Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovated in Tooting

We were asked by the customer in Tooting, if we could restore this Victorian tiled hallway floor that they had found underneath a carpet while they were refurbishing their property. Interestingly he had already had a quote from another company, but they were unable to identify what type of tile it was. Old floors like these are not for the in-experienced and if you look closely at my website you will see I have published over 60 detailed accounts of tile cleaning and restorations since 2012.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Tooting Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Tooting

I could see there was a lovely Victorian Tiled floor hiding underneath the paint spots and plaster dust and carried out a test patch to show him what the floor would look like when it was clean. I also showed him pictures of similar floors that we have restored over the years and was able to show the finishes you can achieve from different sealers. Convinced I was the chap for the job he booked me in there and then.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

Returning on the agreed date we started the cleaning process by pre-wetting the floor with water. This was followed by the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak in for approximately ten minutes. This product is designed for the safe removal of old coating such as sealers from Tile, Stone and Grout and I knew it would be ideal for the task. The solution was then scrubbed into the Victorian tile and gout using a rotary machine fitted with a black stripping pad. The scrubbing process released a lot of the stains and dirt from the floor which were then extracted with a wet vacuum. The process was then repeated until all the sections were treated.

The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant residue extracted using a wet vacuum before treating the tiles to an Acid Wash to neutralise any alkaline salts and remove mineral deposits and old grout smears. This was done by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel for around fifteen minutes and then removing it with a final rinse.

Cleaning the hallway took up most of the day and I needed the tiles to be dry before the next step of applying a sealer, so after discussing progress with the owner I left for the day and gave the floor three days to dry out.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

On our return I first checked the floor with a damp meter to make sure it had dried out thoroughly. All was well, so we proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing its appearance in the process.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Tooting Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Tooting

Four coats of sealer were needed and as you can see by the final pictures the hallway now looks fantastic and needless to say the customer was over the moon with the final results.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Tooting

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaning in South London

Painted Quarry Tiled Porch Floor Restored in South Croydon

I thought you might find this Quarry tiled floor restoration from a property in South Croydon interesting, especially considering the transformation that we were able to achieve. The Quarry Tiles were in a covered porch at the front of the property and the previous owners had painted them with red tile paint several times and they had also become stained from other decoration work. They were now in a neglected state and really needed to be stripped of paint and restored.

Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon

Removing Paint from Quarry Tiles

To get the red paint off the Quarry tiles, Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover was applied to the floor and left to dwell and soak into the tile and grout for about twenty minutes. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and is a strong product that utilised small Nano sized abrasive particles to remove floor coatings. There were a number of layers of paint that needed removing so a scouring pad was used to work the product into the floor.

Quarry Tiled Porch During Restoration South Croydon

As you can imagine that paint didn’t want to come off easily, so it took several attempts before the Quarry tiles were completely clean. After each application the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of product and the soil removed with a wet vacuum.

Grout Renovation with a Charcoal Grout Colourant

When we eventually cleaned everything off, we found the grout had absorbed the paint in places leaving a patchy appearance. Removing and replacing the grout would take a long time so I suggested to the owner that we Colour Seal the grout lines using a Charcoal Grey Grout Colourant. The colourant is basically painted onto the grout with a small brush and when it hardens it forms a protective barrier over the grout and would give a consistent appearance. The process is quite quick and given then grout lines had already been given a good scrub the colourant should achieve a good bond. The owner was happy to for us to proceed and I think you will agree we achieved a very good result.

Sealing Porch Quarry Tiles

The floor was left to dry out for a few days and we returned to finish the restoration by sealing the tiles in order to protect them from future staining and also make them easier to clean. I used an impregnating colour enhancing sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this purpose and I think you will agree the floor looks much improved.

Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon

My customer was delighted with the final result and left the following review on our website.

“My small hall floor proved to be a challenge but couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Very professional service throughout. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
Helen B, South Croydon.”

 
 

Quarry Tiles Restored in South London

Screed Covered Quarry Tiled Floor Renovated in Coulsdon

Pictures below of a Quarry Tiled floor that a customer had discovered when taking up the lino at her house in Coulsdon. Realising the floor was original and worth saving she contacted Tile Doctor and I popped round to take a look.

A lot of the tiles had been covered in a screed to provide a flat base for the Lino and that would need removing. In order to be sure what treatments would work to remove the screen and successfully restore the Quarry tiles without causing any damage I ran a couple of tests and everything seemed ok.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon

We could both see the job wasn’t going to be easy and would take some days to complete so I worked out a price which was accepted and we agreed a date for the work to start.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon

Removing Screed from Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles in the WC hadn’t been covered in Lino so they would just need a good clean and seal so the main work would be in the Hallway and Kitchen. Fortunately my customer was having a lot of other work done in the house and was in the middle of stripping the walls so I didn’t need to worry too much about protecting the skirting boards etc.

Working in sections I soaked the screed in water and then carefully chipped away at it until it came loose, it was slow work but I could see the process was working as expected and eventually all the Quarry tiles were revealed. There was still a lot of cement from the screed stuck to the surface of the tile so after sweeping up the chippings I set to work applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to the tiles and leaving it to soak in for a short while. Grout Clean-Up is an acidic product that we normally use for removing grout smears from the surface of tiles. The solution was scrubbed in and then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Coulsdon

To get the tiles in the toilet clean I gave them a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a reliable and effective Tile and Grout cleaner. Once clean they were rinsed with water and dried with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

I had timed my visit between working being carried out at the property so I was able to leave the floor for a few days so it could thoroughly dry out. I returned later to check the Quarry tiles were dry and completed the renovation by sealing the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that works really well on Quarry tiles. Five coats of Seal and Go were needed to fully seal the tiles and the floor now looks transformed.

The owner was very satisfied with the improvements and before leaving I advised to cover the floor before starting the decorating work.
 
 

Old Quarry Tiles Restored in Coulsdon, Surrey

Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles Rejuvenated in Streatham

If you like in an older property in the UK and never looked under the carpets you might want to take a minute and have a look. I still find it surprising how many of my customers had no idea they lived in a house with a classic tiled hallway.

We were recently asked to restore a fantastic geometric-patterned Victorian tiled floor which had been found underneath carpet during decoration work in the hallway of a property in Streatham.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham

The once black and white tiles were now absolutely caked in dirt, glue deposits, cement, paint stains and plaster. It would be no small feat to get the tiles back to looking their best again. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are very resilient and we have a lot of experience in their restoration so I was confident that with the right products and techniques we could get the job done to a high standard.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiled hallway was quite long, yet only around a metre wide, so I felt the best approach would be to work in small sections at a time. Our method was to soak the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and leave the product to work its magic for roughly ten minutes, before scrubbing the surface to remove the muck. Some of the more viscous and stubborn stains were scrapped away carefully by hand within the assistance of a steam cleaning machine. The resulting residue was extracted using a wet vacuum. Remove and Go is a particularly effective cleaner in scenarios like this, as it is specially formulated to strip away old sealers, adhesives and even paint without harming the tile itself.

The next step was to run a rotary machine fitted with a Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad lubricated with water over the floor to achieve a consistent finish. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated in the process.

Old floors like these laid before the invention of damp proof membranes can be a concern as damp rising up through the tile as it dries can leads to efflorescence salt deposits appearing on the tile surface. So, to avoid potential issues Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied to the floor to neutralise any salt deposits and the floor given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

After finishing the clean, we left the floor to dry out over the weekend. With old floors like this one, we tend to recommend allowing a drying period of at least 48 hours to ensure the floor is completely dry before applying a sealer.

Upon arriving back at the property, we ran a few quick damp tests and once satisfied the floor was dry proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour-intensifying, impregnating sealant that leaves a natural-look matte finish. It works by occupying the pores in the clay and it’s also a fully breathable sealer which is important for these old floors where damp may be any issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results. She even went as far as to leave a review expressing how pleased she was during the weekend before we had chance to seal the tiles.

Bill and Wayne were brilliant! On time, got to work straight away, lovely and friendly and very professional. They have done a lovely job and I’m looking forward to them coming to seal the tiles to finish it o f tomorrow afternoon. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thanks guys!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South London

Rebuilding and Restoring a Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor in Croydon

There is perhaps nothing more irritating for a homeowner than to discover a leaking pipe. Even worse still is when that leak occurs underneath a natural stone floor!

This recent customer of mine, who lives in Croydon, had unfortunately discovered a leaking pipe underneath her Quarry tiled kitchen floor. The plumbers had dug a trench in the floor to replace the pipe and fix the problem. As you can see in the photos below, the original tiles were not replaced and the entire floor was generally left in a bit of a mess.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Croydon

The customer had been trying to find a professional company to restore the floor, but her insurance company would only agree to sending normal cleaning companies to the job. Given the reality of the situation, you won’t be surprised to know that these companies all politely refused!

The situation went unresolved for over six months before the customer finally decided to contact Tile Doctor to restore the floor.

Rebuilding and Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The restoration took place over the space of six days. Our first port of call was to replace the tiles that had been removed as part of the plumbing work. This wasn’t the easiest process as we had to level up the floor before the tiles could be replaced.

Making matters more complicated, the tiles were all hand-made, and it was a bit like completing a jigsaw to avoid lippage. Lippage – for those unfamiliar with the term – means when a floor is laid unevenly and it can make walking on it hazardous.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor During Rebuild Croydon

Once the tiles were reinstalled, it was time to give the whole floor a deep clean. For this, we used Tile Doctor Oxy Gel, leaving it to dwell on the surface for around ten minutes, before scrubbing it into the stone in combination with hot water. Oxy Gel is a strong, alkaline-based cleaner which works effectively to break down dirt and grime, as well as old sealers and waxes.

The next stage of the restoration was to rinse the floor with fresh water, and then lay down Tile Doctor Acid Gel for 15 minutes. Acid Gel is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form which is used to neutralise any grout haze and efflorescence on the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

After completing the deep cleaning process, we rinsed the floor again with fresh water and then left it to dry for three days. Giving the floor enough time to dry was important, since any excess moisture would not have allowed us to complete the restoration by sealing the tiles.

After a few days, however, the floor was indeed thoroughly dried and could receive a fresh seal. We sealed the floor using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which eliminates traditional two-step sealing methods. What this means is that it provides both a robust surface seal and a high-quality low sheen finish – in one product.

After six months of difficulty and disruption, the customer was very happy to have her Quarry floor completely restored in just six days. Check out the photos below to see the outcome.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor After Rebuild Croydon

 
 

Professional Tile Repairing, Cleaning and Sealing for a Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Croydon

Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Fully Restored in Brixton

I was asked to look at an old Victorian Tiled Hallway floor at a house in Brixton, South London. This classic floor had been discovered underneath an old hallway carpet while refurbishment works were being carried out. I went over initially in mid December to survey the floor and talked the owner through a number of similar restorations we had completed in the past. I could see this floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and also some tiling would needed to be done to tile a section of concrete near the stairs that had been dug out to lay pipe work when central heating had been installed many years prior. She didn’t want to make a commitment at that point so I left her with our quotation so she could think it over. I suspect she had other quotes to review however I’m pleased to say that she decided to give the work to us.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton

Once we had agreed a date to do the work I started looking around for replacement tiles that would be needed to restore the floor. Unfortunately the octagonal ones are not made any more and I couldn’t hold of any salvaged ones either. Having been involved in Tile Restoration work for some time now, I have a list of companies and reclamation yards that are usually a good source for these materials. To resolve the problem I sourced square tiles with a similar look and would cut them to the same shape when on site.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton

Cleaning and Repairing a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned after Christmas to start the restoration process which was due to take two to three days. To start the restoration process we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor, allowed it to soak in for ten minutes and then worked it into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove and Go is a product that removes coatings from tiles including in this case old paint splashes and carpet adhesive. The floor was then rinsed and the now dirty solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration
Once this was finished the floor was looking cleaner and the next step was to tackle the concrete area near the stairs where the heating pipes had been buried. The cement had to be carefully chipped away and then refilled with fresh cement but to the level of the original surface so we could lay new tile on top. We use a quick setting compound for this and were able to start relaying and grouting the section with new specially cut tiles later that afternoon.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brixton Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brixton

Naturally the strip of new tiles were quite noticeable against the old and although the customer was happy I knew I could get a better result by running a very coarse burnishing pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine over the surface. I used a diamond resin hybrid 50 grit pad to take off the top layer of the tiles and then refinished the surface with a 100 and then 200 grit pad. This did the trick and it was impossible to tell the old and new apart.

After this I carried out an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up diluted with four parts water. The purpose of this was to remove any old grout smears and mineral deposits from the floor as well as counteract any possibility of unsightly efflorescence salts rising up through the tile at a later stage. This is quite a common problem with these old floors which don’t have a damp proof coarse and certainly I could see no trace of a DPC when I dug out the cement around the pipe work earlier.

The last step in the cleaning process was to steam the entire floor and then leave it to dry off fully over the New Year break.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned on the 2nd of January and after inspecting the floor to ensure it was clean and free of damp I began to seal it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing its appearance in the process. Four coats of sealer were needed and as you can see by the final pictures the final results were outstanding.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brixton
Period features such as old Victorian floors add a lot of value to and the customer was over the moon with the transformation and is so happy she chose to have the floor restored rather than covering it back up with carpet.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brixton
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South London

Renovating Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles in Sanderstead

This customer, who lives in Sanderstead located between Croydon and Purley in Surrey had been experiencing difficulties in keeping her beautiful Travertine tiled kitchen floor in good condition. Over the years it had suffered from a heavy build up of dirt and oily stains, not to mentioned a number of cracks and small holes. Needless to say, the customer was keen to have the Travertine tiles and grout renovated and made easier to keep clean.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Sanderstead Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Sanderstead

Restoring Travertine Flooring

To begin the renovation, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entirety of the large tiled area. This heavy duty remover breaks down any old sealers and other coatings, leaving the area ready to cleaned or, in this case, burnished.

Burnishing is a method for cleaning and polishing certain types of high-end stone, including Travertine, Marble, and Limestone. Our burnishing system involves the application of four diamond encrusted pads of varying grits. Firstly, I applied the Coarse grit pad, which helps to break down any dirt and stains on the surface of the tiles. Then, I worked my way through the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine pads, using a little water which acts to lubricate the process gradually building the polish on the Travertine. The floor is rinsed with water between the application of each pad to remove the soil that is generated and also give a final rinse at the end before leaving to dry.

To round off the first day of work, I filled any cracks and holes in the Travertine using a colour matching resin which greatly improved the look of the tile.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile Before Repair Sanderstead Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile After Repair Sanderstead

Sealing Travertine Tiles

The following day I returned to the property to seal the tiles checking first that the floor had dried. I use a moisture meter to do this and it confirmed the floor was dry so I proceeded to seal the floor using our colour intensifying impregnating sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Once that was dry, I added the finishing touches by buffing the floor with a soft white buffing pad. As you can see from the photographs, the combination of a fresh seal and polish worked wonders.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing Sanderstead

We did such a good job with the floor that the customer asked if we could also improve the appearance of their natural stone fireplace which was suffering from bad rust and oil stains however I do a separate write up on that.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing Sanderstead

 
 

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Fully Restored in Surrey

Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Fulham

This Victorian tiled floor at a house in Fulham was in an absolutely horrendous state. As you can see from the first photograph, the tiles were caked in layer upon layer of muck, including paint and glue stains. This was due to the floor being unknowingly hidden for many, many years under carpet.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Fulham

Needless to say, the property owner was desperate to remedy get the fantastic pattern floor back into good nick, and so contacted me for assistance. I travelled up to the property in the town of Fulham in South West London, which is famous for its football club, to survey the situation and begin the work. It was immediately clear that the thick layers of dirt and staining would need to be removed, before being treated to a new seal to provide long-lasting protection.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Fulham

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled a Floor

My product of choice for removing the extremely heavy soil buildup on the tiles was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (formerly UltraClean), a powerful solvent-based cream cleaner. What makes this product different from standard cleaners is its use of nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate below tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them to the surface. NanoTech HBU is a highly versatile product which can be used on most types of natural stone floor, both polished and unpolished.

I laid down the NanoTech HBU and left it to dwell for a short period on the tiles, allowing it to begin eating through the dirt, before using a scraper in combination with a steamer to manually lift the muck away from the tiles. Next, to tackle the glue and paint marks, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a stripper specifically designed to break down adhesive and solvent stains, and then used a scraper and a scouring pad to manually remove the glue and paint in the affected areas.

Once this was done, I scrubbed in some more NanoTech HBU to dissolve any remaining muck before rinsing the area thoroughly with clean water. To complete the cleaning process, I laid some down some Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in gel form, to eliminate inherent grout haze and alkaline mineral deposits in the affected areas. I then left this to dwell for ten minutes before giving the floor a final rinse to remove any chemicals and soiled residue. The floor was left for a week to dry out before I returned to seal it.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

With these fantastic Victorian tiles now muck-free, I proceeded to seal the floor. I initially applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer that really brings out the colourful features of patterned Victorian tiled floors like this one.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Fulham

Once this initial coat of sealant had dried in, I asked the customer which kind of finish she preferred for the floor. She decided on a sheen finish, and so I laid down an extra five layers of Colour Grow to ensure the desired appearance, as well as to guarantee durable surface protection against dirt, stains and spillages.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Fulham

The customer was really pleased with the results of the restoration, and left the following feedback:

“Bill worked extremely hard to clean and seal our hall tiles. Everyone is amazed at how good they look. We are extremely pleased with the results.”

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before and After Restoration Fulham

Another great Victorian tiled floor brought back to life, and and satisfied customer!
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South London

Limestone Kitchen Floor and Shower Tiles Refinished in Wandsworth

Sometimes, Tile Doctor customers will have more than one tiled area in need of professional maintenance. At this house in Wandsworth, South London; I was commissioned to clean and seal firstly a Limestone tiled kitchen floor, and a Limestone tiled shower unit.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Wandsworth

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Kitchen Floor

I started with the Limestone tiled kitchen floor which, like many other stone floors had not been treated to the correct regular care and had become dull and dirty over time as a result.

My first task involved applying Tile Doctor Remove & Go stripper in order to break down any old surface sealant and dirt. Then, I began the burnishing process, which essentially involves polishing with pads of varying grit. I started with a Medium 800 grit burnishing pad to provide an initial polish and grind away ingrained dirt, before refining this with a Fine 1500 grit pad to achieve a smooth surface. The burnishing pads are used in combination with a small amount of water.

Limestone Floor During Cleaning Wandsworth

After leaving the floor to dry for 24 hours, I sealed the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This will provide durable surface protection for the future and also further accentuate the great natural shades in the Limestone. To add the finishing touches, I buffed the floor with a soft white buffing pad.

Limestone Floor After Burnishing Wandsworth

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Shower Unit

During the time it took for the Limestone tiled kitchen floor to dry, I set my sights on tackling the shower unit. The unit was suffering from a terrible amount of limescale, which would need to be removed using a set of hand held burnishing pads. Limescale deposits build up on surfaces which come into contact with hard water, and can become very unsightly if not dealt with promptly.

Limestone Shower Tiles Before Cleaning Wandsworth

This proved to be a more awkward job thanks to the intricate Limestone fittings on the shower walls. I used the smaller 6-inch burnishing pads fitted to a hand buffer, while for the kitchen floor I naturally used the larger sized pads attached to a heavy weight buffing machine.

With the limescale as bad as it was, I started to grind it off with a Very Coarse 120 grit burnishing pad, before working my way up gradually through the system of pads – each time using a slightly finer grit pad until I finished with the Ultra Fine 3000 grit pad and the surface finish had been restored.

Limestone Shower Tiles After Cleaning Wandsworth

Following this, I removed the silicone sealant around the shower fittings, and dealt with the mould growing behind it.

On the second day of work, I sealed both the kitchen floor and the shower unit. Much like the kitchen floor, the shower unit was sealed using Colour Grow to ensure long lasting protection, and fresh silicon was also fitted.

Two days of work and two rejuvenated Limestone features later, I was left with a very happy customer.

Limestone Shower Tiles Before and After Cleaning Wandsworth

 
 

Restoring the appearance of a Limestone Kitchen Floor and Shower in South London

Victorian Tiled Floor Covered by Paint Restored to New in Putney

For whatever reason, property owners do sometimes decide to cover up their tiled floors, whether by using something like linoleum or, in some cases, simply painting over the area. Personally I blame that BBC TV series Changing Rooms for some of these disasters and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to blame for what had occurred at this flat in Putney which believe it or not is an ancient parish that was historically part of Surrey as opposed to London.

The property owners had re-converted the building from two converted flats back into a single dwelling. However, the previous tenants of the bottom flat had decided to paint over the Victorian tiled floor in their section.

Victorian Floor Restoration Putney Before Paint Removal

Naturally the new owners wanted to have this paint covering removed, and for the Victorian tiles to be restored back to looking their best after a long time of being hidden. Here’s how I did it.

Removing Paint from a Victorian Tiled Floor

To remove the layer of paint from the surface of the tiles, I needed to use a solvent remover product specifically designed to remove paints, this was applied liberally to the affected area and left to dwell.

While the solvent remover was working its magic, I set about cleaning the remainder of the tiled area using Tile Doctor Remove & Go. Remove & Go also contains properties designed to break down solvents, as well as adhesives, along with any old sealer remaining on the tiles. This also helped to lift away any trapped dirt.

I then scraped off the top layer coat of paint and was left with a grey undercoat. To lift this out of the tiles and grout I used Remove & Go in combination with a steamer. The heat of the steamer helped to strip away the excess paint, making removal a much easier process.

Victorian Floor Restoration Putney During Paint Removal

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the area to dry for a full five days, I returned to the property to reseal the tiles.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which is a water-based blend of acrylic polymers designed to provide both a stain resistant surface seal and a long-lasting low-sheen finish. It is suitable for use on most kinds of unsealed, porous surfaces, including Slate, Quarry and Sandstone but works really well on Victorian tiled floors.

Victorian Floor Putney After Restoration Victorian Floor Putney After Restoration

The photo below shows the before and after results of the work, with no traces of the paint covering remaining on the tiles. It is a wonder why someone would choose to cover up such a fantastic Victorian patterned floor, but needless to say my client was very happy with what is for all intents and purposes a brand new feature for their property.

Victorian Floor Restoration Putney Before and After Paint Removal

 
 

Professional Tile Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Floor in Surrey

Terrazzo Tiled Flooring Restored at a Church in Redhill

Every so often I will get the chance to undertake tiled flooring restoration work in public buildings, and late last year I was asked to clean and seal a Terrazzo floor at a church in Redhill. The floor wasn’t in great condition; not only was it suffering from a significant amount of dirt due to a lack of proper maintenance, but it was also marked by several cracks. Overall, the appearance of the floor was very displeasing and the church was keen to have me in to complete some repairs, along with a deep clean and seal.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Before Restoration Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Crack Repair

Cleaning and Burnishing a Terrazzo tiled floor

Upon initial inspection of the floor, I was unable to say for certain whether there was any old sealer remaining on the tiles so to ensure it was removed I began the cleaning process by applying a layer of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a powerful cleaner/stripper designed to both break down old layers of sealant and lift out any ingrained dirt.

I then gave the floor a rinse with water to remove any excess cleaning product, before moving onto a different cleaning process, known as burnishing. Burnishing involves polishing the surface with to achieve an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish. The Tile Doctor burnishing system consists of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads with different levels of grit.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Part Cleaned Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Part Cleaned

I began by applying a Coarse burnishing pad, before working my way through the system with Medium, Fine and finally Very Fine pads to achieve a very refined, high quality polished finish, you need to use a little water to help lubricate the burnishing and you need to rinse the floor after each pad to remove the slurry.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Cleaning in Progress Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Burnishing

Once the floor had been allowed to dry completely following both cleaning processes, I set about filling the cracks in the tiles with two part resin stone filler.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Crack Repair Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Crack Filled

Then, once the filler had dried, I re-polished the floor using only the extra fine burnishing pad, focusing my attention along the crack lines. This really helped to reduce the evidence of cracks and left instead a smoothed surface.

Sealing a Terrazzo tiled floor

The final stage of the restoration involved sealing the Terrazzo tiles with Colour Grow, which is Tile Doctor’s colour intensifying sealer that impregnates the stone seeping into its pores to provide protecting the floor from within with a robust seal capable of withstanding the high amount of traffic experienced by church floors. The last step was to buff the entire area with a soft white buffing pad.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church After Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church After

The church was very pleased with the results, especially that they were able to show it off for last year’s Remembrance Sunday and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Many thanks for the work on our Terrazzo floors. It’s only when you see the before and after that you realise how grubby they had become. We have had loads of complimentary comments as to how good they look. Bill Bailey was a very personable and professional contractor who put himself out to work around our requirements and others working in the buildings at the same time. More than happy to recommend the company and Bill personally. Many thanks for a job well done.”

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Before and After Restoration

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Cracked Terrazzo Church Floor in Surrey

Black Limestone Floor installation problems resolved in Wimbledon

I was recently asked to this property in Wimbledon in to see if there was anything we could do to resolve the problem with a recently laid Black Limestone tiled floor. The builders that had laid the Limestone did not cover or clean the tiles prior to sealing with an impregnating seal thereby trapping in all the dirt from the building works. They then grouted the tiles but didn’t clean the grout off the surface before putting on another two coats of sealer all of which resulted in a very poor finish.

Black Limestone Tile Showing Trapped Dirt in Wimbledon

Naturally the customer was not happy so called them back to rectify the problem and so they came back and tried to strip the sealer off with cloths and a chemical stripper. Then without rinsing the stone to remove the chemicals they added another two coats of sealer; in desperation the lady gave up with them and called me in.

Black Limestone Tile Showing Trapped Dirt in Wimbledon

Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor

To resolve I tried all the sealant strippers available to me but couldn’t budge the mess effectively. The only other option available was to diamond grind the surface so I discussed this with the customer and she agreed to this and left me to carry on.

Initially I started with a coarse 400 grit diamond pad but even that wasn’t having much effect so in the end I had to cut back the surface using a 100 grit pad moving up to 200 grit, then 400 before finally stopping at 800. To lubricate the process you need to use a little water and then rinse away the resultant soil after each pad. If this was a polished stone surface I would have continued with finer and finer grits to restore the surface polish however these tiles were rough limestone and I needed to leave it as near to how it should be.

Black Limestone Tile Grinded with Diamond Pads in Wimbledon

Once all the Limestone had been stripped back the stone turned an uninviting grey colour, so to bring it back to black I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which enhanced the colour.

Black Limestone Tile Adding Stone Oil in Wimbledon

Sealing Black Limestone Tiles

I left the floor overnight to allow the Stone Oil to dry out and then returned to seal the Limestone using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances the colour in the stone and will protect it from staining going forward.

Black Limestone Grinded and sealed in Wimbledon

When the customer saw the final result she was overwhelmed and said she felt like crying with relief, because the floor now looked how she had imagined it to be. It was a great feeling for me to know that I had solved the problems for her.

Black Limestone Before and After in Wimbledon

 
 

Restoring Black Limestone Tiled Floor in Wimbledon

Limestone Tiled Floor Cleaning in Leatherhead

I was asked by a customer in Leatherhead, Surrey to clean the Limestone tiled floors that had been installed throughout the ground floor of his house. I popped round to take a look at the job and could see that the Limestone tile and grout was quite dirty; it was clear that the sealer had broken down and dirt was now becoming ingrained into the stone and grout.
The floor would need to be burnished and re-sealed to get it back to its original condition and so I provided a quote to do the work. The quote was accepted although he did ask if I could provide a couple of references from former clients; there are over 70 testimonials from past customers on my website so this was not a problem and I was happy to do so. Once he had received the references he called to book me in.

Polished Limestone Before Cleaning in Leatherhead Polished Limestone Before Cleaning in Leatherhead

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

My first job was to protect the walls and units before scrubbing the first area with a hot solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a rotary machine fitted with a brush head attachment. This process lifted the dirt out from the grout, the surface and any holes.

The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with clean water to remove any cleaning products and I then proceeded to burnish the Limestone tiles using a set of four burnishing pads system fitted to a rotary machine. You start with a coarse pad lubricated with a little water and this removes any remaining sealers and ingrained dirt from the stone. Any slurry is then rinsed away and you move onto the remaining medium, fine and superfine polishing pads which bring back the polished surface, again each pad needs to be lubricated with a little water which needs to be rinsed away after each pad. It was a large area so as you can imagine this took some time to apply this process to the entire floor so I focused on the Kitchen then first day and came back the second day to work on the hallway and utility room.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

On the third day I came back to seal the floors using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing penetrating sealer that brings out the different shades of colour in Limestone and is designed to provide maximum stain protection on natural stone floors. The last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad.

Polished Limestone After Cleaning in Leatherhead Polished Limestone After Cleaning in Leatherhead

The grout is now back to its original grey as opposed to black and the Limestone look new again, needless to say the customer was really pleased with the finish and has since recommended my services to other friends.

Polished Limestone After Cleaning in Leatherhead

 
 

Limestone Floor, Cleaned, Scrubbed, Polished and Sealed in Leatherhead

Honed Travertine Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Kensington

I was asked to clean and reseal this Honed Travertine flooring in Kensington, London which ran through the ground floor area and to a small area in the basement. The floor had been laid nine years prior and had only had regular washing by the housekeeper and was now overdue a deep clean and re-seal..

Honed Travertine Kensington Before Cleaning Honed Travertine Kensington Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning Travertine Tiles

It was a large area so it was necessary to work in sections which had the added complication of having to move the customer’s furniture around.

With each area I scrubbed the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a medium brush head and a hot 3:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I scrubbed it in and left it for 10 minutes before scrubbing again then vacuumed it away with a wet vac. I then checked all the grout lines were clean in case the brush head had missed any.

Next I fitted a pad holder to the rotary machine and using a medium grade burnishing pad scrubbed the area again, I then followed this up with the fine grade pad to build a nice sheen on the stone to match the customers’ requirements.

Honed Travertine Kensington After Cleaning

During the cleaning process it became evident that some of the Travertine tiles had holes in them, it’s possible they had been this way when supplied but it’s also possible that they had been worn through by the use of an acidic cleaning solution. so after once the tiles were cleaned and polished I filled in the holes with a matching filler.

Honed Travertine Kensington After Cleaning

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

The next step was to seal the Travertine to protect it from future staining and for this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone. In total I had to use three coats on sealer on the stone due to its porosity. I finally buffed the floor using a white soft buffing pad; this was to take off any seal left sitting on the surface of the stone and helps to work it in.

Honed Travertine Kensington After Sealing

In total it took four days to do this job and the customer was really happy with the result and left a very nice testimonial on the Tile Doctor website.

Honed Travertine Kensington Before and After

 
 

Travertine Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Kensington

Removing wax from a Terracotta tiled floor in Battersea

Traditionally Terracotta tiled floors were protected using wax and this floor at a house in Battersea had been protected with a number of treatments including wax and other sealers, without a full history of the floor it’s not that easy to tell what you’re dealing with. Wax isn’t an ideal sealer as it can scratch easily which allows dirt to become ingrained and modern sealers outperform it in many ways.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning in Battersea Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning in Battersea

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

To get the floor clean I started the job using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner which can be used to remove wax residues and old sealants and being an alkaline product its safe for use on tiles. Unfortunately because there was so much old sealer and wax in the tiles it took several attempts to get the tiles clean and in the end it took five days to get them back to their natural state. Once this was done the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and allowed left to dry.

Terracotta Tiles Before and After Cleaning in Battersea

Sealing Terracotta Tile

Tiles need to be bone dry before sealing or it will upset the final effect of the sealer and in the end I had to wait three weeks before I was happy to start sealing, Terracotta being clay based is very porous so this is not that unusual.

To seal the tiles I used eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based topical sealer which leaves no smell as it dries and also adds a nice sheen to the floor, eight coats is not unusual for Terracotta again due to its porosity.

Terracotta Tiles After Sealing in Battersea Terracotta Tiles After Sealing in Battersea

The customer could not believe the transformation and even though it took a lot longer than first anticipated he was really pleased, especially when he got his invoice, because he was expecting to be charged for the extra time it took to complete. I told him that once I had given him my price I do not add extras.

Terracotta Tiles Before and After Sealing in Battersea

 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Surrey

Marble Bathroom Refreshed in Westminster

You may recall a job I wrote about earlier in the year concerning a Limestone tiled floor in Westminster well I’m please to say the owner of that property was so pleased with my workmanship that I was asked back to maintain the Marble tiled bathroom which included a sink unit.

Maintaining Marble Tiles

Normally with polished stone it’s necessary to burnish the floor however in this case the tiles were in good condition with no scratches in the polish, there were a few spots and marks on the tile that needed to come off and they had lost some shine however a full burnish would not be necessary.

Marble tiled floor Westminster Marks before cleaning Marble tiled floor Westminster Marks before cleaning

To remove the spots and marks I treated them first with a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted 4:1 with hot water. I then scrubbed them using a red buffing pad on my rotary floor machine, which took the marks away from the stone. Next I used a medium burnishing pad with a little water and followed with the fine pad and finally the ultra-fine burnishing pad to restore the shine and polish. I offered to build-up a durable polish with Tile Doctor Shine Powder however the owner was happy with the finish that had been achieved.

Marble tiled floor Westminster Marks after cleaning Marble tiled floor Westminster Marks after cleaning

Sealing Marble Tiles

Once the tiles were dry I sealed them using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer which occupies the pores of the stone and also enhances its natural colours in the process.

Marble tiled floor Westminster after sealing Marble tiled sink unit Westminster After Cleaning

Once the floor had been done I carried out the same process on the Marble sink unit using small six inch pads with a hand polisher. All went well and as you can see from the water bubble test in the photograph below the floor is now fully sealed however there is more work to be done elsewhere in the house and the owner has now booked me in to clean all of the carpets.

Marble tiled floor Westminster water test

 
 

Marble Tile Cleaning and Polishing in Westminster, London

Marble Tiled Floor Cleaned and Polished in South Croydon Restaurant

I was asked by my local Indian restaurant in South Croydon if I could improve the look of their marble tiles in the reception area of the restaurant. They had been laid several years ago and now the sealer was failing and dirt was becoming ingrained in the tile and especially the grout which had gone dark.

Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon Before Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon Before

Marble Tile and Grout Cleaning

To get the grout clean and remove the surface dirt we started with the application of a coarse grade diamond encrusted burnishing pad, the pad is used in conjunction with a little water which helps lubricate the process and it effectively cuts back the layer of grime from the surface. Rotary pads do struggle to reach into the grout lines so a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty tile and grout cleaner that’s safe to use on natural stone and grout was also scrubbed into the grout by hand using a stiff brush.

Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon During Cleaning Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon During Cleaning

The floor was then rinsed to remove the now dirty water and cleaning solution and we moved on to polishing the floor using a medium grade, fine and then super fine pads to build the surface shine backup. The floor was rinsed with water in-between each pad and then dried out as thoroughly as possible using large air movers.

Sealing Marble Floor Tiles

Normally I would have finished off with the application of Tile Doctor Shine Powder to give it a mirror like finish but the owner was happy with the way it looked and so once the floor had dried we moved onto sealing it with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works from the inside by occupying the pores within the stone, it also enhance the colours within natural stone.

Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon After Cleaning Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon After Cleaning

The owner was over the moon with the results and has now engaged us to maintain the floor on a regular basis.

Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon Before and After Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon Before and After

 
 

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Tiled floor in a Surrey Restaurant

Old Encaustic Tiled Floor Restored in Fulham

I had an inquiry from a client in Fulham, who was representing the residents of an old building. The building had recently undergone redecoration and in the hallway, they had removed a thirty year old carpet to discover an original encaustic tiled floor underneath which turned out to be 102 years old.

Old Encaustic Floor Fulham Before Cleaning 1 Old Encaustic Floor Fulham Before Cleaning 2

As you can see from the photographs the floor was extremely dirty and covered in lots of glue and paint from the carpet and decorations. Naturally they were keen to have it restored and brought back to life. Given the condition of the tile and the age I to set their expectations and told them that although I was confident of making a big difference to the floor I couldn’t give any guarantees. I gave them my quotation and although it was slighter higher than what they had I mind, it was still less than other quotations that they had received and were also considering the option of replacing the carpet.

After a couple of days I received a call asking me to go ahead with the work and I booked it in.

Encaustic Tiled Floor Cleaning

My approach to the job was to initially spray a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor NanoTech UltraClean which creates a powerful tile safe coatings remover with tiny abrasive particles that aid the cleaning process.

I left this to dwell on the tile for about fifteen minutes before scrubbing it in using a black scrubbing pad on my rotary machine. This approach removed some glue and a lot of old grime so I then sprayed down more Remove and Go and also used a steamer to loosen the remaining glue and paint. This process was repeated a section at a time until at the end of the day I gave the whole are a thorough rinse before packing away my equipment and leaving it to dry.

Encaustic Tiled Floor Sealing

I returned three days later and carried out a test with my moisture meter to make sure that the floor was dry enough to seal. The meter confirmed it was dry so I then sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that really brings out the colour in the tiles.

Old Encaustic Floor Fulham After Cleaning 3 Old Encaustic Floor Fulham After Cleaning 4

And as you can see the floor is transformed and now I have some happy residents who are really pleased that they opted to have the old floor cleaned instead of replacing the carpet. Not to mention that restoring such an original feature has probably added value to their investment as well.

Old Encaustic Floor Fulham Before and after Restoration 5
 
 

Original Encaustic Tiled floor cleaned and restored in Fulham

300m2 Marble Tiled Floor Cleaned and Polished in Oxshott

Following on from a referral from a Property Management company I paid a visit it to this palatial property in Oxshott which had approximately 300m2 of Marble tiled flooring that they wanted cleaning and re-polishing, my initial quotation to do this mechanically was too high so I offered an alternative using diamond encrusted burnishing pads which reduced the cost significantly. I didn’t receive an answer so I thought that was the end of it however five months later I got an email asking me to carry out the works.

Marble Tiled Floor Oxshott Marble Tiled Floor Oxshott

Marble Tiled Floor Polishing

This was a very large area so we had two men working with burnishing pads in 10 metre sections. The pads come in a set of four; you start with the coarse pad together with a little water and this cuts through and removes surface grime and any surface seal. You then progress through the other finer pads one by one until you get to the final polishing pad which provides a high polish.

Marble Tiled Floor Oxshott Marble Tiled Floor Oxshot

Fortunately there were not many stains and the ones that were there came out quite easily. When we had completed a room using this system we then applied Tile doctor Shine powder which is a crystallising power worked into the floor using a white buffing pad and a little water; it adds an extra level of deep shine to the marble floor giving it that extra wow factor together with a tough durable finish, we did this working 1 m2 at a time.

This whole process took five days to complete and when we had finished the client came to inspect it with the homeowner. She was delighted with the final finish and has said that she will be recommending us to all her friends and clients. This is also great for the property manager because it has given him a good reputation for providing a trustworthy and highly skilled contractor for the works. Also he has promised us further work from his other clients including a job to carry out the external stone cleaning works for the same client.

Marble Tiled Floor Oxshott Marble Tiled Floor Oxshott

 
 

Cleaning and Polishing a Large Marble Tiled floor in Oxshott, Surrey

Applying Anti Slip Treatment to Porcelain tiles in Wimbledon Office

We were contacted by a builder who had recently laid Porcelain Tiles in an office reception in Wimbledon. Although he has laid this type of tile in various art galleries around London without problem, in this particular lobby which is situated next to a shopping centre the tiles were extremely slippery and the facilities manager wanted the tiles changed at the expense of the builder.

Antislip Application Porcelain Tile Wimbledon

Obviously this would have been an expensive option and so the builder contacted Tile Doctor for help. Initially he had considered having a member of his team apply the treatment however he realised that as a Tile Doctor applicator we had been trained to apply the treatment properly and this gave the facilities manager confidence it would have been applied to the correct standard so we were awarded the work and asked to carry it out on a Sunday when the building would be empty.

Antislip Application Porcelain Tile Wimbledon

Applying the Anti-Slip Treatment

We arrived at the agreed time and were let in by the shopping centre security team. The area we were treating was around 25m2 so decided to work in 5m2 sections first cleaning the tile using the first stage Ant Slip product worked into the tile with a rotary floor machine fitted with a polypropylene brush head and then removing with a wet vacuum followed by rinsing with clean water.

We carried on with this process until the whole floor was done and let it dry before going onto the next stage to apply the Tile Doctor Anti slip (stage two) and leaving for between 3 to 5 minutes before applying the stage three which locks in the Anti Slip.

Antislip Porcelain Tile Wimbledon

The Anti Slip product is invisible to the eye however it’s very easy to test it’s been applied, all you need to do is wet the tile as the product only activates when it’s wet.

Antislip Porcelain Tile Wimbledon

When we had finished the whole floor we then tested it again just to make sure that everything worked well we cleared away all the tools making sure we left the area tidy and safe and locked the building up.

The Job took us one night and the customer is now recommending us to all other sites that have had these tiles fitted.
 
 

Preventing slips and trips on Porcelain Tile in a Wimbledon Office

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Balham

Set of photographs here from a Victorian Tiled floor for a customer in Balham, South London. They had found the floor under an old carpet, and wanted to restore it. Unfortunately their builders did not listen and didn’t bother to put down any protection when they painted, as a result there was paint everywhere, I’ve include a detailed photograph below so you can see for yourself what a state the floor was in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Victorian Floor Tiles

Initially the floor was cleaned using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50:50 with NanoTech UltraClean which had been left to dwell for 20 minutes before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a buffing pad. I used a wet vacuum to remove the dirty cleaning solution and then realising something more powerful would be required to shift the stubborn stains and paint marks. To rectify this I applied a Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coatings remover and left it to dwell on the Victorian tile for forty minutes before applying plenty of elbow grease. This did the trick to remove the paint and glue etc. so I worked across the floor in sections applying the same treatment until the floor was completely clean.

Once it had all been removed I gave the whole floor a scrub with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up and this brightened up the colours and finally I gave the floor a very thorough rinse with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning product that might have an adverse effect on the sealer. I left the floor to dry over the weekend and returned on the following Monday to seal it, but first I carried out a couple of repairs because some of the tiles were loose so I reset them in cement.

Sealing Victorian Tiled Floor tiles

On my return I sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a penetrating sealer that provides maximum stain protection whilst bringing out the colour in the stone.

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Balham After Cleaning

All the customer could say was AMAZING I didn’t think it was possible to get like this.
 
 

Victorian Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Balham, South London

Quarry Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Ashtead

A while ago I was asked to quote to clean up an old quarry tiled floor in a converted barn in Ashtead. Whilst I was there I carried out a test patch for the lady to show what the results would be; she had said that if she wasn’t satisfied she was going to replace the floor so she must have met her expectations as a week later we were given the go ahead to carry out the work.

Quarry Tile Cleaning Ashtead before

Quarry Tile Cleaning Ashtead before2

Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles

Fortunately for us they had recently removed the old kitchen and scheduled us after to clean the quarry tiles before completing the decorating and refitting a new kitchen. We cleaned the tiles using a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted 1:4 parts with water and Nanotech Ultraclean which adds tiny abrasive particles into the cleaning solution. Normally I would work this into the floor using a black scrubbing pad however the floor was very uneven so I used a medium nylon brush on my rotary machine instead, this had the added advantage of reaching into the grout as well. I should mention we thoroughly rinsed the floor as we went along using a wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution. It took two of us two days to scrub the areas that had to be done and we had a blower running to help dry out the floor.

Sealing Hallway Quarry Tiles

We returned three days later and carried out moisture test to ensure the floors were dry and ready to be sealed. The Quarry tiles were then sealed them with five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that reaches into the pores of the tile and lifts the natural colours. The owner was extremely happy with the floor and couldn’t wait to have her new kitchen installed to see how it would look.

Quarry Tile Cleaning Ashtead after

Quarry Tile Cleaning Ashtead after2

 
 

Old Quarry Tiles Restored in Ashtead, Surrey

Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Brixton

These photographs are from a Quarry Tile Cleaning job we did for a lady in Brixton recently, as you can see from the early pictures they were not only dirty but there was also evidence of an old sealer and splashes of paint on them as well both of which would have to be removed first.

Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor Before Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor Before

Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles

The first task we did on arrival was to disconnect her cooker and washing machine which were placed outside in the garden, this would allow us to get at all the tiled areas and also meant there was less to protect.

Working in small sections the next step was to pre-wet the floor tiles followed by adding a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with Nanotech UltraClean, these two products combine to make a powerful cleaner/stripper that’s safe to use on tile. The cleaning solution was left to soak into the tile whilst we set up all of our equipment and added protective coverings to the kitchen units, walls and adjoining floors.

After about forty five minutes we re-wet the areas and hand scrubbed the tiles using scouring pads. This process was repeated covering small areas at a time until the kitchen was finished. We then used our scrubbing machine with a medium brush head fitted and thoroughly rinsed the floor to remove any trace of chemical.

We needed the floor dry for sealing so a couple of Turbo blowers we setup to force dry the floor and this took a couple of hours before my moisture meter told me that the floor was dry enough.

Sealing Hallway Quarry Tiles

After discussing sealer choices with the customer it was decided to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides a natural finish whilst lifting the natural colours in the tile. Two coats were sufficient and once it had dried we refitted the cooker and washing machine, put all the plinths back and removed all of our protective coverings.

Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor After Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor After

The lady was really pleased with our work and left the following testimonial.

“Bill did a fantastic job on my kitchen floor, I can’t thank him enough. Mrs Scott, Brixton”

Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor Before and After

 
 

Quarry Tile Renovation in Brixton

Kitchen Travertine Tiled floor cleaning in Mortlake

We recently cleaned and sealed a small Travertine floor in a kitchen for a customer in Mortlake near Richmond upon Thames in Surrey. To be fair the floor wasn’t that bad, it was just a bit dirty because the customer had been told to use a steamer to clean the floor which was bad advice as the heat from the steam was breaking down the sealer and resulting in the tiles getting dirty.

Dirty Travertine Before Dirty Travertine Before

Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Tile

I first applied a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech Ultra Clean leaving it to dwell on the tile for 15 minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary Machine fitted with a brush head. Once I was satisfied the floor was clean it was thoroughly rinsed with clean water. The dirty solution removed using a wet vacuum and then left it to dry overnight.

Dirty Travertine Cleaned not Sealed Dirty Travertine Cleaned not Sealed

Sealing Travertine Tile

The next day the floor had dried and we proceeded to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as well as providing a good level of stain protection also brings out the natural colours in the stone. I always use a water test to determine if the right about of sealer has been applied, very simply you drop a small amount of water onto the stone and if it forms a bubble on the surface it’s sealed.

Dirty Travertine Sealed Dirty Travertine Sealed

Before I left I provided the customer with a proper maintenance plan for the floor, and expect a call in around a years’ time to come and do a deep clean and seal. The customer was delighted with the results and said the floor looked better than when they had it laid.
 
 

Resolving Travertine steam cleaning problems in Surrey

Latex Glue Removed from Factory Floor in Croydon

We recently carried out a clean for a printing company in the London Borough of Croydon, who had removed some machinery and had found that the exposed floor had large amounts of latex glue left on the floor. In fact the floor was in such a bad state due to the amount of dirt, oil and glue no one could determine what type of floor we were dealing with.

Factory Floor Before and After

Factory Floor Cleaning

My first task was to scrub the dirt away using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean followed by a good rinse, Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner so it’s safe to use on all sorts of floors and won’t eat into the surface like an acidic cleaners. Once the dirt was removed we discovered the floor was in fact resin based.

Latex Glue Removal

The next thing to do was remove the glue for the floor which was really hard to do due to the thick build-up. We first started with steamers to heat the glue and then used large floor scrapers to lift as much as we could, finally we soaked the area with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left the solution to Dwell for an hour after which we were able to scrape the remaining glue off.

Last but not least we gave the floor one more scrub with a weak dilution of Pro-Clean and a final rinse.

Factory Floor Before and After

 
 

Factory Floor Cleaning in Croydon

Terracotta Tiled Floor Sealing

Although officially the East Surrey Tile Doctor we often get requests further afield through customer recommendations, this particular Terracotta Tiled floor was in Brixton, South London. You can see from the photographs below that the floor was not looking its best and had been splashed with paint.

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

To get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which combines well to produce a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper with a cleaner containing tiny nano sized abrasive particles that work deep into the floor. This combination is ideal for dealing difficult floors, its best to let it 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.

Terracotta Restoration Before Photo

Once that was done the soiled solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and we were then able to see a few spots where old wax remained on the floor. To deal with the wax Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a powerful coatings remover, was applied to the floor and left to dwell for a while before rinsing thoroughly with clean water and then treated with a steam cleaning machine to ensure the floor had been neutralised of all chemicals. It’s important not to leave a trace of chemical on the floor as they could react with the sealer.

The floor was still quite wet at this stage with small puddles of water forming in the dips of the uneven floor; the wet vacuum took care of most of this but the floor was still too damp for sealing so I left a couple of air blowers to assist with the drying of the floor and returned two days later to start the sealing.

Terracotta Restoration Before Photo

Terracotta Tile Sealing

When we returned the floor was mainly dry but there were a couple of damp spots which I took care of with a heat gun. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor; Terracotta can be very porous so eight coats were required to completely seal the floor so it was some time before it was finished.

Terracotta Restoration After Photo Terracotta Restoration After Photo

When I finished I gave the customer instructions on how to maintain the floor. He was over the moon with the result and said that it had far exceeded his expectations.

Another happy customer.

Terracotta Restoration Before and After

 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Brixton

Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaning in Richmond

This hallway floor was at a property in the London borough of Richmond which had just been sold and the new owner wanted the Victorian tiled floor cleaning before she moved in.

Victorian Floor Cleaning Before

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

To clean the floor I applied a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean diluted with water. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner so it won’t damage the tile like some acidic cleaners and NanoTech Ultra Clean adds tiny abrasive particles to the solution that can help penetrate into the tile to lift out the dirt. This was left to dwell and soak into the floor for a while before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This worked to clean the floor and strip any remaining sealer from the tile; the soiled solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and then thoroughly rinsed to remove any cleaning products before sealing and neutralise the floor.

Victorian Floor Cleaning During

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The floor was dried using an floor blower, which is a like an industrial hair dryer, before being sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection. You have to wait for each coat to dry before moving on to the next so it was a long day, fortunately the house was empty which made the job easier.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning

 
 

Victorian Tiled hallway floor cleaned and sealed in Richmond