Leaking Bath Mastic Replaced and Tile Renovated in Harrogate

I couldn’t believe the state of the mastic sealant that had been applied to this bathtub at a house in the North Yorkshire Spa town of Harrogate. As you can see from the pictures, it was a mess. There were at least three layers of white silicon mastic sealant then a layer of clear silicone had been applied with a spatula then some grout on top of that! I feared the worst.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate Before

It was the result of a succession of bodge jobs that didn’t work and continued to let water leak down to the room below where it had left brown stains on the ceiling. The client had unfortunately tried to get it patched up but had just made the problem worse. The problem needed to be resolved properly so the ceiling below could dry out, be repaired and then re-painted.

Had the problem been dealt with immediately the damage would not have been so bad. By the time the water shows itself on the ceiling the leak has probably already been there for some time. The bathroom itself was in good condition but the mastic sealant was really letting it down. I discussed with the client what needed to be done and we agreed a price for the work and returned the following week.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate Before

Cleaning/Repairing Bathroom Tiles

I first washed the Ceramic wall tile and grout surrounding the bath with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to remove staining from the usual combination of dirt, grime, body oil, and soap scum. Being in gel form, this product sticks well to vertical surfaces where its best left for five to ten minutes before scrubbing in so it can get to work breaking down the dirt. I then rinsed the wall tiles with water and re-treated any stubborn stains with a repeat of the process until all the tile and grout was clean.

Once happy with the tile and grout I began to strip off the layers of silicone mastic. This is a slow process by hand, with care not the damage the tiles or the bath. After 4 hours it was all off. The final layer of white silicon was jet black, so had come away from the bath a long time ago. It is essential to have a nice clean surface to apply new silicon to ensure the best result. Adding layer upon layer will not solve the underlying problem.

Once l completely removed all traces of silicone l ran a heat gun over gap for about half an hour to remove the moisture. If any moisture had been left the new sealant wouldn’t adhere to the bath and tile properly causing it to peel off later and we would be back to square one.

The last step of the renovation was to fill the bath with water before applying a fresh thin bead of white silicone sealant. Applying mastic well takes a lot of practice to get a nice smooth finish but having carried out numerous bathroom and kitchen refurbs over the years it’s a skill I’ve manage to acquire. Once the fresh mastic was dry the water was emptied from the bath, this technique ensures the silicone is positioned correctly.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate After

As you can see from the pictures there was quite a remarkable transformation. The client was speechless, the difference to the overall look of the bathroom was astounding. It would no longer be a chore for them to use the bathroom. Now they just need to allow the downstairs ceiling to dry out so they can redecorate.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate After

Glazed Ceramic tiles are easy to clean however Grout can be a problem due to its cementous nature which traps dirt therefore I recommend protecting the grout with grout sealer which forms an invisible barrier over the grout and makes it easier to wash clean. For aftercare you can’t go wrong with Tile Doctor Aqua Pro which is designed for cleaning shower tile where the grout has been sealed.

 

Professional Restoration of a Bathroom Tiles in North West Yorkshire

The post Leaking Bath Mastic Replaced and Tile Renovated in Harrogate appeared first on North West Yorkshire Tile Doctor.

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Renovating Porcelain Tile and Grout in a Binfield Kitchen

A customer of mine was so impressed the transformation I had made to her marble shower tiles that she asked me to come back and work some magic on the Porcelain tiled floor in her Kitchen. The property was in Binfield which is situated close to Reading, between Bracknell and Wokingham. I had other jobs booked in at the time, so after working out a quote which included lightening the colour of the grout, I scheduled a date for a return visit.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Binfield

The Porcelain tile itself wasn’t too old, roughly 5 years but had been sealed with a product that had failed to bond with the tile leaving it stained and dark. There are three types of Porcelain tile commonly available and only Micro-Porous Porcelain will take a sealer. So, suspect either these tiles were of the non-porous type or that the previous sealer wasn’t an impregnator which is typically thinner so it can soak into the pores.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Binfield

Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor

Before starting I removed the kick boards from underneath the kitchen units. Then to strip off the old sealer and deep clean the tile and grout I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This was allowed this to soak into the floor for approximately ten minutes before scrubbing the tile and grout lines with a stiff grout brush and a black abrasive scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was rinsed off the floor using more water and a wet extraction machine. Once the whole area was cleaned, I left the floor to dry off.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor During Renovation Binfield

Although the grout was now clean it was still dark in appearance which made the room look smaller. I was ready for this however as part of the quote I had included colouring the grout with a white colourant which would dramatically affect the appearance of the floor and seal the grout to protecting it from future staining.

Applying White Grout Colourant

Returning from lunch the grout had dried and I was able to start the grout colouring process. I did this using a tube of White Tile Doctor Grout Colourant applied using a small brush, carefully wiping away any excess that had smeared onto the tile using a damp shammy. Once the product had dried, I gave the floor a buff with a white pad to remove any remaining residue.

The customer was delighted with the results and left positive feedback
“Yet again Dennis has made my tiles look new. In fact, they look even better than when they were first laid in the kitchen. Very impressed with the work and professionalism and would highly recommend his services.”

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor After Renovation Binfield

Porcelain tiles are fairly robust and with the grout colourant providing a barrier over the grout the floor is set to stay looking good for some time to come. However there are a lot of cleaners out there on the market, some of which are very strong so for aftercare I recommended they use of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner. It a concentrated product so a small amount goes a long way.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor After Renovation Binfield

 

Professional Renovation of Porcelain Tiled Kitchen in Berkshire

The post Renovating Porcelain Tile and Grout in a Binfield Kitchen appeared first on Berkshire Tile Doctor.

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Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Clean and Seal in Shepperton

This Limestone kitchen floor in Shepperton was laid new 3 years ago when a new kitchen was installed. The client had called in despair as the floor was just not looking its’ best and they were trying hard to get it clean, using household cleaners which were having no effect. I’m actually based in Shepperton, so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop round and survey the floor. The town has a lot of history and is famous for nearby Shepperton Studios which were built on the grounds of Littleton Park, many famous films have been created here including Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982) and David Lean’s A Passage to India (1984).

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Clean and Seal Shepperton

As you can see from the pictures, the soil had penetrated the stone as the sealer had broken down over time. The grout lines were particularly bad but also, the small veins and pores had accumulated dirt, mainly due to pets and kids coming in from the garden. It’s worth noting that the use of supermarket cleaning products will have escalated the decline of the sealer, most are simply too strong for sealed surfaces and you should always read the label to ensure its suitable before using it on your floor.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Clean and Seal Shepperton Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Clean and Seal Shepperton

This problem is quite common, and the solution is straight forward. Restoring the look of the floor requires removing the soiling with a deep clean and then when the floor is dry apply a new sealer to protect it. I talked the process over with the customer and agreed a quotation for completing the work which was accepted and arranged a convenient date. The work would be carried out over two days.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

A strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was sprayed on to the floor and after leaving it to soak in for about ten minutes, we mechanically scrubbed the solution into the Limestone using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout however to that was manually scrubbed using more Pro-Clean. This process broke down the soil and released it from the stone and grout. Following this, we used a low-pressure rinsing machine and vacuumed all the soil and remaining cleaning product away from the floor.

Whilst I was working on the floor, I got the shock of my life as a bird hit the kitchen window resulting in a loud bang. I rushed outside to find a beautiful Green Woodpecker lying dazed on the floor, the poor thing had knocked itself unconscious. I put him in a cardboard box until he eventually recovered and flew off. I guess being able to drill into trees makes Woodpeckers tough birds who can withstand a knock or two. In this job no two days are the same, you never know what’s going to happen!

Shepperton Woodpecker

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

After allowing 24 hours for the floor to dry, we returned the following morning to apply a new seal. The best sealer for this type of stone is Tile Doctor Colour Grow. It is a colour enhancing impregnator that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within whilst enhancing the natural colours in the process. Impregnating sealers work by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Clean and Seal Shepperton

The client was delighted with the floor which now looked cleaner and fresher. We had managed to restore it back to it looking as it did when it was new, and the new sealer will keep it looking that way for some time to come.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Clean and Seal Shepperton Limestone Kitchen Floor After Clean and Seal Shepperton

For a free, no obligation quote for cleaning and sealing your stone or tiled floors in Shepperton, Middlesex, please call us on 0345 512 0122

 

Professional Restoration of Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Middlesex

The post Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Clean and Seal in Shepperton appeared first on South Middlesex Tile Doctor.

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Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated at a Maidford Cottage

This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a cottage in the small village of Maidford near Towcester. The tiles were not looking their best and the owner of the property realised it was time to do something about it and contacted Tile Doctor to have the floor stripped and resealed. Stripping and Sealing tile and stone floors is our bread and butter so I was more than happy to pop round and survey the floor which was approximately 9m2.

The grout had darkened with dirt and the previous tile sealer was failing so dirt was now getting ingrained in the Terracotta making it difficult to clean in places and leading to a patchy appearance. We discussed the work involved, my quote was accepted, and a date agreed for me to return and complete the work which would take two days, one to clean and one to seal.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Maidford

Stripping Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles

After tidying up the Kitchen and removing the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units I set about working on cleaning and stripping the Terracotta floor of old sealers. To start I tested a small area with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Wax Away. Wax was quite often used on Terracotta so I figured this product would be a good place to start. My suspicions were proved correct, and I found this to be the best product for removing the many layers of sealant on the floor. Wax Away is a new alkaline product by Tile Doctor and ideal for cleaning clay-based tiles such as Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Maidford

With my sights set on the rest of the floor Wax Away was scrubbed into the tile using a 17” rotary floor scrubbing machine and a black scrubbing pad running on a slow speed which helps to reduce splashing. This activity soon brought the dirt off the floor and the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was rinsed down with clean water. The cleaning process was repeated a couple of times until I was happy with the floor, a stiff hand brush was then used along the grout lines with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to clean up the grout.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Maidford

After rinsing and extracting the floor again the floor was inspected, and I noticed there were a few stubborn paint splashes on the tiles. I managed to remove these and these by spot treating the affected area with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and a steamer to lift the stain out of the clay tile. Once happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to neutralise it and remove any trace of cleaning products and then left it to dry.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Maidford

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

I allowed the floor to dry for several days before returning to seal the Terracotta using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Terracotta and provides durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. Terracotta is by its nature very porous and so it’s not unknown for it to take up to nine coats of sealer, which can take some time to apply as like paint you have to wait until it’s dry before it will take the next coat.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Sealing Maidford

The customer was so impressed by the results I achieved in their kitchen they decided to go ahead and book me in to carry out this process throughout the whole of the ground floor which included lounge, study and hallway.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Maidford

 

Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Northamptonshire

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Bathroom Tile and Grout Refresh in Manchester City Rental Apartment

A client with a high-rise apartment in Manchester city centre contacted us in relation to the look of their bathroom tiles. The grout had become grubby and black with mould and it was clear from their message that they were considering have the grout replaced in order to freshen up the bathroom.

We discussed the problem over the telephone, and they emailed a picture of the bathroom across so I could get a better idea of what needed doing. It turns out that the apartment had been rented out previously and they needed the bathroom renovating so they could start letting it again. Clearly, they were keen to have the work completed as soon as possible. Fortunately, we are sometimes able to come out on short notice, especially for small jobs like this and so were able to do the work the following week

Manchester Rental Apartment Bathroom Before Grout Colouring

Re-grouting is a lot of work and very time consuming so I explained the benefits of Grout Colouring which is much quicker and results in a more practical finish as I will explain. There was a small issue with parking as one would expect from the city centre, but we were able to use one of the parking spaces of a neighbour in the basement of the building.

Cleaning the Grout and Tiles in a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom

My first task was to get the grout as clean as possible before applying the colourant and given the amount of mould I decided to apply Tile Doctor Duo-Clean which is a Tile Cleaner/Mould Remover and ideal for use on ceramic tile and grout. The product was sprayed onto the tiles and grout and then scrubbed in by hand to get the grout as clean as possible. I also used a powerful steam cleaner to get the grout as clean as possible before rinsing the soil off with water. This process went well, and the grout looked much cleaner afterwards but was now a little patchy in places due to deep staining.

It’s worth noting that mould thrives in damp warm conditions and can easily be controlled by ensuring the bathroom has adequate ventilation. Some modern showers have a function that cool the bathroom down after use by running the shower on a cold setting. Improving cross-ventilation by leaving the bathroom door and a window open can also improve the situation and of course you can always apply Tile Doctor Duo-Clean on a regular basis.

Recolouring Grout in a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom

Once the grout was dry and as clean as it could be, I applied a White Tile Doctor Grout Colourant along the grout lines with a small brush taking care to wipe off any excess from the tiles as I went. Only one bottle of colourant was needed, and I have found baby wipes work well when wiping off the excess.

The last step in the bathroom renovation was to strip out all the old mouldy silicone between the bath and the tiles and replace with new mould resistant silicone.

The cleaning and grout colour completely transformed the look of the bathroom leaving it looking fresh. The grout which was previously dark and patchy was now a consistent white colour giving the impression it had only been recently tiled. The colourant also forms an epoxy barrier over the grout that will prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the grouts surface going forward, it’s also much easier to clean.

Manchester Rental Apartment Bathroom After Grout Colouring

The customer was most impressed with the result and has informed us since that they will back in touch about renovating the grout in their own home! They left the following comment on the Tile Doctor website.

“Kamila made a wonderful job cleaning my grout and silicone. The bathroom looks like new. She was also easy to deal, very friendly and professional. Thank you!”

 

Professional Bathroom Tile and Grout Refresh in Manchester Apartment

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Renovating a Quarry Tiled Hearth in Lindow End

We received an inquiry from a client in Lindow End near Wilmslow Golf Club in the Cheshire stockbroker belt. They were restoring their home and were unhappy with the state of the Quarry tiled hearth under their log burning stove. We arranged a site visit to survey the tile and grout and provide a quote for restoring the appearance. The village is situated in what’s known as the ‘Cheshire Golden Triangle’ which is one of the most sought-after places to live in the UK after London. As a result, we often find ourselves in this area working on some very nice properties, so it wasn’t long before we were able to call in and survey the tiles.

Quarry Tiled Hearth Before Grout Colouring Lindow End

As you can see from the pictures the hearth was quite dirty and the grouting had discoloured from years of use of the wood burner. The work here was a minor part of their restoration which had included significant building work. We agreed a price to carry out the work, which should only take a day and were able to return the following week.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hearth

Our first job was to cover the newly sanded and sealed wooden floors with dust sheets, so we didn’t mark them as we came in the front door to the lounge. We always try and make as little mess as possible and we are always as careful as possible.

We then sprayed Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the fire hearth tiles. This is a multi-purpose tile and grout cleaner which would make light work of the dirty tiles. The product was left to soak into the Quarry tile and grout for about twenty minutes before being scrubbed in. The hearth was a small area, so this was done by hand and then washed down with clean water.

The dirty residue was removed using a wet vacuum then the tiles where wiped down with a clean micro fibre cloth. We then dried off the tiles using a little encouragement with a heat gun to speed up the drying process. Speed drying the tile and grout in this manor would allow us to complete the work in one visit.

Applying Sandstone Grout Colourant

Once the tiles and grout lines were dry it was clear that years of dirt and soiling had stained the grout, so although no much cleaner it was clear more work would be needed to give the grout a fresh and consistent appearance.

To address this issue with the grout we selected to apply a Sandstone Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. This is applied with a small brush and brushed it into the grout lines. It is quite a precise job but any colourant that goes onto the tiles is removed with a baby wipe before it dries. This process really transformed the look of the grout, the colourant also forms a barrier over the grout which will protect it going forward and make it easier to clean.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles were then given a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing sealer. This brings out the best in the quarry tiles and adds protection against future staining which will be needed given its location.

Quarry Tiled Hearth After Grout Colouring Lindow End

The client was very happy with the finish, in fact the hearth looked like it had been newly tiled, the impact of the recoloured grout was that striking. Sometimes the smallest jobs can be the most rewarding.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Hearth in Cheshire

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Removal of Linseed Oil from a Ceramic Tiled Floor in Uxbridge

This is a small Ceramic tiled floor that a client had laid in his workshop next to his house in Uxbridge. As you can see from the photo the floor was in an indescribable mess and I was asked to pop round and quote for sorting it out. Uxbridge is actually classed as Middlesex but being close to the M25 and M40 I find it easy to reach.

Ceramic Tiled Workshop Floor Before Cleaning Uxbridge

As requested, I called in to survey the floor which was not a pretty site. In turns out that the tiler had applied boiled linseed oil to the floor (which the tiles did not need), and this had formed a horrible sticky residue on the surface. The client had conducted several unsuccessful attempts at cleaning up the floor and was unsure it could be rectified. Once of the attempts involved using acid which failed to remove the oil and unfortunately did do some damage to the grout causing it to discolour.

Undeterred, I was confident we could sort the problems out and restore the appearance of the tile and grout. I discussed with the client what we could do to clean the floor and we agreed a price to carry out the work out.

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Workshop Floor

Returning the following week, I first tackled the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean applied neat, left to soak for ten minutes and then scrubbed in with a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a highly concentrated multi-purpose tile cleaner, which when left to dwell, breaks down all types of dirt from oils through to grease and grime. It’s particularly good for very heavily soiled areas and it did a good job at removing the Linseed Oil. I rinsed the soiled solution with water and extracted the now soiled cleaning solution off the floor with wet vacuum. Wet vacuums are a great resource for Tile Doctor work, they make light work of removing liquids and this keeps the mess to a minimum.

I followed up the cleaning with a light buff of the tiles using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to remove the grout smears also left behind by the tiler. Cleaning the excess grout off the tiles made a huge difference to the floor, which you can see in the completed picture.

Ceramic Tiled Workshop Floor After Cleaning Uxbridge

Ceramic tiles have a glazed surface that won’t accept a sealer or Linseed Oil for that matter. There is therefore no need to apply any sealer or coating to this type of tile. They are generally very hardwearing and a suitable choice for a workshop like this. Hopefully, now the sticky oil has been removed the client will find the floor much more durable and easier to maintain.

The treatment worked well and I was able to complete the project in one day. The floor now looks like it should have done following the initial installation. Although it is only a small area, the difference is quite dramatic. My client was certainly pleased with the transformation and left the following feedback.

“Andrew is an expert in his field, and after an inexperienced tiler incorrectly used boiled linseed oil, Andrew worked to restore the tiles to their original beauty. I felt confident in him, he was a pleasure to work with, and his extremely professional. Very happy & highly recommended”

 

Professional Restoration of a Ceramic Tiled Workshop in Middlesex

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Dull Travertine Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned in Cobham

This client from Cobham had her kitchen and diner tiled with Travertine six years ago. With two children and three dogs living there, the sealer has gradually worn away leaving the stone exposed to dirt. The leafy village of Cobham lies in the borough of Elmbridge which is noted as being a one of the most desirable places to live in the UK. As a result, it attracts a lot of investment in property including expensive tiled floors.

I went over to survey the floor and discussed with the client how we could improve the floors appearance. The solution I proposed was to deep clean the tiles to extract all the dirt and remove what was left of the old sealer and then to re-seal the floor in order to protect it going forward. This process typically takes two days to complete; day one is spent cleaning the stone and grout, including the removal of the existing sealer and day two is spent sealing and polishing. The client was satisfied with the quotation and we arranged a time to come back and carry out the work.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor Before Cleaning Cobham

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Firstly, I asked the client to clear the floor and to help me put the dining table in the garden out of the way. Then using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a wire brush I cleaned the grout in the kitchen, diner and utility room. It was a large installation of Travertine, so this task took some time to complete. The floor was rinsed, and all the dirt produced was removed with a wet vacuum cleaner.

The next job was to remove what remained of the previous sealer and top layer of dirt. This was done with a rotating buffing machine with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The first one applied is a coarse 400-grit pad followed by 800 and 1500-grit, working through the pads in sequence. You might be familiar with the grit system from sandpaper, rough down to smooth. The process is lubricated with water and the slurry generated is rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.
I left the floor to dry off overnight, they can walk on it during this time, but they needed to be careful of any spillages. The dogs were also welcomed back in from the front room.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The second day started with and inspection of the Travertine tile and grout looking for any areas that need further attention. I was satisfied that the floor was looking its’ best and once the preparation was complete, I applied the first coat of sealer.

On this occasion I went with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is doesn’t change the look of the stone giving a completely natural look. This product soaks into the pores of the stone protecting if from within and should last between three and five years depending on the amount of wear it received and how the floor is cleaned and maintained.

Two coats of sealer were applied and after each coat dried, I polished the floor using a very fine 3000-grit diamond pad. The pad is run across the Travertine dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a process we call a ‘Spray Burnish’. I asked the client to keep off the travertine until it’s cured, usually for a couple of hours which is always a good excuse to go out for the evening!

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

The client was very happy the floor and they remarked it looked as good as when it was first laid. For aftercare I recommended using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is ideal for the regular cleaning of sealed natural stone floors, many supermarket products are simply too harsh and will reduce the life of the sealer.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in West Surrey

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Cream Porcelain Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned in a Twickenham Kitchen

The owner of this Porcelain tiled Kitchen floor in Twickenham was struggling to keep it clean and it was now in need of a deep clean. Twickenham famous for being the home of Rugby Union is only 9 miles away from my base in Shepperton, so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop over and survey the floor.

Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Twickenham Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Twickenham

The tiles were a little grubby, but it was the grout that was most affected; its hard to believe but the now black grout was originally cream in colour and chosen to match to tile. Having visited the client, we discussed what needed to be done to get the floor looking back up to scratch and looking clean again. We agreed a price for the work to be carried out the following week.

Although this wasn’t the case its worth knowing that some types of Porcelain tile on the market today are Micro-Porous and contain small holes in the tile. These tiles need to be sealed to prevent dirt becoming ingrained as this can be very difficult to remove with a mop. Incidentally on the topic of mops I have noticed clients tend to rinse their mop in the same bucket containing the detergent. This results in the detergent being contaminated with dirt and being put back on the floor. If you are going to use this method to clean your floor it is best to have two buckets, one containing your detergent and the second where you rinse your mop.

Deep Cleaning a Porcelain Tile and Grout

To get the tiles clean I used a heavy-duty rotary buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad and ran that over the floor along with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a versatile tile and grout cleaning product designed for this purpose, so it wasn’t long before the solution went dark as the dirt was released from the tile. The now soiled cleaning solution was then extracted from the tiles using a wet vacuum.

Porcelain Tiled Floor During Cleaning Twickenham

To get the grout lines really clean they had to be hand scrubbed using more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a hand-held scrubbing brush. The rotary pads struggle to get into the recesses of the grout lines, so this really is the best method and I find you get a better finish with this extra effort.

After sufficient scrubbing, we were satisfied that all of the soil was broken up, we then machine flushed and vacuumed the cleaning product and dirt away from the floor. As these tiles are factory sealed there is no need to apply a sealant.

One hour later, the floor was ready to be used again.

Porcelain Tiled Floor After Cleaning Twickenham Porcelain Tiled Floor After Cleaning Twickenham

 

Professional Cleaning of Porcelain Tile and Grout in South Middlesex

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Honed Limestone Floor Renovated in Ecton

I was contacted by the owner of a property in the picturesque village of Ecton who was concerned that her Limestone floor spanning the kitchen and open plan breakfast area was starting to lose its natural appeal and was finding it harder to clean and maintain.

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor Before Renovation Ecton

I went over to take a closer look at the floor and carry out a survey. In order determine the best cleaning method I conducted a test on a small area of the floor. This gives the clients confidence in my abilities and a good idea of what result we they can expect. The Limestone was honed smooth but was not polished and the customers were keen not to add too much of an unnatural shine to the floor. The grout lines in some of the more heavily used areas, such as by the sink, were also discoloured and would require a decent scrub with an appropriate cleaning product.

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

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Ecton

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

The floor covered quite a large area, some 38m2, and had some larger items of furniture that needed to be moved before starting. The first task was to scrub the grout lines with a specialist grout brush, designed to work the product into the grout. Limestone is an acid-sensitive stone, so a strong alkaline cleaner was required. I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with warm water at a ratio of 3:1 which was left to dwell for around twenty minutes.

The area was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted before applying a series of diamond impregnated burnishing pads attached to a rotary scrubbing machine, ranging from a coarse 400 grit (200 in some of the more stubborn areas), a medium 800-grit and finishing with a fine 1500 grit to clean the stone. The whole area was then rinsed again and extracted using a wet pick up vacuum. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

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

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

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

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Renovation Ecton

Aftercare instructions along with a bottle of suitable pH Neutral Tile Cleaner were supplied.
The customer was thrilled with the result and was surprised at the transformation of the floor, they even left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor website.

“Thank you so much Phil for a professional service resulting in my floor looking just as I wanted it too. You were attentive to all detail. I would strongly recommend Phil as a trustworthy, honest person to anyone who is considering work done. See you again in the Summer Phil to clean my patio. Natalie W, Northampton”

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor After Renovation Ecton

 

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

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Terracotta Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned in Poole

The photographs below are of Terracotta tiled floor at a house in the coastal town of Poole, Dorset that had not been professionally clean in some time and having seen years of wear and tear from the active family who live there was not looking its best.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Poole

The Terracotta had previously been treated with Wax which had now pretty much been worn off and the grout had gone dark with the dirt. We often find wax being used traditionally as a coating on Terracotta however a lot of science has gone into developing sealers in the last twenty years that do a much better job so Wax is not something we could recommend these days.

After surveying the floor and running several tests I was happy what was left of the wax could be removed and provided the customer with a quote for stripping the floor and resealing. The quote was accepted, and we arranged a date to return and carry out the work.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Poole

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floor was covered in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and this was left to dwell on the floor to allow it to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt and breakdown the dirt and what was left of the wax. The solution was then worked into the tile and grout using a heavy 17″ rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then rinsed off using a high-pressure tool that also extracts the soil at the same time.

The grout was cleaned using more Pro-Clean and a stiff brush that was run along the grout lines. After rinsing and extracting again the floor was inspected to look for any outstanding issues. This highlighted several areas where Wax residue was still present on the tile which were spot treated using a new tile product called Tiled Doctor Wax Away which as its name suggests is designed for the purpose.

After another rinse and extraction, the floor was inspected again and this time happy with the floor it was left to dry off fully overnight with the assistance of an air mover.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

Returning the next day, the floor was checked first with a damp meter to ensure it was dry and ready for sealing. The moisture readings were all good, so I set about sealing the Terracotta using three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer that adds a robust and deep finish to the tiles. This can take some time to apply as you have to wait thirty minutes to allow the first coat to dry before applying the next.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Poole

I’m not sure the photographs do it justice, but the homeowners were “over the moon” with the difference in the floor and regretted leaving it so long before calling us in.

 

Terracotta Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Dorset

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Large Limestone Floor Polished to a Deep Lustre in Boxworth

I was asked to visit a house in Boxworth Cambridge to survey a large Limestone tiled kitchen, dining room, utility and hallway. The customer was not happy with the finish of the tiles and wanted it to have more lustre. Additionally, the floor had suffered some damage in the dining room where the floor had been scratched by table and chair legs.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Boxworth is a small village of around 100 houses, this property being one of the larger ones. The village lies around eight miles to the north west of Cambridge. I examined the floor and discussed with the client the process we would use. Although not looking their best, I could see that the Limestone tiles contained a variety of natural colour shades which with the right treatment could be made to really come to life. I presented a quote which they were happy to accept.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

My first job was the protect all the surrounding areas from splashing during the cleaning process. To do this I removed the kickboards from underneath some of the kitchen units, elsewhere was covered with a blue protective film.

To start the cleaning, I first applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and then worked it in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. I also scrubbed the grout by hand as the pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout line. After rinsing the floor with water, the soiled solution was then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

I followed up this process with the application of a set of Diamond burnishing pads starting with the coarse 400-grit pad, then medium 800-grit pad, fine 1500-grit pad and finishing with the extra fine 3000-grit pad. The pads are fitted to a rotary floor buffer and are run over each tile using water for lubrication. All the slurry produced by the cleaning pads is removed away using our truck mounted hot water extraction machine to cause minimum mess to the client.

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I would return the next day to finish the polishing process.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

On the following day, we checked the floor was completely dry and then using a white buffing pad ground Tile Doctor Shine Powder into the Limestone floor. The powder builds up a deep and durable polish on the tiles leaving a deep and resilient lustre.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

To further protect the stone and enhance the natural colours in the Limestone a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer were applied followed by a light buff with a red pad. The sealant is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and intensifying the natural colours in the stone.

When finished the floor looked great. We had managed to remove the scratches from the dining area and the floor now had the lustre that the client had been hoping for.

The client was extremely happy with the outcome and gave the following feedback:

“Quoted very quickly, carried out the work quickly and efficiently with no fuss.”

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Flooring in Cambridgeshire

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Lime Mortar Grout Renovated in 300 Year-Old Cottage Bury

We received an unusual request from the owner of an old cottage in Bury who was unhappy with the state of the grouting in their Kitchen. The customer advised us that the floor was very old and originally grouted with a lime mortar also that they had been in touch with several companies before contacting us including tilers and masons and none of them was interested.

Intrigued I paid the customer a visit to survey the floor and work out the best way to renovate the grout. The cottage turned out to be three hundred years old and the owner wanted to keep the Quarry tiled floor which was laid in a Herringbone pattern and still in good condition as a period feature as it complemented the rustic look of the cottage.

Lime Mortar Grout Before Restoration Bury Cottage

After testing the floor, I was able to confirm it was indeed Lime Mortar which was historically used on walls and natural stone floors until the 19th century when it was replaced by cement. The mortar was now grubby and had shrunk in places where it had then been topped up with conventual grout resulting in a patchy appearance.

Lime Mortar Grout Before Restoration Bury Cottage

I felt simply cleaning the grout wouldn’t resolve the irregular look so my suggestion was to use a grout colourant that would sit on the surface of the grout and provide a uniform appearance. I must point out that the Grout Colourants used by Tile Doctor are not like grout pens you see on home make over shows, they are much more effective.

Applying a Grout Colourant to Lime Mortar

Happy to go with my recommendation I set about preparing and cleaning the Quarry tile and mortar with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is sprayed onto the floor and then scrubbed in with a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This action turns the cleaning solution into a slurry as the dirt is lifted out of the floor which is then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Tile Doctor do sell a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater product that has been especially designed for this purpose however it’s slightly acidic and so not something I would recommend for use on lime mortar.

Lime Mortar Grout During Cleaning Bury Cottage

Once the floor had dried, I started with the grout colouring which is painted onto the surface with a small brush. Two thin coats of natural grey colourant were applied and any excess that came into contact with the quarry tile was quickly wiped off with a cloth. The product dries within two hours but takes twenty-four hours to fully harden.

Lime Mortar Grout After Restoration Bury Cottage

I think you will agree the results speak for themselves and made the area look nearly new! My client was certainly impressed and left the following feedback which says it all:

Kamila was professional, courteous and very hard working. I am delighted by the job done on a very old difficult tiled floor. I would not hesitate to use Tile Doctor again or in recommending them to a friend. – Mrs Law, Bury

 

Lime Mortar Floor Grout Renovated in Greater Manchester

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Large Format Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Renovated in Blackwood

A client of ours recently moved into a relatively new property in the town of Blackwood where the black slate floor looked dull and the grout was stained. Large format slate tiles were installed though the kitchen and adjacent dining and utility room and they were keen to see if the floor could be brought back to life.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Renovation in Blackwood

I went over to survey the floor and could see that the old sealer was failing and letting dirt into the pores of the stone which was especially notable in the busier parts of the floor which had seen the most foot traffic. The solution would be to strip the floor of the old sealer, clean up the grout and reseal. I conducted a number of test cleans to work out the best way to how best to strip off the old seal and get back down to the natural stone. However, as it turns out removing the old sealer was proving to be quite a job and I was concerned that this task alone could potentially take days.

Unhappy with the way things were going I consulted the Tile Doctor help line and we deduced that the sealer applied previously was most likely a heavy duty/industrial product. My client had only just moved into the property and didn’t know the history of the floor so couldn’t help pin point what was used before. The way forward was to strip the old sealer off the floor using abrasive pads.

Now I had an efficient strategy for renovating the floor I was able to provide the customer with an accurate quote which was accepted, and we agreed a date to return and complete the floor.

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I pre-wet the floor with water and using a weighted floor buffer ran a coarse 100-grit milling pad several times across each tile. This process strips the dirt and sealer off the stone slowly turning the water into a grey slurry. Once the whole floor had been treated in this way, I rinsed the slurry off the floor and extracted it using a wet vacuum. The next step was to repeat the process using a 200-grit burnishing pad which being finer closes the pores in the stone and refines the surface further.

The next step was to clean up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. You apply a strong dilution to the grout lines and then scrub it in with a stiff brush. Fortunately, the slate tiles were large format size so there was less grout to deal with than usual. Once that was done the tile and of course grout was rinsed again with more water and then dried again using the wet vacuum.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles During Renovation in Blackwood

I have to admit the stripped slate looked pretty awful at this stage in the restoration, but we were now back to the natural stone which was clean and free of all sealers. I left the floor to dry off fully overnight confident in the knowledge that with the application of a fresh sealer it would look a lot different.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before doing so, however, I needed to test the Slate for moisture as you shouldn’t apply a sealer to a damp floor. The results were fine, so I proceeded to apply the sealer which for this installation I used several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

I chose Seal and Go for this floor as it works well on Slate resulting in a deep durable satin finish that the customer wanted. Additionally, being a water-based product, it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles After Renovation in Blackwood

Within two days the floor was transformed, the grout looked much cleaner and the stone looked new. My client was very happy with the work and left the following message on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Professional, polite and courteous. Paul went beyond the call of duty to help rejuvenate our slate tiled kitchen and utility room floor. He explained each step of the job and provided advice on aftercare and future maintenance. The results are great and I would gladly recommend the services available.
Andy E, Blackwood

 

Renovation of a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Monmouthshire

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Travertine Tiled Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Edinburgh

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This is a travertine floor had been laid in the Kitchen and Dining room of a house on the outskirts of Edinburgh. It had been some time since it had last been polished and the stone had become dull in appearance and some of the grout had become grubby with dirt. This is a common problem with Stone floors which will lose their appearance overtime with general usage and this is why we recommend an annual maintenance visit where in a few hours we re-polish the stone and top-up the sealer.

Travertine Floor Before Renovation Edinburgh

Having explained what was required to restore the floor a quote was provided to cover the work and materials which would take two days. The quote was agreed, and a date set to start the work.

Travertine Floor Before Renovation Edinburgh

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Floor Tiles

On the first day we gave the floor a thorough clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove what was left of the old sealer and surface dirt. Pro-Clean is a versatile tile and grout cleaner that is safe to use on natural stone. We use a floor buffer fitted with a black pad running at slow speed to work the solution into the Travertine. Once done the soiled solution is rinsed away with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. Having the right tools for this work really helps achieve a thorough and quicker result.

Once I was satisfied with cleaning, I set about using a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. Applied with water which lubricates the process this system closes the pores in the stone and restores the polished appearance. The system comprises four main pads of varying grit and I began by applying the coarse 400-grit pad, before moving on to medium 800-grit and then finishing with the fine 1500-grit pad. The floor has to be rinsed with more water between each pad to remove the soil that is generated, again a wet vacuum come in very handy for extracting the slurry.

The grout was also scrubbed by hand using more Pro-Clean and stiff brush as the pads can struggle to reach down into the recess of the grout lines.

Sealing a Travertine Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and then the next day work continued with the application of the fourth burnishing pad in the set which is a very fine 3000-grit pad. This pad is applied dry to the floor with a spray of water using a technique we call a ‘Spray Burnish’. This final pad brings up the polished appearance of the stone even further and has the added advantage of leaving the floor dry.

To seal the Travertine my choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which was applied in two separate coats. The sealer will protect the floor against wear and tear, while also enhancing the natural shades in the Travertine thanks to the sealer’s colour intensifying formula. Once the second coat was dry, I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to remove any excess sealer and to further buff up the appearance of the stone.

Travertine Floor After Renovation Edinburgh

The floor responded well to the treatment and the colours in the Travertine have really come alive. Before leaving I left the owner with a bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which they can use for the regular cleaning of the floor. This product is especially recommended for the maintenance cleaning of polished stone as its sealer safe and will help maintain the patina.

Travertine Floor After Renovation Edinburgh

 

Professional Travertine Floor Polishing Service in Midlothian

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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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Stained Limestone Tiled Wet Room Renovated in Sonning Eye

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This enquiry came from a theatre buff at a house in Sonning Eye near Reading who regularly hosted cast members playing at the local Mill Theatre. Five years prior he had a Limestone tiled wet room installed and unfortunately the floor tiles were laid unevenly and the fall on the tiles didn’t allow the water to drain off efficiently. The water would therefore tend to pool in the centre and overtime heavy limescale built-up and mould had also started to appear.

Limestone Shower Before Renovation Sonning Eye

Cast members staying at his house although grateful of the hospitality had often mention the state of the unsightly shower and so we were asked to pop round and see what could be done to renovate it and restore its appearance.

Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning

The first task was to remove the mould that had ingrained the Limestone, to do this I used Tile Doctor Duo Clean and scrubbed it into the tile with assistance from a steamer. I repeated this action three times, after each time I could see a visible improvement in the affected area and once it had lightened to a very faint grey, I knew that the next cleaning process to burnish the stone would see it disappear completely so left it at that.

Limestone Shower During Renovation Sonning Eye Limestone Shower During Steam Cleaning Sonning Eye

Next job was to remove the limescale build-up and re polish the Limestone tiles. I found the best way to do this was with a small hand-held machine, this allowed me to get into all the edges and groves that would have been impossible with a larger machine which would have struggled to cope with the uneven tiles.

Limestone Shower During Polishing Sonning Eye

I started with a 400-grit burnishing pad, but this struggled to cut into the years limescale build-up, so I switched this for 100-grit soft milling pad which did the trick. Once all the limescale had been removed it was time to rebuild the polish on the surface of the stone, so the process was repeated working through finer and finer burnishing pads 200, 400, 800,1500 and finally 3000-grit until the appearance of the Limestone was restored. This is quite a time-consuming process as the pad are quite small, additionally each pad is applied with water to provide lubrication which turns into a slurry that has to be rinsed off before applying the next pad. The result however is worth at as it really restores the polished appearance of the Limestone.
The last part of the cleaning process was to give the grout a quick clean I did this by scrubbing in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a grout brush, again rinsing off the slurry afterwards. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaner that’s safe to use on natural stone.

Sealing Limestone Tiles in a Wet Room

The final task was to seal the Limestone and replace the worn mastic/silicon sealant around the edges. Usually I would leave the stone to dry out overnight but as it was a small area, I was able to thoroughly dry it out using a heat gun. Once dry two good coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal were applied to provide on-going protection. Ultra-Seal is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the small pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained, also it doesn’t change the colour of the stone in any way leaving a very natural appearance.

Last step before finishing was to apply a fresh application of white mastic sealant along the edges of the tiling to ensure a good seal and no leaks.

Limestone Shower After Renovation Sonning Eye

My customer was over the moon with the result as initially he thought he might have to have it replaced. He was so pleased in fact that he left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Excellent prompt and courteous service from Dennis who I cannot recommend too highly. After completion of the work a previously very tired looking wet-room looked better than it did when new.”

Limestone Shower After Renovation Sonning Eye

 

Professional Stone Tiled Wet Room Renovation in Berkshire

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Unpolished Limestone Hallway Deep Cleaned in Twickenham

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These unpolished Limestone tiles were installed in the hallway of a property in Twickenham, Middlesex. The stone had not been cleaned or sealed for six years and being the main entrance to the house it was subject to a lot of foot traffic which had taken its toll on the stone over the years. As you can see from the photos, dirt was ingrained in the stone which happens when the protective sealer wears off with use. They had chosen to cover the floor with some rugs to improve the appearance and make the hall more inviting and as you can see especially where the rugs had been protecting the Limestone there was a visible difference in colour.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham

Twickenham is a suburb of London and of course most famous for being the home of Rugby Union in England and a short distance from by base in Shepperton so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop in and survey the floor.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham

I discussed with the client what could be done to clean the floor and demonstrated the products and technique I would use on a test patch. They were suitably impressed, and we agreed a price for the work and booked a time to complete the job. The job was scheduled for two days, one day to clean and the second to seal the floor.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

To start with, we pre-sprayed the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak in for ten minutes, this allows the product to break down any remaining sealant and greasy soils. Then we machine scrubbed the floor with our rotary cleaner fitted with a black scrubbing pad lubricated with another Tile Doctor product, Pro-Clean. This strong alkaline chemical breaks down the dirt and leaves it ready to be rinsed away.

The grout lines were also cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but not with a machine as the pad struggles to reach down into the grout lines, so it was scrubbed by hand to give the best result.

Following the clean, we low pressure rinsed the floor with water and vacuumed all the residue away, leaving the floor ready for sealing. The Limestone tiles and grout looked much better already after cleaning and it was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning to the property the next day our first action was to check the moisture levels in the floor with a damp meter. All was well so we to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within by occupying the pores in the stone, so dirt can’t become lodged there. The sealer will make the floor much easier to keep clean in future and as the name of the product suggests it also enhances the natural colours in the tile.

For the aftercare of unpolished Limestone, I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is designed for the cleaning of sealed Tile and Stone. If using a different product always read the label first as many cleaners are too strong for use on sealed surfaces and will strip off the sealer over time.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Twickenham

The client was very happy with the result and felt they could now keep on top of keeping it clean and looking fresh moving forward. They could now remove the rugs too! If you require a free quotation to clean and seal your stone floors do get in touch.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Twickenham

 

Professional Restoration of Limestone Floor Tiles in South Middlesex

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Raspberry Stained Flagstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Dursley

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I recently helped a homeowner from my home town of Dursley who got in touch about her kitchen Flagstone floor. The problem revolved around an accident she had with raspberries which had stained the flagstones and the problem became compounded when a house hold clearing product was applied neat to clean up the mess. If you follow any of our Tile Doctor blogs, you will know that using strong household cleaning products can damage the sealer and, in this case, it had left white marks on the floor.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Dursley

I called round to the property to survey the floor as was surprised to find out that the floor had been cleaned and sealed only four months prior by another company. I don’t like to comment on other people’s work, but I found the grout lines and flagstones were still badly ingrained with dirt, so it wasn’t a through job.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Dursley Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Dursley

I completed by survey and demonstrated the process I would follow to resolve the issues on one of the flagstone tiles. She could not believe the difference I was able to make and booked me in straight away to restore the entire floor.

Cleaning a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

My first task was to protect the wooden kitchen units from splashing that can happen when cleaning the floor. Once that was done, I set about stripping the sealer from the floor and deep cleaning the tile and grout with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser which is safe to use on all types of tile, stone and grout including natural stone.

Working in sections across the Kitchen and adjacent dining room I diluted one part Pro-Clean to two parts water and mopped it onto the flagstones and grout where I left it to soak in for roughly fifteen minutes. Then using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad I scrubbed the solution into the floor into the old sealer and trapped dirt came away turning the cleaning fluid black in the process. The soil was then rinsed off with water and then extracted with a powerful 3,000 watt wet and dry vacuum. This process was repeated until I was satisfied the floor was clean and I ran a stiff grout brush along the grout lines to ensure they also received a good scrub. After I was satisfied the section was clean it was rinsed thoroughly with water to neutralise the floor and remove any trace of product and then dried with the wet and dry vacuum.

The cleaning process took up the whole day, but the flagstones would need to be dry before sealing so after giving the owner an update I left the floor for two days, so it could dry out thoroughly.

Sealing a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

On my return I tested the floor was dry in multiple places with a damp meter to ensure it was ready to be sealed. The readings showed that the wet and dry vacuum had done a good job in removing the moisture, so all was well. To seal I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go allowing each coat to dry before applying the next however with such a large area to cover I was able to work in sections around the floor.

Seal and Go works really well on Flagstones and leaves a very appealing sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Dursley Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Dursley

The results were amazing, and the customer thanked me for making such a massive improvement on her floor. Before leaving I made sure to discuss after-care and to avoid the use of hash cleaning products.

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Dursley

 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of Flagstone Floor in Gloucestershire

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Textured Ceramic Flooring Deep Cleaned in Stirling Shop

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The anti-slip nature of Textured Ceramic tiles make them a popular choice for public areas such as in this case a shop floor in my local city of Stirling. They do have a major drawback though, in that the rough textured surface which gives the tile its anti-slip property traps dirt over time making them look very unattractive and very difficult to clean effectively.

Textured Ceramic Tiled Shop Floor Before Deep Cleaning Stirling

The photograph below shows just how dirty my customers shop floor looked when I arrived to survey the floor. Despite cleaning the floor with all manner of supermarket products the tiles looked incredibly dirty and did not provide the clean inviting appearance they wanted to portray. The shop was due to open for the first time shortly and desperate to resolve the situation we were asked to come over and give the ceramic tile and grout a really deep clean.

If you’re not familiar with Stirling, then you should know its steeped in history and was once the capital of Scotland. It was also the location of several battles during the Scottish war of independence from England involving William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

Deep Cleaning Textured Ceramic Shop Flooring

Normally on commercial projects we get involved in we have to work outside of normal opening times as its not practical to deep clean a floor with people coming and going fortunately however this was not a problem in this case.

After clearing the floor space, we set to work soaking the tile and grout in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is our go to Tile and Grout cleaner. It was left to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before the floor was scrubbed, so it could get to work on breaking down the dirt. To make light work of scrubbing the solution into the floor we used a coarse diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. It was interesting to see the cleaning solution turning black with dirt as we moved across the floor.

Once done the soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. Next step was to give the grout a good scrub using a repeat of the same process however we find a stiff scrubbing brush run over the grout lines works best for this as pads can struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout.

The process worked well and after rinsing and extracting again we did a final inspection spot treating any stubborn areas with a repeat of the same process until we were satisfied the tile and grout were as clean as they could be.

The floor looked really fresh by the time we had finished, and you can image my client was very pleased with the results and relieved that the floor looked clean again.

Textured Ceramic Tiled Shop Floor After Deep Cleaning Stirling

 

Professional Shop Floor Tile and Grout Cleaning in Stirling

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