Restoring the Appearance of Encaustic Cement Tiles in Chipping Norton

The photographs on this page are of Encaustic Cement tiles where the grout had not been wiped off the surface properly after being laid. This in turn allowed dirt to become easily trapped and they soon became grubby. We see this problem a lot at Tile Doctor where it is commonly referred to has Grout Smears or Grout Haze. The customer from Chipping Norton had tried to remove it themselves without success and decided to give us a call.

Encaustic Cement Tiles Before Cleaning in Chipping Norton

If you haven’t come across them before Encaustic Cement tiles are often hand painted and are available in a range of beautifully artistic patterns. Being cement based however they do need to be sealed for best results.

Burnishing and Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

To remove the grout and dirt and restore the look of the tiles I opted to use diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Tile Doctor supply a set of these pads comprising of four pads of increasing grits. I started with the coarse 400-grit burnishing pads running it over the floor with a rotary floor machine and lubricated with a small amount of water. Following this I worked my way through the system, applying Medium 800-grit and Fine 1500-grit pads rinsing off the slurry generated in-between and extracting with a wet vacuum.

The last Very Fine, 3000-grit pad is applied dry with only a little water spayed onto the floor using a process we call a “Spray Burnish”. This really refines the look of the tiles and usefully leaves them dry. This process took up the whole morning and the next step would be to seal the tiles, so I went for lunch at this point to give the tiles more time to dry.

Sealing Encaustic Cement Floor Tiles

To be sure they were dry I tested the floor with a damp meter, the readings were fine, and I was satisfied I could go ahead and apply the sealer.

To seal the tiles, I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is an impregnating sealer that penetrates and occupies the pores of the tile thus prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. Colour Grow also leaves a matt finish which is ideal for this type of tile.

Encaustic Cement Tiles After Cleaning in Chipping Norton

With the grout and dirt removed and a sealer in place to protect them this floor will be much easier for the customer to keep them clean in future.

Get the Encaustic Look

If you like the look of Encaustic tiles but don’t want the hassle of having to maintain them it’s worth looking at their equivalent in Glazed Porcelain which are very low maintenance. CTD have a Cuban and Havana range which are inspired by the intricate geometric shapes found in Encaustic tiles, both are made from Glazed Porcelain which doesn’t need to be sealed and are therefore very low maintenance. CTD have over 100 tile shops in the UK and you can also buy on-line or order free samples via their website: www.CTDTiles.co.uk

 

Restoring the Appearance of Grubby Encaustic Cement Tiles in Oxfordshire

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Marble Floor Tiles Polished and Sealed in Middleton, Manchester

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This customer in Middleton near Manchester wanted to bring the shine up on the tiled floor in their Kitchen and Dining Room, it had been laid nearly fifteen years before and was now dull, lifeless and the grout was also in need of a clean.

I was told the tiles were Ceramic however after visiting the property and running some tests if became clear that the tiles were in fact Marble. There are some very realistic Ceramic and Porcelain tiles on the market however you usually find they have a set of repeating patterns whereas with natural stone no two tiles are the same.

Marble Tiled Floor Before Polishing Middleton Manchester Marble Tiled Floor Before Polishing Middleton Manchester

The floor had lost its shine over the years which is a common problem with natural stone such as Marble which ideally needs to be polished and have the sealer topped up every year to keep it in the best condition. The cleaning test results were so good that the customer booked us in to complete the floor straight away after agreeing the quote.

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Tiled Kitchen and Dining Room Floor

We started by giving the floor a general clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean paying special attention to the grout where it was scrubbed in along the grout lines using a stiff narrow brush. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to clean and re-polish the Marble using the 400, 800 and 1500 grit burnishing pads which re-hone the stone bringing up the polish gradually. You use water to lubricate the process and rinse with more water in-between each pad to rinse off the soil that is generated. The soil is then extracted with a wet vacuum.

After running all three pads over the floor in sequence and the floor was left to dry off overnight and I returned the next day to complete the work.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Kitchen and Dining Room Floor

On my return I started by running over the floor with the fourth burnishing pad in the set which is a very fine 3000-grit pad. It’s applied with a little water sprayed onto the floor using a technique we call a “Spray Burnish” and it really brings up the polish on the Marble tiles.

The last step was to seal the Marble tiles which will protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone and make them easier to clear. For this I chose to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer which has the added benefit of enhancing the natural colours in the stone.

Marble Tiled Floor After Polishing Middleton Manchester Marble Tiled Floor After Polishing Middleton Manchester

It was the perfect choice for the floor and the final result was quite a transformation. Certainly my customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Excellent professional service. The floor tiles are back to how to how they were 14 years ago.”

Before leaving I discussed aftercare and explained that the more a polished floor gets used the more the shine and sealer wears off, so I always advise having the floor re-polished once a year using the 3000-grit pad and then adding another coat of sealer. My customer agreed and has already booked me in for a years’ time to do the work which should only take about two hours.

 

Professional Renovation of a Marble Tiled Floor in Greater Manchester

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Deep Cleaning Grubby Terrazzo Kitchen Tiles at Manchester Apartment

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I recently visited a customer with a grubby Terrazzo tiled kitchen floor who lived in the Skyline Apartments in the centre of Manchester. Billed as luxury accommodation the building has a Gym and apparently a 20-metre swimming pool on the roof. The floor in the Kitchen was around 6m square and my customer originally thought the tiles were Limestone, but I was able to confirm they were Terrazzo, not that it mattered from my point of view as the cleaning process would be the same.

Terrazzo Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Skyline Apartments Manchester

The previous owner of the apartment had never maintained the floor properly, so my customer inherited a very grubby Terrazzo floor and had tried getting rid of the dirt without much success. After running a few tests, I could see that that any protective sealer had long since failed and dirt was now ingrained in the pores of the tile. The tiles would now need to be burnished to restore the appearance and then sealed to protect it from ingrained dirt going forward.

Cleaning and Polishing a Terrazzo Tiled Floor

To get the floor clean and ensure what was left of the old sealer was removed I scrubbed a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go into the tiles. This product works best if you leave it to dwell on the tile for around ten minutes before working it in. Afterwards the soiled product was removed using a wet vacuum which makes light work of extracting liquids from hard floors.

To burnish the Terrazzo, I used a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing pads which are applied to the floor using a rotary floor buffer running a slow speed in sequence from coarse to very fine. Lubricated with water this process uses a coarse pad to cut back through the tile to remove marks and ingrained dirt. This is followed by the medium and fine pads rinsing the floor with water in between each pad and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum. The last pad which is a 3000-grit very fine pad is applied dry to the floor with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a process we call a spray burnish.

Being a kitchen there were a few deep stains in the floor which I was able to spot treat with Tile Doctor Reduxa which is an interesting product that is absorbed into the floor and then when heat is applied it evaporates lifting the stain out with it.

Terrazzo Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Reduxa Skyline Apartments Manchester

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Kitchen Floor

To seal the Terrazzo, I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as the name suggest is a colour enhancing sealer. The product works by soaking into the tile occupying the pores so dirt cannot become ingrained there. It added a lovely finish to the Terrazzo, enhancing its appearance and will make the floor much easier to keep clean going forward.

Terrazzo Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Skyline Apartments Manchester

The completed floor now looks clean and fresh and an amazing transformation considering how dirty the floor looked when I first arrived. My customer was very pleased with the improvement and left the following short comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Kamila is the best!! great job.

Terrazzo Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Closeup Skyline Apartments Manchester

 

Restoring a Terrazzo Tiled Kitchen and Family room Floor in Manchester

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Stripping, Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tiles in Swansea

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This customer from Swansea was unhappy with the look of her Travertine floor tiles and so decided to call in tile doctor after she had seen pictures of other travertine floor tiles on one of our websites and wanted hers to look the same. The natural brown shades of her own Travertine tiles had become very dark and were looking dull and lifeless in comparison.

It was clear to me that the Sealer was wearing thin with use and dirt had now penetrated the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively. This is a common problem with stone floors and this is why Tile Doctor offer a maintenance service where we pop round once a year to top-up the sealer on your floor.

Travertine Floor Swansea Before Cleaning Travertine Floor Swansea Before Cleaning

Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine

To restore the polished appearance of the floor the stone would need to be stripped of any remaining sealer and dirt, re-polished and then sealed; we find the best way to achieve that is through the application of a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

I started the burnishing process by fitting a coarse 400 grit no.1 burnishing pad to a floor buffer and running at a slow speed ran the pad across the whole floor. This coarse pad is designed to strip off old sealers and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polish with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and I turned my attention to the grout which was scrubbed by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. The floor was given another rinse and then inspected to ensure I hadn’t missed anything. Before leaving for the day I used the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

On the second day I finished the banishing process with the application of the final of the four pads which is a very fine 3000 grit pad which adds a final polish to the surface leaving it looking shiny. This last pad is applied with a small amount of water spayed onto the tile in a process we call a spray burnish. The use of water is so small the floor remains dry enabling us to apply a sealer shortly afterwards.

There are some beautiful brown shades in Travertine and so to really make them standout I sealed the floor using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. The sealer will also make ongoing cleaning and maintenance easier for the customer.

Travertine Floor Swansea After Cleaning

The customer was very pleased with the result and commented on how clean and deep the shine had come out using the Diamond pad system.

Travertine Floor Swansea After Cleaning

Before leaving I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap as an aftercare cleaner, this produce is specially designed for cleaning polished stone, not only does it helps build patina, but it won’t prematurely erode the sealer like many acidic cleaners you find in the supermarket which should really only be used on ceramics and Vinyl tiles.
 
 

Travertine Tiled Floor Polished in Glamorgan

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Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tiles in Blackburn

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Close-up photo below of a Travertine tiled floor installed in a house in the former mill town of Blackburn where simply put the polished appearance had worn off and was now looking dull and unappealing.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Polishing Blackburn

I popped round to the house to take a look and could see that the tiles would need to be burnished to restore the polished appearance. To demonstrate the difference this would make I polished one of the tiles using the Tile Doctor burnishing pad system which consists of the application of four 17 inch diamond encrusted pads applied in sequence from coarse to very fine with a rotary buffer. The customer was amazed at the difference and we agreed a date to come in and complete the whole floor in time for the Christmas holidays.

Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine

On my return I repeated the burnishing process across the entire floor starting with the 400 Grit Coarse Red No.1 Burnishing Pad which strips off old sealers and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polish with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Polishing Blackburn

The floor was then rinsed again with water and I turned my attention to the grout which was scrubbed by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. The floor was given another rinse and then inspected to ensure I hadn’t missed anything. Before leaving for the day I used the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible.

At this point the customer commented that the floor looked amazing and that the floor never looked this good, even after it was first installed.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

On the second days we used the 4th burnishing pad which is a 3000 grit pad to burnish and polish the surface until it came up looking gorgeous and glossy. With this pad you simply spray a little water on the floor during the polishing process, something we call a spray burnish.

The last step was to seal the tiles using a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which was applied and then buffed in with a white pad to remove any excess. Ultra-Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Polishing Blackburn

The customer was really pleased with the difference we had made to the floor and before leaving we advised the customer of the best way to maintain the floor using neutral PH cleaners and to avoid strong cleaning products which can erode the life of the sealer prematurely.
 
 

Honed Travertine Tiled Floor Polished in South Lancashire

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