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

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

Scratched Marble Tiled floor Polished in Olney

This was a Marble tiled floor installed in the kitchen of a house in Olney, Bedfordshire which had been scratched in places and was now overdue for some TLC.

Scratched Marble Floor Olney Before

Cleaning Marble Tile and Grout

The first job was to give the floor a general clean using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the Tile and Grout for a short while before being worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and a stiff hand brushes along the grout lines. The floor was then washed down with clean water to remove the soiled cleaning solution with the liquids being removed using a wet vacuum.

Burnishing and Polishing Marble Tile

To restore the original finish and remove the scratches the floor needed to be cut back using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads come in a set of four and you start with the coarse pad and a little water and then move on to the Medium, Fine and Very fine pads at which point the surface looks immaculate and polished.

The next task was to protect the floor and bring up the appearance even further by applying Tile Doctor Shine Powder which is polished into the floor using a buffing pad; the powder add a really deep finish to the appearance of the Marble and hardens on the surface to provide durable surface protection.

Scratched Marble Floor Olney After

Hopefully you can appreciate the difference in the Marble from the photographs; it was a tricky subject to capture due to the lighting; however I can tell you the customer was amazed by the finish.
 
 

Scratched Marble Tiled floor Restored in Olney, Bedfordshire

Cleaning Ceramic Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bedford

The photograph below was taken in the kitchen of a residence in Bedford where the new owner wanted the Ceramic floor tiles deep cleaned before they moved in; you can see for yourself how dirty they had become.

Cleaning Ceramic Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bedford

Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tiles

To get the clean Ceramic tiles clean I applied a medium strength dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean with a mop; this was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for around twenty minutes. The next step was to then run over the floor using our high pressure Rotovac machine which applies and removes water at high pressure to remove the soil and rinse the floor at the same time. The Rotovac machines are an expensive investment but they do make Tile Cleaning easier, they are also flexible and can be used for carpet cleaning etc.
 
 

Deep Ceramic Tile Cleaning in Bedford

Takeaway Kitchen Quarry Tiles Cleaned Near Hockliffe

The Quarry tiles shown below were installed in the kitchen of a take away restaurant near Hockliffe, as you can see they were quite tarnished and not looking their best due to general wear and tear and the use of strong cleaning products; an inspection was also due and the proprietor was concerned it would be an issue.

Cleaning Quarry Tiles at Hockliffe Takeaway Before

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

To clean the floor tile and grout I decided to apply a strong combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean and then diluted with water. This combination creates a powerful cleaning product containing nano sized abrasive particles that can penetrate deep into the dirt. The cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for twenty minutes before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then washed off with a Rotovac machine which applies and removes hot water at high pressure effectively cleaning the tile and grout and rinsing then removing the water at the same time.

Cleaning Quarry Tiles at Hockliffe Takeaway After

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once we were happy with the Quarry tile and grout was clean we left the floor to dry assisted with air blowers to speed up the process. It wasn’t long before it had dried and we were then able to the Tile and Grout using Tile Doctor High Shine sealer which should protect the floor for at least three years given the high traffic, this is of course as long as they use the correct cleaning products as acidic products will reduce the life of a sealer. The kitchen was now ready for inspection where it should pass with flying colours.

Quarry Tiled Take Away Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Hockliffe.