Following many years promoting products from other suppliers and in conjunction with feedback from our customers we are now pleased to announce we have finally launched our own range of Grout Colourants which are available in ten practical colours.
We work very closely with our network of professional Tile Doctors and this new development will allow us to further develop the product range, this feedback loop is key component of Tile Doctors success.
(Colours are displayed as accurately as possible. Some colours may not represent exact grout colour, they may also appear differently on computer monitors with different resolutions).
For more information about the range or to order please visit our Tile Doctor Grout Colourant page.
Although we do get a lot of residential work we also cover commercial properties such as this local bowling complex in Slough where complaints of a bad odour in the male toilets had been received. The owner of the bowling complex realised the problem was coming from the slate tiled floor and decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to identify and eliminate the odour.
Upon closer inspection, it was identified that the unsealed slate floor in the toilets had been contaminated by urine ingress. Urine ingress is a common problem for people who have small animals like cats or dogs as household pets, but it also quite often affects public toilets.
Urine ingress occurs because urine, after leaving the body as an acid, becomes a white alkali crystal salt as it dries. Using normal detergents (including bleaches) for cleaning will actually add to both the odour and the problem overall since they are alkaline-based cleaners. At the same time, neglecting to clean can also be damaging, as urine in its initial acidic form will start to eat away at the sealer if not removed quickly.
Cleaning Slate Tiles
Our first action was to use Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a tile and stone friendly stripper, which we applied liberally to the toilet floor. This particular solution is highly effective at removing protective sealers, whilst also drawing out ingrained stains and removing any heavy grease build-up. The solution was allowed to sit for a short period of about ten minutes. It is important not to leave the product to dwell on the surface for too long in case it dries completely. Next, we added a small amount of water to the Remove & Go, before employing a heavy weighted rotary with a nylon brush to carefully scrub the slate and grout lines.
After the soils and sealers had been successfully removed, the next task at hand was to neutralise the bad odour caused by urine ingress. This was achieved using a mild mix of the phosphoric acid-based detergent Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which was able to neutralise the alkali crystal salts back to a neutral state. The floor was then scrubbed again, before being thoroughly rinsed with plenty of fresh water.
Sealing a Slate Floor
As the bowling complex experiences high volumes of customers on a daily basis, it was essential to use a sealer which would provide the floor with durable protection. We advised our client that an impregnating sealer rather than a topical sealer would be the most suitable for use in this type of environment and recommended a combination of Tile Doctor Stone Oil and Ultra-Seal (suitable for use on all natural stone, including slate) be used instead.
We left the floor to dry overnight before applying the Stone Oil. Stone oil reconditions the Slate tile and enhances the colours within the stone. The product then needed a further period of time to dry before we applied two coats of Ultra-Seal impregnating sealer to the stone.
Why did we use an impregnation sealer instead of a topical sealer?
Impregnation sealers, such as Ultra-Seal and Colour Grow, are absorbed by the pores in the stone, offering both stain and soil resistance, and providing protection from within. In addition, they are usually solvent-based, and provide durable protection even in areas which experience high traffic. By comparison, topical sealers will essentially build up layers on top of the stone in order to offer protection. The downside to using this is that, in high traffic areas, the sealer can be effectively ‘kicked’ or walked off the surface of the stone.
You’ll notice in some of the photos that the grout appears to be a different colour after cleaning. That’s because the grout had been repaired by the bowling complex prior to our work on the floor. This mistake has been realised, however, as they have matched the grout in with the dirty discolouration, rather than the clean so addressing this issue will be another job on their list!
In summary I’m happy to report we were able to effectively clean the slate floor and eliminate the bad odour caused by urine ingress in the process; then due to the busy nature of the bowling complex a combination of sealing products were applied to the stone to provide long-lasting protection.
Overall, our client was left with a cleaner and more durable slate floor.
Recently, I was asked to do some Tile Doctoring at Palmeira Square, in the seaside city of Brighton and Hove, to restore the Victorian tiled floor of one of the downstairs offices. Palmeira Square is a residential area which was first developed in the mid-19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria, so many of the buildings feature some fantastic original Victorian tile floors. Although there are many large terraced houses and even mansions in the area, some of the buildings have been converted into offices for commercial use. My client, who leased the downstairs office, managed to persuade the other tenants to employ professional help to restore the tiles, and so I was asked to come in to clean and seal the floor to get it back to looking its best.
Cleaning a Victorian tile floor
With Palmeira Square being quite a lively area, I made sure to fence off the front door area from the wandering public. My first job was to apply Tile Doctor Remove & Go to the floor, a heavy duty stripper, multi-purpose stripper that was able to remove the stubborn marks, stains and ingrained dirt on and between the tiles. In particular, Remove & Go helped to remove some rust stains I found near the door hinges.
I left the product to sit and work its magic for twenty minutes, and during this time I began cleaning the floor using a buffing pad, which is suitable for use on all types of floor (except polished stone), and a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with water. The combination of a buffing pad and Pro-Clean helped to remove the general dirt and grime that had built up over time in this high traffic area of the office. After the cleaning was complete, the black tiles appeared grey because any remaining sealer had been removed. However, the colour would return after resealing the tiles, which was my next job.
Sealing a Victorian tile floor
I returned to the office after two days to seal the Victorian tile floor. To do this, I needed to use Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which meant I had to ask the office workers to keep off the floor for most of the day. This is because I needed to apply six coats of Seal & Go to the floor, and each coat takes roughly fourty minutes to dry. Seal & Go provides a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which will help keep this floor looking great for a long time, even with a high traffic of workers coming in and out of the office.
Luckily, it was a warm day outside, and the floor dried quickly, leaving a shiny, deep black surface. Both my client and I were very happy with the result. The client was also pleasantly surprised to see that I had been able to remove the rust stains near the door.
Photographs below from a Mini-Market in Lewes where high foot traffic was taking its toll on the Ceramic tiled floor which was now is need a dramatic deep clean.
Shop Floor Cleaning
As the shop is open from 6am-11pm I had to work through the night. I started by applying a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to shift the muck, this was left to soak in for a while before being scrubbed into the floor using a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and stiff brush along the grout lines. The floor was then rinsed with warm water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. I had to repeat the process in stubborn areas but as you can see from the pictures the result was incredible, just look at the pictures!
Ceramic tiles are glazed so do not need sealing and as there is no sealer the floor can now be maintain using a regular floor cleaning product. Hopefully they can keep on top of the cleaning however it is a busy floor with hundreds of people walking on it every day so if they do struggle we are always happy to do a regular maintenance clean for them.