Hove is a town in East Sussex which is confused with – and somewhat overshadowed by – its larger, more well-known neighbour, Brighton. In fact, the tendency for people to confuse Hove and Brighton is such that a running joke in the area amongst residents of Hove is to reply “Hove, actually” when they are asked if they live in Brighton.
But Hove is no small town – in fact, its home to more than 90,000 people. As the East Sussex Tile Doctor I am a frequent visitor to the Brighton and Hove area. Most recently, I was called to a property to address a Porcelain tiled shower cubicle which was really starting to annoy the owner.
She felt like she could never seem to keep it clean of grime and the dyes in soaps that invariably stain the grouting. As a result, the whole cubicle looked worse for wear – you can see this in the photo below.
Not only did the customer want the tiles and grout cleaned up, but she had been impressed by some subway tiles she had seen where a darker grout had been used, she liked the effect it gave and wanted to see if it could be replicated. I suggested that we could clean up the tiles and recolour the grout using a Black Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. She accepted the quote for the work and I was able to get started soon after.
Cleaning Porcelain Shower Tiles and Grout
To begin the restoration, I gave the tile and grout a deep clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a highly effective alkaline-based cleaner for Tile, Stone and Grout.
This left the tiles looking fresher, but the grout lines – which were very badly stained – would as need to be recoloured for the best result. Before applying the Grout Colourant, the grout needed to be prepped in order to achieve a strong bond with the colourant. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acidic product normally used for removing grout smears but in this case, I used it to etch the surface of the grout. Once done I gave the grout a rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product.
Recolouring Shower Tile Grout
The final step in the restoration was to recolour the grout in black to achieve that subway effect the customer desired. There are actually ten different colours in the Tile Doctor Grout Colourant range, including Charcoal Grey, White, and Chocolate, as well as Black.
The colourant in basically painted onto the grout using an applicator brush, you then let it dry for a while and then wipe off any excess from the tile surface. It looks a little horrendous in the photographs above but wait until you see the final result.
Once the grout colourant sets you find that not only does it effectively recolour and rejuvenate the grout, but it also makes a barrier over the grout effectively sealing it in and making it easier to clean in future.
The last step was to strip out the mould stained silicone sealant from around the base of the shower cubicle and replace with a quality mould resistant sealant. This final step really finished off the renovation and the photographs below show the outcome, which I think you will agree was quite a transformation. Thankfully, it was exactly what the customer was looking for!