I was asked to clean the Limestone tiled floor of a very old house in the Village of Radcot which is close to the River Thames and dates to the 14th Century. Being close to a river is very scenic but can be problematic and I was told the house had experienced flooding in recent years.
Whilst the Limestone floor clearly wasn’t as old as the house it was definitely in need of some attention to remove the dirty that had become ingrained into the pores of the stone and restore its appearance.
Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles
My first step was to let the floor soak for ten minutes in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong Tile and Grout cleaner. The product was then scrubbed into the floor using a deck brush to remove any surface dirt. I also took the opportunity to clean up the grout before rinsing off the now soiled cleaning solution with water and extracting it with a wet vacuum.
Next I turned my attention to the stone tiles which would need to be stripped back, re-honed and then sealed to protect them. I find the best way to achieve this on stone is through the application of a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads.
I started the burnishing process by fitting a coarse 400 grit no.1 burnishing pad to a floor buffer and running at a slow speed, applied the pad over the whole floor. This coarse pad is designed to strip off old coatings and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polished surface with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.
This floor was left to dry before moving onto the final stage of the polishing process which is to apply the very fine 3000 grit which further restores the appearance of the Limestone tile. This last pad is applied dry with a small amount of water sprayed onto the surface to help bring up the shine.
Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles
With the floor dry I moved onto sealing the tiles in-order to protect them from dirt and staining. I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this purpose as this particular sealer enhances the natural colours in the stone. It’s also an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone.
My pictures of the floor are not brilliant but hopefully you can see how much more colourful the floor now looks.
Limestone Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Radcot
These photos of a Black and White Chequered Vinyl floor are actually from the Holy Rood Catholic Church in Oxford which is part of the North Hinksey Parish. It’s a popular church visited by many parishioners so the floor gets a lot of wear and I was asked to give it a good deep clean and re-seal.
Cleaning Soiled Vinyl Floor Tiles
The Vinyl tiles had been sealed with a polish before so my first job was to strip the old polish off the floor. Fortunately, I have a good product for doing that in the shape of Tile Doctor Vinyl Strip which is an effective heavy-duty floor polish stripper that quickly removes polish and coatings from vinyl floors.
The Vinyl Strip was applied to the floor, left to soak in for a while and then scrubbed in using a scrubbing pad attached to a rotary machine. I then rinsed the floor with water.
The cleaning process released a lot of dirt from the floor which was rinsed away with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum. Once the floor was clean I was able to check the floor and repeat the process for any stubborn areas that needed extra work and once I was 100% happy I left for the evening.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor
I returned the next day to seal the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Vinyl Shine applying the first coat in an up and down direction and the second coat side to side.
Vinyl Shine is a high solids polymer floor seal and polish designed to protect and enhance the appearance of Vinyl floor tiles. The formula includes special polymers which produce a ‘Wet Look’ finish whilst enhancing slip-resistance. A first coat seals and protects the floor and a second produces a gloss finish.
This was a huge floor and naturally the Church was open most days so the work was spread over two weeks doing two days each week.
I’m not sure the photographs I took actually do the work justice however my customer was certainly pleased with the difference and left the following glowing testimonial for me.
“Barry and Nick did a great job and was a pleasure to have around, always letting us know what was going to happen next. The final invoice was exactly as his initial quote. We are very impressed with his work and I will definitely contact him for some work in my home.”
Professional Vinyl Tiled Floor Maintenance in Oxfordshire
This job required the cleaning of Marble Worktops in twelve toilets at a very nice office in the Abingdon Science Park. The building was occupied by a company called Sophos who you may have heard of and over a period of time the Marble had become stained through the build-up of Limescale from the water supply and the cleaning company servicing the office could not clean it off. I’ve seen a few horror stories of stone surfaces being damaged through the use of acidic Limescale removers so the cleaning company was quite right not to touch it.
Polishing Marble Worktops
To remove the Limescale it would be necessary to hone the Marble using a set of small six inch burnishing pads fitted to a handheld buffing machine. The process involves starting with the coarse 400grit pad with a little water which cuts through the Limescale and then moving on to the 800, 1500 and finishing with 3000 grit to hone the surface and build the polish backup. The water helps lubricate the activity and the surface needs to be rinsed down between each pad.
Sealing Marble Worktops
When the surface was dry I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer which impregnates the pores of the stone to protect it, it also enhances the natural colours in the stone.
There were twelve of these to do so as you can imagine it took me a while to get round.
If you are experiencing a similar problem with highly polished Marble do get in touch as we can achieve a mirror finish.
Limescale stained Marble bathroom worktops honed in Oxfordshire office
This was an unusual request to clean a modern piece of contemporary artwork by New York City artist Mel Kendrick on display in one of the gardens of the Wormsley Estate. I’m no art expert but having done some research on the internet it appears to be part of a collection known as “Markers” that were on display at the Madison Square Park in 2009. The work is made from concrete cast into different coloured sections and fitted together to form a rather larger piece of art which having been exposed to the UK elements was now starting to discolour and go orange in part.
Cleaning Modern Concrete Artwork
Being such a prestigious work of art i had to be careful not to damage the stone in anyway so after careful consideration I worked out a process using an alkaline cleaning product Tile Doctor Pro-Clean.
To get the statue clean I used a warm water dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean working it into small areas at a time spraying the solution on and scrubbing with a brush, then rinsing it off with clean water. This process took some time but certainly did the trick.
Sealing a Concrete Artwork
With this project being outdoors and with it taking a couple of days I had to pick a good weather window and fortunately the weather held out long enough so I could continue and seal the concrete in order to protect it going forward. Again careful consideration had to be given to the choice of sealer and in the end I went with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores protecting from within and most importantly it’s a natural look sealer that does not change or enhance the colours.
If you’re a lover a modern art then you should appreciate the difference and will agree with me that the statue now looks new again.
Modern Statue Artwork Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The quarry tiled floor is now restored from what was once a very old neglected floor to a nice clean easy to maintain surface.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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