French Limestone Tiled Floor Cleaned and Polished in Eldwick


I was recently contacted by a lady in the small village of Eldwick near Bingley who wasn’t happy with the condition of her French Limestone floor which had hadn’t been professionally cleaned for some time. The French Limestone tiles had been laid throughout the kitchen and dining room and as you can see in the photograph below now looked dull, dirty and uninviting.

French Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning and Polishing Eldwick

The floor needed a deep clean and seal to bring it back to its’ best however before I could do that I needed to determine the best method to use. I duly carried out a survey and test clean which showed how the floor could be improved and discussed the quote for the work with the client, they were really pleased with the test area, accepted the quote and we arranged a convenient time to carry out the work the following week.

Deep Cleaning a French Limestone Tiled Floor

Arriving on site a week later, my first task was to cover all the kitchen units with protective covering to protect against splashing. The last thing we want is to cause any damage to the surrounding areas.

The next step was to use a set of diamond burnishing pads from Grits 400 to 1500 to clean and polish the Limestone tiles. The pads are fitted to a rotary buffer and applied in sequence with water to lubricate, the process removes inground dirt and rebuilds the polish on the Limestone. Small hand-held burnishing blocks are used to reach the more intricate areas. The floor is then rinsed with more water after each pad has been used and the resultant residue is removed with a wet vacuum.

Once I was satisfied that the dirt had been removed from the floor, I then worked on the more stubborn grout lines with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff grout brush to get any remaining deposits out of the grout lines. This is a great multi-purpose high alkaline cleaning and stripping product brilliant for heavily soiled and stubborn neglected tiles and very good on very dirty grout. With the grout clean I then applied the last 3000 grit burnishing pad to really bring up the polish on the Limestone floor, this pad is applied dry with a little water sprayed onto the surface of the stone. The floor was then left to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing a French Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day I checked that the floor was dry using a moisture meter before applying Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to the floor. This is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, it’s also recommended for busy kitchen areas and is an excellent grout sealer. Once the sealant was dry I did a water drop test to confirm that the floor was properly sealed.

French Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Polishing Eldwick

I hope that you can see from the photos the improvement in the appearance of the floor. The client was really happy with the floor which lifted the whole room and made the kitchen like new again.

 

Professional Renovation of a French Limestone Tiled Floor in West Yorkshire



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Travertine Tiled Floor Diamond Honed in Welwyn Garden City


The Travertine tiled floor of this kitchen/family room in at a house in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire needed some care and attention. As one of the busiest rooms of this family house, this floor had been ingrained with dirt from frequent foot traffic and required some minor repairs.

Travertine is a natural stone material that has unique features and colouring that no other stone can offer. The distinctive natural designs and patterns found within Travertine make it very popular as a flooring material. Nowadays it is also often used as bathroom wall tiles and table tops. Travertine’s durability makes it ideal for residential installations however like all-natural stone it does need regular maintenance to keep it looking good.

Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Welwyn Garden City

After discussing the floor with the owner over the phone I arranged a visit in-order to get a better look at the stone and to work out the best method for cleaning it. After inspecting the Travertine tiles, I concluded that the best way to restore the floor would be to use a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to hone and refine the surface of the stone floor and recover the original polished appearance.

Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Tiled Floor

This is the process that we followed to bring back the natural lustre of the Travertine floor.
* The door thresholds, skirtings, doors, kitchen fronts and plinths were protected with tape and furniture was relocated to other rooms as required.
* A strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was mopped onto the floor and allowed to dwell for around 15 minutes. The cleaning solution was then worked into the tile and grout using a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. We used finer detail pads and brushes for the trickier bits around the edges and also the grout lines.
* The soiled cleaning solution was extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed thoroughly with water.
* Once the floor had dried we carried out infill repairs with Limestone coloured grouts and stone resin.

Honing the Travertine Tiles with Burnishing Pads

Following the initial clean we started with the five-stage diamond honing process using a set of Burnishing Pads. Lubricated with water this process uses a coarse pad to cut back through the tile to remove the etch marks and ingrained dirt, then by applying a series of finer grades of diamond pads it brings back a shinier finish. The pads are encrusted with industrial diamonds of different grades which are hard enough to polish the stone.

We also used hand-held burnishing blocks in the tight corners and along the edges to ensure the whole floor was treated. The floor is rinsed with water between each stage and the resultant slurry is removed with a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Family room Floor

We returned the following day. After ensuring the floor was clean and fully dry we moved on to the sealing process, the sealant ensures the floor has a nice durable finish and is protected from staining and ingrained dirt.

When it comes to sealing Travertine I usually recommend an impregnating product called Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhances the natural brown shades in the tile however the customer wanted the tiles to have a natural look to them so only one coats of Colour Grow was applied and this was followed by two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which gives the stone a natural finish.

Travertine Floor After Cleaning Welwyn Garden City

The completed floor now looks clean and fresh and a big improvement on how the stone and grout it looked when I first arrived. The family were very happy with the result and the new sealer will make the floor much more manageable going forward.

 

Restoring a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Family room Floor in Hertfordshire



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Indian Sandstone Patio Northampton


The scorching hot summer has meant we are all in the garden and making much more use of our outside spaces. Our client got in touch because her Indian Sandstone patio was looking a little unloved. Looking forward to entertaining outside it was time to bring it back up to scratch so it wouldn’t be an embarrassment.

This house in Northampton which is the county town of Northamptonshire, lying on the River Nene it is one of the largest towns in the UK, had a lovely large patio. The Sandstone paving was looking tired and dirty, it was covered in lichen, embedded soil and was missing grout. I discussed with the client how Tile Doctor could help, and she agreed to go ahead so I returned a few days later. Indian Sandstone is a very hardwearing material, but one of the biggest problems we find with stone flooring outside is it soon becomes stained by the elements, especially with our great British weather, sun, (acid) rain, and ice. Without its’ protective sealer porous stone quickly becomes ingrained with dirt making it increasingly difficult to clean effectively.

Indian Sandstone Patio Before Cleaning Northampton

Cleaning and Restoring Indian Sandstone Patio in Northampton

I pre-treated the entire are with a medium dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for about 15 minutes, so it started breaking down the soil. This is a highly concentrated multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner which is great on heavily soiled areas, breaking down the dirt and the lichen. This was then scrubbed in using a rotary machine and stiff buffing brush.

This was followed by pressure washing and rinsing the entire area with water, removing the soiled waste with a wet vacuum. It is always a little easier carrying out this type of messy job as we are outside. This process took much of the day to complete and got the Indian Sandstone tiles really clean. They were already looking good and had changed from a dull grey colour to a lovely warm beige.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Cleaning Northampton

Grouting and Sealing Indian Sandstone Patio Northampton

I allowed a few days for the area to dry and then returned to finish renovating the patio, thankfully the weather remained dry! My first task was to re-grout areas where the grout had become loose, this made an instant difference defining the tiles as they should be, also this will prevent the problem with weeds growing between the paving slabs.

Finally, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant to enhance the natural colours of the stone. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It is also a breathable sealer which is ideal for external areas where moisture is an issue.

As you can see from the pictures this process made a huge impact and the colours appear much brighter, the customer was delighted with the results and she is looking forward to being able to enjoy her garden. The hot weather is thankfully continuing so she will be able to enjoy the space for many weeks to come.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Sealing Northampton

 

Clean and Restoration of an Indian Sandstone Patio in Northamptonshire



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Renovated in Swansea


This is a great example of a classic Victorian Tiled Hallway and shows just how hard wearing and durable these floors are. The floor had been installed at a house in Swansea what must have been well over a hundred years ago and was now very badly soiled however I knew from experience that with the right techniques and products they can be given a new lease of life.

Victorian Tiled hallway floor before cleaning Swansea

We mainly use diamond burnishing pads on original Victorian tiles these days, the alternative is to use cleaning products however that method tends to use a lot of water and can aggravate an issue known as efflorescence whereby salts from the sub floor are carried up through the tile as moisture evaporates leaving white salt stains on the surface of the floor. This is not a problem with modern floors as they are usually have a damp proof membrane installed under the floor which prevents damp.

Deep Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles

To restore the appearance of the Victorian tiles I started with the application of a coarse 200-Grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad which cuts through the dirt and removes surface staining. The pad is run over the tiles using water to lubricate and then the floor rinsed afterwards to remove the soil that is generated. The soil is then extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum. This is then followed up with a 400-Grit pad which cleans and restores the surface which is left roughened after the application of the coarse 200-grit pad, again the pad is applied with water and then the flor rinsed afterwards to remove the soiling and the water is extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, the acid neutralises the alkaline mineral salts in the floor and reduces the chance of efflorescence occurring, After being scrubbed into the floor the gel is rinsed off the floor using water which is then quickly extracted with the wet vacuum.

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to apply the sealer.

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

Before starting the sealing process it’s important to check the floor is dry first for which I use a hand-help damp tester. I find it’s a good idea to take readings from various parts of the floor before I start a job so I can establish a normal background level for the floor.

All was well so the floor was sealed using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the clay tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. This particular sealer also enhances the natural colours in the tile and is fully breathable which is important in these situations where you need moisture to evaporate through the tile and not become trapped underneath where it could work its way into the walls of the house.

Victorian Tiled hallway floor after cleaning Swansea

It’s worth knowing that if you do experience effluence salts which are more likely in the damp winter weather, then they can be mopped off the floor before they harden without any damage to the sealer itself.

 

Victorian Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Glamorgan



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Bearwood, Smethwick


This customer got in touch with me to see if there was anything I could do to restore a Victorian tiled floor they had discovered under carpet in their hallway. Interestingly they had been told previously that the floor was beyond repair and had been quoted thousands of pounds to have it completely ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

I visited the property in Bearwood near Smethwick, to take a look and could see that there was a section under a cement screed. The floor was in a truly sorry state, so I could see why the other company were not keen on restoring it. Undeterred I did a test clean to see if I could remove the screed which was encouraging however without removing all the screed it would not be possible to see what condition the tiles underneath were in. I agreed with the customer to order some replacement tiles which were needed along with extra ones just in case. The job would take a few days to allow for cleaning, repairing, drying out and sealing. The client wasn’t too optimistic, but I reassured them we could definitely get a good result.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first day was spent removing the cement screed which was quite thick in parts, so I went down the route of steaming it first to help soften the covering and then carefully scraping it off. This was quite labour intensive, but it did the job. Once the cement was removed I was left with some tiles that were ok but quite a few needed to be replaced.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

There were also two doorways, one that needed completely relaying and one needed part relaying. Some of the tiles needed to be cut to size, there were many tiles that needed resetting and re-grouting along with grout being applied to the new tiles.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

The next day the tiles were deep cleaned with a 50:50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Nanotech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up Remover, which was quite appropriate in this case. This cocktail of tile cleaning products was left to dwell on the tiles for a while then worked in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed off with water and then the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

My next step was to give the floor and acid wash to remove any old grout smears and neutralise other mineral contaminates such as salts that can get deposited on the surface of the tiles as moisture evaporates as the floor dries. This is always a risk with old floors where no damp proof membrane exists. To do this I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is scrubbed into the tiles with a deck brush and then rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned to seal the floor and after check it had dried sufficiently applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This sealer seeps into the pores of the tile enhancing the colours and leaves a matt finish which the customer had previously specified. The floor was then buffed with a white pad and the customer left with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the floor with moving forward.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

The customer was delighted with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Kieron has done a fantastic job of our Victorian hallway tiles. We had been quoted several really high prices by other companies, but Kieron’s quote was a fraction of these. I initially wondered whether this meant the job wouldn’t be as good but after 3 days of solid work the results are fantastic! He managed to transform it to its former glory, a hallway that was partly cemented over, had missing and loose tiles all over the place and was filthy. He definitely does a lot more than just cleaning! We couldn’t be happier with the results!”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Birmingham



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Stripping Wax from Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Penwortham


My client from Penwortham, on the outskirts of Preston on the south bank of the River Ribble contacted me about their Mexican Terracotta kitchen floor as you can see from the photographs below was in a bit of a state.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham Before Cleaning

On the pictures you will see numerous white marks which have happened due to the use of bleach-based supermarket cleaning products on the tiles. The bleach has upset the original wax polish and over time layer after layer of new polish has been applied to try and hide it, but they had also continued to use the wrong cleaner, so the problem simply became worse. The floor was otherwise in good condition with very little damage, although the grout had also discoloured and needed deep cleaning.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham Before Cleaning

Stripping Wax off a Mexican Terracotta Tiles

Luckily Tile Doctor have recently brought out a new product called Tile Doctor Wax Away which is specifically formulated to remove layers and layers of compacted wax polish. It was the first time we had used it on a situation this bad before to it was in for a good test. I’m please to say Wax Away didn’t disappoint and is designed to melts the formula that makes the wax stick together. So, with the aid of a stiff deck brush the product was scrubbed into the floor and then extracted off the floor with an industrial wet vacuum.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham During Cleaning

With the old layers of wax removed the white markings that were spoiling the look of the surface disappeared. Stubborn areas had to be retreated but once all the wax slurry was removed using the wet vacuum you could see the improvement in the floor.

The grout was then cleaned using a Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the grout line using a stiff brush, one done the soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using the wet vacuum. The only thing we couldn’t fix was the damage done to the grout by the bleaching agent which hydrates grout and turns it white. It often cracks the grout as well with long term usage as in this case. We did offer to apply a grout colourant over this once the sealer had fully dried, but this was an added cost the client didn’t want to bare which was understandable. This is a service we could return in the future to complete if the client wished.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor

Once cleaned, we fully rinsed with water to remove any chemicals and left the kitchen floor to dry out overnight. Returning the following morning to seal the floor. Before starting the sealing process however I wanted to be sure the floor was indeed dry, so I ran a few checked with a moisture meter in different spots. Once satisfied we moved on to the sealing process.

Terracotta tiles being made of clay are very porous and so seven coats of sealer were applied before it was fully sealed. We used Tile Doctor Seal and Go for this, it’s an excellent choice for Terracotta as it brings out the true hue and texture of the clay as well as adding a nice subtle shine. The new sealer will make the floor much easier to maintain than the old wax polish they had previously been using.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham After Cleaning

For regular cleaning of sealed floors, we recommend using Tile Doctor Ph Neutral Tile Cleaner. Most supermarket cleaning products are acidic which will prematurely degrade the sealer over time.

As you can see from the after photos the floor was left looking much cleaner and brighter and the horrible white marks were no where to be seen. The client was very happy with the final result.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham After Cleaning

 

Professional Clean and Seal of a Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor in Lancashire



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Removing Limescale from Slate Shower Tiles in Oxshott


In the south east of England, we suffer from hard water which as many of you have experienced can calcify on our showers leaving white limescale staining. Without fitting a water softener this limescale causes a problem around the home, particularly when the tiles are dark.

A good example of this problem was this large dark grey slate tiled shower at a house in Oxshott where the limescale had completely ruined the look of the black slate. The problem was most evident on the slate tiles on the floor but had also stained the slate split face slate tiles on the shower wall.

Slate Tiled Bathroom Before Renovation Oxshot

Oxshott is a village in Surrey between Leatherhead and Esher, a survey in 2010 by the Daily Telegraph asserted it was “the village with most footballers” in England and mentioned other celebrities who chose to live in the village probably because Chelsea Football Club have their main training ground in nearby Stoke D’Abernon; It is a beautiful area and is no surprise it is also known as ‘the most expensive village in England’.

The wet room was not that old, but due to the limescale staining was prematurely in need of attention. We often get calls from customers where they have use supermarket products to treat hard water stains, however these products are generally acidic, and this can make the problem worse. I would recommend you always read the back of the bottle before to check it is safe to use on natural stone before applying.

After inspecting the shower, I agreed with the client the best course of action, agreed a price and booked the job in for a later date.

Limescale Stained Slate Wet Room Cleaning

I returned on the agreed date and started work by first removing the existing sealer by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a multi-purpose stripper that’s formulated for use on natural stone. The product also draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy grease build-up. For best results spray the product onto the tile and then leave for it to soak in and get to work breaking down the coatings etc. After ten minutes the product is scrubbed into the stone which in this case meant by hand. The soiled solution can then be rinsed off the tiles with water. The grout was then cleaned by hand scrubbing in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean followed by more rinsing.

The final part of preparation was to remove the limescale. This was done with a small handheld diamond block and a wire brush. The block is great for smoothing down all sorts of issues and being small it can get into tight areas. I then dried the whole room with an industrial blower. Slate cannot be sealed effectively when damp as it won’t cure properly. The blower is noisy but best in this situation and is very effective when a fast dry is needed.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Bathroom in Oxshott

After lunch I checked the area was nice and dry by testing the moisture content. I then sealed the whole area, wall and floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow, is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection as well as allowing the surface to breath and enhance colour. For this project it darkened the tiles nicely and will provide protection from staining, making them much easier for the client to maintain moving forward.

The client was very happy with the lovely result. The bathroom looked clean and fresh again, now it is just a case of trying to keep on top of the limescale.

Slate Tiled Bathroom After Renovation Oxshot

 

Limescale removed from Slate Tiled Shower Wall and Floor in West Surrey



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Grout Clean and Silicone Replaced Oxford


Our clients contacted us in despair with their bathroom. The request was to renovate their ceramic tiled bathroom at a house in Oxford, a beautiful location, as most will know the city is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, which is in fact the oldest university in the English-speaking world, also known as the “city of dreaming spires”. They had tried many supermarket solutions to clean up the grout and sort out the silicone trim, to no avail. The ceramic tiles were in good condition so the specific focus for the client was on treating the dirty grout and silicone trim around the bath.

Bathroom Before Grout Clean and Silicone Replaced Oxford

The grout has gone black with mould in some places and this is a very common problem in UK bathrooms where it thrives in the warm damp conditions and is usually related to a lack of ventilation. The simple action of leaving a window and door ajar after having a shower helps to cross ventilate and can reduce the problem. Of course, this is not always desirable during cold weather so improved mechanical extraction is always better. Another option is to run the shower cold for a few minutes afterwards, in fact some modern showers have this feature built in for that purpose. I discussed the causes with the client, we agreed a quote and arranged a day to complete the work.

Cleaning and Grouting Ceramic Tiled Bathroom in Oxford

I started by spraying the grout with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean, this is a fast and effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. It cleans up grout and can remove mould and blackspot from grout and silicone and is suitable for use on plastic and enamel baths and showers. I left this to soak in for about 30 minutes, and then worked in sections spraying more Duo-Clean and scrubbing with a grout brush and rinsing each section with water. After cleaning the whole bathroom, I left it for an hour so that the grout had dried. I could then see if there were any places needing a second clean, in this case there were a few stubborn areas and so the process was repeated. Once I was satisfied I had fully cleaned the grout and tiles I took a break and left the bathroom so that the grout would completely dry out. At this stage the tile and grout were already looking much better.

Resealing Ceramic Tiled Bathroom in Oxford

After lunch I carefully removed all the silicone between the bath, sink and the wall tiles with a sharp knife. This is a little time consuming, but it is important to remove all of the old sealant in order to achieve the best finish. This was then cleaned up and then fresh mould resistant silicone put back in its place. This ensures everything is water tight

For aftercare we recommend the regular application of Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro, this is a powerful alkaline product especially formulated for cleaning shower Tile and Grout. It’s a highly effective cleaner that removes soap scum, body oil, mildew and algae from areas that have been neglected or subjected to frequent use. This will keep on top of the problem and ensure the bathroom continues to look nice and clean.

Bathroom After Grout Clean and Silicone Replaced Oxford

The client was very happy with the result which was completed in one day. The bathroom was certainly left looking very fresh, clean and much more appealing.

 

Re Grouting and Sealing Ceramic Tiles in Bathroom Oxfordshire



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Gloucester


My customer was renovating their house in Gloucester and discovered this lovely vibrant Victorian tiled floor with blue accents under the carpet and were keen to get it restored and back to its’ former self. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

They were delighted to uncover the original floor but unsure if it could be restored asked me to come over and take a look. The tiles were in good physical condition for their age but were ingrained with dirt and had paint splashes, cement and carpet glue on the surface. The property had lots of period features, but this was by far the nicest. Luckily there was very little damage to the floor, so there was no need to source any extra tiles. We discussed what needed to be done and how the process would work, agreed a price and a timescale for the project which was accepted.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first process was to cover walls and skirting boards with plastic sheeting, I usually do this as a rule but in this case the hallway had just been decorated so we wanted to avoid any dirty splashes from the cleaning process.

Next a solution of tile doctor Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 20 minutes and then with a buffing machine and black scrubbing pad I set about deep cleaning the floor. Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a strong coatings remover that can deal with old sealers, paint and glue, it’s also safe to use on tile, grout and stone. The floor was then rinsed with water and the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor with a wet vacuum.

Stubborn stains were spot treated using the same process and once satisfied with the results I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This neutralises any potential salt staining issues that could appear later as the floor dries. This process is known as efflorescence and can be very troublesome on old floors like these which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. We often find covering old floors like these in a rubber underlay also prevents the floor from breathing which can lead to damp being trapped in the floor.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We left the floor to dry off overnight and then the next day checked for moisture. It’s been a long hot summer, so the tiles had soon dried out. Happy with the results we started sealing the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish that works really well on Victorian tiled floors like this. Additionally, the product allows moisture vapour transmission so will be able to cope with the fact that this floor has not damp-proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

As you can see from the photos the sealant left a lovely finish and the customer was very pleased with outcome. The floor is now restored and offers a lovely traditional entrance to their property.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire



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Mid Victorian Farmhouse Hallway Clyst Hydon


The owners of this floor in the hallway of their Mid-Victorian farmhouse in Clyde Hydon just outside of Honiton, in Devon asked me to visit shortly after they had moved in. Whilst ripping out the old carpet throughout the house they had come across this stunning Victorian tiled floor. Honiton is a market town, more well known for its lace making. As it is my home town, it was a very short commute to work for me, so I was able to visit the property quickly and take a look.

Mid Victorian Tiled Farmhouse Hallway Clyst Hydon Before Cleaning

During my visit I took some moisture readings because these old floors will not have had a damp proof membrane installed and if the moisture levels are too high it can restrict when this type of work can be done due to the sealers needing the floor to be dry(ish), in order to cure. I also did a test clean to show the customers what level of cleaning could be achieved and looked at areas of loose tiles to see if any replacement tiles would need to be sourced. I always like to do a test clean as it demonstrates what can be achieved and it also allows me to work out which methods and products work best.

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

With the customers happy with the quote I returned to complete the work starting by covering the wooden skirting and bottom of the stairs to protect the paint and carpet from splashing. I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on to the floor, ensuring even coverage and keeping an eye on the floor to make sure that it didn’t dry out. Pro-Clean is quite a flexible product than can strip off old sealers when applied in a strong dilution.

After a short time, I set to work scrubbing the Pro-Clean into the floor with a 400-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. I also used 400-grit hand held burnishing block to cover the corners and any edges not reached by my machine. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were as good as they could be I rinsed the floor to remove the now soiled alkaline cleaner before giving the floor an acid wash with Acid Gel to neutralise with any inherent salts in the tiles.

Before I left for the day I fixed the loose tiles back in place, re-grouted the areas that I had replaced tiles and left an air mover on the floor to aid in the drying process. I also suggested that the radiators in the hallway were turned on overnight to further aid the drying process. Occasionally these types of floors need to be left for several days to dry but it is worth the wait and the floors can be used in the meantime provided only socks and indoor shoes are used and care is taken not to get the floor dirty.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Upon returning the next day I tested the moisture content of the floor and was pleased to find that it was well within acceptable levels for the application of the sealer that I was planning to use. I quickly checked the floor for areas that I felt may be able to be improved and once satisfied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer was applied to the floor. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Once this was dry it was followed up by applying two further coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a compatible surface sealer that leaves a nice subtle sheen finish. Both sealers are fully breathable and able to cope with any damp issues that may impact the floor over time.

Mid Victorian Tiled Farmhouse Hallway Clyst Hydon After Cleaning

The customers were thrilled and said that they were going to reinstate the hallway as the main entrance to the farmhouse in order to show it off to all their visitors!

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Devon



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Edwardian Hallway Floor Restoration, Wombwell


We were contacted by a family in Wombwell, Barnsley, South Yorkshire to come and look at their Edwardian hallway floor that needed a lot of work to restore it. The traditional black and white design had a lot of loose, chipped and broken tiles that needed replacing and repairing. Another company had cleaned the floor previously but there was hardly any sealer still present making the floor an easy target for stains and ingrained dirt.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Restoration in Wombwell

I drew up a three-day plan to repair, clean and seal the hallway floor, but before work could start I spent time sourcing replacement tiles to perfectly matching the originals. It can be hard to track them down, but we usually can. Once that was done we were all ready to go.

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Restoration in Wombwell

Repairing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first day was spent repairing the floor, we used a combination of angle grinders, multi tools and chisels to remove all the chipped and broken tiles. The loose tiles were fixed back in place and the replacement replica tiles were fixed in place of the broken tiles. A few of the less damaged tiles were left in place to ensure the floor looked true to the era. The floor was left to set overnight.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Restoration in Wombwell

Deep Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the second day I got to work using Tile Doctor Remove & Go. This was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 15 minutes, this breaks down the old sealer and ingrained dirt. We then attached a 200-grit diamond pad to a weighted rotary slow speed floor polisher and went over each area several times. The slurry was extracted using a large wet vacuum.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Restoration in Wombwell

With damp being a big issue in these big old houses we always need to take efflorescence (salt staining) into consideration, when these types of floors were fitted 100 years ago, Damp Proof Membranes didn’t exist so any moisture below the floor will eventually rise to the surface through the tiles. This can leave white salt deposits on the surface. Knowing this can be an issue I gave the floor an acid wash to neutralise the alkaline salts. This was done by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the floor and leaving it for 10 minutes before the rotary machine fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad was used to work the product into the tile. Once this was done the slurry was extracted again using the wet vacuum and the floor rinsed. Then using damp cloths, we removed all the residue.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

After being left over night to fully dry we returned the next day to seal the floor. We first tested the moisture levels to ensure it was fully dry. All was well so the first of four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to the floor. Colour Grow is, a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that helps bring out the natural colours in the tile whilst protecting the tile from within, this sealer is also fully breathable which is important for old tiled floors as it allows the floor to breathe and allows moisture to pass through the tile and evaporate.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Sealing in Wombwell

You can always tell when you have applied enough sealer by adding a droplet of water to the tile, if it forms a bubble on the surface of the tile as in the photograph below then its fully sealed. Conversely if the floor becomes sticky then you have applied too much sealer.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Sealing in Wombwell

The customer was highly delighted with the newly restored floor. The hall is now fully restored and looks clean and inviting, it will also be much easier for them to keep clean going forward.

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Sealing in Wombwell

 

Professional Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire



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2017 Tile Doctor of the Year Winner


Last year I was runner up in the Tile Doctor of the year competition due entirely to generosity of my customers who went out of their way to leave feedback for me.  I’m pleased to report that not happy with 2nd place I maintained the high standards throughout 2017 and made it to the number 1 spot to become winner of the Tile Doctor of the year competition.

I’d like to thanks all my customers who sent in feedback about my service in 2017 and apologise if I chased you for it. Your feedback is used to determine the winner of the Tile Doctor of the Year Competition and I’m happy to report that because of your collective effort I was awarded the Trophy at this years Tile Doctor conference in Oxford.

Rupert McLeod Tile Doctor of the Year 2017

Rupert McLeod Tile Doctor of the Year 2017

There are over 50 Tile Doctors dotted around the UK so there is strong competition for first place which is judged on ensuring customers have a good experience.  The fact that I came 2nd place in the 2016 competition shows how difficult it is to achieve.

I’d also like thank the competition runners up, especially Steve Thomson, the Glasgow Tile Doctor who nearly pipped me to the number 1 spot and really kept me on my toes in the last weeks of the competition.

I’m looking to repeat this success at the 2018 awards next year, so looking forward to doing the best for all my customers and collecting some really good feedback from you.

2018 Tile Doctor Conference Delegates

2018 Tile Doctor Conference Delegates



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Renovating a Sandstone Tiled Floor at a 12th-Century Undercroft Near Bedale


When I was asked to visit this job, I understood that the property was Grade One Listed and I was in for a treat when I arrived. The property is an undercroft which is traditionally a cellar or storage room, often brick-lined and vaulted and used for storage in buildings since medieval times. In modern usage, an undercroft is generally a ground (street-level) area which is relatively open to the sides but covered by the building above.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

This example was part of a large 12th Century building near Bedale which is halfway between Harrogate and Middlesbrough, that had been converted into luxury apartments. It was truly impressive, by far one of my favourite jobs to date.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

The magnificent building had been tastefully restored and renovated some years ago. You will see from the photos how unique it is, although it is hard to do it justice in photos. Since that time the huge 60sqm Sandstone flagstones had become dirty and now needed to be deep cleaned and restored to its’ former self.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I discussed what was required with the owner and went through the cleaning procedure I felt would be most appropriate. This was well received, and we agreed my quote and arranged a suitable time to return and complete the work. I must say I felt honoured and privileged to be asked to work on the floor as this is not something you would trust many people with.

Cleaning a Large Sandstone Floor in an Undercroft

I returned on the agreed date to start the cleaning and I was a bit apprehensive at first, as naturally with such an old building I wanted to be confident that the methods I was going to use would work without issue. Also, there was some very, very expensive Marble statues scattered about near the edge of the floor which I was very mindful of. It was clear that the utmost care was required to restore this beautiful floor. In the end I did not need to worry as it was quite straightforward. The floor was nice and flat and graded sandstone, in pretty good physical condition.

I cleaned the floor by applying a strong dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove old sealers and break down the dirt. I left this on the floor for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with what turned out to be several black scrubbing pads to get the dirt out of the stone. Pro-Clean is a highly effective Tile and Grout cleaner which can deal with all sorts of issues including grease, grime and general dirt build up.

Sandstone Floor During Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I worked in sections and found some of the flagstones quite challenging to clean due to their sharp edges which tore into the pads and destroyed a few during the process. Luckily, I had bought plenty of replacements along and with a bit of perseverance, I was able to give the floor a very thorough clean. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sandstone Floor During Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

After cleaning and rinsing the whole floor I left it for a few days, so it could dry out thoroughly before I returned to seal it.

Sealing a 60m2 Sandstone Floor in a 12th Century Undercroft

When I returned I checked that the floor was completely dry by taking some moisture readings. All was well, but I noticed that the room became dusty very quickly from all the exposed stone, so l vacuumed the floor first.

Sandstone Floor After Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I chose to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal for this floor, main reasons being it’s an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there also, it leaves a natural look finish that doesn’t darken the stone which was ideal for use in the Undercroft where there isn’t much natural light. I applied a couple of coats to the floor and it was soon looking good.

Sandstone Floor After Sealing 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

It was a massive transformation and the clean floor really lightened up the whole room. The client was very pleased with the result. I think you will agree this is a very special room!

 

Professional Clean of a Sandstone Undercroft Floor in North Yorkshire



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Screed and Bitumen Covered Victorian Tiled Floor Caversham


Details below of a floor I recently worked on where my client had removed the linoleum that covered the hallway floor and discovered an original Victorian Tiled floor buried underneath bitumen which had been used an adhesive, there was also some leveling screed that would need removing. The house was situated in Caversham Reading, Berkshire which lies on the north bank of the River Thames, opposite the rest of Reading.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor Before Restoration Caversham Reading

She had been renovating the whole house when she came across it and realising the value an original feature like this could add to the property was keen to restore it. Having tried several methods to remove the bitumen herself she realised it was too difficult and messy to do and decided to call in some help.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor Before Restoration Caversham Reading

Tile Doctor have successfully restored bitumen covered Victorian floors before and being their local agent, I was asked to look at the floor. I went round to take a look and ran a number of tests primarily to demonstrate it could be done and also, so I could work out the best method to clean the floor and therefore provide the customer with an accurate quote.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor Before Restoration Caversham Reading

Victorian tiles are very durable and having worked on similar floors before I was confident the tiles could be restored to a satisfactory state and be returned to its former glory. We discussed the process and a price and then scheduled the work to be done.

Removing Screed and Bitumen from Victorian Hallway Tiles

The first job was to apply protective tape around surrounding area to protect the wooden skirting etc. from splashing. Then I took a scraper and mallet to carefully chip away at the screed parts of the floor and remove it to expose the tiles underneath. Once this was done I could start with the more difficult task of dealing with the thick build-up of bitumen.

Bitumen is a horrible sticky black substance that required a fair bit of time and different methods to remove. My first method was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, leaving it to dwell and work on breaking down the bitumen before scrubbing it in. This product is particularly good at breaking down old sealers and paint and although it made an impact I could see that I would need something with a bit more punch to finish the job, so I decided to try Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU remover.

The Nanotech HBU (Heavy Build Up) Remover was generously applied in small sections adding more as the product began to dry. After about twenty minutes I could see the HBU had weakened the bitumen making it soft enough that it could be worked off the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine running at slow speed. With the bitumen now turned to a messy slurry I removed the substance with a wet vacuum. I then gave the floor a thorough rinse using a hot water extraction machine operating at low pressure that runs from a compressor in my van. This machine was an expensive investment however it makes light work of rinsing floors.

The tiles looked great after the initial rinse, but I could see the black dye from the bitumen had bled into the surface of the tile. However, us Tile Doctors are well trained and have a solution for every problem and I was able to remove these spots using a 100-grit followed by a 200-grit milling pad fitted to the rotary machine. After yet another rinse the tiles were looking fantastic and I left the floor to dry out.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Cleaning Caversham Reading

Sealing a Restored Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Originally the plan was to return five days later to seal but with other works going on in the house and the hallway being in constant use I decided to wait until that had completed requesting that the floor was covered up in order to protect it.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

Two weeks later I returned to the house and gave the floor a quick inspection to make sure all was well before sealing. All was well, the floor just need a quick vacuum to remove dust and was able to proceed with the sealing. The customer wanted a matt finish, so I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensive impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow left the tiles looking rich and vibrant. Both the porch and the hallway now look inviting.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

Overall the customer was over the moon with the final result and was glad she decided to have it restored rather than replaced.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

 

Professional Restoration of Bitumen Stained Victorian Tiled Hallway in Berkshire



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Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Great Holm


The Terracotta tiled kitchen floor in the kitchen house of this house in the residential district of Great Holm, just outside of Milton Keynes had been laid some time ago and was now well worn and dirty. The houses in the area are not that old and so I suspect the floor may have been down since the house was built.

The Terracotta tiles had not been professionally cleaned for many years and the floor had lost its’ lustre where the sealant had worn away and dirt had become ingrained in the tile, the Grout had also darkened. I went over to look at the floor and perform a test clean, so I could give the owner an accurate quote for renovating the floor.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Milton Keynes

The quote was accepted, and we agreed a date to do the work which would take place over a four-day period. One day to clean the tiles, two days between for it to dry and one day to seal the floor in order to protect it going forward.

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

We started by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor. Pro Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser. It is ideal for heavily soiled and neglected floors. After about 10 minutes dwell time we used our scrubbing machine fitted with a black buffing pad to scrub the floor and loosen the ingrained dirt from the pores of the tile.

A wet pick up vacuum was then used to remove the now dirty cleaning solution, we then thoroughly rinsed the floor by hand to remove any trace of cleaning product and so we could inspect the tiles to see if more work was required. In this instance I felt the floor could do with more work, so the process was repeated, and the edges scrubbed by hand.

We let the floor dry a little over lunch but noted a few of the areas were not quite perfect. To get the best result on these areas we then used Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, this is a stronger gel-based version of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is perfect for spot cleaning specific stubborn areas.

With the floor clean it was time to turn our attention to the grout and for this we used more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a specialized narrow grout brush to meticulously scrub each grout line. The floor was then completely rinsed with water.

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Milton Keynes

The floor was now spotless but before it could be sealed it would need to be dry, so we left specialised drying equipment in the room and allowed the floor two days to completely dry out.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

After two days we returned, we used a moisture meter to test that the floor was dry enough to seal. It was thoroughly dry, so we were able to carry on with applying the sealer which can be quite time consuming as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next. In this case the Terracotta proved to be very porous which is not unusual for a clay tile and it took eight coats of sealer before I was satisfied the tiles were fully sealed. The sealer used to protect the floor was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a nice subtle satin finish on the tiles. Tile Doctor have a variety of sealers available and we select the sealant to suit dependent on the finish the client wishes to achieve.

The customer was absolutely delighted and left a great review (please see the feedback below)

“Andrew explained the process clearly and the floor looks absolutely stunning. It is hard to believe the difference between before and after. I would have no hesitation in recommending Andrew.

Fiona W, Great Holm”

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Milton Keynes

 

Professional Cleaning of Terracotta Tiled Kitchen in South Buckinghamshire



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Restoring a Heavily Soiled Unfilled Travertine Floor in Attleborough


Our client got in touch from Attleborough a market town between Norwich and Thetford to ask for our help restoring her kitchen and dining area floor. If you live in the countryside and have children and pets, unfilled Travertine is probably not the best choice for your kitchen/diner flooring, which is the conclusion our client discovered for herself.

The floor was only around three years old, but the entire area had become heavily scratched and soiled. Most of the dirt was occupying the unfilled pits in the stone which are an inconvenient feature of this natural material. No amount of daily vacuuming, mopping or rinsing will ever shift this kind of contamination which is why she called us in desperation.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Before Cleaning

During our site visit, apart from the obvious heavy soiling, we also noticed a very prominent and ugly settlement crack which had appeared along the French doors leading to a four mm difference between the surface levels either side of the crack itself.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Threshold Crack

Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Dining Room

Our first job was to deep-clean the soiling from the floor using our heavy 17″ rotary machine fitted with a medium-soft brush and a 1:5 mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, diluted with very hot water. This combination made quick work of the surface dirt, along with the soiling in the grout lines. The resulting slurry was left to dwell on the floor for ten minutes to soften the residue sitting at the bottom of the pits before being power rinsed and vacuumed away using our 400psi hot water extraction machine. The machine was fitted with a specialist hard flooring wand which blasted the softened dirt out of the pits and immediately sucked all the contaminants up. This avoids anything spraying up the adjoining walls.

Having removed all the dirt, we then cut and polished the area again with the rotary machine but this time using Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing Pads from 400-grit through to 1500-grit, rinse extracting between each stage to remove the resulting slurry. Internal corners were finished with hand-held diamond blocks. We then left the whole area to dry thoroughly overnight with assistance from our large capacity dehumidifier.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Rotary Cleaning

Sealing Travertine Flooring in Attleborough

On our return the following day, we repaired the unsightly crack along the threshold by grinding the high lip down to the same lower level using a diamond blade fitted to our Bosch multitool. Followed by polishing with our Festool Rotex 90 Handtool. The crack, being rather wide, was then filled with a two-part epoxy stone repair compound and levelled with the Rotex after curing.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Crack Repaired

After this, the floor was vacuumed thoroughly followed with the application of the a very fine 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad which is applied to the floor with a little water spayed onto the tile. This fourth and final burnishing pad really builds up the shine on the floor.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Deep Cleaned

Our client really loved the new lighter look of her cleaned Travertine floor, so we chose to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to seal the floor and protect it from staining. Ultra-Seal is a matt impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and without affecting the colour of the substrate. The sealer was liberally applied and allowed to be absorbed by the stone for a few minutes before the excess was removed. After an hour, the surface was re-burnished with the 3000-grit diamond pad and then vacuumed to remove any fine dust generated during the burnishing.

Our client was really happy with the improvement and left the following comment when we’d finished…

“Our travertine floor had suffered over the winter and I wasn’t totally convinced that anything would save it. However, it has been completely transformed and we are delighted with the results. Nick was professional and thorough – could not recommend more!”

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Cleaned and Sealed

 

Cleaning and Repair of Travertine Kitchen and Dining Room Floor in Norfolk



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Renovating a Black Limestone Patio in Walgrave


The following photos show a large black limestone patio that had been installed at a house in the village of <b Walgrave by a local builder who had sealed the stone before cleaning it first. Doing so trapped the dirt and grout smears (ka grout haze) underneath the sealer which resulted in a hazy appearance that could never be cleaned off.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Spring is an ideal time to work on patios which tend to get stained most from leaves and other detritus during the windy autumn and then ravaged by the winter frosts. If you want to seal the stone though its best to wait until a spell of continuous hot weather for the best results.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Cleaning a Black Limestone Patio

To clean the stone, I would first need to remove the builder’s sealer, so I started by applying Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a strong product designed to safely remove coatings such as sealers and paint from stone and tile. A strong dilution of Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes before being worked into the Limestone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor scrubbing machine. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off the patio with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning Walgrave

With the sealer removed along with the dirt then next task was to tackle the smears of grout that had been left on the surface of the stone. To do this I applied a specially developed product called Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is left to dwell on the surface of the stone just long enough to weaken the unwanted grout which can be then scrubbed off. The solution is then rinsed off the patio and extracted as before. This process was done in sections worked across the length of the patio and then when finished it was given a through rinse.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

I would need the limestone patio to be dry before sealing so I left it fully dry out over the course of a few days before coming back to finish off, fortunately the weather was good, and it wasn’t long before I returned.

Black Limestone Patio During Sealing Walgrave

My sealer of choice for Black Limestone is Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s an impregnating sealer the penetrates the pores of the stone protecting it from within and simultaneously enhancing the natural colours in the stone. This product is also fully breathable which makes it ideal for external use or damp areas where moisture needs to rise through the stone and evaporate. Two coats of Colour Grow were all that was required to fully seal the stone.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

The work was a huge improvement to the look of the patio which is now vibrant, inviting and fully transformed by the process.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

 

Limestone Patio Maintenance in Northamptonshire



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restoration Rugby


I was very pleased to be contacted by this client, they lived on a lovely residential road near the centre of Rugby in Warwickshire and the house featured a beautiful Victorian tiled hallway floor. As you will see from the pictures the patterns are stunning.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

Over the years it had been badly damaged along the edges and a few tiles were cracked. It’s difficult to know the cause of the damage but we normally find problems like these can be caused by settlement in the floor and if heavy objects are dropped on the tiles. High traffic areas such as the hallway do get a lot of general wear and tear which takes its toll on the floor. The owner of the house felt embarrassed with the condition of the floor and had decided it was time to have it restored.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

Cleaning and Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I identified the colours used in the floor, so I could source replacements and went through the floor with the client to mark the tiles that needed changing. We left a few tiles with minor damage so that the new tiles did not stand out and kept the floor authentic.

I managed to source some replacement tiles and started the job by removing and replacing all the damaged and loose tiles. Many of the replacements had to be hand cut to size, especially in the corners. It took some time but eventually, all the damaged tiles were removed and replaced, and the loose tiles refitted. The floor was then left for a few days to set.

On my return, I started by giving the floor a deep clean by spraying the tiles with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was left on the tiles to soak in and break up the bonding agent in the old coatings. After ten minutes I worked the solution into the tiles with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer and then rinsed the resulting soil off the floor with water and extracted it using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Hallway Floor During Cleaning Rugby

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, we don’t normally use acidic products on tile or stone however they are particularly good at dealing with alkaline mineral salts and removing grout smears. Old floors like these are particularly vulnerable to a natural process called efflorescence which results in white mineral salt deposits being left on the surface of the tile as the floor fully dries out and can interfere with the sealer. To counter this, the floor was given an Acid Wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in Gel form makes it particularly easy to control. The acid in the gel works by neutralising the alkalinity in the floor. The solution was scrubbed into the floor using a coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad to improve the finish of the tiles and then thoroughly rinsed with water and extracted with a wet vacuum to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

After leaving the floor to thoroughly dry out over a few days I returned to complete the sealing process. On my return, the floor was sealed with few coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which leaves a nice satin finish and being a fully breathable sealer is ideal for old floors that have no damp proof membrane and needs moisture to rise through the tile, so it can evaporate.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

The vibrant colours of the tiles were brought back to life and the floor was transformed. The client was delighted and wondered why they had not called upon us sooner!

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Warwickshire



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Cleaning Sealing Red and Black Quarry Floor Tiles Buxton


The photographs below are from a client who lives in an older property in Buxton which you may have heard of due to its famous spa and popular spring water. Buxton is situated in the county of Derbyshire, in the East Midlands and has the highest elevation of any market town in England.

The property had Red and Black Quarry tiles laid throughout the Kitchen and the downstairs in a diamond pattern. Quarry tiles are very hard wearing and thus a popular and traditional flooring option for high traffic areas in the past. Certainly, in this case they were in good physical condition given their age and they looked very much in-keeping with the period property along with the fireplaces.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Buxton

The client loved the feature floor but felt the tiles were looking neglected and they were struggling to keep them clean. This is a common problem with quarry tiles which are porous and need to be sealed to keep them looking good, however over time the sealer wears down with use and dirt becomes ingrained in the pores of the tile making them impossible to clean effectively. The client just wanted them to look clean and ensure they could be easily maintained.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Buxton

I recommended deep cleaning the tiles to remove the dirt and the sealing them to protect them going forward a process which usually takes around two days.

Cleaning and Restoring Quarry tiles

My quote was accepted, and I returned on the agreed date to complete the work starting with the first part of the process which involved removing the ingrained dirt, grime and any remaining sealer that may be present on the floor. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for ten minutes. The Pro-Clean was then worked into the tile and grout using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Once done the now soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum was used to extract it from the floor. Some areas of tile were stained with paint slashes from decorating and these was spot treated with Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up remover and is pretty good at dealing with all sorts of stains and tough soiling on tiled floors. The floor was then dried using the wet vacuum and left overnight to allow it to dry out thoroughly.

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

The client had left the radiators on overnight to aid the drying process and by the next morning the floor was nice and dry. I tested the moisture content to be sure and it was well within acceptable levels and therefore ready for the next stage. It’s important to ensure the tiles are dry before applying a sealer as the sealant won’t cure and the result will be compromised.

I sealed the floor a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. I chose this product because the house had some damp problems due to its’ age and I decided a breathable fully sealer was the best option for this situation as this will allow moisture to rise-up through the tile and evaporate without causing any problems. Colour Grow works by soaking into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and improving the natural colours of the tile in the process.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Buxton

The end result was the floor looked much cleaner and colours in the tiles were more vibrant, needless to say my client was very pleased with the result and the sealer will ensure the floor is easy to maintain floor for the future as per their brief.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Buxton

 

Professional Restoration of Quarry Tiles in Derbyshire



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Polishing Marble Bathroom Floor Tiles in Brownhills Near Walsall


Our customer had a polished Marble tiled bathroom floor which had been installed some years ago. Over the years the tiles had become water stained and marked and although the customer had tried various household products to remove them they had not had much success. The floor was now really annoying them and so they decided to contact Tile Doctor to see if the problem could be resolved.

Marble is often the preferred choice for bathrooms giving them what can only be described and an opulent feel. It is highly durable, tough and usually of premium quality. However, like any natural stone it is in fact porous and needs to be sealed to prevent dirt becoming trapped in its pores as once that happens it can be very difficult to keep clean.

I visited the property in Brownhills, a historic mining town to the north east of Walsall to see if I could help, I surveyed the bathroom and could see the staining that they had mentioned was quite pronounced. I advised the customer of the options that Tile Doctor could offer, and we agreed a price for the work.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor Before Cleaning Brownhills Walsall

Cleaning and Polishing Marble Bathroom Floor

To clean and polish stone tiles such as Marble we use a process we call burnishing. This involves the application of different grits of Diamond encrusted pads in sequence from coarse to very fine. No chemicals are used in this process, just water and in this case a setup of small six-inch burnishing pads which fit to a hand buffer. I started with the application of a coarse 400-grit pad lubricated with water which successfully removed the marks from the Marble. This pad does dull the appearance of the stone so that has to be gradually restored by working up through the finer set of pads rinsing the floor in between each pad with water. The last pad to be applied is a very fine 3000-grit pad which is applied with a little water sprayed onto the tile and results in a lovely polished finish.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor During Cleaning Brownhills Walsall

High Shine Sealing Marble Bathroom Floor

The customer was happy with the results, however they had previously mentioned that they liked a very deep shine, so I recommended we build the polish further with the application of Tile Doctor High Shine Powder.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor During Sealing Brownhills Walsall

Tile Doctor High Shine is a crystallising powder that provides a very high shine and tough durable finish. It can be used for all-natural stone, such as marble, limestone and granite so was an ideal choice in the instance. The customer agreed so the crystals were buffed into the Marble to give an even deeper shine finish that not only looks great but adds a durable barrier to the floor that will protect it from staining in the future.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor After Cleaning Brownhills Walsall

The floor was restored in the same day to its’ original look and the customer was over the moon with the finish
Our very happy customer left the following feedback;

“Kieron arrived at our pre arranged time and inspected the condition of my bathroom tiles he was very professional and suggested he would carry out some small tests to determine the best solution for my tile problem. The test results he achieved were excellent so we agreed on an option and price for the work. Kieron worked very hard all morning to finish the work and the end result was outstanding”

 

Professional Restoration of Marble Bathroom Floor in Birmingham



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