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

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

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

Quarry Tiled Floor Restored at Historic Cottage in Dunsfold

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

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

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

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

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

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

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

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

Sealing an Original Quarry Tiled Floor

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

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

Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage

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

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Surrey

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

Beautiful Indian Sandstone floor deep cleaned in Guilford

This beautiful Indian Sandstone tiled floor was laid throughout an open plan Kitchen, Dining and Lounge in a house in Guilford. The floor was in need of a deep clean and seal so we called round initially to survey the tile and grout and provide a quote which was accepted.

Indian Sandstone During Cleaning Indian Sandstone Washing

Cleaning Indian Sandstone

To clean the floor we used a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a flexible strong alkaline cleaner specially designed for use on stone floors mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor Nanotech Ultra-Clean which contains tiny abrasive particles. This solution was left to dwell on the floor for thirty minutes before being worked into the floor with scrubbing brushes. We then used a tile spinner tool and truck mount cleaning system to rinse the floor of all residue soils and chemicals, the floor was covered with dust sheets whilst it dried and also to keep it clean until we came back to seal it.

Indian Sandstone After Cleaning

Sealing Indian Sandstone

On our return we discussed the effects of different sealers, they all offer stain protection to different levels but change the appearance of the tile in different ways. The customer liked the natural look of the stone so we applied Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal using three coats of sealer to fully seal the tiled floor; Ultra-Seal is also a penetrating sealer that gets deep into the pores of the stone. The customer was delighted with the result and we have been asked to return every year to maintain the floor.

Indian Sandstone After Sealing

 
 

Indian Sandstone Floor Maintained in Guilford