Salt Damaged Quarry Tiles Replaced and Restored in Droitwich-Spa Kitchen

I was contacted to inspect a quarry tiled floor in the kitchen of a property in Droitwich Spa which was in need of repair and also in need of a clean and seal. Having spoken to the customer previously, I was aware there were several damaged tiles that would need replacing so before visiting the property to survey the floor I sourced potential replacements from several manufacturers so I could find one that would be a good match to the originals.

Once that was done, I went over with the samples to inspect the floor and whilst I was there marked all the damaged tiles that would need lifting and replacing. The house was quite old and many of the tiles had been badly affected by salt damage at some point in the past. Given the age of the property it could have been from efflorescence or it is possible it was flood damage as the property was about 700m from the River Salwarpe which has a history of overflowing. In fact, Droitwich Spa is known for its salt deposits and became a Spa town when the salt industry started to dwindle towards the end of the 19th century.

I worked out a quote to repair the floor, then clean and seal it which was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to remove the damaged tiles from the floor using various tools to prise the tiles away from the substrate. I then used a self-leveller to level the screed. All the new tiles would need cutting so I used a Bridge Saw with a diamond blade and proceeded to cut all the tiles to shape. The replacement tiles were then fixed in place using flexible adhesive and left to dry and then grouted.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa

The following day I moved onto cleaning the tiles. Tile Doctor Remove and Go was used to tackle any previous sealers. leaving the product to dwell for the required time and then working it into the floor with a rotary scrubbing machine. I then used Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove old grout smears and combat any efflorescence the floor was encountering, before vacuuming the remaining slurry with a wet vacuum. Once I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be, I left the tiles to dry overnight so they could be sealed the following day.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Repair and Cleaning Droitwich Spa

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and began by using a moisture meter to ensure the floor was dry. All was well so I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, a semi-gloss breathable sealer that will allow moisture to rise through the tile unimpeded which was important considering its history. The floor required five coats of sealer to completely seal the floor and the customer was very pleased with the result as indicated in the feedback below:

“We are very happy with the work that Mark carried out for us. Mark was very professional and always responded quickly to any enquiries that we had. We have recommended Mark to our friends and family. Thank you. Lydia B, Droitwich Spa”

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Droitwich Spa

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in Worcestershire

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Large Format Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Renovated in Blackwood

A client of ours recently moved into a relatively new property in the town of Blackwood where the black slate floor looked dull and the grout was stained. Large format slate tiles were installed though the kitchen and adjacent dining and utility room and they were keen to see if the floor could be brought back to life.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Renovation in Blackwood

I went over to survey the floor and could see that the old sealer was failing and letting dirt into the pores of the stone which was especially notable in the busier parts of the floor which had seen the most foot traffic. The solution would be to strip the floor of the old sealer, clean up the grout and reseal. I conducted a number of test cleans to work out the best way to how best to strip off the old seal and get back down to the natural stone. However, as it turns out removing the old sealer was proving to be quite a job and I was concerned that this task alone could potentially take days.

Unhappy with the way things were going I consulted the Tile Doctor help line and we deduced that the sealer applied previously was most likely a heavy duty/industrial product. My client had only just moved into the property and didn’t know the history of the floor so couldn’t help pin point what was used before. The way forward was to strip the old sealer off the floor using abrasive pads.

Now I had an efficient strategy for renovating the floor I was able to provide the customer with an accurate quote which was accepted, and we agreed a date to return and complete the floor.

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I pre-wet the floor with water and using a weighted floor buffer ran a coarse 100-grit milling pad several times across each tile. This process strips the dirt and sealer off the stone slowly turning the water into a grey slurry. Once the whole floor had been treated in this way, I rinsed the slurry off the floor and extracted it using a wet vacuum. The next step was to repeat the process using a 200-grit burnishing pad which being finer closes the pores in the stone and refines the surface further.

The next step was to clean up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. You apply a strong dilution to the grout lines and then scrub it in with a stiff brush. Fortunately, the slate tiles were large format size so there was less grout to deal with than usual. Once that was done the tile and of course grout was rinsed again with more water and then dried again using the wet vacuum.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles During Renovation in Blackwood

I have to admit the stripped slate looked pretty awful at this stage in the restoration, but we were now back to the natural stone which was clean and free of all sealers. I left the floor to dry off fully overnight confident in the knowledge that with the application of a fresh sealer it would look a lot different.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before doing so, however, I needed to test the Slate for moisture as you shouldn’t apply a sealer to a damp floor. The results were fine, so I proceeded to apply the sealer which for this installation I used several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

I chose Seal and Go for this floor as it works well on Slate resulting in a deep durable satin finish that the customer wanted. Additionally, being a water-based product, it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles After Renovation in Blackwood

Within two days the floor was transformed, the grout looked much cleaner and the stone looked new. My client was very happy with the work and left the following message on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Professional, polite and courteous. Paul went beyond the call of duty to help rejuvenate our slate tiled kitchen and utility room floor. He explained each step of the job and provided advice on aftercare and future maintenance. The results are great and I would gladly recommend the services available.
Andy E, Blackwood

 

Renovation of a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Monmouthshire

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Removing Wax Sealer from Indian Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands


Normally rough stone like this is used on an outdoor patio where the natural texture and riven prevents people from slipping in a wet area, however when used inside you find the dirt gets trapped into the riven textures and clefts of the Sandstone and it is quite difficult to remove.

Our customer found that mop heads would get shredded by the rough stone and leave bits of mop material on the stone. To make problems worse they had originally been advised to use a wax-based sealer on the floor which didn’t last and soon allowed dirt to become trapped in the stone making it even more difficult to clean.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

We were asked to deep clean the stone and apply a sealer which would stop the dirt getting stuck into the nooks and crannies of the stone thus providing a surface that could be easily maintained. The property was in Grange Over Sands a town in in the pretty area of Morecombe Bay. We discussed what could be done with the customer and demonstrated the process on a small test patch which came out well and then agreed a price and date to carry out the work.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

Cleaning/Repairing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On our return we started the cleaning process by sraying a warm dilution of Tile Doctor Wax-Away on the floor and leaving it to dwell for five to ten. The product was then scrubbed in the stone to remove the dirt and what was left of the wax sealer. The now dirty solution was rinsed off the floor with water and removed with a wet vacuum.

This process cleaned most of the floor but there were one or two stubborn marks which we spot treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product has a slightly longer dwell time but works well to remove stubborn wax sealers and deep stains and it did not disappoint. The grout was also scrubbed using the same product which made a huge difference to the overall look. We then rinsed the floor with cold water a couple of times to remove any remaining dirt and trace of cleaning products each time using the wet vacuum to dry the floor.

Sealing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The stone was left overnight to dry out and then we called back the next day to apply a fresh sealer. Four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied, this is a satin finish sealer which coats the tiles with an acrylic base which prevents any dirt getting into the grooves making the floor much easier to clean going forward as well as solving the problem with shredding mops.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

For every day cleaning we recommend the use of a pH Neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which has a neutral pH that will not prematurely erode the sealer like some tile cleaning products which if you read the label are only for use on ceramic tiles and not natural stone.

The client was really pleased with the floor, it made a huge difference, you could see the lovely natural colours and patterns in the floor. She could also see that the floor would be much easier for her to keep clean in the future.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

 

Professional Restoration of Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen in South Cumbria



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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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Stone Effect Pre-Cast Concrete Kitchen Flooring Deep Cleaned in Arnside


The stone floor in these pictures are in fact pre-cast concrete tiles created to emulate Limestone flagstones laid in a Kitchen in Arnside. You can’t beat the natural beauty of Limestone but these concrete tiles do give the Kitchen that rustic look the customer sought. The odd thing is, it’s actually less expensive to buy real Limestone these days as Pre-cast concrete is not a cheap product.

Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside

Unfortunately, in this case, the concrete had been smeared with Ivory Grout during installation and the tiler had failed to remove it after grouting and this had dulled the look of the tile. The customer was led to believe by the Tiler that the off-white colour was indeed part of the stone and had put up with it for several years before we were called out.

Cleaning a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor

First of all we conducted a test clean to make sure our usual cleaning system would work as well on pre-cast concrete. I was aware that this type of product has a colour dye added to it which does seem to lose colour over the years and also can lose quite a bit of this dye once we start cleaning with strong chemical’s. Not wanting to risk any depreciation in the colouring I opted instead for the application of a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing pads. The pads are encrusted with industrial Diamonds and come in different grits from coarse to fine and I found that not only did the process remove a lot of the of White grout haze left by the tiler but also gave us a good start to the cleaning process without losing any more of the colour Dye.

The customer has specified they were keen for the floor to have more of a sheen finish, so we finished the cleaning with the rest of the Diamond pads finally ending on the super fine pad. We had to do some edging work where the circular pads could not reach but apart from that the pre-cast concrete responded well to this treatment as you will see on the before and after pictures.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

The next day we called back to seal the Kitchen floor to protect it from staining, something that is more than likely in a Kitchen. For this we used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which not only protects by soaking into the pores of the tile but also restores a lot of the colour that had previously been lost.

Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside

For aftercare I explained to the customer that sealers do wear off over time and so to get maximum life out of the sealer they should clean the floor with a pH Neutral Cleaner like Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner. It’s designed for cleaning sealed tiled floors and it won’t affect the colour dye or the Sealer we have applied unlike stronger products will eat away at the sealer over time. Additionally, pre-cast concrete like Limestone is Acid Sensitive and as such products like certain types of the Cillit-Bang range cannot be used on a floor like this as it will cause surface damage.
 
 

Restoration of a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor in South Cumbria



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