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

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

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

Repairing and Cleaning a Checkered Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Byfleet

Victorian floors are known for their intricate and interesting patterns – so when tiles are in need of replacement, sourcing ones which are consistent with original pattern can be a difficult task.

This was the case when recently I quoted for a clean and seal of a large black and white Checkered Victorian tiled hallway at a property in the town of West Byfleet, Surrey. The customer informed me they had engaged a tiler to lay black tiles in the door thresholds to match the others. I queried why the tiler was not planning to lay tiles of the same pattern to match the rest and apparently this was due to the fact that the tiler couldn’t source the appropriate tiles.

Victorian Hallway Floor West Byfleet Door Threshold Before

Having dealt with these problems before I offered to quote separately to source and install reclaimed tiles that would provide consistency with the original pattern. The customers agreed to both jobs and I arrived at the property once I had sourced the tiles required.

Victorian Hallway Floor West Byfleet Tile Installation Victorian Hallway Floor West Byfleet Tile Installation

I set about laying the new tiles straight away, with my first action being to dig out the old cement that had been used to fill the gaps in the doorways, before making sure the sub base was flat. I then proceeded to carefully lay the tiles in a matching pattern.

Victorian Hallway Floor West Byfleet Tile Installation

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

I then moved on to cleaning the Victorian tiles, immediately noticing numerous paint and glue stains that would have be to be tacked first. To address this problem, I applied Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (formerly known as Ultra Clean), which uses Nano-sized particles to get beneath particularly tough stains and break them down. It’s suitable for use on a wide range of unsealed and sealed tiled surfaces, particularly where heavy dirt build-up occurs.

Victorian Hallway Floor West Byfleet Before Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor West Byfleet Before Acid Wash

The product was scrubbed into the floor and then rinsed off using a wet vacuum to extract the soiled solution. Next I gave the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, this acidic cleaner is good for tackling old cement and grout haze left on the surface of the tiles and following this I gave the floor a thorough rinse and steam to remove any trace of product.

Victorian Hallway Floor West Byfleet After Cleaning

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

I left the floor to dry completely for four days. Upon my return to the property, I gave the hallway a final light clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, just to ensure that the tiles were in the possible condition possible before being sealed.

Once satisfied with the results, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. This is an impregnating sealer that will provide a long-lasting protection from the inside to mitigate the effect of the heavy wear caused by the high traffic of people walking in this area. In addition, the natural colours and shades in the black and white Victorian tiles are now enhanced, thanks to the colour intensifying properties in the product.

Victorian Hallway Floor West Byfleet After Sealing

I left the floor for a couple of hours before further sealing it with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to add surface protection and to add a nice low sheen to the appearance of the Victorian tiles.

Victorian Hallway Floor West Byfleet After Sealing

The customers were very pleased with the finished results, even going so far to call later that night to thank me. They also left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Bill Bailey installed total confidence in us as customers. Completely sympathetic to our needs, with a total understanding to our requirements. Now whilst this wasn’t the cheapest quote we had, it was the most honest, which is why we decided it was the one for us. I can honestly say that Bill’s work surpassed our expectations and I would thoroughly recommend Bill Bailey to anyone who is thinking about having any tile restoration done or expert cleaning also. A very, very happy customer who will be using Bill Bailey for any tiling jobs we have in the future.”
 
 

Professional Victorian Tile Restoration in Surrey

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory in Cranleigh Deep Cleaned and Sealed

Cranleigh is the self-proclaimed largest village in England, sitting about 8 miles southeast of Guildford in Surrey. One of its villagers contacted me recently to see if there was anything I could do to improve the state of their Terracotta tiled conservatory. They were in the process of completely redecorating the conservatory, having just replaced the wood and glass and I was called in to restore the tiled floor back to looking its best.

Terracotta is made from clay and is quite porous ceramic, and tends to be quite porous when made into commercial or residential tiling. Just like stone it needs to be sealed to ensure the pores don’t become ingrained with dirt, following that sealers do need to be maintained as they do wear off over time.

In this case, my client had moved into the property twenty years ago, and had only ever carried out a routine mop of the floor; as a result the floor was now ingrained with dirt and had lost its colour and would require a deep clean and seal to bring it back to life.

Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh Before Cleaning Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Terracotta tiled conservatory

To begin with, I mixed a cleaning solution consisting of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to one part water. This was spread evenly across the floor and let to dwell for approximately ten to fifteen minutes. The solution was then agitated with a scrubbing pad fitted to my heavy-weight rotary machine, lifting away the initial layers of muck and any remaining old sealer.

However, I noticed after giving the tiles a rinse that some of the old sealer was still prevalent in some areas. To deal with this, I applied a solvent-based sealer stripper and left it to work its magic on the affected areas. After about an hour, I added a steamer to the mix, and this allowed me to thoroughly scrub away the old seal. This was followed up by another rinse of the floor, and left it to dry.

Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh During Cleaning

Sealing a Terracotta tiled conservatory

I returned to the house five days later to complete the restoration. My immediate task was to carry out a moisture test to make sure the floor was completely dry and therefore ready to take the new seal, this is an important step as adding a sealer to a damp floor can result in problems.

Once satisfied, I proceeded to seal the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This sealer is particularly effective at providing durable surface protection from within, and contains properties which enhanced the natural auburn shades in the Terracotta tiles.

Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh After Sealing Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh After Sealing

I’m pleased to say that my client was overjoyed with the quick transformation of their conservatory floor. They never knew quite how vibrant the colours in the stone could be, and better still, the floor now blends in with their newly painted lemon walls.


Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh Before and After Cleaning

 
 

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor Refreshed in Surrey