Annual Maintenance of a Victorian-Era Quarry Tiled School Floor in Oundle

It was back in 2013 that I first visited this school in Oundle to attend to a 150-year old Victorian Quarry tiled floor which, at the time, had extensive problems with damp and a poor performing sealer that had gradually peeled away.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2012

Over a few weeks, we successfully stripped away the old and ineffective sealant and addressed the damp issues, before applying a breathable sealer. We subsequently allowed the tiles to successfully dry out for several months before returning to the school to provide a light clean and apply our topical sealer, known as Tile Doctor Seal and Go, as the school required a shiny, yet hard-wearing finish.

I posted a story on my website about this original job, which you can see here:

150 Year Old Quarry Tile Restoration in Northants School

As part of my initial visit, I had supplied the school with five litres of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is a pH neutral formula designed for regular use, and a white buffing pad. I had also spent an hour with their in-house cleaner (who was already familiar with using a buffing machine) to talk through daily maintenance of the floor, as over 100 children can be walking over these floors at any one time on an almost daily basis.

Of course, not every floor will receive this amount of traffic and suffer from this level of wear and tear, but in these situations Tile Doctor can offer a maintenance plan for our customers.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2013

Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiles for Maintenance

The school have me back annually to carry out a full maintenance clean and seal. This involves, firstly, etching the top coats of sealant with a green diamond-encrusted burnishing pad to remove any build-up of dirt and staining. Then, I rinse the whole floor with fresh water and soak up the residue with a wet vacuum.

After drying the area with fans, I proceed to reapply two fresh coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is now my fourth year of visiting the school and, as the photos show, an annual maintenance plan is the best way to keep floors in top condition without the disruption caused by a full clean or restoration.

Victorian Quarry Tile After Maintenance Oundle School in 2017

Contact your local Tile Doctor consultant about the maintenance plan we offer for any natural stone flooring after an initial clean.
 
 

Professional Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Maintenance at a School in Oundle

Restoring a Riven Slate Patio Suffering from Grout Haze in Wollaston

This customer, who lives in Wollaston, a small village in Northamptonshire, called me to look at the unfortunate condition of her Riven Slate tiled patio. She had hired a builder to install it, but he had neglected to remove the grout haze which had occurred quickly enough, allowing it to set. He was subsequently unable to remove the haze because he had already sealed over it. This had left it looking very unsightly, as you can see in the photo below.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Before Cleaning

The customer initially contacted me back in December 2016. At that time, I did explain to the customer that the Winter wouldn’t be an ideal time to restore the patio, and that it would be best to carry out the work in the Spring. However, she was so unhappy with the appearance of the patio and – knowing she had guests coming over for Christmas – wanted something to be done to improve the condition of the tiles as soon as possible.

It was agreed that I would immediately carry out the removal of the old sealer and the grout haze beneath, but leave the re-sealing until the Spring of the following year when the weather was dry. The customer understood that when I returned in the Spring, the patio would require another light clean and brush to prepare it for sealing.

To put the customer’s mind at rest somewhat, I carried out a test clean on one slab of the patio using Tile Doctor impregnating, colour intensifying sealer, known as Colour Grow. This darkened the tile and provided a natural look finish, which was preferred by the customer. I also returned to the property several days later to carry out a water repellency test, but as you can see from the photo below, the rain beat me to it. Thankfully, the repellency test had positive results.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Testi Cleaning

I was then able to begin the cleaning process.

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Patio

To begin, I removed the old sealer using a strong mix of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a stripper and cleaner. This product was scrubbed into the tiles with a rotary brush machine. Net, I rinsed away the resulting slurry and soaked up the water with a wet vax machine.

This initial clean exposed the true extent of the grout haze – it was over all every tile! My next course of action was therefore to remove this using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a gel cleaner specially formulated to neutralise grout haze. This was allowed to dwell for a short period before I brushed it in.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston During Cleaning

Following this, I gave the whole area a second brush with a small amount of water, before using a wet vax machine once again to make sure all cleaning chemicals were removed. I used the customer’s hosepipe to rinse down the entire patio as there was good drainage.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 2nd Cleaning

I allowed the tiles to dry out naturally, before waited for a dry day in April this year to return to the property. During this day, I sealed the entire area with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to really deepen the colour in the stone and provide the whole patio long-lasting protection against the elements.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 1st Coat

The customer was exceptionally happy to have the patio restored to perfect condition. I’m sure she’ll make great use of it over the Summer!

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Completed

 
 

Professional Riven Slate Tiled Patio Restoration in Northants

Dull and Dirty Slate Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Little Harrowden

The problems with not maintaining a natural stone floor properly are manifold. The build-up of ingrained dirt and muck is not just unhygienic, it also makes the stone appear dull and discoloured – and for many property owners, this can completely ruin the character of a room.

Here’s an example of a very dull and lacklustre Slate tiled floor at a small cottage in Little Harrowden, which is tiny village of less than 1,000 people situated roughly three miles north-west of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire. The owner was concerned that the poor condition of the floor was making the feel kitchen narrow and confined, and so she called me to help with brightening it up with a deep clean and seal. Achieving a sheen finish would help to reflect the natural light that comes into the room.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

I began the restoration by masking up the edges of the room and applying a clear silicon to the base boards of the kitchen units to prevent any water damage.

My choice of cleaner was Tile Doctor Oxy Gel, which is a strong alkaline-based gel cleaner. It’s like Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is also alkaline-based, except it sticks to the tile due to its consistency and so it’s excellent for cleaning vertical surfaces such as bathroom walls. On this occasion, I wanted to use Oxy Gel to keep the amount of water I needed to use to a minimum. Since this was an old cottage there were a few damp issues that I wanted to avoid exacerbating.

I spread the Oxy Gel out evenly over half of the floor, before agitating it with rotary brushes. I allowed this to dwell for 10 minutes before adding a small amount of water and agitating the floor again, this time paying attention to the grout lines, which were very badly soiled. This process was subsequently carried out over the rest of the floor.

Slate Floor During Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

I wet-vaxed each area after completion of the process and then wet-vaxed the entire floor again to neutralise the tiles and remove any remaining product. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Returning to the property the following day, I took damp meter readings to see if the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. As I mentioned, the floor had some damp issues so this was important to check. I did, in fact, have to use a heat gun to finish drying a few damp areas of grout.

Once satisfied, I sealed the Slate with Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which is a breathable water-based sealer, which is ideal in situations where no damp proof membrane is present or where there are damp issues. Once dry, the sealer provides an aesthetically pleasing light sheen finish.

Slate Floor During Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

As you can see from the photo below, the deep clean and fresh seal really helped to improve the patina of this Slate tiled floor, helping the entire kitchen feel brighter and more spacious. Another satisfied client!

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough


 
 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor in Wellingborough

Cleaning and Grouting Sandstone Patio Paving in Kettering

At the start of the year we usually get asked to restore the appearance of patios and other outside areas which have suffered from the staining of autumn leaves and the ravages of winter cold snaps. Most patios are quite straight forward to maintain however when you’re dealing natural stone then it’s best to call in your local Tile Doctor to ensure nothing is applied to the stone that could damage it.

Such was the case with this four-year-old Sandstone Patio at a house in the town of Kettering. Unfortunately, it was not sealed when it was first installed and the combination of weather and UV sunlight had faded the tiles, this together with general soiling had greatly affected the appearance of this beautiful stone and could almost have been mistaken for concrete slabs.

Sandstone Patio Before Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

Maintaining Sandstone Patio Paving

My first course of action was to lightly spray the area with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful tile cleaning product that is safe to use on Stone. The solution was allowed to soak in for a while before being agitated with a brush to bring out the dirt. This was followed by pressure washing with a spinning tool at a medium pressure so as to not damage the stone.

Once dry I re-grouted the entire area and then sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a impregnating breathable product (essential for damp environments) that also enhances the natural colours of the stone.

Sandstone Patio After Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

Within hours of finishing the customer came home and called me straight away to say he couldn’t believe the transformation that was achieved and they looked better than when they were first laid.
 
 

Sandstone Patio Maintenance in Northamptonshire

Badly Stained and Pitted Travertine Kitchen Tiles Restored in Daventry

This Travertine Tiled kitchen floor was in a farmhouse close to the village of Newnham near Daventry. The client had called us in because she was concerned that her floor was becoming increasingly difficult to keep clean which was due to the small holes and pits becoming ingrained with soil and it was becoming difficult to remove as the original sealant had worn off.

Hopefully you can see from the pictures the results that can be achieved on a badly stained and pitted Travertine floor. The first photo below shows the extent of the problem due to many holes in the floor, this is a characteristic of Travertine and normally these holes are filled in the factory but the filler does come out over time leaving holes.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Daventry Northants

Cleaning a Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor

The floor was cleaned using a combination of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads to re-surface the tile and the application of Tile Doctor Grout Pro-Clean agitated with a stiff brush to clean out embedded soil in the pits and grout lines. The Burnishing pads fit a rotary floor polishing machine and come in a series of different grits which are applied from Coarse through Medium and then Fine and lubricated with a little water.

I also carried out some repairs to the larger holes with a travertine filler that was mixed to match the existing colours. The second picture shows the repairs in progress, the filler is mixed and applied before leaving an hour and then polishing off any excess filler with dry cloth, the floor was then vacuumed and allowed to fully dry overnight allowing the product to harden.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Daventry Northants

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The floor was polished and sealed the following day using 2 coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal sealant to protect the grout lines and stone from any staining in future, it leaves a no-sheen natural look which worked very well in the kitchen area.

I waited a for the sealant to dry and then carried out a water repellency test to check it was fully sealed before giving the floor a final polish using a Tile Doctor Polishing Pad.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Polishing Daventry Northants

 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in West Haddon

The pictures below were taken of a Victorian tiled hallway floor in a large property in the old village of West Haddon. The tiles were in good physical condition for its age but required attention as it was looking very dull and dirty due to not being sealed for many years allowing a build-up of soil to embed in the surface of the tiles making cleaning very difficult.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning West Haddon Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning West Haddon

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled hallway floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove light dust and debris, this was followed by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with warm water spraying several metres at a time. The solution was allowed to soak in for a short while before being agitated with a rotary machine fitted to a rotary machine and a stiff grout brush which was run along the grout lines. The section of floor was then rinsed with water and then this was extracted with a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated through the entire area.

I then switched to a new cleaning process for Victorian tiles that was taught on a recent Tile Doctor training course. Basically it involves using a special diamond impregnated burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine to resurface the tiles using just water. Again I worked in small sections until I had covered the entire area.

A common issue with these old Victorian floors is they were usually laid without a damp proof course; as a result it’s not uncommon for white salt deposits (efflorescence) to appear a few days after cleaning. To counteract this I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, leaving it to dwell before rinsing. This helps neutralise the tile and will combat any salts rising up through the floor later.

Sealing a Victorian tiled hallway floor

I returned the following day to carry out repairs and to re set a couple of loose tiles which is not unusual for a floor of this age. The floor was then left to dry for a further day with a dehumidifier on site before returning to seal the floor with a breathable sealer for which we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Colour Grow does a really good job protecting tiles as it soaks into the pores of the tile enhancing its colours whilst protecting from within however it leaves a matt finish and the customer wanted a sheen finish. This would not be a problem to achieve however it would require the application of another product and I was still concerned about potential efflorescence issues which would be more difficult to resolve with the application of a further sealer so I agreed to return several weeks later to finish the job.

As agreed I returned a few weeks later which allowed the floor to dry and guard against any damp issues and on my return I was happy to confirm the floor had fully dried using my damp meter and further there were no signs of efflorescence. I then applied 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to give the customer the required finish she was after.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon

I also left the client a free sample of our cleaning solution Tile Doctor Neutral Clean together with written maintenance instructions to help keep the floor looking its best for years to come.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon

 
 

Maintaining a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Northamptonshire

Removing Limescale staining from a Black Limestone Shower Cubicle in Everdon

Limescale deposits are a big problem in many parts of the UK where hard water is common. To remove it you need to use a strong acidic cleaner however what to do if you have limescale deposits on Limestone? As many may already know, Limestone is an expensive, high-quality stone that like a lot of natural stone is acid sensitive and can be damaged with the application of acid-based products.

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Everdon Vilage

You can use acids on Limestone however if your careful and I demonstrated this recently at a property in this village of Everdon near Daventry in Northamptonshire. My customer had a fantastic black Limestone tiled shower cubicle that had been absolutely ruined by white limescale staining and it had reached the point where the situation simply couldn’t be resolved with standard cleaning products.

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Everdon Vilage

Cleaning and Burnishing a Stained Black Limestone Shower Cubicle

As the staining was so severe, I opted to use Tile Doctor Acid Gel to clean the tiles. This is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form and is the best product for cleaning vertical services, since water based products just run off and don’t have time to work on the staining.

Working in small areas, I carefully scrubbed the product into the stone and then rinsed it off with plain water. This process was repeated across the whole cubicle, reducing the stains significantly in the process.

Next, I used a handheld polishing machine fitted with 6” diamond encrusted burnishing pads, along with some water for lubrication, to polish and deep clean the stone, removing any stubborn stains remaining on the tiles.

Sealing a Black Limestone Shower Cubicle

I left the cubicle to dry completely overnight. Upon my return the next day, I proceeded to seal the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer.

This sealer is impregnating, meaning it fils the pores of stone to protect against ingrained dirt and staining. As well as providing stone protection, Colour Grow also enhances the natural colour in the stone – in this case, the deep black shades in the Limestone.

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Everdon Vilage

Having finished the job, I gave the very happy customer some advice on keeping limescale and other staining at bay in future. I explained that proper maintenance can be conducted by simply rinsing the tiles with clean water after each use of the shower, and by using Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro tile aftercare cleaner at least once a week.

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Everdon Vilage

 
 

Professional Limescale Removal from Acid Sensitive Stone in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northampton

The photographs below are from a Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in Northampton where I was called in by the owner to inspect the floor for restoration, deep cleaning and re-setting of all loose tiles covering around 3sq metres.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Showing Loose Tiles

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The initial process was to vacuum and remove any loose debris before applying Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to the entire area. Oxy-Gel is a strong alkaline based gel cleaner/stripper which is safe to use on tile and grout and being gel based it’s very easy to control. The gel was left to get to work on the dirt for ten minutes before being scrubbed into the tile with a black stripping pad fixed to a rotary floor machine. The resultant slurry and dirt was then rinsed with water and removed using a wet vacuum. The floor now free of dirt and old sealers was now prepared ready for repairs and re-grouting.

Grouting Victorian Tiles

The next step was to remove small sections of loose tiles and then re-fixing and re-grouting as required. We took care to replace tiles into their original position to ensure they sat together correctly. Once the section was replaced I removed the tiles in the next section and repeated this process until the 3sq metres of loose tiles were all reinstalled.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair

I allowed the grout to dry for a few hours before polishing off excess grout with a cloth and removing difficult grout smears with a weak solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The floor was then rinsed again using water to remove any trace of products and then dried using the wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I returned a few days later to ensure the floor was completely dry as dampness can be issue with this type of tile, I then vacuumed the floor and gave it a light clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to make sure it was spotless before sealing.

Once the floor had dried I took damp readings and when satisfied the floor was dry again I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant for a light sheen finish and to enhance the natural colour of the floor. Colour grow is a penetrating sealer that protects from within by soaking into the pores of the tile stopping dirt from becoming ingrained there, it also enhances colour.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning

 
 

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Polished Limestone Tiles Burnished and Restored Near Oundle

Limestone is known on the international market to be a stone of premium quality, durability and toughness, and Limestone tiles give any property a high-end wow factor when they are looking their best. To maintain that appearance however does require some work and this is where Tile Doctor is happy to assist.

This Polished Limestone tiled floor had been installed four years prior in the kitchen and living room of a house in Ashton Village, near Oundle in Northamptonshire. The tiles had lost their shine and the grout had become dirty and stained and the floor in general was proving to be increasingly difficult to clean.

Polished Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Ashton Village

This is a common problem with polished stone floors, the surface polish and sealer wear down over time allowing dirt to penetrate. At a loss with what to do to restore the appearance of the floor, the property owner called me in to give the Limestone a professional-level clean, seal and polish.

Polished Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Ashton Village

Burnishing and Cleaning Polished Limestone Tiles

With tiles made of Limestone, Travertine, Marble and other high quality polished stone, we find that the best way to restore appearance is through a process known as burnishing.

Our burnishing system involves the application of four different diamond encrusted pads. Working in small sections of between four and six square metres, I applied the first pad, which uses a coarse grit to remove light scratches and dirt, followed by a pad with a medium grit pad to prepare the floor for polishing. Next, I used the third pad with a fine grit to start the polishing process.

Before moving on to the fourth and final pad, I cleaned the grout lines using handheld brushes in combination with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline tile and grout cleaner that is safe to use on tiled floor. The floor was rinsed and the soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sealing Polished Limestone Tiles

Following this, I allowed the floor to dry completely overnight. Upon my return to the property the next day, I used the fourth pad, which uses a Very Fine grit is to give the stone a high shine finish.

The floor was then ready to be sealed with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, natural look, impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection. This was allowed to dry for an hour, before I then re-polished the tiles to remove any excess sealer and to refine the finish the absolute best quality possible.

Polished Limestone Floor Ater Cleaning Ashton Village

The benefit of the burnishing pad system is that no chemicals are used (just a small amount of water for lubricant) so it is environmentally-friendly. I recommend the customer to use Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner in the future to provide quick and effective maintenance. She was very pleased with the results and now she will be well-equipped to keep the floor in fantastic shape.

Polished Limestone Floor Ater Cleaning Ashton Village

 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing for a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor Restoration near Oundle

Badly Stained and Pitted Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Helmdon

The following pictures show the amazing results that can be achieved with a badly stained and pitted Travertine floor. Covering an area of approximately 40m2 the tiles had been laid four years earlier in the Kitchen and Hallway of a house in Helmdon Village. The sealer had since worn off and dirt had become ground into the pores of the stone making it very difficult to clean effectively. Travertine does look amazing but does need to be sealed to keep it looking that way.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning Helmdon

The first few photos show the floor before any cleaning was undertaken and the customers kitchen units which we had wrapped to protect against any splashing. We always take great carewhen working in peoples homes to avoid any damage and we advise that as much furniture as possible is removed from the area to be cleaned. In this case the client was unable to move the large table as they had nowhere to store it fortunately we carry specialist furniture sliders to allow us to move furniture backwards and forwards during cleaning so were able to work around it.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning Helmdon Showing Pitting

Cleaning a stained Travertine tiled floor

The floor was cleaned using a combination of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a stiff brush to clean out embedded soil in the tile pits and grout lines, I also carried out some repairs to missing grout along the edges and around the oak beams to match the existing colours.

The Burnishing pads are applied individually to each tile in sequence starting with acoarse pad and finishing withthe fine pad. The floor is rinsed in-between each pad and the resulting residue extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. The pads are encrusted with diamonds and are ideal for bringing back the finish of stone surfaces like Travertine.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles During Cleaning Helmdon

The picture above should give you an idea of the machinery required to achieve professional results.

Sealing a Travertine tiled floor

Before leaving for the day the floor was given a final rinse with water and as much water and moisture as possible was extracted from the floor using the wet vacuum. When we returned the next day the floor had dried and we were able to apply the sealer. On this occasion we used Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to both the Travertine tiles and the grout lines, not only will this protect both the tile and grout from staining Colour Grow also enhances the natural colour and beauty of the stone.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning Helmdon

The owner of the property was very happy with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system, I always appreciate it when clients take the trouble to do that.

“Phil was at all times pleasant to talk to, professional in his approach and accommodating of our needs. Worked very well. Richard , Helmdon”

Travertine Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning Helmdon Close-Up

 
 

Stained and Pitted Travertine Kitchen Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Century-old Victorian Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Finedon

Finedon is a small civil parish in Northamptonshire with a big history. At the time the Domesday Book was complete in the late 11th century, the town was, in fact, a large royal manor held by the wife of Edward the Confessor.

In subsequent centuries the town has experienced a rich history and many of the current houses were built during the Victorian period (1837-1901). It came as little surprise to me, then, to get a call from a customer in the town who had recently found an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the carpet in her house.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Finedon

The tiles were well over a century old. They had been covered by carpet for several years at least, and once unearthed they are clearly covered in paint and other debris from renovation work that had been carried out. Naturally, the customer was keen to restore the appearance of the tiles and so she called me, the local Tile Doctor, to get the job done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

You can see from the photos above that the floor was in quite a state – it took a whole day to clean. The floor area was only around eight metres squared, but it took two litres of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and three litres of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get it clean. Remove and Go is a very strong stripper that will just about shift any type of dirt or stain, while Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a reliable high alkaline cleaner both products are designed for use on natural stone.

Once all the dirt, stains and paint splashes were removed, I washed down the floor with fresh water to neutralise the chemicals. I then installed some equipment to assist the drying process overnight, allowing the tiles to be sealed the next day.

There were also some cracks and missing grout that I replaced, along with some several loose tiles that I refitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Finedon

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the next day to seal the floor. To do this I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which provides robust protection and the quality matte finish the customer had requested.

As the name suggests, it also enhances the natural colours in the tiles, restoring character to this original feature. For a more traditional look, one litre of sealer was sufficient.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Finedon

Looking at the photos, you can see the huge improvement made over two days of work. One hundred years of wear and tear alleviated in 48 hours! The customer was thrilled.
 
 

100 Year Old Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Northamptonshire

Burnishing Travertine Tiles To Restore Lustre in Staverton

Travertine is a highly coveted and popular choice for tiled floors – and it’s easy to see why. At peak condition, it’s one of the most beautiful and eye-catching types of tile that is available. However, the appearance of the stone tends to suffer heavily from a natural process of corrosion know as pitting, which results in small holes developing that easily fill up with dirt and muck over time. This ingrained dirt is particularly difficult to remove with domestic, supermarket-quality cleaning products.

This customer, who lives in Staverton, near Daventry in Northamptonshire, was very concerned that his Travertine tiled floor had lost its former lustre and shine due to pitting issues, continued foot traffic, and the fact that the sealant has lost its performance over the last few years and hadn’t been topped up. Dirt had therefore been allowed to penetrate both the grout and stone making it look dull and uninviting.

Travertine tile before burnishing Steverton Travertine tile before burnishing Steverton

A quote was issued and accepted to restore the floor to its former glory. It was agreed the work would best be carried out whilst the customer was away on a short break with his family.

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

I decided the best course of action to bring the floor back to its former glory would be to hone and polish the stone with Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Our burnishing process involves removal of a very thin layer of the top surface of the stone using four pads of different grits.

The first pad has a Coarse 400 grit. It is attached to a rotary machine and, with only water for lubrication, removes minor scratches, sealers, and the top surface dirt. Working in small areas of four-six square metres each, I applied the pad across the the entire floor, rinsing in between eras and picking up the soiled solution with a wet-vac machine.

I then repeated this same procedure with the second pad, which is a Medium 800 grit pad used to remove dirt from minor scratches and holes in the stone. Next, I mixed up some Tile Doctor Pro Clean and sprayed it on the grout lines, which were only lightly soiled, and used hand brushes to clean them. The next burnishing pad I used had a Fine 1500 grit, which is used to start the polishing process.

Following the application of the first three pads, I stopped to allow the area to dry overnight. To get the best results with burnishing, it is best that the tiles are dry as otherwise you won’t achieve the highest level of shine possible. Returning the following day, I proceeded to apply the final Very Fine 3000 grit burnishing pad to achieve a very high quality polished finish.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the burnishing process was completed, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to seal the tiles. Ultra Seal is a no-sheen, natural look impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum protection against dirt and stains. The second coat was allowed to dry for an hour before I re-polished the entire floor with a very fine 3000 grit pad to refine the polish even further.

The fantastic results can be seen in the photos below.

Travertine tile after burnishing Steverton Travertine tile after burnishing Steverton

The customer was very happy with the result, leaving the following feedback:

“Just wanted to thank you for an excellent job in cleaning and returning our dining room and kitchen floor to its former glory. It looks fantastic! The floor definitely benefits from a more honed/polished finish.”

It’s always nice to get feedback like that, it really does make your efforts feel appreciated.

Travertine tile after burnishing Steverton

 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor with Severe Grout Haze Problem Treated in Cogenhoe

This newly installed Herringbone-style Terracotta tiled floor in a refurbished kitchen was heavily covered with patches of grout haze. The customer, who lives in the town of Cogenhoe, Northampton informed me that the tiler had supposedly sealed the floor before grouting. If this was true, the grout haze should have been very easy to remove.

However, the tiler had clearly not been entirely truthful as, when I arrived at the property to carry out a test clean, I found very little evidence of any sealer whatsoever. Nonetheless, I found that the grout haze was easily removed using a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which is designed specifically for the removal of haze, mineral deposits and efflorescence.

Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe

These Terracotta tiles were very pitted and the original tiler was correct to fill the small holes with grout to complement the rustic look of the tiles, but he should have taken the correct measures to ensure that a white misty grout haze didn’t appear over the whole area!

The customer was happy for me to proceed with restoring the floor, but also very concerned that her newly installed hand painted kitchen units would be damaged by the chemical cleaning products. I assured her that I would cover them up completely and carry out all work along the plinths by hand.

Removing Grout Haze from Terracotta Tiles

Once on site, I covered the kitchen units to protect them and proceeded to mix up a solution of Grout Clean Up. This was applied firstly around the edges of the floor and scrubbed into the stone by hand using a stiff brush.

Working in areas of four square metres each so as to not the leave the product on the floor too long, I applied the solution to pre-wet the floor ready for the next part of the process. This was to apply Tile Doctor Acid Gel, our blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, leave it to dwell for a few minutes has then agitate it to neutralise and remove the copious grout haze. Once each area had been treated I rinsed it with water to remove any chemicals.

Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

With the entire floor treated, I installed a dehumidifier to help the tiles to dry quickly overnight. The next day I returned to the property to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection while also lifting the natural shades in the Terracotta.

Each coat was polished in by hand, leaving an hour for drying between coats. I then waited another hour before giving the whole floor a final polish with a buffing machine to remove any excess sealant.

Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe

The result achieved in the space of 24 hours was fantastic and the customer was exceptionally pleased. Despite the severity of the grout haze problem, the combination of the right products allowed me to handily resolve it. The addition of a properly applied and top quality sealer will help to ensure the floor is protected from staining, something which is essential in a kitchen.
 
 

Resolving Installation Issues with a newly installed Terracotta Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

350-Year Old Original Quarry Tiles Salvaged and Restored in Ringstead

It’s not every day that I get to work on a 350-year old property, however, not too long I was contacted by a client who was in the process of renovating one in the village of Ringstead, complete with an original Quarry tiled floor.

Quarry tiles before cleaning Ringstead

After removing the old flooring in the property, the client had discovered a broken-up screed of concrete covering the original tiles, the remnants of which can be seen in the photos below. He proceeded to manually scrape the screed off over the course of several days – successfully removing about 60 per cent of it – but found there to be many stubborn areas and instances where the tiles were badly cracked and would need replacing.

As a passionate renovator, the client treats restoring old properties as a labour of love, and only recruits professional help when he really needs it, so it was a real compliment to be consulted to see if the floor was salvageable. I’ve worked on floors in an equally bad state before so I was confident it could be restored, I provided a quote which was accepted and a date was agreed to start the work.

Cleaning 350-Year Old Quarry Tiles

Upon arriving at the property, my first course of action was to run my rotary machine, fitted with a dry concrete cleaning brush, over the entire area to remove dust and etch the area to allow the cleaning products to permeate the surface of the screed. I then vacuumed the area thoroughly before applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel across the entire area.

Quarry tiles before cleaning Ringstead

Acid Gel is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form which helps to remove inherent grout haze, efflorescence and other stubborn staining. The product was left to dwell for 20 minutes, before I repeated the action with the concrete cleaning brush to work the product into the tiles. Acid Gel was left on for a further 10 minutes and agitated with handheld brushes to clean the stone. Following this, the resulting cleaning slurry was removed with a wet-vac machine.

To complete the cleaning process, I used a long handled scraper to score along the top of the remaining concrete and break it down by applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is essentially the liquid version of Acid Gel. I carried out this action twice to ensure the removal of all the concrete.

Quarry tiles after cleaning Ringstead

Sealing 350-Year Old Quarry Tiles

The floor was then allowed to dry for 4 days; properties of this age have no damp proof membrane to the this provided time to allow excess moisture to evaporate following the cleaning.

Returning to the property, I ran some quick deal tests to check that the Quarry tiles were ready to sealed. Once I was satisfied with the condition of the floor I proceeded to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, our impregnating, breathable sealant which offers provides robust protection and enhances the natural reddish shades in the Quarry.

Quarry tiles after sealing Ringstead

The client was very pleased with the results. Our work has helped him massively along the way to the complete renovation of this great property. His long-term plan is to keep the Quarry tiled floor as it is, however when he encloses the area under the stairs he will use the tiles from that area to replace cracked and damaged tiles that are in the centre of the room. If more tiles he intends to source them from a reclamation yard.

Quarry tiles after sealing Ringstead

 
 

Professional Restoration on a antique Quarry Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Stained and Damaged Sandstone Patio Restoration in Rushden

Lichen, moss and other plant-based staining is a common sight on patios exposed to the UK climate. For many property owners, it’s a very difficult task to keep patios looking great in the face of the natural effects of the environment. However always happy to help Tile Doctor is available to provide the professional cleaning and sealing needed on a regular basis.

This Sandstone tiled patio in Rushden was certainly a prime candidate for restoration. Not only was it completely covered in lichen and moss, but it was also cracked in parts and missing grout. The patio would therefore need not only cleaning and sealing, but also re-grouting.

Sandstone patio slabs before cleaning Rushden Sandstone patio slabs before cleaning Rushden

Cleaning a Stained and Damaged Sandstone Patio

To begin the restoration, I opted to power jet wash the entire area to remove as much of the initial layers of moss. Then, I mixed a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a powerful and reliable alkaline cleaner suitable for use on both internal and external natural stone tiles. This was applied liberally to the patio and scrubbed into the stone to cut through the particularly stubborn stains. The two photos below show the fantastic result.

Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden

Re-grouting and Sealing a Sandstone Patio

After completing the cleaning phase, I allowed the patio to dry completely overnight before returning to re-grout the entire area with mortar. To finish off I applied a fresh sealer in the form of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which an acrylic-based, fully breathable sealer appropriate for outside use.

The below pictures show the final result. As you can see, it was a complete transformation – and my very happy customer will agree! With the right products and methods, it’s possible to bring new life back to weathered patios.

Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden

 
 

Professional Sandstone Patio Restoration Northamptonshire

Polished Travertine Tiles with Pitting Issues Restored in Oundle

Although at first glance this Travertine tiled floor in Oundle appeared to be in decent condition, upon closer inspection however it became very clear that it was suffering from significant pitting issues and had become very dull for a polished stone. While they can’t necessarily be seen in the photographs, the floor had hundreds of small holes across the entire area, along with a few hairline settlement cracks in a few particular tiles.

It is natural for Travertine to become pitted and for small holes to appear over time. To give the stone a smooth appearance these holes are filled at the factory; however, in high traffic areas such as kitchens and living rooms these fillers pop out and the holes quickly fill with dirt and grime, making the floor grubby and difficult to clean.

Needless to say the property owner was keen to have the Travertine restored as quickly as possible to avoid the situation becoming worse.

Pitted travertine before repair Oundle

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I needed to clean the whole floor to remove the dirt and muck that had become ingrained in the Travertine. I did this using our reliable high alkaline cleaner known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which I applied liberally and worked into the stone using the Tile Doctor diamond burnishing pad system, paying special attention to the grout lines.

There are four pads in the system and each burnishing pad is fitted to a rotary machine and ran across the floor in sequence starting with the coarse pad and finishing with the fine pad using a little water to help lubricate.

Pitted travertine during cleaning Oundle

Before applying the final polishing pad, I went round on my hands and knees and filled all the holes and cracks with an appropriate colour filler which did take some time to complete.

Pitted travertine during repair Oundle

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

After allowing the new filler to dry overnight, I returned to the property to polish off any excess by hand with a cloth. Following this, I gave the tiles a final polish with the Very Fine diamond encrusted burnishing pad which gave the floor a uniform polished finish.

To protect the floor in the future the last step was to apply a fresh sealant in the form of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a fanatic product for high-end tiles like Travertine, Limestone and Marble. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer which fills the pores in the stone to prevent trapped dirt and also emphasises the natural colours and shades in the process.

The tiles were then left to dry for two hours. I then opted to test for water repellency to check the sealant would provide adequate protection, with a successful outcome. The final picture below shows the finished results: clean, well-protected Travertine tiles with improved sheen.

Pitted travertine after repair Oundle

My customer was very pleased to have the pitting problem resolved, while also having the floor deep cleaned and sealed and left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Phil did an amazing job of repairing the holes and cracks and cleaning the pale coloured grout, which now looks like new. Lovely transformation. I have tried the Tile Doctor Stone Soap and this has given the floor a deep shine. I would gladly recommend Tile Doctor to anyone. Sonia A, Oundle
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Mouldy Shower Cubicle Refreshed in Northampton

A common problem with bathroom and shower cubicle tiles is the appearance of mould on the tile, grout and silicone which if not tackled on a regular basis will spread and threaten to severely damage the appearance of the tiles, along with the silicone. This problem is usually due to inadequate ventilation however the good news is that with early intervention with Tile Doctor Mould Away spray the problem can be reversed.

The two photos below show a bad case of this very problem at a property in Northampton, where you can see that the grout and silicone sealant had become black with mould.

Mouldy shower cubicle before Northampton Mouldy shower cubicle before Northampton

Cleaning and Repairing Damaged Shower Cubicle Grout

Firstly, I decided to cut out the damaged grout with a hand held disc cutter and remove all the silicone at the base of the shower. To treat the less invasive mould in the rest of the cubicle I sprayed it with Tile Doctor Mould Away, which is specifically designed to remove mould from silicone and grout.

I sprayed the product onto the affected areas and left it to dwell for five minutes, before scrubbing it in with a stiff grout brush, resulting in a good clean. The area was then rinsed with plain water. Finally, I replaced the grout and the silicone that I had removed earlier with a flexible grout and a white silicone, both of which include a mould inhibitor.

Mouldy shower cubicle after Northampton Mouldy shower cubicle after Northampton

The photographs above show the end result. The customer was very happy with her refreshed tiles, and left the following feedback:

“Phil was brilliant – both when he came to look at the job and then when he returned to actually make the grout repairs. Most importantly he explained what was (and wasn’t possible) and did exactly what he said he would do. My shower area now looks brilliant and I’m no longer showering in fear of the tiles falling off the wall! Honest, clean, timely and totally professional. A tremendous job well done. Thank you.”

I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Aqua Pro to aid with regular cleaning. If used once or twice a week, this product will help maintain the condition of the grout. I also advised the customer that it is good practice to rinse the tiles down with plain water using the shower head after each shower to remove any soapy residue which can slowly discolour and stain grout over time.

Mouldy shower cubicle before and after Northampton

 
 

Professional Shower Cubicle Renovation in Northamptonshire

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles at St. Mary’s Church, Far Cotton

The following job was a bit different from the kitchen and hallway restorations we normally get asked to do, in fact this request came from the vicar of St. Mary’s Church in Far Cotton who wanted us to restore some beautiful old Quarry tiles which lead up to the main aisle. The church dates back to 1885 and given the wear on some of the tiles I can only assume they date back to the same Victorian period; the church is a really welcoming, community-focused place, so it was a pleasure for me to be asked to complete the work.

The vicar’s main concern was the large amount of melted candle wax around the font – so much so that this his normal cleaners had been unable to remove it. He also wanted to know if the floors could be sealed to make ongoing maintenance easier – and this was certainly something we would be able to provide. The following photos show the condition of the floor before we started.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

The next photo shows the work in progress from halfway down the aisle. We started by breaking down any old sealer and the troublesome candle wax, using a black stripping pad in combination of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to deep clean the floor. Since Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, is highly versatile and can be used on all kinds of natural stone and tile.

While the church has cleaners that come in regularly to keep the building tidy for the parishioners, the old tiles really benefitted from a deep clean which tackled the stubborn ingrained dirt and staining that had built up over many years.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Sealing Victorian and Quarry Tiles

Once I was satisfied that the tiles had been cleaned to the best of my abilities, they were then left for two weeks to fully dry as it is an old church and, understandably, there were some inherent damp issues. As aforementioned, the vicar was keen to have the tiles sealed to make them easier to keep clean and protect them against ingrained dirt and staining for the future. There are only a few situations in which we wouldn’t recommend sealing tiles, such as if they are patio tiles which will already be under constant exposure to the weather.

The best choice of sealer for this particular situation was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, breathable sealer that won’t trap moisture in the floor and will provide great protection against further staining. Additionally, as an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and with the added benefit of enhancing the natural colours and restoring the life and character back in the old, dull tiles. I applied it using a paint pad, before polishing it off.

I’m pleased to report that the restoration was a great success. The vicar was very impressed with the work, and I’m sure the church community will also be very happy with the new, vibrant tiles.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

 
 

Professional Quarry and Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration at a Northamtonshire Church

Slate Patio Tiles Treated for Grout Haze and Sealed in Brackley

Along with internal tiled floors at residential and commercial properties, we also specialise in the cleaning, restoration and sealing of all types of external tiled floors, including patios.

This customer, who lives in the small town of Brackley in Northamptonshire, had made the unfortunate mistake of sealing a brand new Slate tiled patio without removing the layer of grout haze smeared across the surface of the tile first. With the grout trapped between the tile and the new sealant the sealer was unable to fulfil its potential and the entire floor appeared really dull and patchy. The customer contacted me about setting the situation right.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Before Cleaning Brackley

Treating a Slate Tiled Patio for Grout Haze

My initial course of action was to remove the new sealer using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially designed to strip away sealant, as well as adhesives and paints in cases where building and decorating works have left the tiles stained. The product was applied liberally across the surface area of the patio and agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a special stripping pad. Of course, this was necessary because the grout haze could not be treated without removing the sealant first. The soiled cleaning solution was promptly soaked up using a wet-vac machine.

Once the tiles were exposed I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in more manageable gel form, all over the patio and allowed it to dwell for ten minutes to begin neutralising the grout haze. I then added a little water and worked the product into the patio with a stiff scrubbing brush and a rotary machine to ensure all grout haze was removed from the surface of the tiles. The remaining slurry was then removed using the wet vacuum, and I rinsed the area twice with plain water to ensure all cleaning products had been removed. It was them left to dry completely.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Being Cleaned in Brackley

Sealing a Slate Tiled Patio

I returned to the property several days later to give the patio a fresh seal now that it was free from grout haze. First, I gave the patio a vacuum and light mop to remove any dust and debris. The customer wanted the tiles as dark as possible, therefore I suggested we use Tile Doctor Stone Oil before sealing, as this would darken the Slate significantly.

Once this was agreed, I applied one coat of Stone Oil, allowed an hour for the product to dry, and then followed this applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is our impregnating, colour enhancing sealant which provides maximum protection against ingrained dirt and stains, as well as a durable no-sheen finish.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Removed and Sealed in Brackley

As you can see from the photographs, the Slate tiles experienced an impressive transformation. The fresh sealant, combined with the Stone Oil, really took the appearance of the tiles to a new level and, what’s more, it will be easier for the happy customer to keep it clean in the future.
 
 

Restoring the Appearance of a Natural Slate Patio in Northamptonshire

Grout Haze Trapped Under Sealed Slate Tiles in Woburn Sands

These pictures are off a brand new slate floor which the customer assumed would be much darker after she sealed it. Her builder had informed her that she only needed to give them a wipe over to remove the grout haze after he had laid them which she did before sealing however she was disappointed as they came up lighter and patchy than she had envisaged from what she had seen in the shop. The colour and patchiness was down to the fact that not all the grout had been removed and was now trapped between the tile and the new sealant.

Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Woburn Sands Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Woburn Sands

Removing Sealer and Grout Haze from Slate

To be able to remove the grout haze which was the root cause of the problem I would need to first remove the sealer. Fortunately we have a product called Tile Doctor Remove & Go which can do this so I applied it to the tiles, let is soak in for tem minutes and then scrubbed it into the Slate using a rotary machine fitted with a stripping pad. I then rinsed the floor with water and removed the soiled solution with a wet vacuum, repeating the scrubbing process where I felt it was necessary.

Once this was done I could deal with the Grout Haze by giving the tiles an Acid wash using Tile Doctors new Acid Gel product which being in a gel form is much easier to control. It was applied all over the floor and allowed to dwell for ten minutes to work on the grout haze, I then added a little water and worked the product in with a stiff scrubbing brush and a rotary machine to ensure all grout was removed from the surface of the tiles; the resultant slurry was then removed using the wet vacuum again.

It was important at this stage to ensure any trace of Remove and Go or Acid Gel was removed from the slate before sealing so I then gave the floor a thorough rinse with more water using the wet vacuum afterwards to remove as much moisture as possible. Before leaving for the evening I installed a fan to blow air across the surface of the tiles to assist in the drying process.

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

I returned the following day and did a small test patch on a spare tile the customer had with a colour sealant and she wanted it darker than the sealant alone could achieve as colour enhancing sealers will only ever slightly darken the colour. Therefore I suggested we apply Tile Doctor Stone Oil before sealing as this would darken the slate to the colour the customer was after and it works especially well on darker tiles. Once this was agreed I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil, allowed an hour for the product to dry assisted by a fan followed by 2 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to fully protect the tiles.

Grout Haze Removed From Slate Tiles Woburn Sands Grout Haze Removed From Slate Tiles Woburn Sands

The job took two days, the grout haze is gone and the Slate now looks how it should, my customer was very pleased and left the following message on our feedback system.

Phil did an absolutely fantastic job on my black limestone tiles in my kitchen after my DIY botch job at trying to seal them. They now look like the floor I wanted to achieve when I bought those tiles in the 1st place. Thank you so much! Ms L. Whittaker.
 
 

Dealing with Grout Haze on a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Colour Restored to a Faded Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor in Welton

There are numerous factors that can contribute to a Quarry tiled floor looking worse for wear, including lack of sealer, dampness issues, and the wrong type of cleaning products. Unfortunately, this black and red Quarry tiled floor was suffering from a combination of all three: there was no sealer evident to protect against dirt and stains, and dampness in the sub-floor had caused the tiles to fade in colour and shine. The red tiles especially had faded so much that they appeared almost white.

Black and Red Quarry Tiles Welton Before Cleaning

The property owner, who lives in the town of Welton, near Daventry in Northamptonshire, was desperate to have the floor professionally restored as her efforts to clean the tiles with run-of-the-mill household products had gone unrewarded. To ensure the appearance of Quarry tiles in this high traffic area of the house, I would need to provide a deep clean and a robust, impregnating seal to prevent future damage.

Cleaning a Dirty Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor

As is the case with most types of tiled floor in this condition, I deep cleaned this floor using our powerful alkaline cleaner, stripper, degreaser, Tile Doctor Pro Clean. The cleaning method involved spreading strong dilution of Pro Clean evenly across the floor and leaving it to dwell for a short period. This allows it to seep into the tile to help lift out and dissolve ingrained dirt.

I then agitated the solution with a scrubbing pad fitted to my rotary machine to ensure all layers of muck were removed, and then thoroughly rinsed the floor to remove the excess cleaning chemicals.

Sealing a Black and Red Quarry Tiled a Floor

Since the floor was suffering from particularly prevalent damp issues, I left it to dry for ten days (usually 24 hours will suffice) before I returned to the property to commence the sealing process. Arriving back at the property a week and a half later, I immediately took several damp meter readings to ensure the floor was dry enough for a sealant to be applied. This is incredibly important: the slightest quantity of outstanding moisture can cloud the sealant and damage its performance.

Thankfully the ten days had given the floor ample time to dry fully, and I went ahead with applying two coats of Tile Doctor’s impregnating, colour enhancing sealant called Colour Grow. As you can see from the second photo, the sealant really bought the depth of colour back to the floor, making it look very pleasing to the eye. The customer was especially pleased that the red tiles actually look red again!

Black and Red Quarry Tiles Welton After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Faded and Dirty Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor in Welton, Northamptonshire

Complete Restoration of Chinese Slate Tiles in Norton near Daventy

This first photo shows a classic example of a poorly maintained floor, which had faded and lost its colour due to it not being maintained or sealed for many years. In this case, the tiles were Chinese Slate, and were proving very difficult for the property owner to keep clean due to the lack of sealer to protect against dirt and stains. The grout in particular was quite discoloured and of increasing concern to the owner, prompting up the decision to contact me about a restoration job.

Chinese Slate Before Cleaning in Norton near Daventry

I agreed to the work – consisting of a deep clean and the application of a new sealer – and travelled down to the property in Norton near Daventry in Northamptonshire to see what results could be achieved.

Cleaning a Dirty Chinese Slate Tiled Floor

My primary concern when approaching this challenging restoration was to clean the grout which as aforementioned, had become dirty and discoloured. Most tiled floor owners will understand the pain of keeping grout lines clean; regular professional attention is often the easiest solution.

In this scenario, the grout was cleaned using a strong dilution of the alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, mixed with warm water. This was applied directly onto the grout lines using a spray bottle and scrubbed in using a hand held grout brush, as shown in the second photo.

Chinese Slate During Grout Cleaning in Norton near Daventry

With the grout taken care of it was now time to turn attention to the Slate tiles themselves which I tackled with more Pro-Clean but worked in this time using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This process also stripped away any traces of old, ineffectual sealers from the tiles. This process was followed by machine rinsing the floor with cold water to neutralise the chemicals in preparation for sealing.

Additionally, any particularly stubborn areas of old sealant were removed by hand brushes in combination with undiluted Tile Doctor Remove & Go remover. These areas were also rinsed to fully remove excess cleaning products.

Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Floor

I allowed the floor to dry completely overnight with a dehumidifier installed to assist the drying process. Upon my return to the property the next day I carefully checked the floor was completely dry, since even the slightest amount of excess moisture can cloud the fresh sealer and damage its performance.

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry I applied five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go sealer to achieve a high shine finish, as per the customer’s request. This is the most popular finish for this type of flooring, as it its aesthetically pleasing whole with the assurance that the sealer is providing robust surface protection against stains and dirt.

Chinese Slate After Cleaning and Sealing in Norton near Daventry

The last photo shows the finished result with which the customer was extremely happy! Floors like this can so easily degrade into a terrible state without the right care so it’s always a great pleasure to make such a difference.
 
 

Professional Chinese Slate Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Extremely Dirty and Damp Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Higham Ferrers

This red Quarry tiled floor was in the dining room of a house in the East Northamptonshire market town of Higham Ferrers. Despite being an original feature of the property, the floor had never been taken care of and looked to be completely beyond salvation and what must be the worst condition I have seen in a long time.

Red Quarry Tiles Higham Ferrers Northants Before

When I first inspected the floor it became very quickly clear that it was suffering from severe damp problems, covering roughly two thirds of the entire surface area. I took damp meter readings and discovered that the floor was saturated as there was no damp proof course installed. This problem was compounded by staining from the glue residue used to hold down the linoleum which previously covered the tiles. But while some floors look beyond salvation, I was certain I could restore this one to an acceptable appearance.

A hallway in the property had the same Quarry tiles, but these had been painted with a red tile paint at some point in the past, which itself had worn off in the main traffic areas. These tiles had no damp problems and so it would just be a case of removing the rest of the paint and providing a thorough cleaning before sealing.

Red Quarry Tiles Higham Ferrers Northants Before

The customer was also keen that the dining room be restored as near as possible to the hallway tiles to try and achieve a uniform finish. I did inform the customer that due to the vast difference in condition this would be a challenge but I would do my best. A quote was given and work was booked in at the customer’s convenience.

Cleaning Extremely Dirty Quarry Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I carried out a patch test to see which products would achieve the best results on the tiles. After vacuuming and mopping the floor to remove the immediate layers of muck, I decided my best course of action would be to use the heavy duty stripper, Tile Doctor Remove & Go.

Working in four separate sections, I applied the product then scrubbed it using a black stripping pad to a rotary machine. Remove & Go is designed to break down old sealers, paints and glues, making it an ideal product for use in this particular situation. This area was then rinsed off with a wet-vac machine and the process was repeated on the rest of the floor.

I then inspected the floor and noticed a few shiny patches where the old sealer hadn’t been fully removed, so I tackled these stubborn areas by hand with a second application of Remove & Go. A final rinse was given to the whole floor to make sure no excess cleaning products remained.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

After completing the cleaning process and removing as much water as possible using a wet vacuum, I installed a dehumidifier and left the tiles to dry for an entire month. Upon my return to the property I took damp meter readings to ensure the tiles were fully dry prior to the application of the sealer. This is crucial as excess moisture can cloud the sealer, rendering it less effective at protecting the stone.

I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the floor primarily because is fully breathable and therefore ideal for floors that are prone to damp problems. It has the added bonus of being a colour intensifying sealer that really enhanced the natural reddish shades in the Quarry.

Red Quarry Tiles Higham Ferrers Northants After

As the pictures show, there was a vast improvement in the floor and the customer was pleased with the results. It really goes to show that while a floor might look beyond salvation, wait can in fact be restored to an acceptable condition using the right methods and products. The customer was also given advice on maintenance of this type of floor to keep it looking its best for years to come.

Red Quarry Tiles Higham Ferrers Northants After

 
 

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire