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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Cleaning and Sealing Green Slate tiles in Hastings

I worked on this beautiful Green Slate tiled floor just before Christmas but I’ve been so busy with other jobs I’ve only just go around to writing about it. The slate floor was installed in the hallway and kitchen of a property in the seaside town of Hastings and the owner was keen to have the work done before the holidays.

Green Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hastings Green Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hastings

I had been to the property previously to survey the floor and quote for doing the work. It was clear that much of the sealer that had previously protected the slate from ingrained dirt had worn off and much of the floor had now lost is appearance. The solution would be to strip off what was left of the sealer, deep clean the stone to remove ingrained dirt and then apply a fresh sealer. The work should take two days to complete and fortunately for the client I was able to fit them in, December is after all one of our busiest periods.

Cleaning a Green Slate Tiled Floor in Hastings

After taping up the skirting boards to protect them during the cleaning process I sprayed the floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Remove and Go is a cleaner and coatings remover that’s safe to use on Tile and Stone and is ideal for removing sealers. It’s important to remove all the old sealer from the floor as it may not be compatible with the new sealer and can result in an uneven appearance later.

Green Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hastings Green Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Hastings

The Remove and Go was left to soak into the Slate for about ten minutes before being worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I also like to use stiff hand brush along the grout lines and to get into those hard to reach areas. The soil generated was extracted using a van mounted high pressure cleaning system that simultaneously rinses the floor and vacuum’s the soil away to a recovery tank.

The Green Slate was installed in several different areas on the ground floor of the property, so it made sense to do the work one section at a time and then inspect all the floors at the end. Any stubborn stains were spot cleaned by hand using more Remove and Go until I was satisfied.

Sealing Green Slate Floor Tiles in Hastings

I left the floor to dry off overnight and came back the next day to seal it, unfortunately moisture readings indicated more drying time was required. I was working on another stone floor the following week, so I agreed with the owner to come back on Saturday and seal the floor then.

Green Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Hastings Green Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Hastings

The sealer I used was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is highly recommended for Slate and will provide good stain protection whilst improving the appearance of the stone to give a low sheen finish. Slate is quite a porous stone, so it took five coats before it was fully sealed. I think you will agree the Green Slate floor looks transformed and I’m sure was appreciated by their guests over Christmas.

Green Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing Hastings

 

Professional Renovation of a Green Slate Floor in Hastings, East Sussex

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Restoring a 200-Year-Old Stone Fireplace in Lingfield

We are often called in to restore stone and tile where others have not been able to succeed, and this was the case with this 200-year-old stone fireplace in Lingfield. To be fair to the previous company its was covered in 5mm of paint in multiple layers so it was no easy task to restore.

Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning Lingfield Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning Lingfield

The church in Lingfield village was apparently rebuilt in 1431 so it’s not surprising to find houses here containing some impressive period features. This property also had an old Pamment tiled hallway which I wrote about in a previous article.

Removing Paint from a Stone Fireplace

To strip the multiple layers of paint off the stone fireplace I would need to apply a strong chemical, so my first task was to protect the adjacent woodwork. I tend to use a thin blue film for this as it sticks well to most surfaces and like professional decorators masking tape it doesn’t remove the paint when you remove it later.

To soften and remove the paint I applied a special paste that is brushed on and slowly emulsifies the paint so it can be easily peeled off. To ensure all the layers could be removed I blanketed the whole fireplace in a thin laminated membrane which ensures the product doesn’t evaporate. The paste is safe to use on Stone and I left it for a couple of days before returning.

I returned to the house in Lingfield and completed the messy job of stripping off the now pliable paint taking care not to damage the fireplace or the surroundings. Once done and the waste removed, I set about cleaning up the now naked stone with Tile Doctor Acid Gel.

Acid Gel is a perfect choice for this job as being a gel its easy to control and sticks to the vertical surface allowing it to be scrubbed in without running down the facia. After scrubbing the gel was carefully rinsed off with a sponge.

Stone Fireplace After Cleaning LingfieldThe restoration took a lot of manual work especially when working around the intricate carvings in the stone however the transformation was well worth it. I think you will agree the Fireplace now looks transformed.

 

Large Stone Fireplace Restored in East Surrey

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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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Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Repaired and Restored in Girton

The owner of this Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in the village of Girton was unhappy with its condition and asked if we could call round and quote for having it deep cleaned and resealed. Girton is just north of Cambridge and only about six miles from our base so it wasn’t long before I was able to call in and survey the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Girton

The floor was comprised of a combination of Red, Black and Cream tiles laid in a diamond pattern. The tiles were in good physical condition and I understand from the owner that it had been last cleaned and sealed about two years prior. Unfortunately, the sealer had now faded and had allowed dirt to become trapped in the pores of the tile giving it a grubby appearance that was difficult to clean effectively. The owner had two large dogs which I suspect contributed to the premature degradation of the sealer.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Girton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Girton

I surveyed the floor, created a quote which was accepted and then agreed a date to return and renovate the floor.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I started by taping up the skirting boards and other woodwork with protective tape. Once that was done, I gave the tiles a soak in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was allowed to dwell for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. Remove and Go is a coatings remover which cleans the tiles and removes any remaining sealer.

The soil generated was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and the tiles inspected. The tiles had responded well to the cleaning process and after spot treating a few areas with a repeat of the previous process it was ready for the next stage which was to give the floor an acid wash.

I had noticed there was a slight build-up of efflorescence along one of the walls which isn’t unusual on these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed under the floor. It’s caused by moisture rising through the tile and depositing white salt staining on the surface as it evaporates. To resolve this, we neutralise the salts by giving the floor a quick rinse in a dilution of Grout Clean-up.

The Grout Clean-Up rinsed off the floor with water and extracted with the wet vacuum which was employed to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the evening.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day, unfortunately after checking the moisture levels I found it needed more drying time, so I agreed to come back the next day.

The moisture levels were fine on day three, so I applied multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water-based product so you don’t get left with a smell as it dries. As well as protecting the tiles the sealer also adds a nice subtle sheen that works well on Victorian Tiles and has put new life into the tiled hallway.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Girton Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Girton

Seal and Go is a breathable sealer so it will allow moisture to rise up through the tiles however had the efflorescence problem had been worse I would have used a different sealer. On this occasion however the problem appeared to be historical rather than recent.

My client was very happy with the transformation and left the following feedback.

“We are delighted with our Victorian tiled hall floor after treatment by Tom from Tile Doctor. A very professional service. Good communication throughout, and dedication to ensuring our full satisfaction; not a ways obvious when dealing with old tiles with different levels of porosity! Thank You!”

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Girton

 

Repair Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cambridgeshire

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St Michaels Church Floor Restoration Rushock

I recently completed a Victorian floor restoration at St Michaels Church in Rushock which is a very small village in Worcestershire in the Wyre Forest District. The church is a listed building that dates to 1758 however I suspect the floor was installed in 1872 when the building was subject to a major restoration. Interestingly its most famous as the resting place of Jon Bonham from Led Zeppelin who is regarded as one of most influential rock drummers in history.

I was contacted by the church as the floor had become dull and the floor was experiencing efflorescent salt issues. The chairman of Rushock church was unhappy with its appearance and was keen to have it restored to ensure the church looked it’s best for the residents and the churches parishioner’s.

I completed the inspection of this beautiful church and you can see from the pictures why the chairman was so keen to have the floor renovated. Confident we could significantly improve the floors appearance and restore the feature aisle for them I costed out a plan for the work.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning St Michaels Church Rushock Victorian Floor Before Cleaning St Michaels Church Rushock

The quote was accepted, and we arranged a mutually convenient date to fit round their service schedule. An extra pair of hands would be required to meet their schedule, so I arranged to work on this floor with the Warwickshire Tile Doctor Mick Gayton. Mick has a wealth of knowledge and experience and we often team up on bigger projects. With over sixty Tile Doctors in the UK it’s hugely helpful to have a network of Tile Doctors you can call upon when you need extra help.

Cleaning and Restoring a Church Tiled Floor

The first day was spent cleaning the floor both by hand and with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad paying particular attention to the salt issues. Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied first to tackle the dirt and remove what remained of the previous sealer. This was then rinsed off the floor and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

We then treated the floor to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, this was applied to the floor and left to dwell for a short time before more scrubbing in with the rotary machine. This made short work of cleaning the salt minerals and grout haze, it would also neutralise any alkaline salts inherent in the tile that could cause problems later. The wet vacuum was employed again to remove the resultant slurry.

We also used a steam cleaner on some of the stubborn areas where the dirt had been ingrained for some time! Once we were happy the floor was clean, we left the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Church Tiled Floor

We returned the next day and got to work on some areas where the grout had perished, replacing as needed with a matching flexible grout. Once the grout had dries and any haze polished off the tiles the floor was ready for the application of a protective sealer.

The sealer chosen was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing product that works by occupying the pores in the tile preventing dirt from becoming lodges in there. This sealer is also fully breathable which is an essential feature for old floors that were laid without a damp proof membrane. Using a non-breathable sealer would trap moisture under the floor where it can spread to the walls resulting in rising damp. Four coats of Colour Grow were required in total and the colour enhancing nature of the product really brought out the colours in the tile restoring it to its original condition.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning St Michaels Church Rushock Victorian Floor After Cleaning St Michaels Church Rushock

The chairman was extremely satisfied with the restored floor and he was sure the parishioners would be to.

 

Professional Restoration of a Church Tiled Floor in Worcestershire

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Flood Damaged Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Cragg Vale

I was contacted by the owners of a cottage in the small village of Cragg Vale who had unfortunately suffered a flood in their kitchen which had resulted in damage to their Slate tiled kitchen floor. Cragg Vale is a very small village situated on the moors above Hebden Bridge in the borough of Calderdale. The cottages were originally built circa 1860 for workers at the local mill. Although the mill has now gone, the cottages are still lived in by people who enjoy living so close to the scenic Blackstone Edge Moors.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cragg Vale

It’s difficult to appreciate the problems from the before photo but once I visited the property, I could see where some of the tiles had been damaged by the water leading to flaking and salting. The other major issue that became apparent was that the floor had also been covered in layers of sealant and varnish which had been applied over the years. This had left the overall finish looking a uniformly dark colour although it was very shiny.

After doing some tests and a full survey, I submitted a quote to carry out the work which was to be covered by the owner’s insurance. This was accepted and a date was set to begin the work.

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

Given the amount of work involved restoring the Slate, the complex nature of the job and the need to proceed quickly, I recruited the services of South Yorkshire Tile Doctor Matt Lovett. This is one of the benefits of using Tile Doctor as we can combine our skills and equipment to ensure that a job is carried out effectively and efficiently.

This job had the potential to become very messy so our first job on arrival to start work was to protect the kitchen units and adjacent carpets with protective coverings. We then applied a coating of Tile Doctor Remove & Go to small sections of the floor and left it to soak in for fifteen minutes at a time. The tiles were then scrubbed, and the resultant residue removed with a wet vacuum. The varnish proved particularly stubborn in places, so further applications of Remove & Go were scrubbed in using wire brushes to remove it layer by layer. The sealants and varnish turned to a muddy gloop that we continued to scrape up and remove with the wet vac.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Cragg Vale

At the end of the first day we had removed about 80% of the coatings but knew that we still had long day ahead of us tomorrow.

The next day we reviewed our progress and decided to work in one metre square areas to remove the remaining coatings. This was a time consuming but necessary way to ensure that by the end of the day we had got the floor clean.

Before leaving the floor was rinsed again and dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum. After a final inspection we were happy the floor was ready for sealing and left it to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

First job on day three was to check that the floor was dry enough to begin sealing. This is a very important part of the process because if the floor is damp then the sealers won’t take properly. The floor was fine, so I started with the application of a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable, colour enhancing sealer that penetrates the pores of the stone protecting it from within. Colour grow also enhances the natural colours in the stone thus highlighting its natural beauty.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cragg Vale

After 30 minutes, the floor was dry enough to start applying the first coat of Tile Doctor High Shine sealer. This is an acrylic sealant which as the name suggests, gives the floor a glossy shine. This was the effect that the Customer had requested at the beginning of the process.
A further four coats of High Shine were applied before a water test was conducted to ensure that the floor was completely sealed.

The Customer was very pleased and as you can see from the photos, it’s easy to see why.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cragg Vale

 

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen in West Yorkshire

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Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Fully Restored in Epsom

A customer from Epsom called me regarding the restoration of her Victorian tiled hallway which was previously covered in carpet and in a poor state of health. Intrigued and having spoken on the phone I agreed a time to call in and survey the floor and work out a way forward. I visited the property and could immediately see considerable repair work including resolving problems with the sub floor and tile replacement would be required and all this before cleaning and sealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

This house had undergone some serious renovations recently and the floor was left till last. I’m not a structural engineer so was unable to advise what had happened to the floor, but all the faults appeared to run in a line from the kitchen to the front door. It was an old house so who knows what might have caused it, it might even have been bomb damage from the 2nd world war.

There were three main problem areas. The worst was by the front door where an area of about a metre square was just loose tiles and laid on rubble. The family had got used to jumping across the threshold so as not to make the problem worse. Next was a strip through the middle that was totally exposed and a massive trip hazard. The floor boards were visible as was the floor base. There was another area by the front room entrance that had some loose pattern tiles that clunked every time someone entered the room. Finally, there was a small area to the entrance to the basement that had been patched in with cement.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

It was clearly going to be a challenging restoration for several reasons. Had the customer kept all the loose tiles? If not, could I source matching replacements? Would it be possible to level the floor that appeared to be sloping towards the front door? Could I remove loose and broken tiles without disturbing others? Could I manage the customers high expectations?

Having worked on numerous Victorian floor restorations in the past I knew where I could potentially source replacement tiles. I also had the full backing of the Tile Doctor network so knew I could always reach out to other Tile Doctors should I face any major problems. Undaunted we agreed a date for me to return and start the work and in the mean time I would talk to several specialist tile suppliers about replacements.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before starting any tiling work, I photographed the whole floor extensively from different angles so I would have something to refer to later. Then I removed all the loose tiles placing them in buckets for further cleaning. I now had three areas that I could see beneath the floor boards and another area of cement that I broke up using a chisel drill. In total I filled six buckets with rubble and broken tiles, all of which were taken off site and disposed of at a local recycling centre.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next step was to ensure I had a level and flat base in the newly exposed areas on which to lay the tiles. I managed this by laying down a self-levelling compound. The compound is mixed in a bucket and poured into the holes up to the required level allowing gravity to do the levelling work for you. It is then left to dry and harden overnight.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day I started by re-fixing the loose tiles in areas where the subfloor was still solid. Close packed Victorian tiles are very tough but can be brittle, often removing a single tile can cause chips or break surrounding tiles. I always buy more replicas than the job requires for this very reason. This can be very frustrating work, so I find its best approach is to remove as few tiles as possible. I explained to the customer that the floor is over 100 years old and some chips and scratches give the floor character. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation where some marks are permanent.

Part of the other renovations included the removal of two antique radiators leaving some strips of carpet and adhesive attached to the floor. I removed this using a strong mixture of tile doctor remove and go and a little encouragement from a 50-grit diamond block.

The preparation continued with the cleaning up of the three buckets of tiles recovered at the beginning of the restoration. Old adhesive and cement must be removed before refitting to ensure they can be laid flush to the adjacent tiles. Luckily for me the weather was warm and sunny, so I sat on the garden wall for the afternoon using a combination of a wet tile cutter, Fein tool and diamond blocks to get them clean while I took in the sun.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day was spent re-laying the tiles. The tiles are in an intricate pattern and in various shapes and sizes. The main area by the front door took all day. The difference in thickness between the original and replacement tiles made the work particularly difficult. Interested neighbours came and went commenting on my progress throughout.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I soaked all the tiles with tile doctor Acid Gel and left to dwell for 30 minutes. This was to work into the porous areas and to break down years of dirt. Then attaching a very coarse 100-grit diamond encrusted pad attached to a rotary floor machine I cleaned the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This process skims away a small layer of the tiles thus the dirt too. All the soil was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process twice for maximum effect. The customer was amazed at the result and I wasn’t finished yet. When wet the contrast between the white tiles and dark were astonishing, however this was temporary so I made sure the customer aware that without a sealer they would look washed out and colourless. I left the scene overnight with a couple of warm air movers in place to fully dry out the tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The tiles need to be dry before sealing so the next day my first action was to test the floor for moisture using a damp meter. They passed and were ready to take a sealer, so I discussed the different options and finishes with the customer. It was a very interesting house, full of retro artefacts so we needed something that would blend in, more importantly she had four children and a husband who bought a cycle through the house twice a day. I recommended Tile doctor seal and Go Extra. It’s super tough, offering great protection and gives a subtle sheen that I felt would suit the house. Three coats later and I was done, closing the door behind me as everyone was at school and work

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

I popped back later that evening to discuss the job. The newly applied sealer had intensified the depth of colour in the Victorian tiles and returned the brightness to the floor. She was very pleased and even gave me a carrot cake to take home with me.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Surrey

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Cleaning and sealing a Sandstone Kitchen Floor in Colne

A customer from Colne near Burnley was absolutely frustrated with their newly installed Sandstone floor in the kitchen of their farmhouse. Ever since it was installed it had proved impossible to keep it clean. The customer contacted Tile Doctor in the hope that we could remove the ingrained dirt and make the floor much easier to maintain going forward.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Colne Farmhouse Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Colne

I went over to inspect the floor and recommended a course of action. There was a section of stone which had a stain on it due to a pet accident, so we chose area to conduct a test clean. The flagstone responded well to the cleaning process which impressed the customer who booked us in for the job. There were happy to go ahead with my quote and quite relieved that she had finally found a solution.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor Patch Test Zoom Colne

Cleaning a Sandstone Paved Kitchen Floor

Arriving on day one, first I taped up the plinths and skirtings to ensure they were not marked during the cleaning, especially as the kitchen was newly installed. Then, to deep clean the floor and remove the ineffectual coating applied by the installer I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and let it soak in for about ten minutes. The solution was then worked into the stone using a coarse 100-grit milling pad. This coarse pad was then followed up with the application of a finer 200-grit pad. Together these pads resurface and clean the stone and remove the coarse surface that was trapping dirt so easily.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Colne Farmhouse Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Colne

The pads are applied with water which lubricates the abrasive action and results in a fine slurry that is rinsed off after each pad. The slurry is then extracted with a wet vacuum, keeping the mess to a minimum. The flagstone floor was then given a quick acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to clean the stone further and counter the alkaline cleaning product applied during the first stage of cleaning. After a further rinse with water and extraction with the wet vacuum the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the following day, the floor was first checked using a moisture meter to ensure it was dry. We then sealed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which added a nice subtle sheen to the stone and as well as protecting the stone from staining ensuring it is a lot easier to clean going forward.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor After Renovation Colne

I recommended they should use the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is pH neutral so it will ensure that the sealant is not compromised during cleaning. This is a concentrated product so only a small amount is required, so a small bottle goes a long way.

The client was delighted with the floor and very relieved that it now looked exactly as it should.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor After Renovation Colne

 

Professional Restoration of Sandstone Paved Floor in South Lancashire

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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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Terrazzo floor Restoration Project at Cardiff University

Last summer I was asked to carry out a survey at one of the Cardiff University buildings where they were looking at having a large Terrazzo floor restored. The University was on its summer recess so with no students around it was an ideal time for major works to be carried out.

At some point in the past the whole floor had been covered in a layer of self-levelling compound ranging from 2mm – 10mm thickness, so it could be covered with square carpet tiles which had then been secured with adhesive. You can still see the outlines of the tiles in the pictures below. It’s hard to appreciate from the photo that underneath there’s a beautiful Terrazzo floor waiting to be rediscovered.

Terrazzo Floor Before Restoration Cardiff University

The University had removed the carpet tiles but were unsure of how to remove the screed without damaging the Terrazzo underneath and so asked me to quote for restoring the whole floor. I carried out a test clean on the floor first to show the architect’s and university staff an example of what could be achieved.

Terrazzo Floor Demonstration Clean Cardiff University

The method I used for the test sample was to use a process called milling with a 50 grit Milling Pad, which I used to grind off the levelling compound until the stone became visible underneath. The test clean took me a good hour to complete but the results I achieved proved very satisfying both to myself and the clients and I was awarded with the contract.

Cleaning and Restoring a Terrazzo Tiled Floor

On commencement of the work I realised after 4 hours of milling that this method although effective was very time consuming and extremely messy! So, I tried using a long handheld sharp scraper which turned out to be a lot faster and cleaner in removing the cemented compound. In the end it took four days for two men and a great deal of hand ache to remove the screed for the floor.

Terrazzo Floor During Restoration Cardiff University

After removing the compound, I started milling the floor with a Tile Doctor Milling Pads, first the 50 segment & then a 200-segment pad to cut deep in to the floor to remove the stains in the Terrazzo and scratches from using the scraper.

This was followed by burnishing the stone with a set of four Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads. This involves the application of four pads in sequence from a coarse 400 grit through to a very fine 3000 grit to refine the surface of the Terrazzo and improve the lustre of the floor with each grade of pad.

Terrazzo Floor During Restoration Cardiff University

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Floor

The architect had specified a hardwearing finish as this was a very busy entrance way for students entering the buildings. So, after finishing the burnishing of the floor with a very fine 3000 grit pad I sealed the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which seeps into the pores of the Terrazzo protecting it from within enhancing the colours of the chippings in the process whilst providing maximum protection. Finally, we polished the floor after sealing with another application of the 3000 pad and a polishing cloth to shine the floor further.

Terrazzo Floor After Restoration Cardiff University

It was a large floor, so I managed the project in sections, and this enabled me to start on the cleaning of a new section whilst the floor was drying in the previous section. As you can see from the pictures the floor was transformed and looked great. Needless to say the University were very happy with the result.

Terrazzo Floor After Restoration Cardiff University

 

Professional Restoration of a Terrazzo Tiled Floor in South Wales

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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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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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Renovating Dirty Travertine Kitchen Tiles in Coningsby

A customer from the village of Coningsby was having trouble keeping their Travertine tiled Kitchen floor clean. Another company had sealed the flooring previously, but it clearly hadn’t lasted and dirt had now become ingrained in the pores of the stone. As a result, mopping the floor wasn’t effective at removing the dirt from either the Travertine or the grout lines.

This was a busy work kitchen that needed to have a floor that is easy to maintain; now frustrated with the way the floor looked they considered having it taken up and replaced but decided to contact Tile Doctor first looking for a remedy.

Travertine Floor Coningsby Before Cleaning Travertine Floor Coningsby Before Cleaning

We visited the property to survey the floor and discuss the issues they were facing with the floor. It clearly needed to be deep cleaned and then resealed properly with a more effective product. I explained our process and discussed the result they were looking for. They were happy for me to go ahead and requested a Matt finish rather than a shine or gloss look as it was a high use kitchen.

Cleaning and Burnishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

I returned on the agreed date and spent the first day removing the old sealer that was no longer working and deep cleaning the flooring. To achieve this, I used a series for burnishing pads of different grits. After each pad the floor was rinsed using our Rotovac system which rinses the floor and extracts the dirty water off the floor at high speed. Although an expensive investment the machine makes light work of cleaning hard floors and saves a lot of time.

Travertine Floor Coningsby During Cleaning

After cleaning the floor, a turbo dryer was installed to speed up the drying process so the floor can be inspected, and any stubborn areas redone. The tiles looked nice and clean, but I could see some areas of grouting needed more work so these were hand scrubbed with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean followed by another rinse to remove the soil.

Travertine Floor Coningsby During Cleaning Travertine Floor Coningsby Floor Drying After Cleaning

At this stage I also noticed a few holes in the travertine that were filled for the customer with a matching colour. This is a common problem for Travertine and unfortunately, they easily attract dirt, so filling makes the floor much easier to clean going forward.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

We returned the following morning and tested the flooring with a damp meter to make sure it was fully dry. All was well and it was ready to seal with our quality impregnator Tile Doctor Colour Grow which protects the floor from within whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone in the process. The Travertine proved more absorbent than usual for this type of stone and took three coats before a water test indicated the floor was fully sealed.

Travertine Floor Coningsby After Sealing Water Test

You can see from the photo above that the water beaded up on the surface and can be simply wiped away even after a few minutes. This shows maximum protection has been applied. Given my experience with this floor I suspect the previous company had not applied enough sealer and this would explain why it failed, had they conducted a water test then this should have been obvious.

We then gave a final polish with our buffer and a white soft pad to really strengthen the seal and give the best finish. I should mention that Colour Grow leaves a matt finish which matches the customer’s request.

Travertine Floor Coningsby After Cleaning Travertine Floor Coningsby After Cleaning

For aftercare cleaning going forward I left the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner that looks after the seal better than any high alkaline or acidic cleaners like bleach or washing up liquid which will prematurely erode the seal.

The customer was delighted with the results, commenting on how much brighter the whole room looked.

Travertine Floor Coningsby After Cleaning

 

Professional Tile Cleaning, Burnishing and Sealing for a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in Sleaford

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Limestone Swimming Pool Tiles Repaired and Polished in Canterbury

This was meant to be a relatively straightforward clean and polish of the Limestone tiles surrounding a swimming pool at a large house on the outskirts of Canterbury. However, after visiting the property to survey the installation I discovered that a lot of the tiling around the edge of the pool was loose and water was getting in underneath.

I discussed the problem with the owner and concerned about health safety he asked me to remove the affected tiles and refit them securely. The Limestone tiles were also stained due to the chemicals in the pool however I already had a plan to burnish the stone tiles to resolve that problem. We agreed a date for the work and the owner agreed to have the pool drained in order to make the tiling work much easier.

Re-Tiling a Loose Limestone Swimming Pool Surround

I returned to the property on the agreed date and started by setting up some scaffolding and adding plastic sheeting to the pool to protect the tiling. The next step was to tackle the loose Limestone which is when I discovered that the tiles had only been secured in a few places with what could best be described as blogs of tile adhesive which left a large cavity for water to sit. This practice is often referred to in the tiling trade as “Dot and Dab” and very much frowned upon. The tiles should have been fully bonded onto a layer of adhesive that had been spread with a notched trowel to form a very secure bond and ensure water could not seep underneath.

Limestone Swimming Pool Tile Surround Dot and Dab Canterbury

TIP: If you want to check your tiling to see if it has been “Dot and Dabbed” then tap the tiles with the end of a wooden broom handle, it should sound dull throughout, if the tapping sounds hollow in certain areas then this indicates Dot and Dabbing.

The remedy was to lift all the affected limestone edging including the dabbed adhesive and then allow the affected area to dry out thoroughly. I then returned two weeks later to level off the surface with a water proof screed before re-installing the tiles. The tile adhesive and grout needed to be dry before the next stage of cleaning so once I had completed this step, I used the rest of the day to clean up and removing the plastic sheeting and scaffolding.

Limestone Swimming Pool Tile Surround Repair Canterbury

Deep Cleaning Stained Limestone Tiles

On the next day I checked my previous work was secure and then set about cleaning the floor with a set of Diamond burnishing pads. You start with the application of a coarse 400-grit pad, then move onto 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. The floor is rinsed between the application of each pad so the fine slurry produced can be extracted using a wet vacuum. Fortunately, due to the pool being emptied I didn’t have to worry too much about contaminating the pool water.

The pads made a big difference to the stained Limestone and really brought out the best in the them. Once the pool had been refilled the whole scene looked amazing, I just wished I taken more pictures.

Limestone Swimming Pool Tile Surround After Repair and Clean Canterbury

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Flooring in Kent

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Polishing a Travertine Floor for a Bournemouth Building Society

This is a great example of a commercial floor we were asked to maintain recently for the Bournemouth branch of the Nationwide Building Society. Bournemouth is a busy seaside town with a lovely beach and some notable Victorian architecture. As you can imagine being a building society the site is in constant use during the day with customers and staff coming and going. The work would therefore have to be done overnight in stages working in different areas every evening until complete.

Nationwide Building Society Office Bournemouth

The floor was Travertine which is a very durable stone and ideal in heavy traffic areas such as this, but it needs to be protected with a sealer to prevent dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone. Being such a busy commercial floor, the sealer gets a lot of wear so the floor needed polishing and then resealing to keep it looking good.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth

Cleaning and Polishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the floor clean and hone the stone to a polished appearance we use a set of Diamond impregnated burnishing pads which are run over the floor with a floor buffer. Tile Doctor do a set a of four which include 400, 800, 1500 and 3000 grit pads and are ideally suited for the purpose.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Cleaning Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth

The pads are applied with water for lubrication and in sequence starting with the coarse 400-grit, medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pad. If you are familiar with grades of sandpaper used on wood, then you will appreciate that this is a similar kind of process. The floor is rinsed with more water in between each pad to remove the slurry that is generated and then extracted from the floor using a powerful wet vacuum. The last pad to be applied is the very fine 3000-grit which is applied with only a little water sprayed onto the tile and this really brings up a deep shine on the Travertine.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Polishing Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

After the floor was dry, we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer that works from within by occupying the pores in the stone for maximum protection. Tile Doctor Colour Grow is also a colour intensifying sealer which provides durable surface protection, as well as enhancing the colour of the floor bringing out the natural tan and cream colours. Colour Grow is also a breathable sealer that allows moisture to rise through the floor however being a new building this would unlikely to be a factor.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Polishing Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth Travertine Tiled Floor After Polishing Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth

As you can see from the pictures the results were amazing and the client was very pleased! They commented how smoothly the process had gone and how accommodating we had been coming in overnight. Hopefully there are many more branches that may require our services!

 

Professional Polish and Seal of a Commercial Travertine Floor in Dorset

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Dull Slate Tiled Floor Stripped and Re-Sealed in Moseley

A client contacted me regarding their slate tiled floor which had only been down a few years and was now looking dull and uninviting. The slate tiles were laid in a herringbone pattern and Interestingly they had only been cleaned and sealed about a year ago by another company, but it has soon started to look dull again. Naturally my client was disappointed with the result, especially considering how new the floor was.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley

The property was in the Birmingham suburb of Moseley and as per usual I paid them a visit to survey the floor and conduct a test clean. From what I could see the sealer the previous company had used was already failing and wearing off, this left the stone vulnerable allowing dirt to become ingrained in the stone. We discussed the overall procedure and I completed a test clean on part of the floor which went well so the customer was happy to proceed. Whilst I was there, we also discussed the effects of different sealers I would recommend for the tiles so they could select one that would give them the look they wanted.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the first day I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this was left to dwell on the slate while I cleaned up the grout with a stiff grout brush. I used this combination of products to ensure I stripped any coatings that may have been applied to the floor by the previous company and the original installer. With the grout scrubbed I turned my attention to the Slate tiles by scrubbing them with a black pad fitted to a weighted rotary buffer machine. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly, and the now soiled cleaning solution extracted with a wet vacuum.

Slate Floor During Cleaning Moseley

The kitchen area was quite large, so I did the clearing in three section inspecting each section afterwards before moving onto the next. There were some areas where the existing sealer was proving stubborn to remove which were re-treated until clean. I discussed this with the customer who explained that the previous company had left a tin of sealer and advised them that they should clean the floor and then apply more sealer. This meant every time they did, they were adding another coat of seal and if the cleaning was not effective it would result in trapping dirt under the sealer! After spending most of the day cleaning, it was agreed to let the floor dry out and see how it looked next day.

When I returned on the second day, I could see there were still traces of sealer on some areas of stone and grout, so I decided to clean the floor again with more Pro-Clean but this time working in in with an abrasive 400-grit burnishing pad. This did the trick on the slate, but the grout needed a handheld diamond block to remove the seal. The whole floor was then rinsed and allowed to dry.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

Although previously we had discussed the different options for sealing the client wasn’t sure which one to choose. To help them decide I dried some of the tiles with a heat gun and applied different sealers to they could see the different between the matt and sheen finishes. The client decided on Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which helps bring the colour out in the tiles, it’s also breathable and has a nice sheen to it but slightly less so than Tile Doctor Seal & Go. I applied four coats as soon as the floor had dried.

Slate Floor After Sealing Moseley

I left the client with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance. The client was very happy with the results, thanked me for my hard work and commented that the floor looked better than the day it went down.

Slate Floor After Sealing Moseley

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Floor in Birmingham

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Salt Damaged Quarry Tiles Replaced and Restored in Droitwich-Spa Kitchen

I was contacted to inspect a quarry tiled floor in the kitchen of a property in Droitwich Spa which was in need of repair and also in need of a clean and seal. Having spoken to the customer previously, I was aware there were several damaged tiles that would need replacing so before visiting the property to survey the floor I sourced potential replacements from several manufacturers so I could find one that would be a good match to the originals.

Once that was done, I went over with the samples to inspect the floor and whilst I was there marked all the damaged tiles that would need lifting and replacing. The house was quite old and many of the tiles had been badly affected by salt damage at some point in the past. Given the age of the property it could have been from efflorescence or it is possible it was flood damage as the property was about 700m from the River Salwarpe which has a history of overflowing. In fact, Droitwich Spa is known for its salt deposits and became a Spa town when the salt industry started to dwindle towards the end of the 19th century.

I worked out a quote to repair the floor, then clean and seal it which was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to remove the damaged tiles from the floor using various tools to prise the tiles away from the substrate. I then used a self-leveller to level the screed. All the new tiles would need cutting so I used a Bridge Saw with a diamond blade and proceeded to cut all the tiles to shape. The replacement tiles were then fixed in place using flexible adhesive and left to dry and then grouted.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa

The following day I moved onto cleaning the tiles. Tile Doctor Remove and Go was used to tackle any previous sealers. leaving the product to dwell for the required time and then working it into the floor with a rotary scrubbing machine. I then used Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove old grout smears and combat any efflorescence the floor was encountering, before vacuuming the remaining slurry with a wet vacuum. Once I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be, I left the tiles to dry overnight so they could be sealed the following day.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Repair and Cleaning Droitwich Spa

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and began by using a moisture meter to ensure the floor was dry. All was well so I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, a semi-gloss breathable sealer that will allow moisture to rise through the tile unimpeded which was important considering its history. The floor required five coats of sealer to completely seal the floor and the customer was very pleased with the result as indicated in the feedback below:

“We are very happy with the work that Mark carried out for us. Mark was very professional and always responded quickly to any enquiries that we had. We have recommended Mark to our friends and family. Thank you. Lydia B, Droitwich Spa”

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Droitwich Spa

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in Worcestershire

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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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Restoring Victorian Hallway Tiles in Doncaster

This beautiful Victorian tiled hallway was in desperate need of some TLC. The house had recently changed hands and the new owners of the house were having the entire property renovated. The last part of the renovation plan was to have the Victorian hallway tiles restoring back to their former glory. Floors are always best left until last, especially hallways as last as workmen don’t usually take a lot of care in my experience.

The house was built in the early 1900’s and was situated close to Doncaster town centre a couple of streets away in fact from the famous Doncaster Racecourse which dates to the late 1500’s.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Before Renovation Doncaster

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

There were a few areas of damage to the floor that would need dealing with first. This is not surprising given the age of the floor which must have seen a lot of comings and goings over the years. Our first task therefore was to repair the damage using replica tiles sourced to be as close a match to the originals as possible. We usually find any slight differences disappear once the floor has been deep cleaned and sealed. Once removing the damaged tile and cleaning the base we use a fast setting adhesive to fix the replacement tiles in place so we can get on with the cleaning as soon as possible.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Repair Doncaster

Once the replacement tiles had set, we unloaded our slow speed rotary floor machine and large wet vacuum which would be used during the cleaning. To start the cleaning the floor was sprayed with Tile Doctor Remove & Go and this was left to dwell on the tiles for twenty minutes. This gives time for the product to break down old floor coatings and grime, this was followed by scrubbing the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to the floor machine and assisted with the addition of more water to help lubricate the process. This process generates a lot of slurry as the dirt and old sealers etc are released from the tiles and this is extracted from the surface of the floor using the wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is applied to the tiles and left to dwell for fifteen minutes and scrubbed in again with the floor buffer and 200-grit diamond pad. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and then dried using the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture as possible. This last process is designed to counter any alkaline salts that may be present in the floor which may cause efflorescence to appear later. It also removes old mineral deposits and generally get the tiles looking much brighter. Once complete the floor was left to dry off naturally overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day to seal the tiles first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. Satisfied that the floor was ready for sealing I started to seal the tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer which is important for old floors like this. Seal and Go Extra also leaves a lovely satin finish which works well on Victorian tiles and brings the floor alive.

Victorian Hallway Tiles After Renovation Doncaster

This was the last step in this properties renovation, and I think you will agree that the floor responded really well to the restoration process and the colours in the tiles are now very vibrant.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

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