Grout Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of grout carried out in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Renovating Grout

The top layer of grout is porous and can absorb grease, dirt and limescale. Spillages such as wine, lemonades or greasy substances will cause marks and patches in the joints in the floor. Grout between wall-tiles particularly in damp areas like bathrooms will become dirty and unattractive as a result of Mould, Mildew and Limescale.

Mould is one of the most unsightly problems, which usually starts off in the wettest area of the room, this could be the bottom of the shower or bath, then starts to spread and if left unchecked could cover a large area of the wall.

Another common issue we find is a problem known as Grout Haze or Grout Smearing where a thin layer of grout has been left to set on the surface of the tile. Once grout has set it is difficult to remove.

Discolouration of grout joints in bath or shower areas due to continued use of acid formulated shampoos and soaps. This causes yellow orange and pink stains to the grout over even a short period of time. Whilst Grout Joints can be cleaned, badly stained grout may need to be re-coloured.

Protecting your grout in advance with a sealer will prevent most of these issues and although relatively unknown in the UK, protection awareness is growing. Sealing forms an invisible barrier between the grout and the surface, this will then protect your investment for years to come.

We have solutions for all the problems listed above and below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past to resolve many of these issues. It should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.


Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovation Stanwick

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Filled and Polished in Stanwick Near Wellingborough

A homeowner from the village of Stanwick near Wellingborough contacted me about their Tumbled Travertine Kitchen floor which was proving very hard to maintain. Having worked on similar floors before I was confident of helping and so arranged a date to pop round and come up with a plan for its renovation.

Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Stanwick

Surveying the floor, I could see the main problem was the pitting in the tiles which are basically small holes and is quite common with Travertine. Dirt was becoming ingrained in the holes which were proving very difficult to remove with regular cleaning and this left it looking dull and permanently dirty. I recommended deep cleaning the floor to remove all the dirt, filling the holes, polishing the stone to bring back its appearance and then sealing to protect it going forward.

Happy with the plan I created a quote for the work which was agreed and a date set for our return.

Cleaning and Polishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

I gave the floor a sweep to remove any loose dirt and grit and started with the application of the first pad which is a coarse 400-grit and designed to remove minor scratches, old sealers and ingrained dirt. The pads fit a 17” buffer machine and is applied with water to lubricate the process, then once the pad has been applied to each tile the floor is rinsed with water and the resultant slurry is extracted using a wet vacuum.

Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Stanwick

Before moving onto the second pad in the set I gave the grout lines a clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the grout using a stiff narrow brush. The pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout lines, so I usually find this is the best way to get the grout clean.

The floor was given another rinse with water and then I continued to work through the medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pads rinsing with water and then extracting the slurry with a wet vacuum after each pad.

The Travertine was now clean and after drying with fans I commenced the task of filling the larger holes with a resin filler that matched the natural colour of the stone as close as possible. The filler takes an hour to set and then the patches are rubbed down with handheld burnishing blocks.

Sealing a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following day and started by completing the polishing process by applying the last 3000-grit very fine burnishing pad with the 17” rotary machine, the pad is applied dry with a small amount of water sprayed on the floor as you go along. With the floor now fully dry and the filled holes polished flat the last step was to apply the sealer which will protect the floor going forwards.

Last step was to seal the Travertine to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone going forward. To do this I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer which works by soaking into the pores occupying the space and thereby preventing dirt from residing there. This ensures that dirt remains on the surface where it is easily cleaned away.

Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Stanwick

Once done the floor looked so much healthier and the new sealer will ensure that the Travertine keeps its appearance and is much easier to clean in future. Regarding cleaning, I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap for the regular cleaning of this floor. This product is formulated for use on sealed stone and it help maintain the patina.

Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Stanwick

 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Filled and Polished in Stanwick Near Wellingborough Read More »

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovation Geddington

Pitted Limestone Floor Deep Cleaned, Polished, Filled and Sealed in Geddington

This client from Geddington called me in to renovate their Limestone tiled floor which had been installed throughout much of the ground floor. Limestone like any natural stone is porous and will suffer from ingrained dirt if the sealer isn’t maintained, so it’s not unusual to need work like this doing every three to five years.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Geddington

I visited the property to survey the tiles and could see the stone had quite a lot of surface pitting which was trapping dirt and making it very difficult to keep clean. Pitting is quite common in this type of stone, and they are usually filled at the factory, however the filler can become dislodged with wear and the problem can be made worse by the use of acidic cleaning products.

Limestone Tile Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Geddington Limestone Tiled Steps Before Cleaning Geddington

After surveying the floor, I came up with a comprehensive renovation plan that included deep cleaning the stone, filling the pits, polishing, and then sealing. I also made a note to discuss aftercare cleaning at the end so the floor wouldn’t get so bad in future.

Happy with my plan and quote a date was agreed for the work to commence.

Cleaning a Pitted Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

It was a large floor so to minimise disruption to the owner I split the job up into several areas and worked through the following process.

Work started with a general clean of the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a focus on cleaning the grout. I used a strong dilution of Pro-Clean, left it to soak into the stone and grout for around ten minutes and then scrubbed it into the floor using a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. I also ran a stiff grout brush along the grout lines to get them as clean as possible. Once done the floor was rinsed and the soiling extracted with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to hone the Limestone using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. These pads are great for bringing up the polish on a stone floor like this and you start with a coarse 400-grit pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. Water is used to lubricate the process and the pads are run over each tile three or four times. The floor is then rinsed and extracted as before, and the process repeated with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads.

Once done the floor was looking much cleaner and brighter and ready for the next step which was to fill the pits. To do this I inspected the floor, identifying all the areas that needed attention and then filled those holes with a resin filler that is colour matched to the stone.

Sealing a Pitted Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The last step was to seal the limestone and for this I used Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the stone, occupying the pores of the stone and thereby preventing dirt from residing there. Sealing keeps the dirt on the surface where it can easily be cleaned away. Ultra-Seal doesn’t contain any colour enhancers, so it leaves the stone with a very natural appearance which is what my client wanted.

Limestone Tile Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Geddington Limestone Tiled Steps After Cleaning Geddington

The floor was transformed by the work and my client was very happy with the result, they even went to the trouble to leave the following review:

“We are absolutely delighted with the work undertaken by Philip, the Northamptonshire Tile Doctor. He has completely transformed very dirty limestone floors into something of great beauty – better than new. Philip was a pleasure to deal with throughout and we can highly recommend him.”

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Geddington

With regards to aftercare cleaning, I recommended they use Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is designed for cleaning polished stone floors and helps maintain the patina.

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Pitted Limestone Floor Deep Cleaned, Polished, Filled and Sealed in Geddington Read More »

Grout Haze Removed From Porcelain Floor Tiles Northampton

Removing Polymer Grout Haze following Porcelain Floor Installation in Northampton

This client from Northampton called contact me about their newly installed Porcelain tiles which appeared to be much darker than they remembered from in the shop. They were disappointed with their appearance and so I agreed a time to pop round, diagnose the issues and come up with a solution.

Grout Haze Before Removal From Porcelain Floor Tiles Northampton

Once at the property I quickly established after testing a couple of tiles that there was grout haze over the entire area from installation. This happens when the grout starts to dry on the tile before it is cleaned and fully rinsed off. This problem was compounded by the customer vigorously mopping the floor with several different products trying to resolve this issue themselves and the product building up and attracting more soil to the areas, therefore darkening it further.

Grout Haze Before Removal From Porcelain Floor Tiles Northampton

The test clean I conducted removed the grout haze to reveal the tile they had been originally expecting. Impressed with the results from the test they asked me to repeat the process on the whole floor which included the kitchen and adjoining dining area. I worked out a quote which was agreed and a date scheduled for my return.

Removing Grout Haze from a Porcelain Tiled Floor

Fortunately, the owner knew which grouting product was used when laying the floor, this was very useful as polymer-based grouts need a different approach to traditional grouts. As it turns out it was a polymer-based grout which makes sense as they are known to set faster and cause this problem as a result.

The process I used was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go to a workable section of the floor which was approximately 8m2. The solution was allowed to dwell for ten minutes or so prior to agitating with a rotary brush machine. This area was then rinsed off with water and a wet and dry pick-up machine. This process is used to break down the polymers in the grout but does not fully remove the haze from the tiles, that is covered in the next section.

Part two of treating the grout haze involves the application of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to the tile and allowing it to dwell for a further ten minutes, a black buffing pad is then used with the rotary machine to scrub the product into the Porcelain tile. As before the soiled solution is removed with another rinse and extracted with the wet and dry pick-up machine.

Once that was done, I inspected the floor to ensure all the grout haze has been removed and repeated the 2nd stage process where required.

Sealing a Porcelain Tiled Floor

I allowed the floors to dry off overnight and returned the following day to apply Tile Doctor Ultra Seal Sealant over all the areas, this is especially good for protecting the grout lines from staining.

Grout Haze After Removal From Porcelain Floor Tiles Northampton

Given the dark colour of the Porcelain tiles it’s difficult to appreciate the improvement from the photographs, my customer was extremely happy with the result though and left the following glowing review:

“Fabulous service from Phil and great results really really pleased. Lovely man and very hard working. Thank you”

Before leaving I made sure to discuss aftercare cleaning, which for this floor I recommend using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a gentle but effective cleaning product designed for use on sealed tile and stone.

Grout Haze After Removal From Porcelain Floor Tiles Northampton

 

Porcelain Tile Cleaning in Northamptonshire

Removing Polymer Grout Haze following Porcelain Floor Installation in Northampton Read More »

Flagstone Floor Before After Restoration Olney

Flagstone Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed for Olney Landlord

I was contacted by the owner of the property near Olney, on the border of Northamptonshire, who was renting the house out whilst he worked abroad. The flagstone floors on the ground floor were grubby and the tenants were struggling to keep them clean. I guess being a rental property the tenants didn’t want to be blamed for the condition of the floors when they eventually left.

I was asked to pop round to the property, meet the tenants, inspect the floors, and come up with a plan to resolve the issues. It was clear to me that the flags had not been sealed when laid and as a result dirt had become trapped in the pores of the stone making it difficult to shift. With the owner abroad all correspondence was done over the internet and so I sent over an email to explain the problem and included a quote to resolve the issues. Happy to have the problem resolved and with quote I got the go-ahead.

Flagstone-Floor-Before-Renovation-Olney

Deep Cleaning Sandstone Kitchen Flagstones

The work was carried out over two days with day one for cleaning and the second for sealing. Cleaning started by spraying the flagstones using a 3:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a pump-up sprayer. This was left to soak in for ten minutes and then agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This process generates a lot of soiling as the dirt is released from the pores of the stone which is rinsed off the floor and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Flagstone Floor During Renovation Olney Flagstone Floor During Renovation Olney

The next process was to give the grout a good scrub using 10:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. This was applied to the grout lines throughout and scrubbed in by hand using stiff grout brushes to remove any stubborn stains. The entire area was then rinsed using water and extracted with the wet vacuum as before. The vacuum was used to remove as much moisture from the floor as possible and then they were left to dry off overnight. I also make use of an industrial air mover to speed up drying times as I work.

Flagstone Floor During Renovation Olney Flagstone Floor During Renovation Olney

Sealing Sandstone Flagstones

I returned the following day to seal the flagstones but before starting I checked the moisture levels in the flagstones with a damp meter. The readings were fine so I proceeded to apply the first of three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer, allowing each coat to fully dry before applying the next.

Flagstone-Floor-During-Sealing-Olney

As well as providing protection from dirt and stains this product enhances the natural colour in stone and being an impregnator that soaks into the pores will work well in a demanding kitchen environment. Additionally, Colour Grow is fully breathable which is an important feature when sealing tiles in an older period property like this one which will have been built without the benefit of a damp proof membrane.

Flagstone-Floor-After-Renovation-Olney

I sent before and after photographs to the landlord as he was abroad, he was very pleased with the job and told me the tenants had contacted him to tell him how happy they were with the process and the finished result and even left the following feedback on my web site.

I’ve had a large number of tradespeople work on my house in the last few years and Phil is up there with the best of them. Many trades don’t do comms well, but Phil does: he’s easy to reach, easy to communicate with and quickly understood what needed doing – and just did it, exactly how we wanted and to a very high standard. Highly recommended.

Flagstone-Floor-After-Renovation-Olney

 

Grout Haze removed from a Sandstone tiled floor in Northamptonshire

Flagstone Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed for Olney Landlord Read More »

Ceramic Tiled Floor Before After Tile Grout Cleaning Burton Latimer

Ceramic Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned in a Burton Latimer Kitchen

This customer from Burton Latimer near Kettering was having a new kitchen fitted which would have a different layout to the original. The Ceramic tiled floor was wall to wall and they wanted to see if the tiles could be renovated rather than having to replace them.

Ceramic Tile and Grout During Cleaning in Burton Latimer Kitchen Floor

I attended the customers property to inspect the floor and carry out a test clean on one of the dirtiest ceramic tiles and adjacent grout. The tiles were in a fairly grubby condition and the grout was black with dirt which happens a lot with Ceramic tiled floors. This is due to the ceramic tile being impervious and so the dirt from the tile becomes washed into the grout lines during cleaning.

Ceramic Tile and Grout During Cleaning in Burton Latimer Kitchen Floor

I carried out the test clean which went well and my customer was impressed; keen to proceed and happy with my quotation the work was booked in. The renovation was scheduled for the day after the old kitchen was removed and before the new kitchen was installed the following week.

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

To deep clean the tile and grout a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and warm water was applied to the floor with a pump-up sprayer. The solution was allowed to dwell for several minutes before being worked into the grout using a stiff brush. This was followed up by agitating the solution into the rest of the floor with a rotary floor scrubbing machine fitted with a stiff brush attachment.

Working in sections and removing slurry with a wet pick-up machine. The next process was to apply Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to all grout lines for a second clean to remove as much stubborn staining as possible. Again, this was worked into the grout with stiff grout brushes. Following this I went over the floor again with a black scrubbing pad attached to the rotary machine. The machines solution tank was filled with water to help lubricate the process and neutralise the floor.

Finally, all the excess water was removed with a wet pick-up machine and the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Grout on a Ceramic Tiled Floor

I returned the following day to seal the grout, Ceramic tiles won’t take a sealer and as mentioned earlier its best to seal the grout so the dirt remains on the surface and doesn’t get trapped in the rough grout.

After confirmed the floor was dry, I carefully applied Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to the grout lines using a pipette and then wiping off any excess afterwards.

Ceramic Tile and Grout After Cleaning in Burton Latimer Kitchen Floor

Once done the floor looked new and my client was happy with result, it was a good decision and even more so when you consider the money saved in comparison to replacing the floor.

Ceramic Tile and Grout After Cleaning in Burton Latimer Kitchen Floor

 

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout in Northamptonshire

Ceramic Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned in a Burton Latimer Kitchen Read More »

Terracotta Tiled Floor Renovation Towcester

Dirty Terracotta Floor Renovated in Towcester

This Terracotta tiled floor was installed throughout the kitchen, diner, and hallway of a cottage in the village of Towcester. You can see from the photographs on this page that the floor had not been properly maintained, the grout lines had turned dark with ingrained dirt and the whole floor was now well overdue a renovation.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Towcester

My client liked the floor and its character but as he was going to the expense of fitting a new kitchen he wanted to know if the floor could be restored to its former glory as his wife wanted a high shine finish and an easy to maintain floor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Towcester

Renovating the Terracotta and Grout would involve completely striping the floor of any previous sealants, deep cleaning the tiles and then applying a fresh seal. They were happy for me to do the work and it was agreed that the best time for this to be carried out would be after the old kitchen had been removed and before the new kitchen units were fitted. This would allow for a uniform wall to wall finish, and it would also make my work easier as I wouldn’t have to navigate around the kitchen units.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

To get the floor clean and remove previous sealers and coatings I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I had tried a few products on the tiles and had discovered after conducting a few tests that this had the right impact when it came to removing the many layers of old sealant. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean has an alkaline formula which makes it ideal for cleaning natural products such as Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Towcester

The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the tiles for ten minutes and then scrubbed into the floor using a 17” rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at slow speed to reduce splashing. This activity soon brought the dirt out of the tiles and the now soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was then rinsed down with water and the process repeated a couple of times until I was happy with the results.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Towcester

To clean up the grout a stiff grout brush was run along the grout lines in combination with more Pro-Clean. There were a few stubborn stains on the floor, and these were removed by spot cleaning the affected area with another product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go employed with a steamer to lift the stain out of the clay tile.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Towcester

Once happy the floor was clean, the floor was given an acid wash using a using a 10:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. This final step in the cleaning produce removes old grout smears, alkaline salts that can lead to efflorescence and will neutralise the use of alkaline cleaning products used earlier.

Sealing Terracotta Tiles in Towcester

After more rinsing with water and extraction with the wet vacuum the floor was left to dry for four days before returning to seal the Terracotta. To achieve the desired glossy finish the Terracotta was sealed using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Terracotta and provides durable stain protection together with a silk finish. The more coats you apply the higher shine finish you are able to achieve depending on the porosity of the tile and in this case seven coats were applied.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Sealing Towcester

The client was extremely impressed with the results achieved in the kitchen, diner and hallway and left the following 5-star feedback.

“Phil has done an absolutely outstanding job on our terracotta floor tiles. Made them look like new. Wonderful outcome. His attention to detail and professionalism are of an excellent standard. It was a pleasure to do business with Phil and we will definitely be calling on his services again in the future. He is a really nice bloke too. Thanks again Phil.”

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Sealing Towcester

 

Professional Restoration of a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen in Northamptonshire

Dirty Terracotta Floor Renovated in Towcester Read More »

Pale Marble Floor Clean Seal Old Village

Grout Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Tiled Floor in Old Village

Last year I was called to look at Polished Marble floor at a house in the small village of Old in Northamptonshire which is situated between Kettering and Northampton. The Marble floor was reasonably large at 25m2, and the main problem was the Marble had lost most of its shine, becoming dull and lifeless over time, additionally the grout which was once white had darkened with ground in dirt,

Marble Tiled Floor Before Grout Cleaning and Polishing

If you want the look of a highly polished floor then it will need regular polishing to keep its appearance, in fact Tile Doctor provide a “Maintenance Plan” service for this purpose. How often you need a repolish really depends on how much the floor is used and for a busy high traffic area such as this kitchen diner it may be necessary to have two visits a year.

In this case the Marble needed a lot more than a repolish, my client was unhappy with the stained grout lines and the tiles really needed stripping and resealing to bring the colour back to somewhere near its original. After surveying the floor, I was able to confirm what needed to be done and gave them a price for the work which they were happy to accept.

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor

To get the grout clean and give remove grit etc from the floor before polishing I gave it an initial clean using a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is a professional Tile and Grout cleaning product which is applied to the grout, left to soak in for ten minutes and then scrubbed into the grout line by hand. The soil is then rinsed off with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

To bring up the polished appearance of the Marble tiles I used a set of four 17” diamond encrusted burnishing pads which have different levels of grit. The pads are applied to the Marble tiles in sequence using a floor buffer and a small amount of water for lubrication. I started with a coarse pad, before moving on to a medium pad, then a fine pad on the first day, working in small sections of around 4 – 5sqm. The floor is given a thorough rinse between each pad to remove any excess residue generated from the burnishing process. The soil was then extracted using a wet vacuum to keep the mess to a minimum.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor

The floor was left to dry overnight, and I returned the next day. I carried on the process using the very fine burnishing pad to achieve a high shine finish. This pad is applied dry to the floor using only a little water sprayed onto the tile. It brings up the final polish on the tiles and leaves the floor dry so it can be sealed afterwards.

To seal I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a premium impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It’s a natural look sealer and by this, I mean it doesn’t alter the natural look of the stone and is almost invisible. The area was dried with a fan for one hour and then I checked the performance of the sealer by carrying out a water repellence test. The result of this test will let me know if a second coat of sealer may be needed.

Marble Tiled Floor After Grout Cleaning and Polishing

Once complete the grout was white again and the Marble tiles had a deep shine to them. My client was very happy with the results of my work and took the time to leave the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Marble Polishing and Grout Cleaning Testimonial Old Village

For aftercare cleaning I recommended Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will keep the floor clean and help maintain the lustre. I also I let them know about our maintenance program which involves popping back for a couple of hours once a year to give the floor a polish with a very fine 3000-grit burnishing pad and top up the sealer.

Marble Tiled Floor After Grout Cleaning and Polishing

 

Professional Restoration of a Marble Tiled Floor in Northampton

Grout Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Tiled Floor in Old Village Read More »

Limestone Kitchen Floor Cleaned Sealed Boughton Northamptonshire

Limestone Kitchen Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Boughton

These photos are of a four-year-old Limestone kitchen floor at a property in Boughton that the customer was finding hard to keep clean and maintain a shine. Part of the problem was he owned two dogs and we often warn about the problems of dog urine on sealed tile and stone due to it being high in nitrogen.

Limstone Kitchen Floor Before Clean Polish Boughton

On my initial visit I was able to ascertain that the sealer had almost completely worn off, leaving the stone vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained into the pores of the stone. I come across this problem a lot, in my experience when stone floors are installed by tilers, they generally apply a single coat of sealant which wears off over time, and as discussed earlier can be prematurely degraded by strong chemicals.

Limstone Kitchen Floor Before Clean Polish Boughton

My quote to renovate the Limestone floor was accepted and included a deep clean to the stone and grout, stone polish and then re-seal.

Cleaning/Polishing Limestone Tiled Flooring

I arrived on site on the arranged date and began by scrubbing all the grout lines with Tile Doctor grout brushes and a 3:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I then moved on to a small handheld polishing machine to clean around the tile edges using 800 and 1500 grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad to achieve a deep clean.

The process was then repeated throughout the rest of the area using larger 17” burnishing pads fitted to a floor polishing machine. The burnishing pads I used come in a set of four starting with 400-grit and moving up to 800, 1500 and 3000 grit, after each pad is applied the floor is rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

It took me much of the day to complete this stage of the renovation and the floor was still damp so once done I left for the day, allowing the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following day to complete the final polish using the 3000-grit burnishing pad, this gave a high polished finish which the customer had requested. This last pad is applied dry with only a little water splashed onto the tile, a process we call a spray burnish.

The floor was then sealed with three applications of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal Sealant to protect the newly restored and polished tiles. Ultra-Seal is a penetrating sealer that soaks into those recently cleaned pores in the stone, occupying the space and preventing any dirt from becoming ingrained there. It’s also a natural look sealer so it doesn’t change the colour of the stone in anyway and is almost indetectable once applied.

“Hard work from Philip has left us with a kitchen floor brought back to life – cleaned and sealed in little over 24 hours – brilliant job – Thanks”

Before leaving I gave the customer some tips on maintenance and a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap to enable him to keep the floor looking its best, this product works well with the sealant we applied and is PH neutral so won’t degrade the new sealer.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Clean Polish Boughton

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Northamptonshire

Limestone Kitchen Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Boughton Read More »

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Before and After Restoration Broughton

Quarry Tiled Floor Restored Following Cottage Remodel in Broughton Village

The following photos are from a 16th Century cottage in the village of Broughton near Kettering which was undergoing major restoration works. The Quarry tiled floor was not as old as the house and was probably installed in the Victorian era. The clients wanted the floor restoring before the plastering of walls and new kitchen was installed. There was also a section where a pantry wall had been removed with tiles missing, so these needed to be replaced with reclaimed tiles that the customer had sourced.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Broughto Cottage

I visited site to look at the project, survey the Quarry tiled floor and give them a firm price for the work. I was confident that we could replace the tiles and we could blend the area in to match the existing. Once the floor had a good clean and seal it would look a lot better.

With the quotation agreed I arranged a date where I would have sole access to the property which is always preferred as it means you do not have anyone walking through whilst your cleaning. This also has the added advantage of not having to take precautions over social distancing.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Broughto Cottage

Restoring a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the first day on site I carried out the replacement of the missing tiles. This work started by cleaning up the holes in the floor left by the now removed wall and getting the base level and ready for tiling. Next the reclaimed tiles we cut down to fit the shape left by the wall to match the existing tiling. The fit needed to be exact as any mismatch would show later. Once I was happy with the cuts the tiles were fixed in place with rapid set adhesive and once that had set were grouted in place. The next step would be to give the floor a deep clean, so it was left to dry off overnight.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Broughto Cottage

The next day with the tile adhesive and grout having gone off overnight I was able to start the cleaning process. Working in sections I began by applying Tile Doctor Oxy Gel to the tile and grout with a little water, leaving it to soak in for ten minutes and then working it into the tiles using a 17 inch rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. A stiff brush was also used along the grout lines to make sure they were equally treated. After scrubbing the now soiled solution was vacuumed off with an industrial wet vac and repeated the process until the entire area had been cleaned.

Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up was then applied using a 1:10 dilution with water. It was mopped it over the entire area to neutralise the tile and remove any grout smears, hazing and mineral deposits which are quite common with floors of this age. The entire area was then given a good rinse with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product. An industrial fan was also installed and left on site to assist with the drying process until we returned a week later. This would ensure the floor would be bone dry for our return and ready to accept a sealer.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Broughto Cottage

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the following week, I tested the moisture levels in the tiles with a damp meter. I was conscious that due to the age of the tiles there may be some inherent damp however my plan had worked, and the tests confirmed the floor was indeed dry and ready for sealing.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Broughto Cottage

The client required a silk finish so I opted to apply several coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which would provide the required finish yet is breathable and so will not impeded moisture rising through the floor allowing it to evaporate and not become trapped. This is an important consideration when choosing a sealer for an old floor which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed as trapping moisture under the floor can lead to it reaching out to the walls where it can result in rising damp.

The client was extremely happy with the results and has left the following comments on our feedback page.

“Phil was great. On time and a good worker. Gave good advice and carried out all the work thoroughly. The tiles are now looking much better. Very happy. By Peter B, Kettering”

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Broughto Cottage

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Northamptonshire

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Limestone Tiled Floor Before and After Renovation Wellingborough

Renovating Polished Limestone Floor with Stained Grout in Wellingborough

This Limestone tiled floor installed in a kitchen and family room at a property in Wellingborough is a great example of how this material can lose its appearance without a regular maintenance plan in place.

Limestone Tile and Stained Grout Before Cleaning Wellingborough

The customer called me as not only was she concerned that the floor had lost its lustre the grey grout had become very stained and almost black in heavy traffic areas, in fact my customer had originally asked about re-grouting but I was confident it could be cleaned.
I provided a quote which they were happy to accept.

Limestone Tile and Stained Grout Before Cleaning Wellingborough Limestone Tile and Stained Grout Before Cleaning Wellingborough

Cleaning/Polishing Limestone Tiled Flooring

The area was a nice wide 6 metre by 5 metre space and except for a few items of furniture that would need moving around there were relatively few obstacles. I reasoned the most efficient way to restore the polished appearance of the Limestone would be to use a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing Pads. These are fitted to a rotary machine and applied to the stone in sequence from coarse to smooth. It’s an effective process that cuts back the layer of dirt on the floor and then we build back up the polish.

We started burnishing the Limestone with a coarse 400-grit pad fitted to a rotary machine and applied with a little water for lubrication. The coarse pad is very good at removing dirt and old sealers from stone and once completed the resultant surface water and loose dirt is removed using a wet vacuum.

At this point I turned my attention to the badly stained grout lines, and applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed in along the grout lines using a stiff grout brush, this is necessary as the recessed nature of the grout makes it difficult for the rotary pads to reach it.

I then repeated the burnishing process with the medium 800-grit pad and fine 1500-grit pad, the 800-grit pad removes any small surface scratches and the 1500-grit further refines the look of the Limestone slowly restoring its polished appearance.

Renovating Stained Grout on a Limestone Tiled Floor

After the whole floor had been burnished in this way it was given a further rinse with water and the soil extracted as before. I then inspected the floor to see if more work would be needed.

I was not fully happy with how some of the grout lines had responded, some were still slightly stained, and some marks were visible in the high traffic areas. I had already discussed on my initial visit with the client that this might be the case and it was agreed between us that should this be the case I would apply a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in Light Grey to recolour all the grout lines and achieve a uniform finish.

The stone and grout was still damp from cleaning and polishing, so I decided to leave the grout colouring until the following day.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On day two I started by grout recolouring all the grout lines, it’s a straight forward process but can be a little tedious where there is a lot of grout to cover. Once complete I allowed the grout colour to dry for a couple of hours before moving onto the next step.

The last pad to be applied in the stone burnishing process is the very fine 3000-grit polishing pad which is applied dry to the tiles using a small amount of water sprayed onto the floor and leaves the stone dry and with a polished silk finish.

The floor was then sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal Sealant allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. Ultra-Seal is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. It’s also a natural look sealer that doesn’t affect the appearance of the stone

Limestone Tile and Stained Grout After Renovation Wellingborough Limestone Tile and Stained Grout After Renovation Wellingborough

My customer was very happy with the transformation of her floor and provided the feedback copies below. In-fact she was so impressed with the results that she also used our services to restore the grout and silicon in one of her bathrooms.

“Phil was on time & easy to deal with and did an amazing job on my kitchen and bathroom floors and the carpets & sofa. No fuss, just a great job. Liz O.”

Limestone Tile and Stained Grout After Renovation Wellingborough

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Northamptonshire

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Terracotta Tiled Floor Before After Renovation Flore Village

Terracotta Floor Renovation Prior to Kitchen Installation at Flore Village

The following photos are of a Terracotta floor restoration I carried out in the picturesque village of Flore, situated between Northampton and Daventry. I was asked to assess the potential of the Terracotta floor in an old cottage, the clients had always liked the floor but didn’t want the bad condition of the tiles to detract from the effect of the beautiful new kitchen they were planning to install. They needed reassuring that it would be possible to restore the floor to a good standard and thereby enhance the final look of the new kitchen before they went to the expense of replacing the entire floor.

Whilst I was there, I carried out a test clean to a small area of floor, stripping off all old the sealers to expose the natural blemish free face of the tile. Having worked out a process for restoring the floor I was also able to come up with an accurate price for completing the floor. I left the quote with the customer and was pleased to hear back from them a few days later to let me know they had decided to go ahead with the restoration of their floor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restoration Flore Village Terracotta Tiled Floor During Restoration Flore Village Terracotta Tiled Floor After Restoration Flore Village

Before being able to set a date for my return I had to liaise with for the kitchen company to agree a date them to come and remove the old kitchen and install the new. I would slot in-between the two dates.

Stripping Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles

When returned to the do the work the kitchen had been stripped out as promised and with no kitchen units etc. to protect from splashing, I was able to get straight on with the cleaning of the floor using Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro alkaline tile cleaner.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Restoration Flore Village

Oxy-Pro is a gel and doesn’t require a lot of water to activate it, my concern was Terracotta tiles are very porous and it helps the drying process if you keep the moisture down to a minimum, especially as this work was carried out in November. The product was scrubbed into the Terracotta tiles using a stiff brush tool attached to rotary machine. I also used grout brushes on the wide grout lines working in small sections at a time and clearing the resulting slurry with a wet vacuum as I went.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Restoration Flore Village

Once the cleaning process was completed across all the Terracotta, I spot treated the many stubborn stains with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, especially along the grout lines. This was brushed in, left to dwell, scrubbed and then removed with a wet vacuum. The stone was then mopped with plain water to neutralise and remove any trace of cleaning products. I then installed a fan to dry the entire area as quickly as possible.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Restoration Flore Village

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

As the customer was not using the kitchen it provided time to leave the floor for a few days to fully dry out with a small dehumidifier left on site to assist with the drying process. I returned later to seal the floor and started by taking a damp meter reading so I could be sure the Terracotta was completely dry.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Restoration Flore Village

The results were good, and I was able to go ahead and seal the Terracotta using several coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra for a silk finish. Once of the reasons I picked this sealer is its breathable so it will cope with any moisture rising through the tile from the subfloor which is an important consideration on old floors which have no damp proof course.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Restoration Flore Village

Although I never got to see the new kitchen installed my customer was very pleased with the transformation of the floor and left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Philip did a fantastic job restoring the terracotta tiles in our kitchen. They are good as new! Philip was hardworking and excellent at communicating with us and planning the best time to do the work around our new kitchen being fitted. Highly recommend! Ayesha D.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Restoration Flore Village

 

Professional Restoration of a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Northamptonshire

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Cleaning of Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles in Stanwick

I was contacted by a client from the village of Stanwick regarding their Limestone tiled floors, which were installed throughout the kitchen area and steps leading to the hallway. Polished stone does lose its appearance over time due to wear and this floor was now in need of re-polishing. An appointment was made to visit the client and carry out a survey of the floor.

Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick

On my arrival I could see that the Limestone tiles had as suspected become dull and the grout needed attention; it was clear that the sealer had worn off in the busier area and dirt was now becoming ingrained in the stone and grout.

Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick

To bring back its polished appearance the floor would need to be honed with burnishing and then re-sealed to protect it. This is a straightforward task which would take two days and so I provided a quote to do the work. The quote was accepted, and the job booked in.

Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick

Cleaning and Honing Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first course of action was to protect the walls and kitchen units using a protective wrap before scrubbing the first area using a hot solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a brush head attachment. This process lifted the dirt from the grout and surface of the tiles.

The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with water to remove the released dirt and cleaning solution which was then extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum. I then proceeded to burnish the Limestone using a set of four Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads fitted to a rotary floor machine. As usual I started with the application of a 400-grit coarse pad lubricated with water, this removes any remaining sealers and ingrained dirt from the stone. The slurry generated was then rinsed away using a wet pick up machine. I then repeated this process using the medium 800-grit and fine 1500-grit burnishing pads which slowly polish the stone, rinsing and extracting after each pad. The floor was then allowed to dry off overnight

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following day and continued the process using the superfine 3000-grit polishing pad which is the last stage in the polishing process and bought back the polished surface. In this instance I polished the floor to a high shine as requested by the customer. Only a small amount of water is used with this last pad, so it leaves the floor dry and ready for sealing.

To seal I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal Sealant which is an impregnating sealer that protects from within and gives the floor a natural look. The last step once the sealer was dry was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad.

Limestone Floor Tiles After Polishing Stanwick

As the photos show, the floors were bought back to life with a gleaming high shine finish, the clients were extremely pleased with the results as you can see from their feedback below.

“Phil is a very hardworking and pleasant guy who kept me fully informed at all stages and the floors and patios look great. Many thanks. Michael B, Stanwick”

Limestone Floor Tiles After Polishing Stanwick

Whilst I was at the property the client asked me if I was able to clean their flagstone patio, I was able to do this and carried out the work for them, you can see the results achieved in the patio section of my website.

Limestone Floor Tiles After Polishing Stanwick

 

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Honed and Polished in Northamptonshire

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Kitchen Terracotta Floor Before After Renovation Moulton

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Moulton

We were contacted by the owner of a property in Moulton with a problematic Terracotta tiled kitchen floor. She was seriously considering ripping up the entire area of tiling and replacing it as she was having a new kitchen installed. Both her and her husband were concerned that unless I could restore this floor to somewhere near to its original condition, they would need to replace it.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration Moulton

I went over to inspect the Terracotta tiles and could see the entire surface was deeply ingrained with soiling and the grout lines were filthy. After carrying out a test it became obvious that the previous sealer had been applied very sparingly and had mostly worn away, leaving the stone prone to staining. Terracotta is a very porous tile and dirt had become ingrained in the pores leaving it looking very dull and difficult to clean.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration Moulton

I completed the test on a small part of the floor and the customer could see the results which could be achieved. Happy with the result they agreed my quote and we set a date for my return to complete the floor.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The tiles turned out to be made of a fairly soft Terracotta which meant that we were able to deep clean them extremely effectively using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. We used Tile Doctor Remove and Go in particularly stubborn areas.

The process I use is to spray the Pro-Clean onto the floor and leave it to soak in for about ten minutes before being worked in using a heavy rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The resulting slurry is removed using a wet pick up vacuum. All the dirt and virtually all of the old sealer was removed at this stage; the remaining patches around the edges of the area being finished by hand with a 200-grit burnishing block. The grout lines were then cleaned by hand with an angled grout brush.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration Moulton Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration Moulton

Finally, the deep-seated oil stains in front of the cooker were brought out using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which was left to dwell on the marks for an hour before being agitated with a diamond burnishing pad and rinsed away with a wet pick up machine. The floor was rinsed with water and allowed to dry off overnight.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration Moulton

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day I inspected the floor and checked it was ready to be sealed. All was well so I applied an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile enhancing the natural colours of the Terracotta and provide a base layer of protection from staining.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Moulton

I returned at a convenient time once the kitchen was completely installed to finish the job. This involves carrying out a light maintenance clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner and once the floor was dry, I applied 5 further coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a pleasing satin finish which is really suited to this type of floor.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Moulton

The customer was very happy with the results and has left the following feedback.

“We were really pleased with the results, thank you!”

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Moulton

 

Professional Restoration of a Terracotta Floor in Northamptonshire

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Limestone Tiled Flooring Before and After Renovating Ecton

Honed Limestone Floor Renovated in Ecton

I was contacted by the owner of a property in the picturesque village of Ecton who was concerned that her Limestone floor spanning the kitchen and open plan breakfast area was starting to lose its natural appeal and was finding it harder to clean and maintain.

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor Before Renovation Ecton

I went over to take a closer look at the floor and carry out a survey. In order determine the best cleaning method I conducted a test on a small area of the floor. This gives the clients confidence in my abilities and a good idea of what result we they can expect. The Limestone was honed smooth but was not polished and the customers were keen not to add too much of an unnatural shine to the floor. The grout lines in some of the more heavily used areas, such as by the sink, were also discoloured and would require a decent scrub with an appropriate cleaning product.

I spoke to the clients about options for the finish to be applied after cleaning and they decided that they wanted to keep the tiles as light as possible with a slight shine. With the clients impressed with the test area I prepared I went away and produced a detailed quote which was e mailed to them along with our general T&Cs and the work was booked in to be completed shortly after.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Ecton

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

The floor covered quite a large area, some 38m2, and had some larger items of furniture that needed to be moved before starting. The first task was to scrub the grout lines with a specialist grout brush, designed to work the product into the grout. Limestone is an acid-sensitive stone, so a strong alkaline cleaner was required. I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with warm water at a ratio of 3:1 which was left to dwell for around twenty minutes.

The area was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted before applying a series of diamond impregnated burnishing pads attached to a rotary scrubbing machine, ranging from a coarse 400 grit (200 in some of the more stubborn areas), a medium 800-grit and finishing with a fine 1500 grit to clean the stone. The whole area was then rinsed again and extracted using a wet pick up vacuum. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The following day a very fine 3000 grit diamond pad was used to ‘spray burnish’ the floor which uses very little water and ensures that any remaining residues are lifted as well as finishing the floor in the highest level of mechanical polishing possible prior to sealing.

If the clients desired a higher level of shine a powdered high shine sealer would have been worked into the tiles to achieve a highly reflective surface, however the mechanical polish was the highest level of shine wanted.

My client requested a completely natural finish so to seal the stone after cleaning I applied an impregnating sealer called Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Impregnating sealers soak into the pores of the tile protecting them from within and Ultra-Seal doesn’t alter the appearance of the floor and so maintained the natural appearance of the stone keeping it as light as possible.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Renovation Ecton

Aftercare instructions along with a bottle of suitable pH Neutral Tile Cleaner were supplied.
The customer was thrilled with the result and was surprised at the transformation of the floor, they even left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor website.

“Thank you so much Phil for a professional service resulting in my floor looking just as I wanted it too. You were attentive to all detail. I would strongly recommend Phil as a trustworthy, honest person to anyone who is considering work done. See you again in the Summer Phil to clean my patio. Natalie W, Northampton”

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor After Renovation Ecton

 

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Terracotta Tiles Before After Deep Cleaning and Sealing Maidford

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

 

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Limestone Flagstones Before and After Renovation Clipston

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
 

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Ceramic Tile Grout Before and After Cleaning in Rushden

Ceramic Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned is a Rushden Sun Room

A customer from Rushden which is a large town in the east side of Northamptonshire, and my home town asked me to take a look at the Ceramic tile and grout in his Sun room. He has a large dog that sleeps on the sofa in this room and over the years the dog has walked in mud which has slowly degraded the grout lines and I suspect had probably never been sealed correctly or sealed at all.

The glazing on Ceramic tile is very resilient so we usually find it’s the grout discolouring that becomes most noticeable first due to the cementitious top layer which can trap dirt. In this case the Ceramic tiles had dulled over the years and as you might expect the white grout lines had become soiled and were almost black in places.

Ceramic Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Rushden Sun Room Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Rushden Sun Room

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

To get the tile and grout clean the floor was first soaked in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and this was left to dwell for ten minutes. A rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad was then used to scrub the cleaning solution into the tile and release the dirt. The pad can struggle to reach the recessed grout so to ensure this was also clean it was given a good scrub with a narrow stiff brush.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout During Cleaning Rushden Sun Room
We then used a spinning tool which forces hot water under high pressure onto the floor whilst simultaneously extracting the dirty water with a powerful vacuum. The objective of this action is to power wash the floor whilst rinsing and extracting the dirty cleaning solution at the same time.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout During Cleaning Rushden Sun Room
We inspected the grout lines and stubborn stains were treated with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which was scrubbed in with hand brushes, this was then rinsed a second time until we were happy with the results. Grout Clean-Up is an acidic product that is particularly good at removing grout smears which can form a haze over a tile reducing its brilliance.

We then polished the floor with a white buffing pad and allowed the floor to dry overnight before returning the following day to apply Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to all grout lines.

The furniture was too large and heavy for the customer to move out of the room, which was on a lower level than the rest of the ground floor. As a result, it was necessary to clean the floor in sections moving the furniture around the room on pads as needed.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout After Cleaning Rushden Sun Room
The Sun room floor look great afterwards, the grout especially looked clean and the sealer should ensure it stays that way for some time to come.

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Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Completed

Restoring a Riven Slate Patio Suffering from Grout Haze in Wollaston

This customer, who lives in Wollaston, a small village in Northamptonshire, called me to look at the unfortunate condition of her Riven Slate tiled patio. She had hired a builder to install it, but he had neglected to remove the grout haze which had occurred quickly enough, allowing it to set. He was subsequently unable to remove the haze because he had already sealed over it. This had left it looking very unsightly, as you can see in the photo below.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Before Cleaning
The customer initially contacted me back in December 2016. At that time, I did explain to the customer that the Winter wouldn’t be an ideal time to restore the patio, and that it would be best to carry out the work in the Spring. However, she was so unhappy with the appearance of the patio and – knowing she had guests coming over for Christmas – wanted something to be done to improve the condition of the tiles as soon as possible.

It was agreed that I would immediately carry out the removal of the old sealer and the grout haze beneath, but leave the re-sealing until the Spring of the following year when the weather was dry. The customer understood that when I returned in the Spring, the patio would require another light clean and brush to prepare it for sealing.

To put the customer’s mind at rest somewhat, I carried out a test clean on one slab of the patio using Tile Doctor impregnating, colour intensifying sealer, known as Colour Grow. This darkened the tile and provided a natural look finish, which was preferred by the customer. I also returned to the property several days later to carry out a water repellency test, but as you can see from the photo below, the rain beat me to it. Thankfully, the repellency test had positive results.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Testi Cleaning
I was then able to begin the cleaning process.

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Patio

To begin, I removed the old sealer using a strong mix of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a stripper and cleaner. This product was scrubbed into the tiles with a rotary brush machine. Net, I rinsed away the resulting slurry and soaked up the water with a wet vax machine.

This initial clean exposed the true extent of the grout haze – it was over all every tile! My next course of action was therefore to remove this using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a gel cleaner specially formulated to neutralise grout haze. This was allowed to dwell for a short period before I brushed it in.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston During Cleaning
Following this, I gave the whole area a second brush with a small amount of water, before using a wet vax machine once again to make sure all cleaning chemicals were removed. I used the customer’s hosepipe to rinse down the entire patio as there was good drainage.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 2nd Cleaning
I allowed the tiles to dry out naturally, before waited for a dry day in April this year to return to the property. During this day, I sealed the entire area with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to really deepen the colour in the stone and provide the whole patio long-lasting protection against the elements.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 1st Coat
The customer was exceptionally happy to have the patio restored to perfect condition. I’m sure she’ll make great use of it over the Summer!

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Completed
 

Professional Riven Slate Tiled Patio Restoration in Northants

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terracotta tiles before and after grout haze removal in cogenhoe

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor with Severe Grout Haze Problem Treated in Cogenhoe

This newly installed Herringbone-style Terracotta tiled floor in a refurbished kitchen was heavily covered with patches of grout haze. The customer, who lives in the town of Cogenhoe, Northampton informed me that the tiler had supposedly sealed the floor before grouting. If this was true, the grout haze should have been very easy to remove.

However, the tiler had clearly not been entirely truthful as, when I arrived at the property to carry out a test clean, I found very little evidence of any sealer whatsoever. Nonetheless, I found that the grout haze was easily removed using a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which is designed specifically for the removal of haze, mineral deposits and efflorescence.

Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe

These Terracotta tiles were very pitted and the original tiler was correct to fill the small holes with grout to complement the rustic look of the tiles, but he should have taken the correct measures to ensure that a white misty grout haze didn’t appear over the whole area!

The customer was happy for me to proceed with restoring the floor, but also very concerned that her newly installed hand painted kitchen units would be damaged by the chemical cleaning products. I assured her that I would cover them up completely and carry out all work along the plinths by hand.

Removing Grout Haze from Terracotta Tiles

Once on site, I covered the kitchen units to protect them and proceeded to mix up a solution of Grout Clean Up. This was applied firstly around the edges of the floor and scrubbed into the stone by hand using a stiff brush.

Working in areas of four square metres each so as to not the leave the product on the floor too long, I applied the solution to pre-wet the floor ready for the next part of the process. This was to apply Tile Doctor Acid Gel, our blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, leave it to dwell for a few minutes has then agitate it to neutralise and remove the copious grout haze. Once each area had been treated I rinsed it with water to remove any chemicals.

Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

With the entire floor treated, I installed a dehumidifier to help the tiles to dry quickly overnight. The next day I returned to the property to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection while also lifting the natural shades in the Terracotta.

Each coat was polished in by hand, leaving an hour for drying between coats. I then waited another hour before giving the whole floor a final polish with a buffing machine to remove any excess sealant.

Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe

The result achieved in the space of 24 hours was fantastic and the customer was exceptionally pleased. Despite the severity of the grout haze problem, the combination of the right products allowed me to handily resolve it. The addition of a properly applied and top quality sealer will help to ensure the floor is protected from staining, something which is essential in a kitchen.

Resolving Installation Issues with a newly installed Terracotta Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor with Severe Grout Haze Problem Treated in Cogenhoe Read More »

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Removed and Sealed in Brackley

Slate Patio Tiles Treated for Grout Haze and Sealed in Brackley

Along with internal tiled floors at residential and commercial properties, we also specialise in the cleaning, restoration and sealing of all types of external tiled floors, including patios.

This customer, who lives in the small town of Brackley in Northamptonshire, had made the unfortunate mistake of sealing a brand new Slate tiled patio without removing the layer of grout haze smeared across the surface of the tile first. With the grout trapped between the tile and the new sealant the sealer was unable to fulfil its potential and the entire floor appeared really dull and patchy. The customer contacted me about setting the situation right.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Before Cleaning Brackley

Treating a Slate Tiled Patio for Grout Haze

My initial course of action was to remove the new sealer using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially designed to strip away sealant, as well as adhesives and paints in cases where building and decorating works have left the tiles stained. The product was applied liberally across the surface area of the patio and agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a special stripping pad. Of course, this was necessary because the grout haze could not be treated without removing the sealant first. The soiled cleaning solution was promptly soaked up using a wet-vac machine.

Once the tiles were exposed I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in more manageable gel form, all over the patio and allowed it to dwell for ten minutes to begin neutralising the grout haze. I then added a little water and worked the product into the patio with a stiff scrubbing brush and a rotary machine to ensure all grout haze was removed from the surface of the tiles. The remaining slurry was then removed using the wet vacuum, and I rinsed the area twice with plain water to ensure all cleaning products had been removed. It was them left to dry completely.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Being Cleaned in Brackley

Sealing a Slate Tiled Patio

I returned to the property several days later to give the patio a fresh seal now that it was free from grout haze. First, I gave the patio a vacuum and light mop to remove any dust and debris. The customer wanted the tiles as dark as possible, therefore I suggested we use Tile Doctor Stone Oil before sealing, as this would darken the Slate significantly.

Once this was agreed, I applied one coat of Stone Oil, allowed an hour for the product to dry, and then followed this applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is our impregnating, colour enhancing sealant which provides maximum protection against ingrained dirt and stains, as well as a durable no-sheen finish.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Removed and Sealed in Brackley
As you can see from the photographs, the Slate tiles experienced an impressive transformation. The fresh sealant, combined with the Stone Oil, really took the appearance of the tiles to a new level and, what’s more, it will be easier for the happy customer to keep it clean in the future.

Restoring the Appearance of a Natural Slate Patio in Northamptonshire

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Grout Haze Removed From Slate Tiles Woburn Sands

Grout Haze Trapped Under Sealed Slate Tiles in Woburn Sands

These pictures are off a brand new slate floor which the customer assumed would be much darker after she sealed it. Her builder had informed her that she only needed to give them a wipe over to remove the grout haze after he had laid them which she did before sealing however she was disappointed as they came up lighter and patchy than she had envisaged from what she had seen in the shop. The colour and patchiness was down to the fact that not all the grout had been removed and was now trapped between the tile and the new sealant.

Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Woburn Sands Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Woburn Sands

Removing Sealer and Grout Haze from Slate

To be able to remove the grout haze which was the root cause of the problem I would need to first remove the sealer. Fortunately we have a product called Tile Doctor Remove & Go which can do this so I applied it to the tiles, let is soak in for tem minutes and then scrubbed it into the Slate using a rotary machine fitted with a stripping pad. I then rinsed the floor with water and removed the soiled solution with a wet vacuum, repeating the scrubbing process where I felt it was necessary.

Once this was done I could deal with the Grout Haze by giving the tiles an Acid wash using Tile Doctors new Acid Gel product which being in a gel form is much easier to control. It was applied all over the floor and allowed to dwell for ten minutes to work on the grout haze, I then added a little water and worked the product in with a stiff scrubbing brush and a rotary machine to ensure all grout was removed from the surface of the tiles; the resultant slurry was then removed using the wet vacuum again.

It was important at this stage to ensure any trace of Remove and Go or Acid Gel was removed from the slate before sealing so I then gave the floor a thorough rinse with more water using the wet vacuum afterwards to remove as much moisture as possible. Before leaving for the evening I installed a fan to blow air across the surface of the tiles to assist in the drying process.

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

I returned the following day and did a small test patch on a spare tile the customer had with a colour sealant and she wanted it darker than the sealant alone could achieve as colour enhancing sealers will only ever slightly darken the colour. Therefore I suggested we apply Tile Doctor Stone Oil before sealing as this would darken the slate to the colour the customer was after and it works especially well on darker tiles. Once this was agreed I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil, allowed an hour for the product to dry assisted by a fan followed by 2 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to fully protect the tiles.

Grout Haze Removed From Slate Tiles Woburn Sands Grout Haze Removed From Slate Tiles Woburn Sands

The job took two days, the grout haze is gone and the Slate now looks how it should, my customer was very pleased and left the following message on our feedback system.

Phil did an absolutely fantastic job on my black limestone tiles in my kitchen after my DIY botch job at trying to seal them. They now look like the floor I wanted to achieve when I bought those tiles in the 1st place. Thank you so much! Ms L. Whittaker.

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Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Sandstone Tiled Floor Treated For Grout Haze in Wappenham

It’s not that uncommon for newly installed tiled floors to suffer from grout haze. This occurs where builder or tiler fails to remove all the excess grout from the surface of the tile after installation. It’s not always immediately obvious as the grout has to dry before it shows up and if the tiles are sealed afterward the grout is trapped on the surface of the tile under the sealer which makes it even more difficult to remove. Not too long ago, I was called to address this exact problem experienced on my client’s Sandstone tiled floor at her house Wappenham, Northamptonshire.

This first picture shows how the builder had left the floor after sealing (note how all the tiles have a similar colour). Also shown in the picture is the equipment I use to remove grout haze should you wish to do this yourself.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham
The second picture shows a close-up of the white grout haze deposits on the surface of the tile; the issue is probably difficult to appreciate if you haven’t come across this type of problem yourself however you will find ordinary household cleaning products will be largely ineffectual.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Removing Sealer from Sandstone Floor Tiles

The third picture shows the first stage of the cleaning process which required stripping off the sealer so I could then treat the Grout Haze. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go liberally across the floor, before agitating with a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine to break down the old surface sealer. I followed this by using a wet-vac machine to remove any soiled residue. As you can see in the next photograph, the colours are already starting to show.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Treating Grout Haze on Sandstone

The next photo shows the second stage of the process, which involved the application of a new product in the Tile Doctor range called Acid Gel. The acid based formula is required to remove the cement/grout and being a gel you find the product remains in situ breaking down the grout haze instead of spreading around as you would expect with a liquid.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham
I left the Acid Gel to dwell for approximately ten minutes, before mixing it with water and scrubbing it into the tiles with an industrial brush. This was followed by a second wet vacuum to ensure all the residue was removed. A turbo dryer was used on the treated area to speed up the drying process whilst I moved onto the next section.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Sealing Sandstone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was fully dry I was able to seal it again with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Sealing will protect the floor from staining and make it easier to clean, additionally Colour Grow soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the stone in the process.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham
The final photograph shows an area which has been fully sealed and the tiles restored to their natural beauty. I achieved this result across the entirety of the floor.

Grout Haze removed from a Sandstone tiled floor in Northamptonshire

Sandstone Tiled Floor Treated For Grout Haze in Wappenham Read More »

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton

Travertine Tiled Kitchen With Badly Stained Grout Cleaned in Northampton

Earlier this month I was in the town of Northampton, to see a client who had reported a problem with her Travertine kitchen tiles. Basically the grout between the tiles was badly stained, to the point of appearing almost black.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton
The Travertine tiles were also in need of some maintenance, and so I was commissioned to provide a clean, polish and a fresh seal. Travertine is a popular choice for kitchen flooring due to its relatively high durability and distinct features. My task was to get this floor back to looking its best.

Cleaning badly stained grout

My priority was to address the badly stained grout so I cleaned the grout lines by hand using a combination of hand brushes and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The surface was pre-wet with water, before a solution of Grout-Clean Up and clean water was applied to the surface. The brushes were then used to agitate the solution. Grout Clean-Up contains a mix of concentrated phosphoric acid and cleaner designed to penetrate below the surface of the grout to remove grout stains, smears and mineral deposits.

As you can see from the photos, Grout Clean-Up made an immediate difference to the appearance of the tiles. This product is suitable for use on masonry and acid resistant surfaces. After completing the clean, I gave the floor a thorough rinse to neutralise the floor after cleaning and removed as much of the water as possible using a wet vacuum.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton

Burnishing Travertine tiles

Following this, I paid attention to the tiles themselves, cleaning them to achieve a polished effect by using a system of burnishing pads. Tile Doctor burnishing pads comprise a set of four pads varying in grit type, from Coarse and Medium to Fine and Very Fine. I applied all four pads in turn to the floor, stopping to rinse the floor in between each. The result was a high quality polished finish.

I then left the floor to dry completely overnight, before commencing the seal the next day. My choice of sealing product was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer that both enhances the natural appearance of the stone and provides a durable surface seal.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen with Stained Grout Northampton
My client was very pleased with the finished product, and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system: “efficiently done”, yielding “good results”.

Dealing with Stained Grout in a Travertine tiled kitchen in Northamptonshire

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Dirty Grout in Titchmarsh Kitchen After Cleaning

Cleaning up newly installed Grout in Titchmarsh

This customer from Titchmarsh near Kettering was unhappy that the Porcelain floor tiles that were installed in her kitchen six months prior were proving difficult to clean and that the grout line had turned from a grey to black and whatever she tried she just could not keep this floor clean. On inspection I soon discovered that no or very little sealer had been applied to the Porcelain which is not unusual as most Porcelain does not require a sealer however Micro Porous Porcelain does and she should have been advised by the shop that sold her the tiles that this was the case. A quote was given which she was happy with and I returned the following week to sort the problem out.

Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tile and Grout

To protect the kitchen units I covered them in a plastic and then moved onto to deep cleaning the tiles with a dilution of Tile doctor Pro Clean which was applied and left to soak in for a while before hand scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees with stiff brushes. This did made an improvement but something stronger was required to get the grout looking better so it was back down to the floor with hand brushes again but this time I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acid that can remove grout smears and mineral deposits, in the end I actually used two litres of Grout Clean-Up to restore the grout to about 95% of its correct appearance and once done I gave the floor a thorough wash down to remove any trace of product.

Dirty Grout in Titchmarsh Kitchen During Cleaning

Sealing Porcelain Tile and Grout

This grout should have been correctly sealed from day one and luckily for the client it came up to her satisfaction otherwise the only other option would have been to use a Grout Colourant which would have been more costly but cheaper than replacing the grout altogether. Had the grout been much older this may have been the best option as I suspect the result from cleaning would have been less effective. The last step was to seal the tiles and grout using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that provides maximum stain protection and is recommended for use in kitchens. Before leaving I gave the client written instructions on maintenance which she found very helpful.

Dirty Grout in Titchmarsh Kitchen After Cleaning
 

Cleaning and Sealing Porcelain Tile and Grout in a Northamptonshire Kitchen

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Marble Tiled Floor In Irthlingborough after cleaning

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

Polished Marble Floor Covered in Grout Haze in Irthlingborough Read More »

Semi Riven Black Slate floor cleaned sealed

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

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Northamptonshire Tile Doctor

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