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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
This old Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor was discovered in the basement of a large house in Oxford where they had been covered up for years. There were a couple of dead tiles that have had the tops taken of for some reason but the rest were in a reasonable condition given their age.
Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles
On the first day I used a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nanotech UltraClean which adds an abrasive element to a powerful coatings remover. I spread this on the Quarry tiled floor and left it for about an hour so it could soak into the tile and breakdown old sealers and soil etc.; I then used a commercial steamer on the floor to aid the cleaning process and bring the dirt and old sealant to the surface. When that was done I rinsed the floor with clean water which was then removed along with the soil using a wet vacuum. The next step was to give the floor a mild acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to remove any mineral deposits from the surface of the tile and then rinse down again with clean water so all the chemicals were removed. The floor was quite damp at this stage and need to be dry so it could be sealed so I left a dehumidifier there and a damp meter so the customer could test the floor.
Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles
After a couple of days I got the call from the customer that the floor was now dry so I went round to seal it with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a recommended sealer for Quarry tiles providing good stain protection whilst adding a nice sheen.
This floor was 120 years old and the customer had no expectation of any significant improvement and had even considered covering it with wood before giving us a call; I was pleased therefore that we managed to exceed their expectations and breathe new life into this old floor.
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.
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.
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 Cleaned, Polished and Sealed at a Hale Country Club
This was a rather unusual request we were asked to look at in the Oxfordshire village of Long Hanborough; they had recently laid a new Tarmac drive and unfortunately it had been walked into the Ceramic tiled kitchen floor leaving a lot of dark staining. After failing to clean the tiles with various supermarket floor cleaners she called in Tile Doctor. Tile Doctor cleaning products are industrial strength so when I arrived I gave her a demonstration on a couple of tiles to show I could clean them and she was amazed at how easy I made it look and booked the work with me.
Removing Tarmac Stains from Ceramic Tiles
To resolve the problem I scrubbed the floor with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which is an acid based product designed to remove grout smears and mineral deposits. Ceramic tiles are very durable however being acid based you can’t leave it on the surface too long so the process was to quickly work it into the stain with a stiff bristle brush, rinse with water and then remove using a wet vacuum.
You can see the difference in the final photograph below where the dark staining has disappeared; the difference in tile colour was due to the lighting. The whole job was completed in one day and the customer was relieved that her floor was not ruined and left the comment below on the Tile Doctor feedback system.
He was thorough and excellent. Very grateful. M. Rawlings, Long Hanborough
Tarmac Stained Ceramic Tiles Cleaned in Oxfordshire
These Indian Sandstone floor tiles were installed around an indoor swimming pool at a magnificent residence in Oxford. As you can see from the photograph below the Sandstone was not looking its best and given its proximity to the pool care needed to be taken not to contaminate the pool with dirty water from the cleaning process or chemicals
Swimming Pool Tile Cleaning
We made a decision early on that we would not use any chemicals to clean or seal the tiles to ensure the water in the pool remained un-contaminated, we also setup a temporary barrier to stop any debris going in the pool and used a high pressure machine fitted with a flat surface head to prevent water flying everywhere.
The process worked well and you can see the difference in the photographs above however the job did take taking longer than usual to complete but the main thing was the customer was happy with the result.
Sandstone Tiled Pool Surround Cleaned and Sealed in Oxford
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.
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.
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