Restoring a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Leeds

I was contacted by the owner of this property in Leeds about renovating their old Flagstone floor. The couple who owned the house both worked long hours so after discussing the floor at length over the phone and after reviewing several photographs they emailed me to ask me to go ahead and start work. I normally prefer to do a site visit beforehand so I can provide an accurate quote, clearly however this wasn’t going to possible in this case.

Flagstone Floor Before Grouting Cleaning Leeds

The owner had arranged for his father in law to let me into the property so I could start work. I was aware from the phone calls we had that there was an issue with the pointing, and I was prepared for this, but it was worse than I had anticipated with most of the grout missing or loose.

Interestingly the stone was quite yellow and so probably came from the Salts Mill area near Leeds. Sir Titus Salt was a 19th century industrialist and philanthropist built a large textile mill out of the stone. The mill is now a centre for art, dining and shopping and well worth a visit if your passing.

Cleaning and restoring a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I decided to deal with the floor cleaning first and began by scrubbing the flagstones with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean using a rotary floor machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The soil was then extracted using a wet vacuum and flagstones re-inspected. The remaining stubborn stains were spot treated using a repeat of the previous process until I was happy they were as clean as they could be.

As the floor dried I took out all the loose pointing and re grouted the whole floor with a mid grey grout which matched the old flagstones quite well. The floor was now looking vastly improved. The floor was then left to dry fully overnight to ensure the seal could be applied.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following morning and tested the floor with the moisture meter, I was satisfied the floor was within the accepted parameters and we could now apply the sealant. I selected to use a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one. This product enhances the colour but leaves a matt finish. It will form a durable protective seal to the floor which will ensure the floor is easier to maintain.

Flagstone Floor After Grouting Cleaning Leeds

I heard from the later that they were over the moon with the result and as part of the conversation we discussed the best way to maintain the floor going forward. Basically, this involves being careful with what you use to clean it as strong products can weaker the sealer. I recommend they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is pH neural and designed for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles.

 

Professional Restoration of a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen in North West Yorkshire

Cleaning a period bathroom in Leeds

I recently worked on a 1940s period Art Deco bathroom at a house in Leeds which I was very impressed by. The Ceramic tiling had been expertly laid and you have to admire the craftsmanship of the tiler considering they didn’t have the modern adhesive products and equipment we have today. The owner wanted the tiles given a deep clean, unfortunately on this occasion I forgot to take a picture before starting.

This really was a stunning example of an original bathroom. The ceramic tiles were of a very high quality and must have been designed and made to order to fit the room. The tiles were all original and had no cracks or tiles that were missing. The client had lived in the property for some time and they were keen to ensure the bathroom was maintained properly. I discussed with them that is was relatively easy job to get the tiles cleaned and as there was no grout the job would be straight forward.

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom

To clean the tiles, I decided to use Tile Doctor Duo Clean which is a fast and effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. It cleans up grout and can remove mould and blackspot from grout and silicone. In this instance the tiles had been butt fitted so there was no grout to clean, this was a common practice in the past, but it is rare to see nowadays. I carefully worked the cleaner in with a six-inch white pad fitted to a hand buffer and then rinsed off with slightly soapy warm water. The soil was then extracted using the wet vacuum to keep the mess to a minimum. A tall step ladder was needed to reach the top third of the room as it was 12 feet tall. The high ceilings were a feature in the whole property which was stunning.

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom

Once the tiles were almost dry, I then went over them with a clean white cloth to leave the surface smear free. Now normally I would look to apply a sealer at this point but due to the glazed nature of the ceramic tiles, this wasn’t necessary.

1940 Period Ceramic Tiled Art Deco Bathroom Afer Cleaning Leeds

This wasn’t the most difficult job you will find described on my website but it’s certainly one of my favourites which is why I felt I should share it. The client was very happy with the bathroom and I can completely understand given the height of the walls the decision to call someone in to clean it.

 

Professional Clean of an Art Deco Bathroom in North West Yorkshire

Cleaning and Sealing Riven Slate Floor Tiles in Horsforth

The pictures below are of a Riven Slate floor at a house in in the Leeds suburb of Horsforth which had been laid ten years prior. It’s probably difficult to appreciate from the images but the sealer on this floor was well worn through in the high traffic areas making it patchy in places. Without the protection of the sealer dirt was now ingrained in the pores of the stone leaving it looking dull. Riven slate is always tricky to clean thoroughly due to the rough surface and that combined with the ingrained dirt was making it very difficult to keep clean.

The floor now needed to be stripped of old sealer and then resealed and although I can provide a price for this over the phone my preference is to visit the property and survey the floor. In the case the owner had sent me some photographs via email however they were not too clear and so I felt it would be best if I paid the customer a visit to ensure I could give them an accurate price.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Horsforth Leeds Slate Floor Before Cleaning Horsforth Leeds

The floor was indeed overdue a clean and seal, as suspected dirt was ingrained into the areas where the seal had worn off. The house was home to a very busy family, so the area was subject to the significant traffic. I carried out a test clean on a small area and they were surprised by the results, when you live with a floor for so long you don’t notice the very slow decline in its appearance. They agreed to my quote and we arranged a time to return and carry the deep clean out.

Cleaning a Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

When I arrived, I started off by protecting the skirting and surrounding woodwork. Given the rough surface of the floor I first applied Tile Doctor Wax Away which is a very effective coatings remover that is designed for removing wax but works very well in these situations. The product was left to dwell for a round ten minutes so it could get to work breaking down the old sealer and then scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

This process removed most of the dirt and old sealer, but some stubborn patches remained. To treat these, I replaced the black pad with a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad and finally some handheld diamond burnishing blocks for the edges and corners where more intricate work was required, and the circular pads struggle to reach.

I gave the floor a rinse, and extracted the soil with a wet vacuum, the floor was then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned, first the slate floor was checked for moisture using the moisture meter. Once I was happy it was within the correct parameters, I then sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a modern water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish also being water based there’s no smell as it dries.

Slate Floor After Cleaning Horsforth Leeds Slate Floor After Cleaning Horsforth Leeds

The sealer really brought the stone to back to life and the lovely colours in the natural stones were now evident. The patchy appearance of the floor was gone, and the customer was happy.

I discussed with them how they should maintain the floor and advised them to use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is pH neutral cleaner that won’t prematurely erode the new sealer like the stronger products you find in Supermarkets which are only for use on Vinyl and Ceramic floors.

 

Professional Renovation of a Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen in North West Yorkshire

White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Renovated in Leeds

Moleanos Limestone is a very difficult stone to work with due to its’ porous chalky nature and needs to be sealed to prevent dirt accumulating in the stone. Without a sealer in place dirt builds up in the pores leaving it looking dirty and this is exacerbated in the case of White Moleanos Limestone which really shows up the dirt. I mention this as I was asked to visit a property in Leeds which had White Moleanos Limestone installed in the Kitchen and was now suffering this exact problem with the client unable to get it clean. The grout was also quite badly discoloured.

White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Leeds Before Cleaning White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Leeds Before Cleaning

I visited the property to survey the floor and quote for renovating the stone. I ran some tests and could see that as suspected the original sealer had broken down leaving the stone vulnerable. Sealers typically last around three to five years depending on use, but this can be significantly reduced if a strong household cleaning product is used to clean the floor.

Without a seal in place dirt was able to get into the porous stone and once ingrained it can be very difficult to remove without the right products and equipment. I completed a demonstration clean on a small area to show how the floor should look and the result was immediate. Confident I was able to get the floor clean my client booked me in and we agreed a date to complete the work.

Cleaning White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Tiles

To restore the appearance of the stone I used a set of Tile Doctors Burnishing Pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds and are used to hone the stone, remove dirt and restore its appearance. This is a slow steady process and involves working through the different grades of burnishing pads from coarse to very fine. The pads are applied with a small amount of water to lubricate and the soil generated by the process is extracted with a wet vacuum afterwards, to keep the mess to a minimum.

All the grout was cleaned by hand using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is scrubbed into the grout lines by hand with a stiff brush. For best results I leave it to dwell for ten minutes before scrubbing, this allows it more time to break down and lift the dirt from the cementitious grout lines.

After cleaning I left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Moleanos Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following morning, I returned to the property and checked the floor was dry using a moisture meter. This is always worth checking as applying a sealer to a damp floor can result in a patchy appearance.

I had discussed the effects of the different sealers suitable for use on Limestone and the client specified they were after a natural look that wasn’t over shiny. With this in mind I selected Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection and is especially recommended for use in kitchen areas. Ultra-seal doesn’t change the look of the stone which made it a nice match for the client’s needs, it’s also a good grout sealer and will ensure the grout looks cleaner for longer.

Three coats of Ultra-Seal where applied allowing each one to dry before applying the next. With the new sealer in place the stone is protected from ingrained dirt and would prove to be much easier to keep clean in future.

White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Leeds After Cleaning White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Leeds After Cleaning

The client was very pleased with the finished result and before leaving I recommended, they maintain the floor using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is designed for the cleaning of polished stone.

 

Professional Restoration of a Moleanos Limestone Tiled Kitchen in North West Yorkshire

Renovating a Multi Coloured Sandstone Hallway Floor in East Keswick

The pictures below are of a multi coloured sandstone floor installed at a property in East Keswick which is a village approximately halfway between Harrogate and Leeds. (Not to be confused with the more famous Keswick in the Lake District)

Multicoloured Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning East Keswick Multicoloured Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning East Keswick

The stone floor had not been cleaned professionally for ten years and although the grout looked clean It was clear that any sealer that was once present had long since worn off leaving the stone unprotected. The result was dirt had become deeply ingrained in the Sandstone leading causing the stone to darken and hide its true beauty and rich colouring. The client had tried lots of different products to clean the floor but had not had any luck.

I visited the property and carried out a few successful patch tests resulting in the floor becoming much cleaner. They were happy to go ahead with my quote and we arranged a time to return and complete the work.

Deep Cleaning a Multi-Coloured Sandstone Hallway Floor

I prepared the area before starting, taping up the skirting boards and doors to protect them from the splashing that can happen during the intensive cleaning process.

To get the sandstone clean I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor and allowed it to soak in for ten minutes. The solution was then worked into the Sandstone using a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. More Pro-Clean was applied with a hand-held scrubbing brush to get deep into the grout lines and to reach into the corners.

Once done the floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was inspected, and the process repeated until I was satisfied that the stone and grout had released all the trapped dirt. After a final rinse, the wet vacuum was used to get as much moisture out of the stone as possible and then the floor left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Multi Coloured Sandstone Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the following morning, I first checked that the floor was dry using a damp meter. The sealer won’t cure if there is any moisture in the stone and I’ve been known to reschedule sealing a floor if the readings are too high. On this occasion I was satisfied that the floor was within acceptable levels, so I was ready to seal the floor.

I used three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the floor, this is an impregnating sealer which intensifies natural colours whilst providing durable protection against stains, an essential feature in an area such as a hallway which is subject to constant foot traffic.

Multicoloured Sandstone Floor After Cleaning East Keswick Multicoloured Sandstone Floor After Cleaning East Keswick

As you can see from the photos the transformation was quite impressive, the floor became much lighter and almost unrecognisable, the natural colours of the stone were now visible, and the floor looked beautiful. The client was very happy with the end result and has said they would not hesitate to recommend me to others.

 

Professional Restoration of a Multi Coloured Sandstone Tiled Hallway in North West Yorkshire

Removing Grout Haze from a new Terracotta Conservatory floor in Bramhope

I was asked to visit a property in the old Yorkshire village of Bramhope to view a Terracotta conservatory floor. The owners of the property been recently had the floor laid and were unhappy with its appearance. The Terracotta tiles looked faded and washed out and did not have the finish they were expecting; they were also finding it difficult to clean.

I viewed the floor and went through with them what the tiler had done. Apparently, he started ok by giving each tile two coats of linseed oil which is a traditional approach but not something I would recommend these days. He then laid the floor and grouted it and told the customer that it didn’t need further sealing and that a good wash the next day would get rid of the grout and the dull appearance of the floor. Unfortunately, despite the customer washing the floor nothing he could do improved the appearance of the tiles and they remained dull and un-inviting.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning

I was asked my opinion and having come from a tiling background of many years I can tell you his advice was completely wrong. Linseed oil is like a pre-seal so even touching it with greasy or dirty hands will permanently stain the tile so now grout was stuck in the linseed oil ruining the appearance of the terracotta. To clean up the tile and give it the appearance it deserved I would have to remove the grout haze and then seal with a more suitable product. The client was relieved that the floor could be salvaged and was happy to go ahead with my quote.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor

To remove the grout haze, I applied a 400-grit coarse diamond burnishing pad to the floor which was run over the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The acidic nature of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up combined with the abrasive properties of the diamond pad dealt with the unwanted surface grout and helped close the pores of the tile improving its appearance.

After thoroughly rinsing with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum the floor looked immediately better. The floor was inspected, and any problem areas retreated using the same process until I was happy with the floor.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor

I left the floor to dry out for two days and then returned to seal with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for Terracotta and being a water-based product, it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. Seal and Go is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish. It restored the natural colour of the terracotta and gave the floor the lovely sheen that the customer originally wanted.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor After Cleaning

The floor now looks as it should. The client was really pleased with the renovation, the conservatory is now a pleasure to use!

 

Professional Restoration of a Terracotta Tiled Conservatory in North West Yorkshire

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Entrance Hall in Headingley, Leeds

I recently re-visited a Victorian period property in the Leeds suburb of Headingley which had an unusually large tiled entrance hall which we believe to be as old as the property itself. I say re-visited as I actually gave this floor a deep clean and reseal around five years ago; it’s always nice to be asked to return to a job as it shows the customers was very happy with the work. However, with five years of wear and tear the sealer had worn down and the floor was now starting to trap dirt, also it had lost the attractive shine added by the sealer and the owner felt it was time to have it done again. Additionally, the owner had recently had the whole house decorated and wanted the floor to look its best and match the fresh appearance of the property.

Large Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Sealing Headingley

Sealers do wear off with use and so it is inevitable that the tiles will need to be cleaned and sealed again with time. Given it hadn’t had a professional clean and seal for five years the floor wasn’t looking too bad as you can see from the picture, it was just a bit dull in the high traffic areas such as along the centre. I’ve certainly seen a lot worse.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Initially I wasn’t 100% sure on which cleaning method l was going to use on this floor. Originally l thought about using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad to take off a couple of layers of sealer and then re-apply 2 more coats. However, the finish on the floor wasn’t even across the width of the hallway and l felt using that approach wouldn’t resolve that. Additionally, a lot of tiles were pitted and a burnishing pad would struggle to get into the holes. So instead I decided to completely strip the floor and re-seal it which would ensure a uniform finish across the floor.

I used a strong 50:50 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the tiles and scrubbed it in with a black floor pad which removed the old sealer and ingrained dirt. The large floor pads are not very effective in the corners and edges, so I used a 6-inch red buffing pad fitted to a hand buffer for those. The floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. After inspecting the floor some areas were retreated with a repeat of the same process.
After a final rinse and extraction of the soiled water the floor was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day after first checking the floor was dry with a damp meter it was sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a water based sealer that gives a lovely sheen and allows the colours to shine through as well as letting the floor breath, which is important in properties of this age that usually do not have a damp proof membrane.

I was very pleased with the finished result as the pictures show and glad that l had chosen to do a deep clean and not just apply more coats of sealer. The client was over the moon.

Large Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Sealing Headingley

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North Yorkshire

Grout Haze Removed from Textured Porcelain Shower Tiles in Leeds

These pictures show very fine textured porcelain tiles that had been installed in a shower cubicle at a property in Leeds that did not have the grout cleaned off properly. It’s worth knowing that we cover the whole city of Leeds which has one of the most diverse economies in the UK and is known as its second biggest legal and financial centre after London.

On arrival it was clear where the problem lay. Unfortunately, the tiler who had installed the tiles had not been very diligent in removing the excess grout afterwards leaving it to dry on the surface where it had become stuck in the surface of the textured tile. This is a problem commonly referred to as Grout Haze, the tiles are literally smeared in grout and once it has set no amount of household cleaner will remove the residue.

Textured Porcelain Tiles with Grout Haze Leeds

To add to the problem the situation with the grout haze had not been resolved after installation in-fact it had been fitted a few years prior and a build-up of soap scum and stains from the dyes in shampoo products had made the shower cubicle look worse.

Tile Doctors have a solution for every problem and I knew exactly how to remove the grout smearing and revamp the whole shower cubicle. Confident I could get them cleaned up in less than a day we agreed a price and booked the work in to be done.

Textured Porcelain Tiles with Grout Haze Leeds Textured Porcelain Tiles with Grout Haze Leeds

Cleaning Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle

Before tackling the Grout Haze, I needed to clean the tile and grout, so I started with an application of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being a gel sticks well to vertical surfaces such as wall tiles allowing it dwell longer and really breakdown the dirt. I worked on one square metre at a time leaving it to dwell for ten minutes and then scrubbed in with a scouring pad. The area is quite small, so it was easiest to do the work by hand rather than using the rotary hand buffer. The area was then rinsed thoroughly to remove the soil and any remaining product.

Next while the tile was still wet l applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to tackle the grout smears. Grout Clean-up is an acid, so you do need to be careful however it is the only thing that will remove grout once it’s dried, also I wouldn’t recommend using it on natural stone as it can etch the surface however these tiles were Porcelain. The process worked well although some tiles needed to be re-treated to get rid of all the smears.

I rinsed again with water and then dried with a heat gun to make sure no marks or stains came back when completely dry. Happy that the tiles and grout were now as clean as possible, and the area was fully dried out, all that remained was to strip out the old stained silicone sealer and replace with new.

Silicone Sealing a Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle

We do have a product called Duo-Clean that can clean up silicone but my preference in this case was to strip out the old with a sharp knife and replace with new. I find this really adds to the renovation of the cubicle completing the transformation. It also ensures the cubicle is left waterproof and less likely to have a leak develop in the old silicone in future.

Textured Porcelain Tiles after Grout Haze Removed Leeds Textured Porcelain Tiles after Grout Haze Removed Leeds

It is amazing the difference the clean-up made. The client now has the shower cubicle they had hoped for and are happy to use every day, they were very pleased with the results.

Textured Porcelain Tiles after Grout Haze Removed Leeds

 

Professional Shower Cubicle Renovation 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

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

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

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

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

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