For this job I travelled to the town of Albrighton, which is actually the most easterly settlement in the whole of Shropshire. My client had an issue with their Marble tiled floor which was installed in the kitchen and hallway. They had dropped and broke a bottle of vinegar in the kitchen, and the substance unfortunately came in contact with the tiles. Since Marble is highly sensitive to acid, the vinegar (an acetic acid) had basically etched the surface of the tiles make it impossible clean chemically.
Although the tiles were a nice, expensive Marble, the person who had first installed them had done a poor job, leaving lippage of up to 5mm in some areas, which would make work trickier. Undeterred I could see it would be possible to restore the floor using a combination of burnishing for the tiles and cleaning with a high alkaline product for the grout lines. I demonstrated this to my client on one tile which went well and I was then given the go ahead to restore the entire floor.
Cleaning and burnishing acid damaged Marble tiles
My first task focused on cleaning the grout lines using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with a stiff grout brush. Pro-Clean is a high alkaline cleaner suitable for use on most types of natural stone floor. It helped to alleviate most of the grout staining caused by the vinegar, whilst also lifting out any ingrained dirt and muck, and this left the grout looking a lot cleaner.
After cleaning the grout lines I was able to move on to burnishing the tiles. As previously mentioned, no chemical product would be able to have an effect on the damaged tiles, so I resolved to burnish them using a system of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. Working first with a coarse burnishing pad, and moving through to medium, fine and very fine pads, lubricated with a little water, I was able to significantly reduce the appearance of the acid stains, while also giving the tiles a nice polished finish.
Sealing a Marble tiled floor
Following the cleaning and burnishing processes I gave the tiles a good rinse to remove any remaining residue and then ensured the floor was completely dry before starting on the sealing.
To seal the floor and maximise the appearance I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow and Tile Doctor Shine powder. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone intensifying and enhancing the natural shades and colours in the stone whilst also providing stain protection;
Shine Powder on the other hand is a crystallising powder that is ground directly into the tiles to provide a high shine finish and durable surface protection.
My client and her husband were really happy with the results and left the following message on the Tile Doctor Feedback system:
“Jozsef was a charming young man in every respect, who worked very hard and achieved an amazing result. The tiles look better than the day they were laid. We are absolutely delighted with the work he has done and will recommend him to all our acquaintances. Thank you, Jozsef!”