Clean and Seal a Flagstone Floor in Long Buckby

A client in the village of Long Buckby called us out to look at her Flagstone floor that needed some love and attention. As you can see in the pictures the floor was looking very dull which was due to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone.

The Flagstone tiles were installed in the dining room and well suited the look of the period property. Long Buckby is a small village with a long history that dates to the Vikings and is situated midway between Rugby and Northampton, so not too far from my base over in Rushden.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Long Buckby

I went over to inspect the floor and could see the Flagstone and grout was in need of deep clean to extract the dirt. It looked as if they had never been sealed since installation which according to the owner was many years ago. With no sealer to protect the pores of the stone it wouldn’t have been long before the build-up of dirt had become unsightly in the high traffic areas. I discussed with the client the best way to clean the floor and we agreed a price for the work to be done, booking it in for the following week.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Long Buckby

Cleaning and Restoring a Flagstone Tiled Dining Room Floor

To start I decided to apply a dedicated cleaning agent, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The cleaning solution was sprayed onto the floor and then left to soak in for about twenty minutes. It was then agitated with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and also with stiff brushes run along the grout lines. The soiled solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with clean water and left to dry.

As the floor dried, we could see that the deep clean was a success and that we had managed to clean the floor and remove all the embedded dirt in one go. This is quite rare, and normally more work is required before it meets the standard we aim for. The floor was left to dry overnight in preparation for the all-important sealing process.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Dining Room Floor

Returning the following day, we checked the floor was dry enough to seal with a moisture meter. It met the acceptable level, so we sealed the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that helps bring out the deep colour from within the flagstone.

Colour Grow also offers superior protection from everyday staining and will prevent dirt from reaching the pores of the stone so it keeps its appearance for some years to come. Another benefit is the sealer is breathable which is useful for older properties with no damp proof course membrane, as the sealer allows the floor to pass moisture from the sub floor. Three coats of sealer were applied, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

Flagstone Floor After Clean Seal Long Buckby

The client was over the moon with the result, as you can see from the pictures the floor was now looking good and should be easier for them to maintain.

Flagstone Floor After Clean Seal Long Buckby

For general cleaning and to get a longer life out of the sealer we recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. It’s super concentrated product so a small amount product goes a long way.

 

Professional Renovation of Flagstone Tiled Flooring in Northamptonshire

The post Clean and Seal a Flagstone Floor in Long Buckby appeared first on Northamptonshire Tile Doctor.

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Cleaning and Sealing Multi Coloured Slate Flooring in Ravensthorpe

I recently visited a customer living in the village of Ravensthorpe, just outside Northampton to rejuvenate a 15-year-old multi coloured Chinese riven slate floor that needed a deep professional clean. Slate is a hard-wearing tile used for flooring high traffic areas but does need sealing to bring out its best features. In this case the sealer had long since worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the stone making it difficult to clean effectively.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Ravensthorpe

We discussed the client’s requirements and the cleaning process I planned to follow to rejuvenate the floor. I had to check on availability, so I e-mailed over a quote and some dates later that day. They were happy with my proposal and agreed for the work to be done whilst the customers were on holiday.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Ravensthorpe

Cleaning Riven Multi Coloured Slate Tiles

My first task was to test a small area to determine which products would give the best results. In this case, I decided to start with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong alkaline cleaner/coatings remover that’s safe to use on Tile and Stone. I spread this solution across a section of the floor and left it to seep into the pores of the stone and lift out the ingrained dirt.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Ravensthorpe

After allowing the solution adequate time to dwell, I scrubbed the slate with a carbon brush fitted to a rotary machine to gradually reveal the fantastic natural colours of the Slate hidden beneath the dirt. Happy with my choice of cleaning product I repeated this process in sections until it had been carried out throughout the entire area. Following this, I rinsed the entire floor several times with clean water, before soaking up the resulting soiled residue with a wet vacuum.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Ravensthorpe

The next part of the cleaning process entailed paying attention to the grout lines which were scrubbed using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The resulting residue was promptly extracted with the wet vacuum and I finished by giving the whole floor a rinse with Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a day to day tile cleaning product which is recommended for stone floors, many supermarket tile cleaning products are only suitable for ceramic tiles due to their acidic formula and can damage a floor over years of use so you should always read the label. However, I always leave my clients with a complimentary bottle of a suitable Tile Doctor product to maintain their floors.

Sealing Riven Multi Coloured Slate Tiles

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I returned on the second day to seal the floor. Before starting I checked the floor was dry using a damp meter which confirmed the Slate was dry and ready to seal. The floor must be completely dry before sealing as any excess moisture has the potential to the damage the performance of the sealer. Since my client had specifically requested a silk finish, I opted to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go which dries to leave a lovely subtle sheen that really enhances the look of the stone. Five coats were applied to ensure a good hard-wearing protection.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor After Sealing Ravensthorpe

My client was very pleased with the results, particularly as they hadn’t realised how much colour it had lost over the years and left the following feedback on our website.

”I despaired of having a clean-looking floor again. Phil Vissian assured me that intensive deep cleaning and resealing could restore our fifteen year old, subtly coloured, Chinese riven slate kitchen floor. He has done a fantastic job. Looks like new, and I shall book Phil for an annual professional clean, so that it never gets as bad again.” Sally M, Northampton

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor After Sealing Ravensthorpe

 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

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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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Marble Floor Tile Polishing in New Duston, Northampton

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The Marble floor tiles in the pictures below covered a large kitchen, family room and utility area at a property in New Duston near Northampton. The client who was a builder had been recommended our services by one of his own clients, so he contacted us for advice on how to renovate the Marble flooring.

Marble Floor Restoration New Duston Before Polishing

I went to the property to survey the floor and could see straight away that the tiles were dull, lifeless with some staining and hardly recognisable as Marble. I recommended the floor was honed through a polished process known as burnishing, followed by the application of a sealer to provide durable protection for the stone. I organised a quote which was accepted, and we arranged a date for the work to start.

Marble Floor Restoration New Duston Before Polishing

Apologies in advance for the quality of the photographs, it’s tricky this time of year when the light is failing to capture a good photo.

Restoring Polish to a Marble Tiled Floor

I began the burnishing process, which involves the application of a set of Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads attached to a 17” rotary machine. At Tile Doctor we work with a four-pad system that allows us to gradually refine the polish on suitable stone floors which generally including Marble, Travertine and Limestone. I started the process by applying a 400-grit coarse burnishing pad lubricated with a little water, working in small sections. Following this, I worked my way through the burnishing system, repeating the process with 800-grit medium and 1500-grit fine grit burnishing pads. I also used some small hand-held burnishing blocks in the difficult to reach corners and edges. The floor is given a quick rinse using a wet pick up machine between pads in order to remove the resulting slurry before starting with the next pad.

Marble Floor Restoration New Duston During Polishing

I left the floor to dry off overnight to give the Marble tile and grout time to dry and returned the next day to finish the polishing and seal the floor.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Floor

The last 3000-grit pad builds up a high polish on the floor and is applied dry with only a little water squirted on the tiles in a process we call a Spray Burnish. One of the advantages of this method is it leaves the floor dry so is ready for sealing.

Now that I had achieved a good level of shine, I then proceeded to seal the floor to protect the stone against future dirt, stains and damage, which is more common in busy areas of a house like the kitchen. I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal allowing drying time between each coat. This is a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food areas such as the kitchen. Once the sealant had hardened, I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to further enhance the look of the Marble floor.

Marble Floor Restoration New Duston After Polishing

The customers were extremely happy with the results and as with all customers I advised on the best maintenance for their floor and provided a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap to help them maintain the beauty of their floor.

 

Professional Restoration of Polished Marble Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

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Cleaning 100 Year Old Mosaic Tiles in Abington Park

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My customer recently got in touch and requested a site visit to look at her hallway floor.
The Edwardian property was situated in the Abington Park part of Northampton which is an area is steeped in history, with the nearby Manor House said to have been the home of William Shakespeare’s daughter Elizabeth Bernard. The house has since been turned into a museum.

As you can see from the photos, the floor which was laid when the house was built over 100 years ago using small square brown and beige mosaic tiles in a repeating. Although in good physical condition for its age the floor was looking a little tired and had lost its lustre and vibrant colour. The hallway also had stained wood panelling on one side which was another original feature and the owner of the property was keen to maintain the period feel.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

I discussed with the customer what we could do to restore the floor, explaining the process, timescale and of course the cost. She was happy to go ahead so we scheduled the work in without delay.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

Cleaning an Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

In order to protect the wall panels and keep the moisture in the floor to a minimum I decided to keep the use of cleaning products to a minimum. This is always a concern with these old floors which have no damp proof membrane as the use of too much water can lead to efflorescence salts appearing later. With this in mid I decided to clean the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads as these pads only require a small amount of water and no products, this would also have the benefit of slightly levelling out the surface of the tiles.

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to ensure there was no loose debris followed by masking up the bottom of the stairs carpet to protect it. I then started the restoration process by using a coarse 100-grit Tile Doctor burnishing pad attached to a 17” industrial rotary machine and a small amount of water to lubricate the process. The 100-grit pad is quite an aggressive pad which removes deeply imbedded stains and as mentioned before a small amount of unevenness. To remove the resultant slurry the floor was rinsed with a small amount of water which was then extracted using a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated with a 200-grit burnishing pad to smooth out any scratches and polish the tile ready for sealing.

Although it was a relatively small area, 12 square metres this process took the whole day as we work in small sections at a time. Moving the machine slowly with multiple passes over each area.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and assessed the floor to ensure we were happy with the result from the previous days cleaning. I also took damp meter readings and was pleased to see they were within normal expectations for a floor of this age. Next, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a breathable sealant that will allow any moisture in the sub floor to rise though the tile. This particular sealer is a colour enhancing sealer that protects and improves the natural colours in the tile and leaves a lovely natural finish. The floor now has a much more even finish and will be much easier for the client to maintain in the future.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Great communication about the work planned and quotation. A super job in bringing my Edwardian mosaic tiled floor back to life. Would highly recommend this service”
Karen M”

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

 

Professional Restoration of Mosaic Hallway Tiles in Northamptonshire

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Indian Sandstone Patio Northampton

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The scorching hot summer has meant we are all in the garden and making much more use of our outside spaces. Our client got in touch because her Indian Sandstone patio was looking a little unloved. Looking forward to entertaining outside it was time to bring it back up to scratch so it wouldn’t be an embarrassment.

This house in Northampton which is the county town of Northamptonshire, lying on the River Nene it is one of the largest towns in the UK, had a lovely large patio. The Sandstone paving was looking tired and dirty, it was covered in lichen, embedded soil and was missing grout. I discussed with the client how Tile Doctor could help, and she agreed to go ahead so I returned a few days later. Indian Sandstone is a very hardwearing material, but one of the biggest problems we find with stone flooring outside is it soon becomes stained by the elements, especially with our great British weather, sun, (acid) rain, and ice. Without its’ protective sealer porous stone quickly becomes ingrained with dirt making it increasingly difficult to clean effectively.

Indian Sandstone Patio Before Cleaning Northampton

Cleaning and Restoring Indian Sandstone Patio in Northampton

I pre-treated the entire are with a medium dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for about 15 minutes, so it started breaking down the soil. This is a highly concentrated multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner which is great on heavily soiled areas, breaking down the dirt and the lichen. This was then scrubbed in using a rotary machine and stiff buffing brush.

This was followed by pressure washing and rinsing the entire area with water, removing the soiled waste with a wet vacuum. It is always a little easier carrying out this type of messy job as we are outside. This process took much of the day to complete and got the Indian Sandstone tiles really clean. They were already looking good and had changed from a dull grey colour to a lovely warm beige.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Cleaning Northampton

Grouting and Sealing Indian Sandstone Patio Northampton

I allowed a few days for the area to dry and then returned to finish renovating the patio, thankfully the weather remained dry! My first task was to re-grout areas where the grout had become loose, this made an instant difference defining the tiles as they should be, also this will prevent the problem with weeds growing between the paving slabs.

Finally, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant to enhance the natural colours of the stone. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It is also a breathable sealer which is ideal for external areas where moisture is an issue.

As you can see from the pictures this process made a huge impact and the colours appear much brighter, the customer was delighted with the results and she is looking forward to being able to enjoy her garden. The hot weather is thankfully continuing so she will be able to enjoy the space for many weeks to come.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Sealing Northampton

 

Clean and Restoration of an Indian Sandstone Patio in Northamptonshire

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