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

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

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