Grout Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Grout carried out in Birmingham

Cleaning and Renovating Grout

The top layer of grout is porous and can absorb grease, dirt and limescale. Spillages such as wine, lemonades or greasy substances will cause marks and patches in the joints in the floor. Grout between wall-tiles particularly in damp areas like bathrooms will become dirty and unattractive as a result of Mould, Mildew and Limescale.

Mould is one of the most unsightly problems, which usually starts off in the wettest area of the room, this could be the bottom of the shower or bath, then starts to spread and if left unchecked could cover a large area of the wall.

Another common issue we find is a problem known as Grout Haze or Grout Smearing where a thin layer of grout has been left to set on the surface of the tile. Once grout has set it is difficult to remove.

Discolouration of grout joints in bath or shower areas due to continued use of acid formulated shampoos and soaps. This causes yellow orange and pink stains to the grout over even a short period of time. Whilst Grout Joints can be cleaned, badly stained grout may need to be re-coloured.

Protecting your grout in advance with a sealer will prevent most of these issues and although relatively unknown in the UK, protection awareness is growing. Sealing forms an invisible barrier between the grout and the surface, this will then protect your investment for years to come.

We have solutions for all the problems listed above and below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past to resolve many of these issues. It should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.


Porcelain Tile Grout Cleaning Edgbaston

Dirty Porcelain Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned in Edgbaston

The client from Edgbaston got in touch with me concerned about the state of the grout rather than the polished white porcelain tiles and was considering replacing all of the downstairs area.

Porcelain Tile Grout Before Cleaning Edgbaston

I did a test area which really improved the tiles and the dirty grout and convinced them to go ahead with the clean and revamp their floor. I worked out a quotation for cleaning the whole floor, which was agreed, and a date set for my return.

Porcelain Tile Grout Before Cleaning Edgbaston Porcelain Tile Grout Before Cleaning Edgbaston

Edgbaston or Edgbaston Village as they would like to be known is an attractive area on the outskirts of Birmingham city centre yet its close enough to take advantage of everything the city has to offer.

Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled Hallway and Kitchen Floor

On arrival I decided that due to the size of the area it would be best to divide the work in to four sections. This would allow for furniture to be moved around whilst I worked on the floor.

Each section was cleaned with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was sprayed onto the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes. I then cleaned the grout by hand with a stiff grout brush, before cleaning the tiles and the grout again with a firm nylon bristle pad fitted to a rotary machine. The bristles were firm enough to clean the tiles, but not harsh enough to scratch them. I then rinsed the area with my Airflex Pro cleaning machine which pressure washes the floor whilst simultaneously extracting the soiling.

Once done the grout was looking so much cleaner and was almost camouflaged against the Porcelain tile. However, I wasnโ€™t finished as I planned to give each of the tiles a polish, but before that could happen they needed to be dry. This was achieved with a combination of towelling off and help form three air movers.

I then polished up the tiles with a very fine 3000-grit diamond pad, which really made a real difference to their appearance. These tiles are sealed at the factory during manufacture so there was no need to apply a sealant.

Porcelain Tile Grout After Cleaning Edgbaston Porcelain Tile Grout After Cleaning Edgbaston

The client was very happy with the tiles and grout appearance especially as they didn’t think they would see an improvement in the tile appearance, more so the grout. They were delighted that they would not need to replace the tiles, saving both the expense and the upheaval. The same process was carried out for all the areas. On completion I left a bottle of Tile Doctor pH Neutral Cleaner to help maintain the floors appearance and would make maintenance nice and easy.

Porcelain Tile Grout After Cleaning Edgbaston

 

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Multi-Coloured Kitchen Slate Floor Renovation Wolverhampton

Dull and Lifeless Multi-Coloured Slate Floor Renovated in Wolverhampton

A client in Wolverhampton contacted me about the Multi-Coloured Slate floor in their Kitchen. They had a lot of building work done recently and so dirt had built up on the tiles making them appear dull and lifeless.

Multi-Coloured Kitchen Slate Floor Before Cleaning Wolverhampton Multi-Coloured Kitchen Slate Floor Before Cleaning Wolverhampton

Happy to help I paid a visit to the property to survey the Slate floor and carry out some cleaning tests to work out which method and products would yield the best approach. The results from the testing came up well and they were happy with the quote I worked out, so we booked the work in.

Deep Cleaning a Multi Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

This was a straightforward job, the type of job Tile Doctors tackles every week, i.e., cleaning the floor tile and grout followed by sealing. Due to the big size of the kitchen and the utility area I decided to break the work in four sections rather than tackling the whole area in one go.

Multi-Coloured Kitchen Slate Floor Before Cleaning Wolverhampton

To start I sprayed a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go to the floor and allowed it to soak in for ten to fifteen minutes making sure that it didnโ€™t dry out. I then cleaned the area with a 120-grit silicon carbide brush attached to a weighted rotary machine which loosened up the dirt and followed with a stiff brush along the grout lines to give them a good scrub. Remove and Go was chosen for this floor as the testing I did earlier revealed traces of an old sealer and this product is ideal for removing old coatings whilst cleaning.

I then rinsed the floor using my Airflex Pro machine which deploys water at high pressure washes and then vacuums the soiling away. These machines are quite expensive but are a good investment as they make light work of cleaning floors and are very popular with carpet cleaners. This was repeated for all areas and once I was satisfied that we had achieved a good clean throughout the kitchen and utility it was left to dry off fully overnight. Before leaving for the day, I set up four air movers to assist with drying out the floor.

Multi-Coloured Kitchen Slate Floor During Cleaning Wolverhampton Multi-Coloured Kitchen Slate Floor During Cleaning Wolverhampton

Sealing a Multi Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

On returning the following day, the tiles were already looking so much cleaner that the day before. Before applying the sealer though the Slate needed to by dry so I tested the floor using the damp meter. If you try to apply the sealant before the floor is dry, it will not cure properly leading to a patchy appearance.

The readings were acceptable so I was able to move on to the final part of the renovation and apply a fresh sealer to the tiles. For this I selected Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal, this is a strong oil-based sealer, it does take a while for it to be absorbed especially on Slate as itโ€™s not as porous as other types of tile. The new sealer will give the Slate a great durable stain resistant finish which should last for many years to come. Itโ€™s ideal for a kitchen which can experience lots of foot traffic and spillages. Only one coat of Tile Doctor X-Tra seal was applied and after a couple of hours it had dried out and could be walked on.

Multi-Coloured Kitchen Slate Floor After Cleaning Wolverhampton Multi-Coloured Kitchen Slate Floor After Cleaning Wolverhampton

To finish off I buffed the floor with the rotary machine fitted with a White pad which removed any excess sealed and gave the floor a very subtle sheen finish. My client was very happy with the results and for aftercare cleaning I left them with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This product is pH neutral and is mild enough to use daily without impacting the newly applied sealer which is the problem with the stronger products you find in supermarkets.

Multi-Coloured Kitchen Slate Floor After Cleaning Wolverhampton

 

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Travertine Tiled Floor Renovation Wolverhapton

Travertine Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Polished in Wolverhampton

My client from Wolverhampton got in touch with me about their large Travertine tiled floor, which was installed throughout the kitchen and dining room and needed renovation. The floor also a included a couple of patterned feature areas laid with Limestone also needed attention. Interestingly a friend of mine had sold the house to the client so I knew the house quite well.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Wolverhampton

I went over to the property to conduct a survey of the tiles to see what needed to be done. During that visit I conducted a cleaning test to understand which treatment would be the most effective solution and this allowed me to create an accurate quote. The work would be carried out over two days. The client was happy with the quote and a date was scheduled for the work to begin.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Wolverhampton

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Dining Room Floor

The get the Travertine clean a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was sprayed onto the floor and allowed to dwell and soak in for ten minutes, then with a rotary machine fitted with a 240-grit silicon carbide pad I cleaned the floor. This helped get into the pitted areas and release the dirt. I also went over the grout lines with a stiff grout brush and more Pro-Clean to ensure the grout was as clean as it could be. To remove the slurry generated during the cleaning I used an air flex pro machine which is a powerful industrial pressure cleaner and vacuum.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Cleaning Wolverhampton

Next, I started the burnishing process, which meant applying diamond encrusted pads with grits ranging from 400, 800 and 1500 to the travertine, rinsing the floor between pads to remove the slurry. This process renovates the stone and brings up its polished appearance. Before leaving for the day, I did some repairs to some deep pitting and some cracks with appropriate flexible grout and allowed this along with the floor to dry overnight. To aid this I left two air movers with the client.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Cleaning Wolverhampton

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Dining Room Floor

The next day I returned and went over the floor with a 3000-grit very fine burnishing pad, this added a natural sheen to the stone and removed any excess grout from the repairs I had made. To finish off the floor I sealed it with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as well as adding protection to the floor also enhances the natural colours in the Travertine. Finally, I buffed the floor with a white pad to give it the best finish.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Polishing Wolverhampton

I advised the client on how to maintain the appearance and left a bottle of Tile Doctor pH Neutral Cleaner with them to clean the floor going forward, this is a mild cleaner and will keep the floor in great condition and ensure that the newly applied seal stays intact. My client was very happy with the work we had carried out and the overall finish.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Polishing Wolverhampton

 

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Porcelain Kitchen Floor Renovation Edgbaston Birmingham

Textured Porcelain Floor Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned in Edgbaston

This Porcelain tiled floor was laid in the kitchen of a property in Edgbaston around eight years ago. The customer contacted me regarding how dirty the tile and grout had become since being installed despite them being regularly cleaned. Happy to help I agreed to call in, survey the floor and give them a quote for deep cleaning and returning it to its original condition.

Whilst at the property I could see the Porcelain tiles had a coarse textured surface which has the advantage of being less slippery than a smooth tile however over the years it had been trapping dirt and making them difficult to clean.

Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Edgbaston Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Edgbaston

I ran a cleaning test on an inconspicuous area to understand the most effective way of cleaning the tile and grout. The test went well, and it quickly showed the difference between a clean and dirty tile, it also gave me a good idea of what it would cost to renovate the floor and provide an accurate quote. The customer who had been cleaning the floor for the last eight years was impressed with the difference and happily accepted my quote.

Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Edgbaston

Cleaning Textured Porcelain Hallway and Kitchen Floor Tiles

The cleaning process began by spraying a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with Remove & Go onto the floor, these are both alkaline cleaners although Remove and Go is designed to remove sealers and other coatings. I left it to soak in for ten minutes before starting to work it in with a rotary buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

As I progressed, I noticed there were some stubborn marks on the tiles which were being left behind so I switched the Black pad out for a 240-grit silicon carbide brush. This may sound harsh for use on Porcelain, but I have used it many times before on textured porcelain with no problems only good results.

After cleaning the main area of the kitchen and utility I turned my attention to the floor edges and corners which I did by hand. I then spent time cleaning the grout with more Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a stiff brush.

Porcelain Tiled Floor During Cleaning Edgbaston Porcelain Tiled Floor During Cleaning Edgbaston

Once finished the floor was rinsed the floor with an Airflex Pro machine which applies hot water under pressure whilst simultaneously extracting it to a tank on the machine. This is an expensive piece of kit very popular with carpet cleaners but equally as useful on hard floors, it leaves the floor looking very clean and saves a lot of time compared to rinsing and vacuuming.

The last step was to set up some air movers to help dry the tiles and grout. The floor was looking much improved already and I hadnโ€™t finished.

Porcelain Tiled Floor During Cleaning Edgbaston

Sealing a Porcelain Tiled Floor

Most Porcelain tiles wonโ€™t take a sealer however these were the micro porous variety and I was confident they would take a seal. So once the floor was dry I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which will help to make it easier to clean and protect the grout.

Porcelain Tiled Floor After Cleaning Edgbaston Porcelain Tiled Floor After Cleaning Edgbaston

On completion the Porcelain tile and Grout looked so much cleaner and my client was relieved that I had managed to get all the ingrained dirt out of the floor. Before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare and left the customer with a bottle of pH Neutral Tile Cleaner that will help maintain the appearance of the floor in the future.

 

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Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration Stourbridge

Quarry Tiled Floor Fully Rebuilt and Restored in Stourbridge

This customer from the historic West Midlandโ€™s town of Stourbridge contacted me about their living room floor which was laid with Quarry tiles; however, one area which I suspect may have originally been a fireplace had been tiled with pale ceramic Pink tiles. These would need to be removed and replaced with matching quarry tiles if the floor was to have a consistent appearance.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Stourbridge

Whilst surveying the floor I conducted a test clean on a section of Quarry tiles which came up well and I discussed sourcing matching replacements with the owner. I knew of a reclamation yard local close to the customer that I’ve previously used, he suggested getting his own replacements from there which I was happy with and the work was booked in.

Repairing and Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

On arrival I looked at the reclaimed tiles the owner had sourced and noticed they were all approx. 5mm larger than the original tiles. So, before doing anything else I had to cut them all to size with my wet tile cutter. This is messy work with quarry tiles as they create an orange slurry when cut, if you’re not careful you’ll end up looking like an Oompa Loompa after cutting them!

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Stourbridge Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Stourbridge

Next I had to remove the Pink Ceramic tiles and dig into the area underneath to ensure the thicker Quarry tiles would be level with the surface of the existing floor. Once the debris had been cleared, I was then able to apply a self-levelling compound to bring the sub-floor up to the required level. The levelling compound was left to dry off overnight and I returned the next day to fit the cut tiles and grout them in after the adhesive had dried.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Stourbridge Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Stourbridge

The next day with the replacement tiles set I was able to clean the whole floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was allowed to soak in for a while and then topped up so not to dry out. I then used a silicon carbide brush fitted to a weighted rotary machine to scrub the floor and loosen all the dirt. Next job was to run a stiff brush along the grout lines to get them clean as well, before rinsing and extracting the dirt with a portable Airflex Pro wet vacuum. I use a low psi so as not to apply too much water.

The floor was then towelled off before starting the last part of the cleaning process which involves treating the tiles with an acid-rinse using a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This is an acidic product that can remove mineral staining and will also counter any alkaline salt deposits in the pores of the tile that could surface as the floor dries.

The floor was then rinsed and towel dried as before but this time I left a couple of floor fans in place to assist with the drying whilst I packed away the machinery.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

After an hour I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil, I find that this helps bring the colour of the Quary tile, aids drying and minimises any efflorescence salts coming through overnight.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Stourbridge

I returned next day to fully seal the floor. The floor was old with no damp proof membrane installed and had shown signs of dampness In the past. Because of this I recommended using Tile Doctor X-Tra seal to seal the floor which is fully breathable sealer and will cope well with any damp issues. Additionally, this applied with the stone oil adds a nice slight sheen to the floor which really lifts its appearance.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Stourbridge

The deep clean and new sealer really helped blend in the replacement tiles with the original and once complete my customer was very happy with the transformation. Before leaving we discussed aftercare and I left them a complimentary bottle of Neutral Tile Cleaner to maintain the tiles going forward. This is a pH neutral product that is safe to use on sealed surfaces and wonโ€™t prematurely erode the sealer like many stronger tile cleaners you will find in supermarkets.

 

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