Slate Tiled Floor Rejuvenated at New Barn Conversion in Farnham

Converting a barn into a property can be an exciting project, but it certainly doesn’t come without a range of challenges. If done correctly, they can look amazing and are well worth the effort.

A recent customer of mine had spent the last six months converting a barn into a residential property in the West Surrey town of Farnham. While the project had been a big success, the house had been subjected to high traffic from dozens of carpenters, electricians and builders. This had taken its toll on the newly installed Slate tiled floor – so the property owner asked me to restore it to its peak condition to complete the conversion once and for all.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Farnham

Before accepting the job, I strongly advised the customer that I should be the last workman out of the door. In my experience few tradesmen are known to take care of other peoples work and any further work being done in the property could potentially spoil the appearance of the Slate tiles.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Farnham

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

The customer was happy for me to proceed, so on the agreed date I returned and started the work by laying down a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean across the floor. Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner which breaks down all manner of dirt and grime.

This was a large area of tiles, so I worked on individual sections of 3m2, first soaking the Slate in Pro-Clean and then waiting ten minutes for it to soak in and then following with a nylon black scrubbing pad fitted to a 17-inch rotary buffing machine to work the cleaning product into the stone. The tiles immediately came up looking much cleaner. Any excess water and chemical slurry was vacuumed up promptly with a wet vacuum.

The tiler had done a good job of laying the floor and removing any excess grout as normally my next step at this point would be to give the floor an acid wash, but it wasn’t necessary.

Once the tiles had been cleaned to the best of my abilities and given a thorough rinse, I left the property for 48 hours to allow any water that had seeped into the tiles to evaporate. This is important as excess moisture problems can prevent the tiles from being sealed correctly.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

On returning to the property a couple of days later, I swept away any bits of dust and debris and then proceeded to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Farnham

This impregnating, colour-intensifying sealer enhanced the stunning natural brown, gold and orange shades in the stone. Two coats of the sealer were applied to achieve a brilliant natural-look finish and robust protection against future wear and tear.
Restoring the appearance of these Slate tiles put the finishing touches on this fantastic barn conversion. Needless to say, the customer was very pleased with the results.

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Farnham

 
 

Recently Laid Slate Tiled Floor Given Builders Clean to Restore Appearance in Surrey

Quarry Tiled Floor Restored at Historic Cottage in Dunsfold

Dunsfold is a very small village in the borough of Waverley in West Surrey. It’s well known for the Dunsfold Aerodrome, an airfield that was built by the Canadian army during World War II. Hundreds of years ago, members of the English aristocracy held large estates of land in and around Dunsfold – and several historic cottages still exist in the area.

A customer of mine had recently bought one of these cottages and, during renovation work, had removed the downstairs carpets in three rooms to discover a Quarry tiled floor. Naturally, they were caked in many years’ worth of muck and carpet glue.

It would be a significant job to get the tiles in the three rooms back to looking their best – but it was a job I was more than willing to undertake. Classic Quarry tiles exude a certain rustic quality and charm – a welcome addition to many vintage properties, especially those located out in the countryside.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I started the restoration by soaking small areas of the floor in Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product is excellent for removing floor coatings such as old sealers as well as shifting stubborn filth and loosening carpet adhesive deposits. After carefully scraping any excess adhesive off manually with a sharp blade, I ran my buffing machine across the floor and immediately the tiles cleaned up well.

Next, I used a 200-grit (Coarse) diamond-encrusted burnishing pad on the floor. This basically skims a layer off the tile surface, revealing the original colour of the stone that had previously been hidden underneath. A small amount of water was used as lubrication for this process. Quarry tiles are naturally very porous so after rinsing the soil off the floor I left them over the weekend to dry.

While the somewhat aggressive approach of burnishing is highly effective, it can leave the tiles looking a little washed out – and the colour slightly diminished. However, I assured the customer that the colour would return once the tiles had been sealed.

Sealing an Original Quarry Tiled Floor

While I was enjoying my weekend off, the customer fortunately found a few replacement Quarry tiles in his attic to fit around the fireplace as upstands where there were some tiles missing. So, on my return to the property my first task was to fit these replacements, before sweeping the floor clear of any debris.

To finish the restoration, I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealant which provides the matte, natural-look finish the customer wanted. This sealant penetrates into the pores of the tile, so it dries inside the stone not on the surface. It also intensifies the fantastic red shades in the Quarry.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage

Around an hour after the coats of Colour Grow had been applied, the floor was dry and free to be walked on, and all the furniture could be returned. Much needed life and character had been restored to the Quarry tiled floor and the new property owner was very happy as a result.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Surrey

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Refreshed for new Tenants in Oxshott

When renting property out a property it makes a lot of sense to give it a quick facelift to ensure it’s more attractive to future tenants, not only will it rent faster but it should also command a better price. Many landlords don’t realise this but giving bathrooms, a facelift is the one thing you can do quite cheaply and quickly that can rapidly improve the appearance and desirability of a house, after all no-one wants to rent a place with grotty tiles!

A returning customer of mine recently contacted me about restoring the condition of a Ceramic tiled shower cubicle in a flat she owned in the Surrey village of Oxshott. She was about to rent the property out to a couple of international students, and so wanted it looking its best in all aspects.

Tiled Shower Before Renovation in Oxshot

You may be wondering why international students would want to live in Oxshott but it’s not too far at all from the University of Surrey. The town of Oxshott is quite large and has a low population density. There are many private roads in the village – and it has been named the “most expensive village in England” and so a very desirable location.

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

We tend to follow a tried and tested method that we have developed at Tile Doctor for restoring shower cubicles. To begin, I cleaned the grout lines using our acidic cleaning product, Tile Doctor Clean-Up. The product was scrubbed into shower wall tile and grout using a handheld rotary machine fitted with a six-inch black scrubbing pad.

Being a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner, Grout Clean-Up effectively removes mineral deposits (salts etc) and grout smears from the tile surface to leaving it looking much fresher, it also prepares the grout for a superior bond with the grout colourant that was to be added later.

Following this, I scrubbed the tiles down with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to provide a general clean and to remove any other muck and dirt. This was followed by a rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product from the tile and grout. The next step was to remove all the existing silicone mastic with a sharp knife; the mastic sealant stained with mould and much in need of replacement. Once all the rubbish was swept out, I dried any remaining dampness from the grout and tiles with a heat gun.

Grout Colouring a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

This left the grout ready to be recoloured. I did this over the course of a few hours, using a White colourant from the Tile Doctor Grout Colourant range. White is just one of ten colours available in the range and was chosen in this case to give the grout a really fresh look and to blend in with the White Ceramic tiles.

The application of Grout Colourant not only colours the grout joints – it also seals and rejuvenates them. It also dries quickly, so I could apply a second coat quite soon after the first, removing any excess as I went.

Once the restoration was finished, I resealed the shower base with fresh silicone mastic again in White to match the tile and grout. As a courtesy, I also cleaned the shower glass too, leaving an excellent result overall – and one very happy customer!

Tiled Shower After Renovation in Oxshot

 
 

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Cleaning and Grout Recolouring in Surrey

Original Quarry Tiled Hallway Given New Life in Haslemere

As the West Surrey Tile Doctor I cover quite a large area including Haslemere which is a town on the South-Western edge of the county in the borough of Waverley. I was down there to visit a customer who had recently bought an old property there and during the renovations uncovered six foot of quarry tiles by the front door. There was a patch of concrete that also needed investigating.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles

I began by carefully removing the layer of concrete with a scraper and a covering of Tile Doctor Acid-Gel hoping it would expose more quarry tiles underneath. Sadly, this wasn’t the case and all I exposed was an area of ruined quarry tiles and four buried bricks. These would have to be removed then filled to bring them to the same level as the remaining tile so I could lay new tiles their place. A couple of noisy hours later following drilling and violent chisel work I’d removed enough to lay flat tiles.

I spent the next hour cleaning and preparing the remaining good tiles. After years of being covered by carpet there was a fair amount of adhesive to remove. This was loosened with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and small abrasive hand-held Diamond blocks to get into the corners.

The Remove and Go was applied to the tiles, left to soak in for ten minutes and then worked into the tile and grout with a stiff brush. The then the soiled solution was rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. Following this work the tiles looked clean but worn out and colourless which is not unusual for this stage of the process and would be resolved once a sealer had been applied.

Tiles were then cut to measure then fixed in place with a rapid adhesive in line with the originals. Once they had set they were grouted in with a grout that closely matched the original. The rest of the floor was inspected at this point and any holes filled with more grout until flat. The grout and tiles were left to dry which was a good opportunity for me to eat lunch.

Sealing Original Quarry Tiles

It was only a small area so later that afternoon the tile and grout and I was able to finish the restoration with the application of two coats of sealer. On this occasion I chose to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the clay Quarry tiles protecting them from within and also enhancing the red colours in the tile.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

The result was a significant improvement and the customer was very happy, leaving the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Rupert was absolutely brilliant. Very friendly and professional, worked cleanly and totally rejuvenated our quarry tile entryway. Would definitely call him again and recommend to friends.”
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor in Surrey

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

Polishing and Sealing a Dirty Limestone Kitchen Floor in Cobham

This customer, who lives in the small village of Cobham had the unique situation of having been abroad for six months, leaving her adult children in charge of the house. During this time, the fantastic Limestone tiled floor in the kitchen had not received adequate maintenance and its appearance had rapidly degraded. To make the situation worse, it seemed to me that the wrong products had been used on the rare occasions that it had been cleaned.

With the customer now back in the UK and living in the house again, he was keen to have the Limestone tiles restored to their original condition. He contacted me to get the job done.

Limestone Floor Tiles Cobham Before Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles Cobham Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Polishing Dirty Limestone Kitchen Tiles

My first task was to tackle the dirty grout lines between the Limestone tiles, which were brown and stained. Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our reliable alkaline-based tile cleaner, was applied with a grout brush and the stains immediately vanished.

The next stage of the restoration involved polishing the Limestone using our four-pad Tile Doctor diamond-encrusted burnishing pad system. Firstly, I applied a Coarse 400 grit pad to strip away what remained of the old sealer which had been worn down in the high traffic areas of the floor. I then applied the Medium 800 grit and Fine 1500 grit pad to gradually close the pores of the stone which, in turn, restores the polished effect.

Each pad is used in combination with a small amount of water and any excess moisture is removed with a wet vacuum. To end the first day of work, I left the floor to dry and arranged to return in 48 hours to finish the job with sealing.

Sealing Limestone Kitchen Tiles

Upon my return, I ran some quick damp tests to check the floor could be sealed and quickly polished the surface again using a soft white nylon pad to remove the paw prints caused by the customer’s dog in the interim period!

Next, using a small quantity of water, I used the Very Fine 3000 grit burnishing pad to hone the stone to its highest possible quality. Once dry, I applied to the floor two coats of Ultra- Seal, which is a penetrating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection while providing a natural look finish. One final polish later and the restoration was complete.

Limestone Floor Tiles Cobham After Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles Cobham After Cleaning

Here’s what the customer said:

“Very professional service, very thorough, and careful with moving furniture. Very informative about the ongoing care and treatment of the flooring. Would most certainly recommend Rupert.”

Professional Tile Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing for a Dirty and Stained Limestone Kitchen Tiled Floor Restoration in Cobham

Repairing a Scratched Slate Tiled Kitchen floor in Weybridge

This property owner in Weybridge recently had a new fridge delivered by a well-known electrical retailer that has an unusual policy of not protecting its customers’ floors when installing heavy appliances. Predictably, the lack of care and consideration resulted in multiple unsightly scratches being left on the fantastic Slate tiled floor, mostly notably in front of the dishwasher, which was also newly installed.

Understandably, the property owner was not best pleased. He was keen to have the situation remedied as soon as possible. At Tile Doctor, we not only provide tile cleaning services but we also have the experience and equipment to hand all sorts of related issues including the restoration of scratched tiles. Happy to help. I travelled over to Weybridge to address the problem.

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Weybridge

Repairing and Sealing a Damaged Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The surface of the stone was damaged and the only way to repair it without the repair standing out was to strip and polish the whole floor. I therefore began the restoration by stripping the whole floor of its old sealer. The customer had marked all the deep scratches he wanted to have removed with sticky notes. I explained to him that burnishing, a type of polishing carried out using diamond encrusted handheld blocks in combination with a little water, would be perfect for this job.

The process of burnishing essentially grinds away the damaged layer and then re-polishes the stone, the process would remove the scratches and rebuild the shine. It involves the application of different grades of pads from coarse to extra fine and a little water to lubricate the process followed by a rinse with more water in-between each pad to remove the slurry generated by the process. After burnishing the floor is left polished but damp, however to save time I able to speed dry the whole floor using a powerful industrial air mover.

Once the floor was dry the final task was to re-seal the tiles. I did this using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensifying, impregnating sealer which soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within against ingrained dirt and stains for many years to come.

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles After Cleaning Weybridge

The customer was very satisfied with the service provided and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Great advice, open, honest and helpful. Turned up on time, explained the job well and it looks great. Very happy with the process and the finished results.”
 
 

Professional Repair of a Scratched Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Surrey

Acid-Damaged Marble Shower Cubicle Restored in Leatherhead

Marble tiles are a fantastic choice of stone for a shower cubicle because of its distinctive characteristics and quality. It can really add a luxurious feel and when used in a bathroom take it to the next level.

However, it’s extremely important to note that Marble like all natural stone is a porous and acid-sensitive material. It must therefore be cleaned with care using suitable products. This particular Marble tiled shower cubicle at a property in Leatherhead is a good example of this done wrong. The owner had used an acid-based cleaning product to clean the stone, resulting in damage to the sealer and causing unappealing streaks to form.

Marble Shower Wall Leatherhead Before Cleaning

This type of damage can appear irreparable but, with the right combination of cleaning methods and products, it can be fixed. Once the old sealer has been removed, and the tiles have been cleaned, polished and re-sealed, they can look as a good as new. Here’s how I helped this customer restore the Marble shower cubicle.

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Shower Cubicle

To begin the restoration, I scrubbed the dirty grout lines using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a highly reliable and multi-purpose alkaline-based product. I then rinsed the tiles with water to remove the traces of cleaning product.

Next, I moved on to the polishing stage of the restoration – what we often refer to as burnishing. This involved the use of small six-inch diamond-encrusted burnishing pads applied with a hand buffer and with different levels of grit – ranging from Coarse to Very Fine. I started with the Coarse grit pad and worked my way sequentially through our four-pad system, polishing the stone with Medium, Fine and eventually the Very Fine pad to really bring up the polish.

Sealing a Marble Shower Cubicle

Once the shine had returned to the Marble and the damage had been removed, I re-sealed the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a penetrating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours and patina of the stone. Once dry, I gave the tiles a final polish with a white buffing pad to put the finishing touches on the restoration.

Marble Shower Wall Leatherhead After Cleaning

The customer was thrilled with the results, saying:
“I’m really happy with the result and we will make sure we don’t use supermarket cleaners again on natural stone. Rupert was a very personable tradesman who took pride in what he was doing. He has identified Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner as being the product we should have used in the first place and has sent me the website details.”
Another satisfied customer!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Damaged Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle in Surrey

Cleaning Dirty White Porcelain Floor Tiles in Windlesham

Photographs below from a lovely house in Windlesham where I was asked to do something about the Porcelain floor tiles which had become extremely dirty and were proving impossible to clean. Infact my customer was pulling her hair out about how to fix this issue of deeply ingrained muck and was on the verge of pulling the whole lot up.

Porcelain Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Windlesham

Porcelain Tile Cleaning

Normally Porcelain tiles are fairly easy to maintain and it’s just a question of keeping the grout clean however I have to confess these tiles were perplexing indeed. In fact to be honest…I tried every product in my van to get them clean, finally settling on Oxy Gel. I left it to soak on the floor for 30 minutes and then worked it in with an aggressive 200 grit pad.

I’m happy to report the transformation was amazing, all the muck was released from the tile and I was able to extract it from the floor using a wet vacuum. My last step was to give the grout a good scrub using more Oxy Gel, rinse off with water and extract as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum.

Porcelain Tile Sealing

I speed dried the floor with an air mover and once the floor was dry I applied a coating of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Now Porcelain tiles don’t usually take a sealer however these tiles were unusual in that they were trapping dirt and it’s possible they were in fact micro-porcelain so a coat of sealer was added for good measure.

Porcelain Tiled Floor After Cleaning Windlesham

My customer was really pleased with the difference and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Here’s what she said-

“Rupert was a total professional from start to finish. I was worried as to how good he would be able to make the floor – the floor consists of almost white porcelain tiles, that my tiler had failed to seal. This meant they had absorbed dirt over the last two years – even after me scrubbing the floor, they always looked dirty. The room was big – a 24 feet long kitchen/dining room. But Rupert assured me he could get it clean again – and he was as good as his word. When I saw the room for the first time, I said “I have my new kitchen back – the floor looks as good as it did the day the tiler had put the tiles down”. He left everything clean and tidy after the job – I wish I had discovered your website 18 months ago ! Thank you, Rupert, brilliant work.””
 
 

Cleaning a tiled supermarket floor in East Sussex

Lifeless Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Weybridge

Details below of a tired and lifeless looking Victorian tiled hallway that I was asked to deep clean and seal at a house in the suburban town of Weybridge. The tiles were laid in a chequer pattern of Red, Yellow and Black tiles and if you look closely at the photographs you can cleanly see the ingrained dirt on the yellow tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Weybridge Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Weybridge

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the process straight away with an aggressive diamond encrusted coarse 200 grit burnishing pad fitted to a buffing machine and lubricated with water. The diamond encrusted pads really gets into the most deeply encrusted areas to remove the dirt.

Once the previous sealer and grime was removed I vacuumed up the soil using a wet vax and then gave the floor a quick blow dry with an industrial fan. For the next couple of hours, I got down to the corners to clean areas not touched by the pad. To finish I took a wire brush to any paint splash left over from recent decorating.

After further drying I was able to assess the yellow coloured tiles that would benefit from further attention. Several tiles near the heavy footfall areas benefited from a twenty-minute application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The gel removes mineral salt deposits and grout smears as well as breaking down deeply ingrained, long standing dirt. Once washed away and extracted using the wet vacuum I was done for the day. I warned the customer at this point that it’s common for the tiles to appear washed out in-between cleaning and sealing.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry naturally through evaporation for two days before returning to seal the floor. It’s important to ensure that the floor is bone dry before sealing as dampness can affect the sealer.

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which gives a long lasting, tough, gloss look seal, it’s also water based so it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries like some products. Victorian tiles are quite porous so nine coats were applied, a process that took around four hours to complete.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Weybridge

When the customer returned home from work she said the tiles looked brand new.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Maintenance in Surrey

Deep Cleaning Kitchen and bathroom Vinyl floors in Worcester Park

When I discuss tile cleaning with customers they normally think of the ceramic or stone tiles you find in Tile shops. Interestingly our equipment, products and techniques also work well on other hard surfaces as well including Vinyl floor tiles.

Things brings me nicely onto this customer in the London suburb of Worcester Park who had chequered Vinyl tiled floors in the bathroom and kitchen that were well overdue a deep clean.

Vinyl Kitchen and Bathroom Floor Before Deep Cleaning Worcester Park

Cleaning Heavily Soiled Vinyl Tiled Floors

I approached cleaning the Vinyl in the same way as tile by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and leaving it soak into the floor for around ten minutes. I then scrubbed the solution into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to my 45kg buffing machine which had to be lowered down to the basement. Some houses are really difficult to get the equipment into. I like to run marathons when I’m not cleaning tiles so consider myself quite fit but this job was felt across my shoulders for days.

Vinyl Kitchen and Bathroom Floor Before Deep Cleaning Worcester Park Vinyl Kitchen and Bathroom Floor Before Deep Cleaning Worcester Park

The cleaning process released a lot of dirt from the floors which was rinsed away with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum. Once the floor was clean I was able to check the floor and repeat the process for any stubborn areas that needed extra work.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next step was to seal the floor however it had to be dry first so I installed an industrial blower machine to speed up the drying process. Once the floor was dry I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a layer of protection to the Vinyl that will prevent dirt becoming ingrained.

Vinyl Kitchen and Bathroom Floor After Deep Cleaning Worcester Park Vinyl Kitchen and Bathroom Floor After Deep Cleaning Worcester Park

One cleaned and dry the dark squares contrasted well with the white which was appreciated by the customer who left the following feedback.

“Anita and I were both delighted when we got home last night and saw the results of your work – you really have brought the tiles up beautifully and the results are better than I’d hoped or expected. I hope you didn’t hurt your back too badly humping the machine up and down the stairs. We are both most grateful. Thanks again.”
 
 

Professional Vinyl Tiled Floor Restoration in South West London

Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed at a Cafe in Chertsey

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!
 
 

Professional Commercial Tiled Floor Restoration in Surrey

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

Acid-Damaged Slate Shower Tiles Restored with Burnishing in Churt

One problem we encounter a lot at Tile Doctor is damaged caused to natural stone tiles by unsuitable household cleaning products. This customer, who lives in the small West Surrey village of Churt, had done this by attempting to use Cilit Bang, which is an acidic product, to remove limescale from his fantastic Slate tiled shower cubicle. While the product may indeed remove Limescale, it does say on the label that it should not be used on natural stone.

Slate shower before cleaning Churt Slate shower before cleaning Churt

Putting these types of products in contact with acid-sensitive stone typically results in some sort of etching, however, I had never before seen the type of damage that had occurred on these Slate tiles. At first, I thought the damage – which appeared as a sort of white staining – might simply be damage to the sealer. But when I did a test clean to remove the sealer, it became clear that the stone had suffered from very deep staining and the only way to remove it would be to use a process we call burnishing.

Slate shower before cleaning Churt

Burnishing an Acid-Damaged Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle

The burnishing process is a type of polishing which involves the application of diamond burnishing pads in sequence. Each pad has a different level of grit, allowing for dirt and stains to be broken down before the stone is gradually polished. We typically use burnishing on Limestone, Marble, and Travertine, but it can be used on all manner of stone in the right circumstances. This being a vertical surface, I had to complete the process using smaller six-inch pads fitted to a handheld buffer.

I started by applying the 400 grit (Coarse) pad, and followed on through to the 800 grit (Medium) and 1500 grit (Fine) pads, using a small amount of water as lubrication. I then left the tiles to dry until the next day.

When I arrived back at the property, the customer remarked that the tiles looked massively improved. Nonetheless, I found I hadn’t removed all the staining possible, so decided to repeat the burnishing process once – but this time used the pads without any lubrication. Once I was satisfied with the results, it was time to seal the tiles.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which impregnates the stone to block ingrained dirt and staining. As the name of the product suggests, it also enhances the dark natural shades in the Slate, giving the shower cubicle a bold, healthy and rich appearance.

Slate shower after burnishing Churt Slate shower after burnishing Churt

The customer was really pleased with the end result, which can be seen in the photographs above and below. So pleased was the customer, in fact, that he asked me to quote for the restoration of his Limestone tiled patio.

Slate shower after burnishing Churt

 
 

Restoring the Appearance of Black Slate Tiles in a Surrey Shower Cubicle

Cement and Lino Covered Quarry Tiles Restored in Woking

This customer from Woking had a Quarry tiled kitchen floor that she simply didn’t think could be restored. The floor had been unearthed after many years of being covered by a layer of levelling compound cement and then linoleum. Indeed, the situation certainly looked dire, but I carried out a successful test clean on a patch of the floor where the cement was at its thickest to show that it would be possible to conduct a full restoration. Having seen the results, the customer was more than happy for me to get the work underway.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Woking Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Woking

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Cleaning Dirty, Cement Covered Quarry Tiles

To begin the restoration, I soaked small sections with water and Tile Doctor Remove and Go our heavy duty coatings remover. The solution was left to dwell for a short period to soften the cement, before I used the heat from a steamer in combination with a hand scraper to begin lifting away the muck. As you can probably imagine, this was an arduous and intensive process which took a full four days to fully complete.

Quarry Tiled WC Floor Before Cleaning Woking Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Woking

Next, I cleaned the cement-free tiles using our high alkaline tile cleaning product Tile Doctor Pro Clean diluted 1 part cleaner with 3 parts water. This helped to eradicate the leftover muck once I had removed the bulk of the cement. I then sprayed Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up onto the grout lines and tiles to fully neutralise them and also remove any cement residue. Finally, I steamed the floor and left it for a week to dry out completely.

Sealing Quarry Kitchen Tiles

Upon my return to the property I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which really enhances the natural colours stone, and four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which provides a high quality sheen finish and durable protection against stains.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Woking Quarry Tiled WC Floor After Restoration Woking

The customer was over the moon with the results and left some great feedback:

“Wayne did a really superb job. It was a very tough task, hot and exhausting, but he was fantastically good-humoured throughout, and kept me really well-informed. He was 100% reliable and very good at communicating between visits. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results! Thank you Wayne and thank you Tile Doctor! Would definitely recommend, and use your services again.”

Quarry Tiled Floor Before and After Restoration Woking

 
 

Removing Cement Screed from Quarry Tiled Floor in Surrey

Cleaning Stains From a Natural Stone Fireplace Hearth in East Byfleet

This is a follow-on post from the Travertine Kitchen floor that I wrote about recently, you may recall the customer from East Byfleetalso asked me to clean the stains from the hearth of their Natural Stone Fireplace as well.

Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning East Byfleet

Stone Fireplace Hearth Stain Removal

The fireplace was suffering from general dirt build-up as well as bad rust and oil stains. I treated the rust stains using Tile Doctor Rust Remover which is a specialist product developed by Tile Doctor especially for the removal of rust marks from stone. Then to deal with the oil stains I applied a solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean alkaline cleaner combined 50/50 with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to give the solution extra strength.

While this improved the condition of the stone and removed the un-sightly stains more work was required so I continued the cleaning process with the application of a Coarse 30 grit pad fitted to my hand machine. This proved effective, so I then refined the surface further using a series of fine grit pads before sealing the fireplace with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, another of our impregnating sealers.

Stone Fireplace After Cleaning East Byfleet

The appearances of both Travertine tiled kitchen floor and the natural stone fireplace have benefitted greatly from deep cleaning, high quality polishing, and a fresh seal. Much to the delight of my customer, they will prove much easier to keep clean I’m the future.

Stone Fireplace Before and After Cleaning East Byfleet

 
 

Professional Fireplace Hearth Restoration in East Byfleet

Restoring Travertine Kitchen Tiles in East Byfleet

This customer, who lives in East Byfleet had been experiencing difficulties in keeping her fantastic Travertine tiled kitchen floor in good condition. Over the years it had suffered from a heavy build up of dirt and oily stains, not to mentioned a number of cracks and small holes. Needless to say, the customer was keen to restore the Travertine tiles to their former glory.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning East Byfleet Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning East Byfleet

Restoring Travertine Tiles

To begin the restoration, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entirety of the large tiled area. This heavy duty remover breaks down any old sealers and other coatings, leaving the area ready to cleaned or, in this case, burnished.

Burnishing is a method for cleaning and polishing certain types of high-end stone, including Travertine, Marble, and Limestone. Our burnishing system involves the application of four diamond encrusted pads of varying grits. Firstly, I applied the Coarse grit pad, which helps to break down any dirt and stains on the surface of the tiles. Then, I worked my way through the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine pads, using a little water as lubricant, to gradually refine the polish on the Travertine. It was then rinsed and left to dry.

To round off the first day of work, I filled any cracks and holes using our two-part resin system which greatly improved the look of the tile.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile Before and After East Byfleet

Sealing Travertine Tiles

The following day I returned to the property to seal the tiles checking first that the floor had dried. All was well so I proceeded to seal the floor using our colour intensifying impregnating sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Once that was dry, I added the finishing touches by buffing the floor with a soft white buffing pad. As you can see from the photographs, the combination of a fresh seal and polish worked wonders.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing East Byfleet

We did such a good job with the floor that the customer asked if we could also improve the appearance of their natural stone fireplace which was suffering from bad rust and oil stains however I do a separate write up on that.
 
 

Cracked Travertine Kitchen Floor Fully Restored in Surrey