Author name: Chris Allen

Limestone Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed Brighouse

Limestone kitchen floor in Brighouse

This limestone floor in the kitchen at a property in Brighouse was laid over five years ago and since then the sealer had worn off allowing dirt to become ingrained in the stone and grout lines. It now needed to be deep cleaned with attention to the grout lines and then sealed to protect it going forward.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Brighouse

I visited the property to survey the floor and work out a restoration plan that would renovate the stone back to its original condition. The work required was straight forward so it didn’t take long to work out a quotation for the renovation.

Happy with the quote we agreed a date for my return.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen

To deep clean and renovate the Limestone I used a set of 17-inch diamond burnishing pads which included 400, 800, 1500 and 3000 grits. Before I could get to work though the wooden kitchen units had to be protected from the cleaning solutions by applying a thin line of clean silicone sealant between the floor and the base boards. Doing this ensures water doesn’t soak into the wood where it can cause them to warp.

The Kitchen was quite small and the equipment proved to be a challenge to operate in such a confined space. I was using a weighted rotary floor buffer and triple motor wet vacuum, so extra care was needed.

I began the stone floor cleaning with the application of a 400-grit pad fitted to a rotary buffer and ran over each tile four to five times using water for lubrication. The soiling generated from this action was then extracted with a wet vacuum and I turned my attention to the grout lines.

Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Brighouse Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Brighouse

To clean the grout, I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the grout for ten minutes before being scrubbed by hand along joint lines. This was then rinsed off and extracted as before. Switching back to the limestone floor the burnishing work continued with the 800 and 1500 grit pads, applied as before with water for lubrication and rinsing and extracting afterwards.

After the end of the first day the floor looked much cleaner, and it was left overnight to dry out.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen

The next day I continued with the stone burnishing using the last pad in the set which is a very fine 3000-grit pad that adds a nice polish to the limestone. This pad is applied dry with only a small amount of water sprayed onto the tiles. This last pad leaves the floor dry and ready to be sealed.

The floor was then sealed with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which was chosen to keep the floor looking as close to its natural light colour as possible. Ultra-Seal is a virtually invisible sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and works well on limestone.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Renovation Brighouse

The client was very happy with the result and the finish, and the new sealer would ensure dirt remains on the surface of the stone where it can easily be cleaned away with a product such as Tile Doctor Stone Soap. I always recommend this product for cleaning polished stone floors as its formula helps maintain the patina.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Renovation Brighouse

 

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Faded Black Limestone Renovated Horsforth Leeds

Colour Restored to a Newly Installed Black Limestone Patio in Horsforth

I was recently asked to work some Tile Doctor magic on a Black Limestone patio at a property in Horsforth, Leeds. The gentleman had just had the patio and steps paved with Black Limestone in time for the summer, however it had lost its rich dark colour due to the use of the wrong cleaning products and methods. The installer had literally bleached the colour out of the stone as well as etching it. The client had attempted to rectify this himself and made matters worse, so he called us in to see if we could put this right.

Faded Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Horsforth Leeds

This is in fact a common problem with Black Limestone and Slate patios; builders typically use brick acid after laying a patio to remove excess grout or mortar, but this washes out the oils in the stone which give it that desirable Black colour. Also, many types of stone are sensitive to harsh chemicals such as acids and they can etch the stone.

Faded Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Horsforth Leeds

I reassured my client that there was no need to worry and that I would be able to renovate the patio and restore the colour. We agreed a price, which he said he would pass onto the builder, and we arranged a time for the work to be carried out. We selected a couple of options, subject to the weather.

Cleaning and Restoring a Faded Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

Due to the etching the stone surface had experienced, my first job was to renovate the surface using a series of Tile Doctor Milling pads. These are fitted to a rotary buffer machine that has had extra weights added to increase traction. This was tricky on the steps but with a bit of persistence I endeavoured and successfully completed the first stage. The slurry generated by the pads was then rinsed off with water and this was then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Faded Black Limestone Patio During Renovation Horsforth Leeds

Sealing a Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

The patio was then left to dry, luckily, we had picked a good weather window, and the temperature was quite mild for this time of year. Once the moisture readings of the stone had dropped within the correct tolerance, I was able to start the second stage of the restoration which involved applying a sealer.

I chose Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal to seal this stone, applying two coats. This is an oil-based product that restores the beautiful Black colour to the limestone resulting in a nice finish. This product is also rated for external as well as internal use so ideal for this application.

My client was very happy with the result and relieved that we had managed to achieve the finish he had originally hoped for. They were delighted they could now use the new patio to its full potential throughout the summer.

Before leaving I recommended avoiding acidic cleaning products going forward and suggested they make use of our annual maintenance offering, we would then return every spring to get the patio ready for the summer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Black Limestone Tiled Patio in North Yorkshire

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Salt Stained Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Green Hammerton York

Removing Staining from a Terracotta Floor Due to a Leaking Dishwater in Green Hammerton

These photos came from a property in the village of Green Hammerton on the outskirts of York. The terracotta floor tiles were fairly old, we believe around 30 years and had been the victim of a leaking dishwasher which had resulted in staining and efflorescent salt deposits. You can see this next on the tiles next to the kitchen kick boards in the photograph below.

Stained Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Green Hammerton York

The client wanted the staining removed and the tiles restored to their original condition, however they were happy with a large part of the floor and so only wanted the impacted section cleaning. I was happy to do this however, I did raise a concern that the section I would be working on wouldn’t blend in with the rest of the floor.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

I first treated the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go to clean and remove the old sealers. This was applied in the usual way of spraying the affected section with a strong dilution, letting it soak in for ten minutes and then scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resultant slurry was then removed using a wet vacuum.

To cure the efflorescent salt problems the tiles was then treated to an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The gel was applied to the floor and scrubbed in with a deck brush before being rinsed off and extracted as before. Being a gel its is very easy to control allowing the acid to dissolve the alkaline salts in the floor and further cleans the Terracotta to remove old grout stains.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

I let the tiles dry out for a few days, then used a handheld polishing machine to remove any residues and prepare the surface for a fresh sealer. I used a few coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as a base and then a light coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra for the finish to match the rest of the floor. This saved the client the expense of having all the floor stripped, deep cleaned and re-sealed. My client was happy with the result which had solved their problem.

Stained Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Renovation Green Hammerton York

For aftercare cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor in great condition. This is a pH neutral product which means it ill not strip the newly applied sealer like an acidic household cleaner would. It is mild enough to use daily if needed and has a lovely fresh fragrance. It is therefore perfect for a heavy traffic area such as the kitchen.

 

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Indian Slate Floor Renovation Harrogate

Renovating Indian Slate Floor Tile and Grout in a Harrogate Kitchen

A couple of weeks before last Christmas I visited a property in Harrogate to renovate an Indian Slate tiled kitchen floor. The end of the year is always a busy time for Tile Doctors as understandably people want their floors looking at their best in time for the festive season.

The floor was in a poor state and in need of a deep clean and seal to bring back the natural beauty and colours of the stone. The Slate tiles were the small twelve-inch square variety which had resulted in a lot of wide grout lines that were so heavily stained I was unsure if grout cleaning would make a difference.

Indian Slate Floor Before Renovation Harrogate Indian Slate Floor Before Renovation Harrogate

Having worked through the options I came up with a restoration plan that would include the option of colouring the grout if necessary to provide a consistent look. Unlike the grout touch-up pens you find in DIY stores the Tile Doctor grout colourants are very hard wearing and provide an easy to clean barrier over the grout that ensures it keeps its appearance.

Deep Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the cleaning process, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the Slate tile and Grout and left it to soak in for ten to twenty minutes. This dwell time is important as it gives the product time to break down the dirt and any old sealers still present on the floor.

The floor was then scrubbed using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer to get the tiles as clean as possible. The pad can struggle to reach into recess of the grout lines, so I followed this up by scrubbing the grout with a stiff wire brush and more Pro-Clean. The floor was then rinsed with water, and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum.

Indian Slate Floor During Renovation Harrogate

After cleaning all the slate and grout I inspected the floor and repeated the process on any stubborn areas that needed more work. After a final rinse the floor was looking much better already and was left to dry off overnight.

Applying Grout Colourant to a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day the floor had dried, and I inspected the grout which despite all the scrubbing it had received they day before was detracting from the overall look of the floor. Fortunately, I was prepared for this and set about applying a Light Grey grout colourant.

Indian Slate Floor During Renovation Harrogate Indian Slate Floor During Renovation Harrogate

The grout colourant is applied using a small brush directly onto the grout line and then any excess is wiped off the adjacent tile before it gets time to set. Its quite easy to do however there was a lot to cover and because of the wide grout line several coats were needed to get a consistent look.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The grout colourant dries quite quickly that afternoon I was able to move onto the last stage of applying a sealer to the stone. For this I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer (so no smell) that brings out the colour in the stone and leaves a lovely subtle satin finish.

Indian Slate Floor After Renovation Harrogate

After two days the floor was transformed, and all completed in time for Christmas guests. I think you will agree how much better it looks and with the new sealer it will be much easier for them to clean and maintain in the future. Certainly, my client was very pleased with the finished floor and took time to leave a glowing 5-star review which I’ve copied below.

Chris was very polite turned up early each day and did a very thorough job. He kept us informed what he was doing throughout and I would have no hesitation in recommending him to others.

For aftercare cleaning I recommended they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which has been especially developed for cleaning sealed floors. It has a pH neutral formula that won’t impact the sealer, this is an important feature as many of the products you find in supermarkets are simply too strong for use on sealed floors.

Indian Slate Floor After Renovation Harrogate Indian Slate Floor After Renovation Harrogate

 

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Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Renovation York

Carpet Covered Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovated in York

The photos below are of a Victorian tiled floor at a property in York, which was found under the hallway carpet and underlay. The carpet had been secured with glue which had left a lot of stains on the tile as well as the usual marks and plaster left on the surface from building works. The carpet had done a good job of protecting the tiles, but I could see there was a lot of ingrained dirt in the tile itself which would need removing.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Cleaning

The owners were keen to have the floor restored however It was a busy household and with the hallway being in constant use the work would have to be done in sections to allow for access and completed quickly to minimise impact. I worked out a quote which was accepted, and a date set for the work to be done.

Cleaning Victorian Tiles Tiles

To soften the plaster staining and breakdown the ingrained dirt I sprayed the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Remove and Go and left it to soak into the section of tiles. This is a strong combination of products which combine to produce an effect tile and grout cleaner and coatings remover which will not only clean the tile but also strip off what was left of the original sealer as well as any contaminates.

After ten minutes the solution was scrubbed into the tiles using a coarse 100-grit diamond burnishing pad. The pad scrubs away at the tile and opens the pores in the tile allowing the dirt to be flushed out. The cleaning solution soon turns black with the dirt which is then removed using a powerful industrial wet vacuum. This process was then repeated using a 200-grit pad which further cleans the Victorian tiles and improves their appearance and removed years of dirt and stains.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile During Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tile During Cleaning

The floor was then treated to an acid rinse using a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up worked in with a Black scrubbing pad. This treatment further cleans the tiles and will counter any efflorescent salts which can build up in an old floor like this that doesn’t have a damp-proof membrane installed. These old floors need to breathe so moisture can rise through the tile and evaporate at the surface however carpet and underlay prevents this so efflorescence is always a concern. The acidic nature of the product also neutralises the pH level of the floor following the use of the strong alkaline cleaning products earlier.

After a further rinse the floor was dried with the wet vacuum and then left to dry off fully overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing Victorian Tiles Tiles

Upon my return to the property, I took several moisture readings from the tiles which confirmed they had dried and were ready to be sealed. Sealing protects the tiles from ingrained dirt ensuring that dirt remains on the surface where it can be easily removed.
The sealer chosen for this floor was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which was chosen because its fully breathable thereby allowing moisture to pass through the tile, it also contains a colour enhancer that brings out the red colours in the clay tile.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile During Sealing Victorian Hallway Floor Tile During Sealing

The hallway tiles now looked clean and much brighter, needless to say my customer was very happy with the transformation and by working in sections I was able minimise disruptions.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile After Cleaning Sealing

 

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