Terracotta Tiled Floor Refurbished in Amersham Council Building

A local cleaning contractor called us in to work on the Terracotta tiled floors at a council building in Amersham. The Terracotta had not been deep cleaned and resealed for about ten years and the sealer had worn off leaving the tile vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the tile. The grout had also suffered the same fate and had almost gone black in many areas.

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

This is a common problem with Terracotta which is quite porous and once those pores become ingrained with dirt the tile becomes difficult to clean effectively. The solution is to seal the tile however sealers wear off over time and this was basically the problem.

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

After discussing the issues we agreed on a plan of action to deep clean the Terracotta tile and grout and then re-seal to protect it. Due to the busy nature of the building we agreed to do the work between Christmas and New Year when we knew the building would be empty.

Cleaning Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a strong tile cleaning product that being in a gel form ensures it sits on the tile for longer, giving it a longer effective dwell time so it can really eat into and loose the dirt. After approximately twenty minutes the gel was scrubbed into the tile with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This broke down most of the dirt and removed any remaining sealer. Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was rinsed thoroughly with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soiled cleaning solution removed I could see the next step would be to spot clean stubborn staining and clean the grout. For this task I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbing it in by hand using stiff brushes and aided with a hand-held steamer to help treat the stubborn staining. Once done the floor was given a final rinse and then as much moisture as possible removed with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We then left the floor to dry off completely and came back a couple of days later to seal the Terracotta tile.

I mentioned earlier that Terracotta is porous; in fact it’s probably the most porous material I deal with, so to fully seal the floor I had to apply eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide complete and long lasting protection against staining and dirt. Seal and Go also adds an appealing satin sheen to the tile and the new seal will make it much easier to clean in future.

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

The floor tile and grout now look much healthier and I’m sure the council will be very impressed when they go back to work after the holidays.

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

Happy New Year…
 
 

Professional Terracotta Tiled Floor Renovation in Buckinghamshire

Restoring a Poorly Sealed Slate Kitchen Tiled Floor in Milton Keynes

Sealing is a fundamental part of any stone floor installation. If your builder or tiler hasn’t sealed your floor, he’s done something wrong – and it can cause significant problems. To the untrained eye, it may be difficult to tell whether a floor has been sealed, but you will quickly see that an unsealed floor attracts a lot of ingrained dirt and loses its lustre easily over time.

This was a problem for one of my recent customers, who lives in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. They have a Slate tiled Kitchen floor which had been laid approximately 5 years prior, but had not been sealed properly on installation – and had not received any professional treatment since.

Consequently, the floor had become difficult for the customer to keep clean and it had lost its lustre and coloration due to ingrained dirt. Additionally, recent building works had left thick deposits of plaster on the tiles.

Slate Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Milton Keynes

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen

To begin restoring the Slate tiles, I applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a powerful alkaline-based cleaner for natural stone. I mixed a strong dilution of the product, spread it liberally across the area and left it to dwell for 20 minutes to seep into the pores of the stone.

Next, I scrubbed it into the stone using a brush fitted to a heavy weight rotary machine, before rinsing the floor with a high-pressure water and wet extraction unit.

The next stage of the cleaning process was to get rid of the plaster deposits and some of the heavier stains. To deal with these I needed to apply an even stronger cleaner, known as NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-Up Remover).

As its name suggests, the product uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate beneath difficult stains to dissolve them and lift them out. I did this in combination with a steamer to help loosen up some of the plaster.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen

After allowing the floor to dry overnight, I returned to the property the next day to seal the tiles. I did this using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a double-action sealer: not only does it provide a robust, topical seal, it also provides a durable low-sheen finish which is aesthetically pleasing.

Slate Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Milton Keynes

The sealer has done a fantastic job of emphasising all the natural colours in the Slate and the appearance of the entire floor has been lifted. The customer was really pleased with the restoration which certainly had been a long time coming.
 
 

Restoration of a Dirty and Stained Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Refresh in Leighton Buzzard

This Porcelain tiled floor had been laid in the hallway and kitchen of a house in Leighton Buzzard five to six years earlier. During that time the floor had become very dirty and the grout was discoloured to the point where it had turned black and no matter how hard the customer tried they were unable to get the grout clean.

On my initial visit to the property we discussed the options with the customer and decided that the best thing to do would be to thoroughly clean the grout and then seal it with grout colorant saving a messy and costly replacement of the grout.

Hallway Porcelian Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Leighton Buzzard

Cleaning Porcelain Tiles and Grout

To get the porcelain tiles clean and deal with the worst of the grout I treated the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The product was mopped onto the floor and then left to dwell for 20 minutes. It was then scrubbed into the tiles with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine running on a slow speed. I also ran a stiff grout brush along the grout lines to get the grout as clean as possible.

The floor was then rinsed with water under high pressure and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum. As we were grout colouring later I gave the grout a further scrub using Grout Colourant Pre-Treater which ensures a better bond between the grout and the colourant, this was then rinsed off with more water and also extracted using the wet vacuum.

Kitchen Porcelain Tile and Grout After Cleaning Before Grout Colouring Leighton Buzzard

Re-Colouring Grout

Once the grout was dry I started applying the Grout Colourant in a colour that best matched the original grout and colour of the tile. The process is quite straight forward and involves using a small brush to carefully apply the colorant along each grout line. When I was finished, I made sure to clean any excess product off the tiles before it had time to dry.

Kitchen Porcelain Tile and Grout After Cleaning and Grout Colouring Leighton Buzzard

My photographs probably don’t do the floor justice but hopefully you can appreciate how the grout is now uniform in colour and with the protection of the grout colourant which forms a barrier over the grout it will stay that way for a long time to come.
 
 

Restoring the Appearance of Porcelain Tile and Grout in Buckinghamshire

Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles Transformed in Aylesbury

Travertine is a type of Limestone which unique and distinctive features, making it a highly sought after and expensive type of natural stone tile. Not only is it a very attractive stone, it’s also a very useful building material. In fact, it’s been used since Ancient Roman times when it was the main component of temples, aqueducts, monuments, bath complexes, and amphitheatres.

In the modern era it remains popular, but to keep Travertine in fantastic condition it is necessary to ensure regular and professional maintenance. In this case seven years after this customer in Aylesbury had a Travertine tiled kitchen floor installed, the stone had significantly declined in appearance. Over time the sealant had worn away, allowing the dirt from everyday life to sink deep into the pores of the floor resulting in dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone that the customer was unable to remove by themselves. Having tried hard to clean the floor to no avail – and keen to see the sheen restored to the tiles – the customer called me in for some expert assistance.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Aylesbury

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

As with all of our customers, I conducted an initial free on-site survey and demonstration clean for the customer. During the survey, I determined that the sealer had completely broken down and that the best option was to use our Tile Doctor burnishing system to restore the tiles to a like-new appearance. We demonstrated this process, which involves the application of different diamond encrusted pads of varying grit to grind away dirt and refine the polish on the stone, on one of the most badly soiled tiles. The results were very impressive and the customer remarked on how much it transformed the tile.

After provision of a detailed written quote, the customer requested that I complete the service and two weeks later I was back to restore the whole floor.

The process took two days. On day one, I used the Coarse, Medium and Fine diamond burnishing pads to resurface the tile. This process uses water in conjunction with the burnishing pads to gently remove the top layer of the tile, along with any ingrained dirt, old sealer and scratches. Once I had completed the whole floor, I got to work cleaning the grout. For this, I used a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our reliable alkaline cleaner, in combination with a handheld scrubbing brush.

I then rinsed the floor, removed any excess water, and allowed it to dry overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day, I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before I could seal it I needed to perform a dry buffing process using the fourth diamond encrusted pad with a Very fine grit. This process closes up the pores in the floor and provide a good quality sheen to the tiles.

Finally, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. This is an impregnating sealer that penetrates the tiles to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation and serving areas. This sealer is completely transparent, so it does not affect the natural look of the stone.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Aylesbury

Once the second coat of sealer had dried, I buffed the floor one more time to remove any excess sealer. The customer was absolutely delighted with the result, leaving the following feedback:
“Andrew did an excellent job on our kitchen floor. The tiles are much cleaner than before and I’ve never seen them so shiny! Andrew was professional, knowledgeable, and very polite and friendly. Would not hesitate to recommend him!”
 
 

Polishing Travertine Kitchen Tiles back to Health in Buckinghamshire

Tile Cleaning and Grout Re-Colouring of a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen in Buckingham

Grout is an incredibly important feature of tiled floors, not just from a structural perspective, but from an aesthetic perspective too. If the grout lines are dirty and stained, it ruins the overall look of the floor. It’s important to try and keep them clean, but with grout being rough in nature it does attract dirt and if left un-checked it can easily get to the point where cleaning becomes very difficult.

A good case in point was this Porcelain tiled kitchen floor at a property in the historic university town of Buckingham. The floor had been installed approximately eight years prior and while during this time the property owner had made the best efforts to keep the tiles clean, the dirt and grime had begun to build up – particularly in the grout lines.

I visited the property to see what could be done, starting with an initial test clean with a strong solution of our high alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean. The tiles came up beautifully, but due to the extreme porosity of the grout, some of the dirt had been absorbed too deeply into the grout to get it completely clean.

Porcelain Floor Before Cleaning in Buckingham

The customer was worried that this would mean ripping all the grout out and re-grouting, which is a messy and time consuming process. As an alternative, I advised him that recolouring the grout would be the better option, using one of the excellent grout colorants made by Tile Doctor which are available in ten popular colours.

These products not only restore a clean and uniform appearance to the grout, they also provide a waterproof barrier which prevents any dirt and grime from penetrating the grout in the future. The recolouring process is a relatively quick, affordable, and a tidy alternative to re-grouting.

Cleaning Porcelain Tiles and Grout

Impressed by the efficiency of the Pro Clean product and the cleanliness of the test patch, the customer requested that we go ahead and deep clean the tiles and re-colour the grout.

The work took two days. On the first day, we deep cleaned all the tiles and grout using the same strong solution of Pro-Clean. The solution was applied to the floor and left to dwell for approximately ten minutes and from there I used a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to loosen the soil from the tiles.

Once the floor had been thoroughly scrubbed, I used our wet pick up and rinsing machine to remove all the dirty water, and rinse the floor with clean water.

Porcelain Floor During Cleaning in Buckingham

Next we moved on to cleaning the grout. I started by applying Tile Doctor Pre-Treatment Cleaner and left it for approximately 15 minutes before scrubbing it in by hand using a stiff grout brush.

This process serves two purposes: firstly, it helps to remove as much dirt as possible from the grout lines prior to re-colouring and secondly, the acidity in the product etches the grout slightly, helping to make a better bond with the Grout Colourant.

Once the process was complete, I rinsed and dried the floor one more time and left it to dry off overnight.

Recolouring Grout

The next morning, I returned to colour and seal the grout with an Ivory Grout Colourant as selected by the customer. The process is quite straight forward and involves using a small brush to carefully apply the colorant along each grout line. When I was finished, I made sure to clean any excess product off the tiles before it had time to dry.

Finally, I buffed the floor with a fine white buffing pad, leaving the tiles looking clean and fresh, with the grout uniform. The customer was absolutely delighted with the service and the results.

Porcelain Floor After Cleaning in Buckingham

 
 

Restoring the Appearance of Porcelain Tile and Grout in a Buckinghamshire Kitchen

Old Terracotta floor refurbished in Shenley Brook End

This old Terracotta floor in Shenley Brook End near Milton Keynes was already dirty with very little sealer intact when our customer moved into the property. Then after having extensive building work done throughout the property they were in desperate need of a Tile Doctor service to improve the look of the floor.

Old Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning in Shenley Brook End

Cleaning Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor which is our go to cleaning product for all types of Tile, Stone and Grout. After approximately 20 minutes of dwell time we scrubbed the floor with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This broke down most of the dirt and removed any remaining sealer. Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was rinsed thoroughly with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Having removed the soiled cleaning solution, we could see the result achieved on the floor and although there was a massive improvement there were some tiles we still were not totally happy with. We went back to these tiles and applied a stronger Tile Doctor product called NanoTech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up remover. We gave this an hour to dwell.

Whilst the NanoTech was doing its magic on the problem tiles we went to work scrubbing all the grout lines by hand using more Pro-Clean. Once we had finished cleaning the grout we gave the whole floor one more rinse and were pleased to see the problem tiles were now looking much better.

Sealing Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We then left the floor to dry off completely overnight and returned the following day to seal the floor. Made from clay Terracotta is very porous and needs to be sealed to stop dirt becoming ingrained in the tile, it also improves its general appearance.

To fully seal the floor, we used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide complete protection against stains and dirt, Seal and Go also adds an appealing satin sheen to the tile.

Old Terracotta Floor After Cleaning in Shenley Brook End

For an old floor that has been exposed to building work it’s now looking much cleaner and healthier; more importantly the customer was delighted with the service and left the following glowing review which is always appreciated:

Andrew and his colleagues (including Gemma in the office) could not have been more helpful and courteous. They are some of the tidiest tradesmen we’ve met! The results have exceeded our expectations and the service is very cost-effective compared to the cost of a new tiled floor, so happy customers all round. Thanks again!
 
 

Professional Terracotta Floor Renovation in Buckinghamshire

Deep Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta Tiles in a Brackley Kitchen

Photographs below of a Terracotta tiled kitchen floor installed in the kitchen of a residence in the market town of Brackley, Buckinghamshire. The tiles had gone dark with years of soil trapped into the pores of the Terracotta and the while the grout had become heavily stained.

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

It had clearly been sometime since the floor had been deep cleaned and to get the dirt out of the tile I could see it was going to take quite a bit of work. I set about applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an industrial strength alkaline cleaning product that’s safe to use on tile and stone and mopped it onto the floor. The solution was left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes in order for it 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 and stiff hand brushes were along the grout lines.

Terracotta tiles during cleaning in Brackley

The now dirty cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and allow us to see the result. More work was required and the process was continually repeated until I was happy that any old sealer and all the dirt had been removed and then the floor was given a final rinse, wet vacuum and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Terracotta tiles after cleaning in Brackley

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

I returned the next day to seal the floor checking first that the tiles had dried out sufficiently for sealing. All was well so I started sealing the Terracotta tiles with seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the tiles from staining and also adds a nice subtle shine to the floor. Terracotta is a clay based product and so naturally quite porous.

Terracotta tiles after cleaning in Brackley

 
 

Terracotta Tile Maintenance in a Brackley Kitchen