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

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

Grout Damaged with Acid Restored with Grout Colourant in Cheshire

It’s always a good idea to double-check any tile cleaning advice you receive with a professional. Sometimes advice can be inaccurate and cause more problems than good. Such was the case with this customer, who lives in the small town of Appleton near Warrington. He had been advised by his builder to use brick acid to remove carpet glue from a newly discovered Quarry tiled floor. Taking the advice, he had washed the floor several times with a solution of brick acid diluted with water. But while this seemed to successfully remove the carpet glue, it also severely discoloured the grout lines, leaving the entire floor looking grubby and unappealing.

The customer was just about to go on holiday, and asked me to see what could be done to restore the floor’s appearance while he was gone. With the house to myself, I got to work.

Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning in Appleton

Cleaning a Stained Quarry Tiled Floor

My first job was to strip the floor property to remove old sealers present on the tile using a strong dilution of our high alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean. We use this cleaner on all types of tile and natural stone due to its versatility and consistency.

I spread the solution onto the floor and left to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing with a black pad fitted to a floor rotary machine. This process also removed the years of dirt and dust that had penetrated through the recently removed carpet. I also paid attention to the grout lines giving them a good scrub with a stiff grout brush, but the acid staining proved to be impossible to remove completely.

While I’m not sure exactly how long the floor had been covered by carpet, it’s safe to say a deep clean had been long, long overdue. Once I had cleaned the floor to a high standard, I used a wet-vac to remove the now dirty cleaning solution from the floor, before leaving it to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

Upon my return to the property the next day, I tested to make sure the floor was dry enough to seal, which is important as excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Once satisfied, I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is our impregnating sealer designed to really bring out the natural colours in the tile, followed by two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to give the tiles a stain resistant, low-sheen finish.

After this was dry I coloured the grout lines with a matching Tile Doctor Grout Colourant to cover and hide the damage the acid had caused to the grout lines. Finally, I gave the floor three more coats of Seal and Go to add the finishing touches.

Quarry Tiles After Cleaning in Appleton

My customer returned from holiday to find a completely transformed floor. Looking at the before and after photos, it is easy to see why he was more than happy with the result! Another satisfied customer.
 
 
Source: Tile and Grout Restoration Service in Cheshire

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

Restoring Discoloured White Grout

Recently, I was called to a work on a Limestone tiled floor in a house near Hove Park. Hove Park is a popular park in Hove, East Sussex, which was once opposite to the Goldstone Ground, the traditional home of Brighton and Hove Albion football club until the ground was demolished. My client informed me that the house was used a meeting place every Friday, and the high traffic of people was taking its toll on the floor.

Grout Colouring Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park Before Grout Colouring Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park Before

Cleaning a Limestone tiled floor

The floor was clearly in need of a good clean, especially the grout. You do need to take care when cleaning Limestone as it can be affected by the acidic substances you get in some cleaning products which can break down the surface of the Limestone and cause further damage. The results of my test clean showed the Limestone tiles responded well to the cleaning, but I was concerned about the grout, which was not cleaning very easily. I suspected that the grout had, in fact, been discoloured by a bleach-based cleaner, turning it grey. Bleach contains strong chemicals, so there is a good chance that any bleach-based cleaners used on tiled floors will discolour the grout over time. After discussing this issue with my client, I quoted separately for a possible grout recolour.

On the first day of working on the floor, I started the cleaning process using a black buffing pad attached to a floor buffer machine, in combination with a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which I applied to the floor. This combination really helped to remove the heavily built up grime and dirt. Although the tiles looked great after the clean, I still wasn’t convinced by the state of the grout. After drying a test area with a heat gun, I confirmed that the grout was not continuous in colour and would need a recolour to get it back to looking its best again.

Recolouring the grout

I left the rest of the floor to dry for a period of two days, allowing any residual moisture to evaporate, before returning to recolour the grout with a white Grout Colourant which was applied using a good old fashioned toothbrush and baby wipes to remove any excess. I was careful to apply thin, even coats in order to prevent the possibility of the Colourant staining the tile.

After several hours of knee-breaking work, the recolouring was complete, and I was extremely pleased to be able to show my client the finished product. She was very happy to be able to show off the floor to her friends, which was now white all the way through, without the dark lines caused by the discoloured grout.

Grout Colouring Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park After

Another satisfied client.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in East-Sussex

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