grout sealing

Encaustic Tiled Bathroom Floor Renovated Twickenham

The pictures below are of an Encaustic Cement tiled floor that had been installed in the bathroom of a property in Twickenham. At the time the tiles were installed, they did not seal them and had since accumulated dirt, especially in the grout lines.

Encaustic Cement Bathroom Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Twickenham

Encaustic cement tiles have become extremely popular in the last few years with many beautiful artistic often geometric patterns available to choose from. The very nature of the cement-based tile however does make it slightly porous, and if left unsealed dirt will become ingrained in the tile making it difficult to remove and keep clean. Like grout they do therefore need to be sealed in order to keep them looking at their best for longer.

Encaustic Cement Bathroom Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Twickenham Encaustic Cement Bathroom Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Twickenham

Cleaning Encaustic Cement Tile and Grout

Now we normally recommend using diamond encrusted burnishing pads when renovating Encaustic Cement tiles however in this case the face of the tiles were not too bad and it was really the grout that needed the most attention. So, to cut the cost for customer, I advised a straightforward alkaline scrub clean and seal.

To clean the tile and grout I sprayed the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak into the dirt for ten minutes. Space in the bathroom was quite tight so instead of using a mechanical floor scrubber I scrubbed the tile and grout by hand working the alkaline cleaning solution into the pores to release the grout in dirt.

After scrubbing the floor was rinsed with a little water and the soil removed with a wet vacuum. Afterwards the floor was inspected, and any stubborn areas retreated with repeat of the process. After a final rinse, the floor was dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

Fortunately, the weather has been amazing of late and so it did not take long for the floor to dry, being a small space and a little encouragement from a heat gun always helps. Removing excess moisture before sealing is essential as even a small amount can cloud the sealer resulting in an uneven appearance.

Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I proceeded to seal it by applying a couple two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow across the Encaustic tile and grout. As an impregnating sealer Colour Grow penetrates the pores of the cement occupying the space and thus prevent any dirt from becoming ingrained there. Colour Grow’s colour intensifying properties also helped to deepen the black colour of the tile enhancing the contrast between the tiles and grout.

Encaustic Cement Bathroom Floor Tiles After Cleaning Twickenham Encaustic Cement Bathroom Floor Tiles After Cleaning Twickenham

Now the floor has been properly sealed it will be far easier for the customer to keep them clean in future. For maximum longevity of the sealer I recommend maintenance cleaning with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner. Don’t be tempted to use supermarket cleaning products without reading the label first, many are simply too strong for cleaning sealed surfaces and will strip off the sealer prematurely leaving the tiles unprotected.


Professional Cleaning and Sealing of Encaustic Cement Tile and Grout in Middlesex

Cleaning a Limestone floor in Shepperton

This customer from the south side Shepperton has a galley kitchen installed around twelve years ago with a Limestone floor. Since that time the floor had not been professionally cleaned or the stone re-sealed. The old sealer had long since worn down and was no longer providing any protection to the floor allowing soil and grease from cooking to penetrate the stone and darken the grout. It was now looking permanently dirty and the owner decided it was time to have it renovated.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Shepperton

Shepperton is a suburban village in the borough of Spelthorne, the Thames river is to the south and much of the east. It is set between the towns of Chertsey and Sunbury-on-Thames. The village has a long history and is even mentioned in a document of 959 AD and in the Domesday Book when it was primary farm land, it’s also my base of operation.

Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Shepperton

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

To deep clean the stone floor and grout I started with a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50:50 with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This cocktail of sealer remover and cleaning agent was applied to the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes in order to get to work breaking down all the dirt, grease and what was left of the old sealer.

The solution was then worked into the Limestone tiles and grout using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. These pads can struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout lines, so afterwards the grout was scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush along with the more difficult to reach corners that the machine had missed. The floor was then rinsed with water and the products and soil vacuumed off the floor. I repeated the process in a couple of areas where the dirt was a little stubborn. The floor was then clean and after drying out overnight it would be ready for a new seal.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day I returned to apply the sealer first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. The readings were good, so I set about applying a colour enhancing impregnator sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow to the Limestone. Tile Doctor Colour Grow works by seeping into the pores of the stone intensifying natural colour, preventing staining and providing a durable protection. Two coats of sealer were applied to the Limestone tile and grout which was all that was needed to return the floor back to its original condition.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Shepperton

The client was very happy with the finished floor and wanted to know how to keep it looking its best going forward. I explained that the best way to keep it looking good is to get maximum longevity from the sealer which will wear down over time but can be prematurely damaged with strong cleaning products. So, for aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is designed for everyday cleaning of sealed stone floors.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Shepperton


Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen in South Middlesex

Deep Cleaning Grout in a Shepperton Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

I was contacted by a client in Shepperton about refurbishing their Ceramic tiled shower cubicle. They longed for a room that they didn’t dread going into in the mornings and were considering having a new bathroom suite fitted. Their main concern was the shower cubicle where the tile and grout were well past their best and looking rather dated.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Shepperton

I’m based in Shepperton so it wasn’t long before I was able to call in and take a look at the shower cubicle to see if it could be renovated. It turns out the shower cubicle was installed fifteen years prior and had not been professionally cleaned during that time. You can see from the adjacent photographs that the discoloured grout was the main issue which is not unusual as the top layer of grout is slightly porous and does attract dirt. Ceramic tiles on the other hand have a glazed surface which makes them very easy to keep clean

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Shepperton Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Shepperton

I discussed with the client what could be done, and they were delighted to hear that the problem could be remedied, and that new life could be breathed into the old bathroom. The room had a timeless black and white tiled scheme so I was confident we could get it clean and in much better shape quite quickly. They agreed my price and we booked in a time to carry the work out.

Deep Cleaning of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

Much of the Tile Doctor cleaning product range can be used to clean-up grout but probably the most popular is Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. This was my first thought to get the grout clean so using a decanted a strong dilution into a spray bottle and sprayed it onto the tile and grout. It was left to soak in for about ten minutes before being hand scrubbed into the tile wall. Afterwards the shower cubicle was rinsed down with water to remove the soiling and then inspected.

Whilst the Pro-Clean had removed a lot of the orange staining and accumulated dirt from both the tile and grout it had struggled to lighten up the grout lines which had darkened due to mould build-up, so more work was needed.

To resolve this, I applied another Tile Doctor product called Duo-Clean which is a fast and effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. I used it as a spot cleaner spraying it onto the affected areas and leaving it to dwell for a few minutes before scrubbing it in. This second product handled the mould well and the grout was much cleaner and consistent.

Replacing Silicone Seal in a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

Once the cleaning was complete, I cut out the old silicone from around the base of the shower with a sharp knife. This is a job that has to be slowly done to avoid scratching the shower tray. Once the old silicone was removed, I ensured the area was then nice and dry and then replaced with a new mould resistant silicone in white to enhance the fresh new look.

Naturally after 15 years it’s impossible to get the grout back to its original colour but we certainly got very close. I could however have applied a white grout colourant at this stage, but the client was already happy with the result, so it wasn’t really necessary.

Last step was to spray the grout with aerosol Grout sealer which is very quick to apply and will protect the grout from further staining. The excess was wiped off the ceramic tiles which won’t take a sealer and the job was finished.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Shepperton

As you can see from the pictures, the transformation turned out very well and the customer was very pleased. For aftercare cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which is pH neutral tile and grout cleaner that will keep on top of future discolouration.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Shepperton Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Shepperton


Professional Deep Clean of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle in South Middlesex

Porcelain Tile and Grout Clean in Teddington

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.

Porcelain Tile and Grout Before Cleaning

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.

Porcelain and Grout After Cleaning
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.

Porcelain Tile and Grout Cleaned and Sealed in Middlesex

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