Worn Sealer Replaced on a Slate Tiled Floor in York

The photographs below are of a Slate Tiled floor in a house in York, a walled city in North West Yorkshire which is very famous for its Viking heritage and its many landmarks, including the stunning York Minster. I visited the client to discuss what could be done to improve the look of the slate tiles which were installed in the kitchen and run into the downstairs cloakroom WC.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York Before Cleaning

I could see that the floor was suffering from the usual problem of dirt becoming ingrained into the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively. This happens as the protection provided by the sealer wears off with use and the stone becomes dull and lifeless with the trapped dirt; additionally, the floor had some bad scratches from chairs being dragged across the floor. Being a Kitchen, the area was in used to high family traffic, so it was in need of some care and attention. The client was happy to go ahead with my quote.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

I arrived the following week and started by taping up and protecting the surrounding areas and thresholds. Then working in sections, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (1 part Pro-Clean to 3 parts water) to the floor and left it to soak in and get to work breaking down what was left of the old sealer and dirt. This is a multi-purpose cleaner which works hard on stubborn areas. It was then scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. I then used more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the grout which was stained in places and this was scrubbed in by hand using a thin stiff grout brush.

The floor was then rinsed with water, and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum before moving onto the next section. We try and keep the mess to the absolute minimum. One area included a downstairs WC which was too tight to get the floor buffer in so there was no option but to scrub the tiles and grout by hand.

After cleaning all the slate and grout I inspected the floor and was pleased to see that the scratches were a lot less obvious after cleaning, so I suspect it was the old sealer that had been mostly affected. Had the scratches been deeper we would be looking at resurfacing the stone with milling pads which is a messy and more expensive process. The client was very pleased to hear that wouldn’t be required.

After a final rinse the floor was looking much better already and was left to dry off overnight aided by the hot summer weather.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and checked the floor was fully dried out by using my moisture meter. All the readings were fine so the lovely weather had done its job which was much appreciated by myself as this greatly helps the floor cleaning process.

I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer (so no smell) that leaves a lovely deep lustre to the floor. The scratches had all but disappeared and I was able to get on with the job quite quickly due to the bonus weather that helped he sealer dried a lot quicker than usual between each coat.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York After Cleaning

The customer was very pleased with the finished floor, and I think you can see from the pictures how much better it looks. It will be much easier for them to clean and maintain in the future.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Cloakroom in North West Yorkshire

Carrara Marble Orangery Floor Harrogate

These photographs are of a large Black Carrara Marble floor at customers house in nearby Harrogate, a North Yorkshire spa town which is steeped in history. In-fact the town became known as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries its ‘chalybeate’ waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment and the influx of wealthy but sickly visitors contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate Before Polishing

When I reached the clients’ property she showed me to the Orangery. This was a lovely garden room and it had a large and expensive Black Carrara Marble tiled floor installed. The floor was installed some time ago and had since lost some of its shine and lustre which is not unusual as foot traffic on the floor will wear down the shine over time particularly as it was a dark black colour.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate Before Polishing

Polishing a Black Carrera Marble Orangery Floor

I was aware that Carrara Marble is usually polished at the factory and re polishing to achieve the same high-end finish requires the use of some very expensive machinery which most Tile Doctors including myself don’t carry.

However, I am always up for a challenge and not to be beaten there were a couple of things we could do to improve the appearance of the floor. Carrara Marble by the way gets its name from the city where it’s quarried which is in the province of Massa and Carrara in the Lunigiana, the northernmost tip of modern-day Tuscany, Italy. It is not surprising that such a beautiful material comes from such a lovely place! In use since Roman times Carrara Marble is an expensive, high quality marble used in sculptures and building décor.

So, after discussing all this with the customer and a little history, l set about giving the tiles a spray burnish with a very fine 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad and a little water sprayed onto the Marble. The 3000-grit pad is a very fine grade that would not damage the surface of the marble, simply restore the shine. This pad had the desired effect and did a good job of bringing back the deep polished look of the floor.

Sealing a Black Carrera Marble Orangery Floor

Once I had finished the spray burnish and ensured the floor was dry, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this product is an impregnating colour intensifying sealer that provides durable stain protection by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. I chose to use this primarily to seal and protect the stone but also to enhance the beautiful natural colours.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate After Polishing

The job was completed in a single day and the result was a big improvement on the dull Marble tiles I had come across that morning. It’s probably difficult to tell from the photographs but I felt the combination of spray burnishing and sealing had completely changed the appearance of the floor.

The customer was very happy indeed, the floor looked much brighter and with the sun shining through the huge area of glass, the highly polished look had definitely been restored.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate After Polishing

 

Polishing Black Carrara Marble Floor Tiles in North Yorkshire

Renovating a Sandstone Tiled Floor at a 12th-Century Undercroft Near Bedale

When I was asked to visit this job, I understood that the property was Grade One Listed and I was in for a treat when I arrived. The property is an undercroft which is traditionally a cellar or storage room, often brick-lined and vaulted and used for storage in buildings since medieval times. In modern usage, an undercroft is generally a ground (street-level) area which is relatively open to the sides but covered by the building above.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

This example was part of a large 12th Century building near Bedale which is halfway between Harrogate and Middlesbrough, that had been converted into luxury apartments. It was truly impressive, by far one of my favourite jobs to date.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

The magnificent building had been tastefully restored and renovated some years ago. You will see from the photos how unique it is, although it is hard to do it justice in photos. Since that time the huge 60sqm Sandstone flagstones had become dirty and now needed to be deep cleaned and restored to its’ former self.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I discussed what was required with the owner and went through the cleaning procedure I felt would be most appropriate. This was well received, and we agreed my quote and arranged a suitable time to return and complete the work. I must say I felt honoured and privileged to be asked to work on the floor as this is not something you would trust many people with.

Cleaning a Large Sandstone Floor in an Undercroft

I returned on the agreed date to start the cleaning and I was a bit apprehensive at first, as naturally with such an old building I wanted to be confident that the methods I was going to use would work without issue. Also, there was some very, very expensive Marble statues scattered about near the edge of the floor which I was very mindful of. It was clear that the utmost care was required to restore this beautiful floor. In the end I did not need to worry as it was quite straightforward. The floor was nice and flat and graded sandstone, in pretty good physical condition.

I cleaned the floor by applying a strong dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove old sealers and break down the dirt. I left this on the floor for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with what turned out to be several black scrubbing pads to get the dirt out of the stone. Pro-Clean is a highly effective Tile and Grout cleaner which can deal with all sorts of issues including grease, grime and general dirt build up.

Sandstone Floor During Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I worked in sections and found some of the flagstones quite challenging to clean due to their sharp edges which tore into the pads and destroyed a few during the process. Luckily, I had bought plenty of replacements along and with a bit of perseverance, I was able to give the floor a very thorough clean. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sandstone Floor During Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

After cleaning and rinsing the whole floor I left it for a few days, so it could dry out thoroughly before I returned to seal it.

Sealing a 60m2 Sandstone Floor in a 12th Century Undercroft

When I returned I checked that the floor was completely dry by taking some moisture readings. All was well, but I noticed that the room became dusty very quickly from all the exposed stone, so l vacuumed the floor first.

Sandstone Floor After Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I chose to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal for this floor, main reasons being it’s an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there also, it leaves a natural look finish that doesn’t darken the stone which was ideal for use in the Undercroft where there isn’t much natural light. I applied a couple of coats to the floor and it was soon looking good.

Sandstone Floor After Sealing 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

It was a massive transformation and the clean floor really lightened up the whole room. The client was very pleased with the result. I think you will agree this is a very special room!

 

Professional Clean of a Sandstone Undercroft Floor in North Yorkshire

Cleaning and restoring a traditional Yorkshire Stone floor

This was a typical and relatively straightforward job for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it because it amply demonstrates how a modest investment in professional cleaning and sealing can transform a tired old Yorkshire Stone floor into something really stunning!

Older properties in the small village of East Morton, near Keighley in West Yorkshire, are built almost entirely of locally quarried Sandstone – from its Manor Houses, Churches and barns to the many cottages built during the Industrial Revolution for workers in Morton’s textile and paper mills. Yorkshire stone is a sedimentary rock made up of quartz, mica, feldspar, clay and iron oxides. Its colour depends on the ratio of minerals it contains, and differs throughout the quarries where it is mined. It is incredibly hard wearing and durable, and has been used for building, construction and landscaping since mediaeval times.

Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning in East Morton

The lovely original Yorkshire Stone floor in this client’s home was in great condition but looked lifeless and uninteresting. As the local Tile Doctor agent, I was tasked with deep cleaning and sealing the floor to bring it back to life. Rather unusually, this customer wanted a matt finish for the floor – which on reflect was a great choice.

Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning in East Morton Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning in East Morton

Cleaning a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

I started by deep cleaning the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser which is safe to use on all types of tile, stone and grout including natural stone. I diluted one part Pro-Clean to three parts water – enough to ensure that any traces of grease, scum, oil, mildew and algae were removed and scrubbed it in using a floor buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at slow speed to cut down on splashing. This brought out all the dirt from the floor which I then rinsed off with more water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Stubborn areas were re-treated using the same process and once I was satisfied the floor was clean I left the floor for two days, so it could dry out thoroughly.

Sealing a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

The next step was to test a couple of suitable Tile Doctor sealers to see which would give the best matt finish the customer was looking for. I decided upon Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium, solvent-based penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection yet without changing the colour of the stone. Being a premium product it’s ideal for high traffic areas such as hallways, kitchens and stairs, it’s also an excellent grout sealer and a perfect choice for this floor. Most importantly, it gave the no-sheen, natural-look finish that the customer wanted.

I started by sweeping and vacuuming the floor to ensure that every trace of dust was removed before sealing. Then I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Sealer – one in the morning and one in the afternoon to allow the first coat to dry out before applying the second. 30 minutes after applying the second coat I tested with water droplets to make sure that the surface was completely sealed. The customer was able to walk on and use the floor as normal after just two hours, and after just 24 hours the full cure was achieved.

Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning in East Morton

What a transformation! The lifeless, grey floor was now full of colour and character, highlighting all the wonderful and original textures and tones in the Yorkshire Stone. The customer was very happy!

Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning in East Morton Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning in East Morton

 
 

Professional Renovation of a traditional Yorkshire Stone floor

Deep Cleaning Lapicida Sandstone Flagstones in Bedale

This customer who lived in the old North Yorkshire market town of Bedale, had a Lapicida Sandstone floor installed many years prior and over the years the sealer had worn off and dirt had become ingrained into the pores of the stone making it dull and difficult to clean effectively. Based in Harrogate, where they have Europe’s largest stone gallery, Lapicida are a premier Tile and Stone company that specialise in reclaimed Sandstone with prices that range from £79 to £594 per square metre.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Bedale

Naturally having such an expensive stone floor installed my customer wanted it to look its best however when your living with a stone floor day in, day out you fail to notice the gradual decline in its overall appearance. Then one day you suddenly realise the floor is overdue a deep clean and reseal and call in Tile Doctor; there is an alternative however, simply speak to Tile Doctor about setting up an annual Maintenance Plan whereby we pop by once a year to clean the floor and top up the sealer.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Bedale

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

To deep clean the floor the sandstone flagstones were covered in a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed clean using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black pad. The now dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor washed down with water and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied. Unusually for Sandstone it was all graded and uniformly flat which made cleaning a lot easier.

With the floor clean and all the dirt removed it revealed some black marks, most of which were from candle wax which is very difficult to get off. To tackle this problem a heat gun was used to melt the wax and then it was dappled with a clean cloth. This process was mostly successful, but some still left a faint Mark which the customer was ok with.

After giving the floor a final rinse and drying it as much as possible with a wet vacuum it was left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter. The flagstones were dry. I was going to seal the Stone with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which would have enhanced the natural colours in the stone, but the customer liked the light appearance of the cleaned stone, so l used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal instead; Ultra-seal is a natural look sealer, so it doesn’t darken the stone. Both sealers are what we call impregnators which work by soaking into the pores of stone protecting it from within by preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Bedale

I’m sure you will agree the floor looks much improved, certainly the customer and myself were both very pleased with the transformation of the floor; my customer even left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Nigel Stoker was knowledgeable, efficient and very pleasant. My floors are looking amazing. Claire G, Bedale

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Bedale

 
 

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Flagstone Floor in North Yorkshire

Victorian Hallway Floor Repaired and Restored in Shipley

Shipley is a town in West Yorkshire that was heavily shaped by the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian period. It became particularly well-known for its textile industry and some of the original mills in which textiles were manufactured still survive in the town today. Being in West Yorkshire, Shipley is also part of what is commonly known as ‘Brontë country’ – once home to the famous Brontë sisters.

Many Victorian era properties still survive in the area too and all too often the original Victorian tiled floors contained within are not well maintained. I recently visited a customer in Shipley who had a Victorian tiled hallway that was in need of a deep clean and seal. What’s more, the customer told me that there were around 20 loose tiles in the hallway that would need to be reinstalled.

Victorian Hallway Shipley Before Cleaning Victorian Hallway Shipley Before Cleaning

On the first day, I started by refitting the 20 loose tiles in the hallway. The problem however was a lot worse than originally thought and, in the end, I had to take up 108 tiles, so I could rebuild the base of the floor, and then relay them. This process took up most of the day but at least the adhesive and grout would be set in time for cleaning the next day.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

On day two I focused on deep cleaning the tiles and removing any remaining sealer by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline heavy-duty tile and grout cleaner that serves the purpose of both cleaning the stone and when used in a strong dilution will strip off sealers.

I applied the Pro Clean liberally across the length of the hallway and left it to soak into the tiles for about twenty minutes. This allows the product time to breakdown the sealer and dirt before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad.

Special attention had to be paid to parts of the floor which had suffered paint splashes from previous decoration. I was also surprised to find that there were even some chewing gum stains marking the tiles. These were removed using the combination of a steam cleaner, more Pro-Clean and the careful use of a handheld scraper.

The floor was then given a thorough rinse with fresh water and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum. It was then also left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon returning to the property the next day I checked for any moisture issues with a damp tester. Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could proceed with sealing the tiles which was done using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go that leaves a deep satin finish that the customer had requested.

Victorian Hallway Shipley After Cleaning Victorian Hallway Shipley After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Yorkshire

Re-Sealing Jura Limestone Tiles in Wetherby

This large Jura Limestone floor had been installed in a house in the history Yorkshire town of Wetherby twelve months prior and after only one year the sealer had worn off. Now dirt was getting trapped into the pores of the stone causing it look dull and uninviting and making it difficult to clean.

The builder who installed the floor must have used a really cheap sealer as they usually last a lot longer than a year and such a premium stone really deserved better. There were also a few other issues, it seems the floor wasn’t completely clean when it was sealed causing grit and dirt to become stuck to the floor, additionally the sealer had been applied with the underfloor heating on which is a big No No, for best results sealers need to be allowed to dry off naturally at room temperature.

The floor was now in a sad state and the owner wanted the floor stripping back and sealing properly. He had received a number of quotes for this job that were between one and two days! To do the job correctly was a 5-day job, fortunately the owner of the property wanted the job doing properly this time around.

Jura Limestone Tiled Floor Before renovation Jura Limestone Tiled Floor Before renovation

Stripping and Polishing Jura Limestone Tiles

The best way to restore high quality stone like this is to hone the floor using varying grits of abrasive floor pads. Tile Doctor have developed a technique for this known as burnishing which is a version of stone polishing that involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads. Each pad in the system has its own level of grit and is applied in sequence from coarse to fine in order to re-hone the finish on the stone.

Before burnishing the floor however, the floor was given a clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove any grit but with a main focus on scrubbing the grout lines by hand to get them as clean as possible. Once I was happy with the grout the floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

I started with the Coarse 400 grit pad lubricated with water and then after rinsing the floor with water I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally the Very Fine 3000 grit pad further rinsing in-between each pad to achieve a refined polished finish. This process may sound straight forward but the floor had been laid throughout the ground floor and so each section took time to complete.

Stripping and Polishing Jura Limestone Tiles

The last step was to seal the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium natural look impregnating sealer the protects the stone from within by occupying the pores so dirt and other contaminates can’t get in there.

Jura Limestone Tiled Floor After renovation Jura Limestone Tiled Floor After renovation

The floor now looks fantastic and it should stay that way for some time to come.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Large Jura Limestone Floor in North Yorkshire

Maintaining a Victorian Tiled Entrance in Ilkley

Most stone and tile benefit from the protection that a sealer provides to stop dirt becoming ingrained into its pores. However, the act of walking on the tile causes wear and this over time will lead to the sealer wearing off and dirt reaching the pores; the worse thing is you rarely notice it happening because it takes a long time to wear down a sealer.

Most of my customers have this problem and call on me to clean and reseal the floors every few years when it becomes difficult to clean effectively. The alternative which I do for a number of my clients is to have the floor lightly cleaned and a new layer of sealer added every six to twelve months.

This Victorian tiled entrance at a period house in Ilkley was not in too bad a shape just a little dirty and dull and the owner was keen to have is renovated in the run up to the Christmas holidays. Ilkley is a lovely town in West Yorkshire which became very fashionable in the Victorian era due to the health benefits of the local water, this led to a lot of Victorian architecture and tiled entrance floors like this one are very typical in the area.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Entranceway

To get the dirt out of the tile and grout I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the tiles and left it to soak in for fifteen minutes. Pro-Clean is a very reliable cleaner for all types of tile and grout including natural stone, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, amongst others; additionally, when used in a strong dilution it will strip off old sealers. The solution was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

I gave the floor a light rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and then inspected the floor to ensure it was up to standard. At this point I could see there were flecks of paint on the tile around the edges of the floor from previous decorating work and, so I removed carefully removed these with a scrapper and a hand-held diamond block.

The floor was given a final rinse and the wet vacuum used to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible before leaving it to dry for the evening.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Entrance with a Matt Finish

I returned the next day to seal the floor first discussing the finish that the customer wanted for the tiles. Typically, I recommend using a satin sealer for Victorian tiles as it adds a nice sheen to the tile however surprisingly the owner wanted a matt finish.

Tile Doctor has a full range of sealers available to cater for all requirements so for this floor I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which leaves a matt finish whilst enriching the colours in the tile.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley After Cleaning

The tiles are now full of life and with the paint specs removed there is now a crisp black edge between the floor and the skirting which the customer also picked up on.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley Before Cleaning

 
 

Professional renovation of a Dirty Victorian Tiled Entrance in West Yorkshire

Dirty Paint-Marked Victorian Tiled Entranceway Restored in Roundhay

Roundhay is an affluent area of North Leeds which is well-known for the fantastic Roundhay Park. The park is large enough to contain two lakes, extensive woodland, formal gardens and even golf courses! It’s the premier attraction for anyone fortunate enough to live in the area, or anyone visiting from nearby.

I recently visited a customer who lives in Roundhay and was looking for help in restoring the small Victorian tiled entranceway at the front of her house. The tiles were in a shocking state, but it’s not hard to imagine why – the entrance to a house receives a lot of foot traffic and is not typically taken care of regularly. These tiles were also marked with paint splashes left over from decoration work, making them look even worse.

Small Victorian Entrance Before Cleaning Roundhay

The appearance of the entranceway did not set the right standard for the rest of the house, so the property owner was keen to have it restored professionally.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Entranceway

I informed the customer that I could have the tiles rejuvenated within a day’s work. To begin, I used a scrapper and wire wool brush to manually remove some of the most stubborn paint marks.

Following this, I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, before leaving the product to dwell for about an hour. Remove and Go is multi-purpose stripping agent that can remove any adhesive and paint deposits, as well as many types of old coatings and sealers.

To work the product deep into the tiles, I agitated with an abrasive cleaning pad and then rinsed the area with fresh water. This had the desired affect and all the unsightly paint marks were removed.

Next, I gave the floor another thorough clean to remove any general muck and ingrained dirt. This was done using our high-alkaline cleaner, which we typically use on Victorian tiles, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. In fact, Pro-Clean is a very reliable cleaner for all types of tile and grout including natural stone, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, amongst others.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Entranceway

Since I told the customer I would able to finish the job within a day, I dried the floor quickly using a heat gun so it could be sealed there and then. To seal the floor, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer formulated to provide maximum protection along with a high-quality, low sheen finish.

Small Victorian Entrance After Cleaning Roundhay

As you can see from the photos above, the entranceway was absolutely transformed. These tiles are now a true asset to the rest of the property, rather than looking out of place! I’m please to say my customer was amazed by how quickly such a big difference could be made and left the following glowing feedback.

I can’t believe the before and after pictures. The restoration of the tiles is top quality, they are so much brighter and richer in colour – especially without the garage paint hiding the detail! Nigel did an amazing job, even better than I could have hoped for, and is a lovely guy as well. Would definitely recommend.
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty Victorian Tiled Entranceway Restoration in North Yorkshire

Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in York

As promised below are the photographs from the second floor I cleaned recently at a house in historic city of York. If you recall the first floor was Mexican Terracotta which proved pretty tough to clean as the rotary floor scrubber I use struggled to cope with the bull nose edges. You can find the article I created for that floor via the link below:

Mexican Terracotta Tiles Deep Cleaned in York.

The second floor was a Victorian tiled hallway which like its neighbour was dull, lifeless and now overdue a deep clean to remove ingrained dirt, part worn sealer and then reseal.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning York

Cleaning Victorian Tiles Tiles

As with the Terracotta tiles I cleaned the floor using a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water. This is a strong dilution ratio which will not only clean the tile but also strip off what was left of the original sealer. You need to do this as the sealer will wear off first in the most commonly used part of the floor first which in this case is down the middle of the hallway. I left the solution it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. I the scrubbed along the grout lines with more pro-clean and a stiff narrow brush by hand to ensure the grout was also clean.

The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I could then see those area’s that needed more work and re-treated them with more Pro-Clean until I was satisfied all the previous sealer was gone and the tile and grout was as clean as it could be.

The tiles were given a final rinse with water and the wet vacuum used again to extract as much moisture off the floor as possible. The next step would be to seal, however the Terracotta floor tiles needed a longer drying time so I left both floors to dry out for two days before returning.

Sealing Victorian Tiles Tiles

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provided a beautiful satin finish that really improved the look of Victorian Tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning York

The hallway tiles now looked clean and much brigher, needless to say my customer was very happy with the transformation.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Resealed in Yorkshire

Dirty Mexican Terracotta Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned and Sealed in York

A few months back I posted a story about cleaning Catalan Terracotta tiles where I mentioned that Terracotta tiles are made all over the world. To prove the point I thought you might be interested to read about this Mexican Terracotta Tiled floor I cleaned recently at a house in York.

The customer actually had two floors they wanted me to clean, the other was a Victorian Tiled floor which is cleaned using a similar process but I’ll post about that separately. Both floors looked a bit tired but especially the Mexican Terracotta which looked dull and lifeless additionally the Grout had gone black when it should have been a Sandstone colour.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York

Mexican Terracotta tiles are invariably hand made and made to the same standard as other makes such as Spanish, as a result the porosity levels between each tile can vary greatly which makes them harder to maintain.

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

I cleaned the floor using a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water which is an effective alkaline Tile and Grout cleaner that will clean and strip old sealers from tiles when used in a strong dilution such as on this occasion. I left it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process made a different but the machine couldn’t cope with the “Bull Nose” edges to I had so spend a lot of time cleaning the old fashioned way using a scrubbing brush and a lot of elbow grease. I had the same issue with the grout which being slightly recessed wasn’t cleaned sufficiently by the machine; however I have narrow scrubbing brush that works well for this purpose.

Mexican Terracotta Floor During Cleaning York

The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I could then see those area’s that needed more work and spot cleaned them with more Pro-Clean until I was satisfied all the previous sealer was gone and the tile and grout was as clean as it could be.

The tiles were given a final rinse with water and the wet vacuum used again to extract as much moisture off the floor as possible. The next step would be to seal, however the tiles would need to be dry for that to happen and given Terracotta is notoriously porous and absorbs water quickly l decided after I’d leave the floor to dry out for two days.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a satin finish and really improves the look of Terracotta.

Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York

My customer was very happy with the transformation that had occurred to their floor and I think you will agree from the photographs the floor looks much healthier.
 
 

Mexican Terracotta Tile and Grout Renovated in Yorkshire

Cream Limestone Kitchen Tiles Burnished and Sealed in Ilkley

Ilkley is a wonderful little spa town in North West Yorkshire and a popular destination for tourists visiting the Yorkshire Dales. It’s particularly notable for its quaint tearooms, beautiful countryside and challenging rock climbing opportunities. The town itself is well populated, with approximately 15,000 residents.

Recently, I visited one of the homeowners in the town who was in the process of selling the house. To help make the house more attractive to potential buyers they wanted to make sure the Cream Limestone tiles laid throughout the Kitchen and Dining room were in the best possible condition. The floor was comprised of four different sizes of Limestone tile, laid geometrically.

The floor had originally possessed a natural matte finish, but a satin sealer had been applied at some point in the past to enhance its appearance. Over the years, this sealer had worn away and the Limestone had become dull and dirty, especially in the high foot traffic areas. The grout was similarly in a bad way.

Cream Limestone Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Ilkley Cream Limestone Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Ilkley

I spoke with the property owner about the options for cleaning the floor, outlining the merits of a restoration using our Tile Doctor burnishing pad system, a process which involves polishing the tiles with special diamond encrusted pads of various grit levels. The result would be a high-quality finish which could subsequently be preserved using a sealant.

I felt it was the best course of action to restore the appearance of the Limestone tiles. Even though the customers didn’t want to spend a lot (understandable as they were moving out), they agreed to proceed.

Cleaning a Cream Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I started the restoration by cleaning the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a suitable alkaline-based cleaner for natural stone tiles and grout. The product was scrubbed into the grout lines with a stiff brush. Once I was happy that the grout had been completely cleaned of any soil, I rinsed the cleaning solution away and extracted the slurry using a wet vacuum.

The next step as to apply each of the four diamond encrusted burnishing pads in the Tile Doctor system. In this process, we start with the Coarse grit pad to grind away the very top layer of the dirty stone. We then move through the system to apply Medium, Fine and finally the Very Fine pad to gradually refine the polish on the floor. Each pad is used with a small amount of water for lubrication.

Sealing a Cream Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Since this was a large area to restore, it took around two days before the grout cleaning and tile burnishing work was completed.

Some fabulous results were achieved by the burnishing work, and I came back on the third day to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. Ultra-Seal is a natural-look impregnating sealer that will protect the floor for some time to come.

Cream Limestone Floor Tiles After Cleaning Ilkley Cream Limestone Floor Tiles After Cleaning Ilkley

The customers were so pleased with the outcome that they even joked that they no longer wanted to move! I’m glad that they are happy with the results and I’m sure the new property owners will be too.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Cream Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Yorkshire

Yellow Stained Bullnose Travertine Tiles Rejuvenated in Pateley Bridge

The photos below show a beautiful Bullnose Travertine tiled kitchen floor at a property in Pateley Bridge which needed professional attention as a consequence of being protected by a cheap and ineffectual sealer.

The problem was that sealer that had been applied did not provide resistance to UV rays, and the exposure to the sunlight had turned the Travertine tiles an unnatural yellow colour. Over time the sealer had gradually worn away in the busiest areas, so it was less noticeable but of course without the protection of the sealer the stone then became exposed to ingrained dirt and stains.

Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge

I took some pictures however they don’t really show the problems that well but needless to say, the property owner was very keen to have the situation rectified – which of course is where I came in. I travelled to Pateley Bridge, a small market town in Nidderdale in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

What is a ‘Bullnose’ tile, you say? Well, it simply refers to the trim of the tile. While traditional tiles will have a straight edge, a Bullnose tile will have a slightly rounded or curved edge.

Cleaning Yellow Stained Travertine Tiles

To begin the restoration, I deep cleaned the tiles mechanically using Tile Doctor diamond burnishing pads starting with a coarse grit. These pads served the purpose of grinding away the very top damaged layer of the stone, effectively removing the yellow staining, grease marks and any old sealer. You use a little water to help lubricate the process and this soon becomes soiled and needs to be rinsed away and removed after each pad is applied.

Next, I cleaned all of the stained grout lines by hand. I did this using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a reliable, alkaline-based cleaner for use on both natural stone tiles and grout. I mixed the Pro Clean into a solution of one part cleaner to three parts fresh water and worked it in by hand using a stiff brush along the grout lines. Once done the now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor and extracted leaving the grout fresh and clean.

Bullnose Travertine During Cleaning Patley Bridge

To finish the cleaning process, I polished the floor with a 3000 grit (very fine) burnishing pad to leave the tiles with a silky satin finish. This pad is applied mechanically with a little water in a technique we often call a spray burnish.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the floor was dry it needed protecting to ensure that dirt could no longer penetrate the pores of the stone. So to guarantee that this wonderful satin finish would last, I sealed the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal.

Ultra-Seal is Tile Doctor’s premium impregnating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation and serving areas such as the kitchen.

Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge

The photos above show the outcome of the restoration, I appreciate my photograph skills are not the best but hopefully you can notice how much healthier the stone looks now, compared to the yellow, sickly appearance of the stone before.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Bullnose Travertine Tiled Floor in North Yorkshire

Bleach-Damaged Jura Limestone Tiles Restored in Harrogate

Jura Limestone is is a high-quality stone mined in quarries in the Bavaria region of Germany. It is perhaps the best-known stone mined in the country, and it is in strong demand throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

It’s not difficult to see why – this Limestone has some fantastic aesthetic qualities while also being durable and hard. This makes it a popular material for floor tiles in residential properties. I recently encountered a wonderful coffee-coloured Jura Limestone tiled floor at a property in Beckwithshaw, a small village of around 400 people near Harrogate. Harrogate is well known as one of Britain’s best-known spa towns, and attracts many tourists each year to visit its baths.

Unfortunately, the property owner had accidentally spilt a bottle of bleach over some of the tiles. Exposure to the bleach had caused unsightly white marks to appear on the stone and, upon seeing the floor in person, I noticed that the tiles had, in any case, not been polished correctly. They had, however, been sealed with many coatings of satin sealer which would need to be removed to facilitate the polishing of the floor.

Large Jura Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate

The floor was 150m2 and it would have been quite expensive to strip the whole floor of sealer and start again so I decided the best thing to do would be to spot treat the damaged areas.

Polishing Damaged Jura Limestone Tiles

To remove the stains, I needed to use a system we have developed at Tile Doctor, which is known as burnishing. This is a style of stone polishing that involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads. Each pad in the system has its own level of grit and is applied in sequence from coarse to fine in order to re-hone the finish on the stone.

To start I used two small handheld diamond blocks (the 200 grit and 400 grit) to carefully take off the old sealer in the affected areas. This would not be enough to remove the stains on the stone, so I followed this up with the application of the Tile Doctor burnishing system which consists of four 6-inch pads of different grits fitted to a handheld buffer.

This involved starting with the Coarse 400 grit pad and then moving on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally the Very Fine 3000 grit pad to achieve a refined polished finish.

The process of burnishing removed not only the white marks, but also the very top layer of stone which had suffered from pitting. Pitting is a natural form of corrosion that causes small holes to appear in Limestone, encouraging dirt and general muck to become ingrained.

Finally, the floor was rinsed and then left to dry and buffed a last time using a soft white pad. I don’t think my photographs really show the difference that well however I can tell you the result was far better than the customer had hoped for. I had managed to successfully blend the new polished finish on the affected tiles with the satin sealer which already existed across the rest of the floor.

Large Jura Limestone Floor After Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate Large Jura Limestone Floor After Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Damaged Jura Limestone Tiled Floor in Harrogate

Ceramic Kitchen Floor Tiles and Terracotta Window Sills Restored in Sherburn-in-Elmet

At Tile Doctor, we have completed a wide variety of restoration jobs, from very large floors in hotels and restaurants to smaller floors in kitchens and bathrooms. We also often work on different surface types, including shower cubicles and stone or tiled window sills. I recently visited the small village of Sherburn-in-Elmet in Leeds to complete two small, but very different, jobs for a customer.

The first was the restoration of a Ceramic tiled kitchen floor that was really looking worse for wear. The grout lines had accumulated a lot of dirt over the years and the tiles themselves had been stained by what appeared to be plaster dust.

Ceramic Floor Tiles Before Cleaning in Sherburn in Elmet Kitchen

The second was the restoration of several window sills made from Catalan-style Terracotta. The stone had originally been covered in four to six coats of Yacht Varnish, which had left an unsightly white crusted covering. Naturally, the customer was keen to see the sills restored to their original, natural look.

Catalan Terracotta Window Sill Sherburn in Elmet Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor

After removing the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units, I used a handheld scrapper and a wire brush to manually remove most of the plaster dust. Next, I applied a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline tile and grout cleaner, across the floor.

By scrubbing the Pro-Clean into the tiles and grout I removed all the dirt and staining. As the tiles were fully glazed Ceramic, they did not need to be sealed.

Ceramic Floor Tiles After Cleaning in Sherburn in Elmet Kitchen

Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta Window Sills

The white crusted powder covering the Catalan Terracotta window sills was caused by Yacht Varnish, which would need to be removed before I could properly clean the stone below. I removed it using a combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a heavy-duty stripper, and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles penetrates difficult-to-reach areas. Together they make a powerful stripper/cleaning solution.

This solution was left to work its magic for two hours, before I applied a handheld scrapper and wire brush to remove the white coating. Next, I rinsed the sills with water and then deep cleaned them again with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean.

The window sills were subsequently left to dry off completely overnight. I popped back to the property the next day to seal them with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which intensified the natural shades in the stone and provided a natural-looking matte finish.

Catalan Terracotta Window Sill Sherburn in Elmet After Cleaning

Two quick jobs completed to a high standard and one very satisfied customer.
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor Restoration and Terracotta Window Sill Restoration in Leeds

Botched Yorkstone Tiled Floor Instalation Resolved in Guiseley

In an interesting turn of events, I was recently contacted again by a homeowner from Guiseley, near Leeds, with whom I had been in touch with two years prior. At that time, I had quoted for cleaning and maintenance work to be carried out on a Yorkshire Stone, or ‘Yorkstone’ tiled floor, but the customer had opted to go with a different company. Yorkstone is a variety of Sandstone that it unique to the quarries of Yorkshire.

When the customer called me again, she explained that the previous work – most likely carried out by inexperienced cowboy builders – had been disastrous. The stone evidently had not bene properly cleaned and very little sealer had been used to protect it against wear and tear. The result was a very dirty and dusty floor – and the only solution was to start the restoration process over again, this time with the help of a true professional!

Here’s a photo of what the floor looked like before the restoration:

Yorkshire Stone Floor Guiseley Leeds Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dull and Dirty Yorkstone Tiles

Since the floor had not been cleaned properly to begin with, there were several unsightly paint stains on the stone in addition to general dirt and stains. To remove these, I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a reliable alkaline cleaner, liberally across the floor and left it dwell for a short period. I then used a wire brush to scrub away the muck.

The customer had asked the builder to grout the tiles to reduce the likelihood of trapped dirt and make the floor feel complete. For whatever reason, builder either wouldn’t or couldn’t oblige, so I grouted the whole floor as well, much to the customer’s delight.

Sealing Yorkstone Tiles

Once the floor was fresh and clean, it was left to dry completely so it could subsequently be sealed.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable and aesthetically-pleasing low-sheen finish to really enhance the character of the stone. Four coats of sealer were used in total to ensure maximum protection.

Here’s what the floor looked like after the restoration:

Yorkshire Stone Floor Guiseley Leeds After Cleaning

After cowboy builders had botched the job, the customer was exceptionally happy that the situation had finally been put right. The floor is now in top shape and will be protected against wear and tear for a long time to come.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Yorkstone Tiled Floor in North Yorkshire

Travertine Wet Room with Leakage Problem Restored in Harrogate

Travertine is a distinct and highly aesthetic material which offers unique characteristics and colouring that not many other types of stone can offer. It looks great when used on tiled floors and in this case shower cubicles however like any natural stone it does need maintenance.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

A good example of this point was this Travertine wet room in Harrogate, which comprised of large format Travertine tiles on the floor and Travertine mosaic tiles on the walls. It was in poor condition and to make things worse had been leaking for years. A local plumber had tried to resolve the leak, but to no avail. At this point, the property owner was desperately searching for a solution, and decided to contact me to see what could be done both to restore the appearance of the wet room and fix the leakage.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Wet Room

On first inspection of the wet room, l couldn’t see any obvious problems that might be causing the leak, however the white silicon did look a bit questionable and had already decided that would need replacing. To start I turned my attention to cleaning the whole shower cubicle, including the tile and grout.

I did this by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner, to remove the mould, soap scum and dyes caused by daily exposure to acidic soap and shampoos. These issues can build up exceptionally quickly if care is not taken to regularly rinse down the shower after each use.

During this process, I noticed grout haze had been left on the surface of the tiles following installation and so treated the problem with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of hydrochloric and phosphoric acid in gel form. Being a gel, this product works particularly well on vertical surfaces because it is easier to control.

The next step was to resolve the leakage problem, starting by removing all the old and unattractive white silicon. When l removed the silicon, I could see that it was black with mould at the back. It was clear to me then that water was getting behind it and this was the cause of the leak. Also, this revealed a 2-3mm gap between the wall and the base of the shower. The gap was damp and mould had collected there, so this needed to be scraped out manually and the gap dried with a heat gun. Finally, l filled the gap with grout to seal it and left the wet room to dry overnight.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Wet Room

The next day, I returned to the property and sealed the grout with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. This is a premium, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection and allow moisture vapour transmission. To finish the restoration, I applied fresh, clear silicon around the base.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate After Cleaning

In my opinion, white silicon should never have been used with stone, as clear silicon is far more suitable and more pleasing to the eye. Certainly, my customer agreed – and she was very pleased with the result and no more leak.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Wet Room in North Yorkshire

Paint Spotted Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned in Leeds

Details below of a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor that I deep cleaned and sealed at a house in Leeds. It has previously been covered in carpet which had been removed before I got there.

The tiles were in good physical condition, just looking dull and there were traces of paint spots and glue residue from double sided tape that had held down the carpet. Worse of all there an imprint had bleed into the tiles from under lay that must have been damp. Dampness can be a problem for these old floors which were laid before the invention of damp proof membranes.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Leeds Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Leeds

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Normally I use a series of Tile Doctor chemical products to deep clean Victorian tiles however I felt this would not deal with the imprint. Therefore on this occasion I started with the application of a coarse 200 grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine and lubricated with a little water. The pads can struggle to reach into the edges and corners so to get those clean I used a 200 grit hand held block.

This removed the imprint, paint spots and glue residue and I was then able to lift the ingrained dirt out of the floor by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the floor for a good ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad.

I extracted the soiled cleaning solution using a wet vacuum and then gave the floor a rinse with water, again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible. The result of my cleaning efforts was excellent with 95% of the marks now removed and just a faint imprint left on a few tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

I left the floor to dry overnight and was able to return the next day, checked the moisture levels using a damp meter and then proceeded to seal the floor.

To seal I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a lovely satin finish that really lifted the look of the Victorian floor tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Leeds Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Leeds

Needless to say the customer was delighted with the finish and difference.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in West Yorkshire

Restoring Green Westmorland Slate and Blue Moleanos Limestone Tiles in Ripley

It’s not too common that you find two very different natural stone tiled floors in the same property. However, this is exactly what I discovered on a recent visit to a farmhouse property in Ripley, near Harrogate in North Yorkshire. The owner wanted to restore both their Westmorland Green Slate tiled entranceway and a Blue Moleanos Limestone tiled floor.

Westmorland Green Slate originates from the Lake District in Cumbria – where it has been quarried for many centuries – and is known to be a high quality and popular choice for flooring due to its subtle and pleasant green shades. By contrast, Moleanos Limestone originates from Portugal and is one of more commonly found types of Limestone used in buildings across the world.

But while the two floors were very different, the customer’s objective was the same for both – to restore the appearance of the tiles and return the shine to the stone. Here’s how I did it.

Cleaning and Sealing Westmorland Green Slate Tiles

The first floor I tackled was the Westmorland Green Slate, situated at the entrance to the property. Naturally, given that the tiles are situated in a high traffic area, they were very dirty and required a deep clean.

Westmorland Green Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Ripley

To do this, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is our high alkaline, multi-purpose cleaner, stripper, and degreaser. The product was scrubbed into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy-weight rotary machine to strip away any old sealer and remove the ingrained dirt. One I was satisfied with the condition of the floor it was rinsed with water and a wet vacuum used to remove the now soiled cleaning solution.

Once the floor had been left to dry completely, I was able to give the floor a fresh seal in the form of four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This sealer is specially formulated to provide both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Westmorland Green Slate Floor After Cleaning in Ripley

Cleaning and Sealing Blue Moleanos Limestone Tiles

Whilst waiting for the slate floor to dry I moved on to restore the Blue Moleanos Limestone tiles, which covered a floor area of 20 square metres, but were looking very sad, tired, and lifeless.

Blue Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning in Ripley

To clean polished Limestone tiles, we typically use a process known as burnishing, which involves the direct application of four different diamond encrusted burnishing pads to grind away old sealers, dirt and stains, before polishing the stone to restore lustre.

First, I used a Coarse 400 grit burnishing pad to strip the floor of the old sealer and remove all grease marks and stains. I had to go over the floor with the pad twice to get rid of some particularly stubborn grease spots.

Having done that, I moved on to focus on building back up the polished appearance of the Limestone by applying the Medium 800 grit, Fine 1500 grit, and Very Fine 3000 grit burnishing pads, with a light spray of water to act as a lubricant with each. This achieved a high-quality satin finish, which I ensured will be protected for the long-term by sealing the stone with Tile Doctor Colour Grow – an impregnating and colour enhancing sealant.

Blue Moleanos Limestone Floor After Polishing in Ripley

It took me three full days of work to clean, polish and seal both floors – and the hard work paid off, as the customer was absolutely delighted with their rejuvenated tiles!
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing for Westmorland Green Slate Tiles and Blue Moleanos Limestone Tiles in Ripley, North Yorkshire

Dirty Catalan Terracotta Tiles Restored at a Halifax Farmhouse

Terracotta tiles are made all over the world and not surprisingly are very popular around the Mediterranean which is where these Catalan Terracotta Tiles were imported from.

Catalan Terracotta Before Cleaning Halifax Farmhouse Catalan Terracotta Before Cleaning Halifax Farmhouse

They had been installed in a large former farmhouse outside of Halifax in West Yorkshire about twenty years earlier and had never really been subject to an effective maintenance regime. They were now looking very tired and dirty indeed and well overdue a deep clean and reseal.

Cleaning Spanish Terracotta Tiles

I cleaned the floor using a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water which is an effective alkaline Tile and Grout cleaner that will clean and strip old sealers from tiles when used in a strong dilution such as on this occasion. I left it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process got most of the dirt off but the pad didn’t have good contact with all the tiles as many were convex in shape as Catalan tiles often are. This became apparent after rinsing the soiled cleaning solution off the floor with more water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum.

To make sure all the missed areas were cleaned I applied more Pro-Clean and scrubbed them by hand with a scrubbing brush. I also took the opportunity to clean the grout as well which was a long job as the tiles were only 6 inches square so there was a lot of grout to do.
The little white tile inserts between the Terracotta tiles are called Tacos and they came up particularly well during cleaning.

Catalan Terracotta During Cleaning Halifax Farmhouse

Sealing Spanish Terracotta Tiles

Once the clean had been completed I left the tiles to dry off for two days before returning to seal them. It’s important that the tiles are bone dry before applying a sealer as any moisture can cause unexpected results.

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, our topical sealer which provides a satin finish and really improves the look of Terracotta floor.

Catalan Terracotta After Cleaning Halifax Farmhouse Catalan Terracotta After Cleaning Halifax Farmhouse

My customer was very happy with the finished result and I think you will agree the floor looks so much brighter and healthier.
 
 

Professional Terracotta Tile Maintenance in Yorkshire

100 Year Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored back to Life in Knaresborough

The photographs below are of a Victorian Tiled Hallway at a house in the historic market and spa town of Knaresborough. The tiles were actually over a hundred years old and as you can see in a terrible state. As well as looking dull and unloved they were traces of plaster, oil based paint and even chewing gum.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first job was to tackle the chewing gum with a sharp flat metal scraper taking to keep the blade level with the tile and not to scratch the tile. Once this was done the next task was to remove the paint by treating the affected areas with a product called Remove and Go which basically does what it says on the bottle. I find it works best by allowing it to soak into the affected area for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off with water.

The next step was to give the whole floor a good deep clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean, which deep cleans the tiles without damaging them. Again, you leave the product to soak into the tile before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off and extracting the now soiled solution with a wet vacuum.

After that we gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which removed the plaster and also adds a slight acid tint into the base of tile which helps to eliminate a problem we sometimes get with these old tiles called efflorescence which is where mineral salts rise up through the floor leaving white marks on the surface.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Once cleaned and fully dried a damp test was conducted to confirm the floor was dry before sealing. The customer has requested a satin finish, however we only apply this if there is no immediate damp issues or mineral salts present, if so we use a sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is fully breathable and soaks into the pores of the tile leaving a matt finish. On this occasion, everything was in normal state so we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provided the satin finish the customer wanted.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough

We pretty much through the book at this floor to restore it and I’m sure you will agree the effort was well worth it as the floor now looks brand new.

Last thing to do before leaving the customer was to provide them with some advice on how to clean the floor going forward. On this occasion, I explained that the floor will maintain its appearance as long as the sealer remains intact; now sealers will wear down over time however you can maximise their life by using a PH neutral cleaning product as anything stronger will cause premature erosion. To get them off on the right track I left them with a free 500ml bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which is PH neutral and will not damage the sealer.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in North Yorkshire

Restoring the Colour and Appearance of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Hebden

The colourful and diverse geometric patterns of a Victorian tiled floor can give a property a regal, elegant and timeless feel, making it a popular choice even in the 21st century. However, as time passes without regular care and maintenance, Victorian tiles can quickly lose their colour and appear deadened by the buildup of dirt and dust over several months (and sometimes years).

This property owner in Hebden a very small village in North Yorkshire of less than 300 people, had this common problem. Her Victorian tiled hallway had not been adequately maintained and was now more difficult to keep clean than ever. To add to the problem, most of the tiles along the edges were either broken, cracked, or filled with holes, probably I suspect from the installation of carpet grippers at some point in the past.

Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning Hebden

At this point, the property owner turned to Tile Doctor to see what could be done.

Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning Hebden

Repairing and Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Before beginning a deep clean of the entire length of the hallway, it was first necessary to source and install replacement tiles for those that had been broken and damaged. I also relaid any that were loose.

When finished, I left the tiles to set and returned the next day to start the clean. My choice of cleaner in this situation was Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which was scrubbed into the floor with a special pad fitted to a rotary machine to break down ingrained dirt and stains. Pro Clean does this very effectively on all types of tile, including natural stone and of course Victorian tiles.

The floor was then rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution extracted from the floor using a vet vacuum. Stubborn areas were re-treated with more Pro Clean, and when I was satisfied with the condition of the tiles the floor was given a final but thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The floor was then left to dry completely overnight to ensure all excess moisture had disappeared, leaving it fresh to be sealed. I returned in the morning for a third day of work to seal the Victorian tiles with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which provides a rich satin finish to really add depth to the colours in the tile while protecting it against dirt and stains.

Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning Hebden

The customer was delighted with the restoration and couldn’t quite believe the huge improvement in the appearance of the tiles, especially in regards to the enhancement in the different colours. Another satisfied customer!

Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning Hebden

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in North Yorkshire

Burnishing and Sealing Works Wonders for Limestone Tiles in Harrogate

I was recently at a property in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate, undertaking what I initially thought would be the cleaning and polishing of a Cream Limestone tiled kitchen. However, as I began the cleaning process I quickly discovered that under the dirty grout lines someone had taken a lot of effort to paint with a small brush directly onto the grout using varnish!

Cream limestone floor before cleaning Harrogate Cream limestone floor before cleaning Harrogate

Removing Varnish from Grout

In a normal situation, I would have covered the whole floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go to solve the problem, however compared to, say, adhesive or paint staining, varnish is very difficult to remove. So instead I opted for the long, yet necessary process of cleaning the grout manually with several thin wire brushes. Over the course of two days I managed to remove approximately 90% of the stubborn varnish – and could finally move onto cleaning and polishing the Limestone as originally planned.

Burnishing and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The polish had been lost from the Limestone kitchen tiles over time, so I set about restoring it using a type of polishing known as burnishing. This involves the application of diamond encrusted pads of varying grit to the floor to gradually buff the stone and achieve an aesthetic and durable shine. Burnishing is most commonly used on high-end stone such as Marble, Travertine and, of course, Limestone.

At Tile Doctor, our burnishing system comprises four burnishing pads, ranging from a Coarse grit to a Very Fine grit. After applying the first three pads (Coarse, Medium and Fine), I gave the tiles a further clean with Tile a Doctor Pro Clean, which is our alkaline cleaner, to remove any residue from the burnishing process. I then rinsed the floor with clean water and soaked up the residue with a wet vacuum, before leaving it to dry.

The floor was then polished to a satin finish using the fourth and final Extra Fine burnishing pad. I sealed it using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, an impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum protection against dirt and stains.

Cream limestone floor after cleaning Harrogate Cream limestone floor after cleaning Harrogate

The combination of burnishing and sealing always makes a huge difference to Limestone tiles. Here, the finished result was almost like a new floor! The customer was both amazed and very pleased with the transformation.
 
 

Professional Maintenance of Polished Limestone Tiles in North Yorkshire

Old Yorkstone Tiled Floor Transformed at the Salts Mill

For this job, I had the pleasure of visiting the historic Salts Mill, a former textile mill turned art gallery, shopping centre, and restaurant complex near Bingley, West Yorkshire. It was built in 1853 by the famous manufacturer and philanthropist, Sir Titus Salt, and was at one point the largest industrial building in the world by total floor area.

Salts Mill Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning
As you can imagine, a lot of the rooms at Salts Mill are over a century and a half old. Most of them also contained stone flooring made from Yorkstone – a type of Sandstone unique to Yorkshire, and easily distinguishable due to its rich, natural yellow colouring. Unfortunately, one such floor in the Salts Mill was in quite a bad state. It has completely lost its vibrance – appearing more grey than yellow – and was evidentially in need of a very deep clean and fresh seal.

Salts Mill Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning

Cleaning an Old Yorkstone Floor

I started the Yorkstone tile restoration by soaking the floor in a strong dilution of our reliable alkaline-based tile cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, and scrubbing it in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This quickly removed the initial layers of muck and, in the process, revealed oil-based paint and glue stains all over the floor.

Salts Mill Yorkshire Stone During Cleaning
To break down the oil and paint I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is our heavy duty stripper, remover and degreaser. This quickly ate through the paint and glue, and I followed by giving the floor another thorough clean with Pro Clean. Finally, I rinsed the floor with clean water before leaving it to dry for a full two days due to the amount of chemical cleaning product and water applied.

Sealing an Old Yorkstone Floor

Upon my return to the Salts Mill two days later, I ran some quick damp tests to check for any excess moisture which could’ve prevented me from sealing the floor. Thankfully, the floor was dry and ready to be sealed, but it is always recommended, especially with older floors, to be aware of damp issues as these can be very troublesome.

Salts Mill Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning
My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which provides a robust, stain resistant seal and a durable low sheen finish all in one product. Multiple coats of Seal and Go were applied, bringing the life and character back to these classic tiles.

Salts Mill Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning
 

Professional Restoration of an Old and Dirty Yorkstone in Yorkshire

Spanish Terracotta Tiles Refreshed in Halifax

Terracotta is an interesting type of stone manufactured using a variety of techniques dependant on the country of origin which leads to a number of differences such as Spanish Terracotta being less porous than its Mexican counterpart: the former is semi-hand made and finished in a factory kiln, while the latter is completely handmade. Spanish Terracotta is therefore a lot less than porous and ultimately, of a higher quality.

Spanish Terracotta Hallway Before Cleaning Halifax

But despite the Spanish Terracotta being less porous, and therefore being less prone to ingrained dirt, it still, like any other stone, needs regular maintenance to keep it looking smart. In the tiling trade, we quite often refer to this as a good old fashioned ‘Clean and Seal’ and this is exactly what was requested by this property owner in Halifax, for their Spanish Terracotta tiled floors in the kitchen and adjacent hallway.

Cleaning Spanish Terracotta Tiles

I cleaned both sets of Terracotta tiles using the same process, which involved the application of our reliable alkaline cleaner known as Tile a Doctor Pro Clean, diluted with five parts of warm water. Once the solution had been left to dwell for a short period, it was scrubbed into the tiles to remove all dust, dirt, and general muck. This created a slurry of cleaning residue, which I promptly soaked up using a wet vac. A wet vac machine is an essential tool when it comes to cleaning porous tiles since, unlike a traditional mop and bucket, it sucks the excess trapped dirt out of the clay and thus provides a superior clean.

Following this, I applied a small amount of our heavy duty remover, known as Tile Doctor Remove & Go, to deal with some of the more stubborn stains and paint splashes, before rinsing with clean water and wet vaxing in a similar fashion to before.

Spanish Terracotta Kitchen After Cleaning Halifax

Sealing Spanish Terracotta Tiles

Once the clean had been completed I left the tiles to dry completely. This can take 12 to 24 hours depending on numerous factors including whether a Damp proof Membrane and underfloor heating has been installed which can really help reduce drying times. Letting the tiles dry completely before sealing is paramount as moisture can cloud the sealer and affect its performance.

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, our topical sealer which provides a satin finish and accentuates colour. A new coat of this product is recommended every six months on Terracotta to ensure the continuous protection of the tiles’ soft clay particles.

Spanish Terracotta Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing Halifax

My customer was extremely pleased with her refreshed Terracotta tiles. It goes to show what a big difference a bit of regular maintenance can make. I advised the customer that an everyday cleaner called Tile Doctor pH Neutral cleaner can also be used regularly to keep the tiles looking great without damaging the sealer.

Spanish Terracotta Kitchen After Cleaning and Sealing Halifax

 
 

Professional Terracotta Tile Maintenance in Yorkshire

Old Yorkshire Flagstones Revitalised in Haworth Village

This Yorkshire flagstone floor was about 20m2 in size and was well overdue a deep clean, additionally a lot of the pointing was loose or missing which would need to be resolved. The location of this job was at a house in Haworth village which is situated at the edge of the Pennine moors in West Yorkshire, the area is known as Bronte country after the famous Bronte sisters who lived here in the local parsonage in the 19th century.

Old Yorkshire Flagstones Before Cleaning Haworth

Cleaning Yorkshire Stone

To deep clean the floor the sandstone flagstones were covered in a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell and soak into the stone for 15 minutes before being scrubbed clean using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. The now dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor washed down with water and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied.

The next step was to rake out the loose pointing and re-point with a matching grey flexible wide joint grout. This is the advantage of using a Tile Doctor to work on your tiled floors as were not just a cleaning company.

Sealing Yorkshire Stone

The floor was left to dry overnight and I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a Damp Meter. The flagstones were dry so I then proceeded to seal the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle sheen to natural stone, it also a water based sealer so there’s no smell.

Old Yorkshire Flagstones After Cleaning Haworth

You can see from the photo that as well as protecting the floor the sealer adds to the appearance of the tiles and brings out the natural colours that were not visible earlier.
 
 

Deep Cleaning Yorkshire Flagstone in Yorkshire

Dirty White Limestone Tiles Restored Through Burnishing in Knaresborough

Knaresborough is a historic town in North Yorkshire, popular amongst holiday goers for its numerous attractions. I travelled to the area not to visit the attractions, however, but to visit a customer, whose fantastic white Limestone tiled floor was in need of a deep clean.

White Limestone Floor Before Cleaning in Knaresborough

Limestone is a porous material, meaning that without a sealer dirt can become easily trapped in the pores of the stone, as well as the grout. With this Limestone being naturally white, the dirt was particularly visible, making the tiles look very unsightly. Once deep cleaned the floor would also require a fresh seal to provide long-term protection against muck and stains.

White Limestone Floor Before Cleaning in Knaresborough

Burnishing a Dirty White Limestone Floor

To treat high end, polished stone floors such as Limestone and Marble, we recommend using the process of burnishing. Simply put, burnishing involves the application of diamond encrusted pads of varying grits, which serve to break down dirt and then polish the stone.

Typically, we use a set of four pads in gradual succession; here, I used the first three pads on the first day. Starting with the Coarse grit pad, along with a little water as lubrication, I polished the Limestone, before repeating the process with Medium and Fine pads to refine the polish.

On the same day, I also cleaned the grout using a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (a high alkaline cleaner) and three parts water. On Limestone floors you should take care to avoid even mildly acidic cleaning products as sensitive stones like Limestone and Travertine can be damaged over time. After successfully cleaning the dirt grout lines, I rinsed the floor before using a wet-vac machine to soak up the residue. The floor was then left to fully dry overnight.

Sealing a White Limestone Floor

The next day, I returned to the property to complete the restoration. Before sealing the tiles, I applied the fourth and final of the burnishing pads to achieve a Very Fine polish.

White Limestone Floor After Cleaning in Knaresborough

To seal the tiles, I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, the customer didn’t want to darken the stone in the way that a colour enhancing sealer might. Additionally, the customer required a more natural finish, which this product provides.

Then, I polished the excess sealer off with a white buffing pad and left it to dry for an hour, before polishing a final time with the Very Fine grit burnishing pad. With this method, the floor was perfectly dry and the customer could walk on the tiles as soon as I left.

White Limestone Floor After Cleaning in Knaresborough

Before leaving my very satisfied customer to enjoy their newly restored Limestone floor, I made sure to impart some aftercare advice. I recommend Tile Doctor Stone Soap for the Limestone (and other polished stone) as its helps to retain the sheen whilst also acting as a general cleaning agent.
 
 

Polishing White Limestone Floor Tiles in North Yorkshire

Indian Fossil Stone Floor in Terrible Condition Restored in Skipton

This Indian Fossil Sandstone tiled floor in Skipton was in a terrible state. Indian Sandstone, sometimes known as Indian Sandstone Flags, are an alternative to Yorkshire Sandstone (or ‘Yorkstone’), which is known for being particular hard wearing and high quality.

Indian Fossil Stone floor Before Cleaning in Skipton

Nonetheless, the problems with the floor were not due to the quality of the stone, per say. Rather, the floor’s poor condition was caused by a lack of sealer, allowing the floor – and by extension the entire house – to become very dusty. In addition, the grout lines had been pointed with cement and sand instead of normal grout, which simply made the floor look messy and poorly cared for.

Indian Fossil Stone floor Before Cleaning in Skipton

I was called down to the property to set the situation right by providing a deep clean and fresh seal.

Cleaning an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

I started the job by dealing with the unsightly cement splashes around the grout lines, breaking them down manually using a good old fashioned hammer and chisel.

Nonetheless, my main concern around the grout lines was the grout haze caused by the excess cement. To neutralise the haze I carefully treated the grout lines with a phosphoric acid cleaner known as Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, this product removes mineral deposits such as excess cement leaving the surface looking a lot tidier. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the acid cleaner.

To round off the cleaning process, I mixed a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to four parts clean water, before applying it to the tiles and scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. This helped to remove the ingrained dirt caused by a lack of sealer and clean the area ready to receive a fresh seal.

Sealing an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

I left the property to allow the floor to dry over night. Upon my return the next day, I checked for excess moisture and, once satisfied the floor was dry, I proceeded to seal the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go.

Indian Fossil Stone floor After Cleaning in Skipton

Seal & Go is a water-based topical sealer designed to build up stain resistant protection on the surface of the floor and to allow moisture vapour transmission. It is typically used to seal internal, unsealed porous surfaces, including Sandstone, Quarry and Victorian tiled floors.

Indian Fossil Stone floor After Cleaning in Skipton

Given the awful original condition of this floor, the results achieved over the space of two days were very good. Certainly my customer was very pleased with the transformation. The addition of a robust surface seal will go a long way to ensure the floor doesn’t fall back into such a bad state again.
 
 

Restoring the Appearance of an Indian Fossil Sandstone Flagstone Floor in North Yorkshire

Victorian Design Linoleum Tiles Restored in York

Here’s an interesting job I recently completed at a house near the centre of York, the biggest town in North Yorkshire and famous for its Viking history. My client had initially emailed me some pictures of her tiles which, upon first inspection, looked like Black and Red Victorian tiles. This was also the opinion of my client and her friend, who is a builder.

Linoleum Tiled Floor Before Restoration in York

The floor had previously been covered by carpet, which was fixed down by adhesive. As such, the newly unveiled floor was in a bit of a state, with adhesive markings ruining the appearance of the tiles. I agreed a date with my client to give the tiles a closer inspection.

Restoring Linoleum Vinyl flooring

Upon my arrival at the house, I discovered that the floor was in fact made up of linoleum, rather than Victorian tiles. This was a surprise to me as Tile Doctor don’t usually get asked to work on Vinyl flooring. Nonetheless, I agreed to restore the floor to the best of my abilities.

To clean the floor, I started with a blunt chisel (so not to puncture or tear the Lino) and proceeded to scrape off all the glue and plaster from the floor. Had the tiles been unpolished natural stone I would’ve used a product such as Tile Doctor Remove & Go to break down the adhesive markings.

The next step was to restore the appearance of the floor using a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Grout Clean-up. The latter product contains phosphoric acid to break down any remaining cement, while the former is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner.

Linoleum Tiled Floor During Restoration in York

Finally, the floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water to remove any trace of chemical and then sealed with a Linoleum sealer.

Despite not coming across this type of floor often, I am very pleased with the results I was able to achieve. Needless to say, my client was also very happy with what is essentially a fantastic new feature for her house.

Linoleum Tiled Floor After Restoration in York

 
 

Restoring Linoleum Vinyl Flooring in Yorkshire

Grout Haze on Expensive Tumbled Limestone Tiles in Shipley

Details below of a recently laid Ca Pietra Hazlebury Tumbled Limestone tiled floor that retails at £180m2 and should have been stunning however the fitter had ruined it and left it covered in grout haze. The owner of the house in Shipley was unable to get the problem resolved and asked us to take a look.

Ca Pietra Hazlebury Tumbled Limestone in shipley covered in Grout Haze

Removing Grout Haze from Tumbled Limestone Tiles

To restore the appearance of the stone it was necessary to wash the surface in an acid based product called Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is diluted with water and left to dwell on the surface for 1 to 2 minutes before being scrubbed in. Limestone is especially sensitive to acids so you really do have to work fast and wash it off as soon as it’s done its job followed by a thorough rinse with fresh water.

Once the floor was free of the grout it was given a thorough clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner and sealer remover. This was worked into the floor using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and the resultant soiled solution removed with a wet vacuum. After this the floor was given another thorough rinse and then left for two days so it could dry out.

Polishing and Sealing Tumbled Limestone Tiles

With the grout haze removed we were able to bring back the polish on the Limestone using a very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad attached to a rotary machine.

Ca Pietra Hazlebury Tumbled Limestone in shipley After Polishing

The tiles were then sealed using coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone filling them so dirt can’t penetrate below the surface but without changing the appearance of the stone. It’s highly recommended for Polished Limestone and will provide on-going stain protection.

Ca Pietra Hazlebury Tumbled Limestone in shipley After Polishing

The resulting transformation was remarkable and as you can image the customer was highly delighted.
 
 

Tumbled Limestone Floor Problems Resolved in North West Yorkshire

Yorkshire Flagstones Cleaned and Sealed in Hebden Bridge

The photographs below are of an 18m2 Yorkshire Stone floor in the kitchen of a barn conversion in the village of Hebden Bridge. The flagstones which appeared to be various shades of dark grey had lost any colour and vitality they once had, in fact they only seemed to come alive when wet and once dry the natural features and colours of the Yorkshire stone faded away. This was caused by the sealer being worn away allowing dirt to become ingrained in the stone making it difficult to properly clean.

Yorkshire Stone Hebden Bridge During Cleaning

Cleaning Yorkshire Stone

To restore the natural appearance the floor was soaked in a 1:2 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then scrubbed clean using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. Pro-Clean is an industrial strength alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout; for best results you should let the Pro-Clean dwell on the floor for around ten to fifteen minutes before working it in. The soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor washed down with water and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied that the flagstone and grout was as clean as I could get it.

Sealing Yorkshire Stone

The floor was left to dry overnight and I returned the nexst day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a Damp Meter. The flagstones were dry so I then proceeded to seal the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle sheen to natural stone, it also a water based sealer so there’s no smell.

Yorkshire Stone Hebden Bridge After Cleaning

The look of the Yorkshire flagstones was restored and the owner of the house left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Very professional service. Very happy with the results, Ms. E. Parkin
 
 

Cleaning Yorkshire Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Hebden Bridge

Limestone Flagstone Floor Cleaned and Polished in Austwick

These rather dirty but beautiful classic Minster Limestone flagstones had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in the village of Austwick. They were now overdue for a deep clean and polish and so we were asked to do to the work.

York Minster Limestone Before Cleaning Harrogate York Minster Limestone Stairs Before Cleaning Harrogate

Stripping and Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

To restore the surface of polished stone we use a set of diamond encrusted pads however before starting we gave the floor tiles a general clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mainly to clean-up the grout and secondly to remove any loose surface grit. This was rinsed away and removed with a wet vacuum before starting the burnishing process using a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad and a little water. The coarse pad strips off dirt and old sealers from the tile and the resulting slurry is then removed using a wet vacuum.

The burnishing pads come in a set of four so once we were done with the coarse pad we moved on to the Medium and then Fine pads again with a little water until the floor was polished. To bring up the polish on the Limestone tiles the last “Very Fine” pad was fitted to the rotary machine and run over the floor to buff it to a nice shine.

York Minster Limestone During Cleaning Harrogate York Minster Limestone During Cleaning Harrogate

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry we set about sealing it using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone filling them so dirt can’t penetrate below the surface. As well as offering excellent protection Ultra Seal doesn’t enhance the stone the stone in anyway giving it a natural look. Once sealing was complete and dry the Limestone tiles were given a final buff with a soft white pad.

York Minster Limestone After Cleaning Harrogate York Minster Limestone After Cleaning Harrogate

I think you will agree that the Limestone tiles now look much better and now that’s it’s been sealed cleaning the floor should be so much easier.
 
 

Minster Limestone Flags Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Yorkshire

100 Year Old Victorian Tiled Floor Restored in Skipton

This one hundred year old floor needed some serious cleaning; these Orange and Black Victorian tiles installed in the hallway of a period house in Skipton, North Yorkshire had paint, glue and around twenty years of ingrained dirt on them due to previously being covered in carpet.

Victorian Tiles Skipton Before Cleaning Victorian Tiles Skipton Before Cleaning

Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles

To restore the tile surface we used a process we call the Blanket method which involves covering the floor in a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove & Go and Nano Tech Ultra Clean. The whole floor was covered very liberally with the chemical mixture and then sheeted over with polythene and sealed all the way round with water proof tape. There must be a perfect seal so no chemicals can dry out by oxidation and is left over night to soak into the tile.

The next day the polythene was removed in sections and the chemicals were first cleaned off with rags and then rinsed of many times with warm water. The whole floor was then scrubbed with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 1 to 4 parts warm water to remove all the residue of the chemicals and any dirt. Pro-Clean is an industrial strength cleaning product that is safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

The next day I returned and checked the floor for dampness using a Damp Meter which indicated the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Three coats of sealant was used and for Victorian Floor tiles I recommend Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a low sheen finish whilst offering great stain protection.

Victorian Tiles Skipton After Cleaning Victorian Tiles Skipton After Cleaning

The 100 year old floor now looks almost as new and I think you will agree it has been transformed.
 
 

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor in Skipton

Quarry Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Great Ouseburn

This Quarry tiled floor was in the hallway of a residence in Great Ouseburn near York, the tiles were in a dreadful state with plaster, carpet glue and what appeared to be one hundred years of dirt. Were often being asked to restore old tiled floors that have been hidden under carpet since the 1970 when taste’s changes and this one seemed no different.

Quarry Tiles In Great Ouseburn Before Cleaning Quarry Tiles In Great Ouseburn Before Cleaning

Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles

To tackle the glue the floor was covered with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to dwell on the floor for an hour to soften before being scrapped off with a paint scrapper. I should mention Remove and Go is a powerful coatings remover which is safe to use on tile and stone. Once happy with that all traces of the glue had been removed the floor was washed down with clean water and the solution was removed using a wet vacuum.

The plaster was then attacked with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an Acid based product that we normally use for removing grout smears from tiles however it works just as well with plaster and can also remove mineral deposits and rust stains. You have to be quick with an acid on tile though as prolonged exposure can damage the tile, once done the tiles were washed down again.

The next step was to scrub the whole floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and a strong one to one dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to ensure we have removed all the dirt and grime for the tile, again once done the floor was rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile before sealing. The wet vacuum was used again to remove the soiled cleaning solution and reduce the drying time of the floor.

Sealing Hallway Quarry Tiles

We returned the next day to seal the floor which we did using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide protection going forward and also leaves a beautiful satin finish on the surface of the tile. The customers were very surprised and happy with the results, it’s a great bonus when you exceed a customer’s expectations.

Quarry Tiles In Great Ouseburn After Cleaning Quarry Tiles In Great Ouseburn After Cleaning

 
 

Old Quarry Tiles Restored in Great Ouseburn near York