Very Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Restored in Rotherfield


Looking at the pictures below you might think this Quarry Tiled kitchen floor at a cottage in Rotherfield was as old as the village which dates back to the 8th Century and is mentioned in the Doomsday book. It really was in a bad state with I don’t know what covering the tiles which had gone black as a result but were actually very pretty as you will see later.

The client was having a new kitchen fitted and wanted the tile and grout restored so as not to incur the cost of replacing it. This really is the best time to look at getting your tiles thoroughly cleaned as with many of the old units removed I could access most of the floor and of course I didn’t need to worry about protecting the units either.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Rotherfield

Cleaning Dirty Kitchen Quarry Tiles

I could see this floor was going to be a challenge so decided to try a strong cocktail of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech HBU, HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up so quite appropriate I thought. Working in sections the floor was soaked in the cleaning cocktail and left to dwell for some time in order to soften the dirt and grime.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Rotherfield

The next step was to run over the tiles with a set of Burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds. It took more than one attempt at this process but the abrasive pads had the desired effect and eventually revealed the beautiful quarry flooring below.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Rotherfield

The pads are effective on the tiles but the grout sits a little lower and so to reach these a stiff brush was scrubbed into the grout by hand.

To remove the dirt that was released from the cleaning process and further clean the tiles I used a Spinning Tool through the process. The tool is powered from a large compressor that sits in my van which forces hot water under pressure onto the tiled floor whilst simultaneously extracting the dirty water back to a tank on the van. It’s an amazing tool that is very effective however you do need to have the van parked very close the house due to a limitation on the hose lengths.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Rotherfield

With the tiles now clean and rinsed with water the floor was dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

The floor was left to dry for a couple of days before I returned to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer. I tested the floor with a damp meter on my return to ensure it was dry; all was well so I moved onto sealing. Sealer of choice on this occasion was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer which so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. The Quarry tiles were quite porous, which is not uncommon for Quarry Tiles and six coats of sealer were required in the end.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Rotherfield

As the photographs show, the floor was transformed and my customer was elated with the results saying “wow it’s like new!”

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Rotherfield
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Quarry Tiled Floor in East Sussex



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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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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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Stripping Varnish off Terracotta Kitchen Tiles and Resealing in Bristol


Terracotta tiles are always a popular choice for Kitchens but being made from clay they are porous and need to be sealed to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the tile. Once sealed though you need to remember Kitchens are high traffic areas, so you can expect the sealer to wear off quicker than it would elsewhere.

I mention this as a customer from Bristol asked me to do a survey on her Varnish Sealed Terracotta Kitchen Tiles where the seal had worn down and were now dull, and the grout had darkened. I surveyed the floor and completed a test clean on a section of the floor which came out well impressing the customer who was happy for me to proceed with cleaning and sealing the floor.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol Before Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol Before Cleaning

Traditionally Terracotta tiled floors have been sealed with a number of products over the years including Wax, Linseed Oil and on this occasion Varnish however all these products have their disadvantages and don’t compare to modern sealers which are designed for the job.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles Bristol Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first day was spent trying to get the Varnish off the floor which somebody had used on the floor as a sealer; Varnish is easily scratched by furniture, so I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. I worked out however that it could be scrubbed off once coated in a combination or Tile Doctor products Pro-Clean, Remove and Go and Nano-Tech HBU which would be left to soak in for a while and then softened with steam.

Mechanical assistance from a buffing machine fitted with a large black scrubbing pad helped reduce the amount of elbow grease that was required and once I was happy the tiles were clean the now soiled solution was rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next day and with the floor now clear I was able to see those areas that needed further re-treatment and also turn my attention to the grout which was cleaned using more cleaning solution worked in with a stiff narrow grout brush that gets into the grout lines. Once I was completely happy with the floor its was given a final rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and then dried with a wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning

Sealing a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

It’s important that the tiles are dry before sealing so I left the floor to dry out for three days before returning to seal them. No Varnish this time of course, Tile Doctor has a range of sealers for every type of situation and what I find works best on Terracotta tiles is a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow topped off with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol During Cleaning

Tile Doctor Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the clay protecting it from within whilst enhancing colour whilst Seal and Go completes the sealing process and adds a nice sheen to the look of the tile.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning and Sealing

As you can see from the final photographs the floor looked really good and the customer gave me top marks for feedback.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning and Sealing
 
 

Professional Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Restoration in Gloucestershire



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Edwardian Geometric Tiled Office Hallway Floor Renovated in Newark


Here we have a small Edwardian Tiled Hallway located in a busy office building in the market town of Newark in Nottinghamshire. We were asked to come over and inspect the floor for renovation. Our subsequent survey highlighted inherent damage, historic wear and staining as well as salt staining from efflorescence. On top of that there were some loose tiles along a door threshold that would need fixing.

Keen to get the floor restored we were given the approval to start the work and agreed on a date to return.

Restoring an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

On our return we started by lifting the loose tiles and cleaning up the recess of debris before re-fixing the tiles using fast setting adhesive & grout. Within half an hour the tiles were set and we were able to start our intensive cleaning process.

Edwardian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Newark Before Cleaning

The first part of the cleaning process was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go coatings remover allowing it to dwell and soak into the tiles for thirty minutes. The solution was then agitated using a black scrubbing pad to help break down the historic-soiling that had been hiding the original colour of the tiles and also remove any old sealers.

There were paint spots and adhesive residues on the surface of the tile which we were now able to scrape off the after being softened by Remove & Go. The resulting slurry was vacuumed away and the floor was cleaned down with water to remove the suspended soils and cleaning product residues.

To deal with the salt staining Tile Doctor Acid Gel was liberally to the tiles and left to dwell for a long time in order to neutralize both the cleaning residues and to dissolve the efflorescence salts. We had warned the customer that because efflorescence salt staining was present it was a likely indication of inherent moisture under some of the tiles and we were able to confirm this with the use of a damp meter.

It worth noting that these old floors did not have damp proof membranes installed and were designed to allow moisture vapour to pass from the sub floor to the surface of the tiles. Under normal use this was manageable by the Victorians & Edwardians. Unfortunately since that date a lot of these floors have at some point been covered by other floor coverings such as modern hard floors or carpet etc. This causes a build up of moisture to develop and efflorescence to form. Over time this causes crystalline salt capillaries to form a foothold in the tile causing damages that can affect the tiles physically as well as a loss of colour.

Once the tiles were cleaned of Acid Gel and rinsed with water again to remove any trace of product the floor was then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum to remove moisture.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off overnight I came back the following day to apply a sealer which would protect them from staining, ingrained dirt and make them easier to clean and going forward.

Knowing that efflorescence would be an issue I had already decided to use a fully breathable sealer to aid moisture transmission from the sub floor. In this instance we used our low maintenance Impregnating sealer Tile Doctors Colour Grow applying 3 coats to provide long term protection to the floor.

Edwardian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Newark After Cleaning

The work took us two days to complete and before leaving our customer was given instructions on how to clean the floor in future using Tile Doctors pH Neutral Floor Cleaning Solution which is highly effective on soiling but most importantly it’s not acidic and so will not damage the integrity of the sealer. It’s worth pointing out that many household cleaning products, and also high-street branded cleaning products, can quickly damage floor coatings; they can also leave residues on floors that contribute to rapid re-soiling.
 
 

Original Edwardian Hallway Office Floor Restored in Newark, Nottingham



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Porcelain Shower Cubicle Tiles Expertly Refreshed in Edinburgh


Porcelain is a popular choice for tiles in modern homes due to its superior durability. It also makes a particularly suitable material for shower tiles because of its natural water resistance. Nonetheless, Porcelain tiles – just like any other type of tile – still require routine cleaning and maintenance to stay looking fresh and attractive.

This is especially the case for shower tiles, as they are subject to mould and scum caused by exposure to the dyes in shampoos and soaps etc which as well as staining the tiles can have a dramatic effect on the grout. Below is a photo of a Porcelain shower cubicle I was asked to restore in Edinburgh. The process for restoring these types of tiles is relatively quick and easy, providing you use the right products and methods. Here’s how I did it.

Shower Grout Before Restoration in Edinburgh

Cleaning and Sealing Porcelain Shower Cubicle Tiles

To begin refreshing this cubicle, I gave the whole area – paying particular attention to the grout lines – a scrub down using Tile Doctor Duo Clean. Duo Clean is our product of choice for the removal of the common mould and soap scum that builds up on cubicles like this one.

Next, I rinsed down the area with fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning product and then left it to dry for a short period of time. It’s difficult to get the grout lines perfectly clean, especially after years of neglect, but we can resolve the situation by simply recolouring the grout.

Shower Grout During Restoration in Edinburgh

I this case I felt the grout although cleaner from when I started did need more work so I decided to go ahead and apply a Grout Colourant. Tile Doctor has a range of Grout Colourants available in ten colours so I painted on three coats of the white colourant which really improved the look of the grout leaving it clean and fresh. Another advantage is the colourant acts as a barrier on top of the grout sealing the grout joint and protecting them from further staining. Other popular colours available in the range include Black, Cappuccino, and three shades of Grey.

Finally, I ripped and out and replaced the mouldy silicone around the base of the shower cubicle and replaced it with fresh.

Shower Grout After Restoration in Edinburgh

The client was very impressed with the speedy restoration. Before leaving the property, I explained that rinsing down the shower cubicle with fresh water after every use can help to reduce the effect of staining and leaving the door and window open after a shower improved ventilation and inhibit the growth of mould. Naturally you can always give me call if the situation gets out of hand.
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning, Grout Recolouring and Sealing for a Mouldy Porcelain Shower Cubicle Restoration in Edinburgh



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Cleaning Student Shower Cubicle Tile and Grout at Oldham University


Earlier in the year we were contacted by the facilities manager of one of the student apartment blocks in Oldham which provides accommodation for the students of Oldham University. They were looking for a firm to revamp the student en-suite bathrooms during the summer recess. The building has 270 apartments and we had been asked to quote for the renewal of the ceramic tile and grout of around 45 shower cubicles (possibly more) which were judged to be in a bad state and beyond the ability of their in-house cleaning team.

The University runs degree courses from Accounting to Sports Coaching and as you can image Students are not known for their cleanliness so we knew we would have our work cut out completing the assignment on time.

Several companies competing for the work however after successfully demonstrating what we can do with a patch test in one of the bathrooms and comparing of quotes I’m pleased to say the facilities company awarded us the contract!

Student Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning in Oldham

Tile and Grout Cleaning

We returned in the summer and facing a time limit to complete the work we worked out a system whereby we would spray the Tile and Grout down with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean, let it soak in for about ten minutes and then scrubbed it in by hand with a stiff brush. Duo Clean is an effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover that can remove mould and blackspot from grout and silicone. It’s really useful for cleaning shower tiles as the spay attachment mixes the product with air as its spayed onto the surface allowing it to stick to vertical surfaces more easily. Once the tile and grout was clean it was rinsed off with water and stubborn areas re-treated until clean.

Duo Clean is effective at dealing with Mould on Silicone in most situations however some of the silicon sealant was beyond cleaning so in these cases the old Silicone was stripped out and replaced with new.

We were able to clean all the shower tile and grout using this process however I had brought a long a few Grout Colouring kits as a back-up solution just in case. Once the grout is clean the colourant is painted on using a small brush and makes a huge difference to the look of a shower. There also inexpensive and provide a barrier over the grout so it keeps its appearance for longer.

There were a lot of bathrooms to cover so once the cubicle was spotless we immediately moved onto the next one completing the whole project three days ahead of the due date.

Student Shower Cubicle After Cleaning in Oldham

The facilities manager was delighted with results and timing of our work and it just goes to show that using the right cleaning products can save you time and money compared to the alternative of re-grouting.
 
 

Commercial Shower Cubicle Cleaning at Oldham Student Accommodation



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External Terrazzo Tile Steps Refinished in Glasgow


The photographs below are from a set of Terrazzo steps outside a house in Glasgow which had completely lost their colour after being subject to years of weather staining and believe me we see all sorts of weather up here in Scotland. The owner of the house wanted them restoring back to their natural state but naturally concerned about safety didn’t want them shiny or slippy in anyway.

Terrazzo Steps Before Cleaning and Sealing in Glasgow

Cleaning Terrazzo Steps

I could see tackling the different surfaces of the stone stairs would be tricky so rather than opt for a cleaning product I decided to use a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a handheld flex machine.

I started with the very coarse 50 grit pad lubricating along the way with a little water and moved up through the medium and fine pad until the job was finished. Now normally when working on stone this is followed up with the application of a very fine pad to restore a polished appearance but clearly in this case that would not be necessary. In between the application of each pad the steps were rinsed with water to remove the slurry generated in the burnishing process.

One complete I left them to dry out for a few days; fortunately I had timed my visit within a warm weather window so I was confident they should be dry when I returned.

Sealing Terrazzo Steps

I returned a few days later and after checking the stone had indeed dried out I sealed the Terrazzo with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer suitable for external application. Being an impregnator it protects the stone from within by occupying the pores in the stone where dirt might otherwise become ingrained, it also enhances the natural colours in the stone and as you can see from the photograph below the steps now look much pinker.

Terrazzo Steps After Cleaning and Sealing in Glasgow
 
 

Terrazzo Tile Steps and Grout Refreshed in Glasgow near Edinburgh Airport



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Original Victorian Tiles Restored to Top Condition in Brighton


The 19th century was a pivotal period for the Brighton and Hove area of East Sussex. Many of the major attractions were built during the Victorian era, including two of the major piers. Over time, Brighton became not just a very popular destination for day trippers, but also for home makers. Lots of Victorian-style houses were built, complete with Victorian-style tiled floors.

Modern homeowners are increasingly uncovering these original Victorian tiles after decades of being hidden under carpet overlay. Contrary to popular belief, it is very much possible to restore these tiles back to peak condition despite suffering from damage, dirt and staining.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hove

I recently a house in Brighton to prove just that. The customer’s Victorian tiled hallway floor had been covered by many carpets over the past few decades and so there were many thick glue deposits, along with a heavy build-up of dirt and staining.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hove

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

After protecting the woodwork with tape, I set about cleaning the Victorian tiles using a combination of products. One of these was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (HBU = Heavy Build-Up Remove), a powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the tile to lift out and dissolve ingrained dirt and stains. I mixed the NanoTech HBU together 50:50 with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a reliable alkaline-based cleaner. This cleaning mixture was applied to the hallway floor and then covered with a plastic sheet for a few hours before being scrubbed into the tiles thoroughly with a lot of elbow grease and a specialised scrubbing pad.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Hove

A lot of the glue deposits were stubborn and would not respond to the chemical cleaning, so I needed to carefully scrape these off by hand. Once the majority of the glue had been removed I applied a set of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads to remove the top layer to resurface the floor and bring back a lot of the definition in the tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Hove

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

After completing the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry completely. Giving the tiles enough time to dry is important, especially in older properties which won’t have a damp-proof membrane installed. Even a small amount of excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Once I was satisfied with the moisture level, I proceeded to seal the tiles using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that doesn’t leave a smell as it dries and as well as adding a layer of protection to the tiles give an appealing low-sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Hove

The client, being of French nationality, said she was “sur la lune” (over the moon) with the result! Look at the photos below to see the transformation – I must say I was quite pleased myself!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Hove
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for an Original Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Brighton



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Ruined Marble Shower Tiles Restored in Sharnbrook


I was contacted by the owner of a cleaning company in Milton Keynes, after an end of tenancy clean at a house in Sharnbrook went wrong. Unfortunately a member of their staff had incorrectly applied an acid based cleaning product to the Marble shower tiles which like most natural stone is acid sensitive. The cleaning product had etched the stone causing the damage you can see below. Being a reputable company they were determined to put the situation right and we were asked to step in.

Marble Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning in Sharnbrook

We have had a few issues of this type before where customers keen to remove unsightly Limescale marks from their stone tiles use a household cleaner without reading the bottle label first to see if it’s safe to use. Issues of this nature on Marble cannot be easily resolved with chemical products; it takes specialist knowledge and equipment.

Marble Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning in Sharnbrook

The quote was given and accepted and the work was booked in with the letting company for a few weeks later.

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Shower Cubicle

The first photos show the extent of the damage which had not only damaged the immediate area but as the cleaning product was in liquid form it had ran down the wall had totally ruined the surface of the tiles in the lower half of the shower.

The first thing I did was to protect the shower tray with towels and then began assembling the equipment needed for this job which consisted of a wet polisher, a variable speed polisher, one set of 6” Tile Doctor burnishing pads from 100 grit to 3,000 grit and one full set of diamond blocks from 80 grit upwards.

I then went about testing how far down the scale I would have to go to get the best results. I found that in most areas the application of a 200 grit burnishing pad was adequate to resurface the tile and remove damage but in some areas I had to go down the scale as low as 80 grit to achieve the desired result.

Marble Shower Cubicle During Cleaning in Sharnbrook

One the damage had been removed the higher grit pads are used in sequence to restore the polish finishing with the 3,000 grit pad. No chemicals are used in this process, just water and the small six inch diamond encrusted burnishing pads which fit to a hand buffer.

Although only a small area, no more than 4 m2 this job took most of the day. However, as the whole shower room was tiled in the same tiles it was a much more cost effective to restore the damaged tiles than replace them.

Marble Shower Cubicle After Cleaning in Sharnbrook

We were able to achieve an excellent result which the client was very happy with, no doubt saving the cleaning company thousands of pounds in replacement costs.

Marble Shower Cubicle After Cleaning in Sharnbrook
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Damaged Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle in Bedfordshire



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Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Thought Beyond Repair Rejuvenated in Cardiff


Many property owners who are lucky enough to have an original Victorian tiled floor in their homes face the same conundrum: can an old and potentially very damaged floor be salvaged and restored to peak condition or should I replace it?

Some people would instinctively tell you that the answer is no – even trained professionals! In fact, a leading tile restoration company (which shall remain unnamed) based in Cardiff told a recent customer of mine that her original Victorian tiled floor, dating back to 1905, was beyond repair. The company recommended that she not waste any money on having it restored and instead that she should have it ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff Before Restoration

It was in a bad state, however replacing the floor would incur a significant cost and the original characteristics of the period floor would be lost. The customer was feeling rather deflated and was left undecided on what to do. Fortunately after browsing the web for a solution, she came across Tile Doctor and I was asked to pop over and take a look.

I visited the customer at her home and removed parts of her hallway carpet to get a better look at the Victorian tiles beneath. The floor was certainly in a very poor state, there were many old paint splash marks covering the tiles and the surface of the floor was deeply darkened after many years’ worth of wear and tear. In my opinion however, it was still salvageable, and the customer was happy to see what could be done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

A week before I was due to start the restoration, I asked the customer to remove the foam-backed carpet to let the floor breathe a bit.

Before beginning the work, I ran a few damp tests and the floor proved surprisingly dry considering how old it is and the very probable lack of a damp proof membrane. I started by manually scraping as much of the old paint staining off the stone as possible and cleared other debris from the surface.

Knowing that clay based Victorian tiles like these easily soak up paint splashes, I knew it would take a thorough clean to remove them completely. I firstly soaked the floor with water and left it to dry slightly before mixing a concoction of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the stone, while Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner that tackles heavy soil build-up. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product which both cleans and strips away any old sealer.

I left this mixture to dwell on the floor for around half an hour, scrubbed it in firstly using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then a wire wool pad. I followed by rinsing the products off with water and extracted up the excess with a wet vacuum machine.

This technique was repeated until I was satisfied with the condition of the floor.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight, I returned to the property the next day to carry out the sealing process. I applied seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only adds a protective covering to the tile, but also enhances its appearance.

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results of the restoration, especially considering that she was told the floor was ruined by a leading company and not worth saving.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff After Restoration

I think you will agree that its always worth trying to restore a period floor and my customer deserves praise for sticking to their guns.
 
 

Professional Period Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in South Wales



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Botched Yorkstone Tiled Floor Instalation Resolved in Guiseley


In an interesting turn of events, I was recently contacted again by a homeowner from Guiseley, near Leeds, with whom I had been in touch with two years prior. At that time, I had quoted for cleaning and maintenance work to be carried out on a Yorkshire Stone, or ‘Yorkstone’ tiled floor, but the customer had opted to go with a different company. Yorkstone is a variety of Sandstone that it unique to the quarries of Yorkshire.

When the customer called me again, she explained that the previous work – most likely carried out by inexperienced cowboy builders – had been disastrous. The stone evidently had not bene properly cleaned and very little sealer had been used to protect it against wear and tear. The result was a very dirty and dusty floor – and the only solution was to start the restoration process over again, this time with the help of a true professional!

Here’s a photo of what the floor looked like before the restoration:

Yorkshire Stone Floor Guiseley Leeds Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dull and Dirty Yorkstone Tiles

Since the floor had not been cleaned properly to begin with, there were several unsightly paint stains on the stone in addition to general dirt and stains. To remove these, I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a reliable alkaline cleaner, liberally across the floor and left it dwell for a short period. I then used a wire brush to scrub away the muck.

The customer had asked the builder to grout the tiles to reduce the likelihood of trapped dirt and make the floor feel complete. For whatever reason, builder either wouldn’t or couldn’t oblige, so I grouted the whole floor as well, much to the customer’s delight.

Sealing Yorkstone Tiles

Once the floor was fresh and clean, it was left to dry completely so it could subsequently be sealed.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable and aesthetically-pleasing low-sheen finish to really enhance the character of the stone. Four coats of sealer were used in total to ensure maximum protection.

Here’s what the floor looked like after the restoration:

Yorkshire Stone Floor Guiseley Leeds After Cleaning

After cowboy builders had botched the job, the customer was exceptionally happy that the situation had finally been put right. The floor is now in top shape and will be protected against wear and tear for a long time to come.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Yorkstone Tiled Floor in North Yorkshire



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Dull Travertine Tiles Polished and Sealed in Durham


It can be very frustrating to put effort into regularly cleaning natural stone floor tiles without achieving effective, long-lasting results. This recent customer of mine, who lives in the beautiful city of Durham in north east England, had attempted to maintain the appearance of her Travertine tiled living room floor but it had, nonetheless, become dull and lifeless in many areas.

Travertine Floor in Durham Before Cleaning

The customer’s choice to use a steam mop regularly had caused more harm than good, as the steam damaged the sealer and exposed the stone to ingrained dirt and stains. I was asked to restore the floor back to its original condition and provide advice on the correct cleaning techniques and products for aftercare.

Travertine Floor in Durham Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Travertine Tiled Living Room Floor

To begin the restoration, I used our Tile Doctor burnishing system, which consists of applying four different diamond encrusted pads to restore the sheen to the stone and rid it of any dirt. Starting with a Coarse grit pad to grind away the dirty layer, I subsequently moved on to the Medium and Fine grit pads to gradually polish the floor. Each pad is applied with water to help lubricate the process and the resultant soil is rinsed off after each pad application.

Next, I cleaned the grout carefully using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a stiff grout brush, Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner that works really well on grout. The floor was left to dry overnight.

Returning the following day, I applied the fourth and final burnishing pad which is a Very Fine 3,000 grit to achieve the best possible sheen. Water is liberally spayed onto the tile during the application of the last pad in what we call a Spray Burnish action.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Living Room Floor

The final step of the restoration was to seal the tiles. I did this using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, our impregnating sealer which not only protects the stone, but also rejuvenates its appearance and colour. I then gave the floor another quick buff with a white buffing pad for good measure.

After completing the work, I gave the customer some advice on aftercare. I recommended that she use Tile Doctor Stone Soap in combination with warm water for future cleaning as it is not only reliable, but also helps to maintain the natural patina of the stone. The solution should be gently mopped onto the floor.

Travertine Floor in Durham After Cleaning Travertine Floor in Durham After Cleaning

As you can see from the after photos, the work made a huge difference to the appearance of the Travertine tiles and the customer was very happy with the finished result.

Travertine Floor in Durham After Cleaning
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing for a Dirty and Dull Travertine Living Room Tiled Floor Restoration in Durham



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Acid-Damaged Marble Shower Cubicle Restored in Leatherhead


Marble tiles are a fantastic choice of stone for a shower cubicle because of its distinctive characteristics and quality. It can really add a luxurious feel and when used in a bathroom take it to the next level.

However, it’s extremely important to note that Marble like all natural stone is a porous and acid-sensitive material. It must therefore be cleaned with care using suitable products. This particular Marble tiled shower cubicle at a property in Leatherhead is a good example of this done wrong. The owner had used an acid-based cleaning product to clean the stone, resulting in damage to the sealer and causing unappealing streaks to form.

Marble Shower Wall Leatherhead Before Cleaning

This type of damage can appear irreparable but, with the right combination of cleaning methods and products, it can be fixed. Once the old sealer has been removed, and the tiles have been cleaned, polished and re-sealed, they can look as a good as new. Here’s how I helped this customer restore the Marble shower cubicle.

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Shower Cubicle

To begin the restoration, I scrubbed the dirty grout lines using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a highly reliable and multi-purpose alkaline-based product. I then rinsed the tiles with water to remove the traces of cleaning product.

Next, I moved on to the polishing stage of the restoration – what we often refer to as burnishing. This involved the use of small six-inch diamond-encrusted burnishing pads applied with a hand buffer and with different levels of grit – ranging from Coarse to Very Fine. I started with the Coarse grit pad and worked my way sequentially through our four-pad system, polishing the stone with Medium, Fine and eventually the Very Fine pad to really bring up the polish.

Sealing a Marble Shower Cubicle

Once the shine had returned to the Marble and the damage had been removed, I re-sealed the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a penetrating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours and patina of the stone. Once dry, I gave the tiles a final polish with a white buffing pad to put the finishing touches on the restoration.

Marble Shower Wall Leatherhead After Cleaning

The customer was thrilled with the results, saying:
“I’m really happy with the result and we will make sure we don’t use supermarket cleaners again on natural stone. Rupert was a very personable tradesman who took pride in what he was doing. He has identified Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner as being the product we should have used in the first place and has sent me the website details.”
Another satisfied customer!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Damaged Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle in Surrey



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Cleaning Dirty White Porcelain Floor Tiles in Windlesham


Photographs below from a lovely house in Windlesham where I was asked to do something about the Porcelain floor tiles which had become extremely dirty and were proving impossible to clean. Infact my customer was pulling her hair out about how to fix this issue of deeply ingrained muck and was on the verge of pulling the whole lot up.

Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Windlesham

Porcelain Tile Cleaning

Normally Porcelain tiles are fairly easy to maintain and it’s just a question of keeping the grout clean however I have to confess these tiles were perplexing indeed. In fact to be honest…I tried every product in my van to get them clean, finally settling on Oxy Gel. I left it to soak on the floor for 30 minutes and then worked it in with an aggressive 200 grit pad.

I’m happy to report the transformation was amazing, all the muck was released from the tile and I was able to extract it from the floor using a wet vacuum. My last step was to give the grout a good scrub using more Oxy Gel, rinse off with water and extract as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum.

Porcelain Tile Sealing

I speed dried the floor with an air mover and once the floor was dry I applied a coating of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Now Porcelain tiles don’t usually take a sealer however these tiles were unusual in that they were trapping dirt and it’s possible they were in fact micro-porcelain so a coat of sealer was added for good measure.

Porcelain Tiled Floor After Cleaning Windlesham

My customer was really pleased with the difference and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Here’s what she said-

“Rupert was a total professional from start to finish. I was worried as to how good he would be able to make the floor – the floor consists of almost white porcelain tiles, that my tiler had failed to seal. This meant they had absorbed dirt over the last two years – even after me scrubbing the floor, they always looked dirty. The room was big – a 24 feet long kitchen/dining room. But Rupert assured me he could get it clean again – and he was as good as his word. When I saw the room for the first time, I said “I have my new kitchen back – the floor looks as good as it did the day the tiler had put the tiles down”. He left everything clean and tidy after the job – I wish I had discovered your website 18 months ago ! Thank you, Rupert, brilliant work.””
 
 

Cleaning a tiled supermarket floor in East Sussex



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Rejuvenating a Slate Tiled Bar Area at a Pub in Leamington Spa


The Drawing Board is a Gastropub and bar in Leamington Spa with a fantastic homely aesthetic. Leamington Spa itself is a spa town in Warwickshire, home to The Royal Pump Rooms, the most famous of the spa baths that were opened in England in the late-18th and mid-19th centuries.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Leamington Spa Pub Restaurant

I have eaten at the Drawing Board a few times in the past (great food!) and was really pleased to help the owner rejuvenate the Slate tiled floor in the bar area. He wanted the area cleaned and sealed to achieve a wet-look finish, however, because the pub is very popular amongst customers, I would only have a period of five hours to undertake the work. This meant an early morning start. I had carried out some maintenance work on the floor about 18 months ago, but during this time it had suffered a lot of foot traffic.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Leamington Spa Pub Restaurant

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in a Bar Area

To begin, I used our product called Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, which is an effective cleaner and coatings stripper, to remove the old acrylic coat on the tiles. Being in a gel form it’s easy to manage and holds in position allowing it to dwell on the stone and get to work on breaking the existing sealer down. Once applied it was left to soak into the Slate and then scrubbed in using a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and the now soiled Oxy-Gel and water was removed with a wet vacuum.

With the tiles stripped of any remaining coatings, I turned my attention to the deep cleaning the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline cleaner. The product was diluted with water and then scrubbed in manually using a stiff brush.

Following this, I rinsed the whole floor with fresh, cold water to remove any traces of product. Air movers were then installed to speed dry the stone as I needed to move quickly with only five hours to get the job done.

Once the floor was completely dry, I was able to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor High Shine, which is a a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers designed to protect and enhance the appearance of natural stone whilst leaving a high sheen finish. Another advantage of the sealer is that being water based it leaves no smell as it dries which was important as being a pub we didn’t want to put the customers off.

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration in Leamington Spa Pub Restaurant

I think you will agree the Slate floor looks significantly better and the new sealer will provide them with the protection they need to withstand heavy foot traffic. The owner of the pub was very pleased indeed!

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration in Leamington Spa Pub Restaurant
 
 

Commercial Natural Stone Floor Maintenance at a Leamington Spa Public House



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Travertine Wet Room with Leakage Problem Restored in Harrogate


Travertine is a distinct and highly aesthetic material which offers unique characteristics and colouring that not many other types of stone can offer. It looks great when used on tiled floors and in this case shower cubicles however like any natural stone it does need maintenance.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

A good example of this point was this Travertine wet room in Harrogate, which comprised of large format Travertine tiles on the floor and Travertine mosaic tiles on the walls. It was in poor condition and to make things worse had been leaking for years. A local plumber had tried to resolve the leak, but to no avail. At this point, the property owner was desperately searching for a solution, and decided to contact me to see what could be done both to restore the appearance of the wet room and fix the leakage.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Wet Room

On first inspection of the wet room, l couldn’t see any obvious problems that might be causing the leak, however the white silicon did look a bit questionable and had already decided that would need replacing. To start I turned my attention to cleaning the whole shower cubicle, including the tile and grout.

I did this by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner, to remove the mould, soap scum and dyes caused by daily exposure to acidic soap and shampoos. These issues can build up exceptionally quickly if care is not taken to regularly rinse down the shower after each use.

During this process, I noticed grout haze had been left on the surface of the tiles following installation and so treated the problem with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of hydrochloric and phosphoric acid in gel form. Being a gel, this product works particularly well on vertical surfaces because it is easier to control.

The next step was to resolve the leakage problem, starting by removing all the old and unattractive white silicon. When l removed the silicon, I could see that it was black with mould at the back. It was clear to me then that water was getting behind it and this was the cause of the leak. Also, this revealed a 2-3mm gap between the wall and the base of the shower. The gap was damp and mould had collected there, so this needed to be scraped out manually and the gap dried with a heat gun. Finally, l filled the gap with grout to seal it and left the wet room to dry overnight.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Wet Room

The next day, I returned to the property and sealed the grout with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. This is a premium, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection and allow moisture vapour transmission. To finish the restoration, I applied fresh, clear silicon around the base.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate After Cleaning

In my opinion, white silicon should never have been used with stone, as clear silicon is far more suitable and more pleasing to the eye. Certainly, my customer agreed – and she was very pleased with the result and no more leak.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate After Cleaning
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Wet Room in North Yorkshire



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Restoring the Spoiled Appearance of a Sandstone Tiled Patio in Bedford


This is the ideal time of year for property owners to not only think about restoring their internal natural stone floor tiles, but also their external tiles. With it being Summer, the weather is warm and dry enough for patio restorations to take place.

The photographs below show a recent restoration of a two-year old Sandstone tiled patio at a property on a new build development in Bedford, the country town of Bedfordshire. Sandstone is a naturally porous stone, which does make it more vulnerable to the elements when it is used for outside flooring and is not sealed.

Sandstone Patio Bedford Before Cleaning

Unfortunately, the patio had not been sealed when it was first installed, and during the two years since, the combination of damp weather, a lack of sunlight in shaded areas, and a build-up of green staining from moss spores – together with general dirt and grime – had greatly spoiled the appearance of the beautiful stone.

Sandstone Patio Bedford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Spoiled Sandstone Tiled Patio

My first course of action in carrying out the restoration was to lightly coat the patio with Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is a multi-purpose, alkaline-based cleaner which is suitable for use on most natural stone, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone, Slate, and Travertine.

The product was subsequently agitated with a scrubbing brush fitted to a rotary machine, before I pressure washed the patio at a medium pressure to avoid damaging the stone. As you can see from the photos below, this cleaning made a great improvement to the condition of the patio – in fact, it appeared almost new again! The customer was very pleased with the outcome.

Sandstone Patio Bedford After Cleaning

The customer decided not to have the patio sealed, as he preferred the natural look and would prefer to have it cleaned on a yearly basis. Sealing is less important for external tiles, as compared to internal tiles, however if you do decide not to seal your patio, it’s highly recommended that you establish a routine maintenance plan for the stone. Otherwise, you run the risk – after just a few years – of allowing your tiles to end up in a similar condition to this Sandstone tiled patio before it had been restored.

Sandstone Patio Bedford After Cleaning
 
 

Professional Cleaning and Restoration of a Spoiled Sandstone Tiled Patio in Bedford



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Dirty Grout Lines Refreshed on a Ceramic Tiled Hallway in Cirencester


Cirencester is a large market town in the East of Gloucestershire known for its rich history dating back to the Roman times, when it was known as Corinium. This area is also home to the Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world.

I visited the town recently to see a customer who was having significant problems with the cleaning of her Ceramic tiled hallway. Ceramic tiles are always a popular choice in high traffic areas like Hallways and Kitchens due to their durability, as well as water and scratch resistance. However, this floor had been installed a decade ago and during that time had not received adequate maintenance. Although the Ceramic tiles themselves had not faired too badly the grout lines were heavily ingrained with dirt, making them near impossible to clean with everyday cleaning products.

Ceramic Grout Lines Cirencester Before Cleaning

The property owner had tried numerous products without success and determined to get the grout clean again sought assistance from her local Tile Doctor. I deal with these types of issues all the time so I was happy to pop round and see what could be done to restore the floor back to its peak condition.

Cleaning a Dirty Ceramic Tiled Hallway

To begin, I set about cleaning the grout lines using a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose stripper and degreaser that breaks down any old sealer, and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline-based cleaner suitable for all types of stone and tile. I applied the cleaning solution and left it to dwell for about 30 minutes, before using a grout brush to lift away a decade’s worth of grime and muck.

Next, I used Pro Clean again to scrub the tiles in combination with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine, before rinsing the entire floor with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals. Then, I dried the grout lines with a heat gun and left them to cool for about 10 minutes. The grout lines were subsequently ready to be sealed.

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Hallway

With the floor ready to be sealed, I applied Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to the grout lines using a pipette, which is a tool used to deliver a measured quantity of sealer.

Ultra-Seal is a premium sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection. While leaving the grout with a natural look, the sealer will keep the grout looking fresh and free of ingrained dirt for some time to come.

Ceramic Grout Lines Cirencester After Cleaning

The customer was amazed at how quickly I could transform the condition of the grout. As you can see from the photo below, the condition of the grout really shapes the appearance of the floor – and now these Ceramic tiles are a real asset to the property once again.
 
 

Professional Cleaning of Dirty Ceramic Tile and Grout in a Gloucestershire Hallway



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