I’m often asked if you should seal a tile before grouting and the answer is a definite yes, and this Encaustic Cement tiled bathroom floor installation in Stockport is a great example as to why. The tiles had not been sealed before grouting and then, once the tiler went to grout the newly installed tiles with a grey grout, the colour ran into the tiles, staining them and leaving them looking grubby and dirty. Had the tiles been sealed it would of made the process of removing the grout from the surface of the tile much easier.
If you haven’t come across them before Encaustic cement tiles are often hand painted and are available in a range of beautifully artistic patterns, so it was a real shame that these tiles were allowed to be spoilt by an avoidable mistake. As you can imagine, the property owner was keen to have the tiles professionally restored, and she contacted me to get the job done. I took some photographs but I’m not sure that they do justice to the problem.
Burnishing and Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles
Rather than use a liquid cleaning product, I opted to use diamond encrusted handheld burnishing pads to remove the grout stains. Our burnishing system comprises four pads of varying grits. I started with the Coarse grit burnishing pads applying to the tiles it with a small amount of water as lubricant to grind down the grubby marks. Following this I worked my way through the system, applying Medium, Fine and Very Fine pads to gradually restore the appearance of the floor. Once the burnishing process has been completed I rinsed the tiles and then accelerated the drying process using a heat gun to prepare them to be sealed.
Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles
Removing any excess moisture before sealing is essential as even a small amount can cloud the sealer and prevent it from properly protecting the tiles from dirt and stains. Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I proceeded to seal it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. As an impregnating sealer Colour Grow penetrates deep into the pores of the stone to fill them and thus prevent dirt from becoming ingrained. Colour Grow’s colour intensifying properties also really accentuated the patterns of the Encaustic Cement tiles.
Now that these fantastic tiles have been properly sealed it will be far easier for the customer to keep them clean in future. Needless to say, she was very happy with the result. We recommend topping up your sealer on a regular basis to ensure problems like those which occurred here do not damage the appearance of your tiles.
Professional Tile Burnishing, Cleaning and Sealing for an Encaustic Cement Tiles Bathroom Floor Restoration in Stockport
As you can see from these photographs we don’t just clean and seal stone floors we can also rectify problems with wall tiles as well. In this case our customer had a problem with Travertine installed in a shower at a house in Stockport which had not been sealed following installation. Travertine is porous and over time the tiles had becomes stained with the dyes and soap scum, mould had also managed to get a grip in the pores of the travertine.
How to Clean a Travertine Shower
To get the Travertine back to its original condition it was necessary to use a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a set of six inch Burnishing pads, each one serves a different function from scrubbing to polishing, the buffing pads are applied with water and restore the shine on the surface of the tile. The Tile Doctor Pro-Clean also came in handy to clean the Grout, its best applied with a spay attachment so it can mix with air allowing it to dwell on the tile before being scrubbed with a stiff brush and washed down. The whole Travertine Shower tile was washed down with water and left to dry before sealing. Last step was to remove and replace the silicone seal at the bottom of the tray using mildew-resistant Mapei Mapeisil Silcone in Jasmine in order to match the grout.
How to seal Travertine Shower
Once the shower was dry we sealed the Travertine using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which brings out the natural colours in the stone as well as providing surface protection. The sealer will wear off over time so it will be necessary to reapply it from time to time however it will prevent the problems from re-occurring. The transformation was quite remarkable and the customer was extremely happy with the results.
The owner of this modern bungalow in Stockport requested that we visit and rejuvenate the Travertine tiled floor installed in their kitchen. Stone floors do loose their appearance over time and so if you want to keep them looking good it makes sense to call us in every few years to give them a face lift.
Cleaning Travertine Tiles
For the best results hard stone tiles such as Travertine and Marble etc. need to be polished with a set of Burnishing pads however before you start that process it’s necessary to remove any surface dirt from the floor first, this will ensure any grit that could get trapped in the burnishing pads and scratch the floor is removed first. With this in mind we washed the floor using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this was also a good opportunity to get a stiff brush into the grout lines and give them a good scrub. We washed the floor down with clean water using a wet vacuum to remove the water from the floor before moving onto the next step.
Polishing and Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles
We polished the floor using a set of 17” Burnishing pads fitted to our weighted polishing machine; the pads are diamond encrusted and you start with the coarser Red pad designed to remove sealers before moving on to the White, Yellow and finally Green polishing pad to achieve a high shine finish.
The last step was to seal the floor which we did using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is colour intensifying sealer that will provide on-going durable surface protection as well as enhancing the natural colours in the Travertine tile.
The kitchen wasn’t a large area and the Travertine dried quite quickly so we managed to clean, polish and seal the floor in the same day.
Cleaning Travertine Tiled Kitchen floor in Stockport