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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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