Marble Tile Cleaning

Rust Stained Marble Mosaic Shower Tiles Renovated in Church Preen

We were contacted by a homeowner near Shrewsbury about the Marble wall tiles in their shower which were looking particularly grubby. They had tried to clean the area with a multitude of household products but were unable to improve their appearance and had decided to call in some professional help.

I went over to do a site visit, run some tests and recommend a solution, I like to do this where possible as it ensures I can provide an accurate quote and it also gives me an opportunity to demonstrate a workable solution. The tiles were the small two inch square Marble Mosaics which from my point of view means there’s a log of grout to clean.

Marble tiled shower before Cleaning Church Preen

More importantly whilst there I discovered their water is pumped up from a well and the water is rich in Iron deposits. You can see on the picture where the water has dried on the walls and then the Iron deposits have turned rusty resulting in a large rust stain.

The property was in the old village of Church Preen which a small Hamlet in Shropshire which only has around 30 properties, it is approximately 12 miles from the county town of Shrewsbury.

Marble tiled shower before Cleaning Church Preen

Cleaning Rust Stained Marble Shower Tiles

Normally I would remove the iron and rust deposits with an acid-based product such as Acid Gel or Grout Clean-up but Marble is acid sensitive and doing so would etch and damage the tiles. So, to work around this problem I selected to use Tile Doctor Rust Away which worked really well. This product is an effective ready to use cleaner specifically designed to remove rust stains particularly when it has become heavily embedded. In the pictures it is clearly visible how the solution turns purple when it reacts to the rust and iron deposits.

Marble tiled shower during Cleaning Church Preen

After the rust was removed, I set about cleaning the Marble tile and grout with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being a gel sticks well to wall tiles allowing for a longer dwell time. After ten minutes the solution was scrubbed into the tile and grout by hand and then rinsed off with water. I repeated this process a couple of times where necessary until I was satisfied the tile and grout were as clean as could be and then rinsed the tiles down thoroughly to ensure all any traces of cleaning product has been removed. Once done the Marble tile and grout looked so much cleaner.

Sealing Mosaic Marble Shower Tiles

It was a hot day and with a little encouragement from my air mover I was able to dry out the tiles and grout quite quickly as verified by testing with a damp meter. This meant I could complete the job in one day without the need for any additional drying time.

I sealed the Marble and grout with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the stone intensifying the natural colours and providing durable protection. With a fresh sealer in place water now runs off the shower wall and no longer accumulates on the tile where the Iron in the water can cause staining as it rusts.

Marble tiled shower after Cleaning Church Preen

They were over the moon with their revamped shower, it now looked much more inviting for them to use and less embarrassing when guests come to stay.

Before leaving we discussed aftercare and I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro for general cleaning, it’s a pH neutral product so its safe to use on sealed surfaces. Also I suggested that should the find water starting to collect on the shower wall after use it’s wiped off with a squeegee.

Marble tiled shower after Cleaning Church Preen


Professional Renovation of Stained Marble Shower Tiles in Shropshire

Marble Tiled Floor Restoration in Albrighton

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.

Marble tiled floor before restoration in Albrighton
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.

Marble tiled floor before restoration in Albrighton

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.

Marble tiled floor after restoration in Albrighton
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!”

Marble tiled floor after restoration in Albrighton

Putting new life into an acid etched Marble tiled kitchen floor in Shropshire


Shropshire Tile Doctor

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