Cleaning 100 Year Old Mosaic Tiles in Abington Park

My customer recently got in touch and requested a site visit to look at her hallway floor.
The Edwardian property was situated in the Abington Park part of Northampton which is an area is steeped in history, with the nearby Manor House said to have been the home of William Shakespeare’s daughter Elizabeth Bernard. The house has since been turned into a museum.

As you can see from the photos, the floor which was laid when the house was built over 100 years ago using small square brown and beige mosaic tiles in a repeating. Although in good physical condition for its age the floor was looking a little tired and had lost its lustre and vibrant colour. The hallway also had stained wood panelling on one side which was another original feature and the owner of the property was keen to maintain the period feel.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

I discussed with the customer what we could do to restore the floor, explaining the process, timescale and of course the cost. She was happy to go ahead so we scheduled the work in without delay.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

Cleaning an Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

In order to protect the wall panels and keep the moisture in the floor to a minimum I decided to keep the use of cleaning products to a minimum. This is always a concern with these old floors which have no damp proof membrane as the use of too much water can lead to efflorescence salts appearing later. With this in mid I decided to clean the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads as these pads only require a small amount of water and no products, this would also have the benefit of slightly levelling out the surface of the tiles.

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to ensure there was no loose debris followed by masking up the bottom of the stairs carpet to protect it. I then started the restoration process by using a coarse 100-grit Tile Doctor burnishing pad attached to a 17” industrial rotary machine and a small amount of water to lubricate the process. The 100-grit pad is quite an aggressive pad which removes deeply imbedded stains and as mentioned before a small amount of unevenness. To remove the resultant slurry the floor was rinsed with a small amount of water which was then extracted using a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated with a 200-grit burnishing pad to smooth out any scratches and polish the tile ready for sealing.

Although it was a relatively small area, 12 square metres this process took the whole day as we work in small sections at a time. Moving the machine slowly with multiple passes over each area.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and assessed the floor to ensure we were happy with the result from the previous days cleaning. I also took damp meter readings and was pleased to see they were within normal expectations for a floor of this age. Next, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a breathable sealant that will allow any moisture in the sub floor to rise though the tile. This particular sealer is a colour enhancing sealer that protects and improves the natural colours in the tile and leaves a lovely natural finish. The floor now has a much more even finish and will be much easier for the client to maintain in the future.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Great communication about the work planned and quotation. A super job in bringing my Edwardian mosaic tiled floor back to life. Would highly recommend this service”
Karen M”

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

 

Professional Restoration of Mosaic Hallway Tiles in Northamptonshire

Removing Wax Scratches from Victorian Hallway Tiles in Rushden

This customer called me as she was concerned about the scratches on her hallway tiles, they were not only unsightly but were also starting to trap dirt. The Victorian property in Rushden which lies between Bedford and Kettering on the east side of Northamptonshire.

We always offer a site visit to take a look at the job before doing any work, that way we can discuss what the cleaning options are, and it also demonstrates to the customer that we know what we’re talking about.

The hallway floor was a lovely and intricate example of Victorian tile installation and I could see that overall it was in good condition for its age. On closer inspection the customer was relieved to find out that it was the old wax sealant breaking down and not actually scratches on the tiles. I carried out a test on a small area to ascertain how difficult it would be to remove this wax. I realised I would be able to use Tile Doctors new product for the removal of the wax sealant, Tile Doctor Wax Away which is a fast and effective formula that is designed just for this type of job, it offers safe removal of wax and polish from tile and natural stone. We agreed the quote and the work was booked in for the following month.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Wax Removal Rushden

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On our return we started to remove the wax coating using the Tile Doctor Wax Away product. It was applied neat and left to dwell for ten to fifteen minutes before working it into the floor with a small amount of water and a black stripping pad attached to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was then removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and I decided to repeat this process with a hand brush in a couple of small areas and around the edges to ensure the old wax sealant was fully removed in these stubborn areas. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove any remaining slurry and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used to dry the floor again.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Wax Removal Rushden

My next course of action was to run over the floor with a 400-grit burnishing pad to remove imbedded dirt and stains from the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse with water. After removing the water with wet vacuum, the floor was then left to dry out fully for a few days aided by a large fan that I left on site. It’s important that the tiles are fully dry before applying a sealer and this is even more important on older floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned three days later and started by giving the floor a light vacuum and clean. I also took damp meter readings to check the floor was fully dry. Once I was satisfied I started to apply 2 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant, this is a breathable sealant which will allow the tiles to breath and allow moisture vapour from the sub floor to rise through the tiles which is important in these old houses where no damp proof membrane exists. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there, the sealant enhances the natural colours in the tile and dries to a lovely natural matt finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

Once finished the floor looked great and the customer was hugely relieved that the tiles could be restored easily and cost effectively, she had thought the damage may have been irreversible. Moving forward it will now be easier for her to maintain and keep clean. The floor is now back to its’ true self and properly in keeping with the rest of the period features in the house.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway 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

Polished Marble Floor Covered in Grout Haze in Irthlingborough

These photos are from a newly installed Polished Marble floor in the kitchen at a residence in Irthlingborough Northants which had been left covered in grout haze. The customer called the builder back as they were unhappy with the finish but he could not rectify the problem, so the customer contacted Tile Doctor to see if anything could be done.

This is a problem we often come up against where a builder or tiler does a good job of laying the tiles but for some reason doesn’t remove all the grout from the tile and we have even seen some jobs where the grout smears have been sealed over which makes it even more noticeable especially on a polished floor. Fortunately for the customer we are able to resolve such problems and after agreeing the process we set about solving the problem.

Marble Tiled Floor In Irthlingborough before cleaning

Burnishing Polished Marble Tiles

To protect the kitchen units from any splashing etc. all the kick boards were removed and plastic sheeting fitted to protect new doors and panels before any work was undertaken.

Polished Marble 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. The 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, surface seal and in this case grout haze as well. You then progress through the other finer pads one by one until you get to the final polishing pad which provides a high polish. The pads did the trick and had the surface polished to a high shine which was the look the customer was hoping they would have had in the first place.

The floor was looking great but I was concerned about the grout, most people don’t realise but the top layer of grout is actually slightly porous and will attract dirt and discolour over time, this is especially the case in a bathroom or kitchen. After discussing this with the customer we sealed the grout with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which provides a natural look whilst preventing contaminates reaching the grout.

All in the job took two days and the customer was extremely happy with the final result.

Marble Tiled Floor In Irthlingborough after cleaning

 
 

Cleaning and Polishing Marble Tiled floor in 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