A customer recently moved into a property in Burghfield Bridge with a luxurious slate tiled shower that was badly stained with Limescale. Limescale is a big problem in hard water areas and results in the build-up of tiny mineral deposits on wetted surfaces causing staining. A water softener was being installed prevent this happening in future, but he wanted to know if anything could be done to renovate the shower tiles.
Removing Limescale is not a problem but the solution will depend on multiple factors, so I went over to the property to survey the tiles and work out an accurate price for the renovation. I ran several cleaning tests and as it turns out the tiles were not Slate but Micro-Porous Porcelain made to look like Slate. It’s difficult to tell from these photographs but I could see the tiles had repeating patterns which you only get when a tile has been manufactured from the same mould. Slate being a natural product results in each tile being unique.
After demonstrating a successful cleaning process, I was able to provide my customer with an accurate quote which was accepted and as it was convenient for both me and the customer I continued with the work.
Removing Limescale from Micro-Porous Porcelain Shower Tiles
The first obstacle to overcome was the heavy build-up of limescale that was ruining the appearance of the shower. I had worked out during testing that the best way to treat the problem was to apply Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being a gel works very well on vertical shower tiles where other products would simply run off. I wouldn’t use this on natural stone so as acidic products can etch stone however it was fine to use on Porcelain and was left to dwell for around thirty minutes.
The other advantage of gel-based products is that they don’t dry out, which is perfect when a longer dwell time is necessary. Once the gel had enough time to break down the mineral deposits, I agitated it with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor buffing machine and gave the grout lines a good scrub with a stiff grout brush before rinsing with plenty of water and vacuuming up the contaminated solution.
Although the whole area wasn’t effected with limescale I proceeded with the same process throughout to ensure the whole room would be uniform in appearance. For the vertical wall tiles I used a hand buffer fitted with a six-inch scrubbing pad. Acid Gel also worked well removing the Limescale on the glass shower screen, again it was left on for some time before being rinsed off. Any puddles or water streaks remaining were mopped up with towels and each tile was dried thoroughly with a heat gun.
Sealing Micro-Porous Porcelain Tiles
I left the tiles to dry off naturally for a couple of house and then returned to apply a sealer. I took moisture readings first to ensure the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed. Some porcelain tiles won’t take a sealer and may end up rejecting it so I conducted a small test in an inconspicuous area under the bath first to make sure it would take. Micro-Porous Porcelain will normally take a sealer and my test proved positive.
Happy with the result of my test I started applying Tile Doctor Colour Grow which has a colour enhancing formula that worked well on the dark tile and deepened the black colour. The sealer will make the shower tiles much easier to clean going forward and any water should run straight off the tile and into the drain.
The customer was over the moon with the transformation and left feedback below.
“Our tiles were extremely limescale damaged in our bathroom and Dennis done an amazing job making them look as good as new. Dennis even managed to finish the job earlier than expected which reduced our bill from the original quote. Excellent job and would highly recommend “
With some new knowledge on how to maintain his newly sealed tiles he was now keen to go ahead with the water softener installation in order to reduce the chances of limescale building up again.