Enhancing a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor in Cirencester


This client from Cirencester got in contact about his Slate Tiled hallway floor which was now looking dull following renovations to the property by the owner who was a builder. If you have never been I can recommend you pay Cirencester visit, it’s a lovely old market town that dates to the Roman times and is incidentally is the largest town in the Cotswold District.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

I arrived at the property and could see immediately that the floor had never been sealed properly and so the appearance had just got worse over the few years since it was laid. Dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the slate making it impossible to clean effectively. The client realised that the only way to fix the problem was to have the floor properly treated. We agreed a price for the work and popped a date in the diary to come back.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

As the floor was in the hallway, we needed to protect the stairs and skirting with plastic sheeting before we started. I then started cleaning the tiles with a strong concentration of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this is a multi-purpose stripper which can remove most coatings and sealers and works best it left to dwell and soak into the stone for a long time before scrubbing it in. This also helps it work on ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up. My primary reason for choosing Remove and Go was to remove what was left of the sealer so after applying it to the floor I left it to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed it into the tiles with a black pad scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. The dirt soon turned the cleaning solution black and the slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, I worked on cleaning up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is good for neglected and heavily soiled areas and it makes short work of cleaning dirty grout. I had to scrub the grout by hand and once I was happy that the slate and grout was as clean as it could be the floor was given several rinses with water to remove the remaining dirt and remove any traces of cleaning products. Once this was done this completed the cleaning process, I was satisfied with our efforts and the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I checked the moisture level of the stone in several areas with a damp meter to check that the floor was dry. The sealer will not cure if the floor is not properly dried out. I chose a combination of sealers to achieve the look we were after. First, I sealed with one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow this is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. It’s also a colour enhancing sealer that works really well on Chinese slate to highlight all the colours. Once this was dry I followed with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which was perfect for finishing this floor.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

The customers response was ‘It never looked as good as that’, and he now realised the importance of sealing the floor correctly! I love the natural patterns in this type of floor, it is one of my favourites.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire



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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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Old Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor Refurbished in Haslingden Rossendale


This client had contacted us for help renovating their Flagstone hallway floor as nothing they did was helping to keep them clean. The problem with the tiles was due to the pores of the flagstone being ingrained with dirt and once this happens they are really difficult to clean effectively. This is why we always recommend stones floors are sealed after cleaning.

After a successful survey that included measuring background moisture levels and testing different products for stain removal I was able to work out the best process for cleaning the floor and a day to clean and seal the tiles was scheduled.

Flagstone Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Haslingden

Deep Cleaning Flagstone Hallway Tiles

I’d established during my earlier testing that I would need a very strong cleaning product to get the floor clean and deal with the stubborn staining that was present and with that in mind I applied Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and is a problem solving tile cleaner and stain remover that adds nano-sized abrasive particles to the mix. This was left to dwell on the floor for a few hours and additionally was covered with a plastic sheet to prevent it from drying out. I then gave the floor a scrub using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine and a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for good measure.

Once happy with the result the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor given a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products. Again the wet vacuum was used to remove the fluids and extract as much moisture from the stone as possible. The floor was then left to dry out fully overnight assisted with a floor dryer to help accelerate the process.

Flagstone Hallway Floor After Cleaning Drying Out Haslingden

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

We came back the next day and tested the floor with a damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone. The air mover had done its job and the Flagstones were dry so we proceeded to seal the floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which penetrates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the stone.

Flagstone Hallway Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Haslingden

It’s difficult to appreciate from the photographs but the customer was amazed at how much of a difference our process had made and at how much dirt we were able to remove. The flagstones were probably more then 100 years old and more aggressive machinery and cleaning products were the only things that would shift the old dirt. The fresh sealer will also ensure the floor is much easier to clean in future.
 
 

Old Flagstone Hallway Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Rossendale



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Deep Cleaning, Sealing and Polishing 120m2 Limestone Tiled floor in Biddenham


The client from the Bedford village of Biddenham had requested a quote to restore the look of their Limestone floor tiles which were laid throughout the whole ground floor including lounge, hallway and kitchen covering approximately 120m2 in total. The floor needed a thorough clean, filling of holes in high traffic areas followed by polishing and then sealing.

Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor Before Cleaning Biddenham

Over time, the floor in this busy household with 2 large dogs had become dirty and certainly worse for wear with all the use it had been getting. A quote was given and accepted and work was booked in to be carried out over 4 days with 2 Tile Doctor technicians on site for 2 of those days.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Biddenham

Deep Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

We returned on the agreed date and started work to get this floor back to looking its best. My initial task before beginning the cleaning process was to apply a protective wrap around the oak doors and moving heavy furniture with sliders that the client couldn’t move themselves to give us a clear area to work in.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Biddenham

We then applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, diluted with water, to the floor. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner that is suitable for use on all natural stone floors such as Limestone, Slate and Travertine.

After leaving the solution to dwell for a few minutes, We began to scrub over sections (Approximately 10m2 at a time) with a 17” scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine, whilst helping to remove a lot of the built up dirt on the surface of the tiles, the products also stripped off the old sealer, this was then rinsed and removed using a wet pick up machine. Following this we paid special attention to the grout lines, scrubbing with grout brushes and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up.

After completing the cleaning, I rinsed the floor again with clean water to remove any excess cleaning products. I then began to burnish the floor using Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. This was done in four steps, as I used four different pads (coarse, medium, fine and very fine) rinsing the floor with water between each pad. Starting with a coarse pad and then gradually working up to the very fine pad achieving a high polish finish in the process. I finished off the process with a quick rinse and a white buffing pad to give the floor a final polish before I commenced the sealing of each area the following day to allow grout and stone to fully dry overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

The client requested a natural look finish so my choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which will protect the floor but not change the colouring in any way. The sealer penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing water resistance and long-term protection from ingrained dirt and stains.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Biddenham Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor After Cleaning Biddenham

This was a large area so it took some time to complete but it was well worth the effort, certainly the customer thought so and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor Feedback System.

Phil and his team were polite, friendly and professional at all times. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they worked very diligently to ensure they got the best possible outcome and the floors l. . . ok better than new at the end.

As you can see from the comments the client was extremely happy with the results and he has asked for details of our maintenance plan to keep his floors looking their best for years to come.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Biddenham
 
 

Large Limestone Floor Renovation in Bedfordshire



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