Marble Tile Cleaning

Grade 1 Listed Mosaic Tiled Floor Renovated at Ilkley Manor House

Dating back to the 14th century, the Ilkley Manor House is a Grade 1 listed building with an original Italian mosaic floor, laid when the house was re-built 500 years ago. The property is maintained by charitable trust run by local volunteers with the aim of preserving and transforming the building into a community asset and they were keen to preserve the floor.

It was an honour to be asked by the Trust to work on the mosaic floor, I’ve worked on a lot of old building in my time and understand how to go about cleaning and preserving old floors such as this. The floor was about 8m2 and had stood the test of time but was now in need of a sympathetic deep clean and renovation.

I visited site to take a closer look at the floor and decide on the best course of action for cleaning. I knew I had to be very careful with the floor as some pieces were slightly loose, and some were crumbling. I was satisfied that I would be able to improve the floor and I gave them a quote for the works which they were happy to accept. We arranged to carry out the work the following month.

Cleaning a Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

As with all Victorian and Mosaic floors if you take a few out the surrounding tiles can become loose and before you know it 50 tiles need re-laying. As a result, I decided not to use a floor buffer and cleaned the whole floor by hand, I didn’t even use a wet vacuum in case the suction was too strong. This meant the process took a lot longer than usual, but I would rather be on the safe side than risk damaging the floor any further.

Mosaic Tiled Floor During Renovation Ilkley

Working in small sections I applied a combination of Tile Doctor Pro Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak in for ten minutes. Then using a white scouring pad instead of a brush, I carefully scrubbed each tile until it was clean. The difference in the floor was very noticeable as you can see from the before and after pictures.

The mosaic floor needed to be dry before sealing so I arranged to return two day later.

Sealing a Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

On returning the floor looked dry but I tested it with a moisture meter to be sure. I don’t recommend applying sealer to damp floors as it can comprise the effectively and lead to inconsistent results. Once I was satisfied, I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, each coat was allowed to dry before I applied the next one. Colour Grow was an ideal choice for this floor, not only does it enhance the colour in the mosaics its also fully breathable which is important on old floors that don’t have a modern damp proof membrane installed.

Mosaic Tiled Floor After Renovation Ilkley

As you can see from the picture the floor looked great. The sealant had given the floor back its lustre and would now make it easier for them to maintain. For aftercare I suggested they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, it’s a pH neutral product so it will be nice and gentle on the floor and ensure the newly applied seal last a lot longer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Mosaic Tiled Hallway 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

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