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

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

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

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

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

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