A client from Bury, north of Manchester, contacted us to have their Slate tiled floor stripped and sealed and have the grout replaced. They were finding it difficult to keep clean and were mainly concerned about the grout which they described as awful.
As per usual practice I went over to survey the floor and work out a price for doing the work. After running some tests, I realised that the tiles were actually Porcelain which are manufactured to imitate Slate and therefore far easier to maintain. I recommended a deep clean of the tile and grout followed by the application of a grout colourant to restore the appearance. I completed a test clean on part of the floor which they were very happy with and they agreed to my quote. We booked the work in to be completed later in the month.
Cleaning/Repairing a Slate effect Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor
First, I prepared the area and taped up the plinths and skirting to protect them. I then cleaned the floor using Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is sprayed onto the tile and grout and then scrubbed in with the aid of a rotary floor machine fitted with a scrub brush. The slurry was then extracted off the floor by rinsing with water and extracting with a wet vacuum.
The next step was to apply Tile Doctor Grout Colourant Pre-Treater to the grout lines and scrub it in. This product is slightly acidic so as well as cleaning it also etches the grout to provide a better bond with the colourant. It was left to get to work on the grout for a few minutes and then was scrubbed in with a stiff narrow brush. I used a steamer and a wet vacuum to get the grout as clean as it could be and then left it to dry for a short time.
With the tile and grout as clean as it could be, I inspected the floor and could see areas where the grout was still stained and others where it was crumbling. Only the application of a grout colourant would give the consistent appearance desired by the customer. First though I needed to tackle the crumbling grout by scrapping out the old grout and replacing with new.
Sealing a Slate effect Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor
I needed the fresh grout to dry out, so I left the floor overnight and came back the next day to complete the grout colouring for which I used one bottle of Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in Limestone wiping off any excess as I went. As the floor tiles were in fact Porcelain there was no need to apply a sealer so once the colourant had dried the job was complete.
Once finished the floor looked great, it was now clear that it has been the grout that had brought down the overall appearance of the floor.
My customer was very happy with their new floor and even left me a bottle of wine! I left then with some Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, used regularly it will ensure the appearance of the floor is maintained and the grout is protected.