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

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

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