Neglected Tumbled Travertine Floor Renovated in Saffron Walden


We recently visited a property in Saffron Walden, a pretty market town in Essex, where the owner asked us to look at her Tumbled Travertine kitchen floor. The floor had been laid and sealed around 10 years prior and the pits in the Travertine had become very dirty with trapped dirt, the floor now had a grubby neglected look about it. No matter how much they tried to clean with a multitude of household cleaners, the floor had become worse and worse which is not unusual as strong chemicals can strip off the sealer completely which protects the floor.

Tumbled Travertine Before Cleaning Saffron Walden Tumbled Travertine Before Cleaning Saffron Walden

It was clear that the original sealer was no longer doing its job and so I discussed the options for renovating the floor whilst carrying out a test clean. Sealers rarely last ten years, in my experience three years is about the maximum you can expect regardless of manufacturers claims. The test clean went well and we agreed a price and a timescale for the work and scheduled it for the following week.

Cleaning a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

It’s not a good idea to apply a different sealer on top of the original unless you know they are compatible, also you can end up with uneven layers so our first step was to strip off any remaining sealer and clean the floor. To do this we used Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is designed for the removal of coatings on tiles such as sealers, adhesives and paints. This product is also great for drawing out ingrained stains and removing heavy grease build-up. It can be used on both vertical and horizontal surfaces. We applied and let it soak into the pores of the Travertine for ten minutes before working it in.

To work the product into the stone and get deep into the pits a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine was run over the floor and lubricated with plenty of water. After than the floor was rinsed with water and the slurry extracted with a wet vacuum. With the floor clean the process was repeated with finer grades of pads from 800-grit through to 1500-grit. As before between pad the floor was rinsed thoroughly to remove any trace of slurry off the tiles and the slurry extracted with the wet vacuum; the more thorough the rinse the better the finish. By the end of day one the cleaning process was completed, stripped of any coatings and the floor looked much better and lighter in appearance which made the room seem bigger.

Sealing a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The Travertine tiles were left to dry off fully overnight and I started on the second day with a floor inspection to ensure the floor was ready for sealing. At that point I could see that there were a few small areas that needed further attention, so I spot treated them with Hand Burnishing Block. This was followed by spray-burnishing the floor with a very fine 3000-grit polishing pad which is applied using a little water sprayed on to the Travertine. This very fine pad left the floor with a natural looking sheen.

Once we completed this and were satisfied with the finish, all that remained was the sealing of the floor, this will protect it and prevent the dirt from impregnating the pores in the stone. Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied, leaving thirty minutes drying time between each coat. Colour Grow is an impregnating and colour enhancing sealer which leaves the floor resistant to staining and spills whilst improving the natural brown shades in the Travertine resulting in a lovely finish.

The client was very satisfied with the finish, the whole room had been lifted, looking much lighter and brighter.

Tumbled Travertine After Cleaning Saffron Walden Tumbled Travertine After Cleaning Saffron Walden

 

Professional Restoration of Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen in North Essex



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Deep Cleaning a Sandstone Flagstone Floor in Burscough


This customer had just moved into a lovely property in the small Lancashire town of Burscough and wanted to have the Sandstone Kitchen floor professionally renovated as it was not looking its best.

I arranged an appointment to visit the property after discussing the floor over the phone, some customers like to get a quote over the phone and although I’m happy to give someone a ball park figure I really need to see the floor in order to give them an accurate price as you simply don’t know what your going to find.

Upon inspecting the floor inspect the floor I could see the previous owner had sealed the floor with multiple layers of Varnish which is not a suitable agent for protecting Sandstone floors. The stone was the riven variety and was trapping dirt across its veins and was now proving difficult to clean, the grout had also gone black with dirt. Undeterred I did a test clean on part of the floor and the results proved promising, so we agreed a price and date to return and complete the job.

Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Burscough

Deep Cleaning a Sandstone Kitchen Floor

To deep clean the floor the sandstone flagstones were covered in a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU Remover which stands for Heavy Build-Up Remover. It was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed clean using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The now dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor rinsed with water.

Sandstone Floor During Renovation Burscough

I had to repeat the process on stubborn stains assisted with a steam cleaner to lift the dirt out of the pores of the stone. Once I was happy with the floor I gave it a final rinse to with water to neutralise the floor and remove any trace of cleaning products. It was then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum and then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter, the flagstones were dry, so I was able to proceed as planned. To seal the stone, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a breathable acrylic sealer that can be used on internal and external Sandstone flagstone floors and does a nice job of lifting the appearance of the stone.

Sandstone Floor After Renovation Burscough

You can see from the final photograph that the Sandstone flagstones and grout now looks so much better. My Customer was amazed with the transformation and the floor now looks brand new, they even left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Extremely happy with the end result. Kamila was knowledgeable & professional. We cant recommend her enough. Paul B., Burscough

 

Deep Cleaning a Sandstone Kitchen Floor in Lancashire



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Finishing a Victorian Hallway Floor in Hebden Bridge


The photographs below are of a lovely Victorian tiled hallway that had been repaired and cleaned by another tradesman a his a few months earlier. The workman had left the customer to seal the floor himself, which he had done but the floor ended up looking patchy and dull and he wasn’t happy with the results which didn’t highlight the beautiful colours in the tile. Realising he needed help to achieve the correct finish I was given a call and asked to finish the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Hebden Bridge

The property was in Hebden Bridge a market town situated between Halifax and Rochdale. After carrying out a survey, I advised that the floor would need re-cleaning to strip off the sealant he had applied and to remove the marks from the floor. We would then be able to re-seal the floor correctly for him. We agreed a price for the job and set a date to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the first day we started preparing the hallway to be cleaned by covering the stair carpet and new and expensive wood panelling and skirting boards to protect them from any possible marking during the cleaning process. I then used a 200-grit Diamond burnishing pad attached to a rotary buffing machine to remove the sealant and dirt from the floor. In this instance the pad was applied just with water which is used to lubricate the pad, the resultant slurry is then removed with a wet vacuum. The advantage of using this process as opposed to a chemical clean is that moisture is kept to a minimum which is important on old floors like this where no damp proof membrane exists.

After making sure that the floor was to a standard that I was happy with, I then repeated the process along the edges with a set of hand-held diamond blocks which makes it easier to get into the corners and edges where the machine struggles to reach effectively.

Still concerned about the moisture levels in the floor I decided to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which will neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor. As I mentioned earlier this is a common problem on floors of this age, they do not usually have a Damp Proof Membrane fitted so moisture is able to rise through the tiles bringing with it salt which gets left on the surface of the tile, this process is more commonly known as Efflorescence. The floor was then rinsed with water and the floor dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum. Finally, I tidied up before leaving for the day and allowing the floor to fully dry out overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the next day, I first took moisture readings to ensure that the floor was dry enough to seal. If a floor is too damp the seal won’t cure properly and therefore won’t be effective. Fortunately, on this occasion the floor was within limits and I could proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer allowing around thirty minutes between coats for drying.

Colour Grow is a breathable impregnating sealer that allow moisture to evaporate from the floor whilst also protecting it from dirt and stains. This sealer leaves a matt finish which is what the owner wanted but it also enhances the colours in the tile which really being the floor alive.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Hebden Bridge

The customer was very pleased with the results, the floor looked much cleaner and will be easy for them to maintain. I hope that you can see the difference from the before and after pictures.

 

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Yorkshire



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Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Revamp in Hillsborough, Sheffield


We were contacted by a family from Hillsborough, which is a suburb of Sheffield, who had seen some of the work we do renovating shower cubicles on the internet and wanted to know if I would do the same for their shower.

Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout Before Revamp Sheffield Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout Before Revamp Sheffield

One of the biggest problems affecting bathrooms is mould which thrives in a warm damp environment, the best way to prevent it is to extract the moisture created when having a shower with adequate ventilation. Other steps you can take to reduce mould include always leaving the door open after a shower to improve cross ventilation and rinsing the shower down with cold water afterwards. Tile Doctor also have a product called Aqua-Pro that you can spray on your tiles after use.

I went over to take a look and could see that the Ceramic tiles were only slightly stained and would no doubt clean-up easily however the grout had gone black in places with mould and orange in others due to the dyes in shampoos and soaps. Ceramic tiles are glazed and so usually very easy to keep clean however grout and silicone is more vulnerable and if you now cleaned on a regular basis mould can get a grip and it can prove very stubborn to remove.

Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout Before Revamp Sheffield

Cleaning Ceramic Bathroom Tile and Grout

The home owners had tried to rectify the problem before by applying more grout and silicone to the affected areas however this hadn’t cured the ventilation issue, so it wasn’t long before the problem resurfaced. I recommended replacing all the badly affected grout and the silicone sealer strip around the base of the shower to give the cubicle a fresh look.

My first task was to see how far we could get by cleaning the tile and grout using Tile Doctor Duo-Clean which is designed for use in bathrooms where it’s effective at cleaning grout and removing mould. It comes in a spray bottle so it’s just a question of spraying it onto the tile, grout and silicone and leaving it for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush or scouring pad. The soil was then rinsed off the tile and grout and the shower left to dry off for a while, so we could see which areas were so badly stained would need re-grouting.

The next step was to carefully remove the old silicone sealant from around the edges of the shower cubicle using a sharp knife, then using a combination of power tools and blades we removed the grout in the affected areas and put in new white grout to match the exiting.

While the grout was drying, the shower tray was cleaned up and new silicone sealant has added around the base of the shower cubicle using a premium mould resistant silicone that should be more resistant to staining.

Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout After Revamp Sheffield

The combination of cleaning and grout replacement worked a treat and the shower looks like a brand-new installation. This doesn’t resolve the ventilation issue, so I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro with instructions to spray the tiles down regularly in order to keep it looking fresh and clean.

Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout After Revamp Sheffield Ceramic Shower Tile and Grout After Revamp Sheffield

 

Professional Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning in Cheshire



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Maintaining Amtico Vinyl at Wimbledon Hair Salon


Most people don’t realise this but Amtico recommend their floors are protected against scuffs and scratches with a sealer or floor care dressing as they call it and like any product you apply to a floor it will wear off over time due to the constant abrasion of floor traffic. This is very similar to the problem we face with tile and stone most of which also benefit from the protection of a sealer.

With this in mind I was asked to visit a Hair Salon in Wimbledon which as well as being famous for its annual Tennis tournament is a large town to the southwest of London. Their Amtico flooring had lost a lot of its appearance and a recent redesign had exposed a few obvious areas where equipment was once positioned. It was clear that the whole floor would need to be stripped of what was left of its protective coating and resealed.

Amtico Floor Wimbledon Hair Salon Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning Amtico Flooring

It was necessary to strip the floor of its old coating first as to apply a fresh sealer would simply have locked in the dirt and led to different layers of sealer on the floor which can leave some areas looking darker than others.

To strip off the old coating and clean the we used Tile Doctor Vinyl Strip mixed with hot water. This was left to sit on the floor for a short while before being scrubbed in with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer and then the soil was removed using a wet and dry vacuum. It’s worth noting that to scrub this floor we used a finer scrubbing pad than normal because using a black stripping pad would have scratched the Vinyl. We then rinsed the floor twice with water to remove any residue and extracted the water with a wet vacuum.

Normally we these jobs we would look to let the floor dry off overnight and come back the next day to seal the floor, however given the commercial nature of the business this was not a practical option so the Amtico floor was force dried using industrial air movers.

Sealing Amtico Flooring

Once the floor was dry we were able to press on with the application of the sealer which for Amtico and other Vinyl flooring we recommend Tile Doctor Vinyl Shine floor polish which leaves a nice subtle shine. You have to wait for a coat to dry (approx. 30 minutes) before applying the next, so this process can take a while to complete, in this case three coats were applied to achieve the desired finish.

Amtico Floor Wimbledon Hair Salon After Cleaning

We managed to strip and seal the whole floor in a day, so the owner was able to open for business on the Monday.

Amtico Floor Wimbledon Hair Salon After Cleaning

 

Dirty Vinyl Flooring Cleaned and Sealed at a Hair Salon in South London



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Shower Cubicle Cleaning Chapel-en-le-Frith


This client lives in Chapel-en-le-Frith which is a small town dubbed the ‘Capital of the Peak’ with parts of the parish lying in the Peak District National Park. They were trying to sell the house, but the shower cubicle was looking very bad and all the potential purchasers were being put off. They wanted to restore a new and fresh look, without spending a fortune, so they could finally sell it and move to their new property. With this in mind they had given me a call to come and take a look and see what could be done.

As you can see from the photos the grout was very badly discoloured in places, so I agreed with the client that the best course of action would be to clean the grout as much as possible and then recolour it with a white Grout Colourant followed by stripping off the old silicone and replacing with new. We discussed the cost and a timescale and booked the job in.

Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Chapel-en-le-Frith

Shower Cubicle Tile Cleaning

The Tile Doctor Grout Colourant Kit comes with everything you need to change the colour of your grout including a Pre-Treat cleaner which is a slightly acidic product that cleans and etches your grout at the same time. This means you can get a better bond with the colourant when it is applied afterwards and ensures the best finish.

I set about cleaning the grout with the pre-treat cleaner which is sprayed on to the tile and then scrubbed in with an abrasive pad. This was then rinsed off with water and re-applied where necessary, some areas were worse than others and needed more work, so I persevered until I was happy the grout was as clean as it could be.

Applying White Grout Colourant

The job could be completed in one day, so the next job was to remove the silicone sealant between the tiles and the shower tray, the sealant was black with mould and dirt and generally in very bad condition.

Once the grout had dried I was able to start the application of the grout colourant using a small brush, wiping any excess off the tiles as I went. A steady hand is required for this job along with a little patience! Two coats of colourant were required to achieve the right finish.

Finally, the last step to complete was to put back a new white silicone sealant using a high-quality mould resistant product. There are many on the market, but the cheaper brands are not usually mould resistant and tend to turn black very quickly. Applying the sealant ensures the shower is waterproof and no water can get behind the tiles.

Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Chapel-en-le-Frith

The shower cubicle had a new look and my client was really surprised about the end result. They now felt more confident that potential purchasers wouldn’t be put off by a grubby looking bathroom. Thankfully it had not cost them too much to make it look a whole lot more appealing.

Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Chapel-en-le-Frith

 

Professional Clean and Re Grout of a Shower Cubicle in Derbyshire



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Worn Sealer Replaced on a Slate Tiled Floor in York


The photographs below are of a Slate Tiled floor in a house in York, a walled city in North West Yorkshire which is very famous for its Viking heritage and its many landmarks, including the stunning York Minster. I visited the client to discuss what could be done to improve the look of the slate tiles which were installed in the kitchen and run into the downstairs cloakroom WC.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York Before Cleaning

I could see that the floor was suffering from the usual problem of dirt becoming ingrained into the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively. This happens as the protection provided by the sealer wears off with use and the stone becomes dull and lifeless with the trapped dirt; additionally, the floor had some bad scratches from chairs being dragged across the floor. Being a Kitchen, the area was in used to high family traffic, so it was in need of some care and attention. The client was happy to go ahead with my quote.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

I arrived the following week and started by taping up and protecting the surrounding areas and thresholds. Then working in sections, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (1 part Pro-Clean to 3 parts water) to the floor and left it to soak in and get to work breaking down what was left of the old sealer and dirt. This is a multi-purpose cleaner which works hard on stubborn areas. It was then scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. I then used more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the grout which was stained in places and this was scrubbed in by hand using a thin stiff grout brush.

The floor was then rinsed with water, and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum before moving onto the next section. We try and keep the mess to the absolute minimum. One area included a downstairs WC which was too tight to get the floor buffer in so there was no option but to scrub the tiles and grout by hand.

After cleaning all the slate and grout I inspected the floor and was pleased to see that the scratches were a lot less obvious after cleaning, so I suspect it was the old sealer that had been mostly affected. Had the scratches been deeper we would be looking at resurfacing the stone with milling pads which is a messy and more expensive process. The client was very pleased to hear that wouldn’t be required.

After a final rinse the floor was looking much better already and was left to dry off overnight aided by the hot summer weather.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and checked the floor was fully dried out by using my moisture meter. All the readings were fine so the lovely weather had done its job which was much appreciated by myself as this greatly helps the floor cleaning process.

I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer (so no smell) that leaves a lovely deep lustre to the floor. The scratches had all but disappeared and I was able to get on with the job quite quickly due to the bonus weather that helped he sealer dried a lot quicker than usual between each coat.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York After Cleaning

The customer was very pleased with the finished floor, and I think you can see from the pictures how much better it looks. It will be much easier for them to clean and maintain in the future.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Cloakroom in North West Yorkshire



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Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Hitchin


Details below of a small Quarry Tiled floor we deep cleaned which included a lobby and adjacent toilet. The property was located in Hitchin which is a market town in North Hertfordshire it is notable for St. Mary’s Church, which is remarkably large for a town of its size.

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin Before Cleaning

The tiles were in good physical condition, but were looking a little tired, they just needed a good clean and seal. Also, if you look closely at the photographs you will see the grout was stained with the remains of some red paint which needed to be removed.

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin Before Cleaning Showing Paint Staining

They had tried some household solutions but had not managed to remove the marks and the floor had lost its’ sheen. We discussed the process, agreed a price and I arranged a date to return and carry out the work.

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin Before Cleaning

<Restoring Quarry Tiled Entrance Hallway Floor

On our return our first task was to prepare the areas with protective tape to threshold edges surrounding the floor, adjacent doors and anywhere that we didn’t want our solutions to touch.

The paint stains were spot treated using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed into the grout by hand. This is a multi-purpose stripper made with a long dwell-time to remove most coatings and sealers, but particularly good on paints. It is also the perfect product to draw out ingrained stains and remove any heavy grease build-up.

Then the tiles and grout were cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this one is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser. Dependent on the needs of the tiles we dilute it to suit. We usually dilute with 3 to 5 parts water to use as a very effective cleaner that removes grease, from areas that have been neglected or subjected to heavy use. Alternatively, and as in this situation, we diluted with 2 parts water to strip the synthetic and acrylic waxes that had built up on the floor over the years.

The entrance and porch were then wet vacuumed, and the water rinsed, then allowed to dry off overnight ahead of the sealing process the following day.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On returning to the property the following day, I used a moisture meter to ensure the floor was completely dry and ready for the next stage. Once satisfied I started to apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow this is an impregnating sealer which is applied to protect the tiles and offers a durable surface whilst enhancing their natural colour. Finally, to complete, this was followed by three coats of Seal and Go to add a lasting protective seal and a low sheen durable finish.

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin After Cleaning

The client was very happy with the completed floor, it had brightened up the whole area, particularly the downstairs cloakroom. She was also pleased it was now going to be easier to maintain and keep clean and she had finally got rid of the offending red paint!

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of Quarry Tiled Hallway in Hertfordshire



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Removing Wax Scratches from Victorian Hallway Tiles in Rushden


This customer called me as she was concerned about the scratches on her hallway tiles, they were not only unsightly but were also starting to trap dirt. The Victorian property in Rushden which lies between Bedford and Kettering on the east side of Northamptonshire.

We always offer a site visit to take a look at the job before doing any work, that way we can discuss what the cleaning options are, and it also demonstrates to the customer that we know what we’re talking about.

The hallway floor was a lovely and intricate example of Victorian tile installation and I could see that overall it was in good condition for its age. On closer inspection the customer was relieved to find out that it was the old wax sealant breaking down and not actually scratches on the tiles. I carried out a test on a small area to ascertain how difficult it would be to remove this wax. I realised I would be able to use Tile Doctors new product for the removal of the wax sealant, Tile Doctor Wax Away which is a fast and effective formula that is designed just for this type of job, it offers safe removal of wax and polish from tile and natural stone. We agreed the quote and the work was booked in for the following month.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Wax Removal Rushden

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On our return we started to remove the wax coating using the Tile Doctor Wax Away product. It was applied neat and left to dwell for ten to fifteen minutes before working it into the floor with a small amount of water and a black stripping pad attached to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was then removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and I decided to repeat this process with a hand brush in a couple of small areas and around the edges to ensure the old wax sealant was fully removed in these stubborn areas. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove any remaining slurry and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used to dry the floor again.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Wax Removal Rushden

My next course of action was to run over the floor with a 400-grit burnishing pad to remove imbedded dirt and stains from the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse with water. After removing the water with wet vacuum, the floor was then left to dry out fully for a few days aided by a large fan that I left on site. It’s important that the tiles are fully dry before applying a sealer and this is even more important on older floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned three days later and started by giving the floor a light vacuum and clean. I also took damp meter readings to check the floor was fully dry. Once I was satisfied I started to apply 2 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant, this is a breathable sealant which will allow the tiles to breath and allow moisture vapour from the sub floor to rise through the tiles which is important in these old houses where no damp proof membrane exists. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there, the sealant enhances the natural colours in the tile and dries to a lovely natural matt finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

Once finished the floor looked great and the customer was hugely relieved that the tiles could be restored easily and cost effectively, she had thought the damage may have been irreversible. Moving forward it will now be easier for her to maintain and keep clean. The floor is now back to its’ true self and properly in keeping with the rest of the period features in the house.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northamptonshire



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Cleaning a Flood Stained Limestone Fireplace in Chelmsford


The UK has been experiencing an increasing amount of rain over the last few years and this has resulted in quite a few areas being flooded. One of those areas is the old city of Chelmsford in the middle of Essex which is prone to flooding due to the rivers Cam and Chelmer that run through the town.

Limestone Fireplace Showing Flood Staining Chelmsford

I was asked to visit a property in the town that had been flooded over winter and the red dye in the carpet that was lying on the floor adjacent to their lovely Limestone Fireplace had stained the hearth in several places but primarily around the edges.

Limestone Fireplace Showing Red Dye Staining Chelmsford

The fire place had never been sealed and because of this the stone had sucked up the flood water like a sponge. They had drying equipment installed and as the moisture evaporated the red staining became more and more evident. Since then several companies had been to try and remedy the problem and each one was unsuccessful. The couple contacted us, and we went to assess the problem fully equipped to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Dye Stained Limestone Fireplace Hearth

Had the Fireplace been sealed we our first task would have been to remove to ensure we would have no issues sealing the fireplace later. In this case however that wasn’t an issue, so we were able to move straight onto cleaning up the stone using a set of diamond encrusted hand-held burnishing blocks. We started with the coarsest block (50 grit) and rubbed the stone with a bit of added water as lubrication, before wet vacuuming away the excess residue. This process was then repeated with progressively finer blocks (100, 200 and 400 grit), and the hearths were given a final rinse with fresh water.

The burnishing blocks are excellent tools to remove scratches and marks from tile and stone and did a good job of removing the red dye from around the hearth. They also took care of some marks that had appeared where the owner had placed a couple of slate tiles on the flat part of the hearth.

Limestone Fireplace Showing Rust Stain Spots Chelmsford

Along with these marks were some corrosion spots where a metal ornament had been sitting on the hearth for several years. I treated these with Tile Doctor Rust Away which is a specialist product for removing rust stains from tile and stone after a few applications the stain was gone.

Limestone Fireplace Showing Rust Stain Spots Chelmsford

Sealing a Limestone Fireplace Hearth

After we had cleaned the fireplace up to the satisfaction of the client we used a smail dryer to dry everything out so that we could finish the job and seal the fireplace the same day. Once the stone moisture levels were at the correct level the Limestone Fireplace was sealed using three coats of Tile doctor Ultra-Seal leaving twenty minutes between coats.

Ultra-Seal is a no-sheen product that impregnates the pores of the stone protecting from within without changing the look of the stone thereby leaving it with a natural appearance. I’m please to say our efforts paid off and the Limestone Fireplace and Hearth is now stain free and looking like new.

Limestone Fireplace After Rust Stain Removal Chelmsford Limestone Fireplace After Flood Stain Removal Chelmsford

 

Dye Stained Limestone Fireplace and Hearth Restoration in Chelmsford



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Victorian Floor Tile Restoration Lancaster


We often get asked to restore old Victorian tiled floors which are generally over 100 to 150 years old and as I’m sure you can imagine they experience a lot of wear over that length of time.

Victorian floor tiles before restoration Lancaster

We recently visited a property with such a floor in Lancaster after the client got in touch looking to have their hallway floor tiles restored. We arrived to inspect the floor and could see straight away that it was looking a little tired and in need of care and attention. Some tiles had become loose and had broken apart, especially around the doorways. Also, this floor had suffered from subsidence in the past and this had created a crack line near the top end of the hallway which pushed up several of the tiles. We went through what could be done to restore it, the client agreed a price and we arranged a time to come back.

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

My first task was to take the loose tiles up, grind the concrete screed back so it was as level as we could make it and then we needed to refit the tiles. Once all loose tiles were fixed, we left them to dry and cure.

Victorian floor tiles during restoration Lancaster

We then came back to start the main clean of the floor, we used Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing pads for this, which bite in deep to the clay face and remove ingrained dirt far better than conventional alkaline cleaners can. We used a series of different grades of these diamond pads to get the finish we required and then rinsed with clean water once were finished, removing the slurry created with a wet vacuum.

Any areas we couldn’t reach with our weighted buffing machines we had to get on our hands and knees and use small handheld Diamond Blocks, using a bit of clean water and elbow grease, this is especially good on intricate edges and around doors and corners.

Victorian floor tiles during restoration Lancaster

The floor was given a quick rinse with water to remove any remaining clay resin and soil generated by the burnishing process. A wet vacuum is then used to extract the soil and remove as much moisture from the floor before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before we seal the Victorian Tiles, they looked very dull and washed out however this all changes once we apply the sealer. We checked the moisture levels in the floor which were fine. Our favourite sealer for this type of tile is called Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is a fully breathable sealer which restores the colour lost in the cleaning process and allows for the floor to breathe, which is an absolutely necesity on an old floor without a Damp Proof Membrane where Efflorescence can be an problem.

Tile Doctor Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile, so dirt cannot become ingrained there. It leaves a matt finish and enhances the colours in the tile bringing them to life, as you will see on the photos.

Victorian floor tiles after restoration Lancaster

For aftercare we always advise our customers to use Tile Doctor pH Neutral tile cleaner as it’s specially designed for cleaning sealed surfaces without damaging the sealer like cheap supermarket cleaners that contain anionic surfactants.

The client was very pleased with the restoration of her floor which is now in good physical condition and looks much brighter.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Lancashire



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Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles at a Converted Pub in Geldeston


Tucked away on a back street in Geldeston about a mile away from Gillingham, Norfolk is the newly-restored former Garden House pub which has been converted into a two-bedroom private residence by the new owners. Everything had been renovated to the highest possible standard using local craftsmen and top-quality materials. The last piece of this jigsaw was the renovation of the quarry tile flooring which was laid in a brick pattern and runs from the kitchen through the dining room and into the main entrance hall.

As is often the case during major building works, the floor had been inadequately protected and consequently it had become completely coated in a combination of builder’s dust, plaster, paint and mud from the garden. As it’s such a large area it really needed some attention to get back its lustre.

Quarry Tiled Floor Geldeston Before Cleaning

Renovating a Quarry Tiled Floor in Geldeston

In order to prevent further scratching to the tile surface during the cleaning process our first job was to vacuum the whole area to pick up all the larger bits of debris and grit. Next, the floor was deep-cleaned using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and a strong solution (1:3 ratio) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, our high pH combination stripper and cleaner which made short work of the top layer of dust and grime.

Having power rinsed and vacuumed away the resulting slurry, we found that there were a large number of ground-in plaster spots and patches still remaining, which gave the floor an unsatisfactory white spotted appearance. These were removed using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up applied with a 6-inch black scrubbing pad fitted to our hand held DeWalt buffing machine, one of the most useful bits of kit in our tool bag! Great for attacking stubborn areas individually. The whole area was then allowed to dry with assistance from two industrial air movers.

Sealing Quarry Tiled Floor in Geldeston

Returning a few days later, I checked the moisture levels in the floor which were satisfactory, so we were ready to move on to the finishing stage. My original intention had been to seal the grout lines alone with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, our no-sheen solvent based penetrating sealer, assuming that the tile surface was in a reasonably good condition. Unfortunately, owing to the age of the floor along with the abuse it had suffered during the building works, I found that the floor had a tired, pale look to it when completely dry. I decided, therefore, to seal and refinish it with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which both deepened and emphasized the colours within each individual tile and gave a pleasing mid-sheen to the whole area.

Quarry Tiled Floor Geldeston After Cleaning

On completion of the job, our client said three words we love to hear… “It looks GREAT!”
It is lovely to have another satisfied client and great to add the finishing touches to their renovation.

Quarry Tiled Floor Geldeston After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in Norfolk



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Red and Brown Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor Polishing Weybridge


If you have a Mable tiled floor which is not looking its best, then the transformation I achieved on this floor at a property in Weybridge will definitely be on interest. Having first spoken with the owner on the phone I went over to the house to take a better look at the floor and found that the deep red and brown Marble tiled kitchen floor was really dirty and totally lacking in colour or polish.

The floor hadn’t been professionally cleaned for some time and was now dirty and suffering from the actions of a puppy which likes to charge up and down. The Marble was also full of holes which the client explained had been getting larger. This is not usual for natural stone as it can be very sensitive to acidic cleaning products which if used constantly over time will start to dissolve the stone.

We discussed the remedies available, agreed a cost and arranged a mutually convenient time to carry the work out. I always like to do a site visit to survey the tiles and ideally run a test clean to determine the best methods for resolving the problems. This enabled me to give a more accurate quote and it also gives the customer confidence in my abilities.

Marble Tiled Floor Before Polishing Weybrige

Deep Cleaning Red and Brown Marble Kitchen Tiles

Firstly, I removed the existing sealer with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad which is applied with water. Although this initially appears to make the floor look worse, this is only temporary, sometimes you have to make it look a little worse before it can get better! Once this was done the floor was rinsed with water to remove the slurry generated and this was then extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum.

Then for the next couple of hours I worked my way from the back door to the front filling all holes with a special expanding resin, then smoothing off as I went to ensure the smoothest of finish could be achieved. Some of the holes were indeed quite large, so there was quite a lot of work to do.

Once the filler had dried I started the polishing process using the 800 and then 1500 grit burnishing pads, once again with more water to lubricate and rinsing the floor in between polishing and removing the slurry as before. This process took much of the day, so I left the floor to dry off and came back the next day to complete the polishing and seal the Marble.

Sealing Red and Brown Marble Kitchen Tiles

The next day I returned and completed the polishing process by applying the fourth burnishing pad which is an extra fine 3000 grit pad, you apply the pad dry with only a little amount of water sprayed onto the floor in process we call a spay burnish and this final pad really brings up the polish in the Marble.

Once the polishing had finished I left the floor for a little while to make sure it was nice and dry and then I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable protection by impregnating the pores in the stone with sealer, so dirt cannot become ingrained there. As you can see from the pictures the sealer dramatically enhanced the natural colours in the stone.

Once dry I backed my way out of the house with a final finishing polish using a white buffing pad to remove any excess sealant and bring up the sheen of the tiles even further. I left instructions with the client to keep off for a couple of hours while the sealer cured.

The client was over the moon with the end result, the floor was left shiny, protected and looking in a fabulous condition.

Marble Tiled Floor After Polishing Weybrige

 

Professional Restoration of a Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor in West Surrey



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Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles, Mumbles, Swansea


I was called to a property in the Mumbles area of Swansea, one of my favourite places and in fact listed in 2018 Best Places to Live. In the UK report, The Sunday Times listed Mumbles as the best in Wales, so it is always a pleasure to visit this area.

The hallway at the property had a lovely example of a classic Victorian Tiled floor containing a very detailed pattern consisting of expensive blue square and triangular shaped tiles. The tiles were a lovely and unusual pattern and in good physical condition with no cracked or replacement tiles required. It had however, been some time since the floor was last cleaned and sealed and so they contacted me, their local Tile Doctor representative to renovate the floor for them. The owners of the house recognised that it’s well worth preserving original features like Victorian tiled floors as period floors like this are in demand and add value to a property. They were therefore keen to get it back to its’ near original state.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Cleaning The Mumbles

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

To restore the appearance of the tiles I used a 200-Grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad to remove the dirt and restore the condition of the tiles. This is run over the floor using water to lubricate and then rinsed off with water afterwards to remove the soil that is generated. This was 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. This pad is again applied with water and then the floor rinsed afterwards to remove the soiling and the water is extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to acid rinse the floor using Tile Doctor Acid-Gel, this is an important step for old Victorian tiled floors which have no damp proof membrane. It neutralises any inherent salts in the floor which rise through the tile from evaporation leaving unsightly white deposits on the surface. The acid gel is left to dwell for a short time and then it is scrubbed into the tile with a deck brush and then removed using the wet vacuum, the floor was then given a final rinse to neutralise it before sealing. However, for that to happen I needed the floor to be dry so after cleaning the floor I left it to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I came back to the house to seal the floor. The floor had dried out nicely due to the fine weather, I quickly did a moisture test to be sure, then I was ready to move on to the sealing process.

The Mumbles area is close to the coast, so for this project I decided to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which being an impregnating fully breathable sealer would cope better with the salty sea air. Colour Grow is a matt finish sealer that seeps into the tile occupying the small pores and in doing so prevents dirt from becoming ingrained there, it’s also a colour enhancing product that improves the colour in the tile.

After I had finished the floor was left looking restored, fresh and the vibrantly coloured pattern shone through. The client was very happy with the end result.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Cleaning The Mumbles

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Swansea



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Carrara Marble Orangery Floor Harrogate


These photographs are of a large Black Carrara Marble floor at customers house in nearby Harrogate, a North Yorkshire spa town which is steeped in history. In-fact the town became known as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries its ‘chalybeate’ waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment and the influx of wealthy but sickly visitors contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate Before Polishing

When I reached the clients’ property she showed me to the Orangery. This was a lovely garden room and it had a large and expensive Black Carrara Marble tiled floor installed. The floor was installed some time ago and had since lost some of its shine and lustre which is not unusual as foot traffic on the floor will wear down the shine over time particularly as it was a dark black colour.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate Before Polishing

Polishing a Black Carrera Marble Orangery Floor

I was aware that Carrara Marble is usually polished at the factory and re polishing to achieve the same high-end finish requires the use of some very expensive machinery which most Tile Doctors including myself don’t carry.

However, I am always up for a challenge and not to be beaten there were a couple of things we could do to improve the appearance of the floor. Carrara Marble by the way gets its name from the city where it’s quarried which is in the province of Massa and Carrara in the Lunigiana, the northernmost tip of modern-day Tuscany, Italy. It is not surprising that such a beautiful material comes from such a lovely place! In use since Roman times Carrara Marble is an expensive, high quality marble used in sculptures and building décor.

So, after discussing all this with the customer and a little history, l set about giving the tiles a spray burnish with a very fine 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad and a little water sprayed onto the Marble. The 3000-grit pad is a very fine grade that would not damage the surface of the marble, simply restore the shine. This pad had the desired effect and did a good job of bringing back the deep polished look of the floor.

Sealing a Black Carrera Marble Orangery Floor

Once I had finished the spray burnish and ensured the floor was dry, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this product is an impregnating colour intensifying sealer that provides durable stain protection by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. I chose to use this primarily to seal and protect the stone but also to enhance the beautiful natural colours.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate After Polishing

The job was completed in a single day and the result was a big improvement on the dull Marble tiles I had come across that morning. It’s probably difficult to tell from the photographs but I felt the combination of spray burnishing and sealing had completely changed the appearance of the floor.

The customer was very happy indeed, the floor looked much brighter and with the sun shining through the huge area of glass, the highly polished look had definitely been restored.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate After Polishing

 

Polishing Black Carrara Marble Floor Tiles in North Yorkshire



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Restoring Polish to a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Cheltenham


These photos are of a Travertine Tiled Floor installed in the Kitchen and Dining area of a property in Cheltenham also known as Cheltenham Spa. The property is situated in a lovely location with Cheltenham being located on the edge of the Cotswolds, which is well known as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ in Gloucestershire.

The floor which was installed 15 years prior had sadly not been maintained correctly over the years and was not looking its best, any sealer that may have been present on the floor had long since worn off with wear and now dirt had penetrated the pores of the Travertine making it difficult to keep clean and giving it a flat uninteresting appearance. The customer was specifically unhappy with what appeared dull looking marks all over the floor and the grout lines which were heavily ingrained with dirt and had now become black.

Travertine Floor Cheltenham Before Cleaning

Travertine is a natural stone material that has unique colours and features that no other stone can offer. The distinctive designs and natural patterns found within Travertine make it very popular as a flooring material and if treated properly it can look beautiful. I discussed with the client what Tile Doctor could do to improve the appearance of the floor, we agreed the cost and organised a date to get started.

Travertine Floor Cheltenham Before Cleaning

Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Floor Cheltenham

Before starting I protected the wooden skirting and kitchen units with plastic sheeting to ensure they did not get damaged. The floor was then burnished using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads of different grits using our usual process of lubricating with water and rinsing between each pad. Working my way through the different pads I started with the coarse 400-grit pad, then the 800-grit and finished on the 1500-grit.

The grout lines were then cleaned with Tile Doctor Remove and Go this is a multi-purpose stripper formulated with a long dwell-time that can clean whilst removing most sealers, coatings, synthetic finishes, adhesives and paints; pretty much most things that could have be left on the floor over 15 years! I then rinsed of the now soiled cleaning solution off the floor with water which was then extracted using the wet vacuum. I then left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing Travertine Kitchen Floor Cheltenham

On my return the next day I applied the last of the burnishing pads which is an extra fine 3000-grit pad really bring up the polish on the stone. This pad is applied dry with a little water sprayed onto the stone using a method we call a Spray Burnish.

The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this product is a colour intensifying sealer which enhances the natural colours in the Travertine whilst adding durable stain protection. I highly recommend colour grow for sealing Travertine as it really does bring out the natural brown shades in the stone. The floor was left to dry and then buffed with a soft white buffing pad to bring the shine further.

Travertine Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning

My customer was very impressed with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Our travertine floor has been transformed from a dull, impossible to clean surface to one that looks better than it did fifteen years ago. Every time I walk into the kitchen I stop just to look at it. I am delighted with what you have achieved! Thank you.
Laura C. “

Travertine Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning

 

Polishing & Sealing Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles in Gloucestershire



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Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Exmouth


The owner of this property had been intending to have her Victorian tiled vestibule professionally cleaned and sealed for several years but had always seemed to just ‘make do’ with an occasional clean with a mop and bucket. Having made up her mind to have it professionally cleaned and having seen previous examples of my work online after searching for her local stone and tile cleaning professional she asked me to come and have a look and see what I could do.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Exmouth Before Cleaning

Being the first stop upon entering the house the tiles were heavily soiled after years of not being sealed so after I conducted a moisture check which showed the tiles to be remarkably dry. I cleaned a few tiles using some diamond hand pads to test the area and give the customer an idea of what kind of result to expect. She was really pleased with the initial outcome of the test and booked me in to return shortly after receiving my quote.

Because the area was small I was able to tie it in with another job I had in the Exmouth area and was able to reduce the cost of the quote. This is a great option if you and your neighbour both have small areas to clean because I may be able to work on them concurrently which will save you both money!

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule Floor

The working area was quite tight, so the tiles were scrubbed using a series of diamond impregnated six-inch burnishing pads fitted to a rotary hand tool. The pads are used in sequence starting with a 100-grit and finishing with a 400-grit pad. The floor was then thoroughly rinsed using a wet vacuum to remove the soil that was generated during the process.

The next step was to give the tiles an acid rinse; now we don’t normally recommend the use of acids on tiles but in this case the product was only on the floor long enough to remove old grout smears and mineral deposits before being rinsed off. I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up for this and it has the extra advantage of countering any alkaline salts which can hiding in the pores of the tile, this is very useful on old floors of this type with no damp proof course. If left unaddressed the salts can rise through the tile as moisture evaporates leaving unsightly white salt stains on the floor. This process is known as efflorescence and can be tricky to remove later if not dealt with quickly.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Exmouth During Cleaning

One done the floor was given a final rinse and then dried with the wet vacuum. I then made a few small repairs to some loose tiles and then left for the evening to allow the floor the whole floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule Floor

The following day I returned and after rechecking the moisture levels of both areas to ensure that they had adequately dried out I started work, applying a coat of Tile Doctor’s Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer which picks out and enhances the natural colours of the tiles, not only bringing the whole floor to life but helping to disguise any damage the floor has suffered over the years.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Exmouth During Sealing

After this coat had dried sufficiently I applied four coats of Tile Doctor’s Seal and Go to finish off the floor and give it that ‘wow factor’. I left the client with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of cleaner.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Exmouth After Cleaning

The client was very happy with the result and her sealed floor is now easier to maintain and keep clean. The Victorian tiles are now in keeping with the rest of the house.

 

Professional Restoration of Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule in Exmouth



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Victorian Hallway Restoration Mill Hill, North London


This 1930’s North London property in Mill Hill had a classic tiled hallway floor laid with black and white tiles in a diamond pattern and reminiscent of the Victorian era some thirty years earlier but still popular at the time the house was built. Mill Hill was first recorded as Myllehill in 1547 and appears to be named after a “hill with a windmill”. Over the years it’s merged with the surrounding towns and is now a desirable suburb in the North London Borough of Barnet.

I first spoke to the owner of the property over the phone to get an idea of what was required and work out a convenient time to take a look at the floor; we often get customers looking for a quote over the phone but this is not always easy to do as you never know what problems you might find with an older floor until you get there.

On inspection I could see there were in fact a large number of loose tiles in the central part of the floor which would need to be reset and grouted, the floor would also need to be deep cleaned and re-sealed with a suitable sealer to get it back to its former glory. I was confident we could soon get the floor looking how it should and after discussing the process, agreed a price and a timescale for the project. The owner was keen to get the job completed as soon as possible.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Firstly, we prepared the area with protective polythene tapes to thresholds, carpets, and door fronts to ensure the surrounding areas were protected. To clean the floor a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied, this is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser and is highly recommended for use on natural stone, tile and grout. The tiles were scrubbed with both floor pads and brushes, it is easier to use brushes in the more intricate areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration During Cleaning Mill Hill

After the scrubbing we rinsed, and steam cleaned the floor, removing the slurry generated during the cleaning process with a wet vacuum. It was now nicely prepared ready for carrying out the repairs and the cleaning process was useful in identifying those tiles which needed extra attention.

The repairs involved resetting 50 to 60 loose tiles, the process requires carefully removing the tile, scraping out the old adhesive and grout and then replacing with new. The area is cleaned and then when the adhesive has set the tiles are re grouted in a grout chosen to best match the original. Luckily there were no damaged tiles on this floor which made the job easier. Although, we can usually track down replacements when they are needed!

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We then left the hallway to dry off overnight, returning the next day we used a moisture meter to check the floor was dry and suitable for sealing. Old floors like these have no damp proof membrane fitted under the floor so can take time to dry out, fortunately we completed this work during warm weather, so all the readings were good.

Victorian style tiles are quite porous, so we found we need to apply give coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. We selected Tile Doctor Seal & Go to seal the tiles, it’s a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that adds a durable stain resistant surface and leaves an appealing low-sheen finish. Being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, and it also a breathable sealer that can cope with the lack of a damp proof membrane ensuring moisture doesn’t become trapped under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

The client was very happy with the completed job, the work took a day and half to complete. Considering how many tiles had been loose the job had turned out very well. The floor is now much more manageable for her and the hallway tiles life has now been prolonged.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London



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Reclaimed Painted Quarry Tile Floor Basildon


We suspect that the Old Quarry tiles laid in the conservatory of this Victorian house in Basildon, had been reclaimed from other areas of the property as the age of the tile didn’t match the time the conservatory was installed. Not only were the quarry tiles old but they had been covered in layers of red tile paint by previous home owners. This had now begun to crack and chip and look unpleasant, so the customer wanted the old paint removed and the tiles sealed for a more natural look.

Reclaimed Painted Quarry Tile Basildon Before Restoration

I headed over to Basildon to take a look at the Quarry Tiled Floor; Basildon in Berkshire is not to be confused with the large town of Basildon in Essex, this Basildon is approximately 7 miles west of reading and is made up of the two small villages of Upper and Lower Basildon. Having taken a look at the tiles and run some tests I was confident that the floor could be restored successfully I gave them a quote for the work, which was accepted, and a date agreed for me to return and get the work done.

Reclaimed Painted Quarry Tile Basildon Before Restoration

Removing Tile Paint From a Quarry Tiled Conservatory Floor

The first job was to tackle the layers of tile paint. Fortunately for me the paint had weakened over time and was fairly flaky in places which meant I could carefully peel away the dry paint with a blade attached to a scraper. This was a slow process but reduced the amount of mess that would have been produced if I was to use chemicals from the start.

Reclaimed Painted Quarry Tile Basildon During Restoration

Once I had removed all I could by hand the remaining paint that had fallen into the grooves and grout joints had to be removed using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coatings remover designed for use on tile, stone and grout. The process worked well but I had issues with the product drying out due to the sheer heat in the conservatory (must have been 30 degrees and above!). The Tile Doctor Remove and Go works best when it is left to dwell on the tiles for some time. To overcome this obstacle, I applied Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover and covered it over with plastic sheeting to stop it drying out too quickly.

Reclaimed Painted Quarry Tile Basildon During Restoration

The HBU Remover which stands for Heavy Build Up, did the trick and after a couple of hours the tiles where ready to be cleaned using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then rinsed off. The soiled water was then removed using a wet vacuum and after a further rinse was left to dry off overnight. Thankfully the high temperatures worked in our favour and helped dry the floor out and when I returned the next day it was ready to seal.

Sealing a Reclaimed Painted Quarry Tiled Conservatory Floor

The customer had decided on a matt finish, so I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a impregnating sealer that leaves the desired finish and has the advantage of intensifying the natural colour of the quarry tiles.

Reclaimed Painted Quarry Tile Basildon After Restoration

Overall the customer was very happy with the outcome and left the following feedback:

“Very happy with the end product, the tiles came up very clean once the paint was removed. Dennis was very professional and kept the working area clean and tidy. He kept us informed throughout the work. Will certainly use again and recommend to friends”

Reclaimed Painted Quarry Tile Basildon After Restoration

 

Professional Restoration of a Painted Quarry Tiled Conservatory in Berkshire



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Porcelain Tiled Floor Grout Colouring Glossop


The tiled floor shown in the photographs below are from a client who lives in Glossop which is a market town in the Derbyshire Peak District between Manchester and Sheffield. I was contacted me to see if it would be possible to recolour the grout, it turns out they had been a little disappointed with the white grout colour they had chosen and preferred the more defined look a darker grout would have given.

I went to survey the floor and could see the tiles were Porcelain which are a good choice for busy common areas as they are very tough, easily cleaned and usually don’t need to be sealed. Grout however is cementous and the top layer is porous which can allows it to be easily stained, a problem which is more evident on white grout which is therefore not the best choice for a kitchen.

Porcelain Tiled Floor Grout Before Colouring Glossop

The tiled floor area was approximately 25 square meters, but big tiles and thin grout lines would make this a reasonably quick job to complete. We agreed a cost and I arranged a date, the job would be done across two days to allow the grout time to dry after deep cleaning on day one.

Cleaning Porcelain Tiled Floor Grout

To get the best results and achieve a superior bond between with the colourant it was important to get the grout as clean as it could be. To this end I gave the grout a good scrub with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a stripper and degreaser that is safe to use on tile and grout and great for removing dirt from heavily soiled stone or grout.

Floor scrubbing machines can struggle to reach into the grout recess, so I find the best way to clean grout is by hand using a soft steel brush. This action cleaned up the grout well and the now soiled Pro-Clean was rinsed off the floor with clean water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. I then inspected the floor to make sure I was happy and re-treated a few areas that needed more work.

I wanted the grout to be bone dry before applying the grout colourant so after cleaning the grout I left and agreed to come back the next day to complete the job.

Grout Colouring a Porcelain Tiled Floor

When I arrived in the morning I could see the grout was fully dry and ready to be recoloured. Because I needed to recolour from white to natural grey I only needed one thick coat of Natural Grey grout colourant which was carefully applied with a small brush and any excess wiped off the tile as I went along. In fact, even after retouching I found that with such narrow grout lines and large format tiles I only used half a bottle of natural grey colourant to complete the job.

Porcelain Tiled Floor Grout After Colouring Glossop

The job was all complete and the floor looking completely different. The client was over the moon with the finish and we had achieved exactly what they were looking for. The grout colourant also forms a barrier over the grout sealing it in and so they will find this floor is very easy to keep cleaning going forward.

 

Recolouring White Grout to Natural Grey in Derbyshire



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