Ceramic tiles don’t have the charm of natural stone, but they are very easy to keep clean; grout on the other hand has a porous top layer that can become stained. This was the problem with a customer of mine who lives in the small rural village of Childs Ercall in the North of Shropshire. The customer had moved in about two years ago and they said that they can keep the floor clean and their main problem was the grout.
I went to take a look at the problem and gave the grout in one section a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaning product. The result was good and although the grout returned to its original colour they wanted it to be changed.
Cleaning and Preparing the Ceramic Tile and Grout
Before colouring the grout, it made sense to give the Ceramic tile and grout a thorough clean by scrubbing in a weak dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a floor buffer fitted with a scrubbing pad running at slow speed. Once done I rinsed the floor with water and extracted the slurry with a wet vacuum.
With any grit and dirt removed from the floor the next step was to prepare the grout for the colourant. Tile Doctor have an acidic pre-treater cleaner for this which cleans and microscopically etches the grout giving the colourant a superior bond with the colourant. The solution is applied to the grout and then scrubbed in with a stiff brush before being rinsed off with water as before.
Applying Grout Colouring
With the tiles clean and the grout prepped I left the floor to dry for an hour before moving onto grout colouring using a colour of their choosing. There are ten colours in the Tile Doctor range and they are easily applied using a small brush wiping off any excess as you go, it was a large area with a lot of grout lines to cover so took the rest of the day to complete
I have to agree with the customer, changing the grout colour was a good move and I think you will agree the floor now looks much improved. The grout colourant has the additional advantage of providing a barrier over the grout which will protect it from further issues and make it as easy to clean as the ceramic tiles.
Ceramic Tile Grout Prepped and Recoloured in Shropshire
These Limestone tiles, installed in a lovely residence in the ancient market town of Oswestry close to the English/Welsh border, had become dull and dirty over the years and I was asked to get them looking their best again. When I arrived to do the quotation the customer’s main concern was that the grout lines had become dirty, but when I completed a test clean on one tile and the grout around it they realised the tiles themselves were dirty and had lost their shine to become a mat finish.
Cleaning Limestone Tiles
It was a large floor so working in sections I gave the floor a general clean using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was spread over the floor with particular attention paid to getting the solution into the grout lines. The solution was left to soak in and eat through any dirt and a stiff grout brush was run along each grout line giving it a good scrub along the way. Next we removed any trace of product by using a wet vacuum to extract the now dirty cleaning solution and rinsed thoroughly with clean water.
There were a couple of holes in the Limestone that needed attention so these were filled with a matching colour. The next step was to use a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which attach to a rotary machine and burnish the floor with four different grits from coarse to super fine. To remove any remaining sealer and dirt the floor is burnished using a course pad and a little water to help lubricate passing over each tile around four times in the process. The resultant soiled water is rinsed away with clean water which in turn is removed using a wet vacuum. This process is then repeated with the remaining pads, rinsing between each pad until a nice polish is built up on the tile. I managed to finish with the 2nd and 3rd pads but it was getting late to completely finish the polishing so called it a day.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
When I arrived on the second day to finish the polishing process with the fourth super fine polishing pad and seal the floor the customer thought I had already finished polishing and was already happy with the shine we had achieved so far, so you can imagine how happy she when I told her there was more to do. Once I had finished polishing I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which impregnates the pores in the stone to prevent other contaminates getting in there; Colour Grow also does a great job of bringing out the natural colours in the stone.
The customer was very happy with the end result and