Deep Cleaning Flagstone Flooring in Vines Cross

This customer who lived in the old Sussex village of Vines Cross near Horam, had a lovely Flagstone floor installed in the Kitchen some years earlier but because they wanted a completely natural look no sealer had been applied. With no protection in place dirt had become ingrained into the pores of the stone over time making it dull and difficult to clean effectively.

Flagstone floor before restoration Vines Cross

Their beautiful flagstone floor no longer looked as it should and the owner of the house was keen to have it deep cleaned and looking its best again. I was happy to do the work and before starting I made sure to discuss the topic of sealing and recommended one called Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t change the look of the stone yet protects it from dirt becoming ingrained.

Flagstone floor before restoration Vines Cross

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

With no sealer evident on the stone there was no need to use a coatings remover on the tiles, so after protecting the Kitchen units and skirting board with plastic tape I started with a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean tile and grout cleaner mixed with a small amount of another Tile Doctor product called NanoTech HBU. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and this product utilises nano-sized abrasive particles to assist in the cleaning process.

The solution was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black pad. With the cleaning solution on the floor I also took the time to run a stiff brush along the grout lines to make sure they were also scrubbed clean. After a while the cleaning solution became dirty with all the soil that was being released from the tile and was then extracted using a wet vacuum. The floor was then rinsed with water and stubborn areas re-treated using the same process until I was satisfied it was thoroughly clean.

Flagstone floor during restoration Vines Cross

After giving the floor a final rinse and drying it as much as possible with a wet vacuum it was left to dry off fully overnight.

Flagstone floor during restoration Vines Cross

Sealing a Flagstone Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter. All was well, and the flagstones were dry, so I was able to proceed with sealing the stone.

As I mentioned earlier my client liked the natural look but having experienced the problems of maintaining an un-sealed floor had agreed for me to seal it with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. I applied a single base coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal as agreed and then recommended that we add a coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go as well, just to brighten up the floor and add a slight sheen.

Flagstone floor after restoration Vines Cross

I knew from experience this would work well on Flagstones and my client was happy to trust me. As suspected the combination of the two sealers was a winner and my client was overjoyed with the resulting effect and more so that she can now maintain it satisfactorily.

Flagstone floor after restoration Vines Cross

 
 

Deep Cleaning a Flagstone Kitchen Floor in 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

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