Marble Tile Cleaning

Restoring a Damaged Marble Vanity Countertop in Oxford

Earlier this year I was working on the restoration of a floor in Oxford and the client asked if I would look at the Marble Countertop in the bathroom. I often get asked to look at additional items whilst on site and always happy to see if I can help.

Damaged Marble Vanity Countertop Before Restoration Oxford

Unfortunately, the stone had been cleaned with an unsuitable cleaning product (probably bleach based) and this had etched the surface leaving what appeared to be an unsightly splash mark ruining its appearance.

You do have to be careful with household cleaning products around Marble, always read the label first and check to see if it is safe to use on natural stone before application. Many products are acidic and will etch into Marble as was the case here. I explained to the client what I could do, and she agreed to add the cost onto the quote for the floor I was already doing. I took photos but it is quite hard to see the damage on the images.

Damaged Marble Vanity Countertop Before Restoration Oxford Enlarged

My base in Chalgrove is only 11 miles outside of Oxford so it’s not a problem to pop back and pick up some extra materials if I need them. In this case I was able to bring them along on day two of cleaning and sealing the floor.

Polishing an Etched Marble Vanity Countertop

The only way to restore a polished Marble surface like this is to use a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to slowly hone the stone and rebuild the polish. We do this all the time for Marble floors however the pads are the large 17-inch type, for this you need the smaller 6-inch pads which fit a hand buffer and the smaller handheld burnishing blocks.

I started with the handheld diamond blocks and water, starting with the coarse grit to remove the etching, and then working through the grades to leave a smooth but dull finish. I then followed this up with the 6-inch diamond pads in sequence from 800 grit up to 3000 grit to give the top the desired finish.

Sealing a Marble Vanity Top

When it was dry, I sealed it with a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is almost invisible. This product is a no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer. It gives maximum protection without a shiny finish, so perfect for this vanity top as we wanted the natural colour of the marble to shine through without a shiny finish.

The client was not only over the moon with the work on the floor I had carried out, she was also delighted that I had been able to restore the vanity top in the bathroom as it had been annoying her for some time.

Damaged Marble Vanity Countertop After Restoration Oxford

I discussed with the customer the best way to maintain the Marble surface was to use Tile Doctor Stone Soap cleaner, this is pH balanced and nice and gentle on the marble and helps maintain the patina. It’s supplied as a concentrate so you only need to use a small amount, it can also be used to clean their newly cleaned and sealed floor.

 

Professional Restoration of a Marble Vanity Countertop in Oxfordshire

Tumbled Marble Floor Honed and Sealed in Oxford

The owners of this house in the historic city of Oxford contacted Tile Doctor about their Tumbled Marble tiled floor which was not looking its best and was proving difficult to clean effectively. The floor is part of a kitchen/dining room where the grout had darkened substantially with dirt. Oxford is only 12 miles from by base in Chalgrove so I spoke to the client on the phone and arranged an appointment to visit the property and survey the floor.

I could see that sealer had also worn off which is a common problem with natural stone floor and dirt was now trapped in the pores of the stone. They had tried multiple types of household floor cleaners and nothing was getting the floor to look clean, and as it was so light in colour it was really looking quite dirty.

Tumbled Marble Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

We find the best way to renovate hard stone flooring such as Marble is to use a set of diamond burnishing pads which hone the stone and restore its appearance. I recommended this method to the homeowner and worked out a quote. The quote was agreed, and we set a date to do the work which given the size of the floor I calculated would take two days, one to burnish and one to seal.

Cleaning/Repairing a Tumbled Marble Tiled Kitchen/ Dining room Floor

The burnishing process starts with the application of a coarse 400-grit diamond pad which is applied using a rotary floor scrubber and lubricated with water. This pad is run over each tile two to three times and this effectively cleans the stone removing any old sealer in the process.

After rinsing the fine slurry off the floor with more water and extracting with a wet vacuum I turned my attention to the grout. For this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines and scrubbed it into grout with a stiff brush. The cleaner was then rinsed away with water taking the dirt with it and extracted as before using the wet vacuum.

I then continued to burnish and hone the Marble tiles starting with 800-grit pad and then followed by 1500-grit pad. Each pad was applied with water to lubricate and then the slurry rinsed and extracted off the floor as before. The floor was then left to dry out overnight.

Sealing a Tumbled Marble Tiled Kitchen/ Dining room Floor

On day two I returned and began work by checking the floor was dry enough to seal with a damp meter. All was well so I proceeded to apply the sealer. After discussing sealer options with the client, I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer which enhances the natural colours in the stone. It also provides durable protection by impregnating the pores of the stone preventing dirt from becoming engrained there. I applied two coats of Colour Grow allowing time in-between for the first coat to dry before applying the second.

Before leaving for the day I buffed the floor with a white pad to remove any excess sealer and give the floor a lovely sheen.

Tumbled Marble Floor After Cleaning Oxford

After I had finished the floor looked pristine and my client was over the moon.

 

Professional Renovation of a Tumbled Marble Tiled Floor in Oxfordshire

Polishing Black “Negro Marquina” Marble Shower Tiles in Thame

I received a call regarding a Black Marble tiled shower that the customer thought he would clean himself and ended up unfortunately making worse. Black Marble adds a very opulent and elegant look to a bathroom, and I suspect this particular variety with the white veins is known as “Negro Marquina” which comes from the Basque region of Spain. I did a quick price check on-line and these tiles are priced around £60 each!

Black Negro Marquina Marble Shower Tiles Before Polishing Thame

If you look closely at the before picture you can see the Marble has lost its shine and has a cloudy appearance. This was due to the use of an acid based cleaner. Thame and Oxford lie in a hard water area, so we often find customers seek to remove Limescale deposits off tile using household products such as Vikal or Cillit Bang. The trouble with these products is they are acidic, and marble is acid sensitive so is easily marked and damaged by their use. You should always read the label before using any cleaner to check if its safe to use on natural stone.

The client was desperate to get the shower room looking how it should when he had selected this beautiful stone.

Cleaning a Marble Tiled Shower

To rectify the problem and restore the polished appearance of the marble I burnished the stone using a small 6 inch 200-grit diamond pad attached to a handheld buffer. This coarse pad cuts back the stone surface to remove the etching, I then used a 400-grit pad which removed the fine scratches made by the first pad. This was followed up with an 800-grit pad which starts the honing process which restores the polished appearance. Water is used to lubricate the process and the tiles are rinsed with water after each stage to remove the fine slurry that is generated.

This is further followed by 1500 and 3000 grit pads the last pad is applied dry with only a little bit of water and leaves the tiles dry and ready for the next stage.

Polishing a Marble Tiled Shower

To further build the polish and protect the stone I applied Tile Doctor Shine Powder buffed in with a white pad. This was applied to the marble wall tiles and then rinsed with water and wiped dry with a clean cloth. When the tiles were fully dry, I buffed the tiles with a clean white pad to show the final polished finish. The tiles looked much improved and very shiny.

Black Negro Marquina Marble Shower Tiles After Polishing Thame

The job was completed in a day and the customer was much relieved that I was able to restore the appearance of the marble. I suggested that he should use Tile Doctor Aqua Pro as his tile cleaner of choice in future. This is pH neutral so will not damage the tiles like the acidic products he had used previously, and it should help him keep the shower room looking sparkling and opulent as initially intended!

 

Professional Restoration of a Marble Tiled Shower 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

Refurbishing 12 Marble Bathroom Worktops at Abingdon Science Park

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.

Marble Bathroom Worktop Abingdon Before

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.

Marble Bathroom Worktop Abingdon After
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

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

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Oxfordshire Tile Doctor

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