Restoring a Heavily Soiled Unfilled Travertine Floor in Attleborough


Our client got in touch from Attleborough a market town between Norwich and Thetford to ask for our help restoring her kitchen and dining area floor. If you live in the countryside and have children and pets, unfilled Travertine is probably not the best choice for your kitchen/diner flooring, which is the conclusion our client discovered for herself.

The floor was only around three years old, but the entire area had become heavily scratched and soiled. Most of the dirt was occupying the unfilled pits in the stone which are an inconvenient feature of this natural material. No amount of daily vacuuming, mopping or rinsing will ever shift this kind of contamination which is why she called us in desperation.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Before Cleaning

During our site visit, apart from the obvious heavy soiling, we also noticed a very prominent and ugly settlement crack which had appeared along the French doors leading to a four mm difference between the surface levels either side of the crack itself.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Threshold Crack

Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Dining Room

Our first job was to deep-clean the soiling from the floor using our heavy 17″ rotary machine fitted with a medium-soft brush and a 1:5 mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, diluted with very hot water. This combination made quick work of the surface dirt, along with the soiling in the grout lines. The resulting slurry was left to dwell on the floor for ten minutes to soften the residue sitting at the bottom of the pits before being power rinsed and vacuumed away using our 400psi hot water extraction machine. The machine was fitted with a specialist hard flooring wand which blasted the softened dirt out of the pits and immediately sucked all the contaminants up. This avoids anything spraying up the adjoining walls.

Having removed all the dirt, we then cut and polished the area again with the rotary machine but this time using Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing Pads from 400-grit through to 1500-grit, rinse extracting between each stage to remove the resulting slurry. Internal corners were finished with hand-held diamond blocks. We then left the whole area to dry thoroughly overnight with assistance from our large capacity dehumidifier.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Rotary Cleaning

Sealing Travertine Flooring in Attleborough

On our return the following day, we repaired the unsightly crack along the threshold by grinding the high lip down to the same lower level using a diamond blade fitted to our Bosch multitool. Followed by polishing with our Festool Rotex 90 Handtool. The crack, being rather wide, was then filled with a two-part epoxy stone repair compound and levelled with the Rotex after curing.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Crack Repaired

After this, the floor was vacuumed thoroughly followed with the application of the a very fine 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad which is applied to the floor with a little water spayed onto the tile. This fourth and final burnishing pad really builds up the shine on the floor.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Deep Cleaned

Our client really loved the new lighter look of her cleaned Travertine floor, so we chose to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to seal the floor and protect it from staining. Ultra-Seal is a matt impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and without affecting the colour of the substrate. The sealer was liberally applied and allowed to be absorbed by the stone for a few minutes before the excess was removed. After an hour, the surface was re-burnished with the 3000-grit diamond pad and then vacuumed to remove any fine dust generated during the burnishing.

Our client was really happy with the improvement and left the following comment when we’d finished…

“Our travertine floor had suffered over the winter and I wasn’t totally convinced that anything would save it. However, it has been completely transformed and we are delighted with the results. Nick was professional and thorough – could not recommend more!”

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Cleaned and Sealed

 

Cleaning and Repair of Travertine Kitchen and Dining Room Floor in Norfolk



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Renovating Reclaimed Slate Floor Tiles in Wreningham


When the old Rowntree Mackintosh sweet factory at Chapelfield in Norwich was closed down and eventually demolished, our client acquired a quantity of the beautiful green/black slate flooring tiles which had formed part of the reception area of the plant. They had laid these tiles edge to edge with no grouting in their large kitchen/dining room extension at their home in the village of Wreningham and the result was perhaps one of the most impressive examples of high-quality slate flooring we have ever seen in any location.

The Slate floor tiles had been protected against oil and fluid spillages with the application of a penetrating sealer after installation at the property but, over the ensuing years, there had been some inevitable degradation of the sealer and the entire area was now in need of a thorough deep-clean and reseal in order to remove the coating of general grime, bring out the strikingly deep colour and restore the stain resistance.

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

As there was no topical finish to remove, we proceeded to deep-clean the surface of the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro Clean at a less powerful mix ratio of 1-part water to 5-parts cleaner. This solution was applied to the tiles and left to soak in for ten minutes before being worked in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to our rotary machine.

The resulting muddy slurry was then power rinsed off the floor with water and then extracted with our Ninja machine which has a very powerful vacuum. The high pH product was so effective, no further cleaning was necessary.

The whole area was then dried thoroughly using two large industrial fans which dramatically reduced the drying time, enabling us to move onto sealing later that afternoon. We don’t normally recommend cleaning and sealing in the same day as the floor has to be dry before sealing however in this case we were able to progress through the cleaning process much quicker than anticipated.

Slate Tiled Floor in Wreningham During Sealing

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Before sealing the floor was spot tested in different places using a moisture meter. All was well, so a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to the Slate tiles. Colour Grow is a penetrating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from with and as its name suggests also intensified the natural black/green colours of the slate in the process.

Once the first coat was dried I followed up with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which further enriched the colour and provided a pleasing mid-sheen finish to the floor surface.

Slate Tiled Floor in Wreningham During Sealing

The whole process really put the life back in the stone floor and the tiles which were once dull now look vibrant and colourful.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Sealing an Old Slate Tiled Floor in Norfolk



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Restoring Neglected Victorian Hallway Tiles in Norwich


There are thousands of Victorian tiled hallways in and around Norwich and I often get called to work on them, however this was a particularly abused and neglected example I thought you might find interesting. The surface had clearly been both painted red at some point (possibly with an old lead-based paint) and then completely covered with rubber-backed underlay and carpeted, a thick layer of double-sided carpet tape remaining firmly stuck in patches around all the edges of the floor area.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Norwich

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Firstly, we cleaned the whole area using a strong solution (1:3) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline stripper and cleaner, agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. All products and slurry were then power rinsed and vacuumed away to reveal the improved floor.

There were still a significant number of glue patches and paint spots around the edges of the floor, so these were tackled using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which softened them enough to enable us to remove them with a sharp-bladed scraper.

Unfortunately, the decaying rubber underlay had left a pattern on the tile surface which was most obvious at the doorway into the terracotta tiled kitchen. We almost completely removed this using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being in gel form allows it work on the problem area longer. It was painted on a brush and kept moist for two hours under a layer of cling film which drew out virtually all the contaminant from the tile.

The next concern was that an original Victorian floor of this age would almost certainly have no damp proof membrane and an area near the front door which showed evidence of efflorescence salts was treated with Tile Doctor Acid Gel in order to remove the white deposits and further inhibit the production of more in the future.

The whole area was then lightly buffed using the rotary machine and a 1500 grit diamond pad with water in order to remove any remaining fine paint spots and restore a silky feel to the surface of the tiles before leaving the floor to dry overnight with assistance from our dehumidifier.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

When we returned the following morning, our damp meter showed us that the moisture content in the substrate was probably going to be too high to allow us to use an acrylic sealer to provide the sheen which the client had requested; so we decided to spray-buff the floor using a 3000 grit diamond pad on the rotary machine followed by the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing penetrating sealer which sits just below the surface of the tile and leaves no visible finish. Finally, the whole floor was spray buffed to a low sheen with a white maintenance pad on the rotary machine and any resulting dust vacuumed away.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Cleaning Norwich

The Victorian tiles now look fantastic and have become a great asset to the property as original features like these are very sought after.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Restoration of Old Victorian Tiles in Norfolk



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