Restoring the Appearance of Encaustic Cement Tiles in Chipping Norton

The photographs on this page are of Encaustic Cement tiles where the grout had not been wiped off the surface properly after being laid. This in turn allowed dirt to become easily trapped and they soon became grubby. We see this problem a lot at Tile Doctor where it is commonly referred to has Grout Smears or Grout Haze. The customer from Chipping Norton had tried to remove it themselves without success and decided to give us a call.

Encaustic Cement Tiles Before Cleaning in Chipping Norton

If you haven’t come across them before Encaustic Cement tiles are often hand painted and are available in a range of beautifully artistic patterns. Being cement based however they do need to be sealed for best results.

Burnishing and Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

To remove the grout and dirt and restore the look of the tiles I opted to use diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Tile Doctor supply a set of these pads comprising of four pads of increasing grits. I started with the coarse 400-grit burnishing pads running it over the floor with a rotary floor machine and lubricated with a small amount of water. Following this I worked my way through the system, applying Medium 800-grit and Fine 1500-grit pads rinsing off the slurry generated in-between and extracting with a wet vacuum.

The last Very Fine, 3000-grit pad is applied dry with only a little water spayed onto the floor using a process we call a “Spray Burnish”. This really refines the look of the tiles and usefully leaves them dry. This process took up the whole morning and the next step would be to seal the tiles, so I went for lunch at this point to give the tiles more time to dry.

Sealing Encaustic Cement Floor Tiles

To be sure they were dry I tested the floor with a damp meter, the readings were fine, and I was satisfied I could go ahead and apply the sealer.

To seal the tiles, I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is an impregnating sealer that penetrates and occupies the pores of the tile thus prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. Colour Grow also leaves a matt finish which is ideal for this type of tile.

Encaustic Cement Tiles After Cleaning in Chipping Norton

With the grout and dirt removed and a sealer in place to protect them this floor will be much easier for the customer to keep them clean in future.

Get the Encaustic Look

If you like the look of Encaustic tiles but don’t want the hassle of having to maintain them it’s worth looking at their equivalent in Glazed Porcelain which are very low maintenance. CTD have a Cuban and Havana range which are inspired by the intricate geometric shapes found in Encaustic tiles, both are made from Glazed Porcelain which doesn’t need to be sealed and are therefore very low maintenance. CTD have over 100 tile shops in the UK and you can also buy on-line or order free samples via their website: www.CTDTiles.co.uk

 

Restoring the Appearance of Grubby Encaustic Cement Tiles in Oxfordshire

Epoxy Grout Removal Porcelain Tiles, Banbury

Detailed below is a great example of why Tile Doctor uses the slogan:

“We Love the Jobs Tilers Hate”

First of all, apologies for the photographs, at this time of year it is tricky to get good pictures when the natural light is poor. If you look closely however you should recognise what is essentially a new installation of Cream Porcelain floor tiles. The work was done at a house in Banbury which is a market town in Oxfordshire. Banbury is a significant commercial and retail centre for the surrounding area of north Oxfordshire and southern rural parts of Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.

Epoxy Grout Before Removal From Porcelain Tiles Banbury

The tiler who laid the floor had used an epoxy grout and unfortunately had not polished off the grout quickly enough after grouting and it was now ruining the appearance of the floor. He now found it impossible to remove the excess residue and was unable to offer a solution leaving the problem to the customer to sort out. Fortunately, the client found Tile Doctor and having visited the property to survey the floor and assess the correct procedure required to renovate the tiles. Epoxy grout is a superior product to cement based grout and very resistant to staining however it is trickier to work with and often causes problems. We have come across this problem before however so I knew how to treat it and assured the client it could be resolved.

Removing Epoxy Grout from Porcelain Tiles

The first process was to apply a specialist epoxy grout remover then mix in Tile Doctor Acid Gel, I then scrubbed the resulting solution with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine running at a very slow speed to reduce splashing. The Tile Doctor Acid Gel has a unique pH1 blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in a gel form and is perfect for treating grout haze.

The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the soil which was then extracted with a wet vacuum. It was a slow process and I worked in sections until the whole floor was clear. There was still some residue in the grout, so I washed the floor with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbed it into the floor using a medium brush fitted on my rotary machine.

Last step was to give the whole floor a thorough rinse with water, again using the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the floor as dry as possible. The process took about six hours and when I was finished the Porcelain tiles looked much better. There was no need to add any sealant to this floor as this particular make of Porcelain are not porous and won’t accept it.

Epoxy Grout Removed From Porcelain Tiles Banbury

The client was very relieved to see the floor looking as good as new, it was how the floor should have looked following installation.

 

Professional Restoration of a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen in Oxfordshire

Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Renovated in Didcot

This quarry tiled hallway at a house in Didcot had not been renovated for many years and any sealer that was once present on the tiles had long since worn off leaving it vulnerable to dirt which then became ingrained in the tile.

Quarry tiled Hallway floor before renovation in Didcot

I went over to the property in Didcot to survey the floor and could see that although the floor was in good physical condition it was now long overdue a deep clean. The floor had a lovely black and white border around the terracotta coloured tiles and I was confident that this floor would look really good once fully cleaned and resealed.

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The first process was to scrub the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a rotary machine fitted with a silicon carbide brush. This is a multi-purpose cleaner which is high-alkaline, it acts as a stripper and degreaser too so is perfect for this situation. The highly concentrated solution is left to dwell on the floor for a short time which helps it to work on the stubborn dirt. Once the floor had been scrubbed the residue was rinsed off with clean water. Finally removing the slurry produced with a wet vacuum.

To counter the strong alkaline products used on the floor and further clean the tile the floor was given an Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. It was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a soft brush and then rinsed off with water. I then scrubbed the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to neutralise and remove the acidic cleaner again using a wet vac to remove all the liquids from the floor. Once, I was satisfied that the floor was as clean as possible I left the floor to dry overnight.

Quarry tiled Hallway floor during renovation in Didcot

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On day two I returned to seal the floor. The first job of the day was to test it with a damp meter first to make sure it was dry. We don’t recommend applying a sealer if the floor isn’t dry as we know from experience that the results can be patchy. Happy that we were good to go ahead I sealed the floor with several coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant seal and a gives the floor a durable attractive low-sheen finish.

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback:

“Barry was brilliant! Has made a lovely job of our hall. We had one small problem (our fault) which he rectified promptly. Would happily recommend him.”

Before leaving I discussed with the client the best way to maintain the floor going forward. Many homeowners don’t realise this but many of the tile cleaning products sold in supermarkets are designed for cleaning Ceramic or Vinyl tiles and are not recommended for use on a sealed surface as they will prematurely erode the sealer away over time. We recommended using the Tile Doctor concentrated Neutral Tile and Stone cleaner. It has been especially formulated for the regular cleaning of sealed tile and stone surfaces.

Quarry tiled Hallway floor after renovation in Didcot

 

Professional Cleaning of a Quarry Tiled Hallway in Oxfordshire

Dirty White Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned in Wallingford

Photographs below of a White Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Wallingford that was proving difficult for the owner to clean effectively. I went around to inspect the floor and could see that the sealer had worn off leaving the tiles vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone. Once this happens it makes the job of keeping the floor clean quite difficult as you really need to get the dirt out of the pores of the stone to do it right and of course once you do dirt will soon become trapped again without a sealer in place.

Given these Limestone tiles were White the dirt was more visible than usual, so the customer was keen to have the floor deep cleaned to remove the ingrained dirt and then sealed to prevent the problem reoccurring.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning

Cleaning White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To restore the floor back to its original condition I used a set of burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds and come in different grades from coarse to very fine. Applied with a little water the coarse 400 grit pad is designed to strip the floor of dirt and old sealers whilst the remaining pads which are a finer restore the polished surface. Between each pad you need to rinse the floor with fresh water which is removed with a wet vacuum before finally being left to dry overnight.

On this occasion I found when I started with the 400 grit pad it wasn’t having the effect I was expecting and quickly established that this floor would need grinding back with a much coarser milling pad first. Fortunately I have numerous different types of pads available and was able to switch to a 50 grit milling pad which not only got rid of any remaining seal but also grinded out the ground in dirt. This does leave the stone in a rough condition so to restore the final finish I followed up with the 400 and 800 grit pads and finished with the 1500 grit pad, rinsing with water between each pad to remove the soil that is generated. It was quote a large floor, so it took two days to complete the process over every Limestone tile.

Sealing White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which works by impregnates the stone occupying its pores and thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in there. This particular sealer doesn’t change the appearance of the stone and so leaves it with a natural look. Again, it was a large area, so it took two days to apply two coats. I then returned on day 5 to go over the whole floor with a 3000 grit polishing pad to give the floor a slight sheen.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning

 
 

White Limestone Floor Honed and Sealed in Oxfordshire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Damaged Limestone tiled en-Suite in West Hanney

This call actually came from a cleaning company where one of their cleaners had been to a customer in the village of West Hanney near Wantage and tried to clean the walls of this Limestone Shower using a supermarket Limescale remover, which as you can see from the photograph below didn’t work out very well.

I should point out that Limescale removers contain some strong acids which should never be used on stone or sealed surfaces as the acid will etch the surface. Even weak acid cleaners used over time will have an effect so do take care and always read the label.

Damaged Limestone Shower Wall West Hanney Before

Resurfacing Limestone Shower Tiles

To restore the surface I realised it would need to be treated like a polished stone floor and burnished. So with this in mind I started burning the tiles with a little water and a coarse 6 inch diamond burnishing pad fitted to a hand held rotary machine before moving onto a medium pad. Normally to bring up the polish you would move onto the fine and super-fine pads but it was evident that the other shower walls had a matt finish so there was no need.

Sealing Limestone Shower Tiles

I waited for the Limestone tiles to dry and applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a penetrating sealer that will protect the stone from staining.

Damaged Limestone Shower Wall West Hanney After
The owners of the house were very pleased that the wall was not ruined and left the feedback below, I would imagine the cleaning company was relieved that the problem had been resolved.

I would just like today how brilliant Barry Woodward was in coming to my help. His knowledge and professionalism was second to none.   The problem was solved so quickly. Thank you Barry!

Limestone Shower Tiles refreshed in Oxfordshire

Tumbled Marble mosaic bathroom refresh Kidlington

The picture below really tells the story but basically this is bathroom from a house in Kidlington that has been tiled with Marble mosaic wall tiles which has become stained around the bath. Additionally the silicone strip between the bath and the wall had become badly stained with mould and needed replacing.

Tumbled marble mosaic bathroom Kidlington before

Refreshing Marble Wall Tiles

To get the tile and grout clean I decanted a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean into a spray bottle and began to apply it in sections to the Marble mosaic wall tiles. Mixing the cleaning solution with air makes it lighter and less likely to run off the wall giving it chance to dwell on the tile and get to work. I left it to soak in for a few minutes before scrubbing into the tile and grout with a stiff brush finishing with a rinse with water; this process was then repeated on stubborn stains and the rest of the area until the wall was clean. Then the mouldy silicone was removed from around the bath, dried and replaced with new.

Sealing Marble Mosaic Tile

The wall was dried and then the mosaic tiles sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the Marble to make an effective barrier. Colour Grow also enhances the colour of natural stone so when finished the colour of the tiles were far more vibrant which was especially noticeable around the bath trim where the tiles had gone white.

Tumbled marble mosaic bathroom Kidlington after

The client was extremely happy with the result and was considering completely replacing the tiles.
 
 

Stained Marble Shower wall tiles refreshed in an Oxfordshire bathroom

Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration Banbury

This house near Banbury was the tied accommodation for an old village police station from the days when the local bobby would live in the house next door. I’m sure the Quarry tiled floor had a rich history which no doubt contributed to its poor state and was eventually was covered up with linoleum which had been stuck to the tiles with adhesive. Recently however the house had been sold and redecorated and the new owner wanted the floor restoring to its former glory.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Banbury

Restoring Quarry Tiles

I started by covering the floor with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was left to dwell for 20 minutes taking care to ensure it didn’t dry out; it was then scrubbed into the floor with a black pad attached to my Rocky floor machine. This process removed most of the glue on the floor so after removing most the slurry and inspecting the floor I could see it would be necessary to repeat the whole process again and get down on my hand and knees to scrape off the thicker parts of the glue.

Once the glue had been removed the floor it was rinsed with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum. The next process was to clean the dirt out of the pores of the tile using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and warm water. Again the solution was left to soak into the tiles before scrubbing, rinsing and removing with the wet vacuum.

After a lunch break the surface of the floor was drying and I noticed that the tiles we’re going white which would need to be dealt with before sealing. Older floors tend not to have a damp proof course which can lead to damp rising up through the tile depositing white salts on the surface in the process. This problem is called efflorescence and to resolve the tiles needed to be treated with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which was scrubbed into the tiles and washed off as before. The floor was then vacuumed dry and then left so it could dry out completely.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled floor

I returned a couple of days later and the floor was dry and clean but looking rather dull; to put some life back in the floor it was going to need to be sealed. I first put a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow down which brought the colour back into the tiles plus this is a good sealer on its own as it impregnates the pores of the tile and makes a terrific base seal. To complete I followed up with a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which Is a topical sealer that provided the shiny finish the customer wanted.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Banbury

The quarry tiled floor is now restored from what was once a very old neglected floor to a nice clean easy to maintain surface.
 
 

Restoring a Quarry tiled floor in Oxfordshire

Very Dirty Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned in Henley on Thames

Photograph below of a very dirty Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Henley on Thames, the sealer had worn off some time ago and now the tile was trapping dirt that was proving very difficult for the home owner to remove. I do love floors in this condition as they make great adverts for how well Tile Doctors can restore your floors.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Henley on Thames Before Cleaning

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

To restore the floor back to its original condition I used a set of burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds and come in four different grades from coarse to very fine. Applied with a little water the coarse pad strips the floor of dirt and old sealer whilst the remaining pads which are a finer restore the polished surface. Between each pad you need to rinse the floor with fresh water which is removed with a wet vacuum before finally being left to dry overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

The next day I check the floor was dry which it was and then proceeded to seal the Limestone with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer which occupies the pores in the natural stone to provide maximum stain protection.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Henley on Thames After Cleaning

 
 

Limestone Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Henley on Thames

Grout Haze removed from Travertine Tiles in Henley-on-Thames

The photograph below taken at a house in Henley-on-Thames shows a Travertine tiled floor covered with grout haze smears across the surface of the tile. The tiler should of dealt with this after laying the floor however removing grout smears from natural stone is tricky as normally you would use acid but Travertine is very sensitive to acid so I suspect the tiler decided against it in-case the tiles were ruined.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Henleyon Thames

Refurbishing Travertine Tiles

The first step was to give the floor a general wash to remove any grit and to get the grout clean so we started by applying a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was spread over the floor with particular attention paid to getting the solution into the grout lines where it was scrubbed in with a stiff brush. Next we removed any trace of product by using a wet vacuum and rinsing thoroughly with clean water.

To remove the grout haze and restore the surface polish the floor needed to be burnished which is done using four diamond encrusted burnishing pads applied in the correct sequence of grits from coarse through to super fine. First using coarse pad number 1 we put some clean water on the floor and using our rotary machine slowly burnished the area making sure that we passed over each tile around four times. The coarse pad cuts into the surface grime of the floor and also removes sealers and in this case the grout haze. The resultant soiled water is rinsed away with clean water which in turn is removed using a wet vacuum. This process is then repeated with the remaining pads to hone and polish the floor, rinsing between each pad until a nice polish is built up on the tile. The floor is then given a final rinse and once we were satisfied that all the slurry had been removed we left the floor to dry.

Cleaning Travertine and Limestone Tiles

I returned the next day to seal the Travertine Tile for which I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that will occupy the pores in the stone preventing contaminates getting in there; Colour Grow also brings out the colours in the stone and in this case has done well to bring out the deep brown colours.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Henleyon Thames

The floor now looks 100% better and how it should have looked in the first place.
 
 

Travertine Tiled Floor Burnished and Sealed in Shropshire

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Thame

This customer had recently moved into a house with a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Thame, Oxfordshire and decided she did not like the colour of the floor grout and also was unable to clean off some back marks in the corners. When I went to view the property I performed a test clean on a sample area to show her that the black marks could be removed and also stripped back the tile show how much cleaner they could look. The work was agreed and I was booked to come back and completely strip the floor tile, reseal it and also change the grout colour.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Thame Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

On the first day I carefully taped up all the kitchen cupboards and skirting board to protect them from any splashes or damage. Once this was done a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner and stripper was applied to the Terracotta floor tiles and left to soak into the tile for a while before being worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a black stripping pad and then a floor scrubber.

Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner the now soiled Pro-Clean solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and then the floor rinsed with clean water using a spinner tool attached to the wet vacuum. The spinner tool has been a great investment for us, it applies water under pressure to the floor and at the same time removes it via an adjacent suction connection saving loads of time; it’s also a versatile tool that can also be used for Carpet Cleaning which incidentally we also do.

The Terracotta tile was now stripped of all sealer so the next step was to cleaned the black grout with Grout Clean Up which is a mild acid cleaner that can remedy a number of grout related issues, after this I rinsed the floor again with fresh water. At this point I noticed some of the grout joints had loose or missing grout so the loose grout was removed and new grout applied to the affected areas, I then had to wait overnight so the floor could dry.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

On the second day I set about sealing the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as well as protecting the floor also brings out the natural colours in the Terracotta tile. For added protection and to enhance the shine on the floor I then applied a further five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, the combination of the two compatible sealers provided the effect the customer wanted. I then had to wait overnight for the sealer to dry hard.

Grout Colouring

If you recall from the start of this post, the customer also wanted to change the grout colour to a light grey so I came back for a third day to complete this. With the original grout colour being black I was concerned that the dark grout may show through the lighter grey and so I first let the customer know that it might take two coats of Grout Colourant to achieve this. However once I got started colouring the grout using an applicator I noticed that the light grey was consistently covering the black grout and therefore one coat would be sufficient.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Thame After Cleaning and Sealing

When I had finished she was very impressed by the colour of the tile and grout and remarked on how much brighter her kitchen looked. She also asked me to come back later to do the hall floor which is a multi coloured Victorian floor.
 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire

Filling Holes and Restoring Shine on a Victorian Tiled Floor in Thame

The pictures below were taken in the entrance hall of a residence in the market town of Thame in Oxfordshire where the Victorian Floor Tiles although in good condition had become dull, you will see there is also a photograph of part of the tiles where holes had been drilled in the floor (don’t ask). Naturally the owner wanted both problems resolving and so called in their local Tile Doctor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Thame Before Cleaning 1 Victorian Tiled Floor Thame Before Cleaning 2

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

The first task was to clean the floor which I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for around thirty minutes before being scrubbed in. This was a small area so I used a small black scrubbing pad attached to a cordless drill to do this; a stiff scrubbing brush was also run along the grout lines to make sure any staining to the grout was also dealt with. The resulting soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the tiles rinsed with water.

The next step was to remove some stubborn paint marks for which Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied and scrubbed in with a stiff scrubbing brush, you have to be very careful with this product as it is an acid so you can’t leave it on the tile for too long however it does resolve all sorts of tile staining problems. Again this was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed thoroughly with fresh water to remove any trace of the product.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

When the floor dried I filled the holes in the Victorian Tile with a quick drying flexible grout which was left to dry and then painted using an acrylic paint to colour the grout the same as the different colours in the tile. On close inspection the hole damage is still visible however they are now a lot less obvious.

The next step was to seal the floor using five thin coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds a nice sheen to the floor as we as providing protection and making it easier to clean going forward.

Victorian Tiled Floor Thame After Cleaning and Sealing 1 Victorian Tiled Floor Thame After Cleaning and Sealing 2

 
 

Victorian Tiled Hall Restoration in Thame, Oxfordshire

Cleaning Old Slate Flagstones Tiles in Banbury

These photographs from the hallway of a house in Banbury where old thick slate tiled floor had been laid and the customer was unable to get them clean or restore any colour back into the stone.

Banbury Slate Flagstone Tiles Before Cleaning

Cleaning Slate Flagstone Tiles

I prepped the skirting boards with masking tape to protect them and then cleaned the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the floor for a while before being worked into the flagstones by hand using a stiff bristle brush. Normally I use a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad for this but given it was a small area it made sense to get on my hands and knees and apply some elbow grease. This process soon saw the dirt coming out of the tile and the dirty solution was removed using a wet vacuum before rinsing the floor down with clean water. This allowed me to see the stubborn areas where more Pro-Clean and elbow grease were applied, again this was removed and the floor given a thorough rinse using a wet vacuum to remove the liquids and get the floor dry.

Sealing Slate Flagstone Tiles

The floor soon dried so it wasn’t long before I could seal it for which I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer which as its name suggest enhances the natural colours in the stone. Once this was dry I continued with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice low sheen to the stone as well as adding to the protection provided by the sealer. As you can see it brought all the dark slate colour back and the sealer should ensure the floor is easy to clean in future.

Banbury Slate Flagstone Tiles After Cleaning

 
 

Large Slate Flagstones Cleaned and Sealed in Banbury

Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Henley on Thames

Another Terracotta tiled floor installed in a conservatory this time in Henley on Thames. The previous sealer was mostly worn away and was no longer offering much protection allowing dirt to get ingrained into the tile and making it difficult to clean effectively resulting in dull looking tile and grout.

Terracotta Tiles Henley On Thames Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I first covered the floor with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water which was scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a slow speed floor scrubber; the soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and floor was rinsed down with clean water until all the chemicals were removed again using a wet vacuum to remove the liquids. The process was repeated a number of times until we were happy the tile and grout was clean and took most of the day.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

I left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it checking with a moisture meter first to ensure the floor had dried. Terracotta is very porous so in the end it tool eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to seal the floor, Seal and Go is a water based sealer so it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish.

Terracotta Tiles Henley On Thames After

The floor has been much improved certainly the customer was very pleased with the result.
 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Kidlington

I was asked to look at a Terracotta tiled kitchen floor that had just be fitted at a house in Kidlington, it seems the tiles were sticky and patchy and basically looked a bit of a mess. The home owner phoned me on Thursday sounding really upset and as I’m based in the general area I was able to look at the floor later that day.

On inspection I could see that the recently applied sealer had not taken to the floor probably as it was not been allowed to dry properly before sealing. We didn’t know what had been applied on the floor so I did a test on a couple of tiles to see which products would work best to strip the sealer off and then booked the job in for the following Saturday.

Patchy Terracotta Tiles Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I placed my dust sheets down were needed and then I started on the floor by wetting it with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean, this product is quite versatile and being alkaline is safe to use on tile, stone and grout. The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to agitate and then rinsed down with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor left to dry. This process was repeated until I was satisfied that all the sealer was off and then give the Terracotta a thorough and final rinse to neutralise the floor and make sure there was no chemicals were left on the tile, again a wet vacuum was used to remove the water and I also asked the customer to leave the front and back windows open so the air flow would help dry the floor quicker.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

After a couple of hours I tested the floor with a Damp Meter to confirm the floor had dried and began to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer which is an ideal sealer for Terracotta and also provides the satin finish the customer wanted.

Patchy Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning and Resealing

The area wasn’t the large so I managed to complete the whole Job in one day, needless to say the owner was very pleased that I was able to restore her new floor and oven the moon with the services given only three days had elapsed from the first point of contact to completion.
 
 

Patchy Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Kidlington

This Terracotta tiled floor installed in a conservatory in Kidlington Oxfordshire was in the worst condition I have ever seen, you should be able to make out a large amount of stains quite easily yourself in the photograph below. The conservatory had been used as a greenhouse with many plant pots sitting directly on the tile which over the years had led to the staining and a build-up of white salts on the surface.

Abused Terracotta Conservatory Tiled Floor Kidlington Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

My first step was to give it a good hoover to remove any loose detritus; I then covered the floor in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which was left to soak into the Terracotta tile for a few minutes. Pro-Clean I should add is a heavy duty alkaline cleaning product designed for cleaning tile, stone and grout. The next step was to scrub the floor with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine; after the scrubbing was done I rinsed with water and removed the waste with a wet vacuum. I then repeated the process again tackling the grout this time with a stiff brush before thoroughly rinsing with a high pressure spinner tool to totally flush the floor. The next step was to rinse the floor with Grout Clean Up which is an acid wash to remove all the salts in the floor, after that I rinsed the floor with the spinner tool again.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

I left the floor to dry overnight and the next day came back to do the sealing taking care to use a moisture meter of the floor first to ensure it had dried sufficiently . I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go to seal the floor, it’s a water based sealer so it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. It’s also a breathable sealer which will allow moisture to rise up through the floor and evaporate on the surface rather than trapping it beneath the seal.

Abused Terracotta Conservatory Tiled Floor Kidlington After

The floor was transformed by this process and I think you will agree this is confirmed by the before and after photographs above which really speak for themselves.
 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire

Ruined Limestone Tiled Floor Restored in Banbury

If you’re passionate about tiled floors and easily upset I suggest you look away now as believe it or not the photographs below are from a recently laid Limestone tiled floor in Banbury. It had been left in a very poor state by the tiler who had managed to cover in Grout Haze and then in the process of trying to rectify the problem by cleaning it off with acid managed to etch the surface of the Limestone making the situation even worse. Limestone being a calcareous stone can in fact be dissolved by acids, in face it’s not unknown for mildly acidic cleaning products to cause holes to appear in the surface over time.

Restoring Limestone Tiles

To resolve we had to strip back the Limestone surface using a set of burnishing pads, these diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours each one does a different job from honing to polishing. I started with the coarse pad together with water and then carried on through the set until I got to the finer pad removing the soiled water with a wet vacuum along the way. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a finishing pad to buff the floor up. This activity took most of the day so left the floor to completely dry overnight.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

The following day I checked the floor to make sure it had dried, which it had and started to seal the floor which was done using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer which is an impregnating sealer which gets into the pores of the Limestone to prevent dirt being trapped, the formula as well as providing stain protection also enhances the natural colours in the stone.

I think you will agree we achieved a good result given the original condition of the tile. I should also mention that I also gave the customer a finishing pad as they owned a floor machine and using this on the floor even once a month will keep the honed surface tight and keep the seal working longer.
 
 

Limestone Tile Restoration in Oxfordshire

Limestone Tiled Floor Maintained in Chipping Norton Holiday Cottage

This Limestone tiled floor was installed in a holiday rental cottage in Chipping Norton which had a regular change of occupants and was in need of a deep clean and polish. To deep clean stone floors such as Limestone, Marble and Travertine the floor needs to be burnished with diamond encrusted pads.

Limestone Floor Chipping Norton Before

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

The floor was given a quick wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner in order to remove any surface grit and then cleaned using a set of Burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. The burnishing pads come in four different types and you work your way through them starting off with a course stripper pad with a little just water and then carry on with the white pad and then the yellow pad until the floor is thoroughly cleaned and any previous sealer removed. Next step was to use Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a stiff brush to get the grout cleaner. To bring up the polish on the Limestone tiles I used a polishing pad which is the last in the set of the four burnishing pads. The floor was still wet at this stage so an air dryer machine was used to speed up the drying process.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry we set about sealing it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection on natural stone floors whilst bringing out the deep colour in the stone. The last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad.

Limestone Floor Chipping Norton After

 
 

Limestone Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed at a Hale Country Club

Cleaning a Sandstone Fireplace Surround in Thame

Details below of a Sandstone Fireplace surround from a house in Thame, Oxfordshire. The fireplace had never been cleaned as the customer did not know where to start and so gave us a call.

Thame Sandstone Fireplace Before Cleaning

Sandstone Fireplace Cleaning

To clean the fireplace I used a diluted mixture of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean which combines the cleaning power of Pro-Clean with the tiny abrasive particles in Ultra Clean to produce a very effective cleaning product that is safe to use on Stone. This was left to dwell on the stone for a short while in order to let it soak in and work on the dirt before scrubbing it into the Sandstone with a hand brush. This process did a good job cleaning the stone and once I was happy with the result the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the stone was rinsed with water to make sure all the chemical had been removed.

Sandstone Fireplace Sealing

When dry the Sandstone was sealed using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will protect the stone going forward as well as bringing out the deep colour in the stone. To finish the job off I removed the grate and cleaned it up using some grate black to make it look new again before putting it back; last step was to remove the protective strip I had put around the fireplace to protect the wall and carpet and the job was done.

Thame Sandstone Fireplace After Cleaning

As you can imagine the customer was quite surprised by the results and hadn’t realised what a wonderful fireplace they had until now.
 
 

Sandstone Fireplace Cleaned and Sealed in Thame, Oxfordshire

Bicester Indian Sandstone Swimming Pool Surround

The large outdoor pool was situated in the garden of a large house in Bicester, as you can see it was surrounded by large Indian Sandstone flagstones which had become soiled with dirt.

Indian Sandstone Swimming Pool Surround Before

Indian Sandstone Swimming Pool Surround Before

I was not allowed to use any chemicals as the client had dogs and so it was cleaned with Diesel powered high pressure washer.

Indian Sandstone Swimming Pool Surround after cleaning

Indian Sandstone Swimming Pool Surround after cleaning