limescale Removal

Limescale Stained Slate Effect Shower Tiles Renovated in Burghfield Bridge

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.

Limescale Stained Slate Effect Porcelain Shower Tiles Before Cleaning Burghfield Bridge

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.

Limescale Stained Slate Effect Porcelain Shower Tiles During Cleaning Burghfield Bridge

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.

Limescale Stained Slate Effect Porcelain Shower Tiles Before Cleaning Burghfield Bridge

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.

Limescale Stained Slate Effect Porcelain Shower Tiles After Cleaning Burghfield Bridge

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.

Limescale Stained Slate Effect Porcelain Shower Tiles After Cleaning Burghfield Bridge

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.

Limescale Stained Slate Effect Porcelain Shower Tiles After Cleaning Burghfield Bridge


Limescale Stained Porcelain Shower Tiles Renovated in Berkshire

Stained Limestone Tiled Wet Room Renovated in Sonning Eye

This enquiry came from a theatre buff at a house in Sonning Eye near Reading who regularly hosted cast members playing at the local Mill Theatre. Five years prior he had a Limestone tiled wet room installed and unfortunately the floor tiles were laid unevenly and the fall on the tiles didn’t allow the water to drain off efficiently. The water would therefore tend to pool in the centre and overtime heavy limescale built-up and mould had also started to appear.

Limestone Shower Before Renovation Sonning Eye

Cast members staying at his house although grateful of the hospitality had often mention the state of the unsightly shower and so we were asked to pop round and see what could be done to renovate it and restore its appearance.

Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning

The first task was to remove the mould that had ingrained the Limestone, to do this I used Tile Doctor Duo Clean and scrubbed it into the tile with assistance from a steamer. I repeated this action three times, after each time I could see a visible improvement in the affected area and once it had lightened to a very faint grey, I knew that the next cleaning process to burnish the stone would see it disappear completely so left it at that.

Limestone Shower During Renovation Sonning Eye Limestone Shower During Steam Cleaning Sonning Eye

Next job was to remove the limescale build-up and re polish the Limestone tiles. I found the best way to do this was with a small hand-held machine, this allowed me to get into all the edges and groves that would have been impossible with a larger machine which would have struggled to cope with the uneven tiles.

Limestone Shower During Polishing Sonning Eye

I started with a 400-grit burnishing pad, but this struggled to cut into the years limescale build-up, so I switched this for 100-grit soft milling pad which did the trick. Once all the limescale had been removed it was time to rebuild the polish on the surface of the stone, so the process was repeated working through finer and finer burnishing pads 200, 400, 800,1500 and finally 3000-grit until the appearance of the Limestone was restored. This is quite a time-consuming process as the pad are quite small, additionally each pad is applied with water to provide lubrication which turns into a slurry that has to be rinsed off before applying the next pad. The result however is worth at as it really restores the polished appearance of the Limestone.
The last part of the cleaning process was to give the grout a quick clean I did this by scrubbing in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a grout brush, again rinsing off the slurry afterwards. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaner that’s safe to use on natural stone.

Sealing Limestone Tiles in a Wet Room

The final task was to seal the Limestone and replace the worn mastic/silicon sealant around the edges. Usually I would leave the stone to dry out overnight but as it was a small area, I was able to thoroughly dry it out using a heat gun. Once dry two good coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal were applied to provide on-going protection. Ultra-Seal is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the small pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained, also it doesn’t change the colour of the stone in any way leaving a very natural appearance.

Last step before finishing was to apply a fresh application of white mastic sealant along the edges of the tiling to ensure a good seal and no leaks.

Limestone Shower After Renovation Sonning Eye

My customer was over the moon with the result as initially he thought he might have to have it replaced. He was so pleased in fact that he left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Excellent prompt and courteous service from Dennis who I cannot recommend too highly. After completion of the work a previously very tired looking wet-room looked better than it did when new.”

Limestone Shower After Renovation Sonning Eye


Professional Stone Tiled Wet Room Renovation in Berkshire

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