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

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

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

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