Restoration of a shower and bathroom in Guildford

A family living in Guildford were in touch recently about restoring the appearance of their Ceramic tiled shower and bathroom. They were about to put the property up for sale and were concerned the grubby grout might put off potential buyers. First impressions do count so renovating a bathroom or kitchen before selling is a really good idea and will help you achieve a better price.

Bath Shower Tile Grout Before Cleaning Guildford Bath Shower Tile Grout Before Cleaning Guildford

In this case the Ceramic tiles were dirty and black with mould in places which looked unhygienic and uninviting. Additionally, the mastic sealant between the tile and bath was tired and worn to the extent that water could end up leaking behind the seal. After visiting the property, they were pleased to hear I could help and happily accepted our quote which was based around a days work and some materials.

Cleaning/Repairing a Ceramic Tiled Shower and Bathroom

Firstly, I cleaned the grout using a Tile Doctor product called Duo Clean which is designed to tackle dirty grout and mould. I sprayed the product along all the grout lines and left it to soak in for about fifteen minutes. Once ready I brushed them with a firm wire brush then rinsed off with water. Next, I cleaned the tiles using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was decanted into a spray bottle and sprayed onto the wall tiles. After ten minutes I then used a handheld buffing machine fitted with a small white buffing pad to shift the dirt and buff up the white tiles. After rinsing the slurry off with water you could see a marked improvement.

I hand dried the tile and grout with a cloth and then set about stripping out the old white mastic sealer with a sharp knife. This took some time, as you have to be careful not to scratch the bath or the tile.

By this time the grout had dried off fully and I was able to see if more work was required. To achieve a uniform colour throughout. Mould and some cleaning products can discolour grout permanently and, in this case, there was some grout staining I was unable to remove. We had discussed this possibility earlier and how it would be best resolved using a white grout colourant. So, I carefully applied Tile Doctor Grout Colour which is painted on with a small brush with any excess wiped off the tile before it can set. This resulted in a uniform white grout throughout and really gave the whole bathroom a lift.

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Shower and Bathroom

With the cleaning process completed I applied a new white mastic between the bath and tile and along the verticals. This is done with the bath filled with water and then left for 24 hours to allow the silicone to fully cure.

After the grout colour had dried, I applied an aerosol Tile and Grout sealer over the whole surface and then lightly polished off any excess with a clean cloth. This does two things; one it adds a further layer of protection to the new grout colour and to the surface of the tiles. Secondly Ceramic tiles are non-porous, but bacterial dirt can still get a grip on the surface, with the sealer in place you will find water quickly runs off without getting a chance to get a hold.

Bath Shower Tile Grout After Renovation Guildford Bath Shower Tile Grout After Renovation Guildford

Sealers do wear off, so I recommended re-applying it every year. I had plenty left over and gave it to the customer when I finished using it. For regular cleaning of tiled shower areas, I recommend they use Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro this will neutralise any acid build-up caused by acidic shampoos etc.

 

Professional Renovation of a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom in West Surrey

Removing Polymer Grout Haze from Wood Effect Ceramic tiles in Guildford

Grout haze or grout smears as it is often called can be a huge problem when laying tiles. Grout haze is basically grout that has been left to dry on the surface of the tile after installation. It’s a common problem which is exacerbated by the use of quick drying products. Take for example this interesting Wood Effect Ceramic Tile installation at a house in Guildford following installation by a builder.

I was a bit slow in following up on the initial enquiry as we had been very busy so by the time, I got in touch I was told they had employed someone else to carry out the work. I apologised for my late response and said to call me if he needed help in the future. Three days later I got a call so we arranged a visit so that I could carry out a test and quote a price.

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles Before Removal Guildford

As it turns out the builder had returned and failed to remove the grout haze and so had a rival firm that seemed more interested in selling unnecessary sealer than fixing the problem. I was astonished to see what a state the builder had left his floor. Grout was all over the floor with footprints walked across thresholds and more. I could understand it if there was some grout was missed after installation but not to this level!

I carried out a successful test and confirmed to the customer that there was absolutely no need to rip and replace his £2k floor. We agreed a date to resolve the problem and to say he was relieved was an understatement!

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles Before Removal Guildford

Removing Polymer Grout Haze

The builders had used Mapei grout which contains polymers. Polymers offer better flexibility and adhesion, however in order to remove the grout haze we would first need to break down the polymers in the grout first and this is why the rival firm failed.

With that in mind, my first action was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and leave it to dwell for five to ten minutes. I then worked it into the tile using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After washing the soil away with warm water and extracting with a wet vacuum I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to treat the grout. Grout Clean-up is an acid-based product that breaks down the grout so it can be rinsed away and extracted as before. Afterwards I rinsed the floor with warm water and extracted again to remove any trace of product and neutralise the floor. After removing as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum I speed dried the tiles with a blower.

Wood Effect Ceramic Tile Installation Problem Resolved

Ceramic tiles won’t accept a sealer so once the floor had dried the job was finished and it took less than a day.

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles After Removal Guildford

The customer was over the moon with the difference. While his floor was in such a state, he has been unable to bring in new furniture as the serious possibility of removing the tiles was hanging over him.

Relieved that the problem was now resolved he kindly left the following review:

“I had a floor that had just been laid with very heavy grout haze. I had already had advice from two other professional floor cleaners who had advised me that the floor was irreparable and would need to be pulled up. As soon as I spoke with Rupert, it was clear he was extremely knowledgeable. He asked questions none of the other companies had. By understanding the specific nature of the problem, he was able to solve it by first removing the grout polymers and then applying an acid wash. The floor came up brilliantly. Rupert was the only person I spoke to that could fix this, everyone else told me I needed to replace my floor! Superbly knowledgeable, professional and did an excellent job. Don’t bother speaking to anyone else, just call Rupert! “

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles After Removal Guildford

 

Professional Clean of a Wood Effect Ceramic Tiled Hallway in West Surrey

Ceramic Tile and Grout Cleaning in a Leatherhead Kitchen

At this property in Leatherhead, in the Mole Valley district of Surrey there was ten years of dirt trapped in the grout and no end of cleaning by the owner could improve the situation.

Ceramic Tile Grout Before Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

Now desperate to get the floor looking clean again she gave Tile Doctor a call and as their local representative I was asked to go round and survey the floor. Glazed ceramic tiles are very easy to clean and maintain and are a very practical choice for a kitchen floor, however what tends to happen is the dirt gets washed into the grout lines where the rough nature of the grout traps the dirt eventually turning it black.

Ceramic Tile Grout Before Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

I could see what needed to be done so I discussed the solution with the client who was relieved that we could help. She agreed to my quote and we booked the work in to be completed.

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned on the scheduled date and set about preparing the floor with an application of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and diluted with water. The cleaning cocktail was left to dwell for approximately fifteen minutes while I unloaded the equipment I would need from the van. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a heavy-duty tile and grout cleaner which works best when left soak into the problem area, whilst Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a coatings stripper so I reasoned a combination of the two products would have maximum effect to deep clean the area.

Using a hard wire brush, I rubbed the muck vigorously until the dirt became released into the cleaning solution. Sometimes it is necessary to roll up your sleeves and do some things manually! The resultant slurry was then extracted with a wet vacuum. You can see from the pictures the dirt being released.

Ceramic Tile Grout During Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

I had to repeat the process a few times before I was happy with the condition of the grout.
Once the grout was clean, I applied more Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the tiles, scrubbing it in with a deck brush. After ten minutes, using a handheld buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad I cleaned the tiles. Again, I vacuumed up the slurry then neutralised with plain water. Following a final vacuum, I dried the whole kitchen with an air blower.

Ceramic Tile Grout After Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

The client was very happy with the newly cleaned floor, it had really made a big difference to the whole floor and given it a new lease of life.

Ceramic Tile Grout After Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

 

Professional Clean of a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen 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

Cleaning Ceramic Bath Tiles at a Chessington Student Let

This bath with shower over was located at a rental property in the town of Chessington that had been recently vacated by students. I was called in by the landlord who was looking to re-rent the property. The request was to tidy up the ceramic tiles in the shower and bath area and to make it look decent again for the next batch of soap-dodgers . We often get asked to do end of tenancy tile cleans and have seen a lot worse than this one so I was confident it could be made to look like new again.

Dirty Ceramic Bath Tiles in Chessington before cleaning

The main problem was the grout had become darkened and stained from dirt and the dyes in soaps etc., the mastic sealant between the tile and the bath also needed replacing.

Cleaning Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

To get the tile and grout clean I sprayed on Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which works better than liquid products as being gel based it sticks to the wall tile and grout and really gets to work breaking down the dirt. I left this for a few minutes before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off with water.

Whist this was drying I started to strip out the old mastic seal and tidied up the mess that had fallen into the bathtub using a vacuum.

Grout Colouring Shower Wall Tiles

With the tiles now clean and fresh grout dried the next step was to apply a White Grout Colourant to ensure all the grout had a consistent appearance. Although time consuming the grout colourant is easily applied with a small brush and then you wipe off any excess that gets onto the tile before it dries.

I left the grout colourant to dry for 30 minutes before applying another coat and once this had dried I set about adding a new mastic seal between the wall tile and bath. I always use a high quality silicone sealant for this; I never use cheap sealant as they soon discolour and can shrink resulting in water ingress problems.

Dirty Ceramic Bath Tiles in Chessington after cleaning

It takes a little time but the bathroom now looks much fresher and ready for the next tenants.
 
 

Stained Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Tiles Refreshed in West Surrey

Mouldy Ceramic Tiled Shower Refreshed in Epsom Downs

A customer contacted us regarding a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle problem they had with their house in Epsom Downs, Surrey. All the grout and mastic had started to go black and grow mould which is quite a common problem in modern houses and our busy lifestyles and insulated homes with insufficient ventilation.

Epsom Downs Shower Cubicle MouldyGrout Epsom Downs Shower Cubicle MouldyGrout

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

We started by giving the tiles a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and our non-scratch scrubbing brushes, then we thoroughly scrubbed the grout with more Pro-Clean and a special grout brush designed to get right into the grout and scrub the soil out. We then went over the grout where there was any marks and residue soil with our grout brush and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is a stronger product that can remove mineral deposits and even excess grout from a tile surface.

Grout Sealing

Prevention is better than the cure so the tile and grout was dried with cloths and a heat gun and then left for half an hour. We then damp tested the area to make sure it was dry and was no damp present in the grout before applying Tile Doctor Grout Seal and Go which will seal the grout making it waterproof and stop the mould coming back

Last step was to cut out all the old mastic and seal around the shower and replace it with new silicone sealer finishing the job off nicely

Epsom Downs Shower Cubicle Finished Epsom Downs Shower Cubicle Finished

 

Refreshing a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle in Epsom