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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Victorian Tiled Hallway Hidden Under Carpet Fully Restored in Woodford Green


This lovely Victorian Tiled Hallway was discovered by a couple during the renovation of their home in Woodford Green which is a suburb of Woodford in North East London. The tiles were covered by a hallway carpet and much of it was obscured by concrete floor leveller. Fortunately just enough of the tile was exposed to give an indication of the Black and White Victorian floor underneath.

After initial investigation and discussion on what was possible, we were invited to quote to restore the floor which I’m pleased to say was accepted. The following pictures show an indication of the process we followed to restore the hallway to its former Victorian glory.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles

The first step was to remove the concrete floor levelling compound which was done very carefully using small hand tools, detail blades and scrapers. This took a lot of work as we did not want to damage the tiles underneath. You can get a feeling for this from the photographs below where we slowly remove the concrete layer over the floor to reveal the Victorian floor underneath.

Removing Concrete Leveller From Victorian Floor Tiles in Woodford Green Removing Concrete Leveller From Victorian Floor Tiles in Woodford Green

Once the Victorian tiles were all uncovered and the cement had been removed we got a good idea of the condition of the tiles and began a deep clean restorative process. The process began by giving the floor an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which was left to dwell on the tile for ten minutes before being scrubbed in to release remaining smears of concrete and grout residue on the tiles.

The resultant soil was then removed with a wet vacuum and the floor then cleaned with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a similar technique of leaving it to dwell and then scrubbing it in.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Woodford Green

Once cleaned the soiled cleaning product was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor give an thorough rinse with fresh water which was followed by a steam clean to finalised the process.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Woodford Green

With the floor now deep cleaned we moved on to addressing the three door thresholds which needed to be rebuilt to fix loose and replace broken tiles.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Threshold After Cleaning in Woodford Green

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiles were left to dry and set overnight and we returned later to seal them with an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating seal as a primer before re-grouting. Colour Grow is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and also enhancing the colours in the tile.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Regrouting in Woodford Green

Once the sealer had dried we moved on to grouting those areas which were repaired the previous day with a matching grout colour and then this was left to set

When the grout was set it was time to finish off the sealing this time using five applications of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide a natural sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Full Restoration in Woodford Green

As you can see from the picture, the floor has been fully restored to its original condition and with the correct maintenance; it should last for years to come.
 
 

Full Restoration of Victorian Hallway Tiles in North London



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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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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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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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Edwardian Style Hallway Floor Cleaned and Repaired in Islington, London


This customer from Islington in North London had an Edwardian Black and White tiled hallway in need of repair and restoring.

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Tile Cleaning Islington

To restore the lustre of the Edwardian floor tiles the floor would need what was left of the old sealer stripped off, tiles deep cleaned, the replacing of missing and broken tiles and finally applying an impregnating colour restoring products and a protective sealer. You will full details of how this was done below.

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Tile Cleaning Islington

Cleaning Edwardian Style Tiles

Before starting we covered the skirting, doors and threshold areas with protective tape. Then to remove what was left of the old sealer and clean the floor the area was left to soak in a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go for about ten minutes. It was then scrubbed into the tile using a slow speed orbital floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and also hand held brushes to get into the corners and other tricky areas.

The now soiled cleaning solution did a good job removing the dirt and old sealer and was rinsed away using water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. The tile and grout was inspected and the process repeated where required before giving the floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product. It was getting late at this point so the floor was left to dry off thoroughly overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Style Tiles

On our return we first carried out a number of restorative tile repairs using matching Edwardian reclaimed tile replacements primarily to the door thresholds and skirting board edges. Before grouting we applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to the whole floor as this would make any excess grout easier to remove. Colour Grow is also a breathable sealer that impregnates into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and also enhancing the colours in the tile.

We had to leave the floor for another day primarily to allow the grout to dry before returning the next day to complete the sealing process this time using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a lovely sheen and works really well on Edwardian floor tiles.

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Tile Cleaning Islington

As you can see from the picture, the floor has been restored to its original condition and with the correct maintenance; it should last for years to come.

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Tile Cleaning Islington
 
 

Restoring Edwardian Hallway Tiles in North London



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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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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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