Cleaning Dirty White Porcelain Floor Tiles in Windlesham


Photographs below from a lovely house in Windlesham where I was asked to do something about the Porcelain floor tiles which had become extremely dirty and were proving impossible to clean. Infact my customer was pulling her hair out about how to fix this issue of deeply ingrained muck and was on the verge of pulling the whole lot up.

Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Windlesham

Porcelain Tile Cleaning

Normally Porcelain tiles are fairly easy to maintain and it’s just a question of keeping the grout clean however I have to confess these tiles were perplexing indeed. In fact to be honest…I tried every product in my van to get them clean, finally settling on Oxy Gel. I left it to soak on the floor for 30 minutes and then worked it in with an aggressive 200 grit pad.

I’m happy to report the transformation was amazing, all the muck was released from the tile and I was able to extract it from the floor using a wet vacuum. My last step was to give the grout a good scrub using more Oxy Gel, rinse off with water and extract as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum.

Porcelain Tile Sealing

I speed dried the floor with an air mover and once the floor was dry I applied a coating of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Now Porcelain tiles don’t usually take a sealer however these tiles were unusual in that they were trapping dirt and it’s possible they were in fact micro-porcelain so a coat of sealer was added for good measure.

Porcelain Tiled Floor After Cleaning Windlesham

My customer was really pleased with the difference and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Here’s what she said-

“Rupert was a total professional from start to finish. I was worried as to how good he would be able to make the floor – the floor consists of almost white porcelain tiles, that my tiler had failed to seal. This meant they had absorbed dirt over the last two years – even after me scrubbing the floor, they always looked dirty. The room was big – a 24 feet long kitchen/dining room. But Rupert assured me he could get it clean again – and he was as good as his word. When I saw the room for the first time, I said “I have my new kitchen back – the floor looks as good as it did the day the tiler had put the tiles down”. He left everything clean and tidy after the job – I wish I had discovered your website 18 months ago ! Thank you, Rupert, brilliant work.””
 
 

Cleaning a tiled supermarket floor in East Sussex



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Restoring Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer in Tewksbury


Slightly different story for you below; this time from the medieval town of Tewksbury which dates all the way back to the 8th century. A customer there had asked if there was anything that could be done to restore the appearance of their polished Limestone kitchen floor on which he had previously applied a wood sealer which had turned the tiles brown.

I inspected the floor and ran a test clean on a small section of tile which successfully removed the wood seal. This gave the customer the confidence to book me into to complete the job which I estimated would take three days to strip off the old sealer, deep clean and reseal with a more appropriate product.

Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer before restoration in Tewksbury

You probably can’t appreciate how bad the tiles looked from the photograph above but if you look at the indicated area under the kitchen units where the kick boards have been removed you can really see how the brown stain in the wood sealer has darkened the look of the tile.

Removing Old Sealers from Limestone Kitchen Floor

On the first day I prepared the area by removing the kick boards from the underneath the kitchen units so they wouldn’t get affected by the cleaning process and started wetting the floor with water. The water lubricates the burnishing process whereby coarse diamond encrusted pads are applied to the floor with a buffing machine. We started the process using a very coarse 100 grit milling pad to remove the wood sealer before moving onto the finer pads from 200 grit, 400 grit, 800 grit and finally 1500 grit pad building the finish of the floor as we progressed. The floor is rinsed with water between pads and the slurry is removed using a wet vacuum.

This burnishing process took up all of the first day so the next day I returned to focus on the edges I had missed and the grout lines, being a relatively small format tile for Limestone there was a lot of grout to cover. I tacked the grout lines with Remove and Go which is a powerful stripper and cleaning agent which is applied along the grout line and then scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush before being rinsed away with water. The edges were treated with a set of small six inch milling pads fitted to a hand held buffing machine in a similar process as on the first day.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

On the third and final day the floor was spray burnished which a process is involving a very fine 3,000 grit floor burnishing pad and a little water spayed onto the floor during the application. This process really tightens up the pores in the stone and restores its appearance.

After making sure the floor was free of any lose grit I then proceeded to seal the Limestone with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t alter the appearance of the stone but penetrates into the pores of the stone to protect it from within. I left it to dry for an hour then buffed the floor with a white buffing pad before apply a second coat. This was also left to dry for an hour before running the buffing pad over for a last time.

Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer After restoration in Tewksbury

It took a fair amount of work to get the floor looking back the way it was meant to be but I’m very pleased with the outcome and more importantly my customer was really happy.

Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer After restoration in Tewksbury
 
 

Professional Limestone Floor Polishing and Sealing in Gloucestershire



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Cleaning a 40m2 Light-Limestone Kitchen Floor at a Cottage in Ashprington


Ashprington is a small, picturesque village just outside of Totnes and boasts a quaint stream running through the centre of the village, several listed cottages and a pub, ‘The Watermans Arms’, which offers good food – including their now famous triple-fried chips!

I was approached by the owners of one of the beautiful listed cottages in the village, which had the river running through the garden and was a stone’s throw from the pub, because they had extensively developed the building around five years ago. This work included the installation of a lovely light-limestone floor spanning the kitchen and open-plan extension, however the floor was starting to lose its natural appeal and the owners were finding it harder to clean.

With summer fast approaching the owners were keen to get the property ready for their annual holiday and a visit was quickly arranged. I took a closer look at the floor and conducted a test on a small area to give the clients an idea of what to expect. The limestone was honed smooth but was not polished and the customers were keen not to add too much of an unnatural shine to the floor.

The grout lines in some of the more heavily used areas, such as by the sink, were also discoloured and would require a decent scrub with an appropriate Tile Doctor product.

Light Limestone Kitchen Floor Ashprington Before

I spoke to the clients about options for the finish to be applied after cleaning and they decided that they wanted to keep the tiles as light as possible with a slight shine. With the clients impressed with the test area I prepared I went away and produced a detailed quote which was sent to them along with our general T&Cs and the work was booked in to be completed shortly after.

Cleaning a Light-Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor spanned quite a large area, some 40m2, and had some larger items of furniture that needed to be moved before starting. Because the house was empty at the time it was a straightforward task to divide the area into two and stagger the work over four days so that the furniture could be moved to suit.

The first task was to scrub the grout with a specialist grout brush, designed to get right into the grout lines and work the product in. Limestone is an acid-sensitive stone so a strong alkaline cleaner called Remove & Go was used which was then allowed to dwell for around 45 minutes to work its magic. The area was quickly rinsed before using a series of diamond impregnated burnishing pads attached to a rotary scrubbing machine, ranging from a coarse 400 grit (200 in some of the more stubborn areas) up to a fine 1500 grit to clean the stone. The whole area was then rinsed using a truck-mounted system that feeds pressurised water to the floor whilst extracting the dirty water at the same time. A rotary spinner tool was also used which helps to get a really thorough rinse. The first area was then left to dry overnight, aided by the underfloor heating which was installed with the tiles.

Polishing a Light-Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day a very fine 3000 grit diamond pad was used to ‘spray burnish’ the floor which uses very little water and ensures that any remaining residues are lifted as well as finishing the floor in the highest level of mechanical polishing possible prior to sealing.

If the clients desired a higher level of shine a powdered high shine sealer would have been worked into the tiles to achieve a highly reflective surface, however the mechanical polish was the highest level of shine wanted.

Sealing a Light-Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

My client has requested a completely natural finish so to seal the stone after cleaning I applied an impregnating sealer called Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Impregnating sealers soak into the pores of the tile protecting them from within and Ultra-Seal doesn’t alter the appearance of the floor and so maintained the natural appearance of the stone keeping it as light as possible.

Light Limestone Kitchen Floor Ashprington After

The following day the furniture was carefully moved to the recently sealed area and the whole process was repeated for the second area. Aftercare instructions and a bottle of suitable pH-neutral cleaner were supplied.

The customer was thrilled with the final result and was surprised at the transformation of the floor and left me the following feedback:

“Great service, and the floor looks new again.”
Elaine M, Ashprington
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Light Limestone Floor in Devon



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Badly Maintained Slate Tiles Rejuvenated in Gloucester


This Slate tiled floor in the hallway of a property in Gloucester had been laid 28 years ago, but during this time had received no proper maintenance. The property owner used to clean the tiles once a week using a steam cleaner to little effect.

Slate tiled hallway floor Before Cleaning Gloucester

In fact, we don’t normally recommend steam cleaning sealed surfaces as it will erode the sealer prematurely. After countless years of steam cleaning, I was confident that any traces of old sealer on this floor would be non-existent at this point.

This is, of course, a problem because a lack of sealer exposes the stone to ingrained dirt and stains. The effects of this are shown in the photos below: as you can see, the Slate had completely lost its lustre and naturally colourful patina.

Slate tiled hallway floor Before Cleaning Gloucester

I was asked by the property owner to provide this Slate tiled hallway with the restoration that was so long overdue, so I travelled to the house in Gloucester, a city situated near the Welsh border and between the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean.

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Hallway

I started the restoration by mixing a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. These two products serve different purposes. Remove and Go is a stripper designed to break down any traces of old sealer that might still have existed, as well as any paints and adhesive markings; NanoTech HBU is a potent cleaner which contains nano-sized cleaning particles that penetrate deep into the stone to get underneath tough dirt and stains to dissolve and lift them out.

This cleaning solution was spread over the floor and left to dwell for 30 minutes, before being scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine. A thick black slurry resulted from this process and this needed to be removed using a wet vacuum.

Slate tiled hallway floor During Cleaning Gloucester

Next, I repeated this cleaning process using Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our reliable alkaline cleaner, to provide a more thorough clean for the tiles and grout. The slurry was once again removed using a wet vacuum, before I then rinsed the whole floor with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals.

When satisfied with outcome of the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Hallway

Upon arriving back at the property, the next day, I ran some quick moisture tests to check that the floor was dry. Thankfully, there were no damp issues and I was able to seal the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving each coat to dry before applying the next.

Seal and Go is a water based sealer (so no smell as it dries) which adds durable stain resistance and a low-sheen finish that brings out the best in the slate.

Slate tiled hallway floor After Cleaning Gloucester

The customer’s reaction to the outcome of the restoration was fantastic. She never expected the floor to turn out so beautifully and was very pleased.

Slate tiled hallway floor After Cleaning Gloucester
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Unmaintained Slate Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire



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Restoring Damaged and Stained Original Victorian Tiles in Pangbourne


Pangbourne is a large village situated on the River Thames, about 4 miles west of Reading. The village has a long, rich history – dating back to at least the 9th century. There are still quite a number of Victorian-style houses located in the village, including one that I visited recently to carry out a Victorian tiled floor restoration.

Victorian floor Covered in Lino Pangboune Before Cleaning

This floor had been hidden, unbeknownst to the property owner, under a linoleum covering for many years. Once the owner realised there was an original Victorian floor under the linoleum they were very keen to restore it as an original feature and stripped it off to expose the tiles, however, they were heavily covered in dirty, adhesive stains and other contaminants and we were asked to complete the job. You can see this in the photos below.

Victorian floor Covered in Lino Pangboune Before Cleaning

At Tile Doctor, we are very experienced in restoring original Victorian tiles, so I was more than happy to help this customer transform her floor.

Cleaning a Dirty and Stained Victorian Tiled Floor

As I’ve mentioned, the top layer of this original Victorian tiled floor was marked with all manner of staining, so I decided that it would be suitable to use a set of 100 and 200 grit coarse Diamond pads fitted to a weighted machine and lubricated with a little water to grind away the damaged surface and restore the surface of the tiles.

I then cleaned the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our reliable alkaline-based cleaner for natural stone. This product really helped to break down and release the soils. Next, I rinsed the floor with hot water under low pressure to remove any remaining debris, dirt and contamination.

With the cleaning process completed, the floor was allowed to dry for a full 48 hours. In older properties like these dampness can be an issue as damp-proof membranes are a relatively modern invention and I didn’t want to take any chances.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

Returning to the property two days later, I ran some moisture tests to ensure the stone was completely dry and could be sealed. It’s always important to run damp tests on any tiled floor before sealing, since a small amount of excess moisture can undermine the performance of the sealer, and thus expose the floor to ingrained dirt and stains.

Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could seal it using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which, as a topical sealer, offers a robust surface seal and an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish. It’s also water based so it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

Victorian floor Covered in Lino Pangboune After Cleaning

As you can see from the after photos, the restoration returned the life and colour to this fantastic original Victorian tiled floor. The customer was absolutely thrilled with the result.

Victorian floor Covered in Lino Pangboune After Cleaning
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty and Stained Original Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Berkshire



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Cleaning and Resealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Crewkerne


This is an unusual job we did in the old town of Crewkerne which is on the southern edge of Somerset near Dorset. We were asked to restore a Terracotta tiled kitchen floor where the seal on the terracotta tiles had been damaged when the floor had been cleaned with bleach leaving horrible smears all over the floor.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach before cleaning Crewkerne

Bleach is a very strong product with a high pH that can easily damage the sealer on a floor and unfortunately there is no easy way of restoring the damaged sealer so the whole floor would need to have the remaining sealer stripped off so the floor could be resealed.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach before cleaning Crewkerne

Stripping Sealer from a Terracotta Tiled Floor

To remove the existing sealer the Terracotta tiles were covered in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean before scrubbing the product into the tiles with the aid of a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a powerful alkaline cleaner designed for use on all types of natural stone. In concentrated form, it breaks down old sealers as well as removing dirt, while the rotary machine helps the product to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone to eradicate ingrained dirt and stains.

The now soiled cleaning solution was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the then the floor rinsed with water. Water will pool on a sealed surface to I was able to spot where more work was required and re-treated those areas until I was happy the floor was clean and all the sealer had been removed. I then gave the floor a final rinse and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum and then then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

The next day, I returned to the property to find the tiles dry, and ready to be sealed so I started by the application of two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhanced then natural reddish colours in the tile. Colour Grow is also an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores of the Terracotta preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there.

To add the Satin finish my client had requested I topped off the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a water based sealer that words really well on Terracotta. Sealing the Terracotta took some time as you need to let the first coat dry before applying the next.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach after cleaning and sealing Crewkerne

The floor is now fully sealed and looking like new, additionally I have advised the client to clean the floor going forward using a pH neutral tile cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which should avoid the problem happening again.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach after cleaning and sealing Crewkerne

My customer was really happy with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor Feedback system.

“We were amazed at how hard David worked. The floor is greatly improved.
Caroline P., Crewkerne”
 
 

Restoring Bleach Damaged Sealed Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Somerset



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Restoring the Appearance of a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor in Cirencester


This customer was looking to rent out his property in the East Gloucestershire town of Cirencester, the largest in the Cotswold District. However, he found that many prospective tenants were put off by the condition of the Limestone floor tiles on the ground floor.

Limestone Bathroom Floor Before Cleaning Cirencester

Over the years, the sealer had worn away and that had allowed for dirt and stains to become ingrained in the pores of the stone, leaving the Limestone tiles looking very dull, unclean and generally undesirable. To boost his chance of finding a tenant for the property, the customer asked me to come in to restore the Limestone tiles to their best possible condition.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cirencester

I arrived at the property and conducted a survey to assess the situation. The customer – not wanting to waste any more time – asked if I could complete the restoration straight away, fortunately I was able to shuffle a few things around and was able to make a start two days later.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Cirencester

Burnishing a Dull and Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor

With Limestone, as well as other high-end stone like Marble and Travertine, we find that the best method for restoration is burnishing. This is a form of polishing which involves the sequential application of diamond encrusted pads of different grit levels.

We work with a system of four pads fitted to a buffing machine. The first is a Coarse pad, which grinds away the top layer of dirt and staining from the stone, along with any old sealer. I then moved through the system, applying each in turn the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine burnishing pads to gradually refine the polish on the floor. A small amount of water was used as lubricant between each pad, and I hoovered up any resulting slurry with a wet-vac machine.

Having finished polishing the stone, I paid attention to cleaning the grout lines, applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which draws out any ingrained stains and heavy grease build-up, and scrubbing it in with a specialised grout brush. The floor was then left to dry out completely overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

Upon returning to the property the next day, I checked the floor was completely dry and quickly vacuumed up any leftover debris from the previous day’s work. Next, I gave the floor another polish with the Very Fine 3000 grit diamond burnishing pad, vacuumed it again, and it was then ready to be sealed.

Limestone Floor Sealing Cirencester

To do this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer that not only acts to protect the stone, but also intensify its natural colours. The floor was then left to dry for an hour, before I subsequently gave it one final dry polish using the Very Fine burnishing pa fitted to the buffing machine. After vacuuming up any debris, I applied a second coat of Colour Grow, left it to dry, and finally buffed it with a soft white pad.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Polishing Cirencester

The customer was really pleased with the results, having never expected for the restoration to turn out so well. Undoubtedly there will a queue of prospective tenants hoping to see the property now that the Limestone tiled floor looks so great!

Limestone Bathroom Floor After Polishing Cirencester
 
 

Professional Tile Burnishing, Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty and Stained Limestone Tiled Floor Restoration in Cirencester



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