Deep Cleaning Flagstone Flooring in Vines Cross


This customer who lived in the old Sussex village of Vines Cross near Horam, had a lovely Flagstone floor installed in the Kitchen some years earlier but because they wanted a completely natural look no sealer had been applied. With no protection in place dirt had become ingrained into the pores of the stone over time making it dull and difficult to clean effectively.

Flagstone floor before restoration Vines Cross

Their beautiful flagstone floor no longer looked as it should and the owner of the house was keen to have it deep cleaned and looking its best again. I was happy to do the work and before starting I made sure to discuss the topic of sealing and recommended one called Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t change the look of the stone yet protects it from dirt becoming ingrained.

Flagstone floor before restoration Vines Cross

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

With no sealer evident on the stone there was no need to use a coatings remover on the tiles, so after protecting the Kitchen units and skirting board with plastic tape I started with a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean tile and grout cleaner mixed with a small amount of another Tile Doctor product called NanoTech HBU. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and this product utilises nano-sized abrasive particles to assist in the cleaning process.

The solution was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black pad. With the cleaning solution on the floor I also took the time to run a stiff brush along the grout lines to make sure they were also scrubbed clean. After a while the cleaning solution became dirty with all the soil that was being released from the tile and was then extracted using a wet vacuum. The floor was then rinsed with water and stubborn areas re-treated using the same process until I was satisfied it was thoroughly clean.

Flagstone floor during restoration Vines Cross

After giving the floor a final rinse and drying it as much as possible with a wet vacuum it was left to dry off fully overnight.

Flagstone floor during restoration Vines Cross

Sealing a Flagstone Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter. All was well, and the flagstones were dry, so I was able to proceed with sealing the stone.

As I mentioned earlier my client liked the natural look but having experienced the problems of maintaining an un-sealed floor had agreed for me to seal it with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. I applied a single base coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal as agreed and then recommended that we add a coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go as well, just to brighten up the floor and add a slight sheen.

Flagstone floor after restoration Vines Cross

I knew from experience this would work well on Flagstones and my client was happy to trust me. As suspected the combination of the two sealers was a winner and my client was overjoyed with the resulting effect and more so that she can now maintain it satisfactorily.

Flagstone floor after restoration Vines Cross
 
 

Deep Cleaning a Flagstone Kitchen Floor in East Sussex



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Cleaning and Grout Colouring of a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Lewes


Recently, I was called to a work on a Porcelain tiled floor in the kitchen of a house in the East Sussex market town of Lewes where the grout was looking tired. Lewes has a long history that dates all the way back to the Saxons and has many old buildings as a result; this house of course with its modern kitchen and Porcelain tiles wasn’t one of them however the grout certainly looked old.

Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout floor

The floor was in good physical condition and Porcelain tiles being very robust as they are didn’t need much maintenance however the grout was very stained, and the house owner wanted it freshening up.

Porcelain Kitchen Tiles Before Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen Porcelain Kitchen Tiles Before Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen

My first course of action was to give the whole floor a good clean with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a black pad attached to a floor buffer machine. I paid particular attention to the grout and gave it a good scrub using a narrow brush that was run along the grout lines. The now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted with a wet vacuum, so I could see the improvement. I could then see the difference the cleaning process had made to the look of the Tile and Grout, but it was clear that some of the staining had gone deep into the grout and no amount of scrubbing would get it looking new again.

Recolouring the Grout

It was clear to me that the only course of action to get back a uniform appearance to the grout would be to recolour it so as an initial step I set about drying the grout.

Once dry I began to recolour the grout using a white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which was applied using a small brush. I was careful to apply thin, even coats and any excess was removed.

Porcelain Kitchen Tiles During Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen Porcelain Kitchen Tiles During Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen

The tiles were of the large format type, so it only took a few hours to colour the grout lines so the whole job took less than a day to complete.

Porcelain Kitchen Tiles After Grout Colouring in Lewes Kitchen

Once done I revealed the rejuvenated Kitchen floor to the client who was delighted with the results as it lifted the whole look of the kitchen.
 
 

Restoration of Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Sussex



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Restorative Cleaning of a Stone Fireplace in Brighton


I’m really pleased with the transformation I managed to achieve cleaning this Stone Fireplace at a lovely period house in Brighton. The client had been decorating the room which highlighted just how grubby the Stone Fireplace now looked and she desperately wanted to use it for the cold nights towards Christmas.

Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning Brighton

The run up to Christmas is generally a busy time for us as we usually find homeowners are really keen to have their tiles cleaned in time for the festivities. However these jobs tend to only take a day at most so I was confident I could squeeze it in quite quickly.

Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning Brighton Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning Brighton

Cleaning a Stone Fireplace

Before starting any job I make sure the surrounding furnishings are protected from splashes from the cleaning products we use. I tend to use a thin blue film for this as it sticks well to most surfaces and like professional decorators masking tape it doesn’t remove the paint when you remove it later.

Stone Fireplace During Cleaning Brighton

To clean the fireplace I used a diluted combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Acid Gel which was applied to the stone and left to soak in for few minutes before scrubbing it by hand and then carefully rinsing it off. Pro-Clean is a powerful cleaning product on it’s own but I needed something that would deal with the soot and Acid Gel is able to remove all sorts of deposits plus being a gel it sticks well to vertical surfaces.

I couldn’t really use any machinery on the Fireplace that would make the job easier so I had to use a lot of elbow grease instead. The intricate carvings in the stone took some time to get really clean and so in total the job took me about four hours. The Stone Fireplace was transformed by the time I had finished and I think you will agree it now looks fantastic.

Stone Fireplace After Cleaning Brighton

Brighton is a great place to go shopping especially around “The Lanes” behind the main promenade where they have lots of unusual gift shops and with Christmas looming I was able to spend what was left of the afternoon roaming around.
 
 

Large Stone Fireplace Cleaned and Sealed in East Sussex



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Original Victorian Tiles Restored to Top Condition in Brighton


The 19th century was a pivotal period for the Brighton and Hove area of East Sussex. Many of the major attractions were built during the Victorian era, including two of the major piers. Over time, Brighton became not just a very popular destination for day trippers, but also for home makers. Lots of Victorian-style houses were built, complete with Victorian-style tiled floors.

Modern homeowners are increasingly uncovering these original Victorian tiles after decades of being hidden under carpet overlay. Contrary to popular belief, it is very much possible to restore these tiles back to peak condition despite suffering from damage, dirt and staining.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hove

I recently a house in Brighton to prove just that. The customer’s Victorian tiled hallway floor had been covered by many carpets over the past few decades and so there were many thick glue deposits, along with a heavy build-up of dirt and staining.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hove

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

After protecting the woodwork with tape, I set about cleaning the Victorian tiles using a combination of products. One of these was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (HBU = Heavy Build-Up Remove), a powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the tile to lift out and dissolve ingrained dirt and stains. I mixed the NanoTech HBU together 50:50 with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a reliable alkaline-based cleaner. This cleaning mixture was applied to the hallway floor and then covered with a plastic sheet for a few hours before being scrubbed into the tiles thoroughly with a lot of elbow grease and a specialised scrubbing pad.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Hove

A lot of the glue deposits were stubborn and would not respond to the chemical cleaning, so I needed to carefully scrape these off by hand. Once the majority of the glue had been removed I applied a set of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads to remove the top layer to resurface the floor and bring back a lot of the definition in the tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Hove

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

After completing the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry completely. Giving the tiles enough time to dry is important, especially in older properties which won’t have a damp-proof membrane installed. Even a small amount of excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Once I was satisfied with the moisture level, I proceeded to seal the tiles using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that doesn’t leave a smell as it dries and as well as adding a layer of protection to the tiles give an appealing low-sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Hove

The client, being of French nationality, said she was “sur la lune” (over the moon) with the result! Look at the photos below to see the transformation – I must say I was quite pleased myself!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Hove
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for an Original Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Brighton



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