Leaking Bath Mastic Replaced and Tile Renovated in Harrogate

I couldn’t believe the state of the mastic sealant that had been applied to this bathtub at a house in the North Yorkshire Spa town of Harrogate. As you can see from the pictures, it was a mess. There were at least three layers of white silicon mastic sealant then a layer of clear silicone had been applied with a spatula then some grout on top of that! I feared the worst.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate Before

It was the result of a succession of bodge jobs that didn’t work and continued to let water leak down to the room below where it had left brown stains on the ceiling. The client had unfortunately tried to get it patched up but had just made the problem worse. The problem needed to be resolved properly so the ceiling below could dry out, be repaired and then re-painted.

Had the problem been dealt with immediately the damage would not have been so bad. By the time the water shows itself on the ceiling the leak has probably already been there for some time. The bathroom itself was in good condition but the mastic sealant was really letting it down. I discussed with the client what needed to be done and we agreed a price for the work and returned the following week.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate Before

Cleaning/Repairing Bathroom Tiles

I first washed the Ceramic wall tile and grout surrounding the bath with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to remove staining from the usual combination of dirt, grime, body oil, and soap scum. Being in gel form, this product sticks well to vertical surfaces where its best left for five to ten minutes before scrubbing in so it can get to work breaking down the dirt. I then rinsed the wall tiles with water and re-treated any stubborn stains with a repeat of the process until all the tile and grout was clean.

Once happy with the tile and grout I began to strip off the layers of silicone mastic. This is a slow process by hand, with care not the damage the tiles or the bath. After 4 hours it was all off. The final layer of white silicon was jet black, so had come away from the bath a long time ago. It is essential to have a nice clean surface to apply new silicon to ensure the best result. Adding layer upon layer will not solve the underlying problem.

Once l completely removed all traces of silicone l ran a heat gun over gap for about half an hour to remove the moisture. If any moisture had been left the new sealant wouldn’t adhere to the bath and tile properly causing it to peel off later and we would be back to square one.

The last step of the renovation was to fill the bath with water before applying a fresh thin bead of white silicone sealant. Applying mastic well takes a lot of practice to get a nice smooth finish but having carried out numerous bathroom and kitchen refurbs over the years it’s a skill I’ve manage to acquire. Once the fresh mastic was dry the water was emptied from the bath, this technique ensures the silicone is positioned correctly.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate After

As you can see from the pictures there was quite a remarkable transformation. The client was speechless, the difference to the overall look of the bathroom was astounding. It would no longer be a chore for them to use the bathroom. Now they just need to allow the downstairs ceiling to dry out so they can redecorate.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate After

Glazed Ceramic tiles are easy to clean however Grout can be a problem due to its cementous nature which traps dirt therefore I recommend protecting the grout with grout sealer which forms an invisible barrier over the grout and makes it easier to wash clean. For aftercare you can’t go wrong with Tile Doctor Aqua Pro which is designed for cleaning shower tile where the grout has been sealed.

 

Professional Restoration of a Bathroom Tiles in North West Yorkshire

Grade A Tumbled Travertine Floor Transformed in Ripon

My client gave Tile Doctor a call to discuss their hallway floor which was in a poor state, they thought the tiles were Travertine but weren’t 100% sure as it was installed before they acquired the property. I arranged a time to do a site survey to see what we could do for them.

The property was in Ripon which is a lovely Yorkshire cathedral city just North of Harrogate. I took a look at the floor and confirmed the tiles were indeed Travertine, in fact I identified it as Bullnose Grade A Tumbled Travertine which is a premium product and well worth renovating. Travertine is a natural stone material that has unique features and colouring that no other stone can offer. The distinctive design and natural patterns found within the stone make it very popular as a flooring material and is often used as bathroom wall tiles too. Travertine’s durability makes it ideal for all manner of projects and it is often used externally.

Like any stone floor it’s important to maintain the sealer if you want it to look its best and from what I could see the sealer had now failed and was letting dirt get into the pores of the Travertine making it very difficult to keep clean. The owners also had two dogs which may have contributed to the wear and tear. I discussed with them the prognosis and we agreed a quote for completing the work to renovate the tile and grout.

Tumbled Travertine Ripon Before Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Ripon Before Cleaning

Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Floor Tiles in Ripon

I arrived the following week and started by protecting the skirting boards etc. with tape to protect them from splashing during the cleaning process. Once that was done I started burnishing the Travertine with a set of diamond burnishing pads which are run over the floor with water to remove dirt, old sealers and restore the polished appearance of the stone. Using a rotary floor machine, you start with the coarse 400-grit pad before moving onto the 800 and 1500 grit pads rinsing the floor in between each pad to remove the slurry that is generated.

My next task was to tackle the cream coloured grout which had become dark with dirt. To do this I used a cleaning product called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner that’s particularly good on heavily soiled and neglected grout. You dilute it into different strengths depending on the nature of the problem and it works best when left to dwell and soak in for about ten minutes first. I scrubbed all the grout lines by hand with a scrubbing brush to get them really clean and then rinsed with water and removed the slurry with a wet vacuum.

Finally, the cleaning process was completed using the last of the four burnishing pads which is a 3000-grit polishing pad which is applied dry with only a little water sprayed on the tile.

Tumbled Travertine Ripon During Cleaning

Given the size of the floor I had to work in sections and the photograph above shows the difference in the tile and grout between two of the sections. Once done the floor was left overnight to completely dry out, the warm weather made this a quick process.

Sealing a Tumbled Travertine Floor in Ripon

Returning the following morning, I used my moisture meter to test the moisture levels in the floor. Applying the sealant to a floor that is still damp prevents it from curing. I had selected to use the Tile Doctor Ultra Seal on this job, this is a premium product, which gives a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer made to provide maximum stain protection. You can also use it as a pre-grouting sealer. The customer didn’t want the floor to be shiny, so this was the perfect product for them.

The customers were really satisfied with the massive transformation in the floor returning the floor to almost new. They were so pleased that the floor didn’t look tired any longer and it would now be able to withstand the traffic of their two dogs. The floor would be much easier for them to clean and maintain.

Tumbled Travertine Ripon After Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Ripon After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Tumbled Travertine Floor in Yorkshire