About Philip Vissian

Your local Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning and maintenance expert covering the country of Northamptonshire.

Marble Tiled Sun Room and Kitchen Transformed in Great Doddington

The following post shows the kind of results we can achieve for a Marble tiled floor which hadn’t been properly cleaned, polished or re-sealed for several years. This floor was also suffering from numerous cracks and other instances of damage tiles.

Polished Marble Great Doddington before restoration

Polished Marble Great Doddington before restoration

I was contacted by the property owners, who live in the quaint town of Great Doddington, about making the necessary repairs and also providing the complete restoration the floor had been in desperate need of for so long.

Polished Marble Great Doddington before restoration

Polished Marble Great Doddington before restoration

As the property owners were due a holiday they trusted me with their keys; this turned out for the best as I was able to focus on clearing the area and carrying out the work without impacting them however it did mean I was under pressure to complete the floor in time for their return.

Cleaning and Repairing a Marble Tiled Floor

As you can see from the photographs (below), the floor appeared dull and ingrained with dirt – a deep clean was long overdue. Before I started I cleared the room was of all furniture, before brushing and vacuuming the surface of the floor to remove any dust and debris.

Then, to commence the first stage of the cleaning process, I used the Tile Doctor Burnishing pad system to polish out any light scratches and surfaces stains. I started by applying the Coarse red pad with a little water for lubrication, followed by the Medium blue pad and then the Fine yellow pad to refine the polish even further.

Next, I paid special attention to the dirty grout lines, cleaning then manually with a combination of hand brushes and Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner that works well for removing soil buildup on a wide range of natural stone floors. The areas I cleaned came out really well, and were then dried with fans before I began the repairs.

As the cracks in the tiles were caused by settlement issues, I opted to use a flexible grout to fill them. The grout used was Jasmine in colour to best match the natural colour of the tiles. I mixed it with water and then applied it to the cracks with a trowel, before allowing it to dry for roughly an hour and then wiping of any excess. There were so many cracks and small holes to deal with that I used bits and pieces of equipment to mark where I had carried out the repairs as some can be hard to see once dry!

Repairing a Polished Marble Stone Floor

Repairing a Polished Marble Stone Floor

Sealing a Marble Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the following day to perfect the polish on the floor and seal the tiles to protect against further damage and dirt. I used the Very Fine green burnishing pad (the final of the four pad burnishing system) along with a small amount of water to finally bring these tiles back to their natural level of shine. This also helped to further blend in the repairs by removing any remaining excess filler.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that is a favourite for high end Marble and Limestone floors since it really enhances the natural shades in the stone. Additionally, by penetrating deep into the pores of the stone Colour Grow will provide the durable protection against ingrained dirt and stains that this floor had been lacking for a long time.

Polished Marble Great Doddington after restoration

Polished Marble Great Doddington after restoration

The appearance of this Marble floor was completely transformed, ready for the customers to enjoy when they arrived back form their holiday. Quite often people suffer from so-called ‘holiday hangovers’, but no doubt these customers continued to relax, enjoying their newly restored Sun room and kitchen.

Polished Marble Great Doddington after restoration

Polished Marble Great Doddington after restoration

Marbled Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Tile Doctor of the Year

Thanks to all my customers who sent in feedback about my service recently, you probably don’t realise this but your feedback is used to determine the winner of the Tile Doctor of the Year Competition and I’m happy to report that I came 2nd place runner up at the recent Tile Doctor conference in Worcester.

There are around 50 Tile Doctors dotted around the UK so the competition for first place is very tough indeed and I only narrowly escaped being pushed into 3rd place by the Shropshire Tile Doctor.

Phil Vissian Runner up 2nd Place Winner of the 2015 Tile Doctor of the Year Competition

Phil Vissian Runner up 2nd Place Winner of the 2015 Tile Doctor of the Year Competition

Pictured with me above and presenting the award are Tile Doctor directors Jeremy Taylor (Left) and Russell Taylor (Right).

Heavily Soiled Terrazzo Hallway Restored in Northampton

This Terrazzo tiled hallway at a property in Northampton was in a really bad state. It was heavily soiled and suffered from glue marks where the original carpet covering it had been removed. Additionally, there was some damage to the edges of the doorway, and a large crack in the floor running across the width of the hallway.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton Before Cleaning

Terrazzo is an interesting material, originally produced in Italy, that consists mainly of concrete with segments of marble and other stone interspersed and held together with a resin. Since Terrazzo is formed in this way, I explained to the customer that I would fill the crack along the floor and the small holes around the edges with concrete, before then using tile paint to match in the colours as best as possible. This would be the most cost-effective solution, which was ideal since the customer had a limited budget for the repairs.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton Before Cleaning

Before beginning the restoration, I tested a small area using a diamond encrusted burnishing pad, thereby giving the customer an indication of the type of results that could be achieved. With the customer pleased by the results, the job was booked in for the following week.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Burnishing a Soiled Terrazzo Tiled Hallway

To begin, Tile Doctor Remove & Go was applied to the floor and was left to dwell for ten minutes to soften the carpet glue and break down any old sealer. This was then scrubbed in to the tiles with a pad fitted to a rotary machine. To remove the remaining residue and marks in the particularly stubborn areas, I used a manual hand scraper. The entire floor was then wet vaxed to soak up the soiled cleaner and leave the area clean for burnishing.

This was followed by the use of Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads to polish the tiles, starting with a coarse grit pad, followed by wet vaxing and repeating the process with a medium grit pad and finally the fine grit pad to achieve the desired effect. I then installed a turbo dryer to dry the floor.

I returned to the property once the floor was dry and carried out the repairs which had been discussed earlier with the customer (filling the holes and cracks in the floor with concrete), cleaning off any concrete residue before I finished for the day.

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway

Upon my return to the property the next day, I refined the polish on the floor even further by applying the extra fine grit burnishing pad.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton After Cleaning

To finish off the three day restoration, I sealed the Terrazzo tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow soaks into the pores of the stone, protecting it from ingrained dirt. Colour Grow also contains colour intensifying properties, allowing it to enhance the naturally occurring shades in the stone, and therefore stopping it from appearing dull.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton After Cleaning

This floor certainly was in a bad state, with damage as well as dirt to deal with, but I’m pleased to say that the work went a long way in transforming its appearance, leaving a very happy customer.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Terrazzo Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Heavily Soiled and Stained Sandstone Kitchen Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Brockhall

Tiled floors are a popular choice for people with large household pets – particularly dogs. Compared to carpeted floor they are hard wearing and reasonably easy to keep clean, with the right methods. At this property near the Northamptonshire village of Brockhall, my customer’s Sandstone tiled floor had been very badly stained thanks to her two large dogs – a problem exacerbated by the fact that the tiles had not been professionally cleaned or sealed for a very long time.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Brockhall

If you have read some of my previous posts you may remember a post detailing the cleaning of a large Sandstone patio with swimming pool, well this kitchen belonged to the same customer, who was so impressed by the results that he opted to have the kitchen cleaned as well.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

As the photographs below show, my first course of action was to apply Tile Doctor Remove & Go to the edges of the floor. Remove & Go is a powerful stripper designed to break down layers of old sealer and dirt, along with any adhesive and paint marks. It can be used to great effect on most types of natural stone floor.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Brockhall

I did this before I unloaded the rest of my equipment, since the product needs time to dwell. The edges were then cleaned carefully by hand so as not to damage the customer’s painted kitchen units.

Following this, I divided the room into four separate sections and, working one section at a time, applied Remove & Go before agitating it with a black stripped pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was promptly soaked up using a wet-vac machine.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Brockhall

Certain areas proved particularly difficult to get clean, so in these cases I repeated the process once over, before following up with an application of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, worked into the stone with a scrubbing brush on the rotary machine. I rounded off the cleaning process with a second wet-vaxing.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

After being thoroughly cleaned, the floor was left to dry, with process being sped up using an industrial fan left on site overnight. Adequate drying is essential as excess moisture can damage the performance of freshly applied surface sealer.

I returned to the house the next day and ran some quick tests to check the floor had dried completely. Then, to accentuate the subtle natural shades in the Sandstone, I sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This colour intensifying sealer improves the appearance of natural stone one step further, while also providing a long lasting and robust surface seal.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Brockhall

It is also important that Colour Grow can provide a matt finish, as a sealant which offers a gloss finish would not have been as hard wearing, especially with two large dogs roaming around.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Brockhall

My customer was very pleased with the results. He can now enjoy his great looking Sandstone tiled kitchen floor, reassured in the knowledge that its rejuvenated appearance will be protected long-term against future dog-related stains and soil.
 
 

Restoring a Heavily Soiled Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor Brockhall

Large Sandstone Patio and Swimming Pool Area Cleaned in Brockhall

As the summer slowly approaches thoughts turn to sorting out those outside areas ready for use again, so it’s about this time of year I get asked to look at cleaning external tiled surfaces such as patio areas driveways. These external surfaces suffer from a heavily build-up of soils due to the general wear and tear caused by exposure to harsh weather conditions. We have all the high pressure equipment and fantastic results can be achieved by pressure washing in combination with quality products.

The photographs below were taken in January at a lovely property in the small village of Brockhall, near the market town of Daventry in Northamptonshire; my customer has a large Sandstone tiled patio and swimming pool area and as you can see the weather had certainly taken its toll and it was now in need of a thorough deep clean.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall Before Cleaning Sandstone Patio Brockhall Before Cleaning

Sandstone is typically a hard wearing tile, but if neglected for a long time it can, much like any other type of stone, very easily lose its appearance without regular maintenance.

Pressure Cleaning a Sandstone Flagged Swimming Pool Area

My first thought when dealing with swimming pool areas is to protect the pool from contaminates thrown up by the cleaning process, fortunately in this case the pool was well secured with a black cover which was tightly strapped down.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall Before Cleaning

The next step was to deal with the particularly stubborn areas of dirt with an application of a high alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Being an alkaline based product Pro-Clean is suitable for use on many different types of natural stone tiles, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, and can be applied to both internal as well as external surfaces.

The cleaning solution was applied to the problem areas agitated so it could get to work on the dirt. This was then followed up with the application of a special circular pressure washing spinning tool running at very high pressure.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall During Cleaning Sandstone Patio Brockhall Cleaning Equipment

I have a truck mounted pressure system on the van however in this case it was easier to use a standalone industrial petrol jet washer to drive the spinning tool.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall During Cleaning

The spinning tool allows the water to be applied under high pressure, and removes dirt and stains at the same time.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall After Cleaning

As you can see from the photographs, the results achieved were amazing. My customer was so impressed, in fact, that he booked me in to restore his Sandstone tiled kitchen as well the following week!

Sandstone Patio Brockhall After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Cleaning of a Heavily Soiled Sandstone Patio and Swimming Pool Area in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiles with Damp Issues in Thrapston

This property was situated only a few hundred yards from the River Nene in Thrapston, near Kettering in Northamptonshire. And, while it is certainly nice to live next to a river, it can cause long running damp issues for certain properties, as was the case with several houses along this road. I was particularly aware of this, having treated a floor in a similar area of the town.

This client had recently uncovered a Quarry tiled floor which had remained hidden under Linoleum for a long time. She wanted professional help and advice on restoring the floor back to looking its best, and was especially aware that it was marked by white patches of efflorescence (mineral salts).

Quarry Tile Before Cleaning Thrapston Quarry Tile Before Cleaning Thrapston

I explained to the client that the damp issues can never be completely rectified without building work being undertaken to install a damp proof membrane. Unfortunately, this is a very expensive process. Nonetheless, the following is an account of the results which can be achieved with badly stained Quarry tiles using professional methods and products.

Cleaning a stained Quarry tiled floor

I arranged a date to do the work on my return the first stage in the floor restoration was to give the tiles a deep clean. This was done with a high alkaline cleaner known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is applied to the floor and left to dwell for a short period, before being agitated with black stripping pad fitted to a rotary floor buffing machine. This strips away any old sealer and lifts away trapped dirt. The soiled solution was then rinsed away using clean water, and the resulting slurry was soaked up using a wet vacuum.

Quarry Tile Before Cleaning Thrapston

Following this I gave the floor an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up in order to neutralise the mineral salts. Then, to draw the contaminants completely out of the tiles – and to assist with the cleaning process – I applied the heat of a steamer.

To complete the cleaning process the floor was rinsed down again which was again was removed with a wet vacuum which extracted as much water from the floor as possible. I then installed a powerful industrial dehumidifier and allowed two weeks for the floor to dry completely. However, I was aware that given the extent of the damp issues that this might not, in fact, be long enough.

Upon my return to the house, I took further damp meter readings to discover that the floor was indeed still damp. I suggested that the best course of action in this scenario was for my client to carry out daily mopping with a mild acid solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up for a period of three weeks to help tackle the inherent salt issues that had been present for many years.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

After the three weeks had passed, I was able to apply just a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a breathable impregnating sealer that allows for effective moisture vapour transmission. It also contains colour intensifying properties to help enhance the natural shades in the Quarry stone.

Quarry Tile After Cleaning Thrapston Quarry Tile After Cleaning Thrapston

The client also purchased some Colour Grow sealer for her to apply herself later in the Spring, as the floors were still too damp for the two to three coats that I would normally apply.

The photographs show what can be achieved with Quarry tiles suffering from inherent damp issues. Although they may still look slightly patchy, rest assured that by the Spring they will have dried out sufficiently enough to apply more sealant – this will achieve the desired finish.
 
 

Dealing with Damp and Stained Quarry Tiles in Northamptonshire

Poorly Sealed Limestone Tiled Floor Restored in Kislingbury

The owner of this house in the town of Kislingbury, Northampton called me in because her sealer wasn’t performing very well and the floor had only been cleaned and sealed 6 months previous by her builders contractor. Although the rest of the floor was in very good condition there were quite a few tiles that were being easily scratched from day to day use and stained from liquid spills which should have been easy to remove.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury Before Cleaning

It isn’t always the case that a whole floor is in poor condition, it can be just the high foot traffic areas or just a few damaged tiles either way it can spoil the appearance of the entire feature.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury Before Cleaning

Upon initial contact with my client, we talked through the work the previous contractors had carried out. Then, upon testing the affected areas of the floor, I discovered that that the sealant had been applied very patchily, meaning it had better coverage in some areas than others. I also speculated that the underfloor heating in the room may have affected the curing of the sealant as it dried.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

Even though this work was carried out in January, with outside temperatures of -2 degrees, I insisted that the underfloor heating was turned off to eliminate the potential of it impacting the performance of any products used during the restoration.

I began by stripping off all of the old sealer with the coarse pad from the Tile Doctor burnishing system. I then diluted a solution of the high alkaline cleaner Tile Doctor Pro Clean and this was mainly applied to clean the grout lines because as I previously mentioned, the condition of the tiles was generally speaking very good. The solution was allowed to dwell for approximately ten minutes, before I proceeded to agitate the area with a scrubbing brush to remove ingrained dirt. The floor was then finished off using the rest of the pads in the burnishing pad system to restore the surface shine and then rinsed down with water to remove the slurry.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

After allowing the floor adequate time to dry, I sealed it with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which provides not only a durable surface seal, but also contains properties which intensify the natural colours in the Limestone.

I completed the seal with the underfloor heating off and this allowed the sealer to cure properly. Just to make sure, I also tested several different areas for water repellency – it was only after that I allowed my client to put the heating back on!

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury After Cleaning

The photos really show the difference made in the appearance of those areas of the floor that were once stained. Needless to say that the several days of work were really worth it to get this Limestone tiled floor back to looking its best. With a deep clean and robust, properly applied sealer, this floor will be protected against damage for a long time to come.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury After Cleaning

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Cracked Limestone Conservatory Floor Restored in Grafton Underwood

Here is a job I completed late last year in the charming tranquil village of Grafton UnderwoodFlagstone tiled Living Room which you will find I have written about previously.

This second floor was Polished Limestone that had been laid in their conservatory. The floor was not only was in dire need of a thorough clean and fresh seal, but was also suffering from cracks in some areas.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning

Repairing a Limestone tiled conservatory

My first task was to address the multiple cracks in the floor, which I repaired by filling with a colour matching filler.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning
I also managed to remove some displeasing rust marks ruining the appearance of the floor by using Tile Doctor Rust Away. Rust Away is used to remove embedded rust stains on any type of Stone or Clay-based tile.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood After Polishing

Cleaning a Limestone tiled conservatory

I then gave the conservatory floor a thorough clean, focusing first on the grout with Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner that’s safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout.

The Limestone tiles were then cleaned and re-polished with Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. I started with the Coarse burnishing pad to remove dirt and old sealer before moving through the other pads from Medium to Fine, stopping to lubricate and rinsing the area with a little water after burnishing with each pad.

Sealing a Limestone tiled conservatory

After completing the clean, I left the conservatory to dry fully overnight. Upon my return to the house the next day, I ran damp tests to confirm the floor was dry enough to take the sealant, and then proceeded to seal the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood After Polishing Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood After Polishing

Colour Grow is a sealant which offers a robust surface seal, while also enhancing the natural colours in the stone. It also offers an aesthetically pleasing matte finish, which is exactly what my client had requested. My client also left the following message on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Everything carried out when promised and with due consideration and explanation. Likely to have more work done next year.

Repairing, Cleaning and Polishing Limestone Conservatory Tiles in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing a Victorian Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor in Stamford

This hallway floor was actually at a house in the town of Stamford which is just over the northern border of Northamptonshire and slightly out of my area; however I was recommended to the owner by another client which is always welcome and a testimonial in itself. I work right across the county so it wasn’t long before I was in the general area and arranged a visit to carry out an inspection of the Victorian Quarry tiled floor and provide a quote for a full restoration.

The owner of the house had just moved in recently and although the floor was in good overall physical, it was in need of a thorough clean and new seal to bring back some life to the tiles. Additionally she was having lots of other building work done to the house and she wanted to retain this as an original feature of the property. My quote was accepted and I was able to book the work in for the following week.

These first photos show how dull the floor looked due to a build-up of builder’s dust and general wear and tear. They also show some of the equipment needed to undertake the following cleaning process.

Victorian Tiles Stamford Before Cleaning Victorian Tiles Stamford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I used a brush and vacuum to remove as much loose debris and dust from the surface of the floor as possible. I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to the floor which is a strong alkaline cleaner which can also be used to remove sealers; the solution was left it to dwell for roughly ten minutes before agitating it with scrubbing pads and brushes to remove the muck that was lifted to the surface. This was then wet-vacuumed twice to remove all the slurry and neutralise any chemicals.

Victorian Tiles Stamford Before Cleaning

As it was such an old property I then used a steamer to heat up the tiles and draw up any contaminants and assist with the drying process. I also chose to install two fans and a dehumidifier to dry the floor even further.

Victorian Tiles Stamford After Stripping and cleaning

With the cleaning process complete – and achieving a marked difference to the appearance of the floor – I left the tiles to finish drying for 24 hours.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Upon my return to the house, I checked for any excess moisture by running damp tests as this has the potential to affect the performance of the sealer. Once satisfied with the results, I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing sealant which offers both a robust surface seal and an aesthetically pleasing finish.

I also carried out water repellency tests to ensure the sealer was working as expected and the floor had sufficient protection and will be hard-wearing for a hallway which is a high traffic area.

Victorian Tiles Stamford After Cleaning Victorian Tiles Stamford After Cleaning

On my client’s return to the house she was very happy with the final results – in fact, she was also in contact about some further work in the New Year!
 
 

Professional Victorian Quarry Tile Floor Stripping, Cleaning and Sealing

Restoring a Victorian Quarry Tiled Hallway in Northampton

Here’s a job I completed just before Christmas last year, at a house in Northampton which has a rich history and mix of architectural styles. The run up to Christmas is always popular as people try to get their household projects finished off in time for celebrating the festive season with family so this is always a busy time for Tile Doctor.

The photos below show a neglected Victorian Quarry tiled floor in need of repair, with cracked tiles along the edges. These were caused by somebody in the past using brute force to remove carpet gripper rods which had been glued to the tiles. These cracks were present around the edges of the entire hallway, however; this particular type of tile is very hard to get hold of. Furthermore, it is a costly process to replace the tiles as the skirting boards would have had to have been removed.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Northampton

As well as the physical issues the floor had a dull appearance due to the build-up of builder’s dust and the general wearing down of the paintwork over time. I agreed with the client that the best course of action would be to fill the tiles, and paint the damaged tiles using a colour that matched as close as possible. Many of my Tile Doctor colleagues would disagree with this approach opting to source the correct tile and rebuild the damaged section however unfortunately in this case we didn’t have the time or the budget.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Northampton

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Quarry tiled floor

My first action was to use a brush and vacuum to remove as much loose debris and dust as possible. I followed this by agitating the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a strong alkaline product and safe to use on tile and stone. I use a combination of a coarse burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine and hand held brushes, in order to get the floor clean. The resulting slurry was then rinsed and removed using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated twice followed by a thorough rinse to ensure any trace of cleaning agent had been removed and the floor neutralised.

Victorian Tiles During Cleaning Northampton

As this was such an old property, I then used a steamer to heat up the tiles in order to draw out any contaminants and assist with the drying process. I installed a fan to dry the floor before starting repairs, mixing up some coloured grout and filling all holes and cracks along the edges, including the doormat area.

Victorian Tiles During Repair Northampton Victorian Tiles During Repair Northampton

I allowed the coloured grout to dry overnight, before hand painting the black and Terracotta tiles. These were then given time to dry (about a couple of hours). Following this, I carefully painted in the other colours: brown and cream. The overall effect was quite convincing and you had to look very closely to notice.

Victorian Tiles Before Painting Northampton Victorian Tiles After Painting Northampton

Sealing a Victorian Quarry tiled floor

Due to the fact that there were other tradesmen working in the house at the time, the floors were sheeted up to protect from additional dust and muck. I then left the house for a week, allowing the floor ample time to dry completely in preparation for sealing.

Upon my return, I took damp meter readings, and once satisfied with the dryness of the tiles, I began the sealing process with the impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. The sealer provides both durable surface protection and an aesthetically pleasing matte finish.

The below photos show how the product has enriched the colours with the two coats applied.

Victorian Tiles After Restoration Northampton Victorian Tiles After Restoration Northampton

The process of restoring this wonderful Victorian Quarry tiled floor was certainly time consuming, but very rewarding. I am exceptionally pleased with the results myself, and my client couldn’t have been happier and I’m sure the newly revitalised hallway will have been a talking point for all their visitors during the Christmas break.
 
 

Victorian Tile Repairing, Cleaning and Sealing in Northamptonshire

Sandstone Tiled Floor Treated For Grout Haze in Wappenham

It’s not that uncommon for newly installed tiled floors to suffer from grout haze. This occurs where builder or tiler fails to remove all the excess grout from the surface of the tile after installation. It’s not always immediately obvious as the grout has to dry before it shows up and if the tiles are sealed afterward the grout is trapped on the surface of the tile under the sealer which makes it even more difficult to remove. Not too long ago, I was called to address this exact problem experienced on my client’s Sandstone tiled floor at her house Wappenham, Northamptonshire.

This first picture shows how the builder had left the floor after sealing (note how all the tiles have a similar colour). Also shown in the picture is the equipment I use to remove grout haze should you wish to do this yourself.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

The second picture shows a close-up of the white grout haze deposits on the surface of the tile; the issue is probably difficult to appreciate if you haven’t come across this type of problem yourself however you will find ordinary household cleaning products will be largely ineffectual.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Removing Sealer from Sandstone Floor Tiles

The third picture shows the first stage of the cleaning process which required stripping off the sealer so I could then treat the Grout Haze. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go liberally across the floor, before agitating with a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine to break down the old surface sealer. I followed this by using a wet-vac machine to remove any soiled residue. As you can see in the next photograph, the colours are already starting to show.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Treating Grout Haze on Sandstone

The next photo shows the second stage of the process, which involved the application of a new product in the Tile Doctor range called Acid Gel. The acid based formula is required to remove the cement/grout and being a gel you find the product remains in situ breaking down the grout haze instead of spreading around as you would expect with a liquid.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

I left the Acid Gel to dwell for approximately ten minutes, before mixing it with water and scrubbing it into the tiles with an industrial brush. This was followed by a second wet vacuum to ensure all the residue was removed. A turbo dryer was used on the treated area to speed up the drying process whilst I moved onto the next section.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Sealing Sandstone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was fully dry I was able to seal it again with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Sealing will protect the floor from staining and make it easier to clean, additionally Colour Grow soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the stone in the process.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

The final photograph shows an area which has been fully sealed and the tiles restored to their natural beauty. I achieved this result across the entirety of the floor.
 
 

Grout Haze removed from a Sandstone tiled floor in Northamptonshire

Red Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Abington

Here’s an interesting work I recently completed on a red Quarry tiled floor at a house in the town of Abington, Northampton. In post-war Britain (more specifically in the 1940s and 1950s), many new homes were built with Quarry tiled hallways and kitchens, so quite a popular feature back then. These floors are typically quite hard wearing and therefore ideal for such high traffic areas; additionally they don’t need a great deal of maintenance but their appearance will degrade over time.

Red Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning and Repair Abington

In this particular house, the Quarry tiled floor had been covered with linoleum for many years, causing significant patches of visible black mould. The floor also had a loose tile (which I promptly reset to mitigate the potential tripping hazard) and splashes of paint due to a lack of precaution while the house was being renovated. Needless to say, the floor needed a lot of work.

Cleaning a Red Quarry Tiled Floor

Before beginning the cleaning I made sure to vacuum up all of the loose debris from the floor. I then applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go to the tiles, left it to dwell for a short period, and then agitated the area with a black stripping pad, adding water to aid the process. This helped to break down any old and ineffectual sealer, along with the paint splashes marking the tiles, leaving a much cleaner and more refined appearance.

Red Quarry Tiles After Cleaning and Repair Abington

I followed this up with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to eliminate the odd speck of cement and grout haze dating back to when the floor was first installed; Gout Clean-up has an acid base so it’s not advised to leave it on the tiles for too long, consequently as soon as I was happy it had done the job I rinsed it off with water and give the floor a thorough wash down.

I used a wet-vacuum machine to extract as much water as possible and gave the floor a once over with steam cleaner which improves the evaporation of any remaining moisture by heating up the tiles.

Red Quarry Tiles Stripped after cleaning Abington

Sealing a Red Quarry Tiled Floor

After completing the cleaning process, I left the house to allow time for the floor to dry completely. Upon my return, I conducted a damp test which showed the floor needed to dry further before sealing so I left an industrial fan in place for a couple of hours to help speed things up.

Once I was satisfied that the floor was dry enough to take the sealant, I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an interesting product that will not only provide durable stain protection but also improves the natural colours of the tile.

Red Quarry Tiles Stripped and Sealed Abington

While the floor required a lot of time and work to restore, I think you will agree the results were certainly worth waiting for.
 
 

Quarry tiles repaired, cleaning and sealed in Northamptonshire

Stripping and Resealing a Flagstone Tiled Living Room in Grafton Underwood

This property was situated in the tiny, yet picturesque village of Grafton Underwood in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The village has only a population numbering a few hundred and, interestingly enough, is the childhood home of the famous ‘Bridget Jones’ character. I have previously worked on a number of floors in Grafton Underwood, and on this particular occasion I was called to complete the job through a recommendation – which is always welcome!

This particular customer had two floors that needed re-finishing; the first was a polished Limestone tiled conservatory (which I will cover in a separate post as the process was different) and the second a Flagstone tiled living room; so on a rather dull day in November, I began my work.

Stripping a Flagstone tiled floor

The sealer on the Flagstone tiled living room had failed in certain places, resulting in the floor becoming difficult to clean due to dirt becoming ingrained in the stone. The decline in the sealer is not uncommon, as they do wear down over time – especially in an area of high traffic like a living room. To resolve this issue, the old surface seal needed to be stripped back and re-sealed.

Flagstone Sitting Room Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning

To remove what was left of the old sealer, I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and scrubbed it into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with black stripping pads. I then gave the floor an initial rinse, before paying special attention to scrubbing the stubborn spots, making sure all of the sealer was removed.

I then gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up in order to remove grout haze and other mineral deposits which were evident. Due to its acidic properties, you have to be very careful with this product on any type of stone, so I didn’t let it dwell for too long and made sure the floor was thoroughly rinsed down afterwards, with all solutions extracted using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing a Flagstone tiled floor

The floor was left to dry for more than 24 hours, before I returned to re-seal it using Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This product provides both a stain resistant surface seal and the durable low-sheen finish requested by my client. Seal & Go is suitable for use on internal unsealed, porous surfaces.

Flagstone Sitting Room Grafton Underwood After Cleaning

I guess the photographs don’t really do the transformation justice however the freshly re-sealed Flagstone living room certainly brightened up what was a very dreary autumn day!
 
 

Flagstone Floor Maintenance in Northamptonshire

Travertine Tiled Kitchen With Badly Stained Grout Cleaned in Northampton

Earlier this month I was in the town of Northampton, to see a client who had reported a problem with her Travertine kitchen tiles. Basically the grout between the tiles was badly stained, to the point of appearing almost black.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton

The Travertine tiles were also in need of some maintenance, and so I was commissioned to provide a clean, polish and a fresh seal. Travertine is a popular choice for kitchen flooring due to its relatively high durability and distinct features. My task was to get this floor back to looking its best.

Cleaning badly stained grout

My priority was to address the badly stained grout so I cleaned the grout lines by hand using a combination of hand brushes and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The surface was pre-wet with water, before a solution of Grout-Clean Up and clean water was applied to the surface. The brushes were then used to agitate the solution. Grout Clean-Up contains a mix of concentrated phosphoric acid and cleaner designed to penetrate below the surface of the grout to remove grout stains, smears and mineral deposits.

As you can see from the photos, Grout Clean-Up made an immediate difference to the appearance of the tiles. This product is suitable for use on masonry and acid resistant surfaces. After completing the clean, I gave the floor a thorough rinse to neutralise the floor after cleaning and removed as much of the water as possible using a wet vacuum.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton

Burnishing Travertine tiles

Following this, I paid attention to the tiles themselves, cleaning them to achieve a polished effect by using a system of burnishing pads. Tile Doctor burnishing pads comprise a set of four pads varying in grit type, from Coarse and Medium to Fine and Very Fine. I applied all four pads in turn to the floor, stopping to rinse the floor in between each. The result was a high quality polished finish.

I then left the floor to dry completely overnight, before commencing the seal the next day. My choice of sealing product was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer that both enhances the natural appearance of the stone and provides a durable surface seal.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton

My client was very pleased with the finished product, and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system: “efficiently done”, yielding “good results”.
 
 

Dealing with Stained Grout in a Travertine tiled kitchen in Northamptonshire

Renovating A Badly Stained And Hole-Marked Travertine Tiled Floor In Oundle

I recently completed quite a substantial cleaning job at a house in the small, historic market town of Oundle, Northamptonshire. My client had a badly stained Travertine tiled floor that ran throughout her hallway, kitchen, utility area, and toilet.

Travertine is a fantastic choice for tiled floors because it has distinct features which no other stone can offer. It’s not surprising, then, that is popularly used for both residential and commercial flooring. In this case however the appearance of the tiles had been further spoiled by dozens of holes, and my client had attempted to remedy this problem by filling some of the holes with concrete. This had left the floor looking inconsistent and certainly worse for wear.

Stained Travertine Kitchen Oundle Before Cleaning Stained Travertine Hallway Oundle Before Cleaning

Cleaning a stained Travertine tiled floor

On day one, my first job was to address the holes marked the tiled surface. I filled the unsealed holes with matching filler, before re-colouring the concrete that had been previously used as a makeshift sealer, thus creating greater consistency in the appearance of the floor.

Following this, I made a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner which is safe to use on stone, in order to tackle the bad staining on the tiles and grout lines. Once applied to the floor, the solution was left to dwell for a short period of time. By allowing the solution to sit like this, the cleaner is able to seep into the stone, get underneath the dirt and stains, and lift them to the surface. Pro-Clean is highly effective at treating stained tiles, while common acid-based, household cleaning products can cause further damage over time.

To remove the resulting muck from the surface I used a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing pads applying them individually to each tile in sequence from Coarse to Fine, rinsing the floor in-between each pad and removing the resulting residue using a wet-vac machine. The pads are encrusted with diamonds and are ideal for bringing back the finish of Travertine and did a great job of making the filled holes look part of the original floor.

Stained Travertine Kitchen Oundle After Cleaning

Sealing a Travertine tiled floor

After leaving the floor to dry overnight, I returned to the house to seal the newly cleaned tiles. I did this using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensifying sealer that also provides a durable surface seal and pleasing finish (as you can see from the photographs).

Overall the job took roughly two days of work to complete and my client was extremely pleased with the results and even left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Phil was reliable and very professional. Written quote provided detailing in exact detail the work to be done and the products to be used. It was a large area that needed to be treated. Arrived on time and got the job done in good time. Certainly recommend Phil”.

Stained Travertine Hallway Oundle After Cleaning

 
 

Stained Travertine tiled floor restoration in Northamptonshire

Victorian Tiled Floor Repaired and Cleaned in Wellingborough

I was recently called down to a client’s house in the market town of Wellingborough, situated approximately 11 miles from Northampton. My client’s situation was an interesting one, as she had an old gas pipe sticking out of her Victorian tiled floor, very close to a doorway. Not only was this a bit of an eyesore, it was also significant trip hazard. The floor had been previously covered by carpet, so it is understandable that my client would have been initially unaware of the obstructive gas pipe.

Victorian Floor Before Repairs in Wellingborough

Rather than risking an accident in the future, she asked me to see what I could do to rectify the issue. At the same time, I was commissioned to give the floor a much needed clean and re-seal.

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

My first priority was, of course, to deal with the exposed gas pipe. I was unsure whether the pipe was live or not, so I carefully removed the surrounding tiles, allowing a certified engineer access to it. He ensured that the pipe was capped below the tile line, allowing me to safely proceed with my repairs.

Victorian Floor Before Repairs in Wellingborough

I returned a few days later, rescreened the area, and began to refit the tiles, carefully hand painting some of the black tiles to hide the damage and cracks. I also applied new grout to fix all of the replaced tiles into position, and this was left to set overnight.

Victorian Floor After Repairs in Wellingborough

Cleaning and sealing a Victorian tiled floor

Returning to the house the next day, I set about treating the floor to a normal strip, clean and re-seal of the entire floor. There was very little old sealer still remaining on the tiles, so I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water, before applying this to the floor. Pro Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner which also contains stripping properties, allowing it to both clean and break down any old sealer. The solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad, and any excess residue was quickly absorbed using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

With older floors you never can tell if a damp proof membrane was installed and it can be troublesome applying a sealant to a damp floor so I left the whole floor to dry for seven days, giving it more than sufficient time to dry completely before the re-seal. To seal the tiles I used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which provides both a robust surface seal and the pleasing sheen finish requested by my client; Seal and Go Extra is especially suitable for exterior applications or damp floors due to its increased breathability.

My client was very glad to see the back of the gas pipe and pleased with the overall results of the clean and seal, as it had given this Victorian tiled floor – once hidden under carpet – new life and character. Additionally I’m sure that restoring such an original feature for the property has increased its value.

Victorian Floor After Repairs in Wellingborough

 
 

Restoring Victorian floor tiles in Northamptonshire

Quarry Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Restored in Hackleton

This was a restoration I did for a couple living in Hackleton, Northampton, who had just moved into their new home and wanted their recently discovered Quarry tiled hallway fully restored before their housewarming party.

Old Quarry tiled floor before restoration Hackleton

The couple had lifted up the carpet upon moving into the house to find a dirty and damaged floor beneath. It had been marked with glue around the edges where the carpet gripper rods had been stuck down upon installation. My clients had attempted to remove the unsightly glue marks themselves using a chisel and hammer. Unfortunately, the DIY job actually caused further damage to one tile, leading to the couple seeking the services of a professional to complete the job properly. It was especially important to have the floor ready quickly, as there was only ten days to go before the housewarming party.

Old Quarry tiled floor before restoration Hackleton

Stripping and cleaning a Quarry tiled hallway

After providing the couple with a quote, I began working on the hallway. My first task was strip the Quarry tiles of the old sealer using a combination of black stripping pads and Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a multi-purpose product which contains both strpping and cleaning properties. Remove & Go was left to soak into the tiles before being scrubbed into the floor using a rotary scrubbing machine. After successfully breaking down the layers of old sealer, I rinsed the floor using clean water and soaked up the residue with a wet-vac machine.

Old Quarry tiled floor before restoration Hackleton

The next stage of the job involved removing the old glue marks by hand from around the edges of the hallway. This was painstaking work in which I utilised both a scraper and a hand brush to carefully rid the tiles of these blemishes. Working in small, two metre sections of the floor, I then applied a second coat of Remove & Go, allowed it to soak into the area for a further ten minutes, and then rinsed it with clean water. During my inspection of the floor I also noticed a few splashes of paint, which I duly removed by hand.

Sealing a Quarry tiled hallway

Due to the pressure on time leading up to the housewarming party, I needed to speed up the drying process. I did this by installing a dehumidifier and a turbo fan. The floor was then left to dry for more than 24 hours before I returned to complete the sealing.

Upon my return I took damp meter readings in order to determine which sealer would be the best to use. I resolved to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which is fully breathable, allowing dampness to escape from this type of tile. This is important, as the tiles had been first installed many years ago with no damp proof membrane. As the sealer dried it provided the floor with a nice, light sheen. Since Colour Grow is also specially designed for colour intensification, the fantastic natural shades and colours in the Quarry were really brought to life again.

Old Quarry tiled floor after restoration Hackleton Old Quarry tiled floor after restoration Hackleton

My clients were extremely pleased with the results, with the prompt and efficient service ensuring that the job was completed in good time for their housewarming party.

Old Quarry tiled floor after restoration Hackleton

 
 

Restoring a Quarry Tiled Hallway in time for a Party in Northamptonshire

Fixing a DIY Grout Cleaning Disaster in Alderton

I was recently called down to Alderton, a small village in the southern part of Northamptonshire most famous for housing the remains of a Norman Castle, known as ‘The Mount’. Unfortunately, this job involved remedying a bit of DIY grout cleaning that had not gone as expected.

As the first photo shows, my client had attempted to use a well-known household cleaning product to remove stains from the grout of his bathroom tiled floor which had not been sealed. Grouts are porous and, as a result, they can easily absorb grease and dirt, so it is understandable that my client would have wanted to try and clean them.

Diy Grout Cleaning Disaster Before Alderton

However, it is because of the porous properties of grout that the cleaning product did not remove the stains and, unfortunately, the stains were permanent. What’s more, the cleaning product itself had inflicted acid etching to the parts of the tiles where my client had scrubbed the grout.

Attempting to clean the stained grout

So what could be done to remedy the situation? My first action was to clean the grout using professional methods and products in an attempt to reverse the damage.

I did this using Tile Doctor 6″ twister pads, along with a hand-held buffing machine. The cleaning product I chose to use was Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is designed to penetrate beneath the surface of the grout to lift out stains, smears and grout haze.

Diy Grout Cleaning Disaster After Cleaning Alderton

The final photo above shows the results of my attempts to clean the grout. Due to the extent of the damage, even a powerful cleaner like Grout Clean Up could not completely eliminate the stains completely. This meant that the only option left was to recolour the grout lines.

Recolouring the grout lines

I recoloured the grout lines using a white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. This product is a waterborne epoxy that not only recolours, but also seals the grout lines in order to protect against further stains in the future.

Diy Grout Cleaning Disaster After Colouring Alderton

I coloured all of the grout lines in the bathroom to ensure that everything matched, as well as to create an overall high-quality resilient finish. My client was very happy with results – she also remarked that she would not be letting her husband near the bathroom floor again.
 
 

Colouring Stained Grout in Northamptonshire

Refurbishing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northampton After Building

This customer asked me to pay a visit following work to refurbish the house and wanted to restore as many original features as possible; work had been going on to restore coving, picture rails, ceiling roses and fireplaces but unfortunately nobody had thought to cover up the beautiful Victorian floor. When I arrived there was plaster dust and splashes of paint all over the floor that needed attention. A quote was given which was accepted and the work was booked in for the following week.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove any loose debris so I could assess how to proceed. I then applied diluted Tile Doctor Pro Clean with a pump up sprayer and left it to dwell on the tiles for fifteen minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad and hand brushes. The now soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off together with most of the plaster and surface dirt which had come away in the process. I was then left with a few paint splatters which I removed by spot treating by hand with Tile Doctor Remove and Go; it became clear at this stage that the Pro-Clean had not removed all the old sealer and so I decided to spray the whole floor with a dilution of Remove and Go and work it in with brushes, the solution was left for a further ten minutes and then rinsed away with an extraction machine.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

The floor was left alone to dry for several days with a fan on site to assist the process. The customer wanted the floor to look traditional and requested a matt finish so when I returned to site two coats of Tile Doctor Matt Colour Grow Sealer was applied. Colour Grow is breathable and will allow any damp to evaporate without disrupting the finish, this is important as floors of this age were laid without any damp proof course or membrane which can sometimes result in damp issues.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor Restored after Building works in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Rushden

A customer called me out to take a look at restoring the Red and Black Victorian Quarry tiles floor they had discovered under linoleum In the kitchen of their house in the town of Rushden.

I carried out a patch test to see which products would have the best results and although most of the old sealants had worn of over time there was still glue from the lino and patches of sealer that would have to be dealt with. A quote was given and accepted and the work was booked in to the customer’s convenience.

Black and Red Victorian Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Rushden

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

After vacuuming and mopping the floor I decided my best course of action would be to spray Tile Doctor Remove and Go to 25% of the area, this was then scrubbed in by machine using a black stripping pad. This area was then rinsed off with an extraction machine and the process repeated over the rest of the floor. I then inspected the floor and noticed a few shiny patches where the sealant hadn’t been fully removed so I then tackled these stubborn areas by hand with a second application of Remove & Go. A final rinse to the whole floor was given to make sure no trace of cleaning product remained before sealing.

As much water as possible was removed using the extraction machine and a dehumidifier installed and left for seven days to assist the drying process.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

On my return I confirmed the floor had dried thoroughly by taking took damp meter readings in different parts of the floor. All was well and so I proceeded to seal the tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which matched the customers’ requirements of gloss finish.

Black and Red Victorian Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Rushden

As the pictures show there was a vast improvement in the floor and the customer was very pleased with the results. They were also given information on maintenance of this type of floor to keep it looking its best for years to come.
 
 

Victorian Quarry Tile hidden under Lino Restored in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Repointing a Patio in Rushden

You may be surprised but we just clean interior stone and tile we also specialise in exterior stone cleaning as well as you will see with the post below where we cleaned and re-pointed a neglected patio at a house in Rushden.

The first photo shows the condition of the patio which hadn’t been professionally cleaned for over forty years, weeds and moss had eaten through all the original mortar and made any remaining cement very lose and would need to be replaced after pressure washing.

Patio Before Cleaning and Repointing in Rushden

The second picture shows the equipment set up ready to pressure wash the patio, the power of the pressure washer blasted away most of the dirt and we used Tile Doctor Remove and Go on any stubborn stains that became evident.

Patio Before Cleaning and Repointing in Rushden

The third picture below shows the results after the patio has been pressure washed; you can see that the remaining mortar had all but washed away.

Patio Cleaned not Repointing in Rushden

After allowing a few days for the patio to completely dry out I returned to site to repoint all joints between the slabs. There are a few different colours to choose from and on this occasion the customer chose a light grey. The final picture shows the finished patio after it had been sealed.

Patio Cleaned and Repointed in Rushden

The customer was over the moon with the results as she had no idea that the slabs were different colours under the 40 years of dirt, grime and weeds.
 
 

Patio Cleaning in Northamptonshire

Grout Cleaning Difficulty in a Rushden Kitchen

This customer from Rushden called me in because she was having difficulty keeping the grout in her kitchen clean although the ceramic tiles themselves were fairly easy to maintain.

On speaking to the customer it became evident that the one coat of sealant that was originally applied to the grout five years ago had all but worn off and the cleaning products she was using were too strong reducing the life of the sealer and now dirty water getting into the now porous grout which was causing staining each time she mopped the floor.

Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden Before

I gave the customer a quote for deep cleaning and extraction of tiles and grout lines, as they were thinking of selling the house they didn’t want to have the expense of re-colouring the grout. We decided the best course of action would be re-sealing the grout with Tile Doctor Grout Seal & Go after cleaning and this should protect it going forward.

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

To get the grout clean and lift out the dirt we used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mopped onto the floor and scrubbed into the grout lines with a stiff grout brush. The second and third pictures below show the equipment we use to deep clean and scrub the grout and to extract the water under pressure to clean the grout as best as possible.

Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden During Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden During

Sealing Grout

The final pictures below show the overall end result after allowing the floor to drying overnight and then sealing the grout with two coats of Tile Doctor Grout Seal & Go.

Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden After Cleaning Grout Ceramic Tiles in Rushden After

I also talked the customer through Tile Doctor recommended cleaning procedures and advised her that she was entitled to a free bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which would keep the floor looking at its best for much longer and would not affect the grout sealant.
 
 

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout and Sealing in Northamptonshire

Putting the shine back on a Black Marble Floor in Brackley

This customer from the town of Brackley near Northampton got in touch with us to discuss their lovely black Marble tiled floor where it was proving difficult to maintain the shine. I went to visit and after carrying out some tests and asking a number of questions it became clear that that the product that had been used for regular cleaning had a high alkaline detergent content which was not suitable for the floor and had been causing smears, there were also light scratches due to the soiling levels. For polished stone or sealed floors we always recommend a neutral PH cleaning product such a Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner.

Black Marble in Brackley Before Polishing

Burnishing Polished Black Marble Tiles

To remove the light scratches and restore the shine on the Marble it was necessary to cut back the surface and re-polish with a set of burnishing pads. The pads come in a set of four and are applied in sequence starting with a coarse pad together with a little water to cut through the old sealer and grime. You then progress through the other finer pads one by one until you get to the final polishing pad which provides a high polish.

Black Marble in Brackley During Polishing

After polishing the floor was rinsed down to remove any slurry from the polishing process and then allowed to dry before sealing with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which impregnates the pores in the stone enhancing the natural colours and protecting it from future staining.

Black Marble in Brackley After Polishing

Before leaving we spoke again on the types of cleaning solutions to get the best results and she was over the moon with the results.
 
 

Maintaining Polished Black Marble Tiles in Northamptonshire-

Polished Travertine Tile Maintenanced in Northampton

Polished stone floors such as Travertine need to be regularly maintained correctly or will lose their sheen over time, additionally grout lines can fill with dirt and light scratches can quickly dull down Travertine and attract yet more soil. This was the case with this Travertine tiled floor in Northampton which had been left too long between deep cleans and now the protective sealer had worn off and were badly scratched and soiled.

Travertine Tiles Before Cleaning Polishing in Northampton

Burnishing Polished Travertine Tiles

To get the surface back to a condition where it can be polished again it’s necessary to burnish the Travertine using a set of diamond encrusted floor pads. The pads come in a set of four and you start with the coarse pad which together with a little water cuts through and removes grime and sealers from the tile. This take a bit of time to get around the whole floor and then you rinse it down to remove any slurry and start again with the medium pad which is of a higher grade and is the first step in the polishing process. Again the floor is rinsed before moving on to the third pad which is a fine grade and is the second step in bringing the polish back.

By this time it was getting late so the floor was given another rinse and I came back the next day to apply the final pad in the set of four which is a super fine pad that is run over the floor and puts the final shine on the polished Travertine. The floor was given another rinse and left to dry so it could be sealed later that afternoon.

Sealing Polished Travertine Tiles

There are a number of sealers that you can use on Travertine and in this case I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which in an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone to prevent contaminates lodging there and also does well to bring out the natural colours in the stone.

Travertine Tiles After Cleaning Polishing in Northampton

All in the job took two days and I’m happy to report the customer was very happy with the results.
 
 

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Tiled floor in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Quarry Tiled Hallway in Finedon

The following photos are from a property in Finedon, Wellingborough where like so many of my customers it seems the owner was in the middle of a full property restoration which included plans to bring the original Victorian hallway Quarry tiles back to life. Tile Doctor restores hundreds of Victorian floors across the UK every year so she gave us a call. I came round to take a look at the tiles and could see that the floor had been covered with Linoleum for many years which had been fixed with adhesive we was still evident on the tiles along with old wax based sealers which would need to be stripped off. In general the floor was now looking very dull and uncared for.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Finedon Before

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

To remove the glue and restore the tiles a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was left to soak into the pores of the tile for twenty minutes before being brushed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black stripping pad. Once done the floor was rinsed down thoroughly with water and the remaining solution removed with a wet vacuum, this revealed a few areas that needed re-treating so the whole process was repeated until I was happy that the glue and old sealers were gone and the tile and grout was as clean as I could get it. This process took up much of the day and after using the wet vacuum again to get the floor as dry as possible I left a couple of fan dryers in place to assist with the drying.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

The floor was left for a few days so it could dry out thoroughly and then checked for dampness and remaining staining, the floor was dry but there were a few areas that needed further attention which were spot treated and then dried out with a hand drier. To protect it and make it easier to clean in the future the floor was then sealed by applying a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Gof which added a nice light sheen finish to the look of the tile.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Finedon After

 
 

Victorian Quarry Tile Restoration in Finedon, Northamptonshire

Cleaning up newly installed Grout in Titchmarsh

This customer from Titchmarsh near Kettering was unhappy that the Porcelain floor tiles that were installed in her kitchen six months prior were proving difficult to clean and that the grout line had turned from a grey to black and whatever she tried she just could not keep this floor clean. On inspection I soon discovered that no or very little sealer had been applied to the Porcelain which is not unusual as most Porcelain does not require a sealer however Micro Porous Porcelain does and she should have been advised by the shop that sold her the tiles that this was the case. A quote was given which she was happy with and I returned the following week to sort the problem out.

Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout

To protect the kitchen units I covered them in a plastic and then moved onto to deep cleaning the tiles with a dilution of Tile doctor Pro Clean which was applied and left to soak in for a while before hand scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees with stiff brushes. This did made an improvement but something stronger was required to get the grout looking better so it was back down to the floor with hand brushes again but this time I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acid that can remove grout smears and mineral deposits, in the end I actually used two litres of Grout Clean-Up to restore the grout to about 95% of its correct appearance and once done I gave the floor a thorough wash down to remove any trace of product.

Dirty Grout in Titchmarsh Kitchen During Cleaning

Sealing Porcelain Tile and Grout

This grout should have been correctly sealed from day one and luckily for the client it came up to her satisfaction otherwise the only other option would have been to use a Grout Colourant which would have been more costly but cheaper than replacing the grout altogether. Had the grout been much older this may have been the best option as I suspect the result from cleaning would have been less effective. The last step was to seal the tiles and grout using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that provides maximum stain protection and is recommended for use in kitchens. Before leaving I gave the client written instructions on maintenance which she found very helpful.

Dirty Grout in Titchmarsh Kitchen After Cleaning

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing Porcelain Tile and Grout in a Northamptonshire Kitchen

Removing Rust Stains from Anti-Slip Swimming Pool tiles in Naseby

The photographs below were taken at a privately owned swimming pool in the historic village of Naseby an area famous for the civil war battle that tool place there in 1645. The pool was surrounded by Anti-Slip safety tiles which have a roughened texture to improve traction around the water’s edge, this does have the side effect however that they trap dirt more easily. The tiles were overdue a deep clean and had become very dirty and additionally there were rust marks from metal furniture and blackish grout lines.

Rust Stains on Swimming Pool Tile Cleaning Naseby

Cleaning Pool Tiles and Removing Rust Stains

Working one area at a time and taking care not to contaminate the swimming pool a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the tiles and then worked into the tile, especially the rust stains before being washed off using a Rotovac machine which applies hot water at high pressure and then removes it to a remove tank using suction. It’s an ideal machine for this sort of job as it’s very self-contained.

Stubborn areas were treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a powerful product designed to deal with sealers and other surface coatings. Once done another rinse with the Rotovac ensured the soiled cleaning solution and any trace of cleaning product is removed from the surface.

Rust Stains on Swimming Pool Tile Cleaning Naseby

Sealing Ant-Slip Porcelain tiles

Once the tile and grout was clean it was left to dry so it could be sealed which will prevent the tile and grout becoming dirty so quickly. For this we used Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a no-sheen, natural look, water based penetrating sealer.

Swimming Pool Tile Cleaning Naseby

It makes a significant difference if you have the right tools for the job and this resulted in the tiles looking as good as new in no time.
 
 

Deep cleaning pool surround tiles in Naseby, Northampton

Kitchen Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing in Holcot

The photographs below show a Terracotta Tiled floor we maintained that was installed in the kitchen and conservatory of a house in the Northamptonshire village of Holcot. The tile and grout was in good physical condition but had become ingrained with dirt and were now in need of a deep clean and reseal.

Terracotta tiles Before Cleaning in Holcot Village

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

First job was to protect the kitchen units, doors and skirting boards during the cleaning process for which I used blue plastic sheeting. Next a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an industrial strength alkaline cleaning product that’s safe to use on tile and stone was applied to the floor using a mop. The solution was left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes in order for it to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and stiff hand brushes were along the grout lines where the pad struggled to reach.

The soiled solution was picked up using our large wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and allow us to see which areas need further attention. The process was repeated until I was happy that any old sealer and all the dirt had been removed and then the floor was given a final rinse, wet vacuum and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Terracotta tiles Being Cleaned in Holcot Village

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

When I returned the next day I checked the floor had dried using a damp meter which it was and so proceeded to seal the Terracotta tiles with seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the tiles from staining and also add a nice subtle shine to the floor. Terracotta is a clay based product and so naturally quite porous.

Terracotta tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Holcot Village

 
 

Terracotta Tile Maintenance in a Holcot Kitchen

Power Cleaning a Patio in Achurch

These photographs were from earlier in the year at a residence in Achurch which had a number of paved areas and patios which like any patio in the UK had discoloured over winter and the colours in the stone had become grey and un-inviting. Being a Tile Doctor and Carpet Cleaner requires an investment in high pressure cleaning equipment which lends itself well to external patio cleaning.

Paving Slabs in Achurch Before Cleaning Paving Slabs in Achurch Before Cleaning

Patio Pressure Washing

With less preparation required when working outside to protect other surfaces I was soon setup and started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner and stripper which being an alkaline rather than acidic product is safe to use on stone, tile and grout. The solution was left to soak into slabs for a while so it could get to work the grime and it was then scrubbed in using a yard brush. The next step was to use a high pressure washer running at a medium pressure so as not to blow out the mortar between the slabs. The pressures available on the truck mounted pressure washer are much higher than those available on domestic machines so you do have to be careful.

Paving Slabs in Achurch After Cleaning Paving Slabs in Achurch After Cleaning

The job took half a day and I think you will agree the patio now looks newly laid.

Patio Cleaning in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing Noche Marble Tiled Hallway in Oundle

These Noche Marble tiles installed in the hallway of this house in Oundle are a premium product with a warm antique look however like any natural stone tile it needs to be sealed in order to prevent dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone. In this case the sealer had worn off and was the floor was now difficult to keep clean so we were called into the deep clean the tile and grout and then re-seal. Sealers can last a few years depending on wear.

Noce Marble Before Cleaning Oundle Noce Marble Before Cleaning Oundle

Cleaning Noche Marble Tiles

To deep clean the tile and grout and remove any remaining sealer I combined a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean. The UltraClean adds tiny abrasive particles which make a more effective cleaning product, both products are safe to use on natural stone floors. It’s best to let the solution soak into the tile for ten to twenty minutes before being scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing brush or black scrubbing pad. The rotary pads can struggle to get into the grout lines so it’s best to use a stiff brush along those.

Noce Marble During Grout Cleaning Oundle
To remove the soiled cleaning solution and rinse the tiles I use a high pressure spinner tool which is a brilliant machine for tile cleaning as it deploys water under high pressure water whilst extracting the dirty water back to a container in the van.

Noce Marble After Cleaning Oundle Noce Marble After Cleaning Oundle

Sealing Noche Marble Tiles

The floor was left to dry out for a few days and we returned the following week to seal the tiles using a damp meter first to verify the floor was indeed dry which it was so we proceeded to seal the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Noce Marble During Sealing Oundle
Colour grow was chosen as it’s an impregnating sealer the soaks into the pores of the tile bringing out and enhancing the natural colours in the stone in the process.

Noce Marble After Sealing Oundle Noce Marble After Sealing Oundle

I took lots of photographs so you should be able to see how much cleaner the floor now looks, especially the grout and how the colour has been restored to the Marble.

Noche Marble Floor Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Northamptonshire

Removing ingrained dirt from Crushed Edge Limestone tiles in Corby

Limestone is a natural stone with a lot of unique character and surface features with each tile being uniquely different from the last. These surface characteristics however can however make a stone very difficult to clean and unless sealed can result in dirt becoming trapped and ingrained. These particular Limestone tiles installed throughout the downstairs floor of a house in Corby are known as Crushed Edge Limestone and have an increased susceptibility to this issue. As you can see from the photographs below the crevices in the tile have become black with trapped dirt which has proved very difficult to clean.

Crushed Edge Limestone Corby Before Crushed Edge Limestone Corby Before

Cleaning Crushed Edge Limestone

Limestone is a very hard surface that has to be burnished with diamond encrusted pads to restore the finish so we set about this task using a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads. Before starting however we soaked the floor in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbed this into the tile surface spending particular attention on the grout lines; this process gets a head start on the cleaning and also remove any grit etc. that might cause problems before burnishing. The soiled solution was then rinsed away using water and all was removed using a wet vacuum.

Burnishing Crushed Edge Limestone

The burnishing pads come in a set of four, you start with the coarse pad together with a little water and this cut’s through and removes surface grime and any remaining surface sealer. The resultant slurry is washed away and you then progress through the other finer pads one by one until you get to the final polishing pad which provides a nice shine. You need to rinse the tiles in-between and use a wet vacuum to remove the slurry.

Sealing Crushed Edge Limestone

When we came back the next day we tested a few areas for dampness before starting to seal the floor, this is an important step for this type of tile as it can easily trap dirt. We chose Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal for this, it’s a natural look impregnating sealer that occupies the tiny pores in the stone preventing dirt and other contaminates from becoming ingrained, two coats were sufficient. Once the sealer had fully dried we went over it with a white buffing pad to finish.

Crushed Edge Limestone Corby After Crushed Edge Limestone Corby After

 
 

Cleaning Limestone Tiles in Northamptonshire

Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Refreshed in Kettering

This was a straight forward request to rejuvenate the ceramic tile and grout around the bath at a house in the town Kettering. The glazed ceramic tiles where in good condition but the grout and seal around the bath had become quite grubby and stained with dyes from shampoos, soaps and had gone dark in some areas where mould had started to get a foothold.

Ceramic Bathroom Tiles Before Cleaning Kettering Ceramic Bathroom Tiles Before Cleaning Kettering

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

We started by spraying the tiles with Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro which is a strong high-alkaline cleaner especially formulated and packaged for cleaning showers. The spray delivery is important as mixing the cleaning product with air makes it lighter and helps it cling to the tile and grout. The Oxy-Pro was left to soak in for around 15 minutes before being scrubbed into the tile and grout using a stiff grout brush. This action cleaned up the grout and tile nicely removing stains from shampoos and soaps etc.

Removing Mould from Grout

The grout was looking much improved but there was however some evidence of mould remaining which needed dealing with. To tackle this we used Tile Doctor Mould Away which is designed to remove mould off Silicone and Grout. It’s very easy to use, you simply spray the Silicone or Grout to be treated with Mould Away then leave to soak in for twenty minutes and then scrub with a brush and rinse with water repeating the process until the mould has disappeared, in extreme cases you can leave it for a few hours but we didn’t need to do that.

Ceramic Bathroom Tiles After Cleaning Kettering Ceramic Bathroom Tiles After Cleaning Kettering

I was unable to use any tools on this job so it took a fair amount of manual effort but the results were well worth it as you can see.
 
 

Refreshing a Ceramic Tiled Bath in Kettering

Cleaning Patios and Paths in a Titchmarsh Garden

These photographs are from the garden of a house in the beautiful village of Titchmarsh in Northamptonshire. The request was to clean the patios and paths which if not cleaned regularly become dirty and lose their appearance during the English winter.

Stone Circle Before Cleaning Gazebo Before Cleaning

Cleaning Patios and Paths

The process I follow for cleaning path’s, patios and paving in general is basically to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then let it soak in to get to work on the dirt and grime for ten minutes before scrubbing with a stiff brush; this is then followed by pressure washing.

Stone Circle During Cleaning Stone Circle During Cleaning

Home owners can buy pressure washing machines and many domestic models are available in DIY stores however none are as powerful as the machines used by Tile Doctors which can generates pressures far in excess of a domestic system that make light work of cutting through grime.

Stone Circle After Cleaning Gazebo After Cleaning

 
 

Patio Cleaning in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing Kitchen Slate Tiles in Corby

Another example of a tired Slate Tiled floor that was in need of a clean and seal, this time in the industrial town of Corby famous for its iron and steel works.

Slate floor before cleaning Corby Slate floor before cleaning Corby

Cleaning Slate Kitchen Tiles

To get the Slate tile and grout clean the a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied which was left to soak into the tile for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then using a stiff grout brush to clean along the grout lines.

Slate floor during cleaning Corby Slate floor during cleaning Corby

The floor was then thoroughly rinsed using clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum; there were a few stubborn areas that needed further attention which were re-treated. The last step of the cleaning process was to use a high pressure cleaning tool that extracts as well as washes, we normally use this tool for cleaning carpets but it also does a great job of giving a hard floor a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product before sealing.

Slate floor during cleaning Corby Slate floor during cleaning Corby

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry and we came back the next day to seal the slate using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied using a paint pad applicator. I usually use Seal and Go for slate tiles as it provides good stain protection with adds a nice sheen finish that adds to the look of the floor.

Slate floor during sealing Corby

The job took two days and the floor now looks transformed.

Slate floor after sealing Corby Slate floor after sealing Corby

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing Kitchen Slate Tiles in Towcester

These photographs of a Slate tiled floor were taken in the Kitchen of a house in Towcester where the slate was looking rather dull and had lost its appeal. This does happen with natural stone floor where the sealer which can add a shine to the stone becomes worn down and ineffective.

Towcester Slate Tiles Before Cleaning Slate Tiles Towcester Before Cleaning

Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles

We removed the kickboards from the kitchen units and lined the skirting boards with green Frog tape in order to protect them from cleaning fluids. The next step was to soak the floor in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which we let soak into the tile for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad and then using a stiff grout brush to clean out the grout lines.

Slate Tiles Towcester Scrubbing Slate Tiles Towcester Scrubbing

The floor was then thoroughly rinsed using clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was now free of sealers etc. and this showed up a few stubborn areas that needed to be retreated and washed down again. It’s important to give the floor a good rinse to ensure it’s free of any cleaning products as they can upset the sealer.

Slate Tiles Towcester After Cleaning Towcester Slate Tiles After Cleaning

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry and we came back the next day to seal the slate using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied using a paint pad applicator. I usually use Seal and Go for slate tiles as it provides good stain protection with adds a nice sheen finish that adds to the look of the floor.

Slate Tiles Towcester After Sealing Slate Tiles Towcester After Sealing

The job took two days and the floor now looks much better and much easier to clean, certainly the customer was very pleased and left the following message on our feedback system.

Phil is extremely professional and provided excellent customer service. He explained the process in detail and did a thorough job and worked extremely hard. The job was completed in the time proposed with a brilliant result. We have no hesitation in recommending Phil to others. Thank you.
Pete and Angie, Towcester
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Power Washing Paving Slabs in Great Oakley

This was a straight forward request to Power Wash Paving Slabs outside a house in Great Oakley. I wouldn’t normally add this to my blog however it occurred to me that a lot of my customers don’t realise Tile Doctor’s have invested in high pressure equipment that can be used externally as well as internally. In the photograph below you will see a picture of our van which contains a very high pressure truck mounted cleaning system which can generates pressures far in excess of a domestic system.

Tile Doctor Northamptonshire Truck Mounted Pressure Cleaning

Cleaning Paving Slabs

You can see from the photographs below that we were able to cut through the soil and grime built up on the surface of the tiles without too much trouble, fortunately these were large slabs as you do have to be careful around the joints where too much power can dislodge the mortar in-between the slabs. Also working outside does have the added advantage that there is a lot less preparation to do to protect other surfaces. It wasn’t necessary in this case but if you do struggle to clean paving slabs yourself you should apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean first and then let it soak in before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush, brick acid cleaners that you can buy in the DIY stores are very strong and you have to be very careful with them where as Pro-Clean is an alkaline product.

Cleaning Paving Slabs in Great Oakley Cleaning Paving Slabs in Great Oakley

 
 

Patio Cleaning in Northamptonshire

Kitchen Quarry Tile Cleaning and Sealing in Rushden

This job was to strip and re-seal these Quarry tiles installed in a commercial kitchen which was undergoing refurbishment at a canteen in Rushden, Northamptonshire. The tile finish had dulled and there was a lot of staining to the grout.

Quarry Tiles in Rushden before cleaning

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

As there was little in the way of kitchen units to protect I go straight down to stripping down the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner/stripper that’s safe to use on stone, tile and grout. The solution was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes in order to give it chance to soak into the tile surface and get to work on the existing sealer and dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and stiff hand brushes were used along the grout lines to get the grout clean. The resulting soiled solution was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and stubborn areas re-treated. Once I was happy the floor was given a final rinse and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

After checking the tiles had dried I proceeded to seal the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the floor from staining going forward and also adds a nice shine to the tile.

Quarry Tiles in Rushden After cleaning

 
 

Commercial Kitchen Quarry Tile cleaning in Northamptonshire

Polished Marble Floor Covered in Grout Haze in Irthlingborough

These photos are from a newly installed Polished Marble floor in the kitchen at a residence in Irthlingborough Northants which had been left covered in grout haze. The customer called the builder back as they were unhappy with the finish but he could not rectify the problem, so the customer contacted Tile Doctor to see if anything could be done.

This is a problem we often come up against where a builder or tiler does a good job of laying the tiles but for some reason doesn’t remove all the grout from the tile and we have even seen some jobs where the grout smears have been sealed over which makes it even more noticeable especially on a polished floor. Fortunately for the customer we are able to resolve such problems and after agreeing the process we set about solving the problem.

Marble Tiled Floor In Irthlingborough before cleaning

Burnishing Polished Marble Tiles

To protect the kitchen units from any splashing etc. all the kick boards were removed and plastic sheeting fitted to protect new doors and panels before any work was undertaken.

Polished Marble is a very hard surface that has to be burnished with diamond encrusted pads to restore the finish so we set about this task using a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads. The pads come in a set of four, you start with the coarse pad together with a little water and this cut’s through and removes surface grime, surface seal and in this case grout haze as well. You then progress through the other finer pads one by one until you get to the final polishing pad which provides a high polish. The pads did the trick and had the surface polished to a high shine which was the look the customer was hoping they would have had in the first place.

The floor was looking great but I was concerned about the grout, most people don’t realise but the top layer of grout is actually slightly porous and will attract dirt and discolour over time, this is especially the case in a bathroom or kitchen. After discussing this with the customer we sealed the grout with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which provides a natural look whilst preventing contaminates reaching the grout.

All in the job took two days and the customer was extremely happy with the final result.

Marble Tiled Floor In Irthlingborough after cleaning

 
 

Cleaning and Polishing Marble Tiled floor in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kettering

The following photos are from a Victorian tiled hallway floor at a residence in Kettering Northants which had been covered with carpet for the last thirty odd years; to make matters worse the carpet had been stuck down with adhesive which was proving very difficult to remove.

The customer phoned to see if it would be possible to restore the floor back to its former glory as it was very dirty and the colours were dull not to mention the glue. After a home visit and testing a small area to prove we could do the work, the customer booked us in to carry out the service before completing the decorating of the hallway. It’s always a good idea to have any heavy restoration work done before you decorate as heavy machinery is used and it can be a messy job.

Victorian floor in Kettering before cleaning 1 Victorian floor in Kettering before cleaning 2

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

To remove the glue and restore the tiles Tile Doctor Remove and Go was left to soak into the tile before being brushed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This process also works to lift out the embedded dirt from the floor tile; once done the soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with clean water to remove the product from the tile.

To get the grout clean Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up was sprayed onto all the grout lines and then hand scrubbed in with stiff brushes; this was then followed by a second wash and rinse.

The hallway was still in general use so the floors were then sheeted up for three days to protect them whilst the floor tiles and grout were allowed to dry out assisted by a dehumidifier which we left on site.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

On our return we remove the sheeting and damp tested the tiles to make sure they had dried sufficiently; all was well so we sealed the floor by applying five coats of Tile Doctor High Shine as the customer had requested a high gloss finish in order to fully bring out the colours of the tiles.

Victorian floor in Kettering after cleaning 1 Victorian floor in Kettering after cleaning 2

I think you will agree from the photographs we have managed to achieve this, certainly the customer was very happy with the results.
 
 

Victorian Tile Restoration in Kettering, Northamptonshire

Kitchen Quarry Tile Cleaning and Sealing in Daventry

Apologies for the poor quality of these grainy Quarry Tile Cleaning photographs taken in the kitchen of a residential property in Daventry but it was the middle of winter and I was using my phone camera which doesn’t have an effective flash. Hopefully you can see from the photograph below how dirt had become ingrained into the tile and stains to the grout.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

To get the floor clean I removed the kick boards around the base of the kitchen units and applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with NanoTech Ultraclean which adds tiny abrasive particles to an already powerful alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on tile and stone. It was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes first in order to give it chance to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, stiff hand brushes were along the grout lines. The soiled solution was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and allow us to see which areas need further attention. Once I was happy the floor was given a final rinse and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning

Sealing Quarry Tiles

On my return the floor was checked in a number of places with a damp meter to confirm it had dried which it had and it was then sealed using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice shine to the floor as well as providing a surface seal that will help protect the tile from stains going forward. Sealing can take some time as you need to let the first coat dry before starting the second.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 

Quarry Tile Maintenance in a Daventry Kitchen

Cleaning and Sealing Black Welsh Slate Floor in Whilton

The photographs below are taken from a job in the village of Whilton near Daventry where we were asked to clean and seal a black Welsh Slate tiled floor that was installed in a Kitchen and adjacent dining area.

The customer was concerned that the floor was very dull and proving difficult to keep clean additionally she was having a new kitchen fitted and didn’t want to replace the floor but wanted to achieve a shiny finish that was easy to maintain.

Welsh Black Rough Slate kitchen Before Cleaning 1

On the initial survey I found the sealant was of a poor quality and had all but worn off allowing stain and soil to seep into the grout and stain the tiles, stains which were difficult to remove with normal household cleaning products.

Cleaning Welsh Slate Tiles

After fully masking up the areas to protect the skirting boards and wooden steps I carried out a deep clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad in order to strip the floor and remove the old wax sealer and tackle the ingrained stains and grime. Additionally the grout lines were scrubbed using stiff hand brushes to bring them back to an acceptable appearance. The soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and then washed down with clean water so we could see the areas that needed further work and repeated the process.

Once I was happy with the overall appearance the entire area was given a thorough rinse and wash to remove any chemical and neutralise the floor before sealing. We left a dehumidifier in place to assist in the drying process as we wanted to ensure the tile and grout was fully dry prior to application of a sealer.

Welsh Black Rough Slate kitchen after Stripping

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

We came back two days later and checked the floor was dry which it was so we proceeded to apply the sealer for which we chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) that is recommended for Slate tiles and provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish that really does bring the floor alive. It took five coats before the slate tiles were fully sealed.

Welsh Black Rough Slate kitchen After Cleaning and Sealing 1 Welsh Black Rough Slate kitchen After Cleaning and Sealing 2

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Welsh Slate Tiled Floor in Wilton Village near Daventry

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Towcester

The photograph below is from a Victorian tiled hallway floor that we were asked to restore in the historic town of Towcester, Northamptonshire; the owner wanted the tiles restored as an original feature. You can see from the photograph below how dull and neglected the tiles were so we had our work cut out.

Victorian Tiles in Towcester Before Restoration

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

We set about cleaning the tile using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on tile and stone. It was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for ten minutes first in order to give it chance to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, stiff hand brushes were used in difficult to get to places and along the grout lines requiring a substantial amount of elbow grease. The soiled water was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and the floor was rinsed with clean water so we could see the result.

Unfortunately there were a number of stubborn areas and a stronger product was needed to shift them so we applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coating remover that can shift most issues, again this was applied and left to dwell for a while before working it into the stubborn stains using hand brushes. The dirty solution was removed again using the wet and dry vacuum and we could see the tiles were now clean so the floor was given a thorough rinse several times with fresh water to remove any leftover chemical and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

The next day the floor had dried so we were able to seal it using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice shine to the floor as well as providing a surface seal that will help protect the tile from stains going forward.

Victorian Tiles in Towcester After Restoration

A lot of effort but what a transformation and well worth the work that went into it as you can see from the photograph above.
 
 

Victorian Tile Restoration in Brighton

Cleaning and Sealing Chinese Slate Floor in Kingsthorpe

On this page you will find a good selection of photographs taken during the cleaning and sealing of a Chinese Slate tiled floor in the village of Kingsthorpe, Northampton. The floor had been installed in the kitchen and the lounge and both the slate and the grout was in need of a deep clean.

Chinese Slate Tile Before Kitchen

Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles

The first thing we do is to protect anything that can’t by moved by wrapping it in a plastic sheet once this was done we set about scrubbing the slate tiled floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a rotary machine fitted with a black pad, we used a grout brush to clean out the grout lines and then rinsed the floor thoroughly with clean water.

Chinese Slate Tile Cleaning Kitchen Chinese Slate Tile Cleaning Lounge

It’s not until the floor has been washed down that you can spot any stubborn or missed areas so it’s not usual to have to repeat this process until a satisfactory result is obtained. We had both the kitchen and lounge to do and this took most of the day, before leaving for the evening we switched on an air blower to help the floor to dry.

Chinese Slate Tile Lounge Drying

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

We came back the next day and checked the floor was dry, fortunately the air blower had done its job and we were able to get on with the sealing the floor.

To seal the floor five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied using a paint pad applicator. Seal and Go is recommended for Slate tiles and provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish that really does bring the floor alive.

Chinese Slate Tile Sealing Lounge Chinese Slate Tile Lounge After

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Travertine Kitchen floor Cleaned and Sealed in Brixworth

This house in Brixworth near Northampton had Travertine tiles fitted in the kitchen and Ceramic tiles in the hallway, both of which were in need of a deep clean. It was clear that the sealer on the Travertine tiles had stopped working allowing dirt to become ingrained in the surface causing it to become very difficult to clean, you can see this quite clearly in the photographs below, the grout had also become darker.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before

Cleaning Travertine Tile

Travertine is a very hard surface so normally it’s necessary to use diamond encrusted burnishing pad system to clean, strip and polish the floor, in this case however I decided to try a combination of stripping and high pressure clean instead. I started by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose tile cleaner safe to use on natural stone. This was left to dwell on the floor so it could get to work on the dirt before being worked in to the stone using a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine. This was then rinsed off with high pressure spinning tool operating at 1200 PSI to blast out the dirt from the pitted tiles and badly soiled grout lines.

Sealing Travertine Tile

The tiles were left to dry overnight and we came back the next day to seal the Travertine tile with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide on-going stain protection as well as giving the tiles the glossy finish the customer had requested.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles After Travertine Kitchen Tiles After

Cleaning Ceramic Tile

To tackle the Ceramic tiles in the hallway we used a similar system involving the use of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a scrubbing pad to get the tiles clean; Ceramic tiles however are usually glazed and won’t take a sealer the top layer of Grout however is porous and to protect that we applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go along the grout lines.

Ceramic Tiled Hallway Before Ceramic Tiled Hallway After

 
 

Travertine and Cermaic Tiles maintenance in Northampton

Cleaning and Sealing a dirty Sandstone Tiled Floor in Hannington

This customer in Hannington had a badly soiled and stained rough sandstone tiled floor which they were finding extremely difficult to keep clean. It was apparent that the previous sealer was no longer working well and so the only solution was to strip and clean the floor then re-seal.

Sandstone Hannington Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Rough Sandstone Tiled Floor

I stripped the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean to produce a strong stripper and cleaning solution that is safe to use on natural stone. This was worked into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing brush rather than a pad to cope better with the uneven finish of the rough Sandstone.

This activity was then followed with a high pressure spinning tool operating at (1200psi) in four to five metre square sections. The spinner tool washes the tile surface with high pressure water and also extracts the water from the surface simultaneously which dislodges and loosens built up ingrained grim from the tiles and grout.

The floor was now clean and free of old sealer and was left to dry for a couple of day aided by turbo fans and dehumidifiers which we left at the property.

Sandstone Hannington After Cleaning Sandstone Hannington After Cleaning

Sealing a Rough Sandstone Tiled Floor

When we came back we first tested the floor with a damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone, fortunately the machines we had left behind had done their job and the floor was completely dry so we started to seal the floor. For this the customer had chosen Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a high gloss finish as well as lifting the natural colour in the stone.

Sandstone Hannington After Sealing Sandstone Hannington After Sealing

 
 

Sandstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Northamptonshire

150 Year Old Quarry Tile Restoration in Northants School

Shown below are some photographs for a job we did recently restoring 150 year old Quarry Tiles at a School near Peterborough in Northamptonshire. The school had a lot of problems with this floor over the years and had called in another cleaning company several months prior but found that within weeks the sealant they had applied had started to bubble and peal off. The floor was suffering from ongoing dampness problems in some areas, which isn’t unusual for a floor in an old building as damp proofing is a relatively modern concept. Tile Doctor was called in to try to rectify the issues.

Quarry Tiles Failed Sealer Quarry Tiles Failed Sealer

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

The work was booked to be carried out before Xmas and we spent hours stripping the tiles with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean agitated with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad with little affect. To resolve the problem we resorted to getting down on hands and knees with a steamer and scrapper and spend the next 3 days taking off several coats of sealant and wax stripping quarry tile floor. The floors were then allowed to dry for ten days over Christmas.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

We returned in the New Year and took damp meter readings from the floor to ensure it was dry before sealing. The choice of sealer was vital given the floor was 150 years old and it was essential we chose one that was breathable to ensure any dampness could permeate up through the floor and not get trapped causing a problem. We settled for Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is breathable and offers good stain protection as well as enhancing the colour in the tile, two coats were sufficient to ensure to seal the floor. The last step was to buff the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad to bring out the shine.

Quarry Tiles Cleaned Applying Sealer Quarry Tiles Cleaned Applying Sealer

Quarry Tile Maintenance

The school had faced problems maintaining this floor in the past so I returned to site the following week to explain the best method for cleaning the floor going forward; this essentially involves using two buckets, once containing cleaning solution and another to rinse out the mop, I also gave them a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner and a white buffing pad to point them in the right direction. Neutral Cleaner is a PH Neutral formula which unlike most acid products will not degrade the sealer over time.

Quarry Tiles Cleaned and Sealed Quarry Tiles Cleaned and Sealed

 

Northants School Quarry Tiled floor restoration

Dull and Stained Semi Riven Black Slate Floor Tiles in Kettering

Great testimonial here from the customer who described her floor as “bleak drab grey dull slate with heavily stained brown looking grout”. The slate tiles are Semi Riven Black Slate laid on the floor of a Kitchen in a house in Kettering.

Cleaning the Slate Floor Tiles

We used a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and mixed with warm water scrubbed into the floor to release the dirt. A stronger dilution of Pro-Clean was required in some areas with stubborn stains. The slate floor tiles were then rinsed with water using a wet vacuum to soak up the excess; we then rinsed and vacuumed the floor a second time to make sure there was no Pro-Clean residue left behind. The floor was then covered with a dust sheet and left to dry overnight.

Semi Riven Black Slate floor scrubbing Semi Riven Black Slate floor scrubbing
Semi Riven black slate floor grout scrubbing

Sealing the Slate Floor Tiles

The next day I used a damp tester it to make sure the slate floor was fully dry and then proceeded to apply several coats of Tile Doctor High Shine sealer which gives a nice deep shine as well as providing stain protection. I mentioned to the customer about the free bottle of Ph Neutral Tile and Stone Cleaner that Tile Doctor send out on completion of customer feedback to ensure she had the right product to clean her newly sealed slate tiles going forward. A lot of people don’t realise that many products available for tile cleaning in supermarkets are really designed for ceramic floors and that they can erode the sealers due to their high ph content.

Semi Riven Black Slate floor cleaned sealed Semi Riven Black Slate floor cleaned sealed

My customer Ms Hayes was very pleased with the results and left the following testimonial.

Phil did a tremendous professional stunning job on my floor. My kitchen floor was a bleak drab grey dull slate with heavily stained brown looking grout that was supposed to be cream! My floor had never been sealed in the 7 years since it had been laid. No matter how much I washed it- it always looked grim. I found out about The Tile Doctor and immediately searched for one in my area. He got back to me the next day and came to see my floor. I told him I don’t care if it’s perfect- I just want it ‘better’. Well today I can put my hand on my heart and say- it is perfect! I am thrilled. Better yet, my husband who did not think we needed a Tile Doctor at all, agrees that our floor is amazing! The grey slate is now is shiny and beautifully cleaned and coated – the grout is cream once again! The whole floor shimmers! I took photographs all the way through the process because the procedure was so thorough and the stages of the cleaning and sealing were fascinating to me. I am so happy now, that not only will I tell others about The Tile Doctor, but I have posted my impressive before and after photos on Facebook and people from all over the world are amazed and want to have their floors done by The Tile Doctor too! I wish you could see the photos- you would be impressed too! Thank you Phil, so much! Mrs Hayes
 
 

Cleaning Semi Riven Black Slate Floor Tiles

Slate Tile Flooring Cleaning In Northampton

Pictures below from rough slate tile flooring installed in the Kitchen and Toilet of a house in Northampton. The home owner had called us in to give the slate floor a clean and seal.

Kitchen Slate Floor Before Kitchen Slate Floor Before

Cleaning the Slate Tile Flooring

We cleaned the slate tiled floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean in order to strip any remaining sealer together with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The buffing machine doesn’t get into the grout lines so well so we had to use hand brushes for that. The floor was washed down with clean water and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Slate Tiled Flooring

We came back the next day to seal the floor using five coats Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides stain resistance as well as adding a low sheen to the floor.

Kitchen Slate Floor After Kitchen Slate Floor After

The home owner was very happy with work we did and left the comment below.

Effective and efficient service, would highly recommend Phil Vissian and the service provided.

Amanda, Northampton

Slate Tile Flooring Cleaning In Northampton

Quarry Tile Floor

Quarry Tile Floor in Weldon, Northants

I think you will be impressed with these photographs from a Quarry Tile floor we did in Weldon recently. This quarry tiles were installed in the kitchen and went through to the dinning room, hallway and down stairs cloakroom, at total of around 40sq metres

The tiles were recenctly installed and the customer called us in because they were unhappy with the finished result. This can be a common problem with Tilers who do a great job of levelling, tiling and grouting a floor but struggle on their knowledge of sealers. They were hoping for a high gloss finish but were left with a very dull and patchy floor.

Quarry Tile Floor Cleaning

We stripped the entire floor first using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean assisted by a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. This removed most of the sealer, however, we encountered more problems with grout haze which had been trapped underneath the sealer and had not been cleaned off properly to begin with. Also there were still patches of the original sealer which had been applied over a damp floor. The grout haze was removed by hand with wire bushes and more Pro-Clean and then the entire area was blanket stripped. This is an interesting technique unique to Tile Doctor which involves applying Remove and Go mixed with Nanotech Ultra-Clean to tiles and then covering in plastic sheeting and left for several hours to allow to soak into tiles. We then used a steam stripper and a wet vacuum to pick up to remove and rinse off the products. The area was then left to dry for 2 days assisted by dehumidifiers.

Quarry Tile Floor Sealing

After this time we returned to site to take damp metre readings and once we were happy that all areas were dry, we then applied 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to protect floors and provide the high gloss finish that the customer requested.

Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire