Lustre Restored to Dirty Slate Tiles in Thaxted


The single most important thing you need to do after having a new natural stone floor installed is to seal the tiles. The sealant acts as a barrier of protection for the stone against ingrained dirt, so without it the floor will become very difficult to keep clean.

This is the exact problem faced by my recent customer, who lives in the town of Thaxted in North Essex. Thaxted is a very historic place with over 1000 years of history and several fantastic medieval houses. The Slate kitchen tiles in the property had not been sealed after installation and, despite Slate being naturally durable and hard wearing, the tiles had quickly become dull and difficult to keep clean.

Despite valiant efforts at a DIY restoration, the customer required our professional assistance with deep cleaning and sealing the tiles to restore them back to their best condition.

Slate Tiled Floor Thaxted Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the cleaning process, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the floor and scrubbed it in using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product: it strips away any old sealer, adhesive and paint stains, and draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy soil build-up. The resulting slurry was then removed using a wet-vac machine.

Next, I focused my attention on the dirty grout lines, treating them with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then scrubbed in along the grout line using a stiff brush.

There was still evidence of some grout haze on the stone following installation some years back so the floor was then treated to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner designed to life grout smears haze (smears).

Once done I pressure washed the floor using a specialised spinning tool which blasts the tiles and grout with water to remove ingrained dirt from the most difficult-to-reach areas in the stone. The water is subsequently vacuumed back into a holding tank in my van without causing any splashing or overspill.

Sealing a Slated Tiled Floor

The customer was keen for the restoration to be finished within the space of a single day, so I installed a few Dri-Pod floor dryers to get the floor dry and ready to be sealed in no time. We typically leave at least 24 hours for these types of floors to dry naturally, but in this scenario the floor dryers were able to remove any excess moisture.

To complete the restoration, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra to the floor to seal it. This a special acrylic-based sealer that protects the stone and allows for moisture vapour transmission. The makes it ideal for situations in which no damp proof membrane has been installed.

The addition of the sealer gave the floor a beautiful lustre – as you can see from the photos below – and will make the floor much easier to keep clean in the future. After months of difficulty, the customer was over the moon that the floor had finally been restored to its peak condition.

Slate Tiled Floor Thaxted After Cleaning
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor in Essex



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Beautiful Edwardian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Chaplefields


The owner of this house in Chaplefields near Coventry had bought this property as an investment and was keen to improve its appearance. As part of this work he had lifted the vinyl tiles in the hallway and discovered a lovely Edwardian tiled floor. Unfortunately, whoever had laid the Vinyl tiles had decided to use Tar as an adhesive and this had left a black mess all over the floor.

Edwardian Tiled Floor Covered In Tar Chaplefields Coventry Before Restoration

Realising the potential value an original feature such as this could add to the property he was keen to restore the tiles but not so keen to deal with the Tar, so we were asked to deal with the problem and restore the floor as close to its original condition as possible.

Repairing and Cleaning a Dirty Edwardian Tiled Floor

To get the tiles clean and remove the horrible tar I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which as its name suggest is great for removing coverings from tiles. I applied the Remove and Go with a mop, left it to soak in for a few minutes and then worked it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soil was extracted off the floor using a wet and dry vacuum and then the process repeated until I was happy all the tar was gone.

I then gave the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel; this serves to break down alkaline mineral deposits such as cement and grout smears, it also counters any efflorescence problems which can be an issue with these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Finally, the floor was given a rinse with clean water and a steam clean to remove any trace of cleaning products and to neutralise the tiles in preparation for sealing.

Sealing a Edwardian Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry off overnight and returned to the property to seal the tiles the next day. To seal the tiles, I used three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that leaves a subtle sheen finish and being water based doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. The sealer will provide durable protection going forward preventing dirt from becoming ingrained into the pores of the tile and ensuring it remains easy to clean and keeping its appearance for some time to come.

Edwardian Tiled Floor Covered In Tar Chaplefields Coventry After Restoration

The floor now looks fantastic and gives a great impression when you come into the property which is exactly what the owner wanted.
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in Warwickshire



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Restoring a Poorly Sealed Slate Kitchen Tiled Floor in Milton Keynes


Sealing is a fundamental part of any stone floor installation. If your builder or tiler hasn’t sealed your floor, he’s done something wrong – and it can cause significant problems. To the untrained eye, it may be difficult to tell whether a floor has been sealed, but you will quickly see that an unsealed floor attracts a lot of ingrained dirt and loses its lustre easily over time.

This was a problem for one of my recent customers, who lives in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. They have a Slate tiled Kitchen floor which had been laid approximately 5 years prior, but had not been sealed properly on installation – and had not received any professional treatment since.

Consequently, the floor had become difficult for the customer to keep clean and it had lost its lustre and coloration due to ingrained dirt. Additionally, recent building works had left thick deposits of plaster on the tiles.

Slate Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Milton Keynes

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen

To begin restoring the Slate tiles, I applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a powerful alkaline-based cleaner for natural stone. I mixed a strong dilution of the product, spread it liberally across the area and left it to dwell for 20 minutes to seep into the pores of the stone.

Next, I scrubbed it into the stone using a brush fitted to a heavy weight rotary machine, before rinsing the floor with a high-pressure water and wet extraction unit.

The next stage of the cleaning process was to get rid of the plaster deposits and some of the heavier stains. To deal with these I needed to apply an even stronger cleaner, known as NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-Up Remover).

As its name suggests, the product uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate beneath difficult stains to dissolve them and lift them out. I did this in combination with a steamer to help loosen up some of the plaster.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen

After allowing the floor to dry overnight, I returned to the property the next day to seal the tiles. I did this using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a double-action sealer: not only does it provide a robust, topical seal, it also provides a durable low-sheen finish which is aesthetically pleasing.

Slate Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Milton Keynes

The sealer has done a fantastic job of emphasising all the natural colours in the Slate and the appearance of the entire floor has been lifted. The customer was really pleased with the restoration which certainly had been a long time coming.
 
 

Restoration of a Dirty and Stained Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire



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Limestone Kitchen Floor Cleaning and Sealing in Twickenham


This Limestone tiled floor in Twickenham, Middlesex had only been laid eighteen month earlier. However, due to an in-effectual seal on the floor, the soil had accumulated and embedded into the pores of the stone. Limestone like many types of natural stone is a very porous stone and it doesn’t take much for the dirt to build up and start to discolour the floor.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Twickenham

The tile had been laid through out the Kitchen and adjacent dinning area and the solution was quite straight forward and simply required and a good clean and re-seal as detailed below.

Cleaning Limestone Tiles

We started with an application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was sprayed onto the floor and allowed to dwell for five to ten minutes. Following this, we used a heavy duty floor scrubbing machine in order to break the soil away and existing sealer from the stone.

Once we were happy that the soil and sealer had been dislodged, we then removed all of the chemical and soil via our extraction machine. This applies pressured water onto the stone whilst vacuuming all of the waste away, leaving the floor as clean and fresh as it could possibly be.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

After allowing the floor to dry out overnight, we returned the next morning to apply the seal. Two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer were applied to give the best protection possible. Colour Grow penetrates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within whilst also enhancing its natural colours and contrast.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Twickenham

Once done the floor looked like it had just been laid and the customer was extremely happy with the end result.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Twickenham
 
 

Re-Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Dinning Floor in Middlesex



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Porcelain Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Refresh in Leighton Buzzard


This Porcelain tiled floor had been laid in the hallway and kitchen of a house in Leighton Buzzard five to six years earlier. During that time the floor had become very dirty and the grout was discoloured to the point where it had turned black and no matter how hard the customer tried they were unable to get the grout clean.

On my initial visit to the property we discussed the options with the customer and decided that the best thing to do would be to thoroughly clean the grout and then seal it with grout colorant saving a messy and costly replacement of the grout.

Hallway Porcelian Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Leighton Buzzard

Cleaning Porcelain Tiles and Grout

To get the porcelain tiles clean and deal with the worst of the grout I treated the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The product was mopped onto the floor and then left to dwell for 20 minutes. It was then scrubbed into the tiles with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine running on a slow speed. I also ran a stiff grout brush along the grout lines to get the grout as clean as possible.

The floor was then rinsed with water under high pressure and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum. As we were grout colouring later I gave the grout a further scrub using Grout Colourant Pre-Treater which ensures a better bond between the grout and the colourant, this was then rinsed off with more water and also extracted using the wet vacuum.

Kitchen Porcelain Tile and Grout After Cleaning Before Grout Colouring Leighton Buzzard

Re-Colouring Grout

Once the grout was dry I started applying the Grout Colourant in a colour that best matched the original grout and colour of the tile. The process is quite straight forward and involves using a small brush to carefully apply the colorant along each grout line. When I was finished, I made sure to clean any excess product off the tiles before it had time to dry.

Kitchen Porcelain Tile and Grout After Cleaning and Grout Colouring Leighton Buzzard

My photographs probably don’t do the floor justice but hopefully you can appreciate how the grout is now uniform in colour and with the protection of the grout colourant which forms a barrier over the grout it will stay that way for a long time to come.
 
 

Restoring the Appearance of Porcelain Tile and Grout in Buckinghamshire



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Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle Ruined by Limescale Renovated in Wantage


This house in Wantage was on the market to be sold but many potential buyers had been put off by the poor condition of the Slate tiled shower cubicle. Wantage is a lovely little market town in the south of Oxfordshire and a desirable location to live.

However, before this house could be sold, the shower cubicle needed to be renovated; as you can see from the photos below, there was a heavy build-up of limescale that needed to be removed.

Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage Before Cleaning Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage Before Cleaning

With the property owner keen to sell the house, he asked me to get the shower cubicle back to looking its very best. This would involve a deep clean, acid wash and seal.

Cleaning Limescale Damaged Slate Shower Tiles

To begin the restoration, I cleaned the walls using Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is a strong alkaline product which is powerful and sage to use on natural stone to eradicate dirt and residue that has built up over time. I scrubbed the Pro Clean into the tiles and grout lines, before rinsing the entire area with fresh water.

The next stage involved removing the heavy build-up of limescale. This was done using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. Being in this form makes it especially effective for use on sloped and vertical surfaces as it it’s easier to control and can dwell for a long time where required. The product deals with alkaline-based limescale and mineral salt deposits (efflorescence).

I scrubbed the Acid Gel into the affected areas with a stiff nylon brush, before rinsing with fresh water. I then needed to repeat this process twice more to make sure all the limescale was completely removed. Following this, I left the shower to dry before sealing.

Sealing Slate Shower Tiles

After letting the shower cubicle tiles dry, I sealed them using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer.

The sealer is specially formulated to really emphasise the different natural tones and shades in the stone, in turn lifting the appearance of the entire room. In this situation, two coats of Colour Grow were used to provide robust, long-lasting protection.

Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage After Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage After Cleaning and Sealing

The customer was very impressed with the finished result and I’m sure any prospective property buyers will be equally impressed by the feature bathroom! Another satisfied client.
 
 

Restoration of a Limescale Damaged Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle in Oxfordshire



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Paint Spotted Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned in Leeds


Details below of a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor that I deep cleaned and sealed at a house in Leeds. It has previously been covered in carpet which had been removed before I got there.

The tiles were in good physical condition, just looking dull and there were traces of paint spots and glue residue from double sided tape that had held down the carpet. Worse of all there an imprint had bleed into the tiles from under lay that must have been damp. Dampness can be a problem for these old floors which were laid before the invention of damp proof membranes.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Leeds Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Leeds

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Normally I use a series of Tile Doctor chemical products to deep clean Victorian tiles however I felt this would not deal with the imprint. Therefore on this occasion I started with the application of a coarse 200 grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine and lubricated with a little water. The pads can struggle to reach into the edges and corners so to get those clean I used a 200 grit hand held block.

This removed the imprint, paint spots and glue residue and I was then able to lift the ingrained dirt out of the floor by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the floor for a good ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad.

I extracted the soiled cleaning solution using a wet vacuum and then gave the floor a rinse with water, again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible. The result of my cleaning efforts was excellent with 95% of the marks now removed and just a faint imprint left on a few tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

I left the floor to dry overnight and was able to return the next day, checked the moisture levels using a damp meter and then proceeded to seal the floor.

To seal I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a lovely satin finish that really lifted the look of the Victorian floor tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Leeds Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Leeds

Needless to say the customer was delighted with the finish and difference.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in West Yorkshire



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Restoring a Riven Slate Patio Suffering from Grout Haze in Wollaston


This customer, who lives in Wollaston, a small village in Northamptonshire, called me to look at the unfortunate condition of her Riven Slate tiled patio. She had hired a builder to install it, but he had neglected to remove the grout haze which had occurred quickly enough, allowing it to set. He was subsequently unable to remove the haze because he had already sealed over it. This had left it looking very unsightly, as you can see in the photo below.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Before Cleaning

The customer initially contacted me back in December 2016. At that time, I did explain to the customer that the Winter wouldn’t be an ideal time to restore the patio, and that it would be best to carry out the work in the Spring. However, she was so unhappy with the appearance of the patio and – knowing she had guests coming over for Christmas – wanted something to be done to improve the condition of the tiles as soon as possible.

It was agreed that I would immediately carry out the removal of the old sealer and the grout haze beneath, but leave the re-sealing until the Spring of the following year when the weather was dry. The customer understood that when I returned in the Spring, the patio would require another light clean and brush to prepare it for sealing.

To put the customer’s mind at rest somewhat, I carried out a test clean on one slab of the patio using Tile Doctor impregnating, colour intensifying sealer, known as Colour Grow. This darkened the tile and provided a natural look finish, which was preferred by the customer. I also returned to the property several days later to carry out a water repellency test, but as you can see from the photo below, the rain beat me to it. Thankfully, the repellency test had positive results.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Testi Cleaning

I was then able to begin the cleaning process.

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Patio

To begin, I removed the old sealer using a strong mix of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a stripper and cleaner. This product was scrubbed into the tiles with a rotary brush machine. Net, I rinsed away the resulting slurry and soaked up the water with a wet vax machine.

This initial clean exposed the true extent of the grout haze – it was over all every tile! My next course of action was therefore to remove this using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a gel cleaner specially formulated to neutralise grout haze. This was allowed to dwell for a short period before I brushed it in.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston During Cleaning

Following this, I gave the whole area a second brush with a small amount of water, before using a wet vax machine once again to make sure all cleaning chemicals were removed. I used the customer’s hosepipe to rinse down the entire patio as there was good drainage.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 2nd Cleaning

I allowed the tiles to dry out naturally, before waited for a dry day in April this year to return to the property. During this day, I sealed the entire area with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to really deepen the colour in the stone and provide the whole patio long-lasting protection against the elements.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 1st Coat

The customer was exceptionally happy to have the patio restored to perfect condition. I’m sure she’ll make great use of it over the Summer!

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Completed
 
 

Professional Riven Slate Tiled Patio Restoration in Northants



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