Silverstone Tile Cleaning

Travertine Floor Tiles Filled and Polished in Abthorpe Near Towcester

The following pictures show a polished Travertine kitchen and dining room floor at a house in the small village of Abthorpe near Towcester. The stone floor had lost its shine and had become dull and difficult to clean which was mainly due to the holes that had appeared in the surface of the Travertine where dirt had become ground in and trapped. This is a common problem with all Travertine stone, the holes are natural and usually filled at the factory but due to wear and tear over time and the use of acidic cleaning products the filler can become dislodged. The small holes gave the floor an unsightly appearance and become magnets to dirt.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester
We find the best way to restore the shine is to apply a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads, they take off the layer of dirt and then slowly build a resilient polish on the surface; however, to get the best results we would need to fill the holes in the Travertine.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Burnishing and Cleaning 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.

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.

Polished Travertine Dining Room Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester
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 holes with stone filler that matched the natural colour of the stone as close as possible, in this case the colour we opted for to achieve the best match was Straw. These activities took up most of the day so once I was done filling I left for the day, so the filler and floor could dry out thoroughly overnight.

Polished Travertine Holes Filled Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Sealing a Travertine Tiled 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.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester
With Travertine floors I usually recommend Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer or Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer. On this occasion the client preferred the natural look, so I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal and along with the previous polishing the floor now look transformed.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Badly Stained and Pitted Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Helmdon

The following pictures show the amazing results that can be achieved with a badly stained and pitted Travertine floor. Covering an area of approximately 40m2 the tiles had been laid four years earlier in the Kitchen and Hallway of a house in Helmdon Village. The sealer had since worn off and dirt had become ground into the pores of the stone making it very difficult to clean effectively. Travertine does look amazing but does need to be sealed to keep it looking that way.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning Helmdon
The first few photos show the floor before any cleaning was undertaken and the customers kitchen units which we had wrapped to protect against any splashing. We always take great carewhen working in peoples homes to avoid any damage and we advise that as much furniture as possible is removed from the area to be cleaned. In this case the client was unable to move the large table as they had nowhere to store it fortunately we carry specialist furniture sliders to allow us to move furniture backwards and forwards during cleaning so were able to work around it.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning Helmdon Showing Pitting

Cleaning a stained Travertine tiled floor

The floor was cleaned using a combination of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a stiff brush to clean out embedded soil in the tile pits and grout lines, I also carried out some repairs to missing grout along the edges and around the oak beams to match the existing colours.

The Burnishing pads are applied individually to each tile in sequence starting with acoarse pad and finishing withthe fine pad. The floor is rinsed in-between each pad and the resulting residue extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. The pads are encrusted with diamonds and are ideal for bringing back the finish of stone surfaces like Travertine.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles During Cleaning Helmdon
The picture above should give you an idea of the machinery required to achieve professional results.

Sealing a Travertine tiled floor

Before leaving for the day the floor was given a final rinse with water and as much water and moisture as possible was extracted from the floor using the wet vacuum. When we returned the next day the floor had dried and we were able to apply the sealer. On this occasion we used Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to both the Travertine tiles and the grout lines, not only will this protect both the tile and grout from staining Colour Grow also enhances the natural colour and beauty of the stone.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning Helmdon
The owner of the property was very happy with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system, I always appreciate it when clients take the trouble to do that.

“Phil was at all times pleasant to talk to, professional in his approach and accommodating of our needs. Worked very well. Richard , Helmdon”

Travertine Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning Helmdon Close-Up

Stained and Pitted Travertine Kitchen Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

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

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.

Dealing with Grout Haze on a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

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

Putting the shine back on a Black Marble Floor in Brackley

This customer from the town of Brackley near Northampton got in touch with us to discuss their lovely black Marble tiled floor where it was proving difficult to maintain the shine. I went to visit and after carrying out some tests and asking a number of questions it became clear that that the product that had been used for regular cleaning had a high alkaline detergent content which was not suitable for the floor and had been causing smears, there were also light scratches due to the soiling levels. For polished stone or sealed floors we always recommend a neutral PH cleaning product such a Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner.

Black Marble in Brackley Before Polishing

Burnishing Polished Black Marble Tiles

To remove the light scratches and restore the shine on the Marble it was necessary to cut back the surface and re-polish with a set of burnishing pads. The pads come in a set of four and are applied in sequence starting with a coarse pad together with a little water to cut through the old sealer and grime. You then progress through the other finer pads one by one until you get to the final polishing pad which provides a high polish.

Black Marble in Brackley During Polishing

After polishing the floor was rinsed down to remove any slurry from the polishing process and then allowed to dry before sealing with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which impregnates the pores in the stone enhancing the natural colours and protecting it from future staining.

Black Marble in Brackley After Polishing

Before leaving we spoke again on the types of cleaning solutions to get the best results and she was over the moon with the results.

Maintaining Polished Black Marble Tiles in Northamptonshire-

Cleaning Patios and Paths in a Titchmarsh Garden

These photographs are from the garden of a house in the beautiful village of Titchmarsh in Northamptonshire. The request was to clean the patios and paths which if not cleaned regularly become dirty and lose their appearance during the English winter.

Stone Circle Before Cleaning Gazebo Before Cleaning

Cleaning Patios and Paths

The process I follow for cleaning path’s, patios and paving in general is basically to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then let it soak in to get to work on the dirt and grime for ten minutes before scrubbing with a stiff brush; this is then followed by pressure washing.

Stone Circle During Cleaning Stone Circle During Cleaning

Home owners can buy pressure washing machines and many domestic models are available in DIY stores however none are as powerful as the machines used by Tile Doctors which can generates pressures far in excess of a domestic system that make light work of cutting through grime.

Stone Circle After Cleaning Gazebo After Cleaning


Patio Cleaning in Northamptonshire


Northamptonshire Tile Doctor

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