Restoring the Appearance of Victorian Tiled Lobby in Swindon

Victorian tiled floors are a popular feature in period houses and new builds trying to get that classic look. While they originated in the 19th century, they have a certain timeless quality that property owners love. Historically due to their hard wearing qualities they were most commonly used for flooring high traffic areas such as lobbies and hallways, however Victorian tiles are porous and without the correct maintenance the tiles can start to lose their appearance very quickly.

This customer from Swindon has an original Victorian tiled lobby at the front of their house that was suffering from this very same problem. Years worth of ingrained dirt and muck had completely sapped all colour and character from the tiles, and the customer was keen to get them back to looking their best.

Victorian Tiled Lobby Before Cleaning in Swindon

Whilst I was there inspecting the floor I agreed to run a test on the tiles to ascertain the results that could be achieved, this worked out well and the customer quickly booked me to carry out the full restoration.

Cleaning Dull and Dirty Victorian Tiles

To provide the deep clean these tiles desperately needed, I opted to use a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Pro Clean is our go-to cleaner for most natural stone tiles since it is highly versatile. It is alkaline-based and therefore can be used on acid-sensitive tiles to break down ingrained dirt and any existing seal.

We soaked the floor completely with the product and left it to dwell for roughly 15 minutes. This allows the Pro Clean to seep into the pores of the stone, get underneath and lift any ingrained dirt to the surface to be easily removed. I then attached a soft brush to a rotary machine and scrubbed the area throughly, with the tiles coming up very well. Once satisfied with the appearance of the tiles, I removed the dirty cleaning slurry with a wet vacuum and rinsed.

Having removed many layers of muck it came as a surprise to find that there were a number of paint splashes that have previously had been hidden. I was able to promptly remove them using a hand razor scraper, before rinsing the area again several times to remove any surface contaminants and neutralise the area. I then left it to dry fully overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Upon my return to the property the next day I ran a few damp tests to check for excess moisture in the area. This is really important to check for as excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its ability to provide protection for the tiles.

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the stone to act as a robust barrier against ingrained dirt. It also contains colour intensifying properties that really worked to enhance the fantastic coloured patterns of these Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Lobby After Cleaning in Swindon

With a thorough clean and a fresh seal applied, these tiles are now well prepared to endure further wear and tear, which is especially important in this high traffic area of the house. Certainly the customer was relieved and pleased to know that their fantastic Victorian tiles are protected for the long-term. Another satisfied customer for the Wiltshire Tile Doctor.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Stone Restoration Service in Wiltshire

Removing Stains For A Limestone Kitchen Floor

The following post is follows on from the Limestone tiled kitchen floor restoration I recently completed in Cardiff. You may recall that the floor had not been maintained properly since it was first installed in 2008 and one of the key problems I had to deal with during that particular restoration was a number of dark stains left on the tiles by the kitchen dustbin. Here’s a detailed account of how I tacked the staining.

Limestone Reduxa Before Stain Removal

Cleaning a stained Limestone tiled floor

To deal with the stains, I suggested to the client that I experiment with a Tile Doctor product called Reduxa, which is formulated to remove certain stains, including red wine stains, from natural stone. It is suitable on Limestone, Marble and Travertine tiles, amongst others. Nonetheless, I did have to advise the client that unfortunately some stains are unavoidably permanent and that there was no guarantee that the product would be able to remove these particular stains. Had the sealer been maintained on this floor, then the problem would have been much easier to tackle. However, in this case the sealer had worn off over the years.

I began treating the problem area by applying the Reduxa solution, before heating up the tile with a heat gun to lift out the stains. This process of spraying and heating was repeated around eight times.

Limestone Reduxa After Stain Removal

To cut a long story short, the process worked very well, and both myself and the client were amazed at the results the Reduxa stain removal solution had on the floor. This product really does what it says on the label!

Limestone Reduxa After Stain Removal

If you would like more information on the product, check out the video on the Reduxa page on the Tile Doctor website.
 
 
Source: Stone Stain removal service in South Wales

Renovating Badly Stained Vinyl Flooring

Here’s an interesting job I recently completed at a house near the centre of York, the biggest town in North Yorkshire and famous for its Viking history. My client had initially emailed me some pictures of her tiles which, upon first inspection, looked like Black and Red Victorian tiles. This was also the opinion of my client and her friend, who is a builder.

Linoleum Tiled Floor Before Restoration in York

The floor had previously been covered by carpet, which was fixed down by adhesive. As such, the newly unveiled floor was in a bit of a state, with adhesive markings ruining the appearance of the tiles. I agreed a date with my client to give the tiles a closer inspection.

Restoring Linoleum Vinyl flooring

Upon my arrival at the house, I discovered that the floor was in fact made up of linoleum, rather than Victorian tiles. This was a surprise to me as Tile Doctor don’t usually get asked to work on Vinyl flooring. Nonetheless, I agreed to restore the floor to the best of my abilities.

To clean the floor, I started with a blunt chisel (so not to puncture or tear the Lino) and proceeded to scrape off all the glue and plaster from the floor. Had the tiles been unpolished natural stone I would’ve used a product such as Tile Doctor Remove & Go to break down the adhesive markings.

The next step was to restore the appearance of the floor using a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Grout Clean-up. The latter product contains phosphoric acid to break down any remaining cement, while the former is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner.

Linoleum Tiled Floor During Restoration in York

Finally, the floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water to remove any trace of chemical and then sealed with a Linoleum sealer.

Despite not coming across this type of floor often, I am very pleased with the results I was able to achieve. Needless to say, my client was also very happy with what is essentially a fantastic new feature for her house.

Linoleum Tiled Floor After Restoration in York

 
 
Source: Vinyl Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Yorkshire

Choosing a Tile Sealer When You Have a Puppy

Here are the details of a job I recently completed in the town of Biggleswade, which lies on the River Ivel in Bedfordshire. My client had a fantastic red and black Victorian tiled floor with a topical seal. However, she also had a new addition to the family in the form of a new puppy and, as I’m sure most of you reading will know, puppies can be very messy and additionally urine contains Uric acid which can eat away at sealers. Therefore, my client asked me to strip off the old topical seal, before replacing with an impregnating sealer better suited to protect the tiles against an untrained puppy.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade before cleaning

My client had been replenishing the topical seal for many years, but after discussing this decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating and colour enhancing sealer, would be better suited.

Stripping a Victorian tiled floor

My first task was, of course, to remove the old topical sealer. I did this using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner that when used in a concentrated form can remove sealers. The alkaline helps to break down the sealer while also lifting out any ingrained dirt suffered by the stone. The solution was left to dwell for approximately twenty minutes before being scrubbing it into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.

Nonetheless, after giving the tiles a rinse, I discovered evidence of an old impregnating sealer in the tiles that was also need to be removed before resealing. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a powerful, dedicated coatings remover which did the job although the use of a steamer and several scrubbing brushes helped with the task.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade during cleaning

After completing the stripping, I still felt that I could improve the appearance of the tiles further, so I ran over the tiles with a small six inch Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a hand-held buffer to finish the cleaning process.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

After completely the stripping process, I gave the entire floor a rinse and left it to dry for several days. Upon my return I sealed the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer that really brought out the shades of red and black in these Victorian tiles. Along with Victorian tiles, Colour Grow is also suitable for use of Flagstone, Limestone, Quarry, Sandstone and Marble tiles, amongst others.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade after cleaning Victorian tiles Biggleswade after cleaning

I think you will agree the floor looks transformed with the new sealer applied.
 
 
Source: Victorian Floor Cleaning and Sealing service in Bedfordshire

Changing The Colour of Grout in Essex

Here’s a quick grout cleaning and re-colouring job I completed in the town of Canvey Island, Essex. Canvey Island lies on the south east coast, and lies just above sea level which in my job is always worth noting as the area can be prone to flooding. This wasn’t the problem here though, simply put, my client was unhappy with the colour of their grout, and wanted it re-coloured to a darker shade to match the grey Ceramic floor tiles.

Cleaning the grout before re-colouring is essential because, as many readers are probably well aware, grouts are porous and therefore can very easily absorb dirt and grease. Most often this will result in grout discolouration if not dealt with promptly.

Ceramic tiles before cleaning and colouring in canvey island

Cleaning and Re-Colouring the grout lines of a Ceramic tiled floor

So, as mentioned above the first step in the re-colouring process involved cleaning the grout lines. For this Tile Doctor has a special Pre-Treat Cleaner which is sprayed on and scrubbed into the grout to both remove any existing dirt and also to prepare the grout joints for a superior bond with the Grout Colourant. Once complete the grout lines looked clean and refreshed.

To clean the ceramic I diluted one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to three parts water, and used it to wash down the Ceramic tiles, leaving a consistent level of cleanliness across the entire floor. I then rinsed the floor with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum and waited for 3 hours for the floor to dry.

Once dry, I began the process of applying the Charcoal Grey (as chosen by the client) Grout Colourant to the grout lines. As well as changing the colour the colourant also forms a barrier over the grout sealing it in and protecting it from future staining for years to come.

Then, once dry, the floor was given another quick clean using a light spray of water and a white buffing pad, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish. My client was very happy with the outcome and now has the floor they wanted.

Ceramic tiles after cleaning and colouring in canvey island

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration Service in Essex

Cleaning and Restoring the appearance of an old Flagstone Floor

Here’s another interesting job I was privileged to work on in the town of Bicester, Oxfordshire. Bicester has a long, rich history – dating back to the Saxon age – but it is also one of the fastest growing in Oxfordshire. In fact, I had an opportunity to experience part of this history when I was called to a house to work on a old Flagstone floor which is believed to be 300-years old. The use of flagstones for both interior and exterior flooring is believed to have been popularised in Europe around the 13th century AD, and flagstone is still commonly used for these purposes today. As one of the few surviving of its kind, this Old-Flagstone-floor- has a preservation order on it – this means that it can’t be covered by wood or other tiles.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Cleaning Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Cleaning

Unfortunately, the rooms in this building were previously used as a sort of ‘dumping ground’ for builders working on the property, covering the floor with cement, plaster, sealant and glue, while also inflicting significant surface damage. As a result, it would take me three days to restore the Flagstone tiles back to their best possible condition.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Cleaning

Day one: Cleaning Old Flagstones

My first task was removing the medley of muck and dirt left over from the building works from the Flagstone tiles. I did this using a weak solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and clean water (the concentration is adjusted according to the level of soil build-up). Pro Clean mixed with water is my go-to cleaning solution for most natural stone floors as it works well to lift out ingrained dirt and stains. I spread the solution evenly onto the floor and worked it into the stone using a scrubbing brush attached to a floor machine. I then rinsed off the excess cleaner, before sucking up the residue with a wet-vac machine.

The second stage of the cleaning process was to strip the floor of any old sealers. This was achieved, working in sections, using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which can be used on unpolished natural stone floors, along with ceramic tiles, grout, and more. After leaving it to dwell for a short period, I scrubbed a layer of Remove & Go into the tiles using my floor machine and carbon brush. Following this, the floor was once again rinsed and any remaining moisture was removed with the wet-vac machine.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Burnishing

Day two: Burnishing Old Flagstones

After completing the cleaning, I moved on to the burnishing process. To give unpolished surfaces a nice polished look, the best method is to use a series of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads. This is exactly what I did, first using a coarse pad, before gradually moving up through medium and fine, to eventually using a very fine pad to achieve the desired polished effect. This is done without causing any further damage to the surface of the Flagstone tiles.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester After Burnishing

Day three: Sealing Old Flagstones

On the final day, I completed the job by sealing the floor. I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which works to provide durable surface protection from within. At the same time, Colour Grow is specially formulated to intensify the natural colours in a majority of different stones including Flagstone, Limestone, Marble, Quarry and Slate, bringing character and life back to otherwise dull surfaces.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester After Sealing

I’m pleased to say that the finished result exceeded my client’s expectations, especially considering the extent of surface damage and neglect the floor had suffered during construction work. It is highly rewarding to work on unique, historic floors like this and to contribute to its preservation for many more years to come.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in Oxfordshire

Builders Clean of a Victorian Tiled Hallway

This customer asked me to pay a visit following work to refurbish the house and wanted to restore as many original features as possible; work had been going on to restore coving, picture rails, ceiling roses and fireplaces but unfortunately nobody had thought to cover up the beautiful Victorian floor. When I arrived there was plaster dust and splashes of paint all over the floor that needed attention. A quote was given which was accepted and the work was booked in for the following week.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove any loose debris so I could assess how to proceed. I then applied diluted Tile Doctor Pro Clean with a pump up sprayer and left it to dwell on the tiles for fifteen minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad and hand brushes. The now soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off together with most of the plaster and surface dirt which had come away in the process. I was then left with a few paint splatters which I removed by spot treating by hand with Tile Doctor Remove and Go; it became clear at this stage that the Pro-Clean had not removed all the old sealer and so I decided to spray the whole floor with a dilution of Remove and Go and work it in with brushes, the solution was left for a further ten minutes and then rinsed away with an extraction machine.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

The floor was left alone to dry for several days with a fan on site to assist the process. The customer wanted the floor to look traditional and requested a matt finish so when I returned to site two coats of Tile Doctor Matt Colour Grow Sealer was applied. Colour Grow is breathable and will allow any damp to evaporate without disrupting the finish, this is important as floors of this age were laid without any damp proof course or membrane which can sometimes result in damp issues.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration service in Northamtonshire

Cleaning up Concrete floor covered in Bitumen

This Concrete floor at a house in the market town of Bridport had been coated in bitumen which the owner wanted removed. The property had only recently changed hands and the bitumen had been used as an adhesive to hold down the previous flooring which the new owner had removed during renovation. Removing the Bitumen however was a different matter and hence we got the call.

Concrete Floor Bridport Covered in Bitumen before cleaning

Removing Bitumen from Concrete

Tile Doctor has a product for most things in its range and I’m happy to say I was able to clean up the floor using Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the bitumen to soften up before attacking it with a black pad fitted to a Numatic buffing machine which was weighted down to improve traction.

Some areas were stubborn to remove as you can imagine so to soften it further I used an Earlex Steamer and finally a Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pad to cut into the concrete very slightly and remove most of the bitumen that had sunk below the surface.

Concrete Floor Bridport Covered in Bitumen after cleaning

The results were as good as they could be and the customer was very pleased as she said it made the whole room look much lighter.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Dorset

Cleaning Sandstone and Slate Tiles Together

We recently deep cleaned two different tiled floors at a property in the village of Coningsby in the centre of Lincolnshire. The floor was split into two areas one laid with natural Sandstone and the other Riven Slate tiles. Both tiled areas had been sealed previously but the sealer was clearly not doing the job as the floor had a very dull finish due to dirt being absorbed into the tile.

Sandstone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Coningsby Riven Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Coningsby

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floors were in need of a deep clean to remove the ingrained dirt and remaining sealer so the first step was to soak the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then work it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad and a stiff brush along the grout lines. This did the job and there’s a great photograph below that shows the difference this made.

Sandstone Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Coningsby

To extract the now soiled cleaning solution the floor was rinsed using water which was then extracted using our wet pick up system. Once the floor was clear we were able to see where more work was required and the process was repeated until we were happy the floor was thoroughly clean and free of any remaining sealer.

To get the floor dry a number of turbo air dryers were setup around the floor and we left for the day to allow the floor to thoroughly dry off overnight.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

The following morning we tested the tiles to make sure that both were dry which they were. We then applied Tile Doctor quality sealers to both floors; two different finishes were required for the different types of floor so we applied three coats of Colour Grow sealer to the Sandstone flooring as this impregnates the pores in the stone protecting it from staining and enhancing the natural colours to provide a natural look. We than applied four coats of Seal and Go sealer to the Slate floor, Seal and Go adds a nice subtle shine and works well on Riven Slate to highlight the different shades.

Riven Slate Tiled Floor During Sealing in Coningsby

The customer was delighted with the results and left an excellent review which you can read below:
The floors look absolutely beautiful. I am very pleased with the service.
J. Gibbons, Coningsby

She wants us to return soon to seal the other stone areas in their property. As you can see from the photos the before and after is very striking. The floors were ready to take light use that same afternoon.

Sandstone Tiled Floor After Cleaining and Sealing in Coningsby Riven Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Coningsby

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Lincolnshire

Removing Varnish From Flagstone Floor Tiles

This Flagstone floor was installed in a house near the village of Ambleside and had previously been sealed with varnish and other products which had left the floor looking dull and nowhere near its best. I did a test clean which came out well and then agreed a date and price I came back a couple of weeks later to do the job

Flagstone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Ambleside

Cleaning Flagstone Tiles

Due to the numerous coatings that had been applied to the floor it was necessary to completely strip off the coatings back to the bare stone. To start I used Tile Doctor Remove and Go which does what it says on the bottle and removes coatings from tiles, the product was diluted with water and left to soak in before being scrubbed in using a Black Scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The now dirty cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and I could see that the Remove and Go had removed most but not all of the coatings so it was time to using something stronger. To do this I applied NanoTech UltraClean which is a gel that is left to soak into the floor for thirty minutes before adding water and then agitating with the black pad. The floor was rinsed with water and the solution removed with the wet vacuum. At this point I could see that all the varnish and dirt had been removed so I gave the floor a final wash down with clean water to neutralise the floor before sealing and left for the evening so the floor could dry overnight.

Flagstone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Ambleside

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

I came back the next day and tested the floor with a damp meter to confirm the floor was dry and then proceeded to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied with a paint pad which gave the floor a nice low sheen finish that the customer requested.

Flagstone Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Ambleside

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Cumbria

Deep Cleaning Old Flagstone Tiles

This flagstone floor was installed in a farmhouse in Caerleon near NewPort, it was actually the original floor dating back to 18th century and had been lifted up by the previous owners and re-laid with underfloor heating and a damp proof membrane, this was good news for me as so often with these old floors you can get damp issues rising up through the stone and consequently it can take a long time to dry out following a deep clean.

Old Flagstones Before Restoration in Caerleon

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

I stripped the sealer off with Tile Doctor HBU (Heavy Build-Up Remover) Ultra-Clean mixed 50/50 mixed with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to double the cleaning and stripping power and also to thin the HBU out. The old sealer had been applied two years prior when then the floor was re-laid as part of a renovation due to the farm house going on the market for the sale, it had worn through in the heavy traffic areas letting in dirt and now needed to be replaced.

Old Flagstones Before Restoration in Caerleon Old Flagstones Before Restoration in Caerleon

To work the cleaning solution into the floor I used a scrubbing machine with a stiff brush attached cleaning and rinsing as I renovated, the old sealer proved quite tough to shift in some areas so the process had to be repeated until I was satisfied all the old sealer and dirt had been removed.

A lot of the cement joints had broken down which I repointed with fast setting Mapei floor grout colour matched to the original. One small piece of stone had to be replaced by the kitchen unit for which I managed to source a slab from B&Q after a hunt around from various outlets to match the original as best as possible.

Old Flagstone Tile Replacement in Caerleon

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

I left the floor to dry out for two days checking later with a damp meter to ensure it was completely dry before sealing.

Old Flagstones During Sealing in Caerleon Old Flagstones After Restoration in Caerleon

The customer wanted a satin finish as previously sealed so I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which gave the stone floor a nice mild shine and being water based didn’t leave smell whilst it dried.

Old Flagstones After Restoration in Caerleon

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning in Cardiff

Dealing with Mouldy Silicone

We often get calls to refresh bathrooms, which by the way if your selling your house is highly recommended as its cheap to do and it can transform a dingy bathroom into one that looks like it has just been installed; so replacing the silicone sealant strip around sinks and baths is something we tend to do a lot of and if you have ever done this yourself you will probably realise how tricky it can be.

This customer in Garstang only needed the strip around the sink replacing which isn’t a large job so I agreed to pop-in on the way back from another job in the local area and sort it out. The process is relatively simple, you use a sharp knife to remove the old sealant, clean the area up and then apply new, the trick is to apply just the right amount of silicone and then shape it with an angled tool. My preference is to use a Mapei silicone which if you live in Garstang can be sourced from Rockform tiles.

Silicone Seal Replacement Garstang Before Silicone Seal Replacement Garstang After

On the subject of bathroom maintenance I can highly recommend a product we sell called Tile Doctor Mould Away which used regularly does a great job of keeping your Silicone mould free.
 
 
Source: Bathroom Renovation in Lancashire

Grouting and Cleaning Brick Floor Tiles

The owner of this house in Peppard Common near Henley on Thames was keen to have the grout completely removed from this brick paved floor in the Kitchen and re-done. This is a lot of work and re-colouring the grout with a Grout Colourant kit would have been faster and easier however it is something we can do if required.

Brick Paved Floor Before Regrouting and Cleaning Peppard

Removing Grout

I started by removing the kick boards around the base of the kitchen units then to remove the grout I had to cut along all the grout lines with a hand held multi tool; as you can imagine this work is quite painstaking and slow however I persisted and eventually completed the task which took me the whole day. After this I came back the next day and grouted the whole floor polishing off the excess grout as I went.

Cleaning Brick Paving

On the third day I gave the floor a clean with Tile Doctor Pro Clean diluted with water. The customer did not want a full scrub as the brick floor had a nice patina to it and a full scrub would have made the brick floor more of an orange colour. The last step was to give the floor a thorough rinse with water and then use a wet vacuum to extract as much water from the floor as possible.

Brick Paved Floor After Regrouting and Cleaning Peppard

In total the job took three days to complete and it now looks much cleaner and fresher.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning in Oxfordshire

Deep Cleaning Victorian Tiled Steps

The photographs below are from a set of steps outside a house near Brighton Marina; the customer had a number of requirements which included bringing the Victorian tiled door steps back to life and also to resolve a leak into the basement below.

Victorian Tiled Steps Brighton Marina Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Steps

To get them clean we scrubbed in a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean brushing off any moss growth in the process and exposing holes and weaknesses. It was a small area so this was done by hand using water to rinse away the soiled cleaning product and a wet vacuum to extract the water. Once the tiles were cleaned all the visible holes and cracks were filled using clear mastic and a builder went about resealing the basement below.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

With winter quickly approaching the weather has changed for the worse and I struggled to find two clear days of dry weather to seal the tiles in fact three weeks passed until it was clear enough to return. I started by wiping away any visible dampness and used the heat gun on any tricky corners. Once dry the tiles were sealed using Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the tile occupying the pores in the tiles so contaminates can’t.

The property was fifty metres from the sea front so I applied four coats to be sure it would have extra protection against the elements; fortunately the weather was quite windy they dried quickly. The customer was very pleased with the result, so much so that she’s recommended me to her neighbours.

Victorian Tiled Steps Brighton Marina After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning in Sussex

Deep Cleaning Terrazzo Tiles

Just to prove we take on any job large or small I thought I would post the details of this small Terrazzo Vestibule that we recently cleaned at the entrance to a house in Glasgow. The Terrazzo was not looking its best which is hardly surprising being in front of the main entrance to the house it must have seen a lot of foot traffic over the years.

Terrazzo vestibule before cleaning in Glasgow

Cleaning and Burnishing a Terrazzo Floor

Terrazzo is a very hard surface and as a result it has to be treated in the same way as other hard surfaces such as Travertine, Limestone and Marble which typically involve burnishing the surface to remove the dirt and restore the appearance.

Before burnishing the floor was cleaned using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the Terrazzo for a while before being scrubbed in by hand due to it being such a small area; following that the floor was given a quick rinse with water and a quick clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to remove any trace of strong cleaning product.

The next step was to burnish the floor using a set of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads. You start with a coarse 400 grit burnishing pad which is run over the surface with a little water to help lubricate and this removes surface dirt and coatings such as sealers. Once that was finished we moved onto the medium 800 grit pad which is the first step of the polishing process and also removes ingrained dirt. The surface of the Terrazzo is still quite rough at this stage so once complete with the medium pad the fine (1,500 grit) is used smooth down the surface and continue to build up the polish in the floor. The last pad is a very fine (3,000 grit pad) and this pad builds on the existing polished effect to create a high shine finish.

All these pads are applied with water and the resultant slurry needs to be cleaned off during the process with the final step of giving the floor a thorough rinse with clean water.

Sealing a Terrazzo Floor

Once the floor was completely dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer designed to bring out the natural colours in the stone and penetrate into the pores of the tile preventing dirt from getting in there and providing maximum on-going stain protection. The floor was then buffed using a white buffing pad to bring up the shine further and remove any smears left from sealing.

Terrazzo vestibule After cleaning and sealing in Glasgow

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration Service in Glasgow

Removing Soot From a Stone Fireplace

This fireplace at a house at Canford Cliffs near Poole, Dorset and was constructed from a mixture of Limestone and Sandstone, both of which had suffered from ingrained soot damage in the forty plus years since in had been installed. The owners of the property wanted it cleaning up and although we tend to focus on tiles the methods and products we use work equally well on stone fireplaces so I was happy to take it on.

Canford Cliffs Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning

Removing Sealer from Limestone Floor Tiles

The first task was to protect the carpet in from of the fireplace from splashing and any potential mess and then I applied a strong mixture of Tile Doctor “Pro Clean” in warm water. It was left to soak in for a short while before being scrubbed into the stone by hand with a grout brush and a brass coated Spid wire brush which helped to brush away the more ingrained dirt. This took off the majority of the soil from the stone and a further application of Pro Clean was applied which I steamed off using an Earlex steamer and then rinsed thoroughly always taking care to minimise any run off.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

Any stone needs to be bone dry before sealing so I left the Fireplace to dry for two days before returning to seal it using a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which sank into the porous stones and enriched their colour as well as protecting them from further staining.

Canford Cliffs Stone Fireplace After Cleaning

The fireplace is now looking like new again and has become a really attractive feature.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning Service in Dorset

Deep cleaning a Patio

These photographs were from earlier in the year at a residence in Achurch which had a number of paved areas and patios which like any patio in the UK had discoloured over winter and the colours in the stone had become grey and un-inviting. Being a Tile Doctor and Carpet Cleaner requires an investment in high pressure cleaning equipment which lends itself well to external patio cleaning.

Paving Slabs in Achurch Before Cleaning Paving Slabs in Achurch Before Cleaning

Patio Pressure Washing

With less preparation required when working outside to protect other surfaces I was soon setup and started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner and stripper which being an alkaline rather than acidic product is safe to use on stone, tile and grout. The solution was left to soak into slabs for a while so it could get to work the grime and it was then scrubbed in using a yard brush. The next step was to use a high pressure washer running at a medium pressure so as not to blow out the mortar between the slabs. The pressures available on the truck mounted pressure washer are much higher than those available on domestic machines so you do have to be careful.

Paving Slabs in Achurch After Cleaning Paving Slabs in Achurch After Cleaning

The job took half a day and I think you will agree the patio now looks newly laid.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning Service in Northamptonshire

Removing Plaster from Quarry Tiles

This Quarry tiled floor was at a house in the town of Market Harborough and as you can see from the photograph below it was in a right state due to the plastering that had gone on previously while the property was refurbished. The plasterer has taken no steps to protect the tiles and as a result there was plaster and plaster dust ingrained into the tile.

Quarry Tiles Deep Cleaned in Market Harborough Before

Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles

To clean the floor and remove mess of plaster that it has become covered it the whole floor was soaked in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong coatings remover that is safe to use on tile, stone and grout. If was left to dwell on the tiles for around twenty minutes before being worked into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, the grout was also scrubbed but this needs to be done by hand with a stiff brush. The soiled cleaning solution is then rinsed away using a wet vacuum and the process repeated on stubborn areas until all the tiles were clean. Once I was happy the floor was in an acceptable condition it was thoroughly rinsed with water to remove any cleaning products that might upset the sealer and then left to dry overnight; the wet vacuum was used again to remove the water and help dry the floor.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

We delayed our return until the decorators had painted the walls and unlike the plasterers they protected the floor so we didn’t have to spend time removing paint from the tiles. The tiles were thoroughly dry when we returned and so we got straight on with the task of sealing them with five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in a tile preventing contaminates from become ingrained and as its name suggests does a great job of enhancing the colour in the tile.

Quarry Tiles Deep Cleaned in Market Harborough After

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning and Sealing in Leicestershire

Annual Patio and Paving Slab Cleaning

These photographs are from the garden of a house in the beautiful village of Titchmarsh in Northamptonshire. The request was to clean the patios and paths which if not cleaned regularly become dirty and lose their appearance during the English winter.

Stone Circle Before Cleaning Gazebo Before Cleaning

Cleaning Patios and Paths

The process I follow for cleaning path’s, patios and paving in general is basically to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then let it soak in to get to work on the dirt and grime for ten minutes before scrubbing with a stiff brush; this is then followed by pressure washing.

Stone Circle During Cleaning Stone Circle During Cleaning

Home owners can buy pressure washing machines and many domestic models are available in DIY stores however none are as powerful as the machines used by Tile Doctors which can generates pressures far in excess of a domestic system that make light work of cutting through grime.

Stone Circle After Cleaning Gazebo After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Tile and Stone Cleaning in South Wales

Cleaning 100 year old Quarry tiles near Cardiff

This Red Quarry Tiled floor had been laid when the house was built back in 1910 so it was over 100 years old and had years of wear and tear to show for it including old cement and paint from some decorating work that had been done some years prior. The house was located in the town of Treharris just outside of Cardiff and being an original feature of the house the owner wanted it looking as good as it could be.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I first checked for any moisture as these old floors were often laid without damp proofing and a damp floor can impact sealing later. Fortunately the reading was nice and dry, I then set about carefully scrapping off as much old paint and cement as possible. I then swept up as much of the dust as I could and caught the rest with a hoover.

The next step was to cover the whole floor in Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed with a little NanoTech Ultra Clean which basically adds tiny abrasive particles to a powerful coatings remover. I left this on to soak into the tile for about an hour knowing that using this combination would not only remove any old surface coatings such as sealers it would also clean the floor as well. The solution was then worked into the floor using a rotating scrubbing brush attachment on a floor machine effectively letting the machinery do all the hard work. The floor was then rinsed twice with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Scrubbed

It was clear at this point that the cement I could see on the surface of the tile was basically grout from an appalling tiling job when the floor was laid 100 years earlier. Fortunately Tile Doctor has a solution for that problem called Grout Remove and Go which is an acid based product that will remove grout and mineral deposits such as efflorescence. Being an acid I had to be careful so it was applied to the tile working one square metre at a time cleaning and scraping as I went along. After each section the floor was given a good rinsing again using the wet vacuum to remove the liquids from the floor. The last step of the cleaning process which I always do for Quarry and Victorian floor tiles was to finish off the rinsing process with a steam clean which brings out any remaining dirt and brings the tile back to its raw state.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I cleaned the floor on the Friday and then left it to try for two days coming back on the Sunday to damp test the floor once again to ensure it was ready for sealing. The moisture reading was fine for sealing and as the customer had asked for a mild shine finish I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which brought out the black and red colours in the tile back to life.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Sealed

 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Tile Cleaning in South Wales