Cleaning of Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles in Stanwick

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

Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick

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

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

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

Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick

Cleaning and Honing Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

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

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

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

Limestone Floor Tiles After Polishing Stanwick

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

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

Limestone Floor Tiles After Polishing Stanwick

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

Limestone Floor Tiles After Polishing Stanwick

 

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Honed and Polished in Northamptonshire

Renovating a Twenty Year Old Flagstone Patio in Stanwick

I often get asked whilst I am on site what other services I offer; recently when I was polishing a Limestone floor at a house in the small village of Stanwick the client enquired if there was anything I could do with their 20 year old Flagstone Patio which was unfortunately no longer looking its best.

I advised him this is something I would be able to do, and that as well as cleaning all types of internal tile, grout and stone I also offer external stone cleaning using a professional pressure washing machine using up to date equipment such as the Honda Pro 2100 Pressure Washer which was an expensive but worthwhile investment.

Flagstone Patio Before Cleaning Stanwick

The patio had not been professionally cleaned since installation and now moss was growing between the pavers and the stone had darkened over the years, although the customer had used an electric jet washer a couple of times it had not made significant improvement and a thorough clean was now well overdue. The interior Limestone floor had come up well and they were very satisfied with that work, I was confident that they would be pleased with the patio outcome too.

Although the area was large, the benefit of working outside is there is no concerns about making a mess, so the job can be done relatively quickly. I gave the client a quote for the work and we arranged a time for me to return, although it was dependent on the weather.

Cleaning a Large Flagstone Patio in Stanwick

Thankfully the date we had selected turned out to by dry so a day in the fresh air was due. My first course of action was to pre wet the stone with a diluted 3:1 solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to help break down the heavy soiling and soften the moss. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, which strips and degreases heavily soiled areas. It is particularly good on mildew and algae on patios such as this where it makes light work of breaking down the soiling.

The product is left to dwell for a short time, once I could see that the soil was starting to lift, I then used the petrol driven Honda Pro 2100 pressure washer connected to a spinning tool to clean the stone. This is a very powerful piece of machinery and the difference was immediate. The patio tiles looked a completely different colour, in fact the client couldn’t recall ever seeing them this colour!

Flagstone Patio After Cleaning Stanwick

This work was carried out to the customers satisfaction who left the following feedback on my website.

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

 

Professional Clean of a Flagstone Patio in Northamptonshire

Restorative Cleaning of Victorian Hallway Tiles in Wellingborough

I recently visited a property in Wellingborough to survey their Victorian Hallway floor and work out the best method and products to restore it. The tiles were extremely dirty as the sealant had worn off allowing dirt to become ingrained. They had not been maintained for many years and there was evidence of adhesive which was due to a carpet being stuck down at some point in the past.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough Before Restoration

To restore the Victorian floor, I would need to remove the glue and give the tiles a professional deep clean to extract the years of ground-in dirt and staining. Following this the tiles would need sealing in order to protect them going forward. After discussing the work in detail with the owner I sent over a quotation by email which was accepted, and a date arranged for work to commence.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough Before Restoration

Restorative Cleaning of Victorian Hallway Tiles

On my return I applied a cocktail of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and Tile Doctor Nano-Tech HBU to the tiles. This creates a strong cleaning/coatings remover that would soften the embedded soiling and glue making it easier to remove. I left this to dwell on the floor for about an hour so it could break down the soil and adhesive. I then fitted a coarse 100-grit diamond pad to a rotary floor buffer and scrubbed the floor vacuuming up the resulting residue as I went along working in small sections of 2/3 metres at a time. I then repeated the process using a 200-grit pad, rinsing and extracting afterwards with water to remove the fine slurry this process generates.

Old floors like these were laid before the invention of the damp proof membrane which can result in moisture rising through the floor as it evaporates potentially leaving alkaline salt deposits on the surface. This process is known as Efflorescence and although I minimised the use of water during the cleaning process, I was concerned that this may still present a problem later. To neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor that could cause this problem my last action for the day was give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel.

Once this was done and extracted from the floor, I followed up with a further clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which was applied with a microfibre cloth. I left the floor to dry off overnight so it could be sealed the next day.

Sealing Restored Victorian Hallway Tiles

On day two I used a damp meter to check the moisture levels in the floor to ensure it had dried overnight. The results were good, so I set about applying the sealer. For this floor I decided to go with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that as well as protecting the Victorian tiles form staining also enhances the colours in the tile. This sealer is also fully breathable so any moisture will be able to evaporate up through the tile and not get trapped under the floor where it could cause problems.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough After Restoration

Before leaving I also discussed maintenance cleaning with the customer and left them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is safe to use on sealed floors and will help keep the tiles looking at their best. It’s supplied in concentrated form so it should last them some time before they run out. The customer was very happy with the end results and has left positive comments on our website.

Very happy with the restoration of my Victorian tiled floor, cleaned, sealed and polished bringing it back to life. Phil was prompt to get back to me with any aftercare questions/queries/visits. Paula B, Wellingborough

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough After Restoration

 

Victorian Hallway Tile Restoration in Northamptonshire

Removing Wax Scratches from Victorian Hallway Tiles in Rushden

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

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

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Wax Removal Rushden

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Wax Removal Rushden

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

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northamptonshire

Neglected Egyptian Marble Patio Transformed in Bozeat

Patios are particularly difficult to keep clean as they are continuously exposed to the elements fortunately Tile Doctor specialises in cleaning and restoring all different types of natural stone internal and external.

I was recently asked to restore a patio at a house in Bozeat, a village in Northamptonshire. The patio was consisted of both floor tiles and walls, and was made of a rather uncommon stone: Egyptian-style Marble.

Stained Patio Wall Before Cleaning

The customer had clearly taken pride in the presentation and aesthetic of his garden but, having a concentrated on other projects for the past couple of years, he had neglected to preserve the condition of patio. Making matters worse, the patio had never been sealed, and this had allowed dirt and moss to become ingrained in the stone. The customer was also concerned by a large rust mark left on the stone where old garden furniture had been sitting.

Egyptian Marble Patio Path Bozeat Before Cleaning Rust Stained Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat Before Cleaning

Upon my first visit to the property, I carried out a test clean on a small patch of Marble using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high-alkaline cleaner that we find particularly reliable to use on natural stone. The customer was very impressed by the sudden improvement in the condition of the test patch. I also tested a new product by the name of Tile Doctor Rust Away, which is a non-acidic rust remover. Amazingly, the product helped to reduce the rust stain by about 90%.

The full restoration was booked in to take place within a fortnight.

Cleaning an Egyptian Marble Patio

The first part of the restoration involved cleaning the entire patio with Pro Clean, although I worked one small section at a time. The product was worked into the stone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was rinsed away using a Honda Petrol jet washer and a spinning tool, leaving the patio clear of most of the dirty, algae and moss.

Next, I treated the entire rust stain with Rust Away. The product was scrubbed in using a handheld brush and left to dwell for a few minutes, before I rinsed the area with the jet washer and spinning tool. The stone had a matte finish, but to remove the deeper staining, I needed to use a set of three diamond-encrusted burnishing pads, which we typically use for polishing stone and removing light scratches and marks.

Sealing an Egyptian Marble Patio

Luckily, the weather proved to be good, so I could return to the property the following day to seal the patio, including the walls, with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is an impregnating, natural-look sealer designed to ensure maximum stain protection.

Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat After Cleaning Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat After Cleaning

The photos really do speak for themselves, showing the amazing results and transformation of the garden. I left the happy customer with some maintenance instructions to keep the appearance of stone up as it is exposed to the elements.

Egyptian Marble Patio Path Bozeat After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of an Egyptian Marble Patio in Northamptonshire

Dull and Dirty Slate Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Little Harrowden

The problems with not maintaining a natural stone floor properly are manifold. The build-up of ingrained dirt and muck is not just unhygienic, it also makes the stone appear dull and discoloured – and for many property owners, this can completely ruin the character of a room.

Here’s an example of a very dull and lacklustre Slate tiled floor at a small cottage in Little Harrowden, which is tiny village of less than 1,000 people situated roughly three miles north-west of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire. The owner was concerned that the poor condition of the floor was making the feel kitchen narrow and confined, and so she called me to help with brightening it up with a deep clean and seal. Achieving a sheen finish would help to reflect the natural light that comes into the room.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

I began the restoration by masking up the edges of the room and applying a clear silicon to the base boards of the kitchen units to prevent any water damage.

My choice of cleaner was Tile Doctor Oxy Gel, which is a strong alkaline-based gel cleaner. It’s like Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is also alkaline-based, except it sticks to the tile due to its consistency and so it’s excellent for cleaning vertical surfaces such as bathroom walls. On this occasion, I wanted to use Oxy Gel to keep the amount of water I needed to use to a minimum. Since this was an old cottage there were a few damp issues that I wanted to avoid exacerbating.

I spread the Oxy Gel out evenly over half of the floor, before agitating it with rotary brushes. I allowed this to dwell for 10 minutes before adding a small amount of water and agitating the floor again, this time paying attention to the grout lines, which were very badly soiled. This process was subsequently carried out over the rest of the floor.

Slate Floor During Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

I wet-vaxed each area after completion of the process and then wet-vaxed the entire floor again to neutralise the tiles and remove any remaining product. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Returning to the property the following day, I took damp meter readings to see if the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. As I mentioned, the floor had some damp issues so this was important to check. I did, in fact, have to use a heat gun to finish drying a few damp areas of grout.

Once satisfied, I sealed the Slate with Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which is a breathable water-based sealer, which is ideal in situations where no damp proof membrane is present or where there are damp issues. Once dry, the sealer provides an aesthetically pleasing light sheen finish.

Slate Floor During Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

As you can see from the photo below, the deep clean and fresh seal really helped to improve the patina of this Slate tiled floor, helping the entire kitchen feel brighter and more spacious. Another satisfied client!

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough


 
 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor in Wellingborough

Century-old Victorian Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Finedon

Finedon is a small civil parish in Northamptonshire with a big history. At the time the Domesday Book was complete in the late 11th century, the town was, in fact, a large royal manor held by the wife of Edward the Confessor.

In subsequent centuries the town has experienced a rich history and many of the current houses were built during the Victorian period (1837-1901). It came as little surprise to me, then, to get a call from a customer in the town who had recently found an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the carpet in her house.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Finedon

The tiles were well over a century old. They had been covered by carpet for several years at least, and once unearthed they are clearly covered in paint and other debris from renovation work that had been carried out. Naturally, the customer was keen to restore the appearance of the tiles and so she called me, the local Tile Doctor, to get the job done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

You can see from the photos above that the floor was in quite a state – it took a whole day to clean. The floor area was only around eight metres squared, but it took two litres of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and three litres of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get it clean. Remove and Go is a very strong stripper that will just about shift any type of dirt or stain, while Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a reliable high alkaline cleaner both products are designed for use on natural stone.

Once all the dirt, stains and paint splashes were removed, I washed down the floor with fresh water to neutralise the chemicals. I then installed some equipment to assist the drying process overnight, allowing the tiles to be sealed the next day.

There were also some cracks and missing grout that I replaced, along with some several loose tiles that I refitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Finedon

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the next day to seal the floor. To do this I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which provides robust protection and the quality matte finish the customer had requested.

As the name suggests, it also enhances the natural colours in the tiles, restoring character to this original feature. For a more traditional look, one litre of sealer was sufficient.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Finedon

Looking at the photos, you can see the huge improvement made over two days of work. One hundred years of wear and tear alleviated in 48 hours! The customer was thrilled.
 
 

100 Year Old Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Northamptonshire

Marble Tiled Sun Room and Kitchen Transformed in Great Doddington

The following post shows the kind of results we can achieve for a Marble tiled floor which hadn’t been properly cleaned, polished or re-sealed for several years. This floor was also suffering from numerous cracks and other instances of damage tiles.

Polished Marble Great Doddington before restoration

Polished Marble Great Doddington before restoration

I was contacted by the property owners, who live in the quaint town of Great Doddington, about making the necessary repairs and also providing the complete restoration the floor had been in desperate need of for so long.

Polished Marble Great Doddington before restoration

Polished Marble Great Doddington before restoration

As the property owners were due a holiday they trusted me with their keys; this turned out for the best as I was able to focus on clearing the area and carrying out the work without impacting them however it did mean I was under pressure to complete the floor in time for their return.

Cleaning and Repairing a Marble Tiled Floor

As you can see from the photographs (below), the floor appeared dull and ingrained with dirt – a deep clean was long overdue. Before I started I cleared the room was of all furniture, before brushing and vacuuming the surface of the floor to remove any dust and debris.

Then, to commence the first stage of the cleaning process, I used the Tile Doctor Burnishing pad system to polish out any light scratches and surfaces stains. I started by applying the Coarse red pad with a little water for lubrication, followed by the Medium blue pad and then the Fine yellow pad to refine the polish even further.

Next, I paid special attention to the dirty grout lines, cleaning then manually with a combination of hand brushes and Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner that works well for removing soil buildup on a wide range of natural stone floors. The areas I cleaned came out really well, and were then dried with fans before I began the repairs.

As the cracks in the tiles were caused by settlement issues, I opted to use a flexible grout to fill them. The grout used was Jasmine in colour to best match the natural colour of the tiles. I mixed it with water and then applied it to the cracks with a trowel, before allowing it to dry for roughly an hour and then wiping of any excess. There were so many cracks and small holes to deal with that I used bits and pieces of equipment to mark where I had carried out the repairs as some can be hard to see once dry!

Repairing a Polished Marble Stone Floor

Repairing a Polished Marble Stone Floor

Sealing a Marble Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the following day to perfect the polish on the floor and seal the tiles to protect against further damage and dirt. I used the Very Fine green burnishing pad (the final of the four pad burnishing system) along with a small amount of water to finally bring these tiles back to their natural level of shine. This also helped to further blend in the repairs by removing any remaining excess filler.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that is a favourite for high end Marble and Limestone floors since it really enhances the natural shades in the stone. Additionally, by penetrating deep into the pores of the stone Colour Grow will provide the durable protection against ingrained dirt and stains that this floor had been lacking for a long time.

Polished Marble Great Doddington after restoration

Polished Marble Great Doddington after restoration

The appearance of this Marble floor was completely transformed, ready for the customers to enjoy when they arrived back form their holiday. Quite often people suffer from so-called ‘holiday hangovers’, but no doubt these customers continued to relax, enjoying their newly restored Sun room and kitchen.

Polished Marble Great Doddington after restoration

Polished Marble Great Doddington after restoration

Marbled Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Victorian Tiled Floor Repaired and Cleaned in Wellingborough

I was recently called down to a client’s house in the market town of Wellingborough, situated approximately 11 miles from Northampton. My client’s situation was an interesting one, as she had an old gas pipe sticking out of her Victorian tiled floor, very close to a doorway. Not only was this a bit of an eyesore, it was also significant trip hazard. The floor had been previously covered by carpet, so it is understandable that my client would have been initially unaware of the obstructive gas pipe.

Victorian Floor Before Repairs in Wellingborough

Rather than risking an accident in the future, she asked me to see what I could do to rectify the issue. At the same time, I was commissioned to give the floor a much needed clean and re-seal.

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

My first priority was, of course, to deal with the exposed gas pipe. I was unsure whether the pipe was live or not, so I carefully removed the surrounding tiles, allowing a certified engineer access to it. He ensured that the pipe was capped below the tile line, allowing me to safely proceed with my repairs.

Victorian Floor Before Repairs in Wellingborough

I returned a few days later, rescreened the area, and began to refit the tiles, carefully hand painting some of the black tiles to hide the damage and cracks. I also applied new grout to fix all of the replaced tiles into position, and this was left to set overnight.

Victorian Floor After Repairs in Wellingborough

Cleaning and sealing a Victorian tiled floor

Returning to the house the next day, I set about treating the floor to a normal strip, clean and re-seal of the entire floor. There was very little old sealer still remaining on the tiles, so I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water, before applying this to the floor. Pro Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner which also contains stripping properties, allowing it to both clean and break down any old sealer. The solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad, and any excess residue was quickly absorbed using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

With older floors you never can tell if a damp proof membrane was installed and it can be troublesome applying a sealant to a damp floor so I left the whole floor to dry for seven days, giving it more than sufficient time to dry completely before the re-seal. To seal the tiles I used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which provides both a robust surface seal and the pleasing sheen finish requested by my client; Seal and Go Extra is especially suitable for exterior applications or damp floors due to its increased breathability.

My client was very glad to see the back of the gas pipe and pleased with the overall results of the clean and seal, as it had given this Victorian tiled floor – once hidden under carpet – new life and character. Additionally I’m sure that restoring such an original feature for the property has increased its value.

Victorian Floor After Repairs in Wellingborough

 
 

Restoring Victorian floor tiles in Northamptonshire