This floor was tiled with large format beige porcelain tiles with a white grout which as you can appreciate can soon become dirty. Now you might be thinking that this post is about cleaning grout which would make sense as I’m normally asked to clean grout, however on this occasion the customer wanted it removing completely and then re-grouting in a darker colour.
Grout re-colouring grout is easily done using a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which comes in ten different colours but in this case there was an amount of cracked and missing grout which needed replacing anyway.
The house was in the surrey village of Cobham which dates back to Roman times and is now known for being an affluent place to live with many large houses.
Removing existing grout is a messy job that can create a lot of dust so before starting work I positioned my vacuum cleaner adjacent to the tile so any dust would be extracted away. There are a number of ways to remove grout but I find the best way is to use a special oscillating tool which makes quick work of the job. Fortunately due to the large format porcelain tiles with tight grout lines I was able to completely remove all the grout within a few hours.
After a clean up I was ready to mix the new grey grout and start rerouting the tiles. I always use expanding grout for this as it lasts longer and won’t shrink like cheaper products which can rack as a house moves slightly. Once mixed the new grout was pushed into the grout lines with a rubber float and the excess polished off.
I managed to complete the job in a day and before leaving I have the floor a buff with a soft white pad.
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.
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.
(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).
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.
Apologies for the photographs which are not my best but I think you can see the improvement.
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 Porcelain hallway and kitchen floor in Teddington, Middlesex, had extensive soiling in the grout lines and some staining on some of the Porcelain tiles from drink spillages. Porcelain is very robust material but like any surface the sooner you clean-up a spillage the less staining you are likely to experience.
Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout
To clean the tile and grout I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaner, with a mop and left it to soak in for a while before working it into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and a stiff brush along the grout lines. The soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and rinsed down with clean water. This process was repeated until I was satisfied the tile and grout was clean.
I then waited for the floor to dry before applying a coat of Tile Doctor Grout Sealer to the grout lines in order to help make future maintenance easier, this type of Porcelain did not need sealing so only the grout would benefit from this preventative measure. The process is very straightforward and can be sprayed onto the grout line wiping off the excess from the adjacent tile within a few minutes.
I think you will agree from the photographs that the grout which was very prominent has now almost disappeared restoring the floor to its original appearance.