Cleaning a White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor in Harrogate

These tiles are White Moleanos Limestone which I must say is not my favourite, you can just breath on them and they will stain, so not a practical choice for any floor really. They had been installed in the kitchen of a house in Harrogate and although it was only a small floor it was trapping the dirty and the owners were pulling their hair out trying to look after it.

I went over to survey the floor and explained to them Moleanos Limestone is a chalky stone from Portugal which is very porous and being so pale meant dirt easily stood out. With porous stone like this you need to ensure that the sealer is kept in good condition otherwise dirt will become ingrained in the pores and once that happens it becomes very difficult to clean effectively. In fact, once the sealer has worn off even dark coloured soles can mark it.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

I carried out a small test patch, which was successful so once we had agreed a price, they were more than happy to go ahead with getting the work done. We booked a time the following week, the work would take a couple a days, one to deep clean and one to seal.

The property is in a lovely area of Harrogate which is well known for its tourist attractions, it is said that Harrogate spa water contains iron, sulphur and common salt. The town became known as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. Later in the 17th and 18th centuries its waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment, and this led to an influx of wealthy but unfortunately sickly visitors which in turn contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

Cleaning a White Moleanos Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

To restore the appearance of the stone I used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which clean and slowly hone the stone giving it a natural polished appearance. This is a slow steady process working through the different grades of burnishing pads from coarse to very fine. The pads are applied with water to lubricate and the soil generated is extracted with a wet vacuum afterwards.

Once the burnishing process was completed, I inspected the floor and was pleased to see that the floor was looking significantly better than when I had arrived. I gave the stone a final rinse and extracted as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum before leaving for the day. The floor was left overnight to be sure that it would be dry before sealing. In the meantime, I asked the client to avoid walking on it.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor During Cleaning Harrogate

Sealing a White Moleanos Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day and checked the floor was dry. All was well and so I proceeded to seal the floor using three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which will add the protection the stone needed. Ultra-Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look sealer. It provides maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation areas like the kitchen. It is also great for sealing the grout to prevent colour change from spillages.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

The client was very happy and satisfied with the floor which looked much cleaner and fresher. After discussing after-care they were confident they could keep the floor looking that way going forward.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

 

Professional Restoration of a White Moleanos Limestone Tiled Kitchen in North West Yorkshire

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Removing Paint Spots from Black and Red Quarry Tiles in Knaresborough

This is an original Chequered Black and Red Quarry Tiled floor at a house in the historic town of Knaresborough. The town expanded rapidly during Victorian times and this floor dates to when the house was built over 100 years ago. The properties in the road are all a similar style and age so it’s likely that there are others with original Quarry tiled floors too.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knaresbrorough

Before contacting us, the customer had already spent a week trying to clean the floor and was not happy with the result. He emailed over some pictures to highlight the problems which mainly related to paint splashing from decorating. I reviewed the pictures and subsequently made a site visit to survey the floor. It was clear that he had managed to make the floor cleaner, but more work was required. Confident l could improve upon his efforts we set a date for my return.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knaresbrorough

Removing Paint Spots from a Quarry Tiled Floor

I spent the first morning carefully scraping off spots of plaster and candle wax that l knew my machine wouldn’t remove. Once that was done, I gave it a good scrub using a black pad fitted to a rotary buffer and using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with three parts water. The resulting slurry was then rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

This was an old floor with no damp proof membrane, and I was concerned white efflorescence salts would appear as the floor dried out. To counter this I gave the floor an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to help neutralise and inhibit any alkaline salts. After scrubbing it into the floor with a deck brush I rinsed the acid off the floor and again extracted the waste using the wet vacuum. I took some damp meter readings at that point and found that surprisingly the floor was only showing a 20% moisture reading. I left the floor to dry out fully overnight and would check the damp readings again the next day before sealing.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I had the option of sealing it the next day or the day after, so I decided to leave my damp meter with the customer, so he could take the readings himself and let me know when the floor was dry. He took some more readings four hours later which were lower and after discussing it with me on the phone later that evening I agreed to return the following day. I took some more readings the next morning and most of the floor was reading less than 10% which was an improvement but not as good as I had hoped for. I decided to spend some time speed drying the tiles with a heat gun to be sure.

Once I was happy, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the colour and protect the tiles from staining. This gave the floors a lovely sheen and the deep colour looked great. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. This sealer is also fully breathable which means it will allow moisture to rise through the floor which is important on these old floors with no DPM.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knaresborough

The full renovation process dealt with all the issues my customer has raised and the new sealer gave the floor a very consistent appearance. I’m happy to confirm that my customer was pleased with results and is now content that his floor is in the best condition it could be considering its age.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knaresborough

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor in North West Yorkshire

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Reclaimed Yorkshire Flagstone Floor Renovation in Harrogate

This is a reclaimedYorkshire flagstone floor that was re-laid at a house in Harrogate some years prior with under floor heating. The Yorkshire stone was really nice and contained some varied natural colours including green from what must have been a copper deposit in the stone. This is the beauty of this type of stone, there is a huge variation in tone and colour. The client got in touch with Tile Doctor as the stone looking flat and featureless and had become difficult to keep clean.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor before renovation Harrogate

It was clear to me that the original sealer had all but worn off leaving the floor vulnerable to dirt, there were also some paint splashes from decorating that needed removing and some old tar spots that must have been there some time. The lovely property was in a quiet road near the centre of Harrogate which is a popular tourist spot close to the picturesque Yorkshire Dales.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor before renovation Harrogate

Cleaning a Yorkshire Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I gave the floor a thorough clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This process also softened the paint splashes and tar spots which I was able to carefully scrape off. The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor using water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Once the floor was clear it was then inspected, and stubborn areas re-treated using the same process until I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be and that any trace of old sealer had been removed. It’s important to ensure the floor is clear of old sealers before resealing as otherwise you end up with different layers of sealer on the floor. Also, if you don’t know what was applied previously you cannot guarantee that the new sealer will work with it, so it is best to start with a totally clean base.

Before leaving for the night I gave the floor a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product and then extracted as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum. Additionally, I asked the owner of the property to leave the underfloor heating on overnight to aid the drying process. We cannot seal the floor if it is not completely dry.

Sealing a Yorkshire Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The customer wanted a matt finish so when I came back the next day to seal the floor, I used two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. This is a natural look sealer that protects the stone from within but without altering its appearance, this works well if you’re looking to keep the floor appearance as light as possible. The deep cleaning and fresh sealer transformed the stone giving it a subtle contrast that brought out the unique colours in the stone including the green of the copper.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor after renovation Harrogate

The client was very satisfied with the overall finish of the floor, the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Flagstone had been restored and now they would be able to maintain the floor keeping it looking lovely for longer. I suggested they use the Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner for ongoing maintenance. This is a nice natural product specifically formulated for this type of floor.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor after renovation Harrogate

 

Professional Reclaimed Yorkshire Flagstone Floor Restoration in North Yorkshire

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Grout Haze Removed from Textured Porcelain Shower Tiles in Leeds


These pictures show very fine textured porcelain tiles that had been installed in a shower cubicle at a property in Leeds that did not have the grout cleaned off properly. It’s worth knowing that we cover the whole city of Leeds which has one of the most diverse economies in the UK and is known as its second biggest legal and financial centre after London.

On arrival it was clear where the problem lay. Unfortunately, the tiler who had installed the tiles had not been very diligent in removing the excess grout afterwards leaving it to dry on the surface where it had become stuck in the surface of the textured tile. This is a problem commonly referred to as Grout Haze, the tiles are literally smeared in grout and once it has set no amount of household cleaner will remove the residue.

Textured Porcelain Tiles with Grout Haze Leeds

To add to the problem the situation with the grout haze had not been resolved after installation in-fact it had been fitted a few years prior and a build-up of soap scum and stains from the dyes in shampoo products had made the shower cubicle look worse.

Tile Doctors have a solution for every problem and I knew exactly how to remove the grout smearing and revamp the whole shower cubicle. Confident I could get them cleaned up in less than a day we agreed a price and booked the work in to be done.

Textured Porcelain Tiles with Grout Haze Leeds Textured Porcelain Tiles with Grout Haze Leeds

Cleaning Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle

Before tackling the Grout Haze, I needed to clean the tile and grout, so I started with an application of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being a gel sticks well to vertical surfaces such as wall tiles allowing it dwell longer and really breakdown the dirt. I worked on one square metre at a time leaving it to dwell for ten minutes and then scrubbed in with a scouring pad. The area is quite small, so it was easiest to do the work by hand rather than using the rotary hand buffer. The area was then rinsed thoroughly to remove the soil and any remaining product.

Next while the tile was still wet l applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to tackle the grout smears. Grout Clean-up is an acid, so you do need to be careful however it is the only thing that will remove grout once it’s dried, also I wouldn’t recommend using it on natural stone as it can etch the surface however these tiles were Porcelain. The process worked well although some tiles needed to be re-treated to get rid of all the smears.

I rinsed again with water and then dried with a heat gun to make sure no marks or stains came back when completely dry. Happy that the tiles and grout were now as clean as possible, and the area was fully dried out, all that remained was to strip out the old stained silicone sealer and replace with new.

Silicone Sealing a Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle

We do have a product called Duo-Clean that can clean up silicone but my preference in this case was to strip out the old with a sharp knife and replace with new. I find this really adds to the renovation of the cubicle completing the transformation. It also ensures the cubicle is left waterproof and less likely to have a leak develop in the old silicone in future.

Textured Porcelain Tiles after Grout Haze Removed Leeds Textured Porcelain Tiles after Grout Haze Removed Leeds

It is amazing the difference the clean-up made. The client now has the shower cubicle they had hoped for and are happy to use every day, they were very pleased with the results.

Textured Porcelain Tiles after Grout Haze Removed Leeds

 

Professional Shower Cubicle Renovation in North Yorkshire



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Grade A Tumbled Travertine Floor Transformed in Ripon


My client gave Tile Doctor a call to discuss their hallway floor which was in a poor state, they thought the tiles were Travertine but weren’t 100% sure as it was installed before they acquired the property. I arranged a time to do a site survey to see what we could do for them.

The property was in Ripon which is a lovely Yorkshire cathedral city just North of Harrogate. I took a look at the floor and confirmed the tiles were indeed Travertine, in fact I identified it as Bullnose Grade A Tumbled Travertine which is a premium product and well worth renovating. 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 the stone make it very popular as a flooring material and is often used as bathroom wall tiles too. Travertine’s durability makes it ideal for all manner of projects and it is often used externally.

Like any stone floor it’s important to maintain the sealer if you want it to look its best and from what I could see the sealer had now failed and was letting dirt get into the pores of the Travertine making it very difficult to keep clean. The owners also had two dogs which may have contributed to the wear and tear. I discussed with them the prognosis and we agreed a quote for completing the work to renovate the tile and grout.

Tumbled Travertine Ripon Before Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Ripon Before Cleaning

Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Floor Tiles in Ripon

I arrived the following week and started by protecting the skirting boards etc. with tape to protect them from splashing during the cleaning process. Once that was done I started burnishing the Travertine with a set of diamond burnishing pads which are run over the floor with water to remove dirt, old sealers and restore the polished appearance of the stone. Using a rotary floor machine, you start with the coarse 400-grit pad before moving onto the 800 and 1500 grit pads rinsing the floor in between each pad to remove the slurry that is generated.

My next task was to tackle the cream coloured grout which had become dark with dirt. To do this I used a cleaning product called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner that’s particularly good on heavily soiled and neglected grout. You dilute it into different strengths depending on the nature of the problem and it works best when left to dwell and soak in for about ten minutes first. I scrubbed all the grout lines by hand with a scrubbing brush to get them really clean and then rinsed with water and removed the slurry with a wet vacuum.

Finally, the cleaning process was completed using the last of the four burnishing pads which is a 3000-grit polishing pad which is applied dry with only a little water sprayed on the tile.

Tumbled Travertine Ripon During Cleaning

Given the size of the floor I had to work in sections and the photograph above shows the difference in the tile and grout between two of the sections. Once done the floor was left overnight to completely dry out, the warm weather made this a quick process.

Sealing a Tumbled Travertine Floor in Ripon

Returning the following morning, I used my moisture meter to test the moisture levels in the floor. Applying the sealant to a floor that is still damp prevents it from curing. I had selected to use the Tile Doctor Ultra Seal on this job, this is a premium product, which gives a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer made to provide maximum stain protection. You can also use it as a pre-grouting sealer. The customer didn’t want the floor to be shiny, so this was the perfect product for them.

The customers were really satisfied with the massive transformation in the floor returning the floor to almost new. They were so pleased that the floor didn’t look tired any longer and it would now be able to withstand the traffic of their two dogs. The floor would be much easier for them to clean and maintain.

Tumbled Travertine Ripon After Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Ripon After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Tumbled Travertine Floor in Yorkshire



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Worn Sealer Replaced on a Slate Tiled Floor in York


The photographs below are of a Slate Tiled floor in a house in York, a walled city in North West Yorkshire which is very famous for its Viking heritage and its many landmarks, including the stunning York Minster. I visited the client to discuss what could be done to improve the look of the slate tiles which were installed in the kitchen and run into the downstairs cloakroom WC.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York Before Cleaning

I could see that the floor was suffering from the usual problem of dirt becoming ingrained into the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively. This happens as the protection provided by the sealer wears off with use and the stone becomes dull and lifeless with the trapped dirt; additionally, the floor had some bad scratches from chairs being dragged across the floor. Being a Kitchen, the area was in used to high family traffic, so it was in need of some care and attention. The client was happy to go ahead with my quote.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

I arrived the following week and started by taping up and protecting the surrounding areas and thresholds. Then working in sections, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (1 part Pro-Clean to 3 parts water) to the floor and left it to soak in and get to work breaking down what was left of the old sealer and dirt. This is a multi-purpose cleaner which works hard on stubborn areas. It was then scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. I then used more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the grout which was stained in places and this was scrubbed in by hand using a thin stiff grout brush.

The floor was then rinsed with water, and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum before moving onto the next section. We try and keep the mess to the absolute minimum. One area included a downstairs WC which was too tight to get the floor buffer in so there was no option but to scrub the tiles and grout by hand.

After cleaning all the slate and grout I inspected the floor and was pleased to see that the scratches were a lot less obvious after cleaning, so I suspect it was the old sealer that had been mostly affected. Had the scratches been deeper we would be looking at resurfacing the stone with milling pads which is a messy and more expensive process. The client was very pleased to hear that wouldn’t be required.

After a final rinse the floor was looking much better already and was left to dry off overnight aided by the hot summer weather.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and checked the floor was fully dried out by using my moisture meter. All the readings were fine so the lovely weather had done its job which was much appreciated by myself as this greatly helps the floor cleaning process.

I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer (so no smell) that leaves a lovely deep lustre to the floor. The scratches had all but disappeared and I was able to get on with the job quite quickly due to the bonus weather that helped he sealer dried a lot quicker than usual between each coat.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York After Cleaning

The customer was very pleased with the finished floor, and I think you can see from the pictures how much better it looks. It will be much easier for them to clean and maintain in the future.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Cloakroom in North West Yorkshire



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