Changing Grey Grout to Cream at Luxury Home in East Cheshire

We were contacted by a national builder of luxury homes to see if we could help sort out a grout problem with an expensive Porcelain tiled floor. Whilst most the work we do relates to the cleaning and sealing of tile and stone we also get asked to consult on related issues. On this occasion it turns out their tiler had done a great job tiling the floor with 240m2 of large format porcelain tiles, but the grout used was the wrong colour.

The property affected was in Nether Alderley which is a very desirable part of East Cheshire about a mile south of Alderley Edge. An appointment was arranged with the property developer to inspect the problem and advise on a solution.

Porcelain Tile Before Grout Colouring Grey to Ivory in Nether Alderley Porcelain Tile Before Grout Colouring Grey to Ivory in Nether Alderley

On the day of the visit I was advised that they didn’t want to remove and relay the floor as the cost would be prohibitive and the inconvenience to the homeowner excessive. The developer suggested removing the grout and replacing with the right colour however I advised to do so would take a long time also there was a high risk of chipping the tiles.

The remedy I suggested was to recolour the grout lines with a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. I have used this method successfully before and I could guarantee there would be no dust and minimal inconvenience to the family, it was an obvious solution. The original grout was grey which really stood out against the cream tile however being quite dark it was clear at least two coats of Ivory grout colourant would be needed.

The builder was happy to go ahead with this solution and we arranged a time to come back. The floor was a very large area so the work would take some time to complete.

Recolouring the Grout on a Porcelain Tiled Floor

Working in sections the first job was to wash and scrub the grout lines with Tile Doctor Grout Colourant Pre- Treatment Cleaner which lightly etches and cleans the grout lines to ensure an improved bond with the new colourant.

Porcelain Tile During Grout Colouring Grey to Ivory in Nether Alderley Porcelain Tile During Grout Colouring Grey to Ivory in Nether Alderley

The grout was then dried off with some gentle assistance with a heat gun to speed up the process. Once dry the next task was to apply the first coat of Ivory colourant. The colourant is applied by dipping a small brush into the colourant then scrubbing it into the grout lines. Any residue left on the tiles is easily wiped off with a baby wipe to leave a nice crisp line. If you’re doing this yourself then it’s worth noting that Tile Doctor sell a Grout Colourant Kit that includes the pre-treater, colourant and the brush.

Porcelain Tile After Grout Colouring Grey to Ivory in Nether Alderley Porcelain Tile After Grout Colouring Grey to Ivory in Nether Alderley

It took two days to complete the work saving the house builder thousands of pounds, there was no mess and the family were only slightly inconvenienced. The builder was that impressed we did six more homes on that estate and I understand he has since used the same process with another Tile Doctor in Yorkshire.

Another advantage of the grout colourant is that it forms an impervious layer over the grout, effectively sealing it in and making it much easier to keep clean going forward.

 

Source: Grout Colouring Service in Nether Alderley, East Cheshire

Removing Mould from Bathroom Grout in Watford

Our client in Watford, Hertfordshire had a fully Ceramic tiled bathroom which was now in need of a deep clean. The tiles themselves were in good physical condition but the grout and silicone sealant were stained black with mould in places and generally not looking very attractive.

Bathroom Ceramic Wall Tiles Before Cleaning Watford Bathroom Ceramic Wall Tiles Before Cleaning Watford

I visited the property to survey the problem and offer a solution. The tiles were indeed looking grubby but with white ceramic tiling the mould stained grout particularly stood out. Mould loves a moist warm environment so the only way to cure it in the long term is to significantly improve ventilation. It can be removed with the right products however, so I explained the cleaning process, agreed a price for the work and booked in a convenient time to do the renovation.

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom

We prepared the areas with protective sheets and tape to threshold edges then applied a specialist double action cleaning product called Tile Doctor Duo Clean. The product is spayed onto the tile and grout, left for five minutes and then scrubbed in using small polypropylene tile pads and detail brushes.

Duo clean is especially formulated to clean grout and remove mould and so an ideal choice for this situation. Working in sections the tile and grout were thoroughly scrubbed and then rinsed off with water to remove the dirt and mould that was released. The tiles were then inspected, and the process carried out a second time. For stubborn areas we used steam to really lift the ingrained dirt out of the grout.

Ceramic tiles have a glazed surface which is very easy to clean so our main focus was the grout which being cementitious does attract dirt and allow mould to get a hold.

Replacing Silicone Sealant in a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom

Last step was to replace the silicone sealant between the bath and tile. This is best removed with a sharp knife taking care not to damage to scratch the bath itself.

After removing all the old silicone, the bath was filled with water so it would adopt the right shape before being resealed. We then reapplied silicone to the bath and wall corner joints using white mould resistant silicone. This is a precise job which can easily look awful if not carried out correctly. Thankfully we have plenty of experience and this job took just one day to complete.
To finish the tile and grout were sprayed with Tile Doctor wall tile & grout sealer which comes in a convenient aerosol spray. The excess was wiped off the tile, as I mentioned before ceramic tiles are glazed so won’t hold a sealer, but the grout will benefit from it.

Bathroom Ceramic Wall Tiles After Cleaning Watford Bathroom Ceramic Wall Tiles After Cleaning Watford

As you can see from the pictures the bathroom now looked as good as new, clean and tidy. The client was very happy with the outcome and now wasn’t embarrassed to let guests use his bathroom.

To maintain the ceramic bathroom tiles, we recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro tile cleaner which is ideal for maintaining porcelain/ceramic bathroom wall tiles. Aqua-Pro is an effective pH neutral tile and grout cleaner which is designed for everyday use in bathrooms. The neutral formula helps to eliminates soap scum build-up and hard water deposits which are all too common. It has a lovely fresh lemon scent which leaves the room smelling clean and fresh. It will help to prevent the discolouration they had previously experienced.

 

Source: Bathroom Tile and Grout Cleaning service in Hertfordshire

How to Remove Mapei Grout from Ceramic Tiles

Grout haze or grout smears as it is often called can be a huge problem when laying tiles. Grout haze is basically grout that has been left to dry on the surface of the tile after installation. It’s a common problem which is exacerbated by the use of quick drying products. Take for example this interesting Wood Effect Ceramic Tile installation at a house in Guildford following installation by a builder.

I was a bit slow in following up on the initial enquiry as we had been very busy so by the time, I got in touch I was told they had employed someone else to carry out the work. I apologised for my late response and said to call me if he needed help in the future. Three days later I got a call so we arranged a visit so that I could carry out a test and quote a price.

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles Before Removal Guildford

As it turns out the builder had returned and failed to remove the grout haze and so had a rival firm that seemed more interested in selling unnecessary sealer than fixing the problem. I was astonished to see what a state the builder had left his floor. Grout was all over the floor with footprints walked across thresholds and more. I could understand it if there was some grout was missed after installation but not to this level!

I carried out a successful test and confirmed to the customer that there was absolutely no need to rip and replace his £2k floor. We agreed a date to resolve the problem and to say he was relieved was an understatement!

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles Before Removal Guildford

Removing Polymer Grout Haze

The builders had used Mapei grout which contains polymers. Polymers offer better flexibility and adhesion, however in order to remove the grout haze we would first need to break down the polymers in the grout first and this is why the rival firm failed.

With that in mind, my first action was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and leave it to dwell for five to ten minutes. I then worked it into the tile using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After washing the soil away with warm water and extracting with a wet vacuum I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to treat the grout. Grout Clean-up is an acid-based product that breaks down the grout so it can be rinsed away and extracted as before. Afterwards I rinsed the floor with warm water and extracted again to remove any trace of product and neutralise the floor. After removing as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum I speed dried the tiles with a blower.

Wood Effect Ceramic Tile Installation Problem Resolved

Ceramic tiles won’t accept a sealer so once the floor had dried the job was finished and it took less than a day.

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles After Removal Guildford

The customer was over the moon with the difference. While his floor was in such a state, he has been unable to bring in new furniture as the serious possibility of removing the tiles was hanging over him.

Relieved that the problem was now resolved he kindly left the following review:

“I had a floor that had just been laid with very heavy grout haze. I had already had advice from two other professional floor cleaners who had advised me that the floor was irreparable and would need to be pulled up. As soon as I spoke with Rupert, it was clear he was extremely knowledgeable. He asked questions none of the other companies had. By understanding the specific nature of the problem, he was able to solve it by first removing the grout polymers and then applying an acid wash. The floor came up brilliantly. Rupert was the only person I spoke to that could fix this, everyone else told me I needed to replace my floor! Superbly knowledgeable, professional and did an excellent job. Don’t bother speaking to anyone else, just call Rupert! “

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles After Removal Guildford

 

Source: Grout Haze Removal Service in Surrey

Deep Cleaning Shower Tile Grout

I was contacted by a client in Shepperton about refurbishing their Ceramic tiled shower cubicle. They longed for a room that they didn’t dread going into in the mornings and were considering having a new bathroom suite fitted. Their main concern was the shower cubicle where the tile and grout were well past their best and looking rather dated.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Shepperton

I’m based in Shepperton so it wasn’t long before I was able to call in and take a look at the shower cubicle to see if it could be renovated. It turns out the shower cubicle was installed fifteen years prior and had not been professionally cleaned during that time. You can see from the adjacent photographs that the discoloured grout was the main issue which is not unusual as the top layer of grout is slightly porous and does attract dirt. Ceramic tiles on the other hand have a glazed surface which makes them very easy to keep clean

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Shepperton Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Shepperton

I discussed with the client what could be done, and they were delighted to hear that the problem could be remedied, and that new life could be breathed into the old bathroom. The room had a timeless black and white tiled scheme so I was confident we could get it clean and in much better shape quite quickly. They agreed my price and we booked in a time to carry the work out.

Deep Cleaning of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

Much of the Tile Doctor cleaning product range can be used to clean-up grout but probably the most popular is Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. This was my first thought to get the grout clean so using a decanted a strong dilution into a spray bottle and sprayed it onto the tile and grout. It was left to soak in for about ten minutes before being hand scrubbed into the tile wall. Afterwards the shower cubicle was rinsed down with water to remove the soiling and then inspected.

Whilst the Pro-Clean had removed a lot of the orange staining and accumulated dirt from both the tile and grout it had struggled to lighten up the grout lines which had darkened due to mould build-up, so more work was needed.

To resolve this, I applied another Tile Doctor product called Duo-Clean which is a fast and effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. I used it as a spot cleaner spraying it onto the affected areas and leaving it to dwell for a few minutes before scrubbing it in. This second product handled the mould well and the grout was much cleaner and consistent.

Replacing Silicone Seal in a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

Once the cleaning was complete, I cut out the old silicone from around the base of the shower with a sharp knife. This is a job that has to be slowly done to avoid scratching the shower tray. Once the old silicone was removed, I ensured the area was then nice and dry and then replaced with a new mould resistant silicone in white to enhance the fresh new look.

Naturally after 15 years it’s impossible to get the grout back to its original colour but we certainly got very close. I could however have applied a white grout colourant at this stage, but the client was already happy with the result, so it wasn’t really necessary.

Last step was to spray the grout with aerosol Grout sealer which is very quick to apply and will protect the grout from further staining. The excess was wiped off the ceramic tiles which won’t take a sealer and the job was finished.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Shepperton

As you can see from the pictures, the transformation turned out very well and the customer was very pleased. For aftercare cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which is pH neutral tile and grout cleaner that will keep on top of future discolouration.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Shepperton Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Shepperton

 

Source: Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Middlesex