Grout Cleaning

Failed Travertine Tile Sealer Resolved in Great Green, Thurston

The pictures below are of a Travertine tiled floor installed in the large Kitchen of a barn conversion in the small village of Great Green near Thurston which is four miles from Bury St Edmunds. The floor had been laid ten years prior and the customer was now finding it increasingly difficult to get the tile and grout clean.

Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Great Green Thurston

I visited the property to survey the floor and quickly confirmed that the problem was quite clear, the sealant had been worn away over the years and now unprotected dirt was getting into the surface and pores of the stone. Once ingrained with dirt it becomes impossible to get them clean with everyday household cleaners. The floor was in the kitchen which being one of the busiest areas in the house so really needed to be protected.

Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Great Green Thurston

I ran a test clean on a small patch of travertine and they could see straight away the colour the floor should have been. It was clear the tile and grout would need a deep clean and then resealed however due to the inevitable wear I advised the customer stone floors like these really need continual attention and recommend that after the initial renovation they consider getting us back in once a year to do a surface clean and seal.

Happy with our test clean and quotation we got the go ahead to do the initial clean and seal and we arranged complete the work the following month.

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

On arrival I first taped up the skirting boards and kitchen plinths to protect them from splashing during cleaning. The floor was then scrubbed with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was first left to dwell for ten minutes so it could soak into the pores and break down the dirt. For best results I use a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a multi-purpose tile and grout cleaning product that really gets to grips with ingrained dirt and grease as well as removing the remains of old sealer.

Scrubbing pads struggle to reach into the grout recesses so I scrubbed the grout lines by hand using a wire brush and more Pro-Clean. The resultant slurry was then vacuumed off the floor using a wet vacuum, the floor was then rinsed with water and vacuumed again.

To improve the appearance of the Travertine tiles further it was given a light burnish using a 400-grit then 800-grit diamond burnishing pad. These pads are attached to the rotary machine and then run over each tile several times using only water for lubrication. This action brings up the natural polished appearance of the stone to leave a mild sheen as per the clients’ request. After another rinse and extraction to remove the slurry generated during burnishing the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day I returned and first took some moisture readings from the floor using a damp meter. I needed to be sure the floor was dry enough to accept the sealer as applying sealer to a damp floor is not recommended.

The floor had dried out nicely, so I began the application of the sealer, Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This product is a colour intensifying impregnating sealer that penetrates the stone, occupying its pores, improving colour, and resulting in long lasting protection. I highly recommend this for use on Travertine and it enhances the natural brown colours in the stone beautifully.

Travertine Floor After Cleaning Great Green Thurston

The job took 2 days in total to complete and the clients were very happy with the result. For aftercare I have advised the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will help maintain the patina whilst keeping the floor clean. I’ve also made a note to give them a call in a years’ time to discuss giving the floor a light Maintenance Clean and apply a new coat of Colour Grow.

Travertine Floor After Cleaning Great Green Thurston


Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in Suffolk

Renovating Porcelain Tile with Stained Grout in Ipswich

The pictures below detail the renovation of a Porcelain Tiled Floor I completed at a property in Ipswich. Installed throughout the Kitchen and into the adjacent WC the porcelain tile and grout were in a very dirty state and the client was desperate to get them clean. The situation wasn’t helped by their two dogs with grubby paws. She had tried all the usual household cleaners she could find, and nothing seemed to work. Unfortunately, household cleaners can make the problem worse due the strong chemicals they contain.

Porcelain Tile Grout Before Renovation Ipswich Porcelain Tile Grout Before Renovation Ipswich

I visited the property to survey the floor and was able to reassure the client that although the grout was heavily stained it could be renovated by recolouring it with a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. I was confident we would soon be able to get the floor looking great again and demonstrated the process I would use on a small part of the floor. The demonstration went well and happy with the result we agreed a date for my return the following week to complete the work which should be completed in a single day.

Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled Hallway and Kitchen Floor

Returning on the agreed date we started by protecting the by applying a clear silicone sealant to the MDF skirting boards and kitchen base units. We left this to dry for an hour before proceeding with the cleaning.

The Porcelain tile and grout was cleaned with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using 3 parts cleaner to 5 parts water. The solution was applied to the tile and grout and then left to soak in for ten minutes before being worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a Black Scrubbing Pad. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner which is designed for deep cleaning tile, stone and grout of dirt and grease and can also remove sealers.

Pads can struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout line so once I was finished with the tile, I hand scrubbed the grout with a wire brush. The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant slurry extracted off the floor with wet vacuum.

The floor took about three hours to deep clean which was just the right timing for us to have lunch whilst the floor dried. The grout was much improved by the cleaning process but as suspected there were too many deep-seated stains to be able to guarantee a consistent finish. So as previously agreed with the client we set about colouring the grout using a light grey colourant. This took most of the afternoon as there was a lot of grout.

The Porcelain tiles were the non-porous type that won’t take a sealer and the colourant acts as a barrier over the grout protecting it and making it easy to clean so once I was done colouring there was no need to apply a sealer.

Porcelain Tile Grout After Renovation Ipswich Porcelain Tile Grout After Renovation Ipswich

My client was relieved to have the floor looking clean and presentable again. For aftercare I recommended that moving forward it would be best to use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH neutral cleaner. This will ensure that with regular cleaning the floor will keep clean and the grout won’t be compromised by overly strong products.


Professional Renovation of a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Suffolk

Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing a Marble floor and Wall Tiles in Elmswell

Not too long ago I was called down to a house in the small village of Elmswell, Suffolk. I was asked to take a look at a Marble floor and wall tiles which had become dull and lifeless over time, especially in high traffic areas and now need to be burnished to bring the polish back. In addition, my client was unhappy with the beige colour of the grout lines, requesting that I change the colour to white following the clean and polish.

Polished Marble Floor Elmswell Before Cleaning Polished Marble Floor Elmswell Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble tiles

To get the floor clean and bring back the polish I used a set of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads which have different levels of grit, applied to the Marble tiles with a small amount of water. I started with a Coarse pad, before moving on to a Medium pad, a Fine pad, and finally a Very Fine pad to achieve the desired polished look. The floor was given a thorough rinse between each pad in order to remove any excess residue that had resulted from the burnishing process.

Once I had finished the floors I moved onto the Marble wall tiles in the bathroom where the same process was repeated, for wall tiles however you need to use the smaller six inch burnishing pads fitted to a hand held buffer.

Sealing Marble Floor Tiles

I left the floor to dry for a few days before returning to seal it for which I used Tile Doctor Shine Powder. This is a crystallising powder that offers a very high shine and tough durable finish. It it ground directly into the tiles, and can be used to seal all natural stone, including Marble, Granite, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, for both interior and exterior floors.

Changing the Grout Colour

My final task was to change the colour of the grout, as per my client’s request. I did this using a couple of tubes of Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in white. The colourant is painted onto the grout with any excess wiped off the tile before it gets chance to harden. It’s an epoxy product that looks completely natural and additionally provides excellent stain protection for the future.

Polished Marble Floor Elmswell After Cleaning Polished Marble Floor Elmswell After Cleaning

My client was very pleased with the results of my work and took the time to leave the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“I cannot praise the standard of Bruce Copping’s work enough. He completely transformed the marble floors and shower room walls in my home and made them look brand new. His attention to detail was excellent, plus no mess, just a perfect finish and valuable advice on maintaining the walls and floors. I’m so relieved I was able to find Tile Doctor online; I’d almost given up hope of finding someone to sort out the problems with my marble, but Bruce Copping was superb. I’m absolutely delighted with the results and have no hesitation in recommending him.”

Marble Tiles Refurbished in Suffolk


Suffolk Tile Doctor

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