Dull Slate Tiled Floor Stripped and Re-Sealed in Moseley

A client contacted me regarding their slate tiled floor which had only been down a few years and was now looking dull and uninviting. The slate tiles were laid in a herringbone pattern and Interestingly they had only been cleaned and sealed about a year ago by another company, but it has soon started to look dull again. Naturally my client was disappointed with the result, especially considering how new the floor was.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley

The property was in the Birmingham suburb of Moseley and as per usual I paid them a visit to survey the floor and conduct a test clean. From what I could see the sealer the previous company had used was already failing and wearing off, this left the stone vulnerable allowing dirt to become ingrained in the stone. We discussed the overall procedure and I completed a test clean on part of the floor which went well so the customer was happy to proceed. Whilst I was there, we also discussed the effects of different sealers I would recommend for the tiles so they could select one that would give them the look they wanted.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the first day I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this was left to dwell on the slate while I cleaned up the grout with a stiff grout brush. I used this combination of products to ensure I stripped any coatings that may have been applied to the floor by the previous company and the original installer. With the grout scrubbed I turned my attention to the Slate tiles by scrubbing them with a black pad fitted to a weighted rotary buffer machine. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly, and the now soiled cleaning solution extracted with a wet vacuum.

Slate Floor During Cleaning Moseley

The kitchen area was quite large, so I did the clearing in three section inspecting each section afterwards before moving onto the next. There were some areas where the existing sealer was proving stubborn to remove which were re-treated until clean. I discussed this with the customer who explained that the previous company had left a tin of sealer and advised them that they should clean the floor and then apply more sealer. This meant every time they did, they were adding another coat of seal and if the cleaning was not effective it would result in trapping dirt under the sealer! After spending most of the day cleaning, it was agreed to let the floor dry out and see how it looked next day.

When I returned on the second day, I could see there were still traces of sealer on some areas of stone and grout, so I decided to clean the floor again with more Pro-Clean but this time working in in with an abrasive 400-grit burnishing pad. This did the trick on the slate, but the grout needed a handheld diamond block to remove the seal. The whole floor was then rinsed and allowed to dry.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

Although previously we had discussed the different options for sealing the client wasn’t sure which one to choose. To help them decide I dried some of the tiles with a heat gun and applied different sealers to they could see the different between the matt and sheen finishes. The client decided on Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which helps bring the colour out in the tiles, it’s also breathable and has a nice sheen to it but slightly less so than Tile Doctor Seal & Go. I applied four coats as soon as the floor had dried.

Slate Floor After Sealing Moseley

I left the client with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance. The client was very happy with the results, thanked me for my hard work and commented that the floor looked better than the day it went down.

Slate Floor After Sealing Moseley

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Floor in Birmingham

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Salt Damaged Quarry Tiles Replaced and Restored in Droitwich-Spa Kitchen

I was contacted to inspect a quarry tiled floor in the kitchen of a property in Droitwich Spa which was in need of repair and also in need of a clean and seal. Having spoken to the customer previously, I was aware there were several damaged tiles that would need replacing so before visiting the property to survey the floor I sourced potential replacements from several manufacturers so I could find one that would be a good match to the originals.

Once that was done, I went over with the samples to inspect the floor and whilst I was there marked all the damaged tiles that would need lifting and replacing. The house was quite old and many of the tiles had been badly affected by salt damage at some point in the past. Given the age of the property it could have been from efflorescence or it is possible it was flood damage as the property was about 700m from the River Salwarpe which has a history of overflowing. In fact, Droitwich Spa is known for its salt deposits and became a Spa town when the salt industry started to dwindle towards the end of the 19th century.

I worked out a quote to repair the floor, then clean and seal it which was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to remove the damaged tiles from the floor using various tools to prise the tiles away from the substrate. I then used a self-leveller to level the screed. All the new tiles would need cutting so I used a Bridge Saw with a diamond blade and proceeded to cut all the tiles to shape. The replacement tiles were then fixed in place using flexible adhesive and left to dry and then grouted.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa

The following day I moved onto cleaning the tiles. Tile Doctor Remove and Go was used to tackle any previous sealers. leaving the product to dwell for the required time and then working it into the floor with a rotary scrubbing machine. I then used Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove old grout smears and combat any efflorescence the floor was encountering, before vacuuming the remaining slurry with a wet vacuum. Once I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be, I left the tiles to dry overnight so they could be sealed the following day.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Repair and Cleaning Droitwich Spa

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and began by using a moisture meter to ensure the floor was dry. All was well so I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, a semi-gloss breathable sealer that will allow moisture to rise through the tile unimpeded which was important considering its history. The floor required five coats of sealer to completely seal the floor and the customer was very pleased with the result as indicated in the feedback below:

“We are very happy with the work that Mark carried out for us. Mark was very professional and always responded quickly to any enquiries that we had. We have recommended Mark to our friends and family. Thank you. Lydia B, Droitwich Spa”

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Droitwich Spa

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in Worcestershire

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Dull Travertine Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned in Cobham

This client from Cobham had her kitchen and diner tiled with Travertine six years ago. With two children and three dogs living there, the sealer has gradually worn away leaving the stone exposed to dirt. The leafy village of Cobham lies in the borough of Elmbridge which is noted as being a one of the most desirable places to live in the UK. As a result, it attracts a lot of investment in property including expensive tiled floors.

I went over to survey the floor and discussed with the client how we could improve the floors appearance. The solution I proposed was to deep clean the tiles to extract all the dirt and remove what was left of the old sealer and then to re-seal the floor in order to protect it going forward. This process typically takes two days to complete; day one is spent cleaning the stone and grout, including the removal of the existing sealer and day two is spent sealing and polishing. The client was satisfied with the quotation and we arranged a time to come back and carry out the work.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor Before Cleaning Cobham

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Firstly, I asked the client to clear the floor and to help me put the dining table in the garden out of the way. Then using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a wire brush I cleaned the grout in the kitchen, diner and utility room. It was a large installation of Travertine, so this task took some time to complete. The floor was rinsed, and all the dirt produced was removed with a wet vacuum cleaner.

The next job was to remove what remained of the previous sealer and top layer of dirt. This was done with a rotating buffing machine with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The first one applied is a coarse 400-grit pad followed by 800 and 1500-grit, working through the pads in sequence. You might be familiar with the grit system from sandpaper, rough down to smooth. The process is lubricated with water and the slurry generated is rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.
I left the floor to dry off overnight, they can walk on it during this time, but they needed to be careful of any spillages. The dogs were also welcomed back in from the front room.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The second day started with and inspection of the Travertine tile and grout looking for any areas that need further attention. I was satisfied that the floor was looking its’ best and once the preparation was complete, I applied the first coat of sealer.

On this occasion I went with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is doesn’t change the look of the stone giving a completely natural look. This product soaks into the pores of the stone protecting if from within and should last between three and five years depending on the amount of wear it received and how the floor is cleaned and maintained.

Two coats of sealer were applied and after each coat dried, I polished the floor using a very fine 3000-grit diamond pad. The pad is run across the Travertine dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a process we call a ‘Spray Burnish’. I asked the client to keep off the travertine until it’s cured, usually for a couple of hours which is always a good excuse to go out for the evening!

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

The client was very happy the floor and they remarked it looked as good as when it was first laid. For aftercare I recommended using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is ideal for the regular cleaning of sealed natural stone floors, many supermarket products are simply too harsh and will reduce the life of the sealer.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in West Surrey

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Restoring Victorian Hallway Tiles in Doncaster

This beautiful Victorian tiled hallway was in desperate need of some TLC. The house had recently changed hands and the new owners of the house were having the entire property renovated. The last part of the renovation plan was to have the Victorian hallway tiles restoring back to their former glory. Floors are always best left until last, especially hallways as last as workmen don’t usually take a lot of care in my experience.

The house was built in the early 1900’s and was situated close to Doncaster town centre a couple of streets away in fact from the famous Doncaster Racecourse which dates to the late 1500’s.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Before Renovation Doncaster

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

There were a few areas of damage to the floor that would need dealing with first. This is not surprising given the age of the floor which must have seen a lot of comings and goings over the years. Our first task therefore was to repair the damage using replica tiles sourced to be as close a match to the originals as possible. We usually find any slight differences disappear once the floor has been deep cleaned and sealed. Once removing the damaged tile and cleaning the base we use a fast setting adhesive to fix the replacement tiles in place so we can get on with the cleaning as soon as possible.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Repair Doncaster

Once the replacement tiles had set, we unloaded our slow speed rotary floor machine and large wet vacuum which would be used during the cleaning. To start the cleaning the floor was sprayed with Tile Doctor Remove & Go and this was left to dwell on the tiles for twenty minutes. This gives time for the product to break down old floor coatings and grime, this was followed by scrubbing the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to the floor machine and assisted with the addition of more water to help lubricate the process. This process generates a lot of slurry as the dirt and old sealers etc are released from the tiles and this is extracted from the surface of the floor using the wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is applied to the tiles and left to dwell for fifteen minutes and scrubbed in again with the floor buffer and 200-grit diamond pad. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and then dried using the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture as possible. This last process is designed to counter any alkaline salts that may be present in the floor which may cause efflorescence to appear later. It also removes old mineral deposits and generally get the tiles looking much brighter. Once complete the floor was left to dry off naturally overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day to seal the tiles first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. Satisfied that the floor was ready for sealing I started to seal the tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer which is important for old floors like this. Seal and Go Extra also leaves a lovely satin finish which works well on Victorian tiles and brings the floor alive.

Victorian Hallway Tiles After Renovation Doncaster

This was the last step in this properties renovation, and I think you will agree that the floor responded really well to the restoration process and the colours in the tiles are now very vibrant.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

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Cream Porcelain Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned in a Twickenham Kitchen

The owner of this Porcelain tiled Kitchen floor in Twickenham was struggling to keep it clean and it was now in need of a deep clean. Twickenham famous for being the home of Rugby Union is only 9 miles away from my base in Shepperton, so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop over and survey the floor.

Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Twickenham Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Twickenham

The tiles were a little grubby, but it was the grout that was most affected; its hard to believe but the now black grout was originally cream in colour and chosen to match to tile. Having visited the client, we discussed what needed to be done to get the floor looking back up to scratch and looking clean again. We agreed a price for the work to be carried out the following week.

Although this wasn’t the case its worth knowing that some types of Porcelain tile on the market today are Micro-Porous and contain small holes in the tile. These tiles need to be sealed to prevent dirt becoming ingrained as this can be very difficult to remove with a mop. Incidentally on the topic of mops I have noticed clients tend to rinse their mop in the same bucket containing the detergent. This results in the detergent being contaminated with dirt and being put back on the floor. If you are going to use this method to clean your floor it is best to have two buckets, one containing your detergent and the second where you rinse your mop.

Deep Cleaning a Porcelain Tile and Grout

To get the tiles clean I used a heavy-duty rotary buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad and ran that over the floor along with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a versatile tile and grout cleaning product designed for this purpose, so it wasn’t long before the solution went dark as the dirt was released from the tile. The now soiled cleaning solution was then extracted from the tiles using a wet vacuum.

Porcelain Tiled Floor During Cleaning Twickenham

To get the grout lines really clean they had to be hand scrubbed using more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a hand-held scrubbing brush. The rotary pads struggle to get into the recesses of the grout lines, so this really is the best method and I find you get a better finish with this extra effort.

After sufficient scrubbing, we were satisfied that all of the soil was broken up, we then machine flushed and vacuumed the cleaning product and dirt away from the floor. As these tiles are factory sealed there is no need to apply a sealant.

One hour later, the floor was ready to be used again.

Porcelain Tiled Floor After Cleaning Twickenham Porcelain Tiled Floor After Cleaning Twickenham

 

Professional Cleaning of Porcelain Tile and Grout in South Middlesex

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Victorian Style Quarry Tiled Porch Sutton Courtenay

The photograph below is of a Large Quarry Tiled porch laid out with a classic Victorian pattern inlay at a house I worked on recently in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire. Sutton Courtenay is a pretty village of on the River Thames to the south of Abingdon and to the northwest of Didcot. Historically it was previously part of Berkshire, but it has been administered as part of Oxfordshire since 1974 when the boundaries changed.

The client was unhappy with the floor, it looked very tired, it had lost all its’ sheen and was covered in large areas of dirty white marks. I discussed with the client what Tile Doctor could do to improve the floor and showed them an example of the cleaning process I would use on part of the floor. They were very happy with the test patch and could see that we could vastly improve the look of the floor. We agreed a price for the work and scheduled in some time in the diary to complete the work for them.

Large Victorian Quarry Tiled Porch Before Cleaning Sutton Courtenay

Cleaning a Victorian Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

First, I cleaned the floor with a weak dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a highly concentrated, multi-purpose alkaline Tile cleaner, stripper and degreaser. It is a very effective cleaner that removes grease from areas that have been neglected or subjected to heavy use. I scrubbed the product into the floor with a rotary floor scrubber fitted with a soft brush, I then rinsed with cold water and vacuumed up the slurry produced with the wet vacuum.

I then gave the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel scrubbed in this time with a black pad, then rinsed with a small amount of water and vacuumed again. This process is designed to counter any alkaline salts known as efflorescence, that may be present in the tiles which is quite a common problem on old floors like this where no damp proof membrane exists under the floor. This action deal with the appearance of white salt staining as moisture rises through the tiles from the subfloor.

I then left the floor to dry which only took a few hours due to the location of the tiles and the usually warm and windy for the time of year.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning in the afternoon, I checked the floor was dry with my moisture meter and I was satisfied the floor was ready to be sealed. I chose to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing sealer which will protect the floor from staining from within by occupying the pores in the tile. Critically this sealer is also fully breathable thereby allowing moisture to pass through the tiles and not become trapped under the floor where it could spread to the walls leading to rising damp. I applied two coats initially and then after an hour, I applied a third coat. The floor was then buffed with a white pad to remove any excess and buff up the appearance of the tiles.

Large Victorian Quarry Tiled Porch After Cleaning Sutton Courtenay

The floor looked superb and the client was very happy with the finish, the vibrancy of the colours in the tiles which were enhanced by the sealer was now very intense and the floor looked as it should.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Quarry Tiled Hallway in Oxfordshire

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Reclaimed Yorkshire Flagstone Floor Renovation in Harrogate

This is a reclaimedYorkshire flagstone floor that was re-laid at a house in Harrogate some years prior with under floor heating. The Yorkshire stone was really nice and contained some varied natural colours including green from what must have been a copper deposit in the stone. This is the beauty of this type of stone, there is a huge variation in tone and colour. The client got in touch with Tile Doctor as the stone looking flat and featureless and had become difficult to keep clean.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor before renovation Harrogate

It was clear to me that the original sealer had all but worn off leaving the floor vulnerable to dirt, there were also some paint splashes from decorating that needed removing and some old tar spots that must have been there some time. The lovely property was in a quiet road near the centre of Harrogate which is a popular tourist spot close to the picturesque Yorkshire Dales.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor before renovation Harrogate

Cleaning a Yorkshire Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I gave the floor a thorough clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This process also softened the paint splashes and tar spots which I was able to carefully scrape off. The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor using water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Once the floor was clear it was then inspected, and stubborn areas re-treated using the same process until I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be and that any trace of old sealer had been removed. It’s important to ensure the floor is clear of old sealers before resealing as otherwise you end up with different layers of sealer on the floor. Also, if you don’t know what was applied previously you cannot guarantee that the new sealer will work with it, so it is best to start with a totally clean base.

Before leaving for the night I gave the floor a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product and then extracted as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum. Additionally, I asked the owner of the property to leave the underfloor heating on overnight to aid the drying process. We cannot seal the floor if it is not completely dry.

Sealing a Yorkshire Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The customer wanted a matt finish so when I came back the next day to seal the floor, I used two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. This is a natural look sealer that protects the stone from within but without altering its appearance, this works well if you’re looking to keep the floor appearance as light as possible. The deep cleaning and fresh sealer transformed the stone giving it a subtle contrast that brought out the unique colours in the stone including the green of the copper.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor after renovation Harrogate

The client was very satisfied with the overall finish of the floor, the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Flagstone had been restored and now they would be able to maintain the floor keeping it looking lovely for longer. I suggested they use the Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner for ongoing maintenance. This is a nice natural product specifically formulated for this type of floor.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor after renovation Harrogate

 

Professional Reclaimed Yorkshire Flagstone Floor Restoration in North Yorkshire

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Honed Limestone Floor Renovated in Ecton

I was contacted by the owner of a property in the picturesque village of Ecton who was concerned that her Limestone floor spanning the kitchen and open plan breakfast area was starting to lose its natural appeal and was finding it harder to clean and maintain.

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor Before Renovation Ecton

I went over to take a closer look at the floor and carry out a survey. In order determine the best cleaning method I conducted a test on a small area of the floor. This gives the clients confidence in my abilities and a good idea of what result we they can expect. The Limestone was honed smooth but was not polished and the customers were keen not to add too much of an unnatural shine to the floor. The grout lines in some of the more heavily used areas, such as by the sink, were also discoloured and would require a decent scrub with an appropriate cleaning product.

I spoke to the clients about options for the finish to be applied after cleaning and they decided that they wanted to keep the tiles as light as possible with a slight shine. With the clients impressed with the test area I prepared I went away and produced a detailed quote which was e mailed to them along with our general T&Cs and the work was booked in to be completed shortly after.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Ecton

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

The floor covered quite a large area, some 38m2, and had some larger items of furniture that needed to be moved before starting. The first task was to scrub the grout lines with a specialist grout brush, designed to work the product into the grout. Limestone is an acid-sensitive stone, so a strong alkaline cleaner was required. I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with warm water at a ratio of 3:1 which was left to dwell for around twenty minutes.

The area was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted before applying a series of diamond impregnated burnishing pads attached to a rotary scrubbing machine, ranging from a coarse 400 grit (200 in some of the more stubborn areas), a medium 800-grit and finishing with a fine 1500 grit to clean the stone. The whole area was then rinsed again and extracted using a wet pick up vacuum. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The following day a very fine 3000 grit diamond pad was used to ‘spray burnish’ the floor which uses very little water and ensures that any remaining residues are lifted as well as finishing the floor in the highest level of mechanical polishing possible prior to sealing.

If the clients desired a higher level of shine a powdered high shine sealer would have been worked into the tiles to achieve a highly reflective surface, however the mechanical polish was the highest level of shine wanted.

My client requested a completely natural finish so to seal the stone after cleaning I applied an impregnating sealer called Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Impregnating sealers soak into the pores of the tile protecting them from within and Ultra-Seal doesn’t alter the appearance of the floor and so maintained the natural appearance of the stone keeping it as light as possible.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Renovation Ecton

Aftercare instructions along with a bottle of suitable pH Neutral Tile Cleaner were supplied.
The customer was thrilled with the result and was surprised at the transformation of the floor, they even left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor website.

“Thank you so much Phil for a professional service resulting in my floor looking just as I wanted it too. You were attentive to all detail. I would strongly recommend Phil as a trustworthy, honest person to anyone who is considering work done. See you again in the Summer Phil to clean my patio. Natalie W, Northampton”

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor After Renovation Ecton

 

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

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Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Newport

I was contacted by a professional couple who were despairing over the state of their Victorian tiled hallway floor which was dull and uninviting. The property was in Newport which is on the south east side of Wales around twelve miles east of the bustling city of Cardiff.

I went over to visit the property which was a beautiful Victorian period terrace house nestled amongst other properties of a similar age properties. The couple wanted their Victorian hallway floor to be brought back to life, so I demonstrated the cleaning process I intended to use on a small part of the floor. Immediately it had the desired effect and the floor looked much cleaner. I could see that there were no structural issues with the floor and the test clean proved it was just ingrained dirt that was the problem. The clients were happy with the result of the demonstration and subsequent quote, so we arranged a suitable date to come back and complete the work.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Newport Gwent

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

When I arrived, I started by protecting the skirting boards with tape and then set about giving the Victorian tiles a deep clean. I applied a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go leaving it to dwell for a short time to allow the products to soak into the pores of the tiles and start breaking down the ingrained dirt. After about ten minutes I scrubbed the floor with black scrubbing pad attached to a rotary floor buffer which released the years of grime and dirt. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil removed using a wet vacuum. I repeated the process to ensure the floor was as clean as possible.

A further inspection of the Victorian tiles revealed a few stubborn marks which were dealt with using handheld diamond burnishing blocks. These are also handy for getting into the corners of the floor which were difficult to reach with the rotary machine. The floor was then left overnight to dry out.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The following day I returned, and I checked the floor was dry using a moisture meter to ensure it was dry. Once I was happy, I started to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a water-based sealer that works well on Victorian tiles. Several coats were applied building up layers to produce a stunning satin finish.

Once I had finished the floor was looking so much cleaner and brighter and the addition of the sealer will protect the floor from dirt and keep it looking good for some time to come. My clients were over the moon with the floor!

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing Newport Gwent

For aftercare I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which unlike the stronger products you find in supermarkets is ideal for cleaning sealed floors and will ensure the sealer stays in good condition.

 

Professional Renovation of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Monmouthshire

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Large Victorian Manor House Hall Floor Restored in Ulverston

Earlier this year we had the privilege to be involved in the restoration of a large Victorian tiled hall at Stone Cross Manor in Ulverston which is being sympathetically redeveloped into nineteen apartments by Persimmon Homes at a reported cost of £4 million. The magnificent Grade II-listed stately home was built in 1874 for Myles Kennedy who was a Limestone Quarry owner and chairman of an Ironworks.

The property continued to be occupied by the Kennedy family until 1943 when it was requisitioned by the military who then sold it to Lancashire County Council in 1946. The council used it as a boarding school for some decades and allegedly had the central oak staircase removed so the hall could be used to play indoor football. Since that time, it has had different owners and states of disrepair until finally being acquired by Persimmon who contacted us to quote for restoring the floor to its former glory. This would be no easy task and would require plenty of help. However, we are a resourceful bunch and being part of a large network of Tile Doctors means we were able to draft in other Tile Doctors to assist.

Stone Cross Manor Ulverston

Before we took the job on, I went over to survey the floor and was immediately taken aback by the sheer size and scale of the project. The impressive Victorian hall has now had its large wooden staircase rebuilt and this sits in the centre of a series of architectural stone columns.

The floor was in a sorry state though and it certainly had a story to tell. At some point in its long history sections of the beautiful Victorian tiles had been cut out for the installation of central heating and then back filled with cement. There were also other areas that had been given the same treatment for some inexplicable reason. I suspect that the floor must have been covered in carpet during its later life to hide the mess.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration

The biggest problem was the realisation that with so many tiles missing the only way we could get exact duplicates would be to have them made by a company such as Craven and Dunhill. They are specialist tile manufacturer who date back to 1872 and can reproduce old tiles using the same tones and colours to match the originals. This was a high spec job, so this was the right approach however the price for the moulds and the time needed to manufacture threatened to push the cost of renovating the floor off the scale.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration

We discussed this with the developer and manged to come to a compromise by reusing tiles from another room in the property. Many of the tiles in that room had been damaged and were beyond restoration however there were enough tiles in good condition to fulfil our requirements in the main hall. They would have to be carefully lifted and cleaned but the tiles matched the colour and tone, size and texture to the main hallway perfectly. When you look at the before and after pictures on this page you will really struggle to see any difference and this is rare on old floor like this, the only exception being the black tiles underneath the radiators where a matching tone wasn’t available.

Rebuilding a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

The first week was spent lifting and replacing broken tiles, it was a large floor area of about 120m2 which was set to be the main showpiece of the building, so it had to be right. As part of the floor prep it was also necessary to level parts of the floor with the application of a a self-levelling compound. We brought in Cardiff Tile Doctor Julian Iaconno to run this part of the job, he is an absolute master tiler and one of the best Victorian Tile installers in the country. At one point there was three of us working on the floor in order to keep to schedule.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration

Deep Cleaning a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

The second week was spent cleaning the floor various Diamond burnishing pads, moving though increasingly finer girts until we achieved the desired finish. We also used a lot of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and Pro-clean to remove the old grout and dirt from the recycled tiles. As is always the case on a building site you get a lot of tradesmen who like to have a look at what we have done and walk all over our nice clean tiles, thus leaving dusty footprints everywhere. I must give credit to the Site Foreman for keeping these guys out although best intentioned they weren’t helping with the cleaning process, so all doors were locked off and access was limited to the site foreman and Tile Doctor only.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration

Sealing a Large Victorian Tiled Floor</h2
The third week was reserved for Sealing the tiles however this dragged on due to issues with the heating which was basically non-existent at the time and not an ideal situation in January. Persimmon went out of the way to chase up the plumbers who had been running behind and got this sorted for us, without heat we would struggle to get the sealer to dry.

Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration

We applied a Matt finish sealer called Colour Grow, which copes very well with potential damp issues that can cause problems with old floors with no damp proof course, it’s also excellent at bringing out the colour of Tiles whether Clay or Stone. Four coats of Colour Grow were applied to the Victorian tiles and being such a large floor area, it took a few days to fully seal the floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration

We cannot praise Persimmon enough for the dedication they have shown in the restoration of this historic property which has had a chequered past and will now have a long future.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Lancashire

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Chequered Marble Tiled Porch Renovation in Oldham

Our client contacted us after they moved into a house built circa early 1900 with many Victorian era features. One of them was lovely tiled floor in their porch which consisted of a chequered pattern of Black and White Marble tiles. The white tiles were especially grubby and in need of a deep clean. Being a fan of period features they were keen to see if the tiles could be renovated back to their former glory.

The property was in Oldham, which is approximately 7 miles to the north east of Manchester near to Rochdale and well known for its history in the textile industry. We conducted a test on the tiles which worked well, and we were confident the whole floor could be significantly improved. The client was satisfied, we agreed a price and the job was booked in.

Marble Tiled Victorian Porch Before Restoration Oldham Marble Tiled Victorian Porch Before Restoration Oldham

Cleaning/Repairing a Marble Tiled Hallway Floor

Initially, to clean the floor we used Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was applied to the floor and left to soak into the tile and soften the dirt. This was followed up by scrubbing the product into the floor with a coarse black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The machine scrubbing really gets into the dirty areas and the grout lines. During the work we discovered that two of the tiles were loose, so they had to be removed, cleaned up and then re-secured using a flexible tile adhesive.

Being Tile Doctors, we are trained in all thing tile and so unlike regular cleaning businesses we are happy to carry out repairs along side the cleaning process. It also means we have a deeper understanding of the materials we are working with which enables us to complete the job to the highest standard.

Marble Tiled Victorian Porch During Restoration Oldham Marble Tiled Victorian Porch During Restoration Oldham

We left site for a short while and then returned to carry out the sealing process which would protect them from dirt and stains going forward. It was a relatively small area and so it wasn’t long before the tiles were dry, and the new adhesive had set.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating breathable sealer that will cope will with the damp environment and the elements that the floor would be subjected to in an external location. This product also enhances the black and white contrast in the tiles improving the overall look of the floor.

Marble Tiled Victorian Porch After Restoration Oldham

I think you will agree the pictures speak for themselves. It is lovely when you can get an old floor back to looking how it was when it was laid originally. The customer was astonished with the result and left the comment below.

Kamila from STOCKPORT was excellent. Did a wonderful job of refurbishing the Victorian tiles in our porch, was quick efficient and very accommodating to our timetables
Yvonne L, Oldham

Marble Tiled Victorian Porch After Restoration Oldham Marble Tiled Victorian Porch After Restoration Oldham

 

Professional Cleaning of a Marble Tiled Porch in Greater Manchester

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Careful Slate Floor Renovation in Oxted

This was a very large natural Slate floor installed throughout much of the ground floor at a property in the East Surrey town of Oxted. The owner was unhappy with the state of the tiles and especially the grout, however she wanted to ensure I would take maximum care around her Baby Grand Piano. If you have read any of my previous articles you will know I am careful and take time to protect anything that could be stained or damaged with a non-marking film. I therefore assured her I would take maximum care in her home and that it wouldn’t be a problem.

I surveyed the floor and could see that the previous sealer had long since failed and dirt had penetrated the pores of the stone. This made it difficult to clean the floor effectively and resulted in a continually dull appearance. The grout had also trapped the dirt and had gone black as a result. The cure would be to strip the tile and grout of what was left of the original sealer, deep clean and then reseal. Happy with my quote we set a date for the work to start.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted Before Cleaning Slate Tiled Floor Oxted Before Cleaning

Stripping and Cleaning Slate Floor Tiles

When I arrived on the appointed day, I discovered that the owner had gone to some lengths to pad the piano with bumble wrap mostly to prevent any airborne chemical or dust damage.

Working in sections I started applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor which is a powerful coatings remover that would strip what was left of the old sealer from the floor. The product is left on the Slate for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with black pad. The machine is run at slow speed to minimise splashing and then the slurry is rinsed off the tiles with water and a wet vacuum.

I inspected the floor at this point to ensure the process was having the right effect and it became evident that there was no integrity in the grouting which was crumbling. This was a major problem and it became clear that the only way to resolve it would be to remove and replace all the grout.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted Failing Grout

Re-grouting a Large Slate Tiled Floor

Over the next couple of days, I cut out all the existing grout with a special tool. They were large format slate tiles however with most of the ground floor needing to be re-grouted it took some time to complete. Once all the grout was removed, I set about applying fresh grout using a colour that highlighted the Slate tiles better.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted Replacing Grout

Sealing Tumbled Slate Kitchen Tiles

Once the grout had dried, I was able to start applying a new sealer to the Slate tiles. Slate responds well to Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within. It’s also a colour enhancing product that really brings out the best in natural stone such as Slate.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted After Renovation Slate Tiled Floor Oxted After Renovation

Two coats of Colour Grout were sufficient to seal the Slate tiles and I think you will agree the stone floor has come back to life and become a fine setting for the Baby Grand Piano.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted After Renovation Slate Tiled Floor Oxted After Renovation

Before leaving my very happy customer to the enjoy, I left her with customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, a neutral and highly reliable cleaner for natural stone floors such as Slate. This will assist her in maintaining the appearance and condition of the tiles going forward. Another satisfied customer!

 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of Tumbled Slate Tiles in East Surrey

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Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned in Goostrey

Pictured below is an old Quarry tiled floor in the Kitchen of a house in the small farming village of Goostrey. I went over to survey the floor at the request of the owner who felt it was overdue a deep clean and seal.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Goostrey

It was a classic floor that suited the kitchen and its Aga well however I’m sure it could tell a story. There were patches of white efflorescent salts in front of the Aga itself and another section of floor where the tiles were a slightly darker shade. I assume some replacements were made in this section at some point in the past. Efflorescence occurs when damp in the subfloor rises through the tiles depositing white alkaline salts on the surface of the tile as the moisture evaporates. This is quite a common problem in older properties where no damp proof membrane is present under the floor and more so where you have a warm Aga heating the space and encouraging evaporation.

As per usual the floor was survey noting all the points above and then I carried out a test clean on a small part of the floor. This helps me understand what products and process I need to follow in order to renovate the floor and thereby product an accurate quote for the work. This went well and the owner was happy for us to process so we agreed a date to start the work which would take two days.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

To clean the floor and strip off any remaining sealer I first created a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was sprayed onto the tiles and then left to soak in. Remove and go is a powerful stripper and cleaner that is safe to use on tile and stone. The product is designed to loosen paint stains, adhesives and many types of urethane and wax coatings so they can be easily removed.

After thirty minutes the solution was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a weighted rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at a slow speed. The resulting cleaning slurry was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process until I was confident the tiles were clean and free of old sealer.

The next step was to neutralise the alkaline salts in the floor which could later lead to efflorescence by treating it to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The gel was left to soak in for five minutes before washing it off using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Goostrey

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry out overnight and the next morning I returned to the property and took some readings from the floor with a damp meter. It’s important to check the floor is dry before sealing because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer that enhances colour and protects from within. I left the floor to dry for one hour and then followed up with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish. The new sealer transformed the tiles and gave the whole floor a uniform appearance

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Goostrey

The customer was very impressed with our work and asked if we can come back later to remove the white tiles in front of the Aga and replace with Quarry tiles to match the rest of the floor.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Goostrey

 

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in East Cheshire

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Terracotta Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned in Poole

The photographs below are of Terracotta tiled floor at a house in the coastal town of Poole, Dorset that had not been professionally clean in some time and having seen years of wear and tear from the active family who live there was not looking its best.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Poole

The Terracotta had previously been treated with Wax which had now pretty much been worn off and the grout had gone dark with the dirt. We often find wax being used traditionally as a coating on Terracotta however a lot of science has gone into developing sealers in the last twenty years that do a much better job so Wax is not something we could recommend these days.

After surveying the floor and running several tests I was happy what was left of the wax could be removed and provided the customer with a quote for stripping the floor and resealing. The quote was accepted, and we arranged a date to return and carry out the work.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Poole

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floor was covered in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and this was left to dwell on the floor to allow it to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt and breakdown the dirt and what was left of the wax. The solution was then worked into the tile and grout using a heavy 17″ rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then rinsed off using a high-pressure tool that also extracts the soil at the same time.

The grout was cleaned using more Pro-Clean and a stiff brush that was run along the grout lines. After rinsing and extracting again the floor was inspected to look for any outstanding issues. This highlighted several areas where Wax residue was still present on the tile which were spot treated using a new tile product called Tiled Doctor Wax Away which as its name suggests is designed for the purpose.

After another rinse and extraction, the floor was inspected again and this time happy with the floor it was left to dry off fully overnight with the assistance of an air mover.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

Returning the next day, the floor was checked first with a damp meter to ensure it was dry and ready for sealing. The moisture readings were all good, so I set about sealing the Terracotta using three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer that adds a robust and deep finish to the tiles. This can take some time to apply as you have to wait thirty minutes to allow the first coat to dry before applying the next.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Poole

I’m not sure the photographs do it justice, but the homeowners were “over the moon” with the difference in the floor and regretted leaving it so long before calling us in.

 

Terracotta Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Dorset

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Large Limestone Floor Polished to a Deep Lustre in Boxworth

I was asked to visit a house in Boxworth Cambridge to survey a large Limestone tiled kitchen, dining room, utility and hallway. The customer was not happy with the finish of the tiles and wanted it to have more lustre. Additionally, the floor had suffered some damage in the dining room where the floor had been scratched by table and chair legs.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Boxworth is a small village of around 100 houses, this property being one of the larger ones. The village lies around eight miles to the north west of Cambridge. I examined the floor and discussed with the client the process we would use. Although not looking their best, I could see that the Limestone tiles contained a variety of natural colour shades which with the right treatment could be made to really come to life. I presented a quote which they were happy to accept.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

My first job was the protect all the surrounding areas from splashing during the cleaning process. To do this I removed the kickboards from underneath some of the kitchen units, elsewhere was covered with a blue protective film.

To start the cleaning, I first applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and then worked it in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. I also scrubbed the grout by hand as the pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout line. After rinsing the floor with water, the soiled solution was then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

I followed up this process with the application of a set of Diamond burnishing pads starting with the coarse 400-grit pad, then medium 800-grit pad, fine 1500-grit pad and finishing with the extra fine 3000-grit pad. The pads are fitted to a rotary floor buffer and are run over each tile using water for lubrication. All the slurry produced by the cleaning pads is removed away using our truck mounted hot water extraction machine to cause minimum mess to the client.

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I would return the next day to finish the polishing process.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

On the following day, we checked the floor was completely dry and then using a white buffing pad ground Tile Doctor Shine Powder into the Limestone floor. The powder builds up a deep and durable polish on the tiles leaving a deep and resilient lustre.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

To further protect the stone and enhance the natural colours in the Limestone a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer were applied followed by a light buff with a red pad. The sealant is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and intensifying the natural colours in the stone.

When finished the floor looked great. We had managed to remove the scratches from the dining area and the floor now had the lustre that the client had been hoping for.

The client was extremely happy with the outcome and gave the following feedback:

“Quoted very quickly, carried out the work quickly and efficiently with no fuss.”

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Flooring in Cambridgeshire

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Floor Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration Bearwood

My client contacted me regarding their quarry tiled floor which hadn’t been in a good condition for some time. A recent flood in the house, caused by a ruptured pipe in an upstairs boiler had only added to the problem. As you can see from the before pictures, the floor was in a sorry state. On the plus side the flood had led to an insurance claim which would cover the cost of the restoration.

I visited the property and did a test clean on a section of Quarry tiles which came up well. The client was happy the result and agreed to go ahead, my quote was agreed, and the job booked in. The property was in Bearwood which is in the southern part of the Birmingham suburb of Smethwick.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The client also needed some Quarry tiles replacing due to them being broken and damaged. So before returning my first task was to source some replacement quarry tiles that would be a good match for the existing. Fortunately Quarry tiles are still popular and I was able to find a set of reclaimed tiles that would make good replacements.

I was able to get the replacements delivered in time for the job starting which was just as well as my first task would be to repair the floor. Fitting the replacements was tricky work as some of the tiles were up to two inches thick and came in various sizes and so had to be cut to size with a wet tile cutter. The tiles were a good match though and they were set in place. Later that day I was able to grout them in using a matching grout along with some other areas that needed re-grouting. By the end of the first day the floor was already looking much improved.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood

The next day the floor was cleaned with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution is left on the tiles to dwell for about ten minutes so it can start to soak into the deep-seated dirt and break it down. The tiles were then scrubbed with a black pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The grout was also cleaned at this point using more Pro-Clean and a hand-help scrubbing brush.

There was also a fireplace hearth that needed cleaned, this also had to be cleaned by hand as the machine was too large. The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant slurry extracted with a wet vacuum.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

The last part of the cleaning process was to give the tiles and acid-wash using a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This is an acidic product that can remove mineral staining and will also counter any alkaline salt deposits in the pores of the tile that could surface as the floor dries later. The floor was rinsed again and allowed to dry out for two days before I returned.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On the final day I first confirmed the Quarry tiles had dried out were ready for sealing. I then sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable sealer that would protect whilst allowing moisture in the floor to rise through the tile. This sealer will also enhance the strong natural colour of the quarry tiles. The tiles were quite porous so four coats of sealer were needed, then after drying the floor was buffed with a white pad.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

The work transformed the floor and my customer was over the moon with the end result.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

For after-care I left the customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a pH neutral product that is safe to use on sealed surfaces and won’t prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor in Birmingham

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Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor Renovation in Hartlebury

I was contacted by the new owner of a property in Hartlebury who needed help renovating a Quarry tiled floor in their dining room. The house was full of original period features however the Quarry tiles had experienced a lot of wear over the years and were now in need of a deep clean and seal. Hartlebury by the way is a lovely village close to the larger town of Kidderminster and famous for Hartlebury Castle which was built in the mid-13th century.

There were a few tiles which had experienced salt damage in the past and I explained that as a Tile Doctor I could change these tiles for her to give the best finish. The customer however, decided she would like to keep the original floor without changing the tiles and just concentrate on the clean and seal. I conducted a test clean on part of the floor to demonstrate the difference we could achieve and also work out the best products for the floor. The test went well and happy with the results my quote was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Hartlebury

I have mentioned this before but it’s worth pointing out again that damp proof membranes did not become common until the 1970’s. Properties built before then were subject to damp rising through the sub floor drawn up by evaporation at the floor surface. Alkaline salt deposits would also be brought up with the moisture and leave a white deposit on the surface of the tile. This process is commonly known as efflorescence and can cause damage to tiles which are coated with a non-breathable coating. In extreme circumstances where the whole floor is trapping moisture under the surface then it can spread outwards into the walls leading to rising damp.

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor

My first step was to concentrate on the edges of the floor using a wire brush and Tile Doctor Remove and Go on the difficult areas and paint marks. I then sprayed the rest of the floor with some more Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to dwell for ten minutes. Once the dirt had started to lift, I used my rotary scrubber with a black pad and worked the solution in. The soiled product was then rinsed off the floor with water and vacuumed away using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to remove the white efflorescence from the surface of the Quarry tiles and neutralise any alkaline salts within the tile. The best way to do this is to give the floor an acid wash. I use Tile Doctor Acid Gel for this purpose and being a Gel it’s very easy to control. Again, the product is worked into the floor using a rotary machine and black pad. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly and then vacuumed to remove all the soil and as much moisture as possible. After I had finished the floor looked much brighter.
Once I was happy the floor was clean and any trace of efflorescence removed, I finished for the day and left the floor to dry out fully overnight. I arranged to return the following day to seal the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor

The customer had requested a gloss finish however the inherent damp issues meant I would need to apply a fully breathable sealer that would allow moisture to rise thorough the Quarry tiles unimpeded. The solution was to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, this a semi-gloss topical sealer which is fully breathable. This sealant leaves a beautiful finish and allows the natural colour of the tiles to shine through.

After using my damp test meter and making sure the floor was fully dry, I started the sealing process. The Quarry tiles were treated to five coats and the customer was very pleased and left some great feedback which I’ve copied below.

Mark was very efficient and professional. Worked hard and did a good job. Very pleased with results. Sue R., Hartlebury

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hartlebury

Although we didn’t replace the damaged tiles, they were much improved and added character to the floor. Also, the new sealer will make them much easier for the customer to keep clean. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor looking pristine, unlike harsher products you find in supermarkets it won’t damage the sealer prematurely.

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hartlebury

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor in Worcestershire

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New Black Limestone Floor Issues Resolved in Godalming

A property developer contacted me looking for a solution to two problems with a Black Limestone floor he had installed in the kitchen of a house in Godalming. The first problem was the sealer used didn’t do anything to enhance the look of the Limestone tiles and the new owner was very unhappy with their appearance which was now light in colour as opposed to the black Limestone he was expecting. Secondly the kitchen fitter had dragged a wooden box with a rogue screw hanging from the bottom across the floor in several places leading to scratches.

Scratched Black Limestone Floor Before Godalming

With direct trains to London Waterloo taking 45 minutes Godalming is a very desirable place to live and a property hotspot. Fortunately for the developer I was able to advise that both problems were fixable. Firstly, I had to remover the existing sealer, tackle the scratches and then re-seal and polish. Keen to have the problem resolved I was instructed to go ahead with the work.

Scratched Black Limestone Floor Before Godalming

Removing Sealer and Scratches from Black Limestone tiles

The old sealer was not doing anything to enhance the look of the Black Limestone and simply applying a new sealer on-top of the old would not have improved the appearance, so it had to be stripped off first. To remove the old sealer, I attached a coarse 400-grit Diamond burnishing pad to a floor buffer and ran it over tiles with water for lubrication. The process generates a fine slurry so once the whole floor had been burnished in this way the slurry was rinsed off with more water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, using a small handheld burnishing block I very carefully removed the scratches that the kitchen fitter had caused. Like the burnishing pads these blocks come in different grades and are encrusted with industrial diamonds.

Once happy I was happy that the scratches were gone, I continued to burnish the floor using a medium 800-grit and then a fine 1500-grit pad. These pads are used to hone the stone and build-up its polished appearance. As with the 400-grit pad water is used to lubricate the process and the floor is rinsed and extracted after each pad.

Sealing Black Limestone Tiles

I left the floor to dry off and returned after the weekend to apply the sealer. This is essential for any stone floor as otherwise dirt will become trapped in its pores making it difficult to clean effectively. Sealers can also enhance the appearance of the stone and in this case, we wanted to really bring out its natural dark colour. With this in mind I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects from within and includes a colour enhancing agent that improves colour and, in this case, considerably intensified the black colour of the stone to achieve the effect the customer wanted.

Scratched Black Limestone Floor After Burnishing Godalming

Before leaving I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to add an extra lustre to the stone, by the time I had finished the floor looked amazing. Unfortunately, I never got to hear how the customer felt about the new appearance of their Black Limestone floor however the property developer was much relieved as he thought the whole floor might need to be replaced.

 

Professional Limestone Floor Renovation in West Surrey

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Black Limestone Floor Ruined by Descaling Solution in Stratford upon Avon

I really felt for this customer who was mortified after accidentally spilling limescale descaling solution on their beautiful Black Limestone floor in Stratford upon Avon. The problem started when attempting to descale a coffee making machine in the kitchen, unfortunately the bottle fell out of his hands and onto the Black Limestone floor, the subsequent attempt to mop it up spread the problem across the floor.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Restoration Stratford Upon Avon Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

Descaling solutions contain strong acids that dissolve the minerals in limescale so they can be easily removed. Limestone being of a similar structure is equally effected however in this case the product was removed quickly and didn’t have time to etch the stone. Unfortunately, the descaler did have time to upset the factory polish leaving a right mess and ruining the appearance of the stone.

I went over to survey the floor and reassured my customer the floor could be restored. There are several products and methods that can be applied to resurface and polish stone floors, so I knew the problem was repairable, it was just a question of finding the best solution for the customer.

Stripping Sealer from Black Limestone Flooring

I reasoned that the underlying stone was not etched by the acid, it was the wax-based factory finish that had been upset so the best course of action would be to strip back the entire floor to the bare stone and then reapply a new sealer that would provide a similar appearance.

To do this I started with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the whole floor. This product is a coatings remover that is specially designed for use on Tile and Stone, it was sprayed onto the floor and after ten minutes scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The resultant slurry was then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated until I was confident that the factory polish had been removed.

Next step was to strip the stone of the black dry added by the factory by giving it an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This was necessary to rebalance the appearance of the stone across the entire floor and would result in a consistent appearance one resealed. The Acid Gel was scrubbed into the Limestone, then rinsed off and extracted using the same procedure as before.

After a final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Black Limestone Floor Tiles

The next day I first checked the floor was dry using a damp meter, there were no excess moisture issues so I able to go ahead and seal the stone using a product that would bring back the colour and add protection against dirt and staining.

The best product for this was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing natural colour at the same time. The only disadvantage of this product is it leaves a matt finish whereas my customer wanted the shiny, easy to clean appearance of the original tile. To resolve I recommended we leave the floor to settle for a while and if no issues develop, I would add a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is compatible with Colour Grow and would give the desired finish.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

Due to various commitments on both our parts it was six weeks until I was able to return and top up the sealer with Seal and Go. It was worth waiting for and much to the relief of the owner his Black Limestone floor has been transformed to new again.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

 

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles Restored in Stratford upon Avon

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Renovating Varnished Terracotta Tiles in Teddington

This Terracotta tiled floor in Middlesex had not been cleaned and re-sealed in twenty years. Deciding it was overdue a renovation the client asked us to come over and have a look at the floor and see what we could do to restore it to its’ former self. The property was in the heart of the town of Teddington, which is set on the north bank of the River Thames, with some lovely up market shops, restaurants and cafes.

The floor was indeed in need of some attention, this type of floor does need a deep clean from time to time to keep it looking good and twenty years is far too long. The terracotta had previously had a varnish applied to protect it which is not something we recommend as its easily scratched. I discussed with the client the work required and we carried out a test to show them how effective the clean would be. Satisfied that we could get a good result, they were happy to go ahead with our quote and we booked in the work to be done a few weeks later.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Renovation Teddington

It’s not unusual for customers to want to get a quote over the phone however there are so many factors that can affect the price we always prefer out a site survey first. That way we can ensure we give the client the best advice an accurate idea of the costs involved.

Cleaning and Restoring a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

Using a combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Pro-Clean, we managed to break through the varnish and remove the soiling within the stone. This combination creates a powerful stripper/cleaner that can simultaneously remove coatings and deep clean. It’s best to leave the product to dwell on the tile and grout for ten minutes before scrubbing it with a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Renovation Teddington

A spinner machine was then used to flush the tiles through with warm water whilst simultaneously extracting all the soil and product residues. It’s important to fully rinse the floor clean as anything left on the tile can to upset a new sealer.

Once we were happy that all the residue had been removed and the floor was as clean as it could be, we left the floor to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the next day, the first task was to check the Terracotta tiles were dry with a moisture meter. I was satisfied with the reading and so was able go straight ahead with the sealing process. The best sealer I find for Terracotta is Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a very durable subtle sheen finish that make the floor much easier to clean going forward.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Renovation Teddington

As you can see from the pictures, the colours were greatly improved, and the lustre restored. The client was over the moon with the result, they couldn’t believe how dirty the floor had been, but they were happy they would now be able to keep it clean.

For aftercare I recommended they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a lovely fresh smelling product that has a its’ pH neutral formula that’s designed for cleaning sealed floors. It’s sold in concentrated form so you only a small amount each time you clean the floor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Renovation Teddington

 

Professional Restoration of Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Middlesex

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