Grout Cleaning

Cleaning up Grout Haze on a new Porcelain Patio in Ely

Earlier this summer I was called out to this job in the garden of a house in the city of Ely to inspect a freshly laid porcelain tiled patio with grout haze issues. The builder who had installed the patio hadn’t removed all the grout from the textured surface of the tile before it had dried. This was probably due to the hot weather which reduces drying times and has caught many tilers out. Multiple repeat visits by the builder trying followed who spent countless hours trying to remove the grout haze, unfortunately due to the textured surface of the tile he was unable to remove it and the patio was left looking awful.

Porcelain Patio Ely Before Grout Haze Removal

Like the builder we are increasingly finding modern grouts, which although more durable, are very difficult to remove. Fortunately belonging to the Tile Doctor network, I had already been made aware of this problem and was able to offer a solution.

I arranged to pay the property a visit to demonstrate a potential solution and quote for resolving the issues. Even though the grout haze was indeed difficult to remove it wasn’t impossible if you know how. The demonstration came out well and relieved that they had finally found a solution to the problem booked me in to get the work carried out.

Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled Patio Floor

On my return I started with the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This product is ideal for removing grout haze or smears as they often referred to; however, being acidic we don’t recommend it for use on every surface so if your using it yourself do check the label first. I left it to soak in for ten minutes before being agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffer

The weather was good, so it wasn’t a problem working outside and once all the grout smears were removed, I finished off by giving the whole patio a high-pressure rinse. I use a van mounted rinse/extraction system for this that applies warm water at high pressure onto the patio to dislodge dirt and then extracts the waste into a separate tank in the vehicle. It was an expensive investment but makes light work of jobs like this.

It took around four to five cleans to complete the job, by the late afternoon the grout haze was gone, and the porcelain patio looked completely transformed. It was quite a warm day, so the patio soon dried allowing my client to use it later that day. I should mention that this variety of Porcelain tiles were not the micro porous type and therefore did not need to be sealed.

Porcelain Patio Ely After Grout Haze Removal

Relieved the problem was finally resolved and happy with the result my client left the following feedback:

Amazing service, they were able to provide us with a quote and demo before we agreed to work. We are so happy with the results we have as our patio slabs looked ruined to the eye but the Tile Doctor managed to get them looking brand new.


Professional Renovation of a Porcelain Tiled Patio in Cambridgeshire

Removing Grout from new Mosaic Swimming Pool Tiles

A tiling company were in touch last month with an urgent request to assist on a project that had just completed tiling a swimming pool at a house in Sandy which is just south of St Neots. The company had done a lovely job of tiling the pool with 60m2 of blue mosaic ceramic tiles however were having issues removing the grout that was smeared on the tiles.

Swimming Pool Before Grout Haze Removal Sandy Cambridgeshire
Grout has come on a long way in the last ten years and manufactures are producing some very durable products using modern ingredients such as a resin cement which has high water repellence characteristics. It was a product like this that had been used to grout the swimming pool however given the warm weather and the large tiling area involved it had dried quickly and set hard on the surface.

The tiling company was now struggling to remove the grout haze and naturally concerned the owner would not be impressed with the result quickly got in touch looking for a solution. We deal with these issues all the time so given the area involved and a photo of the pool I was able to provide a quote over email which was accepted, and I was booked in.

Removing Grout Haze from Mosaic Swimming Pool Tiles

My solution was to apply a product called Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which pretty much does what its name suggests. It contains concentrated phosphoric acid and a cleaning agent, a formula specifically designed to remove light grout smears (grout haze) but also effective on removing mineral deposits such as efflorescence, rust staining and hard water marks.

Working in sections the Grout Clean-up was diluted with water and sprayed onto the tile. It was left for a couple of minutes to soak into the grout smears and then worked in with a black scrubbing pad. I was able to use a floor machine for this at the bottom of the pool and smaller pads fitted to a hand buffer on the wall tiling. After agitation, the area was rinsed with water and the soil removed using our vehicle mounted extraction machine which is very effective.

Swimming Pool After Grout Haze Removal Sandy Cambridgeshire
The job took about ½ a day to complete and as you can image the tiling company was quite relieved, I had managed to resolve the problem, they even left the following feedback for me:

Left a lovely job, very happy with the finish, would definitely recommend.

Professional Removal of Grout Smears from Mosaic Swimming Pool Tiling

Renovating a Dirty Terracotta Kitchen Diner Floor in Haslingfield

A few months ago, I was asked to look at this Terracotta tiled floor that was installed in the kitchen diner of a house in Haslingfield. The client wanted to have it deep cleaned and re sealed because regular cleaning no longer had any effect and the tiles were now looking very dirty. The village of Haslingfield is only about six miles south-west of Cambridge and only a twenty-minute drive from my base in Dry Drayton.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslingfield Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslingfield

After discussing the problem floor on the phone, I arranged to visit the property, survey the floor and work out the best course of action. As you can confirm for yourself from the pictures on this page the floor was indeed looking dull and dirty and I suspected the sealer had worn down and was now allowing dirt to build-up in the pores of the tile. I carried out a test clean to show the client what the result could look like and the floor responded rather well. They were very satisfied and happy to go ahead with my quote and so we arranged a convenient time to carry out the work.

Cleaning and Restoring a Terracotta Tiled Hallway Floor

To deep clean and remove what was left of the old sealer I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this is sprayed on and left to soak in for ten minutes. Then it was scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The dirt released from the tiles was then rinsed off the floor with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. This process was repeated as needed before turning my attention to the grout lines which was hand scrubbed with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which cleans the grout and removes any excess grout.

The floor was given a second rinse and then inspected with any stubborn stains spot treated by with a repeat of the previous process. Thankfully the initial clean had been effective and there were only a couple of areas that needed further attention.

Once the deep clean was completed, the floor was left to dry off overnight and the following morning.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning in the afternoon, I tested the floor for excess moisture with the damp meter. This confirmed the tiles were dry, so I started applying a fresh sealer. I selected to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go for this as this is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish which the client wanted. Five coats were applied allowing enough time for each coat to dry before applying the next.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Sealing Haslingfield Terracotta Tiled Floor After Sealing Haslingfield

I think you will agree from the pictures there was a remarkable transformation during this restoration. Certainly, my client was very happy with the result and has since had us back to repeat the process on another Terracotta tiled floor. They also left the following comments on the Tile Doctor feedback system which is always appreciated.

Tom did a great job bringing back depth and tone to our very dirty Terracotta kitchen tiles. Very happy with the results.


Professional Renovation of a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Cambridge

Terracotta Effect Porcelain Tile & Grout Deep Cleaned in Ely

We were called out to this property in Ely to carry out a deep clean on kitchen tiles that had the look of terracotta but were actually porcelain. The client had been cleaning the floor with household floor cleaner which really wasn’t working, and the grout had now turned black with ingrained dirt. If you have never been then Ely is well worth a visit, it’s a small but beautiful city on the West side of Cambridgeshire with a stunning ancient Cathedral which attracts visitors from outside the area.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Ely Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Ely

My client had dogs and with the kitchen tile and grout not having had a deep clean for several years it was now overdue a clean. We popped round to do a site visit to survey the floor and tested a small area with different products to see what would work best. The results looked good, and we agreed a price to carry the work and arranged a suitable time to complete the work.

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Effect Porcelain Tiles in Ely

We began by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor and then worked it in with a stiff brush fitted to a rotary floor machine. The brush was run over the tiles and especially the grout lines where the recessed grout can be tricky to reach. Pro-Clean is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner that safe to use on Tile and Grout and works best when left to dwell for a short time so it can digest and breakdown the dirt.

This cleaning solution soon turned black with the dirt that was released from the tile and grout, so the next task was to extract it from the floor. For this we have a special extraction machine that applies hot water under high pressure to the floor and then extracts the soil back to a recovery tank on the van. This machine keeps the mess made to the absolute minimum whilst ensuring a thorough result.

The combination of the two processes had a remarkable effect on the tile and the grout which by now was looking much cleaner and lighter.

Grout Sealing a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Ely

If these tiles were Terracotta then I the next step would be seal them once dry, however being made from nonporous Porcelain they won’t accept a sealer. The grout however has a porous cementitious top layer which attracts dirt so to keep the grout looking its best I set about speed drying it with air movers so it could be sealed.

Once dry I sealed the grout using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that will soak into the pores of the grout and protect it from within. Any excess was removed afterwards from the surface with a red buffing pad fitted to a buffing machine.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Ely Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Ely

As you can see from the pictures the floor looked much cleaner and fresher and with the grout now properly sealed it should no longer attract the dirt.

My Client gave us a 5 Star review with this feedback which we are always very grateful for.

“The tiles look great at present. It remains to be seen if the sealer that was applied really does make them repel stains. Tony P, Ely”


Professional Restoration of a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cambridgeshire

Large Limestone Floor Polished to a Deep Lustre in Boxworth

I was asked to visit a house in Boxworth Cambridge to survey a large Limestone tiled kitchen, dining room, utility and hallway. The customer was not happy with the finish of the tiles and wanted it to have more lustre. Additionally, the floor had suffered some damage in the dining room where the floor had been scratched by table and chair legs.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Boxworth is a small village of around 100 houses, this property being one of the larger ones. The village lies around eight miles to the north west of Cambridge. I examined the floor and discussed with the client the process we would use. Although not looking their best, I could see that the Limestone tiles contained a variety of natural colour shades which with the right treatment could be made to really come to life. I presented a quote which they were happy to accept.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

My first job was the protect all the surrounding areas from splashing during the cleaning process. To do this I removed the kickboards from underneath some of the kitchen units, elsewhere was covered with a blue protective film.

To start the cleaning, I first applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and then worked it in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. I also scrubbed the grout by hand as the pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout line. After rinsing the floor with water, the soiled solution was then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

I followed up this process with the application of a set of Diamond burnishing pads starting with the coarse 400-grit pad, then medium 800-grit pad, fine 1500-grit pad and finishing with the extra fine 3000-grit pad. The pads are fitted to a rotary floor buffer and are run over each tile using water for lubrication. All the slurry produced by the cleaning pads is removed away using our truck mounted hot water extraction machine to cause minimum mess to the client.

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I would return the next day to finish the polishing process.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

On the following day, we checked the floor was completely dry and then using a white buffing pad ground Tile Doctor Shine Powder into the Limestone floor. The powder builds up a deep and durable polish on the tiles leaving a deep and resilient lustre.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

To further protect the stone and enhance the natural colours in the Limestone a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer were applied followed by a light buff with a red pad. The sealant is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and intensifying the natural colours in the stone.

When finished the floor looked great. We had managed to remove the scratches from the dining area and the floor now had the lustre that the client had been hoping for.

The client was extremely happy with the outcome and gave the following feedback:

“Quoted very quickly, carried out the work quickly and efficiently with no fuss.”

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge


Professional Restoration of a Limestone Flooring in Cambridgeshire

Limestone Tiled Floor Cleaned and Polished in Cambridge

These photographs are from a Limestone tiled floor installed at a residence in Cambridge. The tiles were in good condition but the shine on the Limestone had worn off leaving them looking dull and the owner wanted them re-polishing.

Polishing Limestone Tiles in Cambridge During Cleaning Polishing Limestone Tiles in Cambridge During Cleaning

Stripping and Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

To restore the shine on polished stone we use a set of four diamond encrusted pads however before starting we gave the floor tiles a general clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mainly to clean-up the grout but also to remove any loose surface grit. The cleaning solution was rinsed away and removed with a wet vacuum before starting the burnishing process using a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad and a little water. The coarse pad strips off dirt and old sealers from the tile and the resulting slurry is then removed using a wet vacuum.

The next pad after coarse is a medium grit which you apply in the same way followed by the fine pad again with a little water until the floor is polished. The final step to bring up the polish on the Limestone is to apply the last “Very Fine” pad which is fitted to the rotary machine and run over the floor tiles until they are buffed to a nice shine.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry we set about sealing it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone filling them so dirt can’t penetrate below the surface. As well as offering excellent protection Colour Grow lifts the colours in the stone enhancing it’s natural beauty. Once sealing was complete and dry the Limestone tiles were given a final buff with a soft white pad.

Polishing Limestone Tiles in Cambridge After Cleaning Polishing Limestone Tiles in Cambridge After Cleaning


Large Format Limestone Tiles Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Cambridge


Cambridge Tile Doctor

Scroll to top