Renovating a Black Limestone Patio in Walgrave


The following photos show a large black limestone patio that had been installed at a house in the village of <b Walgrave by a local builder who had sealed the stone before cleaning it first. Doing so trapped the dirt and grout smears (ka grout haze) underneath the sealer which resulted in a hazy appearance that could never be cleaned off.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Spring is an ideal time to work on patios which tend to get stained most from leaves and other detritus during the windy autumn and then ravaged by the winter frosts. If you want to seal the stone though its best to wait until a spell of continuous hot weather for the best results.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Cleaning a Black Limestone Patio

To clean the stone, I would first need to remove the builder’s sealer, so I started by applying Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a strong product designed to safely remove coatings such as sealers and paint from stone and tile. A strong dilution of Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes before being worked into the Limestone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor scrubbing machine. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off the patio with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning Walgrave

With the sealer removed along with the dirt then next task was to tackle the smears of grout that had been left on the surface of the stone. To do this I applied a specially developed product called Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is left to dwell on the surface of the stone just long enough to weaken the unwanted grout which can be then scrubbed off. The solution is then rinsed off the patio and extracted as before. This process was done in sections worked across the length of the patio and then when finished it was given a through rinse.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

I would need the limestone patio to be dry before sealing so I left it fully dry out over the course of a few days before coming back to finish off, fortunately the weather was good, and it wasn’t long before I returned.

Black Limestone Patio During Sealing Walgrave

My sealer of choice for Black Limestone is Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s an impregnating sealer the penetrates the pores of the stone protecting it from within and simultaneously enhancing the natural colours in the stone. This product is also fully breathable which makes it ideal for external use or damp areas where moisture needs to rise through the stone and evaporate. Two coats of Colour Grow were all that was required to fully seal the stone.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

The work was a huge improvement to the look of the patio which is now vibrant, inviting and fully transformed by the process.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

 

Limestone Patio Maintenance in Northamptonshire



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Travertine Floor Tiles Filled and Polished in Abthorpe Near Towcester


The following pictures show a polished Travertine kitchen and dining room floor at a house in the small village of Abthorpe near Towcester. The stone floor had lost its shine and had become dull and difficult to clean which was mainly due to the holes that had appeared in the surface of the Travertine where dirt had become ground in and trapped. This is a common problem with all Travertine stone, the holes are natural and usually filled at the factory but due to wear and tear over time and the use of acidic cleaning products the filler can become dislodged. The small holes gave the floor an unsightly appearance and become magnets to dirt.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

We find the best way to restore the shine is to apply a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads, they take off the layer of dirt and then slowly build a resilient polish on the surface; however, to get the best results we would need to fill the holes in the Travertine.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

I gave the floor a sweep to remove any loose dirt and grit and started with the application of the first pad which is a coarse 400-grit and designed to remove minor scratches, old sealers and ingrained dirt. The pads fit a 17” buffer machine and is applied with water to lubricate the process, then once the pad has been applied to each tile the floor is rinsed with water and the resultant slurry is extracted using a wet vacuum.

Before moving onto the second pad in the set I gave the grout lines a clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the grout using a stiff narrow brush. The pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout lines, so I usually find this is the best way to get the grout clean.

Polished Travertine Dining Room Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

The floor was given another rinse with water and then I continued to work through the medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pads rinsing with water and then extracting the slurry with a wet vacuum after each pad.

The Travertine was now clean and after drying with fans I commenced the task of filling the holes with stone filler that matched the natural colour of the stone as close as possible, in this case the colour we opted for to achieve the best match was Straw. These activities took up most of the day so once I was done filling I left for the day, so the filler and floor could dry out thoroughly overnight.

Polished Travertine Holes Filled Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

I returned the following day and started by completing the polishing process by applying the last 3000-grit very fine burnishing pad with the 17” rotary machine, the pad is applied dry with a small amount of water sprayed on the floor as you go along. With the floor now fully dry and the filled holes polished flat the last step was to apply the sealer which will protect the floor going forwards.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

With Travertine floors I usually recommend Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer or Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer. On this occasion the client preferred the natural look, so I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal and along with the previous polishing the floor now look transformed.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester
 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire



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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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Pitted Travertine Floor Tiles Filled and Polished in Rushden


Not only do we carry out the deep cleaning and restoration of all types of natural stone, we can also carry out repairs such as the filling of holes in stone, whether it be limestone, marble or as in this case Travertine. Travertine in particular is prone to a natural process of erosion know as pitting, this results in holes developing that easily fill up with dirt and muck over time and can be a real problem to maintain.

Pitted Travertine Before Filled Polished Rushden

This customer in Rushden called me in, as he felt the floor hadn’t been properly maintained since it had been installed twelve years prior and he was becoming concerned about the number of holes and pits that were appearing in the high traffic areas. The Travertine tiles had been laid in the hallway, kitchen and upstairs bathroom of the property but the problem was most apparent in the Kitchen.

Pitted Travertine Before Filled Polished Rushden

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the floors clean and restore the polished appearance of the Travertine I decided to apply a set of Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The process involves the application of four different pads applied in sequence from coarse to very fine, rinsing in-between each pad to remove dirt. As the floor had been installed in the Kitchen and the Hallway it made sense to split the work into two parts and work on each area separately.

The first pad is a coarse 400 grit pad that is attached to a rotary machine running at slow speed and with only water for lubrication. The pad is applied to the stone to removes minor scratches, sealers and dirt. It’s run over the entire floor and afterwards the floor is rinsed with water which is then extracted with the soil using a wet-vacuum.

I then repeated this same procedure with the second pad, which is a Medium 800 grit pad used to remove dirt from minor scratches and holes in the stone. After rinsing again, I went onto the third burnishing pad in the sequence which is a Fine 1500 grit pad that starts to rebuild the polish on the Travertine. I gave the floor another rinse and used the wet vacuum again to extract the water and soil from the floor. The last 3,000 grit super fine pad was then applied with a small amount of water sprayed onto the floor, this last pad really builds a nice shine on the stone.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the burnishing process was completed the floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I came back the next day to continue with the work. I took a few moisture readings to confirm the floor was dry and then applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that impregnates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and improving the natural colours of the stone in the process. I particularly like to use it on Travertine as it really does bring out the brown shades in the stone.

Filling Holes in a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the first coat of sealant had dried I started the work to fill the holes throughout the installation using appropriate colours of stone filler resin. I purposely delayed doing this until the first coat of sealer was in place in order to prevent excess resin from being absorbed into the tile and causing unwanted staining. There were quite a few holes to fill so it took a while to complete, the filler also needs several hours to dry and harden even when assisted with a fan. Excess filler is then polished off using a 17” rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a white polishing pad and any dust is carefully vacuumed up before applying a second coat of sealer. The floor was then allowed to dry before a final polish with a new 3000 grit pad to achieve a high sine finish.

Once the cleaning process was complete and the first coat of sealant had dried I then commenced the repair work by filling all holes throughout using appropriate colours of stone filler resin, the first coat of sealant is to stop the excess resin from being absorbed into the tile and causing staining, the filler is allowed to dry and harden for several hours assisted with a fan on site. Excess filler is then polished off using a 17” rotary scrubbing machine and a white buffing pad. Any dust is carefully vacuumed up before applying a second coat of sealant. This is then allowed to dry before a final polish with a new 3000 grit burnishing pad to achieve a deep sine finish.

Pitted Travertine After Filled Polished Rushden

I’m not sure the photographs really show off the transformation that I had managed to achieve, however my customer was certainly happy and left me the following glowing review via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

My hall and kitchen floor has been down for 12 years and has been a high traffic area. The Tile Doctor has literally made it look like new again. Holes filled, smooth, shiny and new again! My fully tiled bathroom has also been rejuvenated, wall tiles, shower tiles and floor tiles. The water now beads on the tiles like a freshly waxed car, and the walk-in shower has been perfectly resealed. Money very well spent.
Thank you so much! Mr.J. White, Rushden

Pitted Travertine After Filled Polished Rushden

It’s always nice to get feedback like that, it really does make your efforts feel appreciated.
 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire



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Ceramic Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned is a Rushden Sun Room


A customer from Rushden which is a large town in the east side of Northamptonshire, and my home town asked me to take a look at the Ceramic tile and grout in his Sun room. He has a large dog that sleeps on the sofa in this room and over the years the dog has walked in mud which has slowly degraded the grout lines and I suspect had probably never been sealed correctly or sealed at all.

The glazing on Ceramic tile is very resilient so we usually find it’s the grout discolouring that becomes most noticeable first due to the cementitious top layer which can trap dirt. In this case the Ceramic tiles had dulled over the years and as you might expect the white grout lines had become soiled and were almost black in places.

Ceramic Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Rushden Sun Room Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Rushden Sun Room

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

To get the tile and grout clean the floor was first soaked in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and this was left to dwell for ten minutes. A rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad was then used to scrub the cleaning solution into the tile and release the dirt. The pad can struggle to reach the recessed grout so to ensure this was also clean it was given a good scrub with a narrow stiff brush.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout During Cleaning Rushden Sun Room

We then used a spinning tool which forces hot water under high pressure onto the floor whilst simultaneously extracting the dirty water with a powerful vacuum. The objective of this action is to power wash the floor whilst rinsing and extracting the dirty cleaning solution at the same time.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout During Cleaning Rushden Sun Room

We inspected the grout lines and stubborn stains were treated with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which was scrubbed in with hand brushes, this was then rinsed a second time until we were happy with the results. Grout Clean-Up is an acidic product that is particularly good at removing grout smears which can form a haze over a tile reducing its brilliance.

We then polished the floor with a white buffing pad and allowed the floor to dry overnight before returning the following day to apply Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to all grout lines.

The furniture was too large and heavy for the customer to move out of the room, which was on a lower level than the rest of the ground floor. As a result, it was necessary to clean the floor in sections moving the furniture around the room on pads as needed.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout After Cleaning Rushden Sun Room

The Sun room floor look great afterwards, the grout especially looked clean and the sealer should ensure it stays that way for some time to come.
 
 

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout in Northamptonshire



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Bleach-Damaged Slate Poolhouse Tiles Restored in Oundle


This very nice house in a village near Oundle in Northamptonshire features something we don’t see too often in residential property – an indoor swimming pool. The pool is surrounded by some very complementary and rustic looking Slate tiles which act as the flooring in the poolhouse.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

However, over the years, the Slate tiles had been badly damaged by the chlorine bleach which is used to sterilise the pool water. The cumulative effect of people splashing water onto the tiles or walking around wet on the floor had caused the sealant to break down and the bleach had left a white blotchiness on the stone. I was asked to rectify the situation by deep cleaning the tiles, resurfacing some of the damaged stone, and applying a fresh sealant.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

Cleaning Bleach-Damaged Slate Tiles

My first course of action in restoring these tiles was to clean the entire floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline-based cleaner for most types of natural stone. This product was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff brush fitted to a rotary machine. After cleaning, I rinsed the floor with fresh water and used a wet vacuum to soak up the resulting slurry. Although the pool was protected with a cover I had to take care not to allow any of my cleaning water to contaminate the pool.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

The process was effective in removing most of the white calcium deposits caused by the bleach, but not all of them. I tackled the more embedded stains with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids which treats stubborn smears such as these. The gel was brushed onto the tiles and left to dwell for 15 minutes, and then agitated using a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After rinsing the floor again, I found that there were yet still stubborn stains remaining that didn’t respond to chemical cleaning. I decided that removing these would necessitate a more aggressive approach, and so used a set of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads to literally remove the damaged layer of stone and resurface the face of some of the badly damaged tiles.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

Sealing Slate Tiles

The tiles were left to dry overnight after being cleaned and repaired. The next day, I returned to the property to applying the fresh sealant. For this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a sealant which impregnates the stone to provide maximum protection and enhances its natural colours.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

The customer was very impressed with the result and was very much keen to make sure the tiles remained in such good condition, so I made sure to provide the groundsman with instructions on routine maintenance.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

I informed him that each time the pool is used the entire area needs to be hosed and brushed down as no sealer can withstand continuous exposure to chlorine bleach. I also left a complementary tin of Colour Grow sealant with him for periodic top-ups, as well as information on the yearly maintenance plan we offer at Tile Doctor.
 
 

Professional Removal of Calcium Deposits from Slate Pool House Tiles in Northamptonshire



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Neglected Egyptian Marble Patio Transformed in Bozeat


Patios are particularly difficult to keep clean as they are continuously exposed to the elements fortunately Tile Doctor specialises in cleaning and restoring all different types of natural stone internal and external.

I was recently asked to restore a patio at a house in Bozeat, a village in Northamptonshire. The patio was consisted of both floor tiles and walls, and was made of a rather uncommon stone: Egyptian-style Marble.

Stained Patio Wall Before Cleaning

The customer had clearly taken pride in the presentation and aesthetic of his garden but, having a concentrated on other projects for the past couple of years, he had neglected to preserve the condition of patio. Making matters worse, the patio had never been sealed, and this had allowed dirt and moss to become ingrained in the stone. The customer was also concerned by a large rust mark left on the stone where old garden furniture had been sitting.

Egyptian Marble Patio Path Bozeat Before Cleaning Rust Stained Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat Before Cleaning

Upon my first visit to the property, I carried out a test clean on a small patch of Marble using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high-alkaline cleaner that we find particularly reliable to use on natural stone. The customer was very impressed by the sudden improvement in the condition of the test patch. I also tested a new product by the name of Tile Doctor Rust Away, which is a non-acidic rust remover. Amazingly, the product helped to reduce the rust stain by about 90%.

The full restoration was booked in to take place within a fortnight.

Cleaning an Egyptian Marble Patio

The first part of the restoration involved cleaning the entire patio with Pro Clean, although I worked one small section at a time. The product was worked into the stone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was rinsed away using a Honda Petrol jet washer and a spinning tool, leaving the patio clear of most of the dirty, algae and moss.

Next, I treated the entire rust stain with Rust Away. The product was scrubbed in using a handheld brush and left to dwell for a few minutes, before I rinsed the area with the jet washer and spinning tool. The stone had a matte finish, but to remove the deeper staining, I needed to use a set of three diamond-encrusted burnishing pads, which we typically use for polishing stone and removing light scratches and marks.

Sealing an Egyptian Marble Patio

Luckily, the weather proved to be good, so I could return to the property the following day to seal the patio, including the walls, with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is an impregnating, natural-look sealer designed to ensure maximum stain protection.

Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat After Cleaning Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat After Cleaning

The photos really do speak for themselves, showing the amazing results and transformation of the garden. I left the happy customer with some maintenance instructions to keep the appearance of stone up as it is exposed to the elements.

Egyptian Marble Patio Path Bozeat After Cleaning
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Egyptian Marble Patio in Northamptonshire



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Restoring a Riven Slate Patio Suffering from Grout Haze in Wollaston


This customer, who lives in Wollaston, a small village in Northamptonshire, called me to look at the unfortunate condition of her Riven Slate tiled patio. She had hired a builder to install it, but he had neglected to remove the grout haze which had occurred quickly enough, allowing it to set. He was subsequently unable to remove the haze because he had already sealed over it. This had left it looking very unsightly, as you can see in the photo below.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Before Cleaning

The customer initially contacted me back in December 2016. At that time, I did explain to the customer that the Winter wouldn’t be an ideal time to restore the patio, and that it would be best to carry out the work in the Spring. However, she was so unhappy with the appearance of the patio and – knowing she had guests coming over for Christmas – wanted something to be done to improve the condition of the tiles as soon as possible.

It was agreed that I would immediately carry out the removal of the old sealer and the grout haze beneath, but leave the re-sealing until the Spring of the following year when the weather was dry. The customer understood that when I returned in the Spring, the patio would require another light clean and brush to prepare it for sealing.

To put the customer’s mind at rest somewhat, I carried out a test clean on one slab of the patio using Tile Doctor impregnating, colour intensifying sealer, known as Colour Grow. This darkened the tile and provided a natural look finish, which was preferred by the customer. I also returned to the property several days later to carry out a water repellency test, but as you can see from the photo below, the rain beat me to it. Thankfully, the repellency test had positive results.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Testi Cleaning

I was then able to begin the cleaning process.

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Patio

To begin, I removed the old sealer using a strong mix of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a stripper and cleaner. This product was scrubbed into the tiles with a rotary brush machine. Net, I rinsed away the resulting slurry and soaked up the water with a wet vax machine.

This initial clean exposed the true extent of the grout haze – it was over all every tile! My next course of action was therefore to remove this using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a gel cleaner specially formulated to neutralise grout haze. This was allowed to dwell for a short period before I brushed it in.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston During Cleaning

Following this, I gave the whole area a second brush with a small amount of water, before using a wet vax machine once again to make sure all cleaning chemicals were removed. I used the customer’s hosepipe to rinse down the entire patio as there was good drainage.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 2nd Cleaning

I allowed the tiles to dry out naturally, before waited for a dry day in April this year to return to the property. During this day, I sealed the entire area with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to really deepen the colour in the stone and provide the whole patio long-lasting protection against the elements.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 1st Coat

The customer was exceptionally happy to have the patio restored to perfect condition. I’m sure she’ll make great use of it over the Summer!

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Completed
 
 

Professional Riven Slate Tiled Patio Restoration in Northants



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