Restoring a Beautiful Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Silkstone, Barnsley


The owner of this house in Silkstone, which is a village situated in the foothills of the Pennines a few miles West of Barnsley, had inherited this Kitchen Slate floor from the previous owner of the house and in the years, they’d lived at the house they hadn’t done anything with the floor. Slate tiles are beautiful but like any natural stone you really need to maintain the sealer if you want them to stay that way, once the sealer wears off dirt can penetrate the pores of the stone resulting in a floor that always looks dull and dirty.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Barnsley Before Cleaning

In this case of this Slate floor the sealer had worn off many years prior and a thick layer of grime had built up on top of what was once an amazing looking floor. Stone floors never come with a care guide and the process of degradation happens so slowly, so you can understand how this could happen over time.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Barnsley Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dirty Slate Kitchen Tiles

Before starting I protected the wooden kitchen units from splashing using plastic sheeting. Next step was to soak the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and Pro-Clean combined into a strong cleaning and stripping cocktail. The solution was left to dwell for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine running at slow speed to break through the grime and the sealers and oils that the previous owner had used on the slate.

The pad is good at scrubbing the tiles but struggles to get into the grout so after the tiles were scrubbed I followed by running a stiff brush along the grout lines to give them a thorough clean.

The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the tiles with water and then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum. With the floor clear it was inspected, and problem areas re-treated using the same process.

Once I was satisfied that the Slate and the Grout was clean and clear of old sealers I gave the whole floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing Kitchen Slate Tiles

Returning to the property the next day, I ran some quick damp tests to check for any excess moisture that might have prevented me from sealing the floor. We will always do this as excess moisture can affect the sealer curing.

Our client had previously decided that they liked the look of our High Shine Sealer due to how it brings the stunning colours of the Slate out. High Shine Sealer is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable high-sheen finish. Four coats of sealer were applied and when the customer arrived home later that day they were totally blown away by the floor and how amazing it looked.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Barnsley After Cleaning Slate Tiled Kitchen Barnsley After Cleaning

 
 

Rejuvenating a Multicoloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Yorkshire



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Bathroom Shower Cubicle Deep Cleaned in Millom


We were asked to look at a renovating a bathroom shower at a house at the The Green, near Millom which was rather useful as it is a short distance from my own home. Millom is a small town in South West Cumbria that actually dates to 1251 when it was given a market charter by King Henry III.

Given the location it wasn’t long before I was able to pop round and review the shower installation. It was clear that the shower needed some Tile Doctor TLC, with mould being a major issue in the silicone seal and grout near the base of the shower.

Bathroom Shower Cubicle Before Renovation Millom

Mould thrives in warm damp environments such as shower cubicles and the problem can usually be traced to a lack of adequate ventilation. Improving the ventilation should resolve the problem permanently however if that’s not possible it can be controlled by regular use of products such as Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro shower cleaner or Tile Doctor Duo Clean which is a double action mould and grout cleaner. Other steps you can take include leaving the door open after a shower to improve cross ventilation and rinsing the shower down with cold water after a shower.

After reviewing the installation, we agreed on a price and I returned a few days later to carry out the work.

Cleaning Ceramic Bathroom Tile and Grout

On return the first thing we did was thoroughly clean the tile and grout using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, our high performance alkaline cleaner and de-greaser in gel form making light work of cleaning vertical tiled surfaces. The gel was scrubbed into all tile and grout surfaces and left to dwell for five minutes then thoroughly rinsed down with water. This process was repeated until we were happy with the result.

The next stage was to remove the mould riddled silicon and small areas of damaged grout at the base of the shower unit. This took some time to achieve as the silicon was in a very poor state. Once all traces of the silicone were removed we cleaned the area with more Oxy-Gel and carefully rinsed all the residues to stop us having any problems when re-applying new silicone.

Bathroom Shower Cubicle During Renovation Millom

The shower tray was cleaned of debris and a heat gun was used to completely dry all areas.

Replacing Shower Grout and Silicone Sealant

Finally, with the mould removed it was clear that a few areas of grout were crumbling and needed replacing. The old grout was raked out and a new batch of mould resistant grout was prepared and applied. Whilst that was drying I also replaced the silicone sealant between the shower tray and tile using a mould resistant silicone.

Bathroom Shower Cubicle After Renovation Millom

We asked the customer to not use the shower for at least 24 hours and as can be seen in the photographs the shower appearance was vastly improved. The customer is very pleased commenting that “it looks like new”.

Bathroom Shower Cubicle After Renovation Millom
 
 

Professional Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning in Cumbria



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Multiple Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicles Refreshed in Sale


The photographs below are from one of three shower cubicles we were asked to clean and restore at a modernised Victorian property in SALE Cheshire. Ceramic tiles are glazed so very easy to keep clean, grout and silicone however are not and if you let mould build-up untreated it can very difficult to remove.

Mould likes a warm damp environment which can be reduced by improving the ventilation in the shower room, other steps you can take to reduce mould include always leaving the door open after a shower to improve cross ventilation and rinsing the shower down with cold water after a shower. Tile Doctor also have a product called Oxy-Pro that you can spray on your tiles after use.

Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning in Sale Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning in Sale

Sale is a town in Trafford, Greater Manchester but is historically part of Cheshire and dates to before the Middle Ages. A survey commissioned by the Royal Mail in 2017 highlighted Sale as the 4th most desirable town in England to live in and being so close to the city of Manchester makes it a popular choice for commuters.

Cleaning Ceramic Bathroom Tile and Grout

To get the grout clean Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was decanted into a spay bottle diluted with water and the solution was sprayed onto the grout lines. Pro-Clean in a strong and effective grout cleaner and after leaving it in place for about five minutes it was scrubbed in by hand using a stiff brush along the grout lines. I also gave the tile and cubicle glass a clean with Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro which comes in a ready to use spray bottle.

The next step was to carefully remove the old silicone sealant from around the edges of the shower cubicle using a sharp knife, so it could be replaced with new.

At this stage I took a step back to review the results of the cleaning, I wanted the best possible outcome for my customer and if more work was needed to get the shower looking it’s best now was the time. I concluded that the grout was much improved by unfortunately the mould staining was still visible in areas and that the best way to proceed would be to colour the grout.

Colouring Shower Tile Grout

Tile Doctor have a Grout Colourant product that’s available in ten different colours including White which I felt would be the best colour for the cubicle. Other colours include three shades of Grey, two shades of Brown and two shades of Beige as well as Black. The Grout Colourant is painted onto the grout lines using a small brush and I find a toothbrush works well for this purpose. Excess colourant needs to be removed from the tile before it sets, and I often find baby wipes work well for this purpose.

The grout colourant adds an epoxy barrier over the grout that is resistant to staining and much easier to clean than the grout itself. With this in place the grout will stay protected and the cubicle should keep its appearance for some time to come.

While the Grout Colourant was drying I replaced the silicone around the base of the shower cubicle using a premium mould resistant silicone that should be more resistant to staining.

Once the colourant and silicone had dried I gave the cubicle a final inspection and buffed up the ceramic tiles with a six-inch white pad fitted to a handheld buffer. As I mentioned before there were three shower cubicles to complete so as one was drying I was able to move onto another and as a result managed to complete all three in one day.

Shower Cubicle After Cleaning in Sale Shower Cubicle After Cleaning in Sale

 
 

Professional Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning in Cheshire



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Honed Limestone Kitchen Floor Restoration – Upper Boddington, Daventry


The following photos show a recent job we undertook at a timber framed house in the village of Upper Boddington, just south of Daventry. The client was having a new kitchen installed but didn’t want to replace the floor as it was generally in good condition, just dull with some staining and general wear and tear.

As the photos show the kitchen units had already been removed and as the tiles were wall to wall this was an ideal time to have this work carried out as the kitchen was being reconfigured and the customer wanted the floor to look uniform throughout, we also included the hallway in the cleaning process.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

Burnishing and Cleaning Polished Limestone Tiles

With tiles made of Limestone, Travertine, Marble and other high quality polished stone, we find that the best way to restore appearance is through a process known as burnishing and in the before photo you will see the specialised grinding and polishing equipment we use to achieve brilliant results and a professional finish.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

As the tiles were worn and stained in the high traffic areas we applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which had been diluted and decanted into a pump-up sprayer. After leaving it to soak in for ten minutes it was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a rotary floor machine and a stiff brush. This was followed by washing and rinsing of floors with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to apply a full set of Tile Doctor Stone Burnishing pads from 200 grit, 400 grit, 800 grit and finishing with 1500 grit for a honed look. We worked through the pads in 10 metre sections at a time lubricating with water and rinsing with water between each pad.

The kitchen and hallway floors were then allowed to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing Polished Limestone Tiles

The next day I returned to the property and completed the polishing process by applying the very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad with a little water and leaves a high shine finish.

The floor was then sealed with three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, natural look, impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection without altering the colour of the stone. The sealer takes an hour to dry and with three coats to apply it took most of the day to finish.

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington

The customer was happy with the results and left the following 5-star review on our site.

“Superb Service Chris P, Daventry”

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington
 
 

Professional Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing of a Honed Limestone Floor in Northamptonshire



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Laminate Covered Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Stafford


The photographs below are of a Victorian Tiled Hallway I recently restored in Stafford. This lovely floor was discovered underneath laminate flooring I can only assume because a previous owner of the house couldn’t work out how to restore it as it was in a terrible state and decided to cover it up.

Fortunately thanks to the power of the internet the current owner discovered Tile Doctor on-line and called us in to have a look with the aim of restoring the floor as a period feature.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Stafford

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Laminate is laid as a floating floor so unlike vinyl or carpet coverings that I usually deal with the laminate had if anything protected what was essential a very dirty Victorian tiled floor that was stained with adhesive and paint splashes.

With the laminate flooring already removed by the owner my preparation consisted of adding protection to the wooden paintwork. Once done I started to tackle the dirt by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and leaving it to soak into the tile and grout for about fifteen minutes. Then with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at slow speed I set about scrubbing the floor to get as much ingrained dirt out of pores of the Victorian floor tiles as possible. Once that was done I rinsed off the now soiled cleaning solution with water and then extracted it with a wet vacuum.

This action made a huge difference to the tile and grout, but the paint and adhesive stains were more difficult to remove so these areas were treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go assisted with a steamer to help draw the staining out.

With the tile ad grout now clean of dirt and stains I gave the floor a rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and then extracted as much moisture from as possible using the wet vacuum. I then left for the day allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing Victorian floor Tiles

The next day I confirmed the floor had dried off and then proceeded to apply five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer that adds a lovely shine to the tiles. I used a fully breathable sealer as these old houses were built before the invention of the damp proof course and I wanted to ensure that any moisture could rise through the floor and evaporate unhindered.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Stafford

The final photograph shows the huge transformation I achieved with the floor and as you can imagine my customer was very happy with the result.
 
 

Victorian tiled hallway floor Restored in Stafford



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Dull Limestone Kitchen Floor Burnished and Polished in Chesterfield


You can’t beat the natural beauty of a stone floor, but you will find that over time the protective sealer wears down and dirt becomes ingrained in the pores of the stone. This process is so gradual you might not notice it until one day your looking at old photographs and realise the difference.

On this occasion a customer of mine had a Limestone tiled floor installed in the Kitchen of her house in Chesterfield fifteen years prior. It had never been deep cleaned and resealed since being installed and having recently completed a house extension with a new Limestone floor she realised just how dirty and tired the original floor now looked.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Chesterfield Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Chesterfield

I went over to take a look at the floor, demonstrate the cleaning process and discuss the different sealers we have available. She has happy for me to do the work and specified she didn’t want the floor to have a gloss appearance, so a matt sealer would be best.

Deep Cleaning a Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor

I returned a few weeks later to carry out the work and started by adding protection to the Kitchen units. The Limestone has quite ingrained and had quite a few scratches in the stone that would need to be grinded out so fitted a very coarse 100 grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to my heavy rotary floor buffer. You apply water to help lubricate the process and then once finished the floor is rinsed with more water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to get the grout as clean as possible by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then scrubbing it by hand with a stiff narrow brush. This action released the dirt from the grout and was rinsed away again with water extracted using the wet vacuum.

This burnishing process was then repeated using a 200 grit and then 400 grit burnishing pads to refine the finish of the stone and close the pores, again water was used to rinse off the soil and the vet vacuum used to get the floor as dry as possible.

Whilst drying the floor with the wet vacuum I also inspected the floor and identified areas for further spot treatment. I also noticed a few places where the grout had crumbled and needed replacing and so this was raked out and re-grouted with a beige grout.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property to finish off the floor with the matt sealer we had discussed earlier. The floor must be dry before applying the sealer, so I took a few readings with a damp meter first to ensure that was the case. This is important as it’s not unusual for sealers to go milky or ever peel off later if the floor hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned or wasn’t dry when the sealer was applied.

Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Chesterfield

All was well, so I started applying the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, it’s a matt sealer that protects the stone from within by impregnating the pores with sealant without altering its appearance.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Chesterfield Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Chesterfield

My customer was very happy with the result and now has two matching Limestone tiled floors, she also left the following short comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Great job, faultless ….. thanku
Anne M, Chesterfield

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dull Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Derbyshire



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Dull Encaustic Tiled Hallway Floor Renovated in Berkhamsted


I had an enquiry from a client in the London commuter town of Berkhamsted who had a beautiful Encaustic tiled floor in their hallway which was in need of cleaning. Encaustic tiles are made from layers of cement that are hydraulically compressed to make a very hardwearing surface that can then be decorated. The result is an easy to clean hardwearing surface that is ideal for high traffic areas such as hallways.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Berkhamstead

Encaustic tiles however are micro-porous so do need to be sealed to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the tiny holes. The tiles at this property in Berkhamsted had been sealed at some point in the past but over the years the sealer had worn down lettering dirt enter the pores making it difficult to clean effectively. The floor now required a deep clean and seal to bring back the life into this artistic floor pattern.

Encaustic Tiled Floor Cleaning

We first removed what was left of the old sealer and ground in dirt using a coarse 400 grit Red burnishing pad attached to a rotary floor buffer. The burnishing pads we use are encrusted with industrial diamond and are applied using water for lubrication, once the pad has been run over all the tiles the floor is rinsed with more water which is then extracted with a wet vacuum to remove the slurry that is generated.

The coarse pad was the followed by a medium 800 grit burnishing pad which is the first step in restoring the appearance of the tiles and is applied and rinsed off using the same process as the 400 grit. The 800 grit pads is followed by the 1500 grit pad which is the second step In restoring the appearance of the tile. Again, the pad is applied with water to lubricate and the floor given a good rinse afterwards.

The next step was to get the grout clean which was done by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left for ten minutes before being scrubbed in by hand with a narrow stiff brush. The floor was then given yet another rinse and then dried with the wet vacuum to remove the dirt that was generated from the grout.

The last step in the cleaning process was to run over the floor with a very fine 3000 grit pad, this last pad is the final step in restoring the appearance of the tile and is applied dry with only a little water that is sprayed on using a technique we like to call spray burnishing.

Encaustic Tiled Floor Sealing

Once the floor was dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. This sealer has the added advantage of enhancing the existing colours in the tile improving its overall appearance. The overall process worked incredibly well and made a huge difference to the floor as you can see in the final photograph.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Berkhamstead

To keep Encaustic floor tiles in first class condition I recommend the use of the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile cleaner which being pH neutral does not reduce the life of the sealer and is ideal for the cleaning of all types of sealed floors. The product comes in a concentrated form, so I recommend it’s used in a mild 1-30 dilution spray applied and wiped over with a microfibre flat mop, then buffed dry.
 
 

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Floor Renovation in Hertfordshire



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Renovating a Victorian Vicarage Hallway Tiles in Sheffield


Our client had recently moved into this beautiful former vicarage in Sheffield, the hallway had a stunning Victorian tiled floor and there were quarry tiles in two adjoining rooms. The floors hadn’t been maintained properly in quite some time and due to building work in the house they had become very dirty; the Victorian floor also needed some repairs doing as there were areas of loose tiles.

Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning Sheffield

The new owner wanted the floors restoring which in this case meant making some repairs, deep cleaning the tiles and then sealing to protect them from further staining. I quoted for doing the work which was accepted and agreed a date to return and complete the work.

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

It made sense to start with the tile repairs first, so I inspected the whole floor for loose tiles and carefully removed them. The tiles and floor were then cleaned up to remove the old adhesive and grout.

Victorian Hallway During Tile Repair Sheffield

The tiles were fixed into place using a quick setting adhesive and whilst that was setting I started cleaning the floor, returning to grout the tiles later with a matching grout once the adhesive had set firm.

Victorian Hallway During Tile Repair Sheffield

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

To deep clean the floor and remove any old sealers present on the tiles I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product works best if you leave it to dwell and soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in. There was a large area to cover so I worked in sections and used a floor polishing machine fitted with a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to grind off surface dirt and work the product into the tile to release the ingrained dirt. I ran the machine on a slow setting which helps reduce splashing and once the section had been cleaned I rinsed off the soiled cleaning solution with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield

Once the whole floor was clean I followed up with an Acid Wash which removes old grout smears from the tile and neutralises any efflorescence salts inherent in the tile. Efflorescence is a common problem with old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed and can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface on the floor. I used Tile Doctor Acid Gel for this step, being in gel form its easier to manage than other products and used the 200-grit burnishing pad to scrub it in. The slurry was then removed with a wet vacuum and the floor dried as much as possible with air movers leaving it to fully dry off overnight.

Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield

Sealing an Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

The next day I returned to seal the floors checking first that the tiles were dry. There are a number of sealers I could have used on the floor, but the owner preferred a matt appearance and I wanted to use a fully breathable sealer to ensure it could cope with moisture rising up through the floor due to the lack of the damp proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield

With these considerations in mind I choose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the tiles from within by occupying the pores in the clay thereby preventing anything else from becoming ingrained there. The other advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a colour intensifying sealer that improves the colours in the tile.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield

Only two coats of Colour Grow were needed, and I think you will agree the floor now looks very clean and so much more vibrant.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield
 
 

Restoring an old Victorian Tiled floor in Yorkshire



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Repair and Restoration of an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kidderminster


The young couple who owned this house was in Kidderminster were expecting their first baby and wanted the original hallway floor repaired and restored in keeping with the Victorian house. Before contacting us, they had spoken with a builder who had said it was beyond repair and recommended ripping it up and laying a new floor. They were aware of the value that original features like floors can add to a property so undeterred they kept looking for a solution and found Tile Doctor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Kidderminster

I am the local agent for Tile Doctor in Worcestershire and specialise in the restoration of old tiled floors so after popping round to take a look I was able to confirm that their builder was wrong and there was no reason why the floor couldn’t be restored. Relieved the floor could be restored they happily asked me to do the work and we arranged a date, it also turned out that he was also a fellow Mod and scooter rider, so we had plenty to talk about.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Kidderminster Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Kidderminster

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned to the property a few weeks later with my tiler and we began the work of carefully inspecting the floor to identify, remove and refit loose tiles. This was followed by repairs to the screed base and then cutting new matching tiles to replace those that were missing. Having worked on old Victorian and Edwardian tiles for some years now I have built up a collection of re-claimed tiles and often scan eBay for them as I know they will come in handy at some point in the future.

The repair process took three days to complete as naturally each tile needs to set in place and can only be grouted in once the adhesive has gone off. It’s also delicate work as anything out of place in the pattern of the floor would be conspicuous obvious.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the fourth day the tiling work was complete, and I set about giving the floor a thorough clean starting with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to remove any remnants of sealer, paint splashes from decorating and other marks. The solution was left to soak into the tile and grout for ten minutes before being worked in with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer running on slow speed. The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum, any stubborn areas were then spot treated until I was happy the floor was clear.

Using the same process, the floor was then treated to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This served two purposes, first and acid wash will remove any fine grout smears and second the acid will neutralise any efflorescent salts that had built up in the tiles and could cause issue later. This is a common problem with old floors as they don’t have the protection of a damp proof membrane. The floor was then carefully rinsed down with water applied using micro fibre cloths, so it wouldn’t get too damp and then left overnight to dry off fully assisted with a couple of air movers I had left in place.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the next day to seal the tiles checking first that the floor was dry by taking a few moisture readings with a damp tester. The air movers had done the job and I was able to crack on applying numerous coats of sealer which will protect the tile going forward and also enhance its appearance.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer that can cope with moisture rising through the tiles, it also adds a nice sheen to the tile and works extremely well on clay-based tiles such as these.

Over the course of the five days the floor was transformed, and my customer was over the moon and I was happy to have saved yet another floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Kidderminster Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Kidderminster

 

Professional Repair and Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire



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Ceramic Tile Grout Cleaned and Recoloured in Childs Ercall


Ceramic tiles don’t have the charm of natural stone, but they are very easy to keep clean; grout on the other hand has a porous top layer that can become stained. This was the problem with a customer of mine who lives in the small rural village of Childs Ercall in the North of Shropshire. The customer had moved in about two years ago and they said that they can keep the floor clean and their main problem was the grout.

I went to take a look at the problem and gave the grout in one section a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaning product. The result was good and although the grout returned to its original colour they wanted it to be changed.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Grout Cleaning in Childs Ecrall

Cleaning and Preparing the Ceramic Tile and Grout

Before colouring the grout, it made sense to give the Ceramic tile and grout a thorough clean by scrubbing in a weak dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a floor buffer fitted with a scrubbing pad running at slow speed. Once done I rinsed the floor with water and extracted the slurry with a wet vacuum.

With any grit and dirt removed from the floor the next step was to prepare the grout for the colourant. Tile Doctor have an acidic pre-treater cleaner for this which cleans and microscopically etches the grout giving the colourant a superior bond with the colourant. The solution is applied to the grout and then scrubbed in with a stiff brush before being rinsed off with water as before.

Applying Grout Colouring

With the tiles clean and the grout prepped I left the floor to dry for an hour before moving onto grout colouring using a colour of their choosing. There are ten colours in the Tile Doctor range and they are easily applied using a small brush wiping off any excess as you go, it was a large area with a lot of grout lines to cover so took the rest of the day to complete

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor After Grout Cleaning in Childs Ecrall

I have to agree with the customer, changing the grout colour was a good move and I think you will agree the floor now looks much improved. The grout colourant has the additional advantage of providing a barrier over the grout which will protect it from further issues and make it as easy to clean as the ceramic tiles.
 
 

Ceramic Tile Grout Prepped and Recoloured in Shropshire



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Polished Limestone Tile Renovation in Beckenham


This modern town house in Beckenham had a Limestone tiled floor laid in the family room, kitchen, utility room and hallway. It had been some time since it was last polished and was now starting to look flat and even grubby in places.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Beckenham

A polished stone floor needs regular attention in order to keep it looking good and this is why we offer a maintenance program where we pop back to the property once a year to top up the sealer and re-polish. In this case a thorough clean, polish and re-seal was required and due to the large area to be cleaned and the need to move furniture around it would have to be done in three stages.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Beckenham

Stripping and Polishing 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 Very Fine in order to clean and re-hone the finish on the stone.

I swept the floor to remove any loose dirt and grit and then began the burnishing process using a
Coarse 400 grit pad lubricated with water, then after rinsing and wet vacuuming the floor with water I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pads. The next step was to get the grout as clean as possible by scrubbing in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a narrow stiff brush. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline product that is safe to use on Tile and Stone and is a good grout cleaner. With the Limestone tiles and grout now clean I gave the floor another quick rinse and finished honing the section with a very fine 3000 grit pad that gives the stone a final polish. You don’t need too much lubrication with this last pad, just a spray of water.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Once the floor section was dry it was sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnated sealer that protects from within and really brings out the brown colours in the Limestone. Once the sealer was dry I polished the floor using Tile Doctor Shine Powder which is a stone polishing compound that is worked into the floor wet, left to dry and then buffed off with a white buffing pad to leave a durable high shine on the stone.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Beckenham

As I mentioned at the start this was a large area that had to be completed in three sections, so it took a few days in order to complete the whole floor. It was worth waiting for however and the customer was very pleased with the finish. For general day to day cleaning of polished stone we recommend using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which not only cleans but also adds patina to the finish, I left with a complimentary bottle, so she could try it.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Beckenham
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Large Polished Limestone Floor in Kent



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Renovating Reclaimed Slate Floor Tiles in Wreningham


When the old Rowntree Mackintosh sweet factory at Chapelfield in Norwich was closed down and eventually demolished, our client acquired a quantity of the beautiful green/black slate flooring tiles which had formed part of the reception area of the plant. They had laid these tiles edge to edge with no grouting in their large kitchen/dining room extension at their home in the village of Wreningham and the result was perhaps one of the most impressive examples of high-quality slate flooring we have ever seen in any location.

The Slate floor tiles had been protected against oil and fluid spillages with the application of a penetrating sealer after installation at the property but, over the ensuing years, there had been some inevitable degradation of the sealer and the entire area was now in need of a thorough deep-clean and reseal in order to remove the coating of general grime, bring out the strikingly deep colour and restore the stain resistance.

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

As there was no topical finish to remove, we proceeded to deep-clean the surface of the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro Clean at a less powerful mix ratio of 1-part water to 5-parts cleaner. This solution was applied to the tiles and left to soak in for ten minutes before being worked in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to our rotary machine.

The resulting muddy slurry was then power rinsed off the floor with water and then extracted with our Ninja machine which has a very powerful vacuum. The high pH product was so effective, no further cleaning was necessary.

The whole area was then dried thoroughly using two large industrial fans which dramatically reduced the drying time, enabling us to move onto sealing later that afternoon. We don’t normally recommend cleaning and sealing in the same day as the floor has to be dry before sealing however in this case we were able to progress through the cleaning process much quicker than anticipated.

Slate Tiled Floor in Wreningham During Sealing

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Before sealing the floor was spot tested in different places using a moisture meter. All was well, so a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to the Slate tiles. Colour Grow is a penetrating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from with and as its name suggests also intensified the natural black/green colours of the slate in the process.

Once the first coat was dried I followed up with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which further enriched the colour and provided a pleasing mid-sheen finish to the floor surface.

Slate Tiled Floor in Wreningham During Sealing

The whole process really put the life back in the stone floor and the tiles which were once dull now look vibrant and colourful.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Sealing an Old Slate Tiled Floor in Norfolk



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Restoring a Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor in Appleton


I was contacted by a home owner in Appleton near Warrington who had a Terracotta tiled floor in their dining Room. The floor had previously been covered in carpet and they were keen to have the whole floor restored.

To complicate things further the Carpet had been stuck down with a strong adhesive and a local builder had advised them to remove the glue using brick acid. Although this was successful it had the side effect of discolouring the grout lines and no amount of rinsing with the floor with water to dilute and wash off the acid would resolve the problem.

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restortion in Appleton

Happy for me to resolve the problem, my client informed me they were going on holiday and would like me to do the work whilst they were away. This was a great idea as it would guard against unwanted foot traffic during the cleaning and sealing process and it would also mean they would have a nice surprise waiting for them on their return.

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

After protecting the Kitchen units and skirting boards with plastic sheeting my first job was to strip any remaining sealer off the Terracotta tiles using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was spread across the floor and then left to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad attached to a rotary floor buffer. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the now dirty cleaning solution from the floor.

The grout was also given a good scrub using more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but this time it was scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush until I was satisfied it was as clean as it could be. The floor given a good rinse and I then inspected the floor tile and grout to ensure it was clean and free of sealers, any areas that needed ore work were retreated and the floor given a final rinse and dry with the wet vacuum before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next morning and tested the tiles with a damp meter to ensure they were dry before beginning applying the sealer. All was well, so I started by applying a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing the natural red colour of the Terracotta in the process.

Once the first coat had dried I followed up with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a compatible water-based sealer that works really well on clay tiles and adds a lovely sheen finish to the floor.

The last step was to resolve the problem with the discoloured grout lines by applying a white grout colourant to the grout. This gave the grout a fresh and consistent appearance throughout and also has the benefit of sealing the grout which will protect it from staining and also make it much easier to clean.

Last step was to finish the sealing of the floor by topping up the sealer with another three coats of Seal and Go to ensure the floor was fully sealed.

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restortion in Appleton

The result was a huge improvement and now looked like a recently installed Terracotta floor. When my customer returned from holiday they were more than happy with the floor and the work I had done.
 
 

Restoring a Tired Terracotta Tiled Floor in Cheshire



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Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Rejuvenated in Redditch


A customer in Redditch had recently had a new kitchen fitted and prior to that had tried to seal the Mexican Terracotta tiled floor themselves, however they were not happy with the results, so they contacted Tile Doctor to see if an improvement could be achieved. The sealer they used was matt which didn’t show off the Terracotta at its best and the tile and especially the grout were not as clean as they could have been. Getting the tile and grout clean before sealing is essential otherwise you end up sealing in the dirt.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles Before Resealing Redditch Mexican Terracotta Tiles Before Resealing Redditch

To get the best from the floor I recommended stripping off the sealer, giving the tile and grout a deep clean and then resealing with a satin sealer. The customer agreed and keen to get his new kitchen looking its best booked me in to do the work.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles Before Resealing Redditch

Cleaning Original Victorian and Mexican Terracotta Tiles

My first tasks was to protect the new kitchen units from splashing with plastic sheeting and by removing the kick boards. Once done I began the process of removing the existing sealer by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which as the name implies is a strong coatings remover that safe to use on Tile and Stone. The product was dilated with water, applied to the tile and grout and left to soak in for about ten minutes. The floor area between the kitchen units was quite tight so on this occasion I decided to scrub the tiles with a deck brush and hand brush as opposed to using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The Remove and Go did the job and the sealer was removed and the floor rinsed off with water to reveal the original tiles.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles During Stripping Redditch Mexican Terracotta Tiles During Stripping Redditch

The next step was to give the Terracotta tile and grout a deep clean by scrubbing in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Mexican Terracotta can be difficult to clean due to the makeup of the tile, but the Pro-Clean scrubbed in with the brushes I used earlier worked well. The now soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

The customer had laid some new tiles to fit in with the new units but asked me to grout them so with time to spare before leaving for the day I grouted them in with a flexible grout and polished off any grout smears. It’s important that tiles are dry before sealing so the floor was then left for two days so it could dry out.

Sealing a Mexican Terracotta Floor

Upon my returned to seal the tiles I first checked with a damp meter that they had indeed dried. All was well, so I began the process of applying Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer from the Tile Doctor range that leaves the satin finish the customer wanted, also being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. Mexican Terracotta is notoriously very porous, so numerous coats of seal are required and in fact this floor needed eleven coats. I applied a few more coats to the new tiles so they would blend in better with the existing tiles.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles After Resealing Redditch Mexican Terracotta Tiles After Resealing Redditch

The customer was very pleased with the results and I left them with a bottle of Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance going forward.
 
 

Stripping, Cleaning and Sealing Mexican Terracotta Floor in Redditch



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Cleaning and Grout Colouring of a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Lewes


Recently, I was called to a work on a Porcelain tiled floor in the kitchen of a house in the East Sussex market town of Lewes where the grout was looking tired. Lewes has a long history that dates all the way back to the Saxons and has many old buildings as a result; this house of course with its modern kitchen and Porcelain tiles wasn’t one of them however the grout certainly looked old.

Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout floor

The floor was in good physical condition and Porcelain tiles being very robust as they are didn’t need much maintenance however the grout was very stained, and the house owner wanted it freshening up.

Porcelain Kitchen Tiles Before Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen Porcelain Kitchen Tiles Before Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen

My first course of action was to give the whole floor a good clean with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a black pad attached to a floor buffer machine. I paid particular attention to the grout and gave it a good scrub using a narrow brush that was run along the grout lines. The now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted with a wet vacuum, so I could see the improvement. I could then see the difference the cleaning process had made to the look of the Tile and Grout, but it was clear that some of the staining had gone deep into the grout and no amount of scrubbing would get it looking new again.

Recolouring the Grout

It was clear to me that the only course of action to get back a uniform appearance to the grout would be to recolour it so as an initial step I set about drying the grout.

Once dry I began to recolour the grout using a white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which was applied using a small brush. I was careful to apply thin, even coats and any excess was removed.

Porcelain Kitchen Tiles During Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen Porcelain Kitchen Tiles During Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen

The tiles were of the large format type, so it only took a few hours to colour the grout lines so the whole job took less than a day to complete.

Porcelain Kitchen Tiles After Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen

Once done I revealed the rejuvenated Kitchen floor to the client who was delighted with the results as it lifted the whole look of the kitchen.
 
 

Restoration of Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Sussex



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Damaged Victorian Tiled Path Rebuilt in Cardiff


This Victorian tiled path leading up to a lovely period house in Cardiff was in a really bad state of repair with many damaged and cracked tiles. I had already been working on their hallway tiles and the customer was hoping I would be able to salvage the original tiles in the front path. I was confident something could be done but when I started to remove a few I soon found out that would be unlikely. I made a few calls and fortunately I was able to find replacement tiles in a local salvage yard that were a perfect match.

Victorian Tiled Pathway Before Rebuild Cardiff

The border tiles were a different matter though, so I had to buy new tiles that could be mixed with old for the border which I purchased from original style. I’ve used Original Style tiles on a few occasions in the past, they have a section dedicated to Victorian Tiles and stock quite a few of the popular patterns and decorative border designs.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Path

The foundation of the path was cracked and crumbling so after carefully removing as many tiles that were worth saving I rebuilt the base with a new layer of cement.

Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff

Once the new base was dry I was able to start Tiling as normal, I had taken photographs of the original pattern, so I was able progress quite quickly.

Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff

Once the central pattern had been laid I progressed onto the edges which took longer to lay due to the complex pattern. Once all the tiles were laid and the adhesive had set I was able to move onto Grouting.

Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Path

Once the tiles were laid and grout had set I was able to move onto cleaning the whole path starting with an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to remove any grout smears left over from the grouting and also to counter act any salts within the tile which could cause problems later.

After a rinse with water the path was then give a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy-duty Tile and Grout cleaner that worked well to brings out ingrained dirt.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The path was left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to seal them, I left protection over the path each night after leaving and fortunately we experienced a rare spell of decent weather that week.

The sealer I chose was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s fully breathable, which is important when sealing tiles exposed to damp conditions and it’s a colour enhancing sealer which brought out the best in the red quarry tiles as well as giving good protection to the tile surface.

Victorian Tiled Pathway After Rebuild Cardiff Victorian Tiled Pathway After Rebuild Cardiff

My customer was most impressed with the transformation and left the following glowing testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Julian was quick to respond to emails. He arrived on the date we arranged and was finished promptly. We had our hall tiles re-surfaced and the path completely relayed. Where possible outside Julian re-used the old tiles and when not then used new. The final finish is amazing and definitely gives a wow factor to the entrance to the property. Julian is trustworthy and I would highly recommend him and his work. Thanks for the hard work!
Nigel J, Cardiff 15 Jan 2018″

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales



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Restoring the Appearance of Travertine Kitchen Tiles in Cirencester


This customer from Cirencester was not happy with her look of her Travertine floor tiles; in fact, she had been browsing the Tile Doctor web site and realised how her floor should look and got in touch to have it renovated.

Polished Travertine Cirencester Before Cleaning Polished Travertine Cirencester Before Cleaning

I’m based in Dursley which is West Gloucestershire and have made the journey to Cirencester to the East on several occasions to work on tiled floors there. If you have never been it’s worth a visit; it’s a lovely market town which dates back to Roman times and is situated on the lower slopes of the Cotswold Hills.

Burnishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the best from Travertine it really needs to be burnished which is an abrasive cleaning process that involves the application of several different grades of diamond encrusted pad to the stone lubricated with a small amount of water.

The pads are fitted to a rotary buffer and run over each tile in sequence from coarse to very fine. I started with the first of the four burnishing pads which is a coarse 400 grit pad that designed to grind away the dirt and old sealer on the surface of the floor. After applying the first pad, I moved my way through the medium 800 and fine 1500 grit pads to gradually restore the appearance of the Travertine making sure to rinse the floor with water in between to remove the soiling.

Next, I set about cleaning grout lines with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was diluted with water and then scrubbed in with a stiff narrow brush. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with more water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Polished Travertine Cirencester During Polishing Polished Travertine Cirencester During Polishing

The burnishing and grout cleaning took most of the day and I need the floor to be dry in order to seal it so I left for the day and left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day and before sealing the floor I applied the last pad in the set of four which is a 3,000 grit “very fine” burnishing pad. This final pad really builds the final polish on Travertine tile. The pad is applied with the rotary buffer as before but is applied dry with only a fine spray of water using a process we call a “Spray Burnish”

Once I was happy with polish I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer the seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within but without affecting the look of the stone. The floor was then left to dry for an hour and I finished by giving the Travertine a final buff using a white pad.

Polished Travertine Cirencester After Polishing Polished Travertine Cirencester After Polishing

My customer was delighted and now she has a Travertine tiled floor looking how it should.
 
 

Professional Travertine Floor Polishing and Sealing in Gloucestershire



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