When you decide to undertake a complete renovation of a property, it’s inevitable that floors will be in some way affected by the decorating. At this property in Oxford a renovation had just recently taken place, leaving the black and white patterned Victorian tiled floor covered in concrete residue, plaster and paint.
Naturally, the property owner was keen to have the appearance of the tiled restored, to match in with the completely rejuvenated house. I was called in to see what could be done to resolve the problems.
Cleaning a Dirty and Stained Victorian Tiled Floor
I started the restoration by rinsing the floor thoroughly using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner used to remove the plaster, concrete, paint and adhesive residue. I then rinsed the floor with fresh water to neutralise the chemicals and extracted all the fluids using a wet vacuum.
Following this, I opted to apply a series of diamond burnishing pads to grind off any particularly stubborn instances of residue, rinsing the tiles with water after each.
Unlike the pads, we use to burnish the shine back onto high end polished stone such as Limestone, Marble, and Travertine these pads were very coarse 100 and 200 grit milling pads rinsing with water after each pad and finishing with a 400 grit burnishing pad. This process thoroughly cleaned the floor and removed all the paint.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor
After leaving the floor to dry completely for a couple of days, I returned to the property to seal the tiles. Once satisfied that the floor was damp-free and ready to be sealed, I chose to apply a combination of two products.
Firstly, I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours and shades in the stone, but with a matte finish. Secondly, I applied a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides the high quality, durable sheen finish that the customer had requested.
Having the best of both worlds with these sealers really worked wonders for the appearance of the tiles and would highly recommend this combination of sealers for Victorian tiles. The customer was very pleased with the result of the restoration and can now enjoy her fully renovated house – complete with a fantastic looking Victorian tiled floor.
Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Oxfordshire
Sometimes it isn’t until you’ve deep cleaned your tiles that you realise just how dirty they were to begin with. This was the case with my customer in Thame, in the south of Oxfordshire where I worked on a classic red and black Quarry tiled floor which was far from being in its best condition.
Cleaning Dirty Quarry Tiles
My starting point in the cleaning process was to mix a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is the reliable, multi-purpose alkaline cleaner that is safe to use on tile, stone and grout. The solution was left to soak into the tiles for ten minutes before being scrubbed into the floor with a rotary floor machine fitted with a stiff brush.
Following this, I rinsed the floor with clean water and then proceeded to wash it with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up. This is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner designed to remove efflorescence and other mineral deposits such as grout smears.
Finally, I rinsed the tiles again with water and Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is a pH neutral solution, to neutralise the chemicals and leave the floor fresh and clean, ready to be sealed. The floor was left to dry overnight.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
The next day I returned to seal the floor after checking the tiles were dry. I opted to use two different sealers. The first was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer with the added effect of enhancing the natural colour in the stone. The second was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a topical sealer that adds the high quality, durable sheen finish to the floor that the customer had requested.
I took the photograph below after sealing half the floor, it really shows the difference a sealer can make to a tiled floor.
Here’s the photo of theQuarry tiled floorafter sealing the whole floor. As you can see, they now have a new lease of life, and they’ll be much easier for the customer to keep looking great in the future.
Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Dirty Quarry Tiled Oxfordshire
Every so often we come across exceptionally old tiles that are in desperate need of restoration. These Slate flagstones at a property in Banbury, Oxfordshire had to be a couple of hundred years old, the grout had come loose and I wagered that it’d been covered by bitumen (also known as asphalt), plaster, and concrete for a significant portion of its life.
The property owner was keen to try and restore them and had tried to clean them, only to realise that it was a bigger task than initially thought. Flagstones are known to be hard wearing and durable, but no floor can be easily restored when subject to this kind of treatment. However, at Tile Doctor we are experienced with cleaning tiles in this kind of condition – and I was more than happy to help this customer get these fantastic Slate flagstones back to looking their best.
Cleaning Old Slate Flagstones
Upon arrival at the property, the first thing I did was to cover the walls to protect them from splashes of cleaning products I would be using. I then started the process by mixing two products – Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Remove & Go – in a bucket and spread it over the entire floor. These two products are both very powerful cleaners on their own and work even better together: NanoTech HBU utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate areas that normal cleaners simply can’t reach, while Remove & Go is specifically designed for the removal of coatings such as old sealers.
For added impact and so the blend of cleaning products would not dry out, I covered the floor with a plastic sheeting, leaving the solution to dwell and work to break down the bitumen, plaster and concrete overnight.
The following day, after removing the plastic sheeting I used my rotary floor machine fitted with a silicone carbon brush to slowly scrub the floor, beginning to loosen the soil. After this, I thoroughly rinsed the floor with water. I then used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner to remove the plaster and thin layers of concrete, before again rinsing the floor with water.
Next, I had to remove the particularly thick chunks of concrete carefully using a chisel, before scrubbing the floor with Grout Clean Up once more. To complete the cleaning process, I then mixed a solution of our strong alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, with water and scrubbed and rinsed the flagstones with water.
Sealing Old Slate Flagstones
The next day I returned to the property to grout the floor, before leaving it again for another day to fully cure. On the final day, I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which is a topical water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides a stain resistant surface seal combined with a long-lasting low-sheen finish. This eliminates traditional two-step sealing methods. I applied eight coats of this to give the floor the strong sheen (seen in the below photo), that the customer requested.
The floor had been in awful condition, for decades or perhaps even hundreds of years, yet using the right methods and products I successfully completed the full restoration within a single week. The customer was absolutely over the moon with the result.
Old Slate Flagstone Floor Restoration in Oxfordshire
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.
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.
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
This Quarry tiled floor at a house in Banbury had previously been covered in carpet which had been stuck to the floor with an adhesive when once removed left a stain of white marks all over the floor. The customer had taken the floor as far as they could so I got the call to complete the restoration.
Restoring Quarry Tiles
The first process was to tape the newly papered wall to protect them from any splashes during the cleaning process. I then scrubbed in a dilution of Tile doctor Pro-Clean with the assistance of a rotary floor machine fitted with a black pad and then rinsed off the resultant slurry.
This process defiantly made an improvement but I can see more work would be needed so I then applied a mixture of Pro-Clean and HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover) to the floor and scrubbed this with a carbon brush attached to a rotary floor machine. This proved to be more effective removing the carpet glue marks so I then rinsed the floor with water and used my wet vacuum to remove the slurry. I then gave the floor a thorough rinse with water again using the wet vacuum to extract the solution afterwards.
To finish the cleaning of the floor and remove any grout smears and other minderal deposits I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the floor; this was left to dwell for a short time before scrubbing in with a stiff brush and then rinsed away with more water and extracted again using the wet vacuum.
The last job of the day was to fill in some holes in the tiles with a colour matching resin filler.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled floor
I returned two days later and confirmed the floor was dry ready for sealing. To seal the floor I first applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating seal that also enhances the colour of the stone. This leaves a Matt finish and I showed the client this as they was not sure what finish they wanted, after seeing this that wanted more shine to the floor so once dried I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a topical sealer that gives a sheen finish to the floor.
The client was very pleased with the end result leaving this as feedback.
Our options were a completely new floor or renovate the existing quarry tiles. We were glad we chose renovation; the results are amazing and a lot less messy and expensive than a new floor!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
This house in the historic university city of Oxford had a gas fire installed in the living room and unfortunately the only route to the gas supply in the under stairs cupboard was via to go under the Victorian tiled floor in the hallway. Unfortunately this was a bit of a butcher’s job and a trench was dug into the floor which the current owner however was very keen on restoring back to its original condition.
I visited the client just before the Christmas break last year, and agreed that I would firstly replace the missing tiles and then return after Christmas to give the floor a deep clean and seal.
Repairing a Victorian tiled floor
In order to properly repair this Victorian tiled floor, I firstly had to source tiles that would be consistent with the colour and pattern of the original design. Since Victorian tiles are known for their intricate and varied designs, this isn’t always an easy task. However, I was able to find the right tiles in good time, although naturally being new they were brighter than the existing which had seem some wear but they should blend in over time. I proceeded to fill the deep part of the hole with concrete, before carefully laying down the tiles in line with the specific pattern on the rest of the floor. I then grouted the new tiles in to finish the repair.
Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor
After the Christmas break, I returned to the house to commence the cleaning and sealing processes. My first task was to mix a solution of the two cleaning products, Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU and Pro Clean and let this soak into the tiles.
Nanotech is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate deep beneath the surface of the stone to lift out ingrained dirt. Pro Clean is a high alkaline cleaner that also contains stripping properties to break down any old sealer and mixed together the two products make a very powerful tile cleaning product.
I applied the solution to the floor and left it to dwell for a full hour before agitating with a scrubbing brush to remove any dirt. Following this I used my wet vacuum to soak up the soiled solution, before thoroughly rinsing the floor with clean water extracting again using the wet vacuum.
Sealing a Victorian tiled floor
I left the floor for 24 hours in order to let it dry completely following the clean. Upon my return I sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which adds a stain resistant and robust surface seal, along with a nice low sheen finish.
It took some work but I think your will agree the floor now looks fantastic and the sealer should keep it looking that way for some time to come.
Professional Tiled Floor Repair and Restoration in Oxfordshire
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.
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.
Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Slate tiled kitchen floor in Northamptonshire
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
This fantastic Victorian tiled hallway floor in Oxford was in good physical condition for its age; however like any sealed floor the sealer had worn down with use and with dirt becoming trapped in the pores of the tile it was now becoming difficult to clean effectively and had become dull and un-inviting. It was now due a really good deep clean and re-seal. Oxford as I’m sure your aware has a rich history and is home to one of the world’s best universities, so not surprisingly many houses here have interesting floors such as this one.
Cleaning a dirty Victorian tiled floor
Upon my arrival at the house, my first task was to protect the skirting boards, as well as the wooden floors leading into the other rooms. I then mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a versatile, high alkaline cleaner combined 50:50 with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a particularly strong cleaner that utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate into areas of the stone that standard products simply cannot reach.
I applied the solution to the surface and allowed it to soak for thirty minutes, allowing it to get to work on the ingrained dirt so it could be easily removed. Following this, I agitated the solution with a soft brush attached to a rotary scrubbing machine. I then applied more solution and left it for a further thirty minutes, before scrubbing this into the tiles using a black pad fitted to the rotary machine.
After the clean had been completed, I rinsed the entire floor multiple times and vacuumed up the resulting slurry using a wet-vac machine.
Sealing a Victorian tiled floor
I left the floor overnight, allowing the surface enough time to dry and returned then next day to seal the floor, checking first to ensure the tiles had dried. To seal the floor I used several coatings of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. Seal & Go which is a water-based, topical sealer that is suitable for use on unsealed, porous surfaces such as Victorian tile, textured Quarry, Slate, and Sandstone; being water based you don’t get the smell so it’s much more pleasant to work with.
As you can see from the before and after photos, the result was an aesthetically pleasing and – most importantly – clean, Victorian tiled floor. Needless to say, my client was extremely pleased with my work.
Maintaining a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Oxfordshire
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.
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.
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
Back here with another job, this time in the small commuter town of Chinnor in Oxfordshire to clean and seal a Slate patio which was looking worse for wear. Slate is a highly durable material that is a popular choice not only for external flooring such as patio, but also for internal flooring in high traffic areas like kitchens and hallways. A few days before I began the cleaning, I visited the property in order to rake and re-fill the grout.
Cleaning a Slate patio
Working in sections, I began the cleaning process by pre-wetting the individual area of the patio, before applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. I use Pro-Clean as a cleaner for several different types of stone flooring, whether internal or external, as it is very good at getting underneath the dirt and lifting it out, being an alkaline it’s also safe to use on all types of Tile and Stone.
The solution was left to on the surface to dwell for a while, before scrubbing in with a medium brush attached to a floor machine. Once I had finished cleaning, I used a wet-vac machine to remove any watery residue before rinsing the area with clean water, and soaking up the excess once again with the wet-vac. I repeated this same process for the entire patio.
Sealing a Slate patio
Before beginning the sealing process, I ensured that the floor was completely dry, as any excess moisture could have impacted negatively on the performance of the sealer. My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer; two coats were sufficient.
As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow works its way into the pores of the Slate, providing durable surface protection from within. In addition, the colour intensifying properties of Colour Grow bring out the natural colours and shades in the surfaces to which it is applied.
The finished result, as you can see from the photos, was quite a different look for this Slate patio. The many layers of grime and dirt had previously hidden the fantastic character of the tiles, but with a good clean and colour enhancing seal, the patio was brought back to life. Both myself and my client were very pleased with the outcome.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This was a job I did earlier in May this year where I was asked to clean this lovely Limestone patio installed at the rear of a house in Haddenham near Thame on the Oxfordshore borders which had succumbed to the ravages of the English winter weather and was far from looking its best.
As a Tile Doctor and carpet technician I have invested a lot in powerful high pressure machinery that can make light work of interior and exterior installations so taking on this patio was not a problem and it was nice to work outside for a change.
Power washing a Limestone Patio
On arrival I set-up the high pressure equipment and then proceeded to pressure wash the patio in order to get the worst of the dirt out of the tile. Then I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell for thirty minutes. The next process was to use a deck brush to scrub the cleaner into the stubborn areas and then rinse the patio with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum. After letting it dry I then had to re clean the worst areas again following the same process until I was satisfied with the condition of the tile.
Sealing a Limestone patio
The patio soon dried in the warm sun and later that day I was able to seal it using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that can be used internally and externally, it works really on Limestone and did well to bring out the natural colours in the stone.
I was recently called to a property in the historic city of Oxford, perhaps most famous for being the site of the oldest University in the English-speaking world. The property owner asked me to take a look at a linoleum floor, which was partially revealing a black and white patterned, Victorian tiled floor underneath, to see what I could do with it. Although it would be a challenging and lengthy job, I assured my client that I would be able to restore the hidden Victorian tiled floor to its original condition.
Removing the linoleum covering and cleaning the floor
My first task was to carefully scrape off as much of the linoleum covering as possible without damaging the floor beneath.
Once the linoleum had been removed, my next step was an initial clean of the floor.
Firstly, I applied a layer of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which would help to draw out the ingrained dirt and stains. I left the product to dwell for only a short time as I did not want it to dry on the surface of the floor. Following this, I scrubbed the floor with a medium brush attached to a Rocky floor cleaning machine, before rinsing the area with clean water and then repeating the process again.
To take the cleaning process a step further, I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech HBU, which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate below particularly tough stains and lift them out. This solution was applied to the floor and left to dwell for roughly two hours. I then used my floor machine (which weighs 57kg when full) with a medium brush and scrubbed the surface once again. After completing the cleaning process, I made sure to rinse the floor multiple times in order to ensure all the products had been rinsed away.
Floor repair, tile replacement and sealing
I then set about digging out the concrete lines that were in the floor; these were likely the reason for having the floor covered in linoleum in the first place. One area under the concrete lines contained a gas pipe, which I found to be obsolete, and another contained an electrical wire, which I had to test in order to ensure it too was no longer functioning. I dug out the concrete, and removed all the tiles around the edge of the room, where carpet grippers had been put down, effectively smashing nails into the floor.
Once I had sourced a total of 268 replacement tiles, I set about careful laying them down in a pattern that was consistent with the floor’s original appearance, once the tile adhesive was dry they were then grouted and the floor was then left for a week so they could set properly.
When I returned after this period, I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water, and applied it to the floor. I left it to dwell for about 30 minutes, periodically stubbing with a deck brush. I then once again utilised my floor cleaning machine with a medium brush to scrub the floor, rinsed the area with more clean water, and then vacuumed up the excess liquid. The floor was let again to dry, this time for a period of a few days.
When I returned to the property after a few days, I used a damp meter to test the floor, making sure that the surface was dry enough to commence sealing (as any excess solution might have affected the performance of the sealer). My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a topical sealer which provides a sheen finish (as requested by my client) along with durable protection.
Overall, the job took more than three weeks to complete, but it was extremely satisfying to see the restored Victorian tiled floor, back to looking great again. My client was also very satisfied with my work, saying:
“We are delighted with the work Barry carried out for us. He had restored our floors with care and attention to detail, and we are really pleased with the final result!”
Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden under Vinyl in Oxfordshire
I thought you might find this post interesting as it’s a little unusual. I had arrived at a client’s house in Boars Hill near Oxford to do a travertine floor and she asked if I could also take a look at her fireplace where one of her dogs had urinated on it. Urine is acidic so if not quickly removed it will start to eat away a sealer and in this case as you can see from the photo below it left a mark. It was quite a small area and as I already had the necessary products to deal with it I said no problem.
Cleaning a Slate Fireplace Hearth
The urine had penetrated the existing protective seal so to get a uniform appearance it was going to be necessary to remove the covering and re-seal. To do this I covered the hearth in Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a tile and stone friendly product for removing of protective coatings. This was carefully scrubbed into the stone and bit by bit the old wax/seal was removed exposing the bare slate.
Sealing a Slate Fireplace Hearth
The stripped slate was now clean and all trace of previous sealer had been removed but once it had fully dried was left looking washed out. This was easily remedied however by applying a coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which brought back the deep black colour. When the Stone Oil had dried I finished the job off by applying a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that will protect the slate going forward.
Slate Fireplace Hearth Stripped and Sealed in Oxfordshire
The before picture below was actually taken after another cleaning company had come in to clean these Terracotta floor tiles for a client in the city of Oxford; well what can I say except they then called Tile Doctor.
Cleaning Terracotta Tile
I started by doing a test on a small area and realised that I could strip the remaining sealer from the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is also an effective cleaner and safe to use on stone and tiled floors. So I diluted Pro Clean with warm water and spread this on the floor leaving it to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing it in with a black padf fitted to my Rocky floor machine. This worked very well on the floor and the cleaning solution was soon dirty with the released soil which was removed using a wet vacuum and more water to rinse it away and dry the floor as much as possible.
Sealing Terracotta Tile
Satisfied that the floor was now as clean as it could be I left for the day and returned the next day to seal the floor, first checking that the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.
Sealing was done in two stages starting with an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that adds life to the natural colours in the tiles and gives the floor a good base for the next sealer. The second stage was to apply a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which builds up a surface seal that leaves a nice sheen to the floor as requested by the customer.
Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire
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.
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 Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Henley on Thames
Let me start this story by telling you this was the most challenging floor that I have come across so far. It all started with a request to visit a property in Oxford where they had discovered an original Victorian tiled floor under a parquet floor in the hall.
When I arrived the customer had taken up a small area in the corner and had already tried to remove the black bitumen that the parquet floor was stuck down with, he had made some progress but realized it would be a massive project without the right tools. After I had showed him how much cleaner I could take his patch he booked me to restore the floor, the customer said he would remove the parquet floor himself.
Removing Bitumen from Victorian Tiles
When I arrived the parquet had been taken up to reveal a completely bitumen covered tiled floor that was very sticky. My first task was to put protection around the doors and skirting before moving on to removing the bitumen which was done by covering the half the floor in a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nano Tech UltraClean which was left to soak in for about an hour.
After this I scrubbed the solution into the floor using a black scrubbing pad on my Rocky floor scrubbing machine, this loosened the bitumen from the floor which was then washed off with water and removed using a numatic wet vacuum. The same process was repeated on the other half of the floor and then the whole process was repeated again on both parts of the floor until it was clear of bitumen. This was arduous work and took a whole day to complete.
Cleaning Victorian Tiles
When I returned the next day I gave the floor a deep clean using a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, like the Remove and Go this was spread over the floor leaving it to dwell for 10 minutes before being scrubbed in using the scrubbing machine fitted with a black pad; again the floor was rinsed clean with water which was removed using the wet vacuum.
After this I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which is an acidic product that is great at removing grout smears and mineral deposits from tiles, being an acid you can only leave it on the tile for a short while so I worked in 1m square sections at a time on my knees spraying and scrubbing with a deck brush and then rinsing.
When I had finished this process the whole floor was thoroughly rinsed with clean water to ensure there were no cleaning products left on the floor. I then left the floor to dry promising to return a few days later when it had dried.
Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles
I returned as agreed a few days later to seal the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a great for Victorian tiles as it leaves a nice shine to the floor which is exactly how the customer wanted it. This process does take time however as you have to let the first coat dry before moving onto the next.
From start to finish the transformation of the floor was amazing and the customer was very impressed with the results. Although the area was not large this was a very testing floor as bitumen stays sticky and was very difficult to remove even with the correct machines and products.
This Limestone tiled floor was located in the entrance hall of a residential property in Burford. I popped round following a cleaning enquiry to provide a quote and did a sample clean on a test area, I was then asked if I could do the whole floor there and then and not wanting to disappoint I managed to shuffle a few appointments round and got on with it.
Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles
To get the best from this floor I used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which if you have read any of my previous posts you will remember we always recommend these for hard stone floors such as Limestone, Travertine and Marble. They come in four different grades from coarse to very fine and you work your way through them starting off with the coarse stripper pad with a little just water and then carry on with the remaining pads which are a finer and finer grade until the floor is thoroughly cleaned, polished 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 clean. When done the floor was washed down with water which was then removed from the tile using a wet vacuum and then left to dry.
Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles
Once the floor was dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer which provides 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 buffing pad.
The customer was very pleased with the results so much so she booked me to clean the grout on her kitchen floor.
Limestone Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Burford
The pictures below were taken in the entrance hall of a residence in the market town of Thame in Oxfordshire where the Victorian Floor Tiles although in good condition had become dull, you will see there is also a photograph of part of the tiles where holes had been drilled in the floor (don’t ask). Naturally the owner wanted both problems resolving and so called in their local Tile Doctor.
Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles
The first task was to clean the floor which I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for around thirty minutes before being scrubbed in. This was a small area so I used a small black scrubbing pad attached to a cordless drill to do this; a stiff scrubbing brush was also run along the grout lines to make sure any staining to the grout was also dealt with. The resulting soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the tiles rinsed with water.
The next step was to remove some stubborn paint marks for which Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied and scrubbed in with a stiff scrubbing brush, you have to be very careful with this product as it is an acid so you can’t leave it on the tile for too long however it does resolve all sorts of tile staining problems. Again this was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed thoroughly with fresh water to remove any trace of the product.
Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles
When the floor dried I filled the holes in the Victorian Tile with a quick drying flexible grout which was left to dry and then painted using an acrylic paint to colour the grout the same as the different colours in the tile. On close inspection the hole damage is still visible however they are now a lot less obvious.
The next step was to seal the floor using five thin coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds a nice sheen to the floor as we as providing protection and making it easier to clean going forward.
Victorian Tiled Hall Restoration in Thame, Oxfordshire
These photographs from the hallway of a house in Banbury where old thick slate tiled floor had been laid and the customer was unable to get them clean or restore any colour back into the stone.
Cleaning Slate Flagstone Tiles
I prepped the skirting boards with masking tape to protect them and then cleaned the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the floor for a while before being worked into the flagstones by hand using a stiff bristle brush. Normally I use a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad for this but given it was a small area it made sense to get on my hands and knees and apply some elbow grease. This process soon saw the dirt coming out of the tile and the dirty solution was removed using a wet vacuum before rinsing the floor down with clean water. This allowed me to see the stubborn areas where more Pro-Clean and elbow grease were applied, again this was removed and the floor given a thorough rinse using a wet vacuum to remove the liquids and get the floor dry.
Sealing Slate Flagstone Tiles
The floor soon dried so it wasn’t long before I could seal it for which I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer which as its name suggest enhances the natural colours in the stone. Once this was dry I continued with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice low sheen to the stone as well as adding to the protection provided by the sealer. As you can see it brought all the dark slate colour back and the sealer should ensure the floor is easy to clean in future.
Large Slate Flagstones Cleaned and Sealed in Banbury
This Travertine tiled floor had been laid in a house in the picturesque village of Brightwell-Cum-Sotwell in south Oxfordshire and the owner had decided it was time to have it properly cleaned and re-sealed.
Cleaning Travertine Floor Tiles
The floor was given a wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to remove any surface grit and we then filled the small holes, which are quite a common feature of natural travertine, with a matching coloured grout.
This was then followed by the use of the Tile Doctor burnishing system which involves the use of a set of four Burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. There are four pads and you start 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 Travertine tile you then apply the last of the four burnishing pads with gives a final polish.
Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles
To seal the floor and protect it from staining two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as applied; Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer which enhanced the natural colours in the stone. Once dry the last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad..
Travertine Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Oxfordshire
Another Terracotta tiled floor installed in a conservatory this time in Henley on Thames. The previous sealer was mostly worn away and was no longer offering much protection allowing dirt to get ingrained into the tile and making it difficult to clean effectively resulting in dull looking tile and grout.
Cleaning Terracotta Tile
I first covered the floor with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water which was scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a slow speed floor scrubber; the soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and floor was rinsed down with clean water until all the chemicals were removed again using a wet vacuum to remove the liquids. The process was repeated a number of times until we were happy the tile and grout was clean and took most of the day.
Sealing Terracotta Tile
I left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it checking with a moisture meter first to ensure the floor had dried. Terracotta is very porous so in the end it tool eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to seal the floor, Seal and Go is 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.
The floor has been much improved certainly the customer was very pleased with the result.
Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire
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