Bathroom Shower Cubicle Deep Cleaned in Millom


We were asked to look at a renovating a bathroom shower at a house at the The Green, near Millom which was rather useful as it is a short distance from my own home. Millom is a small town in South West Cumbria that actually dates to 1251 when it was given a market charter by King Henry III.

Given the location it wasn’t long before I was able to pop round and review the shower installation. It was clear that the shower needed some Tile Doctor TLC, with mould being a major issue in the silicone seal and grout near the base of the shower.

Bathroom Shower Cubicle Before Renovation Millom

Mould thrives in warm damp environments such as shower cubicles and the problem can usually be traced to a lack of adequate ventilation. Improving the ventilation should resolve the problem permanently however if that’s not possible it can be controlled by regular use of products such as Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro shower cleaner or Tile Doctor Duo Clean which is a double action mould and grout cleaner. Other steps you can take include leaving the door open after a shower to improve cross ventilation and rinsing the shower down with cold water after a shower.

After reviewing the installation, we agreed on a price and I returned a few days later to carry out the work.

Cleaning Ceramic Bathroom Tile and Grout

On return the first thing we did was thoroughly clean the tile and grout using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, our high performance alkaline cleaner and de-greaser in gel form making light work of cleaning vertical tiled surfaces. The gel was scrubbed into all tile and grout surfaces and left to dwell for five minutes then thoroughly rinsed down with water. This process was repeated until we were happy with the result.

The next stage was to remove the mould riddled silicon and small areas of damaged grout at the base of the shower unit. This took some time to achieve as the silicon was in a very poor state. Once all traces of the silicone were removed we cleaned the area with more Oxy-Gel and carefully rinsed all the residues to stop us having any problems when re-applying new silicone.

Bathroom Shower Cubicle During Renovation Millom

The shower tray was cleaned of debris and a heat gun was used to completely dry all areas.

Replacing Shower Grout and Silicone Sealant

Finally, with the mould removed it was clear that a few areas of grout were crumbling and needed replacing. The old grout was raked out and a new batch of mould resistant grout was prepared and applied. Whilst that was drying I also replaced the silicone sealant between the shower tray and tile using a mould resistant silicone.

Bathroom Shower Cubicle After Renovation Millom

We asked the customer to not use the shower for at least 24 hours and as can be seen in the photographs the shower appearance was vastly improved. The customer is very pleased commenting that “it looks like new”.

Bathroom Shower Cubicle After Renovation Millom
 
 

Professional Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning in Cumbria



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Original Victorian Hallway with Loose Tiles Restored in Kendal


A customer who lives in Kendal recently called us out to examine their Victorian tiled hallway which when walked upon, sounded like it was a making a crunching noise. This may seem like an odd phenomenon, but it can be reasonably easily explained. These tiles, being made of Victorian-style encaustic cement, are very hard-wearing. However, the cement screed upon which they were laid had lost its bond with the tiles and the tiles were now loose.

Most other types of tile would crack under the pressure of being walked upon, but since Victorian tiles are quite small and hard-wearing, they don’t seem to suffer this problem. Instead, they just make this crunching noise when walked upon.

So, what would we need to do to resolve the situation? In theory, it should be the simple matter of taking up the loose tiles and relaying them. Yet this takes a lot of preparation, including removing the old cement from the back and sides of the individual tiles and then smoothening the floor so that the tiles can be re-laid flat. This is easier said than done with a floor of this age.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Being Relaid in Kendal

Repairing and Cleaning Loose Victorian Tiles

We began the restoration by lifting the loose tiles, cleaning the old cement off and then re-laying them using a suitable tile adhesive. Once the adhesive had set, we grouted the tiles with a grout that matched the original.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Being Relaid and Grouted in Kendal

The floor was left to set overnight, and we returned to the property the next day. The floor was checked and then we carried out a full deep clean of tiles using Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our go-to cleaning product for tile, stone and grout. The product, which is alkaline-based, was worked into the tiles using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

In some of the harder to reach areas and corners of the room – those which the buffing rotary machine struggles to reach – we used diamond-encrusted handheld blocks to grind away the stubborn dirt and stains.

The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the tiles with water and extracted using a wet vacuum to get the as much moisture off the tiles as possible.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

After the cleaning process was complete, we left the floor for another few days to dry off completely. A suitable drying period is especially important for Victorian tiles, since most of these old properties do not have a damp proof membrane installed.

We then returned to seal the tiles with several coats of a breathable, impregnating sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow that not only protects it also enhances the natural colours in the tile. Now, much to the customer’s pleasure the tiles are fully functional again with there’s no crunching noise when you walk on them. They also look amazing as well.

You will see in the photos below the level of work that goes into a job like this but, as this is an original Victorian floor, a restoration will add great value to the house upon re-sale.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Full Restoration in Kendal
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Loose Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cumbria



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Stone Effect Pre-Cast Concrete Kitchen Flooring Deep Cleaned in Arnside


The stone floor in these pictures are in fact pre-cast concrete tiles created to emulate Limestone flagstones laid in a Kitchen in Arnside. You can’t beat the natural beauty of Limestone but these concrete tiles do give the Kitchen that rustic look the customer sought. The odd thing is, it’s actually less expensive to buy real Limestone these days as Pre-cast concrete is not a cheap product.

Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside

Unfortunately, in this case, the concrete had been smeared with Ivory Grout during installation and the tiler had failed to remove it after grouting and this had dulled the look of the tile. The customer was led to believe by the Tiler that the off-white colour was indeed part of the stone and had put up with it for several years before we were called out.

Cleaning a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor

First of all we conducted a test clean to make sure our usual cleaning system would work as well on pre-cast concrete. I was aware that this type of product has a colour dye added to it which does seem to lose colour over the years and also can lose quite a bit of this dye once we start cleaning with strong chemical’s. Not wanting to risk any depreciation in the colouring I opted instead for the application of a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing pads. The pads are encrusted with industrial Diamonds and come in different grits from coarse to fine and I found that not only did the process remove a lot of the of White grout haze left by the tiler but also gave us a good start to the cleaning process without losing any more of the colour Dye.

The customer has specified they were keen for the floor to have more of a sheen finish, so we finished the cleaning with the rest of the Diamond pads finally ending on the super fine pad. We had to do some edging work where the circular pads could not reach but apart from that the pre-cast concrete responded well to this treatment as you will see on the before and after pictures.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

The next day we called back to seal the Kitchen floor to protect it from staining, something that is more than likely in a Kitchen. For this we used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which not only protects by soaking into the pores of the tile but also restores a lot of the colour that had previously been lost.

Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside

For aftercare I explained to the customer that sealers do wear off over time and so to get maximum life out of the sealer they should clean the floor with a pH Neutral Cleaner like Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner. It’s designed for cleaning sealed tiled floors and it won’t affect the colour dye or the Sealer we have applied unlike stronger products will eat away at the sealer over time. Additionally, pre-cast concrete like Limestone is Acid Sensitive and as such products like certain types of the Cillit-Bang range cannot be used on a floor like this as it will cause surface damage.
 
 

Restoration of a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor in South Cumbria



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