Stained Slate Bathroom Tiles Renovated in South London


This customer from Bermondsey SE16, was having a new shower tray fitted after discovering a leak. He wanted to know if his Green Slate tiles could be spruced up rather than having to pay out for new tiles and the tiling. The property was a basement flat in a warehouse conversion and with only one bathroom in the property a full bathroom rip out would have been very inconvenient.

Slate Bathroom Tile Before Refurbishment Bermondsey

The main issue with the tiling which included the wall and floor was they had a lot of white marks on them. My client thought it was limescale, but he couldn’t remove the staining and hence contacted Tile Doctor. After taking a look at the Slate I informed him that the White marks were in fact what was left of an old topical sealer! It seems over years it had broken down and water had penetrated it turning it white.

Slate Bathroom Tile Before Refurbishment Bermondsey Slate Bathroom Tile Before Refurbishment Bermondsey

Removing White Stains from a Green Slate Tiled Bathroom

To begin I applied Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover to the walls and floors, this is a heavy build up remover (HBU) used to remove stains and waxes. The product is quite thick which helps it stick to walls without running off. Its essential to give it a long dwell time so it can get to work breaking down the old sealer. In this case I left it for 45 minutes before scrubbing it into the tile.

Before rinsing I also applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go on top of the Nanotech as this is multi-purpose coatings stripper which removes old sealers. The Nanotech had softened and started to break up the old sealer, and I was using Remove & Go to get into the old sealer and lift it off completely, which it did.

I used a wet vacuum to pick up the soiled solution and then I a steam cleaner to rinse the tiles. I use steam for two reasons, firstly as I want to seal the tiles on the same day rinsing this way doesn’t soak the tiles. Secondly any remaining old sealer gets lifted out by the steam.

Slate Bathroom Tile During Refurbishment Bermondsey

Sealing Green Slate Bathroom Tiles

Later that day the Slate tile was dry and ready for sealing. I first applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that penetrates the pores of the Slate and protects from within. The sealer is applied with a cloth and worked into the stone, wiping off the excess and then leaving to dry for 30 minutes.

Once dry I then applied a coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil, again this enhances the colour, but being an oil also improves the mechanical strength of the stone. This was left to dry, for another 30 minutes plus before applying another coat of Colour Grow. I always finish with a sealer as this helps to lock-in the oil.

Slate Bathroom Tile After Refurbishment Bermondsey

My customer was very happy with the results and relieved to avoid the expense and inconvenience of having to retile the bathroom. Thankfully that is no longer the case, and the Slate has become a real feature of the bathroom.

Slate Bathroom Tile After Refurbishment Bermondsey Slate Bathroom Tile After Refurbishment Bermondsey

For aftercare of shower tiles, especially stone I recommend regularly spraying on a product called Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which is a mild cleaner designed for use where the tiling has been sealed. A lot of tile cleaning products you find are simply too strong for use on sealed surfaces and can slowly erode the sealer over time.


Source: South London Bathroom Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service