The longevity of any product is key to its sustainability and Tile Doctor focuses on exactly that. “We receive thousands of requests each year from UK tile consumers who need assistance with their installation, many of whom have told us that if it wasn’t for Tile Doctor, they would have ripped out their old tiles and replaced them with something else and that replacement wasn’t necessarily more tiles.”
According to the company, the most sustainable floor in the UK is probably the classic encaustic tiled Victorian hallway. Victorian tiles are usually laid onto a cement scree and pushed into the scree without a secondary adhesive. This will have a hardcore underneath but no damp proof membrane fitted as DPM didn’t really show its head until the 1960s. Tile Doctor says it can usually renovate these floors with a low moisture deep clean to avoid efflorescence issues followed by the application of a fresh seal. Some Victorian floors do suffer from damage and structural problems, however their continued popularity in the UK means tile replacements are usually easy to find.
The use of acid cleaners on sensitive stone is a common problem, the company says, whether it’s marble shower tiles etched by Limescale remover or a stone patio ruined with brick acid. Tile Doctor offers solutions for these problems as well as many others.
In comparison, it says, ceramic and most porcelain tiles are low maintenance and rarely encounter problems once installed correctly. One issue that can arise is that because these products don’t usually require sealing, no sealer is applied, leaving the grout unprotected. The rough cementitious nature of grout attracts dirt, becoming stained as it is washed off the tile into the grout lines during cleaning. The company uses a strong alkaline cleaning product to clean the grout or a professional grout colourant in cases where staining is especially problematic.
“Generally speaking we have a solution for most tile, stone and grout related issues,” Tile Doctor concludes, “so if you need help extending the life of an existing installation do get in touch.”