This is a follow-up post from last week where I detailed the restoration of a beautiful polished travertine floor that had been installed on most of the ground floor and bathroom at a property in Newton Heath. After cleaning, polishing and sealing the floor tiles the owners asked if I could apply the same treatment to their Travertine tiled shower cubicle which was not looking its best and had become stained over time.
Cleaning Travertine Shower Wall Tiles
First I successfully cleaned the grout with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the wall grout with a special stiff grout brush, the tiles were then rinsed with water and the process repeated until I was satisfied with the result.
To clean the Travertine wall tiles I used the same Diamond pad system as I did on floor, starting from 400 grit and moving up to 3000 grit pads lubricated with a little water, the only difference this time was that I used smaller six inch pads fitter to a hand held burnishing machine.
Sealing Travertine Shower Wall Tiles
After I completed all the cleaning and the tiles had dried I proceeded to seal them with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer, this is the same sealer that I used on the floor and the excess was polished off with cotton cloths.
The last remaining step was to strip out the silicone sealant strip from around the base of the shower cubicle and replace with new. I used high quality anti mould silicone sealant that left nice lines and fresh look.
Needless to say, that customer was very happy with the work carried out on the floor and shower cubicle and recommended me to his neighbour straight away.
This Ceramic Tiled shower cubicle in a house in Hale was overdue a deep clean, the Ceramic Tiles were in reasonable condition but the grout lines had discoloured and become stained from the dyes in shampoo’s and soaps and the silicone needed to be replaced.
Cleaning Shower Tile and Grout
To clean the grout I decanted a strong 2:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into a spray bottle and sprayed the solution on the tile and grout working in small sections. I think I’ve mentioned this before but in case you were wondering mixing the cleaner with air makes it lighter and allows it to stick onto vertical surfaces better. The solution was then worked in using a stiff scrubbing brush by hand before being rinsed off with water; this process was repeated until all the tile and grout was clean and then left to dry. If you’re doing this work yourself then you should know that Tile Doctor produces a product that comes with a spray attachment called Oxy Pro that is ready to use and can save you some time.
The next step was to take a sharp knife and remove and replace the silicone strip between the tile and the shower tray.
Although the grout was cleaner following the scrubbing it was still showing some staining so to improve it further a white Grout Colourant was applied, fortunately the tiles were large format and the grout lines minimal. The product we use is epoxy based and forms a thin impermeable barrier over the grout so not only does it look good it protects the grout as well; it’s very easily applied using a small brush along the grout lines and you just wipe of the excess so it wasn’t long before the grout was looking like new.
I think you will agree from the photographs the finished result looks like a new installation, certainly my customer was very pleased with job I had done.
Following a referral from customer which is always nice to have, we paid a visit to a house in Brighton where the owner was having difficulty keeping their ceramic tiled kitchen worktop clean. As you can see from the photograph below the glazed ceramic tiles were in reasonable condition, it was the grout that was the problem; this is not unusual as glazer ceramics are very hard wearing but the top layer of grout is in fact porous and will trap dirt and become discoloured if not sealed.
There were two ways this job could have been tackled, the first being to remove the top layer or grout using the flat blade of a screwdriver and then re-grout. It was a reasonably large area of worktop so this would have taken some time. The second and simpler option is to use a heavy duty tile and grout cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and that is exactly what we did, it also has the added advantage of cleaning the tiles at the same time.
The Pro-Clean was diluted with water and then left to dwell on the tile and grout for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in by hand with a stiff brush. For the wall tiles the solution was decanted to a spray bottle and sprayed onto the tiles, the combination with air makes it lighter and more able to stick to a vertical surface.
The tiles were then washed down with water and any stubborn areas re-treated with more Pro-Clean and elbow grease, it wasn’t long before the tile and grout was looking like new again.
Now glazed Ceramic tiles don’t need to be sealed as the glaze provides an effective barrier however as I mentioned before the top layer of grout is porous and will attract dirt over time and should be sealed, especially considering kitchen worktops are used to prepare food. Tile Doctor have a range of sealing products any of which will seal grout however in this case I used Grout Seal and Go which comes in a spray bottle.
This Ceramic tiled shower cubicle was installed at house in Birmingham, although the Ceramic tiles were in reasonable condition the customer wanted the grout to be refreshed. Ten years ago it would have been necessary to scrape out the top layer of grout and replace however the modern grout colourant kits allow you to achieve the same effects for a lot less expense.
Cleaning Tile and Grout
The first job was to clean the grouting with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in by hand using a scrubbing brush, we also removed the towel radiator on one wall to make sure we could get to the grout behind. Pro-Clean is a very effective tile and grout cleaner that’s good at getting grease & grime out of the grouting, this process also provides a good foundation for the grout colourant which needs a clean surface. If you’re cleaning the grout yourself you may want to consider using Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro instead as it’s a similar product that is ready to use.
Once the grout was dry Grout Colourant in a Linen colour was applied into the grout lines and the excess wiped off, I then cleaned off all the excess Grout Colourant from the tile surface and gave the tiles a good clean. As you can see it made a big difference to the bathroom and I think you will agree the choice of Linen colourant worked well and blended in well with the colour of the tiles needless to say the customer was delighted.
I should mention that the Grout Colourant range supplied by Tile Doctor also seals the grout preventing it from staining and therefore ensuring it will look good for some time to come.
This Ceramic tiled floor was installed in the Kitchen of a house in Melton Mowbray, as you can see from the photographs the tiles were in reasonable condition it was mainly the grout had become discoloured and in need of a deep clean. We do find this with Ceramic and Porcelain tiles, they are very hard wearing and unless you drop an Iron on one they are usually good for a long time; the top layer of grout however is porous and will attract dirt over time if it’s not sealed.
Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout
I used a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with hot water and applied it to the floor letting it dwell and soak into the tile and grout before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This worked well to clean the tile but the grout needed more work so we got our knee pads on and hand scrubbed along the grout lines with a stiff brush. The soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and floor rinsed with clean water so we could see if there were any areas in need of further attention and repeated the process until we were happy the whole floor.
I then left the floor to dry out and came back to seal the grout using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the grout from staining in the future by adding a barrier to the surface of the grout.
I think you will agree from the photographs the floor has been transformed and looks like a new installation.