Careful Slate Floor Renovation in Oxted

This was a very large natural Slate floor installed throughout much of the ground floor at a property in the East Surrey town of Oxted. The owner was unhappy with the state of the tiles and especially the grout, however she wanted to ensure I would take maximum care around her Baby Grand Piano. If you have read any of my previous articles you will know I am careful and take time to protect anything that could be stained or damaged with a non-marking film. I therefore assured her I would take maximum care in her home and that it wouldn’t be a problem.

I surveyed the floor and could see that the previous sealer had long since failed and dirt had penetrated the pores of the stone. This made it difficult to clean the floor effectively and resulted in a continually dull appearance. The grout had also trapped the dirt and had gone black as a result. The cure would be to strip the tile and grout of what was left of the original sealer, deep clean and then reseal. Happy with my quote we set a date for the work to start.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted Before Cleaning Slate Tiled Floor Oxted Before Cleaning

Stripping and Cleaning Slate Floor Tiles

When I arrived on the appointed day, I discovered that the owner had gone to some lengths to pad the piano with bumble wrap mostly to prevent any airborne chemical or dust damage.

Working in sections I started applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor which is a powerful coatings remover that would strip what was left of the old sealer from the floor. The product is left on the Slate for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with black pad. The machine is run at slow speed to minimise splashing and then the slurry is rinsed off the tiles with water and a wet vacuum.

I inspected the floor at this point to ensure the process was having the right effect and it became evident that there was no integrity in the grouting which was crumbling. This was a major problem and it became clear that the only way to resolve it would be to remove and replace all the grout.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted Failing Grout

Re-grouting a Large Slate Tiled Floor

Over the next couple of days, I cut out all the existing grout with a special tool. They were large format slate tiles however with most of the ground floor needing to be re-grouted it took some time to complete. Once all the grout was removed, I set about applying fresh grout using a colour that highlighted the Slate tiles better.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted Replacing Grout

Sealing Tumbled Slate Kitchen Tiles

Once the grout had dried, I was able to start applying a new sealer to the Slate tiles. Slate responds well to Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within. It’s also a colour enhancing product that really brings out the best in natural stone such as Slate.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted After Renovation Slate Tiled Floor Oxted After Renovation

Two coats of Colour Grout were sufficient to seal the Slate tiles and I think you will agree the stone floor has come back to life and become a fine setting for the Baby Grand Piano.

Slate Tiled Floor Oxted After Renovation Slate Tiled Floor Oxted After Renovation

Before leaving my very happy customer to the enjoy, I left her with customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, a neutral and highly reliable cleaner for natural stone floors such as Slate. This will assist her in maintaining the appearance and condition of the tiles going forward. Another satisfied customer!


Professional Cleaning and Sealing of Tumbled Slate Tiles in East Surrey

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Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Oswestry


A home owner who lives in the old market town of Oswestry in Shropshire called me in recently to work some Tile Doctor magic on their Victorian Tiled Hallway. They had been refurbishing the house room by room and had left the hallway floor until last. The previous owner of the house had repaired part of the floor at the far end of the hallway with an odd selection of unmatched tiles. The result was a bit of any eyesore and I’m surprised it hadn’t been covered over with carpet which is what most would do, the only good thing about the repair was that it had been laid level.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

There were several other areas were tiles were loose and would need relaying and a section where holes had been drilled into a couple of tiles damaging them in the process. In total I estimated there was about two square meters of tiles that would need relaying; I would be able to use some of the original tiles that had become loose, but it was clear I would need to track down some replacements either from a reclamation yard or from a retailer if I could find a match.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

As it turned out I managed to source the replacements without too much trouble, Victorian Tiles are still very popular today and there are a number of UK companies that still sell them.

My first task was to remove all the loose tiles and carefully remove what I’m going to call the eyesore. I have a handheld power tool that makes light work of removing grout which came in very hand and then once the grout was removed the tiles were prised out. The old grout and adhesive were then scraped off the sub floor, so the replacements could be fitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry

With the loose, damaged and eyesore removed it was now a question of cutting replacement tiles to match the existing pattern and then fix them into place with fresh adhesive. This activity took up much of the first day and before leaving the tiles were grouted in, so they would be secure for cleaning the next day.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Day two was all about deep cleaning the entire floor to remove any old coatings and ingrained dirt in the tiles. I did this using a strong dilution of Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tiles for a while before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; the resultant slurry was then rinsed away with water and extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

There were some stubborn paint splashes from decorating that needed dealing with, so I gave these a spot clean using more Remove and Go and plenty of elbow grease. The floor was then given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The tiles must be dry before sealing and after testing the floor with a damp meter I confirmed that the floor was indeed dry. I had previously discussed sealers with the owner he had opted for a matt finish. I decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow would be the best choice of sealer to apply, it’s an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and works by occupying the pores in the tile protecting it from staining from within. It also enhances the natural colours in the tile, only two coats of sealer were needed.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

The floor now looks fantastic and most crucially the eyesore has gone.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

Victorian and Victorian Floor Tile restoration in Shropshire


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Floor Grout Replaced in Cobham


This floor was tiled with large format beige porcelain tiles with a white grout which as you can appreciate can soon become dirty. Now you might be thinking that this post is about cleaning grout which would make sense as I’m normally asked to clean grout, however on this occasion the customer wanted it removing completely and then re-grouting in a darker colour.

Grout re-colouring grout is easily done using a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which comes in ten different colours but in this case there was an amount of cracked and missing grout which needed replacing anyway.

Floor Grout Before Replacement Cobham

The house was in the surrey village of Cobham which dates back to Roman times and is now known for being an affluent place to live with many large houses.

Removing Grout

Removing existing grout is a messy job that can create a lot of dust so before starting work I positioned my vacuum cleaner adjacent to the tile so any dust would be extracted away. There are a number of ways to remove grout but I find the best way is to use a special oscillating tool which makes quick work of the job. Fortunately due to the large format porcelain tiles with tight grout lines I was able to completely remove all the grout within a few hours.

Grouting a

After a clean up I was ready to mix the new grey grout and start rerouting the tiles. I always use expanding grout for this as it lasts longer and won’t shrink like cheaper products which can rack as a house moves slightly. Once mixed the new grout was pushed into the grout lines with a rubber float and the excess polished off.

I managed to complete the job in a day and before leaving I have the floor a buff with a soft white pad.

Floor Grout After Replacement Cobham

The Grout tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.

Professional Grout Tiled Hallway Restoration in West Surrey


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