Victorian Tiled Vestibule Rebuilt and Restored in Glasgow West End


Vestibules (aka entranceways) are not that commonly found in new build houses, but they certainly were a popular architectural feature back in the Victorian period. Many of the Victorian properties which are still in use today still contain their original geometric patterned encaustic cement tiles. These tiles can be very beautiful and colourful – that is if they’re kept looking that way with routine cleaning and maintenance.

I recently visited a Victorian property in Glasgow’s West End to carry out the restoration of one of these tiled floor vestibules. This Victorian tiled vestibule was in truly awful condition. Not only were the tiles caked in years’ worth of muck and paint stains – some of the tiles were completely missing or, at the very least, loose and damaged.

Small Victorian Vestibule Before Restoration

I could see that restoring these tiles back to their peak condition would require several days of work however the owner has keen to get the work done so we set a date for my return to complete the work.

Cleaning and Rebuilding Damaged Victorian Entranceway Tiles

On the first day of work, our priority was to undertake a much needed deep clean of the tiles. This was done using Tile Doctor Pro Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Pro Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner specialised for heavy soil removal, while Remove and Go is formulated to strip away any old sealers, as well as the paint splashes that were very prominent on these tiles.

Small Victorian Vestibule During Restoration

Th combined cleaning solution was left to dwell for a short period of time on the surface of the floor before being scrubbed into the tiles to cut through the thick muck. A steaming machine was used to ensure the products penetrated deep into the pores of the stone to extract ingrained dirt.

During the cleaning process, we could identify which tiles were loose, damaged and missing. These tiles were carefully removed and put to one side. Once the clean was completed the tiles were left to dry off overnight.

The next the floor had dried, and we started to rebuild the floor. This involved installing and grouting new tiles that we had previously sourced for the job to match as closely possible with the original pattern of the floor.

Next, the newly installed tiles were left to set, before we gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This product removed any grout haze from the tiles and will neutralise any efflorescence salts that may rise up through the tiles as they dry. This issue can be quite a problem with older properties which don’t have a damp proof course installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule

Once again, we left the floor to dry out completely overnight, this is especially important when applying a sealer to a tile as sealing damp tiles will lead to issues. We recommend the use of a damp meter at this point to ensure the tiles are indeed dry before sealing.

To seal the floor, we used three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is ideal for these uniquely patterned Victorian tiles as it intensifies the different colours in the stone, while also offering a natural-look matte finish. Of course, the sealer will also provide the tiles with lasting protection again dirt and muck and is also breathable so any damp rising up through from the sub floor will be able to evaporate.

Photos really do speak louder than words in this case, as the restoration achieve some fantastic results. Take a look at the photo below – I’m sure you’ll agree the difference is incredible. Certainly, our very happy customer seemed to think so!

Small Victorian Vestibule After Restoration
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule in Glasgow



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Soiled Yellow and Black Victorian Quarry Tile Restoration


These Yellow and Black Quarry tiles are though to be original feature of this Victorian house in Reading and the owner was keen to get them renovated. The tiles were in basement of the house and over the years the tiles had suffered from water damage due to various small floods, they were now heavily soiled and the most challenging task would be to remove a large build up of mortar and cement.

Yellow and Black Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Reading Yellow and Black Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Reading

I ran a test clean in a corner of the smallest room to demonstrate the cleaning process and although confident I could significantly improve the appearance of the Quarry tiles. I had to explain to my customer that due to the years of neglect the outcome would not be perfect, however the test clean went well and the customer was happy with the outcome so booked me in to do the work.

Yellow and Black Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Reading

Soiled Quarry Tile Cleaning

The first issue to tackle was to remove the dirt and ingrain soil which I did by scrubbing in a strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong tile and grout cleaner. The solution was left to soak in before ten minutes before being agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. I then rinsed off the now soiled cleaning solution off using a hot water truck mounted extraction system.

Yellow and Black Quarry Tiles During Cleaning Reading

Now the ingrained dirt was taken care of, the most difficult task was to remove the cement/mortar built up that was covering a high percentage of the tiles. I did this using a combination of Tile Doctor products including Grout Clean-Up, Acid Gel and 50,100 grit diamond pads. I started with Grout Clean-up but found that Acid Gel worked better on this occasion. To deal with stubborn areas I left the Acid Gel to dwell overnight covered with plastic sheeting so it wouldn’t dry out.

The Acid Gel worked wonders and I was able to complete the cleaning process when I came back the next day giving the floor another rinse with the hot water extraction system. With the quarry tiles now clear I able to do a final spot check and used hand held burnishing blocks and very coarse 50 grit milling pad followed by a 100 grit diamond pad and another rinse to finish it off.

Quarry Tile Sealing

After leaving the floor to dry out over the weekend it was ready to be sealed. We had agreed on giving the Quarry Tiles a matt finish so I used three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable colour enhancing sealer that works well on old clay tiles.

Yellow and Black Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Reading Yellow and Black Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Reading

I’m happy to say the floor turned out very well considering its condition, certainly my customer was very happy with the outcome and left the following feed back on the Tile Doctor Feedback system.

“Fantastic job – completely revived our Victorian cellar tiles, the before and after photos accurately show the difference the work has made! Also impressed by Dennis’s communication and responsiveness to our needs with the work”.

Yellow and Black Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Reading
 
 

Professional Restoration of old Victorian Quarry Tiles in Berkshire



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Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Crouch End, London


Pictures below of an original Edwardian Tiled Hallway at a house in Crouch End, North London. Victorian and Edwardian properties are quite common in the area which actually dates to the 13th Century and is often used in the filming of East Enders.

We were called in to look at restoring the floor back to its former glory and when inspecting and surveying the floor we found large sections of tiles that were loose and three doorway thresholds that required rebuilding and re-tiling. If you have been following our website posts, you will know this is something we specialise in, so we were more than happy to help.

Edwardian Hallway Threshold Before Restoration Crouch End

Restoring an Edwardian Tiled Floor

Before cleaning the floor our first task was to remove the loose, damaged, cracked and broken tiles. These were set aside and those that could be re-used were cleaned prior to re-laying. The remaining tiles were then cleaned using Tile Doctor Remove & Go to remove the old waxes and seals.

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Crouch End

Over the course of three days we worked in small areas of about a metre square at a time. After cleaning the tiles were then fully rinsed and steam cleaned and left to dry. In the meantime, we began the repairs to the thresholds and central part of the floor.

After the installation of the new and reclaimed tiles the floor was re grouted using Mapei grey grout and thoroughly cleaned and left to dry overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Style Tiles

We returned the next day to seal the floor, first checking to ensure the tiles had dried out overnight. To start the sealing we applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow and left it to dry. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that provides stain protection whilst enriching the colour of the tiles in the process.

Edwardian Hallway Threshold During Sealing Crouch End

Once the first coat was dry it was followed by the application of six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a protective Satin Seal that gives a rich, natural appearance and works really well on Victorian and Edwardian tiles.

Edwardian Hallway Threshold After Restoration Crouch End

In total the work took four days to complete and we relayed around 450 tiles in the process. Before leaving we advised our customer on how best to maintain the appearance and increase longevity of the sealer.

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Restoration Crouch End
 
 

Restoring Edwardian Hallway Tiles in North London



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Floor Grout Replaced in Cobham


This floor was tiled with large format beige porcelain tiles with a white grout which as you can appreciate can soon become dirty. Now you might be thinking that this post is about cleaning grout which would make sense as I’m normally asked to clean grout, however on this occasion the customer wanted it removing completely and then re-grouting in a darker colour.

Grout re-colouring grout is easily done using a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which comes in ten different colours but in this case there was an amount of cracked and missing grout which needed replacing anyway.

Floor Grout Before Replacement Cobham

The house was in the surrey village of Cobham which dates back to Roman times and is now known for being an affluent place to live with many large houses.

Removing Grout

Removing existing grout is a messy job that can create a lot of dust so before starting work I positioned my vacuum cleaner adjacent to the tile so any dust would be extracted away. There are a number of ways to remove grout but I find the best way is to use a special oscillating tool which makes quick work of the job. Fortunately due to the large format porcelain tiles with tight grout lines I was able to completely remove all the grout within a few hours.

Grouting a

After a clean up I was ready to mix the new grey grout and start rerouting the tiles. I always use expanding grout for this as it lasts longer and won’t shrink like cheaper products which can rack as a house moves slightly. Once mixed the new grout was pushed into the grout lines with a rubber float and the excess polished off.

I managed to complete the job in a day and before leaving I have the floor a buff with a soft white pad.

Floor Grout After Replacement Cobham

The Grout tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.
 
 

Professional Grout Tiled Hallway Restoration in West Surrey



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Limestone Fireplace Hearths Stained by Flooding Rejuvenated in Morecambe


Morecambe is a large town on Morecambe Bay in Lancashire, and is a tourist hotspot within the region – particularly amongst beach goers during the summer. However, due to its location of being right next to the coast and near to the River Lune, Morecambe is an area which is commonly affected by flash flooding. Just last year there were several episodes of severe flooding.

This flooding has a big impact on houses and businesses – the damage water can cause can come as quite a surprise if you have not experienced it before. I recently visited to a business in Morecambe which had been affected by flooding. The business was, in fact, a fireplace showroom and a pair of the Limestone fireplace hearths on display had been stained by the water.

Floor Damaged Limestone Fireplace Hearth Before Cleaning Floor Damaged Limestone Fireplace Hearth Before Cleaning

We were asked to remove the water marks left by the flooding. One of the hearths has been in use as a test model, with a coal burner installed, and it hadn’t been cleaned properly in some time. As you can imagine, there were more problems than just the water stains to overcome! Both hearths would require a deep clean and fresh seal.

Cleaning Stained and Dirty Limestone Fireplaces

To begin, we applied Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to the hearths. This product is a specially formulated, alkaline-based degreaser and cleaner. As it comes in a gel form, not a liquid, Oxy Gel can be brushed into vertical surfaces and left to soak, without risk of it either disappearing into the Limestone or, even worse, trickling down the side of the surface. We would not want it coming into contact with the carpet, for instance.

We left the Oxy-Gel to dwell for a short period on one hearth while we worked on the other, applying the same treatment. After around twenty-five minutes we rinsed off the gel with clean water and then extracted any excess moisture with the use of a wet vacuum.

This process did a good job of cleaning the Limestone, but more work was required to restore its appearance, so the hearths were polished using a set of diamond encrusted hand held burnishing blocks. We started with the coarsest block (50 grit) and rubbed the stone with a bit of added water as lubrication, before wet vacuuming away the excess residue. This process was then repeated with progressively finer blocks (100, 200 and 400 grit), and the hearths were given a final rinse with fresh water.

There were some odd ring marks on one of the Limestone hearths that we couldn’t remove. Thankfully, the owner put our minds to rest on this problem, as he said they were there when he initially purchased the stone over 20 years ago. They had been covered with dirt ever since and the customer was surprised, but not shocked, to see them again. I suspect that these marks were caused by the natural mineral deposits within the stone. These should not be seen as a stain, but just a characteristic of the stone – and no amount of cleaning will get these marks out.

We would normally seal a light-coloured stone like this with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, as this no-sheen product helps to retain the natural patina of the stone. Alternatively, if we wanted to darken the tone of the Limestone, we would apply Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour-intensifying, impregnating sealer. Two coats of either sealer would suffice, in this case despite being very pleased with the results of the cleaning, the customer decided that he wanted to take care of sealing of the stone himself.

Floor Damaged Limestone Fireplace Hearth After Cleaning Floor Damaged Limestone Fireplace Hearth After Cleaning

 
 

Water Stained Limestone Fireplace Hearth Restoration in Morecambe



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Victorian Hallway Floor Repaired and Restored in Shipley


Shipley is a town in West Yorkshire that was heavily shaped by the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian period. It became particularly well-known for its textile industry and some of the original mills in which textiles were manufactured still survive in the town today. Being in West Yorkshire, Shipley is also part of what is commonly known as ‘Brontë country’ – once home to the famous Brontë sisters.

Many Victorian era properties still survive in the area too and all too often the original Victorian tiled floors contained within are not well maintained. I recently visited a customer in Shipley who had a Victorian tiled hallway that was in need of a deep clean and seal. What’s more, the customer told me that there were around 20 loose tiles in the hallway that would need to be reinstalled.

Victorian Hallway Shipley Before Cleaning Victorian Hallway Shipley Before Cleaning

On the first day, I started by refitting the 20 loose tiles in the hallway. The problem however was a lot worse than originally thought and, in the end, I had to take up 108 tiles, so I could rebuild the base of the floor, and then relay them. This process took up most of the day but at least the adhesive and grout would be set in time for cleaning the next day.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

On day two I focused on deep cleaning the tiles and removing any remaining sealer by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline heavy-duty tile and grout cleaner that serves the purpose of both cleaning the stone and when used in a strong dilution will strip off sealers.

I applied the Pro Clean liberally across the length of the hallway and left it to soak into the tiles for about twenty minutes. This allows the product time to breakdown the sealer and dirt before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad.

Special attention had to be paid to parts of the floor which had suffered paint splashes from previous decoration. I was also surprised to find that there were even some chewing gum stains marking the tiles. These were removed using the combination of a steam cleaner, more Pro-Clean and the careful use of a handheld scraper.

The floor was then given a thorough rinse with fresh water and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum. It was then also left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon returning to the property the next day I checked for any moisture issues with a damp tester. Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could proceed with sealing the tiles which was done using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go that leaves a deep satin finish that the customer had requested.

Victorian Hallway Shipley After Cleaning Victorian Hallway Shipley After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Yorkshire



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Screed Covered Quarry Tiled Floor Renovated in Coulsdon


Pictures below of a Quarry Tiled floor that a customer had discovered when taking up the lino at her house in Coulsdon. Realising the floor was original and worth saving she contacted Tile Doctor and I popped round to take a look.

A lot of the tiles had been covered in a screed to provide a flat base for the Lino and that would need removing. In order to be sure what treatments would work to remove the screen and successfully restore the Quarry tiles without causing any damage I ran a couple of tests and everything seemed ok.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon

We could both see the job wasn’t going to be easy and would take some days to complete so I worked out a price which was accepted and we agreed a date for the work to start.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon

Removing Screed from Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles in the WC hadn’t been covered in Lino so they would just need a good clean and seal so the main work would be in the Hallway and Kitchen. Fortunately my customer was having a lot of other work done in the house and was in the middle of stripping the walls so I didn’t need to worry too much about protecting the skirting boards etc.

Working in sections I soaked the screed in water and then carefully chipped away at it until it came loose, it was slow work but I could see the process was working as expected and eventually all the Quarry tiles were revealed. There was still a lot of cement from the screed stuck to the surface of the tile so after sweeping up the chippings I set to work applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to the tiles and leaving it to soak in for a short while. Grout Clean-Up is an acidic product that we normally use for removing grout smears from the surface of tiles. The solution was scrubbed in and then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Coulsdon

To get the tiles in the toilet clean I gave them a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a reliable and effective Tile and Grout cleaner. Once clean they were rinsed with water and dried with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

I had timed my visit between working being carried out at the property so I was able to leave the floor for a few days so it could thoroughly dry out. I returned later to check the Quarry tiles were dry and completed the renovation by sealing the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that works really well on Quarry tiles. Five coats of Seal and Go were needed to fully seal the tiles and the floor now looks transformed.

The owner was very satisfied with the improvements and before leaving I advised to cover the floor before starting the decorating work.
 
 

Old Quarry Tiles Restored in Coulsdon, Surrey




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Restoring the Appearance of a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor in Cheltenham


The photographs below are of a Polished limestone floor that had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in Cheltenham approximately eight years prior. The polish and sealer had worn off over that time allowing dirt to become ingrained into the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean.

This is a common problem with all types of porous stone and tile which need to be sealed to maintain their appearance. Sealers do wear down over time with use however and need to be maintained, this is why Tile Doctor have created a maintenance program whereby we pop by every 12 months to give the floor a light clean and top-up the sealer, it only takes a few hours, but it keeps your sealer in good condition.

Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Cheltenham Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Cheltenham

Cheltenham by the way is a lovely town situated on the edge of the Cotswolds which is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has a racecourse and is well known for the mineral springs which were discovered here in 1716.

Burnishing a Dull and Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor

My first job was to protect the wooden kitchen units from any splashes by covering them some cotton sheets. Next, I set about restoring the Limestone’s appearance using a set of Burnishing Pads which is a form of polishing which involves the sequential application of four diamond encrusted pads of different grit levels.

The first pad applied is a Coarse 400 grit pad which is applied to the floor with a buffing machine and lubricated with water. This process grinds away the top layer of dirt and staining from the stone, along with any old sealer, the floor is then rinsed to remove the soil that is generated. I then move through the system, applying the Medium and then Fine pads using less and less water as you go but rinsing in-between and extracting the water with a wet-vac machine.

Once I was happy with the stone I scrubbed the grout lines to remove any soiling that the pads had failed to pick up. The floor was then given a final rinse and the wet vacuum used to extract as much moisture as possible. The floor was then left to dry out completely overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The next day I gave the floor a polish with the Very Fine 3,000 grit diamond burnishing pad, this is applied using a technique we call a “spray burnish” due to the fact that very little water is used during its application.

The next step was to seal the stone using for which I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within by occupying its pores. Colour Grow also has the added benefit of intensifying the natural colours in the stone. The floor was then left to dry for an hour before I gave it one final dry polish using the Very Fine burnishing pad.

Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Cheltenham

My customer was very happy with the final result and made the comment that they thought the floor looked brand new.

Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Cheltenham
 
 

Renovating a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor in Gloucestershire



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Deep Cleaning Bathroom Tile & Grout in Beckenham


Recently I was asked to renovate the tile and grout of this windowless bathroom in a Beckenham flat which was not looking its best. The Ceramic tiles had become dull due to a build up of Limescale and the grout had become stained from shampoo dyes and mould.

Ceramic Bathroom Tiles Grout Before Cleaning Beckenham

Without strong ventilation and regular cleaning most bathrooms can end up with these problems however with the right products and techniques they can be renovated as you will see below.

Ceramic Bathroom Tiles Grout Before Cleaning Beckenham

Deep Cleaning Bathroom Tile and Grout

My first action was to apply a liberal amount of Tile Dr Oxy-Gel which is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaning product that comes in a gel form. Being a gel it’s able to sticks to vertical surfaces for longer allowing it to break down the Limescale and soap residue that had taken up residence. Once it had been left to dwell for around thirty minutes, it was scrubbed off with water and a pan scrapper and then dried with a micro cloth. You can use this process with glazed ceramic tiles like these but for natural stone I would have used a different approach.

I then sprayed Tile Doctor Duo Clean, which is a grout cleaner and mould remover, onto the grout lines. I left the grout with the Duo Clean on it for about ten minutes before scrubbing and rinsing off with water.

The process was repeated where needed until I was happy that the tile and grout were as clean as possible however to really give the bathroom a fresh look I decided to completely renovate the grout with the application of a Grout Colourant.

Grout Colouring Bathroom Wall Tiles

There are ten colours to choose from in the Tile Doctor range of Grout Colourant’s and in this case I felt the best outcome would be to use a White colourant to match the tiles and restore the original look of the bathroom; the customer however wanted a grout colour that would provide a contrast against the white tiles, so in the end we opted for a light grey colour.

The colourant is easily applied directly to the grout and in this case I waited for the tiles to dry before applying two coats with the aid of a small brush making sure to remove any excess that comes into contact with the tile.

I finished the renovation by cutting out the original mastic sealant from around the bath and replacing with a new mould resistant silicone in white to match the bathtub.

Ceramic Bathroom Tiles Grout After Cleaning Beckenham

The bathroom now looks transformed and the epoxy grout colourant adds a layer of protection to the grout that will keep it looking good for some time to come.
 
 

Bathroom Tile Renovation in Kent



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Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Refreshed in Buckingham Farm Cottage


I was recently contacted about the restoration of a fantastic example of a Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen of a farm cottage just south of Buckingham.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

There was a very noticeable build-up of dirt on the tiles and in the grout lines. Additionally, there were lots of white spots on the tiles in front of sink area because of a caustic soda spillage. Caustic soda is also known as sodium hydroxide, as is commonly used as a drain unblocking agent. It’s a highly alkaline product and isn’t very friendly to Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The grout was also stained and naturally, the homeowner was keen to get her floor back into the best shape possible – and I was on hand to see what could be done.

Terracotta is a very attractive and useful material that has been in use for over two millennia throughout the world. It has been used perhaps most famously for sculptures and other forms of art, although it has since the days of the Ancient Romans been used as a building material – including in the form of floor tiles. It’s still a popular choice for tiles amongst homeowners today, since Terracotta tiles are typically thicker, and the red colour adds a warm country feel to the home.

Cleaning Stained and Dirty Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I first removed the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units to protect them from splashes from the cleaning products I would be using.

Once this had been done, I got straight into deep cleaning the tile and grout lines using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. To get the best result I left the solution to soak into the pores of the tile for approximately ten minutes before being agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

The floor was then rinsed with fresh water and the resulting slurry of soiled cleaning solution was promptly extracted using a wet vacuum. This process left the tiles and grout looking much cleaner and fresher, however, the white spots caused by the caustic soda would need something extra to remove them.

I treated these spots using Tile Doctor Acid Gel in combination with a steam machine. Acid Gel is a mixture of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form, and can be used to neutralise alkali-based stains such as these. We also commonly use it to treat efflorescence (mineral salt deposits).

The floor was then once again rinsed with fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning products and neutralise the floor, before being left to dry off fully for two days.

Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

I returned after 48 hours and the floor was dry enough to be sealed. The customer wanted to retain the natural-looking and rustic appearance of the Terracotta, so I suggested that we seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealer is impregnating and colour-intensifying (so it emphasises the patina of the stone), but also leaves a matte finish.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The after photos show the result of the restoration – I job well done if I say so myself. And certainly, my customer agreed!

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage
 
 

Professional Cleaning of a Stained Terracotta Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire



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Victorian Basket Weave Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Torver


We were recently asked to restore an old tiled floor that had been laid in a Basket Weave Pattern in the hallway of a property in Torver which is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Torver has a long history however it really took off with the arrival of the Coniston to Broughton-in-Furness railway line in 1859 which was used to transport stone and Slate from the local mines. Many of the properties in the Coniston and Torver areas date from the Victorian period and contain original stone and tiled floors.

This tiled floor had been revealed when the existing carpet was removed by the new owners. It proved to be in quite good condition despite being covered for a long period, but it nevertheless suffered from the usual age-related issues. It needed an intense clean and a fresh seal, including the removal of deeply ingrained dirt, paint stains, glue deposits and bitumen.

After inspecting the situation, the quote we offered the customer was accepted and a date was arranged for us to return to complete the work.

Deep Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Our first course of action was to clean the edges of the floor, to remove the glue deposits and carpet underlay residue. This was achieved using the careful application of a sharp scraping tool and handheld burnishing blocks combined with a couple of Tile Doctor cleaning products.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Renovation Torver

The first product applied was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover) which is a strong alkaline product specially formulated with nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrated deep into the stone and dissolve deeply ingrained dirt and stains. The second product was Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a heavy-duty coatings remover which works well particularly well at removing glue deposits, paint, and synthetic coatings.

We then addressed the rest of the floor using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad attached to a slow speed rotary cleaning machine, applied with water as the lubricant. We used this in small areas to intensely clean the surface of the floor. The resultant slurry was then extracted from the floor a powerful wet vacuum.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and the moisture was wet vacuumed before we moved onto the next area. Once the floor was completely scrubbed and rinsed, and any remaining glue and paint issues were retreated using the same methods we used on the floor edges, we then moved onto the final phase of the clean.

The last step in the cleaning process involved giving the floor an acid wash to deal with any potential salt issues (efflorescence) which can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface of the tiles as they dry. Damp proof membranes that can prevent this problem are a relatively modern invention, so this can be a real issue for old floors from the Victorian era, particularly if the floor has had damp issues in the past. The floor was washed with a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being acidic effectively counteracts the alkaline salts. The floor was then given another rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then left to dry off.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

We actually left the floor to dry out for three full days and upon our returning to the property several moisture readings were taken to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a fresh seal.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay During Sealing in Torver

The customer had requested a natural-looking matte finish to the floor. We have the perfect product to provide this type of finish, so we proceeded to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which naturally enhances the colours in the tile, additionally it’s a fully breathable sealer so moisture can easily rise through the floor.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

As you can see from the photographs taken during the various stages of the restoration, the intense clean and fresh seal greatly enhanced the appearance of the floor – much more so than could have been achieved with everyday products and methods. The customer was very pleased indeed.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation in the Lake District



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Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles Revitalised in Quarry Bank Mill


Quarry Bank Mill is an old textile mill just outside of Wilmslow in East Cheshire that dates back to the Industrial Revolution when it was used to produce cotton. The mill is now under the care of the National Trust who recently put together a £9.4 million project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund the further restoration of the mill and its gardens.

The 18th century mill is now a popular attraction and I was recently asked to clean and seal the Sandstone flooring in the Kitchen of the head gardeners cottage. The cottage is actually located in the formal gardens which were recently visited by HRH Price of Wales.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The Sandstone Kitchen floor was in good physical condition so unlikely to be the original however like any stone floor in constant use the sealer was wearing off and dirt was becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone detracting from its overall appearance.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Cleaning Dirty and Dull Sandstone Flagstones

Our first job was to protect the wooden kitchen units and other woodwork with tape. Next I set about cleaning the Sandstone and stripping any reaming sealer off in the process. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is multi-purpose stripper and cleaner. The product strips away any old sealer on the tiles and draws out ingrained dirt, stains and heavy grease build-up.

I applied the product and left it to soak for roughly fifteen to twenty minutes to allow time to break down the old sealer and penetrate the pores of the stone to reach any embedded dirt. Next, I scrubbed the floor using a specialised buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad swelled with water to get the stone clean. The resulting dirty cleaning slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum and after rinsing with water With the floor clear I was able to spot stubborn areas that need more work and repeated the process.

With the stone clean I turned my attention to the grout lines and scrubbed in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then rinsed off with water. I then completed another spot check of the floor whilst using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible. With the cleaning part of the job complete I left for the day to allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Sealing Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

Upon returning to the property the following day, I tested the floor with a damp meter, checking for any excess moisture that could prevent me from sealing the stone. The floor proved dry and so I began to seal the Sandstone starting with a single coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that is designed to fill the pores of the stone blocking dirt from becoming ingrained there whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone at the same time.

Once the Colour Grow was dry I followed with the application of five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a compatible water-based acrylic sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The floor now looks much healthier and the new sealer show keep it looking that way for some years to come.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Sandstone Tiled Floor in Wilmslow



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Filthy Limestone Fireplace Restored in Oxford


A stone fireplace adds a classic and period look to any home but like the stone floors we deal with its only a matter of time before the appearance degrades, however not from foot traffic but from soot. This process happens so gradually it goes without being noticed until one day you realise it really does need a good clean and the dirtier it gets, the harder it is to clean.

I recently visited a customer living in the historic city of Oxford who had never once cleaned their black Limestone fireplace. One day, they decided to finally clean it but found that it would take a lot more than just a light scrub with some soapy water!

As you can see from the photograph below, the Limestone was extremely dirty, dusty and stained. Upon examining the situation, I decided that the best way to restore the stone to its original condition would be to use a polishing process known as burnishing. Keen to see the natural beauty of the Limestone again, the customer was more than happy to book in the job.

Limestone Fireplace Before Cleaning Oxford

Cleaning and Burnishing a Limestone Fireplace

As I would be focusing solely on the Fireplace, it was necessary for me to start by protecting the surrounding area with tape. I then began the process of burnishing, starting with a 200-grit diamond encrusted handheld burnishing block. I sprayed a small amount of water onto the fireplace to act as a lubricant and rubbed the diamond encrusted block onto the stone.

This coarse grit pad helps to grind away the thick layers of dirt on the surface of the Limestone and starts to gradually polish the surface beneath. I completed the burnishing working in small sections at a time, rinsing with fresh water and wiping excess off regularly as I progressed.

After finishing with the 200-grit block I then repeated the process using a 400-grit block. This block possesses a finer grit and really helped to achieve a high-quality polished effect.
While the Limestone was drying, I treated the black fire grate with the correct grate paste (or polish) which cleaned it and recoloured it.

To complete the cleaning process, I paid attention to the black tiles on the floor. These were cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with water, and scrubbed into the stone and grout using a small specialised brush. Finally, I rinsed the area with fresh water and dried it with a towel.

Sealing a Limestone Fireplace

I then had to leave the fireplace to dry for about an hour so it would be ready to seal. To seal the Limestone, I used Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which offers the natural looking finish that the customer wanted. This sealer is formulated to provide maximum protection against stains and dirt, and is suitable for use on all types of natural stone.

The customer has decided that although this will no longer be used as a working fireplace it, will certainly give the room a focal point – so she was very happy to have it back to looking its best!

Limestone Fireplace After Cleaning Oxford
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Fireplace in Oxfordshire



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Removing Hard Water Staining on Porcelain Shower Tiles in Cheshunt


Photographs below of a Porcelain tiled shower that had been installed at a house in Cheshunt the year before. The tiles were actually dark grey textured porcelain tile but hard water in the area had left very noticeable water stains and limescale deposits that were proving hard to remove with general cleaning.

Stained Black Porcelain Shower Tile Cheshunt Before Cleaning

Hardwater is basically water with a high mineral content which are historically recognised as being good for you, however it’s not so good for the bathroom where the minerals are left behind when the water evaporates.

On the initial visit to survey the tiles we ran a test clean on a small area to ensure we could return the tile back to its as new condition. All went well, and the customer booked us in to return later to complete the work.

Removing Limescale from Porcelain Shower Tiles

Work began by giving the shower tiles an initial clean with Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which was worked into grout lines with detail brushes and a burnishing pad for the tile surface. This process removed all the Limescale and water marks.

A second clean was then carried out with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean which is a fast-effective double action cleaning solution that can remove mould and blackspots from grout and silicone. The solution was sprayed on the shower room floor and walls and left to soak in before being worked in with a stiff brush.

Stained Black Porcelain Shower Tile Cheshunt During Cleaning

The shower tiles were then rinsed with a steam cleaner to remove any trace of product and then buff the tiles with a hand-held white buffing pad to bring up their appearance.

To give it a neat waterproof finish we stripped out the old silicone sealant from around the base of the shower and replaced with new mould resistant silicone.

The shower took a whole day to complete but I think you will agree has been transformed by the process.

Stained Black Porcelain Shower Tile Cheshunt After Cleaning

Reducing the Impact of Hard Water

To minimise the impact of hard water some shower units will keep the shower running at a gradually decreasing temperature immediately after use. This has the effect of rinsing off the deposits before evaporation has chance to occur. Personally, we recommended you spray the shower tiles with Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro after use, this product is a bathroom tile cleaner that is ideal for the regular cleaning of all types of internal porcelain/ceramic bathroom/wet room tiles. Apply by lightly spraying a dilution of the cleaner and wipe over then water rinse and dry buff to finish.
 
 

Hard Water Staining Removal on Porcelain Shower Tiles



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Mouldy Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Restored in Eccles

An elderly couple from the Greater Manchester town of Eccles were in touch recently regarding their Ceramic Tiled Bathroom, they had a big problem with mould build-up due to a broken extractor fan and wanted it removing. Mould grows in humid conditions and with the extractor fan out of action it soon started to spread. If you have been reading my blog, you will have seen some of the bathroom transformations we have completed over the years, so I was confident we could resolve the problem for them and paid them a visit to take a look.

Mouldy Bathroom Before Restoration in Eccles

You can see from the photographs that the tiles were in good physical condition, but the grout and silicone mastic sealant was stained with shampoo dyes and mould spots, the worst part however was the ceiling which was covered in mould growth. I ran a test clean on the bathroom wall grout and ceiling which went very well so we quickly agreed on a date to clean the whole bathroom.

Mouldy Bathroom Before Restoration in Eccles

Cleaning a Ceramic Shower Cubicle

They say you should always start at the top and work down so my first task was to treat the mouldy bathroom ceiling with Tile Doctor Duo Clean which although marketed for use on grout it worked just as well on paint to remove the mould. When done with ceiling I moved on to the wall tiles spraying on Duo Clean, letting it soak in for ten minutes, working it in to the grout with a stiff brush and then rinsing off with water.

With four walls of tile and grout and a ceiling to clean the overall cleaning process took two days to complete and at the end of the second day I turned my attention to the silicone sealant. Taking care not to scratch the bathtub I carefully stripped out the silicone in-between the tile and bath with a sharp knife. Duo Clean works on silicone as well but you do need to catch it early so often the easiest thing to do is to replace it rather than clean it. I replaced the silicone with a good quality mould and bacteria resistant silicone.

When I returned on the next day I carried on with the Top/Down approach by turning my attention back to the ceiling which I painted with a white moisture resistant emulsion paint.

Mouldy Bathroom After Restoration in Eccles Mouldy Bathroom After Restoration in Eccles

With the ceiling freshly painted I then took another look at the grout which although clean was not a perfect white anymore and looked dull and uninviting. We do find this can happen with grout, especially if it isn’t the subject of a regular cleaning regime. There is a remedy though and what we find works well in these cases is to recolour the grout with an epoxy-based Grout Colourant which not only rejuvenates the grout it also protects it for years to come.

Grout Colouring Bathroom Wall Tiles

There are ten colours to choose from in the Tile Doctor range of Grout Colourant however in this case I felt the best outcome would be to use a White colourant to match the tiles and restore the original look of the bathroom.

The colourant is easily applied directly to the grout and in this case, I applied two coats with the aid of a small brush making sure to remove any excess that comes into contact with the tile. After applying the colourant, the bathroom transformation was complete, and it looked like a new installation.

Mouldy Bathroom After Restoration in Eccles

It was a lot of work however I was really happy with the outcome and so were the clients who even left me a nice tip. The last thing to sort out is the extractor fan, however they will need a different tradesman for that job.

Bathroom Tile Renovation in Greater Manchester
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Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned in Leighton Buzzard


A homeowner in the Leighton Buzzard was having some renovation work done to their property and during the course of the work discovered an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the hallway carpet. The town dates all the way back to the 12th century so period features like this are quite common.

Keen to have the floor restored the owner got in touch to ask if I could survey the floor and quote for restoring it, so my colleague Phillip popped round to see what needed to be done. Surprisingly the tiles were generally in quite good condition for their age with just a few cracks and chips here and there. There were some missing tiles that needed replacing but I was able to help them source replacements which were fitted before the cleaning work commenced.

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the cleaning process by giving the tiles a deep machine clean with Pro-Clean which is a strong tile and grout cleaning product produced by Tile Doctor. A strong dilution was left to soak into the tiles before scrubbed in with a tile brush fitted to a rotary machine. This action lifted the surface soil and bits of plaster and paint which was then rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soil and cleaning solution removed I then carried out a full inspection of the tiles in their natural state to see what other work would be required. As there was no apparent sealer present, I decided that the next step in the cleaning process would be to use a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to clean and resurface the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse and wet vacuum. I then went around on hands and knees using Tile Doctor 100 grit diamond hand blocks to remove stubborn staining around the edges close to the newly painted skirting boards.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was allowed to fully dry for 2 days before I returned to apply Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant which is an impregnating sealer that improves colour and is fully breathable, so it allows any damp from the sub floor to dissipate. Choosing a breathable sealer is important for these old floors which have no damp proof course and Colour Grow is normally my sealer of choice for Victorian floor tiles.

However Colour Grow dries to a matt finish and on this occasion the customer felt the finish still looked quite dull, although she was very happy with the results of the cleaning she asked if there was anything else I could do to brighten the finish, it was agreed that I would return a week later to carry out a damp test and if the results of this were favourable I would go ahead and apply several coats and apply Tile Doctor Seal & Go topical sealant which is water based and dries to a silk finish.

When I returned moisture, readings were taken which were acceptable, so as agreed I applied several coats of Seal and Go to give the tiles the desired appearance. With the work completed the customer was happy with the final results and even left the following feedback via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Phillip arrived on time, worked very hard to prepare the floor- about 6 hours. Returned after floor was properly dry- 2 days. Applied a mat finish – 2-3 coats. I was disappointed with this finish, the floor which looked very flat and washed out. Each floor has its own characteristic and absorbs the products used differently. Phillip didn’t disagree, so applied two coats of a glossy finish which has brought out the beautiful colours of my Victorian floor. All of this was done without a quibble. Happy with the finish now. My advice is to discuss fully the finish you require and get a patch test done before so everyone is clear about the job in hand. Would use again. Ms. A Binger , Leighton Buzzard

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of Victorian Tiled Hallway in Bedfordshire



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Pitted Travertine Floor Tiles Filled and Polished in Rushden


Not only do we carry out the deep cleaning and restoration of all types of natural stone, we can also carry out repairs such as the filling of holes in stone, whether it be limestone, marble or as in this case Travertine. Travertine in particular is prone to a natural process of erosion know as pitting, this results in holes developing that easily fill up with dirt and muck over time and can be a real problem to maintain.

Pitted Travertine Before Filled Polished Rushden

This customer in Rushden called me in, as he felt the floor hadn’t been properly maintained since it had been installed twelve years prior and he was becoming concerned about the number of holes and pits that were appearing in the high traffic areas. The Travertine tiles had been laid in the hallway, kitchen and upstairs bathroom of the property but the problem was most apparent in the Kitchen.

Pitted Travertine Before Filled Polished Rushden

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the floors clean and restore the polished appearance of the Travertine I decided to apply a set of Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The process involves the application of four different pads applied in sequence from coarse to very fine, rinsing in-between each pad to remove dirt. As the floor had been installed in the Kitchen and the Hallway it made sense to split the work into two parts and work on each area separately.

The first pad is a coarse 400 grit pad that is attached to a rotary machine running at slow speed and with only water for lubrication. The pad is applied to the stone to removes minor scratches, sealers and dirt. It’s run over the entire floor and afterwards the floor is rinsed with water which is then extracted with the soil using a wet-vacuum.

I then repeated this same procedure with the second pad, which is a Medium 800 grit pad used to remove dirt from minor scratches and holes in the stone. After rinsing again, I went onto the third burnishing pad in the sequence which is a Fine 1500 grit pad that starts to rebuild the polish on the Travertine. I gave the floor another rinse and used the wet vacuum again to extract the water and soil from the floor. The last 3,000 grit super fine pad was then applied with a small amount of water sprayed onto the floor, this last pad really builds a nice shine on the stone.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the burnishing process was completed the floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I came back the next day to continue with the work. I took a few moisture readings to confirm the floor was dry and then applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that impregnates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and improving the natural colours of the stone in the process. I particularly like to use it on Travertine as it really does bring out the brown shades in the stone.

Filling Holes in a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the first coat of sealant had dried I started the work to fill the holes throughout the installation using appropriate colours of stone filler resin. I purposely delayed doing this until the first coat of sealer was in place in order to prevent excess resin from being absorbed into the tile and causing unwanted staining. There were quite a few holes to fill so it took a while to complete, the filler also needs several hours to dry and harden even when assisted with a fan. Excess filler is then polished off using a 17” rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a white polishing pad and any dust is carefully vacuumed up before applying a second coat of sealer. The floor was then allowed to dry before a final polish with a new 3000 grit pad to achieve a high sine finish.

Once the cleaning process was complete and the first coat of sealant had dried I then commenced the repair work by filling all holes throughout using appropriate colours of stone filler resin, the first coat of sealant is to stop the excess resin from being absorbed into the tile and causing staining, the filler is allowed to dry and harden for several hours assisted with a fan on site. Excess filler is then polished off using a 17” rotary scrubbing machine and a white buffing pad. Any dust is carefully vacuumed up before applying a second coat of sealant. This is then allowed to dry before a final polish with a new 3000 grit burnishing pad to achieve a deep sine finish.

Pitted Travertine After Filled Polished Rushden

I’m not sure the photographs really show off the transformation that I had managed to achieve, however my customer was certainly happy and left me the following glowing review via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

My hall and kitchen floor has been down for 12 years and has been a high traffic area. The Tile Doctor has literally made it look like new again. Holes filled, smooth, shiny and new again! My fully tiled bathroom has also been rejuvenated, wall tiles, shower tiles and floor tiles. The water now beads on the tiles like a freshly waxed car, and the walk-in shower has been perfectly resealed. Money very well spent.
Thank you so much! Mr.J. White, Rushden

Pitted Travertine After Filled Polished Rushden

It’s always nice to get feedback like that, it really does make your efforts feel appreciated.
 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire



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Restoring a Carpet Covered Sandstone Hallway in Carbrooke


This was perhaps the most challenging restoration we have been presented with to date.
The work involved removing carpet and underlay from a long Yorkstone tiled hallway at a beautiful old Grange in Carbrooke on the outskirts of Watton and restoring the flagstones to their original glory. These pavers are a type of Sandstone, a carboniferous sedimentary rock consisting of quartz, mica, feldspar, clay and iron oxides quarried in Yorkshire and having a rich sandy colour with a slightly sparkling surface.

On lifting the carpet, we found, to our dismay, that the rubber-backed underlay had been firmly stuck down to the surface of the stone with what appeared to be a thick layer of yellowing impact adhesive which covered the entire area right up to the thresholds and skirting boards.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Carpet Removed Revealing Underlay Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Underlay Peeled Back Revealing Glue

Stripping Carpet Adhesive off a Sandstone tiled floor

Our first task was to remove as much of the underlay by hand using sharp-bladed scrapers and a heck of a lot of elbow grease. Having done this, the next step was to cover the remaining adhesive layer with a specialist water-based stripper which was applied by brush and allowed to react for an hour. The result was an incredibly sticky substance with the consistency of chewing gum which we had to painstakingly remove inch by inch with paint scrapers. This process had to be repeated twice as even the specialist stripper couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of goo in a single application. The floor was then left overnight to dry out and settle down.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Applying Stripper Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Scraping Away Softened Glue

The following day, we deep-cleaned the whole area using very strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and Remove & Go, scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black stripping pad. Four pads were used up in this process as they quickly became clogged with the thick slurry which was then power rinsed and vacuumed away from the floor. Any remaining patches of the glue were further softened using Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover and carefully picked off by hand with the bladed scrapers.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Deep Cleaning Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Stone Surface After Deep Cleaning

Finally, the slabs were finished using a brush fitted to the rotary machine with 320 grit honing powder to achieve a smooth, silky and very clean surface before being power rinsed with plenty of clean water. Again, the floor was left to dry thoroughly overnight with the assistance of our large capacity dehumidifier and thermostatic hot air blower.

Sealing a Sandstone tiled floor

Returning the following day, we found that the dehumidifier and heater had done their job and the sandstone was ready for sealing, the moisture content having been brought down to an average of 10% overall as shown by our damp meter testing.

The client had requested a light shine on the floor so that it would be easy to maintain on a daily basis. We chose, therefore, to use Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a combination sealer with a mid-sheen topical finish, which we applied using paint pads and microfibre cloths in five thin coats, resulting in an excellent fluid resistant seal with a lustrous shine.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Applying Sealer To Edges Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Finished Floor

This was a tough job but a highly satisfying result, further emphasised when the client’s antique furnishings were placed in situ.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Restoration of a Sandstone Hallway in Norfolk



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Re-Sealing Jura Limestone Tiles in Wetherby


This large Jura Limestone floor had been installed in a house in the history Yorkshire town of Wetherby twelve months prior and after only one year the sealer had worn off. Now dirt was getting trapped into the pores of the stone causing it look dull and uninviting and making it difficult to clean.

The builder who installed the floor must have used a really cheap sealer as they usually last a lot longer than a year and such a premium stone really deserved better. There were also a few other issues, it seems the floor wasn’t completely clean when it was sealed causing grit and dirt to become stuck to the floor, additionally the sealer had been applied with the underfloor heating on which is a big No No, for best results sealers need to be allowed to dry off naturally at room temperature.

The floor was now in a sad state and the owner wanted the floor stripping back and sealing properly. He had received a number of quotes for this job that were between one and two days! To do the job correctly was a 5-day job, fortunately the owner of the property wanted the job doing properly this time around.

Jura Limestone Tiled Floor Before renovation Jura Limestone Tiled Floor Before renovation

Stripping and Polishing Jura Limestone Tiles

The best way to restore high quality stone like this is to hone the floor using varying grits of abrasive floor pads. Tile Doctor have developed a technique for this known as burnishing which is a version of stone polishing that involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads. Each pad in the system has its own level of grit and is applied in sequence from coarse to fine in order to re-hone the finish on the stone.

Before burnishing the floor however, the floor was given a clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove any grit but with a main focus on scrubbing the grout lines by hand to get them as clean as possible. Once I was happy with the grout the floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

I started with the Coarse 400 grit pad lubricated with water and then after rinsing the floor with water I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally the Very Fine 3000 grit pad further rinsing in-between each pad to achieve a refined polished finish. This process may sound straight forward but the floor had been laid throughout the ground floor and so each section took time to complete.

Stripping and Polishing Jura Limestone Tiles

The last step was to seal the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium natural look impregnating sealer the protects the stone from within by occupying the pores so dirt and other contaminates can’t get in there.

Jura Limestone Tiled Floor After renovation Jura Limestone Tiled Floor After renovation

The floor now looks fantastic and it should stay that way for some time to come.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Large Jura Limestone Floor in North Yorkshire



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Terrazzo Reception Room Restoration for Business in Oldbury


We recently took a call from a company based in Oldbury asking if we could restore a natural stone floor that had been covered for over many years. The company were unsure exactly what type of stone the floor was made of, so I agreed to visit the site to survey the situation and quote a price for restoring the floor.

Oldbury is a town in the West Midlands, not far outside of West Bromwich, which has a history dating back over 1,000 years. It has historically been home to several notable businesses include Lloyds Bank who opened their first branch here back in 1864.

Upon visiting the company, I quickly identified the floor as Terrazzo, which is made from a process that was originally invented in Italy and popularly used in the UK during the 1920s. One of the most famous examples of Terrazzo stone in use is the Hollywood Walk of Fame in California. The floor was stained around the edges with what appeared to be paint smears from decorating and judging on its current appearance I could see it had been some time since it had been professionally cleaned. The floor was structurally sound however and I was confident however that a good finish could be achieved.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich

The floor was in a big open reception area of the building with a couple of hallways leading off it. We decided to clean the floor on a Friday afternoon when the workforce was not in the building to minimise the disruption.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich

Cleaning a Dirty Terrazzo Reception Room Floor

To begin the restoration, we covered the floor in Tile Doctor’s alkaline-based cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, mixed in medium strength solution as the floor was quite dirty in places. The solution was left to dwell on the floor for about twenty minutes and we then processed to carefully scrape off the paint a process made easier by the Pro-Clean.

The cleaning solution was then scrubbed thoroughly into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a large black scrubbing pad. The resultant slurry was then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor clear of surface dirt, the next step was to burnish and re-polish the floor using a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads. The system consists of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads of varying levels of grit, which are fitted to a rotary floor machine. The pads are used sequentially, starting with the coarsest 400 grit pad and ending with the finest. A small amount of water is used for lubrication with each pad and the floor is rinsed in-between each pad.

After the 1500 grit pad had been applied the floor was given a final rinse with water which was then extracted using the wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Terrazzo Reception Room

We returned to the building the next day (Saturday) and immediately ran a damp test on the floor to check if it was dry enough to be sealed. The floor proved to have dried completely, but before sealing the last very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad was applied with a little water spayed onto the floor to really bring out the shine in the Terrazzo.

Once this had been done, we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles and then allowed them to dry off. Colour Grow is an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer that helps to compliment the polished finish. Once the floor was dry, we buffed up the floor with a soft white pad.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich

Before leaving, we gave the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, a product which is ideal for routine cleaning of sealed floor to help keep the floor looking great. The customer was very happy with the results! You can judge them yourself by comparing the photos above with the ones below.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Terrazzo Reception Floor in Oldbury



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