Limestone Tiled Floor with Grout Haze Cleaned in Clipston

These photos are of a Limestone tiled floor which was installed in the Kitchen of a property in the small parish of Clipston, which is close to the towns of Market Harborough and Daventry, approximately three years ago. The customer was never very happy with it since it was laid as it never seemed to look clean asked me to cover over and work out what could be done.

On my initial visit I soon realised that the installer had not cleaned off all the grout from the tiles before applying the sealer. This effectively trapped the grout under the sealer and gave the whole floor a dirty appearance, this explained the problem the customer was frustrated with as she could never ever seem to get the floor looking clean.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze Before Cleaning Clipston
This issue is known as Grout Haze or Grout Smears and is a problem we often come across where the floor has been laid without the excess grout residue being completely polished off the tiles after the grouting. Some manufacturers recommend the tiles are sealed before grouting to make it easier to polish the grout off later. After discussing how we could remedy this I issued a quote which the customer accepted, and we scheduled the work to be done.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze Before Cleaning Clipston

Removing Grout Haze from Limestone Kitchen Tiles

I arrived on site on the arranged date, as it was a painted kitchen it was not possible to mask up the units, so I used a small hand-held polishing machine fitted with a six inch 400-grit burnishing pad to carefully clean around the edges and break through the sealant. This process was then repeated with a larger seventeen inch 400-grit burnishing pad fitted to a floor polishing machine throughout the rest of the area.

Once the original sealant had been removed using the burnishing pad the next step was to remove the Grout Haze by given the floor an acid wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Being a gel, this product is easier to control than a liquid and sits on the surface where it’s needed to break down the unsightly Grout Haze. It’s left to dwell for a short period before being worked in with a special brush that is designed for this purpose. The resulting slurry is then removed with a professional wet pick up machine and the floor given a rinse with water to remove any trace of the product.

After treating the Grout Haze my next step was to refine the surface of the Limestone using a medium 800-grit and fine 1500-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad which are applied with water and restore the polished appearance of the stone. The floor is rinsed with more water between the application of each pad to remove the slurry that is generated and then dried with the wet pickup machine.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following day to buff the tiles with a white polishing pad as the customer didn’t want a high shine finish which is normally achieved with the 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad, this gave a low sheen honed look as the customer had requested. The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that and will protect the newly restored and polished tiles going forward.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze After Cleaning Clipston
The customer was very happy with the results and has left the following positive feedback on our website.

‘Professional, floor looks much better’ – Vicki S, Clipston

I gave the customer some tips on maintenance and a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap to enable her to keep the floor looking its best, this product is designed for the regular cleaning of polished stone floors and is pH neutral, so it won’t prematurely degrade the sealer.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze After Cleaning Clipston
 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor 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