Neglected Tumbled Travertine Floor Renovated in Saffron Walden


We recently visited a property in Saffron Walden, a pretty market town in Essex, where the owner asked us to look at her Tumbled Travertine kitchen floor. The floor had been laid and sealed around 10 years prior and the pits in the Travertine had become very dirty with trapped dirt, the floor now had a grubby neglected look about it. No matter how much they tried to clean with a multitude of household cleaners, the floor had become worse and worse which is not unusual as strong chemicals can strip off the sealer completely which protects the floor.

Tumbled Travertine Before Cleaning Saffron Walden Tumbled Travertine Before Cleaning Saffron Walden

It was clear that the original sealer was no longer doing its job and so I discussed the options for renovating the floor whilst carrying out a test clean. Sealers rarely last ten years, in my experience three years is about the maximum you can expect regardless of manufacturers claims. The test clean went well and we agreed a price and a timescale for the work and scheduled it for the following week.

Cleaning a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

It’s not a good idea to apply a different sealer on top of the original unless you know they are compatible, also you can end up with uneven layers so our first step was to strip off any remaining sealer and clean the floor. To do this we used Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is designed for the removal of coatings on tiles such as sealers, adhesives and paints. This product is also great for drawing out ingrained stains and removing heavy grease build-up. It can be used on both vertical and horizontal surfaces. We applied and let it soak into the pores of the Travertine for ten minutes before working it in.

To work the product into the stone and get deep into the pits a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine was run over the floor and lubricated with plenty of water. After than the floor was rinsed with water and the slurry extracted with a wet vacuum. With the floor clean the process was repeated with finer grades of pads from 800-grit through to 1500-grit. As before between pad the floor was rinsed thoroughly to remove any trace of slurry off the tiles and the slurry extracted with the wet vacuum; the more thorough the rinse the better the finish. By the end of day one the cleaning process was completed, stripped of any coatings and the floor looked much better and lighter in appearance which made the room seem bigger.

Sealing a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The Travertine tiles were left to dry off fully overnight and I started on the second day with a floor inspection to ensure the floor was ready for sealing. At that point I could see that there were a few small areas that needed further attention, so I spot treated them with Hand Burnishing Block. This was followed by spray-burnishing the floor with a very fine 3000-grit polishing pad which is applied using a little water sprayed on to the Travertine. This very fine pad left the floor with a natural looking sheen.

Once we completed this and were satisfied with the finish, all that remained was the sealing of the floor, this will protect it and prevent the dirt from impregnating the pores in the stone. Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied, leaving thirty minutes drying time between each coat. Colour Grow is an impregnating and colour enhancing sealer which leaves the floor resistant to staining and spills whilst improving the natural brown shades in the Travertine resulting in a lovely finish.

The client was very satisfied with the finish, the whole room had been lifted, looking much lighter and brighter.

Tumbled Travertine After Cleaning Saffron Walden Tumbled Travertine After Cleaning Saffron Walden

 

Professional Restoration of Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen in North Essex



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Red and Brown Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor Polishing Weybridge


If you have a Mable tiled floor which is not looking its best, then the transformation I achieved on this floor at a property in Weybridge will definitely be on interest. Having first spoken with the owner on the phone I went over to the house to take a better look at the floor and found that the deep red and brown Marble tiled kitchen floor was really dirty and totally lacking in colour or polish.

The floor hadn’t been professionally cleaned for some time and was now dirty and suffering from the actions of a puppy which likes to charge up and down. The Marble was also full of holes which the client explained had been getting larger. This is not usual for natural stone as it can be very sensitive to acidic cleaning products which if used constantly over time will start to dissolve the stone.

We discussed the remedies available, agreed a cost and arranged a mutually convenient time to carry the work out. I always like to do a site visit to survey the tiles and ideally run a test clean to determine the best methods for resolving the problems. This enabled me to give a more accurate quote and it also gives the customer confidence in my abilities.

Marble Tiled Floor Before Polishing Weybrige

Deep Cleaning Red and Brown Marble Kitchen Tiles

Firstly, I removed the existing sealer with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad which is applied with water. Although this initially appears to make the floor look worse, this is only temporary, sometimes you have to make it look a little worse before it can get better! Once this was done the floor was rinsed with water to remove the slurry generated and this was then extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum.

Then for the next couple of hours I worked my way from the back door to the front filling all holes with a special expanding resin, then smoothing off as I went to ensure the smoothest of finish could be achieved. Some of the holes were indeed quite large, so there was quite a lot of work to do.

Once the filler had dried I started the polishing process using the 800 and then 1500 grit burnishing pads, once again with more water to lubricate and rinsing the floor in between polishing and removing the slurry as before. This process took much of the day, so I left the floor to dry off and came back the next day to complete the polishing and seal the Marble.

Sealing Red and Brown Marble Kitchen Tiles

The next day I returned and completed the polishing process by applying the fourth burnishing pad which is an extra fine 3000 grit pad, you apply the pad dry with only a little amount of water sprayed onto the floor in process we call a spay burnish and this final pad really brings up the polish in the Marble.

Once the polishing had finished I left the floor for a little while to make sure it was nice and dry and then I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable protection by impregnating the pores in the stone with sealer, so dirt cannot become ingrained there. As you can see from the pictures the sealer dramatically enhanced the natural colours in the stone.

Once dry I backed my way out of the house with a final finishing polish using a white buffing pad to remove any excess sealant and bring up the sheen of the tiles even further. I left instructions with the client to keep off for a couple of hours while the sealer cured.

The client was over the moon with the end result, the floor was left shiny, protected and looking in a fabulous condition.

Marble Tiled Floor After Polishing Weybrige

 

Professional Restoration of a Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor in West Surrey



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Travertine Tiled Floor Diamond Honed in Welwyn Garden City


The Travertine tiled floor of this kitchen/family room in at a house in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire needed some care and attention. As one of the busiest rooms of this family house, this floor had been ingrained with dirt from frequent foot traffic and required some minor repairs.

Travertine is a natural stone material that has unique features and colouring that no other stone can offer. The distinctive natural designs and patterns found within Travertine make it very popular as a flooring material. Nowadays it is also often used as bathroom wall tiles and table tops. Travertine’s durability makes it ideal for residential installations however like all-natural stone it does need regular maintenance to keep it looking good.

Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Welwyn Garden City

After discussing the floor with the owner over the phone I arranged a visit in-order to get a better look at the stone and to work out the best method for cleaning it. After inspecting the Travertine tiles, I concluded that the best way to restore the floor would be to use a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to hone and refine the surface of the stone floor and recover the original polished appearance.

Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Tiled Floor

This is the process that we followed to bring back the natural lustre of the Travertine floor.
* The door thresholds, skirtings, doors, kitchen fronts and plinths were protected with tape and furniture was relocated to other rooms as required.
* A strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was mopped onto the floor and allowed to dwell for around 15 minutes. The cleaning solution was then worked into the tile and grout using a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. We used finer detail pads and brushes for the trickier bits around the edges and also the grout lines.
* The soiled cleaning solution was extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed thoroughly with water.
* Once the floor had dried we carried out infill repairs with Limestone coloured grouts and stone resin.

Honing the Travertine Tiles with Burnishing Pads

Following the initial clean we started with the five-stage diamond honing process using a set of Burnishing Pads. Lubricated with water this process uses a coarse pad to cut back through the tile to remove the etch marks and ingrained dirt, then by applying a series of finer grades of diamond pads it brings back a shinier finish. The pads are encrusted with industrial diamonds of different grades which are hard enough to polish the stone.

We also used hand-held burnishing blocks in the tight corners and along the edges to ensure the whole floor was treated. The floor is rinsed with water between each stage and the resultant slurry is removed with a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Family room Floor

We returned the following day. After ensuring the floor was clean and fully dry we moved on to the sealing process, the sealant ensures the floor has a nice durable finish and is protected from staining and ingrained dirt.

When it comes to sealing Travertine I usually recommend an impregnating product called Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhances the natural brown shades in the tile however the customer wanted the tiles to have a natural look to them so only one coats of Colour Grow was applied and this was followed by two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which gives the stone a natural finish.

Travertine Floor After Cleaning Welwyn Garden City

The completed floor now looks clean and fresh and a big improvement on how the stone and grout it looked when I first arrived. The family were very happy with the result and the new sealer will make the floor much more manageable going forward.

 

Restoring a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Family room Floor in Hertfordshire



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Large Terracotta Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Knutsford


We were asked if we could restore the appearance of a large Terracotta tiled floor in a kitchen/dinner that had not been cleaned for many years. The sealer had mostly worn off in the high traffic areas but was still fairly thick under the table.

Terracotta tiles are made from soft clay making it very porous and likely to absorb anything that lands on it; as a result, it’s important to maintain the sealer to stop this happening. Now with the sealer worn off completely in the busy parts of the floor anything that landed on the floor was very quickly absorbed into it.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knutsford

The house was in Knutsford on the East side of Cheshire which was named as Best Place to Live in the North West” by the Sunday Times in 2017; being close to the Peak District and within easy reach of Liverpool and Manchester its easy to see why.

Deep Cleaning a Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first task would be to completely remove the old sealer so the whole floor could be given a deep clean before resealing. It’s not a good idea to add a new sealer on top of another especially if you don’t know what was used before, it can also lead to a build of sealers on the tile which will darken their appearance.

To do this I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a powerful stripping and cleaning solution that’s designed to removes old coatings on tiles and draw out ingrained staining. After twenty to thirty minutes the solution was worked into the tiles using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary buffer machine. I also used a wire hand brush along the grout lines to make sure they were cleaned as the scrubbing pad can fail to reach into the recess. It wasn’t long before the old sealer and dirt was released from the Terracotta which was then washed off the floor using water and a wet vacuum.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Knutsford

I inspected the floor at this stage and retreated any stubborn areas using the same process. I did have a few problems removing some greasy marks however I managed to get rid of these by applying Tile Doctor Wax Away worked in by hand with a scrubbing brush. Once I was happy that the floor was clean and free of old sealers it was given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product, dried with the wet vacuum and left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

On my return the next morning I took a few damp readings to check the floor was dry before starting with the next step of sealing the tiles. All was well so began to add the first of multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer that works really well on Terracotta and leaves a nice subtle sheen to the tile. Being was based it has the added advantage of not leaving a solvent smell as it dries.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford

The Terracotta took some time to seal completely, in fact ten coats of sealer were required to fully seal the tile. You can always tell when a tile is sealed by adding a small drop of water to the surface, if it forms into a bubble then its’ fully sealed.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford

I’m not sure you can appreciate the difference from my photographs but hopefully you can see that Terracotta tiles now look much fresher and the grout cleaner and lighter in colour.
 
 

Renovating a Large Terracotta Tiled Floor in Cheshire



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Honed Limestone Kitchen Floor Restoration – Upper Boddington, Daventry


The following photos show a recent job we undertook at a timber framed house in the village of Upper Boddington, just south of Daventry. The client was having a new kitchen installed but didn’t want to replace the floor as it was generally in good condition, just dull with some staining and general wear and tear.

As the photos show the kitchen units had already been removed and as the tiles were wall to wall this was an ideal time to have this work carried out as the kitchen was being reconfigured and the customer wanted the floor to look uniform throughout, we also included the hallway in the cleaning process.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

Burnishing and Cleaning Polished Limestone Tiles

With tiles made of Limestone, Travertine, Marble and other high quality polished stone, we find that the best way to restore appearance is through a process known as burnishing and in the before photo you will see the specialised grinding and polishing equipment we use to achieve brilliant results and a professional finish.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

As the tiles were worn and stained in the high traffic areas we applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which had been diluted and decanted into a pump-up sprayer. After leaving it to soak in for ten minutes it was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a rotary floor machine and a stiff brush. This was followed by washing and rinsing of floors with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to apply a full set of Tile Doctor Stone Burnishing pads from 200 grit, 400 grit, 800 grit and finishing with 1500 grit for a honed look. We worked through the pads in 10 metre sections at a time lubricating with water and rinsing with water between each pad.

The kitchen and hallway floors were then allowed to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing Polished Limestone Tiles

The next day I returned to the property and completed the polishing process by applying the very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad with a little water and leaves a high shine finish.

The floor was then sealed with three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, natural look, impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection without altering the colour of the stone. The sealer takes an hour to dry and with three coats to apply it took most of the day to finish.

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington

The customer was happy with the results and left the following 5-star review on our site.

“Superb Service Chris P, Daventry”

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington
 
 

Professional Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing of a Honed Limestone Floor in Northamptonshire



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Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Refreshed in Buckingham Farm Cottage


I was recently contacted about the restoration of a fantastic example of a Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen of a farm cottage just south of Buckingham.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

There was a very noticeable build-up of dirt on the tiles and in the grout lines. Additionally, there were lots of white spots on the tiles in front of sink area because of a caustic soda spillage. Caustic soda is also known as sodium hydroxide, as is commonly used as a drain unblocking agent. It’s a highly alkaline product and isn’t very friendly to Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The grout was also stained and naturally, the homeowner was keen to get her floor back into the best shape possible – and I was on hand to see what could be done.

Terracotta is a very attractive and useful material that has been in use for over two millennia throughout the world. It has been used perhaps most famously for sculptures and other forms of art, although it has since the days of the Ancient Romans been used as a building material – including in the form of floor tiles. It’s still a popular choice for tiles amongst homeowners today, since Terracotta tiles are typically thicker, and the red colour adds a warm country feel to the home.

Cleaning Stained and Dirty Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I first removed the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units to protect them from splashes from the cleaning products I would be using.

Once this had been done, I got straight into deep cleaning the tile and grout lines using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. To get the best result I left the solution to soak into the pores of the tile for approximately ten minutes before being agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

The floor was then rinsed with fresh water and the resulting slurry of soiled cleaning solution was promptly extracted using a wet vacuum. This process left the tiles and grout looking much cleaner and fresher, however, the white spots caused by the caustic soda would need something extra to remove them.

I treated these spots using Tile Doctor Acid Gel in combination with a steam machine. Acid Gel is a mixture of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form, and can be used to neutralise alkali-based stains such as these. We also commonly use it to treat efflorescence (mineral salt deposits).

The floor was then once again rinsed with fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning products and neutralise the floor, before being left to dry off fully for two days.

Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

I returned after 48 hours and the floor was dry enough to be sealed. The customer wanted to retain the natural-looking and rustic appearance of the Terracotta, so I suggested that we seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealer is impregnating and colour-intensifying (so it emphasises the patina of the stone), but also leaves a matte finish.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The after photos show the result of the restoration – I job well done if I say so myself. And certainly, my customer agreed!

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage
 
 

Professional Cleaning of a Stained Terracotta Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire



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Edwardian Quarry Tiled Hallway Restored in Market Harbourough


Details below of a restorative clean and seal we completed of an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Floor and Edwardian Geometric Floor at a house in the town of Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Market Harborough is a very old town that dates back to Saxon times, as a result it has some very old buildings including the church that was built in the 1300’s.

Both floors had been hidden underneath carpets for many Years. They were exposed by our customer thirteen years ago, who had painstakingly removed the cement-based levelling screed from the Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough

The floors were moisture damaged from years of inherent damp build-up and didn’t look their best with ingrained historic soiling and damage to the hall tiles.

We were asked to quote for a restorative cleaning, sealing and repairs by our customer. After inspecting the floor, we quoted for the work and advised how long it would take to complete. We also guided our customer where to purchase period reproduction tile replacements from. In this instance our customer purchased made to order tiles from world renowned tile manufacturer Craven Dunnill in Bridnorth, Shropshire.

Cleaning Edwardian Quarry Tiles

We carried out repairs first carefully removing the damaged tiles and fixing in place the replacements purchased by the customer. Some of the original tiles were also loose but in good physical condition so these were re-fixed in place and grouted in.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough

Once the grout had set we started the cleaning process with the application of Tile Doctor Remove & Go ready to use heavy duty cleaning solution and coatings remover to the tiles. Working in small sections we allowed the product to soak into the tile for thirty minutes and then agitated the solution, with both an abrasive brush and a coarse 200 grit pad. This process quickly broke down the years of soiling and surface contamination. We extracted the resulting slurry and followed up with the application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel to treat inherent cement contamination and historic efflorescence salt staining. This was again worked into the tiles and the floor rinsed using low moisture methods.

We had arranged to seal the floor the next day, so air movers and a fan heater were left in place to help dry the floor overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Quarry Tiles

On the second day after confirming the tiles were dry we sealed the tiles with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. The floor was then buffed by hand to remove excess sealer and was ready for use within the hour. We advised the customer that whilst the floor could be walked on quite quickly, that the sealer would take up to 48 hours to fully cure.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough

Before leaving we advised the customer that the sealer can be prematurely worn down by the use of strong cleaning products and so recommended the they use Tile Doctors pH Neutral Floor Cleaning concentrate. This should always be diluted correctly, and the water changed frequently, to avoid suspended soils from being deposited back onto the surface of the floor. If properly maintained, then the sealer should last a minimum of 5 years.
 
 

Cleaning an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Floor in Leicestershire




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Stains Removed from Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Tutbury


First of all apologies for the quality of the photographs on this page, I clearly need to work on my photography skills. Normally photographs like these wouldn’t make the website site however they did capture the stain quite well so I thought they would be worth including. The customer who lives at a large house near Tutbury had a spillage on the lovely Limestone floor tiles in her kitchen which she tried to clean with different chemicals including bleach which just made the problem worse.

The trouble with bleach is it’s a strong acid which will eat through the sealer on your stone tiles, which in this case resulted in whitish circles you can see in the middle of the photograph below.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Tutbury Before Stain Removal

The tiles were overdue a deep clean anyway so the owner called me in to renovate the floor and hopefully remove the staining.

Removing Staining from Limestone Tiled Floor

I started the process by giving the floor an initial clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline tile cleaning product. This wouldn’t address the staining problem but my intention was to get the grout clean and also remove any surface dirt and grit from the floor. The cleaning solution was scrubbed in and then rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

The best method for restoring the appearance of Limestone floor tiles requires stripping back the surface of the tile and then building back the polish of the stone using a process we call burnishing. To do this we use a set of diamond encrusted pads which come in different grades from coarse to very fine. The pads are applied using a floor buffer machine and each pad does a different job and you start with the course red pad together with a little water and then carry on with the white, then yellow pad again using a little water removing the soiled water along the way.

Although the floor now looked great the bleach had done more damage than first anticipated and had stripped the stone of its natural oils where the spillage had been. To rectify this I applied Tile Doctor Stone Oil to the floor which I’m happy to say resolved the problem.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Once the Stone Oil has soaked in I followed up with the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a specially designed stone sealer that penetrates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within whilst enhancing the deep natural colours in the stone. The floor was then left for about one hour to dry before working in Tile Doctor Shine powder with a white buffing pad to give a really deep robust finish.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Tutbury After Stain Removal

The floor was transformed after I had finished and before leaving I made sure to advise the owner on the correct way to maintain her floor in future.
 
 

Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles in a Staffordshire Kitchen



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Renovating Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles in Sanderstead


This customer, who lives in Sanderstead located between Croydon and Purley in Surrey had been experiencing difficulties in keeping her beautiful Travertine tiled kitchen floor in good condition. Over the years it had suffered from a heavy build up of dirt and oily stains, not to mentioned a number of cracks and small holes. Needless to say, the customer was keen to have the Travertine tiles and grout renovated and made easier to keep clean.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Sanderstead Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Sanderstead

Restoring Travertine Flooring

To begin the renovation, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entirety of the large tiled area. This heavy duty remover breaks down any old sealers and other coatings, leaving the area ready to cleaned or, in this case, burnished.

Burnishing is a method for cleaning and polishing certain types of high-end stone, including Travertine, Marble, and Limestone. Our burnishing system involves the application of four diamond encrusted pads of varying grits. Firstly, I applied the Coarse grit pad, which helps to break down any dirt and stains on the surface of the tiles. Then, I worked my way through the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine pads, using a little water which acts to lubricate the process gradually building the polish on the Travertine. The floor is rinsed with water between the application of each pad to remove the soil that is generated and also give a final rinse at the end before leaving to dry.

To round off the first day of work, I filled any cracks and holes in the Travertine using a colour matching resin which greatly improved the look of the tile.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile Before Repair Sanderstead Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile After Repair Sanderstead

Sealing Travertine Tiles

The following day I returned to the property to seal the tiles checking first that the floor had dried. I use a moisture meter to do this and it confirmed the floor was dry so I proceeded to seal the floor using our colour intensifying impregnating sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Once that was dry, I added the finishing touches by buffing the floor with a soft white buffing pad. As you can see from the photographs, the combination of a fresh seal and polish worked wonders.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing Sanderstead

We did such a good job with the floor that the customer asked if we could also improve the appearance of their natural stone fireplace which was suffering from bad rust and oil stains however I do a separate write up on that.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing Sanderstead
 
 

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Fully Restored in Surrey



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Very Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Restored in Rotherfield


Looking at the pictures below you might think this Quarry Tiled kitchen floor at a cottage in Rotherfield was as old as the village which dates back to the 8th Century and is mentioned in the Doomsday book. It really was in a bad state with I don’t know what covering the tiles which had gone black as a result but were actually very pretty as you will see later.

The client was having a new kitchen fitted and wanted the tile and grout restored so as not to incur the cost of replacing it. This really is the best time to look at getting your tiles thoroughly cleaned as with many of the old units removed I could access most of the floor and of course I didn’t need to worry about protecting the units either.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Rotherfield

Cleaning Dirty Kitchen Quarry Tiles

I could see this floor was going to be a challenge so decided to try a strong cocktail of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech HBU, HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up so quite appropriate I thought. Working in sections the floor was soaked in the cleaning cocktail and left to dwell for some time in order to soften the dirt and grime.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Rotherfield

The next step was to run over the tiles with a set of Burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds. It took more than one attempt at this process but the abrasive pads had the desired effect and eventually revealed the beautiful quarry flooring below.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Rotherfield

The pads are effective on the tiles but the grout sits a little lower and so to reach these a stiff brush was scrubbed into the grout by hand.

To remove the dirt that was released from the cleaning process and further clean the tiles I used a Spinning Tool through the process. The tool is powered from a large compressor that sits in my van which forces hot water under pressure onto the tiled floor whilst simultaneously extracting the dirty water back to a tank on the van. It’s an amazing tool that is very effective however you do need to have the van parked very close the house due to a limitation on the hose lengths.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Rotherfield

With the tiles now clean and rinsed with water the floor was dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

The floor was left to dry for a couple of days before I returned to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer. I tested the floor with a damp meter on my return to ensure it was dry; all was well so I moved onto sealing. Sealer of choice on this occasion was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer which so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. The Quarry tiles were quite porous, which is not uncommon for Quarry Tiles and six coats of sealer were required in the end.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Rotherfield

As the photographs show, the floor was transformed and my customer was elated with the results saying “wow it’s like new!”

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Rotherfield
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Quarry Tiled Floor in East Sussex



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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 White Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned in Wallingford


Photographs below of a White Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Wallingford that was proving difficult for the owner to clean effectively. I went around to inspect the floor and could see that the sealer had worn off leaving the tiles vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone. Once this happens it makes the job of keeping the floor clean quite difficult as you really need to get the dirt out of the pores of the stone to do it right and of course once you do dirt will soon become trapped again without a sealer in place.

Given these Limestone tiles were White the dirt was more visible than usual, so the customer was keen to have the floor deep cleaned to remove the ingrained dirt and then sealed to prevent the problem reoccurring.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning

Cleaning White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To restore the floor back to its original condition I used a set of burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds and come in different grades from coarse to very fine. Applied with a little water the coarse 400 grit pad is designed to strip the floor of dirt and old sealers whilst the remaining pads which are a finer restore the polished surface. Between each pad you need to rinse the floor with fresh water which is removed with a wet vacuum before finally being left to dry overnight.

On this occasion I found when I started with the 400 grit pad it wasn’t having the effect I was expecting and quickly established that this floor would need grinding back with a much coarser milling pad first. Fortunately I have numerous different types of pads available and was able to switch to a 50 grit milling pad which not only got rid of any remaining seal but also grinded out the ground in dirt. This does leave the stone in a rough condition so to restore the final finish I followed up with the 400 and 800 grit pads and finished with the 1500 grit pad, rinsing with water between each pad to remove the soil that is generated. It was quote a large floor, so it took two days to complete the process over every Limestone tile.

Sealing White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which works by impregnates the stone occupying its pores and thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in there. This particular sealer doesn’t change the appearance of the stone and so leaves it with a natural look. Again, it was a large area, so it took two days to apply two coats. I then returned on day 5 to go over the whole floor with a 3000 grit polishing pad to give the floor a slight sheen.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning

 
 

White Limestone Floor Honed and Sealed in Oxfordshire



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Cleaning a 90m2 Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Alderley Edge


According to the Mirror Newspaper Alderley Edge with its restaurants and bars is a playground for footballers; well I certainly didn’t bump into any on a recent visit there to clean and seal this lovely Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen floor.

Joking aside it is a very nice area and fortunately for me the residents are very partial to stone floors. Getting back to the post, we were asked for advice on cleaning and sealing ninety square metres of Spanish Terracotta tiles that had been installed in this kitchen four years prior. The sealer had since worn off and the floor was becoming difficult to clean effectively.

Terracotta tiles are made from soft clay making it very porous and likely to absorb anything that lands on it; as a result, it’s important to maintain the sealer to stop this happening.

Deep Cleaning a Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

To clean the floor, I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong stripping and cleaning solution which removes old sealers and also draws out ingrained stains.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles During Cleaning Alderley Edge

After twenty to thirty minutes the solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soiled solution was then removed with a wet vacuum and this was followed by scrubbing the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a grout brush until they were clean.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles During Cleaning Alderley Edge

The whole floor was then rinsed with water to remove any soil and trace of cleaning product. The water was then extracted using the wet vacuum. The floor was then checked to make sure it was as clean as it could be and stubborn areas spot treated.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles After Cleaning Alderley Edge

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the next day and tested the tiles with a damp meter making sure it was dry before we could seal it. To seal the floor I first applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which soaks into the pores of the tile to enhance its colours. Once this was dry it was followed up by multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds further protection and adds a nice sheen to the tile.

I took some time to complete due to the porosity of the Terracotta requiring nine coats before the tiles were fully sealed but once done it was transformed and I left a very happy costumer. A quick tip here is that you can always tell when a tile is fully sealed by adding a small drop of water to the tile, if it forms into a bubble then it’s fully sealed.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles After Cleaning and Sealing Alderley Edge
 
 

Renovating a Large Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire



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Dirty and Stained Marble Kitchen Tiles Rejuvenated in St Neots


St Neots is the largest town in Cambridgeshire, with a population of approximately 40,000 (Cambridge is after all a city). This is unsurprising, since the town has a long and rich history. In fact, archaeological evidence indicates that the area was home to settlements as early as the prehistoric Mesolithic period.

I was recently called out to a property in the area – which itself was relatively old – to see what could be done to restore the condition and appearance of a Marble tiled kitchen floor, stylised in a small and uniform square pattern. It appeared to me that the tiles had been installed for a long time – perhaps even laid down in the original construction of the property – and, in any case, had suffered many years’ worth of neglect.

The result? A very dirty and unappealing appearance and a very unhappy owner.

Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning St Neots Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning St Neots

Cleaning a Dirty Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor

Before beginning the restoration of the floor, I covered up the walls and kitchen units to protect from exposure to any of the cleaning products I would be using. I then started by cleaning the floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose product. Remove and Go both cleans the stone and strips away any old sealer.

However, there were several areas of the floor which were affected by more deeply ingrained dirt and stains. To remove these, I needed to use a process which we call burnishing. This involves the application of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to grind away the damage layer of stone. I then used a truck-mounted pressure washing system to rinse the floor and remove all the excess slurry and chemicals.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor

While burnishing can be used to achieve a high quality polished finish on stone such as Marble, Limestone and Travertine, the customer decided instead to have a more natural look for the floor.

Therefore, to seal the freshly cleaned Marble tiles, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer that offers maximum protection and a matte finish that matches nicely with the rustic characteristics of the floor. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrate deep into the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the future.

Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning St Neots Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning St Neots

The customer was amazed by the difference made to the condition and appearance of the floor, so much so that he has queried about getting more areas of the property cleaned in the future. Another satisfied customer.
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty and Stained Marble Kitchen Tiled Floor Restoration in St Neots



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