Sandhurst

Removing Grout Haze from Ceramic Tile and Grout in a Sandhurst Kitchen

I received an enquiry from a customer in Sandhurst regarding their Ceramic tiled kitchen floor that they were struggling to get “looking clean”. Ceramic tiles are glazed and usually very easy to keep clean so intrigued I arranged a time for me to pop over and assess the problem.

Upon arrival the customer explained to me they had recently moved from Lancaster to be closer to their family and had inherited the ceramic tiled floor with the property. They had tried various solutions, but nothing seemed to get them clean. The Ceramic tiles had a slight texture to them which improves grip and makes them a popular choice in kitchens where the floor can get wet. The trouble with rougher surfaces though is they can trap dirt and as it turns out the previous homeowner had three dogs which no doubt had been kept in the kitchen.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Stained With Grout Haze Before Cleaning Sandhurst

After measuring and surveying the floor I ran some cleaning tests on the tiles to see which combination of product and cleaning method would have the most impact. During this I discovered the tiles had a thin layer of grout haze imbedded within the textured surface that had becoming imbedded with dirt, this would explain why they had struggled to get them clean. This must of happened when the floor was originally installed, the tiler didn’t polish off the grout thoroughly enough thereby leaving a thin layer of grout over the surface ruining their appearance. Happy with the demo a price was agreed, and the work was booked in.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Stained With Grout Haze Before Cleaning Sandhurst

Removing Grout Haze from a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor

Before starting I removed the kick boards from underneath the kitchen units and protected any exposed wooden areas with thin tape. Due to the previous cleaning tests, I knew exactly how to approach the floor and tackle the grout haze (aka grout smears).

Basically, to remove the thin layer of grout I applied a strong dilution of the aptly named Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. It’s a mild acidic cleaner that breaks down the grout and allows it to be removed. The solution is applied to the floor and allowed five to ten minutes to dwell before being agitated using a black pad fitted to a buffing machine. The slurry was then rinsed off with water and vacuumed away using a wet vacuum. Some areas were worse than others so for heavy grout haze build up I used Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a more powerful acidic cleaner that comes in gel form.

Applying a Light Grey Grout Colourant

Though everything cleaned up well the grout was still looking a little tired, the years of dirt had resulted in some deep staining which could not be removed and was letting down the overall appearance of the floor. To achieve a uniform finish throughout a light grey Tile Doctor Grout Colourant was carefully applied to each individual grout line, wiping away any excess that got onto the tiles. The colourant was left to dry for an hour before buffing the floor with a white pad. The colourant forms a permanent barrier over the grout sealing it in and making it much easier to clean.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Stained With Grout Haze After Cleaning Sandhurst

One done the Ceramic tiles had never looked so good and the grout looked ever so fresh. As you can imagine my customer was very happy with the transformation achieved and left the following feedback:

“Dennis did an excellent job of cleaning our kitchen floor and restoring the grout to it its original colour. This really lifted the room. Dennis was courteous and professional and would use him again.”

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Stained With Grout Haze After Cleaning Sandhurst

Ceramic tiles are fairly robust and with the grout colourant providing a barrier over the grout the floor is set to stay looking good for some time to come. However, there are a lot of cleaners out there on the market, some of which are very strong and concerned they could have a negative impact on the grout colourant. As a result, I recommended they clean the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner going forward, it’s sold as a concentrate, so a small amount goes a long way.

 

Professional Renovation of Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor in Berkshire

Twenty Year Old Terracotta Floor Renovated in Crowthorne

I was asked to visit a property in Crowthorne near Sandhurst to take a look at a Terracotta tiled floor that was installed twenty years prior and had now become dull and dirty. The client had recently had the house redecorated and attempted to clean the terracotta tiles themselves, however they quickly discover the process was difficult and rather time consuming and thus got in touch with Tile Doctor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Crowthorne
As part of my visit I carried out a cleaning test on a small patch of Terracotta flooring which they could clearly see made a huge improvement. It was also an opportunity for me to see which products would work best on the tiles which is useful as it means I can create a more accurate quote for renovating the floor. This is specially useful when quoting for Terracotta floors as many are protected with wax coatings which can be a struggle to remove.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Crowthorne
They were more than happy to go ahead with my quote, and a date was arranged to carry out the work. This was just before the COVID-19 epidemic broke out and I manged to get the work done before the lockdown started. Its worth knowing that we have now changed our working practices since then including risk assessments, new PPE and social distancing measures.

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

To clean the floor and remove old coatings such as sealers etc a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was sprayed onto the tiles and allowed to dwell for ten minutes. The grout lines were then given a good manual scrub with a stiff grout brush before turning my attention to the Terracotta tiles which were scrubbed mechanically. For this we use a black pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine adding more water as needed to help lubricate the process.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Crowthorne
The scrubbing released the dirt from the tiles and the soil was extracted with a low-pressure extraction machine. The client was amazed how much dirt was coming out of the floor. Some of the grout lines and textured inserts needed double treatment due to heavy build-up of sealer. I continued this process until the floor was completely stripped back and clean.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

Stripped back terracotta is very porous so I allowed the floor to dry out over the weekend to make sure it would be bone dry before sealing. Returning on the Monday I conducted a moisture test with a damp meter to check the floor was dry before starting to apply the sealer. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the terracotta, a total of eight coats was applied leaving roughly twenty minutes between coats. Having air movers placed around the room helped with the drying time. Seal and Go is a water-based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, it works very well on Terracotta leaving a subtle sheen to the tile which puts new life in the floor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Crowthorne
The client was delighted with their new floor and left a lovely testimonial which I have copied below:

“Dennis was punctual, professional and proficient. He was a pleasure to have around. We are delighted with the result of his work and we would have no hesitation in recommending him to friends and family “
Before leaving we discussed recommendations to keep the floor clean and what products to use. To this end a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Floor Cleaner was left for their use. This as its name implies is pH neutral so will ensure the newly applied seals stay in place unlike many acidic household cleaners that can strip the sealer from the floor. It is mild enough to use daily and has a nice fresh smell, so should ensure the integrity of the newly restored floor for some time to come.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Crowthorne
 

Professional Restoration of a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen in Berkshire

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