We received a call to visit a house in Chorley where the grout in the kitchen tiles had gone black with the build-up of dirt and the owner was having trouble cleaning it. Porcelain and Ceramic tiles are a great choice for kitchens as they are very easy to clean however what most people don’t realise is that the top layer of grout is actually porous and can becomes stained with dirt. With the agreement of the home owner I did a test clean using a strong cleaning product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go leaving it to dwell on the tile and grout before scrubbing it in by hand and then washing off the soiled solution; you can see from the photograph below that the tile and grout cleaned up nicely so I was booked to do the job the following week.
Cleaning Tile and Grout
On my return I repeated the earlier process on the whole floor cleaning the grout with Remove and Go and working it in along the grout lines with a stiff grout brush making sure to thoroughly scrub every grout joint working in small sections at a time.
Once I was happy with the grout in a section the floor would be rinsed off with clean water and a wet vacuum was used to remove the dirty water. I did this all over the floor until all the grout joints were clean retreating areas that needed extra attention.
The next step was to give the ceramic tiles a good clean by applying a strong general Tile and Grout cleaning product called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was scrubbed onto the floor and left to dwell for ten minutes scrubbed some more and then rinsed off. The floor was then washed down with clean water three times to make sure all the cleaning products had been removed and then dried with a wet vacuum. I then left the floor to completely dry for a couple of hours and came back later to check all the grout joints were clean and followed up with a bit of detail work on corners and edges rinsing the floor again when I had finished.
I managed to complete the job in a day and with all the cleaning the tile and grout came up much lighter than before making it look like a new floor had been installed. The customer was really happy with the final result and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.
Heidi cleaned a very dirty tiled floor back to its original state and it now looks superb. She was extremely professional and courteous but just as important she didn’t leave a mess like a lot of tradesmen do!!! I would have no hesitation in recommending Heidi to any of my friends to carry out similar work. A job well done!!! Chris Palmer, Chorley
The before and after photograph below is from a job we did in a Shower Cubicle tiled with small square Mosaic tiles at a house in Bedford. As you can see from the photograph the grout had become stained with mould and mildew growth which had become quite bad and moved onto the surface of the tile.
Cleaning Mosaic Tiles
To resolve the problem a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was scrubbed into the tile and grout by hand using a stiff brush. It’s best to let the Pro-Clean soak into the tile and grout for ten minutes before working in and to help the solution stick on vertical surfaces it’s best to decant the Pro-Clean into a spray bottle and spray it onto the surface of the tile, this allows it to mix with air making it lighter and enabling it to stick to the surface instead of running off.
The mould and mildew had become quite ingrained and had managed to get quite a foothold in the grout which due to its cementitious nature is actually porous near the surface. As a result the tiles were proving very had to get clean and so working in sections the process was repeated numerous times requiring a lot of physical effort and Pro-Clean before we were happy with the results.
This was a straightforward request to deep clean the Ceramic Tile and Grout in the kitchen of a house in Romsey, Hampshire but as you will see from the photograph below the Grout was far too stained to be cleaned effectively. Kitchen grout gets a lot of abuse from spillages so this is not unusual and to prevent it the grout can be sealed or you can choose a dark grout colour.
Cleaning and Preparing the Tile and Grout
To get the tile and grout clean I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in to the surface dirt for a while before scrubbing it with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and also a stiff hand brush along the grout lines. This was then washed down with warm water all of which was removed by a wet Vacuum. This cleaning process was repeated until the tiles were clean and the grout was a good as I could get it. Unfortunately the grout had stained quite badly and we were unable to get a good uniform appearance so after discussing this with the customer it was agreed that we would apply a white Grout Colourant.
Applying Grout Colourant
If it was a small area I could have considered using a Grout Pen however this required more than a touch up so this is where you need an epoxy grout colourant which forms a hard wearing epoxy barrier over the existing grout that looks natural and effectively protects the grout from further staining.
The grout needs to be clean and dry before you apply it so if you’re doing this from scratch make sure you clean the grout first with Pro-Clean or the Pre-Treater product that is available. The grout colourant is then easily applied using a toothbrush, it sounds easy but you have to be very methodical. The colourant dries in about an hour after which it’s worth double checking your work and then removing any excess by applying a little water and running over it with a white pad.
I think you will agree from the photographs the tiles look much cleaner and the floor transformed by the improvement in grout colour.
This Ceramic tiled family bathroom with shower was installed at house in Leighton Buzzard and was in need of rejuvenation. You can see from the photograph below that the tiles were in reasonable condition but the grout had become ingrained with dirt which is not unknown as the top layer of grout is porous and will discolour over time if not protected.
Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout
The Ceramic tiles and grout were treated using a strong 2:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultraclean which combines a highly powerful Tile and Grout cleaning product with tiny abrasive particles. For vertical tiled surfaces I recommend the mixture is decanted into a bottle with a trigger spray attachment which when sprayed onto the wall allows the cleaner to mix with air making it lighter and allowing it to stick better. The solution was then worked in using a stiff scrubbing brush by hand before being rinsed off with water; this process was repeated a number of times until we had managed to clean all the areas and then left to dry.
The grout was dried and the sealed with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Grout Sealer which forms a protective barrier over the porous grout and keeps it looking good for longer. Most sealers can be used on grout (check the label to confirm) but for best results use a spray bottle as mixing the sealer with air improves its ability to stick to a vertical surface.
Oddly Enough I had sold these Ceramic tiles to the customer in Preston when I used to work at a local Tile Shop many years prior. I had also been back to clean and seal the grout on his floor tiles originally in 2007 and then again in January 2010 when we used a Grout Colourant on them. It’s nice to get called back like this as it shows they appreciate the service you provide; for this visit the request was to freshen up the floor tiles and also the Ceramic Kitchen wall tile and Grout which had become ingrained with Grease from the cooker.
Cleaning Tile and Grout
The total area was approximately 25m2 and it took me a day and half to give the Tile and Grout a deep clean. For the most part I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but for the wall tiles where Grout Colourant has been applied I used Tile Doctor OxyPro which is a ready to use Tile and Grout cleaner that comes in a spray bottle, when applying any liquid to a wall its best to mix it with air in a spray bottle as this makes it lighter and helps it stick and soak into the to the tile and grout as opposed to running down it. It was noticeable that the grout colour was mainly intact and it had just needed a good clean on the whole apart from maybe near the cooker which I topped up with new Grout colour in the original shade.
Applying Grout Colourant
Once everything had been rinsed and the grout had dried I was able to apply the grout colourant using my colour applicator (toothbrush). You have to be fairly methodical doing this so it can take a while, you can remove excess colourant by spraying plain water and scrubbing with a white pad (don’t used a coloured pad as you can transfer the dye from the coloured pad to the surface).
We went and had a look at a floor in a house in Shirley recently to find a dull Saltillo Terracotta tiled floor that was in need of some Tile Doctor TLC. Saltillo tiles are typically made in a region of Mexico; they are very porous and can scuff and stain quite easily if not protected so it’s important to maintain a sealer.
Cleaning Saltillo Tiles
We advised the customer that we would probably not be able to get the tile in the traffic lanes back to the same colour due to the excessive wear from foot traffic but we would certainly try our best. We find it best to be honest about what we can achieve and set the customer’s expectations up front. They were happy for us to continue and accepted our very reasonable quote for the amount of work involved so we about cleaning the floor. This we did using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean tile and grout cleaner. To clean the tougher areas that were heavily stained we mixed the Pro-Clean with a little Tile Doctor NanoTech Ultra-Clean which helps to enhance the cleaning power.
We left the floor to dry for 2 days then we went back and re-coloured the customer’s grout which as you can see from the pictures made a huge difference to the look of the floor. Grout Colourant can make a old tired looking floor look totally different and when applied properly forms a barrier that protects the grout from dirt engraining into the grout.
Sealing Saltillo Tiles
Terracotta tile are extremely porous and so it came as no surprise that we needed to apply nine coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. After the last coat we waited for fourty minutes and then buffed the floor to bring out the shine and harden the sealer, the customer was very pleased with the results and made the following comment:
Thank you very much for doing such a wonderful and professional job my wife and I are very impressed with the results.