Leaking Bath Mastic Replaced and Tile Renovated in Harrogate

I couldn’t believe the state of the mastic sealant that had been applied to this bathtub at a house in the North Yorkshire Spa town of Harrogate. As you can see from the pictures, it was a mess. There were at least three layers of white silicon mastic sealant then a layer of clear silicone had been applied with a spatula then some grout on top of that! I feared the worst.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate Before

It was the result of a succession of bodge jobs that didn’t work and continued to let water leak down to the room below where it had left brown stains on the ceiling. The client had unfortunately tried to get it patched up but had just made the problem worse. The problem needed to be resolved properly so the ceiling below could dry out, be repaired and then re-painted.

Had the problem been dealt with immediately the damage would not have been so bad. By the time the water shows itself on the ceiling the leak has probably already been there for some time. The bathroom itself was in good condition but the mastic sealant was really letting it down. I discussed with the client what needed to be done and we agreed a price for the work and returned the following week.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate Before

Cleaning/Repairing Bathroom Tiles

I first washed the Ceramic wall tile and grout surrounding the bath with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to remove staining from the usual combination of dirt, grime, body oil, and soap scum. Being in gel form, this product sticks well to vertical surfaces where its best left for five to ten minutes before scrubbing in so it can get to work breaking down the dirt. I then rinsed the wall tiles with water and re-treated any stubborn stains with a repeat of the process until all the tile and grout was clean.

Once happy with the tile and grout I began to strip off the layers of silicone mastic. This is a slow process by hand, with care not the damage the tiles or the bath. After 4 hours it was all off. The final layer of white silicon was jet black, so had come away from the bath a long time ago. It is essential to have a nice clean surface to apply new silicon to ensure the best result. Adding layer upon layer will not solve the underlying problem.

Once l completely removed all traces of silicone l ran a heat gun over gap for about half an hour to remove the moisture. If any moisture had been left the new sealant wouldn’t adhere to the bath and tile properly causing it to peel off later and we would be back to square one.

The last step of the renovation was to fill the bath with water before applying a fresh thin bead of white silicone sealant. Applying mastic well takes a lot of practice to get a nice smooth finish but having carried out numerous bathroom and kitchen refurbs over the years it’s a skill I’ve manage to acquire. Once the fresh mastic was dry the water was emptied from the bath, this technique ensures the silicone is positioned correctly.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate After

As you can see from the pictures there was quite a remarkable transformation. The client was speechless, the difference to the overall look of the bathroom was astounding. It would no longer be a chore for them to use the bathroom. Now they just need to allow the downstairs ceiling to dry out so they can redecorate.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate After

Glazed Ceramic tiles are easy to clean however Grout can be a problem due to its cementous nature which traps dirt therefore I recommend protecting the grout with grout sealer which forms an invisible barrier over the grout and makes it easier to wash clean. For aftercare you can’t go wrong with Tile Doctor Aqua Pro which is designed for cleaning shower tile where the grout has been sealed.

 

Professional Restoration of a Bathroom Tiles in North West Yorkshire

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Smoke Damaged Shower Cubicle Renovation in Ayr

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Below are a few photos of a smoke damaged shower cubicle where we were asked by an insurance company to restore the tiles following a house fire in the town of Ayr. Just south of Prestwick airport on the South West Coast of Scotland, Ayr is built along the river of the same name and dates all the way back to 1205.

You can see from the photograph below that the tiles how bad that smoke damage was. When we arrived work had already started to strip out the electric shower and screen removing a strip of tiles in the process. It was also clear that someone had also attempted to clean the ceramic tile and grout but had given up after realising how much work was needed.

Smoke Damanged Shower Tiles Before Restoration Ayr

Cleaning Smoke Damaged Tile and Grout

We had to give the tile and grout several deep cleans using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was sprayed on, left to dwell for a while and then scrubbed in by hand. On reflection Oxy-Gel might have been a better product for the job as it has the same active ingredients but comes in a gel form which allows it to stick to vertical surfaces resulting in longer dwell times.

We managed to successfully remove all the smoke and soot from the surface of the tile and grout with this process. However although the grout was now clean I could see it was going to need more work if it was going to pass muster.

Smoke Damanged Shower Tiles During Restoration Ayr

Grout Colouring

To overcome the grout issue I decided to colour it with a White grout colourant; this was a perfect time to apply the colourant as the Pro-Clean had prepared the grout joints and would make a good bond with the colourant. I used three coats of white grout colourant in the end, each one applied by hand with a small brush. The colourant is basically painted on top of the existing grout and any excess wiped off the adjacent tile before it dries. It’s an epoxy based formula that becomes a long-lasting barrier protecting the grout and making it much easier to clean.

Following this I cleaned the tiles down again, this time with Neutral Tile Cleaner and then turned my attention to the stained silicone sealant around the base of the shower tray which was cut out and replaced with fresh new white silicone.

I gave the shower tray a clean as well and the final result was a very fresh looking shower cubicle which will soon back in action once the other trades finish their installations.

Smoke Damanged Shower Tiles After Restoration Ayr
 
 

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Restored Following Fire in Ayrshire

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Removing Limescale from Polished Black Marble floor tiles in a Baldock Bathroom

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This customer in Baldock, North Hertfordshire has a beautiful Black Marble bathroom floor which unfortunately was far from looking its best due to a build-up Limescale. Normally this can be removed with an acidic cleaning product however Marble like all natural stones is acid sensitive would be damaged in the process.

Black Polished Marble Bathroom Floor in Baldock Before Limescale Removal

The only way to remove the Limescale would be to polish it off using a set of diamond pads which would also restore a high shine finish to the Marble floor tiles.

Removing Limescale from Polished Black Marble

The first step before starting the process was to cover the threshold edges, skirting’s and doors with tape to protect it from splashing etc. Next we used a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is an alkaline tile and grout cleaner with hand brushes to clean-up the thin gout lines and remove any grit from the floor.

The floor was then rinsed with fresh water to remove the now soiled cleaning product and also steam cleaned to neutralise floor. The water was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum.

Honing Black Marble to Restore Polish

To bring back the natural shine we honed the floor using a series of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads. Firstly, I applied a Coarse 400 grit pad to strip away what remained of the old sealer and Limescale, rinsing the floor afterwards. I then applied the Medium 800 grit and Fine 1500 grit pad to gradually close the pores of the stone which, in turn, restores the polished effect. Again each pad is used in combination with a small amount of water and any excess moisture is removed with a wet vacuum. The final 3,000 grit pad brings up a really deep shine and is applied with small amounts of water sprayed onto the tile.

Sealing Polished Black Marble Tiles

After drying the floor the Marble tiles were sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t alter the appearance of the stone and protects it from staining by occupying the pores in the stone.

The last step was to buff the Marble tiles with a white buffing pad.

Black Polished Marble Bathroom Floor in Baldock After

The floor now looks fantastic and you can really see your reflection in the shine of the black Marble tiles.
 
 

Limescale Removed from Polished Black Marble Floor in Baldock

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