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

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

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

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

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