Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Given New Lease of Life in Kingston Upon Thames

It’s very surprising how often I hear from home owners who are considering completely replacing tiled floors that can be easily be salvaged. While some people might believe that replacement is cheaper and quicker than cleaning, this is emphatically not true in most situations.

Thankfully, one of my recent customers, who lives in Kingston Upon Thames had been persuaded by her husband not to completely strip out the original Terracotta tiles in their kitchen. While the couple had just had new kitchen units installed, it seemed unnecessary to completely replace the Terracotta floor tiles even though they certainly needed a deep clean.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Kingston on Thames

Instead, they contacted their local Tile Doctor to rejuvenated the tiles to complement the new kitchen design.

Cleaning Original Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

Before beginning, I covered all the new kitchen units with protective sheeting to prevent them from encountering water and splashes from the cleaning products. I could see that the tiles had been left unsealed for many years and this had allowed dirt and general muck to become deeply ingrained.

To clean the tiles, I applied a covering of our strong alkaline-based cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and left it dwell for a short period. I then attached a coarse, 200-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad to my buffing machine and began working the product into the tiles. The burnishing pad milled away the dirty top layer of the tiles. Contrary to what some might believe, this doesn’t harm the tiles in any way, but instead polishes them.

Any old sealer and dirt that the buffing machine could not reach in the corners of the room was removed by hand using diamond encrusted burnishing blocks. The burnishing process does, in fact, make quite a mess, so I promptly rinsed off the resulting slurry with more water and a wet vacuum to clear the area and leave it clean and ready to be dried.

Sealing Original Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

A lot of water was used during the cleaning process, so I had to leave the property for 48 hours to let the tiles dry completely. Returning to the property after those two days, I sealed the tiles using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Following years of next to no protection, the floor desperately needed an effective sealer to put new life in the Terracotta and Seal and Go does that in spades by adding a lovely sheen to the tile.

Terracotta Floor Tiles After Cleaning Kingston on Thames

The photo above shows the amazing difference made by cleaning the floor instead of choosing to replace. The customer’s testimonial speaks for itself:

“Excellent service and we are delighted with the work. Would definitely use Rupert again.”
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen in Surrey

Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Brought Back to Life at an Esher Flat

Esher is a small suburb in Surrey, situated just outside London. It was a fashionable area to live in amongst royalty and the aristocracy in the Victorian period, and during this time many buildings were built.

One such building has since been turned into a block of separate flats, and some of the flats still contain the original Victorian tiles in the hallway. I was contacted by one of these flat owners about restoring their tiles back to the best possible condition. Interestingly this customer’s tiles were part of a larger floor that had been divided between two flats.

Victorian Floor Tile Before Cleaning Esher

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

I began the restoration by spreading Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entire set of tiles. Remove and Go is a heavy-duty stripper that helped to loosen and remove old glue deposits where carpet had been laid over the tile, it will also strip off old sealers and release ingrained muck.

The Remove and Go was worked into the tile and grout with a stiff brush and then the soiled solution rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. I followed by this applying a coarse 200-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad, fitted to a handheld buffer, to grind away the particularly stubborn dirt and stains to restore the appearance of the stone. Afterwards, I rinsed the tiles again with water and soaked up the resultant slurry with a wet vacuum.

I noticed that there remained several ingrained stains dotted across the floor, so to remove these I aggressively burnished the affected areas with a very coarse 50-grit handheld diamond block. This essentially removed the very top layer of the stone, taking with it the ingrained marks.

Next, I dried the area with a large blower and heat gun. Under normal circumstances, 48 hours needs to pass before the tiles can be sealed, but as this was a small area I was able to dry it very quickly. After carrying out a damp test, I determined the tiles were ready to be sealed.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

To seal the Victorian Tiles, I applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer, which provides a high-quality sheen finish, as well as plenty of protection for the future. Tile Doctor have a range of suitable sealers available including Colour Grow which provides a matte finish – it’s just a matter of personal choice for the customer.

Victorian Floor Tile After Cleaning Esher

The outcome of the restoration was fantastic and the customer was very pleased, leaving the following testimonial.

“Promptly organised, delivered when promised. Good looking job when complete. Well done.”
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for an Original Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Esher

Severely Stained Slate Shower Cubicle Restored with Burnishing in Clapham

When used to clean natural stone, supermarket products can often cause more harm than good as this recent customer of mine discovered this the hard way!

Originally from South Africa, she had lived in a flat in Clapham for a couple of years, but had to suddenly return home earlier than expected. However, part of her flat rental agreement required her to leave the property clean and as she found it, including the fantastic Slate shower cubicle.

In a rush, the customer had attempted to clean the Slate using a popular supermarket bathroom cleaner. She left the product to sit on the base of the shower before scrubbing it in with an abrasive pan scourer.

Badly Marked Slate Shower Tray in Clapham Before Restoration

This was a big mistake – and the customer called me in a panic after discovering that her attempts had left the Slate severely stained. I travelled to the property to see what could be done to set the situation straight.

Burnishing a Severely Stained Slate Shower Cubicle

Upon observing the damage in person, I decided that the best course of action would be to use a process known as burnishing to grind away the stains. I tested a small area of the cubicle with one of our handheld diamond encrusted burnishing blocks.

Happy with the results of the test Clean, I started to burnish the whole cubicle using our system of four burnishing blocks, starting with the coarsest first and working my way down to the finest. A small amount of water was used as lubrication for each pad.

Through the burnishing process, the white stains started to disappear, exposing the lighter grey coloured Slate shower base.

Sealing a Slate Shower Cubicle

After drying the area completely with a heat gun, I was able to seal the stone with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

This impregnating sealer not only protects the stone but also importantly it restores the natural dark shades in the Slate, enhancing its overall appearance. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates the pores in the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt.

Badly Marked Slate Shower Tray in Clapham After Restoration

To say the customer was very relieved would be a complete understatement! By hiring in professional assistance, the customer was able to resolve the situation quickly and painlessly – and more importantly hold onto her £3,000 deposit!
 
 

Professional Tile Burnishing and Sealing to Restore a Badly Stained Slate Shower Cubicle in Clapham

Cleaning Ceramic Bath Tiles at a Chessington Student Let

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.
 
 

Stained Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Tiles Refreshed in West Surrey

Large Area of Limestone Tiled Flooring Burnished in Esher

This beautiful Limestone tiled floor was installed in the lounge of a house in the popular London commuter town of Esher. The floor was looking dull after years without a polish and the grout was dirty, there was also a crack running along a number of tiles however without matching replacements it was decided not to address that problem at this time.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning and Polishing in Esher

Limestone is a very tough stone so to clean the tile and rebuild the polish it would need to be burnished using different grades of Diamond encrusted pads and then sealed to protect it from ingrained dirt and stains. It’s worth noting that polished stone tile does need to be regularly maintained if you want to keep up its appearance and Tile Doctor does offer this as a service.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning and Polishing in Esher

Cleaning Limestone Tile and Grout

Before working on the tiles I decided to treat the grout to a good old fashioned scrub with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and stiff grout brush. This soon got the grout clean and the soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed away with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Next step was to start the burnishing process using a coarse pad which was attached to a rotary buffer and then, using a litre of water per square metre as lubrication, I cleaned and stripped away any remaining sealer.

Once I’d removed any excess residue with the wet-vacuum, I changed to the a medium grit pad, repeated the cleaning process, and again extracted the soiled residue. Finally, I completed the process once more with the fine grit pad. Once this was completed I buffed the floor with a soft white pad to clean up any dried residue, leaving it ready to be sealed.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Two days later, once the floor was completely dry, I returned to the property to seal and polish the floor. To begin, I restored the shine to the tiles by applying the last of the four burnishing pads – the very fine grit pad.

To seal the Limestone I applied Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the Limestone to provide durable protection against ingrained dirt without changing the natural look of the tile.

After an hour, the floor was ready to be buffered once again to bring up the shine and then we were done

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Polishing in Esher

I was very pleased with the result and more importantly so did the customer who left the following feedback

“All work very professionally carried out, floors are sparkling.”

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Polishing in Esher

 
 

Professional Maintenance of a Honed Limestone Floor in East Sussex

Cleaning & Grout Colouring a Marble Tiled Bathroom in Earls Court

These Marble Tiles were installed in the bathroom at a residence in Earls Court, west London; the Marble certainly gave a luxurious effect but had dulled over time, on top of that the grout had stained in places and both were in need of really good deep clean.

Marble Tile Cleaned

Cleaning Marble Tiles

We set about cleaning the Marble Tiled floor using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with Deck Brushes. Once we were happy the floor was rinsed with clean water to remove and chemical residue and we then began polishing the floor using a buffing machine fitted with a green burnishing pad, the green pads are encrusted with very fine diamonds and used with a small amount of water to produce a high shine finish.

Marble Tiles Cleaned and Polished

Applying Grout Colourant

The last step was to colour the grout which is easily done using a bottle of Grout Colourant. This is applied into the grout lines using a tooth brush; as well as changing the colour the product provides an epoxy coating on top of the grout protecting it against future discoloration.

The customer was certainly pleased with difference and said the “the results are amazing” when she returned home from work that evening.

Marble Tiles Cleaned and Polished

 
 

Cleaning and Polishing Marble Bathroom Tiles

Polishing a scratched Marble Floor in Eaton Square, Belgravia, London

We were asked to polish this marble floor in Eaton Square which is in Belgravia one of the most historic residential parts of London, a short distance from Buckingham Palace and Knightsbridge.

Cleaning a Marble Tiled Floor

There were a lot of scratches in the Marble floor and it was also looking dull, so we set about first by giving it a good clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an strong alkaline product designed for use on stone floors. It’s important to clean the floor before polishing to ensure there’s no dirt or grit on the floor which might get ground into the floor during polishing making the problem worse.

Marble Floor Polishing in Belgravia Marble Floor Polishing in Belgravia

Polishing Marble Tiles

Once the floor was clean we started the polishing process with a Red Burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine, the pads are diamond encrusted and can remove deep scratches. We went over the floor carefully covering every tile four times and then followed up with the white, yellow and then green polishing pads, each one polishes the floor to a higher degree. The next step was to apply Tile Doctor Shine crystallising powder with a little water polished in with our polishing machine fitted with a natural fibre pad; this step gives the floor a tough durable finish. The floor was then thoroughly rinsed to remove any residues left on the floor all before giving it a final re-polish to bring out a deep high shine.

Marble Floor Polishing in Belgravia Marble Floor Polishing in Belgravia

 
 

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Floor in Belgravia

Indian Orange Slate Floor in London

Restoration of a client’s slate floor

We were asked to take a look at cleaning and re-sealing an Indian Orange Slate floor at a property in London, the owner had struggled to find someone who would take the job on as they were unsure what they were dealing with and so called in Tile Doctor. This isn’t surprising as we do find that many so called Tile Cleaning companies only take on straight forward cleaning jobs where they can get in and out quickly without fear of complications.

Cleaning an Indian Orange Slate Floor

The floor was in reasonable condition and had simply dulled as the sealer had worn down over time and dirt became trapped in the pores of the tile and grout.

Indian Orange Slate Floor Before Cleaning Indian Orange Slate Floor Before Cleaning

We cleaned the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean Tile and Grout cleaner in conjunction with a scrubbing machine fitted with a black pad. This removed the old sealers and was followed with a thorough deep clean using our powerful truck mount high pressure cleaning machine to remove any residue soils and sealers etc.

Sealing an Indian Orange Slate

We left the floor for a couple of hours to dry and then we sealed it with six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for slate floors. We left the floor for thirty minutes in-between coats to allow it to dry. Once that was complete we attached a white pad to our buffing machine and polished the floor in order to harden the sealer and bring out the shine.

Indian Orange Slate Floor After Cleaning Indian Orange Slate Floor After Cleaning

The effects was quite dramatic and the customer who was obviously pleased with the results commented “Wow look at my beautiful floor, what a difference thank you very much for such a good professional job”.
 
 

Restoration of Orange Slate Floor in London