Photographs below of a Ceramic tiled floor in the kitchen of a house in the village of Houghton on the Hill near Leicester. The Ceramic tiles were fine but not unusually the grout had darkened substantially and would need to be deep cleaned to get it fresh again.
Cleaning Tile and Grout
The grout was badly stained so I decided to go with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which we normally use for removing sealers but is also a very powerful cleaning product. It was run along the grout lines and tile and left to soak in before being scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. The floor was then washed down with clean water and the process repeated until the grout was back to its original condition; the ceramic tiles looked much cleaner as well.
The tile and grout was left to dry and then then grout was sealed using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that I usually use on Travertine but works equally well on grout. You have to remember that the top layer of grout is actually porous and will attract dirt if left un-sealed, sealing it will ensure it keeps its appearance for much longer.
This customer from Titchmarsh near Kettering was unhappy that the Porcelain floor tiles that were installed in her kitchen six months prior were proving difficult to clean and that the grout line had turned from a grey to black and whatever she tried she just could not keep this floor clean. On inspection I soon discovered that no or very little sealer had been applied to the Porcelain which is not unusual as most Porcelain does not require a sealer however Micro Porous Porcelain does and she should have been advised by the shop that sold her the tiles that this was the case. A quote was given which she was happy with and I returned the following week to sort the problem out.
Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout
To protect the kitchen units I covered them in a plastic and then moved onto to deep cleaning the tiles with a dilution of Tile doctor Pro Clean which was applied and left to soak in for a while before hand scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees with stiff brushes. This did made an improvement but something stronger was required to get the grout looking better so it was back down to the floor with hand brushes again but this time I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acid that can remove grout smears and mineral deposits, in the end I actually used two litres of Grout Clean-Up to restore the grout to about 95% of its correct appearance and once done I gave the floor a thorough wash down to remove any trace of product.
Sealing Porcelain Tile and Grout
This grout should have been correctly sealed from day one and luckily for the client it came up to her satisfaction otherwise the only other option would have been to use a Grout Colourant which would have been more costly but cheaper than replacing the grout altogether. Had the grout been much older this may have been the best option as I suspect the result from cleaning would have been less effective. The last step was to seal the tiles and grout using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that provides maximum stain protection and is recommended for use in kitchens. Before leaving I gave the client written instructions on maintenance which she found very helpful.
This was a straight forward Grout Colouring job at a house in the market town of Tamworth, Staffordshire. The tiles had been installed with a white grout and over the years the grout had become darker as the dirt had become ingrained into the porous top layer. This is often the case with Porcelain and Ceramic tiles whose looks always outlive that of the grout.
Cleaning and Colouring Grout
The customer was keen to get the grouting looking the same as it was when first installed and so with that aim in mind a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and scrubbed into the grout lines and then washed off with water. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaning product that does a good job cleaning up grout however it can only do so much and in this case although it made a difference there were many areas which were too stained.
The next step was to apply a grout colouring product, they come in a number of different colours and the best match to the original colour was Ivory. The Pro-Clean had already prepared the surface so no need to use a pre-treater, it was just a question of waiting for the grout to dry and then apply the colourant.
Applying grout colourant is fiddly work but you do get the pleasure of watching the floor become slowly transformed, also the colourant works as a sealant which will prevent staining and make the grout very easy to clean going forward.
As you can see the floor looks like new and the customer was very happy.
This particular Slate tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Huston, that’s Houston near Glasgow not the city in Texas. This is another example of a natural stone floor was overdue a deep clean and re-seal, any remaining sealer on the slate has worn off and the tiles have become dull and stained.
Cleaning Slate Floor Tile and Grout
First we stripped any remaining sealer from the slate tiles by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak in before being worked into the stone using a black pad on a rotary bonnet machine; the resultant soiled cleaning solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated three times to make sure all the sealer and dirt was completely removed and extracted.
After this we focused on cleaning the grout using more Pro-Clean this time worked in using a stiff grout brush by hand. Once done the floor was given a thorough rinse using clean water again using the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the floor as dry as possible.
Changing the Colour of Grout
We then left for the evening to allow the floor to dry off overnight and returned the second day and coloured the grout to dark grey using a grout colouring kit to achieve an even grout appearance. This is rather painstaking work but the effect is well worth the effort, then once that had dried we gave the floor a quick clean using Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner.
Sealing Slate Floor Tiles
After allowing to dry overnight again, we came back the third day to seal the slate tiles for which we used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) which added a nice sheen to the tile and gave the desired finish.
Slate is a hard-wearing product ideal for floors however it does need a sealer to bring out the best in it and sealers do wear off after a few years and this had happened with the Slate tiled floor in this post. The floor was now looking dull and the grout had also discoloured so time to call in Tile Doctor to breathe new life into the tile and grout.
Cleaning a Slate Floor
It’s not a good idea to apply a new sealer on-top of existing as it can affect the final result so the first task was to strip back the floor to the natural stone giving the Slate and Grout a thorough clean in the process.
To do this a strong solution of Tile Doctor Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak into the floor for about 20 minutes; Pro-Clean has a strong alkaline base so it’s safe to use on Stone as opposed to a weak acid cleaner. After twenty minutes it was worked into the slate and grout using a low speed bonnet machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad with the excess extracted using a wet vacuum.
This process was repeated three times to make sure all the old sealer and dirt was completely removed and after this the grout was cleaned by hand using more Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. Once done the whole floor was then neutralised with more water to ensure there was no trace of cleaning product remaining on the floor prior to sealing.
The floor was left to dry off overnight and returned the second day to colour the grout to dark grey which made a big improvement to the overall look of the floor; the grout colours we use come in 12 colours so we can usually find one that matches the customers’ requirements, once applied they also form a great barrier preventing future staining. Once the colourant has dried the floor was given a further clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is an everyday cleaning product we recommend for sealed floors.
Sealing a Slate Floor Sealing
The floor was left to dry and we came back two days later to re-seal the tile for which we used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a great sealer for Slate tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection. I should mention that Seal and Go is also a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell whilst it’s drying.
We left the floor to dry overnight again and came back the third day to seal the Slate tiles for which we used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which give a subtle shine to the tiles and matched the customers requirements.
The grout on this Quarry tiled floor in the kitchen of a house in Livingston near Edinburgh was proving impossible to clean effectively and had now become badly stained with dirt and grime and had gone dark in the process making it obviously dirty when compared with the clean areas.
Cleaning Tile and Grout
The first step when cleaning grout is to apply a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaning agent. The solution is mopped onto the tile and grout and then scrubbed in by hand with a stiff brush along the grout lines, Pro-Clean is also a good general tile cleaner so it worked well on the Quarry Tiles as well. The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed away with water and as much water as possible was removed using a wet vacuum. Next we left the floor to allow it to dry leaving a turbo air mover in help to speed up the process.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
When the floor was dry it was clear that the grout would never be clean enough to match with the areas that were still white so we agreed to apply a white epoxy Grout Colourant to resolve the problem. The group colourant is applied by hand and is painted onto the grout using a small brush; any excess is then wiped off the tile. Two coats were required on this floor.
The floor now looks like it has come back to life and as you can see all the grout now has a uniform colour and should stay that way for a long time as the added advantage of an epoxy grout colourant is it forms a barrier over the grout that will seal and protected it.
A customer near Maidenhead asked us to take a look at their dirty porcelain floor tile and grout which had degenerated following ten years of traffic from children and pets. Domestic cleaning products were proving ineffective and professional help was now required to get the floor looking healthy again.
Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tiles
To get the dirt out of the tiles they were cleaned with a very mild hot water dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was spread over the tiles and left to soak into the tiles for twenty minutes, during this time the solution was scrubbed into the grout lines using a stiff brush.
The next step was to connect up our van mounted high pressure hot water clean and capture system (see photo below) and rinse the tiles and grout. This system produces very little water or spray because of its unique recovery system to a waste tank in our van. It also neutralises cleaning solutions and the high pressure penetrates into the pores of the tile removing all the soiling and pollutants.
Applying Grout Colourant
The powerful pressure cleaning worked well on the tiles but unfortunately the grout lines had absorbed too much soiling and staining over the years which had become ingrained to a depth which could not be removed without replacing the grout. Fortunately there was another option which was to apply a Grout Colourant. Tile Doctor has a range of epoxy based colourant’s available in different colours which are relatively easy to apply and form a barrier over the existing grout to provide a uniform look and durable protection against future staining and discolouration
The floor was ready for surface traffic in a few hours and I think you will agree the final result has restored this dirty and tired floor to a fresh, revitalised as new finish
My customer was very happy with the results and left the following testimonial:
Hi Tim, Many thanks for the amazing results you achieved with my Kitchen/Conservatory floor, I was blown away by the finish – it looks like new! Thank you for care instructions, we will make every effort to follow carefully. Best wishes and thank you again. Ms. J Walker
This shower cubicle was installed in the main bathroom of a house in Bishopton where the grout had become quite grubby and the Ceramic tiles were looking quite dull. The owner was thinking about re-tiling the bathroom and thought they would give us a call first to see if we could refresh the look without the expense.
Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout
We started by spraying the tiles with Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro which is a strong high-alkaline cleaner especially formulated and packaged for cleaning showers. The spray delivery is important as mixing the cleaning product with air makes it lighter and helps it cling to the tile and grout. The Oxy-Pro was left to soak into the tiles for around 15 minutes before being scrubbed into the tile and grout using a stiff grout brush. This action cleaned up the grout and tile nicely removing stains from shampoos and soaps etc.
Removing Mould from Grout
The grout was looking much improved but there was however some evidence of mould remaining which needed dealing with. To tackle this we used Tile Doctor Mould Away which is designed to remove mould off Silicone and Grout. It’s very easy to use, you simply spray the Silicone or Grout to be treated with Mould Away then leave to soak in for five minutes and then scrub with a brush and rinse with water repeating the process until the mould has disappeared.
It took a fair amount of manual effort but the results were well worth it as you can see.
A customer in Leyland near Preston reported a grouting issue with their porcelain tiled kitchen floor, the tiles were fine but the grout had become discoloured and grey, they were also finding it difficult to keep clean. This is not an unusual story for Porcelain or Ceramic tiled floors which are generally very low maintenance and you find the grout needs attention before the tiles do.
Applying Grout Colourant
On arrival I set up my equipment and cleaned the floor to make sure all the grout joints were free from any dirt etc., I then did a colour test on a less obvious part of the floor with the grout colour. I wanted to make sure the colourant would take to the grout and also to make sure the customer was happy with her colour choice.
The process for grout colouring is fairly tedious but straightforward, it involves giving the bottle a good shake and applying a small amount to a toothbrush and working the grout colorant into joints using a back-and-forth motion. I find the best way to apply it is by working in small areas and adding thin even coats to limit the amount of grout colorant that gets on the tile. They were large format tiles covering 9m2 so I only needed one bottle of buff grout colourant to do the entire floor.
After the Grout Colorant dries (it takes between twenty and sixty minutes depending on how warm the house) you mist the surface with water and let stand for five minutes, excess grout colorant is then removed from the tile surface using a white nylon scrub pad.
The floor was ready for surface traffic in 2 hours but there was a white mist over the floor which you can get with porcelain tiles so I fitted a white buffing pad to my rotary floor polishing machine and buffed the floor to remove the power and water marks, once finished the floor looked like new. Before leaving I left the customer with some after care instructions and how to keep it floor looking good for the future.
A customer in Kendal requested that the colour of grout installed on 20m2 newly laid textured Porcelain tile floor was changed; the tiler had used a Sandstone coloured grout and they were not happy with the colour or the grouting in general which looked patchy. I recommended the use of an epoxy Grout Colouring product that re-colours, seals and rejuvenates existing grout joints and comes in twelve different colours and after showing the customer the different colour options they picked Charcoal Grey.
Applying Grout Colourant
I did a test area so they could see how it might look under the lights which went well and so I started to apply the grout colouring to the whole kitchen floor completing small areas until the entire floor was covered and taking care not to get any on the Porcelain tile as the textured surface makes it difficult to remove and requires the use of an white abrasive scouring pad. Normally you have to use a Pre-Treater product on the grout before Grout Colouring however this grout was new and so this step was unnecessary.
This job took me one day and only required one tube of Grout Colourant. The owner was extremely happy with the result will now have a fairly maintenance free tiled floor as Porcelain tiles are very hard wearing and the epoxy grout colourant acts as a barrier and therefore unlikely to discolour.