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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