are four pads in the set, each one with a different grit from coarse 400-grit through to extra fine 3000-grit. I started with the 400 grit, followed by 800, 1500, 3000 grit to bring back the shine. Water is used to lubricate the process and the floor is rinsed well after each step to remove the fine slurry generated. At the end of the first day the Kitching and Dining section looked really good in comparison to the untouched areas and I hadn’t applied the sealer yet.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

On the second day we started on the Limestone floor in the Hallway using the same technique as before. Being a smaller area, it didn’t take as long to complete, and we were able to make a start on applying a fresh sealer to the floor we cleaned the day before.
Underfloor heating was installed, and this is useful for helping to dry a wet floor however I don’t like to use it when sealing and I asked the owner to switch it off. In my experience you get a better result if the sealer is allowed to dry and cure naturally.

For this floor I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, Limestone is a light stone and Colour Grow really brings out the brown shades in the stone. It actually works by penetrating into the pores of the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. As well as protecting the stone it will also make regular cleaning much easier and for polished Limestone you should use Stone Soap which is designed for cleaning sealed stone floors and will help maintain the patina.

Limestone Floor After Polishing in Hammersmith
The job took 3 days to complete but to do it properly and to a high standard there is no place for a rush or cutting corners. The final result was transformational, and our customer was more than happy.

Limestone Floor After Polishing in Hammersmith

Professional Restoration of a Polished Limestone Floor in West 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

Removing Grout Haze in a Shower Cubicle, London NW1

These ceramic mosaic tiles were fitted in square sheets in a shower cubicle at house in London NW1. You can clearly see from the first photograph that the tiler did not remove the grout from the tile before it set leaving grout haze on most of the tile and a nice white band of grout between the mosaic sheets.

Removing Grout Haze

To clean up the ceramic tiles and remove the grout we sprayed on Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is a specialist acid based product that penetrates below the surface of the grout to remove allowing it to be removed. It’s reasonably easy to apply, you need to wet the tile first and then apply a dilution of the Grout Clean-up, leave it dwell on the tile for a few minutes allowing it to get to work and then scrub it in. With it being an acid it’s important not to leave it on the tile very long and wash it off within five minutes and rinse down the tile with water.

Ceramic Shower Cubicle Grout Haze Before Ceramic Shower Cubicle Grout Haze After

Cleaning Ceramic Mosaic Tiles

Once the tiles were free of grout the next step was to clean the tiles for which we used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a versatile alkaline tile cleaning product that can be diluted in different strengths depending on if your looking to clean the tile or strip sealers. In this case we could also of used Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro shower Tile and Grout Cleaner which is a ready to use tile and grout cleaner that comes with a spray nozzle attachment, the spray allows the cleaning agent to mix with air making it lighter and easier to stick to vertical surfaces. This is important as you need to let the cleaning agent dwell on the surface of the tile and grout for a few minutes before scrubbing it by hand with a stiff brush and then washing it off with clean water.

The ceramic mosaics did not need sealing so the renovation was now complete, grout removed and tiles cleaned, and naturally the customer was very pleased with the results and the cubicle was transformed.

Shower Cubicle Restored in London NW1


Central London Tile Doctor

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