Apologies in advance but I’m going to start this post with a warning; there are some very strong cleaning products available in supermarkets and most of which are completely unsuitable for use on natural stone floors because they contain acid. Even weak acids used over time will erode and reduce the life of a sealer and can lead to small holes appearing in your tiles so you do need to be careful what you apply and always read the label.
The reason I mention this is I recently had a client in the village of Woodmancote with a Marble Tiled En-Suite who had sent over some photographs showing how the tiles had become marked after using Cilit Bang to clean them. Cilit Bang is a very strong product and has a great reputation for tackling tricky cleaning problems however it contains Benzenesulfonic Acid so it should not to be used on Stone. If you check the literature it does not say it can be used on stone although it does mention the product can be used on tiles and I suspect this is where the confusion comes from as I suspect it should say ceramic tiles.
Getting back to the story I informed the client that it was tricky to tell from the photographs what would be required so I offered to pop round when next in the area and take a look. We offer a free no obligation home-survey so I arranged a site inspection and after the meeting I was confident that I could repair the damage to a level that meant that that it would be barely noticeable to the naked eye.
Polishing Marble Shower Tiles
To resolve the problems I started by giving the Marble Tiles a general clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and then followed this up by burnishing the stone with a 6 inch coarse diamond burnishing pad fitted to a hand held rotary machine. After going over the damaged area with this I then used the medium, find and super fine pads to restore the surface and build up the polish in the stone.
Sealing Marble Shower Tiles
When this was complete and I was satisfied that I had done all that was possible I waited for the Marble to dry and applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a penetrating sealer that will occupy the pores in the stone and prevent dirt become ingrained there. When the sealer was dry I gave it a light buff using a small Green pad. This added to the sheen and improved the way the Marble blended in with the surrounding Marble.
It would have been impossible to get rid of the stain entirely but I’m happy to say by the time I had finished you could not notice the marks unless you looked at the area at point blank range and you knew where to look!
The pictures below are from a Victorian tiled floor installed in a period house in the coastal town Eastbourne. The tiles had been covered lino and carpet for years which the owner had only recently removed during renovation work, as it turns out this was unfortunate as they then became covered in plaster and paint from the decorators. Although the floor did look to be in a very sorry state I was very confident that I could breathe new life into it given enough time so I allowed four days to complete the task.
Cleaning a Victorian Floor Tiles
Some type of adhesive had been used to stick down the Lino and Carpet so the first step was to remove all the stubborn glue build up which I did using Tile Doctor Remove and Go, then once the bad areas had been targeted I concentrated on the plaster and paint build up which I treated using a 3-1 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean in warm water worked in with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled water was rinsed away using a wet vacuum so the floor could be checked to see if more work was required which it was so stubborn areas that had resisted the initial cleaning onslaught were spot cleaned by using a diluted mix of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is a very strong acidic product for removing grout and other mineral based substances from tiles. Before finishing the entire floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product, again a wet vacuum was used to remove the water and this time get the floor as dry as possible.
Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor
The cleaning took place over two days and then the floor was given a further two days to allow it to dry fully after which I went back and sealed it with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian tiles as it combines stain protection whilst giving the floor a subtle sheen appearance.
Looking at the floor when the last coat went on it was hard to believe the state it was in when I first arrived. Incidentally the owner who had inherited the house told me that he had not seen the floor look that good when his parents were alive as he remembered it from his childhood. It always makes the job more worthwhile when you hear stories like that.