This kitchen and dining area at a house in Iford was installed ten years prior and had not been given a thorough clean since. Dirt had become ingrained into the stone and as you can see from the photos below tiles and grout were now overdue for a deep clean. On the home survey visit I ran a test clean on the grout up with Tile Doctor Pro-clean and the grout cleaned up easily so I was in no doubt this floor was going to look fantastic one complete.
Deep Cleaning Limestone Tiles
I was booked in and on my return continued with a 4:1 dilution of Pro-clean and warm water leaving it to soak into the tiles for a few moments before agitating with with a deck brush. Then working in small sections at a time I introduced the buffer machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Straight away the tiles and grout gave up the dirt and after a couple of hours of cleaning and washing down with warm water the tiles were free from any remaining sealer and dirt. Limestone has many natural holes and cracks that trap dirt so before I left for the day I got down on my hands and knees and worked them with a toothbrush.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
I returned two days to seal the floor, two days had been enough to get the floor dry and ensure any moisture in the tile would evaporate. The customer wanted a matt look so on my recommendation we went with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone and further improved the depth of colour. The floor benefited from three coats which had to dry fully before starting with the next so whilst I was waiting for I jet washed their small driveway.
We were recently received a referral from a well-known house cleaning company who needed some assistance to resolve an issue with a Marble Tiled Shower at a Georgian property in Ringmer. Unfortunately one of their staff had sprayed a Cillit Bang cleaning fluid onto the tiles to remove Limescale deposits and had marked the tiles with white streaks which could not be removed. Now Cilit Bang is a very strong product and although it has a reputation for tackling tricky cleaning problems it contains Benzenesulfonic Acid which like any acid should not be used on Stone as it will damage it. If you check the internet you will find this problem is not uncommon and numerous people have experienced the same issue, the good news is there is a solution.
Polishing Damaged Marble Shower Tiles
Using a spray bottle containing a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a set of small Diamond encrusted burnishing pads attached to a handheld buffer I went to work on the tiles stripping away the existing sealer and bringing back the surface of the stone. During this process the damage to the tiles started to fade and once the sealer was removed the tiles took on a washed out appearance which was to be expected at this stage.
Sealing Marble Shower Tiles
After drying any wetness with a heat gun I left them for a while so they could be sealed. Assisted by the underfloor heating the tiles soon dried out so after about half an hour I was able to apply a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which will protect the Marble going forward. During the drying process I took the liberty of cleaning the customers shower unit, not something I’m in the habit of doing but it passed the time.
As you can see from the photographs on this page the white streaky damage caused by the Cillit Bang has now been removed and the surface looks as good as it did before.
The photographs below are from a set of steps outside a house near Brighton Marina; the customer had a number of requirements which included bringing the Victorian tiled door steps back to life and also to resolve a leak into the basement below.
Cleaning Victorian Tiled Steps
To get them clean we scrubbed in a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean brushing off any moss growth in the process and exposing holes and weaknesses. It was a small area so this was done by hand using water to rinse away the soiled cleaning product and a wet vacuum to extract the water. Once the tiles were cleaned all the visible holes and cracks were filled using clear mastic and a builder went about resealing the basement below.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
With winter quickly approaching the weather has changed for the worse and I struggled to find two clear days of dry weather to seal the tiles in fact three weeks passed until it was clear enough to return. I started by wiping away any visible dampness and used the heat gun on any tricky corners. Once dry the tiles were sealed using Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the tile occupying the pores in the tiles so contaminates can’t.
The property was fifty metres from the sea front so I applied four coats to be sure it would have extra protection against the elements; fortunately the weather was quite windy they dried quickly. The customer was very pleased with the result, so much so that she’s recommended me to her neighbours.
Victorian Tiled Steps Cleaned and Sealed in East Sussex
This Slate tiled floor is in a barn in Beckley, near Rye, Hawkhurst, Tenterden and Robertsbridge. For years it had been used to store furniture, gardening equipment and worryingly, a leaky motorbike which had stained the slate.
You can see from the photographs below that the Slate tiles were much worn, stained, faded and far from looking their best.
Deep Cleaning Slate Tiled Floor
Firstly I swept out the whole area then applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to several areas where engine oil had leaked. After leaving it to soak in for fifteen minutes I began to strip and clean the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-clean worked in with a buffer machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. However it became apparent that some of the ridges on the slate were damaging the black pad so the remainder had to be done by hand with a deck brush. Once the stone was stripped and cleaned the appearance was even greyer than before. I assured the customer that once the sealer has been applied it would be transformed to a much darker colour.
Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles
After two days drying I returned to seal the floor checking first to ensure it was dry and no further work was required which is just as well as I had to wipe away what appeared to be stray dog paw prints. I got to work applying Tile Doctor Ultra Seal having previously estimated that four coats would sufficient to give it a dark finish; I should mention that Ultra Seal was chosen due to the fact that it’s provides a no-sheen natural look appearance.
Frustratingly it was quite a cold barn with little ventilation despite it being an unseasonably warm autumn day outside and this increased drying times. However by about four o’clock in the afternoon the job was finished and looking remarkably transformed. The customer was pleased with the improvement and is now moving forward with to fit out the barn as a yoga studio.
Cleaning and Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor in Beckley, East Sussex
This customer from Chelwood Gate which is a small village south of East Grinstead contacted me asking for the Slate tiles in their kitchen, utility room and living area to be cleaned and sealed. It was quite a large area, approximately 70sq metres.
Deep Cleaning a large Slate Tiled Floor
Once we had cleared the large sofas and fridge freezer from the room I got to work cleaning and stripping the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I was slightly concerned by the large ridges on the tiles but made a start with the buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Straight away the pad was shredded on the ridges so it became clear the floor would have to be completed manually using a deck brush and elbow grease. Once the floor was clean and stripped of any remaining sealer I gave it a thorough wash down to remove any cleaning product and extracted as much water as possible with a wet vacuum Luckily the room was well ventilated with several exits and large doors which aided the drying process.
Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles
After two days I returned to a dried out floor which was ready for sealing. We have a number of different sealers available; each one has a different effect. After discussing this with the customer they requested a shiny surface with improved colouring, so for the next five hours I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that gives a nice shine which matched their needs.
You can see from the pictures the difference and amazing before and after result. We were unable to move one of the freezers in the utility room so I left the customer with a small bottle of Seal and Go to apply himself once the floor had dried enough to move the unit without scratching the sealer.
Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in East Sussex
This customer in Warninglid, near Cuckfield asked me to clean a Quarry tiled floor that had been hidden for years under carpet. The carpet had been thoroughly stuck down with glue and sticky gripper rods so the tiles were in quite a mess. Whilst I thought that most of the floor could be greatly improved I voiced my reservations about several patches of heavy glue and some blackened area where burning logs appeared to have rolled from the hearth onto the stone.
Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles
I spent several hours stripping and cleaning the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean first with hand brush then buffer, but struggled to remove the glue around the edges which wouldn’t shift. The solution appeared to be using a hand scrapper and so after a full day of scrapping and rubbing the floor was clean and before I left I gave it a good rinse with water to remove any product. I left it to dry for a couple of days and then the day before I was meant to return to seal the tiles I got a call from the customer who was concerned that the glue marks were more apparent now the floor was dry. I was between jobs so I popped round to have a look and had to agree it seemed there was still evidence of glue on the floor. Something stronger was clearly needed so I spot cleaned with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong coatings remover that is safe to use on Tile and Stone. Whilst not removing the glue entirely it made a huge improvement and the customer was happy with the result. I washed the impacted areas and used a heat gun to get the tiles dry so I was still able to return the next day to seal them.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
I sealed the Quarry tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which adds a subtle finish to the floor and will provide the tiles with long lasting protection. Luckily the next day was quite warm and the room was well ventilated by several windows and a double door so the tiles dried quickly.
As you can see from the photographs on this page, the floor was really transformed and needless to say the customer was very satisfied with the result.
This customer in North Chailey, near Haywards Heath and Uckfield, contacted me asking for her Terracotta tiled kitchen floor to be cleaned and sealed. To quote the customer she said the tiles were “horrendous” and upon inspection it was hard to disagree.
However I thought that most of the floor could be greatly improved but several areas around the washing machine and dishwasher were particularly soiled. Once I spoke of my concerns the customer admitted that both the washing machine and dishwasher had flooded the floor twice and leaked on a regular basis. Washing powder is very caustic and causes permanent damage that cannot be fixed.
Terracotta Tile Cleaning
I stripped off what was left of the previous sealer using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper ideal for tiled surfaces. We let the solution dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles by hand and deck brush, usually I’d use a rotary buffing machine with a scrubbing pad but it was quite a narrow kitchen. Once I’d washed it down and sucked up any excess water with the wet-vax I left it for two days to dry.
Terracotta Tile Sealing
I returned 48 hours later and sealed the Terracotta tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based (no smell) which is ideal for Terracotta. Sealers can take some time to apply as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next, fortunately however we were blessed by a warm windy day which blew through the kitchen and increased the drying time. You can see from the pictures on this page the amazing transformation that was achieved. Whilst I was waiting for the sealer to dry I noticed their patio was in need of attention so I gave that a blast from my industrial pressure washer.
Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in North Chailey
The photograph below is from a Victorian tiled floor that we recently restored in the seaside town of Brighton. The house owner discovered the tiles under carpet and after realising what a beautiful and original feature they were decided to have them restored and so called in Tile Doctor. The tiles had been well preserved by the carpet although as you can see they were looking rather washed out and were in need of a thorough deep clean.
Cleaning Victorian Tiles
We set about cleaning the tile using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on tile and stone. It was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for ten minutes first in order to give it chance to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, stiff hand brushes and a substantial amount of elbow grease was used to tackle the stubborn stains and along the grout lines. The soiled water was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and once we were happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse with fresh water to remove any leftover chemical and then left to dry.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
Once the floor was dry we were able to seal it using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice shine to the floor as well as providing a surface seal that will help protect the tile from stains going forward.
It was quite a transformation and well worth the effort as you can see from the photographs above.
This Terracotta Tiled floor was located in a house in the town of Ringmer, East Sussex, it had been a while since it had last been thoroughly cleaned and re-sealed and was now well overdue for some extra attention.
Terracotta Tile Cleaning
To get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper ideal for tiled surfaces. We let the solution dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The photograph below shows the floor half way through this process with the top section cleaned and the bottom section still to do.
The soiled solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and any stubborn areas re-treated before thoroughly rinsing the tiles down with clean water to remove any remaining product and neutralise the floor prior to sealing.
Terracotta Tile Sealing
Once the floor was dry the floor was sealed with TIle Doctor Seal and Go which took some time to do as you need to wait until the first coat dries before applying the second. Terracotta is very porous so seven coats were required to completely seal the floor.
I thing you would agree from the photographs the floor is much improved and the sealer should keep the Terracotta tiles looking good and much easier to keep clean going forward.
Pictures below of a Travertine tiled floor in East Grinstead which had been laid some years earlier and over time had become dull as it lost its polished appearance with wear. The customer had tried cleaning but could not get the floor looking the way they it used to.
Cleaning Travertine Tile
To restore appearance on polished hard stone floors such a Travertine and Limestone they have to be cut back and polished with floor burnishing pads, it’s a similar process that you use on wood where you start with coarse sandpaper first and moving on to a finer grade towards the end.
At Tile Doctor we have access to a diamond encrusted burnishing pad system which starts with a coarse red pad applied together with a little water, the coarse pad cleans the tiles and removes any topical sealers or ingrained dirt that may have been present. Next comes the white then yellow pads which are a finer grade again applied using nothing but a little water.
Before applying the final green polishing pad the grout lines need to be cleaned for which we use a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in along the grout line by hand with a stiff brush. Last step of the cleaning process was to rinse the floor of any dirt picked up by the pads and then when the floor is dry the last green polishing pad is applied to add a shine to the floor.
Sealing Travertine Tile
To protect the travertine it was sealed using a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that helps to bring out the natural colours in the grain of the stone. Once it was all dry again I buffed it up again but used a soft white buffing pad. The photograph below was taken after we had finished and you can see the shine in the Travertine and how much cleaner the grout lines are.
Travertine Tiled floor maintained in East Grinstead
A sealer for internal use had been applied to this external black limestone patio in Crowborough and as you can see from the photograph below it had become badly affected by weather and was basically looking a real mess.
Cleaning a Limestone Patio
Working outside does have advantages in that there is a lot less preparation to do to protect other surfaces so it wasn’t long before we got to work with the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner and stripper. The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the Limestone for a while so it could get to work on the remaining sealer and make it easy to remove; the next step was to use a high pressure washer fitted with a spinner attachment so not to upset the grout between the tiles. This action removed the dirt and old sealer and just needed a final rinse to wash off any remaining cleaning product before sealing.
Sealing a Limestone Patio
The patio was left to dry off overnight and fortunately due this year’s warm summer we were able to return the next day to seal the Limestone with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which unlike the previous sealer can be used on external applications, it will also protect the patio going forward making it easier to clean as well as bringing out the natural colours in the stone.
I think you will agree the patio has been transformed.
Recently we were asked to resolve an unusual problem with Limescale deposits on Black Slate floor tiles installed in a WC at a house in Hove on the East Sussex coast. You can see from the photograph below how Limescale has left an unsightly white haze and water marks on the surface of the slate tile.
Cleaning Limescale from a Slate Tiled Floor
The first step was to remove the Limescale and any other sealer products from the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad, we also used a stiff brush along the grout lines and in those hard to reach areas around the toilet. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with clean water and any stubborn areas revisited with a repeat of the same process until we were happy the tiles were clean. Had the Limescale proved harder to shift we would applied a stronger product such as Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which can remove mineral deposits.
Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles
We left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a highly recommended sealer for Slate which provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish, slate is quite porous and it took five coats before it was fully sealed.
I think you will agree the slate tiled floor looks transformed as well as being much easier to clean.
Cleaning and Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor in Hove, East Sussex
Although we are Tile Doctors primarily we have the right equipment to tackle external brickwork as well and in this case were asked to clean a brick driveway in Hove which is near the famous seaside town of Brighton on the south coast. This is especially relevant for the elderly where paths can become slippery and treacherous with moss etc. if not cleaned regularly.
Cleaning a Block paved Driveway
The process for cleaning the driveway was really straight forward; to start with we diluted one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with ten parts water and then applied it to the surface of the block paving and grout. This was left to dwell for a while so the chemicals could get to work and eat into the dirt of the surface. The blocks where then jet washed using an industrial
Mexican Terracotta is a lot more porous than typical Spanish or Italian clays, because of this it’s more prone to trapping dirt and needs to be sealed to protect it. These Mexican Terracotta floor tiles installed in a house in Lewes, East Sussex were no different and were proving difficult to keep clean; apologies in advance for the photographs, on refection they are not my best.
Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles
The dirt was quite engrained and so a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed one part Pro-Clean to ten parts water was applied to the terracotta tile and grout and left to soak in. The solution was then agitated using a floor buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. It’s important to make sure you use the right concentration of floor cleaning product, too little and if won’t be effective and too much will mean your having to wash the floor down more as if you leave any on the floor tile it can upset the sealer. It’s recommended therefore to do a small test before cleaning the entire floor. Once we were happy with the condition of the tiles we used stiff hand held brushes on the grout to give that also a scrub before removing the all the solution with a wet vacuum, rinsing the floor down and then left it dry overnight.
Sealing Mexican Terracotta floor tiles
Once cleaned and fully dried we came back and applied nine coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a durable low sheen sealer that will protect the grout and tile from staining. We advised the customer that due to its softer clay further top up coats may be necessary. We left what was remaining of the Seal and Go for this purpose and advised them that if the seal faded slightly then this was then the best time to apply a further coat.
Cleaning and Sealing Mexican Terracotta floor tiles in Lewes
This black slate tiled floor installed in a hallway of a client’s house in East Sussex had seen its share of foot traffic and as you can see from the photograph below the tiles had dulled and grout become stained.
Cleaning black slate floor tiles
We set about scrubbing the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad together with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaner especially recommend for stone floors due to its alkaline formula. It’s also quite good at stripping sealers from floors however this wasn’t too much of any issue in this case as most of the old sealer had been worn off.
The next step was to get into the grout lines with stiff brushes to give the grout a good scrub, this step has to be done by hand as the scrubbing pads can struggle to reach the grout. The next step was to remove the soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum and wash the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning product and neutralise the floor before the next step of sealing.
Sealing black slate floor tiles
Once the floor was dry we came back to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which put the shine back into the tile and will protect the tile and grout from stains going forward.
Photographs below of a job we did restoring the shine on a Limestone tiled floor at a house in the town of Hastings which is down on the south coast of England and well known as the location for that famous battle in 1066. The homeowner wanted an easy to maintain low sheen Limestone floor; we advised that Limestone is a soft sedimentary Stone and is not usually classed as a low maintenance surface however with the right treatment and equipment they should be able to maintain it which is a bit like buying a carpet without having a vacuum to keep it clean.
Cleaning and Polishing Limestone Tiles
To get the Limestone Tiled floor back to its original condition we used a set of diamond encrusted 17” Burnishing Pads fitted to a heavy rotary buffing machine. It’s important to give the floor a clean first to ensure there’s no dirt that could get picked up by the machine and cause deep scratches on the surface. You start off with the coarse red pad together with a little water which can remove sealers and then move onto the White pad which grinds off ingrained dirt again used with a little water. Next step is the Yellow Polishing pad which smooth’s the surface prior to the final Green pad which gives that high shine finish.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
The floor was washed down to remove any particles left over from the polishing and left to dry before we set about sealing using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is recommended for a number of stone surfaces and does well to lift the natural colours in the stone as well as providing on-going surface protection.
I think you will agree the process has really transformed this tired looking Limestone tiled floor; for maintenance we left the customer with a Green polishing pads and recommended that he purchase a rotary machine to use with it, A3 machines do a low cost reconditioned polishing machine for about £100.
As you can see from the photographs below the ceramic tiles and grout in this Shower Cubicle in East Sussex were in need of a deep clean. Ceramic tiles are very easy to clean however the grout was very discoloured and so we decided to apply a grout colourant.
Cleaning Shower Tile and Grout
To clean up the ceramic tiles and grout we sprayed on Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro which is a specialist Shower Tile and Grout Cleaner, the spray allows the cleaning agent to mix with air making it lighter and easier to stick to vertical surfaces. This is important as you need to let the cleaning agent dwell on the surface of the tile and grout for a few minutes before scrubbing it by hand with a stiff brush and then washing it off with clean water.
The cleaning process managed to clean up the tiles and did make a difference on the grout but there was quite a few stains left on the grout so we proceeded with grout colouring starting with the application of the Pre-Treater which prepares the grout ensuring a good bond with the grout colouring product.
Once the Pre-Treater had dried I started the application of the white grout colourant which you work into the grout using a toothbrush, for best results you need to work it forwards and backwards to achieve an even coat. I used two coats of grout colourant in the end to ensure shadowing from some of the darker stains were not visible.
These grout colouring products are self sealing so after 24 hours it is fully cured and protected. Last step was to strip out the old silicone at the bottom of the shower, this had gone a bit mouldy and once mould gets a hold on silicone it’s impossible to get rid off, we replaced the sealant with a fresh White Mapeisil waterproof silicone.
The renovation was now complete, tiles cleaned, grout restored and sealant replaced; naturally the customer was very pleased with the results as the shower looked like new again.