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

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

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

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