Dealing with Stained Tile and Grout in an Edinburgh Shower Cubicle

Porcelain is a popular choice for tiles in modern homes due to its superior durability. It also makes a particularly suitable material for shower tiles because of its natural water resistance. Nonetheless, Porcelain tiles – just like any other type of tile – still require routine cleaning and maintenance to stay looking fresh and attractive.

This is especially the case for shower tiles, as they are subject to mould and scum caused by exposure to the dyes in shampoos and soaps etc which as well as staining the tiles can have a dramatic effect on the grout. Below is a photo of a Porcelain shower cubicle I was asked to restore in Edinburgh. The process for restoring these types of tiles is relatively quick and easy, providing you use the right products and methods. Here’s how I did it.

Shower Grout Before Restoration in Edinburgh

Cleaning and Sealing Porcelain Shower Cubicle Tiles

To begin refreshing this cubicle, I gave the whole area – paying particular attention to the grout lines – a scrub down using Tile Doctor Duo Clean. Duo Clean is our product of choice for the removal of the common mould and soap scum that builds up on cubicles like this one.

Next, I rinsed down the area with fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning product and then left it to dry for a short period of time. It’s difficult to get the grout lines perfectly clean, especially after years of neglect, but we can resolve the situation by simply recolouring the grout.

Shower Grout During Restoration in Edinburgh

I this case I felt the grout although cleaner from when I started did need more work so I decided to go ahead and apply a Grout Colourant. Tile Doctor has a range of Grout Colourants available in ten colours so I painted on three coats of the white colourant which really improved the look of the grout leaving it clean and fresh. Another advantage is the colourant acts as a barrier on top of the grout sealing the grout joint and protecting them from further staining. Other popular colours available in the range include Black, Cappuccino, and three shades of Grey.

Finally, I ripped and out and replaced the mouldy silicone around the base of the shower cubicle and replaced it with fresh.

Shower Grout After Restoration in Edinburgh

The client was very impressed with the speedy restoration. Before leaving the property, I explained that rinsing down the shower cubicle with fresh water after every use can help to reduce the effect of staining and leaving the door and window open after a shower improved ventilation and inhibit the growth of mould. Naturally you can always give me call if the situation gets out of hand.
 
 
Source: Shower Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Edinburgh

Restoring Damaged Marble Shower Tiles in Surrey

Marble tiles are a fantastic choice of stone for a shower cubicle because of its distinctive characteristics and quality. It can really add a luxurious feel and when used in a bathroom take it to the next level.

However, it’s extremely important to note that Marble like all natural stone is a porous and acid-sensitive material. It must therefore be cleaned with care using suitable products. This particular Marble tiled shower cubicle at a property in Leatherhead is a good example of this done wrong. The owner had used an acid-based cleaning product to clean the stone, resulting in damage to the sealer and causing unappealing streaks to form.

Marble Shower Wall Leatherhead Before Cleaning

This type of damage can appear irreparable but, with the right combination of cleaning methods and products, it can be fixed. Once the old sealer has been removed, and the tiles have been cleaned, polished and re-sealed, they can look as a good as new. Here’s how I helped this customer restore the Marble shower cubicle.

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Shower Cubicle

To begin the restoration, I scrubbed the dirty grout lines using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a highly reliable and multi-purpose alkaline-based product. I then rinsed the tiles with water to remove the traces of cleaning product.

Next, I moved on to the polishing stage of the restoration – what we often refer to as burnishing. This involved the use of small six-inch diamond-encrusted burnishing pads applied with a hand buffer and with different levels of grit – ranging from Coarse to Very Fine. I started with the Coarse grit pad and worked my way sequentially through our four-pad system, polishing the stone with Medium, Fine and eventually the Very Fine pad to really bring up the polish.

Sealing a Marble Shower Cubicle

Once the shine had returned to the Marble and the damage had been removed, I re-sealed the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a penetrating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours and patina of the stone. Once dry, I gave the tiles a final polish with a white buffing pad to put the finishing touches on the restoration.

Marble Shower Wall Leatherhead After Cleaning

The customer was thrilled with the results, saying:
“I’m really happy with the result and we will make sure we don’t use supermarket cleaners again on natural stone. Rupert was a very personable tradesman who took pride in what he was doing. He has identified Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner as being the product we should have used in the first place and has sent me the website details.”
Another satisfied customer!
 
 
Source: Marble Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Surrey

Acid-Damaged Slate Shower Tiles Restored with Burnishing in Churt

One problem we encounter a lot at Tile Doctor is damaged caused to natural stone tiles by unsuitable household cleaning products. This customer, who lives in the small West Surrey village of Churt, had done this by attempting to use Cilit Bang, which is an acidic product, to remove limescale from his fantastic Slate tiled shower cubicle. While the product may indeed remove Limescale, it does say on the label that it should not be used on natural stone.

Slate shower before cleaning Churt Slate shower before cleaning Churt

Putting these types of products in contact with acid-sensitive stone typically results in some sort of etching, however, I had never before seen the type of damage that had occurred on these Slate tiles. At first, I thought the damage – which appeared as a sort of white staining – might simply be damage to the sealer. But when I did a test clean to remove the sealer, it became clear that the stone had suffered from very deep staining and the only way to remove it would be to use a process we call burnishing.

Slate shower before cleaning Churt

Burnishing an Acid-Damaged Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle

The burnishing process is a type of polishing which involves the application of diamond burnishing pads in sequence. Each pad has a different level of grit, allowing for dirt and stains to be broken down before the stone is gradually polished. We typically use burnishing on Limestone, Marble, and Travertine, but it can be used on all manner of stone in the right circumstances. This being a vertical surface, I had to complete the process using smaller six-inch pads fitted to a handheld buffer.

I started by applying the 400 grit (Coarse) pad, and followed on through to the 800 grit (Medium) and 1500 grit (Fine) pads, using a small amount of water as lubrication. I then left the tiles to dry until the next day.

When I arrived back at the property, the customer remarked that the tiles looked massively improved. Nonetheless, I found I hadn’t removed all the staining possible, so decided to repeat the burnishing process once – but this time used the pads without any lubrication. Once I was satisfied with the results, it was time to seal the tiles.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which impregnates the stone to block ingrained dirt and staining. As the name of the product suggests, it also enhances the dark natural shades in the Slate, giving the shower cubicle a bold, healthy and rich appearance.

Slate shower after burnishing Churt Slate shower after burnishing Churt

The customer was really pleased with the end result, which can be seen in the photographs above and below. So pleased was the customer, in fact, that he asked me to quote for the restoration of his Limestone tiled patio.

Slate shower after burnishing Churt

 
 
Source: Restoring the Appearance of Black Slate Tiles in a Surrey Shower Cubicle

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