Unsealed Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Treated for Grout Haze in Malvern

Newly built properties are not without their problems and often take a while to resolve all the snagging which occasionally extends to resolving problems with newly laid tiled floors. At this new property in the village of Malvern, and overlooked by the Malvern hills, the builders had left the Terracotta tiled kitchen floor covered in grout smears (also known as Grout Haze) following installation. They had also neglected to seal the tiles, which was actually quite fortunate in this case as they would have sealed in the grout haze, making it more difficult to remove.

Naturally, the property owner wanted the problem to be resolved as soon as possible, and for me to make the tiles easy to keep clean in future, which can be achieved by sealing the tile.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

Removing Grout Haze from a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Before starting work, I made sure to fully protect any exposed woodwork with a plastic sheet covering to protect them from potential damage. I then proceeded to give the floor a thorough clean, using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to clean the floor and eradicate some stains that had been left behind as a result of the building work.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

Next, I paid special attention to the grout, where the very visible problem of grout haze had arisen. To neutralise these smears I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner that can also remove alkaline mineral deposits and efflorescence. Grout Clean Up is only to be used on acid resistant stone, as sensitive stone can suffer from irreparable etching if it comes into contact with the product.

Once completely clean and free of grout smears the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water to remove any trace of product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum, afterwards an air mover was installed to speed up the drying process.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Later that afternoon the floor was dry and I was able to apply a sealer. To do this I opted to use several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, a topical, fully breathable sealer that works really well on Terracotta.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village
The sealer builds up a layer of protection on the surface of the tiles, protecting against ingrained dirt and stains. Seal and Go Extra also provides a high quality sheen finish which really did well to enhance the look of the Terracotta.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village
The property owner was exceptionally pleased with the results, and to have this problem dealt with quickly and efficiently, additionally the sealer will ensure the Kitchen floor is easy to keep clean in the future.

Grout Haze Removal on Terracotta Tiles in Worcestershire

Resolving a Dull and Scratched Limestone Tiled Floor

This Limestone Tiled Floor was installed in the hall and kitchen of a residence in Coventry. The floor had scratch damage in the middle of the kitchen and was dull from the previous use of the wrong cleaning products, the house had recently been sold and the new owners wanted the damage removed and Limestone sealed and polished so it looked new again.

Limstone Tiled Floor Before cleaning Limstone Tiled Floor showing scratch

Cleaning Limestone and Grout

The first task was to give the floor a general clean using a dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with the focus on the ensuring the grout lines were given a good scrub to get them looking clean again. The dirty solution was then removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and rinsed with clean water.

Limestone like Marble and Granite is a very hard stone and needs to be cutback with burnishing pads to get it looking good again; the pads fit a rotary buffing machine and applied with a little water. Tile Doctor supplies a four pad Burnishing set for this purpose and you start off using a coarse pad to cut back the dirt from the floor and then move through the pads until you get to the last one which is very fine and polishes up the stone.

Limstone Tiled Floor Burnishing Pad

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

To protect the floor it was sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is designed to lift the natural colours in the stone and will protect the tile from stains in future.

Limstone Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Polishing3 Limstone Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Polishing

In total the floor took eight hours to clean and re-polish, the scratch was gone and the floor now looks new again, just what the customer wanted.

Limestone Tiles Cleaned and Polished in Coventry

Milled Slate Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Broadwell

These mixed milled slate floor tiles were installed in the Kitchen, Hall and toilet of a house in Broadwell, Warwickshire. The Slate was staining easily from drink spills and proving hard to clean; on top of that all the tiles were covered in a slight grout haze and had not been sealed or cleaned properly after installation. The customer needed the floor to be easy to clean and manage and was keen to bring out the rich colour and texture of the floor but keep a matt finish.

Slate Tiles Before Cleaning in Broadwell1 Slate Tiles Before Cleaning in Broadwell2

Cleaning black slate floor tiles

The first job was to give the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was worked into the pores of the Slate tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the resultant soiled solution and rinsed the floor down with water.

Removing Grout Haze from Slate

The next step was to tackle the grout haze which was evident across the tiles; for this we used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acidic product that you allow to dwell on the tile for a one to two minutes and then agitate with a scrubbing pad and then remove shortly afterwards with a wet vacuum washing the floor down quickly to ensure the acid is removed.

Further cleaning was required to some areas which had proven stubborn to clean earlier and for this we used Pro-Clean again mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which adds tiny abrasive particles to make a more effective cleaning product; again this was scrubbed in and then once we were happy with the result the floor was washed down with clean water in order to neutralise it before sealing.

Sealing Slate floor tiles

I left the floor overnight to dry then came back next day and used a damp test meter to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which matched their requirements in a sealer exactly as it provides a matt finish brings out the colour in the stone and offers great stain protection.

Slate Tiles After Cleaning in Broadwell1 Slate Tiles After Cleaning in Broadwell5


Slate tiled floor cleaned and sealed in Warwickshire

Resolving installation issues with a black Limestone tiled floor

This client had recently had a black limestone tiled floor installed in the kitchen and dining area in his home on the northern border of Warwickshire. Unfortunately however the tiler had not sealed the tiles prior and struggled to remove the grout smears from the Limestone surface. The tiles were then sealed trapping the grout haze under the sealer; naturally the client was far from happy and was instructed to remove the grout using an acid wash.

Black Limestone Tiles Before Black Limestone Tiles Before

The acid things turned the floor grey removing the oils in the floor from the factory and also caused the natural salts within the tile to rise to the surface. The tiles were then sealed with an external patio sealant without removing the existing surface sealer. All this compounded the problems in the floor causing it to mark easily and lose its colour; on top of that it had big cloudy white patches all over from the trapped salts.

Stripping sealer from a Limestone Floor Tiles

To resolve the problems with the floor it had to be fully stripped back and cleaned of all sealants and salt etc. which was done by applying a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nanotech UltraClean mopped on to the floor in two square metres at a time. The solution was allowed to soak into the floor for thirty minutes to allow the chemicals break down and then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. The soiled solution was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated across the entire floor until all the sealer had been removed.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning

Removing Salts from Limestone Tiles

To remove the salts and remaining grout haze the floor was treated with Grout Clean-up which is an acid based cleaning product that is designed to penetrate below the surface and remove light grout smears (grout haze) as well as mineral deposits such as salts and efflorescence, again this treatment was applied two square meters at a time, quickly worked into the floor and removed with the wet vacuum. Once this process was complete the whole floor was washed at high pressure rinse three times to ensure all trace of chemicals had been removed.

The floor was left to dry and when we came back the second day it was noticed that there were still some salts coming through to the surface of the Limestone, these areas were re-treated and the floor washed down again and left to dry as before.

Limestone Kitchen Part Sealed

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

The floor looked much improved on the third day although it was still looking washed out. To put the colour back into the black limestone it was treated with stone oil with turns the floor back to black and then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will protect the tile going forward.

The floor now looks how it was intended and certainly the customer was pleased and left the following comment on our feedback system.

“We are so pleased with the work carried out by the tile doctor to our kitchen, utility and family room. The floor now looks exactly how we hoped it would look when we originally purchased it. We’ve struggled to get it looking right since then and now we feel we finally have a floor we can enjoy at last! We also found Mick to be professional and highly knowledgeable on our floor. He has given us really good advice and has been really easy to contact and has also been happy to give us further help and advice over the phone even when the job’s been completed. L. Nash”

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing

Limestone installation problems resolved in Warwickshire

Kitchen Quarry Tile Restoration in Coundon, Coventry

These Quarry tiles were in the kitchen of a house in Coundon, Coventry; the owner of the house found them hidden under a carpet and was keen to restore them. You can see from the photograph below they had been seriously neglected, covered in paint and cement and then finally carpet adhesive.

Restoring Quarry Tiles

First the quarry tiled floor was dry vacuumed to remove loose soil and particles from the surface. It was then cleaned using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acid based product useful for the removal of grout from the surface of the tile and in this case cement. The solution was worked into the tile using a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and then rinsed with water; the process had to be repeated a second time before we were happy with the result.

The next step in the cleaning process was to use a powerful industrial steam cleaner on the surface of the quarry tiles, as well as cleaning the steam had the added advantage of neutralising the floor before sealing.

Quarry Tile Sealing

The floor was now clean and the hot steam soon evaporated so it wasn’t long before we set about sealing the Quarry Tiles with four coats for Tile Doctor Seal and Go which combines stain resistance with a durable low-sheen finish.

Quarry Tiles after Restoration

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Restored in Counden, Coventry

Removing Marks from a Limestone Tiled Floor in Stourbridge

We often get called to sort out problems left behind by Tilers and this case was no exception. This Limestone tiled floor in the kitchen of a house in the historic town of Stourbridge had been sealed using a cloth and resulted in visible wipe marks being left behind in the top surface seal.

Removing the Sealer from Limestone Tiles

To resolve we had to cut back the surface using a set of twister burnishing pads, these diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours each one does a different job from scrubbing to polishing.

Limestone Floor Before Polishing Limestone Floor Before Burnishing

Polishing and Sealing the Limestone Floor

The next step was to re-seal the floor which was done using one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which really brings out the colour in a stone floor. This was followed by the application of Tile Doctor Shine Powder which is a crystallising powder that leaves a very high shine and tough durable finish.

Limestone Floor After Polishing Limestone Floor After Polish and Seal

The job took a whole day to complete and the owner was so pleased with the results she left the following comments:

Mick was very professional and so enthusiastic about his work. He was genuinely determined to the very best job and has transformed our dull lifeless limestone floor. We are delighted with the results. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he went beyond our expectations. I have booked him in for next week to clean our slate hall floor. Excellent!

Mrs Schwartz, Stourbridge


Limestone Tiled Floor Restoration in Stourbridge

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