Black and Red Quarry Tile Renovation in Whaley Bridge


This was an unusual Quarry Tiled Floor that I was asked to renovate at a house in Whaley Bridge which is a small town in Derbyshire Peak district. The floor tiles were laid in a diamond pattern using alternating Black & Red quarry tiles. The house was more than 100 years old and recently changed hands. A large rug had previously occupied the middle of the floor and the tiles around the side has been painted over with black paint.

Old Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Whaley Bridge

To restore the floor to a consistent appearance I could see the paint would need to be removed and then the whole floor given a deep clean and seal. Additionally, there was an old Fireplace at one end of the room decorated in antique Ceramic tiles that needed cleaning, the Tiles are very old but in good physical condition for their age.

Old Ceramic Tiled Fireplace Hearth Before Cleaning Whaley Bridge

Cleaning Old Black and Red Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove the black paint and years of ground in dirty by treating the tiles with a poultice made from two Tile Doctor products namely Nano-Tech HBU Remover and Remove and Go. Working in sections the solution was applied to the tiles and left to soak in for a good twenty minutes before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad running at slow speed.

The resulting soil was extracted using a wet vacuum and then the tiles rinsed with water, so I would see where more work was needed. Stubborn stains were then spot treated with the same process before moving onto the next section. The Ceramic tiles in the fireplace hearth was treated in the same way.

After removing all the dirt, stains and paint I gave the floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and extracted as much moisture as possible using the wet vacuum. The floor would need to be dry before applying a sealer, so to allow the floor to fully dry off I left the floor for two days.

Sealing Original Quarry Hallway Tiles

On my return I checked the tiles first to ensure they were dry. All was good so I set about applying a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the clay. Additionally, Colour Grow is a breathable sealer which is important for these old floors that don’t have a damp proof course. There was no need to apply the sealer to the ceramic tiles in the hearth however as they won’t take a sealer due to the glaze.

Old Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Whaley Bridge

Once completed the floor looked completely transformed and the client was more than happy. Work continues in other parts of the house and once they have finished decorating they have asked me to return to restore their beautiful old Victorian tiled hallway.

Old Ceramic Tiled Fireplace Hearth After Cleaning Whaley Bridge
 
 

Professional Restoration of Original Quarry Hallway Tiles in the Peak District



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Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles Rejuvenated in Streatham


If you like in an older property in the UK and never looked under the carpets you might want to take a minute and have a look. I still find it surprising how many of my customers had no idea they lived in a house with a classic tiled hallway.

We were recently asked to restore a fantastic geometric-patterned Victorian tiled floor which had been found underneath carpet during decoration work in the hallway of a property in Streatham.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham

The once black and white tiles were now absolutely caked in dirt, glue deposits, cement, paint stains and plaster. It would be no small feat to get the tiles back to looking their best again. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are very resilient and we have a lot of experience in their restoration so I was confident that with the right products and techniques we could get the job done to a high standard.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiled hallway was quite long, yet only around a metre wide, so I felt the best approach would be to work in small sections at a time. Our method was to soak the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and leave the product to work its magic for roughly ten minutes, before scrubbing the surface to remove the muck. Some of the more viscous and stubborn stains were scrapped away carefully by hand within the assistance of a steam cleaning machine. The resulting residue was extracted using a wet vacuum. Remove and Go is a particularly effective cleaner in scenarios like this, as it is specially formulated to strip away old sealers, adhesives and even paint without harming the tile itself.

The next step was to run a rotary machine fitted with a Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad lubricated with water over the floor to achieve a consistent finish. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated in the process.

Old floors like these laid before the invention of damp proof membranes can be a concern as damp rising up through the tile as it dries can leads to efflorescence salt deposits appearing on the tile surface. So, to avoid potential issues Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied to the floor to neutralise any salt deposits and the floor given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

After finishing the clean, we left the floor to dry out over the weekend. With old floors like this one, we tend to recommend allowing a drying period of at least 48 hours to ensure the floor is completely dry before applying a sealer.

Upon arriving back at the property, we ran a few quick damp tests and once satisfied the floor was dry proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour-intensifying, impregnating sealant that leaves a natural-look matte finish. It works by occupying the pores in the clay and it’s also a fully breathable sealer which is important for these old floors where damp may be any issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results. She even went as far as to leave a review expressing how pleased she was during the weekend before we had chance to seal the tiles.

Bill and Wayne were brilliant! On time, got to work straight away, lovely and friendly and very professional. They have done a lovely job and I’m looking forward to them coming to seal the tiles to finish it o f tomorrow afternoon. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thanks guys!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South London



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Badly Stained Grout in Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle Recoloured in Hove


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.

Shower Room Tiles Before Grout Colouring in Hove Shower Room Tiles Before Grout Colouring in Hove

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.

Shower Room Tiles During Grout Colouring in Hove Shower Room Tiles During Grout Colouring in Hove

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!

Shower Room Tiles During Grout Colouring in Hove Shower Room Tiles After Grout Colouring in Hove

 
 

Professional Renovation of a Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle in East Sussex



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Etched and Damaged Limestone Kitchen Tiles Restored in Todmorden


There is perhaps nothing more frustrating as a homeowner than trying to keep your house clean, only to accidentally make things worse. This is often due to a misunderstanding around suitable cleaning products for different types of surfaces.

In the case of natural stone tiles using the right products is imperative and you really should read the label, as the wrong product can actively damage the floor. A customer of mine, who lives in Todmorden, a market town in Pennines, found this out the hard way. Just six months earlier, the customer had installed a new Limestone tiled floor in the Kitchen but was becoming increasingly unhappy with it as they found it difficult to keep it clean.

Nothing they could do seemed to help. To make matters worse, they had not been given any information on the correct maintenance of the floor by the original flooring company. As a result, they had tried to use several unsafe cleaning products including bleach and CIF. These acidic products had stripped away the sealer that was protecting the stone, and caused etching marks on the stone. This made cleaning the stone with normal methods nearly impossible.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse

The only method that could possibly save the tiles is one used by Tile Doctor, which is known as burnishing. When the customer contacted me, I suggested that this would be the best course of action. Given that the customer was on the verge of giving up, they were happy to book in the work.

Burnishing a Damaged Limestone Tiled Floor

To restore the Limestone tiles back to their original condition, I used the Tile Doctor four-pad burnishing system. In this system, we use four diamond encrusted burnishing pads of varying grits to grind away the damaged layer of stone, before slowing honing the surface and restoring the polished finish.

Depending on the size of the pads and the size of the affect area, they are either fitted to a handheld machine or to a larger rotary machine and applied directly to the surface with a small amount of water as lubrication.

I started with the first of the four pads, which is a Coarse 400 grit pad and is designed to strip off any old sealers and to grind away the marks caused by the etching. I then proceeded to work my way in sequence through the next three pads, moving from Medium 800 grit, on to Fine 1500 grit and finally to Very Fine 3000 grit. I paused to rinse the floor with fresh water between each pad to remove any resulting soil and mess.

The combination of diamond encrusted burnishing pads was highly effective in grinding out any scratches and achieved a high-quality polished finish to ensure the floor looked perfect.

Sealing a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor

Once it had been left to dry, I sealed the Limestone tile was sealed with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is a premium solvent-based penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection and to leave a no-sheen, natural look finish.

The customer very happy indeed with the result after believing nothing could be done to remedy the situation. I ensured they received the right advice on how to keep it clean until it would need routine maintenance from a professional tile cleaning company.

Limestone Floor After Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse Limestone Floor After Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse

 
 

Restoring a Damaged and Etched Limestone Tiled Floor in the Pennines



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Recolouring Stained Grout in Milton Keynes Office Toilet


Although much of the work Tile Doctor does is residential were more than happy to take on commercial tile cleaning jobs, as well. In fact, many office buildings contain very nice tiled kitchens and bathrooms, but the cleaners who visit them daily are rarely have the right training and products to keep stone, tile and grout looking it’s best.

In some cases, a long period of time passes before the facilities manager or cleaning company reach out to seek help from companies like Tile Doctor and by this time the tiles can be a very bad way. With this in mind I received a call from an office manager in Milton Keynes who needed help to restore the appearance of the tile and grout in a Porcelain tiled toilet.

Commerical Porcelain Toilet floor Milton Keynes Before Cleaning

You can see from the photograph that the White floor grout had become stained and unsightly through use and a lack of adequate grout cleaning. The owner of the building had decided, in fact, that he wanted to change the grout to a dark colour but was concerned about the cost and time it would take to remove the original grout and applying new.

I suggested to him that we give the tile and grout a deep clean and then simply recolour the grout with a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. Additionally, it’s a relatively quick process which could be done outside of office hours to minimise disruption. The customer was happy with this solution, so I we agreed a time for me to come back and carry out the work.

Cleaning and Grout Recolouring of a Porcelain Tiled Office Toilet

The restoration process began with a deep clean of the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaner. The product was applied to the tile and grout and then left to dwell for a short period before being worked in with a large scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Pro-Clean very reliably breaks down ingrained dirt and muck and can even be used to remove sealers in a concentrated form.

Next, I paid special attention to freshening up the stained grout lines. This was done using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, an acidic product which is usually used to remove grout smears from the tile surface but in this case applied to etch the grout surface to ensure a stronger bond with the colourant.

The tile and grout was rinsed and then dried before I could continue with the final step of recolouring the grout lines to make them darker, as per the customer’s request. This was done using the Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in Grey, which is just one of ten colours available. Other options include White, Chocolate, Sandstone and Black.

The Grout Colourant serves not only to recolour and rejuvenate the grout lines but also adds a barrier over the grout sealing it in and protecting it from further staining.

Commerical Porcelain Toilet floor Milton Keynes After Grout Colouring

I think you’ll agree, looking at the photo of the result below, that the toilet now looks much smarter and more professional. The customer was very happy with the outcome of the work and left me the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Great diligent work undertaken by Andrew-very pleased with the outcome.
Mr. Hirani, Milton Keynes 03 February 2018

 
 

Professional Renovation of a Stained and Discoloured Porcelain Tiled Office Toilet in Buckinghamshire



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Orginal Quarry Tiled Hallway Restored in Rednal


I was recently contacted by a home owner who had recently bought a property in Rednal which is a residential suburb on the south western edge of Birmingham near Bromsgrove. They were updating the flooring and discovered a quarry tiled floor under their living room carpet. The Quarry tiles were most likely original dating back 113 years and the owner was keen to have such an original feature restored.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Rednal

The Quarry tiles were well worn in areas and it looked as though a previous owner had levelled the floor using a cement screed to try and fill in any worn areas. Unfortunately, this had left the tiles with a rough surface and were very dirty as the photos show.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Rednal

Cleaning Original Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove any loose dirt and debris with a wet dry vacuum. Once done I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to give the tiles an initial clean to remove dirt from the tiles. The solution was left to soak into the tile for around ten minutes and then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Rednal

This process highlighted the roughness of the tiles from the cement as the pad was being torn by it. I decided that the best way to remove the cement was to scrape it away aided with a steamer. This meant a few hours on my hands and knees scraping away which was hard work but needs must!

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Rednal

When this was completed I used hand held diamond blocks to remove paint marks and adhesive from where the skirting board had been. I then cleaned the floor again with more Pro-Clean and a new black pad, I also cleaned the grout lines with a stiff grout brush. The floor was then thoroughly rinsed off with water to remove any dirt and solutions and this was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor now clean I could see there were signs of efflorescence markings on the floor which is where salts are carried up through the floor through evaporation. These old floors don’t have a damp proof membrane in place to prevent damp issues so to neutralise the salts I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the floor. This was left in place for a short time before rinsing the floor again. The floor was then allowed to dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing Original Quarry Tiles

Upon my return I checked the floor for damp with a meter which gave satisfactory readings. The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing sealer that really brought out the red colour of the quarry tiles.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Rednal

One the sealer had dried the floor was then buffed off with a white pad to remove any excess. As you can see the floor was transformed. I left the customer with a bottle of neutral tile cleaner to help maintain the floor.”

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Rednal
 
 

Restoration of an Original Quarry Tiled Floor in the West Midlands



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Edwardian Quarry Tiled Hallway Restored in Market Harbourough


Details below of a restorative clean and seal we completed of an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Floor and Edwardian Geometric Floor at a house in the town of Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Market Harborough is a very old town that dates back to Saxon times, as a result it has some very old buildings including the church that was built in the 1300’s.

Both floors had been hidden underneath carpets for many Years. They were exposed by our customer thirteen years ago, who had painstakingly removed the cement-based levelling screed from the Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough

The floors were moisture damaged from years of inherent damp build-up and didn’t look their best with ingrained historic soiling and damage to the hall tiles.

We were asked to quote for a restorative cleaning, sealing and repairs by our customer. After inspecting the floor, we quoted for the work and advised how long it would take to complete. We also guided our customer where to purchase period reproduction tile replacements from. In this instance our customer purchased made to order tiles from world renowned tile manufacturer Craven Dunnill in Bridnorth, Shropshire.

Cleaning Edwardian Quarry Tiles

We carried out repairs first carefully removing the damaged tiles and fixing in place the replacements purchased by the customer. Some of the original tiles were also loose but in good physical condition so these were re-fixed in place and grouted in.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough

Once the grout had set we started the cleaning process with the application of Tile Doctor Remove & Go ready to use heavy duty cleaning solution and coatings remover to the tiles. Working in small sections we allowed the product to soak into the tile for thirty minutes and then agitated the solution, with both an abrasive brush and a coarse 200 grit pad. This process quickly broke down the years of soiling and surface contamination. We extracted the resulting slurry and followed up with the application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel to treat inherent cement contamination and historic efflorescence salt staining. This was again worked into the tiles and the floor rinsed using low moisture methods.

We had arranged to seal the floor the next day, so air movers and a fan heater were left in place to help dry the floor overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Quarry Tiles

On the second day after confirming the tiles were dry we sealed the tiles with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. The floor was then buffed by hand to remove excess sealer and was ready for use within the hour. We advised the customer that whilst the floor could be walked on quite quickly, that the sealer would take up to 48 hours to fully cure.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough

Before leaving we advised the customer that the sealer can be prematurely worn down by the use of strong cleaning products and so recommended the they use Tile Doctors pH Neutral Floor Cleaning concentrate. This should always be diluted correctly, and the water changed frequently, to avoid suspended soils from being deposited back onto the surface of the floor. If properly maintained, then the sealer should last a minimum of 5 years.
 
 

Cleaning an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Floor in Leicestershire




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Brazilian Grey/Green Semi-Riven Slate Floor Hornby Kitchen


Rough Slate is notorious for homeowners to maintain as dirt can quickly become trapped in the rough surfaces. The example on this page is that of Brazilian Semi Riven Slate installed in the Kitchen of a house in the village of Hornby, which while naturally cleft from the rock loses none of its texture and style and yet has a much smother appearance than the typical rough Slates from China. Less processing means it’s not quite completely smooth but it is a lot less expensive to buy than say a honed or polished Slate which is more difficult to maintain due to various polishing techniques required to keep up the appearance. Brazilian Slate is in fact one of my favourite slates to clean and also one of the most rewarding of Slates to seal as the sealer really does bring out the colour and character of the stone.

Sealers provide a protective barrier on natural stone floors and without it dirt can penetrate into the pores of the stone making it more and more difficult to clean effectively. Unfortunately on this floor the new homeowners were unaware on what sort of Stone it was and had no idea how to look after it which resulted in the sealer wearing down prematurely and the floor becoming dull and un-inviting.

Semi-Riven Slate floor Before Cleaning Hornby Semi-Riven Slate floor Before Cleaning Hornby

Cleaning Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

To restore the appearance of the Slate floor we started by taping up the edges of the new kitchen units to protect the wood from splashing. This was followed with an application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean worked in with a black buffing pad fitted to a buffing machine running at slow speed (working at a slower speed results in less splashing). The pads can struggle to reach the edges and corners so these were cleaned by hand.

Once we had finished on the main floor area we then concentrated on the grout using a steam cleaner and more Pro-clean scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush.

Last step of the cleaning was to rinse the floor with water to remove any trace of cleaning products from the Slate and then dried off the floor the best we could with our high wattage wet vacuum machine and left the floor to dry off naturally over night.

Sealing Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

The next day we returned to seal the floor checking first that the floor had completely dried. The customer had requested a matt finish however we have worked on Brazilian Slate many times before and we knew how good they can look with this Satin finish sealer. Naturally its the customers decision so we offered to do a test piece and let them decide if they didn’t like it we would strip off the test piece and apply a Matt finish sealer like Tile Doctor Colour Grow instead.

The floor was dry so a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied to one Tile so that they could appreciate how it would look. Luckily the customer agreed with us and so we set about sealing the whole floor with Seal and Go.

To speed up the drying process Air Blowers were installed as we worked and it wasn’t long before the sealer was dry and the customers were able to walk on the floor and inspect every area before we left. I’m please to report that they were over the moon with the floor and my recommendation of sealer.

Semi-Riven Slate floor After Cleaning Hornby Semi-Riven Slate floor After Cleaning Hornby

To maintain the slate tiles going forward we always give our customers a free bottle of Tile Doctor pH neutral tile cleaner, which is a little incentive for them to provide some feedback via our website.
 
 

Professional Semi Riven Slate Floor Renovation in Lancashire



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Rebuilt After Heating Installation in Palmers Green


The owners of this property in Palmers Green, North London had uncovered an original Victorian hallway floor during renovation work. However, the priority was to have a new central heating system installed so they had to make a decision to allow the heating engineer to rip up part of the floor in order to lay new pipes.

With the floor now missing a large section most customers would agree to have the hole back-filled with concrete and then have lino installed on top, however keen to have the floor restored as an original feature they reached out to Tile Doctor who have a lot of experience in this field.

Our brief was to infill the excavated section and reinstate the floor with new original style Victorian tiles to match the existing ones.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The existing floor had been covered in Carpet which had been secured using carpet gripper fixed to the floor using adhesive, there were also old paint splashes from decorating that would need to be removed. Our first job therefore was to remove the glue and paint by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a coatings remover especially designed for use on tile and stone. The product was applied, left to dwell for about twenty minutes and then scrubbed into the floor, this softened the paint and glue which could then be carefully scrapped off tile tiles.

The next step was to give the floor a deep clean with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to strip off what remained of old sealers and extract any ground-in dirt from the pores of the tile. Naturally this work had to be done in two sections due to the missing tiled section and then once complete each part of the floor was given a good rinse and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then inspected and a second clean was carried out to remove any stubborn staining or residue followed by a steam clean.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Following the two stages of cleaning we checked the existing floor pattern and prepared the hallway by levelling the floor in preparation for inlaying the new tiles which were chosen to offer the best possible match. We were able to source reclaimed tiles that would match up to the pattern and during this phase of the restoration work we carried out any loose tile and grout repairs and re-grouted the newly laid tiles.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

With the original tiles clean and the hallway rebuilt we left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

On our return we first checked the tiled were dry and that the grout in the new section was clear of any grout smears from the tiling work. Happy with the condition of the hallway we first applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that will protect the tiles from within by occupying the pores within the tile, it also enhanced the colours in the clay tile.

Once the first coat of sealer was dry it was followed by five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds further layers of protection and adds a nice subtle satin finish that works really well on Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green

The work went very well, and the sealer consolidated the new and old tiled sections to form a seamless floor.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in North London



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Victorian Tiled Farmhouse Hallway Deep Cleaned in Broadclyst


I was contacted by the owners of an old Farmhouse in the East Devon village of Broadclyst to look at their Victorian Tiled Hallway floor which as you can see from the photograph below was heavily stained and had also been splashed with paint from decorating. Victorian tiles are very robust and can take a lot of punishment which you certainly get in a farmhouse, however once the sealer wears off dirt gets into the pores of the tile making it very difficult to clean.

I visited the property to take a closer look and to take some moisture readings because these old floors don’t have a Damp Proof Course and moisture levels too high can restrict when this type of work can be done due to the sealers needing the floor to be dry in order to cure. I also did a test piece to show the customers what level of cleaning could be achieved.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Broadclyst Farmhouse before cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

With the customers happy with the quote I returned to complete the work starting by covered the skirting and bottom of the stairs to protect the paintwork and carpet. I then put a strong stripper/degreaser called Pro Clean on to the floor, ensuring even coverage and keeping and eye on the floor to make sure that it didn’t dry out.

After a short dwell time I set to work scrubbing the floor with a 400 grit diamond burnishing pad and using small hand blocks to get into the corners and any edges not reached by my machine. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were as good as they could be I rinsed the floor to remove the alkaline cleaner and soiled water.

This was followed by giving the floor an Acid rinse using Tile Doctor’s Acid Gel, this process counteracts any alkaline salts that can rise up through the tile as it dries out, a process which is more commonly known as efflorescence. This can be quite a problem on floors like this that don’t have a damp proof course (floors generally didn’t pre-1950s). I had to be careful not to leave the acid down for too long because these tiles are susceptible to acid damage.

Dealing with salt issues on these old floors (efflorescence) is essential because they can damage the sealer or become trapped under it, detracting from the beauty of the floor. Given the age of the farmhouse it’s difficult to know what the floor had been laid onto. Often it was compacted rubble and building works from the erection of the adjoining buildings; additionally some of the later Victorian floors were laid on a wet limecrete scree which contain a high salt-content.

Before I left for the day I left an air mover on the floor to aid in the drying of the tiles. If there are radiators in the area I also suggest that they are turned on overnight to further aid the drying process. Occasionally these types of floors need to be left for several days to dry but it is worth the wait and the floors can be used in the meantime provided indoor shoes and socks only are used and care is taken not to get the floor dirty.

Sealing an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon returning the next day I tested the moisture content of the floor and was pleased to find that it was well within acceptable levels for the application of the sealer that I was planning to use. I quickly checked the floor for areas that I felt may be able to be improved and once satisfied a single coat of matt-finish, colour-enhancing sealer called Colour Grow was applied before two coats of a Seal and Go sealer was used to give the floor a satin finish, which I think gives it a slight glaze and freshly mopped appearance.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Broadclyst Farmhouse before cleaning

The customers were thrilled and said that they wished they had brought me in sooner!
 
 

Professional Deep Clean and Seal of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in East Devon



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Red Wine Stains Removed from Limestone Fireplace in Woking


Here at Tile Doctor we have developed numerous products and techniques for dealing with all types of situations related to the cleaning of stone, tile and grout. Whilst the most popular work we do relates to the cleaning and sealing of floors sometimes we get asked to resolve more unusual issues such as this Wine Stained Limestone Fireplace at a house in the London commuter town of Woking.

Unfortunately for the customer their teenage son had knocked a glass of red wine from the dining table onto the carpet and over his parent’s adjacent limestone fireplace which despite early attention left noticeable dark spots in the stone. The customer was keen to have the stains removed and had even resigned himself to the possibility of replacing the whole fixture. Naturally this would’ve cost hundreds of pounds; fortunately, however he discovered Tile Doctor on the internet and realised the staining could be remedied reasonably easily with the correct knowledge and products.

Limestone Fireplace Before Wine Stain Removal Woking

Cleaning a Wine Stained Limestone Fireplace

I mentioned earlier Tile Doctor have developed numerous products and techniques and this includes Tile Doctor Reduxa which is designed to lift the stains out of stone, so I decided to try that first.

My method of application was to spray the stain with Reduxa and leave it to soak into the stone for about twenty seconds. Then I worked the solution into the surface of the stain lightly using a smooth 400 grit diamond block. The next step involves using a heat gun to dry out the area. This process is repeated five or six times until the stain completely disappears. The process works by dissolving the stain into the Reduxa which is then evaporated by the heat.

Limestone Fireplace After Wine Stain Removal Woking

I’m pleased to report that the stain was completely removed by the process and no other treatment was required to resolve the problem further. The customer still has to decide however what to do with the carpet…
 
 

Professional Removal of Wine Stains from Limestone in Surrey



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Polishing Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles in Helsby


Getting the best out of a natural stone floor isn’t straight forward and we often get calls from customers who have come to the realisation they need help. An example of this being a lady from the village of Helsby who got in touch after her husband had given up following spending two days cleaning their Limestone tiled kitchen floor but actually making it worse.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled Before Cleaning

Burnishing and Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

On arrival the first step was to give the floor a general clean with a focus on cleaning the grout lines and removing any grit from the floor. I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline tile cleaning product that is safe to use on grout and stone. The cleaning solution was applied by sponge mop and left to soak for ten to twenty minutes before being scrubbed in along the grout line using a stiff narrow brush to get them really clean. Once done the floor was then rinsed with clean water and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled During Cleaning

The next step was to use a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads to polish the stone back to a deep shine. The pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds are applied with a rotary floor buffer in sequence from coarse to extra fine. The first pad has a Coarse 400 grit which is applied with only water for lubrication, removes minor scratches, sealers, and the top surface dirt. Working in small areas, I applied the pad across the Limestone, rinsing in between and picking up the soiled solution with a wet-vac machine. I then repeated this same procedure with the Medium 800 grit pad which is the first stage polishing pad again rinsing with water after use. The next two pads are a Fine 1500 grit and Extra Fine 3,000 grit which really build up a high-quality polish on the stone.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to seal the Limestone first checking with a damp meter that the stone was dry. The customer wanted a natural look finish to the Limestone, so to seal the tiles I applied two coasts of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer doesn’t change the look of the stone in anyway. Ultra Seal is an impregnating sealer that works under the surface by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled After Cleaning Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled After Cleaning

Once the sealer had dried the floor was treated to a gentle buff with a white pad to bring up the shine even further. Once complete the stone looked a lot healthier and the grout looked much cleaner.
 
 

Professional Limestone Floor Polishing in Cheshire



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Dirty and Discoloured Victorian Tiled Entrance Cleaned in Edinburgh


If you visit Victorian era houses throughout the UK, you will find that many them have colourful tiled entranceways (also sometimes known as vestibules). The tiles are commonly made from encaustic cement, stylised with distinct geometric patterns that really help to add character to the property.

The reign of Queen Victoria was a prosperous and confident time for Scotland – and many new houses and buildings were built in the well-known ‘Victorian’ style during the period. One of the best-known buildings to be built was Balmoral Castle, which is still in use by the Royal Family as a holiday home.

Homeowners who are fortunate enough to be in possession of original Victorian tiles will find that they are not easy to keep clean without the right products and methods. The entrance to any house of course is subject to high amounts of foot traffic, which means the tiles can become dirt and discoloured very quickly indeed.

Here is an example that we cleaned and sealed recently in Edinburgh, although in good physical condition for its age the sealer on the floor had worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the tile reducing its overall appearance.

Small Victorian Porch Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning Dirty and Discoloured Victorian Tiles

Having restored hundreds of Victorian tiled floors in the past, Tile Doctor has developed tried and tested methods for cleaning all types of tiled floors so tackling this small floor would not be a problem.

To begin, we gave the floor a deep clean to break down any old sealants and to cut through thick layers of dirt and grime. The cleaning solution we employed consisted of two products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean (which is a strong alkaline cleaner) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (which is a stripping agent formulated for the removal of old sealants, synthetic coatings, glues, and paints). The solution is applied and left to soak into the tile for ten to twenty minutes before being scrubbed in, which for a small area such as this needs to be done by hand. The soiled solution is then rinsed off with water and this is then extracted using a wet vacuum. This deep cleaning process was repeated several times to make sure the tiles were as clean as possible.

Once we were happy that all the dirt and grime had been removed, we gave the floor a quick acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any old grout smears and to neutralise any potential salt efflorescence issues. The floor was then given a final rinse before leaving it to dry off fully overnight and a turbo air mover was left running to help speed up the process and ensure the floor was completely dry to be sealed the following day.

We are very conscious of the fact that many of these old Victorian tiled floors to have damp-proof membranes installed beneath them, so we wanted to guarantee there would be no damp issues that would prevent us from applying a fresh sealant. This is because even a small amount of excess moisture can potentially damage the performance of the sealant.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Entrance

Returning to the property on the second day, we proceed to seal the tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealant soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and providing long term protection, it also enhances the colours in the tile in the process.

The difference made by this two-day restoration is shown below. It is quite amazing how quickly these results can be achieved considering the age and previous condition of the tiles. Our customer was absolutely thrilled.

Small Victorian Porch After Cleaning Edinburgh
 
 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Victorian Tiled Entrance in Edinburgh



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Scratched and Dirty Slate Tiles Rejuvenated in Eastbourne


This Slate tiled floor had been installed in the conservatory of a property in Eastbourne, which I’m sure your aware is a large and well-known seaside resort town on the south coast of England. The home owner contacted Tile Doctor to see if a deep clean and a fresh seal could turn this floor’s fortunes around.

The combination of durability and price makes Slate a popular choice for floor covering, it’s also available in a number of colours, ranging from plain black to a more diverse array of shades. The Slate tiles pictured below are a good example of the latter. Unfortunately, they were looking very tired and had many obvious scratches which were further spoiling their appearance. In other words, they were desperately in need of restoration!

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Eastbourne Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Eastbourne

The word Slate actually comes from the Old French word Esclate, which means ‘piece broken off’, or ‘to split and break’. Which makes sense as Slate tiles are actually made by splitting a larger piece along the grain.

Cleaning a Scratched and Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

To deep clean this floor, we used a combination of two Tile Doctor products. First was Pro-Clean, an alkaline-based cleaner which we use in the majority of natural stone cleaning jobs we undertake as it very reliably removes heavy soil build-up. The second product was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a very strong product which utilises nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate into the pores of the stone, getting underneath and dissolving any stubborn muck. The combined solution was applied to the floor and then covered in a thin plastic sheet so that it wouldn’t dry out and left to sweat for an hour.

The cleaning solution of Pro Clean and NanoTech HBU was then worked into the entire floor using a scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy rotary machine. The floor was rinsed with water and the resultant slurry removed with a wet vacuum. The revealed floor was much cleaner and fresher, and I was able to spot treat stubborn areas before giving it a final rinse.

The slate floor was then left to dry completely overnight so that it would be ready for sealing the following day.

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Eastbourne

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

To seal the tiles, we once again opted to use two different products. Firstly, we applied Tile Doctor Stone Oil, which is an impregnating sealer that adds colour making any imperfections blend back into the tile, which was useful as there were quite a few scratches on this floor.

Secondly, we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer formulated to provide long-lasting protection against ingrained dirt. It also leaves a high-quality sheen finish which really enhances the overall character of the floor.

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Eastbourne Coloured Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Eastbourne

The results of the restoration can be seen in the photos above. We were very pleased with the outcome and the customer was equally very happy. As you can see the patina of the Slate tiles is much more impressive – and it lends more personality to the entire room.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Scratched and Dirty Slate Tiled Floor in East Sussex



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Refreshing a Victorian Tiled floor in Oxford


The Victorian tiled hallway shown below had until recently been covered by carpet and was in surprisingly good condition for its age which is a testament to the durability of these floors. My client who lives in Oxford had managed to remove most of the glue that had been used to secure the carpet to the tile but found it had left an imprint on the floor. Unable to take the restoration any further we were asked to remove the ground in grime and seal the floor.

Carpet Covered Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove what was left of the carpet adhesive primarily with the aid of scraper which was used carefully along the edges. This removed the thicker parts of the glue but needed more work to remove all the traces; so a 50 grit disc fitted to a handheld machine was run around the edges of the whole floor to complete the job removing the residue and dirt in the process.

I then used a 50 grit milling pad attached to a rotary floor machine to remove the ground in grime and clean the whole floor. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the soil that was generated afterwards and then the process repeated this with a 100 grit and 200 grit milling pad to fully restore the appearance of the tile.

This process took up most of the day so before leaving I gave the floor an acid wash using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and then followed this with a good rinse and final clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Having finished cleaning the floor I left it to dry off completely for three days to ensure it was bone dry before returning to seal it.

To seal I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the tile from within by occupying the pores in the clay, it also enhances the natural colours in the tile in the process and leaves a matt finish.

Carpet Covered Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oxford

The finished floor looks a lot brighter now it’s now free of all the dirt and glue marks, the new sealer will also ensure it’s easy to clean and keeps its appearance for some time to come.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway cleaning in Oxfordshire




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Cleaning Shower Cubicle Grout in Maidenhead


The photographs below are of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle installed in a retirement home in Maidenhead. The estimated installation for this bathroom is somewhere between twenty and thirty years and it was well overdue for an overhaul. First of all there was noticeable grout haze left on the tiles where it wasn’t polished off properly during installation and the second issue was the amount dirt and scum that had built up over the years. I suspect this was exacerbated by grout haze issue as it allowed the dirt to become trapped on the surface of the tile.

Retirement Home Shower Tile Grout Before Cleaning Maidenhead Retirement Home Shower Tile Grout Before Cleaning Maidenhead

Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning

A strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was decanted into a spray bottle and applied to the tile and grout allowing it to dwell for a while before being scrubbed in with a stiff hand brush. This action worked to break down the years of dirt and grime that had built-up in the grout lines and on the surface of the ceramic tiles. The tiles were then rinsed down with water and repeated where required until I was satisfied.

The next step was to tackle the grout haze which refers to the smears of grout left on a tile by the tiller after installation; this should have been polished off as it can be difficult to remove once the grout has set. To remove I knew I would need to use an acid so a strong mix of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up was applied using a sprayer bottle and then scrubbed off with an abrasive black pad. In some areas where the grout was proving extremely stubborn I found leaving Tile Doctor Acid Gel for a longer period of time before scrubbing in was more affective.

The shower tile and grout was then given another rinse with water and I could see that although the tiles were now clean and the grout was much improved the grout still looked stained in places so I decided the best course of action would be to apply a white grout colourant to restore a uniform appearance. Before applying that however I applied fresh grout to a few area where old had crumbled away.

Normally I would recommend using a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater before colouring however in this case I felt that the combination of products that had already been scrubbed into the grout would of more than prepared the surface to accept the colourant.

I left the shower to dry over lunch and then on my return used a heat gun to ensure the grout was bone dry before applying the grout colourant. The colourant is actually very easy to apply and is simply painted onto the grout using a small brush making sure to wipe off any excess from the ceramic tile as you go along. The process makes a big difference to the look of a shower and the colourant provides a barrier over the grout making it much easier to clean in future.

Last step was to strip out the old silicone sealant between the shower wall and tray and replace with a new mould resistant sealant in white and to give the tile a buff with a white pad fitted to a handheld buffer to remove any remaining residue.

Retirement Home Shower Tile Grout After Cleaning Maidenhead Retirement Home Shower Tile Grout After Cleaning Maidenhead

The shower cubicle was transformed and now looks as though it was recently installed. Certainly the customer was very pleased with the final result and left the following feedback.

“Dennis was the ultimate professional, prompt, polite and a pleasure to deal with, the transformation to the tiles in the shower is amazing, would have no hesitation in recommending him. A first class job”
 
 

Professional Shower Cubicle Renovation at Berkshire Retirement Home



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Cleaning Shower Cubicle Grout in Walshaw


The photograph below is of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle at a house in the lovely village of Walshaw which is part of the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, near Tottington and Bury. Most of the grout had darkened and some of the grout had cracked and had fallen out, the silicone seal at the bottom of the shower had gone mouldy in places and would also need replacing.

I find mould is a common problem in bathrooms and more prevalent in smaller bathrooms where the hot air and steam are unable to dissipate as easily creating the ideal environment for mould to grow. The solution is improved ventilation; alternatively you can keep on top of the situation by regular cleaning with Tile Doctor Duo Clean.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Grout Before Restoration Walshaw

Tile and Grout Cleaning

To tackle this installation I started by spraying the Tile and Grout down with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean, let it soak in for about ten minutes and then scrubbed it in by hand with a stiff brush followed by rinsing with water. This made a big improvement however there were still areas where the grout was still showing evidence of staining and would need a grout colourant applied to make it look like new again.

Next step however was to rake out the areas of grout that had crumbled and replace with new. Being a Tile Doctor this is something we are very familiar with and once the grout had dried I was able to move onto colouring.

Normally I would recommend using a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater before colouring however in this case I felt the scrub down I gave the grout with Duo-Clean would prepare the grout sufficiently and further preparation would not be necessary. The colourant is painted on using a small brush over the grout and any excess wiped off the ceramic tiles. The process makes a big difference to the look of a shower and the colourant provides a barrier over the grout making it easier to clean in future.

Last step was to strip out the silicone sealant between the shower wall and tray and replace with a new mould resistant sealant in white.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Grout After Restoration Walshaw

The shower cubicle was transformed and now looks as though it was recently installed.
 
 

Professional Shower Cubicle Renovation in South Lancashire



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Rebuilding and Restoring a Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor in Croydon


There is perhaps nothing more irritating for a homeowner than to discover a leaking pipe. Even worse still is when that leak occurs underneath a natural stone floor!

This recent customer of mine, who lives in Croydon, had unfortunately discovered a leaking pipe underneath her Quarry tiled kitchen floor. The plumbers had dug a trench in the floor to replace the pipe and fix the problem. As you can see in the photos below, the original tiles were not replaced and the entire floor was generally left in a bit of a mess.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Croydon

The customer had been trying to find a professional company to restore the floor, but her insurance company would only agree to sending normal cleaning companies to the job. Given the reality of the situation, you won’t be surprised to know that these companies all politely refused!

The situation went unresolved for over six months before the customer finally decided to contact Tile Doctor to restore the floor.

Rebuilding and Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The restoration took place over the space of six days. Our first port of call was to replace the tiles that had been removed as part of the plumbing work. This wasn’t the easiest process as we had to level up the floor before the tiles could be replaced.

Making matters more complicated, the tiles were all hand-made, and it was a bit like completing a jigsaw to avoid lippage. Lippage – for those unfamiliar with the term – means when a floor is laid unevenly and it can make walking on it hazardous.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor During Rebuild Croydon

Once the tiles were reinstalled, it was time to give the whole floor a deep clean. For this, we used Tile Doctor Oxy Gel, leaving it to dwell on the surface for around ten minutes, before scrubbing it into the stone in combination with hot water. Oxy Gel is a strong, alkaline-based cleaner which works effectively to break down dirt and grime, as well as old sealers and waxes.

The next stage of the restoration was to rinse the floor with fresh water, and then lay down Tile Doctor Acid Gel for 15 minutes. Acid Gel is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form which is used to neutralise any grout haze and efflorescence on the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

After completing the deep cleaning process, we rinsed the floor again with fresh water and then left it to dry for three days. Giving the floor enough time to dry was important, since any excess moisture would not have allowed us to complete the restoration by sealing the tiles.

After a few days, however, the floor was indeed thoroughly dried and could receive a fresh seal. We sealed the floor using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which eliminates traditional two-step sealing methods. What this means is that it provides both a robust surface seal and a high-quality low sheen finish – in one product.

After six months of difficulty and disruption, the customer was very happy to have her Quarry floor completely restored in just six days. Check out the photos below to see the outcome.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor After Rebuild Croydon

 
 

Professional Tile Repairing, Cleaning and Sealing for a Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Croydon



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