Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Entrance Hall in Headingley, Leeds

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I recently re-visited a Victorian period property in the Leeds suburb of Headingley which had an unusually large tiled entrance hall which we believe to be as old as the property itself. I say re-visited as I actually gave this floor a deep clean and reseal around five years ago; it’s always nice to be asked to return to a job as it shows the customers was very happy with the work. However, with five years of wear and tear the sealer had worn down and the floor was now starting to trap dirt, also it had lost the attractive shine added by the sealer and the owner felt it was time to have it done again. Additionally, the owner had recently had the whole house decorated and wanted the floor to look its best and match the fresh appearance of the property.

Large Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Sealing Headingley

Sealers do wear off with use and so it is inevitable that the tiles will need to be cleaned and sealed again with time. Given it hadn’t had a professional clean and seal for five years the floor wasn’t looking too bad as you can see from the picture, it was just a bit dull in the high traffic areas such as along the centre. I’ve certainly seen a lot worse.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Initially I wasn’t 100% sure on which cleaning method l was going to use on this floor. Originally l thought about using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad to take off a couple of layers of sealer and then re-apply 2 more coats. However, the finish on the floor wasn’t even across the width of the hallway and l felt using that approach wouldn’t resolve that. Additionally, a lot of tiles were pitted and a burnishing pad would struggle to get into the holes. So instead I decided to completely strip the floor and re-seal it which would ensure a uniform finish across the floor.

I used a strong 50:50 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the tiles and scrubbed it in with a black floor pad which removed the old sealer and ingrained dirt. The large floor pads are not very effective in the corners and edges, so I used a 6-inch red buffing pad fitted to a hand buffer for those. The floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. After inspecting the floor some areas were retreated with a repeat of the same process.
After a final rinse and extraction of the soiled water the floor was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day after first checking the floor was dry with a damp meter it was sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a water based sealer that gives a lovely sheen and allows the colours to shine through as well as letting the floor breath, which is important in properties of this age that usually do not have a damp proof membrane.

I was very pleased with the finished result as the pictures show and glad that l had chosen to do a deep clean and not just apply more coats of sealer. The client was over the moon.

Large Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Sealing Headingley

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North Yorkshire

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Pitted Travertine Floor Tiles Renovated in Limpsfield Chart

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Earlier this year I went to look at a Travertine tiled floor at a property in Limpsfield Chart next Oxted in East Surrey. The travertine had been laid throughout the Kitchen and adjacent dinner and my client was having trouble maintaining its appearance which had now become dull and unappealing. The Travertine tiles also suffered badly from pitting and dirt had become lodged in the pits of the stone making it difficult to clean. In addition, there was also some staining to the grout lines that needed removing.

Pitted Travertine Floor Before Grout Cleaning Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor Before Filling Pitted Stone Limpsfield Chart

I discussed with the client what we could do to restore the floor and we agreed a price for the work to be carried out which would take three days. I’m pleased to say they were happy for me to do the work whilst they were away on holiday

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen & Diner Floor

First, we removed the kitchen kickboards and applied protective tape to the skirting boards and around the fridge. Then a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was sprayed onto the tile and grout and left to soak in for fifteen minutes.

Pitted Travertine Floor Before Adding Protection Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor Before Filling and Polishing Limpsfield Chart

Remove and Go is designed to remove coatings from Tile and Stone such as sealers so after leaving it to dwell on the floor it was worked in using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a polypropylene brush. The grout lines were then scrubbed by hand paying particular attention to the stained areas. Once that was down the now dirty Remove and Go was rinsed and extracted from the floor using a spinner tool which uses a compressor to apply hot water at high pressure and extracts the slurry into a waste tank. This process was applied first to the kitchen and then to the adjacent dining area.

Pitted Travertine Floor During Cleaning Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor During Rinsing Extracting Limpsfield Chart

Filling Pitts in a Travertine Tiled Floor

As the floor dried, I spent the rest of the afternoon filling the pits in the Travertine tile with grout, almost every tile was affected so it took some time. The grout was then left to harden overnight.

Pitted Travertine Floor After Filling Before Polishing Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor After Filling Limpsfield Chart

Returning on day 2 a 400-Grit burnishing pad was applied dry to both areas to smooth off the grout that had been applied to the pits the previous day. Only a single pass of the pad was required to remove the excess grout which was then swept off the floor. The grout blended in perfectly with the Travertine which was a mixture of brown and white shades.

Polishing Travertine Floor Tiles

With the pitting issue resolved I set to work restoring the polished appearance of the tiles for which I used a set of diamond encrusted Tile Doctor burnishing pads. Before starting I
pre-wetted the floor with water which was sprayed onto the tiles and then applied the 400-grit pad run over the floor ensuring to pass over each tile four times to get an even result. The fine slurry generated was rinsed off with water and the process repeated with the 800, 1500 and 3000 grit pads, to further hone the stone and restore its polished appearance.

Pitted Travertine Floor During Polishing Limpsfield Chart

With two areas to work on the polishing process took up most of the second day.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Diner Floor

After inspecting the floor on day 3, I set about applying Tile Doctor Shine Powder to the whole floor. This is a crystallising powder that is applied to the floor and buffed in with a red pad. It adds a very high shine to the tiles and provides a tough durable finish.

Pitted Travertine Floor During Shine Powder Polishing Limpsfield Chart

The final result was quite a transformation and what better welcome home present for the client when they returned from their holiday.

Pitted Travertine Floor After Polishing Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor After Polishing Limpsfield Chart

 

Professional Renovation of a Travertine Tiled Floor in East Surrey

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Chequered Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restoration Oxford

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You may recognise this Chequered Victorian tiled floor from other restorations that I’ve detailed on my website. This in fact is the third house I’ve worked on in the same small road in Oxford where hallway floors like these are a very common feature. In fact, I seem to get a lot of referrals from this area, which is always a pleasure, so I suspect word has got around the neighbourhood. The property sits close to the city centre, of course is famous for the University of Oxford, the oldest in the English-speaking world.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford Before Restoration

I visited the property to survey the floor and work out the best method and products to restore the Victorian tiles. The tiles were dotted in paint splashes from decorating and had previously been covered in carpet so there were gripper strips glued around the edges. All of which would need to be removed and then the floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and then finally it would need to be sealed to protect it going forward. After discussing the work in detail with the owner he was happy to accept my quote and we worked out a convenient date to do the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I carefully prised off the carpet gripper so not to damage the tile. Then I applied a 50:50 mixture of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to the tiles. This creates a strong cleaning/coatings remover that would soften the paint and glue making it easier to remove. I left this to dwell on the floor for about an hour so it could break down the pint and adhesive. I then fitted a coarse 100-grit diamond pad to a rotary floor buffer and scrubbed the floor vacuuming up the resulting residue as I went along. I then repeated the process using a 200-grit pad and repeated the process.

I then spray buffed the floor using water and a 400-Grit burnishing pad followed by a 800-grit pad, rinsing and extracting afterwards with water to remove the fine slurry this process generates.

Old floors like these were laid before the invention of the damp proof membrane which can result in moisture rising through the floor as it evaporates potentially leaving alkaline salt deposits on the surface. This process is known as Efflorescence and although I minimised the use of water during the cleaning process, I was concerned that this may still present a problem later. To neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor that could cause this problem my last action for the day was give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Once this was done and extracted from the floor, I followed up with a further clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which was applied with a microfibre cloth. I left the floor to dry off overnight so it could be sealed the next day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On day two I checked the moisture level in the floor to ensure it had dried overnight. The results were good, so I set about applying the sealer. For this floor I decided to go with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that as well as protecting the Victorian tiles form staining also enhances the black and white colours in the tile increasing the apparent contrast. This sealer is also fully breathable so any moisture will be able to evaporate up through the tile and not get trapped under the floor where it could eventually lead to rising damp in the walls.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford After Restoration

Before leaving I also discussed maintenance cleaning with the customer and left them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is safe to use on sealed floors and will help keep the tiles looking at their best. It’s supplied in concentrated form so it should last them some time before they run out. The customer was very happy with the end result, she suggested I would be hearing from more neighbours very soon!

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Oxfordshire

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Victorian Tiles Discovered Under Lino Renovated in Kettering

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The customer called me after she had removed the lino in her hallway to discover a traditional Victorian tiled floor hidden underneath. Unfortunately, at some time in the past this floor hadn’t been protected whilst decoration was carried out and had been heavily stained with splashes of paint. Although the customer had tried her best to clean the paint off the floor, she had found it was impossible to remove. She was really keen to restore the floor back to its’ former glory and see the back of the nasty looking lino!

I visited the property in Kettering which is a lovely town in Northamptonshire, approx. 15 miles from Northampton itself. The area is now very popular with commuters with regular trains heading to London St Pancras taking just one hour. As the pictures she had sent me showed the floor needed professional cleaning as no amount of household products would be able to remove the problem areas. I discussed with the customer what we could do to get the floor restored and we agreed a price for the work, scheduling it in for a few weeks later.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

To clean the floor, it was first sprayed with a solution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was left to dwell for fifteen minutes to help soften the paint. We then used our heavy-duty scrubbing machine with the appropriate attachments to scrub the floor. A little warm water was added to the solution on the floor to help remove the paint as the scrubbing was underway. Once done a wet vacuum was used to remove the slurry generated by the scrubbing process.

This process was repeated several times in the most stubborn areas to ensure the floor was as clean as possible. This action removed around 90% of the paint which was a huge improvement, but more work was required before it would meet my standards.

To further improve the condition of the tiles my next course of action was to apply Tile Doctors 100 and 200-grit burnishing pads to the floor with water to help lubricate. After each pad the find slurry that was generated was extracted off the floor using the wet vacuum. This process reconditions the surface of the Victorian tile and removed the remainder of the paint, it also cleaned the remaining areas that needed further attention leaving the floor spotless. I left the floor to dry overnight and arranged to return the following morning to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The customer wanted the floor to look natural so requested a matt finish sealer, also being an old floor without a damp proof membrane I specified the sealer should be fully breathable so moisture can pass up from the sub floor and not become trapped under the tile where it could cause problems. With these factors in mind we agreed on Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which ticks all these boxes.

As you can see from the after pictures, the restorative cleaning process really did the trick. The colours in the floor were now nice and clear and the floor looked as it should.
The customer was over the moon with the outcome, she had not expected the finish achieved to be as good.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering

No matter how bad you think the floor is with the use of professional machinery and Tile Doctor products we can restore most floors to a high standard, which certainly in this case exceeded the customers’ expectations.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northamptonshire

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Flagstone Kitchen Floor Resurfaced in Broadbottom

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The new owners of this lovely terraced house in the village of Broadbottom that was built circa 1900, inherited with it a lovely old flagstone floor in the Kitchen which was now in a rather bad state with ingrained dirt and stains.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Broadbottom

I suspected that the White staining was due to alkaline salts, a problem more commonly known as efflorescence. However, I took a moisture reading of the floor with a damp meter and the readings were normal, so it may have been a historic damp problem that cause it. We are always wary of efflorescence issues when it comes to older properties as damp proof membranes which resolve this problem are a relatively modern invention.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Broadbottom

After explaining the process, I worked out a quote which was accepted and booked a date in the diary for the work to commence, which would take place over two days.

Cleaning and Grouting a Flagstone Kitchen Floor

First the floor was in a terrible state and needed to be resurfaced if it was going to live up to its potential. To do this I used a 100 followed by a 200-grit coarse Diamond milling pads to grind off the top layer of ground in dirt, resurface the stone and reveal the beautiful stone beneath. These abrasive pads are run over the floor with a weighted floor buffer running on a nice slow speed and lubricated with water. The floor is rinsed with more water after each pad and then the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

As the floor had quite a few areas where the grout had cracked and crumbled, I decided to rake this out and replaced it with a flexible grout using a colour sympathetic to the original. This and the milling made an immediate improvement to the overall appearance of the floor. The floor was then left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to apply a sealer.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I checked the floors moisture level before sealing, all was well, so I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that has a matt finish. Tile Doctor Colour Grow is also fully breathable so should cope well with any damp issues and allow moisture to rise through the stone and evaporate. This is important as otherwise moisture could become trapped under the floor where it could eventually cause problems in the walls.

Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom

The customers were delighted with the outcome, the colour of the stone had really improved also Milling the surface of the floor makes it smoother so it would now be much easier for them to keep clean in future.

Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom

For aftercare I left them with a bottle of concentrated Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which once diluted is a pH neutral product that will not erode the newly applied sealer. Many household cleaners are too strong for sealed floor and will prematurely erode the sealer over time.

 

Professional Restoration of a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Greater Manchester

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Grout Colour Restoration on a Ceramic Kitchen Floor Ulverston

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This client got in touch to see if we could clean the grout in her large kitchen floor which was tiled with Terracotta style Ceramic tiles. As per usual we visited the property first which was in the market town of Ulverston to survey the floor and get a better idea of what was required.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Grout Colouring Ulverston

Believe it or not the grout had originally been Sandstone in colour, but poor cleaning practices had reduced the colour back to grey as all floor grouts (apart from white) are basically a cement grey with a colour dye added. I suspect the customer had been using a strong bleach-based product to clean the floor with which as well as removing colour can also lead to dehydration resulting in cracking. It’s work knowing that even the “Green Cleaning Products” on the market generally contain at least 5% of “non-ionic surfactants” which can also impact grout with constant use.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Grout Colouring Ulverston Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Grout Colouring Ulverston

Our recommendation was to re-colour the grout using a durable Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which seals and rejuvenates existing grout and is available in ten popular colours. The client was happy that we could improve the appearance of the floor, we agreed a price and scheduled the work in which would take two days to complete.

Cleaning and Colouring Grout on a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor

It was a large 45m2 kitchen and so it took most of the first day just to clean the grout using Tile Doctor Grout Colourant Pre-Treater. This is an effective ready-to-use acidic cleaner which is designed to lightly etch and clean the grout joints so that you achieve a superior bond with the colourant. The product comes in a spray bottle so its just a question of spraying it onto the tile, leaving it for five minutes and then scrubbing it in with a brush. Afterwards you rinse it off with water and extract with a wet vacuum.

We worked our way across the large floor area in sections leaving an air blower in place over the completed section to accelerate the drying process. Once we managed to get a cleaned area dry, we started to apply the first coat of Grout Colourant. The colourant is relatively easy to apply with a small brush, you just need to ensure that any excess that gets on the tile is wiped off before it dries.

Once the second of coat of grout colourant had been applied and had dried the floor was inspected and touched up further where required. Before leaving we gave the floor a dry polish with our buffing machine just so it all looked spick and span before we handed the floor back to the customer. There was no need to seal the floor, Ceramic tiles won’t accept a sealer and the grout will now be protected by the colourant which acts like a barrier.

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor After Grout Colouring Ulverston Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor After Grout Colouring Ulverston

The transformation to the floor was huge as you can see in the pictures. My customer was over the moon with the results and left the following feedback:

‘I can recommend the professional services of Russell and team, nothing was too much trouble and the job was completed on time with excellent results’
Karen. Ulverston

Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor After Grout Colouring Ulverston

 

Professional Grout Restoration of a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor in Lancashire

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Red Sandstone Floor Pavers Restored in Keswick, Cumbria

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We love working with Sandstone, it’s very satisfying as we usually get called in when it looks really horrible and grubby and after some work it ends up looking stunning. The floor in this property in the famous Lake District town of Keswick had been covered with carpet for many years, so when we uncovered it as you can see from the pictures, it was clearly in needed of major attention and a great candidate for restoration.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Before Renovation Keswick

When the floors this bad there’s no point trying to get a decent clean just by using chemicals alone, so we often offer a system we have perfected at Tile Doctor called “Milling”. We discussed the project in detail with the client and agreed a price and a time to complete the work.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Fireplace Hearth Before Renovation Keswick Red Sandstone Flagstones Before Renovation Keswick

Restoring the Appearance of Red Sandstone

Milling involves the application of several coarse grades of hard diamond pads to the stone using water to lubricate the process, the water also helps make the removal of the soil easier and reduces dust. On this occasion we used coarse 50, 100 and 200-grit milling pads applied in sequence with a weighted rotary floor machine, the floor is rinsed with water between each pad and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

We worked our way across the floor using this process. Not only does this give the stone the deepest clean it has ever had but it also cuts back the stone a few millimetres and takes off a lot of roughness leaving the finish a lot smoother, this makes the now Milled Stone a lot easier to maintain in the future as it has a much smoother texture and finish.

Loose grout is a common problem on these older floors, so the next step was to rake out any broken and loose grout between the slabs, clean-up and repoint to match the existing. Once that had set, we gave the floor another lighter clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean run along the recessed grout lines with a rush to clean them up. I was then satisfied the floor was a clean and it could be, the floor now needed to dry our before we applied the sealer.

Sealing a Red Sandstone Tiled Floor

We returned the following day and checked the floor was dry using the moisture meter, we don’t recommend applying a sealer to a damp floor as the sealer will not cure properly. All was well, so we then applied several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer, this is a fully breathable, impregnating sealer that will protect the stone from staining whilst enhancing the natural red colour in the Sandstone.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Fireplace Hearth After Renovation Keswick Red Sandstone Flagstones After Renovation Keswick

Using a breathable sealer on old stone floors like this is highly recommend as these floors rarely have a damp proof membrane installed and so it’s important to give moisture a way of rising through the floor naturally and evaporating rather than being trapped under the floor where it can eventually build up in the walls.

As you can imagine from the after pictures the customer was happy with the overall outcome and relieved that their decision to remove the carpet had worked out.

Red Sandstone Flagstones After Renovation Keswick

 

Professional Restoration of a Red Sandstone Paved Floor in North Cumbria

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Removing Carpet Adhesive from a Ceramic Tiled Floor in Measham

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The pictures below are of a Ceramic tiled floor covered in carpet glue at a house in the old Leicestershire village of Measham. The owner of the property had contacted us for a solution after deciding to remove the carpet in the kitchen which had been down for around 15 years. Ideally, he wanted to have the ceramic tiles restored to new, but this would depend on how well the glaze on the tiles had stood the test of time.

Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination Before Cleaning Measham Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination Before Cleaning Measham

We called round to the property and could clearly see residue from the carpet adhesive used to secure the carpet had stained the tiles and contaminated the grouting.

Cleaning Adhesive Contaminated Ceramic Tiles

Before starting we removed the kitchen unit kickboards to protect them during cleaning. Next, we turned our attention to the floor and after fully removing the carpet could see that some of the adhesive had turned to powder, so our first step was to remove it by thoroughly vacuum the floor. We then reviewed the range of Tile Doctor cleaning products and problem solvers to determine which product would be the most effective at breaking down the residue. Our first thought was to use Remove & Go as it was developed as coatings remover and we have used it before to remove old worn sealers, paint as well as adhesive contamination.

A strong application would be needed to remove the glue to it was applied neat to the tile and grout. I left it to dwell for about 20 minutes, so it could get to work breaking down the adhesive contaminates. This was followed by mechanical agitation with a rotary floor machine fitted with a poly scrub brush. This quickly broke up the adhesive from the tile allowing it to be removed from the tile and grout with a wet vacuum.

Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination During Cleaning Measham

We then scrub cleaned the floor with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is a strong acidic product. It was diluted at 1:20 with water and scrubbed into the floor to ensure any remaining contaminants were removed and the pH of the floor lowered so that no sticky residues remained.

The process went well and as you can see form the photographs the Ceramic tiles had stood up well to the adhesive and now look as though they were only just installed. The last step was to rinse the floor with fresh water which was then extracted with the wet vacuum and the floor force dried with air movers. After reinstalling the kickboards, they floor was finished much to the delight of the owner.

Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination After Cleaning Measham Ceramic Tiles with Carpet Adhesive Contamination After Cleaning Measham

 

Professional Renovation of an Adhesive Stained Tiled floor in Leicestershire

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Pitted Limestone Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Warboys

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The photographs below are from a Limestone tiled floor which had been installed throughout the kitchen, hall and downstairs WC of a property in the Cambridgeshire village of Warboys. The owner was fed up with the floor which was not cleaning up after multiple attempts, he surmised it was overdue a deep clean and re-seal and so got in touch with us to do the work.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning

We visited the property to survey the floor and could straight away that the owner was right to call us, the floor was definitely overdue a professional clean and he would not have been able to improve it without the right equipment. It was a large space and being the hallway and kitchen area, it was subject to a lot of foot traffic so was not looking its’ best. One of the biggest problems was the pitting in the Limestone which had trapped a lot of dirt which was difficult to shift. We discussed the options and the cost for the work which was agreeable to the client and arranged an appointment to return to carry out the renovation.

Deep Cleaning and restoring a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

Before starting I wrapped protective tape around the woodwork and removed the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units to protect them during the cleaning process.

Limestone and Travertine are notorious for pitting and on this floor the pits had trapped dirt making it look very unattractive. To deal with this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, allowed it to soak in and break-down the dirt and old coatings such as sealers for ten minutes and then scrubbed it in with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

To remove the slurry that was generated I used our hot water pressurised extraction system which is a great tool that operates from a large compressor situated in my van which was parked outside. It fires hot pressurised water onto the floor via a floor spinner tool and then extracts the dirty water back onto a tank in the van. The pressure allows the water to penetrate deep into the pits of the stone to maximise the dirt extracted. This machine was an expensive investment however it saves a lot of time and allows me to achieve some outstanding results.

This process was repeated across the floor using the 800-grit and then the 1500-grit diamond burnishing pads using only water to lubricate and the extraction system to extract the slurry afterwards.

There were number of areas to cover so it took most of the day to clean all the floors, by the end of the day however the floor looked much cleaner and brighter. I left the floor to dry out overnight and came back the next day to apply a sealer.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

The next day I inspected the floor and checked it was dry before applying the sealer. To seal the Limestone I applied multiple coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer which penetrates into the stone, protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours in the stone in the process. Any excess sealant was buffed off the surface with a cloth after ten to fifteen minutes.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing

The sealer really brought out beauty and colours in the natural stone and the floor was transformed in just two days. The owner of the house was happy with the results and left the following feedback on the tile doctor feedback system.

‘Tom did a superb job of cleaning my tiles to look like new. Very professional, methodical and proud of his work’
Brian A, Warboys

 

Professional Renovation of Pitted Limestone Floor Tiles in Cambridgeshire

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Victorian Tiled Hallway Altered and Restored in Hale Barns

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We were contacted by an architect who was working on the redevelopment of a late Victorian property in Hale Barns, their client wanted to restore the property to its former glory and several internal changes meant reconfiguring the doorways on the ground floor. This in turn would impact the elegant Black and White Victorian tiled hallway floor and the request was for us to lift half the tiled floor and then replace it once the internal changes were complete.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hale Barns

Certainly, an interesting request and one we were happy to quote for. Hale Barns is an effluent part of Cheshire with a mixture of late Victorian and ultra-modern housing popular with footballers, so It’s refreshing to see a period property like this sympathetically restored instead of being demolished.

Lifting and Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first part of the works involved removing the section of flooring that would be disrupted by the internal changes. Normally we would carefully cut out one tile so we can get a purchase on the remainder from underneath; however the floor had some loose tiles so it simply a question of lifting these then putting a flat plate under the rest and popping them up. I make it sound simple but doing it without damaging a tile takes patience.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Tile Removal Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Removal Hale Barns

The lifted tiles were stored in buckets containing a 4:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water. The tiles were left so soak for a couple of days to soften the adhesives, grout and dirt before being cleaned off and left to dry out.

Once the building work was completed, we were called back into rebuilt the Victorian floor taking into account the new door thresholds. The first job was to level the floor with fast drying self-levelling compound to provide a new sub-base for the tiles. This was left to dry overnight and the next day we started laying the floor back down with fast setting tile adhesive. Once the floor was laid, we left for the day, so it could set overnight.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Hale Barns

Lifting and Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Next day we checked the tiles were set before starting to clean with a set of abrasive burnishing pads which attach to a slow speed weighted rotary floor machine. We started with a very coarse 100-grit pad and use water to help lubricate the process, the resulting soil is then rinsed off and removed with a wet vacuum. Using exactly the same process we continue to further refine the tiles by working our way through ever finer grades of pads until we get to 1500-grit. The floor was then washed with Tile Doctor Acid Gel and this is left to soak into the tile before being washed off with water. Giving the floor an acid wash in this fashion helps clean the tile of old mineral deposits and also neutralises any alkaline salts in the floor which could cause problems later on, this is a common issue with old floors more commonly known as efflorescence. The floor was dried using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible before being left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I finished off the restoration of the floor with the application of a very fine 3000-grit burnishing pad which gave the floor a light sheen. This final pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a method we call a ‘Spray Burnish’.

The floor was then checked for moisture with a damp meter to make sure it was dry before sealing. All was well and two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer were applied to protect the floor going forward. Colour Grow is a fully breathable impregnating sealer that will enhance the colour of the black tiles and being breathable will cope well with any moisture rising through the floor. Once the sealer had dried fully the floor was buffed with the 3000-grit pad leaving a sheen as requested by the client.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor After Cleaning Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor After Sealing Hale Barns

The result was quite a transformation that was well received by the architect and their client.

 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Hale Barns

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Stained Flagstone Floor Resurfaced and Sealed in Glasgow West End

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These photographs are of a Flagstone floor tiled floor we stripped and sealed at a house in the West End of Glasgow. If you’re not familiar with Glasgow that well then, it’s worth knowing that the West End of Glasgow is the more favoured end and contains the best hotels and attractions, where as the East End is traditionally the industrial part.

Flagstone Floor Glasgow West End Before Restoration

The flagstone floor was very dirty and had numerous marks and staining. Interestingly we were not the first company to work on this floor, in fact before we got the call another company had already tried to carry out the work and made a mess of the floor followed by giving up and walking away from the job.

Flagstone Floor Glasgow West End Before Restoration

We clearly had our hands full however we have done this sort of work before and being part of the Tile Doctor network means we have the resources and experience of a large organisation behind us, so we were not overly concerned.

Cleaning a Flagstone Floor

Working in sections we stripped the floor using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50:50 with Remove and Go. This creates a powerful coatings stripper and tile cleaner that can safely shift coverings from tiles. The solution was left to dwell before going over the floor with a very coarse 100 and then 200-grit diamond milling pad which worked well with the cleaning products to restore the look of the flagstones. Naturally it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, the process needed to be repeated several times to get the previous sealer removed and the stone surface restored.

Once satisfied the Flagstone surface was restored, we then gave the floor a couple of cleans using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove any remaining soil and to get the grout lines clean. Then to neutralise the pH level of the floor prior to sealing it was rinsed with tile doctor neutral tile cleaner.

The floor was then left to dry out overnight assisted by a couple of turbo air movers and a heater that we left behind.

Sealing Flagstone Flooring

The next day we returned to seal the floor first checking the floor had dried. Fortunately, the equipment we left behind had done their job and so we could proceed with the application of the sealer. The sealer we chose for this installation was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the stone and allow for easy cleaning and maintenance for customer.

Flagstone Floor Glasgow West End After Restoration

One finished the floor looked much cleaner, the stains had gone, and the sealer added a nice subtle polished appearance to the flagstones. The owner of the property was very happy with transformation we had achieved and much relieved that the floor could be restored.

Flagstone Floor Glasgow West End After Restoration

 

Professional Renovation of a Flagstone Floor in Glasgow

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Victorian Tile Clean and Seal Evesham

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It’s not just major restoration work we do at Tile Doctor, sometimes a simple clean and seal is all that is required and that was the case at this property in Evesham. This medieval market town lies within the Vale of Evesham and is encompassed by the River Avon. It is located between the larger towns of Worcester, Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Evesham

I was contacted by the owner and I arranged a visit to view their Victorian Hallway. The floor was in very good condition, but the previous sealer was now in-effective and the floor was dull and needed a good clean and seal. The colours were starting to fade, and it was due some attention. Sealers do wear off over time so if you have a similar floor to this it’s worth bearing that in mind. We discussed the work required and the cost involved, my quote was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On arrival I set up my equipment and covered any areas of carpet to protect from splashing during cleaning. I then used Tile Doctor Remove and Go spraying the product onto the floor allowing it to dwell for 10 minutes thus breaking down any sealers. This product is a non-flammable, multi-purpose stripper which works best when left to soak in for some time before scrubbing. This product is also great for drawing out ingrained stains and removing heavy grease build up.

The floor was then pasted with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which works to neutralise any alkaline salts in the tiles that can cause efflorescence later. This is a common issue with old floors which often do not have a damp proof membrane in place. I then went to work with my scrubbing machine and a black pad and worked the products into the tile. The resulting slurry was then rinsed off with water and removed with a wet vacuum.

I then went over the floor with microfibres and water to remove any remaining marks before leaving it to dry off overnight and ready for sealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning Evesham

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and started by checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. To seal the floor, I chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable semi- gloss sealer which made a huge difference to the floor. Choosing a fully breathable sealer is important for floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane as you want to encourage any dampness to rise through the tile and not get trapped underneath where it might spread into the walls.

The deep clean and new seal brought out the vibrant colours in the tiles which were now shining through enhances by the lovely sheen which customer was very pleased with.

For aftercare I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which being concentrated goes a long way. Once diluted with water the product becomes completely pH neutral which unlike most household cleaners and washing up liquids which contain bleaches won’t prematurely degrade the sealer with use.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Sealing Evesham

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire

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1850’s Victorian Hallway Restored at Ex NHS Property in Nether Edge

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Detailed below is the restoration of a beautiful Victorian tiled hallway that we completed for a ‘co-housing’ community who had purchased a large house in Nether Edge. Situated three miles south if Sheffield, Brincliffe House was built in 1850 and had been used as NHS offices since the end of the Second World War but had been empty since 2012. Built originally for Herbert Unwin who was the owner of Pond Street Brewery it was now subject to a three-million-pound conversion into fifteen apartments.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

When we first visited the property to survey the floor, we were shown around the ground floor where they had discovered magnificent Victorian tiled floor. The new owners had no idea the floor was there as the NHS had covered it up decades earlier and glued carpet on top. Being a co-housing community, they were keen to do the restoration themselves however after several unsuccessful attempts to remove the strong carpet adhesive they thought better of it and called us in. We ran several tests and worked out the best way to remove the glue. The floor covered about 70 sqm in total so we knew we had our hands full.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Removing Carpet Glue from an Old Victorian Tiled Floor

I’d worked out that the best way to remove the carpet adhesive was a combination of coating remover products and abrasive burnishing pads, these are industrial diamond encrusted pads that are usually used to resurface stone however we find they work equally well on Victorian tiles as well.

Working in small sections the floor was treated with a Tile Doctor 200-grit 17 inch Diamond pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer using water as a lubricant. This stripped off a lot of surface dirt and glue which was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Next the floor was coated with a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove & Go and Wax Away, two powerful coating removers that are safe to use on Tile and Stone. The mixture was left to soak into the tiles for about twenty minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad which slowly released the glue and dirt from the pores of the tile. In some areas the glue was so thick we found it necessary to use hand scrapers as well. As before the soil was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Each section of flooring was inspected and retreated where necessary, then once happy with the result it was given a final rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product. After two days of hard work the results were truly amazing, and it was very satisfying to see the floor come back to life section by section.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles/h2>
The community were very happy with the results and thankful I had managed to achieve such an amazing transformation. They were however keen to do as much of the project as they could by themselves, so I advised them on the importance of protecting the tiles with a sealer and left that bit tot the community.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

With regards to sealing my recommendation was to apply a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as it would enhance the red and blue colours in the tiles even further. Also, being fully breathable it would be able to cope with any moisture issues which is important on these old floors which were laid without a damp proof membrane.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

 

Removing Stubborn Carpet Glue from old Victorian floor tiles in Sheffield

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Deep Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Flooring in a Thirsk Kitchen

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The stone floor in the pictures is an Indian Fossil Sandstone which had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in the North Yorkshire market town of Thirsk. The Sandstone tiles had not been professionally cleaned and sealed for ten years so and was now overdue a deep clean. The customer had tried cleaning it but gave up and give me a call instead as no matter what she did nothing seemed to make a difference.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning

They had been using numerous household cleaners to maintain the floor which doesn’t help as many supermarket cleaning products are too strong for use on a sealed floor and will prematurely reduce the life of the sealer. Without the protection of a sealer dirt becomes ingrained in the stone making it very difficult to clean effectively. Another problem was that the Sandstone tiles were very uneven and rough in texture, so the dirt was getting caught in the bumps which didn’t help.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning

I went over to the property in Thirsk to survey the floor and conduct a test clean, so they could see how the stone would look on completion. The Sandstone responded well to treatment and we agreed a date for me to return and complete the floor.

Maintenance issues aside Sandstone pavers look great in a Kitchen where they give a rustic farmhouse appearance that brings the outside in. Imported from India, Indian Fossil Sandstone is full of character and with prices from around £19m2, very affordable. Due to the thickness of the stone we wouldn’t recommend using pavers with under floor heating.

Cleaning an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

To get the stone clean and remove what was left of the sealer I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and allowed it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer.

This removed a lot of the dirt and stains however floor pads struggle on uneven surfaces, so I found that to get the stone and grout really clean I had to rescrub most of them by hand. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and any stubborn areas retreated using the same process and more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The floor was then left to dry off overnight in preparation for it being sealed.

Sealing an Indian Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to finish the renovation. First, testing the floor with the moisture meter to ensure it was dry enough to take the sealant. I started by applying two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which will protect against ongoing dirt and stains. You can always tell when stone floor has had enough sealer applied by adding a droplet of water to the tile, if it forms a bubble on the surface then you know its sealed. I demonstrated this to the customer, so they would know in future and could give us a call when they needed to redo the floor.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning

As before the Sandstone responded well to the treatment leaving it much cleaner and lighter in appearance. The floor had a lovely variety of colours and you could now clearly see the fossils trapped in the stone. Before leaving I recommended that they use a pH neutral cleaning product going forward such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is specifically designed for cleaning sealed floors and will help keep the floor maintain its appearance.

My customer was amazed at the transformation and left the following feedback for me.

“Floor has never been cleaner! Elizabeth R, Thirsk”

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning

 

Professional Renovation of an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor in North Yorkshire

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Mouldy Travertine Tiled Shower Deep Cleaned in Abingdon-on-Thames

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This shower cubicle at a house in the historic market town of Abingdon on Thames was tiled with Travertine which with use had become grubby and the grout darkened. The properties in the road were of a similar age and many bathrooms had been upgraded in recent years to make them more modern. This one was no different having been fitted a few years prior.

Travertine Tiled Shower Before Cleaning Abingdon

Travertine is a natural stone material that has unique features and colouring that no other stone can offer. The distinctive design and natural patterns found within Travertine make it very popular choice in bathrooms, where it gives a luxury hotel style feel. It does however need to be maintained if you want it keep that luxury appearance and unfortunately due to the English climate and a general lack of adequate ventilation its quite common for them to attract mould and become stained with dyes from soaps and shampoos. The good news is we have a number of tools and products that we can use to restore their appearance, so they look like a new installation.

Deep Cleaning Travertine Shower Tiles

The main problem was the grout which was badly discoloured. To tackle this the Travertine and grout was sprayed with Tile Doctor Duo Clean and then scrubbed in with a hand brush to remove the mould and ground in dirt from the grout, I then rinsed with water. Duo Clean is a fast and effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. It cleans up grout and can also remove mould and blackspot from the grout and silicone and it is versatile as it suitable for use on plastic and enamel baths and showers and will not cause any damage to them.

To restore the appearance of the stone I set about re-honing the Travertine tiles using six-inch diamond burnishing pads fitted to a hand buffer. The pads are applied in sequence starting with 400-grit, moving onto 800-grit and finishing with 1500-grit. Applied with water which acts as a lubricant, the process deep cleans and tightens the pores in the stone to improve overall appearance. The tiles are rinsed with water after each pad is applied to remove the soil that is generated.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Shower Room

Another issue was the silicone strip between the wall tiles and the shower tray which was looking very mouldy and black. Using a sharp knife this was removed and replaced with fresh white mould resistant silicone.

Once the shower area was dry the Travertine wall tile and grout were then sealed with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This adds a preventative barrier over the tile and grout allowing water to easily run down the wall, it also improved the appearance of the stone and enhanced the natural brown colours in the Travertine. The customer was very happy with the shower room, it looked much more inviting and they were surprised that I had managed to restore it to the way it looked when it was originally installed.

Travertine Tiled Shower Before Cleaning Abingdon

 

Professional Renovation of a Travertine Tiled Shower in Oxfordshire

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Victorian Tiled Vicarage Floor Restored in Sutton Coldfield

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This property in Sutton Coldfield dates to the early 1800s and was owned by the local church until recently. The property needed a lot of work and the new owners had asked me to restore the beautiful Victorian Tiled Flooring which I suspect was as old as the property itself. The property was in the process of a complete refurb when I first visited to survey the floor and so I recommended that they call me in to work on the floor when all the other work was complete. I find leaving the floor restoration until last is the best approach as tradesmen usually exacerbate the problem.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning

Although incredibly dirty the Victorian Tiles were in good condition for their age, however there were some areas where tiles were missing or damaged and replacements would need to be sourced and fitted. Sourcing replacements is not usually a problem for Victorian Floors as there are a few companies such as the Vintage Floor Tile Company that still sell them due to their popularity. I also find you can pickup old tiles at restoration yards and eBay.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning

Day 1 – Replacing Damaged Victorian Floor Tiles

On the first day I set about replacing the missing and broken tiles; I had taken photographs of the floor before hand and had plenty of time to source replacements. This process involves carefully removing the damaged tiles and scrapping out the subfloor to remove old adhesives and grout. This is followed by cutting the replacement tiles to size and fixing them in place using a flexible adhesive. If the subfloor has crumbled away, then this also needs cleaning out and building backup with cement to the right level before fixing the tiles. Needless to say, this is painstaking work and takes time to get right, in this case most of the day.

Day 2 – Deep Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles

On the second day I set about giving the tiles a good deep clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which a very effective alkaline cleaning product that’s safe to use on tile, stone and grout.

The Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and then left to soak into the pores in the tile for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine. The machine was fitted with a Polyscrub brush and run over the tiles at slow speed. This process worked well, and it wasn’t long before the cleaning solution had turned black with the dirt that had been released from the floor. The soiled solution was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the process repeated in areas that I felt could do with more work.

Old floors like these don’t have a damp proof membrane installed and can suffer from white alkaline salts being deposited on the surface of the tile and damp evaporates up through the tile as it dries. To counter this problem, I decided to follow up the cleaning by giving the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, not only does this neutralise the salts it also removes old grout smears and other mineral deposits from tiles making them much cleaner.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage During Cleaning

I scrubbed the product into the tiles using a deck brush and then rinsed it off with water and extracted with the wet vacuum. Being an Acid, we don’t recommend you leave it on the floor for too long.

Day 3 – Sealing Victorian floor Tiles

The next day I confirmed the floor had dried and then proceeded to apply five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra. This product is fully breathable and will cope well with any inherent damp issues that can cause problems in an old floor such as this, it also adds a nice shine to the tile as you can see in the photographs below.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage After Sealing

The final result was a huge transformation and my customer was very happy with the outcome and booked me in to seal the new flooring in the kitchen/utility and conservatory areas.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage After Sealing Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage After Sealing

 

Professional Restoration of Victorian Vicarage floor in Staffordshire

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