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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Bleach-Damaged Jura Limestone Tiles Restored in Harrogate


Jura Limestone is is a high-quality stone mined in quarries in the Bavaria region of Germany. It is perhaps the best-known stone mined in the country, and it is in strong demand throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

It’s not difficult to see why – this Limestone has some fantastic aesthetic qualities while also being durable and hard. This makes it a popular material for floor tiles in residential properties. I recently encountered a wonderful coffee-coloured Jura Limestone tiled floor at a property in Beckwithshaw, a small village of around 400 people near Harrogate. Harrogate is well known as one of Britain’s best-known spa towns, and attracts many tourists each year to visit its baths.

Unfortunately, the property owner had accidentally spilt a bottle of bleach over some of the tiles. Exposure to the bleach had caused unsightly white marks to appear on the stone and, upon seeing the floor in person, I noticed that the tiles had, in any case, not been polished correctly. They had, however, been sealed with many coatings of satin sealer which would need to be removed to facilitate the polishing of the floor.

Large Jura Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate

The floor was 150m2 and it would have been quite expensive to strip the whole floor of sealer and start again so I decided the best thing to do would be to spot treat the damaged areas.

Polishing Damaged Jura Limestone Tiles

To remove the stains, I needed to use a system we have developed at Tile Doctor, which is known as burnishing. This is a style of stone polishing that involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads. Each pad in the system has its own level of grit and is applied in sequence from coarse to fine in order to re-hone the finish on the stone.

To start I used two small handheld diamond blocks (the 200 grit and 400 grit) to carefully take off the old sealer in the affected areas. This would not be enough to remove the stains on the stone, so I followed this up with the application of the Tile Doctor burnishing system which consists of four 6-inch pads of different grits fitted to a handheld buffer.

This involved starting with the Coarse 400 grit pad and then moving on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally the Very Fine 3000 grit pad to achieve a refined polished finish.

The process of burnishing removed not only the white marks, but also the very top layer of stone which had suffered from pitting. Pitting is a natural form of corrosion that causes small holes to appear in Limestone, encouraging dirt and general muck to become ingrained.

Finally, the floor was rinsed and then left to dry and buffed a last time using a soft white pad. I don’t think my photographs really show the difference that well however I can tell you the result was far better than the customer had hoped for. I had managed to successfully blend the new polished finish on the affected tiles with the satin sealer which already existed across the rest of the floor.

Large Jura Limestone Floor After Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate Large Jura Limestone Floor After Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate


Professional Restoration of a Damaged Jura Limestone Tiled Floor in Harrogate


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