The home owner of this house in Stockbridge had become increasingly unhappy with the state of their ceramic tiled floor and we were asked to come in and give the ceramic tile and grout a thorough deep clean.
Cleaning and Preparing the Tile and Grout
To get the tile and grout clean I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in to the surface dirt for a while before scrubbing it with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and also a stiff hand brush along the grout lines. This was then washed down with warm water all of which was removed by a wet Vacuum. This cleaning process was repeated until the tiles were clean and the grout was a good as I could get it. Unfortunately the grout had stained quite badly and we were unable to get a good uniform appearance so it was agreed that we would applying a white Grout Colourant.
Applying Grout Colourant
The grout colourant range sold by Tile Doctor are a huge improvement on those grout pens you will find in DIY stores, they come in a range of colours and form a hard wearing epoxy barrier over the existing grout that looks natural and effectively protects the grout from further staining.
The grout needs to be clean and dry before you apply it so if you’re doing this from scratch make sure you clean the grout first with Pro-Clean or the Pre-Treater product that is available. The grout colourant is then easily applied using a toothbrush, it sounds easy but you have to be very methodical. The colourant dries in about an hour after which it’s worth double checking your work and then removing any excess by applying a little water and running over it with a white pad.
I think you will agree from the photographs the tiles look much cleaner and the change in grout colour makes the floor look that much fresher, it will also be a lot easier to maintain going forward.
You can see from the photograph below how dirty these Black Chinese Slate tiles and grout had become; the old sealer protecting the tile and grout from stains had virtually vanished because the customer in Basingstoke had been using washing up liquid to clean them. Generally speaking washing up liquid is a degreaser with a slight Acidic PH and over time it can strip the sealer off. This was definitely the root cause of problem in this case in fact the sealer was virtually non existent. In a way this made our job easier as we have to remove any sealer before we can start cleaning.
Cleaning Chinese Black Slate
The first job we did was to work on the grout lines using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which we left to dwell on the grout first before working it in with a special stiff brush. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner which unlike acidic products is safe to use on all types of stone. To remove the remaining sealer and clean the slate floor we used Pro-Clean again this time worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.
The soiled liquids were removed and the floor rinsed down with clean water, we find a wet Vacuum machine comes in very handy at this point as there great for removing liquids from floors. We repeated this process a number of times until we were happy the slate tile and grout were thoroughly clean.
Sealing Chinese Black Slate
The slate floor was left to dry overnight and we came back the next day to seal it. The floor has to be dry for this process so we use a damp meter to make sure and we keep an industrial air blower in the van that we can use in case we need to speed things up. To seal the black slate we applied five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a great stain protector recommended for slate floors that leaves a nice low sheen on the floor.
Last but not least we advised the customer that going forward they should use a PH neutral cleaning product for regular cleaning and recommended the use Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner going forward.