Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated at a Maidford Cottage

This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a cottage in the small village of Maidford near Towcester. The tiles were not looking their best and the owner of the property realised it was time to do something about it and contacted Tile Doctor to have the floor stripped and resealed. Stripping and Sealing tile and stone floors is our bread and butter so I was more than happy to pop round and survey the floor which was approximately 9m2.

The grout had darkened with dirt and the previous tile sealer was failing so dirt was now getting ingrained in the Terracotta making it difficult to clean in places and leading to a patchy appearance. We discussed the work involved, my quote was accepted, and a date agreed for me to return and complete the work which would take two days, one to clean and one to seal.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Maidford

Stripping Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles

After tidying up the Kitchen and removing the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units I set about working on cleaning and stripping the Terracotta floor of old sealers. To start I tested a small area with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Wax Away. Wax was quite often used on Terracotta so I figured this product would be a good place to start. My suspicions were proved correct, and I found this to be the best product for removing the many layers of sealant on the floor. Wax Away is a new alkaline product by Tile Doctor and ideal for cleaning clay-based tiles such as Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Maidford

With my sights set on the rest of the floor Wax Away was scrubbed into the tile using a 17” rotary floor scrubbing machine and a black scrubbing pad running on a slow speed which helps to reduce splashing. This activity soon brought the dirt off the floor and the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was rinsed down with clean water. The cleaning process was repeated a couple of times until I was happy with the floor, a stiff hand brush was then used along the grout lines with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to clean up the grout.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Maidford

After rinsing and extracting the floor again the floor was inspected, and I noticed there were a few stubborn paint splashes on the tiles. I managed to remove these and these by spot treating the affected area with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and a steamer to lift the stain out of the clay tile. Once happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to neutralise it and remove any trace of cleaning products and then left it to dry.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Maidford

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

I allowed the floor to dry for several days before returning to seal the Terracotta using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Terracotta and provides durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. Terracotta is by its nature very porous and so it’s not unknown for it to take up to nine coats of sealer, which can take some time to apply as like paint you have to wait until it’s dry before it will take the next coat.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Sealing Maidford

The customer was so impressed by the results I achieved in their kitchen they decided to go ahead and book me in to carry out this process throughout the whole of the ground floor which included lounge, study and hallway.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Maidford

 

Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor 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

Cleaning and Sealing Kitchen Slate Tiles in Towcester

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

Towcester Slate Tiles Before Cleaning Slate Tiles Towcester Before Cleaning

Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles

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

Slate Tiles Towcester Scrubbing Slate Tiles Towcester Scrubbing

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

Slate Tiles Towcester After Cleaning Towcester Slate Tiles After Cleaning

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

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

Slate Tiles Towcester After Sealing Slate Tiles Towcester After Sealing

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

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

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Towcester

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

Victorian Tiles in Towcester Before Restoration

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

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

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

Sealing Victorian Tiles

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

Victorian Tiles in Towcester After Restoration

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

Victorian Tile Restoration in Northamptonshire