Grout Cleaning

Removing Wax from 30-Year-Old Terracotta Flooring in Dursley

Our client contacted us to find out if anything could be done about his Terracotta tiled floor which has been laid thirty years prior in the Conservatory and Kitchen of his house in Dursley. I went over to survey the floors and conduct a test clean on part of the floor to see what would be needed to renovate it. Fortunately, the customer knew the maintenance history of the floor and had told me for the last thirty years they had been applying wax which can be tricky to remove.

Terracotta Conservatory Floor Dursley Before Cleaning Terracotta Conservatory Floor Dursley Before Cleaning

The test clean went well and he was amazed how clean I managed to get the tile so confident in a good result a date was booked in for us to return to do the whole floor. We find surveying the floor before pricing is the most accurate way to provide a quotation as there are no surprises for all concerned.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor

On arrival the first task was to cover all the skirting boards, walls, and units to protect them. The floor was really dirty, and I could see we would need to conduct a lot of rinsing with water to remove the soiling. Having been informed about the wax covering from my earlier visit I was able to start stripping off the old layers of wax using a Tile Doctor product called Wax-Away which is made for this type of work. The product was mopped onto the floor, left to soak in for ten minutes and then scrubbed in with a black burnishing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffing machine. The soil was then rinsed away with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

This process was repeated until I was happy the wax had been removed and then I turned my attention to the grout which was really ingrained with dirt. For this I sprayed on Tile Doctor Remove and Go, left it to dwell for ten minutes as before and then set about scrubbing it clean. Once this was complete and I was happy with the results the floor was washed with fresh water twice to remove any trace of product and the floor dried with the wet vacuum.

The floor was then covered with dust sheets so the customer could carry on using the floor as normal whilst we left it to dry out for three days. Terracotta is very porous and needs to be bone dry before sealing to achieve the best result.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Conservatory and Kitchen Floor

On our return 3 days later, I did a moisture test to ensure the floor was dry. The results were good, so I set about sealing the Terracotta with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which was the best sealer for this type of floor. I applied seven coats which takes some time as you need to ensure each coat has dried before applying the next. This sealer leaves a nice sheen but also allows the Orangey/Red colour in the Terracotta to come through.

Terracotta Conservatory Floor Dursley During Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Floor Dursley During Sealing

Once complete it was clear the deep clean and fresh seal had given the rooms a new lease of life and my client could not believe how well it had come up. For aftercare I recommend the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is designed for the day to day cleaning of sealed tiles.

Terracotta Conservatory Floor Dursley After Sealing Terracotta Conservatory Floor Dursley After Sealing

 

Professional Renovation of a Terracotta Tiled Conservatory and Kitchen Floor in Gloucestershire

End of Tenancy Clean of a Ceramic Tiled Floor in Stroud

This customer from Stroud was soon to be re-letting her house but the Ceramic tiled floor and especially the grout had been left in a poor and dirty condition by the previous tenant. The ceramic tiled floor was installed throughout the Kitchen and through into the adjacent conservatory. Conscious this would affect future lettings she contacted Tile Doctor to see if we could help.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Grout Before Cleaning Stroud Kitchen

I paid a visit to the property to survey the floor and discuss how we would restore the Ceramic tiles and get them looking clean again. She was happy to hear we could help and agreed to my quote and we booked the work in for the following week. It would only take a day which suited her perfectly as she was keen to get the property back on the market.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Grout Before Cleaning Stroud Kitchen

Stroud is a lovely market town and in the centre of Gloucestershire. It is the main town in Stroud District and forms the centre for numerous surrounding market towns.
The Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty surrounds the town, and the Cotswold Way path passes by it to the west, so it really is a desirable place to live with lots of lovely walks.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Grout Before Cleaning Stroud Kitchen

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Floor

The first job was to protect all the walls and units to ensure they did not get splashed by the products we would be using. I then sprayed Tile Doctor Remove and Go all over the floor and the grout lines, this was left for a short time to dwell and get to work breaking down the dirt. The floor was then scrubbed using a black buffing pad fitted to a buffing machine finishing off by scrubbing the grout lines with a stiff brush. The soil released from the floor was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Once I was happy with the result the floors were speed dried with a blow heater. The alternative was to leave the floor overnight, but as time was of the essence speed drying was the best option.

Sealing Grout on a Ceramic Tiled Floor

Later that day the floor was dry, and I was able to seal the grout lines with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. I used a pipette to apply the sealer directly to the grout to ensure maximum coverage. The tiles themselves did not require any sealant as ceramic tiles are sealed at the factory when they are produced. Grout being cementitious however does attract dirt and so sealing it will keep it looking fresh for some time to come and make it easier to clean.

The client was very pleased with the results and relieved she could re-let the house again. Now the floor was clean and much more attractive it would ensure she could achieve the best rental value.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Grout After Cleaning Stroud Kitchen

I suggested she left a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner for the new tenants as this would be the best product to keep the floor clean moving forward, you only need a small amount to dilute and it has a pleasant fresh fragrance. At least if the product is on site the tenant is more likely to keep the floor looking good and not resort to everyday household cleaners which eventually break down the grout and its’ seal. She thought this was a great idea.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Grout After Cleaning Stroud Kitchen

 

Professional Restoration of a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor in Gloucestershire

Raspberry Stained Flagstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Dursley

I recently helped a homeowner from my home town of Dursley who got in touch about her kitchen Flagstone floor. The problem revolved around an accident she had with raspberries which had stained the flagstones and the problem became compounded when a house hold cleaning product was applied neat to clean up the mess. If you follow any of our Tile Doctor blogs, you will know that using strong household cleaning products can damage the sealer and, in this case, it had left white marks on the floor.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Dursley

I called round to the property to survey the floor as was surprised to find out that the floor had been cleaned and sealed only four months prior by another company. I don’t like to comment on other people’s work, but I found the grout lines and flagstones were still badly ingrained with dirt, so it wasn’t a thorough job.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Dursley Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Dursley

I completed by survey and demonstrated the process I would follow to resolve the issues on one of the flagstone tiles. She could not believe the difference I was able to make and booked me in straight away to restore the entire floor.

Cleaning a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

My first task was to protect the wooden kitchen units from splashing that can happen when cleaning the floor. Once that was done, I set about stripping the sealer from the floor and deep cleaning the tile and grout with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and de-greaser which is safe to use on all types of tile, stone and grout including natural stone.

Working in sections across the Kitchen and adjacent dining room I diluted one part Pro-Clean to two parts water and mopped it onto the flagstones and grout where I left it to soak in for roughly fifteen minutes. Then using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad I scrubbed the solution into the floor into the old sealer and trapped dirt came away turning the cleaning fluid black in the process. The soil was then rinsed off with water and then extracted with a powerful 3,000 watt wet and dry vacuum. This process was repeated until I was satisfied the floor was clean and I ran a stiff grout brush along the grout lines to ensure they also received a good scrub. After I was satisfied the section was clean, it was rinsed thoroughly with water to neutralise the floor and remove any trace of product and then dried with the wet and dry vacuum.

The cleaning process took up the whole day, but the flagstones would need to be dry before sealing so after giving the owner an update I left the floor for two days, so it could dry out thoroughly.

Sealing a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

On my return I tested the floor was dry in multiple places with a damp meter to ensure it was ready to be sealed. The readings showed that the wet and dry vacuum had done a good job in removing the moisture, so all was well. To seal I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go allowing each coat to dry before applying the next, however with such a large area to cover I was able to work in sections around the floor.

Seal and Go works really well on Flagstones and leaves a very appealing sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Dursley Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Dursley

The results were amazing, and the customer thanked me for making such a massive improvement on her floor. Before leaving I made sure to discuss after-care and to avoid the use of harsh cleaning products.

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Dursley

 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of Flagstone Floor in Gloucestershire

Restoring the Appearance of Travertine Kitchen Tiles in Cirencester

This customer from Cirencester was not happy with her look of her Travertine floor tiles; in fact, she had been browsing the Tile Doctor web site and realised how her floor should look and got in touch to have it renovated.

Polished Travertine Cirencester Before Cleaning Polished Travertine Cirencester Before Cleaning

I’m based in Dursley which is West Gloucestershire and have made the journey to Cirencester to the East on several occasions to work on tiled floors there. If you have never been it’s worth a visit; it’s a lovely market town which dates back to Roman times and is situated on the lower slopes of the Cotswold Hills.

Burnishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the best from Travertine it really needs to be burnished which is an abrasive cleaning process that involves the application of several different grades of diamond encrusted pad to the stone lubricated with a small amount of water.

The pads are fitted to a rotary buffer and run over each tile in sequence from coarse to very fine. I started with the first of the four burnishing pads which is a coarse 400 grit pad that designed to grind away the dirt and old sealer on the surface of the floor. After applying the first pad, I moved my way through the medium 800 and fine 1500 grit pads to gradually restore the appearance of the Travertine making sure to rinse the floor with water in between to remove the soiling.

Next, I set about cleaning grout lines with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was diluted with water and then scrubbed in with a stiff narrow brush. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with more water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Polished Travertine Cirencester During Polishing Polished Travertine Cirencester During Polishing

The burnishing and grout cleaning took most of the day and I need the floor to be dry in order to seal it so I left for the day and left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day and before sealing the floor I applied the last pad in the set of four which is a 3,000 grit “very fine” burnishing pad. This final pad really builds the final polish on Travertine tile. The pad is applied with the rotary buffer as before but is applied dry with only a fine spray of water using a process we call a “Spray Burnish”

Once I was happy with polish I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer the seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within but without affecting the look of the stone. The floor was then left to dry for an hour and I finished by giving the Travertine a final buff using a white pad.

Polished Travertine Cirencester After Polishing Polished Travertine Cirencester After Polishing

My customer was delighted and now she has a Travertine tiled floor looking how it should.

Professional Travertine Floor Polishing and Sealing in Gloucestershire

Dirty Grout Lines Refreshed on a Ceramic Tiled Hallway in Cirencester

Cirencester is a large market town in the East of Gloucestershire known for its rich history dating back to the Roman times, when it was known as Corinium. This area is also home to the Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world.

I visited the town recently to see a customer who was having significant problems with the cleaning of her Ceramic tiled hallway. Ceramic tiles are always a popular choice in high traffic areas like Hallways and Kitchens due to their durability, as well as water and scratch resistance. However, this floor had been installed a decade ago and during that time had not received adequate maintenance. Although the Ceramic tiles themselves had not faired too badly the grout lines were heavily ingrained with dirt, making them near impossible to clean with everyday cleaning products.

Ceramic Grout Lines Cirencester Before Cleaning
The property owner had tried numerous products without success and determined to get the grout clean again sought assistance from her local Tile Doctor. I deal with these types of issues all the time so I was happy to pop round and see what could be done to restore the floor back to its peak condition.

Cleaning a Dirty Ceramic Tiled Hallway

To begin, I set about cleaning the grout lines using a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose stripper and degreaser that breaks down any old sealer, and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline-based cleaner suitable for all types of stone and tile. I applied the cleaning solution and left it to dwell for about 30 minutes, before using a grout brush to lift away a decade’s worth of grime and muck.

Next, I used Pro Clean again to scrub the tiles in combination with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine, before rinsing the entire floor with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals. Then, I dried the grout lines with a heat gun and left them to cool for about 10 minutes. The grout lines were subsequently ready to be sealed.

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Hallway

With the floor ready to be sealed, I applied Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to the grout lines using a pipette, which is a tool used to deliver a measured quantity of sealer.

Ultra-Seal is a premium sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection. While leaving the grout with a natural look, the sealer will keep the grout looking fresh and free of ingrained dirt for some time to come.

Ceramic Grout Lines Cirencester After Cleaning
The customer was amazed at how quickly I could transform the condition of the grout. As you can see from the photo below, the condition of the grout really shapes the appearance of the floor – and now these Ceramic tiles are a real asset to the property once again.

Professional Cleaning of Dirty Ceramic Tile and Grout in a Gloucestershire Hallway

Ceramic Tiles and Grout Lines Rejuvenated in a Westmancote Hallway

This customer who lives in the old picturesque village of Westmancote, Gloucestershire asked me to do a home survey on their ceramic kitchen tiles which had been laid around fifteen years prior. With the exception of general cleaning not much had work had been done to the tile and grout and now the tiles were looking dull and the grout had turned black.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate before cleaning
As part of the survey I ran a test clean on part of the floor and the tile and grout came up really well which convinced the customer to give me the job and I was soon booked in to return to complete the floor and work my magic.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate before cleaning Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate Cleaning Grout Lines

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

The first job was to give the floor a sweep to remove any grit and then I set about cleaning the grout lines. The grout had trapped a lot of dirt so I decided to start with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong cleaner/stripper that is safe to use on all types of tile and grout. The Remove and Go was left to soak into the grout for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a stiff grout brush. This process released the dirt and the now soiled solution was rinsed away using water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next step was to turn my attention to the Ceramic tiles which needed a deep clean so this time I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, left to dwell for ten minutes then ran over the tiles with tan pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. Once the floor was done I rinsed away the soiled cleaning solution with water and extracted with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Floor Grout

I find it’s always the grout that lets down the appearance of a Ceramic tiled floor which are usually fairly maintenance free, to guard against this I always recommend the grout is sealed. Given the condition of the grout in this case it was definitely a good idea as I’m sure it wouldn’t be long before it started to discolour again.

With this in mind I sped up the drying of the grout lines with a heat gun and once done I sealed the grout lines using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal applied carefully with a Pipette.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate after cleaning Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate after cleaning

The customer was pleased with the end result and left the following feedback via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Very professional work. We were sold on it when he came to quote and did a small patch clean. Malcolm was able to come within a few days of confirming his price was acceptable and the job was done swiftly and to an excellent standard. We now have a new floor!

Professional Grout Cleaning and Sealing in Gloucestershire

Ceramic Tiles and Grout Lines Rejuvenated in a Gloucester Hallway

Ceramic tiles are usually glazed and therefore non-porous, so when the floor starts to lose its appearance there’s a good chance the problem relates to the grout. This is because the top layer of the Cementous grout is rough and will attract a build-up of dirt over time.

Once dirt becomes ingrained into any porous surface, tile or grout, it isn’t easily removed using supermarket cleaning products. In fact, many standard cleaning products are acidic which can have a negative impact on many surfaces (always read the label before use).

I mention this as I was contacted about restoring a Ceramic tiled floor at a house in my local area of Gloucester. Interestingly the tiles as well as the grout lines had become badly soiled and discoloured, and the property owner was at a loss at how to get them clean.

Ceramic Tiled and Grout Before Cleaning in Gloucester Ceramic Tiled and Grout Before Cleaning in Gloucester

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

The tiles were located in the hallway which is one of the busiest areas of any house and as a result had seen a lot of dirt being trampled in and now required a deep clean.

To get them clean I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our reliable high alkaline cleaner. I used a strong dilution and let it soak into the Tile and Grout for a short period before scrubbing it in using a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This helped to remove any initial layers of ingrained dirt:

Next, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is designed to remove heavy instances of soil as well as old dealers, adhesives, and paint stains, to the grout lines. This was left to soak for 20 minutes and I then scrubbed the grout lines with a stiff grout brush.

When I was satisfied that all of the tiles and grout line was clean, I rinsed the floor with water which was extracted with a wet vacuum and then dried all grout lines with a heat gun.

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Floor

The customer was concerned that the grout lines would darken again over time due to more ingrained dirt, so I recommended that they were sealed in order to protect them.

So, after checking the grout lines were dry a moisture meter, I sealed the grout lines using Tile Doctor Ultra Sealer applied with a pipette. The pipette ensures the sealer is delivered exactly where its needed. Ultra Seal is a solvent-based impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum protection against ingrained dirt and staining.

I should point out that Ceramic tiles are glazed and therefore won’t take a sealer. I think you will agree the floor look much better after a fresh clean and seal. Certainly, the customer was very happy and the hallway looks like new!

Ceramic Tiled and Grout After Cleaning in Gloucester Ceramic Tiled and Grout After Cleaning in Gloucester

 

Professional Grout Cleaning and Sealing in Gloucestershire

Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Refresh in Cheltenham

This Ceramic Tiled bathroom was at a house in the historic town of Cheltenham on the edge of the Cotswolds. As you can see from the photograph below the grout between the Ceramic tiles was very stained and had attracted black mould.

Bathroom Tiles Before Cleaning Cheltenham

Refreshing a Ceramic Tiles Bathroom

To get the tile and grout clean I sprayed on Tile Doctor Mould Away and left it to soak in for ten minutes before giving it a scrub with a stiff brush. The resultant slurry was rinsed off and then the process repeated once more.

The Mould Away made a difference to the tile and grout however the grout was still not 100% white, so I recommended applying a grout colourant which I was confident would have the desired effect.

Grout Colouring

Two coats of white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant were then applied; this product is basically painted on top of the existing grout with any excess wiped off the adjacent tile before it dries. It’s an epoxy based formula that becomes a long lasting barrier protecting the grout and also making it much easier to clean, it looks natural and I think you will agree it has made all the difference in fact the customer commented that it looks like a new bathroom.

Bathroom Tiles Before Cleaning Cheltenham
The job was completed in a day and I think you will agree the whole bath area now looks like a new installation.

Refreshing a ceramic tiled bathroom in Gloucestershire

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Gloucester Tile Doctor

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