Stripping Varnish off Terracotta Kitchen Tiles and Resealing in Bristol

Terracotta tiles are always a popular choice for Kitchens but being made from clay they are porous and need to be sealed to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the tile. Once sealed though you need to remember Kitchens are high traffic areas, so you can expect the sealer to wear off quicker than it would elsewhere.

I mention this as a customer from Bristol asked me to do a survey on her Varnish Sealed Terracotta Kitchen Tiles where the seal had worn down and were now dull, and the grout had darkened. I surveyed the floor and completed a test clean on a section of the floor which came out well impressing the customer who was happy for me to proceed with cleaning and sealing the floor.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol Before Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol Before Cleaning

Traditionally Terracotta tiled floors have been sealed with a number of products over the years including Wax, Linseed Oil and on this occasion Varnish however all these products have their disadvantages and don’t compare to modern sealers which are designed for the job.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles Bristol Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first day was spent trying to get the Varnish off the floor which somebody had used on the floor as a sealer; Varnish is easily scratched by furniture, so I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. I worked out however that it could be scrubbed off once coated in a combination or Tile Doctor products Pro-Clean, Remove and Go and Nano-Tech HBU which would be left to soak in for a while and then softened with steam.

Mechanical assistance from a buffing machine fitted with a large black scrubbing pad helped reduce the amount of elbow grease that was required and once I was happy the tiles were clean the now soiled solution was rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next day and with the floor now clear I was able to see those areas that needed further re-treatment and also turn my attention to the grout which was cleaned using more cleaning solution worked in with a stiff narrow grout brush that gets into the grout lines. Once I was completely happy with the floor its was given a final rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and then dried with a wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning

Sealing a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

It’s important that the tiles are dry before sealing so I left the floor to dry out for three days before returning to seal them. No Varnish this time of course, Tile Doctor has a range of sealers for every type of situation and what I find works best on Terracotta tiles is a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow topped off with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol During Cleaning

Tile Doctor Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the clay protecting it from within whilst enhancing colour whilst Seal and Go completes the sealing process and adds a nice sheen to the look of the tile.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning and Sealing

As you can see from the final photographs the floor looked really good and the customer gave me top marks for feedback.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 

Professional Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Restoration in Gloucestershire

Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired, Cleaned and Sealed in Cheltenham

Cheltenham in the county of in Gloucestershire is a recognised area of outstanding beauty, and is known for its various festivals which take place throughout the year. Horse racing is another event that continues to be very popular in Cheltenham, after first gaining popularity during the Victorian period.

Indeed, lots of people made their homes in the town during this time, and many of the original Victorian properties are still in use to today, complete with original Victorian tiled floors. However, not all of these floors have been kept in great condition over the decades. Lots of them have spent years covered by carpet, while others have become broken or damaged, and simply left to slowly degrade over time.

I found a good example of this at the home of a recent customer of mine. The customer’s Victorian tiled hallway was in poor condition, with some of the tiles around the doorway cracked and in need of replacements. All in all, the floor required repairs, followed by deep clean and a fresh application of sealant.

Victorian Tiles Before Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham Victorian Tiles Before Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham

Repairing and Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

My first job was to source suitable replacement tiles which would be needed to match with the original pattern of the floor. Fortunately Tile Doctor has built up a network of contacts in this area so this proved to be a simple enough task.

When I arrived on site I protected the flooring in the adjacent rooms and staircase carpet with plastic sheeting and made a start on removing the cracked tiles, cleaning up the foundation then fixing and grouting in the replacement tiles.

Victorian Tiles During Repair Cheltenham

Next, I moved on to cleaning the entire hallway starting with an application of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, an alkaline-based product that is safe to use on Tile and Stone including Victorian tile, for the removal of heavy soil and staining. It can strip away old sealants remaining on the tile which is important to avoid a patchy looking result. The product was diluted with water and applied liberally across the area and left to dwell for roughly 10 minutes before I proceeded to work it into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

I used a wet vacuum to remove the soiled cleaning solution, rinsed with water and then spot treated those tiles which needed more work to get them clean.

Once I was happy with the floor was as clean as it could be I left it to dry off overnight.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

Upon returning to the property the next day, my first concern was to run some tests to check for any outstanding damp issues. Victorian properties do not typically have damp proof membranes installed, so these tests were essential as an excess of moisture can cloud the sealant and prevent it from performing correctly.

Luckily, there were no major damp issues and I could proceed with sealing the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealant that penetrates into the pores of the tile enhancing the natural colours and protecting it from with. I find many customers with Victorian Tiles opt for Colour Grow as their sealant because it provides a natural-look matte finish which really compliments the classic characteristics of Victorian tiles.

The customer was absolutely delighted with the outcome of the restoration, which you can see in the photo below. Best of all, he said that he is already getting comments from friends and family on how great the floor looks now.

Victorian Tiles After Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham Victorian Tiles After Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham

 
 

Professional Renovation of an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire

Restoring Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer in Tewksbury

Slightly different story for you below; this time from the medieval town of Tewksbury which dates all the way back to the 8th century. A customer there had asked if there was anything that could be done to restore the appearance of their polished Limestone kitchen floor on which he had previously applied a wood sealer which had turned the tiles brown.

I inspected the floor and ran a test clean on a small section of tile which successfully removed the wood seal. This gave the customer the confidence to book me into to complete the job which I estimated would take three days to strip off the old sealer, deep clean and reseal with a more appropriate product.

Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer before restoration in Tewksbury

You probably can’t appreciate how bad the tiles looked from the photograph above but if you look at the indicated area under the kitchen units where the kick boards have been removed you can really see how the brown stain in the wood sealer has darkened the look of the tile.

Removing Old Sealers from Limestone Kitchen Floor

On the first day I prepared the area by removing the kick boards from the underneath the kitchen units so they wouldn’t get affected by the cleaning process and started wetting the floor with water. The water lubricates the burnishing process whereby coarse diamond encrusted pads are applied to the floor with a buffing machine. We started the process using a very coarse 100 grit milling pad to remove the wood sealer before moving onto the finer pads from 200 grit, 400 grit, 800 grit and finally 1500 grit pad building the finish of the floor as we progressed. The floor is rinsed with water between pads and the slurry is removed using a wet vacuum.

This burnishing process took up all of the first day so the next day I returned to focus on the edges I had missed and the grout lines, being a relatively small format tile for Limestone there was a lot of grout to cover. I tacked the grout lines with Remove and Go which is a powerful stripper and cleaning agent which is applied along the grout line and then scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush before being rinsed away with water. The edges were treated with a set of small six inch milling pads fitted to a hand held buffing machine in a similar process as on the first day.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

On the third and final day the floor was spray burnished which a process is involving a very fine 3,000 grit floor burnishing pad and a little water spayed onto the floor during the application. This process really tightens up the pores in the stone and restores its appearance.

After making sure the floor was free of any lose grit I then proceeded to seal the Limestone with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t alter the appearance of the stone but penetrates into the pores of the stone to protect it from within. I left it to dry for an hour then buffed the floor with a white buffing pad before apply a second coat. This was also left to dry for an hour before running the buffing pad over for a last time.

Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer After restoration in Tewksbury

It took a fair amount of work to get the floor looking back the way it was meant to be but I’m very pleased with the outcome and more importantly my customer was really happy.

Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer After restoration in Tewksbury

 
 

Professional Limestone Floor Polishing and Sealing in Gloucestershire

Dirty Grout Lines Refreshed on a Ceramic Tiled Hallway in Cirencester

Cirencester is a large market town in the East of Gloucestershire known for its rich history dating back to the Roman times, when it was known as Corinium. This area is also home to the Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world.

I visited the town recently to see a customer who was having significant problems with the cleaning of her Ceramic tiled hallway. Ceramic tiles are always a popular choice in high traffic areas like Hallways and Kitchens due to their durability, as well as water and scratch resistance. However, this floor had been installed a decade ago and during that time had not received adequate maintenance. Although the Ceramic tiles themselves had not faired too badly the grout lines were heavily ingrained with dirt, making them near impossible to clean with everyday cleaning products.

Ceramic Grout Lines Cirencester Before Cleaning

The property owner had tried numerous products without success and determined to get the grout clean again sought assistance from her local Tile Doctor. I deal with these types of issues all the time so I was happy to pop round and see what could be done to restore the floor back to its peak condition.

Cleaning a Dirty Ceramic Tiled Hallway

To begin, I set about cleaning the grout lines using a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose stripper and degreaser that breaks down any old sealer, and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline-based cleaner suitable for all types of stone and tile. I applied the cleaning solution and left it to dwell for about 30 minutes, before using a grout brush to lift away a decade’s worth of grime and muck.

Next, I used Pro Clean again to scrub the tiles in combination with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine, before rinsing the entire floor with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals. Then, I dried the grout lines with a heat gun and left them to cool for about 10 minutes. The grout lines were subsequently ready to be sealed.

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Hallway

With the floor ready to be sealed, I applied Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to the grout lines using a pipette, which is a tool used to deliver a measured quantity of sealer.

Ultra-Seal is a premium sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection. While leaving the grout with a natural look, the sealer will keep the grout looking fresh and free of ingrained dirt for some time to come.

Ceramic Grout Lines Cirencester After Cleaning

The customer was amazed at how quickly I could transform the condition of the grout. As you can see from the photo below, the condition of the grout really shapes the appearance of the floor – and now these Ceramic tiles are a real asset to the property once again.
 
 

Professional Cleaning of Dirty Ceramic Tile and Grout in a Gloucestershire Hallway

Badly Maintained Slate Tiles Rejuvenated in Gloucester

This Slate tiled floor in the hallway of a property in Gloucester had been laid 28 years ago, but during this time had received no proper maintenance. The property owner used to clean the tiles once a week using a steam cleaner to little effect.

Slate tiled hallway floor Before Cleaning Gloucester

In fact, we don’t normally recommend steam cleaning sealed surfaces as it will erode the sealer prematurely. After countless years of steam cleaning, I was confident that any traces of old sealer on this floor would be non-existent at this point.

This is, of course, a problem because a lack of sealer exposes the stone to ingrained dirt and stains. The effects of this are shown in the photos below: as you can see, the Slate had completely lost its lustre and naturally colourful patina.

Slate tiled hallway floor Before Cleaning Gloucester

I was asked by the property owner to provide this Slate tiled hallway with the restoration that was so long overdue, so I travelled to the house in Gloucester, a city situated near the Welsh border and between the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean.

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Hallway

I started the restoration by mixing a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. These two products serve different purposes. Remove and Go is a stripper designed to break down any traces of old sealer that might still have existed, as well as any paints and adhesive markings; NanoTech HBU is a potent cleaner which contains nano-sized cleaning particles that penetrate deep into the stone to get underneath tough dirt and stains to dissolve and lift them out.

This cleaning solution was spread over the floor and left to dwell for 30 minutes, before being scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine. A thick black slurry resulted from this process and this needed to be removed using a wet vacuum.

Slate tiled hallway floor During Cleaning Gloucester

Next, I repeated this cleaning process using Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our reliable alkaline cleaner, to provide a more thorough clean for the tiles and grout. The slurry was once again removed using a wet vacuum, before I then rinsed the whole floor with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals.

When satisfied with outcome of the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Hallway

Upon arriving back at the property, the next day, I ran some quick moisture tests to check that the floor was dry. Thankfully, there were no damp issues and I was able to seal the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving each coat to dry before applying the next.

Seal and Go is a water based sealer (so no smell as it dries) which adds durable stain resistance and a low-sheen finish that brings out the best in the slate.

Slate tiled hallway floor After Cleaning Gloucester

The customer’s reaction to the outcome of the restoration was fantastic. She never expected the floor to turn out so beautifully and was very pleased.

Slate tiled hallway floor After Cleaning Gloucester

 
 

Professional Restoration of an Unmaintained Slate Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire

Restoring the Appearance of a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor in Cirencester

This customer was looking to rent out his property in the East Gloucestershire town of Cirencester, the largest in the Cotswold District. However, he found that many prospective tenants were put off by the condition of the Limestone floor tiles on the ground floor.

Limestone Bathroom Floor Before Cleaning Cirencester

Over the years, the sealer had worn away and that had allowed for dirt and stains to become ingrained in the pores of the stone, leaving the Limestone tiles looking very dull, unclean and generally undesirable. To boost his chance of finding a tenant for the property, the customer asked me to come in to restore the Limestone tiles to their best possible condition.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cirencester

I arrived at the property and conducted a survey to assess the situation. The customer – not wanting to waste any more time – asked if I could complete the restoration straight away, fortunately I was able to shuffle a few things around and was able to make a start two days later.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Cirencester

Burnishing a Dull and Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor

With Limestone, as well as other high-end stone like Marble and Travertine, we find that the best method for restoration is burnishing. This is a form of polishing which involves the sequential application of diamond encrusted pads of different grit levels.

We work with a system of four pads fitted to a buffing machine. The first is a Coarse pad, which grinds away the top layer of dirt and staining from the stone, along with any old sealer. I then moved through the system, applying each in turn the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine burnishing pads to gradually refine the polish on the floor. A small amount of water was used as lubricant between each pad, and I hoovered up any resulting slurry with a wet-vac machine.

Having finished polishing the stone, I paid attention to cleaning the grout lines, applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which draws out any ingrained stains and heavy grease build-up, and scrubbing it in with a specialised grout brush. The floor was then left to dry out completely overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

Upon returning to the property the next day, I checked the floor was completely dry and quickly vacuumed up any leftover debris from the previous day’s work. Next, I gave the floor another polish with the Very Fine 3000 grit diamond burnishing pad, vacuumed it again, and it was then ready to be sealed.

Limestone Floor Sealing Cirencester

To do this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer that not only acts to protect the stone, but also intensify its natural colours. The floor was then left to dry for an hour, before I subsequently gave it one final dry polish using the Very Fine burnishing pa fitted to the buffing machine. After vacuuming up any debris, I applied a second coat of Colour Grow, left it to dry, and finally buffed it with a soft white pad.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Polishing Cirencester

The customer was really pleased with the results, having never expected for the restoration to turn out so well. Undoubtedly there will a queue of prospective tenants hoping to see the property now that the Limestone tiled floor looks so great!

Limestone Bathroom Floor After Polishing Cirencester

 
 

Professional Tile Burnishing, Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty and Stained Limestone Tiled Floor Restoration in Cirencester

Old Flagstone Tiles Restored to New in Minchinhampton

Minchinhampton is an ancient market town located on a hilltop in the Cotswolds area of Gloucestershire, famous for being one of the UK’s areas of outstanding beauty. The town has a long history and many of the residents live in some truly picturesque and characterful cottages that date back to the 18th century and beyond.

I was recently contacted by a property owner in the village. She had just uncovered an original Flagstone tiled floor in her cottage, which dates to 1765. The floor had previously been covered by a wooden floor and the property owner was keen to see if I could restore it. We’ve had some fantastic success with restoring similar floors in the past, so I was more than happy to see what could be done.

I visited the property initially to conduct a test clean and check that I would be able to remove the copious wood adhesive left on the floor after the covering had been lifted. This test clean was successful, and the customer booked me in for complete the full restoration straight away.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Restoration at Minchinhampton Cottage

Cleaning a Dirty Flagstone Tiled Floor

My first action in the process of restoring the floor was to mix a strong solution of two products – Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Remove and Go is designed to strip away any old sealer on the floor and dissolve any adhesive and paint stains, while NanoTech HBU is a potent cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the stone and eliminate ingrained dirt.

This solution was applied across the floor and left to dwell for 40 minutes. Then, using a poly-brush fitted to a floor buffing machine, I cleaned the floor and in doing so removed 85 percent of the ingrained dirt. To tackle the rest of the ingrained dirt, I spot cleaned the stubborn area using Tile Doctor Acid Gel in combination with a handheld steamer. Acid Gel is a concentrated mix of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids.

I also used a handheld buffing machine fitted with a Coarse 100 grit diamond encrusted pad to grind away any outstanding dirt and level off the surface of the tiles. When I was satisfied with the results of the cleaning process, my next operation was to replace all the missing grout on the floor. I did this using a Limestone grout, which was a good colour match for the Flagstone.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

With the first day of work complete, I left the floor to dry out for the next three days. With the floor being particularly old, it was important to give it a long period to dry to help avoid any damp issues.

Upon returning to the property, I ran some quick damp tests to check the floor could be sealed. When satisfied that there was no excess moisture to deal with, I proceeded to seal the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving 30 minutes to dry between coats. This will give the floor robust protection against ingrained dirt along with the high-quality satin finish the customer had requested.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Restoration at Minchinhampton Cottage

Seeing the result, the customer was really pleased with her floor. She had previously thought there was nothing that could be done to restore these old Flagstones, but with the right combination of products and cleaning methods I was able to achieve a fantastic restoration. Another satisfied customer.
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for an Old Flagstone Tiled Floor Restoration in Minchinhampton

Rejuvenating Salvaged Flagstone Tiles at a Property in Ledbury

Here we have an interesting situation in which an old Flagstone tiled floor had been salvaged from a cottage approximately 30 years ago and subsequently reinstalled at a house in Ledbury, a small market town which lies to the west of the Malvern hills in the North of Gloucestershire. Since being reinstalled, the Flagstone tiles had been barely touched in terms of maintenance for three decades and so the stone and grout were naturally in need of a deep clean and seal!

Salvaged Flagstone Floor Before Restoration in Ledbury

The property owner had heard about the natural stone tile restoration services Tile Doctor provides and so booked me in to see what could be done to improve the condition of his floor.

Salvaged Flagstone Floor Before Restoration in Ledbury

Cleaning a Dirty Flagstone Tiled Floor

My first job in the cleaning process was to distribute a mixed solution of two cleaning products across the floor. These products were Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose stripper designed to remove old coatings and sealers, as well as any adhesive and paint stains, and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a powerful cleaner which utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate difficult-to-reach areas of the stone to eliminate deep lying dirt and stains.

This potent cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the floor for 45 minutes before being worked deep into the stone with a poly brush fitted to a buffing machine. The resultant cleaning slurry was then hoovered up with wet-and-dry vacuum. Next, the floor was rinsed and cleaned with just clean water and the slurry was once again hoovered up.

Salvaged Flagstone Floor During Cleaning in Ledbury

This left the tiles clean and fresh, so I turned my attention to cleaning the grout lines in detail, which also involved spot cleaning any stubborn grout smears with Remove and Go and Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in gel form designed to remove stains of this kind.

When satisfied with the result of the cleaning process, I rinsed the floor for a final time with fresh water, hoovered up as much moisture as possible with a wet vacuum and left the stone to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

On arrival at the property the following day, I checked the floor for dampness with my damp meter. The test proved that no excess moisture was present, so I proceeded to give the Flagstone a fresh seal.

With regards to sealer choice, the customer had requested a natural-looking matte finish to match in with the rustic characteristics of the Flagstone, so I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow – which provides exactly that. Colour Grow is a durable impregnating sealer that also enhances the natural shades in the stone to really bring the whole floor back to life. Roughly an hour was left between the application of each coating of sealer to allow the floor dry before applying the next.

Salvaged Flagstone Floor After Restoration in Ledbury

The result was a noticeable improvement in the condition and appearance of the Flagstone – and the customer couldn’t have been happier. It’s always satisfying to breathe some new life into old natural stone tiles.

Salvaged Flagstone Floor After Restoration in Ledbury

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Reclaimed Flagstone Tiled Floor in Gloucestershire

Ceramic Tiles and Grout Lines Rejuvenated in a Westmancote Hallway

This customer who lives in the old picturesque village of Westmancote, Gloucestershire asked me to do a home survey on their ceramic kitchen tiles which had been laid around fifteen years prior. With the exception of general cleaning not much had work had been done to the tile and grout and now the tiles were looking dull and the grout had turned black.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate before cleaning

As part of the survey I ran a test clean on part of the floor and the tile and grout came up really well which convinced the customer to give me the job and I was soon booked in to return to complete the floor and work my magic.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate before cleaning Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate Cleaning Grout Lines

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

The first job was to give the floor a sweep to remove any grit and then I set about cleaning the grout lines. The grout had trapped a lot of dirt so I decided to start with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong cleaner/stripper that is safe to use on all types of tile and grout. The Remove and Go was left to soak into the grout for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a stiff grout brush. This process released the dirt and the now soiled solution was rinsed away using water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next step was to turn my attention to the Ceramic tiles which needed a deep clean so this time I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, left to dwell for ten minutes then ran over the tiles with tan pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. Once the floor was done I rinsed away the soiled cleaning solution with water and extracted with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Floor Grout

I find it’s always the grout that lets down the appearance of a Ceramic tiled floor which are usually fairly maintenance free, to guard against this I always recommend the grout is sealed. Given the condition of the grout in this case it was definitely a good idea as I’m sure it wouldn’t be long before it started to discolour again.

With this in mind I sped up the drying of the grout lines with a heat gun and once done I sealed the grout lines using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal applied carefully with a Pipette.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate after cleaning Ceramic Tiled Floor Westmancoate after cleaning

The customer was pleased with the end result and left the following feedback via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Very professional work. We were sold on it when he came to quote and did a small patch clean. Malcolm was able to come within a few days of confirming his price was acceptable and the job was done swiftly and to an excellent standard. We now have a new floor!
 
 

Professional Grout Cleaning and Sealing in Gloucestershire

Restoring the Appearance of Travertine Kitchen Tiles in Greet

Details below of an unusual Travertine tiled kitchen floor in Greet, Gloucestershire where we were asked to restore the appearance of the tiles and leave a natural as opposed to shiny finish. Greet is a lovely little village at the edge of the Cotsworlds and famous for being a short walk to Winchcombe station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway which is run by volunteers and often has steam trains running on its line.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet Before Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet Before Cleaning

Burnishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Travertine responds well to burnishing which is an abrasive cleaning method as opposed to chemical. Basically, it involves the application of several different grades of diamond encrusted pad to the stone lubricated with a small amount of water. You run the pad over each tile and then give the floor a quick rinse before moving on to the next pad, I started with the first of the four burnishing pads which is a coarse 400 grit pad that designed to grind away the dirt and old sealer on the surface of the floor.

After applying the first pad, I moved my way through the medium 800 and fine 1500 grit pads to gradually restore the appearance of the Travertine. Normally I would of also applied the fourth pad in the series but if you recall the customer did not wanted a polished appearance so I stopped after the 1500 grit pad.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet During Cleaning

The pads work well on tile but struggle to reach recessed grout so to clean that I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbed it into the grout lines manually using a stiff grout brush. Once I was happy with the appearance of the grout the soiled cleaning solution was rinsed away with water and extracted using a wet vacuum leaving the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to finish the floor and first task was to run a Tan buffing pad over the floor to ensure the floor was clean and any residue from the diamond pad burnishing had been removed.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet After Cleaning Before Sealing

Once I was happy with the tiles I proceeded to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects from within by occupying the pores in the stone so dirt can penetrate and lifts the natural colours in the stone in the process.
I should mention that normally only one coat of Colour Grow is usually required to seal Travertine however on this occasion the stone was quite porous.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet After Cleaning and Sealing Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet After Cleaning and Sealing

The colours in the Travertine were so much more vibrant after the job was completed and the customer was happy with the result, although personally I would have preferred to have applied the fourth pad to build up the shine however I delivered what the customer had asked for so I was happy with that.
 
 

Professional Travertine Floor Polishing and Sealing in Gloucestershire

Quarry Tiles From the 1850s Rejuvenated at a Church in Tewkesbury

Tewkesbury, the town and civil parish in Gloucestershire, is famous for the Tewkesbury Abbey, a Norman abbey church dating back to the 7th century so it has a lot of history and some very old buildings. Although not one of the oldest buildings in the town I was recently called to a small church in Tewksbury to restore the Quarry tiled entrance way dating back to the 1850s. The tiles had become very heavily ingrained with pigeon droppings, paint, cement, and general dirt over the years – and they were well past due for some professional attention.

Old Quarry Tiled Church Steps Before Cleaning Tewkesbury

Deep Cleaning Dirty Quarry Tiled Steps

My first job was to scrape away all the excess pigeon droppings and paint that could be removed by hand. Once the floor was clear, I was able to cover it with a strong solution of two of our cleaning products: Tile Doctor Remove and Go and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. While the cleaners are similarly powerful, they serve slightly different purposes.

Remove and Go is specially designed to strip away any old sealers, synthetic finishes, adhesives, cements, and paints. It also helps to draw old ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up. NanoTech HBU on the other hand is a penetrating cleaner designed to work where other cleaners won’t. It does this by utilizing nano-sized particles to reach underneath tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them out. Both products are suitable for use on polished and unpolished natural stone, including Limestone, Marble, Slate, Travertine and, of course, Quarry.

The cleaning solution was left to dwell for 45 minutes and then scrubbed into the tiles using a black pad fitted to a buffing machine. I then repeated this process with the same products to clean the grout lines. When I was happy with the overall cleanliness of the tiles, I spot cleaned some particularly stubborn stains using a steam cleaner in combination with a handheld scraper and some more NanoTech HBU.

Old Quarry Tiled Church Steps During Cleaning Tewkesbury

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Entrance Way

After finishing the cleaning process, I left the tiles to dry for two days. The tiles needed a good amount of time to dry completely because the old tiles don’t have the reasonably modern benefit of a damp-proof membrane.

Upon my return to the church I checked for any damp issues, and when satisfied that there weren’t any to deal with, I proceeded to seal the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that enhances the natural colours in the Quarry tiles and provides the natural look, matte finish that the proprietor of the church had requested.

As you can see from the photo below, the result of the restoration was transformational. Needless to say, the parishioners will be very happy with the rejuvenated entrance way and, thanks to a highly durable sealant, the steps will be protected for the long term.

Old Quarry Tiled Church Steps During Cleaning Tewkesbury

 
 

Church Step Restoration in Gloucestershire

Ceramic Tiles and Grout Lines Rejuvenated in a Gloucester Hallway

Ceramic tiles are usually glazed and therefore non-porous, so when the floor starts to lose its appearance there’s a good chance the problem relates to the grout. This is because the top layer of the Cementous grout is rough and will attract a build-up of dirt over time.

Once dirt becomes ingrained into any porous surface, tile or grout, it isn’t easily removed using supermarket cleaning products. In fact, many standard cleaning products are acidic which can have a negative impact on many surfaces (always read the label before use).

I mention this as I was contacted about restoring a Ceramic tiled floor at a house in my local area of Gloucester. Interestingly the tiles as well as the grout lines had become badly soiled and discoloured, and the property owner was at a loss at how to get them clean.

Ceramic Tiled and Grout Before Cleaning in Gloucester Ceramic Tiled and Grout Before Cleaning in Gloucester

Deep Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

The tiles were located in the hallway which is one of the busiest areas of any house and as a result had seen a lot of dirt being trampled in and now required a deep clean.

To get them clean I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our reliable high alkaline cleaner. I used a strong dilution and let it soak into the Tile and Grout for a short period before scrubbing it in using a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This helped to remove any initial layers of ingrained dirt:

Next, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is designed to remove heavy instances of soil as well as old dealers, adhesives, and paint stains, to the grout lines. This was left to soak for 20 minutes and I then scrubbed the grout lines with a stiff grout brush.

When I was satisfied that all of the tiles and grout line was clean, I rinsed the floor with water which was extracted with a wet vacuum and then dried all grout lines with a heat gun.

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Floor

The customer was concerned that the grout lines would darken again over time due to more ingrained dirt, so I recommended that they were sealed in order to protect them.

So, after checking the grout lines were dry a moisture meter, I sealed the grout lines using Tile Doctor Ultra Sealer applied with a pipette. The pipette ensures the sealer is delivered exactly where its needed. Ultra Seal is a solvent-based impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum protection against ingrained dirt and staining.

I should point out that Ceramic tiles are glazed and therefore won’t take a sealer. I think you will agree the floor look much better after a fresh clean and seal. Certainly, the customer was very happy and the hallway looks like new!

Ceramic Tiled and Grout After Cleaning in Gloucester Ceramic Tiled and Grout After Cleaning in Gloucester

 
 

Professional Grout Cleaning and Sealing in Gloucestershire

Dirty Victorian Hallway Tiles Rejuvenated in Tewkesbury

Victorian tiles are very hard-wearing and historically a popular choice for heavy traffic areas such as hallways. Still popular today they are nonetheless like most tiles and can become ingrained with dirt over time.

This particular floor, located in a property in the old market town of Tewkesbury is a good example of a floor that was in good physical condition, but heavily ingrained with dirt due to a lack of regular maintenance. At a loss for how to remedy the situation by themselves, the property owner asked me to pay a visit to restore the tiles back to their best possible condition.

Large Victorian Hallway Tewkesbury Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

In this particular scenario, I opted to mix and apply a solution of different cleaning products from our professional range, each serving a different purpose. These products were Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Tile Doctor Remove and Go, and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. Remove and Go serves the purpose of stripping away any old sealer on the tiles, while Pro Clean is an alkaline cleaner that reliably removes dirt and staining. NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone, get underneath difficult stains and lift them out.

I spread this potent solution across the length and width of the tiled hallway and left it to soak for approximately 10 minutes, before using a black scrubbing pad fitted to my buffing machine to give the tiles a deep scrub. Next, I rinsed the soiled solution away and neutralised the chemicals with plain water, before extracting any residue using a wet vacuum. I repeated the cleaning process several times to achieve the best results possible, and I also employed the aid of a steam cleaner to spot clean any particularly stubborn marks.

Sealing a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Cleaning the floor took two days in total. At the end of the second day, I gave the floor a thorough and final rinse before leaving it to dry completely overnight. The next day, I returned to the property to seal the floor after checking the floor was dry. Ensuring before sealing that the floor is completely dry is crucial – even the smallest quantity of moisture remaining can potentially cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that penetrates and fills the pores of the tile to prevent trapped dirt and makes regular cleaning much easier. Colour Grow is a great choice of sealer for Victorian tiles because it really enhances the colourful patterns which are characteristic of this type of tile.
My customer was very impressed with the service and remarked on the huge improvement to the appearance of the floor. You can see this for yourself – just take a look at the before and after photos!

Large Victorian Hallway Tewkesbury After Clean and Seal

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Gloucestershire

Heavily Stained Red Quarry Porch Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Moreton-in-Marsh

A tiled entrance porch is a great asset to any property after all first impressions do count, but since this type of feature will experience heavy traffic, it can be particularly difficult to keep it clean.

This red Quarry tiled porch at the entrance to this house in the old town of Moreton-in-Marsh was in particularly bad condition and in desperate need of restoration. It appeared to me that some decoration work has taken place recently because the tiles were marked with all kinds of staining, including paint, cement and even glue.

Quarry Tiled Porch Before Cleaning in Moreton-in-Marsh

I was asked to deep clean the tiles, remove the staining and basically restore the appearance of the tiles back to their origianal condition.

Cleaning Stained Red Quarry Tiles

Due to the fact that the tiles were heavily soiled with paint and adhesives, I decided to clean them first using two of our most powerful cleaning products: Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

NanoTech HBU uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into difficult-to-reach areas of the stone and tackle ingrained dirt and staining. Remove and Go is specially designed to strip away paints and glues, as well as any old sealer on the tiles, combined together they produce a powerful tile cleaner.

Both products were applied across the tiled porch and left to dwell for 45 minutes. Next, I used a 17″ black scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine (on the main surface) and a 6″ pad fitted to a hand held buffing machine around the edges. This way I able to effectively get the products into the tiles and give them a deep clean. I repeated the process several times, rinsing with water in between and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum to ensure a deep and thorough clean.

Some stubborn paint and cement markings remained in places, and I resolved to spot clean these using more NanoTech HBU in combination with a handheld steamer.

Sealing Red Quarry Tiles

When I was happy with the cleaning results I rinsed and neutralised the floor with water. Given that it was only a small area of tiles I was able to dry them with a heat gun, leaving it ready to be sealed.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which was the perfect fit for these deep red Quarry tiles. Colour Grow not only seals the tiles, it also intensifies the natural shades in the stone to enhance the overall appearance of the feature. I applied four coats of the sealer to ensure the tiles will be protected and easy to keep clean for the long term.

Quarry Tiled Porch After Restoration in Moreton-in-Marsh

Both myself and the customer was very pleased with the transformation of the porch floor.
 
 

Professional Quarry Tiled Porch Floor Restoration in Gloucestershire

Dark African Slate Tiles Rejuvenated in Mickleton

African Slate has a striking realism to it and its natural mix of light and dark shades is difficult to compare to anything else. This example of an African Slate tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a property in Mickleton, Gloucestershire, a town which is best known for its tradition of vegetable gardening.

African Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Mickleton

The floor was laid 15 years ago, but the owner had not maintained the sealer which would have protected the porous stone from dirt becoming ingrained. As a result, the floor was now in poor condition with the rich dark tones in the stone now dull, dirty and unremarkable. The owner had decided it was time to put it right so I was called in to make sure the tiles were restored to their original magnificence.

African Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Mickleton

Cleaning an African Slate Tiled Floor

My first job was to unclip the kickboards from the base of the kitchen units, and then also cover the units themselves with plastic to guard them against potential splashing from the cleaning process.

Next, to begin the process, I applied a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and three parts plain water. Pro Clean is a high alkaline cleaner which is so reliable when it comes to removing dirt that we use it on almost every job we do, from Slate and Quarry to Marble and Sandstone.

Once the product had been applied, I left it to soak into the stone for approximately fifteen minutes. Then, using my buffing machine fitted with a 17 inch black scrubbing pad, I scrubbed the solution into the stone to clean the floor, releasing the ingrained dirt and removing the stains in the process. All the subsequent cleaning slurry was vacuumed up with a wet vacuum and I rinsed the floor with plain water.

I repeated this process a couple of times to ensure the most thorough clean possible. Then once satisfied with the condition of the tiles, I turned my attention to the cleaning all the dirty grout lines, again using Pro-Clean. The main difference here was that I scrubbed the product in by hand using a special grout brush as opposed to using a buffing machine. The rinsing and vacuuming process was then carried out once again.

Sealing an African Slate Tiled Floor

Once the cleaning process had been completed, I covered the floor with dust sheets and left it to dry off overnight.

I returned to the property the next day to find the the floor dry and ready to be sealed. I proceeded to seal the tiles with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving roughly 30 minutes between coats.

African Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mickleton

Seal and Go is a robust sealer that works really well on floors like these and results in a durable low sheen finish that really emphasises the natural characteristics of the African Slate.

African Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mickleton

The customer was absolutely delighted with the restored appearance of the floor. In fact, it reminded her of how it looked when it was first installed 15 years ago! A complete transformation in just two days.
 
 

Professional African Slate Tiled Floor Restoration in Gloucestershire

Victorian Hallway Tiles Restored Following Renovation Works in Gloucester

If you’ve even undertaken a property renovation, you’ll know that building works can take a very heavy toll on your floors if not properly protected. Not too long ago I was called to a house in Gloucester to see what could be done to restore the appearance of the tiles after the Victorian tiled hallway had been left in a sorry state following renovation work.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning and Repair in Gloucester

Upon arriving at the property, I also discovered that there was a row of tiles missing under one doorway. These would need to be replaced before any cleaning could take place. The renovation work had left very dirty and riddled with minerals salts and old grout smears.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Gloucester

If you have never been Gloucester it’s well worth a visit, dating back to the roman times it is in fact the country’s most inland port boasting some fantastic architecture include the historic docks and many period buildings.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Floor

Fortunately, I was quickly able to source matching replacements for the missing tiles to not disturb the original character of the floor. I took it upon myself to install these, fixing them in place and then grouting them.

While the grout on the new tiles was drying, I began the cleaning process using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is a high alkaline cleaner which we use reliably on most types of natural stone, including Victorian, Quarry, Slate, and Sandstone. The product was mixed with a small amount of water, and the solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy weight rotary machine. This dealt with most of the thick dirt and staining that had been left over by the builders.

The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed away with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. After the first stage of cleaning, I washed the floor down with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acid in gel form designed to remove any mineral salts and old grout smears.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

Once the cleaning process had been completed, I left the floor to dry overnight. Typically, it’s good to give a tiled floor at least 24 hours to dry in order to ensure no moisture was left over, because even the slightest quantity of moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Repair in Gloucester

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours in the stone. I then waited an hour this sealer to cure before applying four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which added the satin finish the customer had asked for.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Repair in Gloucester

The combination of sealers will provide the protection the floor needs and the customer will find it much easier to keep it clean in the future. The result was great and the customer was very happy indeed.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation in Gloucester

Burnishing and Sealing Works Wonders for Limestone Tiles in Yate

Limestone is known on the international market for its premium toughness, durability and aesthetic characteristics. This can make it difficult to maintain however, especially if the stone has been polished and lustre on the stone has started to wear down which is inevitable with use.

The traditional method of getting a the shine back on polished stone is called honing which is expensive however at Tile Doctor we have worked out a much more affordable process called burnishing which utilises different grades of diamond encrusted pads to clean and then bring up the polish.

I recently undertook the restoration of a large area of Limestone tiles in the kitchen and lounge of a property in Yate, Gloucestershire. The floor as a while had become dull and dirty – and was long overdue some professional attention.

Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor Before Cleaning in Vale Gloucestershire

Burnishing a Limestone Tiled Floor

Before starting I removed the kick boards from the underneath the kitchen units so they wouldn’t get affected by the cleaning process. Once prepped I started the burnishing process which is a chemical free process that uses a small amount of water for lubrication and a quick rinse between the use of each pad. I started with the first of the four burnishing pads which is a coarse 400 grit pad that designed to grind away the dirt and old sealer on the surface of the floor.

After applying the first pad, I moved my way through the medium 800 and fine 1500 grit pads to gradually build up the shine. As the floor became cleaner it became apparent the grout lines were not in particularly good condition as well so I opted to clean these using a stiff grout brush and Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is specially formulated to remove old sealers whilst tackling dirt and stains.

After completing the clean and giving the floor a final rinse I extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible using a wet vacuum and left the tiles to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

Returning to the property next day, I tested to check tiles were dry and then proceeded to buff the tiles once over using the last of the four pads which is a 3,000 grit burnishing pad that finished off the polishing process.

Finally, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is an impregnating dealer designed to provide maximum stain production with a natural look finish. I buffed further in between each coat to ensure the best possible polish was achieved.

Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor After Cleaning in Vale Gloucestershire
This was a tricky floor to photograph due to the sunlight streaming through the windows on both days but hopefully you can appreciate the difference as much as the customer can.

Professional Limestone Floor Polishing and Sealing in Gloucestershire

Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Refresh in Cheltenham

This Ceramic Tiled bathroom was at a house in the historic town of Cheltenham on the edge of the Cotswolds. As you can see from the photograph below the grout between the Ceramic tiles was very stained and had attracted black mould.

Bathroom Tiles Before Cleaning Cheltenham

Refreshing a Ceramic Tiles Bathroom

To get the tile and grout clean I sprayed on Tile Doctor Mould Away and left it to soak in for ten minutes before giving it a scrub with a stiff brush. The resultant slurry was rinsed off and then the process repeated once more.

The Mould Away made a difference to the tile and grout however the grout was still not 100% white, so I recommended applying a grout colourant which I was confident would have the desired effect.

Grout Colouring

Two coats of white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant were then applied; this product is basically painted on top of the existing grout with any excess wiped off the adjacent tile before it dries. It’s an epoxy based formula that becomes a long lasting barrier protecting the grout and also making it much easier to clean, it looks natural and I think you will agree it has made all the difference in fact the customer commented that it looks like a new bathroom.

Bathroom Tiles Before Cleaning Cheltenham

The job was completed in a day and I think you will agree the whole bath area now looks like a new installation.
 
 

Refreshing a ceramic tiled bathroom in Gloucestershire