Work by Category

Maintaining a Slated Tiled Floor and Grout Recolouring in Epsom

I thought you might be interested to know that I have numerous clients that I visit every year to maintain the finish on their floor. We call this service “a maintenance program” and is ideal for clients who wish to maintain a deep polish on their stone which will diminish with use and over time. The example below details a recent maintenance visit to a client in Epsom who has a Slate tiled Kitchen and Conservatory floor and likes the high gloss finish of the Slate topped up every year.

Slate Floor Before Annual Maintenance Epsom Surrey Slate Floor Before Annual Maintenance Epsom Surrey

The process usually involves a basic clean and the reapplication of a fresh coat of sealer and polish. The big advantage with a maintenance plan is I know the history of the floor so there are no surprises and no need for a pre-site visit. On this occasion however my client wanted me to do something about the colour of the grout. The problem is he has three spaniels and three cats who gradually discolour the white grout with dirt. Although I clean it on each visit it was clear that the white grout was a problem and so he asked me to colour the grout in a charcoal colour to match the slate to make the problem less obvious.

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Conservatory Floor

Over the years I had probably applied 15 plus coats of sealer to these tiles and grout. There is no way I could paint the grout colourant on top of the sealer as it just wouldn’t adhere. To resolve this, I started by using a Fein tool with an occulting abrasive blade along the grout line. It was painstaking work but did the job of removing the sealer and ironically any dirt.

Slate Floor During Grout Maintenance Epsom Surrey Slate Floor with Cats Maintenance Epsom Surrey

I used a vacuum to clean up and then set about cleaning the floor and bringing up the polish on the Slate tiles using a 3000-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. A small amount of water is squirted onto the tiles during buffing to help the process but essentially the floor is dry. Once done the Slate tiles were now ready for a new application of sealer but not the grout.

Colouring White Grout Charcoal in Epsom

For the next four hours I painstakingly painted charcoal grey grout colourant into the grout lines being careful not to touch the tiles. Grout colourant is an excellent product but dries very quickly. Any excess must be removed immediately.

Applying Charcoal Grout Colourant Epsom Surrey

Normally I recommend using a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater before applying the colourant as you get a better bond with the colourant. On this occasion however the Fein Tool had already cleaned and roughened the surface of the grout, so it wasn’t necessary.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Conservatory Floor

Once the grout colourant was dry, I was able to move onto the last phase of the visit and apply the sealer. The three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were used to seal the floor which I find works well on Slate and as you can see from the photos gave the desired gloss effect the customer wished for. Each coat is left to dry before applying the next one.

I don’t normally recommend using a gloss effect sealer on Slate where you have pets who can scratch the tile, especially in a high traffic area such as a kitchen however he understands this but I guess he likes the shine.

Slate Floor After Maintenance Epsom Surrey Slate Floor After Maintenance Epsom Surrey

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Conservatory in West Surrey

Tile Restoration at Fishmongers Shop in Kingston

And now for something different. A customer called me in a flap before Christmas. He had just taken over the lease of a former fishmongers in Kingston Upon Thames and needed help renovating the white ceramic wall tiles and vinyl flooring which was in a state. But that was only part of the problem, his business was selling rugs and with the previous tenant being a fishmonger there was a fishy odour that also needed dealing with.

Fishmonger Shop Unit Wall Tile Before Renovation For Kingston Retailer

The previous shop fittings had been glued and screwed to the wall so when they were ripped out it took some of the ceramic wall tiles with them, leaving gaps in the tiling, glue staining and trapped dirt.

I popped in to have a look and was able to give him a quote for the cleaning and restoration work, he was happy with the cost and wanted to me to get started as soon as possible.

Restoring Ceramic Wall Tiles in a Fishmongers Retail Unit

I started by tackling the glue using sharp blades and a chisel combined with plenty of elbow grease. Then the ceramic tile and grout was cleaned with Tile Doctor Pro Clean which was diluted with water and decanted into a spray bottle so it could be sprayed onto the wall tiles. Doing it this way mixes it with air making it lighter and allowing it to stick to the vertical tiling for longer. After ten minutes of soaking into the dirt it was scrubbed in by hand into the tile and especially the grout lines with a stiff brush. There was a lot to do and so more elbow grease needed. Afterwards the walls were carefully rinsed off with water to remove the soiling.

The next task was to replace many tiles near the ceiling and electric sockets using rapid setting adhesive so they could be grouted later the same day. All holes and verticals were then filled with mastic. They were a generic white tile, so I was able to blend the replacement tiles in without too much trouble.

Fishmonger Shop Unit Wall Tile After Renovation For Kingston Retailer

Deep Cleaning Vinyl Flooring in a Fishmongers Retail Unit

Once the wall tiles were done, I moved my attention to the vinyl flooring which was in good physical condition but in need of a deep clean. To resolve this, I applied more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean solution which was scrubbed in with a rotating floor buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Fishmonger Shop Unit Vinyl Tile During Renovation For Kingston Retailer

The soil was then extracted with a wet vacuum and left to dry off. There was a huge amount of dirt removed which had obviously built up over a long period of time.

Fishmonger Shop Unit Vinyl Tile After Renovation For Kingston Retailer

The wall tiles were glazed ceramic so do not require a sealer to be applied, similarly the vinyl did not warrant any further treatment either so once everything was fully dry, I was done. I handed the unit back over to the new tenant who was ready to cover my carefully cleaned wall with rugs and start trading. Thankfully, the shop now smells good too.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire

Terracotta Floor Restored at 400-Year-Old Cottage in Leatherhead

This client had acquired a 400-year old cottage in Leatherhead as part of his divorce agreement. The front room was tiled with Terracotta which is a soft stone and particularly porous. The tiles had seen a lot of wear and use over the years and were now in need of some love.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restoration Leatherhead

He emailed over some photographs however it’s difficult to tell the best remedy without doing any testing, so I arranged visit the property and take a proper look. It was immediately clear the Terracotta had become badly discoloured in places some of which was from burning logs which had previously fallen from the fireplace onto the tiles. There was also a considerable amount of red paint around the edges that would need removing.

This work would take two days with at least 48 hours in-between days to allow for evaporation as a wet tile cannot be sealed. The client was happy to go ahead with my quote and we arranged a suitable time to complete the work for him.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Living Room Floor

Firstly, as the terracotta is soft and more importantly red it can make a mess of the woodwork when cleaning with water, so I covered the kickboards with sticky plastic coating to ensure they were protected.

Then I removed the edging paint by softening it with an application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Once left for half an hour the paint starts to soften and this makes it easier to remove, although this is a manual process carefully scrapping the remains of the paint away.

Next, I coated the floor with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. This strong cleaning product is left for half an hour to work into the pores of the Terracotta. With some water I gently cleaned the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a nylon pad. This is a wet process, so no dust is created.

For the next few hours, I cleaned the whole room. The areas damaged by burning wood were worked on with a diamond encrusted pad to get deep into the tile. When finished, the tiles were clean and more consistent in appearance and colour. I left the floor for the weekend to fully dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the Monday I returned to seal the Terracotta first checking the tiles had dried out using a damp meter. The customer didn’t want either a shiny finish or a matte finish. He did want a strong, protective sealer so we agreed on using Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which leaves a sheen finish and will last for years. The floor was now fully protected and should be durable for the foreseeable future.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Restoration Leatherhead

The client was very happy with the work we had carried out, it had really transformed the room and he was looking forward to getting the furniture back in to position.

 

Professional Restoration of a Terracotta Tiled Living Room in Surrey

End of Tenancy Shower Cubicle Renovation in Woking

Example below of the end of tenancy clean of a Ceramic tiled shower cubicle in Woking student accommodation. The Ceramic tile, grout and shower base were filthy. The mastic had perished, shrunk, and turned black. Unattractive and unhygienic the landlord had little chance of re-letting the property with the bathroom in that state, so we were asked to step in. As you can see from the pictures it was pretty bad although I have seen worse.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning

If you have a rental property with a stone floor its worth giving Tile Doctor a call as we find landlords rarely give tenants instructions on how to maintain them and they often end up in a state by the end of the lease.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

Ceramic tiles are exceptionally durable and as long as the glaze is intact, they can usually be cleaned quite easily. Grout however is slightly porous and traps dirt which can be a struggle to clean effectively. The grout in this shower was discoloured and permanently stained so the best way to renovate it was to apply a grout colourant.

Before applying the grout colourant, I cleaned the grout with the Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up and a wire brush. Being an acidic product, it can remove old grout smears, limescale, body soaps and fats, also being it will key the surface of the grout allowing for a superior bond with the grout colourant later.

Next, I cleaned the tiles using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being gel based sticks well to vertical surfaces and allows for better dwell time so it can really eat into the dirt. The gel is applied to the tile, left for ten minutes, and then scrubbed it in with a 6-inch handheld polisher fitted with a black pad.

We then started on the shower base. I used Tile Doctor Remove and Go for this, again leaving it to soak into the surface dirt for ten minutes before scrubbing it in by hand with a brush. I managed to get into all the grooves in the plastic tray and removed all the dirt.

Once the cubicle was dry, I removed the mastic sealant from the two verticals and three horizontals around the base and behind the glass door. This is a fiddly job that can take a while with an assortment of knives and scrappers, taking care not to damage the tiles or the shower tray.

Now the shower was clean I coloured the grout back to its original white colour. This is tedious work carefully applying the colourant with a narrow paint brush. The product dries very quickly so any excess product the gets onto the tile must be wiped off immediately. Another advantage of using a grout colourant is it forms a barrier over the grout, sealing it prevent dirt from becoming attached to its cementitious surface. The smooth surface of the colourant also makes it much easier to clean.

Whilst the Tile Doctor Grout Colourant dried, I applied a new white mastic. Applying mastic takes some time to master and is best left to the experienced. It is not easily mastered but practice does makes perfect.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle after Renovation Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle after Renovation

Once done the cubicle looked transformed. I managed to complete the shower by early afternoon advising my client that mastic needs 24 hours to dry before it can be used again. He was very happy, the shower cubicle looked as good as new and relieved it was in a rental condition again.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle after Renovation

 

Professional Clean of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle in West Surrey

Cleaning and Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Patio Area in Epsom

This property in Epsom featured a small enclosed Terracotta Patio which the owner wanted deep cleaning in time for the summer. She had a huge shared garden and was hoping to host a family BBQ later in in the year, so wanted it to look good for the event. Given the situation with the COVID-19 epidemic I was happy for the opportunity to work outdoors and agreed a time to pop over and take a closer look.

Small Terracotta Patio Before Cleaning Epsom

I went over to survey the Terracotta tiling and except for a few stains I could see it was in good order, however the old sealer was wearing thin and it was due a good clean and re-seal. It was roughly 18m2 and I was confident weather permitting it could be done in one day. I worked out a price which was accepted, and we agreed a date for my return.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Patio Floor

Focusing on the grout first I sprayed on a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and then left it to soak in for ten minutes. The Pro-Clean was then scrubbed into the grout lines by hand using a stiff brush. This action cleaned up the grout and using minimal water the soil was rinsed off the tiles and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Having inspected the tiles on my initial visit I had decided the best course of action to remove the old sealer and clean them up would be to apply a coarse 200-grit diamond pad. This would deep clean the tiles, remove the old sealer, renovate the surface, and remove the stains. This can be a little messy but gives a great result. After the 200-grit pad I closed the pores in the tiles with a 400-grit and then 800-grit burnishing pad. Terracotta is very porous so by closing the pores it should ensure the sealer doesn’t rapidly soak into the Terracotta during sealing.

After the application of each pad the tiles were rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum. I used minimal water during the rinsing to improve my chances of them drying quickly so I could apply the sealer later that day.

On this occasion the tiles were in reasonable condition, however, that’s not always the case and for tougher patio cleaning work I would of used Tile Doctor Patio and Driveway cleaner which really cuts through dirt and can pretty much clean up any external patio regardless of condition.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Patio Floor

It was a warm June afternoon which greatly aided the drying; I know from experience that applying a sealer to a damp tile can result in an inconsistent finish so I used a damp meter to measure the moisture levels before proceeding.

My plan had worked, and the moisture reading soon reached an acceptable level allowing me to apply the sealer. The sealer I selected was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, this is a tough sealer that will provide plenty of protection for many years to come and its breathable so will cope with external environment. Seal and Go Extra also contains a colour enhancer which gave the natural red colour of the Terracotta tiles a real boost.

Small Terracotta Patio After Cleaning Epsom

The patio looked great and my client was over the moon with the results. Hopefully, she won’t have to wait too long before she can have that barbeque with her family.

 

Professional Renovation of a Terracotta Tiled Patio in West Surrey

Astonishing Victorian Floor Restoration at Weybridge College

I was asked by the facilities manager of St Georges College in Weybridge to survey a Victorian tiled floor for restoration. Having worked there for twenty years he lifted a carpet over the summer in the main reception of the original building as part of renovation work. Underneath he found an original Victorian mosaic tiled floor dating back over a hundred and fifty years to when the school was established. However, for some reason in the distant past they had been partially covered with concrete levelling screed and just to make it more challenging for me the carpet had been secured with adhesive.

Victorian Floor Before Renovation Weybridge College

After visiting the school to survey the floor I could see this going to be a very challenging job for one person. Fortunately Tile Doctor has a network of over 50 specialists like me all around the Country, so I reached out to neighbouring East Surrey Tile Doctor Mick Conlon who is also very experienced in floor restoration. Together we broke down the job into sections, e.g. remove the adhesive, remove the screed, hone the tiles, repair any missing, broken or damages tiles and finally seal. All in the work would take five days to complete.

Victorian Floor Before Renovation Weybridge College

Removing Carpet Adhesive from Victorian Floor Tiles

The first task was to smother the surface in Tile Doctor Remove and Go which in turn was covered by plastic sheeting. By trapping the product under a plastic sheet, it couldn’t dry out and thereby remains active for longer.

Victorian Floor During Adhesive Removal Weybridge

After a couple of hours, it had broken down the adhesive which we swept up and disposed of. This was unpleasant work which required us to wear protective gloves, masks and goggles.

Victorian Floor During Adhesive Removal Weybridge Victorian Floor During Adhesive Removal Weybridge

Removing Cement Screed from Victorian Floor Tiles

On day two we turned our attention to the removal of the concrete screed and cleaning up the tiles. This was done with a process called honing. A circular 200-grit pad was attached to a floor buffer and run over the tiles using water for lubrication. The honing pad is impregnated with industrial diamonds which gradually cuts through and removes the screed covering.

Victorian Floor During Screed Removal Weybridge

After several hours the tiles began to reveal themselves. It also became apparent that after over 100 years of thousands of pupils walking over them some of the tiles were somewhat dipped in the middle. Using a handheld buffer these areas had extra attention with a very coarse 100-grit diamond pad. This process took most of the day with one man honing whilst the other constantly rinsed the floor with more water and extracted the waste.

Replacing Broken Victorian Floor Tiles

Once the tiles were totally free of concrete screed it exposed several broken and missing tiles. Some tiles had been removed and not replaced but back filled with concrete. Fortunately, I had managed to source matching reclaimed tiles was able to cut and fit replacements. All holes and cracks were filled so the floor was ready for sealing the next day.

Victorian Floor During Adhesive Removal Weybridge

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

Given the age of the floor and the high amount of floor traffic this floor would receive I advised against using a high shine sealer and recommended an impregnating breathable matt sealer instead. There were two main reasons for this, first old floors don’t have a damp-proof membrane installed so it’s important to use a sealer that will allow the floor to breath and allow moisture to rise through the tiles. Secondly, only an impregnating sealer which soaks into the pores of the tile would cope with the anticipated heavy footfall.

Victorian Floor After Sealing Weybridge College

With that agreed several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer were applied to the tiles leaving the floor looking great and completely transformed. At end of the last day the headmistress came to give her approval as did the whole secretarial staff. My favourite word was “astonishing”. Hard to disagree.

Victorian Floor After Sealing Weybridge College

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled College Hallway in Surrey

Fired Earth Limestone Floor Renovated in Godalming

This property in Godalming had the whole downstairs floor tiled with Fired Earth Limestone tiles nine years prior and had never had it cleaned or maintained professionally. The once beautiful stone was now looking dull and the grout had turned black with dirt leaving the floor looking uninviting.

This is quite normal for stone floors as it is the sealer that protects the stone from dirt and enhances its look. Most sealers wear off after three to four years sealer and in this case after nine years it was well overdue a deep clean and reseal.

Fired Earth Limestone Floor Before Clean and Seal Godalming

I visited the property to survey the floor. It was indeed looking in need of some attention and the kitchen was particularly bad. To restore the appearance of the Limestone tile and grout the floor would need to be stripped of what remains of the old sealer, then deep cleaned with attention to the grout, polished with burnishing pads and then finally resealed. I was confident I could get it restored to a nearly new finish and to prove it I completed a small demonstration clean which the homeowner was very happy with. They agreed to my quote and we scheduled in a couple of days to carry out the work.

Fired Earth Limestone Floor Before Clean and Seal Godalming

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On day one I started by cleaning the grout using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. its run along the grout line and then left to soak in for about ten minutes so it can get to work breaking down dirt and old sealer. The grout is then scrubbed using a grout brush which is then scrubbed backwards and forwards along the grout line until clean. The area is then rinsed with water and all the waste removed with a wet vacuum cleaner.

Next, I turned my attention to the Limestone tiles which needed stripping of any remaining sealer, cleaned and polished. I find the best way to do this is by apply a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing pads in sequence starting with a coarse 400-grit followed by 800, 1500 and finally finishing with an extra fine 3000 grit. Water is used to lubricate the burnishing process and the slurry is rinsed and extracted off the floor between pads. Each pad is run over the tiles three times, and it was a large floor so as you can imagine this process took most of the day.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I left the floor to dry out overnight and returned the next day to seal the Limestone. Before doing that, I reviewed my previous day’s work and I cleaned up any areas that needed further attention. Next step was to ensure the floor was dry as I don’t recommend applying a sealer to damp tile as you won’t get an even appearance, so before sealing a floor I tested for moisture using a damp meter.

To seal the floor, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the small pores in the stone to prevent dirt becoming ingrained there. Limestone is a light stone and most customers like that appearance so I find it best not to use a colour enhancing sealer as it can darken the stone. Ultra-Seal doesn’t contain any colour enhancer and leaves the floor with a natural finish whilst allowing the stone variations and patterns to show through.

Fired Earth Limestone Floor After Clean and Seal Godalming

Once the sealer was dry, I gave it a further polish with the 3000-grit pad which further brought out the natural beauty of the stone. My client was very happy with the floor, it really lifted the who area and the Kitchen in particular.

Fired Earth Limestone Floor After Clean and Seal Godalming

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen in West Surrey

Restoration of a shower and bathroom in Guildford

A family living in Guildford were in touch recently about restoring the appearance of their Ceramic tiled shower and bathroom. They were about to put the property up for sale and were concerned the grubby grout might put off potential buyers. First impressions do count so renovating a bathroom or kitchen before selling is a really good idea and will help you achieve a better price.

Bath Shower Tile Grout Before Cleaning Guildford Bath Shower Tile Grout Before Cleaning Guildford

In this case the Ceramic tiles were dirty and black with mould in places which looked unhygienic and uninviting. Additionally, the mastic sealant between the tile and bath was tired and worn to the extent that water could end up leaking behind the seal. After visiting the property, they were pleased to hear I could help and happily accepted our quote which was based around a days work and some materials.

Cleaning/Repairing a Ceramic Tiled Shower and Bathroom

Firstly, I cleaned the grout using a Tile Doctor product called Duo Clean which is designed to tackle dirty grout and mould. I sprayed the product along all the grout lines and left it to soak in for about fifteen minutes. Once ready I brushed them with a firm wire brush then rinsed off with water. Next, I cleaned the tiles using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was decanted into a spray bottle and sprayed onto the wall tiles. After ten minutes I then used a handheld buffing machine fitted with a small white buffing pad to shift the dirt and buff up the white tiles. After rinsing the slurry off with water you could see a marked improvement.

I hand dried the tile and grout with a cloth and then set about stripping out the old white mastic sealer with a sharp knife. This took some time, as you have to be careful not to scratch the bath or the tile.

By this time the grout had dried off fully and I was able to see if more work was required. To achieve a uniform colour throughout. Mould and some cleaning products can discolour grout permanently and, in this case, there was some grout staining I was unable to remove. We had discussed this possibility earlier and how it would be best resolved using a white grout colourant. So, I carefully applied Tile Doctor Grout Colour which is painted on with a small brush with any excess wiped off the tile before it can set. This resulted in a uniform white grout throughout and really gave the whole bathroom a lift.

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Shower and Bathroom

With the cleaning process completed I applied a new white mastic between the bath and tile and along the verticals. This is done with the bath filled with water and then left for 24 hours to allow the silicone to fully cure.

After the grout colour had dried, I applied an aerosol Tile and Grout sealer over the whole surface and then lightly polished off any excess with a clean cloth. This does two things; one it adds a further layer of protection to the new grout colour and to the surface of the tiles. Secondly Ceramic tiles are non-porous, but bacterial dirt can still get a grip on the surface, with the sealer in place you will find water quickly runs off without getting a chance to get a hold.

Bath Shower Tile Grout After Renovation Guildford Bath Shower Tile Grout After Renovation Guildford

Sealers do wear off, so I recommended re-applying it every year. I had plenty left over and gave it to the customer when I finished using it. For regular cleaning of tiled shower areas, I recommend they use Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro this will neutralise any acid build-up caused by acidic shampoos etc.

 

Professional Renovation of a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom in West Surrey

Renovation of Painted Quarry Tiles in a Cranleigh Vicarage

A Vicar from Cranleigh contacted me earlier this year about a Quarry tiled floor. It turns out he had lifted the carpets in the hallway of the Vicarage and found that the previous tenant had painted red tile paint around the tiles up to the edges of the carpet. With the carpet removed the floor looked very unattractive and he was looking to have the original appearance of the Quarry tiles restored.

Painted Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Cranleigh Vicarage

I went to Cranleigh to survey the problem and you can see from the pictures the floor wasn’t looking great, the paint looked as if it had been applied without any preparation and had peeled off in places. I discussed my plan to renovate the floor with the Vicar which would involve stripping all the paint off the tiles followed by deep cleaning and then applying a sealer. He was very pleased to hear this and was happy with the quote that I produced which would take two days. We arranged a time to return the following month to complete the work.

Painted Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Cranleigh Vicarage

Stripping Paint from a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On day one I started by protecting the skirting and other woodwork with decorative tape. Once this was done, I spent time removing the paint with paint stripper and a sharp blade. It was messy and tedious work but necessary to achieve the requested result. The waste was then rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Once all the paint was removed, I cleaned the tiles with a coarse 400-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine and lubricated with water. This was followed with an 800-grit pad. The former opens the tiles pores allowing dirt to be extracted and the 800-grit pad closes them ready for sealing. Quarry tiles are particularly porous, so I left the floor to dry off for 48 hours days before returning to seal the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning a few days later I started with tidying up any areas that needed further attention. The floor had dried out nicely however I wanted it to be clear of any dirt or dust since I cleaned it so I gave it a light mop and left the floor to dry off again. Once the floor was completely dry, I sealed the area with several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra.

Painted Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation at Cranleigh Vicarage

I selected this product as it is a super tough sealer that once applied has a sheen effect while offering a very strong protective surface to the floor. This was important as hallways receive a high level of foot traffic and even more so in a Vicarage with parishioners coming and going. Seal and Go Extra is also breathable and this is an important consideration when choosing a sealer for use on old tiled floors that don’t have damp proof membrane installed.

The vicar was very pleased with the finished floor, I discussed with him the best way to keep it clean and maintained would be to use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is pH neutral and so won’t prematurely degrade the integrity of the sealer like stronger products.

Painted Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation at Cranleigh Vicarage

 

Professional Renovation of a Quarry Tiled Hallway in Surrey

Replacing Cracked Travertine Floor Tiles in Cobham

This client from Cobham contacted me in despair, she was quite concerned about her Travertine tiled floor which was cracking. She had the Kitchen and Dining room tiled with Travertine six years ago and recently several cracks had begun to appear in a long line crossing five tiles.

Travertine Floor Issues Before Restoration Cobham Travertine Floor Issues Before Restoration Cobham

Several holes had also begun to appear and across the threshold to the kitchen from the dining area a serious lip had formed where a tile had risen above its neighbour causing a trip hazard.

Travertine Floor Issues Before Restoration Cobham

After removing a tile from an unobtrusive area, I began to see where the issues lay. The tiler had dabbed the adhesive. This mean that instead of spreading the adhesive equally across the tile and floor they had splurged four lumps in each corner then set the tile down. This is poor working practice that will sooner or later become apparent. It means the areas were no adhesive was applied are eventually compromised resulting in cracking. This could take years or weeks to surface.

Travertine Floor Issues Before Restoration Cobham

After some discussion we decided that I would remove and replace six tiles in total. The client was happy for me to go ahead and agreed a cost for the works to be done.

Repairing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the following week, firstly I had to remove the grout. This was done with a handheld Fein tool fitted with an oscillating blade. I thought this would be good experience from my son during the holidays, so I took him along and whilst I was working on the grout, he was able to gather the dust in a vacuum cleaner.

Travertine Floor Issues During Restoration Cobham

Next, I started to remove the cracked tiles with a chisel, starting from the cracks where the tiles would be weakest. This was noisy and messy work which required ear defenders and safety goggles. The process took several hours with the help of my son on general assistance duties. Once the tiles were removed this just left the remaining adhesive attached to the floor to get removed. This was the hardest part of the job, a lot of hammer and chisel work with as much dust gathered as possible to try and contain the mess. I had warned the customer that a considerable amount of mess would be produced and request that she should remove as much items as possible and to tape up her cupboards. Finally, I filled several holes in the sub floor so I would have a flat surface to lay the new tiles on. I left it there for the night to solidify.

Travertine Floor Issues During Restoration Cobham

Returning the next day, I began laying the replacement tiles down. Colour matching replacement tiles is a difficult task as Travertine is a natural product and colours vary greatly so these were a pretty good match.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the adhesive had set, I grouted in the newly laid tiles and once that was dry set about applying a sealer. For this I used two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that doesn’t alter the colour of the stone. This would ensure they were nicely protected and hopefully the client will not experience any further issues.

Travertine Floor Issues After Restoration Cobham

She was very happy with the result and was pleased the floor no long looked unsightly or posed a tripping hazard.

 

Cracked Travertine Floor Tiles Replaced in West Surrey

400 Year Old Dirty Flagstone Floor Renovated in Ripley

This property in the lovely Surrey village of Ripley near Woking was over 400 years old and featured an amazingly dirty flagstone floor. The village itself has a long history that dates to Norman times so I wouldn’t surprise me if the stone in this floor was original or potentially older.

The house was a family property with a large garden that the kids and dog used and liked to walk through the house bringing the garden inside! It was fair to say the area was subject to heavy traffic and attracted a fair amount of dirt. I recommended a deep and thorough clean and then the application of a durable sealer to protect the stone going forward.

400 Year Old Flagstone Floor Before Restoration Ripley 400 Year Old Flagstone Floor Before Restoration Ripley

To demonstrate the potential of the flagstones I applied different Tile Doctor cleaning products on a small test area to see which would work best. It wasn’t long before the dirt was lifted out of the pores of the stone and you could really get an ideal of how the stone could be could transformed. They agreed my quote for the work, and we arranged a time to carry out the work which would take two days. I would start the cleaning on a Friday then we would return on the following Tuesday to seal leaving it to dry for more than two days in between.

Cleaning and Restoring a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to clean the grout using a strong dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which turned it from a dark brown to a sandy yellow colour. This work was done by hand with a hard-scrubbing brush and due to the wide joints took three hours to complete before finally rinsing and extracting the dirt off the floor with a wet vacuum.

400 Year Old Flagstone Floor During Restoration Ripley

Next task was to clean the flagstones. They were so dirty I decided to use Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a stronger product to breakdown the ingrained dirt. Fortunately, I was able to use a standard black scrubbing pad attached to my rotary buffer to work the product into the stone. The dirt was removed with the wet vacuum cleaner as I progressed however the stone was so dirty that the soil ran back down into the grout. So, after cleaning the tiles I had to go over the grout again.

Once completed, the client was astonished at the difference. I used a lot of water in the cleaning process so the floor was left for three days so it would thoroughly dry out before I returned to apply the sealer.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning on the Tuesday, first I checked the floor was dry with a moisture meter. My plan to leave the floor for three days had worked well and I confirmed the floor was dry and ready to be sealed.

To seal the floor, I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra with a paint pad and a soft brush. There was a lot to cover and each coat is left to dry before applying the next, so it took some time before I was done. Seal and Go Extra is a breathable sealer so it will allow moisture to rise through the floor this is an important consideration when sealing old floors which don’t have a damp-proof membrane. The sealer worked well on the stone really bringing out the colours, so the stones now looked like stones rather than black rocks.

400 Year Old Flagstone Floor After Restoration Ripley 400 Year Old Flagstone Floor After Restoration Ripley

The client was over the moon with the difference, they had literally never seen the floor looking like this. The children and dog were firmly told they would be wiping their feet before traipsing the garden through the house in future!

400 Year Old Flagstone Floor After Restoration Ripley

For aftercare I recommended they used Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which will keep the floor clean and is not overly strong like many supermarket cleaning products which can prematurely erode the protection provided by the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Flagstone Tiled Floor in West Surrey

Reviving a Multi-Coloured Slate Floor in Camberley

This was a relatively straightforward job renovating a multi-coloured Slate floor in the kitchen and adjacent dining area of a house in Camberley. I can quote from a photograph, but I prefer to visit the property, survey the floor and carry out a test clean so I can be 100% confident in my quote. I cover all the towns and villages in West Surrey so it usually isn’t long before I’m passing in the direction of a client and can usually call in on the way to or from a nearby job.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Camberley

The client had recently had a new kitchen fitted where a lot of plastering had been taking place. It seems very little dust sheeting was used, and the result was the stone absorbed a lot of plaster dust which completely flattened its appearance. The Slate floor now looked very uninviting and it was really bringing down the appearance of the new kitchen.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Camberley

I discussed with the client the process we would follow to get the flooring back in shape. We agreed a cost for the work and booked in a suitable date to carry out the work, it would take a day to renovate the stone floor.

Deep Cleaning a Multi-Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I first sprayed the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. The product was left on the surface to dwell then after around ten minutes I scrubbed the product into the floor using a black pad attached to a rotary floor buffer. The Slate tiles were slightly riven so overtime as the machine passed over the ridges the pad became torn, so I went through a few pads cleaning this floor.

The abrasive action of the pads combined with the Pro-Clean proved to be very effective causing the cleaning solution to turn black as the dirt was lifted out of the stone. The now soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor inspected to make sure it was clean.

Sealing a Multi-Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

Now I don’t usually recommend sealing a floor on the same day as cleaning, however it was a warm day and only a small floor so after a couple of hours of encouraged drying the floor was ready for sealing.

I suggested three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra for this floor. It’s a super tough sealer, perfect for a kitchen with lots of through traffic and an owner with a large dog. The formula improves the look adding a subtle sheen that transforms their appearance and brings out the variety of natural colours in the stone.

Slate Floor After Cleaning Camberley

The client was very happy with the result, the floor was looking so much more inviting and in keeping with the new kitchen. Before leaving I discussed with them the best way to keep the floor looking in great condition. In this case I recommended a Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH balanced cleaner. It’s perfect for the regular cleaning of sealed stone as it won’t compromise the sealer like many household products, it leaves a fresh and minty smell and being concentrated a small amount goes a long way.

Slate Floor After Cleaning Camberley

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in West Surrey

Removing Polymer Grout Haze from Wood Effect Ceramic tiles in Guildford

Grout haze or grout smears as it is often called can be a huge problem when laying tiles. Grout haze is basically grout that has been left to dry on the surface of the tile after installation. It’s a common problem which is exacerbated by the use of quick drying products. Take for example this interesting Wood Effect Ceramic Tile installation at a house in Guildford following installation by a builder.

I was a bit slow in following up on the initial enquiry as we had been very busy so by the time, I got in touch I was told they had employed someone else to carry out the work. I apologised for my late response and said to call me if he needed help in the future. Three days later I got a call so we arranged a visit so that I could carry out a test and quote a price.

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles Before Removal Guildford

As it turns out the builder had returned and failed to remove the grout haze and so had a rival firm that seemed more interested in selling unnecessary sealer than fixing the problem. I was astonished to see what a state the builder had left his floor. Grout was all over the floor with footprints walked across thresholds and more. I could understand it if there was some grout was missed after installation but not to this level!

I carried out a successful test and confirmed to the customer that there was absolutely no need to rip and replace his £2k floor. We agreed a date to resolve the problem and to say he was relieved was an understatement!

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles Before Removal Guildford

Removing Polymer Grout Haze

The builders had used Mapei grout which contains polymers. Polymers offer better flexibility and adhesion, however in order to remove the grout haze we would first need to break down the polymers in the grout first and this is why the rival firm failed.

With that in mind, my first action was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and leave it to dwell for five to ten minutes. I then worked it into the tile using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After washing the soil away with warm water and extracting with a wet vacuum I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to treat the grout. Grout Clean-up is an acid-based product that breaks down the grout so it can be rinsed away and extracted as before. Afterwards I rinsed the floor with warm water and extracted again to remove any trace of product and neutralise the floor. After removing as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum I speed dried the tiles with a blower.

Wood Effect Ceramic Tile Installation Problem Resolved

Ceramic tiles won’t accept a sealer so once the floor had dried the job was finished and it took less than a day.

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles After Removal Guildford

The customer was over the moon with the difference. While his floor was in such a state, he has been unable to bring in new furniture as the serious possibility of removing the tiles was hanging over him.

Relieved that the problem was now resolved he kindly left the following review:

“I had a floor that had just been laid with very heavy grout haze. I had already had advice from two other professional floor cleaners who had advised me that the floor was irreparable and would need to be pulled up. As soon as I spoke with Rupert, it was clear he was extremely knowledgeable. He asked questions none of the other companies had. By understanding the specific nature of the problem, he was able to solve it by first removing the grout polymers and then applying an acid wash. The floor came up brilliantly. Rupert was the only person I spoke to that could fix this, everyone else told me I needed to replace my floor! Superbly knowledgeable, professional and did an excellent job. Don’t bother speaking to anyone else, just call Rupert! “

Grout Haze on Wood Effect Ceramic Tiles After Removal Guildford

 

Professional Clean of a Wood Effect Ceramic Tiled Hallway in West Surrey

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Patio in Farnham

This customer from Farnham called me with three requests. First, can you clean and seal our Black Limestone patio? Secondly can you remove some scratches? and finally, can you make it less slippery as my children have slipped a couple of times in the wet.

After discussing the problems over the phone, we agreed a convenient date and I went along to the property to have a look. I could certainly do the first and second but not the third. There are products on the market but most Anti-slip products I’ve come across contain acids which etch and roughen the surface. Her patio was made of dark limestone which is acid sensitive and applying an acidic product would ruin the look of the stone leaving it looking washed out. I discussed with her the options and the process and we agreed a price, booking the work in for later in the month.

Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Farnham

Cleaning a Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

First, I cleaned the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean which was left to soak in for about ten minutes before being scrubbed with a nylon brush and being careful not to further scratch the stone.

The next step was to clean the stone with a series of burnishing pads starting with a coarse 400-grit lubricated with water then moving onto increasingly finer pads of 800 and 1500 grit. It’s important to rinse and extract the slurry after applying each pad. This process removes the existing sealer and slightly mills the tiles firstly opening the pores then slowly closing them as the process continues. I avoided the dark area in the picture where the table was situated as it had been protected from the weather, sun and small children. My aim was to get the same consistent colour across the whole patio.

Once I had used the three pads, I completed a final rinse and extraction with a wet vacuum. I then checked surveyed the floor looking for any areas that needed more work and to verify that the scratched had been removed as part of the process. The work went well, and I was happy to see that the scratches had been lifted and the appearance of the stone looked much better and more even.

Sealing a Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

It was a warm day, so it wasn’t long before the stone had dried and were dry enough to be sealed. I talked through the customers options for sealing and recommended the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as it contains a colour enhancer which would return the dark colour to the stone and match the original colour under the table. Colour Grow is also rated for external use.

Limestone Patio After Cleaning Farnham

Two coats of Colour Grow were applied, and this made a big improvement to the appearance of the stone resulting in a stunning transformation. The customer was over the moon and with the patio now ready for the summer she could not wait to get the patio furniture in place and enjoy the space.

 

Professional Renovation of a Black Limestone Patio in West Surrey

Ceramic Tile and Grout Cleaning in a Leatherhead Kitchen

At this property in Leatherhead, in the Mole Valley district of Surrey there was ten years of dirt trapped in the grout and no end of cleaning by the owner could improve the situation.

Ceramic Tile Grout Before Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

Now desperate to get the floor looking clean again she gave Tile Doctor a call and as their local representative I was asked to go round and survey the floor. Glazed ceramic tiles are very easy to clean and maintain and are a very practical choice for a kitchen floor, however what tends to happen is the dirt gets washed into the grout lines where the rough nature of the grout traps the dirt eventually turning it black.

Ceramic Tile Grout Before Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

I could see what needed to be done so I discussed the solution with the client who was relieved that we could help. She agreed to my quote and we booked the work in to be completed.

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned on the scheduled date and set about preparing the floor with an application of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and diluted with water. The cleaning cocktail was left to dwell for approximately fifteen minutes while I unloaded the equipment I would need from the van. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a heavy-duty tile and grout cleaner which works best when left soak into the problem area, whilst Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a coatings stripper so I reasoned a combination of the two products would have maximum effect to deep clean the area.

Using a hard wire brush, I rubbed the muck vigorously until the dirt became released into the cleaning solution. Sometimes it is necessary to roll up your sleeves and do some things manually! The resultant slurry was then extracted with a wet vacuum. You can see from the pictures the dirt being released.

Ceramic Tile Grout During Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

I had to repeat the process a few times before I was happy with the condition of the grout.
Once the grout was clean, I applied more Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the tiles, scrubbing it in with a deck brush. After ten minutes, using a handheld buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad I cleaned the tiles. Again, I vacuumed up the slurry then neutralised with plain water. Following a final vacuum, I dried the whole kitchen with an air blower.

Ceramic Tile Grout After Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

The client was very happy with the newly cleaned floor, it had really made a big difference to the whole floor and given it a new lease of life.

Ceramic Tile Grout After Cleaning Leatherhead Kitchen

 

Professional Clean of a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen in West Surrey

Correcting Tilers Grout Colour Mistake in a Cobham Bathroom

This client is a famous artist who has just had a new house built inCobham. The house is stunning, and the design details have had a lot of thought put into them. As with big projects such as these there are lots of things to think about and to ensure the builders deliver your vision and artists do have an eye for detail.

A point of contention was one of the bathrooms where the tiler had used a light grey grout in the shower and a dark grey colour in the rest of the bathroom. Although an interesting contrast It looked rather odd and my client was not keen on it nor was it made clear as to why it had been grouted in that colour.

Porcelain Tiled Bathroom Before Grout Colouring Cobham

The brief was to have dark grey in the whole bathroom! As is her right after spending a lot of money, she wanted uniformity, but the tiler wasn’t having any of it. She was rather fed up with the whole situation so contacted us at Tile Doctor to ask if we could rectify the problem. In fact, this is a relatively easy job to solve so I discussed the solution and how long it would take and provided a quote for doing the work. She was happy to agree to my quote and I arranged to return the following week.

She was keen to get all the works completed and tie up all the final snags. Cobham is a very desirable area of Surrey and she will be in good company with many celebrity neighbours nearby. The high street is also full of lovely shops and restaurants, unfortunately no time for me to stop.

Grout Recolouring a Porcelain Tiled Bathroom Walls

To resolve the issue, I applied a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in Charcoal Grey to all the wall grout in the bathroom to ensure uniformity. Tile Doctor Grout Colourant dries very quickly so once applied any excess must be removed quickly, I recommend wet wipes for this. This product is equally effective for interior or exterior applications including all types of bathrooms and kitchens and is available in ten different colours making it very versatile. It is easy to apply but ensuring the excess is removed is the key to a good finish.

Five hours of effort, one bottle of Tile Doctor Charcoal Grey Grout Colourant and three packets of wet wipes later and the job was finished. Whilst it is a simple job, it is quite time consuming and a little patience is required. However, I have to agree with the owner, the bathroom looks much more sophisticated with a darker grout colour, it’s amazing how a subtle change can make such a difference. It is worth noting when you have any tiling done, there is a variety of colours of grout available so always ask the tiler, don’t just assume there is one choice.

Porcelain Tiled Bathroom After Grout Colouring Cobham

The client was now satisfied, and the bathroom looked how she had envisaged it. I must admit, the light and dark grey combination really didn’t work! I took the opportunity to suggest she should use Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro spray for regular bathroom tile and grout cleaning as she has several tiled bathrooms in the new house, and this will ensure they remain in pristine condition.

 

Professional Grout Re Colouring of a Porcelain Tiled Bathroom in West Surrey

Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Fully Restored in Epsom

A customer from Epsom called me regarding the restoration of her Victorian tiled hallway which was previously covered in carpet and in a poor state of health. Intrigued and having spoken on the phone I agreed a time to call in and survey the floor and work out a way forward. I visited the property and could immediately see considerable repair work including resolving problems with the sub floor and tile replacement would be required and all this before cleaning and sealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

This house had undergone some serious renovations recently and the floor was left till last. I’m not a structural engineer so was unable to advise what had happened to the floor, but all the faults appeared to run in a line from the kitchen to the front door. It was an old house so who knows what might have caused it, it might even have been bomb damage from the 2nd world war.

There were three main problem areas. The worst was by the front door where an area of about a metre square was just loose tiles and laid on rubble. The family had got used to jumping across the threshold so as not to make the problem worse. Next was a strip through the middle that was totally exposed and a massive trip hazard. The floor boards were visible as was the floor base. There was another area by the front room entrance that had some loose pattern tiles that clunked every time someone entered the room. Finally, there was a small area to the entrance to the basement that had been patched in with cement.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

It was clearly going to be a challenging restoration for several reasons. Had the customer kept all the loose tiles? If not, could I source matching replacements? Would it be possible to level the floor that appeared to be sloping towards the front door? Could I remove loose and broken tiles without disturbing others? Could I manage the customers high expectations?

Having worked on numerous Victorian floor restorations in the past I knew where I could potentially source replacement tiles. I also had the full backing of the Tile Doctor network so knew I could always reach out to other Tile Doctors should I face any major problems. Undaunted we agreed a date for me to return and start the work and in the mean time I would talk to several specialist tile suppliers about replacements.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before starting any tiling work, I photographed the whole floor extensively from different angles so I would have something to refer to later. Then I removed all the loose tiles placing them in buckets for further cleaning. I now had three areas that I could see beneath the floor boards and another area of cement that I broke up using a chisel drill. In total I filled six buckets with rubble and broken tiles, all of which were taken off site and disposed of at a local recycling centre.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next step was to ensure I had a level and flat base in the newly exposed areas on which to lay the tiles. I managed this by laying down a self-levelling compound. The compound is mixed in a bucket and poured into the holes up to the required level allowing gravity to do the levelling work for you. It is then left to dry and harden overnight.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day I started by re-fixing the loose tiles in areas where the subfloor was still solid. Close packed Victorian tiles are very tough but can be brittle, often removing a single tile can cause chips or break surrounding tiles. I always buy more replicas than the job requires for this very reason. This can be very frustrating work, so I find its best approach is to remove as few tiles as possible. I explained to the customer that the floor is over 100 years old and some chips and scratches give the floor character. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation where some marks are permanent.

Part of the other renovations included the removal of two antique radiators leaving some strips of carpet and adhesive attached to the floor. I removed this using a strong mixture of tile doctor remove and go and a little encouragement from a 50-grit diamond block.

The preparation continued with the cleaning up of the three buckets of tiles recovered at the beginning of the restoration. Old adhesive and cement must be removed before refitting to ensure they can be laid flush to the adjacent tiles. Luckily for me the weather was warm and sunny, so I sat on the garden wall for the afternoon using a combination of a wet tile cutter, Fein tool and diamond blocks to get them clean while I took in the sun.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day was spent re-laying the tiles. The tiles are in an intricate pattern and in various shapes and sizes. The main area by the front door took all day. The difference in thickness between the original and replacement tiles made the work particularly difficult. Interested neighbours came and went commenting on my progress throughout.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I soaked all the tiles with tile doctor Acid Gel and left to dwell for 30 minutes. This was to work into the porous areas and to break down years of dirt. Then attaching a very coarse 100-grit diamond encrusted pad attached to a rotary floor machine I cleaned the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This process skims away a small layer of the tiles thus the dirt too. All the soil was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process twice for maximum effect. The customer was amazed at the result and I wasn’t finished yet. When wet the contrast between the white tiles and dark were astonishing, however this was temporary so I made sure the customer aware that without a sealer they would look washed out and colourless. I left the scene overnight with a couple of warm air movers in place to fully dry out the tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The tiles need to be dry before sealing so the next day my first action was to test the floor for moisture using a damp meter. They passed and were ready to take a sealer, so I discussed the different options and finishes with the customer. It was a very interesting house, full of retro artefacts so we needed something that would blend in, more importantly she had four children and a husband who bought a cycle through the house twice a day. I recommended Tile doctor seal and Go Extra. It’s super tough, offering great protection and gives a subtle sheen that I felt would suit the house. Three coats later and I was done, closing the door behind me as everyone was at school and work

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

I popped back later that evening to discuss the job. The newly applied sealer had intensified the depth of colour in the Victorian tiles and returned the brightness to the floor. She was very pleased and even gave me a carrot cake to take home with me.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Surrey

Dull Travertine Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned in Cobham

This client from Cobham had her kitchen and diner tiled with Travertine six years ago. With two children and three dogs living there, the sealer has gradually worn away leaving the stone exposed to dirt. The leafy village of Cobham lies in the borough of Elmbridge which is noted as being a one of the most desirable places to live in the UK. As a result, it attracts a lot of investment in property including expensive tiled floors.

I went over to survey the floor and discussed with the client how we could improve the floors appearance. The solution I proposed was to deep clean the tiles to extract all the dirt and remove what was left of the old sealer and then to re-seal the floor in order to protect it going forward. This process typically takes two days to complete; day one is spent cleaning the stone and grout, including the removal of the existing sealer and day two is spent sealing and polishing. The client was satisfied with the quotation and we arranged a time to come back and carry out the work.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor Before Cleaning Cobham

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Firstly, I asked the client to clear the floor and to help me put the dining table in the garden out of the way. Then using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a wire brush I cleaned the grout in the kitchen, diner and utility room. It was a large installation of Travertine, so this task took some time to complete. The floor was rinsed, and all the dirt produced was removed with a wet vacuum cleaner.

The next job was to remove what remained of the previous sealer and top layer of dirt. This was done with a rotating buffing machine with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The first one applied is a coarse 400-grit pad followed by 800 and 1500-grit, working through the pads in sequence. You might be familiar with the grit system from sandpaper, rough down to smooth. The process is lubricated with water and the slurry generated is rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.
I left the floor to dry off overnight, they can walk on it during this time, but they needed to be careful of any spillages. The dogs were also welcomed back in from the front room.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The second day started with and inspection of the Travertine tile and grout looking for any areas that need further attention. I was satisfied that the floor was looking its’ best and once the preparation was complete, I applied the first coat of sealer.

On this occasion I went with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is doesn’t change the look of the stone giving a completely natural look. This product soaks into the pores of the stone protecting if from within and should last between three and five years depending on the amount of wear it received and how the floor is cleaned and maintained.

Two coats of sealer were applied and after each coat dried, I polished the floor using a very fine 3000-grit diamond pad. The pad is run across the Travertine dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a process we call a ‘Spray Burnish’. I asked the client to keep off the travertine until it’s cured, usually for a couple of hours which is always a good excuse to go out for the evening!

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

The client was very happy the floor and they remarked it looked as good as when it was first laid. For aftercare I recommended using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is ideal for the regular cleaning of sealed natural stone floors, many supermarket products are simply too harsh and will reduce the life of the sealer.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in West Surrey

New Black Limestone Floor Issues Resolved in Godalming

A property developer contacted me looking for a solution to two problems with a Black Limestone floor he had installed in the kitchen of a house in Godalming. The first problem was the sealer used didn’t do anything to enhance the look of the Limestone tiles and the new owner was very unhappy with their appearance which was now light in colour as opposed to the black Limestone he was expecting. Secondly the kitchen fitter had dragged a wooden box with a rogue screw hanging from the bottom across the floor in several places leading to scratches.

Scratched Black Limestone Floor Before Godalming

With direct trains to London Waterloo taking 45 minutes Godalming is a very desirable place to live and a property hotspot. Fortunately for the developer I was able to advise that both problems were fixable. Firstly, I had to remover the existing sealer, tackle the scratches and then re-seal and polish. Keen to have the problem resolved I was instructed to go ahead with the work.

Scratched Black Limestone Floor Before Godalming

Removing Sealer and Scratches from Black Limestone tiles

The old sealer was not doing anything to enhance the look of the Black Limestone and simply applying a new sealer on-top of the old would not have improved the appearance, so it had to be stripped off first. To remove the old sealer, I attached a coarse 400-grit Diamond burnishing pad to a floor buffer and ran it over tiles with water for lubrication. The process generates a fine slurry so once the whole floor had been burnished in this way the slurry was rinsed off with more water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, using a small handheld burnishing block I very carefully removed the scratches that the kitchen fitter had caused. Like the burnishing pads these blocks come in different grades and are encrusted with industrial diamonds.

Once happy I was happy that the scratches were gone, I continued to burnish the floor using a medium 800-grit and then a fine 1500-grit pad. These pads are used to hone the stone and build-up its polished appearance. As with the 400-grit pad water is used to lubricate the process and the floor is rinsed and extracted after each pad.

Sealing Black Limestone Tiles

I left the floor to dry off and returned after the weekend to apply the sealer. This is essential for any stone floor as otherwise dirt will become trapped in its pores making it difficult to clean effectively. Sealers can also enhance the appearance of the stone and in this case, we wanted to really bring out its natural dark colour. With this in mind I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects from within and includes a colour enhancing agent that improves colour and, in this case, considerably intensified the black colour of the stone to achieve the effect the customer wanted.

Scratched Black Limestone Floor After Burnishing Godalming

Before leaving I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to add an extra lustre to the stone, by the time I had finished the floor looked amazing. Unfortunately, I never got to hear how the customer felt about the new appearance of their Black Limestone floor however the property developer was much relieved as he thought the whole floor might need to be replaced.

 

Professional Limestone Floor Renovation in West Surrey

Red and Brown Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor Polishing Weybridge

If you have a Mable tiled floor which is not looking its best, then the transformation I achieved on this floor at a property in Weybridge will definitely be on interest. Having first spoken with the owner on the phone I went over to the house to take a better look at the floor and found that the deep red and brown Marble tiled kitchen floor was really dirty and totally lacking in colour or polish.

The floor hadn’t been professionally cleaned for some time and was now dirty and suffering from the actions of a puppy which likes to charge up and down. The Marble was also full of holes which the client explained had been getting larger. This is not usual for natural stone as it can be very sensitive to acidic cleaning products which if used constantly over time will start to dissolve the stone.

We discussed the remedies available, agreed a cost and arranged a mutually convenient time to carry the work out. I always like to do a site visit to survey the tiles and ideally run a test clean to determine the best methods for resolving the problems. This enabled me to give a more accurate quote and it also gives the customer confidence in my abilities.

Marble Tiled Floor Before Polishing Weybrige

Deep Cleaning Red and Brown Marble Kitchen Tiles

Firstly, I removed the existing sealer with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad which is applied with water. Although this initially appears to make the floor look worse, this is only temporary, sometimes you have to make it look a little worse before it can get better! Once this was done the floor was rinsed with water to remove the slurry generated and this was then extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum.

Then for the next couple of hours I worked my way from the back door to the front filling all holes with a special expanding resin, then smoothing off as I went to ensure the smoothest of finish could be achieved. Some of the holes were indeed quite large, so there was quite a lot of work to do.

Once the filler had dried I started the polishing process using the 800 and then 1500 grit burnishing pads, once again with more water to lubricate and rinsing the floor in between polishing and removing the slurry as before. This process took much of the day, so I left the floor to dry off and came back the next day to complete the polishing and seal the Marble.

Sealing Red and Brown Marble Kitchen Tiles

The next day I returned and completed the polishing process by applying the fourth burnishing pad which is an extra fine 3000 grit pad, you apply the pad dry with only a little amount of water sprayed onto the floor in process we call a spay burnish and this final pad really brings up the polish in the Marble.

Once the polishing had finished I left the floor for a little while to make sure it was nice and dry and then I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable protection by impregnating the pores in the stone with sealer, so dirt cannot become ingrained there. As you can see from the pictures the sealer dramatically enhanced the natural colours in the stone.

Once dry I backed my way out of the house with a final finishing polish using a white buffing pad to remove any excess sealant and bring up the sheen of the tiles even further. I left instructions with the client to keep off for a couple of hours while the sealer cured.

The client was over the moon with the end result, the floor was left shiny, protected and looking in a fabulous condition.

Marble Tiled Floor After Polishing Weybrige

 

Professional Restoration of a Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor in West Surrey

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