The tiles shown in the photographs below are classic distressed Black and White Italian Marble installed in the kitchen of a property in Bamber Bridge which is South of Preston. Some of the tiles had an issue with loose grout which I suspect was due to the suspended wooden floor and a small amount of movement had resulted in the grout cracking.
Ideally more support would be needed under the floor to prevent this, in the meantime however I recommended removing the grout and replacing with a flexible grout product that could cope with the movement. The tiles also needed a clean, polish and reseal so it made sense to address the issue with the grout as part of the work.
Cleaning and Re-grouting a Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor
Working as a two-man team we started by cleaning the floor with a set of diamond burnishing pads starting with a coarse 400-grit, followed by 800 and 1500 grit. Water was used to lubricate the process and the floor was rinsed with water between pads with the fine slurry generated by the process extracted using a wet vacuum. These pads remove ingrained dirt and then slowly refine the appearance of the Marble building up its polished appearance in the process.
The next step was to rake out all the grout which as discussed was compromised and needed replacing. We had to be very careful when removing the grout due to the electric heating mat under the floor, any damage to that would require ripping the floor up. With the old grout removed and the floor cleaned the floor was then grouted using Mapei Ultra-colour which is a flexible and fully waterproof grout more than suitable for this situation.
Between us we managed to pack a lot into day one which was tough, however with the hardest tasks out of the way day two should be a lot easier.
Sealing a Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor
Day two started with an initial clean making sure to remove any excess grout smeared on the surface that can affect the look of the tile if not removed. This was followed by the application of the last of the set of burnishing pads which is a 3,000-grit pad that really brings up the polish on the marble. You only need a small amount of water sprayed onto the floor when applying this last pad so by late morning the floor was dry and ready for sealing. The customer wanted a better sheen appearance than they previously had, fortunately we find the Diamond burnishing pads do this well, they also tighten up the pores of the stone as well which means less sealer is needed.
The floor was then sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that improves colour and soaks into the stone occupying the pores and thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained. Once complete the floor looked great and the client was very happy.
Sealers and Polish do wear down with use over time so before leaving I discussed our annual maintenance plan option which will ensure the appearance of the Marble floor always looks good. The plan involves returning once a year to further polish the floor with a high-grade burnishing pad and to add more sealer if required. We also discussed the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap for regular cleaning, it is a pH neutral cleaner which is ideal for stone floors like Marble which are acid sensitive.