My client had rented their property in Bayswater out while they were working abroad for a year or so; on their return they discovered the tenants had not looked after it properly and had allowed lots of limescale to build up on the Slate shower tiles. The staining was so bad It was putting them off using the shower and they were very disappointed that the tenants had not taken more care.
London is a hard water area which basically means the water contains a high level of calcium and magnesium which is results in limescale deposits. Thankfully Tile Doctor has several solutions for this problem including the use of acidic cleaning products. You do have to be careful with these however as some types of stone can be etched by these making the problem worse.
I made an initial visit to work out the best approach to resolve the Limescale and provided a written quote to do the work. The quote was accepted and a date arranged to carry out the work.
Removing Limescale from Slate Shower Tiles
The first step in the renovation was to decant a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go into a spray bottle and spray it onto the shower wall. Combining the product with air makes it stick better to vertical surfaces where it can dwell and break down old sealers and general dirt. This was worked into the tile using a stiff brush and then rinsed off.
Next Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied to the tiles and worked in with a stiff brush to remove the ingrained limescale. Gel products are ideal for cleaning wall tiles as they stick to the tiles easily. Once done the slurry was rinsed off again.
At this point the stone was looking clean and free of limescale and old sealers but was still looking very unappealing. To bring back the appearance of the slate it needed resurfacing with a set of coarse diamond pads. To do this I started with the application of a very coarse 6-inch 100-grit pad fitted to a handheld buffer and lubricated with water. After rinsing away the slurry that had been generated, I changed pads to the 200-grit and repeated the process, finally moving onto a 400-grit pad. One last rinse and the tiles were left to dry out.
Sealing Slate Shower Tiles
Once the tiles were all dried out, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal. This is a breathable impregnating sealer that soaks into the stone and being oil based adds colour and improves appearance. It’s a good idea to seal Slate used in a shower as it adds water repellency and stain protection. One coat revived the colour of the tiles, in this instance a second coat was not needed, but if applied it would have added a subtle sheen finish.
There was a lot of work to do, however, I managed to complete the whole area in a single but very long day. Once completed however the slate tiles looked transformed so it was well worth the effort. Certainly, my client was very happy with the work we had completed and now felt happy to use the shower again!
For aftercare cleaning it’s important not to use strong chemical cleaning products on sealed stone as they will strip off the sealer. So, I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro for cleaning. This tile cleaning product is pH neutral so mild enough to use every day which will help keep the limescale and grime at bay. It has a pleasant fragrance and with a trigger spray it is easy to use for both all the family and indeed the new tenants if they go down this route again.