Below are a few photos of a smoke damaged shower cubicle where we were asked by an insurance company to restore the tiles following a house fire in the town of Ayr. Just south of Prestwick airport on the South West Coast of Scotland, Ayr is built along the river of the same name and dates all the way back to 1205.
You can see from the photograph below that the tiles how bad that smoke damage was. When we arrived work had already started to strip out the electric shower and screen removing a strip of tiles in the process. It was also clear that someone had also attempted to clean the ceramic tile and grout but had given up after realising how much work was needed.
Cleaning Smoke Damaged Tile and Grout
We had to give the tile and grout several deep cleans using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was sprayed on, left to dwell for a while and then scrubbed in by hand. On reflection Oxy-Gel might have been a better product for the job as it has the same active ingredients but comes in a gel form which allows it to stick to vertical surfaces resulting in longer dwell times.
We managed to successfully remove all the smoke and soot from the surface of the tile and grout with this process. However although the grout was now clean I could see it was going to need more work if it was going to pass muster.
To overcome the grout issue I decided to colour it with a White grout colourant; this was a perfect time to apply the colourant as the Pro-Clean had prepared the grout joints and would make a good bond with the colourant. I used three coats of white grout colourant in the end, each one applied by hand with a small brush. The colourant is basically painted on top of the existing grout and any excess wiped off the adjacent tile before it dries. It’s an epoxy based formula that becomes a long-lasting barrier protecting the grout and making it much easier to clean.
Following this I cleaned the tiles down again, this time with Neutral Tile Cleaner and then turned my attention to the stained silicone sealant around the base of the shower tray which was cut out and replaced with fresh new white silicone.
I gave the shower tray a clean as well and the final result was a very fresh looking shower cubicle which will soon back in action once the other trades finish their installations.
Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Restored Following Fire in Ayrshire
The Porcelain tiles in this bathroom installed at a house in the small village Inchinnan were in good physical condition but were looking dull and being let down by the grout which had gone dark in a number of areas. This is often the case with Porcelain floors which are very tough and generally out-live the life of the grout which has a porous top layer that is subject to staining especially from the dyes in personal products.
Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout
To get the tile and grout really clean a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the tile and grout and left to soak in to the surface for around ten minutes before scrubbing it in; the area was quite restrictive so this process was done by hand. The soiled cleaning solution was then then rinsed away with warm water which was removed by a wet vacuum and stubborn areas sport treated. The floor was then given a final wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner diluted with water to remove any remnants of Pro-Clean and then dried as much as possible.
The cleaning process made a big difference to the Tile and Grout however there grout still showed evidence of staining. To resolve this we would have need to laboriously scrape out the grout and re-grout it; however this does take a long time and there is a quicker solution by using a Grout Colourant. Grout Colourants apply a thin but impermeable epoxy layer on top of the existing grout and come in a range of colours which is handy if you want to completely alter the look of your floor. In this case however the customer was happy to have the white original colour of the grout restored; two coats were sufficient to achieve this.
Once done and dry we gave the floor another rinse with Neutral Cleaner and finished by buffing the Porcelain tiles with a white pad on a hand polishing machine which brought up the natural shine on the tiles.