Looking at the pictures below you might think this Quarry Tiled kitchen floor at a cottage in Rotherfield was as old as the village which dates back to the 8th Century and is mentioned in the Doomsday book. It really was in a bad state with I don’t know what covering the tiles which had gone black as a result but were actually very pretty as you will see later.
The client was having a new kitchen fitted and wanted the tile and grout restored so as not to incur the cost of replacing it. This really is the best time to look at getting your tiles thoroughly cleaned as with many of the old units removed I could access most of the floor and of course I didn’t need to worry about protecting the units either.
Cleaning Dirty Kitchen Quarry Tiles
I could see this floor was going to be a challenge so decided to try a strong cocktail of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech HBU, HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up so quite appropriate I thought. Working in sections the floor was soaked in the cleaning cocktail and left to dwell for some time in order to soften the dirt and grime.
The next step was to run over the tiles with a set of Burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds. It took more than one attempt at this process but the abrasive pads had the desired effect and eventually revealed the beautiful quarry flooring below.
The pads are effective on the tiles but the grout sits a little lower and so to reach these a stiff brush was scrubbed into the grout by hand.
To remove the dirt that was released from the cleaning process and further clean the tiles I used a Spinning Tool through the process. The tool is powered from a large compressor that sits in my van which forces hot water under pressure onto the tiled floor whilst simultaneously extracting the dirty water back to a tank on the van. It’s an amazing tool that is very effective however you do need to have the van parked very close the house due to a limitation on the hose lengths.
With the tiles now clean and rinsed with water the floor was dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum.
Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles
The floor was left to dry for a couple of days before I returned to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer. I tested the floor with a damp meter on my return to ensure it was dry; all was well so I moved onto sealing. Sealer of choice on this occasion was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer which so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. The Quarry tiles were quite porous, which is not uncommon for Quarry Tiles and six coats of sealer were required in the end.
As the photographs show, the floor was transformed and my customer was elated with the results saying “wow it’s like new!”
Professional Restoration of a Dirty Quarry Tiled Floor in East Sussex
This kitchen and dining area at a house in Iford was installed ten years prior and had not been given a thorough clean since. Dirt had become ingrained into the stone and as you can see from the photos below tiles and grout were now overdue for a deep clean. On the home survey visit I ran a test clean on the grout up with Tile Doctor Pro-clean and the grout cleaned up easily so I was in no doubt this floor was going to look fantastic one complete.
Deep Cleaning Limestone Tiles
I was booked in and on my return continued with a 4:1 dilution of Pro-clean and warm water leaving it to soak into the tiles for a few moments before agitating with with a deck brush. Then working in small sections at a time I introduced the buffer machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Straight away the tiles and grout gave up the dirt and after a couple of hours of cleaning and washing down with warm water the tiles were free from any remaining sealer and dirt. Limestone has many natural holes and cracks that trap dirt so before I left for the day I got down on my hands and knees and worked them with a toothbrush.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
I returned two days to seal the floor, two days had been enough to get the floor dry and ensure any moisture in the tile would evaporate. The customer wanted a matt look so on my recommendation we went with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone and further improved the depth of colour. The floor benefited from three coats which had to dry fully before starting with the next so whilst I was waiting for I jet washed their small driveway.
This Slate tiled floor is in a barn in Beckley, near Rye, Hawkhurst, Tenterden and Robertsbridge. For years it had been used to store furniture, gardening equipment and worryingly, a leaky motorbike which had stained the slate.
You can see from the photographs below that the Slate tiles were much worn, stained, faded and far from looking their best.
Deep Cleaning Slate Tiled Floor
Firstly I swept out the whole area then applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to several areas where engine oil had leaked. After leaving it to soak in for fifteen minutes I began to strip and clean the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-clean worked in with a buffer machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. However it became apparent that some of the ridges on the slate were damaging the black pad so the remainder had to be done by hand with a deck brush. Once the stone was stripped and cleaned the appearance was even greyer than before. I assured the customer that once the sealer has been applied it would be transformed to a much darker colour.
Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles
After two days drying I returned to seal the floor checking first to ensure it was dry and no further work was required which is just as well as I had to wipe away what appeared to be stray dog paw prints. I got to work applying Tile Doctor Ultra Seal having previously estimated that four coats would sufficient to give it a dark finish; I should mention that Ultra Seal was chosen due to the fact that it’s provides a no-sheen natural look appearance.
Frustratingly it was quite a cold barn with little ventilation despite it being an unseasonably warm autumn day outside and this increased drying times. However by about four o’clock in the afternoon the job was finished and looking remarkably transformed. The customer was pleased with the improvement and is now moving forward with to fit out the barn as a yoga studio.
Cleaning and Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor in Beckley, East Sussex
This customer from Chelwood Gate which is a small village south of East Grinstead contacted me asking for the Slate tiles in their kitchen, utility room and living area to be cleaned and sealed. It was quite a large area, approximately 70sq metres.
Deep Cleaning a large Slate Tiled Floor
Once we had cleared the large sofas and fridge freezer from the room I got to work cleaning and stripping the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I was slightly concerned by the large ridges on the tiles but made a start with the buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Straight away the pad was shredded on the ridges so it became clear the floor would have to be completed manually using a deck brush and elbow grease. Once the floor was clean and stripped of any remaining sealer I gave it a thorough wash down to remove any cleaning product and extracted as much water as possible with a wet vacuum Luckily the room was well ventilated with several exits and large doors which aided the drying process.
Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles
After two days I returned to a dried out floor which was ready for sealing. We have a number of different sealers available; each one has a different effect. After discussing this with the customer they requested a shiny surface with improved colouring, so for the next five hours I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that gives a nice shine which matched their needs.
You can see from the pictures the difference and amazing before and after result. We were unable to move one of the freezers in the utility room so I left the customer with a small bottle of Seal and Go to apply himself once the floor had dried enough to move the unit without scratching the sealer.
Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in East Sussex
This customer in Warninglid, near Cuckfield asked me to clean a Quarry tiled floor that had been hidden for years under carpet. The carpet had been thoroughly stuck down with glue and sticky gripper rods so the tiles were in quite a mess. Whilst I thought that most of the floor could be greatly improved I voiced my reservations about several patches of heavy glue and some blackened area where burning logs appeared to have rolled from the hearth onto the stone.
Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles
I spent several hours stripping and cleaning the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean first with hand brush then buffer, but struggled to remove the glue around the edges which wouldn’t shift. The solution appeared to be using a hand scrapper and so after a full day of scrapping and rubbing the floor was clean and before I left I gave it a good rinse with water to remove any product. I left it to dry for a couple of days and then the day before I was meant to return to seal the tiles I got a call from the customer who was concerned that the glue marks were more apparent now the floor was dry. I was between jobs so I popped round to have a look and had to agree it seemed there was still evidence of glue on the floor. Something stronger was clearly needed so I spot cleaned with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong coatings remover that is safe to use on Tile and Stone. Whilst not removing the glue entirely it made a huge improvement and the customer was happy with the result. I washed the impacted areas and used a heat gun to get the tiles dry so I was still able to return the next day to seal them.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
I sealed the Quarry tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which adds a subtle finish to the floor and will provide the tiles with long lasting protection. Luckily the next day was quite warm and the room was well ventilated by several windows and a double door so the tiles dried quickly.
As you can see from the photographs on this page, the floor was really transformed and needless to say the customer was very satisfied with the result.
This customer in North Chailey, near Haywards Heath and Uckfield, contacted me asking for her Terracotta tiled kitchen floor to be cleaned and sealed. To quote the customer she said the tiles were “horrendous” and upon inspection it was hard to disagree.
However I thought that most of the floor could be greatly improved but several areas around the washing machine and dishwasher were particularly soiled. Once I spoke of my concerns the customer admitted that both the washing machine and dishwasher had flooded the floor twice and leaked on a regular basis. Washing powder is very caustic and causes permanent damage that cannot be fixed.
Terracotta Tile Cleaning
I stripped off what was left of the previous sealer using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper ideal for tiled surfaces. We let the solution dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles by hand and deck brush, usually I’d use a rotary buffing machine with a scrubbing pad but it was quite a narrow kitchen. Once I’d washed it down and sucked up any excess water with the wet-vax I left it for two days to dry.
Terracotta Tile Sealing
I returned 48 hours later and sealed the Terracotta tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based (no smell) which is ideal for Terracotta. Sealers can take some time to apply as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next, fortunately however we were blessed by a warm windy day which blew through the kitchen and increased the drying time. You can see from the pictures on this page the amazing transformation that was achieved. Whilst I was waiting for the sealer to dry I noticed their patio was in need of attention so I gave that a blast from my industrial pressure washer.
Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in North Chailey
The photograph below is from a Victorian tiled floor that we recently restored in the seaside town of Brighton. The house owner discovered the tiles under carpet and after realising what a beautiful and original feature they were decided to have them restored and so called in Tile Doctor. The tiles had been well preserved by the carpet although as you can see they were looking rather washed out and were in need of a thorough deep clean.
Cleaning Victorian Tiles
We set about cleaning the tile using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on tile and stone. It was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for ten minutes first in order to give it chance to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, stiff hand brushes and a substantial amount of elbow grease was used to tackle the stubborn stains and along the grout lines. The soiled water was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and once we were happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse with fresh water to remove any leftover chemical and then left to dry.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
Once the floor was dry we were able to seal it using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice shine to the floor as well as providing a surface seal that will help protect the tile from stains going forward.
It was quite a transformation and well worth the effort as you can see from the photographs above.
This Terracotta Tiled floor was located in a house in the town of Ringmer, East Sussex, it had been a while since it had last been thoroughly cleaned and re-sealed and was now well overdue for some extra attention.
Terracotta Tile Cleaning
To get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper ideal for tiled surfaces. We let the solution dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The photograph below shows the floor half way through this process with the top section cleaned and the bottom section still to do.
The soiled solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and any stubborn areas re-treated before thoroughly rinsing the tiles down with clean water to remove any remaining product and neutralise the floor prior to sealing.
Terracotta Tile Sealing
Once the floor was dry the floor was sealed with TIle Doctor Seal and Go which took some time to do as you need to wait until the first coat dries before applying the second. Terracotta is very porous so seven coats were required to completely seal the floor.
I thing you would agree from the photographs the floor is much improved and the sealer should keep the Terracotta tiles looking good and much easier to keep clean going forward.
Pictures below of a Travertine tiled floor in East Grinstead which had been laid some years earlier and over time had become dull as it lost its polished appearance with wear. The customer had tried cleaning but could not get the floor looking the way they it used to.
Cleaning Travertine Tile
To restore appearance on polished hard stone floors such a Travertine and Limestone they have to be cut back and polished with floor burnishing pads, it’s a similar process that you use on wood where you start with coarse sandpaper first and moving on to a finer grade towards the end.
At Tile Doctor we have access to a diamond encrusted burnishing pad system which starts with a coarse red pad applied together with a little water, the coarse pad cleans the tiles and removes any topical sealers or ingrained dirt that may have been present. Next comes the white then yellow pads which are a finer grade again applied using nothing but a little water.
Before applying the final green polishing pad the grout lines need to be cleaned for which we use a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in along the grout line by hand with a stiff brush. Last step of the cleaning process was to rinse the floor of any dirt picked up by the pads and then when the floor is dry the last green polishing pad is applied to add a shine to the floor.
Sealing Travertine Tile
To protect the travertine it was sealed using a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that helps to bring out the natural colours in the grain of the stone. Once it was all dry again I buffed it up again but used a soft white buffing pad. The photograph below was taken after we had finished and you can see the shine in the Travertine and how much cleaner the grout lines are.
Travertine Tiled floor maintained in East Grinstead
A sealer for internal use had been applied to this external black limestone patio in Crowborough and as you can see from the photograph below it had become badly affected by weather and was basically looking a real mess.
Cleaning a Limestone Patio
Working outside does have advantages in that there is a lot less preparation to do to protect other surfaces so it wasn’t long before we got to work with the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner and stripper. The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the Limestone for a while so it could get to work on the remaining sealer and make it easy to remove; the next step was to use a high pressure washer fitted with a spinner attachment so not to upset the grout between the tiles. This action removed the dirt and old sealer and just needed a final rinse to wash off any remaining cleaning product before sealing.
Sealing a Limestone Patio
The patio was left to dry off overnight and fortunately due this year’s warm summer we were able to return the next day to seal the Limestone with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which unlike the previous sealer can be used on external applications, it will also protect the patio going forward making it easier to clean as well as bringing out the natural colours in the stone.
I think you will agree the patio has been transformed.
Recently we were asked to resolve an unusual problem with Limescale deposits on Black Slate floor tiles installed in a WC at a house in Hove on the East Sussex coast. You can see from the photograph below how Limescale has left an unsightly white haze and water marks on the surface of the slate tile.
Cleaning Limescale from a Slate Tiled Floor
The first step was to remove the Limescale and any other sealer products from the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad, we also used a stiff brush along the grout lines and in those hard to reach areas around the toilet. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with clean water and any stubborn areas revisited with a repeat of the same process until we were happy the tiles were clean. Had the Limescale proved harder to shift we would applied a stronger product such as Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which can remove mineral deposits.
Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles
We left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a highly recommended sealer for Slate which provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish, slate is quite porous and it took five coats before it was fully sealed.
I think you will agree the slate tiled floor looks transformed as well as being much easier to clean.
Cleaning and Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor in Hove, East Sussex