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

Badly Stained and Mouldy Marble Shower a Cubicle Transformed in Beddau

Tiled shower cubicles can very easily become tired and grubby looking without the right care. The shampoos and soaps we use in our everyday lives can have long lasting damage if their effects are not sufficiently dealt with, with grout mould being a very common problem for property owners in the UK where we have a cold climate that encourages us to seal up our homes limiting natural ventilation.

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles Before Cleaning in Beddau

At this property in the small village of Beddau, near Cardiff, my customer had a particularly poorly maintained Marble tiled shower cubicle suffering from bad staining. Since Marble is an acid-sensitive stone it is especially vulnerable to damage when exposed to even slightly acidic shower products. The grout was also in a bad way, having turned from a pleasant off white colour to black. The entire area was now well overdue from some attention from the Tile Doctor.

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles Before Cleaning in Beddau

Cleaning a Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle

To begin the restoration of these tiles I had to remove any old sealer. I did this by applying a combination of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a versatile cleaner, stripper and degreaser, and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, which is a more powerful product designed for the removal of heavy soil buildup.

As the old sealer came away, I left the two products to soak into the tiles to lift out the stains and ingrained dirt caused by the Marble’s exposure to shampoo and soaps. This really helped to alleviate the grubby appearance previously held by the tiles.

As previously mentioned, the grout lines were also in a really bad state. Undeterred, I attempted for three hours to clean the grout lines with unsatisfactory results, and so resolved instead to remove the old grout entirely and re-grout with a new Jasmine coloured grout throughout the bathroom. I did consider simply recolouring the grout with one of our Grout Colourants but, as an experienced tiler, I felt for me it would quicker and easier to achieve the required results by re-grouting.

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles During Cleaning in Beddau

Sealing a Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle

After leaving the grout and tiles to dry overnight following the cleaning and regrouping, I returned to the property to seal the area. To do this I opted to use two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, our solvent-based impregnating sealer which fills the pores of the stone to act as a barrier against trapped dirt and stains, and to prevent further contamination.

As a colour intensifying sealer it really emphasised the natural shades in the Marble. Colour Grow can achieve similar results on other types of unpolished stone, including Limestone, Flagstones, Quarry, Sandstone and Slate.

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles After Cleaning in Beddau

I added the finishing touches to the restoration by removing all the mouldy silicone and replaced it with new silicone. Though this wasn’t the easiest of jobs, the final result is one of which I am particularly proud. It certainly pleased the customer!

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles After Cleaning in Beddau

 
 
Source: Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle Professionally Refinished in South Wales

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