Carpet Covered Victorian Hallway Tiles Restored in Kings Lynn

As is often the case in years past and for whatever reason many homeowners covered their decorative Victorian hallway tiles in a variety of products from carpet to laminate flooring. These days the trend has reversed and quite rightly many homeowners now realise the value a tiled floor can bring to a property and look to us to have it restored.

Our client had purchased a property in Norfolk seaport of Kings Lynn and, on lifting the dirty old carpet and decaying underlay in the hallway, discovered a beautiful tiled entrance hall. It was obvious that a previous owner had decided to lay carpet over the tiles as an easy way of hiding the result of careless renovation and decorating which had resulted in a thick coating of plaster, paint, carpet tape glue and various other contaminants which had become firmly stuck to the surface. There were also two small rectangular black and brown tiles missing behind the front door which had been damaged during the removal of some old lead pipes.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kings Lynn

This was clearly a job which would need somewhat more than a scrubbing brush and a bottle of Flash!

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Our first job was to remove as much of the solid contaminants as possible by hand with floor scrapers and a steamer which softened the more stubborn lumps. We then applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a powerful alkaline stripper to the whole area, left it to dwell on the surface for twenty minutes and then scrubbed it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The resulting slurry was then power rinsed and extracted away using our Ninja machine which is a high-power industrial vacuum. Any remaining patches where the carpet tape had been stuck down were spot treated using Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which made short work of the hardened glue.

The result was a clean floor, but the surface still felt slightly rough and pitted, a problem which we resolved using the rotary machine fitted with a 200-grit diamond burnishing pad followed by a 400-grit pad with a little 400 grit honing powder which left the surface smooth, silky and ready for the application of a sealer.

Finally, we acid washed the whole area using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, a slow release product which would neutralise any remaining chemicals, improve new sealer adhesion and inhibit the future production of any efflorescence salts. We had used a fair amount of water during the cleaning process, so we left the floor to dry off thoroughly overnight with assistance from our commercial dehumidifier.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

On our return the following day, we discussed the sealer options with the client and recommended using microporous Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It will provide an excellent fluid resistant seal whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone, additionally it’s fully breathable thereby enabling any moisture trapped under the floor to rise through the floor and evaporate. This is important on old floors like this where no damp-proof membrane was installed. The sealer was applied with a paint pad in tow coats and allowed to dry for an hour before buffing the floor with a hog’s hair pad to give a rich natural-look sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kings Lynn

The Victorian tiles responded well to the treatments which were completed in two consecutive days. My client was extremely pleased with the results and left the following comment:

“My floor was in poor condition after being buried under carpet as well as many, many years of paint and muck. I enjoyed the time they spent at my home and wouldn’t hesitate to use (or recommend) the Tile Doctor service in the future.”

 

Professional Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in Norfolk

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Large Format Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Renovated in Blackwood

A client of ours recently moved into a relatively new property in the town of Blackwood where the black slate floor looked dull and the grout was stained. Large format slate tiles were installed though the kitchen and adjacent dining and utility room and they were keen to see if the floor could be brought back to life.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Renovation in Blackwood

I went over to survey the floor and could see that the old sealer was failing and letting dirt into the pores of the stone which was especially notable in the busier parts of the floor which had seen the most foot traffic. The solution would be to strip the floor of the old sealer, clean up the grout and reseal. I conducted a number of test cleans to work out the best way to how best to strip off the old seal and get back down to the natural stone. However, as it turns out removing the old sealer was proving to be quite a job and I was concerned that this task alone could potentially take days.

Unhappy with the way things were going I consulted the Tile Doctor help line and we deduced that the sealer applied previously was most likely a heavy duty/industrial product. My client had only just moved into the property and didn’t know the history of the floor so couldn’t help pin point what was used before. The way forward was to strip the old sealer off the floor using abrasive pads.

Now I had an efficient strategy for renovating the floor I was able to provide the customer with an accurate quote which was accepted, and we agreed a date to return and complete the floor.

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I pre-wet the floor with water and using a weighted floor buffer ran a coarse 100-grit milling pad several times across each tile. This process strips the dirt and sealer off the stone slowly turning the water into a grey slurry. Once the whole floor had been treated in this way, I rinsed the slurry off the floor and extracted it using a wet vacuum. The next step was to repeat the process using a 200-grit burnishing pad which being finer closes the pores in the stone and refines the surface further.

The next step was to clean up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. You apply a strong dilution to the grout lines and then scrub it in with a stiff brush. Fortunately, the slate tiles were large format size so there was less grout to deal with than usual. Once that was done the tile and of course grout was rinsed again with more water and then dried again using the wet vacuum.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles During Renovation in Blackwood

I have to admit the stripped slate looked pretty awful at this stage in the restoration, but we were now back to the natural stone which was clean and free of all sealers. I left the floor to dry off fully overnight confident in the knowledge that with the application of a fresh sealer it would look a lot different.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before doing so, however, I needed to test the Slate for moisture as you shouldn’t apply a sealer to a damp floor. The results were fine, so I proceeded to apply the sealer which for this installation I used several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

I chose Seal and Go for this floor as it works well on Slate resulting in a deep durable satin finish that the customer wanted. Additionally, being a water-based product, it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles After Renovation in Blackwood

Within two days the floor was transformed, the grout looked much cleaner and the stone looked new. My client was very happy with the work and left the following message on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Professional, polite and courteous. Paul went beyond the call of duty to help rejuvenate our slate tiled kitchen and utility room floor. He explained each step of the job and provided advice on aftercare and future maintenance. The results are great and I would gladly recommend the services available.
Andy E, Blackwood

 

Renovation of a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Monmouthshire

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Acid Damaged Marble Kitchen Floor Restored in Winchester

Marble is a natural material which although hard wearing can easily be ruined by a strong chemical such as acid. In this case my client’s kitchen floor which was laid with black Marble square tiles was etched due to the accidental spill of a corrosive agent and the subsequent attempt to clean it up.

Acid Damaged Marble Floor Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Winchester

The property was in the historic city of Winchester and as you can image my client was horrified by the state of their Marble floor which was now ruined. Desperate for a solution that didn’t involve the expensive tiles being replaced we were asked to take a look.

After surveying the floor, I recommended resurfacing the stone with a set of diamond encrusted floor burnishing pads which would remove the etching and hone the stone back to its original appearance.

Happy to discover there was a solution to the problem we were given instructions to go ahead with the restoration.

Honing Acid Etched Marble Floor Tiles

Our first task was to remove the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units, this ensures they are not scratched during the cleaning process and it also allows our buffer machine to get right to the edge of the floor.

I then started the burnishing process by applying a 400-grit coarse burnishing pad lubricated with a little water to the floor. This coarse pad will remove the etching and dirt from the Marble. It does generate a fine slurry on the floor so after each pad it’s best to rinse the slurry away with water and then extract it off the floor using a wet vacuum.

Following this, I worked my way through the remaining burnishing pads repeating the process with 800-grit medium and 1500-grit fine grit burnishing pads. I also used some small hand-held burnishing blocks in the difficult to reach corners and edges.

The floor pads struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout lines so halfway through the burnishing process I stopped to apply a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines and give them a scrub with stiff hand brushes repeating the process in stubborn areas.

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

Sealing Black Marble Floor Tiles

The next day I finished the polishing process by applying the last of the four pads in the set which is a very fine 3000-grit pad which refines the polish even further. This last pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the floor using a technique we call a ‘Spray Burnish”. The one of the advantages of this method is it leaves the floor dry so is ready for sealing.

Now that the appearance of the Marble had been restored it was time to protect the stone against future dirt, stains and damage by applying a sealer. On this occasion I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that really improves the depth of the black Marble tiles and increases the contrast with the white veins in the stone. Two coats of Colour Grow were applied allowing time for each coat to dry in-between coats. Once the sealant had hardened, I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to further enhance the look of the Marble floor.

The Marble tile and grout was completely transformed much to the relief of the owner.

 

Marble Kitchen Floor Tiles Restored in Winchester

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Carpet Covered Victorian Hallway Tiles Restored in Glasgow West End

I thought you might be interested in these pictures of a tile restoration that we carried out in the hallway of a victorian property in the West End of Glasgow. Glasgow is actually the most populated city in Scotland and the third biggest by population in the whole of the UK so naturally a busy location for us.

The floor had been previously covered in carpet and as a result was stained with adhesive and paint splashes. We popped in to do a site visit, so we could survey the floor and see for ourselves the condition of the floor. Although not in great shape, I was happy that the overall floor was in good physical condition and could be restored with the help the products and methods.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Glasgow West End

I discussed with the client the process involved and the costs to put it right. They were happy to accept my quote and we booked the job in for later in the month. The job would take two days to complete, one day to clean and a further day to seal the floor.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Glasgow West End

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first job was to clear the floor of the wooden carpet gripper by carefully chipping it off the floor. This took a bit of time and we had to be careful not to damage the floor further.

Next, we started on deep cleaning the floor by applying Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. This is a strong alkaline based cleaner and degreaser in gel form, its great for when a long dwell time is required to break down dirt, grime, acrylic sealers, stains and oil-based products and waxes.

We left the Oxy-Gel to dwell for twenty to thirty minutes to ensure it got to work on breaking down the layers. It was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine with the slurry rinsed off the floor and extracted with a wet vacuum. This process was carried out a few times to get the floor as clean as possible could before we gave a final scrub and rinse with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to combat any efflorescence issues that can occur on these old floors that do not have a damp proof membrane.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day to seal the floor checking first that it had dried using a damp meter. Once I was satisfied, four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra were applied to the tiles to give the sheen finish asked for by the client. This process takes longer that you might think as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next and naturally this can vary depending on the conditions.

I chose Seal and Go Extra as these Victorian properties were built before the invention of damp-proof membranes so you need to use a fully breathable sealer that will allow dampness to rise through the tile and evaporate. Use of a non-breathable sealer can lead to damp becoming trapped under the floor which can spread into the walls leading to rising damp. The sealer will protect the tiles and make it much easier to clean going forward, additionally it enhances the appearance of the tile leaving a sheen finish which allows the vivid colours to shine through.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Sealing Glasgow West End

The client was very happy with the floor and quite amazed with the before and after shots, they had not expected the results to be as good. They would now be able to easily keep the floor clean and looking good for any visitors.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Cleaning Glasgow West End

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Glasgow

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Damaged Victorian Tiled Period Hallway Restored in Edinburgh

These are a few photos from a Victorian tiled hallway we restored in Edinburgh. The property is close to the beautiful city centre and is in a road with other Victorian properties. The floor was once stunning but was now overdue some love and care to restore it back to its’ former self.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

We went over to the property first to survey the floor and see for ourselves the extent of the work required before quoting for the restoration. The floor was incredibly dirty and there were a number of broken tiles that would need to be replaced or repaired. There are handful of companies where you can source matching tiles but with a floor of this age its not always possible. We discussed with the client the process we would follow to restore the floor which would take three days and agreed a price and date for the work. We also took away with us some of the broken tiles to assist in tracking down matching replacements.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We arrived on the first day and started by taping up the adjacent woodwork to protect it. The next step was to ensure the floor was completely sound before starting the cleaning process which meant dealing with the loose and broken tiles. The loose and broken tiles were removed and then replaced with new reproduction Victorian tiles that we had managed to source from Original Style. The tiles were cut to fit and then set into the floor with tile adhesive. Unfortunately, we were unable to source a replacement for a broken center pattern tile which had an intricate pattern, so we had to secure this back in place using the two broken pieces. With the tiling work completed there was nothing else we could do so we left to allow the adhesive to set.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

Returning the following day, we began the cleaning process using a set of coarse burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. 100, 200 and then a 400-grit burnishing pad was applied in sequence. Then after going over the floor a few times with the pads the floor was rinsed with water which was then extracted with a vet vacuum to remove the fine slurry that was generated. This process ground off the dirt and refined the surface of the tile ensuring the old and new tiles made a perfect match.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is scrubbed into the tiles and then rinsed off and extracted as before. This allowed us to get the tiles as clean as possible without the need of any alkaline cleaning products which can cause efflorescence issues later when the floor dries. Efflorescence is a common problem on floors of this age where a damp-proof membrane has not been fitted; moisture rises through the sub floor and tile carrying salts which then get deposited on the surface of the tile as the moisture evaporates. Once complete the floor was left to dry off overnight in readiness for sealing process the next day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the final third day we returned to seal the floor testing the moisture level first with a damp meter to ensure the floor was dry. The results were positive, and I was happy that it was within the correct tolerance for the sealer to be effective. To seal the floor, we used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, applying 5 coats and letting each coat dry before applying the next.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh After Restoration

The sealer gave enhanced the look of the floor leaving a hardwearing sheen surface which will protect the tiles will also make them easy to clean going forward. This sealer is also fully breathable which is perfect for a floor with no damp-proof membrane in that it won’t trap moisture under the tiles where is could eventually spread to the walls and lead to rising damp.

The client was very happy with the restored floor, the colours were now very vibrant, and the dull entrance hall had been transformed to an inviting space.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh After Restoration

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Edinburgh

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Travertine Tiled Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Edinburgh


This is a travertine floor had been laid in the Kitchen and Dining room of a house on the outskirts of Edinburgh. It had been some time since it had last been polished and the stone had become dull in appearance and some of the grout had become grubby with dirt. This is a common problem with Stone floors which will lose their appearance overtime with general usage and this is why we recommend an annual maintenance visit where in a few hours we re-polish the stone and top-up the sealer.

Travertine Floor Before Renovation Edinburgh

Having explained what was required to restore the floor a quote was provided to cover the work and materials which would take two days. The quote was agreed, and a date set to start the work.

Travertine Floor Before Renovation Edinburgh

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Floor Tiles

On the first day we gave the floor a thorough clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove what was left of the old sealer and surface dirt. Pro-Clean is a versatile tile and grout cleaner that is safe to use on natural stone. We use a floor buffer fitted with a black pad running at slow speed to work the solution into the Travertine. Once done the soiled solution is rinsed away with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. Having the right tools for this work really helps achieve a thorough and quicker result.

Once I was satisfied with cleaning, I set about using a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. Applied with water which lubricates the process this system closes the pores in the stone and restores the polished appearance. The system comprises four main pads of varying grit and I began by applying the coarse 400-grit pad, before moving on to medium 800-grit and then finishing with the fine 1500-grit pad. The floor has to be rinsed with more water between each pad to remove the soil that is generated, again a wet vacuum come in very handy for extracting the slurry.

The grout was also scrubbed by hand using more Pro-Clean and stiff brush as the pads can struggle to reach down into the recess of the grout lines.

Sealing a Travertine Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and then the next day work continued with the application of the fourth burnishing pad in the set which is a very fine 3000-grit pad. This pad is applied dry to the floor with a spray of water using a technique we call a ‘Spray Burnish’. This final pad brings up the polished appearance of the stone even further and has the added advantage of leaving the floor dry.

To seal the Travertine my choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which was applied in two separate coats. The sealer will protect the floor against wear and tear, while also enhancing the natural shades in the Travertine thanks to the sealer’s colour intensifying formula. Once the second coat was dry, I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to remove any excess sealer and to further buff up the appearance of the stone.

Travertine Floor After Renovation Edinburgh

The floor responded well to the treatment and the colours in the Travertine have really come alive. Before leaving I left the owner with a bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which they can use for the regular cleaning of the floor. This product is especially recommended for the maintenance cleaning of polished stone as its sealer safe and will help maintain the patina.

Travertine Floor After Renovation Edinburgh

 

Professional Travertine Floor Polishing Service in Midlothian



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Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Mapplewell, Barnsley


We were contacted by a family in the Barnsley area of South Yorkshire who were tearing their hair out trying to keep their Sandstone Tiled floor clean. The kitchen area was especially grubby and once the island had been removed during recent renovations, the dirty floor really stood out.

The house was located on the Northern tip of Barnsley in Mapplewell, close to the border of South and West Yorkshire, an area which is steeped in coal mining history. Even though all the coal mines have gone there’s still lots of evidence of its’ proud mining history in the area.

Sandstone Tiled Floor Before Renovation in Mapplewell

After inspecting the tiles, I could see their problem revolved around the fact that the Sandstone had a texture to it and the previous sealer used was an impregnating sealer, as a result the dirt had no problem sticking to the stone as you can see from the picture. At Tile Doctor we see Sandstone/flagstones used a lot as Kitchen flooring, it is a popular choice due to it being so hardwearing, however as with any natural stone it needs to be sealed to protect it and bring out its beauty and colour.

I demonstrated the cleaning process on a small part of the floor, which they were very satisfied with. The testing also enables me to understand what it would take to renovate the whole floor and provide them with an accurate price. They were happy with my proposal and keen for me to begin the work which would take two days to complete, one day to clean the floor and returning a further day to complete the sealing of the floor.

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On arrival at the agreed date I set about preparing the working area by removing the kickboards and protecting other surfaces that might come into contact with the cleaning products and equipment.

My process for cleaning the floor was to spray the floor first with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the stone for ten minutes so it could breakdown old sealers and dirt. The solution was then scrubbed into the stone using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a 400-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad. It didn’t take long for solution to turn grey with the soil that was released from the floor and the true beauty of the Sandstone started to appear. The dirty slurry was extracted with a wet vacuum and the floor given a thorough inspection. Stubborn stains were spot-treated using the same process and once I was satisfied the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and dirt. The floor was dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum and then assisted with fans left to dry off fully overnight. It was clear to me at this stage that the floor was already showing significant improvement.

Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Mapplewell

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I tested the stone for moisture using a damp meter to ensure it was dry before sealing. It confirmed that the floor had dried overnight and would be able to start applying the sealer.

It was already clear that an impregnating sealer was not the best choice for a textured stone so a topical sealer would be the best option, not only does it bring out the colours of the stone it also adds a barrier between the fine pores of the stone and dirt. Six coats of Tile Doctors Seal & Go were applied to ensure the stone was fully sealed, which took some time as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next. Seal and Go is a water based acrylic satin sealer which is perfect for this type of floor. It gives a nice natural finish but allows the natural colour and beauty of the floor to shine through.

Sandstone Tiled Floor During Sealing in Mapplewell

The sandstone now looks much lighter and cleaner, certainly my client was very happy with the transformation of the floor, especially where the island had been. In fact, we have agreed with the customer we will return every year to maintain the floor to keep it looking in perfect condition. In the meantime, they should be able to easily keep it clean using Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is designed for the regular cleaning for sealed floors like this.

Sandstone Tiled Floor After Renovation in Mapplewell

 

Professional Restoration of a Sandstone Tiled Floor in South Yorkshire



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Edwardian Tesserae Mosaic Floor Restoration in Nottingham City Centre


Late last year we were awarded a contract to Repair and Restore a Tesserae Mosaic floor at prestigious property in the Lace Market area of Nottingham City Centre. The property was once Watson Fothergill’s office who is a famous Victorian architect who ran his business from the site in 1897 until 1912 when he retired. He designed over 100 Victorian & Edwardian buildings from 1864 mainly in Nottinghamshire and some further afield. They were mainly in the Gothic Revival and Old English Vernacular Style.

Tessera Mosaic Floor Restoration Waton Fothergill Building Lace Market Nottingham City Tessera Mosaic Floor Before Repair Lace Market Nottingham City

Inside the property is an Edwardian Tessera Mosaic Clay Floor on three small landing levels in the entrance & stairwell. Through historic building movement, inherent moisture issues, and a lorry crashing into the property a couple of years ago. The floor had developed structural movement cracks. This had resulted in sections of the tiles being raised or lowered and others becoming cracked, damaged and loose. Previous repairs to stabilise the damage had been carried before, but this has mainly involved just filling cracks.

Tessera Mosaic Floor Before Repair Lace Market Nottingham City Tessera Mosaic Floor Before Repair Lace Market Nottingham City

Repairing Edwardian Tesserae Mosaic Flooring

Repairing the damage to the floor was long and painstaking work which took three days. We started by removing the makeshift repairs and meticulously rebuilt the damaged areas replacing the damaged loose tiles, and levelling the floor were possible until it was back to a uniform appearance.

Tessera Mosaic Floor Before Repair Lace Market Nottingham City Tessera Mosaic Floor After Repair Lace Market Nottingham City

Once the repairs were complete, we carried out a low-moisture restorative cleaning process which took a further two days. The process involves using Tile Doctor Remove & Go coating and contamination removal product which is first sprayed onto the floor and left to dwell for ten minutes. The floor is then scrubbed with a set of Tile Doctor abrasive burnishing pads which level off the raised tiles and hone them to remove years of ingrained soiling. The resulting slurry is removed by vacuuming and lightly damp wiping with microfibres cloths to ensure the use of moisture was kept to a minimum. We use a low moisture cleaning system to minimise the risk of efflorescent salts appearing on the floor as it dries out; old floors are prone to this problem as they were installed without a damp proof membrane which is a relatively modern invention.

Sealing an Edwardian Tesserae Mosaic Floor

The building is being converted into accommodation and heating had not yet been installed when we carried out the work in December 2018. As a result, it was necessary to force dry the floor with portable heaters and air movers.

Only when we were happy the floor was dry did we apply a sealer. For this situation I used four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the clay tile protecting it from within. This restored colour to the tiles and being a fully breathable product will allow the floor to breath and pass moisture vapour from the sub floor. Again, this is a very important consideration due to the lack of a damp proof membrane, if moisture was trapped below the tile then it would slowly spread out towards the walls resulting in rising damp.

Tessera Mosaic Floor After Restoration Lace Market Nottingham City Tessera Mosaic Floor After Restoration Lace Market Nottingham City

 

Historic Tesserae Mosaic Floor Restoration in Nottingham



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Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Entrance Hall in Headingley, Leeds


I recently re-visited a Victorian period property in the Leeds suburb of Headingley which had an unusually large tiled entrance hall which we believe to be as old as the property itself. I say re-visited as I actually gave this floor a deep clean and reseal around five years ago; it’s always nice to be asked to return to a job as it shows the customers was very happy with the work. However, with five years of wear and tear the sealer had worn down and the floor was now starting to trap dirt, also it had lost the attractive shine added by the sealer and the owner felt it was time to have it done again. Additionally, the owner had recently had the whole house decorated and wanted the floor to look its best and match the fresh appearance of the property.

Large Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Sealing Headingley

Sealers do wear off with use and so it is inevitable that the tiles will need to be cleaned and sealed again with time. Given it hadn’t had a professional clean and seal for five years the floor wasn’t looking too bad as you can see from the picture, it was just a bit dull in the high traffic areas such as along the centre. I’ve certainly seen a lot worse.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Initially I wasn’t 100% sure on which cleaning method l was going to use on this floor. Originally l thought about using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad to take off a couple of layers of sealer and then re-apply 2 more coats. However, the finish on the floor wasn’t even across the width of the hallway and l felt using that approach wouldn’t resolve that. Additionally, a lot of tiles were pitted and a burnishing pad would struggle to get into the holes. So instead I decided to completely strip the floor and re-seal it which would ensure a uniform finish across the floor.

I used a strong 50:50 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the tiles and scrubbed it in with a black floor pad which removed the old sealer and ingrained dirt. The large floor pads are not very effective in the corners and edges, so I used a 6-inch red buffing pad fitted to a hand buffer for those. The floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. After inspecting the floor some areas were retreated with a repeat of the same process.
After a final rinse and extraction of the soiled water the floor was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day after first checking the floor was dry with a damp meter it was sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a water based sealer that gives a lovely sheen and allows the colours to shine through as well as letting the floor breath, which is important in properties of this age that usually do not have a damp proof membrane.

I was very pleased with the finished result as the pictures show and glad that l had chosen to do a deep clean and not just apply more coats of sealer. The client was over the moon.

Large Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Sealing Headingley

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North Yorkshire



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Pitted Travertine Floor Tiles Renovated in Limpsfield Chart


Earlier this year I went to look at a Travertine tiled floor at a property in Limpsfield Chart next Oxted in East Surrey. The travertine had been laid throughout the Kitchen and adjacent dinner and my client was having trouble maintaining its appearance which had now become dull and unappealing. The Travertine tiles also suffered badly from pitting and dirt had become lodged in the pits of the stone making it difficult to clean. In addition, there was also some staining to the grout lines that needed removing.

Pitted Travertine Floor Before Grout Cleaning Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor Before Filling Pitted Stone Limpsfield Chart

I discussed with the client what we could do to restore the floor and we agreed a price for the work to be carried out which would take three days. I’m pleased to say they were happy for me to do the work whilst they were away on holiday

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen & Diner Floor

First, we removed the kitchen kickboards and applied protective tape to the skirting boards and around the fridge. Then a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was sprayed onto the tile and grout and left to soak in for fifteen minutes.

Pitted Travertine Floor Before Adding Protection Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor Before Filling and Polishing Limpsfield Chart

Remove and Go is designed to remove coatings from Tile and Stone such as sealers so after leaving it to dwell on the floor it was worked in using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a polypropylene brush. The grout lines were then scrubbed by hand paying particular attention to the stained areas. Once that was down the now dirty Remove and Go was rinsed and extracted from the floor using a spinner tool which uses a compressor to apply hot water at high pressure and extracts the slurry into a waste tank. This process was applied first to the kitchen and then to the adjacent dining area.

Pitted Travertine Floor During Cleaning Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor During Rinsing Extracting Limpsfield Chart

Filling Pitts in a Travertine Tiled Floor

As the floor dried, I spent the rest of the afternoon filling the pits in the Travertine tile with grout, almost every tile was affected so it took some time. The grout was then left to harden overnight.

Pitted Travertine Floor After Filling Before Polishing Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor After Filling Limpsfield Chart

Returning on day 2 a 400-Grit burnishing pad was applied dry to both areas to smooth off the grout that had been applied to the pits the previous day. Only a single pass of the pad was required to remove the excess grout which was then swept off the floor. The grout blended in perfectly with the Travertine which was a mixture of brown and white shades.

Polishing Travertine Floor Tiles

With the pitting issue resolved I set to work restoring the polished appearance of the tiles for which I used a set of diamond encrusted Tile Doctor burnishing pads. Before starting I
pre-wetted the floor with water which was sprayed onto the tiles and then applied the 400-grit pad run over the floor ensuring to pass over each tile four times to get an even result. The fine slurry generated was rinsed off with water and the process repeated with the 800, 1500 and 3000 grit pads, to further hone the stone and restore its polished appearance.

Pitted Travertine Floor During Polishing Limpsfield Chart

With two areas to work on the polishing process took up most of the second day.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Diner Floor

After inspecting the floor on day 3, I set about applying Tile Doctor Shine Powder to the whole floor. This is a crystallising powder that is applied to the floor and buffed in with a red pad. It adds a very high shine to the tiles and provides a tough durable finish.

Pitted Travertine Floor During Shine Powder Polishing Limpsfield Chart

The final result was quite a transformation and what better welcome home present for the client when they returned from their holiday.

Pitted Travertine Floor After Polishing Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor After Polishing Limpsfield Chart

 

Professional Renovation of a Travertine Tiled Floor in East Surrey



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Chequered Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restoration Oxford


You may recognise this Chequered Victorian tiled floor from other restorations that I’ve detailed on my website. This in fact is the third house I’ve worked on in the same small road in Oxford where hallway floors like these are a very common feature. In fact, I seem to get a lot of referrals from this area, which is always a pleasure, so I suspect word has got around the neighbourhood. The property sits close to the city centre, of course is famous for the University of Oxford, the oldest in the English-speaking world.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford Before Restoration

I visited the property to survey the floor and work out the best method and products to restore the Victorian tiles. The tiles were dotted in paint splashes from decorating and had previously been covered in carpet so there were gripper strips glued around the edges. All of which would need to be removed and then the floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and then finally it would need to be sealed to protect it going forward. After discussing the work in detail with the owner he was happy to accept my quote and we worked out a convenient date to do the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I carefully prised off the carpet gripper so not to damage the tile. Then I applied a 50:50 mixture of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to the tiles. This creates a strong cleaning/coatings remover that would soften the paint and glue making it easier to remove. I left this to dwell on the floor for about an hour so it could break down the pint and adhesive. I then fitted a coarse 100-grit diamond pad to a rotary floor buffer and scrubbed the floor vacuuming up the resulting residue as I went along. I then repeated the process using a 200-grit pad and repeated the process.

I then spray buffed the floor using water and a 400-Grit burnishing pad followed by a 800-grit pad, rinsing and extracting afterwards with water to remove the fine slurry this process generates.

Old floors like these were laid before the invention of the damp proof membrane which can result in moisture rising through the floor as it evaporates potentially leaving alkaline salt deposits on the surface. This process is known as Efflorescence and although I minimised the use of water during the cleaning process, I was concerned that this may still present a problem later. To neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor that could cause this problem my last action for the day was give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Once this was done and extracted from the floor, I followed up with a further clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which was applied with a microfibre cloth. I left the floor to dry off overnight so it could be sealed the next day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On day two I checked the moisture level in the floor to ensure it had dried overnight. The results were good, so I set about applying the sealer. For this floor I decided to go with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that as well as protecting the Victorian tiles form staining also enhances the black and white colours in the tile increasing the apparent contrast. This sealer is also fully breathable so any moisture will be able to evaporate up through the tile and not get trapped under the floor where it could eventually lead to rising damp in the walls.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford After Restoration

Before leaving I also discussed maintenance cleaning with the customer and left them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is safe to use on sealed floors and will help keep the tiles looking at their best. It’s supplied in concentrated form so it should last them some time before they run out. The customer was very happy with the end result, she suggested I would be hearing from more neighbours very soon!

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Oxfordshire



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Victorian Tiles Discovered Under Lino Renovated in Kettering


The customer called me after she had removed the lino in her hallway to discover a traditional Victorian tiled floor hidden underneath. Unfortunately, at some time in the past this floor hadn’t been protected whilst decoration was carried out and had been heavily stained with splashes of paint. Although the customer had tried her best to clean the paint off the floor, she had found it was impossible to remove. She was really keen to restore the floor back to its’ former glory and see the back of the nasty looking lino!

I visited the property in Kettering which is a lovely town in Northamptonshire, approx. 15 miles from Northampton itself. The area is now very popular with commuters with regular trains heading to London St Pancras taking just one hour. As the pictures she had sent me showed the floor needed professional cleaning as no amount of household products would be able to remove the problem areas. I discussed with the customer what we could do to get the floor restored and we agreed a price for the work, scheduling it in for a few weeks later.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

To clean the floor, it was first sprayed with a solution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was left to dwell for fifteen minutes to help soften the paint. We then used our heavy-duty scrubbing machine with the appropriate attachments to scrub the floor. A little warm water was added to the solution on the floor to help remove the paint as the scrubbing was underway. Once done a wet vacuum was used to remove the slurry generated by the scrubbing process.

This process was repeated several times in the most stubborn areas to ensure the floor was as clean as possible. This action removed around 90% of the paint which was a huge improvement, but more work was required before it would meet my standards.

To further improve the condition of the tiles my next course of action was to apply Tile Doctors 100 and 200-grit burnishing pads to the floor with water to help lubricate. After each pad the find slurry that was generated was extracted off the floor using the wet vacuum. This process reconditions the surface of the Victorian tile and removed the remainder of the paint, it also cleaned the remaining areas that needed further attention leaving the floor spotless. I left the floor to dry overnight and arranged to return the following morning to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The customer wanted the floor to look natural so requested a matt finish sealer, also being an old floor without a damp proof membrane I specified the sealer should be fully breathable so moisture can pass up from the sub floor and not become trapped under the tile where it could cause problems. With these factors in mind we agreed on Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which ticks all these boxes.

As you can see from the after pictures, the restorative cleaning process really did the trick. The colours in the floor were now nice and clear and the floor looked as it should.
The customer was over the moon with the outcome, she had not expected the finish achieved to be as good.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering

No matter how bad you think the floor is with the use of professional machinery and Tile Doctor products we can restore most floors to a high standard, which certainly in this case exceeded the customers’ expectations.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northamptonshire



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Flagstone Kitchen Floor Resurfaced in Broadbottom


The new owners of this lovely terraced house in the village of Broadbottom that was built circa 1900, inherited with it a lovely old flagstone floor in the Kitchen which was now in a rather bad state with ingrained dirt and stains.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Broadbottom

I suspected that the White staining was due to alkaline salts, a problem more commonly known as efflorescence. However, I took a moisture reading of the floor with a damp meter and the readings were normal, so it may have been a historic damp problem that cause it. We are always wary of efflorescence issues when it comes to older properties as damp proof membranes which resolve this problem are a relatively modern invention.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Broadbottom

After explaining the process, I worked out a quote which was accepted and booked a date in the diary for the work to commence, which would take place over two days.

Cleaning and Grouting a Flagstone Kitchen Floor

First the floor was in a terrible state and needed to be resurfaced if it was going to live up to its potential. To do this I used a 100 followed by a 200-grit coarse Diamond milling pads to grind off the top layer of ground in dirt, resurface the stone and reveal the beautiful stone beneath. These abrasive pads are run over the floor with a weighted floor buffer running on a nice slow speed and lubricated with water. The floor is rinsed with more water after each pad and then the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

As the floor had quite a few areas where the grout had cracked and crumbled, I decided to rake this out and replaced it with a flexible grout using a colour sympathetic to the original. This and the milling made an immediate improvement to the overall appearance of the floor. The floor was then left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to apply a sealer.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I checked the floors moisture level before sealing, all was well, so I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that has a matt finish. Tile Doctor Colour Grow is also fully breathable so should cope well with any damp issues and allow moisture to rise through the stone and evaporate. This is important as otherwise moisture could become trapped under the floor where it could eventually cause problems in the walls.

Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom

The customers were delighted with the outcome, the colour of the stone had really improved also Milling the surface of the floor makes it smoother so it would now be much easier for them to keep clean in future.

Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom

For aftercare I left them with a bottle of concentrated Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which once diluted is a pH neutral product that will not erode the newly applied sealer. Many household cleaners are too strong for sealed floor and will prematurely erode the sealer over time.

 

Professional Restoration of a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Greater Manchester



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Grout Colour Restoration on a Ceramic Kitchen Floor Ulverston


This client got in touch to see if we could clean the grout in her large kitchen floor which was tiled with Terracotta style Ceramic tiles. As per usual we visited the property first which was in the market town of Ulverston to survey the floor and get a better idea of what was required.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Grout Colouring Ulverston

Believe it or not the grout had originally been Sandstone in colour, but poor cleaning practices had reduced the colour back to grey as all floor grouts (apart from white) are basically a cement grey with a colour dye added. I suspect the customer had been using a strong bleach-based product to clean the floor with which as well as removing colour can also lead to dehydration resulting in cracking. It’s work knowing that even the “Green Cleaning Products” on the market generally contain at least 5% of “non-ionic surfactants” which can also impact grout with constant use.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Grout Colouring Ulverston Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Grout Colouring Ulverston

Our recommendation was to re-colour the grout using a durable Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which seals and rejuvenates existing grout and is available in ten popular colours. The client was happy that we could improve the appearance of the floor, we agreed a price and scheduled the work in which would take two days to complete.

Cleaning and Colouring Grout on a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor

It was a large 45m2 kitchen and so it took most of the first day just to clean the grout using Tile Doctor Grout Colourant Pre-Treater. This is an effective ready-to-use acidic cleaner which is designed to lightly etch and clean the grout joints so that you achieve a superior bond with the colourant. The product comes in a spray bottle so its just a question of spraying it onto the tile, leaving it for five minutes and then scrubbing it in with a brush. Afterwards you rinse it off with water and extract with a wet vacuum.

We worked our way across the large floor area in sections leaving an air blower in place over the completed section to accelerate the drying process. Once we managed to get a cleaned area dry, we started to apply the first coat of Grout Colourant. The colourant is relatively easy to apply with a small brush, you just need to ensure that any excess that gets on the tile is wiped off before it dries.

Once the second of coat of grout colourant had been applied and had dried the floor was inspected and touched up further where required. Before leaving we gave the floor a dry polish with our buffing machine just so it all looked spick and span before we handed the floor back to the customer. There was no need to seal the floor, Ceramic tiles won’t accept a sealer and the grout will now be protected by the colourant which acts like a barrier.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor After Grout Colouring Ulverston Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor After Grout Colouring Ulverston

The transformation to the floor was huge as you can see in the pictures. My customer was over the moon with the results and left the following feedback:

‘I can recommend the professional services of Russell and team, nothing was too much trouble and the job was completed on time with excellent results’
Karen. Ulverston

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor After Grout Colouring Ulverston

 

Professional Grout Restoration of a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor in Lancashire



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Red Sandstone Floor Pavers Restored in Keswick, Cumbria


We love working with Sandstone, it’s very satisfying as we usually get called in when it looks really horrible and grubby and after some work it ends up looking stunning. The floor in this property in the famous Lake District town of Keswick had been covered with carpet for many years, so when we uncovered it as you can see from the pictures, it was clearly in needed of major attention and a great candidate for restoration.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Before Renovation Keswick

When the floors this bad there’s no point trying to get a decent clean just by using chemicals alone, so we often offer a system we have perfected at Tile Doctor called “Milling”. We discussed the project in detail with the client and agreed a price and a time to complete the work.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Fireplace Hearth Before Renovation Keswick Red Sandstone Flagstones Before Renovation Keswick

Restoring the Appearance of Red Sandstone

Milling involves the application of several coarse grades of hard diamond pads to the stone using water to lubricate the process, the water also helps make the removal of the soil easier and reduces dust. On this occasion we used coarse 50, 100 and 200-grit milling pads applied in sequence with a weighted rotary floor machine, the floor is rinsed with water between each pad and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

We worked our way across the floor using this process. Not only does this give the stone the deepest clean it has ever had but it also cuts back the stone a few millimetres and takes off a lot of roughness leaving the finish a lot smoother, this makes the now Milled Stone a lot easier to maintain in the future as it has a much smoother texture and finish.

Loose grout is a common problem on these older floors, so the next step was to rake out any broken and loose grout between the slabs, clean-up and repoint to match the existing. Once that had set, we gave the floor another lighter clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean run along the recessed grout lines with a rush to clean them up. I was then satisfied the floor was a clean and it could be, the floor now needed to dry our before we applied the sealer.

Sealing a Red Sandstone Tiled Floor

We returned the following day and checked the floor was dry using the moisture meter, we don’t recommend applying a sealer to a damp floor as the sealer will not cure properly. All was well, so we then applied several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer, this is a fully breathable, impregnating sealer that will protect the stone from staining whilst enhancing the natural red colour in the Sandstone.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Fireplace Hearth After Renovation Keswick Red Sandstone Flagstones After Renovation Keswick

Using a breathable sealer on old stone floors like this is highly recommend as these floors rarely have a damp proof membrane installed and so it’s important to give moisture a way of rising through the floor naturally and evaporating rather than being trapped under the floor where it can eventually build up in the walls.

As you can imagine from the after pictures the customer was happy with the overall outcome and relieved that their decision to remove the carpet had worked out.

Red Sandstone Flagstones After Renovation Keswick

 

Professional Restoration of a Red Sandstone Paved Floor in North Cumbria



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Removing Carpet Adhesive from a Ceramic Tiled Floor in Measham


The pictures below are of a Ceramic tiled floor covered in carpet glue at a house in the old Leicestershire village of Measham. The owner of the property had contacted us for a solution after deciding to remove the carpet in the kitchen which had been down for around 15 years. Ideally, he wanted to have the ceramic tiles restored to new, but this would depend on how well the glaze on the tiles had stood the test of time.

Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination Before Cleaning Measham Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination Before Cleaning Measham

We called round to the property and could clearly see residue from the carpet adhesive used to secure the carpet had stained the tiles and contaminated the grouting.

Cleaning Adhesive Contaminated Ceramic Tiles

Before starting we removed the kitchen unit kickboards to protect them during cleaning. Next, we turned our attention to the floor and after fully removing the carpet could see that some of the adhesive had turned to powder, so our first step was to remove it by thoroughly vacuum the floor. We then reviewed the range of Tile Doctor cleaning products and problem solvers to determine which product would be the most effective at breaking down the residue. Our first thought was to use Remove & Go as it was developed as coatings remover and we have used it before to remove old worn sealers, paint as well as adhesive contamination.

A strong application would be needed to remove the glue to it was applied neat to the tile and grout. I left it to dwell for about 20 minutes, so it could get to work breaking down the adhesive contaminates. This was followed by mechanical agitation with a rotary floor machine fitted with a poly scrub brush. This quickly broke up the adhesive from the tile allowing it to be removed from the tile and grout with a wet vacuum.

Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination During Cleaning Measham

We then scrub cleaned the floor with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is a strong acidic product. It was diluted at 1:20 with water and scrubbed into the floor to ensure any remaining contaminants were removed and the pH of the floor lowered so that no sticky residues remained.

The process went well and as you can see form the photographs the Ceramic tiles had stood up well to the adhesive and now look as though they were only just installed. The last step was to rinse the floor with fresh water which was then extracted with the wet vacuum and the floor force dried with air movers. After reinstalling the kickboards, they floor was finished much to the delight of the owner.

Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination After Cleaning Measham Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination After Cleaning Measham

 

Professional Renovation of an Adhesive Stained Tiled floor in Leicestershire



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Pitted Limestone Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Warboys


The photographs below are from a Limestone tiled floor which had been installed throughout the kitchen, hall and downstairs WC of a property in the Cambridgeshire village of Warboys. The owner was fed up with the floor which was not cleaning up after multiple attempts, he surmised it was overdue a deep clean and re-seal and so got in touch with us to do the work.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning

We visited the property to survey the floor and could straight away that the owner was right to call us, the floor was definitely overdue a professional clean and he would not have been able to improve it without the right equipment. It was a large space and being the hallway and kitchen area, it was subject to a lot of foot traffic so was not looking its’ best. One of the biggest problems was the pitting in the Limestone which had trapped a lot of dirt which was difficult to shift. We discussed the options and the cost for the work which was agreeable to the client and arranged an appointment to return to carry out the renovation.

Deep Cleaning and restoring a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

Before starting I wrapped protective tape around the woodwork and removed the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units to protect them during the cleaning process.

Limestone and Travertine are notorious for pitting and on this floor the pits had trapped dirt making it look very unattractive. To deal with this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, allowed it to soak in and break-down the dirt and old coatings such as sealers for ten minutes and then scrubbed it in with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

To remove the slurry that was generated I used our hot water pressurised extraction system which is a great tool that operates from a large compressor situated in my van which was parked outside. It fires hot pressurised water onto the floor via a floor spinner tool and then extracts the dirty water back onto a tank in the van. The pressure allows the water to penetrate deep into the pits of the stone to maximise the dirt extracted. This machine was an expensive investment however it saves a lot of time and allows me to achieve some outstanding results.

This process was repeated across the floor using the 800-grit and then the 1500-grit diamond burnishing pads using only water to lubricate and the extraction system to extract the slurry afterwards.

There were number of areas to cover so it took most of the day to clean all the floors, by the end of the day however the floor looked much cleaner and brighter. I left the floor to dry out overnight and came back the next day to apply a sealer.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

The next day I inspected the floor and checked it was dry before applying the sealer. To seal the Limestone I applied multiple coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer which penetrates into the stone, protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours in the stone in the process. Any excess sealant was buffed off the surface with a cloth after ten to fifteen minutes.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing

The sealer really brought out beauty and colours in the natural stone and the floor was transformed in just two days. The owner of the house was happy with the results and left the following feedback on the tile doctor feedback system.

‘Tom did a superb job of cleaning my tiles to look like new. Very professional, methodical and proud of his work’
Brian A, Warboys

 

Professional Renovation of Pitted Limestone Floor Tiles in Cambridgeshire



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Altered and Restored in Hale Barns


We were contacted by an architect who was working on the redevelopment of a late Victorian property in Hale Barns, their client wanted to restore the property to its former glory and several internal changes meant reconfiguring the doorways on the ground floor. This in turn would impact the elegant Black and White Victorian tiled hallway floor and the request was for us to lift half the tiled floor and then replace it once the internal changes were complete.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hale Barns

Certainly, an interesting request and one we were happy to quote for. Hale Barns is an effluent part of Cheshire with a mixture of late Victorian and ultra-modern housing popular with footballers, so It’s refreshing to see a period property like this sympathetically restored instead of being demolished.

Lifting and Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first part of the works involved removing the section of flooring that would be disrupted by the internal changes. Normally we would carefully cut out one tile so we can get a purchase on the remainder from underneath; however the floor had some loose tiles so it simply a question of lifting these then putting a flat plate under the rest and popping them up. I make it sound simple but doing it without damaging a tile takes patience.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Tile Removal Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Removal Hale Barns

The lifted tiles were stored in buckets containing a 4:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water. The tiles were left so soak for a couple of days to soften the adhesives, grout and dirt before being cleaned off and left to dry out.

Once the building work was completed, we were called back into rebuilt the Victorian floor taking into account the new door thresholds. The first job was to level the floor with fast drying self-levelling compound to provide a new sub-base for the tiles. This was left to dry overnight and the next day we started laying the floor back down with fast setting tile adhesive. Once the floor was laid, we left for the day, so it could set overnight.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Hale Barns

Lifting and Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Next day we checked the tiles were set before starting to clean with a set of abrasive burnishing pads which attach to a slow speed weighted rotary floor machine. We started with a very coarse 100-grit pad and use water to help lubricate the process, the resulting soil is then rinsed off and removed with a wet vacuum. Using exactly the same process we continue to further refine the tiles by working our way through ever finer grades of pads until we get to 1500-grit. The floor was then washed with Tile Doctor Acid Gel and this is left to soak into the tile before being washed off with water. Giving the floor an acid wash in this fashion helps clean the tile of old mineral deposits and also neutralises any alkaline salts in the floor which could cause problems later on, this is a common issue with old floors more commonly known as efflorescence. The floor was dried using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible before being left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I finished off the restoration of the floor with the application of a very fine 3000-grit burnishing pad which gave the floor a light sheen. This final pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a method we call a ‘Spray Burnish’.

The floor was then checked for moisture with a damp meter to make sure it was dry before sealing. All was well and two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer were applied to protect the floor going forward. Colour Grow is a fully breathable impregnating sealer that will enhance the colour of the black tiles and being breathable will cope well with any moisture rising through the floor. Once the sealer had dried fully the floor was buffed with the 3000-grit pad leaving a sheen as requested by the client.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor After Cleaning Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor After Sealing Hale Barns

The result was quite a transformation that was well received by the architect and their client.

 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Hale Barns



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Stained Flagstone Floor Resurfaced and Sealed in Glasgow West End


These photographs are of a Flagstone floor tiled floor we stripped and sealed at a house in the West End of Glasgow. If you’re not familiar with Glasgow that well then, it’s worth knowing that the West End of Glasgow is the more favoured end and contains the best hotels and attractions, where as the East End is traditionally the industrial part.

Flagstone Floor Glasgow West End Before Restoration

The flagstone floor was very dirty and had numerous marks and staining. Interestingly we were not the first company to work on this floor, in fact before we got the call another company had already tried to carry out the work and made a mess of the floor followed by giving up and walking away from the job.

Flagstone Floor Glasgow West End Before Restoration

We clearly had our hands full however we have done this sort of work before and being part of the Tile Doctor network means we have the resources and experience of a large organisation behind us, so we were not overly concerned.

Cleaning a Flagstone Floor

Working in sections we stripped the floor using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50:50 with Remove and Go. This creates a powerful coatings stripper and tile cleaner that can safely shift coverings from tiles. The solution was left to dwell before going over the floor with a very coarse 100 and then 200-grit diamond milling pad which worked well with the cleaning products to restore the look of the flagstones. Naturally it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, the process needed to be repeated several times to get the previous sealer removed and the stone surface restored.

Once satisfied the Flagstone surface was restored, we then gave the floor a couple of cleans using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove any remaining soil and to get the grout lines clean. Then to neutralise the pH level of the floor prior to sealing it was rinsed with tile doctor neutral tile cleaner.

The floor was then left to dry out overnight assisted by a couple of turbo air movers and a heater that we left behind.

Sealing Flagstone Flooring

The next day we returned to seal the floor first checking the floor had dried. Fortunately, the equipment we left behind had done their job and so we could proceed with the application of the sealer. The sealer we chose for this installation was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the stone and allow for easy cleaning and maintenance for customer.

Flagstone Floor Glasgow West End After Restoration

One finished the floor looked much cleaner, the stains had gone, and the sealer added a nice subtle polished appearance to the flagstones. The owner of the property was very happy with transformation we had achieved and much relieved that the floor could be restored.

Flagstone Floor Glasgow West End After Restoration

 

Professional Renovation of a Flagstone Floor in Glasgow



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Victorian Tile Clean and Seal Evesham


It’s not just major restoration work we do at Tile Doctor, sometimes a simple clean and seal is all that is required and that was the case at this property in Evesham. This medieval market town lies within the Vale of Evesham and is encompassed by the River Avon. It is located between the larger towns of Worcester, Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Evesham

I was contacted by the owner and I arranged a visit to view their Victorian Hallway. The floor was in very good condition, but the previous sealer was now in-effective and the floor was dull and needed a good clean and seal. The colours were starting to fade, and it was due some attention. Sealers do wear off over time so if you have a similar floor to this it’s worth bearing that in mind. We discussed the work required and the cost involved, my quote was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On arrival I set up my equipment and covered any areas of carpet to protect from splashing during cleaning. I then used Tile Doctor Remove and Go spraying the product onto the floor allowing it to dwell for 10 minutes thus breaking down any sealers. This product is a non-flammable, multi-purpose stripper which works best when left to soak in for some time before scrubbing. This product is also great for drawing out ingrained stains and removing heavy grease build up.

The floor was then pasted with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which works to neutralise any alkaline salts in the tiles that can cause efflorescence later. This is a common issue with old floors which often do not have a damp proof membrane in place. I then went to work with my scrubbing machine and a black pad and worked the products into the tile. The resulting slurry was then rinsed off with water and removed with a wet vacuum.

I then went over the floor with microfibres and water to remove any remaining marks before leaving it to dry off overnight and ready for sealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning Evesham

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and started by checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. To seal the floor, I chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable semi- gloss sealer which made a huge difference to the floor. Choosing a fully breathable sealer is important for floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane as you want to encourage any dampness to rise through the tile and not get trapped underneath where it might spread into the walls.

The deep clean and new seal brought out the vibrant colours in the tiles which were now shining through enhances by the lovely sheen which customer was very pleased with.

For aftercare I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which being concentrated goes a long way. Once diluted with water the product becomes completely pH neutral which unlike most household cleaners and washing up liquids which contain bleaches won’t prematurely degrade the sealer with use.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Sealing Evesham

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire



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