Slate Tiled Conservatory Floor Covered in Sticky Oil Residue Restored in Bicester

A recent customer of mine had a Slate tiled conservatory that had not been used in a long time since it had become covered in a sticky oil residue and couldn’t be walked over. I can’t go into detail as to how it became it this sate however suffice to say my customer had not been successful in removing it and having tried a number of products and suggestions had decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to remedy the situation.

The customer lives in Bicester just off Junction 9 of the M40 and famous for its Bicester Village outlet shopping centre, which has recently been expanded and is popular for containing discount retail outlets for several major designer clothing stores as well as restaurants and coffee shops.

Slate Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning Bicester

Cleaning Conservatory Slate Tiles

I could see this was going to be a tricky job so to begin, I created a cocktail of cleaning products consisting of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. NanoTech HBU is one of our most powerful cleaners (HBU = Heavy Build-Up) as it uses Nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone to release ingrained dirt. Oxy-Gel is an alkaline-based cleaner and degreaser, which helps to break down oily and sticky residues.

I applied this cleaning solution across the floor and left it to work its magic for about four hours. Next, I rinsed the floor with fresh water and extracted the soil using a wet vacuum before proceeding to clean the tiles again using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean.

Once again, I rinsed away any remaining chemicals with fresh water, before giving the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. Giving the stone and Acid Wash removes grout smears, mineral deposits and efflorescence and really gets the stone clean. After completing the cleaning process with another rinse, I left the floor to dry for a couple of days.

Sealing Conservatory Slate Tiles

On my return to the property 48 hours later, I treated the tiles to fresh sealant to protect them from stains and ingrained dirt for the long term. To do this, I used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which works really well on Slate to provide a high-quality and highly aesthetic low-sheen finish.

Slate Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning Bicester

The customer was very pleased with the transformation – not least because it meant she could use the conservatory again!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty and Sticky Slate Tiled Conservatory in Bicester

Slate Shower Cubicle Cleaned and Sealed to Achieve Natural Look Finish in Kidlington

Just Southwest of Bicester, Kidlington is one of the largest villages in England with a population of nearly 14,000. There are a lot of amenities, making it a great place for families to make their homes and I recently visited the area to see a customer with a Slate tiled shower cubicle in need of restoration.

Slate Bathroom Kidlington Before Cleaning Slate Bathroom Kidlington Before Cleaning

It’s not unusual to get asked to restore natural stone shower cubicles because they can suffer with mould, water marks and Limescale issues and can easily get into poor condition. Quite a lot of these problems can be avoided by rinsing the tiles down after a shower to remove traces of shampoos and soaps and ensuring the room has adequate ventilation. If you want to read more on this subject take a look at http://shower.tilecleaning.co.uk/

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle

The first process involved in restoring this cubicle was to cover the entire area in Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose cleaner designed to strip away any old sealers, synthetic finishes, adhesives and paint stains. It also helps to draw out ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up.

The product was left to dwell for roughly ten minutes before I scrubbed it into the tiles and grout with a stiff hand brush. Next, I rinsed the area with water to remove traces of chemicals and wiped it dry with a cloth.

Following this, I covered the tiles with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner formulated to remove grout smears and mineral deposits such as Limescale. The product was scrubbed into the grout a couple of times, before the area was rinsed again with water and wiped dry with a cloth. Grout Clean-up is an acidic product and so shouldn’t be left on stone for too long as it can damage it.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle

To seal the Slate, I used Tile Doctor Stone Oil, which is an easy-to -apply, impregnating sealer that is particularly effective on low porosity stone. It is formulated to restore the naturally dark colour and patina in the stone.

To finish I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that gives a natural look finish to the slate. I applied the sealer with a lint-free cloth, left it for about 30 minutes to cure and then wiped off any excess with a clean cloth.

Slate Bathroom Kidlington After Cleaning Slate Bathroom Kidlington After Cleaning

The results were fantastic and the customer was especially pleased with the clean, natural look the sealer had given the Slate.
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle Restoration in Kidlington

Mould-Covered Porcelain Shower Tiles Refreshed in Didcot

Available in a variety of styles and designs Porcelain tiles are harder than normal Ceramic tiles and are known for their durability and water resistance, making them ideal for use in shower cubicles and bathrooms.

However, as I’m sure most people already know, shower tiles are not the easiest to keep clean and fresh. These tiles are exposed daily to a multitude of acidic soaps and shampoo dyes, and if proper precaution is not taken to rinse away the excess after using the shower, mould will grow very quickly on the grout.

This shower cubicle, constructed from Porcelain tiles, is a typical example of this. As you can see from the photo below, the mould problem was very apparent. I was asked by the property owner, who lives in Didcot, a railway town in South Oxfordshire, to refresh it after what must have been years of neglect. Here’s how I did it.

Porcelain Shower Before Renovation in Didcot

Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle

The first process in restoring this shower cubicle was to spray the walls with Tile Doctor Duo Clean, which is both a grout cleaner and a mould remover. I left it to dwell for 45 minutes, before proceeding to scrubbing into the grout with a stiff brush. I worked in sections, spraying more Duo Clean onto the tiles as I moved along the length of the walls.

Following this, I rinsed the entire cubicle with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals and used my wet-vac machine to dry it quickly. The next process was to remove the old, mouldy silicone and replace it with fresh silicone.

Sealing a Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle

With the shower cubicle now fresh and clean, it was now time for me to seal the grout and tiles.

I did this using Tile Doctor Wall Grout Sealer Spray, which is a water-based grout sealer that prevents oil, water and acid-based contaminants – including soaps and shampoos – from spoiling the appearance and colour of grout. It does this while allowing for moisture vapour transmission.

Check out the photo below – you can see that after a short day’s work, the appearance of the cubicle has been completely transformed. The customer was very pleased with the result and the addition of the sealer will ensure it stays this way for some time to come.

Porcelain Shower After Renovation in Didcot

 
 

Professional Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle Renovation in Didcot

Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle Ruined by Limescale Renovated in Wantage

This house in Wantage was on the market to be sold but many potential buyers had been put off by the poor condition of the Slate tiled shower cubicle. Wantage is a lovely little market town in the south of Oxfordshire and a desirable location to live.

However, before this house could be sold, the shower cubicle needed to be renovated; as you can see from the photos below, there was a heavy build-up of limescale that needed to be removed.

Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage Before Cleaning Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage Before Cleaning

With the property owner keen to sell the house, he asked me to get the shower cubicle back to looking its very best. This would involve a deep clean, acid wash and seal.

Cleaning Limescale Damaged Slate Shower Tiles

To begin the restoration, I cleaned the walls using Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is a strong alkaline product which is powerful and sage to use on natural stone to eradicate dirt and residue that has built up over time. I scrubbed the Pro Clean into the tiles and grout lines, before rinsing the entire area with fresh water.

The next stage involved removing the heavy build-up of limescale. This was done using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. Being in this form makes it especially effective for use on sloped and vertical surfaces as it it’s easier to control and can dwell for a long time where required. The product deals with alkaline-based limescale and mineral salt deposits (efflorescence).

I scrubbed the Acid Gel into the affected areas with a stiff nylon brush, before rinsing with fresh water. I then needed to repeat this process twice more to make sure all the limescale was completely removed. Following this, I left the shower to dry before sealing.

Sealing Slate Shower Tiles

After letting the shower cubicle tiles dry, I sealed them using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer.

The sealer is specially formulated to really emphasise the different natural tones and shades in the stone, in turn lifting the appearance of the entire room. In this situation, two coats of Colour Grow were used to provide robust, long-lasting protection.

Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage After Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage After Cleaning and Sealing

The customer was very impressed with the finished result and I’m sure any prospective property buyers will be equally impressed by the feature bathroom! Another satisfied client.
 
 

Restoration of a Limescale Damaged Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle in Oxfordshire

Deep Cleaning a Chequered Vinyl Floors in Oxford Catholic Church

These photos of a Black and White Chequered Vinyl floor are actually from the Holy Rood Catholic Church in Oxford which is part of the North Hinksey Parish. It’s a popular church visited by many parishioners so the floor gets a lot of wear and I was asked to give it a good deep clean and re-seal.

Chequered Vinyl Lino floor Before Cleaning Sealing in Oxford

Cleaning Soiled Vinyl Floor Tiles

The Vinyl tiles had been sealed with a polish before so my first job was to strip the old polish off the floor. Fortunately, I have a good product for doing that in the shape of Tile Doctor Vinyl Strip which is an effective heavy-duty floor polish stripper that quickly removes polish and coatings from vinyl floors.

The Vinyl Strip was applied to the floor, left to soak in for a while and then scrubbed in using a scrubbing pad attached to a rotary machine. I then rinsed the floor with water.

The cleaning process released a lot of dirt from the floor which was rinsed away with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum. Once the floor was clean I was able to check the floor and repeat the process for any stubborn areas that needed extra work and once I was 100% happy I left for the evening.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Vinyl Shine applying the first coat in an up and down direction and the second coat side to side.

Vinyl Shine is a high solids polymer floor seal and polish designed to protect and enhance the appearance of Vinyl floor tiles. The formula includes special polymers which produce a ‘Wet Look’ finish whilst enhancing slip-resistance. A first coat seals and protects the floor and a second produces a gloss finish.

This was a huge floor and naturally the Church was open most days so the work was spread over two weeks doing two days each week.

Chequered Vinyl Lino floor After Cleaning Sealing in Oxford

I’m not sure the photographs I took actually do the work justice however my customer was certainly pleased with the difference and left the following glowing testimonial for me.

“Barry and Nick did a great job and was a pleasure to have around, always letting us know what was going to happen next. The final invoice was exactly as his initial quote. We are very impressed with his work and I will definitely contact him for some work in my home.”
 
 

Professional Vinyl Tiled Floor Maintenance in Oxfordshire

Heavily Stained Quarry Tiled Floors Restored in Oxford Shop Conversion

This ground floor flat in the City of Oxford had been converted from a shop which as you can imagine, was quite complex. One significant element involved in the conversation was the restoration of an old Quarry tiled floor which ran through the main hallway and had for many years been covered in a commercial linoleum covering.

When the linoleum covering was removed, the sheer amount of glue which had been used to affix it had completely ruined the appearance and condition of the Quarry tiles. There was also a lot of concrete in the bathroom, and our client was keen to have this removed in the hope that the tiles beneath were salvageable.

Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford Before Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford Before Restoration

Removing Concrete and Glue Stains from a Quarry Tiled Floor

My first task at the property was to deal with the adhesive. I covered the entire floor area with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then covered it with a plastic sheet and leaving it to soak into the glue and break it down overnight. Remove and Go is powerful stripper with a long-dwell time, formulated to break down adhesives and paint stains, amongst other coatings.

I returned the next day and, removing the plastic sheeting, I scrubbed the floor with a carbon brush attached to a rotary floor scrubber to remove the huge glue deposits. I worked in sections, rinsing each area of the floor with water after it had been scrubbed. Once I had finished the entire floor there was still some glue remaining, so I covered it again with a solution of Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor HBU Nanotech, which utilises nano-sized particles to get underneath tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them out. I left this solution on the floor for about two hours to dwell and scrubbed it again.

During the next day of work, I used a very coarse 100 grit diamond burnishing pad to manually grind away the remaining stubborn bits of glue. Paying attention to the bathroom, I used a 50-grit coarse milling pad followed up with a 100-grit diamond burnishing pad to do the same to the area of concrete.

The next part of the process was to use Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to acid wash the floor. This was successful in removing the last bits of cement and the remaining residue of the glue. To complete the cleaning process, I then rinsed the floor with plenty of water and vacuumed up any soiled solution.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I opted to leave the floor alone for a couple of days to fully dry off so that it could be sealed upon my return. This is crucial as any moisture or damp issues can damage the performance of the sealer and expose the floor to further ingrained dirt and staining.

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that also enhances the natural reddish shades in the Quarry. I applied two coats of the sealer, giving the floor the natural look matte finish the customer desired.

Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford After Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford After Restoration

The customer was very impressed with the results of this thorough restoration. She even left the following feedback:

“I cannot recommend this service enough. The Oxford Tile Doctor (Barry) was a superstar: he cleaned up the tiles in my hallway, which were covered in a very thick layer of glue, and removed concrete from the tiles. They now look superb and I’m really happy with the outcome. Barry was always on time, considerate, and kept me up to date. The quote for the job was exactly right. I would not hesitate to recommend him.”
 
 

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Oxfordshire

Victorian Tiles Refreshed After Property Renovation in Oxford

When you decide to undertake a complete renovation of a property, it’s inevitable that floors will be in some way affected by the decorating. At this property in Oxford a renovation had just recently taken place, leaving the black and white patterned Victorian tiled floor covered in concrete residue, plaster and paint.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

Naturally, the property owner was keen to have the appearance of the tiled restored, to match in with the completely rejuvenated house. I was called in to see what could be done to resolve the problems.

Cleaning a Dirty and Stained Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the restoration by rinsing the floor thoroughly using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner used to remove the plaster, concrete, paint and adhesive residue. I then rinsed the floor with fresh water to neutralise the chemicals and extracted all the fluids using a wet vacuum.

Following this, I opted to apply a series of diamond burnishing pads to grind off any particularly stubborn instances of residue, rinsing the tiles with water after each.
Unlike the pads, we use to burnish the shine back onto high end polished stone such as Limestone, Marble, and Travertine these pads were very coarse 100 and 200 grit milling pads rinsing with water after each pad and finishing with a 400 grit burnishing pad. This process thoroughly cleaned the floor and removed all the paint.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry completely for a couple of days, I returned to the property to seal the tiles. Once satisfied that the floor was damp-free and ready to be sealed, I chose to apply a combination of two products.

Firstly, I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours and shades in the stone, but with a matte finish. Secondly, I applied a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides the high quality, durable sheen finish that the customer had requested.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oxford

Having the best of both worlds with these sealers really worked wonders for the appearance of the tiles and would highly recommend this combination of sealers for Victorian tiles. The customer was very pleased with the result of the restoration and can now enjoy her fully renovated house – complete with a fantastic looking Victorian tiled floor.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Oxfordshire

Dirty Black and Red Quarry Tiles Rejuvenated in Thame

Sometimes it isn’t until you’ve deep cleaned your tiles that you realise just how dirty they were to begin with. This was the case with my customer in Thame, in the south of Oxfordshire where I worked on a classic red and black Quarry tiled floor which was far from being in its best condition.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Thame

Cleaning Dirty Quarry Tiles

My starting point in the cleaning process was to mix a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is the reliable, multi-purpose alkaline cleaner that is safe to use on tile, stone and grout. The solution was left to soak into the tiles for ten minutes before being scrubbed into the floor with a rotary floor machine fitted with a stiff brush.

Following this, I rinsed the floor with clean water and then proceeded to wash it with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up. This is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner designed to remove efflorescence and other mineral deposits such as grout smears.

Finally, I rinsed the tiles again with water and Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is a pH neutral solution, to neutralise the chemicals and leave the floor fresh and clean, ready to be sealed. The floor was left to dry overnight.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The next day I returned to seal the floor after checking the tiles were dry. I opted to use two different sealers. The first was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer with the added effect of enhancing the natural colour in the stone. The second was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a topical sealer that adds the high quality, durable sheen finish to the floor that the customer had requested.

I took the photograph below after sealing half the floor, it really shows the difference a sealer can make to a tiled floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Sealing

Here’s the photo of theQuarry tiled floorafter sealing the whole floor. As you can see, they now have a new lease of life, and they’ll be much easier for the customer to keep looking great in the future.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Thame

 
 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Dirty Quarry Tiled Oxfordshire

Old Slate Flagstone Tiled Floor Brought Back to Life in Banbury

Every so often we come across exceptionally old tiles that are in desperate need of restoration. These Slate flagstones at a property in Banbury, Oxfordshire had to be a couple of hundred years old, the grout had come loose and I wagered that it’d been covered by bitumen (also known as asphalt), plaster, and concrete for a significant portion of its life.

The property owner was keen to try and restore them and had tried to clean them, only to realise that it was a bigger task than initially thought. Flagstones are known to be hard wearing and durable, but no floor can be easily restored when subject to this kind of treatment. However, at Tile Doctor we are experienced with cleaning tiles in this kind of condition – and I was more than happy to help this customer get these fantastic Slate flagstones back to looking their best.

Old Slate Flagstone floor before cleaning Banbury

Cleaning Old Slate Flagstones

Upon arrival at the property, the first thing I did was to cover the walls to protect them from splashes of cleaning products I would be using. I then started the process by mixing two products – Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Remove & Go – in a bucket and spread it over the entire floor. These two products are both very powerful cleaners on their own and work even better together: NanoTech HBU utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate areas that normal cleaners simply can’t reach, while Remove & Go is specifically designed for the removal of coatings such as old sealers.

For added impact and so the blend of cleaning products would not dry out, I covered the floor with a plastic sheeting, leaving the solution to dwell and work to break down the bitumen, plaster and concrete overnight.

The following day, after removing the plastic sheeting I used my rotary floor machine fitted with a silicone carbon brush to slowly scrub the floor, beginning to loosen the soil. After this, I thoroughly rinsed the floor with water. I then used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner to remove the plaster and thin layers of concrete, before again rinsing the floor with water.
Next, I had to remove the particularly thick chunks of concrete carefully using a chisel, before scrubbing the floor with Grout Clean Up once more. To complete the cleaning process, I then mixed a solution of our strong alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, with water and scrubbed and rinsed the flagstones with water.

Sealing Old Slate Flagstones

The next day I returned to the property to grout the floor, before leaving it again for another day to fully cure. On the final day, I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which is a topical water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides a stain resistant surface seal combined with a long-lasting low-sheen finish. This eliminates traditional two-step sealing methods. I applied eight coats of this to give the floor the strong sheen (seen in the below photo), that the customer requested.

Old Slate Flagstone floor after cleaning Banbury

The floor had been in awful condition, for decades or perhaps even hundreds of years, yet using the right methods and products I successfully completed the full restoration within a single week. The customer was absolutely over the moon with the result.
 
 

Old Slate Flagstone Floor Restoration in Oxfordshire

Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Refreshed in Oxford

These Slate kitchen floor tiles at a property in Oxford were in good physical condition, but had become dull over time due to heavy usage, and upon close inspection the grout was stained. The customer contacted me as she was keen to get the tiles back to looking their best. This would require a thorough clean and the application of a fresh sealer.

While Slate floor tiles are reputed to be hard wearing and damage resistant – and are therefore a popular choice for high traffic areas like kitchens – this does not exclude them from needing regular maintenance.

Slate Floor Tiles before refresh Oxford

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin, I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water. Pro-Clean is a versatile cleaner that when used in a weak dilution can be used as a regular cleaner for most types of natural stone floor, including more sensitive stones such as Limestone and Marble.

The cleaning was then spread across the surface area of the floor, and left it to dwell for ten minutes to allow the solution to seep into the pores of the stone and lift the ingrained dirt to the surface. Pro-Clean in a strong dilution also functions as a stripping product, meaning it works to strip away any old and ineffectual sealer.

I then scrubbed the solution into the floor using a stiff scrubbing brush, paying particular attention to the grout in order to break down the visible staining. The tiles and grout lines came up really well during the cleaning process – this became clear once I had rinsed the floor and removed the residue using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

With the customer eager to have the job completed quickly, I installed portable room dryers and utilised a heat gun to dry the floor, allowing me to seal it on the same day.

Once I had ensured the floor was completely dry, I commenced the sealing process by firstly applying a coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil, a product which is designed to bring out all of the natural dark shades in the Slate.

When this was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer, meaning that it soaks into pores of the stone to provide durable protection from within against ingrained dirt and stains. Colour Grow also enhances the natural colours in the stone even further.

Slate Floor Tiles after refresh Oxford

The customer was amazed by just how big a difference could be made to the tiles in the space of just a day. Although the tiles were generally in very good nick, my main task was to be liven them up – judging by the before and after photos, I think this was achieved. And, now that they have been treated to a fresh seal, the tiles will be prevented from quickly becoming dull again.
 
 

Restoring the Appearance of a Slate Tiled Floor in Oxfordshire

Removing Carpet Glue from Quarry Tiles in Banbury

This Quarry tiled floor at a house in Banbury had previously been covered in carpet which had been stuck to the floor with an adhesive when once removed left a stain of white marks all over the floor. The customer had taken the floor as far as they could so I got the call to complete the restoration.

Quarry Tiled Floor Banbury Before Cleaning

Restoring Quarry Tiles

The first process was to tape the newly papered wall to protect them from any splashes during the cleaning process. I then scrubbed in a dilution of Tile doctor Pro-Clean with the assistance of a rotary floor machine fitted with a black pad and then rinsed off the resultant slurry.

This process defiantly made an improvement but I can see more work would be needed so I then applied a mixture of Pro-Clean and HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover) to the floor and scrubbed this with a carbon brush attached to a rotary floor machine. This proved to be more effective removing the carpet glue marks so I then rinsed the floor with water and used my wet vacuum to remove the slurry. I then gave the floor a thorough rinse with water again using the wet vacuum to extract the solution afterwards.

To finish the cleaning of the floor and remove any grout smears and other minderal deposits I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the floor; this was left to dwell for a short time before scrubbing in with a stiff brush and then rinsed away with more water and extracted again using the wet vacuum.

The last job of the day was to fill in some holes in the tiles with a colour matching resin filler.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled floor

I returned two days later and confirmed the floor was dry ready for sealing. To seal the floor I first applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating seal that also enhances the colour of the stone. This leaves a Matt finish and I showed the client this as they was not sure what finish they wanted, after seeing this that wanted more shine to the floor so once dried I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a topical sealer that gives a sheen finish to the floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Banbury After Cleaning

The client was very pleased with the end result leaving this as feedback.

Our options were a completely new floor or renovate the existing quarry tiles. We were glad we chose renovation; the results are amazing and a lot less messy and expensive than a new floor!
 
 

Restoring a Quarry tiled floor in Oxfordshire

Quarry & Marble Floor Tiles Renovated at a 12th Century Church in Wantage

Did you know that Wantage, the town in Oxfordshire where I completed this job, is the birthplace of Alfred the Great? The town is certainly a historic area – in fact, I was contacted by the warden of a church dating back to the 12th century, who asked Tile Doctor Oxfordshire to help restore the building’s flooring, consisting of Quarry and Marble tiles.

This is an interesting mix of hard wearing and high end tiles, and while the floor was in
dire need of a deep clean, it could be restored back to looking fantastic once again.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage Before Renovation
The church has recently undergone a complete refurbishment with the help of a grant from lottery money. We were called after the builders had finished their work, to restore the floor to the finish required by the church warden.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage Before Renovation
His specification was to provide the Marble with a Matt finish and the Quarry tiles with a sheen finish. The floor was, at one point in its history, covered in carpet which had been taken up, no doubt exposing many years’ worth of muck.

Cleaning Dirty Quarry and Marble Tiles

My first task was to clean the floor with a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner safe to use on tile and stone. This was left to dwell for a short period to seep into the tile, before being scrubbed in to remove the initial layers of muck. The resulting residue was promptly vacuumed away.

To tackle the tougher areas of soil buildup, I opted to use Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which was spread over the floor and left to dwell for about 30 minutes. This product differs from most cleaners in that it uses nano-sized cleaning particles to deal with difficult to reach dirt ingrained in the stone. I then rinsed the area with water and vacuumed this up.

Due to the substantial size of the church floor I had to work in multiple sections, and so the cleaning process took three days to complete. After finishing, I left the church for a few days to allow the floor time to dry.

Sealing Quarry and Marble Tiles

When I returned to the church I checked the floor with a damp meter and was satisfied that it was dry enough to seal.

First, I sealed the Marble tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer suitable for use on high end stone such as Marble and Limestone. I applied two coats, leaving a few hours between coats; this brought the colour back without a high shine, as per the church warden’s request.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage After Renovation
The next day I returned to seal the Quarry tiles, this time using Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a topical sealer specially formulated to lea e a nice sheen as requested. I applied several thin coats of the sealer to build up solid protection on the floor.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage After Renovation
The warden was extremely pleased with the finished floor, leaving the following feedback:

“We found the Tile Doctor online and watched some of the very helpful slideshows on YouTube. The Victorian Quarry tiles in our 12th century church had been covered with carpet for many years and needed a thorough clean and polish at the end of our major restoration project. Barry was very quick to respond to our enquiry and over the course of a week he did a brilliant job on our tiles. We’re delighted with the results, just in time for our reopening service with our bishop and MP.”

Professional Church Floor Restoration in Oxfordshire

Victorian Tiled Floor with Gas Pipe Trench Repaired and Restored in Oxford

This house in the historic university city of Oxford had a gas fire installed in the living room and unfortunately the only route to the gas supply in the under stairs cupboard was via to go under the Victorian tiled floor in the hallway. Unfortunately this was a bit of a butcher’s job and a trench was dug into the floor which the current owner however was very keen on restoring back to its original condition.

I visited the client just before the Christmas break last year, and agreed that I would firstly replace the missing tiles and then return after Christmas to give the floor a deep clean and seal.

Victorian Floor Gas Pipe trench in Oxford

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

In order to properly repair this Victorian tiled floor, I firstly had to source tiles that would be consistent with the colour and pattern of the original design. Since Victorian tiles are known for their intricate and varied designs, this isn’t always an easy task. However, I was able to find the right tiles in good time, although naturally being new they were brighter than the existing which had seem some wear but they should blend in over time. I proceeded to fill the deep part of the hole with concrete, before carefully laying down the tiles in line with the specific pattern on the rest of the floor. I then grouted the new tiles in to finish the repair.

Victorian Floor- Gas Pipe Repaired in Oxford

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

After the Christmas break, I returned to the house to commence the cleaning and sealing processes. My first task was to mix a solution of the two cleaning products, Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU and Pro Clean and let this soak into the tiles.

Nanotech is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate deep beneath the surface of the stone to lift out ingrained dirt. Pro Clean is a high alkaline cleaner that also contains stripping properties to break down any old sealer and mixed together the two products make a very powerful tile cleaning product.

I applied the solution to the floor and left it to dwell for a full hour before agitating with a scrubbing brush to remove any dirt. Following this I used my wet vacuum to soak up the soiled solution, before thoroughly rinsing the floor with clean water extracting again using the wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

I left the floor for 24 hours in order to let it dry completely following the clean. Upon my return I sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which adds a stain resistant and robust surface seal, along with a nice low sheen finish.

Victorian Floor Gas Pipe Repaired and cleaned in Oxford

It took some work but I think your will agree the floor now looks fantastic and the sealer should keep it looking that way for some time to come.
 
 

Professional Tiled Floor Repair and Restoration in Oxfordshire

Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Restored In Henley-On-Thames

These photographs below are of a Slate Tiled Kitchen floor taken at a customer’s house in Henley-on-Thames which, as its name suggests, sits alongside the River Thames in Oxfordshire. My client’s Slate kitchen floor had recently been cleaned with unsuitable cleaning products which I suspect impacted the sealer leaving it looking dull. Sealers really to improve the look of a stone floor so unsurprisingly once the sealer had been damaged my client had been unable to find a cleaning product that could have any kind of positive effect on the tiles.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Henley-on-Thames

It’s fairly well known that many supermarket quality cleaners are only really designed for use on Ceramic or Porcelain tiled floors as they contain acids which strip away at sealers and acid sensitive stone floors, leaving the stone beneath vulnerable. So your select a cleaning product for your floor always read the small print on the back of the label and make sure you avoid anything that mentions not for use on acid sensitive stone; belter still Tile Doctor have a number of products for cleaning tiled floors including Neutral Cleaner and Stone Soap.

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

To clean the floor and remove any remaining sealer I first made a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner and then spread this over the floor, leaving it to dwell. This allows the cleaner to seep into the slate and get underneath, breakdown sealers and start to lift out ingrained dirt.

Following a dwelling period of roughly ten minutes, I agitated the floor periodically with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and scrubbed along the grout lines with a stiff grout brush. I then used a wet vacuum to extract the resultant slurry away and then followed up by rinsing the floor with clean water, and once again vacuumed up the residue.

Any stubborn areas were retreated until I was happy with the floor and then I left the floor to dry off completely overnight, in preparation for sealing the following day.

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

Upon my return to the house the following day, I ran some damp tests on different parts of the floor to check for any excess moisture which could potentially damage the performance of the sealer. Once I was satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This will provide a robust surface seal for the future, along with an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish.

This sealer works particularly well on Slate tiles and, being a water-based sealant, additionally Seal & Go does not emit an unpleasant smell as it dries. Slate is quite a porous stone so I applied six coats of seal to provide long-lasting protection.

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Henley-on-Thames

 
 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Slate tiled kitchen floor in Northamptonshire

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Milton

Not too long ago I visited a client who had just moved into a lovely old cottage in Milton, Oxfordshire. She wanted to restore many of the antique features of the building, including a fantastic Quarry tiled floor in the kitchen.

Quarry is typically a robust, hard wearing stone, but in a high traffic area like a kitchen, the tiles will need regular maintenance. These tiles clearly hadn’t seen a thorough clean and fresh seal in a long time, and so I was called in to provide just that.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor Before Cleaning Milton

Deep cleaning an old Quarry tiled floor

On the first day of work, I gave the Quarry tiles a deep clean using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water. Pro-Clean is a versatile alkaline cleaner that also helps to break down any old and no longer effectual sealer remaining on the tiles.

The solution was applied evenly to the floor and left to dwell for half an hour, allowing time for it to seep into the stone to get underneath and lift out the ingrained dirt. I then removed the dirt by agitating the solution with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor scrubber. I worked in small sections at first, and gradually finished the entire floor.

After completing the initial clean, I rinsed away the soiled solution and vacuumed up the excess moisture using a wet-vac machine. I then scrubbed the floor an acid wash using a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove grout smears and other mineral type deposits. The resulting solution was then removed in a similar fashion using a wet-vac.

The final step in the cleaning process was to rinse the floor with Tile Doctor pH Neutral Cleaner to remove any trace of product helps to tackle any remaining dirt and reset the pH balance of the tiles before sealing.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

After leaving the floor to dry overnight, I returned the next day to the house to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a water-based topical sealer which gives the floor an aesthetically pleasing sheen and a robust surface seal.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor After Cleaning Milton

The photos demonstrate the results better than this short account can, needless to say the floor is now transformed.
 
 

Professional tile cleaning and sealing of an old Quarry tiled floor in Oxfordshire

Beautiful Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in a Woodstock Kitchen

I recently visited a client living in the market town of Woodstock in Oxfordshire to rejuvenate a fantastic multi-coloured Slate floor that had been hidden under several years’ worth of dirt in their kitchen. Slate is a typically hard-wearing tile used for flooring high traffic areas of houses and public buildings but does need sealing to bring out its best features and in this case the sealer had long since worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the stone.

Multi Coloured Slate Before Cleaning Woodstock

Cleaning a dirty Slate tiled floor

My first task in the cleaning process was to mix a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline cleaner safe to use on Tile and Stone, and NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover), which is a particularly powerful product that uses nano-sized particles to tackle muck in areas of the stone where typical cleaners simply can’t reach. I spread this solution across the floor and left it to seep into the stone, to get underneath and lift out the ingrained dirt.

After allowing the solution adequate time to dwell, I scrubbed the floor with a carbon brush to gradually reveal the fantastic natural colours of the Slate hidden beneath. Following this, I rinsed the entire floor several times with clean water, before soaking up the resulting soiled residue with a wet vacuum.

Multi Coloured Slate During Cleaning Woodstock

The next part of the cleaning process entailed paying particular attention to the grout lines. I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to scrub the grout lines and also to treat a small amount of efflorescence. The resulting residue was promptly extracted with the wet vacuum and I finished by giving the whole floor a rinse with Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a day to day tile cleaning product which is recommended for stone floors, many supermarket tile cleaning products are only suitable for ceramic tiles due to their acidic formula and can damage a floor over years of use so you should always read the label. I then left the floor to dry completely overnight.

Multi Coloured Slate During Cleaning Woodstock

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

On day two, the Slate tiled floor was dry and ready to seal. The floor had to be completely dry, as any excess moisture has the potential to the damage the performance of the sealer. Since my client had specifically requested a matte finish, I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that provides durable surface protection from within while also enhancing all of the natural mineral shades.

Multi Coloured Slate After Cleaning Woodstock

My client was very pleased with the results, particularly as they hadn’t realised they had such a great looking floor in their house when they had first purchased it!
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Oxfordshire

Cleaning an Altro Safety Floor in Turville

Just for a change I thought I would post something a little difference from the usual stone floor projects I get involved in. The floor below at a building in Turville near Henley on Thames and is of an “Altro Safety floor” belonging to an existing customer of mine. This is a heavy duty type of flooring usually found in industrial/office premises and normally these floors require little maintenance but in this case however a small flood left the floor difficult to clean.

Altro Safety Floor Before Cleaning Turville

Deep Cleaning an Altro Safety Floor

To restore the floor back to its original condition I first pre wet the floor and applied Tile Doctor neutral cleaner to the floor and left it to dwell, I then scrubbed the floor with a coarse burnishing pad fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine, I then rinsed with water and extracted the dirty water with a wet vacuum then mopped the floor with more neutral cleaner.

Altro Safety Floor After Cleaning Turville

Being a safety floor there was no need to seal the floor but before leaving I worked out a maintenance plan for the customer that will enable them to keep the floor in good condition going forward.
 
 

Safety Floor Deep Cleaned near Henley on Thames

Deep Clean and fresh Seal for Victorian tiled floor in Oxford

This fantastic Victorian tiled hallway floor in Oxford was in good physical condition for its age; however like any sealed floor the sealer had worn down with use and with dirt becoming trapped in the pores of the tile it was now becoming difficult to clean effectively and had become dull and un-inviting. It was now due a really good deep clean and re-seal. Oxford as I’m sure your aware has a rich history and is home to one of the world’s best universities, so not surprisingly many houses here have interesting floors such as this one.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Oxford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a dirty Victorian tiled floor

Upon my arrival at the house, my first task was to protect the skirting boards, as well as the wooden floors leading into the other rooms. I then mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a versatile, high alkaline cleaner combined 50:50 with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a particularly strong cleaner that utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate into areas of the stone that standard products simply cannot reach.

I applied the solution to the surface and allowed it to soak for thirty minutes, allowing it to get to work on the ingrained dirt so it could be easily removed. Following this, I agitated the solution with a soft brush attached to a rotary scrubbing machine. I then applied more solution and left it for a further thirty minutes, before scrubbing this into the tiles using a black pad fitted to the rotary machine.

After the clean had been completed, I rinsed the entire floor multiple times and vacuumed up the resulting slurry using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

I left the floor overnight, allowing the surface enough time to dry and returned then next day to seal the floor, checking first to ensure the tiles had dried. To seal the floor I used several coatings of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. Seal & Go which is a water-based, topical sealer that is suitable for use on unsealed, porous surfaces such as Victorian tile, textured Quarry, Slate, and Sandstone; being water based you don’t get the smell so it’s much more pleasant to work with.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Oxford After Cleaning

As you can see from the before and after photos, the result was an aesthetically pleasing and – most importantly – clean, Victorian tiled floor. Needless to say, my client was extremely pleased with my work.
 
 

Maintaining a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Oxfordshire

Restoring a Terracotta and Slate Tiled Conservatory in Bicester

I was recently contacted by a client living in the historic market centre of Bicester, one of the fastest growing towns in Oxfordshire. Many will know Bicester for its famous shopping village.
They had a small, dirty Terracotta and Slate tiled conservatory which had suffered from water damage and a loss of colour. Terracotta and Slate are examples of naturally porous tiles which can suffer from dirt becoming trapped/ingrained into its pores making it difficult to clean for the regular homeowner with everyday cleaning products. The water damage had also left stubborn stains on the floor which would require professional attention to remove.

Grubby Terracotta and Slate Conservatory Floor Bicester Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Terracotta and Slate tiled floor

My first task was to cover the whole floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go, mixed with water to form a solution. Remove & Go is a powerful cleaner that needs to be left to dwell for roughly ten minutes when first applied. This allows the product to soak into the pores of the stone, thereby getting underneath dirt and lift it out. After allowing the solution to dwell, I then agitated the surface with a brush attached to a floor machine to remove the particularly difficult muck.

In this process of doing this, I unveiled some staining in the floor. To tackle this I used NanoTech HBU (previously known as Ultra Clean), which uses nano-sized particles to remove heavy soil build-up in places other products simply cannot reach.

Following this I repeated the cleaning process with Remove & Go until I was satisfied that the conservatory floor had been cleaned to the best of my abilities. All of the resulting soiled residue was quickly extracted using a wet-vac machine. The floor was then given a final rinse before leaving to dry completely overnight before returning the next day to seal the tiles.

Sealing a Terracotta and Slate tiled floor

On day two and after checking the floor had dried, I applied several coatings of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to seal the floor. This helped to restore the desired colourful sheen finish to the floor, whilst also guaranteeing durable surface protection for the future. Seal & Go is suitable for use on internal, unsealed porous surfaces such as Terracotta, Sandstone, Slate, and more.

Grubby Terracotta and Slate Conservatory Floor Bicester After Cleaning

My client was very pleased with the results. They were especially happy to see the fantastic natural colours and shades in the tiles brought to life again, after forgetting they were there to begin with!
 
 

Cleaning and sealing Terracotta and Slate tiles in a conservatory in Bicester

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate patio in Chinnor

Back here with another job, this time in the small commuter town of Chinnor in Oxfordshire to clean and seal a Slate patio which was looking worse for wear. Slate is a highly durable material that is a popular choice not only for external flooring such as patio, but also for internal flooring in high traffic areas like kitchens and hallways. A few days before I began the cleaning, I visited the property in order to rake and re-fill the grout.

Slate patio Chinnor before cleaning

Cleaning a Slate patio

Working in sections, I began the cleaning process by pre-wetting the individual area of the patio, before applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. I use Pro-Clean as a cleaner for several different types of stone flooring, whether internal or external, as it is very good at getting underneath the dirt and lifting it out, being an alkaline it’s also safe to use on all types of Tile and Stone.

The solution was left to on the surface to dwell for a while, before scrubbing in with a medium brush attached to a floor machine. Once I had finished cleaning, I used a wet-vac machine to remove any watery residue before rinsing the area with clean water, and soaking up the excess once again with the wet-vac. I repeated this same process for the entire patio.

Sealing a Slate patio

Before beginning the sealing process, I ensured that the floor was completely dry, as any excess moisture could have impacted negatively on the performance of the sealer. My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer; two coats were sufficient.

Slate patio Chinnor after cleaning

As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow works its way into the pores of the Slate, providing durable surface protection from within. In addition, the colour intensifying properties of Colour Grow bring out the natural colours and shades in the surfaces to which it is applied.

The finished result, as you can see from the photos, was quite a different look for this Slate patio. The many layers of grime and dirt had previously hidden the fantastic character of the tiles, but with a good clean and colour enhancing seal, the patio was brought back to life. Both myself and my client were very pleased with the outcome.
 
 

Patio Restoration in Chinnor

300-year old Flagstone floor restored in Bicester

Here’s another interesting job I was privileged to work on in the town of Bicester, Oxfordshire. Bicester has a long, rich history – dating back to the Saxon age – but it is also one of the fastest growing in Oxfordshire. In fact, I had an opportunity to experience part of this history when I was called to a house to work on a old Flagstone floor which is believed to be 300-years old. The use of flagstones for both interior and exterior flooring is believed to have been popularised in Europe around the 13th century AD, and flagstone is still commonly used for these purposes today. As one of the few surviving of its kind, this Old-Flagstone-floor- has a preservation order on it – this means that it can’t be covered by wood or other tiles.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Cleaning Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Cleaning

Unfortunately, the rooms in this building were previously used as a sort of ‘dumping ground’ for builders working on the property, covering the floor with cement, plaster, sealant and glue, while also inflicting significant surface damage. As a result, it would take me three days to restore the Flagstone tiles back to their best possible condition.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Cleaning

Day one: Cleaning Old Flagstones

My first task was removing the medley of muck and dirt left over from the building works from the Flagstone tiles. I did this using a weak solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and clean water (the concentration is adjusted according to the level of soil build-up). Pro Clean mixed with water is my go-to cleaning solution for most natural stone floors as it works well to lift out ingrained dirt and stains. I spread the solution evenly onto the floor and worked it into the stone using a scrubbing brush attached to a floor machine. I then rinsed off the excess cleaner, before sucking up the residue with a wet-vac machine.

The second stage of the cleaning process was to strip the floor of any old sealers. This was achieved, working in sections, using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which can be used on unpolished natural stone floors, along with ceramic tiles, grout, and more. After leaving it to dwell for a short period, I scrubbed a layer of Remove & Go into the tiles using my floor machine and carbon brush. Following this, the floor was once again rinsed and any remaining moisture was removed with the wet-vac machine.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Burnishing

Day two: Burnishing Old Flagstones

After completing the cleaning, I moved on to the burnishing process. To give unpolished surfaces a nice polished look, the best method is to use a series of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads. This is exactly what I did, first using a coarse pad, before gradually moving up through medium and fine, to eventually using a very fine pad to achieve the desired polished effect. This is done without causing any further damage to the surface of the Flagstone tiles.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester After Burnishing

Day three: Sealing Old Flagstones

On the final day, I completed the job by sealing the floor. I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which works to provide durable surface protection from within. At the same time, Colour Grow is specially formulated to intensify the natural colours in a majority of different stones including Flagstone, Limestone, Marble, Quarry and Slate, bringing character and life back to otherwise dull surfaces.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester After Sealing

I’m pleased to say that the finished result exceeded my client’s expectations, especially considering the extent of surface damage and neglect the floor had suffered during construction work. It is highly rewarding to work on unique, historic floors like this and to contribute to its preservation for many more years to come.
 
 

Restoring Historic Flagstones in Oxfordshire

Limestone Patio Tiles Deep Cleaned in Haddenham Near Thame

This was a job I did earlier in May this year where I was asked to clean this lovely Limestone patio installed at the rear of a house in Haddenham near Thame on the Oxfordshore borders which had succumbed to the ravages of the English winter weather and was far from looking its best.

As a Tile Doctor and carpet technician I have invested a lot in powerful high pressure machinery that can make light work of interior and exterior installations so taking on this patio was not a problem and it was nice to work outside for a change.

Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Haddenham

Power washing a Limestone Patio

On arrival I set-up the high pressure equipment and then proceeded to pressure wash the patio in order to get the worst of the dirt out of the tile. Then I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell for thirty minutes. The next process was to use a deck brush to scrub the cleaner into the stubborn areas and then rinse the patio with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum. After letting it dry I then had to re clean the worst areas again following the same process until I was satisfied with the condition of the tile.

Limestone Patio After Cleaning Haddenham

Sealing a Limestone patio

The patio soon dried in the warm sun and later that day I was able to seal it using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that can be used internally and externally, it works really on Limestone and did well to bring out the natural colours in the stone.
 
 

Dirty stone patio stripped, cleaned and sealed

Full restoration of a Victorian tiled floor in Oxford

I was recently called to a property in the historic city of Oxford, perhaps most famous for being the site of the oldest University in the English-speaking world. The property owner asked me to take a look at a linoleum floor, which was partially revealing a black and white patterned, Victorian tiled floor underneath, to see what I could do with it. Although it would be a challenging and lengthy job, I assured my client that I would be able to restore the hidden Victorian tiled floor to its original condition.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Before Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Before

Removing the linoleum covering and cleaning the floor

My first task was to carefully scrape off as much of the linoleum covering as possible without damaging the floor beneath.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Lino Removed

Once the linoleum had been removed, my next step was an initial clean of the floor.
Firstly, I applied a layer of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which would help to draw out the ingrained dirt and stains. I left the product to dwell for only a short time as I did not want it to dry on the surface of the floor. Following this, I scrubbed the floor with a medium brush attached to a Rocky floor cleaning machine, before rinsing the area with clean water and then repeating the process again.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Cleaning

To take the cleaning process a step further, I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech HBU, which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate below particularly tough stains and lift them out. This solution was applied to the floor and left to dwell for roughly two hours. I then used my floor machine (which weighs 57kg when full) with a medium brush and scrubbed the surface once again. After completing the cleaning process, I made sure to rinse the floor multiple times in order to ensure all the products had been rinsed away.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Repair

Floor repair, tile replacement and sealing

I then set about digging out the concrete lines that were in the floor; these were likely the reason for having the floor covered in linoleum in the first place. One area under the concrete lines contained a gas pipe, which I found to be obsolete, and another contained an electrical wire, which I had to test in order to ensure it too was no longer functioning. I dug out the concrete, and removed all the tiles around the edge of the room, where carpet grippers had been put down, effectively smashing nails into the floor.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Repair

Once I had sourced a total of 268 replacement tiles, I set about careful laying them down in a pattern that was consistent with the floor’s original appearance, once the tile adhesive was dry they were then grouted and the floor was then left for a week so they could set properly.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Tile Repair Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Tile Repair

When I returned after this period, I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water, and applied it to the floor. I left it to dwell for about 30 minutes, periodically stubbing with a deck brush. I then once again utilised my floor cleaning machine with a medium brush to scrub the floor, rinsed the area with more clean water, and then vacuumed up the excess liquid. The floor was let again to dry, this time for a period of a few days.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Pre-Sealing

When I returned to the property after a few days, I used a damp meter to test the floor, making sure that the surface was dry enough to commence sealing (as any excess solution might have affected the performance of the sealer). My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a topical sealer which provides a sheen finish (as requested by my client) along with durable protection.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford After Sealing

Overall, the job took more than three weeks to complete, but it was extremely satisfying to see the restored Victorian tiled floor, back to looking great again. My client was also very satisfied with my work, saying:

“We are delighted with the work Barry carried out for us. He had restored our floors with care and attention to detail, and we are really pleased with the final result!”

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford After Sealing

 
 

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden under Vinyl in Oxfordshire

Tackling a urine stained Slate fireplace hearth in Boars Hill

I thought you might find this post interesting as it’s a little unusual. I had arrived at a client’s house in Boars Hill near Oxford to do a travertine floor and she asked if I could also take a look at her fireplace where one of her dogs had urinated on it. Urine is acidic so if not quickly removed it will start to eat away a sealer and in this case as you can see from the photo below it left a mark. It was quite a small area and as I already had the necessary products to deal with it I said no problem.

stained slate fireplace hearth Boars Hill Before

Cleaning a Slate Fireplace Hearth

The urine had penetrated the existing protective seal so to get a uniform appearance it was going to be necessary to remove the covering and re-seal. To do this I covered the hearth in Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a tile and stone friendly product for removing of protective coatings. This was carefully scrubbed into the stone and bit by bit the old wax/seal was removed exposing the bare slate.

Sealing a Slate Fireplace Hearth

The stripped slate was now clean and all trace of previous sealer had been removed but once it had fully dried was left looking washed out. This was easily remedied however by applying a coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which brought back the deep black colour. When the Stone Oil had dried I finished the job off by applying a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that will protect the slate going forward.

stained slate fireplace hearth Boars Hill After

 
 

Slate Fireplace Hearth Stripped and Sealed in Oxfordshire