Yellow Stained Bullnose Travertine Tiles Rejuvenated in Pateley Bridge


The photos below show a beautiful Bullnose Travertine tiled kitchen floor at a property in Pateley Bridge which needed professional attention as a consequence of being protected by a cheap and ineffectual sealer.

The problem was that sealer that had been applied did not provide resistance to UV rays, and the exposure to the sunlight had turned the Travertine tiles an unnatural yellow colour. Over time the sealer had gradually worn away in the busiest areas, so it was less noticeable but of course without the protection of the sealer the stone then became exposed to ingrained dirt and stains.

Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge

I took some pictures however they don’t really show the problems that well but needless to say, the property owner was very keen to have the situation rectified – which of course is where I came in. I travelled to Pateley Bridge, a small market town in Nidderdale in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

What is a ‘Bullnose’ tile, you say? Well, it simply refers to the trim of the tile. While traditional tiles will have a straight edge, a Bullnose tile will have a slightly rounded or curved edge.

Cleaning Yellow Stained Travertine Tiles

To begin the restoration, I deep cleaned the tiles mechanically using Tile Doctor diamond burnishing pads starting with a coarse grit. These pads served the purpose of grinding away the very top damaged layer of the stone, effectively removing the yellow staining, grease marks and any old sealer. You use a little water to help lubricate the process and this soon becomes soiled and needs to be rinsed away and removed after each pad is applied.

Next, I cleaned all of the stained grout lines by hand. I did this using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a reliable, alkaline-based cleaner for use on both natural stone tiles and grout. I mixed the Pro Clean into a solution of one part cleaner to three parts fresh water and worked it in by hand using a stiff brush along the grout lines. Once done the now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor and extracted leaving the grout fresh and clean.

Bullnose Travertine During Cleaning Patley Bridge

To finish the cleaning process, I polished the floor with a 3000 grit (very fine) burnishing pad to leave the tiles with a silky satin finish. This pad is applied mechanically with a little water in a technique we often call a spray burnish.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the floor was dry it needed protecting to ensure that dirt could no longer penetrate the pores of the stone. So to guarantee that this wonderful satin finish would last, I sealed the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal.

Ultra-Seal is Tile Doctor’s premium impregnating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation and serving areas such as the kitchen.

Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge

The photos above show the outcome of the restoration, I appreciate my photograph skills are not the best but hopefully you can notice how much healthier the stone looks now, compared to the yellow, sickly appearance of the stone before.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Bullnose Travertine Tiled Floor in North Yorkshire



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Large Grey Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Studham


Brazilian Slate is amongst some of the highest quality available in the world and the grey variant is particularly striking when used for large areas of flooring. I mention this as I recently encountered a fantastic Grey Brazilian Slate tiled floor in what turned out to be one our largest domestic restoration projects to date.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham

The floor, located at a property in the ancient, yet picturesque parish of Studham in South Bedfordshire, covered over 200m2. Unfortunately, it had been installed several years ago with very minimal sealant to keep it protected. This sealant has since worn away and the tiles had suffered as a result. They have become ingrained with dirt, leaving them dull and difficult to clean. Thankfully, we at Tile Doctor are perfectly equipped to resolve these common and highly problematic situations.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham

The owner was also concerned that areas of the hallway portion of the floor were missing grout and asked if this could be resolved as part of our restoration work. As I mentioned before it was a very large installation with slate tiles laid in four bedrooms, a large hallway with stairs, corridor to the kitchen and dining area, the kitchen and dining area itself, the utility room and the main sitting room. In short, it was no small area and I could envisage being there some time!

Fortunately, the customer arranged to have all furniture moved into storage, so we could have a clear area to work on and were able to get straight to work on arrival.

Cleaning a Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor

Due to the size of the job, the cleaning process was carried out over the course of four days by two Tile Doctor technicians on site. Our first course of action was to mix a strong solution of our reliable high-alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was applied and agitated into the tiles and grout using specialised grout brushes and a rotary machine with a 17” black scrubbing pad. This not only cleaned the tiles but also removed any old sealant remaining on the floor.

The resulting slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum. We then applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to all the grout lines, brushing the product in with grout brushes and using the wet vacuum to remove any excess chemicals. Grout Clean-Up is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which removes grout smears from the surface of the tile to ensure there’s nothing that can detract from its natural appearance.

We rinsed and mopped the floor with plain water to neutralise the floor in preparation for sealing and performed a final go over with the wet vacuum. Each area was dried with fans and the cleaning process began again in the next room. This work was repeated in each area as we moved from room to room.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Grouting in Studham

Once the hallway was cleaned, the next course of action was to grout to the areas where it was missing. We did this by matching the colour to the original grout as best as possible. The new grout was then allowed to dry before any excess was removed and a quick clean was performed to avoid any grout haze.

Sealing a Brazilian Slate Tile Floor

Each area was given at least 24 hours to dry before sealing and then sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealant. This sealer works really well on Slate adding robust protection whilst achieving a light sheen finish which gave the customer the look they were hoping to achieve.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Sealing in Studham

The Grey Brazilian Slate floor was given a new lease of life and no longer looked dull, as can be seen in the photographs below. Additionally, the customer was delighted with the results and left us the following positive feedback:

“Excellent service. Very friendly and very professional. I would certainly recommend.”

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham

As I mentioned at the start of this post it was a very large floor and as you can imagine it took some time to complete but was well worth the effort.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Grey Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor 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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Changing Ceramic Tiled Grout Colour in a Greenock Bathroom


This bathtub with shower over was at a house in the old shipbuilding port of Greenock within the historic county of Renfrewshire. I’m not sure you can appreciate it from the before photograph below, but the grout was white and was starting to discolour. The owner of the house didn’t want it to get any worse and asked us for help.

Changing Grout Colour in Greenock Bathroom Before

Preparing the Grout

We discussed the options and the benefits of applying a grout colour which would not only change the colour but also add a layer of protection over the grout which would be much easier to keep clean going forward.

With the decision made we set about cleaning the grout first with a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater that cleans and etches the grout resulting in a better bond with the grout colourant. This was followed by rinsing the grout with water to remove any dirt and remove the traces of pre-treater before drying it off with a heat gun ready for the next step.

Grout Colouring

The customer had decided on a Chocolate grout colour, so it would blend in with the brown tiles more effectively. So, once the grout has dried two coats of Tile Doctor Grout Colourant were applied over the grout with a small brush. This product is basically painted on top of the existing grout any any excess wiped off the adjacent tile before it dries. It’s an epoxy based formula that becomes a long-lasting barrier protecting the grout and as I mention before making it much easier to clean.

Last step before leaving was to strip out the stained silicone sealant between the top of the bath and tile and replaced with fresh new white silicone to match with the white bathroom suite.

Changing Grout Colour in Greenock Bathroom After

The job only took a day to complete and the owner was very pleased with the way the tiles now looked.
 
 

Applying Chocolate Grout Colour to Bathroom Tiles Inverclyde



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Renovated for a Property Investor in Burnley


A property investor contacted Tile Doctor to see if we could help renovate a property that was to be sold in few weeks’ time. To get maximum value from the investment she wanted to preserve the character and period features of the house including the Victorian Tiled Hallway floor, which as you can see from the photograph below was in need a bit of TLC!.

Victorian tiled floors and other period features have become very popular in recent years and are often discovered under hallway carpets covered in years of dirt. Fortunately, they are very resilient and with the right techniques and products can be restored back to their former glory.

Victorian Tiles Before Renovation Burnley

On our initial visit I conducted a survey of the floor to check its condition and work out the most suitable products and methods to employ to restore it. One of the main concerns we have with these old floors is damp as damp-proof membranes were not invented until relatively recently. I have a damp meter to check for this and it did indicate high moisture levels which isn’t really an issue for cleaning the floor but would restrict our choice of sealer to those which are fully breathable and allow moisture to rise-up through the tile. We agreed a price and schedule with the customer and within two weeks we were able to start the work.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was in quite a state, made worse I suspect by recent restoration work by other contractors who unfortunately didn’t take as much care with the floor as the could have done.

After protecting the skirting boards and carpets with film work got underway starting by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor to strip away old sealers and other coatings. This product also helps to break down the paint stains on the surface of the tile, though I also used a handheld scraper, as well as a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, to speed up the process. The resultant slurry was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor clean of coatings, the next step was to deep clean the tiles with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaning product that deeply cleans away ingrained stains. Again, we used a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine to make the job easier. Corners were tough to tackle with a machine, so we had to do them by hand.
The floor was given a final rinse to remove any soil and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used a final time to extract as much moisture out of the floor as possible. Upon finishing the cleaning, we left the floor for a few days, so it could dry out fully.

Dealing with Efflorescence

When we came back to seal the floor we noticed problems with white salt deposits coming to the surface of the tile a problem known as efflorescence. I had suspected this might become an issue but there was no indication of it happening before so was not overly concerned at the time. However, it meant I could not seal the floor as planned until the efflorescence had been dealt with. Fortunately salts like these can be treated and to resolve the problem I gave the floor a wipe with a solution of Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form, formulated to remove grout haze (grout smears) and treat efflorescence. Once this was done the floor was given a light rinse and dried again.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry again for a few more days and on my return, I was pleased to see the problem had not resurfaced and I was able to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

To seal the tiles, I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a penetrating sealer designed to soak into the pores of the clay thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained whilst additionally enhancing the colours in the tile. The sealer really deepened the colours in the tile bringing them to life and with Colour Grow being fully breathable there shouldn’t be any issues with damp becoming trapped under the tile and causing issues later.

The customer was delighted with the results (see feedback below) and the work we did should more than pay for itself when the house goes on the market.

“Thoroughly impressed with Kamila, she was so lovely, professional and thorough! Our tiles look amazing and I was especially happy with how quick she sorted that floor out from the first email I sent. Janice M., Burnley”

Victorian Tiled After Renovation Burnley
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Lancashire



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Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Tiles Rejuvenated in Lower Boddington


Some of the world’s best-known Travertine quarries are found in Italy. In fact, the curved columns of the Vatican City are made from Travertine. But the stone is popularly used for flooring in many other countries, including the UK. It’s a form of Limestone which is quite soft and porous, but has unique aesthetic characteristics, including natural pits and voids.

The natural process of corrosion, known as pitting, makes it so that without the right maintenance and adequate sealer, Travertine is very difficult to clean. The small holes that form in the stone can quickly become ingrained with dirt and other muck. Making things worse, many modern cleaning products are not suitable for use on Travertine: they are acidic and over time will cause further corrosion to occur.

Recently, I was called to a property in the quaint Northamptonshire village of Lower Boddington to rejuvenate a tumbled Travertine tiled kitchen floor. The house was a very busy one, with children and dogs running around. Needless to the say the tiles were looking worse for well and were in desperate of restoration, including cleaning, polishing and sealing to brighten the appearance of the floor and protect it from everyday stains and foot traffic.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen floor Before Cleaning in Lower Boddington Tumbled Travertine Kitchen floor Before Cleaning in Lower Boddington

Cleaning and Polishing Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Tiles

The first thing I needed to do was to remove the plinths from the kitchen units and cover the base units and appliances with a protective film to prevent them from encountering the cleaning products.

Next, I began the process we know as burnishing, which involves the application of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to the tiles to resurface and polish them. In the Tile Doctor system, there are four such pads, each possessing a different level of grit. These pads are fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine and then applied sequentially, starting with the Coarse pad, before moving through to the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine.

A small amount of water is used as lubrication with each pad and I stopped in this case between the application of each pad to soak up any excess moisture using a wet vacuum. The result after completing the burnishing process is a very refined and high-quality polished finish.

After burnishing the tiles, I followed by cleaning the grout lines carefully using a combination of handheld brushes and Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is an alkaline-based tile and grout cleaner.

Sealing Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Tiles

I left to the floor to dry out completely overnight and would return the following day to carry out a final polish of the tiles and to seal the stone. I did this using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is a natural-look, impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum protection. You can see the fantastic results in the photos below.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen floor After Cleaning in Lower Boddington Tumbled Travertine Kitchen floor After Cleaning in Lower Boddington

Before leaving my very happy customer to the enjoy, I left her with customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, a neutral and highly reliable cleaner for natural stone floors such as Travertine. This will assist her in maintaining the appearance and condition of the tiles going forward. Another satisfied customer!
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing for a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Restoration in Lower Boddington



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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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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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Salvaging Heavily Damaged Slate Flagstones in Hawkshead


Stone and Tiled floors will degrade over time so much that they can appear to be simply beyond being restoration. It goes without saying that years of neglect will do this to any surface but it’s worth knowing that the appearance of Tile and Stone can be extended when treated to routine maintenance using the right products and methods.

I’m sure many other tile cleaning companies had passed up on the opportunity to restore this Slate Flagstone tiles at a cottage in Hawkshead, simply because they did not feel they had the resources to make a good job of it. The tiles were in such a rough state that the property owner felt like there might be no alternative other than to rip them up and replace them.

Slate Flagstone Floor Before Milling in Hawkshead Cumbria Slate Flagstone Floor Before Milling in Hawkshead Cumbria

However, while the floor was certainly past its best, it remained secure. Some areas had been concreted to reinforce them, but the floor was mainly suffering from an aesthetic problem, rather than a structural one.

We knew that a general clean and seal job would not do the trick, but Tile Doctor have developed a system to successfully salvage tiles in these situations. It is called ‘Milling’ – here’s how it works.

Milling a Slate Flagstone Tiled Floor

Milling is a process which uses very coarse diamond encrusted pads to remove the old, damaged surface layer of stone to re-face the stone with a new, smoother surface.

This not only makes the floor look completely like new; it also makes it much easier to start cleaning regularly again to maintain its appearance for the long-term. Additionally, it means that we can successfully seal the stone to protect it against ingrained dirt and staining.

Once we had completed the milling process the stone and grout was given a thorough scrub with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This was needed to remove the soil generated by the milling process and also to ensure the grout was clean. Once done the soil was rinsed away with water and this was then removed using a wet vacuum.

It had become apparent during the milling process that much of the grout had also failed so the next step was to rake out the grout and replaced with a flexible floor grout and the floor left to dry out completely.

Sealing a Slate Flagstone Tiled Floor

Since there was no damp-proof membrane present (due to the floor being very old), we sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that allows for moisture vapour transmission and therefore helps to eliminate damp issues.

Colour Grow is also a colour intensifying sealer, so it really helped to elucidate the natural dark shades in the Slate. The outcome of the restoration is pictured below.

Slate Flagstone Floor After Milling in Hawkshead Cumbria Slate Flagstone Floor After Milling in Hawkshead Cumbria

The customer was absolutely amazed by the transformation and left the feedback below on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“We found old flagstones under the carpet which were in need of cleaning. Russell came out to view work and he recommended painting areas of cement with grout paint to match flagstones. Pleased with the work carried out and help and information received from himself and Heidi.”

It can be hard to believe that floors which appear so far beyond salvation can be saved but this example goes to show that anything is possible with the right knowledge and techniques!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty and Damaged Original Slate Flagstone in Cumbria



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Original Quarry Tiled Hallway Given New Life in Haslemere


As the West Surrey Tile Doctor I cover quite a large area including Haslemere which is a town on the South-Western edge of the county in the borough of Waverley. I was down there to visit a customer who had recently bought an old property there and during the renovations uncovered six foot of quarry tiles by the front door. There was a patch of concrete that also needed investigating.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles

I began by carefully removing the layer of concrete with a scraper and a covering of Tile Doctor Acid-Gel hoping it would expose more quarry tiles underneath. Sadly, this wasn’t the case and all I exposed was an area of ruined quarry tiles and four buried bricks. These would have to be removed then filled to bring them to the same level as the remaining tile so I could lay new tiles their place. A couple of noisy hours later following drilling and violent chisel work I’d removed enough to lay flat tiles.

I spent the next hour cleaning and preparing the remaining good tiles. After years of being covered by carpet there was a fair amount of adhesive to remove. This was loosened with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and small abrasive hand-held Diamond blocks to get into the corners.

The Remove and Go was applied to the tiles, left to soak in for ten minutes and then worked into the tile and grout with a stiff brush. The then the soiled solution was rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. Following this work the tiles looked clean but worn out and colourless which is not unusual for this stage of the process and would be resolved once a sealer had been applied.

Tiles were then cut to measure then fixed in place with a rapid adhesive in line with the originals. Once they had set they were grouted in with a grout that closely matched the original. The rest of the floor was inspected at this point and any holes filled with more grout until flat. The grout and tiles were left to dry which was a good opportunity for me to eat lunch.

Sealing Original Quarry Tiles

It was only a small area so later that afternoon the tile and grout and I was able to finish the restoration with the application of two coats of sealer. On this occasion I chose to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the clay Quarry tiles protecting them from within and also enhancing the red colours in the tile.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

The result was a significant improvement and the customer was very happy, leaving the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Rupert was absolutely brilliant. Very friendly and professional, worked cleanly and totally rejuvenated our quarry tile entryway. Would definitely call him again and recommend to friends.”
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor in Surrey



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Bleach-Damaged Jura Limestone Tiles Restored in Harrogate


Jura Limestone is is a high-quality stone mined in quarries in the Bavaria region of Germany. It is perhaps the best-known stone mined in the country, and it is in strong demand throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

It’s not difficult to see why – this Limestone has some fantastic aesthetic qualities while also being durable and hard. This makes it a popular material for floor tiles in residential properties. I recently encountered a wonderful coffee-coloured Jura Limestone tiled floor at a property in Beckwithshaw, a small village of around 400 people near Harrogate. Harrogate is well known as one of Britain’s best-known spa towns, and attracts many tourists each year to visit its baths.

Unfortunately, the property owner had accidentally spilt a bottle of bleach over some of the tiles. Exposure to the bleach had caused unsightly white marks to appear on the stone and, upon seeing the floor in person, I noticed that the tiles had, in any case, not been polished correctly. They had, however, been sealed with many coatings of satin sealer which would need to be removed to facilitate the polishing of the floor.

Large Jura Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate

The floor was 150m2 and it would have been quite expensive to strip the whole floor of sealer and start again so I decided the best thing to do would be to spot treat the damaged areas.

Polishing Damaged Jura Limestone Tiles

To remove the stains, I needed to use a system we have developed at Tile Doctor, which is known as burnishing. This is a style of stone polishing that involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads. Each pad in the system has its own level of grit and is applied in sequence from coarse to fine in order to re-hone the finish on the stone.

To start I used two small handheld diamond blocks (the 200 grit and 400 grit) to carefully take off the old sealer in the affected areas. This would not be enough to remove the stains on the stone, so I followed this up with the application of the Tile Doctor burnishing system which consists of four 6-inch pads of different grits fitted to a handheld buffer.

This involved starting with the Coarse 400 grit pad and then moving on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally the Very Fine 3000 grit pad to achieve a refined polished finish.

The process of burnishing removed not only the white marks, but also the very top layer of stone which had suffered from pitting. Pitting is a natural form of corrosion that causes small holes to appear in Limestone, encouraging dirt and general muck to become ingrained.

Finally, the floor was rinsed and then left to dry and buffed a last time using a soft white pad. I don’t think my photographs really show the difference that well however I can tell you the result was far better than the customer had hoped for. I had managed to successfully blend the new polished finish on the affected tiles with the satin sealer which already existed across the rest of the floor.

Large Jura Limestone Floor After Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate Large Jura Limestone Floor After Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Damaged Jura Limestone Tiled Floor in Harrogate



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London Marathon 2018


Heidi Taylor raising money for Cancer Research UK in the 2018 London Marathon

Heidi Taylor raising money for Cancer Research UK in the 2018 London Marathon

Hello, After years of trying Tile Doctor Heidi Taylor has finally been accepted into the 2018 London Marathon which takes place on Sunday 22nd of April 2018.  She is running it for a very personal cause and it couldn’t have happened at a more apt time – her father has been treated for Cancer and so have others close to her. Everyone knows someone whether its a friend, family or work colleague who has been effected. Please help smash the target – Thank You all in advance

You can help Heidi Taylor raise money for this great cause by donating directly to her fundraising page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/heidi-taylor2017.  JustGiving sends your donation straight to Cancer Research UK and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

Thank you for your support!

Heidi Taylor in Training for the 2018 London Marathon raising money for Cancer Research UK

Heidi Taylor in Training for the 2018 London Marathon raising money for Cancer Research UK



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Polishing Dull Limestone Floor Tiles to a High Shine in Boxworth


Boxworth is a very small village situated to the north-west of Cambridge. In the Middle Ages, it had a significant population, but in the modern day there are only around 100 houses in the area including one belonging to my customer.

I was there to take a look at a large installation of Polished Limestone floor tiles which had been laid throughout the ground floor including the Kitchen, Dining, Utility room and hallway.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room Before Polishing Boxworth

Many people will already know that Limestone is a premium, yet somewhat sensitive natural stone. It’s also porous, meaning that dirt can easily become ingrained if the tiles are not sealed properly, or if the sealant has worn away. This leads eventually to a very unappealing, dirty, and dull appearance which often happens so slowly it hardly get’s noticed until one day you think, “I’m sure my floor looked better than that before!”.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility Before Polishing Boxworth

In this case the sealer had degraded over time and my customer had called me in because she was now no longer happy with the appearance of the tiles. The lustre the tiles once had eventually disappeared and there was also damage in some areas caused by the placement of table and chair legs. I was asked to restore a high-quality polished finish to the tiles.

Cleaning and Burnishing Limestone Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I took the necessary precaution of covering the walls and kitchen units to protect them from exposure to any cleaning products or mess.

To begin, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a high-performance stripping agent, to break down any old sealant remaining of the tiles. This product can also be used to clean the stone itself, as well as the grout lines.

After completing the initial cleaning process, I moved on to restoring the polish to the tiles. At Tile Doctor, we do this using a system we have developed called Burnishing. This system involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads – each possessing a different level of grit – to grind away the dirt from the stone, which is often stained or damaged. The process effectively resurfaces the stone leaving it looking new and fresh.

Firstly, I applied the Coarse 400 grit pad, fitted to a rotary machine, to grind away any excess muck and sealant lubricated with a little water. The resultant slurry was rinsed away and I followed up with the application of the Medium 800 grit pad to start the restoration of the polish again with a small amount of water, followed by the Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish.

Finally, I applied the Very Fine 3000 grit pad to achieve the most refined and highest quality polish possible. The process of burnishing is a gradual but highly effective means of achieving this kind of finish.

Any slurry that was created through this process was removed using my truck-mounted hot water cleaning and extraction machine, resulting in minimum mess.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

After burnishing the tiles and to achieve a really hard wearing and high polish I covered the floor in Tile Doctor Shine Powder crystals and buffed them into the Limestone tiles using a White buffing pad. Then to give the floor extra protection I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which impregnates the pores of the stone to prevent ingrained dirt.

Colour Grow also intensifies the natural colours in the Limestone, thus improving the appearance of the stone to an even greater extent. Following the application of Colour Grow, I gave the tiles a final light buffing with a soft red pad.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility After Polishing Boxworth

The customer was extremely happy with the outcome, remarking that the work was carried “quickly and efficiently with no fuss.” I took lots of photographs of the process, so you can really appreciate the difference that was made.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room After Polishing Boxworth

 
 

Professional Polishing of a Dull Limestone Tiled Floor in Cambridgeshire



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Cleaning a 90m2 Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Alderley Edge


According to the Mirror Newspaper Alderley Edge with its restaurants and bars is a playground for footballers; well I certainly didn’t bump into any on a recent visit there to clean and seal this lovely Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen floor.

Joking aside it is a very nice area and fortunately for me the residents are very partial to stone floors. Getting back to the post, we were asked for advice on cleaning and sealing ninety square metres of Spanish Terracotta tiles that had been installed in this kitchen four years prior. The sealer had since worn off and the floor was becoming difficult to clean effectively.

Terracotta tiles are made from soft clay making it very porous and likely to absorb anything that lands on it; as a result, it’s important to maintain the sealer to stop this happening.

Deep Cleaning a Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

To clean the floor, I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong stripping and cleaning solution which removes old sealers and also draws out ingrained stains.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles During Cleaning Alderley Edge

After twenty to thirty minutes the solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soiled solution was then removed with a wet vacuum and this was followed by scrubbing the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a grout brush until they were clean.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles During Cleaning Alderley Edge

The whole floor was then rinsed with water to remove any soil and trace of cleaning product. The water was then extracted using the wet vacuum. The floor was then checked to make sure it was as clean as it could be and stubborn areas spot treated.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles After Cleaning Alderley Edge

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the next day and tested the tiles with a damp meter making sure it was dry before we could seal it. To seal the floor I first applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which soaks into the pores of the tile to enhance its colours. Once this was dry it was followed up by multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds further protection and adds a nice sheen to the tile.

I took some time to complete due to the porosity of the Terracotta requiring nine coats before the tiles were fully sealed but once done it was transformed and I left a very happy costumer. A quick tip here is that you can always tell when a tile is fully sealed by adding a small drop of water to the tile, if it forms into a bubble then it’s fully sealed.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles After Cleaning and Sealing Alderley Edge
 
 

Renovating a Large Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire



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Badly Stained and Pitted Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Renovated in Clophill


Travertine floor tiles are very appealing but without the protection of a sealer they will soon suffer, fortunately this can be remedied as demonstrated in these pictures of a Tumbled Travertine floor at a house in the Village of Clophill in the Flit River Valley South of Bedford.

This customer had called me out as her ten year old floor was looking very sorry for itself and she was concerned that a lot of holes were appearing which was making cleaning of the floor difficult as dirt was getting trapped in the holes. I went over and carried out a test clean on two separate tiles in the kitchen and the customer was amazed at how clean they came up and especially the grout. An appointment was made for the next month and work commenced.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Clophill Village

Cleaning a stained Tumbled Travertine tiled floor

The first thing we do is to protect the lovely Oak kitchen units by removing plinths, covering base units and appliances with a protective film. We then commenced work by burnishing the stone with a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads are applied individually to each tile in sequence starting with a coarse pad and finishing with the fine pad which brings up the polish. A little waster is used to lubricate the process along the way and the floor is rinsed in-between each pad with the resulting residue extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. The process takes quite some time but the results are well worth the effort.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Clophill Village Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Clophill Village

Once this was done our attention was turned to the grout which being recessed is difficult to reach by with pads. So for the grout a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is applied to the grout lines and scrubbed in with stiff brushes by hand.

The floor was rinsed again and fans were used to assist drying before filling the holes with the same filler the customer had used previously to match the colour of the stone as much as possible.

Sealing a Travertine tiled floor

When we returned the next day the floor had dried and we were able to give the floor a final polish with a very fine burnishing pad. The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which provides excellent protection without changing the colour of the stone to provide a natural look.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Clophill Village

My customer was delighted with the results and kindly left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor Feedback system.

“We had several rooms of very dirty travertine tiles that were deep cleaned, filled and re sealed. The floor now looks amazing. Fantastic job by a professional and friendly team.”

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Clophill Village Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Clophill Village

 
 

Stained and Pitted Travertine Kitchen Floor Restoration in Bedfordshire



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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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Beautiful Black and White Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovation in Monmouth


This beautiful black & white Victorian tiled hallway was recently discovered hidden under carpet at a house near Monmouth. As well as the years of grime that had become ingrained in the tile, the carpet had been secured with carpet grippers which had been fixed on top of the tiles and the owner was keen to recruit my help in its restoration.

It’s a lovely drive up through the Wye Valley from my base in Caldicot to the town of Monmouth which has a long history that goes back to the Roman times. In fact it’s famous for its “Monnow Bridge” which dates back to medieval times and is the only remaining stone gated bridge of its type left in Britain. Needles to say it has a strong mixture of architecture with many old houses built during Victorian times.

Victorian Floor Before Renovation in Monmouth

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first step in cleaning the floor was to prepare it for cleaning by carefully removing the old carpet grippers and adhesive deposits using a handheld scraper. This was followed by creating a mixture of two powerful cleaning products namely Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU remover. Remove and Go is a coatings remover designed to strip off old sealers whilst NanoTech HBU is a powerful Heavy Build-Up Remover that uses tiny abrasive particles to clean up tile and stone.

The floor was smothered in the cleaning solution and it was allowed to soak into the tile for about twenty minutes before scrubbing it in. It was not an exceptionally large hallway so a lot of hand scrubbing was required to get the floor as clean as possible. The cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum or wet vac as my colleagues often refer to it.

To finish off the cleaning process I scrubbed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into the grout lines to get them as clean as possible and then gave the floor a final rinse. I need the floor to be dry before sealing so using the wet vac I extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry completely overnight and returned the next day to finish the floor off with a few coats of sealer. On my arrival I started by taking a few reading with a damp meter to ensure the floor was ready to be sealed. Fortunately by efforts with the Wet Vac the night before had paid off and it confirmed the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.

To do this, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian Tiles and adds a nice low sheen that brings them up nicely. Naturally the sealer not only improves the way they look it also makes them much easier to clean and will protect them against ingrained dirt and staining.

Victorian Floor After Renovation in Monmouth

I think you will agree this old floor has been transformed and now has a new lease of life.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Carpet Covered Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in Monmouthshire



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Slate Tiled Conservatory Floor Covered in Sticky Oil Residue Restored in Bicester


A recent customer of mine had a Slate tiled conservatory that had not been used in a long time since it had become covered in a sticky oil residue and couldn’t be walked over. I can’t go into detail as to how it became it this sate however suffice to say my customer had not been successful in removing it and having tried a number of products and suggestions had decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to remedy the situation.

The customer lives in Bicester just off Junction 9 of the M40 and famous for its Bicester Village outlet shopping centre, which has recently been expanded and is popular for containing discount retail outlets for several major designer clothing stores as well as restaurants and coffee shops.

Slate Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning Bicester

Cleaning Conservatory Slate Tiles

I could see this was going to be a tricky job so to begin, I created a cocktail of cleaning products consisting of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. NanoTech HBU is one of our most powerful cleaners (HBU = Heavy Build-Up) as it uses Nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone to release ingrained dirt. Oxy-Gel is an alkaline-based cleaner and degreaser, which helps to break down oily and sticky residues.

I applied this cleaning solution across the floor and left it to work its magic for about four hours. Next, I rinsed the floor with fresh water and extracted the soil using a wet vacuum before proceeding to clean the tiles again using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean.

Once again, I rinsed away any remaining chemicals with fresh water, before giving the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. Giving the stone and Acid Wash removes grout smears, mineral deposits and efflorescence and really gets the stone clean. After completing the cleaning process with another rinse, I left the floor to dry for a couple of days.

Sealing Conservatory Slate Tiles

On my return to the property 48 hours later, I treated the tiles to fresh sealant to protect them from stains and ingrained dirt for the long term. To do this, I used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which works really well on Slate to provide a high-quality and highly aesthetic low-sheen finish.

Slate Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning Bicester

The customer was very pleased with the transformation – not least because it meant she could use the conservatory again!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty and Sticky Slate Tiled Conservatory in Bicester



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Damaged Marble Bathroom Countertop Polished and Sealed in Northampton


Marble is known for its premium quality, toughness and aesthetic, making it a very popular choice for bathroom countertops, such as this one at a house in Northampton. However just because it’s tough doesn’t mean that Marble can be cleaned with the usual household cleaners. Like all natural stone, Marble is acid sensitive and unsuitable products can have a very damaging effect on its appearance.

In this situation, the property owner had used a limescale remover to remove some unsightly marks from the countertop. Unfortunately, the product was acid-based and instead of making an improvement it just made it worse and caused severe etching.

Black Marble Vanity Worktop Before Polishing in Northampton

The first photo above shows the limescale marks from where toiletries have been placed on the side whilst wet. Since Northampton is a hard water area, the limescale deposits over time caused these marks to appear.

Burnishing a Damaged Marble Bathroom Countertop

The only way to effectively remove the Limestone deposits – while at the same time rectifying the damaged caused by the botched cleaning attempt – was to use a system of hand-held diamond encrusted pads and hand help blocks of various grits to cut back the stone and re-polish it, a process we call burnishing.

Before officially beginning the burnishing process, I ran a few tests to determine the type of pad I would need to use to achieve the best results. I found that, in most areas, I would need to use the Tile Doctor 400 Grit (Coarse) pad to resurface the tile and remove the damaged layer of stone, but in some areas where the etching was worse, I would need to use the 200 Grit (Very Coarse) pad.

After burnishing the affected areas with the Coarse and Very Coarse grit pads, I started to incrementally polish the stone to achieve a high-quality shine, working my up through the Medium, Fine and Very grit pads.

Black Marble Vanity Worktop During Polishing in Northampton

No chemicals were used during this process – only water for lubrication, combined with the six-inch diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a hand-held buffing machine.

Sealing a Marble Bathroom Countertop

The final part of the restoration was to seal the stone to maintain a long-lasting, deep polished appearance. To do this, I used Tile Doctor Shine Powder, which is a crystallising sealer in powder form. The powder is applied directly and combined with water, before being worked into the stone to seal it.

Black Marble Vanity Worktop After Polishing in Northampton

The customer was very happy with the results and the level of shine achieved. I gave the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, which is our aftercare cleaner for polished natural stone, along with instructions on periodic maintenance to help maintain the finish we had achieved for as long as possible.
 
 

Removing Limescale Marks from a Polished Marble Countertop in Northamptonshire



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Lacklustre Multi-Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Transformed in Datchworth


Slate is a very popular choice for floor tiles due to it being hard wearing with a relatively low porosity making it more stain resistant. Some property owners opt for darker Slate, while others prefer wonderful multi-coloured Slate, such as that used in this kitchen in Datchworth, a small village in between the towns of Herford, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City.

Multi Coloured Sawn Slate Play Room Floor Datchworth Before Cleaning

What can be said for certain is that no-one likes a dull looking and dirty floor! Unfortunately, Slate tiles can easily lose their lustre if not treated to routine maintenance. This customer felt that her Slate tiles, which covered the kitchen, utility room and a child’s playroom, were well overdue a refresh. Here’s what we did.

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Utility Room

We followed our tried-and-tested process for restoring the natural lustre and appearance of Slate tiles.

To begin, we removed any old sealant on the tiles using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is both a coatings stripper and cleaning product. The product was applied liberally across the floor and worked into the tiles using a buffing machine fitted with a black buffing pad. Hand-held brushes were used to tackle the fine grout lines. This process removed old sealers and gave the tile and grout an initial clean.

Multi-Coloured Sawn Slate Kitchen Floor Datchworth Before Cleaning Multi-Coloured Sawn Slate Utility Floor Datchworth Before Cleaning

Next, we applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is our industrial strength tile and grout cleaner which was scrubbed into the Tile and Grout as before to remove remaining ingrained dirt. The resultant slurry was promptly removed using a wet vacuum.

To complete the cleaning process, we steam cleaned the Slate to remove any further residue trapped in the pores of the stone and any trace of cleaning product. The floor was then left to dry off overnight so it would be ready for sealing in the morning.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Utility Room

Upon returning to the property, we ran some quick damp tests, since even a small quantity of moisture can cloud the sealant and damage its performance. Thankfully, the tiles proved dry and we were able to seal the Slate using three applications of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

This impregnating sealer helps to enrich the natural colours in the stone, while offering a natural-looking matte finish and robust protection. Between each application of sealant, we machine-buffed the surface of the floor to help dry the stone naturally while maintaining the matte finish.

Multi-Coloured Sawn Slate Kitchen Floor Datchworth After Cleaning Multi-Coloured Sawn Slate Utility Floor Datchworth After Cleaning

This two-day job was truly transformative for these Slate tiles. Just compare the before and after photos above – the customer was certainly very impressed with the speed and quality of the work. Another satisfied customer.

Multi Coloured Sawn Slate Play Room Floor Datchworth After Cleaning
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Dull and Lacklustre Multi-Coloured Slate Tiled Floor in Hertfordshire



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