Dull Spanish Terracotta Tiled Floor Renovated in Swansea


This lovely old Spanish Terracotta tiled floor was installed at a house in Swansea. Over the years the sealer had worn down and dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the clay tile making it impossible to clean effectively. The owner called me in to give the tiles a really deep clean and bring the floor back to its former glory.

I went round to take a look at the floor and carried out a cleaning test of the tiles with a medium strength dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the tiles by hand. This demonstrates to the customer how the floor could look, and it also helps me to work out which product will work best as well as the likely quantities required for the quote. The Terracotta tile and Grout in the test area came out well and after showing the customer the result and working out a price for the whole floor and he was happy to book me in.

Stripping and Re-Polishing Terracotta

On my return I continued with the cleaning process using more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but this time I left it to soak into the floor for longer and was assisted by a Black Scrubbing pad attached to a rotary buffing machine. I like to use a slow speed buffing machine for this process as it makes less mess than a high speed and this keeps my customers happy.

Spanish Terracotta During Cleaning Swansea

It wasn’t long before the cleaning solution changed colour with the dirt that was becoming released from the floor. The dirt was then rinsed off the floor using water and a wet vacuum, and the process repeated until I was happy the tiles were clean.

The next step was to clean the grout lines, this task is best done by hand with a stiff brush and more Pro-Clean as the scrubbing pads struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout line. Once I had finished the cleaning I rinsed the floor down several times with water, to make sure all traces of Pro-Clean were removed.

The cleaning process took up most of the day and the Terracotta would need to be dry before being sealed so I before leaving it to dry off fully overnight I covered the floor with a clean linen dust sheet (not plastic) to protect it overnight. This allows evaporation to continue whilst protecting it from getting dirty again.

Spanish Terracotta After Cleaning Swansea

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

The next day i came back and took some moisture readings to make sure the floor had dried out. Most of the readings were fine apart from a few edges and corners where the moisture must have settled; I used a heat gun on these areas to ensure these areas were dry before starting with sealing.

Terracotta is a very porous clay in its unsealed state, so I like to put down a coat of Impregnating sealer first called Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow works by occupying the pores in the tile making a good base, it also has the added benefit of enhancing the natural colours in the clay tiles.

After leaving it to soak into the tiles for about ten minutes I removed the excess Colour Grow with a cloth and started to apply a Topical sealer Called Tie Doctor High Shine. The customer had requested a high sheen finish, so after several coats of this the job was completed and looking a million times better than before.

Spanish Terracotta After Sealing Swansea

I left the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Concentrated Neutral cleaner for aftercare. We recommend using this product for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles, being pH neutral is doesn’t eat into the sealer prematurely reducing its longevity like your regular acidic cleaning products.
 
 

Spanish Terracotta Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Glamorgan



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Brick Shaped Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Much Wenlock


This was a property adjacent to Benthall Hall which is a historic building owned by the National Trust near Much Wenlock. Many of the buildings in this town date back hundreds of years including Benthall Hall which is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Brick Pattern Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Much Wenlock

The property hadn’t been lived in for several years and the new tenants wanted to sympathetically improve the look of the Brick Shaped Quarry Tiles on the lounge floor and in the toilet where the floor had been laid with nine-inch square quarry tiles. Both floor areas had been painted over previously and due to dampness issues the paint was flaking off leaving a very unappealing look. No doubt this contributed to the reason the property has been left un-occupied for so long.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Much Wenlock

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

To give the floor a deep clean I would need to remove all the flaking paint; there were several ways I could go about this so after some consideration I decided to try Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

Remove and Go is a multi-purpose coatings remover that can strip sealers off tiles as well as remove paint and other coatings, it’s also designed for use on Tile, Stone and Grout so safe to use. I applied a strong dilution of the product to the floor and left it to soak in for a good ten minutes. It was then scrubbed into the floor using a black seventeen-inch scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. The floor was then rinsed down with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor clean I could see I had been successful in removing most of the paint but there were areas where further work was needed and so I repeated the process three or four times and used a steamer on the stubborn areas until I was happy with the condition of the floor. After rinsing for a final time, I inspected the floor and could see the tiles looked a hundred times better.

My next thought was to seal the Quarry tiles to protect them from future staining and enhance their look. The problem however with old floors like these is that they don’t have a damp proof membrane and can have damp problems. The floor needed to be dry before applying a sealer and with all the water used to rinse the floor it may take some time to dry out. I discussed this issue with the customer and we agreed that I will return to monitor the floor and arrange to seal it when it was dry. In-fact I did return after a week and tested the floor with a damp meter which confirmed the floor still was still too damp.

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

They were due to move into the property in a months’ time, so I visited them again to check the floor and unfortunately the damp level was still too high. I concluded that there were several factors preventing the quarry tiles from drying out: the tiles were laid on sand, the property as I mentioned had not been lived in for years also there had been a lot of rain over the last couple of months.

Brick Pattern Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Much Wenlock

We agreed that once they move in and start to heat the building up, the floor have a much better chance for drying and when it looks dry, they will give me a call and I will check it for them and seal it if possible.

Given the damp issues my thoughts are to seal the floor with a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow and then finish with Seal and Go Extra, both are which breathable sealers and will leave the floor with a nice sheen finish.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Much Wenlock
 
 

Restoring an Old Quarry Tiled Floor in Shropshire



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Deep Cleaning Flagstone Flooring in Vines Cross


This customer who lived in the old Sussex village of Vines Cross near Horam, had a lovely Flagstone floor installed in the Kitchen some years earlier but because they wanted a completely natural look no sealer had been applied. With no protection in place dirt had become ingrained into the pores of the stone over time making it dull and difficult to clean effectively.

Flagstone floor before restoration Vines Cross

Their beautiful flagstone floor no longer looked as it should and the owner of the house was keen to have it deep cleaned and looking its best again. I was happy to do the work and before starting I made sure to discuss the topic of sealing and recommended one called Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t change the look of the stone yet protects it from dirt becoming ingrained.

Flagstone floor before restoration Vines Cross

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

With no sealer evident on the stone there was no need to use a coatings remover on the tiles, so after protecting the Kitchen units and skirting board with plastic tape I started with a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean tile and grout cleaner mixed with a small amount of another Tile Doctor product called NanoTech HBU. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and this product utilises nano-sized abrasive particles to assist in the cleaning process.

The solution was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black pad. With the cleaning solution on the floor I also took the time to run a stiff brush along the grout lines to make sure they were also scrubbed clean. After a while the cleaning solution became dirty with all the soil that was being released from the tile and was then extracted using a wet vacuum. The floor was then rinsed with water and stubborn areas re-treated using the same process until I was satisfied it was thoroughly clean.

Flagstone floor during restoration Vines Cross

After giving the floor a final rinse and drying it as much as possible with a wet vacuum it was left to dry off fully overnight.

Flagstone floor during restoration Vines Cross

Sealing a Flagstone Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter. All was well, and the flagstones were dry, so I was able to proceed with sealing the stone.

As I mentioned earlier my client liked the natural look but having experienced the problems of maintaining an un-sealed floor had agreed for me to seal it with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. I applied a single base coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal as agreed and then recommended that we add a coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go as well, just to brighten up the floor and add a slight sheen.

Flagstone floor after restoration Vines Cross

I knew from experience this would work well on Flagstones and my client was happy to trust me. As suspected the combination of the two sealers was a winner and my client was overjoyed with the resulting effect and more so that she can now maintain it satisfactorily.

Flagstone floor after restoration Vines Cross
 
 

Deep Cleaning a Flagstone Kitchen Floor in East Sussex



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Limestone tiled floor Damaged by Citric Acid Restored in a Wokingham


The photographs on this page show the spot restoration of an acid damaged newly installed Limestone tiled floor at a medieval cottage in the historic town on Wokingham, Berkshire. It seems the customer accidentally spilled lime cordial on honed surface leaving dull stain spots on about six to eight tiles.

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor Wokingham Before Restoration

After attempting to remove the damage themselves using a variation of different sealers the customer accepted defeat and contacted Tile Doctor to see if the issue could be resolved. If not, they were considering replacing the floor.

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor Before Restoration Wokingham

Being the local Tile Doctor for the area I was asked to take a look and advise the customer. I explained that the dull spots had appeared because the surface tension of the limestone had been damaged from the citric acidic in the cordial. The affected tiles would essentially need to be re-polished; the customer was eager to see if I could resolve the issue and get all the tiles to be as uniform as possible.

Spot Polishing a Limestone tiled floor

My first task was to identify which tiles needed re-polishing with burnishing pads as once I got going it would be tricky to spot them; I did this by simply leaving post it notes on the affected areas.

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor Wokingham Before Restoration

To restore the appearance of the Limestone tiles I started with a 400 grit 3-inch pad fitted to a handheld flex machine. You can’t actually buy these 3 inch pads, they are found in the centre of the large 17 inch floor pads. The 400-grit pad is quite abrasive and needs to be applied with water to lubricate. I then followed the 4-stage burnishing process increasing the surface tension with each pad used this to leave the tile with a good sheen and most importantly a uniform appearance with the surrounding tiles.

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor Wokingham During Restoration

The Burnishing pads are actually loaded with industrial diamonds and you apply them in sequence starting with the coarse 400 grit pad before moving onto the medium 800 grit pad, fine 1,500 grit pad and then finally the super fine 3,000 grit pad which really brings up the shine. You have to rinse with water between each pad to remove the slurry that is generated. The final 3,000 grit pad is applied with very little water and so the floor is dry when completed.

Spot Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The last step was to carefully re-seal the tiles that had been burnished so they would blend in with the rest of the floor. I decided on Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal for this, it’s an impregnating sealer that doesn’t alter the colour of the stone leaving them with a natural look.

The process went well and was completed in around four hours, my customer was very happy with the result and left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system

“We felt very comfortable with the recommended course of action and Mr Buckland inspired confidence so we were happy to let him get on with the remedy.”

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor During Restoration Wokingham
 
 

Spot Treating Acid Damaged Limestone Floor Tiles in Berkshire



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Soiled Encaustic Tiled Bathroom Floor Deep Cleaned in Sydenham


The customer had Encaustic Concrete tiles laid in two bathrooms and a hallway around a year ago at their house in Sydenham, South East London. Encaustic tiles have been around for a very long time however they are currently undergoing a resurgence and are once again proving very popular due the varied patterns being created.

Concrete Encaustic Bathroom Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Sydenham

It’s probably difficult to appreciate from the photographs but this particular brand of encaustic tiles were very porous and had become very grubby since being installed and were now staining easily. I suspect they had only been lightly sealed after installation (if at all) and this had allowed dirt to penetrate the pores of the tile making it difficult to clean.

Concrete Encaustic Bathroom Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Sydenham Concrete Encaustic Bathroom Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Sydenham

Cleaning a Dirty Encaustic Tiled Hallway

The process I used for cleaning the tiles was the same one I would use on polished stone such as Limestone or Travertine. It involves applying a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads starting with a coarse 400 grit pad fitted to a rotary floor buffing machine and lubricated with water. The water becomes soiled with the slurry from the burnishing process and once all the tiles have been treated its rinsed off with more water.

You then apply the medium 800 grit pad, again with water to help lubricate and rinse off afterwards like before. The process is repeated with the fine 1500 grit pad and the tiles given another rinse.

Before applying the final super fine 3000 grit pad I scrubbed the grout lines with a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner that’s designed for use on Tile and Stone. I used a handheld narrow brush to scrub the grout and followed that up with another rinse with water using a wet vacuum to extract the water and dry the floor afterwards.

Sealing Encaustic Tiles

The beauty of honing the tiles with the burnishing pads in this manner is that the system closes up a lot of the pores in the tiles, making them less porous and easier to seal. Burnishing also uses less water so it wasn’t long before the floor was dry, and I was able to start the sealing process.

I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile and protects it from within. Three even coats with a drying time in between is sufficient for these tiles, and once the final coat had dried I went over the floor with the 3000-grit pad on my floor machine, to leave the floor with a slight sheen.

Concrete Encaustic Bathroom Floor Tiles After Cleaning Sydenham Concrete Encaustic Bathroom Floor Tiles After Cleaning Sydenham

After care is so important when it comes to maintaining a sealed floor, so I always leave the customer with a small bottle of a recommend cleaning product. In this case I left them with Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is made with vegetable oil extract and will help maintain the patina on the floor.

Concrete Encaustic Bathroom Floor Tiles After Cleaning Sydenham
 
 

Professional Encaustic Tiled Floor Renovation in Kent



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Removing Wax and Restoring Colour to a Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor


Terracotta Tiles have been around in certain parts of the world for over two millennia; in fact, the word Terracotta means burned earth. The ancient Romans used a variety of Terracotta tiles in their villas and palaces for many centuries.

Terracotta tiles are thicker than most modern tiles, giving them strength and durability. The one big downside to Terracotta, however, is that it has no glaze on the surface and can pick up and store muck and dirt very quickly. If you have ever owned a Terracotta floor before you will be able to relate to this problem.

Such was the dilemma facing our client in rural Hope Valley in the Peak District National Park of Derbyshire. Her Conservatory had been laid with Terracotta tiles around 25 years ago and over the years had been continuously covered with wax. Now, no matter how many times she mopped the floor it never looked clean because all the dirt over many years had been drawn in and sealed into the wax. She called in Tile Doctor to deep clean the floor and treat it with a gloss finish.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Before Cleaning Hope Valley

Cleaning a Terracotta conservatory floor

I started by removing the layers of wax with Tile Doctor Nano-Tech HBU (a heavy build-up remover that is designed to work where other cleaners won’t) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go, specially formulated to draw out ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up. I combined both products into a powerful cleaning cocktail and left them to soak into the floor for about twenty minutes. The solution was then scrubbed into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resultant soil was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum.

After cleaning I inspected the floor and could see there was still some wax left in the grout between the Terracotta tiles, so I went over the floor with a hand-held steamer and scrub brush, it took some time, but the process was perfect to remove the last traces of wax. Finally, I washed the floor with clean water twice and left it to thoroughly dry overnight.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory During Cleaning Hope Valley

Colour Restoring and Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

The following day I went back to seal the floor but found there were still a few areas with higher levels of damp than I would have liked. My solution was to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a superb colour intensifying matt sealer that provides durable protection and enhance colour but importantly, it’s fully breathable therefore allowing any damp in the tiles to evaporate. I then left the floor to completely dry out, which took five days.

On my return I finished the sealing of the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish that works really well on Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory During Sealing Hope Valley

The conservatory looked beautiful with its clean Terracotta tiles. The unsightly and grimy orange-brown floor had been restored to its original Terracotta colour with a very attractive sheen. And, of course, the floor was now correctly sealed to prevent the problem happening again and to make mopping easy. I left the house with good feeling!

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory After Cleaning Hope Valley

The customer was delighted and left this positive feedback:

“Henry did a brilliant job, friendly professional polite and efficient. He kept us fully informed of the procedures he was using. We would not hesitate to use him again or to recommend him to others.”

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory After Cleaning Hope Valley
 
 

Professional cleaning of a Terracotta tile conservatory floor in the Peak District National Park



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Dirty Terracotta Floor Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Hales


How the Terracotta floor tiles at this property in the Village of Hales, Norfolk became quite so comprehensively dirty in so short a time, we will never know. We were contacted by the new owner, a lady who had become so distressed by the state of the floor in the house she had recently bought that she was seriously considering ripping up the entire area of tiling and replacing it. Remarkable particularly because the property had been restored only a couple of years ago, the kitchen and hallway being laid with new terracotta tiles.

The entire surface was deeply ingrained with soiling and the pointing lines were filthy, despite there being evidence of some kind of topical sealer having been applied at the time of installation. It quickly became obvious during testing that the sealer had been applied very sparingly and had mostly worn away, leaving a badly compromised fluid and soiling resistance with a dull and dirty finish which refused to clean up when mopped.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Hales

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tile in Hales

The tiles turned out to be made of a fairly soft terracotta which meant that we were able to deep-clean them extremely effectively using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (one part Pro-Clean to two parts water). A strong dilution was required to remove what remained of the old sealer in the less used areas and strip the surface back to the bare tile.

The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the floor for about ten minutes before being worked in using our heavy rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The resulting slurry being power rinsed and vacuumed away with our 400psi Ninja machine. All the dirt and virtually all of the old sealer was removed at this stage; the remaining patches around the edges of the area being finished by hand with a 200-grit hand-held burnishing block. The pointing lines were then cleaned by hand with neat Pro-Clean and an angled grout brush.

Finally, the deep-seated oil stains in front of the cooker were brought out using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which was left to dwell on the marks for an hour before being agitated with a diamond burnishing pad and rinsed away with the Ninja machine. The floor was then left to dry thoroughly overnight with assistance from our dehumidifier.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tile in Hales

Owing to the softness and consequently high porosity of the substrate, we realised that it could take up to ten coats or more of our chosen sealer in order to achieve the level of shine our client had requested so that the daily mopping would be effective.

Our usual solution to enable us to complete the work in one day would be to apply a coat of penetrating Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to the tiles first, followed by up to five coats of topical sealer which would provide the finish, but because our client loved the new lighter colour of the cleaned tiles, Colour Grow was not an option as it is designed to enrich and thereby slightly darken the colour.

The solution therefore was to apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which, like Colour Grow, is a solvent-based penetrating sealer but doesn’t alter the colour of the material. This was followed by five coats of Seal & Go to further improve the fluid resistance and provide the mid-sheen finish required.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Hales

At the end of the job we had a very happy client whose actual words were: “thank you so much for restoring my faith in my floor!”
 
 

Renovating Terracotta Floor Tiles in Norfolk



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Large Terracotta Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Knutsford


We were asked if we could restore the appearance of a large Terracotta tiled floor in a kitchen/dinner that had not been cleaned for many years. The sealer had mostly worn off in the high traffic areas but was still fairly thick under the table.

Terracotta tiles are made from soft clay making it very porous and likely to absorb anything that lands on it; as a result, it’s important to maintain the sealer to stop this happening. Now with the sealer worn off completely in the busy parts of the floor anything that landed on the floor was very quickly absorbed into it.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knutsford

The house was in Knutsford on the East side of Cheshire which was named as Best Place to Live in the North West” by the Sunday Times in 2017; being close to the Peak District and within easy reach of Liverpool and Manchester its easy to see why.

Deep Cleaning a Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first task would be to completely remove the old sealer so the whole floor could be given a deep clean before resealing. It’s not a good idea to add a new sealer on top of another especially if you don’t know what was used before, it can also lead to a build of sealers on the tile which will darken their appearance.

To do this I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a powerful stripping and cleaning solution that’s designed to removes old coatings on tiles and draw out ingrained staining. After twenty to thirty minutes the solution was worked into the tiles using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary buffer machine. I also used a wire hand brush along the grout lines to make sure they were cleaned as the scrubbing pad can fail to reach into the recess. It wasn’t long before the old sealer and dirt was released from the Terracotta which was then washed off the floor using water and a wet vacuum.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Knutsford

I inspected the floor at this stage and retreated any stubborn areas using the same process. I did have a few problems removing some greasy marks however I managed to get rid of these by applying Tile Doctor Wax Away worked in by hand with a scrubbing brush. Once I was happy that the floor was clean and free of old sealers it was given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product, dried with the wet vacuum and left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

On my return the next morning I took a few damp readings to check the floor was dry before starting with the next step of sealing the tiles. All was well so began to add the first of multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer that works really well on Terracotta and leaves a nice subtle sheen to the tile. Being was based it has the added advantage of not leaving a solvent smell as it dries.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford

The Terracotta took some time to seal completely, in fact ten coats of sealer were required to fully seal the tile. You can always tell when a tile is sealed by adding a small drop of water to the surface, if it forms into a bubble then its’ fully sealed.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford

I’m not sure you can appreciate the difference from my photographs but hopefully you can see that Terracotta tiles now look much fresher and the grout cleaner and lighter in colour.
 
 

Renovating a Large Terracotta Tiled Floor in Cheshire



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Tessellated Victorian Hallway Restoration in Bounds Green, North London


Bounds Green in North London has more than its fair share of Victorian terraced houses packed with desirable original features. When the owners of this house pulled up their hallway carpet they were excited to discover a beautiful and original black and white Tessellated tiled floor.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Lifting Carpet Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

Tessellated tiled floors became fashionable from the 1860s and usually featured striking geometric patterns. By the end of the century they had become an essential feature in the most ordinary Victorian terraced houses from Dover to Aberdeen. They fell out of fashion in the 1960s and 70s and were usually covered over with carpet or linoleum, but period house owners today understand their value and are restoring them back their former glory. A well-restored tessellated tiled floor not only looks incredibly attractive but is durable and hard wearing. They were originally laid by highly skilled tillers and most have already survived 100 years of family wear and tear. With the right care they will probably be good for another 100 years.

Restoring a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Floor

The first thing we did was cut away the rest of the carpet to expose the whole hallway. The floor looked in a relatively stable condition, but it was clear the floor needed a deep clean and some minor repairs.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Victorian Hallway During Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

We started off by cleaning off each individual tile with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a multi-purpose stripper that also draws out ingrained stains and removes old sealers and coatings; this took away all the glue and dirt from the carpet. We then applied Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which is specially designed to penetrate below tough stains, dissolve and lift them out. We left that for twenty minutes for maximum effect before lightly scrubbing. Each tile was then individually scrapped with polypropylene pads.

The next step was to remove the resultant soil by rinsing with water and extracting with a wet vacuum. We steamed cleaned each tile and carried out a second clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong cleaner and degreaser for heavily soiled and neglected tile, stone and grout that has been neglected or subjected to heavy use.

By now the floor was looking pretty good. The beautiful black and white design of the floor was once again in evidence after decades of being hidden under carpet. There were just a few more steps to complete the job and restore this floor to its original glory. We carried out the minor repairs needed, carefully re-grouted the very fine gaps between the tiles and left the floor overnight for the grout to thoroughly dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day we sealed the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to give a beautiful and natural low-sheen satin finish. This specially formulated solution also provides a stain resistant surface seal and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

We managed to complete the whole job in just under two days with two of our skilfully-trained technicians. Our customer was delighted with the outcome and left the following message for us on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The team worked hard at what seemed a fiddly job and we are very pleased with the outcome. I would recommend.” Natalie G, Bounds Green, London”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green
 
 

Professional Tessellated Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in North London



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Acid damaged black limestone patio tiles in Bromsgrove


A local company in Bromsgrove were commissioned to lay a stunning and expensive Black Limestone patio for a customer who was renovating their property. Unfortunately, the company tried to clean the finished patio with brick acid, and because limestone is generally very porous and acid sensitive this discoloured the tiles to a rather unsightly, dull grey – a far cry from what their customer was expecting!

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before Restoration Bromsgrove

The company facing a large bill contacted Tile Doctor for expert advice to see if the beautiful tiles could be restored. If Tile Doctor couldn’t come to the rescue, then the company would have no choice other than to replace them at their own expense.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before Restoration Bromsgrove Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before Restoration Bromsgrove

Black limestone paving has become incredibly popular over the last few years as its dark tones suit the current trend for a monochrome palette. It is also hard wearing and readily available.

Tile Doctor specialise in the restoration of all types of tile and stone and as their local agent, I was asked to go over and see what could be done. I realised that the brick acid will have damaged the surface of the stone so to restore it I first tried applying a coarse 200 grit diamond burnishing pad. The pad successfully demonstrated that the appearance could be restored and impressed with the difference the site foreman booked me in to complete the whole patio. Luckily the weather forecast was set fair for a few days, which would be needed to clean and seal the patio.

Restoring an Acid Damaged Limestone Patio

Made with industrial diamonds and available in different sizes and grits, burnishing pads are ideal for restoring the appearance of polished stone floors. The first step was to work on the tiles with a course 200 grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine and lubricated with water. This took off a layer of the limestone, bringing back the original black appearance of the tiles.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio During Diamond Pad Polishing Bromsgrove Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning With CRB Machine Bromsgrove

Next the patio was worked on with 400 grit diamond pads followed by 800 grit pads – the first stage of polishing – and each application was cleaned off with water. Because the property was being renovated there was a lot of dirt on the tiles and grout from construction, so I scrubbed in medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a CRB (counter rotating brush) machine. Once done I rinsed down the area with more water and left it to dry. As you can see from the pictures it was a large area, so this work took two days to complete.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning Bromsgrove

Sealing Limestone Patio Tiles to Restore Colour

I returned the next day to start the sealing process beginning with the application of Tile Doctor Stone-Oil which restores the deep black colour and texture to the limestone, it’s also an impregnating sealer that adds protection and improves mechanical strength once cured.

I allowed this to dry for 24 hours and then applied a coat of Ultra-Seal, a no-sheen natural-looking sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio After Sealing Bromsgrove

The customer was very happy with the results. The patio tiles were fully restored to their original glory and their customer was delighted. More importantly, the company had been saved from making an insurance claim. They left the following feedback on completion:

“Great job by Kieron after the wrong cleaning solution was used on a patio we installed. Came up better than new!”

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio After Restoration Bromsgrove Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio After Restoration Bromsgrove

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Black Limestone patio Near Birmingham



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Travertine Kitchen Floor Polished in Stoke on Trent


The pictures below are from a Travertine tiled Kitchen floor I was asked to clean recently at a house in Stoke on Trent. The floor was laid about five years ago and always had a matt appearance and never had a shine at all. I went over to look at the floor and was able to use a spare tile they had to show them how shiny I could get the stone. They were really impressed with the result and could now see the potential of their floor, so they booked me in straight away.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Stoke-on-Trent Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Stoke-on-Trent

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Tiled Floor

Restoring the shine on a polished stone such as Travertine, Limestone or Marble requires the surface to be stripped back and then buffed, which we did by using a set of burnishing pads. These diamond encrusted pads come in different grades from 400 through to 3000 grit and each one does a different job from scrubbing to polishing. I started with the course red 400 grit pad together with a little water to help lubricate and then carried on with the medium Blue 800, then fine Yellow 1500 grit pad, then very fine Green 3000 grit burnishing pads.

My last task for the day was to give the floor a good rinse to remove any remaining soil and then dried the floor as much as possible using a wet vacuum before leaving the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing Travertine Tile

On our return the next I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a specially designed stone sealer that brings out the deep colour of the stone. Once this had dried I worked in Tile Doctor Shine powder with a buffing pad to give a really deep and durable finish.

Before leaving I finished the floor off by spray burnishing the floor with an ultra high speed burnishing machine fitted with a white buffing pad.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles After Cleaning Stoke-on-Trent Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles After Cleaning Stoke-on-Trent

For the first time in five years the Travertine floor has a deep shine and my customer was really pleased with the outcome.
 
 

Putting a Deep Shine on Travertine Tiled Floor in Gloucestershire



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Deep Cleaning Lapicida Sandstone Flagstones in Bedale


This customer who lived in the old North Yorkshire market town of Bedale, had a Lapicida Sandstone floor installed many years prior and over the years the sealer had worn off and dirt had become ingrained into the pores of the stone making it dull and difficult to clean effectively. Based in Harrogate, where they have Europe’s largest stone gallery, Lapicida are a premier Tile and Stone company that specialise in reclaimed Sandstone with prices that range from £79 to £594 per square metre.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Bedale

Naturally having such an expensive stone floor installed my customer wanted it to look its best however when your living with a stone floor day in, day out you fail to notice the gradual decline in its overall appearance. Then one day you suddenly realise the floor is overdue a deep clean and reseal and call in Tile Doctor; there is an alternative however, simply speak to Tile Doctor about setting up an annual Maintenance Plan whereby we pop by once a year to clean the floor and top up the sealer.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Bedale

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

To deep clean the floor the sandstone flagstones were covered in a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed clean using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black pad. The now dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor washed down with water and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied. Unusually for Sandstone it was all graded and uniformly flat which made cleaning a lot easier.

With the floor clean and all the dirt removed it revealed some black marks, most of which were from candle wax which is very difficult to get off. To tackle this problem a heat gun was used to melt the wax and then it was dappled with a clean cloth. This process was mostly successful, but some still left a faint Mark which the customer was ok with.

After giving the floor a final rinse and drying it as much as possible with a wet vacuum it was left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter. The flagstones were dry. I was going to seal the Stone with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which would have enhanced the natural colours in the stone, but the customer liked the light appearance of the cleaned stone, so l used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal instead; Ultra-seal is a natural look sealer, so it doesn’t darken the stone. Both sealers are what we call impregnators which work by soaking into the pores of stone protecting it from within by preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Bedale

I’m sure you will agree the floor looks much improved, certainly the customer and myself were both very pleased with the transformation of the floor; my customer even left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Nigel Stoker was knowledgeable, efficient and very pleasant. My floors are looking amazing. Claire G, Bedale

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Bedale
 
 

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Flagstone Floor in North Yorkshire



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Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Clean and Seal in Bishop Stortford


We had a request to visit a beautiful Barn conversion on the Essex side of the market town of Bishop Stortford, the lady of the house was concerned about her Terracotta tiled Kitchen Floor which was dirty and had become difficult to maintain.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal in Bishop Stortford

After taking look I could see that the sealer had worn down and was no longer preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in the pores of the Terracotta tile. This is a common problem with Terracotta which needs a sealer in place if you want to keep the floor looking its best. I recommended we strip off what was left of the old sealer, give the floor a thorough clean and then re-seal it over the course of two days. As it turns out the floor had not been cleaned and resealed in ten years, so my client was happy for me to do the work.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal in Bishop Stortford

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

The first step was to strip the floor off any remaining sealer using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was left so soak into the tiles for about twenty minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. At this point I also ran a stiff grout brush along the grout lines to get those clean as well.

The now soiled cleaning solution was rinsed with water and mopped off the floor. Any stubborn marks were then retreated using the same process and when I was happy that the floor was clean the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Having removed the old sealer and cleaned the tile and grout the next step was to apply a new sealer however the tiles needed to be dry to do. I decided therefore to seal the floor the following day and left an industrial air mover in place overnight to help dry out the tiles.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

Returning the next day to seal the floor I checked the floor first to make sure it was dry. All was well, so I proceeded to seal the floor starting with a base coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tiles, protecting them from within whilst simultaneously enhancing the colours in the tile.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal in Bishop Stortford

Once the Colour Grow had dried I followed up with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which like Colour Grow is a fully breathable sealer that lets moisture rise through the floor. Colour Grow however is a Matt sealer whereas Seal and Go adds a gives the floor a nice sheen.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal in Bishop Stortford
 
 

Terracotta Floor Tile and Grout Cleaned and Sealed in North Kent



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Restoring a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway in Winchmore Hill


A customer in Winchmore Hill which is part of the London borough of Enfield was having major refurbishment works done to their home which included an upgrade to the central heating system. As part of the work a new radiator had been installed in the hallway however the utility company when putting in the new heating system had chased out two deep pipe channels in the central part of their beautiful Victorian tiled hallway floor.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Winchmore Hill Cropped Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Winchmore Hill

This was a real shame as the majority of the floor was in good condition; the owner of course wanted the floor restored so our brief was to do exactly that and carry out repairs to the pipe channels and to all the door thresholds that were either existing or new so they all matched in.

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Our first task was to clean the tile and grout and strip off old sealers and waxes which we did by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go combined with equal part of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This was scrubbed into the floor with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Winchmore Hill

After deep cleaning we then carried out the tile repairs and replacements to pipe channels, missing and mislaid tiles to thresholds. Some or the tiles were replaced with matching reclaimed tiles and others were new sourced from Original Style who have a large range. Altogether we replaced circa 500 pieces of tile in order to repair the damage caused by the heating engineers and achieve a consistent pattern throughout the hallway.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

The cleaning and re-tiling work was carried out over three days and we returned on the fourth day to seal the floor with an initial two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances colour.

We then protected the floor for a further week with cardboard cut to size, this allowed other trades to finish their work without messing up the floor. A week later we returned to lift the cardboard to apply the finishing seal using Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds the final protection. Five coats were applied to reach the right level of protection and desired satin finish restoring the natural appearance and lustre of the tiles.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Winchmore Hill Cropped Victorian Hallway After Restoration Winchmore Hill

The whole job allowing for the drying times of adhesive, grout and sealing took five days in total. It was worth it though as restored Victorian hallway really gives the property the Wow factor as you enter.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Winchmore Hill
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in North London



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Full Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Rotherham


Our client in Rotherham had decided to install a new floor in their hallway and after removing many layers of old floor coverings discovered a layer of self-levelling compound underneath. After deciding to chip some of this away they discovered what appeared to be an original Victorian tiled floor. Realising that original features like these are very desirable they decided to call in Tile Doctor to see if it could be restored.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Covered in Self-Leveller Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Rotherham

Being the local agent for Tile Doctor I was asked to look at the floor and quote for doing the work. I could see this was going to take some time to do properly, the floor was quite seriously damaged, a big area of tiles were missing, the tiles around each doorway were heavily damaged and there were quite a few loose and cracked tiles around the edges of the floor. But we were confident this floor could be made to look amazing once again and add the original charm of this hallway back to how it was intended to be.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Repair and Restoration Rotherham

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first course of action was to make the tile repairs which included digging out and rebuilding the sub floor in some areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham

Fortunately, these black and white Victorian Tiles are fairly common, so I was able to source replacements quite easily. There was a lot of areas to cover so this step took a couple of days to complete.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

To get the floor clean we used a slow speed floor polisher fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad. Aided with Tile Doctor Remove and Go it proved to be an effective combination that cut through and removed the self-levelling compound, it also worked a treat at removing paint stains too.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash to remove any remaining grime and dirt. To do this we applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in gel form is quite easy to control. After being scrubbed into the floor it was extracted using a wet vacuum and then the floor given a thorough rinse with water to remove any traces of product.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Acid Washing Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Acid Washing Rotherham

The wet vacuum was employed again to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible and then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing an Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

The next day I returned to seal the floors checking first that the tiles were dry. All was well so I began applying the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works by soaking into the pores of the tile to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Rotherham

The floor was completely transformed over the course of five days and our customer was over the moon with the results calling it her ‘forever floor’.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Repair and Restoration Rotherham
 
 

Restoring an old Victorian Tiled floor in Yorkshire



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Carpet Covered Mexican Terracotta Floor Restored in Elswick


Mexican Terracotta is quite a difficult tile to deal with, mainly due to the fact it is very porous clay and partly fired, unlike a Spanish or French equivalent which is fully fired and a lot less porous as a result. Although difficult to maintain they are full of character and colour so it’s understandable why they are so popular.

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

This particular Mexican Terracotta floor was installed in the kitchen and garden room of a house in Elswick near Preston around twenty years prior. The house had recently changed hands and the new owner wanted the floor in the garden room renovating, it had been covered with a carpet in the past and had now lost all its colour due to ingrained dirt.

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

You can see from some of the photographs that the tiles were quite grubby, so I knew we would have to give this floor a really deep clean to get the dirt out. I felt the best way forward would be to apply Tile Doctor Oxy Gel to the Terracotta and leave it to soak in. This product is a very strong gel version of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, our popular tile and grout cleaner and needs a lot of dwell time to break down fully what was left of the sealer, carpet adhesive and extract the dirt from the pores of the clay.

The product was then worked into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer running at a slow speed. This action worked as predicted and the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. A lot of rinsing with water was required after this to remove all the dirt and traces of product from the tiles. I wanted to ensure all traces of the alkaline cleaning solution were rinsed from the pores of the clay, if we left any of this in the clay it could cause issues with the new sealer.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

The floor was left to fully dry out which can take some time with Terracotta so after returning to seal the floor damp meter readings were taken first so we could be sure it had dried completely. This is essential because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Our choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which provides excellent surface protection along with an aesthetically pleasing deep sheen finish that the customer wanted. The sealer is also water based so you don’t get that solvent smell as it dries.

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

As you can see from the photographs, the result was fantastic, and it just goes to show even a twenty-year-old Terracotta floor can be rejuvenated and make it look like almost new.

Excellent results on terracotta tiled floor that had had carpet laid on top so was covered with glue and pretty dirty! Wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.
Caroline M, Nr Preston

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick
 
 

Professional Mexican Terracotta Tile Renovation in Lancashire



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Mouldy Ceramic Tiled Shower Renovated in Uxbridge


Ceramic and most Porcelain tiles are very easy to clean which makes them a good choice for shower cubicles, the one problem you will find though is that due to the cementitious nature of grout the top layer does attract dirt as can silicone. As a result, we recommend rinsing down showers with Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro on a regular basis or the problem will build. Mould can also be a problem especially if your bathroom is quite small or has inadequate ventilation to extract the hot steam in which mould thrives.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Uxbridge

This Ceramic tiled shower cubicle at a house in Uxbridge had all these problems and would need something much stronger to deal with the mould and remove the limescale which had also built up. Limescale from hard water is a problem that affects 60% of the UK with the South and East of England is particularly impacted due to the local chalk and limestone geology the water is filtered through. Buckinghamshire is known to have hard to very hard water and these tiny mineral deposits build up slowly on the surfaces of shower cubicles during use.

Deep Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

To get the shower cubicle clean I began by spaying the tile and grout down with Tile Doctor Duo Clean which is a dual action product that is designed to clean grout and remove mould. You leave the product on the tiles for ten minutes and then scrub it in with a stiff brush, it’s hard work and you need to repeat in the stubborn areas, but it gets good results.

The tile and grout were then rinsed down with water and left to dry whilst I popped out for lunch. On my return I dried off any damp areas with a heat gun and took a step back to review the work I had done.

The results were good but unfortunately there were still a few dark stains in the grout which I was unlikely to be able to remove. When this happens, I find the best solution to achieve a consistent appearance is to apply a grout colourant to the grout. Tile Doctor grout colourants come in ten colours are relatively straight forward to apply, I always keep some of the popular colours in stock and on this occasion, I felt a White colourant would work best.

Normally the first stage would be to prepare the grout first with a pre-treater but given the grout had already been scrubbed hard I was able to move onto applying the colourant with a small brush. Grout Colourants not only recolour and rejuvenate the grout lines but also adds a barrier over the grout sealing it in and protecting it from further staining.

Whilst waiting for the colourant to dry I stripped out the mouldy sealant strip between the tile and shower tray and replaced with mould resistant silicone.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Uxbridge

The shower cubicle now looks much fresher and I’m sure will be a pleasure to take a shower in.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle in Buckinghamshire



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Very Dirty Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned in Radcot


I was asked to clean the Limestone tiled floor of a very old house in the Village of Radcot which is close to the River Thames and dates to the 14th Century. Being close to a river is very scenic but can be problematic and I was told the house had experienced flooding in recent years.

Whilst the Limestone floor clearly wasn’t as old as the house it was definitely in need of some attention to remove the dirty that had become ingrained into the pores of the stone and restore its appearance.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Radcot

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

My first step was to let the floor soak for ten minutes in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong Tile and Grout cleaner. The product was then scrubbed into the floor using a deck brush to remove any surface dirt. I also took the opportunity to clean up the grout before rinsing off the now soiled cleaning solution with water and extracting it with a wet vacuum.

Next I turned my attention to the stone tiles which would need to be stripped back, re-honed and then sealed to protect them. I find the best way to achieve this on stone is through the application of a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

I started the burnishing process by fitting a coarse 400 grit no.1 burnishing pad to a floor buffer and running at a slow speed, applied the pad over the whole floor. This coarse pad is designed to strip off old coatings and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polished surface with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.

This floor was left to dry before moving onto the final stage of the polishing process which is to apply the very fine 3000 grit which further restores the appearance of the Limestone tile. This last pad is applied dry with a small amount of water sprayed onto the surface to help bring up the shine.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

With the floor dry I moved onto sealing the tiles in-order to protect them from dirt and staining. I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this purpose as this particular sealer enhances the natural colours in the stone. It’s also an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone.

My pictures of the floor are not brilliant but hopefully you can see how much more colourful the floor now looks.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Radcot
 
 

Limestone Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Radcot



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Stripping, Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tiles in Swansea


This customer from Swansea was unhappy with the look of her Travertine floor tiles and so decided to call in tile doctor after she had seen pictures of other travertine floor tiles on one of our websites and wanted hers to look the same. The natural brown shades of her own Travertine tiles had become very dark and were looking dull and lifeless in comparison.

It was clear to me that the Sealer was wearing thin with use and dirt had now penetrated the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively. This is a common problem with stone floors and this is why Tile Doctor offer a maintenance service where we pop round once a year to top-up the sealer on your floor.

Travertine Floor Swansea Before Cleaning Travertine Floor Swansea Before Cleaning

Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine

To restore the polished appearance of the floor the stone would need to be stripped of any remaining sealer and dirt, re-polished and then sealed; we find the best way to achieve that is through the application of a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

I started the burnishing process by fitting a coarse 400 grit no.1 burnishing pad to a floor buffer and running at a slow speed ran the pad across the whole floor. This coarse pad is designed to strip off old sealers and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polish with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and I turned my attention to the grout which was scrubbed by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. The floor was given another rinse and then inspected to ensure I hadn’t missed anything. Before leaving for the day I used the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

On the second day I finished the banishing process with the application of the final of the four pads which is a very fine 3000 grit pad which adds a final polish to the surface leaving it looking shiny. This last pad is applied with a small amount of water spayed onto the tile in a process we call a spray burnish. The use of water is so small the floor remains dry enabling us to apply a sealer shortly afterwards.

There are some beautiful brown shades in Travertine and so to really make them standout I sealed the floor using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. The sealer will also make ongoing cleaning and maintenance easier for the customer.

Travertine Floor Swansea After Cleaning

The customer was very pleased with the result and commented on how clean and deep the shine had come out using the Diamond pad system.

Travertine Floor Swansea After Cleaning

Before leaving I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap as an aftercare cleaner, this produce is specially designed for cleaning polished stone, not only does it helps build patina, but it won’t prematurely erode the sealer like many acidic cleaners you find in the supermarket which should really only be used on ceramics and Vinyl tiles.
 
 

Travertine Tiled Floor Polished in Glamorgan



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Large Limestone Tiled Floor Stripped and Resealed in Weybridge


Weybridge is an affluent commuter town with good train connections into London Waterloo, as a result, there are some impressive houses here, many of which feature beautiful polished stone floors. This particular residence in Weybridge had a very large Limestone tiled floor installed in their Kitchen/Dinning Room, the floor had been cleaned and sealed about a year prior, so it was still in good condition however the customers ageing dog had a few accidents which had damaged the sealer.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Weybridge

Urine contains Uric Acid which being an acid can damage the sealer, this is why for daily cleaning we always recommend using pH neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Stone Soap if the floor is polished. Limestone and Travertine are especially vulnerable to acids due to their high levels of calcium carbonate and often results in pock marks or small holes forming in the stone.

Resealing a Polished Limestone Floor

Once we’d moved the furniture to another room I started with a deep grout clean. I ran a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines then left it to dwell for five minutes while I got the wet vacuum from the van. When ready I cleaned the grout by hand with a hard nylon brush and then extracted the soiled cleaning solution with the wet vacuum.

With the grout now clean and the soil removed I set up my rotary floor cleaning machine ready to burnish the stone tile and restore the finish with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

The first pad in the set to be applied is a coarse 400 grit pad that is designed to remove existing sealers and dirt and is run over the tiles with water for lubrication. During the following hours the process was repeated with the medium 800 grit and fine 1500 grit pads which gradually polish the stone and return the shine. The floor is rinsed between each pad to remove the soil which is generated from burnishing.

This process took up much of the day so after rinsing the floor after the 1500 grit pad and extracting the soil with the wet vacuum I left the customer strict instructions not to spill anything on the unsealed floor. The tiles need to be dry before re-applying the sealer and any remaining moisture from the rinsing should evaporate overnight.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Returning the next day, I tested the floor was dry the applied the first coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. Once I’d wiped away any excess I left it to dry for half an hour before applying a second coat.

Breaking for lunch allowed sufficient time for the sealer to dry and I was able to complete the floor with a final polish.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Weybridge
 
 

Stripping and Resealing a Polished Limestone Floor in West Surrey



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