Polishing Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles in Helsby


Getting the best out of a natural stone floor isn’t straight forward and we often get calls from customers who have come to the realisation they need help. An example of this being a lady from the village of Helsby who got in touch after her husband had given up following spending two days cleaning their Limestone tiled kitchen floor but actually making it worse.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled Before Cleaning

Burnishing and Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

On arrival the first step was to give the floor a general clean with a focus on cleaning the grout lines and removing any grit from the floor. I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline tile cleaning product that is safe to use on grout and stone. The cleaning solution was applied by sponge mop and left to soak for ten to twenty minutes before being scrubbed in along the grout line using a stiff narrow brush to get them really clean. Once done the floor was then rinsed with clean water and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled During Cleaning

The next step was to use a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads to polish the stone back to a deep shine. The pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds are applied with a rotary floor buffer in sequence from coarse to extra fine. The first pad has a Coarse 400 grit which is applied with only water for lubrication, removes minor scratches, sealers, and the top surface dirt. Working in small areas, I applied the pad across the Limestone, rinsing in between and picking up the soiled solution with a wet-vac machine. I then repeated this same procedure with the Medium 800 grit pad which is the first stage polishing pad again rinsing with water after use. The next two pads are a Fine 1500 grit and Extra Fine 3,000 grit which really build up a high-quality polish on the stone.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to seal the Limestone first checking with a damp meter that the stone was dry. The customer wanted a natural look finish to the Limestone, so to seal the tiles I applied two coasts of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer doesn’t change the look of the stone in anyway. Ultra Seal is an impregnating sealer that works under the surface by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled After Cleaning Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled After Cleaning

Once the sealer had dried the floor was treated to a gentle buff with a white pad to bring up the shine even further. Once complete the stone looked a lot healthier and the grout looked much cleaner.
 
 

Professional Limestone Floor Polishing in Cheshire



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Cleaning Shower Cubicle Grout in Maidenhead


The photographs below are of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle installed in a retirement home in Maidenhead. The estimated installation for this bathroom is somewhere between twenty and thirty years and it was well overdue for an overhaul. First of all there was noticeable grout haze left on the tiles where it wasn’t polished off properly during installation and the second issue was the amount dirt and scum that had built up over the years. I suspect this was exacerbated by grout haze issue as it allowed the dirt to become trapped on the surface of the tile.

Retirement Home Shower Tile Grout Before Cleaning Maidenhead Retirement Home Shower Tile Grout Before Cleaning Maidenhead

Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning

A strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was decanted into a spray bottle and applied to the tile and grout allowing it to dwell for a while before being scrubbed in with a stiff hand brush. This action worked to break down the years of dirt and grime that had built-up in the grout lines and on the surface of the ceramic tiles. The tiles were then rinsed down with water and repeated where required until I was satisfied.

The next step was to tackle the grout haze which refers to the smears of grout left on a tile by the tiller after installation; this should have been polished off as it can be difficult to remove once the grout has set. To remove I knew I would need to use an acid so a strong mix of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up was applied using a sprayer bottle and then scrubbed off with an abrasive black pad. In some areas where the grout was proving extremely stubborn I found leaving Tile Doctor Acid Gel for a longer period of time before scrubbing in was more affective.

The shower tile and grout was then given another rinse with water and I could see that although the tiles were now clean and the grout was much improved the grout still looked stained in places so I decided the best course of action would be to apply a white grout colourant to restore a uniform appearance. Before applying that however I applied fresh grout to a few area where old had crumbled away.

Normally I would recommend using a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater before colouring however in this case I felt that the combination of products that had already been scrubbed into the grout would of more than prepared the surface to accept the colourant.

I left the shower to dry over lunch and then on my return used a heat gun to ensure the grout was bone dry before applying the grout colourant. The colourant is actually very easy to apply and is simply painted onto the grout using a small brush making sure to wipe off any excess from the ceramic tile as you go along. The process makes a big difference to the look of a shower and the colourant provides a barrier over the grout making it much easier to clean in future.

Last step was to strip out the old silicone sealant between the shower wall and tray and replace with a new mould resistant sealant in white and to give the tile a buff with a white pad fitted to a handheld buffer to remove any remaining residue.

Retirement Home Shower Tile Grout After Cleaning Maidenhead Retirement Home Shower Tile Grout After Cleaning Maidenhead

The shower cubicle was transformed and now looks as though it was recently installed. Certainly the customer was very pleased with the final result and left the following feedback.

“Dennis was the ultimate professional, prompt, polite and a pleasure to deal with, the transformation to the tiles in the shower is amazing, would have no hesitation in recommending him. A first class job”
 
 

Professional Shower Cubicle Renovation at Berkshire Retirement Home



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Cleaning Shower Cubicle Grout in Walshaw


The photograph below is of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle at a house in the lovely village of Walshaw which is part of the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, near Tottington and Bury. Most of the grout had darkened and some of the grout had cracked and had fallen out, the silicone seal at the bottom of the shower had gone mouldy in places and would also need replacing.

I find mould is a common problem in bathrooms and more prevalent in smaller bathrooms where the hot air and steam are unable to dissipate as easily creating the ideal environment for mould to grow. The solution is improved ventilation; alternatively you can keep on top of the situation by regular cleaning with Tile Doctor Duo Clean.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Grout Before Restoration Walshaw

Tile and Grout Cleaning

To tackle this installation I started by spraying the Tile and Grout down with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean, let it soak in for about ten minutes and then scrubbed it in by hand with a stiff brush followed by rinsing with water. This made a big improvement however there were still areas where the grout was still showing evidence of staining and would need a grout colourant applied to make it look like new again.

Next step however was to rake out the areas of grout that had crumbled and replace with new. Being a Tile Doctor this is something we are very familiar with and once the grout had dried I was able to move onto colouring.

Normally I would recommend using a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater before colouring however in this case I felt the scrub down I gave the grout with Duo-Clean would prepare the grout sufficiently and further preparation would not be necessary. The colourant is painted on using a small brush over the grout and any excess wiped off the ceramic tiles. The process makes a big difference to the look of a shower and the colourant provides a barrier over the grout making it easier to clean in future.

Last step was to strip out the silicone sealant between the shower wall and tray and replace with a new mould resistant sealant in white.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Grout After Restoration Walshaw

The shower cubicle was transformed and now looks as though it was recently installed.
 
 

Professional Shower Cubicle Renovation in South Lancashire



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Polishing Marble Floor Tiles in Willington


Although expensive Marble is a highly coveted, popular and classic flooring choice, not only is it hard wearing you can attain a high polish that simply looks fantastic. At peak condition, it’s one of the most beautiful and eye-catching types of stone available, however it’s appearance will degrade over time and with use, so it does need maintaining.

This customer, who lives in the small village of Willington in Cheshire had contacted us because they were concerned that the lustre on their Marble tiled floor which had been installed throughout much of the ground floor had faded and lost its attractive appearance. We arranged a date to go over and re-polish the floor back to health.

Marble Tiled Floor Before Cleaned and Polished Willington Cheshire

Burnishing and Cleaning a Marble Tiled Floor

On arrival the first step was to give the floor a general clean using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline tile cleaning product that is safe to use on Marble. I mention this because there are many cleaning products on the market today which are acidic and really only meant for use on Vinyl and Ceramic tiles. The cleaning solution was applied by sponge mop and left to soak for ten to twenty minutes with a particular focus on the grout lines. I used a stiff brush along the grout lines to get them really clean and then once done the floor was then rinsed with clean water and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum. This process also has the added advantage of removing any grit from the floor which might cause scratching during the next stage which was to polish the floor.

The next step was to use a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads to polish the stone back to a deep shine. The pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds are applied with a rotary floor buffer in sequence from coarse to extra fine. The first pad has a Coarse 400 grit which is applied with only water for lubrication, removes minor scratches, sealers, and the top surface dirt. Working in small areas, I applied the pad across the Marble, rinsing in between and picking up the soiled solution with a wet-vac machine. I then repeated this same procedure with the Medium 800 grit pad which is the first stage polishing pad again rinsing with water after use. The next two pads are a Fine 1500 grit and Extra Fine 3,00 grit which really build up a high-quality polish on the stone.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to seal the Marble first checking with a damp meter that the stone was dry. To seal the Marble tiles I applied two coasts of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained. Colour Grow also has the added advantage of enchasing the natural colours in the stone and in this case brought out the deep brown colours in the Marble.
Once the sealer had dried the floor was treated to a gentle buff with a white pad to bring up the shine even further.

Marble Tiled Floor After Cleaned and Polished Willington Cheshire Marble Tiled Floor After Cleaned and Polished Willington Cheshire

 
 

Professional Marble Tiled Floor Polishing in Willington



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Terracotta Tiled Floor Refurbished in Amersham Council Building


A local cleaning contractor called us in to work on the Terracotta tiled floors at a council building in Amersham. The Terracotta had not been deep cleaned and resealed for about ten years and the sealer had worn off leaving the tile vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the tile. The grout had also suffered the same fate and had almost gone black in many areas.

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

This is a common problem with Terracotta which is quite porous and once those pores become ingrained with dirt the tile becomes difficult to clean effectively. The solution is to seal the tile however sealers wear off over time and this was basically the problem.

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

After discussing the issues we agreed on a plan of action to deep clean the Terracotta tile and grout and then re-seal to protect it. Due to the busy nature of the building we agreed to do the work between Christmas and New Year when we knew the building would be empty.

Cleaning Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a strong tile cleaning product that being in a gel form ensures it sits on the tile for longer, giving it a longer effective dwell time so it can really eat into and loose the dirt. After approximately twenty minutes the gel was scrubbed into the tile with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This broke down most of the dirt and removed any remaining sealer. Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was rinsed thoroughly with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soiled cleaning solution removed I could see the next step would be to spot clean stubborn staining and clean the grout. For this task I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbing it in by hand using stiff brushes and aided with a hand-held steamer to help treat the stubborn staining. Once done the floor was given a final rinse and then as much moisture as possible removed with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We then left the floor to dry off completely and came back a couple of days later to seal the Terracotta tile.

I mentioned earlier that Terracotta is porous; in fact it’s probably the most porous material I deal with, so to fully seal the floor I had to apply eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide complete and long lasting protection against staining and dirt. Seal and Go also adds an appealing satin sheen to the tile and the new seal will make it much easier to clean in future.

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

The floor tile and grout now look much healthier and I’m sure the council will be very impressed when they go back to work after the holidays.

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

Happy New Year…
 
 

Professional Terracotta Tiled Floor Renovation in Buckinghamshire



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Dirty Mexican Terracotta Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned and Sealed in York


A few months back I posted a story about cleaning Catalan Terracotta tiles where I mentioned that Terracotta tiles are made all over the world. To prove the point I thought you might be interested to read about this Mexican Terracotta Tiled floor I cleaned recently at a house in York.

The customer actually had two floors they wanted me to clean, the other was a Victorian Tiled floor which is cleaned using a similar process but I’ll post about that separately. Both floors looked a bit tired but especially the Mexican Terracotta which looked dull and lifeless additionally the Grout had gone black when it should have been a Sandstone colour.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York

Mexican Terracotta tiles are invariably hand made and made to the same standard as other makes such as Spanish, as a result the porosity levels between each tile can vary greatly which makes them harder to maintain.

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

I cleaned the floor using a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water which is an effective alkaline Tile and Grout cleaner that will clean and strip old sealers from tiles when used in a strong dilution such as on this occasion. I left it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process made a different but the machine couldn’t cope with the “Bull Nose” edges to I had so spend a lot of time cleaning the old fashioned way using a scrubbing brush and a lot of elbow grease. I had the same issue with the grout which being slightly recessed wasn’t cleaned sufficiently by the machine; however I have narrow scrubbing brush that works well for this purpose.

Mexican Terracotta Floor During Cleaning York

The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I could then see those area’s that needed more work and spot cleaned them with more Pro-Clean until I was satisfied all the previous sealer was gone and the tile and grout was as clean as it could be.

The tiles were given a final rinse with water and the wet vacuum used again to extract as much moisture off the floor as possible. The next step would be to seal, however the tiles would need to be dry for that to happen and given Terracotta is notoriously porous and absorbs water quickly l decided after I’d leave the floor to dry out for two days.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a satin finish and really improves the look of Terracotta.

Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York

My customer was very happy with the transformation that had occurred to their floor and I think you will agree from the photographs the floor looks much healthier.
 
 

Mexican Terracotta Tile and Grout Renovated in Yorkshire



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Cleaning Student Shower Cubicle Tile and Grout at Oldham University


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

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

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

Student Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning in Oldham

Tile and Grout Cleaning

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

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

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

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

Student Shower Cubicle After Cleaning in Oldham

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

Commercial Shower Cubicle Cleaning at Oldham Student Accommodation



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Restoring Neglected Geometric Victorian Hallway Tiles in Barnstaple


Barnstaple in North Devon is known to be one of, if not the oldest boroughs in the whole of the United Kingdom. The area certainly has a rich history and many of the properties built in the 19th century still exist and are in use.

It’s not uncommon for the owners of houses built in this era to discover original Victorian tiled floors and hallways. They’ve usually been covered up at some point in the past, either by carpet or linoleum, but if maintained correctly they can be a real asset to any property.

I recently visited one such customer, who lives in Barnstaple, to restore a recently uncovered Victorian tiled hallway that had been tiled in a geometric pattern. This hallway had been neglected and covered for some time by carpet so the colours had faded and there were patches of carpet underlay firmly embedded in some of the tiles.

The property owner uncovered the floor after seeing a similar one in the entrance hallway of a neighbour and was thrilled with her find. After a bit of scrubbing and cleaning the customer decided to call in professional help after a recommendation for the Tile Doctor Devon from a friend. A home visit was conducted and a test patch was done to show what was possible and to talk through options. A quote was then produced which the customer was happy with and the work was arranged for the following week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Barnstaple before restoration

Cleaning a Neglected Victorian Tiled Hallway

As the floor was really in quite a bad state, I opted to use Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU as my main cleaning product. HBU stands for ‘Heavy Build-Up’ – and that’s exactly what the product is formulated to tackle: heavy build-up of ingrained dirt and soil. It used nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone and get underneath stains to lift them to the surface.

I applied NanoTech HBU to the entire hallway and left it to dwell for several hours, before scrubbing it as thoroughly as possible with a brush fitted to a rotary cleaning machine. The soil that was brought to the surface was subsequently rinsed away with fresh water and the resulting slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Once finished with the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry out completely. This was important as older floors which lack a damp proof membrane can suffer from moisture issues, and these issues can damage the performance of the sealer.

Thankfully there were no problems with drying the floor. I was able to seal the tiles using a colour-enhancing impregnating sealer from our range, known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow. For extra protection – and to provide the finish the customer had requested – I also applied a topical sealer called Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This left the floor with a high-quality, long-lasting satin finish.

A properly sealed floor will be much more resistant to stain as well as easier to clean. As with every job a cleaning and maintenance guide was provided which gives handy tips and do’s and don’ts for the floor and that particular sealer.

The restoration reinstated this great Victorian tiled hallway as the showpiece upon entering the property and the customer was absolutely thrilled. You can see the final result below.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Barnstaple after restoration

The customer was thrilled with the floor and was very surprised at just how well the colour came back to the tiles and provided the following feedback:

“I am so pleased with the service Stuart provided. After the initial quote and patch test I felt under no pressure to ask him to proceed, but I was happy with the quote and he arranged a date convenient to me. I am chuffed with my floor, it looks great. The after care has been great also. Thank you Stuart.”
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty and Neglected Victorian Tiled Hallway in North Devon



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