Sealing Grout with a Pippette in a Westmancote Kitchen

This customer who lives in the old picturesque village of Westmancote, Gloucestershire asked me to do a home survey on their ceramic kitchen tiles which had been laid around fifteen years prior. With the exception of general cleaning not much had work had been done to the tile and grout and now the tiles were looking dull and the grout had turned black.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate before cleaning

As part of the survey I ran a test clean on part of the floor and the tile and grout came up really well which convinced the customer to give me the job and I was soon booked in to return to complete the floor and work my magic.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate before cleaning Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate Cleaning Grout Lines

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

The first job was to give the floor a sweep to remove any grit and then I set about cleaning the grout lines. The grout had trapped a lot of dirt so I decided to start with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong cleaner/stripper that is safe to use on all types of tile and grout. The Remove and Go was left to soak into the grout for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a stiff grout brush. This process released the dirt and the now soiled solution was rinsed away using water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next step was to turn my attention to the Ceramic tiles which needed a deep clean so this time I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, left to dwell for ten minutes then ran over the tiles with tan pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. Once the floor was done I rinsed away the soiled cleaning solution with water and extracted with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Floor Grout

I find it’s always the grout that lets down the appearance of a Ceramic tiled floor which are usually fairly maintenance free, to guard against this I always recommend the grout is sealed. Given the condition of the grout in this case it was definitely a good idea as I’m sure it wouldn’t be long before it started to discolour again.

With this in mind I sped up the drying of the grout lines with a heat gun and once done I sealed the grout lines using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal applied carefully with a Pipette.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate after cleaning Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate after cleaning

The customer was pleased with the end result and left the following feedback via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Very professional work. We were sold on it when he came to quote and did a small patch clean. Malcolm was able to come within a few days of confirming his price was acceptable and the job was done swiftly and to an excellent standard. We now have a new floor!
 
 
Source: Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration in Gloucestershire

Giving a Cheshire Kitchen a Makeover with Grout Colouring

You often see some fantastic tiled surfaces transformations in lifestyle and home decoration magazines. This customer, who lives in Stockton Heath, had recently seen a feature in which an area of white kitchen tiles had been transformed by changing the white grout to a charcoal coloured grout, giving it a new and particularly striking appearance.

Grout before recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen Grout before recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen

Very impressed with the result, she wanted to know if Tile Doctor could do the same for her white kitchen tiles, which covered the majority of the room. I told her that not only could we do it – we could do it even better in the space of a day!

Here’s how we did it.

Cleaning and Recolouring White Kitchen Tiles

Our process for recolouring grout involves an application of a pre-treatment cleaner to ensure a complete refresh of both the grout and tiles. This pre-treatment cleaner removes any dirt and stains, as well as prepares the the grout joints for a superior bond with the Grout Colourant. I applied this carefully and scrubbed it in using a specialised grout brush, before drying the area with a heat gun.

It was then time to apply Charcoal Gray Grout Colourant, one of the options from our range of 10 Grout Colourants that includes Black, Ivory, and Cappuccino. Our Grout Colourant is an easy-to-use waterborne epoxy that not only recolours grout joints, but also seals and rejuvenates them to guarantee their long-term protection. This was applied using a good old fashioned toothbrush, and any excess was swiftly removed.

Grout during recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen Grout during recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen

To complete the process I removed the old silicone around the windows and worktops and replaced with a fresh batch. When the customer saw the finished result she was over the moon. She thought this kind of transformation could only be made with difficulty and at a high cost but we showed that it’s a very simple and cost-effective process for any home owner.

Grout after recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen Grout after recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen

 
 
Source: Grout Cleaning and Colouring Service in Cheshire

Removing Grout Smears From Terracotta Tiles

This newly installed Herringbone-style Terracotta tiled floor in a refurbished kitchen was heavily covered with patches of grout haze. The customer, who lives in the town of Cogenhoe, Northampton informed me that the tiler had supposedly sealed the floor before grouting. If this was true, the grout haze should have been very easy to remove.

However, the tiler had clearly not been entirely truthful as, when I arrived at the property to carry out a test clean, I found very little evidence of any sealer whatsoever. Nonetheless, I found that the grout haze was easily removed using a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which is designed specifically for the removal of haze, mineral deposits and efflorescence.

Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe

These Terracotta tiles were very pitted and the original tiler was correct to fill the small holes with grout to complement the rustic look of the tiles, but he should have taken the correct measures to ensure that a white misty grout haze didn’t appear over the whole area!

The customer was happy for me to proceed with restoring the floor, but also very concerned that her newly installed hand painted kitchen units would be damaged by the chemical cleaning products. I assured her that I would cover them up completely and carry out all work along the plinths by hand.

Removing Grout Haze from Terracotta Tiles

Once on site, I covered the kitchen units to protect them and proceeded to mix up a solution of Grout Clean Up. This was applied firstly around the edges of the floor and scrubbed into the stone by hand using a stiff brush.

Working in areas of four square metres each so as to not the leave the product on the floor too long, I applied the solution to pre-wet the floor ready for the next part of the process. This was to apply Tile Doctor Acid Gel, our blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, leave it to dwell for a few minutes has then agitate it to neutralise and remove the copious grout haze. Once each area had been treated I rinsed it with water to remove any chemicals.

Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

With the entire floor treated, I installed a dehumidifier to help the tiles to dry quickly overnight. The next day I returned to the property to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection while also lifting the natural shades in the Terracotta.

Each coat was polished in by hand, leaving an hour for drying between coats. I then waited another hour before giving the whole floor a final polish with a buffing machine to remove any excess sealant.

Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe

The result achieved in the space of 24 hours was fantastic and the customer was exceptionally pleased. Despite the severity of the grout haze problem, the combination of the right products allowed me to handily resolve it. The addition of a properly applied and top quality sealer will help to ensure the floor is protected from staining, something which is essential in a kitchen.
 
 
Source: Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Northamptonshire

New but Discoloured Grout refreshed in a Warrington Kitchen

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

 
 
Source: Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration Service in West Cheshire

Removing Varnish From Grout in Harrogate

I was recently at a property in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate, undertaking what I initially thought would be the cleaning and polishing of a Cream Limestone tiled kitchen. However, as I began the cleaning process I quickly discovered that under the dirty grout lines someone had taken a lot of effort to paint with a small brush directly onto the grout using varnish!

Cream limestone floor before cleaning Harrogate Cream limestone floor before cleaning Harrogate

Removing Varnish from Grout

In a normal situation, I would have covered the whole floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go to solve the problem, however compared to, say, adhesive or paint staining, varnish is very difficult to remove. So instead I opted for the long, yet necessary process of cleaning the grout manually with several thin wire brushes. Over the course of two days I managed to remove approximately 90% of the stubborn varnish – and could finally move onto cleaning and polishing the Limestone as originally planned.

Burnishing and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The polish had been lost from the Limestone kitchen tiles over time, so I set about restoring it using a type of polishing known as burnishing. This involves the application of diamond encrusted pads of varying grit to the floor to gradually buff the stone and achieve an aesthetic and durable shine. Burnishing is most commonly used on high-end stone such as Marble, Travertine and, of course, Limestone.

At Tile Doctor, our burnishing system comprises four burnishing pads, ranging from a Coarse grit to a Very Fine grit. After applying the first three pads (Coarse, Medium and Fine), I gave the tiles a further clean with Tile a Doctor Pro Clean, which is our alkaline cleaner, to remove any residue from the burnishing process. I then rinsed the floor with clean water and soaked up the residue with a wet vacuum, before leaving it to dry.

The floor was then polished to a satin finish using the fourth and final Extra Fine burnishing pad. I sealed it using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, an impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum protection against dirt and stains.

Cream limestone floor after cleaning Harrogate Cream limestone floor after cleaning Harrogate

The combination of burnishing and sealing always makes a huge difference to Limestone tiles. Here, the finished result was almost like a new floor! The customer was both amazed and very pleased with the transformation.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile and Grout Cleaning and Maintenance Service in North Yorkshire

Achieving the Consistent Appearance of old Grout using Grout Colourant

The task of keeping these white Ceramic Kitchen and Conservatory tiles clean was proving very challenging for this customer, who lives in the town of Somerton in Somerset. Somerton is known for its bustling market, which has supposedly been run on a weekly basis since the Middle Ages, and its famous ‘Market Cross’ at the centre of the beautiful marketplace is a popular tourist attraction for visitors to the West Country.

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that white tiles are often more difficult to keep clean than others. However, in this case, rather than being badly marked or damaged, these Ceramic tiles had become dirty due to the surface being pitted rather than smooth which trapped ground in marks from spills and dirty footprints etc. The pitted rough surface is very characteristic and provides better grip however they do trap dirt are therefore more difficult to keep clean.

The grout had also suffered over the years, losing a lot of its colour in the process so as well as cleaning the tiles we agreed to give the grout a really deep clean and also to colour the grout to make it more uniform.

Cleaning a Pitted Ceramic Tiled Floor

To clean the tiles, I firstly created a strong diluted of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and applied it liberally across the entire floor, leaving it to dwell and soak into the tile for a short period in order to soften the ingrained dirt. I then used my heavy weight rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to agitate the solution and break down the muck.

Once satisfied with the condition of the tiles I turned my attention to the grout lines, cleaning them carefully by hand using a stiff tile cleaning brush and the same solution of Pro Clean and water. This provided a deep, penetrating that clean that left the grout lines clean and free from the dirt and grease that had dulled their appearance for so long.

With some great results achieved through the cleaning, I rinsed the whole floor to wash away any leftover Pro-Clean and left it to dry fully overnight.

Ceramic Tiles Somerton After Cleaning but Before Grout Colouring

Recolouring Grout for a Ceramic Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the next day to check on the floor and after ensuring the floor was completely dry, proceeded to recolour the grout lines using Tile Doctor’s Grout Colourant. Our Grout Colourants are a waterborne epoxy that recolours, seals and rejuvenates existing grout joints and is available in ten different colours ranging from white to dark greys. The scrubbing with Pro-Clean the day before would also ensure the surface of the grout was clean and would make a good surface for the colourant to bond with.

Since in the past the grout lines had undergone a number of repairs, the existing colour was a mix of different greys. It made most sense then that they picked our ‘Natural Grey’ Grout Colourant for me to use. I painted the Colourant on carefully and waited for 30 minutes before removing any excess, leaving the grout lines perfectly covered in a uniform colour.

Ceramic Tiles Somerton After Cleaning and Grout Colouring

The difference was really noticeable and the property owner was really happy with the results. As you can see from the photos, the new grey Colourant really made the grout lines stand out against the clean white Ceramic tiles. Another satisfied customer.
 
 
Source: Grout Cleaning and Colouring Service in Somerset

Restoring the Appearance of Grout in Preston with a Colourant

Well maintained grout is fundamental to achieving a great looking tiled floor, whatever your choice of tile or stone. Even if the tiles themselves are in reasonably good condition, dirty and damaged grout lines can really upset the overall appearance of the floor.

Such was the case with this Ceramic Terracotta tiled floor in the bustling Lancashire town of Preston. The property owner recently had a new kitchen installed, but chose not to have new tiles fitted since the original tiles (dating back a good 15 years) were still in fantastic physical condition, with no chips or breaks. This is quite surprising considering that the kitchen is typically one of the main areas of traffic in any house however Ceramic and Porcelain tiles are very durable.

The grout, however, told a different story: it was very dirty and even missing in parts. Over the years it had come away and was replaced with new grout, however, this had left the whole floor with a displeasing patchy finish. Upon closer inspection it also became clear that the tiles themselves could do with a deep clean. I stepped in to discuss what could be done to improve the appearance of the floor and recommended a deep clean and grout colouring.

Grout Colouring Preston Before

Cleaning Ceramic Terracotta Tiles and Grout

Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a versatile high alkaline cleaner, was my choice of product for removing the dirt from the tiles. I applied it liberally across the floor before scrubbing it in with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Pro Clean is a go-to product for the removal of dirt, stains and other muck on most kinds of natural stone floor, and is capable of dealing with small amounts of soil to heavy buildup.

Once the tiles had been cleaned I turned special attention to the grout. I cleaned it with a product called Grout Colourant Pre-Treatment Cleaner, which is slightly acidic to break down ingrained dirt and tackle inherent grout smears, while ensuring that grout colourant bonds to the grout once it is applied.

Colouring Grout for Ceramic Terracotta a Tiles

The job took two days to complete as it was quite a large floor stretching into several rooms. The floor also needed to dry off overnight once I had completed the cleaning process, so I decided to call back the next day once it had dried completely. Upon my return I proceeded to colour the freshly cleaned grout by applying one coat of natural grey colourant. Sometimes two coats might be required for blending purposes, but not on this occasion.

The customer was very happy with the results. She had, in fact, thought of ripping up the old tiles as part of the kitchen restoration, but she decided not to since she really likes the tiles. A restoration by the Lancashire Tile Doctor was the appropriate and much less expensive choice!

Grout Colouring Preston After

 
 
Source: Ceramic Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Lancashire

Kitchen Tile Grout Refresh

If you’re looking to give your kitchen a face lift then read on as the following post details a very simple grout treatment that I think you will agree really refreshed the look of this kitchen in Edinburgh. In fact if you’re thinking of selling your property this quick but effective grout treatment will really make your tiles look a lot more appealing.

Normally to get grout clean we recommend a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean however in some cases the staining cannot be removed completely and sometimes the customer simply wants a different grout colour. In either case whether its wall or floor grout the solution is to re-colour the grout with a Grout Colourant which are available in ten popular colours.

Kitchen Wall Tile Before Refresh in Edinburgh Kitchen Wall Tile Before Refresh in Edinburgh

As you can see in the photographs above the Kitchen Wall Grout for this ceramic tiled kitchen in Edinburgh was a grey colour which looked dirty and was not very attractive.

Cleaning and Colouring Grout

The first step before grout colouring is to give the grout a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get it as clean as possible before applying the colourant. The grout was then wiped and then allowed to dry ready for the colourant to be applied.

Once the grout was ready the colourant was run evenly along the grout line in thin coats so it didn’t run, working the brush backwards and forwards and taking care to minimise the amount of colourant left on the tile. One coat is usually sufficient but you may need to apply a number of coats if the original grout colour was quite dark.

Kitchen Wall Tile After Refresh in Edinburgh Kitchen Wall Tile After Refresh in Edinburgh

I think you will agree from the photographs the white colourant gave the tiles a really fresh feel and gave the impression the tiling was recent. The colourant also adds a barrier over the grout protecting it from staining and making it easier to clean in future.
 
 
Source: Refreshing Tile and Grout Service

Dealing With Blackened Grout on Travertine Kitchen Tiles

Earlier this month I was in the town of Northampton, to see a client who had reported a problem with her Travertine kitchen tiles. Basically the grout between the tiles was badly stained, to the point of appearing almost black.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton

The Travertine tiles were also in need of some maintenance, and so I was commissioned to provide a clean, polish and a fresh seal. Travertine is a popular choice for kitchen flooring due to its relatively high durability and distinct features. My task was to get this floor back to looking its best.

Cleaning badly stained grout

My priority was to address the badly stained grout so I cleaned the grout lines by hand using a combination of hand brushes and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The surface was pre-wet with water, before a solution of Grout-Clean Up and clean water was applied to the surface. The brushes were then used to agitate the solution. Grout Clean-Up contains a mix of concentrated phosphoric acid and cleaner designed to penetrate below the surface of the grout to remove grout stains, smears and mineral deposits.

As you can see from the photos, Grout Clean-Up made an immediate difference to the appearance of the tiles. This product is suitable for use on masonry and acid resistant surfaces. After completing the clean, I gave the floor a thorough rinse to neutralise the floor after cleaning and removed as much of the water as possible using a wet vacuum.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton

Burnishing Travertine tiles

Following this, I paid attention to the tiles themselves, cleaning them to achieve a polished effect by using a system of burnishing pads. Tile Doctor burnishing pads comprise a set of four pads varying in grit type, from Coarse and Medium to Fine and Very Fine. I applied all four pads in turn to the floor, stopping to rinse the floor in between each. The result was a high quality polished finish.

I then left the floor to dry completely overnight, before commencing the seal the next day. My choice of sealing product was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer that both enhances the natural appearance of the stone and provides a durable surface seal.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton

My client was very pleased with the finished product, and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system: “efficiently done”, yielding “good results”.
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile and Grout cleaning and sealing service in Northamptonshire

Refreshing the Appearance of Grout in Bedfordshire

The grout lines on this Porcelain floor in a Luton Kitchen was excessively stained and even with the application of the heavy duty cleaning products we have at our disposal it was very unlikely that it could be restored to its former standard. The best option therefore was to colour the grout using a Tile Doctor Grout Colouring kit.

Grout Before Colouring Luton

Choosing a Grout Colour

The customer wasn’t completely sure which colour would suit best so I was able to test the effect of various colours within the Tile Doctor range by applying a small amount to the grout colourant in different colours to the floor and then wiping it off before it had chance to harden. This helped and the sandstone colourant was decided upon, the range includes a number of popular colours so it can be a tricky decision; I’ve included a table of the range below so you can see for yourself.

Black Cappuccino Charcoal Grey Chocolate Ivory
Light Grey Limestone Natural Grey Sandstone White
(Colors are displayed as accurately as possible. Some colors below may not represent exact grout colors. They may appear differently on computer monitors with different resolutions).

Colouring Grout

Before applying the colourant the grout needs to be clean and free of any debris; you can a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for this Tile Doctor however do sell a special Pre-Treater product that is recommended for this, its mildly acidic which etches the grout to provide a better bond. The Pre-Treater is safe to use on Porcelain tiles but for natural stone such as Marble or Travertine I would go with Pro-Clean.

Once the floor was dry I started with the application of the white colourant using a tooth brush to paint it onto the grout, pressing down firmly to make sure it is keyed into the original grout. Once the whole floor had been covered and all the grout lines coloured, we let it dry for several hours returning to clean up the tiles. Once all the excess colourant had been removed we used a polishing pad to buff the floor back to a polishes state.

Grout After Colouring Luton

Apologies for the photographs which are not my best but I think you can see the improvement.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in Bedfordshire

Deep Cleaning and Sealing Grout

This customer from Rushden called me in because she was having difficulty keeping the grout in her kitchen clean although the ceramic tiles themselves were fairly easy to maintain.

On speaking to the customer it became evident that the one coat of sealant that was originally applied to the grout five years ago had all but worn off and the cleaning products she was using were too strong reducing the life of the sealer and now dirty water getting into the now porous grout which was causing staining each time she mopped the floor.

Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden Before

I gave the customer a quote for deep cleaning and extraction of tiles and grout lines, as they were thinking of selling the house they didn’t want to have the expense of re-colouring the grout. We decided the best course of action would be re-sealing the grout with Tile Doctor Grout Seal & Go after cleaning and this should protect it going forward.

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

To get the grout clean and lift out the dirt we used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mopped onto the floor and scrubbed into the grout lines with a stiff grout brush. The second and third pictures below show the equipment we use to deep clean and scrub the grout and to extract the water under pressure to clean the grout as best as possible.

Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden During Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden During

Sealing Grout

The final pictures below show the overall end result after allowing the floor to drying overnight and then sealing the grout with two coats of Tile Doctor Grout Seal & Go.

Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden After Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden After

I also talked the customer through Tile Doctor recommended cleaning procedures and advised her that she was entitled to a free bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which would keep the floor looking at its best for much longer and would not affect the grout sealant.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Northamptonshire