I was asked if I could improve the look of this new bathroom floor that had been laid with brick slips in a herringbone pattern at a property in Saxilby near Lincoln. The builder had done a solid job of laying the bricks but had been overzealous on the grouting and was unable to remove all of it resulting in a whitening of the red bricks due to grout haze. Unhappy with the appearance of their new bathroom floor and with little chance of resolution with the builder they contacted Tile Doctor to see what could be done to improve their appearance.
Brick Slip tiles are basically a very thin brick which allows it to be laid like a tile, normally they are cut from an actual clay brick although there are other types. Thin like a tile and light weight they can be used to quickly create authentic looking brick walls and floors.
I visited the property to understand the problems and whilst I was there, I carried out a test clean to show the client what could be achieved. They were happy with what I showed them and booked me in to have the work done.
Removing Grout Haze from Brick Slip Flooring
To remove the grout haze, I started off with an application of Grout Clean-up which contains phosphoric acid and is designed exactly for this purpose. It was a small space to work in so the product was scrubbed into the tile by hand until I got them as clean as possible. This was followed by a quick rinse and extraction with a wet vacuum.
I then inspected the floor and could see more work was required so this time I laid down Acid Gel which is a blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids and left it to dwell for ten minutes. After another scrub I was pleased to see I had managed to remove all the grout haze and the red brick was really starting to come through. I then gave the floor a thorough rinse with water and then removed the soiling and as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum. I left the floor to dry off whilst I went to lunch leaving an air mover in place to assist with the drying.
Sealing Brick Slip Flooring
Once it had dried the floor was then sealed using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that as the name suggests improves colour in the tile, it’s also an impregnator which works by occupying the pores in the brick protecting it from within.
The client was over the moon and said that is how they wanted it to look originally. For cleaning I made the client aware of the problem of using harsh cleaning products on sealed tiles and advised them to use Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a mild but effective cleaner that won’t erode the sealer with regular use.