Very Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Restored in Rotherfield

Looking at the pictures below you might think this Quarry Tiled kitchen floor at a cottage in Rotherfield was as old as the village which dates back to the 8th Century and is mentioned in the Doomsday book. It really was in a bad state with I don’t know what covering the tiles which had gone black as a result but were actually very pretty as you will see later.

The client was having a new kitchen fitted and wanted the tile and grout restored so as not to incur the cost of replacing it. This really is the best time to look at getting your tiles thoroughly cleaned as with many of the old units removed I could access most of the floor and of course I didn’t need to worry about protecting the units either.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Rotherfield

Cleaning Dirty Kitchen Quarry Tiles

I could see this floor was going to be a challenge so decided to try a strong cocktail of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech HBU, HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up so quite appropriate I thought. Working in sections the floor was soaked in the cleaning cocktail and left to dwell for some time in order to soften the dirt and grime.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Rotherfield

The next step was to run over the tiles with a set of Burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds. It took more than one attempt at this process but the abrasive pads had the desired effect and eventually revealed the beautiful quarry flooring below.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Rotherfield

The pads are effective on the tiles but the grout sits a little lower and so to reach these a stiff brush was scrubbed into the grout by hand.

To remove the dirt that was released from the cleaning process and further clean the tiles I used a Spinning Tool through the process. The tool is powered from a large compressor that sits in my van which forces hot water under pressure onto the tiled floor whilst simultaneously extracting the dirty water back to a tank on the van. It’s an amazing tool that is very effective however you do need to have the van parked very close the house due to a limitation on the hose lengths.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Rotherfield

With the tiles now clean and rinsed with water the floor was dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

The floor was left to dry for a couple of days before I returned to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer. I tested the floor with a damp meter on my return to ensure it was dry; all was well so I moved onto sealing. Sealer of choice on this occasion was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer which so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. The Quarry tiles were quite porous, which is not uncommon for Quarry Tiles and six coats of sealer were required in the end.

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Rotherfield

As the photographs show, the floor was transformed and my customer was elated with the results saying “wow it’s like new!”

Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Rotherfield

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Quarry Tiled Floor in East Sussex

Clean and Seal For a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor in Wadhurst

This client in the East Sussex town of Wadhurst, was selling her country cottage and wanting to achieve the best price decided to have the Terracotta tiled kitchen floor restored before she put property on the market. Personally I think this is a great idea as you want to show the house at its best; I guess Estate Agents and Sarah Beeny would call it staging the property, although she should do well as it was a lovely cottage and Wadhurst is an old, quiet market town lying on a high ridge in the area known as the Weald, between the North and South Downs and so should prove popular.

The Terracotta tiled floor was in real need of a good clean and seal which is not surprising considering that the kitchen is generally a very high traffic area in most houses and, in this case, the family Labrador loved to use it as a play area. Terracotta tiles have been used for over 2000 years, having been first popularised by the ancient Romans. However, one downside to them is that, due to the lack of surface glaze, they can pick up dirt very quickly, which can become ingrained in the tiles if not removed quickly.

Terracotta tiles before cleaning in Wadhurst Terracotta tiles before cleaning in Wadhurst

Cleaning a Terracotta tiled floor

After removing the client’s Labrador from the kitchen, I set to work cleaning the floor using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I applied a layer of the solution to the floor, before leaving it for a short period to dwell and soak into the pores of the Terracotta. I then set to work scrubbing the cleaning solution into the tiles and, since Pro-Clean acts as both a cleaner and a stripper, the any remaining old sealer quickly came off.

The Pro-Clean successfully lifted the ingrained dirt out of the tiles leaving the colourful terracotta looking much cleaner. It also had a dramatic effect on the colour of the grout, transforming it from a mucky shade of tan to cleaner looking yellow.

Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

After cleaning and a thorough rinse, I left the floor to dry over the weekend, but not before instructing the client to keep the dog out of the kitchen during this time. It was important to allow the floor sufficient time to dry completely, as any excess moisture left over from cleaning could affect the performance of the sealer.

Terracotta tiles after cleaning in Wadhurst Terracotta tiles after cleaning in Wadhurst

My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which I applied to the floor to provide it with not only a nice low-sheen finish, but also a stain resistant surface seal that will protect the tiles against dirt in the long-term. Seal & Go is a suitable sealer for unsealed porous surfaces like Terracotta, Victorian tile, textured Quarry and Slate.

My client was very pleased with the results of the clean and seal, and so was I. The Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen of her house is a fantastic feature, and I’m sure whoever buys the country cottage will love it as well.
 
 

Terracotta Tiled Floor Restored in Wadhurst

Thorough Clean And Seal Of Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor In Crowborough

I was recently contacted by a client who had just moved into a house in Crowborough, a town in East Sussex which by the way was once home to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. The riven Slate tiled floor in the kitchen had trapped bits of dirt and also food which had become ingrained in the tile. Needless to say, the new homeowner wanted to give the kitchen floor a thorough clean. However, she had tried every cleaning product she could find in the supermarket, but to no avail. Struggling to find a solution she sought out professional assistance and naturally I was happy to help.

Slate floor before cleaning Crowborough

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

My first task was to mix up a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The product was only slightly diluted with water, since the floor was quite heavily soiled and a higher concentration of Pro-Clean was needed to help remove several layers of dirt and food waste. Once applied to the floor, the solution was left to dwell for roughly five minutes before I began to work it into the stone with a deck brush. I did the best I could here to clean the floor without using my buffing machine as, since the floor was riven, my black buffing pad would have been ruined by the ridges.

Making up for the lack of a buffing machine, I made sure to scrub the floor with Pro-Clean for several hours to remove as much grime as possible. One the cleaning was finally completed I rinsed the floor several times with clean, hot water. I then used a wet-dry vac machine to remove any excess moisture to clear the floor for sealing when I returned 48 hours later. Upon leaving, I left my client with instructions to avoid spilling anything on the floor as, again, any liquid left on the surface might affect the performance of the sealer.

Slate floor during cleaning Crowborough

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

After a period of two days, I returned to commence the sealing. My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which is suitable for use on internal, unsealed surfaces such as Slate, textured Quarry, Victorian tile, and others. Seal and Go is also a water based sealer so you there’s very little smell given off whilst it dries compares to solvent based sealers. In this case, the client did not want the surface of the floor to be too shiny, so I only used two coatings of Seal & Go, whereas for a shinier result I would have used a few more.

Slate floor after cleaning Crowborough

My client was exceptionally pleased with the results, which had not only cleaned the floor but brought out the beautiful colours in the stone that had once been hidden under several layers of muck.

Slate floor after cleaning Crowborough

 
 

Restoration of Slate Flooring in Crowborough

Limestone Kitchen floor Maintenance Clean in Hartfield

If you have ever had to look after a polished stone floor you will appreciate that it needs a bit of attention if you want to keep it looking good. This was this case with the small Limestone tiled kitchen floor that had been installed in a house in the old village of Hartfield which is famous for being the location where A.A. Milne wrote and based many of his famous tales about Winnie the Pooh.

Limestone kitchen floor before cleaning in Hartfield

Maintenance Clean of Limestone Floor Tiles

My main focus was to give the floor a good clean and the then top up the sealer so I began by applying a weak dilution of Tile Doctor Pro clean which was then scrubbed into the tile and grout using a deck brush and a hand brush in the corners. Pro-Clean is a multipurpose product and if you use a strong dilution it will strip the sealer from the floor which was not the intention. The floor was then washed down with warm water and you could see at this point how much cleaner the floor had become which is testament to the fact that Pro-Clean does works very well on Limestone and especially grout. Limestone is extremely porous and water is easily absorbed so once I had sucked up any excess water with a wet vacuum I left it to dry for 48 hours before returning.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

On my return I quickly carried out a damp test in a number of spots to check if the Limestone was ready for sealing. Everything was fine so I applied a top-up coat of Tile Doctor Colour grow which penetrates into the pores of the stone enhancing the colours and protect the floor from staining.

Limestone kitchen floor after cleaning in Hartfield

For regular cleaning of sealed floors we recommend the use of a non-acidic/weak alkaline cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, most supermarket cleaners are acidic and designed for un-sealed ceramic tiles and will reduce the life of the sealer over time.
 
 

Restoration of Limestone floor in a house in Hartfield

70m2 Slate tiles cleaned and Sealed in Chelwood Gate

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.

Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate Before Cleaning Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate Before Cleaning

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.

Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate During Cleaning

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.

Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate After Sealing Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate After Sealing

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

Maintaining a Limestone Patio in Crowborough

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.

Limestone Patio in Crowborough Before Cleaning

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.

Limestone Patio in Crowborough After Cleaning

I think you will agree the patio has been transformed.
 
 

Limestone Patio Cleaning in East Sussex