Correcting Tilers Grout Colour Mistake in a Cobham Bathroom

This client is a famous artist who has just had a new house built inCobham. The house is stunning, and the design details have had a lot of thought put into them. As with big projects such as these there are lots of things to think about and to ensure the builders deliver your vision and artists do have an eye for detail.

A point of contention was one of the bathrooms where the tiler had used a light grey grout in the shower and a dark grey colour in the rest of the bathroom. Although an interesting contrast It looked rather odd and my client was not keen on it nor was it made clear as to why it had been grouted in that colour.

Porcelain Tiled Bathroom Before Grout Colouring Cobham

The brief was to have dark grey in the whole bathroom! As is her right after spending a lot of money, she wanted uniformity, but the tiler wasn’t having any of it. She was rather fed up with the whole situation so contacted us at Tile Doctor to ask if we could rectify the problem. In fact, this is a relatively easy job to solve so I discussed the solution and how long it would take and provided a quote for doing the work. She was happy to agree to my quote and I arranged to return the following week.

She was keen to get all the works completed and tie up all the final snags. Cobham is a very desirable area of Surrey and she will be in good company with many celebrity neighbours nearby. The high street is also full of lovely shops and restaurants, unfortunately no time for me to stop.

Grout Recolouring a Porcelain Tiled Bathroom Walls

To resolve the issue, I applied a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in Charcoal Grey to all the wall grout in the bathroom to ensure uniformity. Tile Doctor Grout Colourant dries very quickly so once applied any excess must be removed quickly, I recommend wet wipes for this. This product is equally effective for interior or exterior applications including all types of bathrooms and kitchens and is available in ten different colours making it very versatile. It is easy to apply but ensuring the excess is removed is the key to a good finish.

Five hours of effort, one bottle of Tile Doctor Charcoal Grey Grout Colourant and three packets of wet wipes later and the job was finished. Whilst it is a simple job, it is quite time consuming and a little patience is required. However, I have to agree with the owner, the bathroom looks much more sophisticated with a darker grout colour, it’s amazing how a subtle change can make such a difference. It is worth noting when you have any tiling done, there is a variety of colours of grout available so always ask the tiler, don’t just assume there is one choice.

Porcelain Tiled Bathroom After Grout Colouring Cobham

The client was now satisfied, and the bathroom looked how she had envisaged it. I must admit, the light and dark grey combination really didn’t work! I took the opportunity to suggest she should use Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro spray for regular bathroom tile and grout cleaning as she has several tiled bathrooms in the new house, and this will ensure they remain in pristine condition.

 

Professional Grout Re Colouring of a Porcelain Tiled Bathroom in West Surrey

Dull Travertine Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned in Cobham

This client from Cobham had her kitchen and diner tiled with Travertine six years ago. With two children and three dogs living there, the sealer has gradually worn away leaving the stone exposed to dirt. The leafy village of Cobham lies in the borough of Elmbridge which is noted as being a one of the most desirable places to live in the UK. As a result, it attracts a lot of investment in property including expensive tiled floors.

I went over to survey the floor and discussed with the client how we could improve the floors appearance. The solution I proposed was to deep clean the tiles to extract all the dirt and remove what was left of the old sealer and then to re-seal the floor in order to protect it going forward. This process typically takes two days to complete; day one is spent cleaning the stone and grout, including the removal of the existing sealer and day two is spent sealing and polishing. The client was satisfied with the quotation and we arranged a time to come back and carry out the work.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor Before Cleaning Cobham

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Firstly, I asked the client to clear the floor and to help me put the dining table in the garden out of the way. Then using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a wire brush I cleaned the grout in the kitchen, diner and utility room. It was a large installation of Travertine, so this task took some time to complete. The floor was rinsed, and all the dirt produced was removed with a wet vacuum cleaner.

The next job was to remove what remained of the previous sealer and top layer of dirt. This was done with a rotating buffing machine with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The first one applied is a coarse 400-grit pad followed by 800 and 1500-grit, working through the pads in sequence. You might be familiar with the grit system from sandpaper, rough down to smooth. The process is lubricated with water and the slurry generated is rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.
I left the floor to dry off overnight, they can walk on it during this time, but they needed to be careful of any spillages. The dogs were also welcomed back in from the front room.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The second day started with and inspection of the Travertine tile and grout looking for any areas that need further attention. I was satisfied that the floor was looking its’ best and once the preparation was complete, I applied the first coat of sealer.

On this occasion I went with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is doesn’t change the look of the stone giving a completely natural look. This product soaks into the pores of the stone protecting if from within and should last between three and five years depending on the amount of wear it received and how the floor is cleaned and maintained.

Two coats of sealer were applied and after each coat dried, I polished the floor using a very fine 3000-grit diamond pad. The pad is run across the Travertine dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a process we call a ‘Spray Burnish’. I asked the client to keep off the travertine until it’s cured, usually for a couple of hours which is always a good excuse to go out for the evening!

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

The client was very happy the floor and they remarked it looked as good as when it was first laid. For aftercare I recommended using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is ideal for the regular cleaning of sealed natural stone floors, many supermarket products are simply too harsh and will reduce the life of the sealer.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in West Surrey

Floor Grout Replaced in Cobham

This floor was tiled with large format beige porcelain tiles with a white grout which as you can appreciate can soon become dirty. Now you might be thinking that this post is about cleaning grout which would make sense as I’m normally asked to clean grout, however on this occasion the customer wanted it removing completely and then re-grouting in a darker colour.

Grout re-colouring grout is easily done using a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which comes in ten different colours but in this case there was an amount of cracked and missing grout which needed replacing anyway.

Floor Grout Before Replacement Cobham

The house was in the surrey village of Cobham which dates back to Roman times and is now known for being an affluent place to live with many large houses.

Removing Grout

Removing existing grout is a messy job that can create a lot of dust so before starting work I positioned my vacuum cleaner adjacent to the tile so any dust would be extracted away. There are a number of ways to remove grout but I find the best way is to use a special oscillating tool which makes quick work of the job. Fortunately due to the large format porcelain tiles with tight grout lines I was able to completely remove all the grout within a few hours.

Grouting a

After a clean up I was ready to mix the new grey grout and start rerouting the tiles. I always use expanding grout for this as it lasts longer and won’t shrink like cheaper products which can rack as a house moves slightly. Once mixed the new grout was pushed into the grout lines with a rubber float and the excess polished off.

I managed to complete the job in a day and before leaving I have the floor a buff with a soft white pad.

Floor Grout After Replacement Cobham

The Grout tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.
 
 

Professional Grout Tiled Hallway Restoration in West Surrey

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Refreshed for new Tenants in Oxshott

When renting property out a property it makes a lot of sense to give it a quick facelift to ensure it’s more attractive to future tenants, not only will it rent faster but it should also command a better price. Many landlords don’t realise this but giving bathrooms, a facelift is the one thing you can do quite cheaply and quickly that can rapidly improve the appearance and desirability of a house, after all no-one wants to rent a place with grotty tiles!

A returning customer of mine recently contacted me about restoring the condition of a Ceramic tiled shower cubicle in a flat she owned in the Surrey village of Oxshott. She was about to rent the property out to a couple of international students, and so wanted it looking its best in all aspects.

Tiled Shower Before Renovation in Oxshot

You may be wondering why international students would want to live in Oxshott but it’s not too far at all from the University of Surrey. The town of Oxshott is quite large and has a low population density. There are many private roads in the village – and it has been named the “most expensive village in England” and so a very desirable location.

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

We tend to follow a tried and tested method that we have developed at Tile Doctor for restoring shower cubicles. To begin, I cleaned the grout lines using our acidic cleaning product, Tile Doctor Clean-Up. The product was scrubbed into shower wall tile and grout using a handheld rotary machine fitted with a six-inch black scrubbing pad.

Being a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner, Grout Clean-Up effectively removes mineral deposits (salts etc) and grout smears from the tile surface to leaving it looking much fresher, it also prepares the grout for a superior bond with the grout colourant that was to be added later.

Following this, I scrubbed the tiles down with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to provide a general clean and to remove any other muck and dirt. This was followed by a rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product from the tile and grout. The next step was to remove all the existing silicone mastic with a sharp knife; the mastic sealant stained with mould and much in need of replacement. Once all the rubbish was swept out, I dried any remaining dampness from the grout and tiles with a heat gun.

Grout Colouring a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

This left the grout ready to be recoloured. I did this over the course of a few hours, using a White colourant from the Tile Doctor Grout Colourant range. White is just one of ten colours available in the range and was chosen in this case to give the grout a really fresh look and to blend in with the White Ceramic tiles.

The application of Grout Colourant not only colours the grout joints – it also seals and rejuvenates them. It also dries quickly, so I could apply a second coat quite soon after the first, removing any excess as I went.

Once the restoration was finished, I resealed the shower base with fresh silicone mastic again in White to match the tile and grout. As a courtesy, I also cleaned the shower glass too, leaving an excellent result overall – and one very happy customer!

Tiled Shower After Renovation in Oxshot

 
 

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Cleaning and Grout Recolouring in Surrey

Polishing and Sealing a Dirty Limestone Kitchen Floor in Cobham

This customer, who lives in the small village of Cobham had the unique situation of having been abroad for six months, leaving her adult children in charge of the house. During this time, the fantastic Limestone tiled floor in the kitchen had not received adequate maintenance and its appearance had rapidly degraded. To make the situation worse, it seemed to me that the wrong products had been used on the rare occasions that it had been cleaned.

With the customer now back in the UK and living in the house again, he was keen to have the Limestone tiles restored to their original condition. He contacted me to get the job done.

Limestone Floor Tiles Cobham Before Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles Cobham Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Polishing Dirty Limestone Kitchen Tiles

My first task was to tackle the dirty grout lines between the Limestone tiles, which were brown and stained. Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our reliable alkaline-based tile cleaner, was applied with a grout brush and the stains immediately vanished.

The next stage of the restoration involved polishing the Limestone using our four-pad Tile Doctor diamond-encrusted burnishing pad system. Firstly, I applied a Coarse 400 grit pad to strip away what remained of the old sealer which had been worn down in the high traffic areas of the floor. I then applied the Medium 800 grit and Fine 1500 grit pad to gradually close the pores of the stone which, in turn, restores the polished effect.

Each pad is used in combination with a small amount of water and any excess moisture is removed with a wet vacuum. To end the first day of work, I left the floor to dry and arranged to return in 48 hours to finish the job with sealing.

Sealing Limestone Kitchen Tiles

Upon my return, I ran some quick damp tests to check the floor could be sealed and quickly polished the surface again using a soft white nylon pad to remove the paw prints caused by the customer’s dog in the interim period!

Next, using a small quantity of water, I used the Very Fine 3000 grit burnishing pad to hone the stone to its highest possible quality. Once dry, I applied to the floor two coats of Ultra- Seal, which is a penetrating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection while providing a natural look finish. One final polish later and the restoration was complete.

Limestone Floor Tiles Cobham After Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles Cobham After Cleaning

Here’s what the customer said:

“Very professional service, very thorough, and careful with moving furniture. Very informative about the ongoing care and treatment of the flooring. Would most certainly recommend Rupert.”

Professional Tile Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing for a Dirty and Stained Limestone Kitchen Tiled Floor Restoration in Cobham