Limescale and Mould Removed from Limestone Wet Room in Reading, Berkshire

This enquiry came from a theatre buff at a house in Sonning Eye near Reading who regularly hosted cast members playing at the local Mill Theatre. Five years prior he had a Limestone tiled wet room installed and unfortunately the floor tiles were laid unevenly and the fall on the tiles didn’t allow the water to drain off efficiently. The water would therefore tend to pool in the centre and overtime heavy limescale built-up and mould had also started to appear.

Limestone Shower Before Renovation Sonning Eye

Cast members staying at his house although grateful of the hospitality had often mention the state of the unsightly shower and so we were asked to pop round and see what could be done to renovate it and restore its appearance.

Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning

The first task was to remove the mould that had ingrained the Limestone, to do this I used Tile Doctor Duo Clean and scrubbed it into the tile with assistance from a steamer. I repeated this action three times, after each time I could see a visible improvement in the affected area and once it had lightened to a very faint grey, I knew that the next cleaning process to burnish the stone would see it disappear completely so left it at that.

Limestone Shower During Renovation Sonning Eye Limestone Shower During Steam Cleaning Sonning Eye

Next job was to remove the limescale build-up and re polish the Limestone tiles. I found the best way to do this was with a small hand-held machine, this allowed me to get into all the edges and groves that would have been impossible with a larger machine which would have struggled to cope with the uneven tiles.

Limestone Shower During Polishing Sonning Eye

I started with a 400-grit burnishing pad, but this struggled to cut into the years limescale build-up, so I switched this for 100-grit soft milling pad which did the trick. Once all the limescale had been removed it was time to rebuild the polish on the surface of the stone, so the process was repeated working through finer and finer burnishing pads 200, 400, 800,1500 and finally 3000-grit until the appearance of the Limestone was restored. This is quite a time-consuming process as the pad are quite small, additionally each pad is applied with water to provide lubrication which turns into a slurry that has to be rinsed off before applying the next pad. The result however is worth at as it really restores the polished appearance of the Limestone.
The last part of the cleaning process was to give the grout a quick clean I did this by scrubbing in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a grout brush, again rinsing off the slurry afterwards. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaner that’s safe to use on natural stone.

Sealing Limestone Tiles in a Wet Room

The final task was to seal the Limestone and replace the worn mastic/silicon sealant around the edges. Usually I would leave the stone to dry out overnight but as it was a small area, I was able to thoroughly dry it out using a heat gun. Once dry two good coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal were applied to provide on-going protection. Ultra-Seal is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the small pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained, also it doesn’t change the colour of the stone in any way leaving a very natural appearance.

Last step before finishing was to apply a fresh application of white mastic sealant along the edges of the tiling to ensure a good seal and no leaks.

Limestone Shower After Renovation Sonning Eye

My customer was over the moon with the result as initially he thought he might have to have it replaced. He was so pleased in fact that he left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Excellent prompt and courteous service from Dennis who I cannot recommend too highly. After completion of the work a previously very tired looking wet-room looked better than it did when new.”

Limestone Shower After Renovation Sonning Eye

 

Source: Stone Shower Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Sonning-Eye

Restoring Water Stained Porcelain Shower Tiles

Photographs below of a Porcelain tiled shower that had been installed at a house in Cheshunt the year before. The tiles were actually dark grey textured porcelain tile but hard water in the area had left very noticeable water stains and limescale deposits that were proving hard to remove with general cleaning.

Stained Black Porcelain Shower Tile Cheshunt Before Cleaning

Hardwater is basically water with a high mineral content which are historically recognised as being good for you, however it’s not so good for the bathroom where the minerals are left behind when the water evaporates.

On the initial visit to survey the tiles we ran a test clean on a small area to ensure we could return the tile back to its as new condition. All went well, and the customer booked us in to return later to complete the work.

Removing Limescale from Porcelain Shower Tiles

Work began by giving the shower tiles an initial clean with Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which was worked into grout lines with detail brushes and a burnishing pad for the tile surface. This process removed all the Limescale and water marks.

A second clean was then carried out with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean which is a fast-effective double action cleaning solution that can remove mould and blackspots from grout and silicone. The solution was sprayed on the shower room floor and walls and left to soak in before being worked in with a stiff brush.

Stained Black Porcelain Shower Tile Cheshunt During Cleaning

The shower tiles were then rinsed with a steam cleaner to remove any trace of product and then buff the tiles with a hand-held white buffing pad to bring up their appearance.

To give it a neat waterproof finish we stripped out the old silicone sealant from around the base of the shower and replaced with new mould resistant silicone.

The shower took a whole day to complete but I think you will agree has been transformed by the process.

Stained Black Porcelain Shower Tile Cheshunt After Cleaning

Reducing the Impact of Hard Water

To minimise the impact of hard water some shower units will keep the shower running at a gradually decreasing temperature immediately after use. This has the effect of rinsing off the deposits before evaporation has chance to occur. Personally, we recommended you spray the shower tiles with Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro after use, this product is a bathroom tile cleaner that is ideal for the regular cleaning of all types of internal porcelain/ceramic bathroom/wet room tiles. Apply by lightly spraying a dilution of the cleaner and wipe over then water rinse and dry buff to finish.
 
 
Source: Porcelain Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Hertfordshire

Restoring the Shine on Marble Shower Tiles Ruined by Limescale Remover

We were recently received an enquiry from a customer in Ealing, East London who was concerned about their Marble Tiled Shower which had been damaged from the use of Viakal Limescale Remover. Unfortunately, this is a very common problem and we often receive calls from customers with similar issues. Limescale removal products such as Viakal and Cillit Bang are very effective but like any acidic product, they are very harmful to natural stone such as Limestone and Marble. With any cleaning product you should really read the label before use and in this case you will find they state the product should not be used on natural stone.

The Viakal had etched the surface of the Marble in several places where it had been applied and although the damage looked really bad I was happy to inform my customer there is a solution and that I could indeed restore the appearance of the stone.

Damaged Marble Shower Wall Before Restoration Ealing Damaged Marble Shower Wall Before Restoration Ealing

Polishing Damaged Marble Shower Tiles

My first task was to give the Marble tile and grout a good clean and remove any sealer and soap scum etc; to do this I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a small black scrubbing pad fitted to a hand-held machine. The Marble tiles were then rinsed with water to remove the soil generated by the cleaning process.

To fully restore the appearance of the Marble the next step required the application of coarse burnishing pads applied in sequence from very coarse to very fine using six-inch pads fitter to a handheld buffer. It’s a process that takes the polish off the stone and rebuilds it. A little water is needed to help lubricate with the coarser pads and the tiles are rinsed off between each one to remove any slurry generated during the process.

To achieve a very high shine the Marble tiles were then treated to an application of Tile Doctor Shine Powder which involves buffing crystallising polishing powder into the stone to build a deep durable finish

Sealing Marble Shower Tiles

The last step was to seal the Marble tile and grout to protect it going forward. Before sealing we needed to make sure that the tiles are dry and a damp meter is a very useful tool for this. A single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone whilst enhancing the natural colours in the Marble in the process.

Damaged Marble Shower Wall After Restoration Ealing Damaged Marble Shower Wall After Restoration Ealing

The work took three days in total but as you can see from the photographs on this page it was well worth the effort and the white streaky damage caused by the Viakal has now been removed and the stone has been transformed. My customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback.

I had serious acid etchings from spraying Viakal on my marble shower box and basin. Didi and his partner did a good job of polishing out the majority of the acid etchings. It was a 3 day job for them, and over all I was happy with the result and service.
Edward T, London

 
 
Source: Marble Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Ealing, London

Polishing Limestone Shower Tiles

This was an unusual problem; a customer contacted us regarding their Marble shower room at a house in Marlborough where the customer had sprayed Viakal Limescale remover onto the Marble tiles to clean them which unfortunately etched the surface. I’ve downloaded the MSDS sheet from the Inernet for this product and can verify it contains a combination of Etidronic, Formic and Phosphoric acids so not a very safe product to use on Marble or any sealed stone surface.

Marble Shower Wall Tiles Marlborough Before Cleaning

Cleaning Marble Wall Tiles

To remove the etching the Marble tiles were burnished using a 6inch coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad fixed to a hand held rotary machine and lubricated with a spray bottle of water to help keep tiles wet. Burnishing pads come in a set of four from Coarse, Medium, Fine and Super Fine so once we had removed the etching using the coarse pad we then applied the next pads in turn which re-polish the area back to its original shine. Between pads we rinsed the tiles down to remove any soiled water away; after the final super fine pad was applied the shower tiles were given a thorough rinse down ready for sealing.

Sealing the Marble Wall Tiles

The wall was wiped down and left to dry overnight and we returned the next day to seal the Marble tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will protect the tile against water marking and staining from toiletries. I explained to the customer that the best way to protect the sealer was to simply use the shower head to rinse the walls every time you shower; Tile Doctor also sell an everyday cleaning product for use with showers called Aqua-Pro which is a mild alkaline cleaner that can remove body fats and stains from shampoo and soap products etc.

Marble Shower Wall Tiles Marlborough After Cleaning
Burnishing the Marble tiles resolved the problem so all is well however if you have a natural stone or sealed tiled surface in your house be warned and always read the label of cleaning products before you use them; if in any doubt do give Tile Doctor a call we are always ready to advise.
 
 
Source: Professional Shower Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning and maintenance services in Wiltshire

Marble Tiled Wet Room in Great Bricett, Suffolk

Details below of a wet room lined with 10m2 of Marble in old cottage on the outskirts of the medieval village of Great Bricett in the heart of Suffolk. You can see from the photographs staining of the Marble Tiled wall and floor which was left in a mess after a friend of the family had tried to remove the limescale during a visit.

Marble Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Marble Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Sealing Marble Tile

The Marble tiles were cleaned and polished using a set of mini Twister burnishing pads. The pads are encrusted in diamonds are brilliant at restoring hard stone surfaces such as Marble. You start with the red pad to remove the existing sealer followed by the white and yellow pads to clean and hone the stone. The wall and floor tiles were then rinsed with water to clean and neutralise the floor ready for sealing.

The room had under floor heating which helped to dry out the tile and so it was soon possible to use the final green pad to polish the tiles and move onto sealing. To seal we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying breathable sealer that enhances colour as well as providing durable surface protection, a one litre bottle of sealer was sufficient.

Thanks to the under floor heating we managed to complete the job in a single day and as you can see from the final set of photographs below the stains have been removed and the tiles restored to their original appearance.

Marble Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Marble Shower Cubicle After Cleaning

 
Source: Limescale removed from Marble Tiled Shower in Suffolk