Travertine Floor Tiles Filled and Polished in Abthorpe Near Towcester


The following pictures show a polished Travertine kitchen and dining room floor at a house in the small village of Abthorpe near Towcester. The stone floor had lost its shine and had become dull and difficult to clean which was mainly due to the holes that had appeared in the surface of the Travertine where dirt had become ground in and trapped. This is a common problem with all Travertine stone, the holes are natural and usually filled at the factory but due to wear and tear over time and the use of acidic cleaning products the filler can become dislodged. The small holes gave the floor an unsightly appearance and become magnets to dirt.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

We find the best way to restore the shine is to apply a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads, they take off the layer of dirt and then slowly build a resilient polish on the surface; however, to get the best results we would need to fill the holes in the Travertine.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

I gave the floor a sweep to remove any loose dirt and grit and started with the application of the first pad which is a coarse 400-grit and designed to remove minor scratches, old sealers and ingrained dirt. The pads fit a 17” buffer machine and is applied with water to lubricate the process, then once the pad has been applied to each tile the floor is rinsed with water and the resultant slurry is extracted using a wet vacuum.

Before moving onto the second pad in the set I gave the grout lines a clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the grout using a stiff narrow brush. The pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout lines, so I usually find this is the best way to get the grout clean.

Polished Travertine Dining Room Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

The floor was given another rinse with water and then I continued to work through the medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pads rinsing with water and then extracting the slurry with a wet vacuum after each pad.

The Travertine was now clean and after drying with fans I commenced the task of filling the holes with stone filler that matched the natural colour of the stone as close as possible, in this case the colour we opted for to achieve the best match was Straw. These activities took up most of the day so once I was done filling I left for the day, so the filler and floor could dry out thoroughly overnight.

Polished Travertine Holes Filled Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

I returned the following day and started by completing the polishing process by applying the last 3000-grit very fine burnishing pad with the 17” rotary machine, the pad is applied dry with a small amount of water sprayed on the floor as you go along. With the floor now fully dry and the filled holes polished flat the last step was to apply the sealer which will protect the floor going forwards.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

With Travertine floors I usually recommend Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer or Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer. On this occasion the client preferred the natural look, so I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal and along with the previous polishing the floor now look transformed.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester
 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire



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Large Limestone Tiled Floor Stripped and Resealed in Weybridge


Weybridge is an affluent commuter town with good train connections into London Waterloo, as a result, there are some impressive houses here, many of which feature beautiful polished stone floors. This particular residence in Weybridge had a very large Limestone tiled floor installed in their Kitchen/Dinning Room, the floor had been cleaned and sealed about a year prior, so it was still in good condition however the customers ageing dog had a few accidents which had damaged the sealer.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Weybridge

Urine contains Uric Acid which being an acid can damage the sealer, this is why for daily cleaning we always recommend using pH neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Stone Soap if the floor is polished. Limestone and Travertine are especially vulnerable to acids due to their high levels of calcium carbonate and often results in pock marks or small holes forming in the stone.

Resealing a Polished Limestone Floor

Once we’d moved the furniture to another room I started with a deep grout clean. I ran a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines then left it to dwell for five minutes while I got the wet vacuum from the van. When ready I cleaned the grout by hand with a hard nylon brush and then extracted the soiled cleaning solution with the wet vacuum.

With the grout now clean and the soil removed I set up my rotary floor cleaning machine ready to burnish the stone tile and restore the finish with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

The first pad in the set to be applied is a coarse 400 grit pad that is designed to remove existing sealers and dirt and is run over the tiles with water for lubrication. During the following hours the process was repeated with the medium 800 grit and fine 1500 grit pads which gradually polish the stone and return the shine. The floor is rinsed between each pad to remove the soil which is generated from burnishing.

This process took up much of the day so after rinsing the floor after the 1500 grit pad and extracting the soil with the wet vacuum I left the customer strict instructions not to spill anything on the unsealed floor. The tiles need to be dry before re-applying the sealer and any remaining moisture from the rinsing should evaporate overnight.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Returning the next day, I tested the floor was dry the applied the first coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. Once I’d wiped away any excess I left it to dry for half an hour before applying a second coat.

Breaking for lunch allowed sufficient time for the sealer to dry and I was able to complete the floor with a final polish.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Weybridge
 
 

Stripping and Resealing a Polished Limestone Floor in West Surrey



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Renovating Reclaimed Slate Floor Tiles in Wreningham


When the old Rowntree Mackintosh sweet factory at Chapelfield in Norwich was closed down and eventually demolished, our client acquired a quantity of the beautiful green/black slate flooring tiles which had formed part of the reception area of the plant. They had laid these tiles edge to edge with no grouting in their large kitchen/dining room extension at their home in the village of Wreningham and the result was perhaps one of the most impressive examples of high-quality slate flooring we have ever seen in any location.

The Slate floor tiles had been protected against oil and fluid spillages with the application of a penetrating sealer after installation at the property but, over the ensuing years, there had been some inevitable degradation of the sealer and the entire area was now in need of a thorough deep-clean and reseal in order to remove the coating of general grime, bring out the strikingly deep colour and restore the stain resistance.

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

As there was no topical finish to remove, we proceeded to deep-clean the surface of the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro Clean at a less powerful mix ratio of 1-part water to 5-parts cleaner. This solution was applied to the tiles and left to soak in for ten minutes before being worked in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to our rotary machine.

The resulting muddy slurry was then power rinsed off the floor with water and then extracted with our Ninja machine which has a very powerful vacuum. The high pH product was so effective, no further cleaning was necessary.

The whole area was then dried thoroughly using two large industrial fans which dramatically reduced the drying time, enabling us to move onto sealing later that afternoon. We don’t normally recommend cleaning and sealing in the same day as the floor has to be dry before sealing however in this case we were able to progress through the cleaning process much quicker than anticipated.

Slate Tiled Floor in Wreningham During Sealing

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Before sealing the floor was spot tested in different places using a moisture meter. All was well, so a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to the Slate tiles. Colour Grow is a penetrating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from with and as its name suggests also intensified the natural black/green colours of the slate in the process.

Once the first coat was dried I followed up with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which further enriched the colour and provided a pleasing mid-sheen finish to the floor surface.

Slate Tiled Floor in Wreningham During Sealing

The whole process really put the life back in the stone floor and the tiles which were once dull now look vibrant and colourful.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Sealing an Old Slate Tiled Floor in Norfolk



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Restoring Neglected Victorian Hallway Tiles in Norwich


There are thousands of Victorian tiled hallways in and around Norwich and I often get called to work on them, however this was a particularly abused and neglected example I thought you might find interesting. The surface had clearly been both painted red at some point (possibly with an old lead-based paint) and then completely covered with rubber-backed underlay and carpeted, a thick layer of double-sided carpet tape remaining firmly stuck in patches around all the edges of the floor area.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Norwich

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Firstly, we cleaned the whole area using a strong solution (1:3) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline stripper and cleaner, agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. All products and slurry were then power rinsed and vacuumed away to reveal the improved floor.

There were still a significant number of glue patches and paint spots around the edges of the floor, so these were tackled using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which softened them enough to enable us to remove them with a sharp-bladed scraper.

Unfortunately, the decaying rubber underlay had left a pattern on the tile surface which was most obvious at the doorway into the terracotta tiled kitchen. We almost completely removed this using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being in gel form allows it work on the problem area longer. It was painted on a brush and kept moist for two hours under a layer of cling film which drew out virtually all the contaminant from the tile.

The next concern was that an original Victorian floor of this age would almost certainly have no damp proof membrane and an area near the front door which showed evidence of efflorescence salts was treated with Tile Doctor Acid Gel in order to remove the white deposits and further inhibit the production of more in the future.

The whole area was then lightly buffed using the rotary machine and a 1500 grit diamond pad with water in order to remove any remaining fine paint spots and restore a silky feel to the surface of the tiles before leaving the floor to dry overnight with assistance from our dehumidifier.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

When we returned the following morning, our damp meter showed us that the moisture content in the substrate was probably going to be too high to allow us to use an acrylic sealer to provide the sheen which the client had requested; so we decided to spray-buff the floor using a 3000 grit diamond pad on the rotary machine followed by the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing penetrating sealer which sits just below the surface of the tile and leaves no visible finish. Finally, the whole floor was spray buffed to a low sheen with a white maintenance pad on the rotary machine and any resulting dust vacuumed away.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Cleaning Norwich

The Victorian tiles now look fantastic and have become a great asset to the property as original features like these are very sought after.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Restoration of Old Victorian Tiles in Norfolk



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Restoring an 18th Century Norfolk Pamment Tiled Floor in Wymondham


The client’s requirement for this particular job was to clean and restore a very old and porous Pamment tiled floor in the dining room of an old house in the Norfolk Market town of Wymondham. My client impressed upon me the need to restore the floor without removing any of its considerable character and to provide a high degree of fluid and stain resistance which I was confident would not be an issue having worked on similar floors before.

Pamment Dining Room Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Wymondham

The floor originally dated from the late 18th century and had clearly suffered many years of abuse and neglect; there was evidence that at one time, the entire area had been covered by linoleum which appeared to have been stuck down with a type of hide glue, leaving large patches of the adhesive firmly stuck to the surface of the tiles.

Pamment tiles are very popular in Suffolk and Norfolk homes and I often come across them; they are made from clay and, like Terracotta, are porous and therefore need to be sealed to prevent ingrained dirt. Pamments are quite versatile however and can be used for internal floors and external surfaces like patios.

Cleaning a Pamment tiled floor

The first stage of the renovation was to apply a strong dilution (1:2) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the whole area which was scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The resulting slurry was power-rinsed and vacuumed away using our Ninja machine which makes light work of these tasks.

Tile Doctor Remove & Go was then applied to the remaining patches of paint and glue and allowed to remain in contact for thirty minutes before being scrubbed again with the black pad and rinsed with clean water. A few particularly stubborn glue patches were finally dispatched by steaming after the application of Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover. The cleaning being complete, the odd bits of missing pointing were replaced using a grey-coloured fast-cure compound and the whole area was left to dry thoroughly overnight with the assistance of our large capacity dehumidifier.

Sealing a Pamment tiled floor

Returning the following day, the floor was tested for moisture content using a damp meter to ensure that the chosen sealer’s performance wouldn’t be adversely affected by the presence of too much water in the substrate, particularly bearing in mind that there certainly wouldn’t be a damp proof membrane present in a floor of this age.

The dehumidifier has done its job and I was able to start the sealing process with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile so dirt cannot. Colour Grow is also a moisture-tolerant, breathable sealer that has the additional benefit of enhancing the colours within this kiln-fired tile without affecting the look and feel of the surface.

Our clients had said that they would prefer a slight shine to the flooring if possible, so a further three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go were then applied to the whole area which provided maximum fluid resistance with a mid-sheen finish which would make daily cleaning much easier and more effective.

Pamment Dining Room Floor Tiles After Cleaning Wymondham

The client was really pleased with the transformation and left the following comment.
“Almost unbelievable; the results are far beyond what we hoped might be possible with our badly neglected dining room floor. Many, many thanks.”
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Restoration of Old Pamment Tiles in Norfolk



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Polishing Dull Limestone Floor Tiles to a High Shine in Boxworth


Boxworth is a very small village situated to the north-west of Cambridge. In the Middle Ages, it had a significant population, but in the modern day there are only around 100 houses in the area including one belonging to my customer.

I was there to take a look at a large installation of Polished Limestone floor tiles which had been laid throughout the ground floor including the Kitchen, Dining, Utility room and hallway.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room Before Polishing Boxworth

Many people will already know that Limestone is a premium, yet somewhat sensitive natural stone. It’s also porous, meaning that dirt can easily become ingrained if the tiles are not sealed properly, or if the sealant has worn away. This leads eventually to a very unappealing, dirty, and dull appearance which often happens so slowly it hardly get’s noticed until one day you think, “I’m sure my floor looked better than that before!”.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility Before Polishing Boxworth

In this case the sealer had degraded over time and my customer had called me in because she was now no longer happy with the appearance of the tiles. The lustre the tiles once had eventually disappeared and there was also damage in some areas caused by the placement of table and chair legs. I was asked to restore a high-quality polished finish to the tiles.

Cleaning and Burnishing Limestone Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I took the necessary precaution of covering the walls and kitchen units to protect them from exposure to any cleaning products or mess.

To begin, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a high-performance stripping agent, to break down any old sealant remaining of the tiles. This product can also be used to clean the stone itself, as well as the grout lines.

After completing the initial cleaning process, I moved on to restoring the polish to the tiles. At Tile Doctor, we do this using a system we have developed called Burnishing. This system involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads – each possessing a different level of grit – to grind away the dirt from the stone, which is often stained or damaged. The process effectively resurfaces the stone leaving it looking new and fresh.

Firstly, I applied the Coarse 400 grit pad, fitted to a rotary machine, to grind away any excess muck and sealant lubricated with a little water. The resultant slurry was rinsed away and I followed up with the application of the Medium 800 grit pad to start the restoration of the polish again with a small amount of water, followed by the Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish.

Finally, I applied the Very Fine 3000 grit pad to achieve the most refined and highest quality polish possible. The process of burnishing is a gradual but highly effective means of achieving this kind of finish.

Any slurry that was created through this process was removed using my truck-mounted hot water cleaning and extraction machine, resulting in minimum mess.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

After burnishing the tiles and to achieve a really hard wearing and high polish I covered the floor in Tile Doctor Shine Powder crystals and buffed them into the Limestone tiles using a White buffing pad. Then to give the floor extra protection I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which impregnates the pores of the stone to prevent ingrained dirt.

Colour Grow also intensifies the natural colours in the Limestone, thus improving the appearance of the stone to an even greater extent. Following the application of Colour Grow, I gave the tiles a final light buffing with a soft red pad.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility After Polishing Boxworth

The customer was extremely happy with the outcome, remarking that the work was carried “quickly and efficiently with no fuss.” I took lots of photographs of the process, so you can really appreciate the difference that was made.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room After Polishing Boxworth

 
 

Professional Polishing of a Dull Limestone Tiled Floor in Cambridgeshire



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Centuries Old Limestone Flagstones Resurfaced and Restored in South Milton


South Milton is a small, but very old town of about 400 inhabitants in South Devon. The village has been there for at least 1,000 years and is known for the nearby National Trust beach area of South Milton Sands.

I recently visited the area to visited a customer who had discovered a Limestone tiled floor that had been hidden under carpet for around twenty years. The floor was several centuries old – as is the property itself – and it was suffering from a problem known as flaking or shaling, which is when the top layer of the stone starts to flake off.

The customer had already made the decision to remove the carpet and underlay because they wanted to reinstate some character and original features to their dining room! The floor was very dry and dusty and had the imprint of the underlay firmly embedded in some areas. As a result, the floor appeared cracked and damaged (see the photo below) and was in dire need of restoration.

A test was conducted using both chemicals and diamond-enhanced abrasive pads to ascertain the most appropriate restoration method; although the diamond pads are the only real option to address the shaling the chemicals could have also been used in the cleaning of the floor. The test showed that the diamond pads were the most effective solution for the floor and a quote was produced which as accepted.

Limestone Flagstone South Molton before cleaning

Milling a Damaged Limestone Tiled Floor

With the state the floor was in, I needed to use a process called milling, which involves using Very Coarse diamond encrusted pads fitted to a heavy rotary scrubbing machine to cut back the damaged layer of stone to unveil a fresh surface. The floor was suffering from mild lippage and undulation problems, and the milling would be able to resolve these problems too.

Lippage occurs when the surface of the floor becomes uneven and the tiles are not level with one another, and this can be quite hazardous. Undulation is when the floor gets a wave-like appearance.

After cutting the floor back with a 50 and 100 grit coarse milling pads to expose the new surface, I gradually smoothed the surface with finer pads up to 400 grit to close the pores in the stone.

The floor was then given a thorough rinse which ensured it was clear of all dirt and soil that had been generated, even the imprint from the underlay had been effectively removed.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

After cleaning the floor was left to dry for two days to ensure it would be fully dry before our return to seal the floor. To seal I used a colour-enhancing sealer called Colour Grow which impregnates into the pores of the stone, lifting the colours and protecting the stone from within. Colour Grow is suitable for use on a variety of natural stone, including Flagstones, Flamed Granite, Limestone, Marble, Quarry Tile, Sandstone, Slate, Travertine as well as Victorian tiles.

You can see the complete transformation of the Limestone tiled floor in the photo below.

Limestone Flagstone South Molton after cleaning

The difference made is quite remarkable! The customer had believed the tiles to be unsalvageable, and so she was over the moon with the outcome.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Damaged Limestone Flagstone Floor in Devon



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