Renovating a Limescale Stained Slate Shower in Oxshott, West-Surrey

In the south east of England, we suffer from hard water which as many of you have experienced can calcify on our showers leaving white limescale staining. Without fitting a water softener this limescale causes a problem around the home, particularly when the tiles are dark.

A good example of this problem was this large dark grey slate tiled shower at a house in Oxshott where the limescale had completely ruined the look of the black slate. The problem was most evident on the slate tiles on the floor but had also stained the slate split face slate tiles on the shower wall.

Slate Tiled Bathroom Before Renovation Oxshot

Oxshott is a village in Surrey between Leatherhead and Esher, a survey in 2010 by the Daily Telegraph asserted it was “the village with most footballers” in England and mentioned other celebrities who chose to live in the village probably because Chelsea Football Club have their main training ground in nearby Stoke D’Abernon; It is a beautiful area and is no surprise it is also known as ‘the most expensive village in England’.

The wet room was not that old, but due to the limescale staining was prematurely in need of attention. We often get calls from customers where they have use supermarket products to treat hard water stains, however these products are generally acidic, and this can make the problem worse. I would recommend you always read the back of the bottle before to check it is safe to use on natural stone before applying.

After inspecting the shower, I agreed with the client the best course of action, agreed a price and booked the job in for a later date.

Limescale Stained Slate Wet Room Cleaning

I returned on the agreed date and started work by first removing the existing sealer by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a multi-purpose stripper that’s formulated for use on natural stone. The product also draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy grease build-up. For best results spray the product onto the tile and then leave for it to soak in and get to work breaking down the coatings etc. After ten minutes the product is scrubbed into the stone which in this case meant by hand. The soiled solution can then be rinsed off the tiles with water. The grout was then cleaned by hand scrubbing in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean followed by more rinsing.

The final part of preparation was to remove the limescale. This was done with a small handheld diamond block and a wire brush. The block is great for smoothing down all sorts of issues and being small it can get into tight areas. I then dried the whole room with an industrial blower. Slate cannot be sealed effectively when damp as it won’t cure properly. The blower is noisy but best in this situation and is very effective when a fast dry is needed.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Bathroom in Oxshott

After lunch I checked the area was nice and dry by testing the moisture content. I then sealed the whole area, wall and floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow, is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection as well as allowing the surface to breath and enhance colour. For this project it darkened the tiles nicely and will provide protection from staining, making them much easier for the client to maintain moving forward.

The client was very happy with the lovely result. The bathroom looked clean and fresh again, now it is just a case of trying to keep on top of the limescale.

Slate Tiled Bathroom After Renovation Oxshot

 

Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Oxshott, West-Surrey

Removing Grout Haze from Slate Shower Wall Tiles

A builder had made a real mess of this customer’s new Slate tiled wet room. When installing any new natural stone tiles, it is always recommended to apply the sealer before grouting, since – as was the case here – the porosity of the stone can cause the grout to stick with to the stone, leaving a terrible blotchy and uneven appearance.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration Sevenoaks

What’s more, once stuck to the stone, the grout is essentially impossible for the tiler to remove. In this wet room, light grey grout had been left smeared all over the Slate tiled walls, causing haze in some places.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration Sevenoaks

Understandably, she was very upset with the situation and was eager to secure some professional help, courtesy of the Kent Tile Doctor. I travelled down to the property, situated in Sevenoaks, Kent, to set the problems right.

Restoring the appearance of a Slate Tiled Wet Room

To begin, I had to tape up all the chrome and metal fittings found around the bathroom to stop them coming into contact with the cleaning products. I them started the restoration by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a PH1 blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids for the removal of grout haze.

As it comes in a gel form, this product is especially effective on vertical or sloped surfaces, where more dwell time is required. A liquid product would, of course, simply run off the tiles. So, working on small areas at a time, I allowed the gel to dwell for around five minutes, before agitating the solution with a pan scrubber, and rinsing the gel off with water. Once I had completed this process on the whole of the wet room, I allowed the tiles to dry out before repeating the process on some of the areas suffering from thicker smears of grout.

Sealing Slate Wet Room Tiles

When I was happy that I had removed all of the grout smears, I ensured that all the tiles were dry before applying Tile Doctor Stone Oil. This product is an easy-to-apply, pre-polish impregnating sealer which is ideal for low porosity stone and also suitable for more porous stone, such as Terracotta. It is also specially designed to enhance the natural colours and textures of tiles, and improve mechanical strength once cured. The oil is particularly effective when used on dark stone, like this Slate, as it really helps to deepen the colour.

I returned the next day to seal the tiles completely using one coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to lock in the Stone Oil applied the previous day. Ultra Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection. It allows moisture vapour transmission and is an excellent grout sealer.

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration Sevenoaks

The customer was very happy with the results, which set this difficult problem right. In particular, she was worried that all of the tiles would have to be removed and the entire wet room would have to be redone. Thankfully that is no longer the case, and she can enjoy this fantastic Slate feature. All she needs to be concerned with now is ensuring the tiles are regularly maintained with professional care, including having the sealer topped up as and when necessary.

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration Sevenoaks

 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Kent

Maitaining a slate wet room

This bathroom in Richmond, Surrey was tiled in Slate on the walls and floor to create a wet room effect. Overtime the old sealer had perished allowing soiling and shower products to stain tile and grout there was also evidence of heavy Limescale deposits.

Slate Wet Room Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floor

We decided to give the tile and grout a deep cleaning using a strong mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean to make it more effective. To get the cleaning solution to stick to the wall tile and grout it was decanted into a spray bottle and sprayed on to the tile, this combines it with air making it lighter and allowing it to dwell on the vertical surface.

The solution was then worked into the Slate tile and grout by hand using a stiff scrubbing brush and then washed off using clean water, this process had to be repeated a number of times until we were happy that the tile and the grout were clean again. Pro-Clean is also an effective sealer stripper so will have removed any remaining sealer from the surface, this is important as the new sealer may not have been compatible with the old.

There were a number of areas that had stubborn Limescale deposits so we treated them with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a very strong product that as the name suggests will pretty much remove anything but is safe to use on Tile and Grout. Once this process was complete the whole area was given a thorough wash down with water a number of times to remove any remaining chemical and neutralise the surface ready for sealing.

Sealing Indian Slate Tiles

We left the floor to dry off overnight and came back the next day to re-seal the tile and grout. We choose to do this with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that will sit in the pores of the tile and grout rather than on the surface and help protect it for longer, it’s also a great product to use on natural stone such as Slate as it really brings out the natural colours in the stone.

Slate Shower After Cleaning

Certainly my customer was pleased with the results and left the following message:

Jon was friendly and professional, working to a very high standard and keeping me well informed throughout the process.
 
 
Source: Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Shower room in Richmond