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

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