Recently, I was called to a work on a Limestone tiled floor in a house near Hove Park. Hove Park is a popular park in Hove, East Sussex, which was once opposite to the Goldstone Ground, the traditional home of Brighton and Hove Albion football club until the ground was demolished. My client informed me that the house was used a meeting place every Friday, and the high traffic of people was taking its toll on the floor.
Cleaning a Limestone tiled floor
The floor was clearly in need of a good clean, especially the grout. You do need to take care when cleaning Limestone as it can be affected by the acidic substances you get in some cleaning products which can break down the surface of the Limestone and cause further damage. The results of my test clean showed the Limestone tiles responded well to the cleaning, but I was concerned about the grout, which was not cleaning very easily. I suspected that the grout had, in fact, been discoloured by a bleach-based cleaner, turning it grey. Bleach contains strong chemicals, so there is a good chance that any bleach-based cleaners used on tiled floors will discolour the grout over time. After discussing this issue with my client, I quoted separately for a possible grout recolour.
On the first day of working on the floor, I started the cleaning process using a black buffing pad attached to a floor buffer machine, in combination with a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which I applied to the floor. This combination really helped to remove the heavily built up grime and dirt. Although the tiles looked great after the clean, I still wasn’t convinced by the state of the grout. After drying a test area with a heat gun, I confirmed that the grout was not continuous in colour and would need a recolour to get it back to looking its best again.
Recolouring the grout
I left the rest of the floor to dry for a period of two days, allowing any residual moisture to evaporate, before returning to recolour the grout with a white Grout Colourant which was applied using a good old fashioned toothbrush and baby wipes to remove any excess. I was careful to apply thin, even coats in order to prevent the possibility of the Colourant staining the tile.
After several hours of knee-breaking work, the recolouring was complete, and I was extremely pleased to be able to show my client the finished product. She was very happy to be able to show off the floor to her friends, which was now white all the way through, without the dark lines caused by the discoloured grout.