Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Floor Stroud

We were called by a customer with a Mexican Terracotta floor who was looking at having it taken it up and replaced but before doing wondered what it would cost to have it renovated. I visited the property in the nearby market town of Stroud in the centre of Gloucestershire to survey the floor and advise on options. Stroud by the way is a lovely part of the county and sits within the Cotswolds which is an area of outstanding beauty.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning Stroud

The customer had this floor laid thought the ground floor just five years earlier and had been was advised to seal it with wax. After three months the wax had broken down and started collecting dirt as you can see from the pictures. Unfortunately, he had not been advised the correct way to look after his floor and was now fed up with its appearance. Help was at hand and I was confident I could restore the floor for a lot less than replacing it, I explained what could be done, agreed a price which was accepted and agreed a date for carrying out the work.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning Stroud

Stripping Wax Off Mexican Terracotta Tiles

So, the first job was to strip the layers of wax and sealant off using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go. I combined the products together to make a very effective cleaner and coatings remover and left them to soak into the Terracotta tiles for ten minutes, before scrubbing them in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process released a lot of dirt and waxes from the floor which I extracted with a wet vacuum and then retreated areas that needed more work until I was happy it was as clean as it could be.

After the floor was clean I set about on grout lines these were also in a bad state, they needed a lot of manual scrubbing with Pro-Clean which was worked in with a narrow stiff brush to get them clean.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Before Sealing Stroud

Afterwards, happy with the result, I rinsed the floor three times with water to remove any trace of the cleaning products and soil from the floor. Because I had to use so much water and cleaning products to achieve a good result I left the floor for nearly a week, so it could thoroughly dry out. Mexican terracotta is very porous, and it would need to be dry before sealing so I figured five days should be enough time.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor

I returned after five days and checked that moisture levels of the floor were satisfactory with my moisture meter. Once I was satisfied I was good to go ahead with the sealing. I decided to use two different types of sealant on this job. For the first coat I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnator that soaks into the pores of the clay tile protecting it from with and enhancing the natural colours in the process. I then applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go letting it dry in between coats. Seal and Go is a water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which the customer had requested on this job.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Sealing Stroud

The customer was pleased with the result, he never expected it to look so good and had thought he was going to have to put a new floor down. Not only had we completed a great job for them, they had been saved significant expense too.

 

Professional Restoration of Mexican Terracotta Tiles in Gloucestershire

Enhancing a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor in Cirencester

This client from Cirencester got in contact about his Slate Tiled hallway floor which was now looking dull following renovations to the property by the owner who was a builder. If you have never been I can recommend you pay Cirencester visit, it’s a lovely old market town that dates to the Roman times and is incidentally is the largest town in the Cotswold District.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

I arrived at the property and could see immediately that the floor had never been sealed properly and so the appearance had just got worse over the few years since it was laid. Dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the slate making it impossible to clean effectively. The client realised that the only way to fix the problem was to have the floor properly treated. We agreed a price for the work and popped a date in the diary to come back.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

As the floor was in the hallway, we needed to protect the stairs and skirting with plastic sheeting before we started. I then started cleaning the tiles with a strong concentration of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this is a multi-purpose stripper which can remove most coatings and sealers and works best it left to dwell and soak into the stone for a long time before scrubbing it in. This also helps it work on ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up. My primary reason for choosing Remove and Go was to remove what was left of the sealer so after applying it to the floor I left it to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed it into the tiles with a black pad scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. The dirt soon turned the cleaning solution black and the slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, I worked on cleaning up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is good for neglected and heavily soiled areas and it makes short work of cleaning dirty grout. I had to scrub the grout by hand and once I was happy that the slate and grout was as clean as it could be the floor was given several rinses with water to remove the remaining dirt and remove any traces of cleaning products. Once this was done this completed the cleaning process, I was satisfied with our efforts and the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I checked the moisture level of the stone in several areas with a damp meter to check that the floor was dry. The sealer will not cure if the floor is not properly dried out. I chose a combination of sealers to achieve the look we were after. First, I sealed with one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow this is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. It’s also a colour enhancing sealer that works really well on Chinese slate to highlight all the colours. Once this was dry I followed with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which was perfect for finishing this floor.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

The customers response was ‘It never looked as good as that’, and he now realised the importance of sealing the floor correctly! I love the natural patterns in this type of floor, it is one of my favourites.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire

Restoring Polish to a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Cheltenham

These photos are of a Travertine Tiled Floor installed in the Kitchen and Dining area of a property in Cheltenham also known as Cheltenham Spa. The property is situated in a lovely location with Cheltenham being located on the edge of the Cotswolds, which is well known as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ in Gloucestershire.

The floor which was installed 15 years prior had sadly not been maintained correctly over the years and was not looking its best, any sealer that may have been present on the floor had long since worn off with wear and now dirt had penetrated the pores of the Travertine making it difficult to keep clean and giving it a flat uninteresting appearance. The customer was specifically unhappy with what appeared dull looking marks all over the floor and the grout lines which were heavily ingrained with dirt and had now become black.

Travertine Floor Cheltenham Before Cleaning

Travertine is a natural stone material that has unique colours and features that no other stone can offer. The distinctive designs and natural patterns found within Travertine make it very popular as a flooring material and if treated properly it can look beautiful. I discussed with the client what Tile Doctor could do to improve the appearance of the floor, we agreed the cost and organised a date to get started.

Travertine Floor Cheltenham Before Cleaning

Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Floor Cheltenham

Before starting I protected the wooden skirting and kitchen units with plastic sheeting to ensure they did not get damaged. The floor was then burnished using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads of different grits using our usual process of lubricating with water and rinsing between each pad. Working my way through the different pads I started with the coarse 400-grit pad, then the 800-grit and finished on the 1500-grit.

The grout lines were then cleaned with Tile Doctor Remove and Go this is a multi-purpose stripper formulated with a long dwell-time that can clean whilst removing most sealers, coatings, synthetic finishes, adhesives and paints; pretty much most things that could have be left on the floor over 15 years! I then rinsed of the now soiled cleaning solution off the floor with water which was then extracted using the wet vacuum. I then left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing Travertine Kitchen Floor Cheltenham

On my return the next day I applied the last of the burnishing pads which is an extra fine 3000-grit pad really bring up the polish on the stone. This pad is applied dry with a little water sprayed onto the stone using a method we call a Spray Burnish.

The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this product is a colour intensifying sealer which enhances the natural colours in the Travertine whilst adding durable stain protection. I highly recommend colour grow for sealing Travertine as it really does bring out the natural brown shades in the stone. The floor was left to dry and then buffed with a soft white buffing pad to bring the shine further.

Travertine Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning

My customer was very impressed with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Our travertine floor has been transformed from a dull, impossible to clean surface to one that looks better than it did fifteen years ago. Every time I walk into the kitchen I stop just to look at it. I am delighted with what you have achieved! Thank you.
Laura C. “

Travertine Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning

 

Polishing & Sealing Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles in Gloucestershire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Gloucester

My customer was renovating their house in Gloucester and discovered this lovely vibrant Victorian tiled floor with blue accents under the carpet and were keen to get it restored and back to its’ former self. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

They were delighted to uncover the original floor but unsure if it could be restored asked me to come over and take a look. The tiles were in good physical condition for their age but were ingrained with dirt and had paint splashes, cement and carpet glue on the surface. The property had lots of period features, but this was by far the nicest. Luckily there was very little damage to the floor, so there was no need to source any extra tiles. We discussed what needed to be done and how the process would work, agreed a price and a timescale for the project which was accepted.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first process was to cover walls and skirting boards with plastic sheeting, I usually do this as a rule but in this case the hallway had just been decorated so we wanted to avoid any dirty splashes from the cleaning process.

Next a solution of tile doctor Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 20 minutes and then with a buffing machine and black scrubbing pad I set about deep cleaning the floor. Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a strong coatings remover that can deal with old sealers, paint and glue, it’s also safe to use on tile, grout and stone. The floor was then rinsed with water and the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor with a wet vacuum.

Stubborn stains were spot treated using the same process and once satisfied with the results I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This neutralises any potential salt staining issues that could appear later as the floor dries. This process is known as efflorescence and can be very troublesome on old floors like these which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. We often find covering old floors like these in a rubber underlay also prevents the floor from breathing which can lead to damp being trapped in the floor.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We left the floor to dry off overnight and then the next day checked for moisture. It’s been a long hot summer, so the tiles had soon dried out. Happy with the results we started sealing the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish that works really well on Victorian tiled floors like this. Additionally, the product allows moisture vapour transmission so will be able to cope with the fact that this floor has not damp-proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

As you can see from the photos the sealant left a lovely finish and the customer was very pleased with outcome. The floor is now restored and offers a lovely traditional entrance to their property.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire

Restoring the Appearance of Travertine Kitchen Tiles in Cirencester

This customer from Cirencester was not happy with her look of her Travertine floor tiles; in fact, she had been browsing the Tile Doctor web site and realised how her floor should look and got in touch to have it renovated.

Polished Travertine Cirencester Before Cleaning Polished Travertine Cirencester Before Cleaning

I’m based in Dursley which is West Gloucestershire and have made the journey to Cirencester to the East on several occasions to work on tiled floors there. If you have never been it’s worth a visit; it’s a lovely market town which dates back to Roman times and is situated on the lower slopes of the Cotswold Hills.

Burnishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the best from Travertine it really needs to be burnished which is an abrasive cleaning process that involves the application of several different grades of diamond encrusted pad to the stone lubricated with a small amount of water.

The pads are fitted to a rotary buffer and run over each tile in sequence from coarse to very fine. 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 making sure to rinse the floor with water in between to remove the soiling.

Next, I set about cleaning grout lines with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was diluted with water and then scrubbed in with a stiff narrow brush. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with more water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Polished Travertine Cirencester During Polishing Polished Travertine Cirencester During Polishing

The burnishing and grout cleaning took most of the day and I need the floor to be dry in order to seal it so I left for the day and left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day and before sealing the floor I applied the last pad in the set of four which is a 3,000 grit “very fine” burnishing pad. This final pad really builds the final polish on Travertine tile. The pad is applied with the rotary buffer as before but is applied dry with only a fine spray of water using a process we call a “Spray Burnish”

Once I was happy with polish I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer the seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within but without affecting the look of the stone. The floor was then left to dry for an hour and I finished by giving the Travertine a final buff using a white pad.

Polished Travertine Cirencester After Polishing Polished Travertine Cirencester After Polishing

My customer was delighted and now she has a Travertine tiled floor looking how it should.
 
 

Professional Travertine Floor Polishing and Sealing in Gloucestershire

Restoring the Appearance of a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor in Cheltenham

The photographs below are of a Polished limestone floor that had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in Cheltenham approximately eight years prior. The polish and sealer had worn off over that time allowing dirt to become ingrained into the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean.

This is a common problem with all types of porous stone and tile which need to be sealed to maintain their appearance. Sealers do wear down over time with use however and need to be maintained, this is why Tile Doctor have created a maintenance program whereby we pop by every 12 months to give the floor a light clean and top-up the sealer, it only takes a few hours, but it keeps your sealer in good condition.

Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Cheltenham Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Cheltenham

Cheltenham by the way is a lovely town situated on the edge of the Cotswolds which is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has a racecourse and is well known for the mineral springs which were discovered here in 1716.

Burnishing a Dull and Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor

My first job was to protect the wooden kitchen units from any splashes by covering them some cotton sheets. Next, I set about restoring the Limestone’s appearance using a set of Burnishing Pads which is a form of polishing which involves the sequential application of four diamond encrusted pads of different grit levels.

The first pad applied is a Coarse 400 grit pad which is applied to the floor with a buffing machine and lubricated with water. This process grinds away the top layer of dirt and staining from the stone, along with any old sealer, the floor is then rinsed to remove the soil that is generated. I then move through the system, applying the Medium and then Fine pads using less and less water as you go but rinsing in-between and extracting the water with a wet-vac machine.

Once I was happy with the stone I scrubbed the grout lines to remove any soiling that the pads had failed to pick up. The floor was then given a final rinse and the wet vacuum used to extract as much moisture as possible. The floor was then left to dry out completely overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The next day I gave the floor a polish with the Very Fine 3,000 grit diamond burnishing pad, this is applied using a technique we call a “spray burnish” due to the fact that very little water is used during its application.

The next step was to seal the stone using for which I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within by occupying its pores. Colour Grow also has the added benefit of intensifying the natural colours in the stone. The floor was then left to dry for an hour before I gave it one final dry polish using the Very Fine burnishing pad.

Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Cheltenham

My customer was very happy with the final result and made the comment that they thought the floor looked brand new.

Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Cheltenham

 
 

Renovating a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor in Gloucestershire

Poorly Maintained Kitchen Quarry Tiles Rejuvenated in Cheltenham

It’s often quite surprising what condition we find some tiles in when were asked to come out and survey the floor. Case in point being this Quarry tiled kitchen floor I was asked to look at by a customer in Cheltenham, which as you may know is particularly famous for its racecourse and the top-secret GCHQ.

Upon arrival at the property, I found that the floor was not in great condition. For some reason, it had been painted over with red tile paint and then covered with a wax coating which was easily scratched. To Make the situation worse, there were around 20 tiles in the floor with holes in them that had simply been filled with concrete.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham Before Removing Paint Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham Before Removing Paint

Clearly, the tiles had not been maintained properly in the past but fortunately the current owner of the property who was keen to have them restored had called in Tile Doctor and after a demonstration clean I was booked to come back and correct the numerous issues.

Cleaning a Damaged Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the first day of the restoration, I started by applying a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entire floor and leaving the product to dwell for around 30 minutes. Remove and Go is a powerful stripper designed to loosen paint splashes, adhesive stains and many types of urethane and wax coatings so that they can be easily removed.

After leaving the product to dwell, I could use a handheld scrapper to simply remove the wax coating and layer of paint on the floor. This process took about half a day; during the second half of the day, I spent my time removing the damaged tiles and replacing them with new Quarry tiles that had been sourced to match nicely with the existing floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham During

On the second day, any stubborn paint splashes remaining were re-treated and I subsequently deep cleaned the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This strong alkaline cleaning product was worked into the tiles using a 17-inch scrubbing pad fitted to a specialised rotary machine. The resultant soil was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and given a rinse with water to neutralise the floor. The wet vacuum was used again to remove the water and extract as much moisture from the tiles as possible to improve the drying time.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the deep clean had been completed, I left the floor dry for two days to allow sufficient time for it to dry thoroughly. Upon returning to the property, I ran a damp test to see if the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. To my surprise, the floor recorded only around 4% moisture even though the property is relatively old and is unlikely to have a damp proof membrane installed.

Nonetheless, this meant I could seal the floor. I did this by using a single coat of our impregnating, colour-intensifying sealer known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow, followed by three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a water based sealer which provides a high-quality satin finish.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning and Sealing

The deep clean, combined with the application of two different sealers, really helped to give these Quarry tiles a new lease of life. The customer was very happy indeed – in fact, had this been an exam, I’m certain I would’ve received top marks and it was certainly a major improvement on how they were before.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Gloucestershire

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