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