Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Refreshed in Oxford

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

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

Slate Floor Tiles before refresh Oxford

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

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

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

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

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

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

Slate Floor Tiles after refresh Oxford

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

Restoring the Appearance of a Slate Tiled Floor in Oxfordshire

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

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

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Henley-on-Thames

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

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

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

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

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

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

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

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

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Henley-on-Thames

 
 

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

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Milton

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

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

Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor Before Cleaning Milton

Deep cleaning an old Quarry tiled floor

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

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

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

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

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

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

Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor After Cleaning Milton

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

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

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

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

Multi Coloured Slate Before Cleaning Woodstock

Cleaning a dirty Slate tiled floor

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

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

Multi Coloured Slate During Cleaning Woodstock

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

Multi Coloured Slate During Cleaning Woodstock

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

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

Multi Coloured Slate After Cleaning Woodstock

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

Deep Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Oxfordshire

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

Cleaning Multi-Coloured Slate Tiled in a Barnard Gate Kitchen

This Multi-Coloured Slate tiled floor in the kitchen of a property in Barnard Gate near Witney was in good solid condition with no damage but had been poorly maintained with layers of sealer applied to un-clean tiled; the new home owners were keen to make this floor into a talking point as you entered the property and asked us to address the problem.

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Barnard Gate Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

The first task was to remove the layers of sealer from the tile so on day one the floor was covered with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left this to dwell for a while so it could soak into the pores of the slate and penetrate the remaining sealer. The product was then scrubbed into the tile with a Rocky rotary floor scrubber and then rinsed off with clean water and dried with a wet vacuum. The next process was to clean the floor with a strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to remove the remaining dirt in the floor and to scrub the grout clean, again the rotary floor machine came in useful for this task and again the floor was thoroughly rinsed with clean water a few times and dried with the wet vacuum. I then left the floor for a couple of days to allow enough for it to completely dry before sealing.

Sealing Slate Kitchen Tiles

To seal the slate I first applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer the gets into the pores of the stone and also enhances the natural colours. I then applied a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a topical sealer that added a nice sheen finish that the customer wanted.

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Barnard Gate After Cleaning

The end result was fantastic and the combination of the two sealers really got the best from the slate which is now very much appreciated and loved by the customer.
 
 

Colourful Slate tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire

Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Great Bourton

At first glance and this Terracotta tiled floor at a house in the village of Great Bourton looks in good condition, but on closer inspection there were visible white marks where there had been a water leak in previous years and the salts had come through the tiles. The customer also told me she had to wax the floor on a regular basis and was looking for a seal where she didn’t have to do this.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton Before Cleaning 1 Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton Before  Cleaning 2

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

My first task was to protect all the skirting and kickboards with protective tape. I then mixed Tile Doctor Pro Clean with water and spread it over a section of the floor and then left it to dwell for a few minutes. The solution was then scrubbed in with a black pad on a 17inch rotary floor scrubbing machine. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the slurry and rinsed the floor with water. This process was repeated this process until the whole floor was scrubbed and rinsed with any stubborn areas re-treated.

To remove the white salts from the Terracotta I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up over the floor which was scrubbed in and then removed using the wet vacuum. The whole floor was then thoroughly rinsed with water and the wet vacuum used to suck up the water until it the surface was dry.

The photograph below shows the terracotta floor at this stage with the floor clean and stripped back before re-sealing. I left the floor a couple of days at this point to allow it fully dry before applying the sealer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton After Stripping

Sealing Terracotta Tile

On my return I checked the floor had dried and then applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating seal that enhances the natural colour of terracotta, I then added five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a topical sealer giving it the nice finish the customer required.

The customer was really pleased with the results and also relieved that she would not have to keep waxing the floor; whilst I was there I demonstrated how to clean the floor using Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which unlike acidic cleaners will not harm the sealer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton After Cleaning 1 Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton After Cleaning 2

The floor looks much better and certainly my customer thought so and left the following feedback on the system.

Very pleasant young man and he has done a great job. The kitchen floor is transformed. Thank you Barry!
 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire

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

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