Deep Cleaning and Sealing Grout in a Sun Room in Northamptonshire

A customer from Rushden which is a large town in the east side of Northamptonshire, and my home town asked me to take a look at the Ceramic tile and grout in his Sun room. He has a large dog that sleeps on the sofa in this room and over the years the dog has walked in mud which has slowly degraded the grout lines and I suspect had probably never been sealed correctly or sealed at all.

The glazing on Ceramic tile is very resilient so we usually find it’s the grout discolouring that becomes most noticeable first due to the cementitious top layer which can trap dirt. In this case the Ceramic tiles had dulled over the years and as you might expect the white grout lines had become soiled and were almost black in places.

Ceramic Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Rushden Sun Room Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Rushden Sun Room

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

To get the tile and grout clean the floor was first soaked in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and this was left to dwell for ten minutes. A rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad was then used to scrub the cleaning solution into the tile and release the dirt. The pad can struggle to reach the recessed grout so to ensure this was also clean it was given a good scrub with a narrow stiff brush.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout During Cleaning Rushden Sun Room

We then used a spinning tool which forces hot water under high pressure onto the floor whilst simultaneously extracting the dirty water with a powerful vacuum. The objective of this action is to power wash the floor whilst rinsing and extracting the dirty cleaning solution at the same time.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout During Cleaning Rushden Sun Room

We inspected the grout lines and stubborn stains were treated with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which was scrubbed in with hand brushes, this was then rinsed a second time until we were happy with the results. Grout Clean-Up is an acidic product that is particularly good at removing grout smears which can form a haze over a tile reducing its brilliance.

We then polished the floor with a white buffing pad and allowed the floor to dry overnight before returning the following day to apply Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to all grout lines.

The furniture was too large and heavy for the customer to move out of the room, which was on a lower level than the rest of the ground floor. As a result, it was necessary to clean the floor in sections moving the furniture around the room on pads as needed.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout After Cleaning Rushden Sun Room

The Sun room floor look great afterwards, the grout especially looked clean and the sealer should ensure it stays that way for some time to come.
 
 
Source: Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Northamptonshire

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

Dealing with Mould on Grout

A common problem with bathroom and shower cubicle tiles is the appearance of mould on the tile, grout and silicone which if not tackled on a regular basis will spread and threaten to severely damage the appearance of the tiles, along with the silicone. This problem is usually due to inadequate ventilation however the good news is that with early intervention with Tile Doctor Mould Away spray the problem can be reversed.

The two photos below show a bad case of this very problem at a property in Northampton, where you can see that the grout and silicone sealant had become black with mould.

Mouldy shower cubicle before Northampton Mouldy shower cubicle before Northampton

Cleaning and Repairing Damaged Shower Cubicle Grout

Firstly, I decided to cut out the damaged grout with a hand held disc cutter and remove all the silicone at the base of the shower. To treat the less invasive mould in the rest of the cubicle I sprayed it with Tile Doctor Mould Away, which is specifically designed to remove mould from silicone and grout.

I sprayed the product onto the affected areas and left it to dwell for five minutes, before scrubbing it in with a stiff grout brush, resulting in a good clean. The area was then rinsed with plain water. Finally, I replaced the grout and the silicone that I had removed earlier with a flexible grout and a white silicone, both of which include a mould inhibitor.

Mouldy shower cubicle after Northampton Mouldy shower cubicle after Northampton

The photographs above show the end result. The customer was very happy with her refreshed tiles, and left the following feedback:

“Phil was brilliant – both when he came to look at the job and then when he returned to actually make the grout repairs. Most importantly he explained what was (and wasn’t possible) and did exactly what he said he would do. My shower area now looks brilliant and I’m no longer showering in fear of the tiles falling off the wall! Honest, clean, timely and totally professional. A tremendous job well done. Thank you.”

I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Aqua Pro to aid with regular cleaning. If used once or twice a week, this product will help maintain the condition of the grout. I also advised the customer that it is good practice to rinse the tiles down with plain water using the shower head after each shower to remove any soapy residue which can slowly discolour and stain grout over time.
 
 
Source: Shower Tile and Grout Maintenance Service in Northamptonshire

Grout Haze Removed from Sealed Sandstone Floor

It’s not that uncommon for newly installed tiled floors to suffer from grout haze. This occurs where builder or tiler fails to remove all the excess grout from the surface of the tile after installation. It’s not always immediately obvious as the grout has to dry before it shows up and if the tiles are sealed afterward the grout is trapped on the surface of the tile under the sealer which makes it even more difficult to remove. Not too long ago, I was called to address this exact problem experienced on my client’s Sandstone tiled floor at her house Wappenham, Northamptonshire.

This first picture shows how the builder had left the floor after sealing (note how all the tiles have a similar colour). Also shown in the picture is the equipment I use to remove grout haze should you wish to do this yourself.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

The second picture shows a close-up of the white grout haze deposits on the surface of the tile; the issue is probably difficult to appreciate if you haven’t come across this type of problem yourself however you will find ordinary household cleaning products will be largely ineffectual.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Removing Sealer from Sandstone Floor Tiles

The third picture shows the first stage of the cleaning process which required stripping off the sealer so I could then treat the Grout Haze. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go liberally across the floor, before agitating with a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine to break down the old surface sealer. I followed this by using a wet-vac machine to remove any soiled residue. As you can see in the next photograph, the colours are already starting to show.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Treating Grout Haze on Sandstone

The next photo shows the second stage of the process, which involved the application of a new product in the Tile Doctor range called Acid Gel. The acid based formula is required to remove the cement/grout and being a gel you find the product remains in situ breaking down the grout haze instead of spreading around as you would expect with a liquid.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

I left the Acid Gel to dwell for approximately ten minutes, before mixing it with water and scrubbing it into the tiles with an industrial brush. This was followed by a second wet vacuum to ensure all the residue was removed. A turbo dryer was used on the treated area to speed up the drying process whilst I moved onto the next section.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Sealing Sandstone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was fully dry I was able to seal it again with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Sealing will protect the floor from staining and make it easier to clean, additionally Colour Grow soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the stone in the process.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

The final photograph shows an area which has been fully sealed and the tiles restored to their natural beauty. I achieved this result across the entirety of the floor.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Floor Cleaning and Restoration service in Northamptonshire

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

Resolving Problems With Stained Grout

I was recently called down to Alderton, a small village in the southern part of Northamptonshire most famous for housing the remains of a Norman Castle, known as ‘The Mount’. Unfortunately, this job involved remedying a bit of DIY grout cleaning that had not gone as expected.

As the first photo shows, my client had attempted to use a well-known household cleaning product to remove stains from the grout of his bathroom tiled floor which had not been sealed. Grouts are porous and, as a result, they can easily absorb grease and dirt, so it is understandable that my client would have wanted to try and clean them.

Diy Grout Cleaning Disaster Before Alderton

However, it is because of the porous properties of grout that the cleaning product did not remove the stains and, unfortunately, the stains were permanent. What’s more, the cleaning product itself had inflicted acid etching to the parts of the tiles where my client had scrubbed the grout.

Attempting to clean the stained grout

So what could be done to remedy the situation? My first action was to clean the grout using professional methods and products in an attempt to reverse the damage.

I did this using Tile Doctor 6″ twister pads, along with a hand-held buffing machine. The cleaning product I chose to use was Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is designed to penetrate beneath the surface of the grout to lift out stains, smears and grout haze.

Diy Grout Cleaning Disaster After Cleaning Alderton

The final photo above shows the results of my attempts to clean the grout. Due to the extent of the damage, even a powerful cleaner like Grout Clean Up could not completely eliminate the stains completely. This meant that the only option left was to recolour the grout lines.

Recolouring the grout lines

I recoloured the grout lines using a white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. This product is a waterborne epoxy that not only recolours, but also seals the grout lines in order to protect against further stains in the future.

Diy Grout Cleaning Disaster After Colouring Alderton

I coloured all of the grout lines in the bathroom to ensure that everything matched, as well as to create an overall high-quality resilient finish. My client was very happy with results – she also remarked that she would not be letting her husband near the bathroom floor again.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in Northamptonshire

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

Deep Cleaning and Sealing Newly Installed Grout

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.

Dirty Grout in Titchmarsh Kitchen During Cleaning

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.

Dirty Grout in Titchmarsh Kitchen After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout problems resolved in Northamptonshire