Original Victorian Tiles Restored to Top Condition in Brighton

The 19th century was a pivotal period for the Brighton and Hove area of East Sussex. Many of the major attractions were built during the Victorian era, including two of the major piers. Over time, Brighton became not just a very popular destination for day trippers, but also for home makers. Lots of Victorian-style houses were built, complete with Victorian-style tiled floors.

Modern homeowners are increasingly uncovering these original Victorian tiles after decades of being hidden under carpet overlay. Contrary to popular belief, it is very much possible to restore these tiles back to peak condition despite suffering from damage, dirt and staining.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hove

I recently a house in Brighton to prove just that. The customer’s Victorian tiled hallway floor had been covered by many carpets over the past few decades and so there were many thick glue deposits, along with a heavy build-up of dirt and staining.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hove

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

After protecting the woodwork with tape, I set about cleaning the Victorian tiles using a combination of products. One of these was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (HBU = Heavy Build-Up Remove), a powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the tile to lift out and dissolve ingrained dirt and stains. I mixed the NanoTech HBU together 50:50 with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a reliable alkaline-based cleaner. This cleaning mixture was applied to the hallway floor and then covered with a plastic sheet for a few hours before being scrubbed into the tiles thoroughly with a lot of elbow grease and a specialised scrubbing pad.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Hove

A lot of the glue deposits were stubborn and would not respond to the chemical cleaning, so I needed to carefully scrape these off by hand. Once the majority of the glue had been removed I applied a set of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads to remove the top layer to resurface the floor and bring back a lot of the definition in the tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Hove

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

After completing the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry completely. Giving the tiles enough time to dry is important, especially in older properties which won’t have a damp-proof membrane installed. Even a small amount of excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Once I was satisfied with the moisture level, I proceeded to seal the tiles using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that doesn’t leave a smell as it dries and as well as adding a layer of protection to the tiles give an appealing low-sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Hove

The client, being of French nationality, said she was “sur la lune” (over the moon) with the result! Look at the photos below to see the transformation – I must say I was quite pleased myself!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Hove

 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for an Original Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Brighton

Lower Courtyard Slate Patio Cleaning in Brighton

Brighton is a great location to work with a huge variety of property styles and tile installation but being such a popular location parking can be an issue. We need to park our van physically close to the property so we can make use of our powerful Truck mounted cleaning system that weighs in at 3/4 of a tonne! It’s a really clever system that uses water under very high pressure to clean the stone whilst at the same time recovering the waste back to a storage tank in the van making it a very clean operation even in the most awkward conditions.

I thought I would mention this first as I was asked to deep clean and seal the lower ground level Slate tiled courtyard patio at this property in Brighton which was located down a small side street where people rarely moved their vehicles due to lack of spaces available. Fortunately I was aware of the issue and managed to overcome it by arranging a parking suspension with Brighton and Hove City Council allowing me to park my van.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Parking Suspension Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning

This patio was open to the elements and was also used by the owner’s dog. Further due to its inaccessibility it had never been cleaned apart from with the general hosepipe sprayer. Any kind of porous stone will over time become dirty and stained if the sealer is not maintained, sealers do fail eventually and usually in the highest traffic areas first where they become worn down the most.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning Dirty Slate Patio

The first job was to pressure clean the entire area using the truck mounted system I mentioned earlier, it works well on patios removing all sorts of detritus that can build up over time.

With patio now clear I was able to see the condition of the slate which showed grout smears on the surface from installation as some stubborn staining that the pressure treatment had been unable to shift. To resolve this I mixed up a batch of Tile Doctor Cleaning Agent Oxy Gel together with Tile Doctor Acid Gel and applied it to all the problem areas. Liquids have a tendency to run (patios have a gentle slope to allow for rain run off) whereas Gel’s remain in place so they dwell on the problem areas longer and really get to work. I left the mixture in place for a short while before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush and then extracted it using truck mount system. The water from the truck mount also neutralised the acid which is important as you shouldn’t leave acid on natural stone for too long.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton During Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton During Cleaning

Sealing a Slate Patio

Fortunately there was no rain that night and being August also quite warm so I was pleased to find the Slate had tried off fully by the next day when we returned to seal it. To be certain however I ran some quick damp tests to check that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. Once satisfied, I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which works really well on Slate giving it that much needed protection against dirt and stains, along with a full lustre finish that enhances the character of the floor.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning

The client was elated both with the result and even more so after we explained how to maintain the look of the tiles with having a doggy in the house!

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning

 
 

Refurbishing a Slate Tiled Patio in East Sussex

Newly Installed Travertine Tiled Floor Polished and Sealed in Polegate

Travertine is known on the international market for being very distinctive in character and very durable, making it a very popular choice for tiled flooring in properties worldwide. However, the stone does require regular professional maintenance and polishing to keep it looking it top shape.

I recently visited a nice property in Polegate, a town not too far away from the seaside resort of Eastbourne, in which a large Travertine tiled floor had been recently installed in the lounge and kitchen, but not finished to the standard that the customer had wanted. The customer had visited our website and, upon seeing some of our other work, asked us to finish to a high standard the job the other company had started.

Travertine floor before honing and polishing Polegate Travertine floor before honing and polishing Polegate

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

The first part of the job involved giving the floor a thorough clean to remove and debris and dirt that had built up since the initial installation. Before beginning we removed the kickboards under the kitchen units and covered the skirting boards and walls with a plastic sheet to protect them during the cleaning process.

The product we used to clean the tiles and grout is known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline solution that always provides reliable and consistent results when tackling soiled floors. The solution was applied liberally across the floor and left to dwell for a short period before being worked in with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine – as well as a specialised grout brush for the grout. We then thoroughly rinsed off the floor using a state of the art truck-mounted pressure washer, resulting a spotless floor.

Next, we addressed the many small porous holes that commonly occur in Travertine due to a natural corrosion process called ‘pitting’. These pitted holes not only spoil the appearance of the tiles, they also act as natural habits for ingrained dirt! It’s important therefore that we filled them with a resin to smoothen the appearance of the floor and protect it against ingrained dirt.

Burnishing and Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Following this, we moved on to a process we know as burnishing, which involves the application of diamond encrusted pads to remove old sealers, smoothen the rough surface of the floor, and hone the stone to provide it with a polished appearance.

Travertine floor during honing and polishing Polegate

We started with a Coarse 400 grit pad to strip away any old sealers and level off the rough surface, before refining this with the Medium 800 grit pad for an initial polish, Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish, and Very Fine 3000 grit pad for the final polish. Each pad is used with a small amount of water as lubricant.

Finally, we applied Tile Doctor Shine Powder, which is a crystallising powder sealer that ensures a very high shine and a tough, durable finish. This powder is applied directly to the tiles in combination with at least ½ a litre of water and a soft white buffing pad.

Travertine floor after honing and polishing Polegate Travertine floor after honing and polishing Polegate

The customer was ecstatic with the results, being particularly pleased that she got the floor looking the way she originally wanted without significant expense, not to mention stress.
 
 

Professional Cleaning and Polishing of a Newly Installed Travertine Tiled Floor in East Sussex

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle in Herstmonceux

We often get asked to do bathroom refresh and end of tenancy tile cleans however it’s a good job I’m not squeamish as this ceramic tiled shower cubicle was in a bad way.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Herstmonceux

The property was in the historic village of Herstmonceux in the Wealden District of East Sussex and apparently it had been leased to students who it seems were averse to cleaning, no surprise there.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Herstmonceux

Cleaning Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

The first step was to remove the plastic product holder to expose the tile and grout, which revealed more staining and black mould.

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

With that removed I sprayed the Tile and Grout with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which works better than liquid products as being gel based it sticks to the wall tile and grout and really gets to work breaking down the dirt. I left this for a few minutes before scrubbing it and then rinsing it off with water. I had a problem with a patch of grout which was beyond cleaning and concerned it was going to upset the whole job I raked out it and applied new grout.

Grout Colouring Shower Wall Tiles

With the tiles now clean and fresh grout dried the next step was to apply a White Grout Colourant to ensure all the grout had a consistent appearance. Although time consuming the grout colourant is easily applied with a small brush and then you wipe off any excess that gets onto the tile.

The next step was to strip out the mastic silicone sealant strip from around the base of the shower cubicle and replace with new. I used high quality silicone sealant that left nice lines and fresh look, don’t use cheap sealant as it will soon discolour and some have been known to shrink.

Last step was to replace the plastic product holder which had been cleaned.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Herstmonceux

Quite a difference I think you’ll agree. Future cleaning advice was left with the customer; I just hope he passes it onto the next tenant.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Herstmonceux

 
 

Stained Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Refreshed in East Sussex

Restoration of an Extremely Dirty Yorkstone Tiled Floor in Brighton

This Yorkstone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Brightonhad been hidden under 18 months worth of accumulated builders work, intended to get the property ready for new occupancy. As you might expect, the tiles were extremely dirty, caked in layers of dust and muck left over from months of brickwork. The site manager asked me to come down to the house on the South Coast to clean and seal the Yorkstone tiles before the new homeowner moved in.

Yorkstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Brighton

It should be noted that Yorkstone is a tightly grained variation of Sandstone, named as such due to being worked in Yorkshire quarries since medieval times. Thanks to its hard wearing nature and being reasonably inexpensive, it is still popularly used for interior and exterior furnishing, construction and landscaping across the globe.

Cleaning a Filthy Yorkstone Tiled Floor

To clear the floor ready to be cleaned, I firstly vacuumed up the excess layers of dust and muck using my strong wet/dry vacuum. Then, I applied a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go stripper, mixed with a dash of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up. This would break down any old sealer and remove the stubbornest muck, while also cleansing the grout at the same time.

Next, I attached a coarse 200 grit pad to my buffing machine and set to work eradicating the subsequent layers of muck. Almost immediately a brown sludge developed, which I promptly removed with the wet/dry vacuum. Stopping first to rinse the floor with clean water, I proceeded with the buffering process, this time with my bristly patio cleaner attachment, which was coarser still to ensure the difficult dirt was completely broken down. Finally, I rinsed the floor again with more clean water to remove any excess cleaning slurry, and then left it to dry.

Yorkstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Brighton

Sealing a Yorkstone Tiled Floor

Three days later, once all moisture had evaporated, I returned to the property to seal the floor. I did so by applying an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer, which is designed enhanced the depth of colours. Colour Grow soaks into the pores of the stone to prevent dirt from becoming trapped within, making it particularly suitable for use on other types of porous stone, such as Limestone.

As the stones were particularly riven, I carefully filled in the gaps with a paint brush, thus ensuring that the sealer covered the entire surface area. After the first coat had dried, I applied another. An hour later this too was dry and the site manager appeared, quite evidently pleased with the results.

Yorkstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Brighton

He commented that it looked amazing and he couldn’t believe the colour range on show, especially since they had the tiles had been hidden for so longer under thick layers of muck. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, and this floor is ready to be enjoyed by the new homeowner.
 
 

Restoring Filthy Yorkstone Tiles in East Sussex

Large Area of Limestone Tiled Flooring Burnished in Uckfield

This customer owned a large house in Uckfield, East Grinstead with honed Limestone tiled flooring throughout the whole downstairs, which comprised the living room, dining room and kitchen.

The Limestone floor was in good condition and had been treated to regular professional care, however, the customer wanted the floor to be pristine and I was asked to further refine the appearance of the floor. Limestone is a very tough stone so this is done primarily through the process of burnishing using diamond encrusted pads.

Burnishing Honed Limestone Tiles

I began with the dining room area, first shifting the furniture out of the way to allow space for the burnishing to take place, before bringing in my three main tools: the buffing machine, a set of four diamond burnishing pads, and the wet-vacuum.

To start the process, I attached the red coarse grit pad to the buffer, and then, using a litre of water per square metre as lubrication, I cleaned and stripped away any existing sealer. Since, Limestone is particularly porous, I limited myself to working on nine tiles at a time.

Once I’d removed any excess residue with the wet-vacuum, I changed to the blue medium grit pad, repeated the cleaning process, and again soaked up the soiled residue. Finally, I completed the process once more with the yellow fine grit pad. Once this was completed I buffed the floor with a soft white pad to clean up any dried residue, leaving it ready to be sealed.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Two days later, once the floor was completely dry, I returned to the property to seal and polish the floor. To begin, I restored the shine to the tiles by applying the last of the four burnishing pads – the green very fine grit.

I then used the three cloth method to apply Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, a solvent-based, impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the Limestone to provide durable protection against ingrained dirt. Colour enhancing sealers such as Tile Doctor Colour Grow were available to the customer, but he stated that he was very happy with the current appearance and wanted the more natural look.

After an hour, the floor was ready to be buffered once again with the very fine pad, which I attached to a hand held buffing machine to work around the corners and electrical sockets.

Polished Limestone Floor After Being Maintained in Uckfield

Given the size of the property, this job took me three days – a day spent in each room. The customer was very exact with his requirements, and was very happy with the results, being left with fantastic looking Limestone tiles throughout the entire downstairs of the house.

Polished Limestone Floor After Being Maintained in Uckfield

 
 

Professional Maintenance of a Honed Limestone Floor in East Sussex

Small Quarry Tiled Area Restored in Eastbourne

Here’s a quick job I completed in the coastal town of Eastbourne in East Sussex. While more commonly I am asked to work on entire floors, this customer was specifically interested in restoring a small doorway-like area with Quarry tiled flooring, the reason being that it had been covered for a long time by an old wardrobe and dog basket. As a result, the area had not been properly cared for, becoming very dusty and dirty. Also revealed were some unsightly splashes of white paint from previous decoration work.

The customer was keen to finally give this area of the floor the attention it needed, and so asked me to come in to provide a thorough clean and lay down some fresh sealer.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Eastbourne

Cleaning Dirty Quarry Tiles

My first task was actually to relocate the old wardrobe and dog basket to the garage to get the area ready for cleaning. Then, to begin the cleaning process, I stripped away any old existing sealer and the white paint splashes by using Tile Doctor Remove & Go stripper in combination with a wire brush. Remove & Go is a versatile product that can also be used to break down glues and other adhesives.

I then washed the area down with water and promptly vacuumed up any moisture, before sitting down with a heat gun for an hour to dry the tiles. Usually a floor should be left for up to 48 hours to dry completely before sealing, but in this case the area was so small that I was able to dry it in the space of an hour.

Nonetheless, I opted to install a fan and leave the floor for an extra hour over lunch to ensure any excess moisture was removed. This is really important to do before sealing, as any remaining moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

To complete the restoration, I sealed the tiles using nine coats of the topical, water-based sealer Seal & Go, which is suitable for building up surface protection against dirt and stains on internal unsealed porous surfaces such as Victorian, Quarry and Sandstone tiles. The Quarry tiles were quite porous, which is not uncommon for Quarry Tiles and really soaked up the sealer.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Eastbourne

As the photographs show, the results of the restoration were very good, with smiles all round – including from the slightly bemused family dog!
 
 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Dirty Quarry Tiled Floor East Sussex

Dirty and Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Heathfield

This beautiful Victorian hallway had been left to suffer under the wear of rugby boots and dogs for many years. There were also some broken tiles in the doorways leading to other rooms, and there were clear paint splashes where decorators had neglected to clean up after themselves. To cut a long story short, the floor was in a bad state, and the property owner decided it was about time to call upon some professional assistance.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Heathfield

After providing a demonstration of the techniques I could use to improve the condition of the floor, the customer called me down to their property in the quaint market town of Heathfield.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Heathfield

Cleaning and Repairing a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway

To begin the cleaning process, I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, before applying it liberally across the floor and working it into the tiles with a black pad fitted to a buffing machine. The cleaner helped to remove ingrained dirt and also contains properties to help break down any old sealer. I then soaked up the soiled solution with a wet vacuum.

Following this I turned my attention to the unsightly paint splashes, opting to remove them manually with a hand scraper, rather than use a liquid cleaning product. Oftentimes when there are small isolated paint marks it is more convenient to deal with them in this way.

The last problem to address was the array of broken and loose tiles in the doorways. Since original Victorian tiles are well over 100 years old (and often fit to a very particular pattern, like in this case), it can be extremely difficult to source replacements that colour match exactly. Thankfully I had previously been able to source some original tiles from a salvage yard in Kent which matched very closely with the colour of the customer’s floor. I had no issues in fitting the replacement tiles before moving on to the sealing process.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

I left the house for two days, and upon my return the tiles were bone dry and ready to be sealed. A damp floor cannot be sealed as any moisture rising to the surface will cloud the sealer and affect its performance.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Heathfield

Using a paint pad as an application tool, I sealed the floor with nine coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a topical sealer which builds up a barrier on the surface of the stone to protect from dirt. Each coat of the sealer must be allowed to dry before the next is applied.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Heathfield

As the photographs show, the tiles were transformed in a short space of time. The customer was really pleased, knowing now that the floor will be protected from future wear and tear – a must with dogs running about the house!
 
 

Professional Damaged and Dirty Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in East Sussex

Restoring Water Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor in East Grinstead

I was contacted recently by a client in East Grinstead, who asked me to restore a large area of damaged Quarry tiles in his house. East Grinstead actually dates back to the 14th century and is a town known for its many interesting houses and historic buildings. Hard-wearing Quarry tiles are most often used in high traffic areas, such as reception areas and hallways, although they are also commonly used for patio areas and porches. In these busy areas, the tiles can get dirty quickly, and this can lead to damage over time if they are not regularly tended to.

Water Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration East Grinstead Before

In this case, the damage to the tiles had actually been caused by regular flooding over a period of several years. The damage was so extreme that I advised my client that the only means of total restoration was re-tiling. However, my client informed me that the property was currently on the market for sale and this wasn’t an option. Instead, he settled on a deep clean and seal which, while not a complete restoration, would still significantly improve the condition of the tiled floor.

Water Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration East Grinstead Before Water Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration East Grinstead Before

Cleaning the Quarry tiled floor

My first day of work was spent moving a significant amount of large furniture out of the room and into the garden. Once the area was completely clear, I was able to apply a layer of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, using a stiff deck brush to really work it into the damaged stone. Pro-Clean helped to lift out a huge amount of the muck and ingrained dirt revealing, unfortunately, yet more damage beneath.

Once I had finished for the day, my client opened the windows to allow the warm sunshine to dry up any remaining moisture. This was important, as any excess moisture left on the floor may have affected the performance of the sealer when I returned to complete the sealing.

I allowed the floor a two-day drying period, during which time my client decided to colour some of the tiles with red doorstep paint. He counted up to two thousand tiles before giving up!

Water Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration East Grinstead After Cleaning

Sealing the Quarry tiled floor

When I returned after 48 hours, I set about sealing the floor using Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provided the eye-catching gloss finish and durable protection the client wanted whilst the house was still on the market. As it was another warm day, the homeowners went out cycling around the Ashdown forest, leaving me to complete the sealing carefully and without distraction.

Water Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration East Grinstead After Sealing

When they returned a few hours later, they were amazed by the results! Although a complete re-tiling was not possible under the circumstances, both myself and my clients were extremely pleased with how great the Quarry tiles were now looking, especially after such significant water damage.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing old Quarry Tiles 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

Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Mayfield

The photographs below are from a property in the small village of Mayfield, located within the High Weald civil parish of Mayfield and Five Ashes in East Sussex. The village is perhaps best known for its annual carnival and torchlight procession however on this occasion I was there to revamp the Slate tiled kitchen floor. The tiles had been left worse for wear by the previous occupants where years of children and mucky dogs had taken its toll on the slate.

Slate floor before cleaning in Mayfield Slate floor before cleaning in Mayfield

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

Whilst I would normally utilise my buffing machine with a black buffing pad as part of the cleaning process for natural stone tiles, I was unable to do so in this case as the Slate tiles in the kitchen were riven which would of cut into and potentially shredded the pad.

As a result, I had to clean the floor by hand. I did this using a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to five parts clean water, which I worked into the tiles with a deck brush, followed by a hard brush. The solution needed will vary in accordance to the level of soil build-up on the floor. In this case, the soil build-up was light enough to use quite a diluted solution, but in a case where a floor is very heavily soiled I would recommend using a more concentrated solution of one part Pro-Clean to two parts water.

After a period of scrubbing with the hard brush, I sucked up the muck that had been removed from the surface with a wet-vac machine. I then continued with the cleaning process for several hours, before once again using the wet-vac machine up any excess moisture left by the cleaning solution. I left for a period of two days to allow the floor to dry completely before I returned to seal the floor. I instructed my client to keep the floor completely dry because any excess moisture would potentially impact negatively on the performance of the sealer.

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

To seal the floor I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensifying sealer which gets into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. In this case I applied two coats of Colour Grow to really bring out the range of fantastic natural colours and shades in the Slate, whilst also providing durable surface protection for this high-traffic kitchen area.

Slate floor after cleaning in Mayfield Slate floor after cleaning in Mayfield

My client was very impressed with the results. I hope she enjoys this brilliant feature of her new home, now full of life and colour once again.
 
 

Slate Tile Restoration in Mayfield

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

Deep clean and seal of a dirty Limestone tiled kitchen floor in Icklesham

Earlier this year I was contacted by a lady in Icklesham which is a small village near Hastings. My client requested a deep clean for her Limestone tiled kitchen floor which had, over time, become quite dirty, with the grout in particular being very much worse for wear. Limestone is a popular choice for tiled floors however it needs to be sealed to ensure dirt doesn’t get into the pores of the stone otherwise it becomes difficult to clean and if the sealer is not maintained it will wear down and the floor will lose its protection especially in high traffic areas such as kitchens.

Filthy Limestone Kitchen in Icklesham Before Cleaning Filthy Limestone Kitchen in Icklesham Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Limestone tiled kitchen floor

My product of choice for cleaning this floor was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which I found to be particularly effective in lifting ingrained dirt out of the grout. I used a stiff grout brush to work the solution of Pro-Clean diluted with warm water to work the cleaner deep into the grout. I also used a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and more Pro-Clean to lift the dirt out of the Limestone tiles. It wasn’t long before the dirty grout lines began to disappear, and the floor was well on its way to looking great again.

Once I’d also cleaned the nearby utility room, bathroom and cloakroom in a similar manner, I gave the floor a thorough rinse with fresh water before using a wet-dry vac machine to remove the soiled water from the surface of the tiles. I removed as much moisture from the Limestone tile and grout as possible to speed up the drying process as it’s important to ensure a stone floor is bone dry before sealing it as any excess moisture will compromise the sealer.

Applying Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to Limestone tiles

I left the floor for three days to dry before returning and used a damp meter on my return to confirm the floor was in-deed dry, spring had arrived and the sunshine really helped. My choice of sealer for the Limestone tiles was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a product which soaks into the pores of the stone to enhance the colour of tiles whilst also providing durable protection. In this case two coats of Colour Grow were applied and as you can see from the photographs this really did bring out the fantastic natural colours in the Limestone and exaggerate the shading. At the same time, the added surface protection will help the floor stay looking great for longer, even with a lot of usage.

Filthy Limestone Kitchen in Icklesham After Cleaning Filthy Limestone Kitchen in Icklesham After Cleaning

When she returned from dog walking, my client was so pleased with the final result that she almost screamed the house down! She was so pleased, in fact, that she promised to have me return every year to ensure her floor was maintained to a high standard. I was also really happy with my work, particularly in terms of getting the grout into far better condition than it had been before.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing Limestone Kitchen Floor in Icklesham

Cleaning and Grout Colouring of a Limestone tiled floor in Hove, East Sussex

Recently, I was called to a work on a Limestone tiled floor in a house near Hove Park. Hove Park is a popular park in Hove, East Sussex, which was once opposite to the Goldstone Ground, the traditional home of Brighton and Hove Albion football club until the ground was demolished. My client informed me that the house was used a meeting place every Friday, and the high traffic of people was taking its toll on the floor.

Grout Colouring Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park Before Grout Colouring Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park Before

Cleaning a Limestone tiled floor

The floor was clearly in need of a good clean, especially the grout. You do need to take care when cleaning Limestone as it can be affected by the acidic substances you get in some cleaning products which can break down the surface of the Limestone and cause further damage. The results of my test clean showed the Limestone tiles responded well to the cleaning, but I was concerned about the grout, which was not cleaning very easily. I suspected that the grout had, in fact, been discoloured by a bleach-based cleaner, turning it grey. Bleach contains strong chemicals, so there is a good chance that any bleach-based cleaners used on tiled floors will discolour the grout over time. After discussing this issue with my client, I quoted separately for a possible grout recolour.

On the first day of working on the floor, I started the cleaning process using a black buffing pad attached to a floor buffer machine, in combination with a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which I applied to the floor. This combination really helped to remove the heavily built up grime and dirt. Although the tiles looked great after the clean, I still wasn’t convinced by the state of the grout. After drying a test area with a heat gun, I confirmed that the grout was not continuous in colour and would need a recolour to get it back to looking its best again.

Recolouring the grout

I left the rest of the floor to dry for a period of two days, allowing any residual moisture to evaporate, before returning to recolour the grout with a white Grout Colourant which was applied using a good old fashioned toothbrush and baby wipes to remove any excess. I was careful to apply thin, even coats in order to prevent the possibility of the Colourant staining the tile.

After several hours of knee-breaking work, the recolouring was complete, and I was extremely pleased to be able to show my client the finished product. She was very happy to be able to show off the floor to her friends, which was now white all the way through, without the dark lines caused by the discoloured grout.

Grout Colouring Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park After

Another satisfied client.
 
 

Restoration Process on Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park

Cleaning And Sealing A Victorian Tiled Floor In An Office In Palmeira Square, Brighton

Recently, I was asked to do some Tile Doctoring at Palmeira Square, in the seaside city of Brighton and Hove, to restore the Victorian tiled floor of one of the downstairs offices. Palmeira Square is a residential area which was first developed in the mid-19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria, so many of the buildings feature some fantastic original Victorian tile floors. Although there are many large terraced houses and even mansions in the area, some of the buildings have been converted into offices for commercial use. My client, who leased the downstairs office, managed to persuade the other tenants to employ professional help to restore the tiles, and so I was asked to come in to clean and seal the floor to get it back to looking its best.

Victorian Tiled Office Floor Brighton Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian tile floor

With Palmeira Square being quite a lively area, I made sure to fence off the front door area from the wandering public. My first job was to apply Tile Doctor Remove & Go to the floor, a heavy duty stripper, multi-purpose stripper that was able to remove the stubborn marks, stains and ingrained dirt on and between the tiles. In particular, Remove & Go helped to remove some rust stains I found near the door hinges.

Victorian Tiled Office Floor Brighton Before Cleaning

I left the product to sit and work its magic for twenty minutes, and during this time I began cleaning the floor using a buffing pad, which is suitable for use on all types of floor (except polished stone), and a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with water. The combination of a buffing pad and Pro-Clean helped to remove the general dirt and grime that had built up over time in this high traffic area of the office. After the cleaning was complete, the black tiles appeared grey because any remaining sealer had been removed. However, the colour would return after resealing the tiles, which was my next job.

Victorian Tiled Office Floor Brighton After Cleaning

Sealing a Victorian tile floor

I returned to the office after two days to seal the Victorian tile floor. To do this, I needed to use Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which meant I had to ask the office workers to keep off the floor for most of the day. This is because I needed to apply six coats of Seal & Go to the floor, and each coat takes roughly fourty minutes to dry. Seal & Go provides a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which will help keep this floor looking great for a long time, even with a high traffic of workers coming in and out of the office.

Victorian Tiled Office Floor Brighton After Cleaning

Luckily, it was a warm day outside, and the floor dried quickly, leaving a shiny, deep black surface. Both my client and I were very happy with the result. The client was also pleasantly surprised to see that I had been able to remove the rust stains near the door.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Floor Refreshed in East Sussex

Six Day Cleaning And Sealing Of Limestone Bathrooms And Hallway In Brighton

This was a substantial engagement at a luxury rental apartment in Brighton rejuvenating the Limestone tiles in two bathrooms and a hallway taking six days of hard work. In addition, I would be working around two decorators, making for even more testing work conditions.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor Before Cleaning

Cleaning Limestone bathroom tiles

I first set to work on the smallest bathroom, which featured limestone tiles from floor to ceiling, as well as a large bath, copper sink and a tiled surround. Limestone is a very popular choice for interior and exterior decoration, but the tiles in this bathroom were in need of some care to get them looking their best again. My initial task was to strip away any previous sealer by hand; this was done using a mixture of warm water and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which, along with Limestone, is also suitable for use on other types of natural stone, such as Granite, Slate and Travertine. Pro-Clean serves both as an effective stripper and cleaner, meaning that once the sealer had been stripped away, the tiles also received a thorough clean. Once I had cleaned the tiles, I sucked up any excess water and residue using a Wet-Dry Vac machine.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom Before Cleaning

Since the tiles would have to be left to dry for a couple of days, I offered to restore the copper sink for the customer, even though this was not actually part of my job description. After conducting some research into copper cleaning, I opted to use a combination of lemon juice, vinegar and salt. The research paid off as, once I began to apply the solution to the sink, the bright orange and brown colours of the copper quickly rose to the surface. Within the space of an hour, I had transformed what initially appeared to be a ruined sink into a lovely, shimmering copper feature for the bathroom. Both the decorators and I were truly amazed at the results – but all credit goes to Google!

Brighton Luxury Flat Copper Sink Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Copper Sink After Cleaning

The larger of the two bathrooms was a much stiffer test for the Tile Doctor products. It had not been left in great condition, as the shower area had clearly not been sealed correctly, and the tiles had been left in such a manner that soap scum from shampoos, soaps and shower gels had built up on the window sill. In fact, the damage was significant enough that I had to explain to the customer before starting the work that whilst I could greatly improve the appearance of the tiles, I would not be able to restore them to new. This is because many shampoo and body wash products are acidic and can cause permanent damage to stone work especially when left to dwell for a long time.

My choice of product was Tile Doctor Mould Away, a formula which, over time, seeps deeply into the pores of the stone, effectively lifting away the muck. In cases of particularly stubborn areas, it is necessary to apply another covering of Mould Away and leave it for an extended period of time. This is exactly what I did over the next few days, leaving the product overnight to work its magic. The change was certainly drastic, if not perfect.

Brighton Luxury Flat Window Sill Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Window Sill After Cleaning

Cleaning and sealing the hallway and bathrooms

As both bathrooms required extended periods of drying, I spent two days working on the hallway, which had been partially covered with a plastic sealing for the previous six months due to building work. Needless to say, the hallway was in need of a good clean. I set about cleaning the hallway with a solution of warm water and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, before once again using a Wet-Dry Vac machine to remove any excess water to prepare the floor for sealing at a later point. It is very important to remove any residue of cleaning solution before sealing, as this may impact the performance of the sealer. Following this, I left the hallway to dry for two days, providing the builders with strict instructions to cover it with blankets for protection while they were working.

While the floor was drying, I sealed the bathrooms – both now fully dried – with Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer, a solvent-based sealer that was highly effective at enhancing the colour of the brown tiles around the sinks. The product will also provide durable surface protection. I spent the final of the six days sealing the hallway floor with Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides both a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable, low-sheen finish. This was an ideal choice of product, as the customer requested a hard-wearing, yet shiny finish.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom After Cleaning

The hard work really paid off, as both the customer and the decorators were very impressed with the final results in the two bathrooms and the hallway. I was extremely pleased that I was able to complete this big job to the highest possible standards.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor After Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor After Cleaning

 
 

Huge Limestone Tile Restoration Process Done In Brighton

Cleaning Dirty Ceramic Floor Tiles in Lewes Mini Market

Photographs below from a Mini-Market in Lewes where high foot traffic was taking its toll on the Ceramic tiled floor which was now is need a dramatic deep clean.

Before Cleaning Dirty Ceramic Tiles in Lewes Mini Market

Shop Floor Cleaning

As the shop is open from 6am-11pm I had to work through the night. I started by applying a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to shift the muck, this was left to soak in for a while before being scrubbed into the floor using a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and stiff brush along the grout lines. The floor was then rinsed with warm water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. I had to repeat the process in stubborn areas but as you can see from the pictures the result was incredible, just look at the pictures!

Cleaning Dirty Ceramic Tiles in Lewes Mini Market

Ceramic tiles are glazed so do not need sealing and as there is no sealer the floor can now be maintain using a regular floor cleaning product. Hopefully they can keep on top of the cleaning however it is a busy floor with hundreds of people walking on it every day so if they do struggle we are always happy to do a regular maintenance clean for them.

After Cleaning Dirty Ceramic Tiles in Lewes Mini Market

 
 

Cleaning a tiled supermarket floor in East Sussex

Deep Cleaning a Textured Limestone Kitchen floor in Horsham

This property near the town of Horsham was a converted from a pig barn many years ago and had a lovely textured Limestone tiled floor installed on the ground floor kitchen and dinning room. The Limestone tile and adjacent grout were now looking rather grubby and we were asked if we would give them a deep clean and re-seal.

Textured Limestone Before Tile Cleaning in Horsham Textured Limestone Before Tile Cleaning in Horsham

Deep Cleaning Textured Limestone Tiles

Once I’d helped the customer move the furniture I set about soaking the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean applied with a deck brush and then left to dwell for around five minutes. Leaving the product to dwell on the tiles gives it time to break down and soften up and old sealer left of the tile making it easier to remove. To get the Pro-Clean worked into the tile and grout I used a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and ran a stiff brush along the grout lines. The result was immediate, especially the grout. I then rinsed the floor with warm water and extracted the now soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum.

After this I inspected the floor and re-treated any areas which need further attention using the same process giving the floor a good rinse with clean water at the end and using the wet vacuum to remove as much water as possible before leaving the floor to dry off.

Sealing Textured Limestone Tiles

I returned two days later to give the tiles plenty of time to allow the moisture to evaporate; it’s important that the tiles are bone dry before sealing or you will get unexpected results. All was well so I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours within the stone at the same time.

While I was waiting for the sealer to dry between coats I gave her front step a good scrubbing with some left over cleaning product.

Textured Limestone After Tile Cleaning in Horsham Textured Limestone After Tile Cleaning in Horsham

 
 

Restoration of a Textured Limestone in Horsham

Maintaining a Limestone Kitchen floor in Hastings

The photographs below are of a Limestone tiled floor installed in the kitchen and dining area of a house in the historic town off Hastings. The house was being put on the market for sale and with two dogs, a cat and four adults having left their marks on this floor it was looking rather grubby and the owner had decided to get the tiles deep cleaned before any viewings took place. I ran a test clean on a small patch of tile to demonstrate I could achieve a good result which came out well and so we agreed a date.

Limestone Tiles before cleaning in Hastings Limestone Tiles before cleaning in Hastings

Deep Cleaning Limestone Tiles

To get the Limestone clean and strip off any remaining sealer a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was poured onto the stone then left to soak in for around ten minutes. The solution was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. After a couple hours work and more Pro-Clean the floor looked much cleaner but very washed out which is to be expected as the remaining sealer was is no longer protecting the tile and left it to look exposed. Before leaving for the day I gave the floor a good rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and then left the floor to dry out for three days. Usually 48hrs will suffice but Limestone is particularly porous so it does take time for the moisture to evaporate and the floor to fully dry out.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

On my return I check the floor was dry and then proceeded to sealed the Limestone with Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Six coats were applied to give it a deep shine and a long lasting seal. The new sealer gave the floor the glossy appearance that the customer desired. She was over the moon with the transformation and hopefully this helped her sell the property.

Limestone Tiles after cleaning in Hastings Limestone Tiles after cleaning in Hastings

 
 

Kitchen Limestone Cleaning in Hastings

Concrete Screed removed from Quarry Tiled Floor in Danehill

Let me start by saying this was by far the hardest job I’ve ever done and as you read on you will soon realise why. The customer called me out to quote on a Quarry tiled floor at a house in Danehill that was covered in concrete screed. She said it had always been there and she’s lived there for years always meaning to get it bought back to a state that she could live with. Undaunted by the state of the floor (see photo below) we agreed a price and fixed a date to do the work.

Old Quarry Tile Floor Covered in Concrete Danehill Before Restoration

Removing Concrete Screed from Quarry Tiles

For the next two days I spent all my time pouring neat Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up onto small areas and working it in with a metal scraper and wire brush. Once removed the resultant muck was rinsed and extracted using a wet vacuum, laborious work as you can imagine although I was kept entertained by playing the occasional game of fetch with a very keen Collie dog who seemed fascinated by the bloke sitting on his floor all day. After two days of this my hands were throbbing but I could see red quarry tile emerging. The final two hours on the second day were spent making good any areas under the washing machine and fridge and giving the floor a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Removing Concrete from Old Quarry Tiled floor in Danehill During Restoration

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The floor dried off overnight and I came back the third day to seal the tiles making sure that my canine companion had been sent next door first. To seal the floor I used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which really brought back the colour in the floor and gave it an amazingly shiny surface.

Concrete Removed from old Quarry tiles in- Danehill after restoration

Once sealed the floors transformation was complete and when the customer returned from work she was utterly speechless. I’d turned what looked like a building site into a stunning tiled floor.
 
 

Quarry Tile Restoration in Sussex

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Henfield

This customer in Henfield was contemplating digging up her Terracotta kitchen floor and replacing it, the tiles were ingrained with dirt which had proved impossible to remove and as a consequence were left looking flat, dull and very un-appealing. Additionally she had an elderly dog that had been ill several times in the corner area and she really struggled to make it look decent again. Following a quick test I was able to persuade her to try a clean and re-seal first.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Henfield

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

The first step was to deep clean the floor to remove the ingrained dirt and any previous sealers. As well as the dog I had two rugby playing sons to deal with so to make it easier for the family I split the floor up into areas and worked on one area at a time.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Henfield Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Henfield

The tiles were first soaked in a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean before scrubbing it into the tile and grout with a black pad fitted to a buffing machine. The tiles were rinsed, the now dirty cleaning solution extracted and the process repeated until I was happy that the Pro-Clean had done its trick and the floor was as clean as it could be.

The Terracotta tiles now looked clean but completely washed out so I assured the customer that once the tiles had been sealed the colour would return and more. Unsealed Terracotta marks easily so given I left the customer dust sheets to walk on.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

I returned after two days to ensure any moisture had left the tile and proceeded to seal with six coats of Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is highly recommended for use in food preparation areas and gives a high gloss finish whilst providing maximum stain protection. As each coat takes 40 minutes to dry I took the opportunity to clean her slate front door step as well.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning and sealing in Henfield

The customer was very happy with the finished floor and I’m glad to report she has decided to keep the floor.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning and sealing in Henfield

 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Henfield

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

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Eastbourne

These photographs were taken at a large shared block of flats in the seaside town of Eastbourne. Recently a decision was made to replace the carpet in the entrance hallway and they discovered a lovely but damaged Victorian tiled floor underneath. A decision was made to restore the floor back to its former glory and we were asked to do the work.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Eastbourne Flats Entrance Hall Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Eastbourne Flats Entrance Hall

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The carpet had been stuck down with gaffer tape which is fortunate as sometimes a gripper rod is used with nails piercing the grout. To deep clean the heavy build-up of dirt from the tiles and remove the tape adhesive I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with Pro-Clean and left it to soak into the floor allowing it time to break down the glue. Over the course of the next two days the solution was scrubbed into the tiles, rinsed and then the soiled solution extracted and then re-applying until I was satisfied the floor was clean. It was a residential property and I couldn’t have anyone walking through the floor as I worked so I directed them up the fire exit. The kids really enjoyed the detour.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Following 48hrs drying time I returned on what must have been the warmest day of the year to seal the floor with a shiny and hard wearing Tile Doctor sealer called Pro-Seal. Victorian tiles are quite porous so eight coats were required in the end.

Victorian Tiles After Cleaning Eastbourne Flats Entrance Hall

The final result was a huge improvement and the residents continually commented on the change of colours. The whites really shone and who knew there were blue tiles there?

Victorian Tiles After Cleaning Eastbourne Flats Entrance Hall

 
 

Victorian Tile Restoration in Eastbourne

Maintaining a Limestone Kitchen floor in Iford

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.

Limestone Tiles Before Cleaning Iford Limestone Tiles Before Cleaning Iford

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.

Limestone Tiles During Cleaning Iford

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.

Limestone Tiles After Cleaning and Sealing Iford
 
 

Limestone Tile Refresh in Iford

Damaged Marble Tiled Shower in Ringmer

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.

Damaged Marble Shower Tiles in Ringmer Before Damaged Marble Shower Tiles in Ringmer Before

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.

Damaged Marble Shower Tiles in Ringmer After Damaged Marble Shower Tiles in Ringmer After

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.

Marble Shower Tiles Polished in East Sussex

Rejuvenating External Victorian Tiled steps at Brighton Marina

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.

Victorian Tiled Steps Brighton Marina Before Cleaning

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 Brighton Marina After Cleaning

 
 

Victorian Tiled Steps Cleaned and Sealed in East Sussex

Beckley Village Slate Tile Barn Renovation

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.

Slate Floor in Beckley Barn Before Oil Staining
You can see from the photographs below that the Slate tiles were much worn, stained, faded and far from looking their best.

Slate Floor in Beckley Barn Before Slate Floor in Beckley Barn Before

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.

Slate Floor in Beckley Barn After Slate Floor in Beckley Barn After

 

Cleaning and Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor in Beckley, East Sussex

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

Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Warninglid

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.

Old Quarry Tile Floor Warninglid Before Restoration Old Quarry Tile Floor Warninglid Before Restoration

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.

Old Quarry Tile Floor Warninglid After Restoration Old Quarry Tile Floor Warninglid After Restoration

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.
 
 

Quarry Tile Restoration in Sussex

Horrendous Terracotta Tiled Floor Restored in North Chailey

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.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey Before Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey Before Cleaning

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 Kitchen Floor North Chailey After Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey After Cleaning

 

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in North Chailey

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Brighton

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.

Victorian Tiles in Brighton Before Restoration

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.

Victorian Tiles in Brighton After Restoration

It was quite a transformation and well worth the effort as you can see from the photographs above.
 
 

Victorian Tile Restoration in Brighton

Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Ringmer

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.

Terracotta Ringmer During Cleaning

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.

Terracotta Ringmer After Cleaning

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.
 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Ringmer

Travertine Floor Maintenance in East Grinstead

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.

Travertine Tiled Floor East Grinsted Before

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 East Grinsted After
 

Travertine Tiled floor maintained in East Grinstead

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

Resolving limescale problems on black slate tiles in Hove

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.

Black Slate Tiles in Hove Before

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.

Black Slate Tiles in Hove After

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

Cleaning a Block Paved Driveway in Hove

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.

Block Paved Driveway Before Cleaning

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 floor tiles in Lewes, East Sussex

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.

Terracota Tiles Before Cleaning

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.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning
 

Cleaning and Sealing Mexican Terracotta floor tiles in Lewes

Black Slate tiled floor cleaned and sealed in East Sussex

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.

Black Slate Tile Before Cleaning

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.

Black Slate Tile After Cleaning
 

Black slate floor tile restored in East Sussex

Limestone Tiled floor cleaned and polished in Hastings

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.

Limestone Tile Before

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.

Limestone Tile After

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.
 
 

Limestone Tiled Floor Restored in East Sussex

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout in a Shower Cubicle

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.

Re-Colouring Grout

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.

 

Shower Cubicle Restored in East Sussex