The client was thinking of having their riven Slate tiled bathroom re-tiled but before doing so they thought to give Tile Doctor a call about having it renovated first. The property was in Teddington which is a popular commuter area on the River Thames, it is on a long meander of the Thames between Hampton and Strawberry Hill
Thames Water define Teddington as a hard water area with high levels of calcium carbonate which leaves deposits known as Limescale. The tiles had not been professionally cleaned or sealed since installation ten years prior and now Limescale had built up on the tiles which was very thick in places.
I visited the property to see how bad the problem was and to give the client a quote for the work. Whilst I was there a ran some cleaning tests on the shower tiles to work out the best solution. The tests were successful, and they were really pleased to see that their idea of restoring the tiles was a viable option. This would mean they could avoid the need to retile the whole bathroom, which would have been expensive and disruptive. They agreed to my price and we booked in a time to carry out the work, which would be completed over two days.
Removing Limescale from a Riven Slate Tiled Shower
Had this been polished Slate I would have used burnishing pads to grind off the limescale and polish up the stone. In this case however the slate had a riven appearance which means they have a rough surface. I didn’t want to alter the rough appearance as this is part of their natural beauty, so I decided on a different course of action.
The solution would involve hand scrubbing every tile using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in gel form sticks well to vertical surfaces. This action broke down the limescale and cleaned away all the dirt and product residue in the stone. The tiles were then rinsed down with water to remove any trace of product.
Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Shower
After allowing the slate to dry off overnight, I first checked the tiles were nice and dry with the moisture meter. If they were still damp the seal would be ineffective and would not cure. The tiles were nice and dry, so we then applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is a colour intensifying sealer which enhances natural colour and will provide durable surface protection going forward. The colours in the slate now look great and it has brought the bathroom back to life, as you can see from the pictures.
The client was really pleased with the result and happy they had saved some money too. I recommended to them that spraying Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro on the Slate after showering as it will eliminate build-up from the use of soaps, shampoos and body-washes, and will help to keep the limescale at bay. We recommend this product as it’s designed for cleaning sealed surfaces and will not prematurely erode the sealer.