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

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

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

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