Victorian Tiles Discovered Under Lino Renovated in Kettering

The customer called me after she had removed the lino in her hallway to discover a traditional Victorian tiled floor hidden underneath. Unfortunately, at some time in the past this floor hadn’t been protected whilst decoration was carried out and had been heavily stained with splashes of paint. Although the customer had tried her best to clean the paint off the floor, she had found it was impossible to remove. She was really keen to restore the floor back to its’ former glory and see the back of the nasty looking lino!

I visited the property in Kettering which is a lovely town in Northamptonshire, approx. 15 miles from Northampton itself. The area is now very popular with commuters with regular trains heading to London St Pancras taking just one hour. As the pictures she had sent me showed the floor needed professional cleaning as no amount of household products would be able to remove the problem areas. I discussed with the customer what we could do to get the floor restored and we agreed a price for the work, scheduling it in for a few weeks later.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

To clean the floor, it was first sprayed with a solution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was left to dwell for fifteen minutes to help soften the paint. We then used our heavy-duty scrubbing machine with the appropriate attachments to scrub the floor. A little warm water was added to the solution on the floor to help remove the paint as the scrubbing was underway. Once done a wet vacuum was used to remove the slurry generated by the scrubbing process.

This process was repeated several times in the most stubborn areas to ensure the floor was as clean as possible. This action removed around 90% of the paint which was a huge improvement, but more work was required before it would meet my standards.

To further improve the condition of the tiles my next course of action was to apply Tile Doctors 100 and 200-grit burnishing pads to the floor with water to help lubricate. After each pad the find slurry that was generated was extracted off the floor using the wet vacuum. This process reconditions the surface of the Victorian tile and removed the remainder of the paint, it also cleaned the remaining areas that needed further attention leaving the floor spotless. I left the floor to dry overnight and arranged to return the following morning to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The customer wanted the floor to look natural so requested a matt finish sealer, also being an old floor without a damp proof membrane I specified the sealer should be fully breathable so moisture can pass up from the sub floor and not become trapped under the tile where it could cause problems. With these factors in mind we agreed on Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which ticks all these boxes.

As you can see from the after pictures, the restorative cleaning process really did the trick. The colours in the floor were now nice and clear and the floor looked as it should.
The customer was over the moon with the outcome, she had not expected the finish achieved to be as good.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering

No matter how bad you think the floor is with the use of professional machinery and Tile Doctor products we can restore most floors to a high standard, which certainly in this case exceeded the customers’ expectations.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northamptonshire

Travertine Tiled Floor Maintenance Visit in Orlingbury

At Tile Doctor, we have a long history of bringing tiles back to life – typically after they have experienced many, many years’ worth of neglect. If fact you can see photos on our many websites, that show the dramatic difference we can make.

Keeping a floor looking good once it’s been restored is the job of the sealer which will protect the tile from dirt becoming ingrained in its pores. However, sealers do wear off with use so in most cases we generally recommend you ask us to pop back every six to twelve months to give the floor a quick clean and top-up the sealer. We call this a Tile Doctor Maintenance Plan and it’s designed to ensure your tiles always look their best.

By way of example the photographs on this page are of a beautiful Travertine tiled floor, at a property in the Northamptonshire town of Orlingbury. The floor was originally laid around ten years ago and we were called in three years ago to perform a full restorative clean which took a couple of days to complete. The customer was amazed with the results achieved by the initial work and wanted to ensure it remained that way, so we worked out a maintenance plan for the customer and we pop back every year to do a maintenance clean and top-up the sealer.

Travertine Tiled Floor Orlingbury Before Maintenance Travertine Tiled Floor Orlingbury Before Maintenance

One of the advantages of the maintenance plan is that it can be paid for over the course of the year with monthly instalments, or as a one-off payment once the work is completed. The customer can choose either option.

The photos below show the same Travertine tiled floor after we had performed a maintenance clean for the third time. You won’t see a dramatic difference, just a floor that has retained its natural beauty all year round. This annual clean is far less disruptive than the original full restoration service and can normally be carried out over the course of a single day.

Maintenance Clean and Seal for Travertine Tiled Floor

The products and methods involved in the maintenance clean vary depending on the type of stone. To begin with, we vacuum the floor to remove any debris and then perform a light clean with a Tile Doctor product. This product is usually either Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Stone Soap depending on if the floor is polished stone.

Neutral Tile Cleaner is a pH neutral cleaner that is specially formulated for regular cleaning and ensures your sealed surface remains undamaged. Stone Soap is a similar product for light duty cleaning but with an additive that help build patina.

If we are restoring polished stone, such as Travertine, Marble or Limestone, we proceed to perform a light polish of the tiles using a very fine 3,000 grit Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a floor polishing machine.

Travertine Tiled Floor Orlingbury After Maintenance Travertine Tiled Floor Orlingbury After Maintenance

To finish, the floor is dried quickly using a series of fans and one coat of a Tile Doctor sealant is applied to top up the sealant that was originally applied during the restoration clean. In this situation, we applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour-intensifying sealant that dries with a matte finish.

Again, you won’t see a dramatic difference in the pictures above, the idea is to maintain the original finish which given time will degrade as the sealer wears off.
 
 

Northamptonshire Tile Doctor Maintenance Plan Information

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

Removing ingrained dirt from Crushed Edge Limestone tiles in Corby

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

Crushed Edge Limestone Corby Before Crushed Edge Limestone Corby Before

Cleaning Crushed Edge Limestone

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

Burnishing Crushed Edge Limestone

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

Sealing Crushed Edge Limestone

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

Crushed Edge Limestone Corby After Crushed Edge Limestone Corby After

 
 

Cleaning Limestone Tiles in Northamptonshire

Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Refreshed in Kettering

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

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

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

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

Removing Mould from Grout

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

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

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

Refreshing a Ceramic Tiled Bath in Kettering

Cleaning and Sealing Kitchen Slate Tiles in Corby

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

Slate floor before cleaning Corby Slate floor before cleaning Corby

Cleaning Slate Kitchen Tiles

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

Slate floor during cleaning Corby Slate floor during cleaning Corby

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

Slate floor during cleaning Corby Slate floor during cleaning Corby

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

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

Slate floor during sealing Corby

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

Slate floor after sealing Corby Slate floor after sealing Corby

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kettering

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

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

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

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

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

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

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

Sealing Victorian Tiles

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

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

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

Victorian Tile Restoration in Kettering, Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing a dirty Sandstone Tiled Floor in Hannington

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

Sandstone Hannington Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Rough Sandstone Tiled Floor

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

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

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

Sandstone Hannington After Cleaning Sandstone Hannington After Cleaning

Sealing a Rough Sandstone Tiled Floor

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

Sandstone Hannington After Sealing Sandstone Hannington After Sealing

 
 

Sandstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Northamptonshire

Dull and Stained Semi Riven Black Slate Floor Tiles in Kettering

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

Cleaning the Slate Floor Tiles

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

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

Sealing the Slate Floor Tiles

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

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

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

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

Cleaning Semi Riven Black Slate Floor Tiles