Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Refreshed in Buckingham Farm Cottage


I was recently contacted about the restoration of a fantastic example of a Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen of a farm cottage just south of Buckingham.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

There was a very noticeable build-up of dirt on the tiles and in the grout lines. Additionally, there were lots of white spots on the tiles in front of sink area because of a caustic soda spillage. Caustic soda is also known as sodium hydroxide, as is commonly used as a drain unblocking agent. It’s a highly alkaline product and isn’t very friendly to Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The grout was also stained and naturally, the homeowner was keen to get her floor back into the best shape possible – and I was on hand to see what could be done.

Terracotta is a very attractive and useful material that has been in use for over two millennia throughout the world. It has been used perhaps most famously for sculptures and other forms of art, although it has since the days of the Ancient Romans been used as a building material – including in the form of floor tiles. It’s still a popular choice for tiles amongst homeowners today, since Terracotta tiles are typically thicker, and the red colour adds a warm country feel to the home.

Cleaning Stained and Dirty Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I first removed the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units to protect them from splashes from the cleaning products I would be using.

Once this had been done, I got straight into deep cleaning the tile and grout lines using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. To get the best result I left the solution to soak into the pores of the tile for approximately ten minutes before being agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

The floor was then rinsed with fresh water and the resulting slurry of soiled cleaning solution was promptly extracted using a wet vacuum. This process left the tiles and grout looking much cleaner and fresher, however, the white spots caused by the caustic soda would need something extra to remove them.

I treated these spots using Tile Doctor Acid Gel in combination with a steam machine. Acid Gel is a mixture of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form, and can be used to neutralise alkali-based stains such as these. We also commonly use it to treat efflorescence (mineral salt deposits).

The floor was then once again rinsed with fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning products and neutralise the floor, before being left to dry off fully for two days.

Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

I returned after 48 hours and the floor was dry enough to be sealed. The customer wanted to retain the natural-looking and rustic appearance of the Terracotta, so I suggested that we seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealer is impregnating and colour-intensifying (so it emphasises the patina of the stone), but also leaves a matte finish.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The after photos show the result of the restoration – I job well done if I say so myself. And certainly, my customer agreed!

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage
 
 

Professional Cleaning of a Stained Terracotta Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire



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Victorian Basket Weave Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Torver


We were recently asked to restore an old tiled floor that had been laid in a Basket Weave Pattern in the hallway of a property in Torver which is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Torver has a long history however it really took off with the arrival of the Coniston to Broughton-in-Furness railway line in 1859 which was used to transport stone and Slate from the local mines. Many of the properties in the Coniston and Torver areas date from the Victorian period and contain original stone and tiled floors.

This tiled floor had been revealed when the existing carpet was removed by the new owners. It proved to be in quite good condition despite being covered for a long period, but it nevertheless suffered from the usual age-related issues. It needed an intense clean and a fresh seal, including the removal of deeply ingrained dirt, paint stains, glue deposits and bitumen.

After inspecting the situation, the quote we offered the customer was accepted and a date was arranged for us to return to complete the work.

Deep Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Our first course of action was to clean the edges of the floor, to remove the glue deposits and carpet underlay residue. This was achieved using the careful application of a sharp scraping tool and handheld burnishing blocks combined with a couple of Tile Doctor cleaning products.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Renovation Torver

The first product applied was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover) which is a strong alkaline product specially formulated with nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrated deep into the stone and dissolve deeply ingrained dirt and stains. The second product was Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a heavy-duty coatings remover which works well particularly well at removing glue deposits, paint, and synthetic coatings.

We then addressed the rest of the floor using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad attached to a slow speed rotary cleaning machine, applied with water as the lubricant. We used this in small areas to intensely clean the surface of the floor. The resultant slurry was then extracted from the floor a powerful wet vacuum.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and the moisture was wet vacuumed before we moved onto the next area. Once the floor was completely scrubbed and rinsed, and any remaining glue and paint issues were retreated using the same methods we used on the floor edges, we then moved onto the final phase of the clean.

The last step in the cleaning process involved giving the floor an acid wash to deal with any potential salt issues (efflorescence) which can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface of the tiles as they dry. Damp proof membranes that can prevent this problem are a relatively modern invention, so this can be a real issue for old floors from the Victorian era, particularly if the floor has had damp issues in the past. The floor was washed with a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being acidic effectively counteracts the alkaline salts. The floor was then given another rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then left to dry off.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

We actually left the floor to dry out for three full days and upon our returning to the property several moisture readings were taken to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a fresh seal.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay During Sealing in Torver

The customer had requested a natural-looking matte finish to the floor. We have the perfect product to provide this type of finish, so we proceeded to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which naturally enhances the colours in the tile, additionally it’s a fully breathable sealer so moisture can easily rise through the floor.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

As you can see from the photographs taken during the various stages of the restoration, the intense clean and fresh seal greatly enhanced the appearance of the floor – much more so than could have been achieved with everyday products and methods. The customer was very pleased indeed.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation in the Lake District



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Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles Revitalised in Quarry Bank Mill


Quarry Bank Mill is an old textile mill just outside of Wilmslow in East Cheshire that dates back to the Industrial Revolution when it was used to produce cotton. The mill is now under the care of the National Trust who recently put together a £9.4 million project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund the further restoration of the mill and its gardens.

The 18th century mill is now a popular attraction and I was recently asked to clean and seal the Sandstone flooring in the Kitchen of the head gardeners cottage. The cottage is actually located in the formal gardens which were recently visited by HRH Price of Wales.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The Sandstone Kitchen floor was in good physical condition so unlikely to be the original however like any stone floor in constant use the sealer was wearing off and dirt was becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone detracting from its overall appearance.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Cleaning Dirty and Dull Sandstone Flagstones

Our first job was to protect the wooden kitchen units and other woodwork with tape. Next I set about cleaning the Sandstone and stripping any reaming sealer off in the process. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is multi-purpose stripper and cleaner. The product strips away any old sealer on the tiles and draws out ingrained dirt, stains and heavy grease build-up.

I applied the product and left it to soak for roughly fifteen to twenty minutes to allow time to break down the old sealer and penetrate the pores of the stone to reach any embedded dirt. Next, I scrubbed the floor using a specialised buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad swelled with water to get the stone clean. The resulting dirty cleaning slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum and after rinsing with water With the floor clear I was able to spot stubborn areas that need more work and repeated the process.

With the stone clean I turned my attention to the grout lines and scrubbed in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then rinsed off with water. I then completed another spot check of the floor whilst using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible. With the cleaning part of the job complete I left for the day to allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Sealing Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

Upon returning to the property the following day, I tested the floor with a damp meter, checking for any excess moisture that could prevent me from sealing the stone. The floor proved dry and so I began to seal the Sandstone starting with a single coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that is designed to fill the pores of the stone blocking dirt from becoming ingrained there whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone at the same time.

Once the Colour Grow was dry I followed with the application of five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a compatible water-based acrylic sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The floor now looks much healthier and the new sealer show keep it looking that way for some years to come.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Sandstone Tiled Floor in Wilmslow



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Filthy Limestone Fireplace Restored in Oxford


A stone fireplace adds a classic and period look to any home but like the stone floors we deal with its only a matter of time before the appearance degrades, however not from foot traffic but from soot. This process happens so gradually it goes without being noticed until one day you realise it really does need a good clean and the dirtier it gets, the harder it is to clean.

I recently visited a customer living in the historic city of Oxford who had never once cleaned their black Limestone fireplace. One day, they decided to finally clean it but found that it would take a lot more than just a light scrub with some soapy water!

As you can see from the photograph below, the Limestone was extremely dirty, dusty and stained. Upon examining the situation, I decided that the best way to restore the stone to its original condition would be to use a polishing process known as burnishing. Keen to see the natural beauty of the Limestone again, the customer was more than happy to book in the job.

Limestone Fireplace Before Cleaning Oxford

Cleaning and Burnishing a Limestone Fireplace

As I would be focusing solely on the Fireplace, it was necessary for me to start by protecting the surrounding area with tape. I then began the process of burnishing, starting with a 200-grit diamond encrusted handheld burnishing block. I sprayed a small amount of water onto the fireplace to act as a lubricant and rubbed the diamond encrusted block onto the stone.

This coarse grit pad helps to grind away the thick layers of dirt on the surface of the Limestone and starts to gradually polish the surface beneath. I completed the burnishing working in small sections at a time, rinsing with fresh water and wiping excess off regularly as I progressed.

After finishing with the 200-grit block I then repeated the process using a 400-grit block. This block possesses a finer grit and really helped to achieve a high-quality polished effect.
While the Limestone was drying, I treated the black fire grate with the correct grate paste (or polish) which cleaned it and recoloured it.

To complete the cleaning process, I paid attention to the black tiles on the floor. These were cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with water, and scrubbed into the stone and grout using a small specialised brush. Finally, I rinsed the area with fresh water and dried it with a towel.

Sealing a Limestone Fireplace

I then had to leave the fireplace to dry for about an hour so it would be ready to seal. To seal the Limestone, I used Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which offers the natural looking finish that the customer wanted. This sealer is formulated to provide maximum protection against stains and dirt, and is suitable for use on all types of natural stone.

The customer has decided that although this will no longer be used as a working fireplace it, will certainly give the room a focal point – so she was very happy to have it back to looking its best!

Limestone Fireplace After Cleaning Oxford
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Fireplace in Oxfordshire



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Removing Hard Water Staining on Porcelain Shower Tiles in Cheshunt


Photographs below of a Porcelain tiled shower that had been installed at a house in Cheshunt the year before. The tiles were actually dark grey textured porcelain tile but hard water in the area had left very noticeable water stains and limescale deposits that were proving hard to remove with general cleaning.

Stained Black Porcelain Shower Tile Cheshunt Before Cleaning

Hardwater is basically water with a high mineral content which are historically recognised as being good for you, however it’s not so good for the bathroom where the minerals are left behind when the water evaporates.

On the initial visit to survey the tiles we ran a test clean on a small area to ensure we could return the tile back to its as new condition. All went well, and the customer booked us in to return later to complete the work.

Removing Limescale from Porcelain Shower Tiles

Work began by giving the shower tiles an initial clean with Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which was worked into grout lines with detail brushes and a burnishing pad for the tile surface. This process removed all the Limescale and water marks.

A second clean was then carried out with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean which is a fast-effective double action cleaning solution that can remove mould and blackspots from grout and silicone. The solution was sprayed on the shower room floor and walls and left to soak in before being worked in with a stiff brush.

Stained Black Porcelain Shower Tile Cheshunt During Cleaning

The shower tiles were then rinsed with a steam cleaner to remove any trace of product and then buff the tiles with a hand-held white buffing pad to bring up their appearance.

To give it a neat waterproof finish we stripped out the old silicone sealant from around the base of the shower and replaced with new mould resistant silicone.

The shower took a whole day to complete but I think you will agree has been transformed by the process.

Stained Black Porcelain Shower Tile Cheshunt After Cleaning

Reducing the Impact of Hard Water

To minimise the impact of hard water some shower units will keep the shower running at a gradually decreasing temperature immediately after use. This has the effect of rinsing off the deposits before evaporation has chance to occur. Personally, we recommended you spray the shower tiles with Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro after use, this product is a bathroom tile cleaner that is ideal for the regular cleaning of all types of internal porcelain/ceramic bathroom/wet room tiles. Apply by lightly spraying a dilution of the cleaner and wipe over then water rinse and dry buff to finish.
 
 

Hard Water Staining Removal on Porcelain Shower Tiles



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Mouldy Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Restored in Eccles

An elderly couple from the Greater Manchester town of Eccles were in touch recently regarding their Ceramic Tiled Bathroom, they had a big problem with mould build-up due to a broken extractor fan and wanted it removing. Mould grows in humid conditions and with the extractor fan out of action it soon started to spread. If you have been reading my blog, you will have seen some of the bathroom transformations we have completed over the years, so I was confident we could resolve the problem for them and paid them a visit to take a look.

Mouldy Bathroom Before Restoration in Eccles

You can see from the photographs that the tiles were in good physical condition, but the grout and silicone mastic sealant was stained with shampoo dyes and mould spots, the worst part however was the ceiling which was covered in mould growth. I ran a test clean on the bathroom wall grout and ceiling which went very well so we quickly agreed on a date to clean the whole bathroom.

Mouldy Bathroom Before Restoration in Eccles

Cleaning a Ceramic Shower Cubicle

They say you should always start at the top and work down so my first task was to treat the mouldy bathroom ceiling with Tile Doctor Duo Clean which although marketed for use on grout it worked just as well on paint to remove the mould. When done with ceiling I moved on to the wall tiles spraying on Duo Clean, letting it soak in for ten minutes, working it in to the grout with a stiff brush and then rinsing off with water.

With four walls of tile and grout and a ceiling to clean the overall cleaning process took two days to complete and at the end of the second day I turned my attention to the silicone sealant. Taking care not to scratch the bathtub I carefully stripped out the silicone in-between the tile and bath with a sharp knife. Duo Clean works on silicone as well but you do need to catch it early so often the easiest thing to do is to replace it rather than clean it. I replaced the silicone with a good quality mould and bacteria resistant silicone.

When I returned on the next day I carried on with the Top/Down approach by turning my attention back to the ceiling which I painted with a white moisture resistant emulsion paint.

Mouldy Bathroom After Restoration in Eccles Mouldy Bathroom After Restoration in Eccles

With the ceiling freshly painted I then took another look at the grout which although clean was not a perfect white anymore and looked dull and uninviting. We do find this can happen with grout, especially if it isn’t the subject of a regular cleaning regime. There is a remedy though and what we find works well in these cases is to recolour the grout with an epoxy-based Grout Colourant which not only rejuvenates the grout it also protects it for years to come.

Grout Colouring Bathroom Wall Tiles

There are ten colours to choose from in the Tile Doctor range of Grout Colourant however in this case I felt the best outcome would be to use a White colourant to match the tiles and restore the original look of the bathroom.

The colourant is easily applied directly to the grout and in this case, I applied two coats with the aid of a small brush making sure to remove any excess that comes into contact with the tile. After applying the colourant, the bathroom transformation was complete, and it looked like a new installation.

Mouldy Bathroom After Restoration in Eccles

It was a lot of work however I was really happy with the outcome and so were the clients who even left me a nice tip. The last thing to sort out is the extractor fan, however they will need a different tradesman for that job.

Bathroom Tile Renovation in Greater Manchester
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Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned in Leighton Buzzard


A homeowner in the Leighton Buzzard was having some renovation work done to their property and during the course of the work discovered an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the hallway carpet. The town dates all the way back to the 12th century so period features like this are quite common.

Keen to have the floor restored the owner got in touch to ask if I could survey the floor and quote for restoring it, so my colleague Phillip popped round to see what needed to be done. Surprisingly the tiles were generally in quite good condition for their age with just a few cracks and chips here and there. There were some missing tiles that needed replacing but I was able to help them source replacements which were fitted before the cleaning work commenced.

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the cleaning process by giving the tiles a deep machine clean with Pro-Clean which is a strong tile and grout cleaning product produced by Tile Doctor. A strong dilution was left to soak into the tiles before scrubbed in with a tile brush fitted to a rotary machine. This action lifted the surface soil and bits of plaster and paint which was then rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soil and cleaning solution removed I then carried out a full inspection of the tiles in their natural state to see what other work would be required. As there was no apparent sealer present, I decided that the next step in the cleaning process would be to use a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to clean and resurface the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse and wet vacuum. I then went around on hands and knees using Tile Doctor 100 grit diamond hand blocks to remove stubborn staining around the edges close to the newly painted skirting boards.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was allowed to fully dry for 2 days before I returned to apply Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant which is an impregnating sealer that improves colour and is fully breathable, so it allows any damp from the sub floor to dissipate. Choosing a breathable sealer is important for these old floors which have no damp proof course and Colour Grow is normally my sealer of choice for Victorian floor tiles.

However Colour Grow dries to a matt finish and on this occasion the customer felt the finish still looked quite dull, although she was very happy with the results of the cleaning she asked if there was anything else I could do to brighten the finish, it was agreed that I would return a week later to carry out a damp test and if the results of this were favourable I would go ahead and apply several coats and apply Tile Doctor Seal & Go topical sealant which is water based and dries to a silk finish.

When I returned moisture, readings were taken which were acceptable, so as agreed I applied several coats of Seal and Go to give the tiles the desired appearance. With the work completed the customer was happy with the final results and even left the following feedback via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Phillip arrived on time, worked very hard to prepare the floor- about 6 hours. Returned after floor was properly dry- 2 days. Applied a mat finish – 2-3 coats. I was disappointed with this finish, the floor which looked very flat and washed out. Each floor has its own characteristic and absorbs the products used differently. Phillip didn’t disagree, so applied two coats of a glossy finish which has brought out the beautiful colours of my Victorian floor. All of this was done without a quibble. Happy with the finish now. My advice is to discuss fully the finish you require and get a patch test done before so everyone is clear about the job in hand. Would use again. Ms. A Binger , Leighton Buzzard

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of Victorian Tiled Hallway in Bedfordshire



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Pitted Travertine Floor Tiles Filled and Polished in Rushden


Not only do we carry out the deep cleaning and restoration of all types of natural stone, we can also carry out repairs such as the filling of holes in stone, whether it be limestone, marble or as in this case Travertine. Travertine in particular is prone to a natural process of erosion know as pitting, this results in holes developing that easily fill up with dirt and muck over time and can be a real problem to maintain.

Pitted Travertine Before Filled Polished Rushden

This customer in Rushden called me in, as he felt the floor hadn’t been properly maintained since it had been installed twelve years prior and he was becoming concerned about the number of holes and pits that were appearing in the high traffic areas. The Travertine tiles had been laid in the hallway, kitchen and upstairs bathroom of the property but the problem was most apparent in the Kitchen.

Pitted Travertine Before Filled Polished Rushden

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the floors clean and restore the polished appearance of the Travertine I decided to apply a set of Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The process involves the application of four different pads applied in sequence from coarse to very fine, rinsing in-between each pad to remove dirt. As the floor had been installed in the Kitchen and the Hallway it made sense to split the work into two parts and work on each area separately.

The first pad is a coarse 400 grit pad that is attached to a rotary machine running at slow speed and with only water for lubrication. The pad is applied to the stone to removes minor scratches, sealers and dirt. It’s run over the entire floor and afterwards the floor is rinsed with water which is then extracted with the soil using a wet-vacuum.

I then repeated this same procedure with the second pad, which is a Medium 800 grit pad used to remove dirt from minor scratches and holes in the stone. After rinsing again, I went onto the third burnishing pad in the sequence which is a Fine 1500 grit pad that starts to rebuild the polish on the Travertine. I gave the floor another rinse and used the wet vacuum again to extract the water and soil from the floor. The last 3,000 grit super fine pad was then applied with a small amount of water sprayed onto the floor, this last pad really builds a nice shine on the stone.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the burnishing process was completed the floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I came back the next day to continue with the work. I took a few moisture readings to confirm the floor was dry and then applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that impregnates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and improving the natural colours of the stone in the process. I particularly like to use it on Travertine as it really does bring out the brown shades in the stone.

Filling Holes in a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the first coat of sealant had dried I started the work to fill the holes throughout the installation using appropriate colours of stone filler resin. I purposely delayed doing this until the first coat of sealer was in place in order to prevent excess resin from being absorbed into the tile and causing unwanted staining. There were quite a few holes to fill so it took a while to complete, the filler also needs several hours to dry and harden even when assisted with a fan. Excess filler is then polished off using a 17” rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a white polishing pad and any dust is carefully vacuumed up before applying a second coat of sealer. The floor was then allowed to dry before a final polish with a new 3000 grit pad to achieve a high sine finish.

Once the cleaning process was complete and the first coat of sealant had dried I then commenced the repair work by filling all holes throughout using appropriate colours of stone filler resin, the first coat of sealant is to stop the excess resin from being absorbed into the tile and causing staining, the filler is allowed to dry and harden for several hours assisted with a fan on site. Excess filler is then polished off using a 17” rotary scrubbing machine and a white buffing pad. Any dust is carefully vacuumed up before applying a second coat of sealant. This is then allowed to dry before a final polish with a new 3000 grit burnishing pad to achieve a deep sine finish.

Pitted Travertine After Filled Polished Rushden

I’m not sure the photographs really show off the transformation that I had managed to achieve, however my customer was certainly happy and left me the following glowing review via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

My hall and kitchen floor has been down for 12 years and has been a high traffic area. The Tile Doctor has literally made it look like new again. Holes filled, smooth, shiny and new again! My fully tiled bathroom has also been rejuvenated, wall tiles, shower tiles and floor tiles. The water now beads on the tiles like a freshly waxed car, and the walk-in shower has been perfectly resealed. Money very well spent.
Thank you so much! Mr.J. White, Rushden

Pitted Travertine After Filled Polished Rushden

It’s always nice to get feedback like that, it really does make your efforts feel appreciated.
 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire



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Restoring a Carpet Covered Sandstone Hallway in Carbrooke


This was perhaps the most challenging restoration we have been presented with to date.
The work involved removing carpet and underlay from a long Yorkstone tiled hallway at a beautiful old Grange in Carbrooke on the outskirts of Watton and restoring the flagstones to their original glory. These pavers are a type of Sandstone, a carboniferous sedimentary rock consisting of quartz, mica, feldspar, clay and iron oxides quarried in Yorkshire and having a rich sandy colour with a slightly sparkling surface.

On lifting the carpet, we found, to our dismay, that the rubber-backed underlay had been firmly stuck down to the surface of the stone with what appeared to be a thick layer of yellowing impact adhesive which covered the entire area right up to the thresholds and skirting boards.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Carpet Removed Revealing Underlay Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Underlay Peeled Back Revealing Glue

Stripping Carpet Adhesive off a Sandstone tiled floor

Our first task was to remove as much of the underlay by hand using sharp-bladed scrapers and a heck of a lot of elbow grease. Having done this, the next step was to cover the remaining adhesive layer with a specialist water-based stripper which was applied by brush and allowed to react for an hour. The result was an incredibly sticky substance with the consistency of chewing gum which we had to painstakingly remove inch by inch with paint scrapers. This process had to be repeated twice as even the specialist stripper couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of goo in a single application. The floor was then left overnight to dry out and settle down.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Applying Stripper Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Scraping Away Softened Glue

The following day, we deep-cleaned the whole area using very strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and Remove & Go, scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black stripping pad. Four pads were used up in this process as they quickly became clogged with the thick slurry which was then power rinsed and vacuumed away from the floor. Any remaining patches of the glue were further softened using Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover and carefully picked off by hand with the bladed scrapers.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Deep Cleaning Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Stone Surface After Deep Cleaning

Finally, the slabs were finished using a brush fitted to the rotary machine with 320 grit honing powder to achieve a smooth, silky and very clean surface before being power rinsed with plenty of clean water. Again, the floor was left to dry thoroughly overnight with the assistance of our large capacity dehumidifier and thermostatic hot air blower.

Sealing a Sandstone tiled floor

Returning the following day, we found that the dehumidifier and heater had done their job and the sandstone was ready for sealing, the moisture content having been brought down to an average of 10% overall as shown by our damp meter testing.

The client had requested a light shine on the floor so that it would be easy to maintain on a daily basis. We chose, therefore, to use Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a combination sealer with a mid-sheen topical finish, which we applied using paint pads and microfibre cloths in five thin coats, resulting in an excellent fluid resistant seal with a lustrous shine.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Applying Sealer To Edges Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Finished Floor

This was a tough job but a highly satisfying result, further emphasised when the client’s antique furnishings were placed in situ.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Restoration of a Sandstone Hallway in Norfolk



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Re-Sealing Jura Limestone Tiles in Wetherby


This large Jura Limestone floor had been installed in a house in the history Yorkshire town of Wetherby twelve months prior and after only one year the sealer had worn off. Now dirt was getting trapped into the pores of the stone causing it look dull and uninviting and making it difficult to clean.

The builder who installed the floor must have used a really cheap sealer as they usually last a lot longer than a year and such a premium stone really deserved better. There were also a few other issues, it seems the floor wasn’t completely clean when it was sealed causing grit and dirt to become stuck to the floor, additionally the sealer had been applied with the underfloor heating on which is a big No No, for best results sealers need to be allowed to dry off naturally at room temperature.

The floor was now in a sad state and the owner wanted the floor stripping back and sealing properly. He had received a number of quotes for this job that were between one and two days! To do the job correctly was a 5-day job, fortunately the owner of the property wanted the job doing properly this time around.

Jura Limestone Tiled Floor Before renovation Jura Limestone Tiled Floor Before renovation

Stripping and Polishing Jura Limestone Tiles

The best way to restore high quality stone like this is to hone the floor using varying grits of abrasive floor pads. Tile Doctor have developed a technique for this known as burnishing which is a version 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.

Before burnishing the floor however, the floor was given a clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove any grit but with a main focus on scrubbing the grout lines by hand to get them as clean as possible. Once I was happy with the grout the floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

I started with the Coarse 400 grit pad lubricated with water and then after rinsing the floor with water I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally the Very Fine 3000 grit pad further rinsing in-between each pad to achieve a refined polished finish. This process may sound straight forward but the floor had been laid throughout the ground floor and so each section took time to complete.

Stripping and Polishing Jura Limestone Tiles

The last step was to seal the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium natural look impregnating sealer the protects the stone from within by occupying the pores so dirt and other contaminates can’t get in there.

Jura Limestone Tiled Floor After renovation Jura Limestone Tiled Floor After renovation

The floor now looks fantastic and it should stay that way for some time to come.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Large Jura Limestone Floor in North Yorkshire



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Terrazzo Reception Room Restoration for Business in Oldbury


We recently took a call from a company based in Oldbury asking if we could restore a natural stone floor that had been covered for over many years. The company were unsure exactly what type of stone the floor was made of, so I agreed to visit the site to survey the situation and quote a price for restoring the floor.

Oldbury is a town in the West Midlands, not far outside of West Bromwich, which has a history dating back over 1,000 years. It has historically been home to several notable businesses include Lloyds Bank who opened their first branch here back in 1864.

Upon visiting the company, I quickly identified the floor as Terrazzo, which is made from a process that was originally invented in Italy and popularly used in the UK during the 1920s. One of the most famous examples of Terrazzo stone in use is the Hollywood Walk of Fame in California. The floor was stained around the edges with what appeared to be paint smears from decorating and judging on its current appearance I could see it had been some time since it had been professionally cleaned. The floor was structurally sound however and I was confident however that a good finish could be achieved.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich

The floor was in a big open reception area of the building with a couple of hallways leading off it. We decided to clean the floor on a Friday afternoon when the workforce was not in the building to minimise the disruption.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich

Cleaning a Dirty Terrazzo Reception Room Floor

To begin the restoration, we covered the floor in Tile Doctor’s alkaline-based cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, mixed in medium strength solution as the floor was quite dirty in places. The solution was left to dwell on the floor for about twenty minutes and we then processed to carefully scrape off the paint a process made easier by the Pro-Clean.

The cleaning solution was then scrubbed thoroughly into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a large black scrubbing pad. The resultant slurry was then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor clear of surface dirt, the next step was to burnish and re-polish the floor using a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads. The system consists of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads of varying levels of grit, which are fitted to a rotary floor machine. The pads are used sequentially, starting with the coarsest 400 grit pad and ending with the finest. A small amount of water is used for lubrication with each pad and the floor is rinsed in-between each pad.

After the 1500 grit pad had been applied the floor was given a final rinse with water which was then extracted using the wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Terrazzo Reception Room

We returned to the building the next day (Saturday) and immediately ran a damp test on the floor to check if it was dry enough to be sealed. The floor proved to have dried completely, but before sealing the last very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad was applied with a little water spayed onto the floor to really bring out the shine in the Terrazzo.

Once this had been done, we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles and then allowed them to dry off. Colour Grow is an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer that helps to compliment the polished finish. Once the floor was dry, we buffed up the floor with a soft white pad.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich

Before leaving, we gave the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, a product which is ideal for routine cleaning of sealed floor to help keep the floor looking great. The customer was very happy with the results! You can judge them yourself by comparing the photos above with the ones below.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Terrazzo Reception Floor in Oldbury



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Black and Red Quarry Tile Renovation in Whaley Bridge


This was an unusual Quarry Tiled Floor that I was asked to renovate at a house in Whaley Bridge which is a small town in Derbyshire Peak district. The floor tiles were laid in a diamond pattern using alternating Black & Red quarry tiles. The house was more than 100 years old and recently changed hands. A large rug had previously occupied the middle of the floor and the tiles around the side has been painted over with black paint.

Old Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Whaley Bridge

To restore the floor to a consistent appearance I could see the paint would need to be removed and then the whole floor given a deep clean and seal. Additionally, there was an old Fireplace at one end of the room decorated in antique Ceramic tiles that needed cleaning, the Tiles are very old but in good physical condition for their age.

Old Ceramic Tiled Fireplace Hearth Before Cleaning Whaley Bridge

Cleaning Old Black and Red Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove the black paint and years of ground in dirty by treating the tiles with a poultice made from two Tile Doctor products namely Nano-Tech HBU Remover and Remove and Go. Working in sections the solution was applied to the tiles and left to soak in for a good twenty minutes before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad running at slow speed.

The resulting soil was extracted using a wet vacuum and then the tiles rinsed with water, so I would see where more work was needed. Stubborn stains were then spot treated with the same process before moving onto the next section. The Ceramic tiles in the fireplace hearth was treated in the same way.

After removing all the dirt, stains and paint I gave the floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and extracted as much moisture as possible using the wet vacuum. The floor would need to be dry before applying a sealer, so to allow the floor to fully dry off I left the floor for two days.

Sealing Original Quarry Hallway Tiles

On my return I checked the tiles first to ensure they were dry. All was good so I set about applying a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the clay. Additionally, Colour Grow is a breathable sealer which is important for these old floors that don’t have a damp proof course. There was no need to apply the sealer to the ceramic tiles in the hearth however as they won’t take a sealer due to the glaze.

Old Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Whaley Bridge

Once completed the floor looked completely transformed and the client was more than happy. Work continues in other parts of the house and once they have finished decorating they have asked me to return to restore their beautiful old Victorian tiled hallway.

Old Ceramic Tiled Fireplace Hearth After Cleaning Whaley Bridge
 
 

Professional Restoration of Original Quarry Hallway Tiles in the Peak District



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Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles Rejuvenated in Streatham


If you like in an older property in the UK and never looked under the carpets you might want to take a minute and have a look. I still find it surprising how many of my customers had no idea they lived in a house with a classic tiled hallway.

We were recently asked to restore a fantastic geometric-patterned Victorian tiled floor which had been found underneath carpet during decoration work in the hallway of a property in Streatham.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham

The once black and white tiles were now absolutely caked in dirt, glue deposits, cement, paint stains and plaster. It would be no small feat to get the tiles back to looking their best again. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are very resilient and we have a lot of experience in their restoration so I was confident that with the right products and techniques we could get the job done to a high standard.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiled hallway was quite long, yet only around a metre wide, so I felt the best approach would be to work in small sections at a time. Our method was to soak the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and leave the product to work its magic for roughly ten minutes, before scrubbing the surface to remove the muck. Some of the more viscous and stubborn stains were scrapped away carefully by hand within the assistance of a steam cleaning machine. The resulting residue was extracted using a wet vacuum. Remove and Go is a particularly effective cleaner in scenarios like this, as it is specially formulated to strip away old sealers, adhesives and even paint without harming the tile itself.

The next step was to run a rotary machine fitted with a Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad lubricated with water over the floor to achieve a consistent finish. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated in the process.

Old floors like these laid before the invention of damp proof membranes can be a concern as damp rising up through the tile as it dries can leads to efflorescence salt deposits appearing on the tile surface. So, to avoid potential issues Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied to the floor to neutralise any salt deposits and the floor given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

After finishing the clean, we left the floor to dry out over the weekend. With old floors like this one, we tend to recommend allowing a drying period of at least 48 hours to ensure the floor is completely dry before applying a sealer.

Upon arriving back at the property, we ran a few quick damp tests and once satisfied the floor was dry proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour-intensifying, impregnating sealant that leaves a natural-look matte finish. It works by occupying the pores in the clay and it’s also a fully breathable sealer which is important for these old floors where damp may be any issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results. She even went as far as to leave a review expressing how pleased she was during the weekend before we had chance to seal the tiles.

Bill and Wayne were brilliant! On time, got to work straight away, lovely and friendly and very professional. They have done a lovely job and I’m looking forward to them coming to seal the tiles to finish it o f tomorrow afternoon. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thanks guys!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South London



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Badly Stained Grout in Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle Recoloured in Hove


Hove is a town in East Sussex which is confused with – and somewhat overshadowed by – its larger, more well-known neighbour, Brighton. In fact, the tendency for people to confuse Hove and Brighton is such that a running joke in the area amongst residents of Hove is to reply “Hove, actually” when they are asked if they live in Brighton.

But Hove is no small town – in fact, its home to more than 90,000 people. As the East Sussex Tile Doctor I am a frequent visitor to the Brighton and Hove area. Most recently, I was called to a property to address a Porcelain tiled shower cubicle which was really starting to annoy the owner.

She felt like she could never seem to keep it clean of grime and the dyes in soaps that invariably stain the grouting. As a result, the whole cubicle looked worse for wear – you can see this in the photo below.

Shower Room Tiles Before Grout Colouring in Hove Shower Room Tiles Before Grout Colouring in Hove

Not only did the customer want the tiles and grout cleaned up, but she had been impressed by some subway tiles she had seen where a darker grout had been used, she liked the effect it gave and wanted to see if it could be replicated. I suggested that we could clean up the tiles and recolour the grout using a Black Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. She accepted the quote for the work and I was able to get started soon after.

Cleaning Porcelain Shower Tiles and Grout

To begin the restoration, I gave the tile and grout a deep clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a highly effective alkaline-based cleaner for Tile, Stone and Grout.

This left the tiles looking fresher, but the grout lines – which were very badly stained – would as need to be recoloured for the best result. Before applying the Grout Colourant, the grout needed to be prepped in order to achieve a strong bond with the colourant. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acidic product normally used for removing grout smears but in this case, I used it to etch the surface of the grout. Once done I gave the grout a rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Recolouring Shower Tile Grout

The final step in the restoration was to recolour the grout in black to achieve that subway effect the customer desired. There are actually ten different colours in the Tile Doctor Grout Colourant range, including Charcoal Grey, White, and Chocolate, as well as Black.
The colourant in basically painted onto the grout using an applicator brush, you then let it dry for a while and then wipe off any excess from the tile surface. It looks a little horrendous in the photographs above but wait until you see the final result.

Shower Room Tiles During Grout Colouring in Hove Shower Room Tiles During Grout Colouring in Hove

Once the grout colourant sets you find that not only does it effectively recolour and rejuvenate the grout, but it also makes a barrier over the grout effectively sealing it in and making it easier to clean in future.

The last step was to strip out the mould stained silicone sealant from around the base of the shower cubicle and replace with a quality mould resistant sealant. This final step really finished off the renovation and the photographs below show the outcome, which I think you will agree was quite a transformation. Thankfully, it was exactly what the customer was looking for!

Shower Room Tiles During Grout Colouring in Hove Shower Room Tiles After Grout Colouring in Hove

 
 

Professional Renovation of a Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle in East Sussex



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Etched and Damaged Limestone Kitchen Tiles Restored in Todmorden


There is perhaps nothing more frustrating as a homeowner than trying to keep your house clean, only to accidentally make things worse. This is often due to a misunderstanding around suitable cleaning products for different types of surfaces.

In the case of natural stone tiles using the right products is imperative and you really should read the label, as the wrong product can actively damage the floor. A customer of mine, who lives in Todmorden, a market town in Pennines, found this out the hard way. Just six months earlier, the customer had installed a new Limestone tiled floor in the Kitchen but was becoming increasingly unhappy with it as they found it difficult to keep it clean.

Nothing they could do seemed to help. To make matters worse, they had not been given any information on the correct maintenance of the floor by the original flooring company. As a result, they had tried to use several unsafe cleaning products including bleach and CIF. These acidic products had stripped away the sealer that was protecting the stone, and caused etching marks on the stone. This made cleaning the stone with normal methods nearly impossible.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse

The only method that could possibly save the tiles is one used by Tile Doctor, which is known as burnishing. When the customer contacted me, I suggested that this would be the best course of action. Given that the customer was on the verge of giving up, they were happy to book in the work.

Burnishing a Damaged Limestone Tiled Floor

To restore the Limestone tiles back to their original condition, I used the Tile Doctor four-pad burnishing system. In this system, we use four diamond encrusted burnishing pads of varying grits to grind away the damaged layer of stone, before slowing honing the surface and restoring the polished finish.

Depending on the size of the pads and the size of the affect area, they are either fitted to a handheld machine or to a larger rotary machine and applied directly to the surface with a small amount of water as lubrication.

I started with the first of the four pads, which is a Coarse 400 grit pad and is designed to strip off any old sealers and to grind away the marks caused by the etching. I then proceeded to work my way in sequence through the next three pads, moving from Medium 800 grit, on to Fine 1500 grit and finally to Very Fine 3000 grit. I paused to rinse the floor with fresh water between each pad to remove any resulting soil and mess.

The combination of diamond encrusted burnishing pads was highly effective in grinding out any scratches and achieved a high-quality polished finish to ensure the floor looked perfect.

Sealing a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor

Once it had been left to dry, I sealed the Limestone tile was sealed with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is a premium solvent-based penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection and to leave a no-sheen, natural look finish.

The customer very happy indeed with the result after believing nothing could be done to remedy the situation. I ensured they received the right advice on how to keep it clean until it would need routine maintenance from a professional tile cleaning company.

Limestone Floor After Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse Limestone Floor After Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse

 
 

Restoring a Damaged and Etched Limestone Tiled Floor in the Pennines



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Recolouring Stained Grout in Milton Keynes Office Toilet


Although much of the work Tile Doctor does is residential were more than happy to take on commercial tile cleaning jobs, as well. In fact, many office buildings contain very nice tiled kitchens and bathrooms, but the cleaners who visit them daily are rarely have the right training and products to keep stone, tile and grout looking it’s best.

In some cases, a long period of time passes before the facilities manager or cleaning company reach out to seek help from companies like Tile Doctor and by this time the tiles can be a very bad way. With this in mind I received a call from an office manager in Milton Keynes who needed help to restore the appearance of the tile and grout in a Porcelain tiled toilet.

Commerical Porcelain Toilet floor Milton Keynes Before Cleaning

You can see from the photograph that the White floor grout had become stained and unsightly through use and a lack of adequate grout cleaning. The owner of the building had decided, in fact, that he wanted to change the grout to a dark colour but was concerned about the cost and time it would take to remove the original grout and applying new.

I suggested to him that we give the tile and grout a deep clean and then simply recolour the grout with a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. Additionally, it’s a relatively quick process which could be done outside of office hours to minimise disruption. The customer was happy with this solution, so I we agreed a time for me to come back and carry out the work.

Cleaning and Grout Recolouring of a Porcelain Tiled Office Toilet

The restoration process began with a deep clean of the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaner. The product was applied to the tile and grout and then left to dwell for a short period before being worked in with a large scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Pro-Clean very reliably breaks down ingrained dirt and muck and can even be used to remove sealers in a concentrated form.

Next, I paid special attention to freshening up the stained grout lines. This was done using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, an acidic product which is usually used to remove grout smears from the tile surface but in this case applied to etch the grout surface to ensure a stronger bond with the colourant.

The tile and grout was rinsed and then dried before I could continue with the final step of recolouring the grout lines to make them darker, as per the customer’s request. This was done using the Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in Grey, which is just one of ten colours available. Other options include White, Chocolate, Sandstone and Black.

The Grout Colourant serves not only to recolour and rejuvenate the grout lines but also adds a barrier over the grout sealing it in and protecting it from further staining.

Commerical Porcelain Toilet floor Milton Keynes After Grout Colouring

I think you’ll agree, looking at the photo of the result below, that the toilet now looks much smarter and more professional. The customer was very happy with the outcome of the work and left me the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Great diligent work undertaken by Andrew-very pleased with the outcome.
Mr. Hirani, Milton Keynes 03 February 2018

 
 

Professional Renovation of a Stained and Discoloured Porcelain Tiled Office Toilet in Buckinghamshire



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Orginal Quarry Tiled Hallway Restored in Rednal


I was recently contacted by a home owner who had recently bought a property in Rednal which is a residential suburb on the south western edge of Birmingham near Bromsgrove. They were updating the flooring and discovered a quarry tiled floor under their living room carpet. The Quarry tiles were most likely original dating back 113 years and the owner was keen to have such an original feature restored.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Rednal

The Quarry tiles were well worn in areas and it looked as though a previous owner had levelled the floor using a cement screed to try and fill in any worn areas. Unfortunately, this had left the tiles with a rough surface and were very dirty as the photos show.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Rednal

Cleaning Original Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove any loose dirt and debris with a wet dry vacuum. Once done I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to give the tiles an initial clean to remove dirt from the tiles. The solution was left to soak into the tile for around ten minutes and then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Rednal

This process highlighted the roughness of the tiles from the cement as the pad was being torn by it. I decided that the best way to remove the cement was to scrape it away aided with a steamer. This meant a few hours on my hands and knees scraping away which was hard work but needs must!

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Rednal

When this was completed I used hand held diamond blocks to remove paint marks and adhesive from where the skirting board had been. I then cleaned the floor again with more Pro-Clean and a new black pad, I also cleaned the grout lines with a stiff grout brush. The floor was then thoroughly rinsed off with water to remove any dirt and solutions and this was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor now clean I could see there were signs of efflorescence markings on the floor which is where salts are carried up through the floor through evaporation. These old floors don’t have a damp proof membrane in place to prevent damp issues so to neutralise the salts I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the floor. This was left in place for a short time before rinsing the floor again. The floor was then allowed to dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing Original Quarry Tiles

Upon my return I checked the floor for damp with a meter which gave satisfactory readings. The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing sealer that really brought out the red colour of the quarry tiles.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Rednal

One the sealer had dried the floor was then buffed off with a white pad to remove any excess. As you can see the floor was transformed. I left the customer with a bottle of neutral tile cleaner to help maintain the floor.”

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Rednal
 
 

Restoration of an Original Quarry Tiled Floor in the West Midlands



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Edwardian Quarry Tiled Hallway Restored in Market Harbourough


Details below of a restorative clean and seal we completed of an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Floor and Edwardian Geometric Floor at a house in the town of Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Market Harborough is a very old town that dates back to Saxon times, as a result it has some very old buildings including the church that was built in the 1300’s.

Both floors had been hidden underneath carpets for many Years. They were exposed by our customer thirteen years ago, who had painstakingly removed the cement-based levelling screed from the Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough

The floors were moisture damaged from years of inherent damp build-up and didn’t look their best with ingrained historic soiling and damage to the hall tiles.

We were asked to quote for a restorative cleaning, sealing and repairs by our customer. After inspecting the floor, we quoted for the work and advised how long it would take to complete. We also guided our customer where to purchase period reproduction tile replacements from. In this instance our customer purchased made to order tiles from world renowned tile manufacturer Craven Dunnill in Bridnorth, Shropshire.

Cleaning Edwardian Quarry Tiles

We carried out repairs first carefully removing the damaged tiles and fixing in place the replacements purchased by the customer. Some of the original tiles were also loose but in good physical condition so these were re-fixed in place and grouted in.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough

Once the grout had set we started the cleaning process with the application of Tile Doctor Remove & Go ready to use heavy duty cleaning solution and coatings remover to the tiles. Working in small sections we allowed the product to soak into the tile for thirty minutes and then agitated the solution, with both an abrasive brush and a coarse 200 grit pad. This process quickly broke down the years of soiling and surface contamination. We extracted the resulting slurry and followed up with the application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel to treat inherent cement contamination and historic efflorescence salt staining. This was again worked into the tiles and the floor rinsed using low moisture methods.

We had arranged to seal the floor the next day, so air movers and a fan heater were left in place to help dry the floor overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Quarry Tiles

On the second day after confirming the tiles were dry we sealed the tiles with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. The floor was then buffed by hand to remove excess sealer and was ready for use within the hour. We advised the customer that whilst the floor could be walked on quite quickly, that the sealer would take up to 48 hours to fully cure.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough

Before leaving we advised the customer that the sealer can be prematurely worn down by the use of strong cleaning products and so recommended the they use Tile Doctors pH Neutral Floor Cleaning concentrate. This should always be diluted correctly, and the water changed frequently, to avoid suspended soils from being deposited back onto the surface of the floor. If properly maintained, then the sealer should last a minimum of 5 years.
 
 

Cleaning an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Floor in Leicestershire




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Brazilian Grey/Green Semi-Riven Slate Floor Hornby Kitchen


Rough Slate is notorious for homeowners to maintain as dirt can quickly become trapped in the rough surfaces. The example on this page is that of Brazilian Semi Riven Slate installed in the Kitchen of a house in the village of Hornby, which while naturally cleft from the rock loses none of its texture and style and yet has a much smother appearance than the typical rough Slates from China. Less processing means it’s not quite completely smooth but it is a lot less expensive to buy than say a honed or polished Slate which is more difficult to maintain due to various polishing techniques required to keep up the appearance. Brazilian Slate is in fact one of my favourite slates to clean and also one of the most rewarding of Slates to seal as the sealer really does bring out the colour and character of the stone.

Sealers provide a protective barrier on natural stone floors and without it dirt can penetrate into the pores of the stone making it more and more difficult to clean effectively. Unfortunately on this floor the new homeowners were unaware on what sort of Stone it was and had no idea how to look after it which resulted in the sealer wearing down prematurely and the floor becoming dull and un-inviting.

Semi-Riven Slate floor Before Cleaning Hornby Semi-Riven Slate floor Before Cleaning Hornby

Cleaning Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

To restore the appearance of the Slate floor we started by taping up the edges of the new kitchen units to protect the wood from splashing. This was followed with an application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean worked in with a black buffing pad fitted to a buffing machine running at slow speed (working at a slower speed results in less splashing). The pads can struggle to reach the edges and corners so these were cleaned by hand.

Once we had finished on the main floor area we then concentrated on the grout using a steam cleaner and more Pro-clean scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush.

Last step of the cleaning was to rinse the floor with water to remove any trace of cleaning products from the Slate and then dried off the floor the best we could with our high wattage wet vacuum machine and left the floor to dry off naturally over night.

Sealing Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

The next day we returned to seal the floor checking first that the floor had completely dried. The customer had requested a matt finish however we have worked on Brazilian Slate many times before and we knew how good they can look with this Satin finish sealer. Naturally its the customers decision so we offered to do a test piece and let them decide if they didn’t like it we would strip off the test piece and apply a Matt finish sealer like Tile Doctor Colour Grow instead.

The floor was dry so a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied to one Tile so that they could appreciate how it would look. Luckily the customer agreed with us and so we set about sealing the whole floor with Seal and Go.

To speed up the drying process Air Blowers were installed as we worked and it wasn’t long before the sealer was dry and the customers were able to walk on the floor and inspect every area before we left. I’m please to report that they were over the moon with the floor and my recommendation of sealer.

Semi-Riven Slate floor After Cleaning Hornby Semi-Riven Slate floor After Cleaning Hornby

To maintain the slate tiles going forward we always give our customers a free bottle of Tile Doctor pH neutral tile cleaner, which is a little incentive for them to provide some feedback via our website.
 
 

Professional Semi Riven Slate Floor Renovation in Lancashire



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Rebuilt After Heating Installation in Palmers Green


The owners of this property in Palmers Green, North London had uncovered an original Victorian hallway floor during renovation work. However, the priority was to have a new central heating system installed so they had to make a decision to allow the heating engineer to rip up part of the floor in order to lay new pipes.

With the floor now missing a large section most customers would agree to have the hole back-filled with concrete and then have lino installed on top, however keen to have the floor restored as an original feature they reached out to Tile Doctor who have a lot of experience in this field.

Our brief was to infill the excavated section and reinstate the floor with new original style Victorian tiles to match the existing ones.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The existing floor had been covered in Carpet which had been secured using carpet gripper fixed to the floor using adhesive, there were also old paint splashes from decorating that would need to be removed. Our first job therefore was to remove the glue and paint by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a coatings remover especially designed for use on tile and stone. The product was applied, left to dwell for about twenty minutes and then scrubbed into the floor, this softened the paint and glue which could then be carefully scrapped off tile tiles.

The next step was to give the floor a deep clean with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to strip off what remained of old sealers and extract any ground-in dirt from the pores of the tile. Naturally this work had to be done in two sections due to the missing tiled section and then once complete each part of the floor was given a good rinse and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then inspected and a second clean was carried out to remove any stubborn staining or residue followed by a steam clean.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Following the two stages of cleaning we checked the existing floor pattern and prepared the hallway by levelling the floor in preparation for inlaying the new tiles which were chosen to offer the best possible match. We were able to source reclaimed tiles that would match up to the pattern and during this phase of the restoration work we carried out any loose tile and grout repairs and re-grouted the newly laid tiles.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

With the original tiles clean and the hallway rebuilt we left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

On our return we first checked the tiled were dry and that the grout in the new section was clear of any grout smears from the tiling work. Happy with the condition of the hallway we first applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that will protect the tiles from within by occupying the pores within the tile, it also enhanced the colours in the clay tile.

Once the first coat of sealer was dry it was followed by five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds further layers of protection and adds a nice subtle satin finish that works really well on Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green

The work went very well, and the sealer consolidated the new and old tiled sections to form a seamless floor.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in North London



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