Unpolished Limestone Hallway Deep Cleaned in Twickenham


These unpolished Limestone tiles were installed in the hallway of a property in Twickenham, Middlesex. The stone had not been cleaned or sealed for six years and being the main entrance to the house it was subject to a lot of foot traffic which had taken its toll on the stone over the years. As you can see from the photos, dirt was ingrained in the stone which happens when the protective sealer wears off with use. They had chosen to cover the floor with some rugs to improve the appearance and make the hall more inviting and as you can see especially where the rugs had been protecting the Limestone there was a visible difference in colour.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham

Twickenham is a suburb of London and of course most famous for being the home of Rugby Union in England and a short distance from by base in Shepperton so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop in and survey the floor.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham

I discussed with the client what could be done to clean the floor and demonstrated the products and technique I would use on a test patch. They were suitably impressed, and we agreed a price for the work and booked a time to complete the job. The job was scheduled for two days, one day to clean and the second to seal the floor.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

To start with, we pre-sprayed the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak in for ten minutes, this allows the product to break down any remaining sealant and greasy soils. Then we machine scrubbed the floor with our rotary cleaner fitted with a black scrubbing pad lubricated with another Tile Doctor product, Pro-Clean. This strong alkaline chemical breaks down the dirt and leaves it ready to be rinsed away.

The grout lines were also cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but not with a machine as the pad struggles to reach down into the grout lines, so it was scrubbed by hand to give the best result.

Following the clean, we low pressure rinsed the floor with water and vacuumed all the residue away, leaving the floor ready for sealing. The Limestone tiles and grout looked much better already after cleaning and it was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning to the property the next day our first action was to check the moisture levels in the floor with a damp meter. All was well so we to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within by occupying the pores in the stone, so dirt can’t become lodged there. The sealer will make the floor much easier to keep clean in future and as the name of the product suggests it also enhances the natural colours in the tile.

For the aftercare of unpolished Limestone, I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is designed for the cleaning of sealed Tile and Stone. If using a different product always read the label first as many cleaners are too strong for use on sealed surfaces and will strip off the sealer over time.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Twickenham

The client was very happy with the result and felt they could now keep on top of keeping it clean and looking fresh moving forward. They could now remove the rugs too! If you require a free quotation to clean and seal your stone floors do get in touch.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Twickenham

 

Professional Restoration of Limestone Floor Tiles in South Middlesex



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Raspberry Stained Flagstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Dursley


I recently helped a homeowner from my home town of Dursley who got in touch about her kitchen Flagstone floor. The problem revolved around an accident she had with raspberries which had stained the flagstones and the problem became compounded when a house hold clearing product was applied neat to clean up the mess. If you follow any of our Tile Doctor blogs, you will know that using strong household cleaning products can damage the sealer and, in this case, it had left white marks on the floor.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Dursley

I called round to the property to survey the floor as was surprised to find out that the floor had been cleaned and sealed only four months prior by another company. I don’t like to comment on other people’s work, but I found the grout lines and flagstones were still badly ingrained with dirt, so it wasn’t a through job.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Dursley Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Dursley

I completed by survey and demonstrated the process I would follow to resolve the issues on one of the flagstone tiles. She could not believe the difference I was able to make and booked me in straight away to restore the entire floor.

Cleaning a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

My first task was to protect the wooden kitchen units from splashing that can happen when cleaning the floor. Once that was done, I set about stripping the sealer from the floor and deep cleaning the tile and grout with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser which is safe to use on all types of tile, stone and grout including natural stone.

Working in sections across the Kitchen and adjacent dining room I diluted one part Pro-Clean to two parts water and mopped it onto the flagstones and grout where I left it to soak in for roughly fifteen minutes. Then using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad I scrubbed the solution into the floor into the old sealer and trapped dirt came away turning the cleaning fluid black in the process. The soil was then rinsed off with water and then extracted with a powerful 3,000 watt wet and dry vacuum. This process was repeated until I was satisfied the floor was clean and I ran a stiff grout brush along the grout lines to ensure they also received a good scrub. After I was satisfied the section was clean it was rinsed thoroughly with water to neutralise the floor and remove any trace of product and then dried with the wet and dry vacuum.

The cleaning process took up the whole day, but the flagstones would need to be dry before sealing so after giving the owner an update I left the floor for two days, so it could dry out thoroughly.

Sealing a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

On my return I tested the floor was dry in multiple places with a damp meter to ensure it was ready to be sealed. The readings showed that the wet and dry vacuum had done a good job in removing the moisture, so all was well. To seal I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go allowing each coat to dry before applying the next however with such a large area to cover I was able to work in sections around the floor.

Seal and Go works really well on Flagstones and leaves a very appealing sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Dursley Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Dursley

The results were amazing, and the customer thanked me for making such a massive improvement on her floor. Before leaving I made sure to discuss after-care and to avoid the use of hash cleaning products.

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Dursley

 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of Flagstone Floor in Gloucestershire



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Worn Sealer Replaced on a Slate Tiled Floor in York


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

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York Before Cleaning

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

Slate Tiled WC Floor York Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

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

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

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

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

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

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

Slate Tiled WC Floor York After Cleaning

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

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York After Cleaning

 

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



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1877 Victorian Tiled Church Floor Restored in Rishton


Earlier this year I was asked to restore a number of Victorian tiled floors at the St. Peter & St. Paul’s Parish Church in Rishton near Blackburn. The Church has a lot of carpet flooring and some had to be removed due to some other work that was going on and these tiles were discovered underneath. The Vicar believe the tiles are originals and date back to 1877.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Rishton Church

You can see from the photograph above that the tiles were discoloured with years upon years of ingrained dirt but what you can’t see is the adhesive that was used to secure the carpet to the tile. The whole floor and the Altar behind would need several deep cleans to remove the dirt and glue and being a busy church with an active congregation it would need to be done in a few days. In need of an extra pair of hands I gave Derbyshire Tile Doctor Henri Mall a call and he was more than happy to help me out.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Rishton Church Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Rishton Church

Deep Cleaning Old Victorian Church Tiles

To begin, I took moisture readings over all areas due to be worked on; Damp Proof Membranes were not invented until relatively recently, so it pays to know in advance how damp the floor is. Next, I gave the floor a quick clean in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, mainly to remove any surface dirt and grit. This was then followed by the application of a 200 grit burnishing pad to grind off surface dirt and excess glue so we access the pores of the tile. The resultant soil was then rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the tiles a good soak in a solution of NanoTech HBU remover (HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up) which was then scrubbed in using a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process worked well to release the ingrained dirt from the tile and took off a lot of the glue however it took quite a few iterations and the use of a portable steamer to really get the floor clean.

Victorian Floor During Cleaning Rishton Church Victorian Floor During Cleaning Rishton Church

There was a lot of tile to do so working in sections it took Henri and I two days to really get the floor clean. A lot of water was used in the process and although a lot of the moisture was extracted using a wet vacuum we felt it best to leave the floor to thoroughly dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing Old Victorian Church Tiles

The floor needed to be dry before sealing so on our return I checked the floor with the damp meter and compared it with my previous readings. All was so Henri and I started applying the first coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating and breathable sealer ideal for this situation. Colour Grow seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing the colours in the tile. Three coats were needed so it took most of the day to complete.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning Rishton Church Victorian Floor After Cleaning Rishton Church

While it was a lot of work we were very both pleased with the outcome, as was the Vicar who left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Many thanks to Tony Olmet, not only a very good job but he worked tirelessly, never stopped, to get it done. Nothing a problem, very helpful chap. Recommended.
Christopher Holden (vicar), Rishton 14 July 2017

Victorian Floor After Cleaning Rishton Church
 
 

140 Year Old Victorian Tiled Church Floors Restored in the Diocese of Blackburn



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Travertine Kitchen Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Lincoln


Travertine is a lovely beige and brown stone that looks fantastic when it’s first laid but needs work to maintain the appearance. This was exactly the problem my customer who lives near the historic Cathedral City of Lincoln had experienced. The sealer on their Travertine Kitchen floor was becoming worn in the more commonly used parts of the floor letting dirt become ingrained into the pores of the stone and the grout was also becoming darker where it was getting dirty. They also had pets that spent a lot of time in the Kitchen which didn’t help and there were also small holes in the Travertine that were trapping dirt and would need filling.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Lincoln

Cleaning and Burnishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

To deep clean the stone and grout I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, left it to soak in for ten minutes and then worked it into the floor using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. Pro-Clean is a strong reliable alkaline product which is safe to use on stone and grout including Travertine and Limestone.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Lincoln

I also ran a stiff grout brush along the edges of the floor and especially along the grout lines to get the grout as clean as possible; the scrubbing pad struggles to reach into the recesses of the grout so it’s best to do this by hand. The now dirty cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and rinsed with water to ensure the tile and grout was now clean and any stubborn stains spot treated.

Travertine Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Lincoln

After the deep clean we filled the holes as required using flexible filler which gives a really smooth look to the flooring. We then left our turbo dryer system on overnight to thoroughly dry out the floor before returning to seal the tiles on day two.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property and proceeded to seal the Travertine tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to protect the tiles and also really enhance the natural colours in the stone. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates into the stone and fills its pores to safeguard it against ingrained dirt and stains from within.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Lincoln

As you can see from the photographs, the combination of a deep clean, high quality polish and fresh seal really transformed the appearance of the floor from dull and lifeless to a really asset to the kitchen. The customer was so happy with the results she has booked us in to carry out the same work to other flooring in the property.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Lincoln
 
 

Professional Maintenance of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in Lincoln



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Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in York


As promised below are the photographs from the second floor I cleaned recently at a house in historic city of York. If you recall the first floor was Mexican Terracotta which proved pretty tough to clean as the rotary floor scrubber I use struggled to cope with the bull nose edges. You can find the article I created for that floor via the link below:

Mexican Terracotta Tiles Deep Cleaned in York.

The second floor was a Victorian tiled hallway which like its neighbour was dull, lifeless and now overdue a deep clean to remove ingrained dirt, part worn sealer and then reseal.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning York

Cleaning Victorian Tiles Tiles

As with the Terracotta tiles I cleaned the floor using a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water. This is a strong dilution ratio which will not only clean the tile but also strip off what was left of the original sealer. You need to do this as the sealer will wear off first in the most commonly used part of the floor first which in this case is down the middle of the hallway. I left the solution it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. I the scrubbed along the grout lines with more pro-clean and a stiff narrow brush by hand to ensure the grout was also clean.

The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I could then see those area’s that needed more work and re-treated them with more Pro-Clean until I was satisfied all the previous sealer was gone and the tile and grout was as clean as it could be.

The tiles were given a final rinse with water and the wet vacuum used again to extract as much moisture off the floor as possible. The next step would be to seal, however the Terracotta floor tiles needed a longer drying time so I left both floors to dry out for two days before returning.

Sealing Victorian Tiles Tiles

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provided a beautiful satin finish that really improved the look of Victorian Tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning York

The hallway tiles now looked clean and much brigher, needless to say my customer was very happy with the transformation.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Resealed in Yorkshire



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