Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles in a Surrey Cafe

At Tile Doctor, we don’t just offer our tile cleaning and sealing services to residential properties, such as flats and houses we also cover tile installations in commercial properties, such as hotels and restaurants as well as

In fact, commercial properties tend to experience much higher daily foot traffic than residential floors resulting in much more strain on the sealer. This of course wears down the sealer more quickly and once the sealer had worn away the tiles are vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained which makes the floor difficult to clean.

This Cafe in Chertsey is very popular with staff from the nearby hospital, as well as residents in the local area. Naturally, the cafe gets very busy and the Victorian tiled floor had experienced heavy traffic and was marked by footprints from hundreds of hungry customers.

Cafe Floor Chertsey Before Cleaning

I was called in to help the cafe owner restore this original feature back to its best possible condition and then seal again to protect it.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

Once the cafe staff had left for the evening, I moved the tables aside to avoid damaging them and laid down a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean across the floor. This is our reliable alkaline cleaner which is designed to loosen the dirt on tiles and grout.

As the dirt was deeply ingrained in the stone, I scrubbed the floor using an abrasive 200 grit pad fitted to on rotary buffer. Within seconds the pad had worked its magic and I had a trail of filthy water to suck up using a wet vacuum machine.

Once the majority of the floor had been cleaned, I took to my knees to closely inspect the stone for dirt. Any particularly stubborn areas were tackled using a wire brush in combination with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a heavy-duty cleaner/coatings remover which works well on removing any old sealers, paints and adhesives.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

Once the floor was clean, I washed and neutralised the surface with plain water. While I was packing up for the day I also installed my air-blower to aid the drying process overnight.

Two nights later I returned to the cafe to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that impregnates into the pores of the tile to bring out the natural colours whilst adding a durable matte finish that acts as a barrier to dirt.

Cafe Floor Chertsey After Cleaning

As you can see from the photo above, the result was fantastic. In fact, the customer loved her newly restored floor so much that she even told me to help myself to any cake of choice, I do like a bonus!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Surrey

End of Tenancy Bathroom Tile Refresh

This bath with shower over was located at a rental property in the town of Chessington that had been recently vacated by students. I was called in by the landlord who was looking to re-rent the property. The request was to tidy up the ceramic tiles in the shower and bath area and to make it look decent again for the next batch of soap-dodgers. We often get asked to do end of tenancy tile cleans and have seen a lot worse than this one so I was confident it could be made to look like new again.

Dirty Ceramic Bath Tiles in Chessington before cleaning

The main problem was the grout had become darkened and stained from dirt and the dyes in soaps etc., the mastic sealant between the tile and the bath also needed replacing.

Cleaning Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

To get the tile and grout clean I sprayed on Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which works better than liquid products as being gel based it sticks to the wall tile and grout and really gets to work breaking down the dirt. I left this for a few minutes before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off with water.

Whist this was drying I started to strip out the old mastic seal and tidied up the mess that had fallen into the bathtub using a vacuum.

Grout Colouring Shower Wall Tiles

With the tiles now clean and fresh grout dried the next step was to apply a White Grout Colourant to ensure all the grout had a consistent appearance. Although time consuming the grout colourant is easily applied with a small brush and then you wipe off any excess that gets onto the tile before it dries.

I left the grout colourant to dry for 30 minutes before applying another coat and once this had dried I set about adding a new mastic seal between the wall tile and bath. I always use a high quality silicone sealant for this; I never use cheap sealant as they soon discolour and can shrink resulting in water ingress problems.

Dirty Ceramic Bath Tiles in Chessington after cleaning

It takes a little time but the bathroom now looks much fresher and ready for the next tenants.
 
 
Source: Ceramic Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in West Surrey

Refreshing Eight Self Catering Cottage Bathrooms in Ireland

At Tile a Doctor, we often get asked about doing work abroad – and we are more than happy to oblige under the right circumstances for customers who are interested in benefitting from our services. I myself have been as far as France, Mallorca and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia

On this occasion the job was in County Meath in the Republic of Ireland, colloquially known as The Royal County” due to its history as the seat of the High King of Ireland.

Decoy Cottages Ireland

The customer was looking to struggling to restore the tiled shower cubicles and bathrooms in eight different apartments at their luxury, five-star holiday accommodation known as Decoy Cottages, but was struggling to find a local tradesman who specialises in replacing silicone to the standard required.

The last time it had been done was by a local builder who had made a bit of a mess of it, so you can understand the customer’s concern. Applying silicone sounds straight-forward but there is an art to it, in-fact this is something we focus on in our Tile Doctor training program. He found Tile Doctor online and, after the discussing the project in more detail and sharing examples of our previous work, we agreed a date and price for the job to be completed.

Bathrooms at Decoy Cottages Ireland Before Cleaning Bathrooms at Decoy Cottages Ireland Before Cleaning

With a deposit put down to cover travel costs, we went across on the ferry to Ireland, arriving the day before we were scheduled to start in order settle in.

Ferry Crossing to Dublin

Restoring Several Tiled Shower Cubicles and Bathrooms

As I’ve mentioned, we had eight apartments in total to restore. In each case we started by stripping out all the mouldy silicone, before cleaning the grout lines carefully with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. Grout Clean-up was perfect product for this situation, as it’s an acidic cleaner that can remove grout smears, soap scum and hard water stains.

Once we were satisfied each area was clean, we set about installing fresh silicone sealant in an ivory colour which matched more effectively to the overall colour scheme than the original white silicone.

Bathrooms at Decoy Cottages Ireland After Cleaning

In total it took us took five days in total to strip, clean and re-silicone the eight bathrooms and eight shower cubicles. Naturally, this was quite a lot of work, but we managed it in the time given, and certainly to the customer’s satisfaction.

Bathrooms at Decoy Cottages Ireland After Cleaning

We did such a good job In fact we were asked to quote for more work and the customer left the following feedback on our website:

“Excellent and efficient service provided by Russell and his lovely wife Heidi. They worked really hard to rejuvenate the shower rooms and bathrooms at my self-catering holiday homes and did a fantastic job. Would highly recommend, in fact they are coming back to do my floors later in the year!”
 
 
Source: Bathroom Tile Cleaning & Restoration Service in Lancashire

Refinishing Polished Limestone at a Bedforshire Office

The following photos show a modern Limestone tiled floor that had been damaged by the office cleaner. Bit of a long story but basically the cleaner had inadvertently placed a bottle of a strong cleaning chemical which was leaking in a bin liner, that then proceeded to leak onto several areas of the floor as he walked around the office. The chemical soaked into the Limestone tiles unnoticed causing damage and acid etching.

Polished Limestone Office Floor Before Refinishing in Maulden

These close-up photos below show the damage, which couldn’t be removed with normal cleaning products and required machine cleaning the floor with the Tile Doctor burnishing pad system as well as hand held Tile Doctor diamond blocks to get into the edges.

Polished Limestone Office Floor Before Refinishing in Maulden Closeup Polished Limestone Office Floor Before Refinishing in Maulden Closeup

Due to it being a busy office environment it wasn’t possible to do work during the week so the work was booked in for the weekend.

Burnishing and Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

The process used for cleaning and restoring these floors was to use hand held diamond blocks starting with 100 grit and polishing out the acid etching lines using small amounts of water, I then repeated this process with a 200 grit block graduating the cleaned area to blend in before switching to the machine to apply the burnishing pads.
The burnishing pads are applied from coarse to fine starting with a coarse 400 grit pad that removes old sealers and dirt. The floor was rinsed and then then the 800 grit pad was applied which is the first step in restoring the polish to the Limestone, this was followed by the finer 1500 grit pad which brings up the polish even further and giving the whole area a consistent appearance. One of the benefits of using this system is as no chemical are required, only a little water to help lubricate so it’s extremely environmentally friendly.
After applying the third pad the floor was given a thorough rinse with water to remove any soil produced by the burnishing process. The water was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

I returned on the Sunday to polish the floor to a high shine with the last very fine burnishing pad which is 3000 grit and is applied without any water. Once complete the floor was sealed using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium hard wearing sealer that provides a natural finish.

Polished Limestone Office Floor After Refinishing in Maulden Closeup Polished Limestone Office Floor After Refinishing in Maulden Closeup

I appreciate it’s tricky to see the difference in these photographs but hopefully it’s comforting to know that if you have a similar problem it can be resolved.

Prevention of course is better than the cure of course so be wary of acidic products especially supermarket cleaning products which tend to have acidic formulas that will reduce the life of your sealer and damage the stone floor over time.

Polished Limestone Office Floor After Refinishing in Maulden

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bedfordshire

Old Worcester Kitchen Farmhouse Floor Refurbished

This restoration of two different types of tiled floor took place in the kitchen of a farm property in Worcester which had been in same family for generations. The floor was made up of Quarry tiles, some of which were damaged and Flagstones both of which were in true need of a deep clean and seal.

Cleaning Quarry and Flagstone Tiles

Before I could start cleaning the Quarry floor, we needed to carefully remove and any broken tiles and install suitable replacements including a large damaged flagstone.

Quarry Tiles Refurbishment Worcestershire Farm Flagstones Replacement Worcestershire Farm

I wanted everything to match as closely as possible so I also opted to grind out the old grout and replace with fresh grout in a light grey.

The whole area was then deep cleaned with a black scrubbing pad and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove ingrained dirt, the soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum and then the floor was treated to an acid wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Acid Gel is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form which can remove grout smears and efflorescence from salts on the tiles.

Sealing Quarry and Flagstone Tiles

After leaving the floor to dry completely overnight, I returned to the property to seal both sets of tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This sealer is very breathable allowing moisture vapour to rise up through the tile and ideal for situations where no damp proof membrane has been installed which is especially relevant in older properties such as this one.

Quarry Tiles Refurbishment Worcestershire Farm Flagstones Replacement Worcestershire Farm

The customer was very pleased with the results. The positive influence of a deep clean and seal on both the Quarry and Flagstone tiles is very clear in the photos. Another satisfied customer.
 
 
Source: Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaning and Restoration Service in Worcestershire

Refinishing Kitchen Floor Tiles at a Yeovil Public House

The proprietor of this pub in the good old English country town of Yeovil, Somerset had plans for a complete refurbishment, including the restoration of the very poorly maintained Quarry tiled floor in the kitchen.

Without professional attention the kitchen floor had suffered under years worth of food and drink stains and grease, and plenty of general dirt, leaving it looking dull and grotty. In a busy kitchen environment this is to be expected, but the pub owner decided it was finally time for a thorough clean and a fresh seal, and recruited me to get the job done.

Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Yeovil in Somerset

Cleaning a Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin the restoration I covered the entire floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, our heavy duty remover designed to break down soil and grease buildup, and to strip away any old sealer on the tiles. I then proceeded to scrub the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to remove the many layers of muck. Special attention was paid to cleaning the grout lines by hand using a special grout brush.

The difference made by the cleaning was immediate once I had throughly rinsed the floor to remove any excess cleaning residue. As per usual, I then left the floor to dry completely. Having the floor completely dry before sealing it is essential as even the smallest amount of moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its ability to protect the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was left for two full days, leaving it plenty of time to dry. Upon my return to the pub, the owner requested a sealer that would provide a natural matte finish since this is a high traffic commercial kitchen used for a lot of cooking, and therefore would not suit a sheen finish in the same way that a residential kitchen would.

I sealed the floor with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that fills the pores of the Quarry to prevent muck from becoming ingrained, which will prove important in this area that is prone to spillages. Colour Grow also accentuated the reddish shades in the stone, while providing the natural no-sheen finish requested by the customer.

Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Yeovil in Somerset

To say that the condition of this Quarry tiled kitchen floor has been transformed would be quite an understatement. A deep clean has taken it from looking excessively grotty and greasy to fresh and clean, while the addition of a new, robust seal will prevent it from falling back into such a bad state. The customer was very pleased indeed!
 
 
Source: Commercial Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Somerset

Dull Marble Bar Top Rejuvenated at Manchester Club

Revolucion de Cuba is one of the biggest and busiest bars in Manchester. With the sheer amount of customers that visit the bar, the Marble counter top had become very worn and dull.

Stains and spillages are inevitable in an environment like this, but this can cause long lasting damage to the sensitive natural stone if proper maintenance is not provided. The bar owners hold very high standards for the appearance of the venue and as such were keen to get the Marble bar top back to looking its best. They called the Derbyshire Tile Doctor and I was more than happy to see what I could do.

Revolucion De Cuba Bar Top Before Polishing Manchester Revolucion De Cuba Bar Top Before Manchester

Burnishing a Marble Bar Top

When it comes to restoring high-end polished stone surfaces, such as Marble and Limestone, we usually opt to use the process known as burnishing. Which involves the use of several different grades of diamond encrusted pads to remove dirt and stains, as well as gradually restoring a smooth and aesthetically pleasing polish to the stone. In our system we use four pads, ranging from Coarse to Very fine grit pads.

I started with 400 grit six-inch Coarse pad on the bar top fitted to a hand buffer with some water added for lubrication, this action removed the old sealer, stains and scratches on the surface. Before moving on to the next pad I made sure to rinse the bar top and then removed the slurry with a wet vacuum. This process was then repeated with the 800 grit Medium pad before moving on to the 1500 grit Fine pad to begin to smooth down the surface ready for the final polishing. This was a long section of Marble so the whole process took some time as you can imagine.

Revolucion De Cuba Bar Top During Polishing Manchester Revolucion De Cuba Bar Top Before Manchester

After finishing with the third pad I carefully filled the visible cracks and holes in the stone using epoxy resin mixed with marble powder, before leaving to dry completely overnight. The next day I returned to the venue and went over the bar top with the final of the four pads, the 3000 grit Very Fine pad (this time without water as lubrication) to achieve the final polish.

Revolucion De Cuba Bar Top After Polishing Manchester Revolucion De Cuba Bar Top After Polishing Manchester

Sealing a Marble Bar Top

After completing the polishing process, I began sealing the Marble. I opted to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium natural-look penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection, making it ideal for use on natural stone bar tops and kitchen counters.

Revolucion De Cuba Bar Top After Polishing Manchester

It’s really important to polish off all the excess sealer that doesn’t penetrate into the stone, and to do this I used the Tile Doctor three cloth system. Once the fresh sealer had been applied, I went over the surface once more with the 3000 grit pad to leave an extra smooth and shiny finish.

Revolucion De Cuba Bar Top Before and After Manchester

The bar owners were very pleased with the work, opting to take up our maintenance plan program to ensure this great Marble bar top continues to look as good as it does now in the future!
 
 
Source: Marble Tile and Stone Restoration Service in Derbyshire

Edwardian Hotel Marble Floor Restoration

Windlestraw is a picturesque Edwardian manor hotel overlooking the Tweed Valley, near Walkerburn in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. One of the bathrooms in the manor was in the process of being refurbished when two layers of floor tiles were removed, unveiling an original Marble tiled floor dating back to the 1920s.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor Before Restoration Walkerburn

After the top layers of tile had been removed the Marble was still covered in old adhesive and cement and although Marble is known for its quality and durability the hotel owner didn’t want the building contractor to proceed any further in case they damaged it. The owner was keen to restore the Marble floor as an original feature so we were called in to set the situation right.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor Before Restoration Walkerburn

Refurbishing a Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor

To restore the floor I used two processes known as milling and burnishing. Milling literally involves grinding down uneven or rough surfaces using very coarse, diamond encrusted pads. The pads are usually used to resolve lippage issues on natural stone but in this case we needed to use the very coarse abrasive pads to grind off the adhesive and cement. I used a set of three coarse milling pads rinsing with water between each pad and starting with a 50 grit pad, before moving on to 100 and 200 grit pads. This process was very effective and ground off the cement and adhesive, while also removing any lippage in the tiles to leave a completely flat surface.

Milling leaves the surface of the Marble tiles clean but in a rough condition and this is where the second process Burnishing comes in. Similar to milling, burnishing focuses on achieving a polished finish with the application of ever finer grades of polishing pads and is often used to bring back the polish on Limestone and Travertine as well as Marble. Moving on to the burnishing, I worked my way through the four diamond encrusted pad system lubricating with a little water and again rinsing between each pad to remove the slurry. The grits go from Coarse (400 grit), Medium (800 grit), Fine (1500 grit) and then eventually Very Fine (3000 grit) and come in a 17” pad for use on a rotary floor machine and were applied twice in sequence to achieve a fantastic polished shine.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor

The floor was given a final rinse and then dried with a wet-vacuum before we proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Shine Powder which is a crystallizing powder that is applied directly to the floor and worked in using a buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

Shine Powder provides a very high shine (as you can see from the photos), along with a tough durable finish. On top of this, it is suitable for sealing all natural stone, including, of course, Marble, along with Limestone, Granite, Slate and Travertine.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor After Restoration Walkerburn

The customer was absolutely delighted with the results as were we although it’s now up to them to ensure the bathroom fitters take appropriate care when completing the room which I’m sure will look absolutely fantastic when complete and no doubt add to the allure of this magnificent hotel in the Scottish Borders.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor After Restoration Walkerburn

 
 
Source: Marble Floor Restoration Service in the Scottish Borders

Restoring Terrazzo Floor in a Surrey Church

Every so often I will get the chance to undertake tiled flooring restoration work in public buildings, and late last year I was asked to clean and seal a Terrazzo floor at a church in Redhill. The floor wasn’t in great condition; not only was it suffering from a significant amount of dirt due to a lack of proper maintenance, but it was also marked by several cracks. Overall, the appearance of the floor was very displeasing and the church was keen to have me in to complete some repairs, along with a deep clean and seal.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Before Restoration Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Crack Repair

Cleaning and Burnishing a Terrazzo tiled floor

Upon initial inspection of the floor, I was unable to say for certain whether there was any old sealer remaining on the tiles so to ensure it was removed I began the cleaning process by applying a layer of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a powerful cleaner/stripper designed to both break down old layers of sealant and lift out any ingrained dirt.

I then gave the floor a rinse with water to remove any excess cleaning product, before moving onto a different cleaning process, known as burnishing. Burnishing involves polishing the surface with to achieve an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish. The Tile Doctor burnishing system consists of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads with different levels of grit.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Part Cleaned Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Part Cleaned

I began by applying a Coarse burnishing pad, before working my way through the system with Medium, Fine and finally Very Fine pads to achieve a very refined, high quality polished finish, you need to use a little water to help lubricate the burnishing and you need to rinse the floor after each pad to remove the slurry.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Cleaning in Progress Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Burnishing

Once the floor had been allowed to dry completely following both cleaning processes, I set about filling the cracks in the tiles with two part resin stone filler.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Crack Repair Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Crack Filled

Then, once the filler had dried, I re-polished the floor using only the extra fine burnishing pad, focusing my attention along the crack lines. This really helped to reduce the evidence of cracks and left instead a smoothed surface.

Sealing a Terrazzo tiled floor

The final stage of the restoration involved sealing the Terrazzo tiles with Colour Grow, which is Tile Doctor’s colour intensifying sealer that impregnates the stone seeping into its pores to provide protecting the floor from within with a robust seal capable of withstanding the high amount of traffic experienced by church floors. The last step was to buff the entire area with a soft white buffing pad.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church After Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church After

The church was very pleased with the results, especially that they were able to show it off for last year’s Remembrance Sunday and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Many thanks for the work on our Terrazzo floors. It’s only when you see the before and after that you realise how grubby they had become. We have had loads of complimentary comments as to how good they look. Bill Bailey was a very personable and professional contractor who put himself out to work around our requirements and others working in the buildings at the same time. More than happy to recommend the company and Bill personally. Many thanks for a job well done.”

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Before and After Restoration

 
 
Source: Cleaning and Maintaining Terrazzo Flooring in Surrey

Tiled Floor Restoration at 13th Century Church

These beautiful Quarry tiled floors belong to a 13th century church in the heart of the old village of Frankton. I did some research on the internet and discovered that the church had gone through a major restoration in 1872 so it’s most probable the tiles date back to that time.

Victorian Floor Tile Cleaning Frankton Church

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

There were multiple quarry tiled floors that were all in need of a deep clean and seal; however there was concern that cleaning the tiles using conventional cleaning methods requiring a lot of water could result in damp permeating into the structure of the building and considering the age of the building may this could cause damage. With this in mind I ran some tests to work out an alternative and I worked out that the best alternative would be to use Acid Gel which would stay in place followed by a steam clean.

Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church Before Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church Before Cleaning

There was quite a lot of floor to cover and I need to work in relatively small sections so it took two days to complete the cleaning. I used the method I worked out earlier applying Acid Gel, and then leaving it to dwell for ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine. The gel and resultant soil was then removed with a wet vacuum and then the section was steam cleaned to lift out any further dirt and neutralise the acid.

Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church During Cleaning

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

On the third day I returned to seal the floors; there are a number of sealers I could have used for this type of floor however with the building being as old as it was I wanted to ensure the tiles could breathe and any damp could rise up through the tiles. Additionally I wanted the sealer to bring out the best in the tiles so with these points in mind I sealed the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go extra which covers all these points and is the recommended sealer for Victorian and Quarry tiles.

Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church After Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church After Sealing

I think you will agree the floors now look fantastic and with the sealer to protect them they should stay this way for some time to come, although give the amount of traffic these floors receive I will be working out a maintenance plan for them.
 
 
Source: Church Floor Restoration Service in Warwickshire

Resolving Water Stained Safety Flooring

Just for a change I thought I would post something a little difference from the usual stone floor projects I get involved in. The floor below at a building in Turville near Henley on Thames and is of an “Altro Safety floor” belonging to an existing customer of mine. This is a heavy duty type of flooring usually found in industrial/office premises and normally these floors require little maintenance but in this case however a small flood left the floor difficult to clean.

Altro Safety Floor Before Cleaning Turville

Deep Cleaning an Altro Safety Floor

To restore the floor back to its original condition I first pre wet the floor and applied Tile Doctor neutral cleaner to the floor and left it to dwell, I then scrubbed the floor with a coarse burnishing pad fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine, I then rinsed with water and extracted the dirty water with a wet vacuum then mopped the floor with more neutral cleaner.

Altro Safety Floor After Cleaning Turville

Being a safety floor there was no need to seal the floor but before leaving I worked out a maintenance plan for the customer that will enable them to keep the floor in good condition going forward.
 
 
Source: Commercial Floor Cleaning Services in Oxfordshire

Restoring Old Victorian Tiles at a Public House

Here’s a really interesting commercial job for you, which I recently completed in the town of Hinckley, Leicestershire. I was asked to take a look at a Victorian Geometric and Encaustic tiled floor in the historic Queen’s Head pub.

This floor is over a century old and although in good condition for its age had suffered significant wear over the years, along with some cracked tiles and slight inherent moisture issues. What the pub landlord requested was a restorative clean to alleviate the aesthetically damaging effect of the wear, and to enhance the natural colours of the stone. I was also asked to seal the floor following the clean to achieve a semi-gloss finish.

Victorian Tiled Public House Floor Before Cleaning in Hinckley

Cleaning an old Victorian tiled floor

The first step in the cleaning process was to mix a strong solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to four parts clean water. Pro-Clean is a high alkaline cleaner which also contains stripping properties, allowing it to break down old sealer and tackle heavy soil build-up. The solution was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 15 minutes, giving it times to seep into the stone, get underneath the dirt and lift it to the surface.

I addressed several paint spots and areas suffering from glue contamination by using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially formulated to break down paint and adhesives on unpolished natural stone floors, amongst others. The entire floor was then scrubbed using a special floor cleaning pad, and the resulting slurry was vacuumed away using a wet-vac machine.

The final issue to deal with was the inherent efflorescence staining. This was treated using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, an acid-based product which removes not just efflorescence but also grout haze, mineral deposits, and rust stains. The solution here was one part Grout Clean-Up diluted with four parts water.

After completing the clean, I thoroughly rinsed the floor with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product and dried the floor as much as possible with a wet vacuum, then before leaving for the day i installed a couple of air movers to assist with drying overnight.

Sealing an old Victorian tiled floor

Upon my return the following day, I checked the floor for any excess moisture before sealing it with our topical, semi-gloss finish sealer, known as Seal & Go Extra which due to its formula is ideal for external or old internal floors where there is unlikely to be damp from membrane.

This unique product provides excellent protection, and allows the tiles to breath where floors are suffering from inherent moisture issues. It is suitable for both internal and external use, on Victorian floor tiles, Sandstone, Flagstones, Terracotta, and rough Slate.

Victorian Tiled Public House Floor After Cleaning in Hinckley

As you can see from the photo, I was able to fulfil my client’s request to a high standard, bringing the pub’s old yet characterful Victorian tiled floor back to life again.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile, Restoration, cleaning and sealing service in Leicestershire

Cleaning Anti-Slip Ceramic Tiles at a Car Dealership

At Tile Doctor, we carry out professional tiled floor restorations in both residential and commercial environments. In this particular case we were asked to take a look at the tiles at a Car Dealership in the town of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Melton Mowbray is known as the “Rural Capital of Food”, thanks to its range of local specialities, including its famous pork pie and Stilton cheese.

The problem was focused in the toilet area, where the non-slip Ceramic tiles had suffered heavy soil build-up. Since the cleaning contractor was unable to tackle the issue, Tile Doctor was recruited to restore the area using specialist tile cleaning methods and products.

Cleaning non-slip Ceramic Tiles

Judging by the level of soil build-up on the floor I mixed a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (a high alkaline cleaner) with five parts of water. This was then left to dwell on the tiles so the solution could seep into the crevices of the non-slip tile breaking it down and making it easier to clean.

Non-Slip Ceramic Tile During Cleaning Melton Mowbray

I agitated the solution using scrubbing pads to remove the soil which once the dirty cleaning solution was rinsed away and removed using a wet vacuum made a dramatic difference to the overall appearance of the floor.

Removing Grout Smears from Ceramic Tiles

The floor looked much better however now it was clean I could see a film of grout haze residue on the surface of many of the tiles which had been left over from the initial installation. To tackle this problem I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which along with grout haze this product can also remove rust stains and other mineral deposits.

I was now happy with the condition of the ceramic tile and grout and after another rinse with water I promptly force dried the floor with a special fan in order to get the toilet ready for use again. You only need to look at the before and after photos to see the difference!

Non-Slip Ceramic Tile After Cleaning Melton Mowbray

 
 
Source: Ceramic Tile and Grout cleaning and service in Leicestershire

Deep Cleaning Porcelain Floor Tiles at a Hospital

Although we do work on a lot of residential floors we also get commercial work such as the following request to deep clean Porcelain floor tiles in the high-traffic entrance area of the NHS Cancer Ward in Cottingham, near the city of Hull.

Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tiled Floor Cottingham Hospital

The Porcelain floor itself was quite large, measuring 170 square metres, and was in need of a thorough clean. The Porcelain tiles were Italian with a cement grey grout line, in addition, they had been laid in sections using a plastic Schluter Systems expansion joint. As you can imagine, the unit has a lot of patients walking around, along with doctors, nurses and other staff. Consequently, my contact at the NHS requested that we conduct the work at night, as this is the quietest time of day and therefore both risk and disruption are minimised.

Cleaning the Porcelain tiled floor

I started the job off with a deep clean, using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with water, the dilution was roughly thirty per cent Pro-Clean to seventy per cent water. This strength of solution was sufficient enough to lift the ingrained dirt and stains out of the Porcelain tiles. Pro-Clean is a very versatile alkaline cleaner which can be used on most types of floor including natural stone.

Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tiled Floor Cottingham Hospital Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tiled Floor Cottingham Hospital

Working in small sections, I used a spray gun to coat the floor with this cleaning solution, before leaving this to dwell for roughly 20 to 30 minutes. The solution was then scrubbed in to the tiles using a black buffing pad attached to a 17″ scrubbing machine. The resulting cleaning residue was then promptly removed using a wet-vac machine.

Cleaning the grout

After completing the tile cleaning and inspecting the floor to ensure all dirt and stains had been removed, I paid special attention to the grey grout lines. I opted to use a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up diluted with clean water. The ratio in this instance was roughly twenty per cent Grout Clean up to eighty per cent water.

Grout Clean Up is an acid-based product designed to penetrate beneath the surface of the grout to remove grout smears and mineral deposits, including rust. It is recommended for use on masonry surfaces and acid resistant stone such as Porcelain, Ceramic, Sandstone and Slate. Once both the tiles and the grout had been individually cleaned, I gave the floor a thorough rinse with clean water to remove any trace of product. All fluids were extracted using a wet vacuum.

Deep cleaning the entire Porcelain floor took some time but the was certainly worth the effort, the tiles now look so much cleaner and the grout a consistent shade of grey.

Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tiled Floor Cottingham Hospital

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in East Yorkshire

Sealing Flagstone Floor Tiles at a Farm Office

We work on a lot of residential tile installations but also cover commercial properties too, such as this new farm office which was in the process of being built in the market town of Driffield, East Yorkshire where a Flagstone tiled floor had been laid at the entrance. Driffield is known as the ‘Capital of the Yorkshire Wolds’ and lies near the source of the River Hull.

The farm office project was very big and, with the pressure on to complete it in time, the floor had been laid without being sealed first. As a result, the floor was getting dirty very easily, and was proving difficult to keep clean. It was clear that the Flagstone tiles would need to be cleaned and sealed, and I was called upon to get the job done.

Flagstone Floor in Driffield Farm Office Before Sealing Flagstone Floor in Driffield Farm Office Before Sealing

Cleaning dirty Flagstone floor tiles

To clean the floor I first mixed a 50:50 solution of clean water and Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Pro Clean is a high-alkaline cleaner which is safe to use on a wide range of natural stone floors. The cleaning solution was worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a black buffing pad which proved an effective method, lifting off the dust and residue that had been left on the surface of the Flagstone tiles during the course of construction work.

Flagstone Floor in Driffield Farm Office During Cleaning
The excess residue was extracted using a wet-vac machine. I then repeated the whole process over again several times in order to get the floor as clean as possible.

Flagstone Floor in Driffield Farm Office After Cleaning

Sealing the Flagstone tiled floor

To seal the floor I used a combination of two different Tile Doctor sealers. Firstly, I applied a layer of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to the floor. This colour intensifying sealer is specially formulated to enhance the fantastic natural colours in the stone, while at the same time providing durable surface protection.

The floor was then finished off with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This added to the stain resistance of the floor, while also delivering a very nice subtle shine on the surface.

Flagstone Floor in Driffield Farm Office After Sealing
All signs of building work have been removed from the stone floor and it is now looking presentable ready for the opening of the new office, the combination sealer applied to the floor will also make sure it stays that way for some time to come.

Flagstone Floor in Driffield Farm Office After Sealing

Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in East Yorkshire

Tiled Floor Restoration at French Investment Property

It’s not often that we get called abroad for a job, but when we do, it’s always a fantastic experience. We have done a few jobs abroad in the past, including the restoration of Terracotta tiled restaurant floor at a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This job was closer to home at a chateau in the town of Arcis-le-Ponsart near Reims, located in the Champagne-Ardenne region of North Eastern France. As its name suggests, the Champagne-Ardenne region is famous for its champagne.

French Chateaux Reims

The owner of the chateau was, in fact, an English property developer. He asked us to work on two floors: a Terracotta tiled hallway, and a French Victorian tiled floor. The French style of Victorian tiles are actually made of encaustic cement rather than clay, so we were excited to have the chance to work on something a bit out of the ordinary.

It was going to be a long trip, so after packing the van with the necessary equipment and Tile Doctor products Heidi and I set off to France via the Channel Tunnel. Fortunately, we avoided any disruptions both on the way there and the way back!

On arrival at the chateau, we immediately spent two hours running tests on the two floors to determine the most effective processes. We had four days in which to complete the job, so it was essential to make sure our methods were correct before beginning to avoid any unwelcome surprises later on!

Encaustic Cement Tile Before Cleaning at the French Chateaux Reims Encaustic Cement Tile Before Cleaning at the French Chateaux Reims Zoom

Cleaning and sealing French Victorian tiled floor

After running the tests, we set about cleaning the Victorian tiles using a combination of clean water and diamond burnishing pads. No damage was done to the tiles, and they polished up well. Following the cleaning process, we began sealing the floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a sealer which helps to bring out the colour in the stone while also providing durable surface protection. We were only able to apply one coat of sealer, however, as the second coat kept smearing, preventing the shine from settling in – this was despite testing the process earlier. Nonetheless, we resolved to polish off the one coat we could apply with a fine burnishing pad. Thankfully, the results were still very good.

Encaustic Cement Tile During Cleaning at the French Chateaux Reims

Cleaning and sealing Terracotta hallway tiles

The Terracotta tiled hallway had no sealer, and so it had, over time, become very dirty. We cleaned the tiles using a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to five parts clean water, in combination with a couple of black burnishing pads.

Quarry Tiles before cleaning at the French Chateaux Reims Quarry Tiles before cleaning at the French Chateaux Reims

As you can see from the pictures, the combination really helped to lift out the ingrained dirt, leaving the tiles looking at their best again. The floor took three days to dry completely before we could begin the sealing process. Once the floor was dry enough to seal, we applied eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which is suitable for use on a variety of internal, unsealed porous surfaces.

Quarry Tiles after cleaning at the French Chateaux Reims Quarry Tiles after cleaning at the French Chateaux Reims

It was a long and exhausting week but the client was delighted with the results on both floors and left the following comments, he also mentioned using Tile Doctor in the future to work on the other properties he is developing.

“Thanks for yours and Heidi’s work in renovating our floors. It was also great to meet you guys and I hope you have enjoyed your visit to champagne and will come back some time. “

Heidi and Russell at the French Chateaux Reims

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout restoration services

Dealing with Urine Smelling Slate floor in Bowling Alley Toilets

Although we do get a lot of residential work we also cover commercial properties such as this local bowling complex in Slough where complaints of a bad odour in the male toilets had been received. The owner of the bowling complex realised the problem was coming from the slate tiled floor and decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to identify and eliminate the odour.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Inspection

Upon closer inspection, it was identified that the unsealed slate floor in the toilets had been contaminated by urine ingress. Urine ingress is a common problem for people who have small animals like cats or dogs as household pets, but it also quite often affects public toilets.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Inspection

Urine ingress occurs because urine, after leaving the body as an acid, becomes a white alkali crystal salt as it dries. Using normal detergents (including bleaches) for cleaning will actually add to both the odour and the problem overall since they are alkaline-based cleaners. At the same time, neglecting to clean can also be damaging, as urine in its initial acidic form will start to eat away at the sealer if not removed quickly.

Cleaning Slate Tiles

Our first action was to use Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a tile and stone friendly stripper, which we applied liberally to the toilet floor. This particular solution is highly effective at removing protective sealers, whilst also drawing out ingrained stains and removing any heavy grease build-up. The solution was allowed to sit for a short period of about ten minutes. It is important not to leave the product to dwell on the surface for too long in case it dries completely. Next, we added a small amount of water to the Remove & Go, before employing a heavy weighted rotary with a nylon brush to carefully scrub the slate and grout lines.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Stripping

After the soils and sealers had been successfully removed, the next task at hand was to neutralise the bad odour caused by urine ingress. This was achieved using a mild mix of the phosphoric acid-based detergent Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which was able to neutralise the alkali crystal salts back to a neutral state. The floor was then scrubbed again, before being thoroughly rinsed with plenty of fresh water.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Stripping

Sealing a Slate Floor

As the bowling complex experiences high volumes of customers on a daily basis, it was essential to use a sealer which would provide the floor with durable protection. We advised our client that an impregnating sealer rather than a topical sealer would be the most suitable for use in this type of environment and recommended a combination of Tile Doctor Stone Oil and Ultra-Seal (suitable for use on all natural stone, including slate) be used instead.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Sealing

We left the floor to dry overnight before applying the Stone Oil. Stone oil reconditions the Slate tile and enhances the colours within the stone. The product then needed a further period of time to dry before we applied two coats of Ultra-Seal impregnating sealer to the stone.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Sealing

Why did we use an impregnation sealer instead of a topical sealer?
Impregnation sealers, such as Ultra-Seal and Colour Grow, are absorbed by the pores in the stone, offering both stain and soil resistance, and providing protection from within. In addition, they are usually solvent-based, and provide durable protection even in areas which experience high traffic. By comparison, topical sealers will essentially build up layers on top of the stone in order to offer protection. The downside to using this is that, in high traffic areas, the sealer can be effectively ‘kicked’ or walked off the surface of the stone.

You’ll notice in some of the photos that the grout appears to be a different colour after cleaning. That’s because the grout had been repaired by the bowling complex prior to our work on the floor. This mistake has been realised, however, as they have matched the grout in with the dirty discolouration, rather than the clean so addressing this issue will be another job on their list!

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Sealing

In summary I’m happy to report we were able to effectively clean the slate floor and eliminate the bad odour caused by urine ingress in the process; then due to the busy nature of the bowling complex a combination of sealing products were applied to the stone to provide long-lasting protection.

Overall, our client was left with a cleaner and more durable slate floor.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in Berkshire

Cleaning A Victorian Floor At Brighton Offices

Recently, I was asked to do some Tile Doctoring at Palmeira Square, in the seaside city of Brighton and Hove, to restore the Victorian tiled floor of one of the downstairs offices. Palmeira Square is a residential area which was first developed in the mid-19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria, so many of the buildings feature some fantastic original Victorian tile floors. Although there are many large terraced houses and even mansions in the area, some of the buildings have been converted into offices for commercial use. My client, who leased the downstairs office, managed to persuade the other tenants to employ professional help to restore the tiles, and so I was asked to come in to clean and seal the floor to get it back to looking its best.

Victorian Tiled Office Floor Brighton Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian tile floor

With Palmeira Square being quite a lively area, I made sure to fence off the front door area from the wandering public. My first job was to apply Tile Doctor Remove & Go to the floor, a heavy duty stripper, multi-purpose stripper that was able to remove the stubborn marks, stains and ingrained dirt on and between the tiles. In particular, Remove & Go helped to remove some rust stains I found near the door hinges.

Victorian Tiled Office Floor Brighton Before Cleaning

I left the product to sit and work its magic for twenty minutes, and during this time I began cleaning the floor using a buffing pad, which is suitable for use on all types of floor (except polished stone), and a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with water. The combination of a buffing pad and Pro-Clean helped to remove the general dirt and grime that had built up over time in this high traffic area of the office. After the cleaning was complete, the black tiles appeared grey because any remaining sealer had been removed. However, the colour would return after resealing the tiles, which was my next job.

Victorian Tiled Office Floor Brighton After Cleaning

Sealing a Victorian tile floor

I returned to the office after two days to seal the Victorian tile floor. To do this, I needed to use Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which meant I had to ask the office workers to keep off the floor for most of the day. This is because I needed to apply six coats of Seal & Go to the floor, and each coat takes roughly fourty minutes to dry. Seal & Go provides a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which will help keep this floor looking great for a long time, even with a high traffic of workers coming in and out of the office.

Victorian Tiled Office Floor Brighton After Cleaning

Luckily, it was a warm day outside, and the floor dried quickly, leaving a shiny, deep black surface. Both my client and I were very happy with the result. The client was also pleasantly surprised to see that I had been able to remove the rust stains near the door.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration service in East Sussex

Night Cleaning Ceramic Supermarket Tiles

Photographs below from a Mini-Market in Lewes where high foot traffic was taking its toll on the Ceramic tiled floor which was now is need a dramatic deep clean.

Before Cleaning Dirty Ceramic Tiles in Lewes Mini Market

Shop Floor Cleaning

As the shop is open from 6am-11pm I had to work through the night. I started by applying a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to shift the muck, this was left to soak in for a while before being scrubbed into the floor using a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and stiff brush along the grout lines. The floor was then rinsed with warm water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. I had to repeat the process in stubborn areas but as you can see from the pictures the result was incredible, just look at the pictures!

Cleaning Dirty Ceramic Tiles in Lewes Mini Market

Ceramic tiles are glazed so do not need sealing and as there is no sealer the floor can now be maintain using a regular floor cleaning product. Hopefully they can keep on top of the cleaning however it is a busy floor with hundreds of people walking on it every day so if they do struggle we are always happy to do a regular maintenance clean for them.

After Cleaning Dirty Ceramic Tiles in Lewes Mini Market

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning service in East Sussex

Slate Floor Builders Clean at Scottish Business Park

The photographs on this page are of a natural Rough Slate tiled floor installed in the ground floor and stairs of the Touch Business Centre in Stirling where recent building renovation works had left the floor covered in dirt and plaster dust which they couldn’t remove. The owner of the business centre now needed the floor renovating prior to renting out the units to new tenants.

Dating from around 1750 the business units had been converted within the stable block of a large house; now a listed building they would originally have been used for horses and carriages before becoming a milking parlour, estate workshops and garages. The conversion was supported by Historic Scotland and had to retain the feel and features of an historic building and the slate floor was an important part of this.

Natural Rough Slate Tiled Floor Touch Estate Before Cleaning

Cleaning Slate Floor Tile and Grout

To remove the dirt and plaster we used a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong coatings remover that’s safe to use on natural stone but also very effective. It was mopped onto the tile and left for around twenty minutes to allow it to soak into the pores of the tile and get to work and break down and soften any remaining sealer and plaster etc. This was then scrubbed into the tiles using a black pad fitted to a rotary machine running on a slow speed; the resultant soiled cleaning solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum, the floor rinsed and the process repeated until we were satisfied the floor was completely clean.

Natural Rough Slate Tiled Stairs Touch Estate During Sealing Natural Rough Slate Tiled Stairs Touch Estate During Sealing

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

After allowing the floor sufficient time to dry we returned on-site to seal the slate tile and protect it from stains etc checking first with a damp meter that the tiles were indeed dry. To seal the floor we used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) which adds a nice sheen to the tile and gave the desired finish.

Natural Rough Slate Tiled Floor Touch Estate After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Glasgow