Floor Tiles

Greasy Slate Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Harrogate

This Slate floor was laid twelve years ago in the kitchen of a property in the spa town of Harrogate. It had never been cleaned professionally since installation and by now it was really in need of a good clean. I went to the property to do a site visit; some areas were sticky to walk on and thick with grease particularly around the cooker area!

Multi-Coloured Chinese Slate Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

I conducted a test clean on an inconspicuous patch of floor to demonstrate to the client what could be achieved. The test went well and they were very happy to be reminded what the floor should actually look like. I supplied my quote, and they were happy to go ahead, I booked in a time to carry out the work, which would take a couple of days.

Cleaning a Multi-Coloured Chinese Slate Kitchen Floor

Initially l used a scraper to remove the worst of the grease and then a wire brush. Next, I spot cleaned the badly stained Grout with neat Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, scrubbing it in by hand, rinsing with water and extracting afterwards with a wet vacuum. Some areas were so dirty they needed redoing to really get them clean.

Multi-Coloured Chinese Slate Floor During Cleaning Harrogate

The whole floor was then thoroughly cleaned with more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted one part cleaner to two parts water and scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. I had to do most of the floor twice to achieve a good result.

I then cleaned all the grout by hand with a scrubbing brush and gave the floor a good rinse with water and extracted all the soils with the wet vacuum. The difference even at this stage was remarkable.

Multi-Coloured Chinese Slate Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

Sealing a Multi-Coloured Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I returned the next day to apply the sealer. Before sealing though I like to check the floor is dry with a moisture meter, sealing a damp floor can lead to a patchy finish.

Four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied to the Slate to seal in, you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next so this can take a while. I chose this sealer as it provides both a stain resistant seal along and leaves a durable low-sheen finish. Another reason for using Seal and Go is its water based so doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

Multi-Coloured Chinese Slate Floor After Sealing Harrogate

By the end of day two the floor looked excellent, the multi colours of the slate now shone through and it was a long way from the sticky greasy floor that had greeted us the day before. As you can imagine the client was very happy with the results.

For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile cleaner for maintenance. This tile and grout cleaning product is pH neutral so it won’t degrade the sealer like many harsher cleaning products. Most Supermarket cleaning products are simply too strong for use on sealed surfaces and will prematurely strip the seal off the tiles over time. The sealer protects the stone from dirt becoming ingrained in its pores so once it’s worn off you will find the floor becomes difficult to clean.


Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in North Yorkshire

Old Terrazzo Tiled Bakery Floor Renovated in Addingham Village

The Terrazzo tiled floor at this house in Addingham, which sits between Skipton and Ilkley, had quite some history to it. Apparently, the property was once the village bakery and originally had a traditional Yorkshire stone floor. However, they struggled to keep the flags clean and as one of the bakers was half Italian, they decided to tile over the stone with Italian Terrazzo tiles. All of this happened nearly 100 years ago but was discovered by the new owners who had managed to trace back the history of the 200-year-old building.

Terrazzo Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire
Clearly the Terrazzo had been down for a long time and was very overdue some care and attention. Terrazzo floors are a flooring material which is traditionally made by exposing marble chips on the surface of concrete and then polishing until smooth. They are now, often used in public buildings because the surface is so long-lasting, and it can be refinished repeatedly to bring it back to life.

The client wanted the floor as shiny as possible however the floor was quite pitted due to heavy foot traffic, so it was clearly going to be a challenge. Having worked with all sorts of stone floors I was optimistic I could restore this one to a good standard and quoted for the work which would take two days. The quote was accepted, and we agreed a suitable time to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Terrazzo Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin I taped up the skirting and plinths in the kitchen to protect them from splashing. Next, I gave the floor an initial clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, which strips and degreases. We dilute it to varying strengths depending on the job requirements. It is a very effective Tile and Grout cleaner and is particularly good for areas that have been neglected or subjected to heavy use.

This was ideal for this floor and the Pro-Clean was left to dwell for a short while before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The process was repeated on the stubborn areas, but it lifted all the ingrained dirt, the floor was rinsed with water, and the soiled solution removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was then left overnight to dry.

Polishing a Terrazzo Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the next day, I set about improving the appearance of the Terrazzo tiles using a coarse 400-grit burnishing pad, again fitted to the rotary machine. Water is used to lubricate the process and the pad is run over each tile at least three times. Tile Doctor Burnishing pads are made from tiny industrial diamonds and lightly cut into the surface of the tile to remove pitting and scratches. The water quickly turns into a grey slurry that is rinsed off with water and extracted from the floor as before.

Terrazzo Tiled Floor During Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire Terrazzo Tiled Floor During Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire

Once done the process was repeated with other finer grit burnishing pads which further refine the surface of the stone to give it a light polished appearance. The Terrazzo tiles benefited greatly from the polishing and I was pleased to see the pitting was gone and the tile was once again smooth.

Sealing Terrazzo Floor Tiles

The polishing process leaves the floor dry, so it wasn’t long before I was able to move onto the sealing the floor in order to protect it from ingrained dirt and staining. My initial thought was to use Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal for this however this product although ideal for Kitchens is almost invisible and the owner had specified a shine, so I opted for Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

Terrazzo Tiled Floor After Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire Terrazzo Tiled Floor After Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire

I applied the sealer to a small area first to see how it might look and to ensure the Terrazzo would take it without any issues. The tile took the sealer no problem and so three coats were applied, leaving them to dry before applying the next. The floor now had the shiny finish the client had requested.

I was very pleased with the outcome as was the client.

Terrazzo Tiled Floor After Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire

Professional Restoration of a Terrazzo Tiled Kitchen Floor in West Yorkshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in York

This client had just moved into a property in York and having pulled back the old carpet revealed a lovely old period Victorian tiled floor she didn’t know existed when she bought the house!

I went over at the beginning of this year to survey the floor and could see that fortunately, no glue or carpet grips had been used to secure the carpet; additionally the floor was in good physical condition considering its age with no cracks or loose tiles. The tiles were however very dusty and dirty with ingrained dirt and so had probably been covered with carpet for a very long time. The hallway was quite dark I’m afraid with little natural light so apologies for the photographs.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning York

With old houses like this you never know what you are going to find so whilst I was there surveying the floor, I took some moisture readings with a damp meter on the floors and walls. The readings came back low so no sign of damp which was a relief to the owner.
We agreed a price for the work, and I arranged to come back the following week.

I must admit I do like York, its steeped in history and famous for its Cathedral and Viking museum. The houses in the city have loads of character and period features like this floor are quite common.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in York

I deep cleaned the floor with a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Initially the solution was left to soak into the tile before being agitated by the machine. The soil was then rinsed off with minimal water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

I followed this up with an Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel to further clean up the tiles and help inhibit any potential efflorescent salt issues which are common in floors of this age due to the absence of the damp proof membrane. The floor was given a further rinse and extraction and allowed to dry out fully overnight. I needed the floor to be dry for the next day so it could be sealed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day and started by taking more damp readings which showed similar readings to the day before. Given the low readings I was able to move straight onto sealing which was done using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This product works really well on old Victorian Tiles like these and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Once the final coat of sealer had dried there was a significant improvement in the appearance of the floor which was much appreciated by client who was very happy with the end result.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning York

For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to maintain the floor, it has a nice fresh smell and can be used regularly due to its pH neutral nature which won’t prematurely erode the sealer like stronger bleach based cleaners.


Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Yorkshire

Removing Paint Spots from Black and Red Quarry Tiles in Knaresborough

This is an original Chequered Black and Red Quarry Tiled floor at a house in the historic town of Knaresborough. The town expanded rapidly during Victorian times and this floor dates to when the house was built over 100 years ago. The properties in the road are all a similar style and age so it’s likely that there are others with original Quarry tiled floors too.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knaresbrorough

Before contacting us, the customer had already spent a week trying to clean the floor and was not happy with the result. He emailed over some pictures to highlight the problems which mainly related to paint splashing from decorating. I reviewed the pictures and subsequently made a site visit to survey the floor. It was clear that he had managed to make the floor cleaner, but more work was required. Confident l could improve upon his efforts we set a date for my return.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knaresbrorough

Removing Paint Spots from a Quarry Tiled Floor

I spent the first morning carefully scraping off spots of plaster and candle wax that l knew my machine wouldn’t remove. Once that was done, I gave it a good scrub using a black pad fitted to a rotary buffer and using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with three parts water. The resulting slurry was then rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

This was an old floor with no damp proof membrane, and I was concerned white efflorescence salts would appear as the floor dried out. To counter this I gave the floor an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to help neutralise and inhibit any alkaline salts. After scrubbing it into the floor with a deck brush I rinsed the acid off the floor and again extracted the waste using the wet vacuum. I took some damp meter readings at that point and found that surprisingly the floor was only showing a 20% moisture reading. I left the floor to dry out fully overnight and would check the damp readings again the next day before sealing.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I had the option of sealing it the next day or the day after, so I decided to leave my damp meter with the customer, so he could take the readings himself and let me know when the floor was dry. He took some more readings four hours later which were lower and after discussing it with me on the phone later that evening I agreed to return the following day. I took some more readings the next morning and most of the floor was reading less than 10% which was an improvement but not as good as I had hoped for. I decided to spend some time speed drying the tiles with a heat gun to be sure.

Once I was happy, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the colour and protect the tiles from staining. This gave the floors a lovely sheen and the deep colour looked great. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. This sealer is also fully breathable which means it will allow moisture to rise through the floor which is important on these old floors with no DPM.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knaresborough

The full renovation process dealt with all the issues my customer has raised and the new sealer gave the floor a very consistent appearance. I’m happy to confirm that my customer was pleased with results and is now content that his floor is in the best condition it could be considering its age.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knaresborough


Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor in North West Yorkshire

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