Grout Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Grout carried out in South East Wales

Cleaning and Renovating Grout

The top layer of grout is porous and can absorb grease, dirt and limescale. Spillages such as wine, lemonades or greasy substances will cause marks and patches in the joints in the floor. Grout between wall-tiles particularly in damp areas like bathrooms will become dirty and unattractive as a result of Mould, Mildew and Limescale.

Mould is one of the most unsightly problems, which usually starts off in the wettest area of the room, this could be the bottom of the shower or bath, then starts to spread and if left unchecked could cover a large area of the wall.

Another common issue we find is a problem known as Grout Haze or Grout Smearing where a thin layer of grout has been left to set on the surface of the tile. Once grout has set it is difficult to remove.

Discolouration of grout joints in bath or shower areas due to continued use of acid formulated shampoos and soaps. This causes yellow orange and pink stains to the grout over even a short period of time. Whilst Grout Joints can be cleaned, badly stained grout may need to be re-coloured.

Protecting your grout in advance with a sealer will prevent most of these issues and although relatively unknown in the UK, protection awareness is growing. Sealing forms an invisible barrier between the grout and the surface, this will then protect your investment for years to come.

We have solutions for all the problems listed above and below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past to resolve many of these issues. It should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Terracotta Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed Cardiff

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Cardiff

This Terracotta tiled floor was installed at a property in Cardiff around twenty years ago. It hadn’t been professional cleaned since installation and in that time any sealer that was once present had worn off and dirt had built up in the pores of the tile. Terracotta works very well in a Kitchen but you do need to maintain the sealer otherwise the tiles will start to absorb dirt which is very difficult to remove with standard equipment.

Terracotta Flooring Before Cleaning Cardiff

After speaking to the owner on the phone we arranged a time for me to pop over, survey the floor and test clean the tile and grout to work out the best method for cleaning it. The test went very well and proved the floor could be restored to an almost new condition, impressed with the result I was booked in to complete the job.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Cardiff

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The test clean I conducted earlier enabled me to work out which Tile Doctor products had worked best to bring the floor back to life. With this in mind I was able to start work with a clear plan which in this case involved applying a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, Nanotech HBU and Tile Doctor Remove and Go. These are all tile cleaning products and have different properties. HBU for instance stands for Heavy Build-Up and is good for handling a large amount of dirt and Remove and Go is a stripper that can remove paint stains and old sealers.

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Cardiff

This mixture was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about fifteen minutes before being scrubbed into the floor. Scrubbing started with the grout which was done manually with a hand-held scrubbing brush. This was followed up with a Black Scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer.

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Cardiff Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Cardiff

Once done the floor was rinsed with water and the soiling extracted using a wet vacuum. The Terracotta tile and grout was then inspected and the whole process repeated multiple times until I was satisfied all the ingrained dirt was gone and the floor was as clean as it possibly could be.

The next step would be to seal the floor but it would need it to be dry first. The trouble with Terracotta however is it’s a porous material and retains water during the cleaning process. So, to assist with drying a fan was placed on the floor after I finished the cleaning of a section.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

I returned the next morning and tested the tiles with a damp meter to ensure the tiles were dry before applying the sealer. All was well, so I started with the application of the first coat Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer that works well on clay tiles and adds a lovely sheen finish to the floor. Due to the porous nature of Terracotta, it took eight coats of Seal and Go before it was completely sealed.

Terracotta Floor During Sealing Cardiff

The clean and new sealer really lifted the appearance of the kitchen much to the delight of my customer who was very happy with their new floor. For aftercare cleaning I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a mild but effective cleaning product designed for use on sealed tiles.

It’s also worth knowing that the life of a sealer greatly depends on what you use to clean it as most tile cleaning products you find in a supermarket are only designed for use on Ceramic or Vinyl flooring and are simply too strong for use on a sealed tile (always read the label!).

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Sealing Cardiff Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Sealing Cardiff


Professional Cleaning of a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Cheshire

Travertine Floor Tile Cleaned Sealed Cardiff South Wales

Travertine Floor Tile Refresh in Cardiff

I actually laid this Travertine floor in Cardiff myself back in 2010 and since then it has experienced a lot of wear and tear. The floor was installed throughout the kitchen and adjacent diner which are some of the busiest rooms in the house, also the client owned dogs which spent a lot of time in the kitchen.

Travertine Floor Before Renovation Cardiff

Deciding it was high time for a refresh the client got in touch to have me return and to discuss some other tiling work they required. During my visit to look at the other work I could visibly see how much this floor needed a thorough renovation. Before starting work I suggested that I carry out a test clean on one tile to show what could be achieved. The demonstration worked well, and the client was delighted to see what could be achieved. This also helped me work out which cleaning products and methods would work best.

Travertine Floor Test Clean Cardiff

The property was close to the buzzing city of Cardiff, thankfully there was on site parking, which can be a bit of a problem when we work this near to the city. Over the years I have invested in a heavy rotary machine and vacuum extractor which give a better clean and makes the work more efficient.

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor

Focusing on the grout I started to clean the floor with a handheld scrubbing brush and a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor Nano HBU tile cleaner which is also a stripper that helps to remove the old sealers and grease. These two combinations were worked into the tiles with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Following that the floor was thoroughly rinsed with clean water and the soiling extracted with a wet vacuum.

Travertine Floor During Renovation Cardiff Travertine Floor During Renovation Cardiff

I was then able to see where the work had been effective on the travertine and grout and was able to identify stubborn areas and spot treat them by hand. Whilst doing this manually takes a little longer it is well worth the effort to achieve the best finish. Once I was satisfied the floor was left to dry overnight for the sealer to be applied.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor

Returning the following morning, I used the damp meter to test that the floor was dry, the floor was then ready for me to apply the sealer. The choice of sealer for this floor was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is also a colour enhancing impregnator. It soaks into the pores of the tiles rather than sitting on the surface.

Two coats of the sealer were applied, waiting for the first coat to dry before applying the next. Knowing they have two large dogs this sealer is usually my preferred choice as it is a very hard-wearing product.

Travertine Floor After Renovation Cardiff

Once complete the floor looked great, and the client was very happy with the work we carried out. We recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is pH neutral and will ensure they can maintain the floor moving forward.

Travertine Floor After Renovation Cardiff


Professional Renovation of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in South Wales

Fossil Sandstone Floor Clean Seal Newport

Deep Cleaning a Fossil Sandstone Tile Kitchen Floor in Newport

The Fossil Sandstone floor pictured was installed in the kitchen of a property in Newport South Wales. The grout was originally a matching Sandstone colour, but it had been some time since the installation and now the stone and the grout had darkened with wear and ingrained dirt. The Sandstone itself was really grubby and the unique and beautiful fossils imprinted in the stone were barely recognisable.

Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Renovation

Unhappy with the appearance of their stone floor and aware of our reputation from a friend, the owner got in touch to see what could be done and to get a quote for renovating the floor. I arranged to visit and conduct a survey and could immediately see that the protective sealer had long since worn off and not the stone was very dirty with ingrained dirt ruining its appearance.

Before creating a quote, I conducted a couple of cleaning tests on a small inconspicuous section of stone and grout to work out the best method and products to restore its appearance. Once I had worked out the best approach, I provided a quote for the renovation, and they agreed to go ahead.

Cleaning a Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I had found the most effective method for cleaning this floor was to start by applying a combination of Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Cleaner with the same amount of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up which pretty much described the problem I was facing here however both products and versatile stone and grout cleaning products. The solution was applied to 2 square meters of floor at a time and given a light scrub with a handheld scrubbing brush paying specific attention to the grout.

Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tiles During Cleaning

The solution was left to soak into the floor for about five minutes and then with clean warm water added to the surface by a sponge from a bucket and then agitated with the scrubbing brush. It took quite a while as we were working on a small area at a time. But by working methodically it wasn’t long before it was completed.

Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tiles During Renovation

The grout joints were also scrubbed in the same way as the stone. As we cleaned the controlled areas the waste dirt was then vacuumed up. We then rinsed twice with fresh clean water, vacuuming the liquid waste away so as not to let the dirty water soak back into the tile. Afterwards the floor was inspected, and the process repeated until I was satisfied it was as clean as possible. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tiles During Cleaning

Sealing a Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On my return the sandstone tiles were tested for moisture using a damp meter. I wanted to ensure that it was dry enough to apply a sealer and I don’t recommend applying a sealer to a damp floor as the new seal won’t cure and I’d probably get a call back.

The preferred sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnator that soaks into the pores of the stone to create a durable barrier that will prevent future staining and to make maintenance easier. Several coats were applied, allowing each one to dry before applying the next.

The clients were not home during the work being carried out as they went on a short break.
On their return they had a lovely surprise to see their floor looking in tip top condition.
They left a glowing feedback report to Tile Doctor stating their delight with the result. Another happy client!

Sandstone Floor Renovation Feedback Newport

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a final picture of the finished floor for this post however I did leave them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner for aftercare cleaning.


Professional Cleaning of a Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor in South Wales

Verde Limestone Kitchen Floor Renovated Cardiff

Vomit Damaged Verde Limestone Floor Renovated Following Drunken Party in Cardiff

The young gentleman who owned this property in Cardiff was distressed about his new Verde Limestone kitchen floor. He explained to me that he recently had a party at the house and one of his friends drunk too much and vomited over the stone floor. Easy enough to clean up you would think, however in a rush to clean up the mess he slipped banged his head on the corner of the worktop and ending up bleeding onto the sick.

Vomit Stained Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Cardiff

Thankfully his friend was ok. but unfortunately, the acid from the stomach, had caused the surface of the Limestone to be etched quite considerably and now appeared to show permanent wipe marks across some of the floor. Thankfully I advised that we could repolish the surface of the stone to rectify the problem, and this would soon have his floor looking good as new again. The 12mm Verde Limestone tiles have a lovely green shade and set the newly fitted kitchen off a treat. We agreed a price for the work, and I booked the job in soon after.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

To restore the appearance of the floor it needed to be burnished with a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted pads which resurface the tile and rebuild the polish. I started with an abrasive 400-grit pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine worked into the Limestone using only water to lubricate the process. The floor is then rinsed with water to remove the soil which is then extracted with a wet vacuum. This process is repeated using an 800 , 1500 and finally a 3000-grit until the surface of the floor was restored with a high polish.

Vomit Stained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Renovation Cardiff

The grout was then cleaned with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a versatile cleaning solution ideal for grout cleaning. It’s diluted with water and then left to soak into the grout line for a short while before being scrubbed in. After scrubbing the waste is rinsed off with water and extracted with the wet vacuum.

The floor was left to dry overnight with assistance from a floor flan so it would be nice and dry for sealing the following day. By the end of the first day the stain was gone, and the Limestone looked so much better, much to the relief of my client.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next morning, I took a few moisture readings from the tile to make sure it was dry and ready for sealing. The readings were fine, so I set about applying Tile Doctor Stone Oil to the stone. This product soaks into the pores of the stone restoring the natural oils to the stone and enhance the strong dark green colour of the Verde Limestone.

Vomit Stained Verde Limestone Kitchen Floor During Sealing Cardiff

The Limestone needed to be dry before continuing with the last stage of sealing so stone oil was left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to finish off. People may get the impression from reading this that I am a little over cautious, but I’ve learned from experience that applying a sealer to a damp floor is not a good idea.

So the next day I returned to seal the tiles and for this floor I used three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is impregnating sealer that protects from within whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone. The combination of the Stone Oil and Colour Grow add long lasting protection to the stone whilst improving its appearance.

Vomit Stained Verde Limestone Kitchen Floor After Renovation Cardiff

The gentleman in question was over the moon with the result as he left the following glowing feedback for me; I understand he is not planning any more parties any time soon!

We are absolutely delighted with Julian’s work! Our limestone kitchen floor was very damaged and we were worried that the damage would be irreparable – Julian diamond polished and resealed the floor and it looks like new. He was an absolute pleasure and the quality of the work was amazing. I will definitely be getting in touch to help preserve the floor in the future. Thank you!

Vomit Stained Verde Limestone Kitchen Floor After Renovation Cardiff


Professional Restoration of a Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor in South East Wales

Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

Sandstone Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned in Cardiff

This Sandstone tiled floor with Limestone coloured grout in Cardiff was laid in 2006 and had now discoloured with wear and tear and had almost turned black in places which I suspect was due to no sealer being applied after installation.

I carried out a cleaning sample using Tile Doctor HBU Remover, which is a strong cleaning solution, applied it to one tile in the utility room and the dirt lifted off with remarkable results; I then dried the tile with a heat gun to show the customer the results which she was happy with.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning Sandstone Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Floor

For the rest of the floor I started by wetting the surface and carried on treating it with more HBU remover diluted 50% with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which made it thinner and more effective for deep cleaning. Using a stiff sweeping brush with bristles about half inch long (well broken in for this type of job) I then scrubbed away at the tiles and then the grout joints using a small hand held scrubbing brush which I always find is more effective than a machine which can make a lot of mess and can be overly aggressive. I cleaned the tiles in 5m2 sections rinsing each section four times to ensure there were no trace of cleaning solutions left behind. When finished the floor was left to dry for two to four hours and I tested for moisture knowing it would be ok but always worth checking.

Sealing a Sandstone Floor Sealing

I sealed the Sandstone with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating and colour enhancing product which will protect the floor for many years to come.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing
I tested the floor with a water test to ensure it was fully sealed, this is a simple test whereby you check to see if drops of water applied to the surface form beads on the tile. The end result was incredible as you can see the tiles looked as good if not better than the day they were cut from the quarry, and the Colour Grow certainly enhanced the true colours in the stone.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing


Sandstone Tiled floor cleaned and Sealed in South Wales


South East Wales Tile Doctor

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