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

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

Removing Limescale from Slate Shower Tiles in Oxshott

In the south east of England, we suffer from hard water which as many of you have experienced can calcify on our showers leaving white limescale staining. Without fitting a water softener this limescale causes a problem around the home, particularly when the tiles are dark.

A good example of this problem was this large dark grey slate tiled shower at a house in Oxshott where the limescale had completely ruined the look of the black slate. The problem was most evident on the slate tiles on the floor but had also stained the slate split face slate tiles on the shower wall.

Slate Tiled Bathroom Before Renovation Oxshot

Oxshott is a village in Surrey between Leatherhead and Esher, a survey in 2010 by the Daily Telegraph asserted it was “the village with most footballers” in England and mentioned other celebrities who chose to live in the village probably because Chelsea Football Club have their main training ground in nearby Stoke D’Abernon; It is a beautiful area and is no surprise it is also known as ‘the most expensive village in England’.

The wet room was not that old, but due to the limescale staining was prematurely in need of attention. We often get calls from customers where they have use supermarket products to treat hard water stains, however these products are generally acidic, and this can make the problem worse. I would recommend you always read the back of the bottle before to check it is safe to use on natural stone before applying.

After inspecting the shower, I agreed with the client the best course of action, agreed a price and booked the job in for a later date.

Limescale Stained Slate Wet Room Cleaning

I returned on the agreed date and started work by first removing the existing sealer by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a multi-purpose stripper that’s formulated for use on natural stone. The product also draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy grease build-up. For best results spray the product onto the tile and then leave for it to soak in and get to work breaking down the coatings etc. After ten minutes the product is scrubbed into the stone which in this case meant by hand. The soiled solution can then be rinsed off the tiles with water. The grout was then cleaned by hand scrubbing in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean followed by more rinsing.

The final part of preparation was to remove the limescale. This was done with a small handheld diamond block and a wire brush. The block is great for smoothing down all sorts of issues and being small it can get into tight areas. I then dried the whole room with an industrial blower. Slate cannot be sealed effectively when damp as it won’t cure properly. The blower is noisy but best in this situation and is very effective when a fast dry is needed.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Bathroom in Oxshott

After lunch I checked the area was nice and dry by testing the moisture content. I then sealed the whole area, wall and floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow, is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection as well as allowing the surface to breath and enhance colour. For this project it darkened the tiles nicely and will provide protection from staining, making them much easier for the client to maintain moving forward.

The client was very happy with the lovely result. The bathroom looked clean and fresh again, now it is just a case of trying to keep on top of the limescale.

Slate Tiled Bathroom After Renovation Oxshot

 

Limescale removed from Slate Tiled Shower Wall and Floor in West Surrey

Large Limestone Tiled Floor Stripped and Resealed in Weybridge

Weybridge is an affluent commuter town with good train connections into London Waterloo, as a result, there are some impressive houses here, many of which feature beautiful polished stone floors. This particular residence in Weybridge had a very large Limestone tiled floor installed in their Kitchen/Dinning Room, the floor had been cleaned and sealed about a year prior, so it was still in good condition however the customers ageing dog had a few accidents which had damaged the sealer.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Weybridge

Urine contains Uric Acid which being an acid can damage the sealer, this is why for daily cleaning we always recommend using pH neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Stone Soap if the floor is polished. Limestone and Travertine are especially vulnerable to acids due to their high levels of calcium carbonate and often results in pock marks or small holes forming in the stone.

Resealing a Polished Limestone Floor

Once we’d moved the furniture to another room I started with a deep grout clean. I ran a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines then left it to dwell for five minutes while I got the wet vacuum from the van. When ready I cleaned the grout by hand with a hard nylon brush and then extracted the soiled cleaning solution with the wet vacuum.

With the grout now clean and the soil removed I set up my rotary floor cleaning machine ready to burnish the stone tile and restore the finish with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

The first pad in the set to be applied is a coarse 400 grit pad that is designed to remove existing sealers and dirt and is run over the tiles with water for lubrication. During the following hours the process was repeated with the medium 800 grit and fine 1500 grit pads which gradually polish the stone and return the shine. The floor is rinsed between each pad to remove the soil which is generated from burnishing.

This process took up much of the day so after rinsing the floor after the 1500 grit pad and extracting the soil with the wet vacuum I left the customer strict instructions not to spill anything on the unsealed floor. The tiles need to be dry before re-applying the sealer and any remaining moisture from the rinsing should evaporate overnight.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Returning the next day, I tested the floor was dry the applied the first coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. Once I’d wiped away any excess I left it to dry for half an hour before applying a second coat.

Breaking for lunch allowed sufficient time for the sealer to dry and I was able to complete the floor with a final polish.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Weybridge

 
 

Stripping and Resealing a Polished Limestone Floor in West Surrey

Floor Grout Replaced in Cobham

This floor was tiled with large format beige porcelain tiles with a white grout which as you can appreciate can soon become dirty. Now you might be thinking that this post is about cleaning grout which would make sense as I’m normally asked to clean grout, however on this occasion the customer wanted it removing completely and then re-grouting in a darker colour.

Grout re-colouring grout is easily done using a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which comes in ten different colours but in this case there was an amount of cracked and missing grout which needed replacing anyway.

Floor Grout Before Replacement Cobham

The house was in the surrey village of Cobham which dates back to Roman times and is now known for being an affluent place to live with many large houses.

Removing Grout

Removing existing grout is a messy job that can create a lot of dust so before starting work I positioned my vacuum cleaner adjacent to the tile so any dust would be extracted away. There are a number of ways to remove grout but I find the best way is to use a special oscillating tool which makes quick work of the job. Fortunately due to the large format porcelain tiles with tight grout lines I was able to completely remove all the grout within a few hours.

Grouting a

After a clean up I was ready to mix the new grey grout and start rerouting the tiles. I always use expanding grout for this as it lasts longer and won’t shrink like cheaper products which can rack as a house moves slightly. Once mixed the new grout was pushed into the grout lines with a rubber float and the excess polished off.

I managed to complete the job in a day and before leaving I have the floor a buff with a soft white pad.

Floor Grout After Replacement Cobham

The Grout tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.
 
 

Professional Grout Tiled Hallway Restoration in West Surrey

Red Wine Stains Removed from Limestone Fireplace in Woking

Here at Tile Doctor we have developed numerous products and techniques for dealing with all types of situations related to the cleaning of stone, tile and grout. Whilst the most popular work we do relates to the cleaning and sealing of floors sometimes we get asked to resolve more unusual issues such as this Wine Stained Limestone Fireplace at a house in the London commuter town of Woking.

Unfortunately for the customer their teenage son had knocked a glass of red wine from the dining table onto the carpet and over his parent’s adjacent limestone fireplace which despite early attention left noticeable dark spots in the stone. The customer was keen to have the stains removed and had even resigned himself to the possibility of replacing the whole fixture. Naturally this would’ve cost hundreds of pounds; fortunately, however he discovered Tile Doctor on the internet and realised the staining could be remedied reasonably easily with the correct knowledge and products.

Limestone Fireplace Before Wine Stain Removal Woking

Cleaning a Wine Stained Limestone Fireplace

I mentioned earlier Tile Doctor have developed numerous products and techniques and this includes Tile Doctor Reduxa which is designed to lift the stains out of stone, so I decided to try that first.

My method of application was to spray the stain with Reduxa and leave it to soak into the stone for about twenty seconds. Then I worked the solution into the surface of the stain lightly using a smooth 400 grit diamond block. The next step involves using a heat gun to dry out the area. This process is repeated five or six times until the stain completely disappears. The process works by dissolving the stain into the Reduxa which is then evaporated by the heat.

Limestone Fireplace After Wine Stain Removal Woking

I’m pleased to report that the stain was completely removed by the process and no other treatment was required to resolve the problem further. The customer still has to decide however what to do with the carpet…
 
 

Professional Removal of Wine Stains from Limestone in Surrey

Victorian Tiled Hallway Hidden Under Carpet Restored in Leatherhead

This customer who owned a lovely period residence in Leatherhead had pulled up an old hallway carpet to discover this gem of Victorian Tiled floor. The tiles were covered in carpet adhesive, paint splashes and what looked like a hundred years of dirt. I suspect the previous owners felt it was easier to cover the hallway in carpet rather than have it cleaned properly or perhaps it was just the trend at the time.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

Given the obvious amount of work that would be needed to restore it we got a call to pop round and provide an estimate. We do a lot of Victorian floor restorations and across the Tile Doctor network I’m confident in saying there is a Tile Doctor working on a Victorian Tiled floor every day of the week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

The owner was happy with the quote and we agreed a date to return and restore the floor.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

Working in a metre square area at a time, I first applied a solution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and left it to dwell for twenty minutes. Oxy-Gel is a relatively new product that being in Gel form is easy to control and stays in place allowing it to dissolve dirt and in this case loosen the adhesive.

After leaving it to dwell for 20 minutes I attacked it with a very coarse 100 grit diamond pad attached to a buffer machine. This removed a minuscule layer from the surface of the tile and with it the muck. I vacuumed up the excess with a wet vacuum then rubbed down the stubborn areas with a 50 grit hand block. This removed a lot of dirt and drastically lightened the whites and blues. Finally I neutralised the floor with two rinses of clean, warm water again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible from the floor.

I repeated this process along the length of the hallway and then inspected the floor retreating any areas containing stubborn marks.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The hallway wasn’t that big an area so I had agreed to do the whole floor in one day. As a result I needed to force dry the floor so I could seal the tiles in the same day. I have a number of tools to do this including an industrial air mover and a heat gun which were applied for about an hour before it was dry.

To seal the tiles I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as its name suggests is a colour enhancing sealer that works by impregnating the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enriching the colours in the process. This gave a lovely contrast in colour whilst providing a matt finish; another advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a fully breathable sealer which won’t trap moisture under the tile which is important for these old floors where no damp proof membrane is installed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Leatherhead

The Victorian tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in West Surrey

Slate Tiled Floor Rejuvenated at New Barn Conversion in Farnham

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

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

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Farnham

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

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Farnham

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

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

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

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

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

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

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

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Farnham

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

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Farnham

 
 

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

Repairing a Scratched Slate Tiled Kitchen floor in Weybridge

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

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

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Weybridge

Repairing and Sealing a Damaged Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

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

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

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles After Cleaning Weybridge

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

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

Professional Repair of a Scratched Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Surrey

Acid-Damaged Marble Shower Cubicle Restored in Leatherhead

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

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

Marble Shower Wall Leatherhead Before Cleaning

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

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Shower Cubicle

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

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

Sealing a Marble Shower Cubicle

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

Marble Shower Wall Leatherhead After Cleaning

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

Professional Restoration of a Damaged Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle in Surrey

Lifeless Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Weybridge

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

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

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

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

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

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

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

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

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Weybridge

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

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Maintenance in Surrey