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

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

 

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Pitted Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles Filled and Polished in Weston Favell

Travertine floor tiles are very appealing and very hardwearing, but without the protection of a sealer to stop dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone their appearance will degrade. Fortunately, this can be remedied as demonstrated in these pictures of a Travertine floor I recently polished at a house in Weston Favell, Northampton.

Travertine Tiled Floor Weston Favell Before Polishing

This owner of the property had called me out as their kitchen floor was looking very sorry for itself and he was concerned that a lot of holes were appearing which was making cleaning the floor difficult as dirt was getting trapped in the holes. I went over and carried out a test clean on two separate tiles in the kitchen and the customer was amazed at how clean they came up and especially the grout.

Travertine Tiled Floor Weston Favell Before Polishing

The kitchen was stunning, but unfortunately the state of the Travertine tiled floor was bringing down its overall appearance. Impressed with the test clean they were keen to get the whole floor renovated so we agreed a price and I scheduled the work in for the following month.

Cleaning and Restoring Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned on the agreed data and made a start by protecting the kitchen units by removing the plinths and covering base units and the appliances with a protective film. We then commenced the cleaning process to remove surface dirt by cleaning with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean paying special attention to the grout lines. The holes in the Travertine were filled with a stone resin, mixing it to closely match the colours of the stone.

The resin was allowed to dry before starting to re-polish the Travertine using a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. These pads are applied individually to each tile in sequence starting with a coarse 400-grit pad before moving onto the 800-grit and finishing with the fine 1500 grit pad. A little water is used to lubricate the process along the way and the floor is rinsed in between each pad with the resulting residue extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. The process takes some time, but it really brings up the polished appearance of the stone and the results are well worth the effort. After a final rinse the floor was inspected and then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

When we returned the next day, the floor had dried, and we were able to give the floor a final polish with a very fine 3000-grit burnishing pad applied with a little water sprayed onto the tile. Finally, the floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which provides excellent protection without changing the colour of the stone to provide a natural look.

Travertine Tiled Floor Weston Favell After Polishing

The client was over the moon with the outcome and surprised at the improvement. They were left with a floor that would be easy to clean and maintain.

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in Northamptonshire

Marble Floor Tile Polishing in New Duston, Northampton

The Marble floor tiles in the pictures below covered a large kitchen, family room and utility area at a property in New Duston near Northampton. The client who was a builder had been recommended our services by one of his own clients, so he contacted us for advice on how to renovate the Marble flooring.

Marble Floor Restoration New Duston Before Polishing

I went to the property to survey the floor and could see straight away that the tiles were dull, lifeless with some staining and hardly recognisable as Marble. I recommended the floor was honed through a polished process known as burnishing, followed by the application of a sealer to provide durable protection for the stone. I organised a quote which was accepted, and we arranged a date for the work to start.

Marble Floor Restoration New Duston Before Polishing

Apologies in advance for the quality of the photographs, it’s tricky this time of year when the light is failing to capture a good photo.

Restoring Polish to a Marble Tiled Floor

I began the burnishing process, which involves the application of a set of Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads attached to a 17” rotary machine. At Tile Doctor we work with a four-pad system that allows us to gradually refine the polish on suitable stone floors which generally including Marble, Travertine and Limestone. I started the process by applying a 400-grit coarse burnishing pad lubricated with a little water, working in small sections. Following this, I worked my way through the burnishing system, repeating the process with 800-grit medium and 1500-grit fine grit burnishing pads. I also used some small hand-held burnishing blocks in the difficult to reach corners and edges. The floor is given a quick rinse using a wet pick up machine between pads in order to remove the resulting slurry before starting with the next pad.

Marble Floor Restoration New Duston During Polishing

I left the floor to dry off overnight to give the Marble tile and grout time to dry and returned the next day to finish the polishing and seal the floor.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Floor

The last 3000-grit pad builds up a high polish on the floor and is applied dry with only a little water squirted on the tiles in a process we call a Spray Burnish. One of the advantages of this method is it leaves the floor dry so is ready for sealing.

Now that I had achieved a good level of shine, I then proceeded to seal the floor to protect the stone against future dirt, stains and damage, which is more common in busy areas of a house like the kitchen. I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal allowing drying time between each coat. This is a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food areas such as the kitchen. Once the sealant had hardened, I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to further enhance the look of the Marble floor.

Marble Floor Restoration New Duston After Polishing

The customers were extremely happy with the results and as with all customers I advised on the best maintenance for their floor and provided a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap to help them maintain the beauty of their floor.

 

Professional Restoration of Polished Marble Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Cleaning 100 Year Old Mosaic Tiles in Abington Park

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

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

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

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

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

Cleaning an Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

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

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

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

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

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

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

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

 

Professional Restoration of Mosaic Hallway Tiles in Northamptonshire

Indian Sandstone Patio Northampton

The scorching hot summer has meant we are all in the garden and making much more use of our outside spaces. Our client got in touch because her Indian Sandstone patio was looking a little unloved. Looking forward to entertaining outside it was time to bring it back up to scratch so it wouldn’t be an embarrassment.

This house in Northampton which is the county town of Northamptonshire, lying on the River Nene it is one of the largest towns in the UK, had a lovely large patio. The Sandstone paving was looking tired and dirty, it was covered in lichen, embedded soil and was missing grout. I discussed with the client how Tile Doctor could help, and she agreed to go ahead so I returned a few days later. Indian Sandstone is a very hardwearing material, but one of the biggest problems we find with stone flooring outside is it soon becomes stained by the elements, especially with our great British weather, sun, (acid) rain, and ice. Without its’ protective sealer porous stone quickly becomes ingrained with dirt making it increasingly difficult to clean effectively.

Indian Sandstone Patio Before Cleaning Northampton

Cleaning and Restoring Indian Sandstone Patio in Northampton

I pre-treated the entire are with a medium dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for about 15 minutes, so it started breaking down the soil. This is a highly concentrated multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner which is great on heavily soiled areas, breaking down the dirt and the lichen. This was then scrubbed in using a rotary machine and stiff buffing brush.

This was followed by pressure washing and rinsing the entire area with water, removing the soiled waste with a wet vacuum. It is always a little easier carrying out this type of messy job as we are outside. This process took much of the day to complete and got the Indian Sandstone tiles really clean. They were already looking good and had changed from a dull grey colour to a lovely warm beige.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Cleaning Northampton

Grouting and Sealing Indian Sandstone Patio Northampton

I allowed a few days for the area to dry and then returned to finish renovating the patio, thankfully the weather remained dry! My first task was to re-grout areas where the grout had become loose, this made an instant difference defining the tiles as they should be, also this will prevent the problem with weeds growing between the paving slabs.

Finally, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant to enhance the natural colours of the stone. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It is also a breathable sealer which is ideal for external areas where moisture is an issue.

As you can see from the pictures this process made a huge impact and the colours appear much brighter, the customer was delighted with the results and she is looking forward to being able to enjoy her garden. The hot weather is thankfully continuing so she will be able to enjoy the space for many weeks to come.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Sealing Northampton

 

Clean and Restoration of an Indian Sandstone Patio in Northamptonshire

Renovating a Black Limestone Patio in Walgrave

The following photos show a large black limestone patio that had been installed at a house in the village of Walgrave by a local builder who had sealed the stone before cleaning it first. Doing so trapped the dirt and grout smears (ka grout haze) underneath the sealer which resulted in a hazy appearance that could never be cleaned off.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Spring is an ideal time to work on patios which tend to get stained most from leaves and other detritus during the windy autumn and then ravaged by the winter frosts. If you want to seal the stone though its best to wait until a spell of continuous hot weather for the best results.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Cleaning a Black Limestone Patio

To clean the stone, I would first need to remove the builder’s sealer, so I started by applying Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a strong product designed to safely remove coatings such as sealers and paint from stone and tile. A strong dilution of Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes before being worked into the Limestone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor scrubbing machine. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off the patio with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning Walgrave

With the sealer removed along with the dirt then next task was to tackle the smears of grout that had been left on the surface of the stone. To do this I applied a specially developed product called Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is left to dwell on the surface of the stone just long enough to weaken the unwanted grout which can be then scrubbed off. The solution is then rinsed off the patio and extracted as before. This process was done in sections worked across the length of the patio and then when finished it was given a through rinse.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

I would need the limestone patio to be dry before sealing so I left it fully dry out over the course of a few days before coming back to finish off, fortunately the weather was good, and it wasn’t long before I returned.

Black Limestone Patio During Sealing Walgrave

My sealer of choice for Black Limestone is Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s an impregnating sealer the penetrates the pores of the stone protecting it from within and simultaneously enhancing the natural colours in the stone. This product is also fully breathable which makes it ideal for external use or damp areas where moisture needs to rise through the stone and evaporate. Two coats of Colour Grow were all that was required to fully seal the stone.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

The work was a huge improvement to the look of the patio which is now vibrant, inviting and fully transformed by the process.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

 

Limestone Patio Maintenance in Northamptonshire

Damaged Marble Bathroom Countertop Polished and Sealed in Northampton

Marble is known for its premium quality, toughness and aesthetic, making it a very popular choice for bathroom countertops, such as this one at a house in Northampton. However just because it’s tough doesn’t mean that Marble can be cleaned with the usual household cleaners. Like all natural stone, Marble is acid sensitive and unsuitable products can have a very damaging effect on its appearance.

In this situation, the property owner had used a limescale remover to remove some unsightly marks from the countertop. Unfortunately, the product was acid-based and instead of making an improvement it just made it worse and caused severe etching.

Black Marble Vanity Worktop Before Polishing in Northampton

The first photo above shows the limescale marks from where toiletries have been placed on the side whilst wet. Since Northampton is a hard water area, the limescale deposits over time caused these marks to appear.

Burnishing a Damaged Marble Bathroom Countertop

The only way to effectively remove the Limestone deposits – while at the same time rectifying the damaged caused by the botched cleaning attempt – was to use a system of hand-held diamond encrusted pads and hand help blocks of various grits to cut back the stone and re-polish it, a process we call burnishing.

Before officially beginning the burnishing process, I ran a few tests to determine the type of pad I would need to use to achieve the best results. I found that, in most areas, I would need to use the Tile Doctor 400 Grit (Coarse) pad to resurface the tile and remove the damaged layer of stone, but in some areas where the etching was worse, I would need to use the 200 Grit (Very Coarse) pad.

After burnishing the affected areas with the Coarse and Very Coarse grit pads, I started to incrementally polish the stone to achieve a high-quality shine, working my up through the Medium, Fine and Very grit pads.

Black Marble Vanity Worktop During Polishing in Northampton

No chemicals were used during this process – only water for lubrication, combined with the six-inch diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a hand-held buffing machine.

Sealing a Marble Bathroom Countertop

The final part of the restoration was to seal the stone to maintain a long-lasting, deep polished appearance. To do this, I used Tile Doctor Shine Powder, which is a crystallising sealer in powder form. The powder is applied directly and combined with water, before being worked into the stone to seal it.

Black Marble Vanity Worktop After Polishing in Northampton

The customer was very happy with the results and the level of shine achieved. I gave the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, which is our aftercare cleaner for polished natural stone, along with instructions on periodic maintenance to help maintain the finish we had achieved for as long as possible.
 
 

Removing Limescale Marks from a Polished Marble Countertop in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northampton

The photographs below are from a Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in Northampton where I was called in by the owner to inspect the floor for restoration, deep cleaning and re-setting of all loose tiles covering around 3sq metres.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Showing Loose Tiles

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The initial process was to vacuum and remove any loose debris before applying Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to the entire area. Oxy-Gel is a strong alkaline based gel cleaner/stripper which is safe to use on tile and grout and being gel based it’s very easy to control. The gel was left to get to work on the dirt for ten minutes before being scrubbed into the tile with a black stripping pad fixed to a rotary floor machine. The resultant slurry and dirt was then rinsed with water and removed using a wet vacuum. The floor now free of dirt and old sealers was now prepared ready for repairs and re-grouting.

Grouting Victorian Tiles

The next step was to remove small sections of loose tiles and then re-fixing and re-grouting as required. We took care to replace tiles into their original position to ensure they sat together correctly. Once the section was replaced I removed the tiles in the next section and repeated this process until the 3sq metres of loose tiles were all reinstalled.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair

I allowed the grout to dry for a few hours before polishing off excess grout with a cloth and removing difficult grout smears with a weak solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The floor was then rinsed again using water to remove any trace of products and then dried using the wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I returned a few days later to ensure the floor was completely dry as dampness can be issue with this type of tile, I then vacuumed the floor and gave it a light clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to make sure it was spotless before sealing.

Once the floor had dried I took damp readings and when satisfied the floor was dry again I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant for a light sheen finish and to enhance the natural colour of the floor. Colour grow is a penetrating sealer that protects from within by soaking into the pores of the tile stopping dirt from becoming ingrained there, it also enhances colour.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning

 
 

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

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

Mouldy Shower Cubicle Refreshed in Northampton

A common problem with bathroom and shower cubicle tiles is the appearance of mould on the tile, grout and silicone which if not tackled on a regular basis will spread and threaten to severely damage the appearance of the tiles, along with the silicone. This problem is usually due to inadequate ventilation however the good news is that with early intervention with Tile Doctor Mould Away spray the problem can be reversed.

The two photos below show a bad case of this very problem at a property in Northampton, where you can see that the grout and silicone sealant had become black with mould.

Mouldy shower cubicle before Northampton Mouldy shower cubicle before Northampton

Cleaning and Repairing Damaged Shower Cubicle Grout

Firstly, I decided to cut out the damaged grout with a hand held disc cutter and remove all the silicone at the base of the shower. To treat the less invasive mould in the rest of the cubicle I sprayed it with Tile Doctor Mould Away, which is specifically designed to remove mould from silicone and grout.

I sprayed the product onto the affected areas and left it to dwell for five minutes, before scrubbing it in with a stiff grout brush, resulting in a good clean. The area was then rinsed with plain water. Finally, I replaced the grout and the silicone that I had removed earlier with a flexible grout and a white silicone, both of which include a mould inhibitor.

Mouldy shower cubicle after Northampton Mouldy shower cubicle after Northampton

The photographs above show the end result. The customer was very happy with her refreshed tiles, and left the following feedback:

“Phil was brilliant – both when he came to look at the job and then when he returned to actually make the grout repairs. Most importantly he explained what was (and wasn’t possible) and did exactly what he said he would do. My shower area now looks brilliant and I’m no longer showering in fear of the tiles falling off the wall! Honest, clean, timely and totally professional. A tremendous job well done. Thank you.”

I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Aqua Pro to aid with regular cleaning. If used once or twice a week, this product will help maintain the condition of the grout. I also advised the customer that it is good practice to rinse the tiles down with plain water using the shower head after each shower to remove any soapy residue which can slowly discolour and stain grout over time.

Mouldy shower cubicle before and after Northampton

 
 

Professional Shower Cubicle Renovation in Northamptonshire

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles at St. Mary’s Church, Far Cotton

The following job was a bit different from the kitchen and hallway restorations we normally get asked to do, in fact this request came from the vicar of St. Mary’s Church in Far Cotton who wanted us to restore some beautiful old Quarry tiles which lead up to the main aisle. The church dates back to 1885 and given the wear on some of the tiles I can only assume they date back to the same Victorian period; the church is a really welcoming, community-focused place, so it was a pleasure for me to be asked to complete the work.

The vicar’s main concern was the large amount of melted candle wax around the font – so much so that this his normal cleaners had been unable to remove it. He also wanted to know if the floors could be sealed to make ongoing maintenance easier – and this was certainly something we would be able to provide. The following photos show the condition of the floor before we started.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

The next photo shows the work in progress from halfway down the aisle. We started by breaking down any old sealer and the troublesome candle wax, using a black stripping pad in combination of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to deep clean the floor. Since Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, is highly versatile and can be used on all kinds of natural stone and tile.

While the church has cleaners that come in regularly to keep the building tidy for the parishioners, the old tiles really benefitted from a deep clean which tackled the stubborn ingrained dirt and staining that had built up over many years.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Sealing Victorian and Quarry Tiles

Once I was satisfied that the tiles had been cleaned to the best of my abilities, they were then left for two weeks to fully dry as it is an old church and, understandably, there were some inherent damp issues. As aforementioned, the vicar was keen to have the tiles sealed to make them easier to keep clean and protect them against ingrained dirt and staining for the future. There are only a few situations in which we wouldn’t recommend sealing tiles, such as if they are patio tiles which will already be under constant exposure to the weather.

The best choice of sealer for this particular situation was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, breathable sealer that won’t trap moisture in the floor and will provide great protection against further staining. Additionally, as an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and with the added benefit of enhancing the natural colours and restoring the life and character back in the old, dull tiles. I applied it using a paint pad, before polishing it off.

I’m pleased to report that the restoration was a great success. The vicar was very impressed with the work, and I’m sure the church community will also be very happy with the new, vibrant tiles.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

 
 

Professional Quarry and Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration at a Northamtonshire Church

Heavily Soiled Terrazzo Hallway Restored in Northampton

This Terrazzo tiled hallway at a property in Northampton was in a really bad state. It was heavily soiled and suffered from glue marks where the original carpet covering it had been removed. Additionally, there was some damage to the edges of the doorway, and a large crack in the floor running across the width of the hallway.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton Before Cleaning

Terrazzo is an interesting material, originally produced in Italy, that consists mainly of concrete with segments of marble and other stone interspersed and held together with a resin. Since Terrazzo is formed in this way, I explained to the customer that I would fill the crack along the floor and the small holes around the edges with concrete, before then using tile paint to match in the colours as best as possible. This would be the most cost-effective solution, which was ideal since the customer had a limited budget for the repairs.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton Before Cleaning

Before beginning the restoration, I tested a small area using a diamond encrusted burnishing pad, thereby giving the customer an indication of the type of results that could be achieved. With the customer pleased by the results, the job was booked in for the following week.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Burnishing a Soiled Terrazzo Tiled Hallway

To begin, Tile Doctor Remove & Go was applied to the floor and was left to dwell for ten minutes to soften the carpet glue and break down any old sealer. This was then scrubbed in to the tiles with a pad fitted to a rotary machine. To remove the remaining residue and marks in the particularly stubborn areas, I used a manual hand scraper. The entire floor was then wet vaxed to soak up the soiled cleaner and leave the area clean for burnishing.

This was followed by the use of Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads to polish the tiles, starting with a coarse grit pad, followed by wet vaxing and repeating the process with a medium grit pad and finally the fine grit pad to achieve the desired effect. I then installed a turbo dryer to dry the floor.

I returned to the property once the floor was dry and carried out the repairs which had been discussed earlier with the customer (filling the holes and cracks in the floor with concrete), cleaning off any concrete residue before I finished for the day.

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway

Upon my return to the property the next day, I refined the polish on the floor even further by applying the extra fine grit burnishing pad.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton After Cleaning

To finish off the three day restoration, I sealed the Terrazzo tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow soaks into the pores of the stone, protecting it from ingrained dirt. Colour Grow also contains colour intensifying properties, allowing it to enhance the naturally occurring shades in the stone, and therefore stopping it from appearing dull.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton After Cleaning

This floor certainly was in a bad state, with damage as well as dirt to deal with, but I’m pleased to say that the work went a long way in transforming its appearance, leaving a very happy customer.

Terrazzo Hallway Northampton After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Terrazzo Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Poorly Sealed Limestone Tiled Floor Restored in Kislingbury

The owner of this house in the town of Kislingbury, Northampton called me in because her sealer wasn’t performing very well and the floor had only been cleaned and sealed 6 months previous by her builders contractor. Although the rest of the floor was in very good condition there were quite a few tiles that were being easily scratched from day to day use and stained from liquid spills which should have been easy to remove.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury Before Cleaning

It isn’t always the case that a whole floor is in poor condition, it can be just the high foot traffic areas or just a few damaged tiles either way it can spoil the appearance of the entire feature.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury Before Cleaning

Upon initial contact with my client, we talked through the work the previous contractors had carried out. Then, upon testing the affected areas of the floor, I discovered that that the sealant had been applied very patchily, meaning it had better coverage in some areas than others. I also speculated that the underfloor heating in the room may have affected the curing of the sealant as it dried.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

Even though this work was carried out in January, with outside temperatures of -2 degrees, I insisted that the underfloor heating was turned off to eliminate the potential of it impacting the performance of any products used during the restoration.

I began by stripping off all of the old sealer with the coarse pad from the Tile Doctor burnishing system. I then diluted a solution of the high alkaline cleaner Tile Doctor Pro Clean and this was mainly applied to clean the grout lines because as I previously mentioned, the condition of the tiles was generally speaking very good. The solution was allowed to dwell for approximately ten minutes, before I proceeded to agitate the area with a scrubbing brush to remove ingrained dirt. The floor was then finished off using the rest of the pads in the burnishing pad system to restore the surface shine and then rinsed down with water to remove the slurry.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

After allowing the floor adequate time to dry, I sealed it with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which provides not only a durable surface seal, but also contains properties which intensify the natural colours in the Limestone.

I completed the seal with the underfloor heating off and this allowed the sealer to cure properly. Just to make sure, I also tested several different areas for water repellency – it was only after that I allowed my client to put the heating back on!

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury After Cleaning

The photos really show the difference made in the appearance of those areas of the floor that were once stained. Needless to say that the several days of work were really worth it to get this Limestone tiled floor back to looking its best. With a deep clean and robust, properly applied sealer, this floor will be protected against damage for a long time to come.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury After Cleaning

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Quarry Tiled Hallway in Northampton

Here’s a job I completed just before Christmas last year, at a house in Northampton which has a rich history and mix of architectural styles. The run up to Christmas is always popular as people try to get their household projects finished off in time for celebrating the festive season with family so this is always a busy time for Tile Doctor.

The photos below show a neglected Victorian Quarry tiled floor in need of repair, with cracked tiles along the edges. These were caused by somebody in the past using brute force to remove carpet gripper rods which had been glued to the tiles. These cracks were present around the edges of the entire hallway, however; this particular type of tile is very hard to get hold of. Furthermore, it is a costly process to replace the tiles as the skirting boards would have had to have been removed.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Northampton

As well as the physical issues the floor had a dull appearance due to the build-up of builder’s dust and the general wearing down of the paintwork over time. I agreed with the client that the best course of action would be to fill the tiles, and paint the damaged tiles using a colour that matched as close as possible. Many of my Tile Doctor colleagues would disagree with this approach opting to source the correct tile and rebuild the damaged section however unfortunately in this case we didn’t have the time or the budget.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Northampton

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Quarry tiled floor

My first action was to use a brush and vacuum to remove as much loose debris and dust as possible. I followed this by agitating the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a strong alkaline product and safe to use on tile and stone. I use a combination of a coarse burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine and hand held brushes, in order to get the floor clean. The resulting slurry was then rinsed and removed using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated twice followed by a thorough rinse to ensure any trace of cleaning agent had been removed and the floor neutralised.

Victorian Tiles During Cleaning Northampton

As this was such an old property, I then used a steamer to heat up the tiles in order to draw out any contaminants and assist with the drying process. I installed a fan to dry the floor before starting repairs, mixing up some coloured grout and filling all holes and cracks along the edges, including the doormat area.

Victorian Tiles During Repair Northampton Victorian Tiles During Repair Northampton

I allowed the coloured grout to dry overnight, before hand painting the black and Terracotta tiles. These were then given time to dry (about a couple of hours). Following this, I carefully painted in the other colours: brown and cream. The overall effect was quite convincing and you had to look very closely to notice.

Victorian Tiles Before Painting Northampton Victorian Tiles After Painting Northampton

Sealing a Victorian Quarry tiled floor

Due to the fact that there were other tradesmen working in the house at the time, the floors were sheeted up to protect from additional dust and muck. I then left the house for a week, allowing the floor ample time to dry completely in preparation for sealing.

Upon my return, I took damp meter readings, and once satisfied with the dryness of the tiles, I began the sealing process with the impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. The sealer provides both durable surface protection and an aesthetically pleasing matte finish.

The below photos show how the product has enriched the colours with the two coats applied.

Victorian Tiles After Restoration Northampton Victorian Tiles After Restoration Northampton

The process of restoring this wonderful Victorian Quarry tiled floor was certainly time consuming, but very rewarding. I am exceptionally pleased with the results myself, and my client couldn’t have been happier and I’m sure the newly revitalised hallway will have been a talking point for all their visitors during the Christmas break.
 
 

Victorian Tile Repairing, Cleaning and Sealing in Northamptonshire

Red Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Abington

Here’s an interesting work I recently completed on a red Quarry tiled floor at a house in the town of Abington, Northampton. In post-war Britain (more specifically in the 1940s and 1950s), many new homes were built with Quarry tiled hallways and kitchens, so quite a popular feature back then. These floors are typically quite hard wearing and therefore ideal for such high traffic areas; additionally they don’t need a great deal of maintenance but their appearance will degrade over time.

Red Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning and Repair Abington

In this particular house, the Quarry tiled floor had been covered with linoleum for many years, causing significant patches of visible black mould. The floor also had a loose tile (which I promptly reset to mitigate the potential tripping hazard) and splashes of paint due to a lack of precaution while the house was being renovated. Needless to say, the floor needed a lot of work.

Cleaning a Red Quarry Tiled Floor

Before beginning the cleaning I made sure to vacuum up all of the loose debris from the floor. I then applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go to the tiles, left it to dwell for a short period, and then agitated the area with a black stripping pad, adding water to aid the process. This helped to break down any old and ineffectual sealer, along with the paint splashes marking the tiles, leaving a much cleaner and more refined appearance.

Red Quarry Tiles After Cleaning and Repair Abington

I followed this up with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to eliminate the odd speck of cement and grout haze dating back to when the floor was first installed; Gout Clean-up has an acid base so it’s not advised to leave it on the tiles for too long, consequently as soon as I was happy it had done the job I rinsed it off with water and give the floor a thorough wash down.

I used a wet-vacuum machine to extract as much water as possible and gave the floor a once over with steam cleaner which improves the evaporation of any remaining moisture by heating up the tiles.

Red Quarry Tiles Stripped after cleaning Abington

Sealing a Red Quarry Tiled Floor

After completing the cleaning process, I left the house to allow time for the floor to dry completely. Upon my return, I conducted a damp test which showed the floor needed to dry further before sealing so I left an industrial fan in place for a couple of hours to help speed things up.

Once I was satisfied that the floor was dry enough to take the sealant, I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an interesting product that will not only provide durable stain protection but also improves the natural colours of the tile.

Red Quarry Tiles Stripped and Sealed Abington

While the floor required a lot of time and work to restore, I think you will agree the results were certainly worth waiting for.
 
 

Quarry tiles repaired, cleaning and sealed in Northamptonshire

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

Quarry Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Restored in Hackleton

This was a restoration I did for a couple living in Hackleton, Northampton, who had just moved into their new home and wanted their recently discovered Quarry tiled hallway fully restored before their housewarming party.

Old Quarry tiled floor before restoration Hackleton

The couple had lifted up the carpet upon moving into the house to find a dirty and damaged floor beneath. It had been marked with glue around the edges where the carpet gripper rods had been stuck down upon installation. My clients had attempted to remove the unsightly glue marks themselves using a chisel and hammer. Unfortunately, the DIY job actually caused further damage to one tile, leading to the couple seeking the services of a professional to complete the job properly. It was especially important to have the floor ready quickly, as there was only ten days to go before the housewarming party.

Old Quarry tiled floor before restoration Hackleton

Stripping and cleaning a Quarry tiled hallway

After providing the couple with a quote, I began working on the hallway. My first task was strip the Quarry tiles of the old sealer using a combination of black stripping pads and Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a multi-purpose product which contains both strpping and cleaning properties. Remove & Go was left to soak into the tiles before being scrubbed into the floor using a rotary scrubbing machine. After successfully breaking down the layers of old sealer, I rinsed the floor using clean water and soaked up the residue with a wet-vac machine.

Old Quarry tiled floor before restoration Hackleton

The next stage of the job involved removing the old glue marks by hand from around the edges of the hallway. This was painstaking work in which I utilised both a scraper and a hand brush to carefully rid the tiles of these blemishes. Working in small, two metre sections of the floor, I then applied a second coat of Remove & Go, allowed it to soak into the area for a further ten minutes, and then rinsed it with clean water. During my inspection of the floor I also noticed a few splashes of paint, which I duly removed by hand.

Sealing a Quarry tiled hallway

Due to the pressure on time leading up to the housewarming party, I needed to speed up the drying process. I did this by installing a dehumidifier and a turbo fan. The floor was then left to dry for more than 24 hours before I returned to complete the sealing.

Upon my return I took damp meter readings in order to determine which sealer would be the best to use. I resolved to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which is fully breathable, allowing dampness to escape from this type of tile. This is important, as the tiles had been first installed many years ago with no damp proof membrane. As the sealer dried it provided the floor with a nice, light sheen. Since Colour Grow is also specially designed for colour intensification, the fantastic natural shades and colours in the Quarry were really brought to life again.

Old Quarry tiled floor after restoration Hackleton Old Quarry tiled floor after restoration Hackleton

My clients were extremely pleased with the results, with the prompt and efficient service ensuring that the job was completed in good time for their housewarming party.

Old Quarry tiled floor after restoration Hackleton

 
 

Restoring a Quarry Tiled Hallway in time for a Party in Northamptonshire

Refurbishing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northampton After Building

This customer asked me to pay a visit following work to refurbish the house and wanted to restore as many original features as possible; work had been going on to restore coving, picture rails, ceiling roses and fireplaces but unfortunately nobody had thought to cover up the beautiful Victorian floor. When I arrived there was plaster dust and splashes of paint all over the floor that needed attention. A quote was given which was accepted and the work was booked in for the following week.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove any loose debris so I could assess how to proceed. I then applied diluted Tile Doctor Pro Clean with a pump up sprayer and left it to dwell on the tiles for fifteen minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad and hand brushes. The now soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off together with most of the plaster and surface dirt which had come away in the process. I was then left with a few paint splatters which I removed by spot treating by hand with Tile Doctor Remove and Go; it became clear at this stage that the Pro-Clean had not removed all the old sealer and so I decided to spray the whole floor with a dilution of Remove and Go and work it in with brushes, the solution was left for a further ten minutes and then rinsed away with an extraction machine.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

The floor was left alone to dry for several days with a fan on site to assist the process. The customer wanted the floor to look traditional and requested a matt finish so when I returned to site two coats of Tile Doctor Matt Colour Grow Sealer was applied. Colour Grow is breathable and will allow any damp to evaporate without disrupting the finish, this is important as floors of this age were laid without any damp proof course or membrane which can sometimes result in damp issues.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor Restored after Building works in Northamptonshire

Polished Travertine Tile Maintenanced in Northampton

Polished stone floors such as Travertine need to be regularly maintained correctly or will lose their sheen over time, additionally grout lines can fill with dirt and light scratches can quickly dull down Travertine and attract yet more soil. This was the case with this Travertine tiled floor in Northampton which had been left too long between deep cleans and now the protective sealer had worn off and were badly scratched and soiled.

Travertine Tiles Before Cleaning Polishing in Northampton

Burnishing Polished Travertine Tiles

To get the surface back to a condition where it can be polished again it’s necessary to burnish the Travertine using a set of diamond encrusted floor pads. The pads come in a set of four and you start with the coarse pad which together with a little water cuts through and removes grime and sealers from the tile. This take a bit of time to get around the whole floor and then you rinse it down to remove any slurry and start again with the medium pad which is of a higher grade and is the first step in the polishing process. Again the floor is rinsed before moving on to the third pad which is a fine grade and is the second step in bringing the polish back.

By this time it was getting late so the floor was given another rinse and I came back the next day to apply the final pad in the set of four which is a super fine pad that is run over the floor and puts the final shine on the polished Travertine. The floor was given another rinse and left to dry so it could be sealed later that afternoon.

Sealing Polished Travertine Tiles

There are a number of sealers that you can use on Travertine and in this case I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which in an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone to prevent contaminates lodging there and also does well to bring out the natural colours in the stone.

Travertine Tiles After Cleaning Polishing in Northampton

All in the job took two days and I’m happy to report the customer was very happy with the results.
 
 

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Tiled floor in Northamptonshire

Kitchen Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing in Holcot

The photographs below show a Terracotta Tiled floor we maintained that was installed in the kitchen and conservatory of a house in the Northamptonshire village of Holcot. The tile and grout was in good physical condition but had become ingrained with dirt and were now in need of a deep clean and reseal.

Terracotta tiles Before Cleaning in Holcot Village

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

First job was to protect the kitchen units, doors and skirting boards during the cleaning process for which I used blue plastic sheeting. Next a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an industrial strength alkaline cleaning product that’s safe to use on tile and stone was applied to the floor using a mop. The solution was left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes in order for it to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and stiff hand brushes were along the grout lines where the pad struggled to reach.

The soiled solution was picked up using our large wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and allow us to see which areas need further attention. The process was repeated until I was happy that any old sealer and all the dirt had been removed and then the floor was given a final rinse, wet vacuum and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Terracotta tiles Being Cleaned in Holcot Village

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

When I returned the next day I checked the floor had dried using a damp meter which it was and so proceeded to seal the Terracotta tiles with seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the tiles from staining and also add a nice subtle shine to the floor. Terracotta is a clay based product and so naturally quite porous.

Terracotta tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Holcot Village

 
 

Terracotta Tile Maintenance in a Holcot Kitchen

Cleaning and Sealing Chinese Slate Floor in Kingsthorpe

On this page you will find a good selection of photographs taken during the cleaning and sealing of a Chinese Slate tiled floor in the village of Kingsthorpe, Northampton. The floor had been installed in the kitchen and the lounge and both the slate and the grout was in need of a deep clean.

Chinese Slate Tile Before Kitchen

Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles

The first thing we do is to protect anything that can’t by moved by wrapping it in a plastic sheet once this was done we set about scrubbing the slate tiled floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a rotary machine fitted with a black pad, we used a grout brush to clean out the grout lines and then rinsed the floor thoroughly with clean water.

Chinese Slate Tile Cleaning Kitchen Chinese Slate Tile Cleaning Lounge

It’s not until the floor has been washed down that you can spot any stubborn or missed areas so it’s not usual to have to repeat this process until a satisfactory result is obtained. We had both the kitchen and lounge to do and this took most of the day, before leaving for the evening we switched on an air blower to help the floor to dry.

Chinese Slate Tile Lounge Drying

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

We came back the next day and checked the floor was dry, fortunately the air blower had done its job and we were able to get on with the sealing the floor.

To seal the floor five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied using a paint pad applicator. Seal and Go is recommended for Slate tiles and provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish that really does bring the floor alive.

Chinese Slate Tile Sealing Lounge Chinese Slate Tile Lounge After

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Travertine Kitchen floor Cleaned and Sealed in Brixworth

This house in Brixworth near Northampton had Travertine tiles fitted in the kitchen and Ceramic tiles in the hallway, both of which were in need of a deep clean. It was clear that the sealer on the Travertine tiles had stopped working allowing dirt to become ingrained in the surface causing it to become very difficult to clean, you can see this quite clearly in the photographs below, the grout had also become darker.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before Travertine Kitchen Tiles Before

Cleaning Travertine Tile

Travertine is a very hard surface so normally it’s necessary to use diamond encrusted burnishing pad system to clean, strip and polish the floor, in this case however I decided to try a combination of stripping and high pressure clean instead. I started by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose tile cleaner safe to use on natural stone. This was left to dwell on the floor so it could get to work on the dirt before being worked in to the stone using a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine. This was then rinsed off with high pressure spinning tool operating at 1200 PSI to blast out the dirt from the pitted tiles and badly soiled grout lines.

Sealing Travertine Tile

The tiles were left to dry overnight and we came back the next day to seal the Travertine tile with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide on-going stain protection as well as giving the tiles the glossy finish the customer had requested.

Travertine Kitchen Tiles After Travertine Kitchen Tiles After

Cleaning Ceramic Tile

To tackle the Ceramic tiles in the hallway we used a similar system involving the use of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a scrubbing pad to get the tiles clean; Ceramic tiles however are usually glazed and won’t take a sealer the top layer of Grout however is porous and to protect that we applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go along the grout lines.

Ceramic Tiled Hallway Before Ceramic Tiled Hallway After

 
 

Travertine and Cermaic Tiles maintenance in Northampton

150 Year Old Quarry Tile Restoration in Northants School

Shown below are some photographs for a job we did recently restoring 150 year old Quarry Tiles at a School near Peterborough in Northamptonshire. The school had a lot of problems with this floor over the years and had called in another cleaning company several months prior but found that within weeks the sealant they had applied had started to bubble and peal off. The floor was suffering from ongoing dampness problems in some areas, which isn’t unusual for a floor in an old building as damp proofing is a relatively modern concept. Tile Doctor was called in to try to rectify the issues.

Quarry Tiles Failed Sealer Quarry Tiles Failed Sealer

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

The work was booked to be carried out before Xmas and we spent hours stripping the tiles with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean agitated with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad with little affect. To resolve the problem we resorted to getting down on hands and knees with a steamer and scrapper and spend the next 3 days taking off several coats of sealant and wax stripping quarry tile floor. The floors were then allowed to dry for ten days over Christmas.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

We returned in the New Year and took damp meter readings from the floor to ensure it was dry before sealing. The choice of sealer was vital given the floor was 150 years old and it was essential we chose one that was breathable to ensure any dampness could permeate up through the floor and not get trapped causing a problem. We settled for Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is breathable and offers good stain protection as well as enhancing the colour in the tile, two coats were sufficient to ensure to seal the floor. The last step was to buff the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad to bring out the shine.

Quarry Tiles Cleaned Applying Sealer Quarry Tiles Cleaned Applying Sealer

Quarry Tile Maintenance

The school had faced problems maintaining this floor in the past so I returned to site the following week to explain the best method for cleaning the floor going forward; this essentially involves using two buckets, once containing cleaning solution and another to rinse out the mop, I also gave them a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner and a white buffing pad to point them in the right direction. Neutral Cleaner is a PH Neutral formula which unlike most acid products will not degrade the sealer over time.

Quarry Tiles Cleaned and Sealed Quarry Tiles Cleaned and Sealed

 

Northants School Quarry Tiled floor restoration

Slate Tile Flooring Cleaning In Northampton

Pictures below from rough slate tile flooring installed in the Kitchen and Toilet of a house in Northampton. The home owner had called us in to give the slate floor a clean and seal.

Kitchen Slate Floor Before Kitchen Slate Floor Before

Cleaning the Slate Tile Flooring

We cleaned the slate tiled floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean in order to strip any remaining sealer together with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The buffing machine doesn’t get into the grout lines so well so we had to use hand brushes for that. The floor was washed down with clean water and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Slate Tiled Flooring

We came back the next day to seal the floor using five coats Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides stain resistance as well as adding a low sheen to the floor.

Kitchen Slate Floor After Kitchen Slate Floor After

The home owner was very happy with work we did and left the comment below.

Effective and efficient service, would highly recommend Phil Vissian and the service provided.

Amanda, Northampton

Slate Tile Flooring Cleaning In Northampton

Quarry Tile Floor

Quarry Tile Floor in Weldon, Northants

I think you will be impressed with these photographs from a Quarry Tile floor we did in Weldon recently. This quarry tiles were installed in the kitchen and went through to the dinning room, hallway and down stairs cloakroom, at total of around 40sq metres

The tiles were recenctly installed and the customer called us in because they were unhappy with the finished result. This can be a common problem with Tilers who do a great job of levelling, tiling and grouting a floor but struggle on their knowledge of sealers. They were hoping for a high gloss finish but were left with a very dull and patchy floor.

Quarry Tile Floor Cleaning

We stripped the entire floor first using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean assisted by a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. This removed most of the sealer, however, we encountered more problems with grout haze which had been trapped underneath the sealer and had not been cleaned off properly to begin with. Also there were still patches of the original sealer which had been applied over a damp floor. The grout haze was removed by hand with wire bushes and more Pro-Clean and then the entire area was blanket stripped. This is an interesting technique unique to Tile Doctor which involves applying Remove and Go mixed with Nanotech Ultra-Clean to tiles and then covering in plastic sheeting and left for several hours to allow to soak into tiles. We then used a steam stripper and a wet vacuum to pick up to remove and rinse off the products. The area was then left to dry for 2 days assisted by dehumidifiers.

Quarry Tile Floor Sealing

After this time we returned to site to take damp metre readings and once we were happy that all areas were dry, we then applied 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to protect floors and provide the high gloss finish that the customer requested.

Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire