Renovating Rust Stained Marble Shower tiles near Shrewsbury

We were contacted by a homeowner near Shrewsbury about the Marble wall tiles in their shower which were looking particularly grubby. They had tried to clean the area with a multitude of household products but were unable to improve their appearance and had decided to call in some professional help.

I went over to do a site visit, run some tests and recommend a solution, I like to do this where possible as it ensures I can provide an accurate quote and it also gives me an opportunity to demonstrate a workable solution. The tiles were the small two inch square Marble Mosaics which from my point of view means there’s a log of grout to clean.

Marble tiled shower before Cleaning Church Preen

More importantly whilst there I discovered their water is pumped up from a well and the water is rich in Iron deposits. You can see on the picture where the water has dried on the walls and then the Iron deposits have turned rusty resulting in a large rust stain.

The property was in the old village of Church Preen which a small Hamlet in Shropshire which only has around 30 properties, it is approximately 12 miles from the county town of Shrewsbury.

Marble tiled shower before Cleaning Church Preen

Cleaning Rust Stained Marble Shower Tiles

Normally I would remove the iron and rust deposits with an acid-based product such as Acid Gel or Grout Clean-up but Marble is acid sensitive and doing so would etch and damage the tiles. So, to work around this problem I selected to use Tile Doctor Rust Away which worked really well. This product is an effective ready to use cleaner specifically designed to remove rust stains particularly when it has become heavily embedded. In the pictures it is clearly visible how the solution turns purple when it reacts to the rust and iron deposits.

Marble tiled shower during Cleaning Church Preen

After the rust was removed, I set about cleaning the Marble tile and grout with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being a gel sticks well to wall tiles allowing for a longer dwell time. After ten minutes the solution was scrubbed into the tile and grout by hand and then rinsed off with water. I repeated this process a couple of times where necessary until I was satisfied the tile and grout were as clean as could be and then rinsed the tiles down thoroughly to ensure all any traces of cleaning product has been removed. Once done the Marble tile and grout looked so much cleaner.

Sealing Mosaic Marble Shower Tiles

It was a hot day and with a little encouragement from my air move I was able to dry out the tiles and grout quite quickly as verified by testing with a damp meter. This meant I could complete the job in one day without the need for any additional drying time.

I sealed the Marble and grout with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the stone intensifying the natural colours and providing durable protection. With a fresh sealer in place water now runs off the shower wall and no longer accumulates on the tile where the Iron in the water can cause staining as it rusts.

Marble tiled shower after Cleaning Church Preen

They were over the moon with their revamped shower, it now looked much more inviting for them to use and less embarrassing when guests come to stay.

Before leaving we discussed aftercare and I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro for general cleaning, it’s a pH neutral product so its safe to use on sealed surfaces. Also I suggested that should the find water starting to collect on the shower wall after use it’s wiped off with a squeegee.

Marble tiled shower after Cleaning Church Preen


Source: Marble Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Shropshire

Marble Shower Tiles Ruined by Viakal Restored in Ealing

We recently received an enquiry from a customer in Ealing, East London who was concerned about their Marble Tiled Shower which had been damaged from the use of Viakal Limescale Remover. Unfortunately, this is a very common problem and we often receive calls from customers with similar issues. Limescale removal products such as Viakal and Cillit Bang are very effective but like any acidic product, they are very harmful to natural stone such as Limestone and Marble. With any cleaning product you should really read the label before use and in this case you will find they state the product should not be used on natural stone.

The Viakal had etched the surface of the Marble in several places where it had been applied and although the damage looked really bad I was happy to inform my customer there is a solution and that I could indeed restore the appearance of the stone.

Damaged Marble Shower Wall Before Restoration Ealing Damaged Marble Shower Wall Before Restoration Ealing

Polishing Damaged Marble Shower Tiles

My first task was to give the Marble tile and grout a good clean and remove any sealer and soap scum etc; to do this I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a small black scrubbing pad fitted to a hand-held machine. The Marble tiles were then rinsed with water to remove the soil generated by the cleaning process.

To fully restore the appearance of the Marble the next step required the application of coarse burnishing pads applied in sequence from very coarse to very fine using six-inch pads fitter to a handheld buffer. It’s a process that takes the polish off the stone and rebuilds it. A little water is needed to help lubricate with the coarser pads and the tiles are rinsed off between each one to remove any slurry generated during the process.

To achieve a very high shine the Marble tiles were then treated to an application of Tile Doctor Shine Powder which involves buffing crystallising polishing powder into the stone to build a deep durable finish

Sealing Marble Shower Tiles

The last step was to seal the Marble tile and grout to protect it going forward. Before sealing we needed to make sure that the tiles are dry and a damp meter is a very useful tool for this. A single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone whilst enhancing the natural colours in the Marble in the process.

Damaged Marble Shower Wall After Restoration Ealing Damaged Marble Shower Wall After Restoration Ealing

The work took three days in total but as you can see from the photographs on this page it was well worth the effort and the white streaky damage caused by the Viakal has now been removed and the stone has been transformed. My customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback.

I had serious acid etchings from spraying Viakal on my marble shower box and basin. Didi and his partner did a good job of polishing out the majority of the acid etchings. It was a 3 day job for them, and over all I was happy with the result and service.
Edward T, London

Source: Marble Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in London