Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Tiles Rejuvenated in Lower Boddington

Some of the world’s best-known Travertine quarries are found in Italy. In fact, the curved columns of the Vatican City are made from Travertine. But the stone is popularly used for flooring in many other countries, including the UK. It’s a form of Limestone which is quite soft and porous, but has unique aesthetic characteristics, including natural pits and voids.

The natural process of corrosion, known as pitting, makes it so that without the right maintenance and adequate sealer, Travertine is very difficult to clean. The small holes that form in the stone can quickly become ingrained with dirt and other muck. Making things worse, many modern cleaning products are not suitable for use on Travertine: they are acidic and over time will cause further corrosion to occur.

Recently, I was called to a property in the quaint Northamptonshire village of Lower Boddington to rejuvenate a tumbled Travertine tiled kitchen floor. The house was a very busy one, with children and dogs running around. Needless to the say the tiles were looking worse for well and were in desperate of restoration, including cleaning, polishing and sealing to brighten the appearance of the floor and protect it from everyday stains and foot traffic.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen floor Before Cleaning in Lower Boddington Tumbled Travertine Kitchen floor Before Cleaning in Lower Boddington

Cleaning and Polishing Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Tiles

The first thing I needed to do was to remove the plinths from the kitchen units and cover the base units and appliances with a protective film to prevent them from encountering the cleaning products.

Next, I began the process we know as burnishing, which involves the application of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to the tiles to resurface and polish them. In the Tile Doctor system, there are four such pads, each possessing a different level of grit. These pads are fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine and then applied sequentially, starting with the Coarse pad, before moving through to the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine.

A small amount of water is used as lubrication with each pad and I stopped in this case between the application of each pad to soak up any excess moisture using a wet vacuum. The result after completing the burnishing process is a very refined and high-quality polished finish.

After burnishing the tiles, I followed by cleaning the grout lines carefully using a combination of handheld brushes and Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is an alkaline-based tile and grout cleaner.

Sealing Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Tiles

I left to the floor to dry out completely overnight and would return the following day to carry out a final polish of the tiles and to seal the stone. I did this using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is a natural-look, impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum protection. You can see the fantastic results in the photos below.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen floor After Cleaning in Lower Boddington Tumbled Travertine Kitchen floor After Cleaning in Lower Boddington

Before leaving my very happy customer to the enjoy, I left her with customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, a neutral and highly reliable cleaner for natural stone floors such as Travertine. This will assist her in maintaining the appearance and condition of the tiles going forward. Another satisfied customer!
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing for a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Restoration in Lower Boddington

Damaged Marble Bathroom Countertop Polished and Sealed in Northampton

Marble is known for its premium quality, toughness and aesthetic, making it a very popular choice for bathroom countertops, such as this one at a house in Northampton. However just because it’s tough doesn’t mean that Marble can be cleaned with the usual household cleaners. Like all natural stone, Marble is acid sensitive and unsuitable products can have a very damaging effect on its appearance.

In this situation, the property owner had used a limescale remover to remove some unsightly marks from the countertop. Unfortunately, the product was acid-based and instead of making an improvement it just made it worse and caused severe etching.

Black Marble Vanity Worktop Before Polishing in Northampton

The first photo above shows the limescale marks from where toiletries have been placed on the side whilst wet. Since Northampton is a hard water area, the limescale deposits over time caused these marks to appear.

Burnishing a Damaged Marble Bathroom Countertop

The only way to effectively remove the Limestone deposits – while at the same time rectifying the damaged caused by the botched cleaning attempt – was to use a system of hand-held diamond encrusted pads and hand help blocks of various grits to cut back the stone and re-polish it, a process we call burnishing.

Before officially beginning the burnishing process, I ran a few tests to determine the type of pad I would need to use to achieve the best results. I found that, in most areas, I would need to use the Tile Doctor 400 Grit (Coarse) pad to resurface the tile and remove the damaged layer of stone, but in some areas where the etching was worse, I would need to use the 200 Grit (Very Coarse) pad.

After burnishing the affected areas with the Coarse and Very Coarse grit pads, I started to incrementally polish the stone to achieve a high-quality shine, working my up through the Medium, Fine and Very grit pads.

Black Marble Vanity Worktop During Polishing in Northampton

No chemicals were used during this process – only water for lubrication, combined with the six-inch diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a hand-held buffing machine.

Sealing a Marble Bathroom Countertop

The final part of the restoration was to seal the stone to maintain a long-lasting, deep polished appearance. To do this, I used Tile Doctor Shine Powder, which is a crystallising sealer in powder form. The powder is applied directly and combined with water, before being worked into the stone to seal it.

Black Marble Vanity Worktop After Polishing in Northampton

The customer was very happy with the results and the level of shine achieved. I gave the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, which is our aftercare cleaner for polished natural stone, along with instructions on periodic maintenance to help maintain the finish we had achieved for as long as possible.
 
 

Removing Limescale Marks from a Polished Marble Countertop in Northamptonshire

Bleach-Damaged Slate Poolhouse Tiles Restored in Oundle

This very nice house in a village near Oundle in Northamptonshire features something we don’t see too often in residential property – an indoor swimming pool. The pool is surrounded by some very complementary and rustic looking Slate tiles which act as the flooring in the poolhouse.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

However, over the years, the Slate tiles had been badly damaged by the chlorine bleach which is used to sterilise the pool water. The cumulative effect of people splashing water onto the tiles or walking around wet on the floor had caused the sealant to break down and the bleach had left a white blotchiness on the stone. I was asked to rectify the situation by deep cleaning the tiles, resurfacing some of the damaged stone, and applying a fresh sealant.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

Cleaning Bleach-Damaged Slate Tiles

My first course of action in restoring these tiles was to clean the entire floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline-based cleaner for most types of natural stone. This product was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff brush fitted to a rotary machine. After cleaning, I rinsed the floor with fresh water and used a wet vacuum to soak up the resulting slurry. Although the pool was protected with a cover I had to take care not to allow any of my cleaning water to contaminate the pool.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

The process was effective in removing most of the white calcium deposits caused by the bleach, but not all of them. I tackled the more embedded stains with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids which treats stubborn smears such as these. The gel was brushed onto the tiles and left to dwell for 15 minutes, and then agitated using a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After rinsing the floor again, I found that there were yet still stubborn stains remaining that didn’t respond to chemical cleaning. I decided that removing these would necessitate a more aggressive approach, and so used a set of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads to literally remove the damaged layer of stone and resurface the face of some of the badly damaged tiles.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

Sealing Slate Tiles

The tiles were left to dry overnight after being cleaned and repaired. The next day, I returned to the property to applying the fresh sealant. For this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a sealant which impregnates the stone to provide maximum protection and enhances its natural colours.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

The customer was very impressed with the result and was very much keen to make sure the tiles remained in such good condition, so I made sure to provide the groundsman with instructions on routine maintenance.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

I informed him that each time the pool is used the entire area needs to be hosed and brushed down as no sealer can withstand continuous exposure to chlorine bleach. I also left a complementary tin of Colour Grow sealant with him for periodic top-ups, as well as information on the yearly maintenance plan we offer at Tile Doctor.
 
 

Professional Removal of Calcium Deposits from Slate Pool House Tiles in Northamptonshire

Neglected Egyptian Marble Patio Transformed in Bozeat

Patios are particularly difficult to keep clean as they are continuously exposed to the elements fortunately Tile Doctor specialises in cleaning and restoring all different types of natural stone internal and external.

I was recently asked to restore a patio at a house in Bozeat, a village in Northamptonshire. The patio was consisted of both floor tiles and walls, and was made of a rather uncommon stone: Egyptian-style Marble.

Stained Patio Wall Before Cleaning

The customer had clearly taken pride in the presentation and aesthetic of his garden but, having a concentrated on other projects for the past couple of years, he had neglected to preserve the condition of patio. Making matters worse, the patio had never been sealed, and this had allowed dirt and moss to become ingrained in the stone. The customer was also concerned by a large rust mark left on the stone where old garden furniture had been sitting.

Egyptian Marble Patio Path Bozeat Before Cleaning Rust Stained Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat Before Cleaning

Upon my first visit to the property, I carried out a test clean on a small patch of Marble using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high-alkaline cleaner that we find particularly reliable to use on natural stone. The customer was very impressed by the sudden improvement in the condition of the test patch. I also tested a new product by the name of Tile Doctor Rust Away, which is a non-acidic rust remover. Amazingly, the product helped to reduce the rust stain by about 90%.

The full restoration was booked in to take place within a fortnight.

Cleaning an Egyptian Marble Patio

The first part of the restoration involved cleaning the entire patio with Pro Clean, although I worked one small section at a time. The product was worked into the stone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was rinsed away using a Honda Petrol jet washer and a spinning tool, leaving the patio clear of most of the dirty, algae and moss.

Next, I treated the entire rust stain with Rust Away. The product was scrubbed in using a handheld brush and left to dwell for a few minutes, before I rinsed the area with the jet washer and spinning tool. The stone had a matte finish, but to remove the deeper staining, I needed to use a set of three diamond-encrusted burnishing pads, which we typically use for polishing stone and removing light scratches and marks.

Sealing an Egyptian Marble Patio

Luckily, the weather proved to be good, so I could return to the property the following day to seal the patio, including the walls, with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is an impregnating, natural-look sealer designed to ensure maximum stain protection.

Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat After Cleaning Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat After Cleaning

The photos really do speak for themselves, showing the amazing results and transformation of the garden. I left the happy customer with some maintenance instructions to keep the appearance of stone up as it is exposed to the elements.

Egyptian Marble Patio Path Bozeat After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of an Egyptian Marble Patio in Northamptonshire

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

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

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2012

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

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

150 Year Old Quarry Tile Restoration in Northants School

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

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

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2013

Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiles for Maintenance

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

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

Victorian Quarry Tile After Maintenance Oundle School in 2017

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

Professional Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Maintenance at a School in Oundle

Restoring a Riven Slate Patio Suffering from Grout Haze in Wollaston

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

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Before Cleaning

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

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

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

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Testi Cleaning

I was then able to begin the cleaning process.

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Patio

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

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

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston During Cleaning

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

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 2nd Cleaning

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

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 1st Coat

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

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Completed

 
 

Professional Riven Slate Tiled Patio Restoration in Northants

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

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

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

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

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

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

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

Slate Floor During Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

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

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

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

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

Slate Floor During Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

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

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough


 
 

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

Cleaning and Grouting Sandstone Patio Paving in Kettering

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

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

Sandstone Patio Before Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

Maintaining Sandstone Patio Paving

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

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

Sandstone Patio After Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

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

Sandstone Patio Maintenance in Northamptonshire

Badly Stained and Pitted Travertine Kitchen Tiles Restored in Daventry

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

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

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Daventry Northants

Cleaning a Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor

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

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

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Daventry Northants

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

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

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

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Polishing Daventry Northants

 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in West Haddon

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

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

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled hallway floor

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

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

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

Sealing a Victorian tiled hallway floor

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

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

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

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon

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

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon

 
 

Maintaining a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Northamptonshire

Removing Limescale staining from a Black Limestone Shower Cubicle in Everdon

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

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Everdon Vilage

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

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Everdon Vilage

Cleaning and Burnishing a Stained Black Limestone Shower Cubicle

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

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

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

Sealing a Black Limestone Shower Cubicle

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

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

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Everdon Vilage

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

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Everdon Vilage

 
 

Professional Limescale Removal from Acid Sensitive Stone in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northampton

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

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

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

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

Grouting Victorian Tiles

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

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

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

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

Sealing Victorian Tiles

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

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

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

 
 

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Polished Limestone Tiles Burnished and Restored Near Oundle

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

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

Polished Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Ashton Village

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

Polished Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Ashton Village

Burnishing and Cleaning Polished Limestone Tiles

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

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

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

Sealing Polished Limestone Tiles

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

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

Polished Limestone Floor Ater Cleaning Ashton Village

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

Polished Limestone Floor Ater Cleaning Ashton Village

 
 

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

Badly Stained and Pitted Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Helmdon

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

Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning Helmdon

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

Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning Helmdon Showing Pitting

Cleaning a stained Travertine tiled floor

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

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

Travertine Kitchen Tiles During Cleaning Helmdon

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

Sealing a Travertine tiled floor

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

Travertine Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning Helmdon

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

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

Travertine Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning Helmdon Close-Up

 
 

Stained and Pitted Travertine Kitchen Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Century-old Victorian Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Finedon

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

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

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Finedon

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

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

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

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

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

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Finedon

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

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

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

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Finedon

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

100 Year Old Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Northamptonshire

Burnishing Travertine Tiles To Restore Lustre in Staverton

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

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

Travertine tile before burnishing Steverton Travertine tile before burnishing Steverton

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

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

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

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

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

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

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

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

The fantastic results can be seen in the photos below.

Travertine tile after burnishing Steverton Travertine tile after burnishing Steverton

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

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

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

Travertine tile after burnishing Steverton

 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

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

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

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

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

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

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

Removing Grout Haze from Terracotta Tiles

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

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

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

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quarry tiles before cleaning Ringstead

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

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

Cleaning 350-Year Old Quarry Tiles

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

Quarry tiles before cleaning Ringstead

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

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

Quarry tiles after cleaning Ringstead

Sealing 350-Year Old Quarry Tiles

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

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

Quarry tiles after sealing Ringstead

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

Quarry tiles after sealing Ringstead

 
 

Professional Restoration on a antique Quarry Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Stained and Damaged Sandstone Patio Restoration in Rushden

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

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

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

Cleaning a Stained and Damaged Sandstone Patio

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

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

Re-grouting and Sealing a Sandstone Patio

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

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

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

 
 

Professional Sandstone Patio Restoration Northamptonshire

Polished Travertine Tiles with Pitting Issues Restored in Oundle

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

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

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

Pitted travertine before repair Oundle

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

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

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

Pitted travertine during cleaning Oundle

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

Pitted travertine during repair Oundle

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

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

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

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

Pitted travertine after repair Oundle

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

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

Professional Restoration of a Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Mouldy Shower Cubicle Refreshed in Northampton

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

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

Mouldy shower cubicle before Northampton Mouldy shower cubicle before Northampton

Cleaning and Repairing Damaged Shower Cubicle Grout

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

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

Mouldy shower cubicle after Northampton Mouldy shower cubicle after Northampton

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

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

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

Mouldy shower cubicle before and after Northampton

 
 

Professional Shower Cubicle Renovation in Northamptonshire

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

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

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

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

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

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

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

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Sealing Victorian and Quarry Tiles

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

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

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

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

 
 

Professional Quarry and Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration at a Northamtonshire Church

Slate Patio Tiles Treated for Grout Haze and Sealed in Brackley

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

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

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Before Cleaning Brackley

Treating a Slate Tiled Patio for Grout Haze

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

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

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Being Cleaned in Brackley

Sealing a Slate Tiled Patio

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

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

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Removed and Sealed in Brackley

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

Restoring the Appearance of a Natural Slate Patio in Northamptonshire

Grout Haze Trapped Under Sealed Slate Tiles in Woburn Sands

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

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

Removing Sealer and Grout Haze from Slate

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

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

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

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

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

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

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

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

Dealing with Grout Haze on a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

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

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

Black and Red Quarry Tiles Welton Before Cleaning

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

Cleaning a Dirty Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor

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

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

Sealing a Black and Red Quarry Tiled a Floor

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

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

Black and Red Quarry Tiles Welton After Cleaning

 
 

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

Complete Restoration of Chinese Slate Tiles in Norton near Daventy

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

Chinese Slate Before Cleaning in Norton near Daventry

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

Cleaning a Dirty Chinese Slate Tiled Floor

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

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

Chinese Slate During Grout Cleaning in Norton near Daventry

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

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

Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Floor

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

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

Chinese Slate After Cleaning and Sealing in Norton near Daventry

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

Professional Chinese Slate Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Extremely Dirty and Damp Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Higham Ferrers

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

Red Quarry Tiles Higham Ferrers Northants Before

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

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

Red Quarry Tiles Higham Ferrers Northants Before

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

Cleaning Extremely Dirty Quarry Tiles

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

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

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

Sealing Quarry Tiles

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

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

Red Quarry Tiles Higham Ferrers Northants After

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

Red Quarry Tiles Higham Ferrers Northants After

 
 

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

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

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