I received a call regarding a Black Marble tiled shower that the customer thought he would clean himself and ended up unfortunately making worse. Black Marble adds a very opulent and elegant look to a bathroom, and I suspect this particular variety with the white veins is known as “Negro Marquina” which comes from the Basque region of Spain. I did a quick price check on-line and these tiles are priced around £60 each!
If you look closely at the before picture you can see the Marble has lost its shine and has a cloudy appearance. This was due to the use of an acid based cleaner. Thame and Oxford lie in a hard water area, so we often find customers seek to remove Limescale deposits off tile using household products such as Vikal or Cillit Bang. The trouble with these products is they are acidic, and marble is acid sensitive so is easily marked and damaged by their use. You should always read the label before using any cleaner to check if its safe to use on natural stone.
The client was desperate to get the shower room looking how it should when he had selected this beautiful stone.
Cleaning a Marble Tiled Shower
To rectify the problem and restore the polished appearance of the marble I burnished the stone using a small 6 inch 200-grit diamond pad attached to a handheld buffer. This coarse pad cuts back the stone surface to remove the etching, I then used a 400-grit pad which removed the fine scratches made by the first pad. This was followed up with an 800-grit pad which starts the honing process which restores the polished appearance. Water is used to lubricate the process and the tiles are rinsed with water after each stage to remove the fine slurry that is generated.
This is further followed by 1500 and 3000 grit pads the last pad is applied dry with only a little bit of water and leaves the tiles dry and ready for the next stage.
Polishing a Marble Tiled Shower
To further build the polish and protect the stone I applied Tile Doctor Shine Powder buffed in with a white pad. This was applied to the marble wall tiles and then rinsed with water and wiped dry with a clean cloth. When the tiles were fully dry, I buffed the tiles with a clean white pad to show the final polished finish. The tiles looked much improved and very shiny.
The job was completed in a day and the customer was much relieved that I was able to restore the appearance of the marble. I suggested that he should use Tile Doctor Aqua Pro as his tile cleaner of choice in future. This is pH neutral so will not damage the tiles like the acidic products he had used previously, and it should help him keep the shower room looking sparkling and opulent as initially intended!
This shower cubicle at a house in the historic market town of Abingdon on Thames was tiled with Travertine which with use had become grubby and the grout darkened. The properties in the road were of a similar age and many bathrooms had been upgraded in recent years to make them more modern. This one was no different having been fitted a few years prior.
Travertine is a natural stone material that has unique features and colouring that no other stone can offer. The distinctive design and natural patterns found within Travertine make it very popular choice in bathrooms, where it gives a luxury hotel style feel. It does however need to be maintained if you want it keep that luxury appearance and unfortunately due to the English climate and a general lack of adequate ventilation its quite common for them to attract mould and become stained with dyes from soaps and shampoos. The good news is we have a number of tools and products that we can use to restore their appearance, so they look like a new installation.
Deep Cleaning Travertine Shower Tiles
The main problem was the grout which was badly discoloured. To tackle this the Travertine and grout was sprayed with Tile Doctor Duo Clean and then scrubbed in with a hand brush to remove the mould and ground in dirt from the grout, I then rinsed with water. Duo Clean is a fast and effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. It cleans up grout and can also remove mould and blackspot from the grout and silicone and it is versatile as it suitable for use on plastic and enamel baths and showers and will not cause any damage to them.
To restore the appearance of the stone I set about re-honing the Travertine tiles using six-inch diamond burnishing pads fitted to a hand buffer. The pads are applied in sequence starting with 400-grit, moving onto 800-grit and finishing with 1500-grit. Applied with water which acts as a lubricant, the process deep cleans and tightens the pores in the stone to improve overall appearance. The tiles are rinsed with water after each pad is applied to remove the soil that is generated.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Shower Room
Another issue was the silicone strip between the wall tiles and the shower tray which was looking very mouldy and black. Using a sharp knife this was removed and replaced with fresh white mould resistant silicone.
Once the shower area was dry the Travertine wall tile and grout were then sealed with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This adds a preventative barrier over the tile and grout allowing water to easily run down the wall, it also improved the appearance of the stone and enhanced the natural brown colours in the Travertine. The customer was very happy with the shower room, it looked much more inviting and they were surprised that I had managed to restore it to the way it looked when it was originally installed.