Deep Cleaning Dirty Ceramic Kitchen Tiles in Henley-on-Thames


This customer from the picturesque town of Henley on Thames got in touch to ask about cleaning and sealing her Ceramic tiled kitchen floor. Now Ceramic tiles are glazed and so normally won’t absorb a sealer so intrigued I scheduled a time to pop over and take a look. When I got here I could see the tiles were in deed dirty but as I suspected they were not Ceramic but micro porous Porcelain which does need to be sealed. In this case the sealer had worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the tiny pores of the tile.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Henley on Thames

The tiles were a Terracotta style Porcelain, but this was hardly recognisable due to the accumulation of dirt. I discussed all of this with the owner and agreed I would give the tile and grout a thorough deep clean and then reseal them to ensure the dirt was kept out of the pores in the Porcelain going forward.

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Style Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor

As well as cleaning the floor I would need to remove any trace of original sealer if I was to achieve a consistent appearance later. To achieve this, I soaked the tile in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then left it to dwell for ten minutes, so it could get to work on breaking down old sealers and dirt.

The next stage was to work the Pro-Clean into the floor with a rotary floor buffer running on slow speed fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The cleaning solution soon changed colour with the dirt that became released. The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum. The grout given the same treatment but this time by hand using a stiff brush and more Pro-Clean.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and then dried with a wet vacuum. Being micro-porous Porcelain, this didn’t take as long as clay tiles such natural Terracotta or Victorian.

Sealing a Terracotta Style Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was then left to dry and I returned later to re-seal it for which I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that protects the tile from within by impregnating the pores in the tile with sealant thus preventing dirt from becoming trapped there.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Henley on Thames

I think you will agree the floor now looks much cleaner and fresher, certainly my customer was happy with transformation and left the following note on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“My manky old kitchen floor is absolutely transformed. So much easier, quicker and cheaper than getting the floor replaced. Andrew did an amazing job, highly recommended. Yvonne B, Henley”

 

Deep Cleaning and Sealing a Micro-Porous Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire



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Flood Damaged Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Rescued in Docking


Luckily for this client in the village of Docking in Norfolk, the water pipe under her kitchen sink burst the day before she left for a four-week holiday in the USA, so at least she was able to turn the water off at the mains and minimise the damage before leaving for the airport… every cloud, as they say!

On her return she found that the Terracotta tiled flooring had dried out perfectly but unfortunately, the acrylic sealer had suffered badly as the evaporating moisture came up through it and the entire surface of the floor had developed a milky-white bloom. Our client thought that complete replacement of the whole floor, which ran from a large kitchen diner through to a long utility room with separate storage cupboards and a WC would be the only option. Fortunately, before investigating that expensive option she gave Tile Doctor a call in the hope that the floor could be saved.

Large Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Docking

Deep Cleaning Water Damaged Terracotta Floor Tiles

In order to remove the damaged acrylic sealer, we applied a strong dilution (1:2) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with a little Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was scrubbed in along with a small amount of honing powder using our 17″ rotary machine fitted with a medium nylon brush before being power rinsed and extracted to remove all the chemicals and resulting slurry.

The grout lines, corners and edges where the original sealer had been applied more thickly were then further cleaned by hand with Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover, HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and this is a useful product for tackling stubborn areas.

The floor was then finished off with very fine honing powder applied with water and a black scrubbing pad before being rinsed and extracted again. Finally, the whole floor was acid washed with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to neutralise all remaining cleaning agents and counter act any efflorescence salts which may appear in the future before being left to dry thoroughly overnight with the assistance of our dehumidifier.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles in Docking

On our return the following day, the floor was thoroughly damp tested and found to have dried extremely well enabling us to start applying the new sealer straight away. The client had specified a muted shine surface for her floor, so we chose to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

Terracotta is made from clay which is quite a porous material so seven coats were needed to completely seal the floor. This would provide optimum fluid resistance along with the mid-sheen finish she had requested.

Here’s what the client had to say when we’d finished:

I am delighted with the work carried out. The terracotta tile floor of my kitchen was in a terrible state following a flood and it has been restored to an excellent condition. A very professional and personal service which I am happy to recommend.

Large Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Docking

 

Renovating Terracotta Floor Tiles in Norfolk



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Screed Covered 100-Year-Old Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Nuneaton


I took the photographs below at an old 1920’s house in Nuneaton where the owner was interested in restoring the original Quarry tiled floor in their Kitchen. Interestingly Nuneaton has a rich manufacturing history that included brick and tile making so it’s entirely possible these tiles were made locally at the Haunchwood Brick and Tile company.

Tastes change over the years and at some point in the past the Quarry tiles had been covered with a levelling compound so that linoleum could be installed on top. This meant that the first part of the job would be to remove the screed before I could clean up the tiles. On top of that It was clear as well that many of the tiles were damaged and would need replacing.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Nuneaton

I worked out a quote which was agreed by the customer and started looking around for matching replacement tiles, fortunately I was able to track some down at Warwick Reclamation who stock thousands of quarry tiles in many of the common period sizes.

Restoring an Original Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

On day one I set about carefully removing the screed with a hammer and chisel and also the damaged tiles, so they could be replaced. With the tiles removed we it was clear some parts of the subfloor were cracked and needed to be rebuild with fresh cement.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Nuneaton Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Nuneaton

Once the floor was ready the replacement Quarry tiles were fixed in place and once the adhesive was dry they were grouted in.

To remove the remaining screed and salt damage from the surface of the tiles I used a set of coarse milling pads which are applied with water for lubrication. The process generates a lot of soil, so the floor needs to be rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum after each pad.

The next step was to pre-treat the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go in order to remove old contaminants such as old oils and then treat the floor to a deep clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed in with black scrubbing pad.

Old floors like these don’t have a damp proof membrane so the last step in the restoration process was to counter any inherent salt issues in the floor that might reappear later as white efflorescence salt deposits. This is done by giving the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is scrubbed into the tiles, neutralising the salts, this product also removes old mineral deposits and grout smears.

The floor was given a final rinse with water to remove any traces of products used and then as much water and moisture as possible was extracted using a wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry out for a few days.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

When I returned my first job was to take multiple readings around the floor using a damp meter to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. The extra drying time had done the trick and I was able to seal the floor using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer that can cope with any potential moisture problems, it also leaves a nice sheen finish that brings the best out of Quarry tiles.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Nuneaton Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Nuneaton

In total the restoration took 4 days to complete and had completely restored the Quarry tiled floor close to what they must have looked like back when they were installed nearly a hundred years ago.
 
 

Quarry tiles tiled floor restored in Warwickshire



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