Large Grey Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Studham

Brazilian Slate is amongst some of the highest quality available in the world and the grey variant is particularly striking when used for large areas of flooring. I mention this as I recently encountered a fantastic Grey Brazilian Slate tiled floor in what turned out to be one our largest domestic restoration projects to date.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham

The floor, located at a property in the ancient, yet picturesque parish of Studham in South Bedfordshire, covered over 200m2. Unfortunately, it had been installed several years ago with very minimal sealant to keep it protected. This sealant has since worn away and the tiles had suffered as a result. They have become ingrained with dirt, leaving them dull and difficult to clean. Thankfully, we at Tile Doctor are perfectly equipped to resolve these common and highly problematic situations.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham

The owner was also concerned that areas of the hallway portion of the floor were missing grout and asked if this could be resolved as part of our restoration work. As I mentioned before it was a very large installation with slate tiles laid in four bedrooms, a large hallway with stairs, corridor to the kitchen and dining area, the kitchen and dining area itself, the utility room and the main sitting room. In short, it was no small area and I could envisage being there some time!

Fortunately, the customer arranged to have all furniture moved into storage, so we could have a clear area to work on and were able to get straight to work on arrival.

Cleaning a Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor

Due to the size of the job, the cleaning process was carried out over the course of four days by two Tile Doctor technicians on site. Our first course of action was to mix a strong solution of our reliable high-alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was applied and agitated into the tiles and grout using specialised grout brushes and a rotary machine with a 17” black scrubbing pad. This not only cleaned the tiles but also removed any old sealant remaining on the floor.

The resulting slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum. We then applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to all the grout lines, brushing the product in with grout brushes and using the wet vacuum to remove any excess chemicals. Grout Clean-Up is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which removes grout smears from the surface of the tile to ensure there’s nothing that can detract from its natural appearance.

We rinsed and mopped the floor with plain water to neutralise the floor in preparation for sealing and performed a final go over with the wet vacuum. Each area was dried with fans and the cleaning process began again in the next room. This work was repeated in each area as we moved from room to room.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Grouting in Studham

Once the hallway was cleaned, the next course of action was to grout to the areas where it was missing. We did this by matching the colour to the original grout as best as possible. The new grout was then allowed to dry before any excess was removed and a quick clean was performed to avoid any grout haze.

Sealing a Brazilian Slate Tile Floor

Each area was given at least 24 hours to dry before sealing and then sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealant. This sealer works really well on Slate adding robust protection whilst achieving a light sheen finish which gave the customer the look they were hoping to achieve.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Sealing in Studham

The Grey Brazilian Slate floor was given a new lease of life and no longer looked dull, as can be seen in the photographs below. Additionally, the customer was delighted with the results and left us the following positive feedback:

“Excellent service. Very friendly and very professional. I would certainly recommend.”

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham

As I mentioned at the start of this post it was a very large floor and as you can imagine it took some time to complete but was well worth the effort.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham

 
 

Professional Renovation of a Grey Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor in Bedfordshire

Badly Stained and Pitted Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Renovated in Clophill

Travertine floor tiles are very appealing but without the protection of a sealer they will soon suffer, fortunately this can be remedied as demonstrated in these pictures of a Tumbled Travertine floor at a house in the Village of Clophill in the Flit River Valley South of Bedford.

This customer had called me out as her ten year old floor was looking very sorry for itself and she was concerned that a lot of holes were appearing which was making cleaning of the floor difficult as dirt was getting trapped in the holes. I went over and carried out a test clean on two separate tiles in the kitchen and the customer was amazed at how clean they came up and especially the grout. An appointment was made for the next month and work commenced.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Clophill Village

Cleaning a stained Tumbled Travertine tiled floor

The first thing we do is to protect the lovely Oak kitchen units by removing plinths, covering base units and appliances with a protective film. We then commenced work by burnishing the stone with a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads are applied individually to each tile in sequence starting with a coarse pad and finishing with the fine pad which brings up the polish. A little waster is used to lubricate the process along the way and the floor is rinsed in-between each pad with the resulting residue extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. The process takes quite some time but the results are well worth the effort.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Clophill Village Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Clophill Village

Once this was done our attention was turned to the grout which being recessed is difficult to reach by with pads. So for the grout a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is applied to the grout lines and scrubbed in with stiff brushes by hand.

The floor was rinsed again and fans were used to assist drying before filling the holes with the same filler the customer had used previously to match the colour of the stone as much as possible.

Sealing a Travertine tiled floor

When we returned the next day the floor had dried and we were able to give the floor a final polish with a very fine burnishing pad. The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which provides excellent protection without changing the colour of the stone to provide a natural look.

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Clophill Village

My customer was delighted with the results and kindly left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor Feedback system.

“We had several rooms of very dirty travertine tiles that were deep cleaned, filled and re sealed. The floor now looks amazing. Fantastic job by a professional and friendly team.”

Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Clophill Village Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Clophill Village

 
 

Stained and Pitted Travertine Kitchen Floor Restoration in Bedfordshire

Ruined Marble Shower Tiles Restored in Sharnbrook

I was contacted by the owner of a cleaning company in Milton Keynes, after an end of tenancy clean at a house in Sharnbrook went wrong. Unfortunately a member of their staff had incorrectly applied an acid based cleaning product to the Marble shower tiles which like most natural stone is acid sensitive. The cleaning product had etched the stone causing the damage you can see below. Being a reputable company they were determined to put the situation right and we were asked to step in.

Marble Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning in Sharnbrook

We have had a few issues of this type before where customers keen to remove unsightly Limescale marks from their stone tiles use a household cleaner without reading the bottle label first to see if it’s safe to use. Issues of this nature on Marble cannot be easily resolved with chemical products; it takes specialist knowledge and equipment.

Marble Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning in Sharnbrook

The quote was given and accepted and the work was booked in with the letting company for a few weeks later.

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Shower Cubicle

The first photos show the extent of the damage which had not only damaged the immediate area but as the cleaning product was in liquid form it had ran down the wall had totally ruined the surface of the tiles in the lower half of the shower.

The first thing I did was to protect the shower tray with towels and then began assembling the equipment needed for this job which consisted of a wet polisher, a variable speed polisher, one set of 6” Tile Doctor burnishing pads from 100 grit to 3,000 grit and one full set of diamond blocks from 80 grit upwards.

I then went about testing how far down the scale I would have to go to get the best results. I found that in most areas the application of a 200 grit burnishing pad was adequate to resurface the tile and remove damage but in some areas I had to go down the scale as low as 80 grit to achieve the desired result.

Marble Shower Cubicle During Cleaning in Sharnbrook

One the damage had been removed the higher grit pads are used in sequence to restore the polish finishing with the 3,000 grit pad. No chemicals are used in this process, just water and the small six inch diamond encrusted burnishing pads which fit to a hand buffer.

Although only a small area, no more than 4 m2 this job took most of the day. However, as the whole shower room was tiled in the same tiles it was a much more cost effective to restore the damaged tiles than replace them.

Marble Shower Cubicle After Cleaning in Sharnbrook

We were able to achieve an excellent result which the client was very happy with, no doubt saving the cleaning company thousands of pounds in replacement costs.

Marble Shower Cubicle After Cleaning in Sharnbrook

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Damaged Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle in Bedfordshire

Restoring the Spoiled Appearance of a Sandstone Tiled Patio in Bedford

This is the ideal time of year for property owners to not only think about restoring their internal natural stone floor tiles, but also their external tiles. With it being Summer, the weather is warm and dry enough for patio restorations to take place.

The photographs below show a recent restoration of a two-year old Sandstone tiled patio at a property on a new build development in Bedford, the country town of Bedfordshire. Sandstone is a naturally porous stone, which does make it more vulnerable to the elements when it is used for outside flooring and is not sealed.

Sandstone Patio Bedford Before Cleaning

Unfortunately, the patio had not been sealed when it was first installed, and during the two years since, the combination of damp weather, a lack of sunlight in shaded areas, and a build-up of green staining from moss spores – together with general dirt and grime – had greatly spoiled the appearance of the beautiful stone.

Sandstone Patio Bedford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Spoiled Sandstone Tiled Patio

My first course of action in carrying out the restoration was to lightly coat the patio with Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is a multi-purpose, alkaline-based cleaner which is suitable for use on most natural stone, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone, Slate, and Travertine.

The product was subsequently agitated with a scrubbing brush fitted to a rotary machine, before I pressure washed the patio at a medium pressure to avoid damaging the stone. As you can see from the photos below, this cleaning made a great improvement to the condition of the patio – in fact, it appeared almost new again! The customer was very pleased with the outcome.

Sandstone Patio Bedford After Cleaning

The customer decided not to have the patio sealed, as he preferred the natural look and would prefer to have it cleaned on a yearly basis. Sealing is less important for external tiles, as compared to internal tiles, however if you do decide not to seal your patio, it’s highly recommended that you establish a routine maintenance plan for the stone. Otherwise, you run the risk – after just a few years – of allowing your tiles to end up in a similar condition to this Sandstone tiled patio before it had been restored.

Sandstone Patio Bedford After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Cleaning and Restoration of a Spoiled Sandstone Tiled Patio in Bedford

Ceramic Tiled Bathroom with Mould Issues Refreshed in Bedford

Having mould in your bathroom is never a desirable situation, especially in a family home with young children. Additionally, severe mould can cause a range of health issues, including respiratory problems, nasal congestion, and throat irritation, so it’s important to remove it as soon as possible.

I mention this as I was recently called out to a family home in Bedford recently because the parents were getting worried about the mould developing in the Ceramic tiled bathroom, especially on the lower tiles and silicon around the bath. Naturally, they wanted it to be removed as they didn’t want to expose their children to it, so a quote was issued and the work to restore the tiles was booked in for the following week.

Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Before Cleaning Bedford Town Centre Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Before Cleaning Bedford Town Centre

Cleaning and Sealing a Mouldy Ceramic Tiled Bathroom

Before starting the work, I covered the bathtub with dust sheets and towels to prevent any chemical spillages. Then, to begin, I applied Tile Doctor Mould Away which is specially formulated to removing mould and black spots from grout and silicone. This is quite a potent product, so it is advisable to wear protective gloves and goggles.
I sprayed the Mould Away on the entire area around the bath and shower unit, as well as the pedestal wash hand basin, before scrubbing it in by hand using a stiff brush. I left this to dwell while I started to cut out the old silicon from around the bath, and once this had been done, I rinsed the product off the tiles.

Next, I diluted a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up with water, this product contains concentrated phosphoric acid and is designed to remove grout haze, mineral deposits, and other smears. This solution was sprayed onto the worst-affected areas of the grout to remove any remaining soil deposits. I also gave the tiles a second rinse and, while the grout was drying, I finished cutting out and removing the old silicon.

Following this, I lightly dried all areas with a heat gun and sealed the grout with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is a natural-look, penetrating sealer deigned to provide maximum stain protection. Finally, I installed a fresh mould-resistant silicone sealant between the tile and bath to replace the old, mouldy silicone.

Ceramic Tiled Bathroom After Cleaning Bedford Town Centre Ceramic Tiled Bathroom After Cleaning Bedford Town Centre

Within a short day of work, I had managed to completely transform the appearance of this Ceramic tiled bathroom. The customer was extremely pleased with the result.

Mould problems are extremely common in small bathrooms with inadequate ventilation. Whilst the regular application of Tile Doctor Mould Away will keep the problem in check you can also improve the ventilation by leaving the bathroom door and a window open for a while after use.
 
 

Refreshing a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom with Mould Issues in Bedfordshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned at The Embankment in Bedford

The following photos show a lovely traditional Victorian hallway floor in a period property close to the Great Ouse river in the city of Bedford, a city with a rich history that dates back to medieval times.

The floor was in very good physical condition for its age but was very dirty due to not being sealed for many years allowing a build-up of soil to embed in the surface of the tiles. When this happens, we find general cleaning is no longer effective at thoroughly removing all the dirt and the result is a dull tiled floor that never looks its best.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

To restore the tiles to their former glory the floor would need to be stripped back, deep cleaned and then resealed.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove light dust and debris, this was then followed by applying a Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with warm water. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaning product that is safe to use on all types of tile and stone. The solution was decanted into a spray bottle and then sprayed onto the tiles working in sections of several metres at a time.

The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the tile and grout for about ten minutes before being agitated with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then rinsed off with water and extracted from the floor with a wet vax. The process was then repeated through the entire area.

Once the whole floor was treated in this manner I then switched to a new cleaning process for Victorian tiles that is now being taught at Tile Doctor. The process resurfaces the tile by applying a special diamond impregnated pad fitted to a rotary machine and lubricated with water. The pad is worked over the tiles in sections as before rinsing each section with water after the application of the pad. Once the last section was treated in this manner and rinsed I moved onto the last step in the cleaning process by giving the floor an acid wash which helps neutralise the tile and helps to combat salts rising through the stone.

To do this I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the entire area, leaving it to dwell for a short period before rinsing off with water, extracting again with the wet vax and then leaving the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned the following day to carry out minor repairs to small chips in the tile and also to replace missing and loose grout. This needed to set before I could seal the floor so once complete I left for the day which had the added benefit of allowing the floor to dry for another day. I also left a dehumidifier running on site to assist with the drying process.

On the third day, I returned to seal the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a matt finish impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile protecting it from within. Colour Grow also has other advantages, it enhances the colours in the tile and it’s a breathable sealer which will allow any dampness in the subfloor to evaporate which is important for older floors that have no damp proof course.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

I also left the client a free sample of our cleaning solution Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is recommended for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles. I also left them with written maintenance instructions which will help them to keep their floor looking at it’s best for years to come.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

 
 

Professional Restoration of an Victorian Tiled Hallway in Bedfordshire

New Flagstone Floor with Grout and Adhesive Staining Restored in Moggerhanger

Property renovation can be a busy and chaotic process, especially when some of the work falls short of your expectations. This customer, who lives in the tiny Bedfordshire village of Moggerhanger (pronounced locally as ‘Morhanger’), called me in as he was not happy with the appearance of a newly laid Flagstone tiled floor in the kitchen, dining room and downstairs WC. There was extensive renovation work taking place at the property and the customer had been let down by his tiler, as a result he agreed to allow his builder to lay the Flagstone tiles.

Unfortunately, the installation was not completed properly and the grout haze quickly emerged. What’s more, there was a significant quantity of adhesive staining on the surface of tiles, left over from the decorating which had not been removed. The customer needed help to get the floor looking the way it should and we were more than happy to help.

Cleaning and Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Toilet Floor

The photo below shows the extent of the grout haze present in the WC area. I was able to remove this successfully by using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner designed to penetrate below the surface to remove grout haze, mineral deposits, rust stains and efflorescence.

Flagstone WC Floor Installation Before Cleaning Moggerhanger

This product was scrubbed into the grout using a rotary machine fitted with scrubbing brushes. The soiled cleaning residue was then removed using a wet-vac machine. Any stubborn areas of grout haze were given a second treatment, followed by a washing and rinsing.

The next photo shows this area after an application of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which soaks into the stone to enhance the natural colours and texture. I allowed the area to dry for 24 hours before sealing with Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds a nice sheen to the tile as well as further protection.

Flagstone WC Floor Installation After Cleaning Moggerhanger

Cleaning and Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next pair of photos show the staining of the kitchen tiles including a close-up shot.

Flagstone Kitchen Floor Installation Before Cleaning Moggerhanger Flagstone Kitchen Floor Installation Before Cleaning Moggerhanger Close-Up

I was able to remove the staining using a stiff rotary brush in combination with our reliable alkaline cleaner Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which was followed by an application of Grout Clean-Up to remove any particularly stubborn deposits. The floor was allowed to dry for twenty-four hours before being sealed in a similar way to the bathroom using three coats of Stone Oil and three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. The final photos show the finished floor.

Flagstone Kitchen Floor Installation After Cleaning Moggerhanger Flagstone Kitchen Floor Installation After Cleaning Moggerhanger

Finally, I was asked by the customer if I would help the builder out by assisting with grouting the entire kitchen due to time restraints and because the customer wanted to get the room back into use as soon as possible.

Together we finished grouting the entire area correctly, made much easier by the fact that I had already sealed the floor. New grout was left to dry for a further 24 hours, before I returned to give the floor a light clean and two further coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to ensure the new grout was sealed and adequately protected.

The customer left the following feedback stating how pleased he was with the overall service:

“Philip did a fantastic job getting extensive amounts of adhesive and grout off of our newly laid flagstones. He also re oiled, sealed, helped with grouting and a final clean/seal so when he left the flagstones were completely finished. Prompt service and stayed late to get the job done as soon as possible so we could put our house back together. Would highly recommend.”

Flagstone Floor Installation Issues Resolved in Bedfordshire

Stained and Discoloured Marble Fireplace Rejuvenated in Bedford

As you may know already, Tile Doctor aren’t limited to the maintenance and restoration of tiled floors. Our expertise covers all different types of tile and stone cleaning, meaning we are even able to clean and restore stone fireplaces. A good example of this is a polished Marble fireplace I recently restored in Bedford, which is the county town of one of England’s smallest counties, Bedfordshire. Marble is reputed in the international market for its premium quality, toughness, and durability, making it a great choice for a fireplace – if you can keep it properly maintained!

The following pictures show the state of the fireplace before the restoration. As you can see, the stone was stained and discoloured, possibly from smoke damage as it had previously been used as an open fire. My task was to get the Marble back to looking its best again through a combination of polishing and sealing. Here’s how I did it.

Marble Fireplace Before Cleaning Bedford

Cleaning a Stained and Discoloured Marble Fireplace

The process I took to restore the fireplace is much the same as the one I would for tiled floor polishing except on a smaller scale and with smaller tools. Cleaning a vertical surface can be trickier and make a bit more of a mess with possible splashes, so I fully sheeted up the area, covering the customer’s furniture and newly decorated walls.

It involved the application of six inch diamond encrusted polishing pads of varying grits, fitted to a handheld machine, as well as handheld diamond encrusted blocks to get into all small, difficult to reach areas. Just like with tiled floor polishing, I started with a Coarse grit pad to grind away the tough stains and then worked my way through the system of different grades of pads until finishing with a very fine pad to refine the polished finish.

Marble Fireplace During Cleaning Bedford

Sealing a Marble Fireplace

Once the fireplace had been polished to a high standard, I sealed the stone using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection. It’s perfect for high-end natural stone like Marble, it can also be used on Granite, Slate, Travertine, and Limestone to achieve a high shine finish and protect the stone.
By the time, I had finished it was starting to get dark, so unfortunately the photo below, which shows the result, does not show off the quality of the shine that I was able to achieve on the Marble. Nevertheless, the customer was very happy with the results.

Marble Fireplace After Cleaning Bedford

 
 

Professional Stone Cleaning and Sealing for a Marble Fireplace Restoration in Bedford

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Brought Back to Life in Bedford

This customer from Bedford, the county town of one of England’s smallest counties Bedfordshire, called me out because they have bought a house and, upon lifting the glued down carpet, had discovered a beautiful Victorian tiled floor. They decided to call me in to see if this original feature could be restored to its former glory having already tried household products to remove the glue and clean the tiles with limited success.

We often find customers who discover old tiles under carpet or linoleum struggle with the standard cleaning products available in supermarket which are only designed for everyday cleaning. The products Tile Doctor sells are far stronger; naturally however to achieve the best results it also helps if you have the right equipment, knowledge and experience and that where we come in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bedford

I popped round to take a look at the floor and having tackled quite a few of these restorations before was confident we could restore the floor so a quote was given and the work was booked in for the next week.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove any loose debris. This gave me a better picture of the condition of the floor overall, and so I could assess how best to proceed. I opted for our tried and trusted method of applying a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a very reliable high alkaline cleaner suitable for all types of natural stone and tile. The solution was applied with a pump-up sprayer and left to dwell for 20 minutes to seep into the pores of the tile.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning Bedford

Next, I worked the solution into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and hand brushes. The resulting cleaning slurry was then rinsed off – and I found that this had removed most of the glue and surface dirt. There were a few stubborn deposits of glue remaining, but I was able to remove them by using hand brushes and scrapers in combination with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is as its name suggest can remove most things including old sealers, epoxy grout haze, urethane coatings, synthetic finishes, adhesives and event paint.

Even after this there were still some patches of glue, so I decided to spray the whole floor with Remove and Go and worked it into the stubborn areas with brushes. I left it to dwell for 15 minutes and then rinsed the floor with a wet pick-up extraction machine. This did the job and the floor was left fresh and clean, ready to be sealed once it had dried.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry for several days, which is typically necessary for old tiled floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. The customer wanted the floor to look traditional and therefore requested a matt finish. This was achieved by applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is also breathable thereby allowing any damp to evaporate as gases through the sealer, without affecting the finish.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bedford

As I previously mentioned, floors of this age can sometimes have damp issues, so this sealer is ideal for these older floors. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer, meaning it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt. It also intensifies the colours in the tiles to really bring them to life.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bedford

The customer was shocked and amazed by the great results as she thought nothing could be done to restore such an old floor. Before leaving the property, I gave her some maintenance instructions to help her keep the floor looking its best in the future. Another satisfied customer!

Professional Restoration of an Old Victorian Tiled Floor in Bedfordshire

Colourful Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored to New in Bedford

When you discover an old Victorian tiled floor underneath carpet, the first question that will probably pop into your mind is: can it be restored?

The answer, in the majority of cases, is yes. In fact, Tile Doctor has completed hundreds of Victorian tiled floor restorations. Victorian tiles have a timeless quality about them and are still popular for residential use even in the twenty first century.

What you can usually expect upon lifting your carpet is for the tiles to be covered in carpet adhesives and grippers, as was the case with this particular example of a Victorian Tiles hallway floor at a property in Bedford. Sometimes you might also find paint splashes or other staining left over from decoration work. And, of course, the tiles will be dirty and in much need of a deep clean. These issues spoil the original appearance of the tiles, but with the right methods and products, a complete restoration can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

My first task upon arriving at the proper was to carry out a site survey to address the condition of the tiles, before running a quick test clean on a small area of the floor. The result was good and so I was confident that I could achieve a high-quality restoration for the client.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

A quote was issued and accepted, and the work was booked in at a date that was convenient for the customer.

Returning to the property, my first course of action was to mix a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a powerful alkaline cleaner safe to use on natural stone, with hot water. This cleaning solution was sprayed along all edges of the floor loosen the glue securing the carpet grippers. I then successfully removed the adhesive carefully using handheld tools to avoid damaging any tiles.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

Once this was done, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, scrubbing it into the tiles with a rotary machine. This product is designed to remove heavy soiling, paint splashes and old waxes and sealers. The soiled solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied the floor was clean.

The entire floor was then given a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and extracted using a wet vax machine.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

The floor was allowed to dry for several days before I was able to return to seal the tiles. It’s always important to leave significant time for the floor to dry because any moisture left over can impact the performance of the sealer.

The choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which provides robust protection against dirt and stains, with a light sheen finish. I chose this sealer not only because the customer wanted a light sheen finish, but also because this particular sealer is fully breathable. Dampness can sometimes be an issue with old Victorian and Quarry tiles which were installed before damp proof membranes became standard.

Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford

The transformation achieved within the space of a week was quite incredible and the colours in the tile have really come through.
Another satisfied customer!

Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford

 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Victorian Tiled Floor in Bedfordshire

Dealing with Grout Haze on a New Black Limestone Floor in Wixams

Believe it or not the pictures below show a brand-new installation of black Limestone tiles in the kitchen and dining room of a house in Wixams which is a new town right in the centre of Bedfordshire.

Black limestone floor Wixams before cleaning

The tiles looked terrible and on closer inspection I could see that they were heavily covered with grout haze. The customer thinks the tiler was in a hurry to get the job finished, unfortunately if not washed off immediately and allowed to dry before sealing grout haze can become a real problem.

Black limestone floor Wixams before cleaning

To make matters worse the tiler had sealed over the top of the grout haze hoping to hide his mistake which simply made the problem worse. The property was a new build so the client called in the site foreman to rectify the issue and he was advised to get someone out to assess whether anything could be done.

I inspected the floor and after carrying out a test clean on one tile which the customer was happy with the results and the work was booked in for a couple of weeks’ time

Deep Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

When I returned on site I masked up the kitchen units to protect them and then sprayed on a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to break down the sealant before washing and rinsing aided by a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and a wet vacuum to extract the soiled solution.

Black limestone floor Wixams during cleaning

Once the sealant was removed I was able to tackle the grout haze by applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean up diluted at a ratio of 3:1, I needed a strong solution as the grout smears were quite significant. The solution was allowed to dwell for a few minutes before agitating and adding more water before rinsing. I worked in areas of 3 square metres at a time so as not to leave the product on the floor too long until the whole floor had been treated. After I was happy all the grout haze had been removed the floor was given a final rinse and as much moisture removed from the floor as possible with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

I allowed the tiles to dry off overnight before returning the next day to finish the floor starting with the application of a single coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil to restore the natural black colour into the stone:

Black limestone floor Wixams applying stone oil

One this had dried I proceeded to seal the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant, each coat was polished in by hand leaving an hour for drying between coats, I then waited another hour before giving the whole floor a final polish with a buffing machine to remove any excess sealant.

Black limestone floor Wixams after sealing

The result was quite a transformation and the customer was very happy, I also provided advice on how to clean the floor in the future using Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is a PH neutral cleaner designed for use on sealed stone.
 
 

Limestone Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Bedford

Heavily Soiled Quarry Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Bedford

What causes a tiled floor to become dull and discoloured? Typically, it’s a combination of heavy soil build-up and an ineffective approach to cleaning and maintenance. Such was the case with this heavily soiled Quarry tiled hallway floor in Bedford.

A further problem was that the tiles were very pitted and at some point, in the past they had been filled with grout, additionally, when I took a closer inspection of tiles, I established that there was a wax sealer present on the floor that has bend topped up from time to time – without the tiles being deep cleaned. This has caused an accumulation of soil trapped between multiple layers of wax. The result? Extremely dull and unattractive Quarry tiles that the customer was desperate to get back to looking their best.

Quarry tiles before cleaning Bedford

Cleaning a Very Dull and Dirty Quarry Tiled Hallway

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove any small quantities of grit or loose debris. I then masked up the carpet and radiator to protect them before mixing up a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed with hot water. This was then applied to the surface of the floor in small areas of three square metres each. The high alkaline cleaning product was left to dwell for a short period before I agitated the tiles with a black stripping pad to remove the heavy soil. The resulting cleaning slurry was extracted with a wet vax machine.

This cleaning process was repeated throughout the entire area. Inaccessible places, such as under the radiator and stairs, were manually cleaned using hand brushes. I then dried the floor with a fan for 30 minutes, before mopping on a solution of the acid-based Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to neutralise the Pro Clean and removing the dirt on the grout lines with the hand brushes.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway

The area was allowed to dry completely overnight. I returned the following day and applied two different types of sealer in two separate test areas so the customer could get a better idea of the final effect that would be achieved.

The customer could’ve opted for Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer that provides a high quality, durable low-sheen finish. However, after further discussion, it was decided that the best product would be Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates the tiles and provides a more natural finish, emphasising the colours in the stone.

Quarry tiles after cleaning and sealing Bedford

As you can see from the photos above, a deep clean and fresh seal truly worked wonders for these Quarry tiles. Both myself and the customer were very happy with the outcome of the work.
 
 

Deep Cleaning of Dirty and Dull Quarry Tiled Hallway in Bedfordshire

Brick Driveway Pressure Washed and Sealed in Pertenhall

While most of our work involves the restoration of interior tiles, our equipment is also suitable for exterior stonework, including driveways and patios. Here’s a quick example of a brick driveway I restored recently in the old parish of Pertenhall, famous for its old Norman-age church, near Bedford.

The driveway hadn’t been cleaned in a long time and had a serious problem with overgrown weeds and dirt. Needless to say, the property owner was keen to give it a new lease of life and this is something I would highly recommend if you’re looking to sell your property as improving curb appeal will ensure you make a good first impression.

Driveway before cleaning Pertenhall

Cleaning and Sealing a Brick Tiled Driveway

The restoration would take three visits to the property. On the first visit I tackled the weeds head on by applying a strong weed killer which needed to work its magic over a period of two weeks. When I returned to the property the second time the weeds had died away and the driveway was ready to be pressure washed with my industrial, petrol-powered pressure washer.

I returned to the property for a third and final time a few days later on a sunny day to find that the driveway had completely dried out. To finish the restoration, I applied some fresh kiln-dried sand to the gaps between the bricks and applied Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, a sealer which is approved for outside use.

Driveway after cleaning Pertenhall

The customer was not only happy with the refreshed appearance of the driveway, but also reassured that the weeds would be kept at bay for quite some time. This is because the kiln dried sand and sealant prevents seeds falling between the brick blocks and taking root.

Before leaving I advised the owner to brush and hosed down the driveway monthly as this will ensure its appearance is maintained for much longer.

Brick Driveway Reconditioned in Bedforshire

Very Old Quarry Fireplace Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Bedford

The oldest properties often have the most interesting tiled features and this Quarry Tiled Fireplace was a fine example. The customer lived in a quaint old cottage just outside the main town centre of Bedford and contacted us about restoring their fantastic Quarry tiled fireplace. While the customer knew that the cottage itself was over 200 years old, they had no idea whether or not the fireplace is an original feature.

However, it’s safe to say that the fireplace is very old in its own right, and that it had been a long time since it had experienced any kind of professional maintenance. It goes without saying that as any kind of tiles get older they will need more frequent care to keep them looking at their best. Here, the Quarry tiles desperately needed cleaning up as they were covered in old candle wax and what looked to be several years’ worth of general dirt. This had significant dulled the natural shades in the stone, leaving it looking lifeless and unappealing. The tiles would also require a fresh seal to ensure protection against muck in the future, and to help restore the colour to the stone.

Quarry Tiled Fireplace before cleaning and sealing Bedford

Cleaning an Old Quarry Tiled Fireplace

Firstly, I applied Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel tile cleaner, which is particularly effective on tricky areas as being in a gel form it adheres better to non-horizontal areas. It was left it to dwell on the tiles for around twenty minutes so it could penetrate into the pores and get to work lifting out and dissolving the dirt that had been trapped in there over the years . Oxy-Gel is suitable for use on a wide range of natural stone tiles, including Quarry, Travertine and Slate. In this situation it cut through and removed most of the candlewax quite easily, and softened the stubborn residue to a point where I could easily remove the rest manually with handheld scrappers.

I then left area it to dry, with an air mover installed to reduce drying time. The advantage of using a gel product is that uses a smaller amount of moisture than a standard liquid cleaner, and therefore allows the tile to dry – and to be sealed – quicker; and in this case we were able to seal the same day where-as normally we would have to wait until the next day.

Sealing an Old Quarry Tiled Fireplace

Once the tiles were completely dry, I sealed the fireplace with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that fills the pores of the stone to prevent dirt and general muck from becoming ingrained, making the tiles much easier to keep clean in the long-term.

The added benefit of Colour Grow is that – as its name suggests – it emphasises the natural colours in the stone. This was something that the Quarry fireplace was desperately in need of, and the Colour a Grow quickly got the job done!

Quarry Tiled Fireplace after cleaning and sealing Bedford

The customer was very pleased with the finished results. The clean removed years’ worth of muck, while the fresh seal brought out the natural beauty in the Quarry tiles and, at the same time, will protect the tiles on future candle-lit evenings.
 
 

Professional Restoration of an old and Dirty Quarry Tiled Fireplace in Bedford

Unique Brick Kitchen Floor Restored in Wrestlingworth

This brick floor, installed in the Kitchen of a property in in the town of Wrestlingworth was one of our toughest assignments so far; the floor was made from handmade Norfolk bricks which were laid approximately 20 years ago but had been subject to grease, general dirt and still had cement from the grouting present on top.

20 Year old hand made brick floor Before Cleaning in Wrestlingworth

Although this wasn’t your typical tiled floor I knew we could achieve some fantastic results with the brick by using the right products and techniques.

20 Year old hand made brick floor Before Cleaning in Wrestlingworth 20 Year old hand made brick floor Before Cleaning in Wrestlingworth

Cleaning a Handmade Brick Floor

My first instinct was to use Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline product, to clean the bricks since it is highly versatile. It cleans most types of natural stone tile very effectively, and so I believed it would also work well on brick. I applied the product to the floor and left it to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing into the brick with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a low speed rotary machine.

As I anticipated this was successful in cleaning a large area of the floors, but a very greasy area by the range cooker and a lot of cement in thick patches remained. To resolve these problems I opted to cover the greasy area with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-Up Remover) and left it for at least twenty minutes. This allowed the nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate into the grease stains and dissolve them from within: something everyday cleaners can’t do. I then used another black scrubbing pad to fully remove the stains from the floor and the area thoroughly with clean water.

The improved the appearance of the floor a lot, but as a final step I went over the entire area using a steamer, along with more HBU Nanotech and handheld scrappers to manually remove stubborn marks and bits of paint. Dealing with the cement residue proved particularly difficult as some areas were an inch thick. To deal with these I used Tile Doctor Acid Gel – a blend of hydrochloric and phosphorus acids in gel form – to break them down as much as I could, before using scrappers to finally remove large clumps of cement.

Sealing a Handmade Brick a Floor

After rinsing and extracting excess moisture from the floor I left it to dry for 10 days. Upon my return some areas of the floor were still too wet to seal even with continuous drying equipment in place. The floor needed to be fully dry in order to sealed, since moisture can negatively affect the sealer’s performance, so I spent time drying those areas with a heat gun.

Once satisfied that the floor was dried I sealed it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that I would typically use on unsealed porous stone such as Sandstone and Limestone since it is designed to penetrate into the pores of the stone to act as a barrier against ingrained dirt and stains. I decided that Colour Grow was the best fit for the brick, especially since it contains colour intensifying properties that would really accentuate the natural reddish and orange shades.

20 Year old hand made brick floor After Cleaning in Wrestlingworth 20 Year old hand made brick floor After Cleaning in Wrestlingworth

As you can see from the photographs this certainly did the trick, and the customer was very pleased with the new revitalised appearance of her floor. While brick wasn’t the easiest stone to work with – nor one that I normally encounter – I think you will agree we achieved an impressive transformation.
 
 

Professional Brick Floor Restoration in Bedfordshire

Newly Laid Quarry Tiled Terrace Treated for Grout Haze in Dunstable

This customer had a fantastic rough heather set Quarry tiled terrace laid on the exterior of their property in Dunstable. While from a distance the tiles appeared to be in quite good condition, there was one very obvious problem. The customer, following the advice of the retailer – but against best practice and the advice of the installers – opted to use a polymer-based white grout. To worsen the problem, the tiles were also not sealed before grouting, resulting in a blotchy white appearance once dried.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

This was a big problem, and needless to say the customer was eager to set the situation right. The customer contacted me and I travelled to the property to see what could be done. Although it was virtually impossible to remove the problem entirely, I was able to eliminate most of it and significantly improve the condition of the tiles. Here’s how I did it:

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

Cleaning Badly Stained Quarry Tiles

Removing the blotchy white stains required the use of a number of different cleaning products, combined with lots of rinsing with clean water.

My initial attempts involved firstly the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, before scrubbing it into the tiles. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product that is often used to break down old sealers, adhesives and synthetic finishes, however, in this case it served to draw out the ingrained white stains.

I followed this up with an application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in gel form used to treat grout smears and efflorescence. It is not recommended for use on acid sensitive stone such as Limestone and Marble as it can cause etching, but here it helped make some good progress with cleaning the Quarry tiles.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

Even after a long period of cleaning, some of the particularly ingrained polymer refused to budge. My best option was to use Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, which utilises nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the stone to eliminate stubborn marks. The product was brushed into the Quarry tiles in combination with a steamer, achieving some good results. We then brought in a spinning tool fitted to our truck-mounted cleaning machine to thoroughly rinse the tiles, leaving them much improved.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

We used air movers to dry the terrace off quickly in order to see the final
result, which the customer was very pleased with, especially considering the extent of the staining. We then advised the client to wait until June or July to give the terrace another clean, along with a fresh seal using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer which will improve the appearance even further.
 
 

Dealing with Grout Haze on a Quarry Tiled Terrace in Bedfordshire

Dealing with Limescale Stains on a Slate Tiled Bathroom in Ravensden

Our client in Ravensden had a rough slate tiled floor fitted into her en-suite bathroom approximately six years ago. The tiles were never sealed and due to the hard water in the area, plus shower products the floor developed a white crust in areas.

Limescale Treated on Slate Bathroom Tiles Ravenden Before Limescale Treated on Slate Bathroom Tiles Ravenden Before

Tile doctor deals with tile problems across the UK everyday and leads the way in developing new techniques to deal with tile related issues and so I was confident of finding a solution that could resolve the problem with a single visit.

Dealing with Limescale on a Slate tiled floor

Mindful of damp levels in the slate we used a small coarse 200 grit Tile Doctor Diamond pad on a six-inch hand held machine to take off the lime scale. This cleaned most of it off but in corners and some deep rough areas where the pad could not access were spot treated using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which was left to sit and dwell for 20 minutes then rinsed off the floor.

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

A turbo fan was used to speed up the drying of the floor and within a couple of hours it was dry enough to seal for which we used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores if the Slate protecting it from within and enhancing the look of the stone in the process.

Limescale Treated on Slate Bathroom Tiles Ravenden After Limescale Treated on Slate Bathroom Tiles Ravenden After

 
 

Slate Floor Problems Resolved in Bedfordshire

Deep Cleaning and Sealing and old Terracotta floor in Ampthill

As part of our service we advise customers on best practice for maintaining the appearance of the floor and I’m happy to report this client in Ampthill who has a Terracotta tiled floor that we had fully restored a few years ago had followed to the letter.

Having two dogs and two children, the floor gets a lot of traffic and as expected over a period of time the sealer does wear thin in the busier areas. Should the sealer become too damaged dirt can get underneath and gradually the seal will deteriorate to the point where restoration will be needed again.

Terracotta Floor Before Maintained Ampthill Terracotta Floor Before Maintained Ampthill

By keeping on top of the maintenance our client has kept a beautiful terracotta floor in great condition however as the sealer was wearing he called us back to do a maintenance clean and top up the sealer an activity which we are able to complete in one day rather than the several days needed to do a full restoration.

Terracotta Floor Maintenance Clean and Seal

To maintain the floor, I applied a Tile Doctor fine diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine and with a little water sprayed onto the tiles to lubricate the process the top was burnished, this took the dirt off the top of the tiles and left a clean surface to top up the seal. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated by the process.

Having removed any damaged sealer an industrial air mover was switched on to get the floor as dry as possible, we then tested the damp levels at various intervals until the floor was dry for re-sealing.

To re-seal two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go we applied to the floor allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. Once the second coat had dried a white polishing pad was used to buff the tiles.

Terracotta Floor After Maintained Ampthill Terracotta Floor After Maintained Ampthill

 
 

Terracotta Floor Maintenance in Bedfordshire

Black and Red Quarry Tiled Ffloor Restored in Riseley

Details below of a restorative clean and seal that I recently completed on a Quarry tiled hallway at a house in the small village of Riseley, North Bedfordshire.

The floor was a mix of fantastic black and red tiles; however, it had lost its character after a long period without professional maintenance. My client commissioned me to strip off the old sealer from the floor and replace it, but not before providing a thorough clean, including tackling some adhesive staining and inherent grout haze.

Red and Black Quarry Tiles Riseley before cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry tiled floor

The first task involved mixing our high alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, with water to form a strong solution. The solution was applied to the tiled floor and left to dwell for a short period. This dwelling time allows for the Pro-Clean to seep into the stone to get underneath the ingrained dirt and lift it out. Pro-Clean also contains stripping properties, and thus helped to break down the old (and now ineffectual) sealer.

After completing this initial clean I rinsed the floor using a standard mop and bucket method. With the old sealer removed, it became evident that there was also plaster residue marking the tiles, as well as inherent grout haze on the surface of the tile probably from the original installation. To tack these problems I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, which is an acid-based cleaner that dissolves the adhesive and the grout. Being an acid you have to be careful and ensure the floor is rinsed thoroughly after use and if you’re considering using this product yourself read the label and make sure you use the right protective equipment.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

After the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water it was dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum which literally sucks the water off the floor. The floor was then left to dry for four days, with the help of several air movers. By the time I returned to the house, the floor was completely dry and ready to take the seal.

I opted to use a combination of sealers, including one coat of our colour enhancing, impregnating sealer, known as Colour Grow, followed by three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide a truly robust and aesthetically pleasing surface seal.

Red and Black Quarry Tiles Riseley after cleaning

The photographs demonstrate the finished results better than words can and I think you will agree the floor is quite transformed.
 
 

Resolving Quarry Tiled Flooring issues in Bedfordshire

Red and Black Victorian Tiles Stripped and Sealed in Biggleswade

Here are the details of a job I recently completed in the town of Biggleswade, which lies on the River Ivel in Bedfordshire. My client had a fantastic red and black Victorian tiled floor with a topical seal. However, she also had a new addition to the family in the form of a new puppy and, as I’m sure most of you reading will know, puppies can be very messy and additionally urine contains Uric acid which can eat away at sealers. Therefore, my client asked me to strip off the old topical seal, before replacing with an impregnating sealer better suited to protect the tiles against an untrained puppy.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade before cleaning

My client had been replenishing the topical seal for many years, but after discussing this decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating and colour enhancing sealer, would be better suited.

Stripping a Victorian tiled floor

My first task was, of course, to remove the old topical sealer. I did this using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner that when used in a concentrated form can remove sealers. The alkaline helps to break down the sealer while also lifting out any ingrained dirt suffered by the stone. The solution was left to dwell for approximately twenty minutes before being scrubbing it into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.

Nonetheless, after giving the tiles a rinse, I discovered evidence of an old impregnating sealer in the tiles that was also need to be removed before resealing. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a powerful, dedicated coatings remover which did the job although the use of a steamer and several scrubbing brushes helped with the task.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade during cleaning

After completing the stripping, I still felt that I could improve the appearance of the tiles further, so I ran over the tiles with a small six inch Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a hand-held buffer to finish the cleaning process.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

After completely the stripping process, I gave the entire floor a rinse and left it to dry for several days. Upon my return I sealed the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer that really brought out the shades of red and black in these Victorian tiles. Along with Victorian tiles, Colour Grow is also suitable for use of Flagstone, Limestone, Quarry, Sandstone and Marble tiles, amongst others.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade after cleaning

I think you will agree the floor looks transformed with the new sealer applied.
 
 

Stripping old sealers from Red and Black Victorian tiles in Bedfordshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Bedford

Recently I was contacted by a man in the town of Bedford who was worried that he had damaged his Victorian tiled hallway as a result of dragging a piano across the floor. I went round to the property to get a better look at the problem and, on closer inspection, realised that the tiles were actually fine; however, the piano had torn through the old surface seal.

The 150-year old tiles, dating back – as the name suggests – to the reign of Queen Victoria, had been poorly sealed and additionally had not been maintained correctly with the appropriate cleaning products. I was commissioned to remove the old sealer, clean and re-seal in order to restore this fantastic floor to its former glory.

Victorian Tiles before Cleaning in Bedford

Method for cleaning Victorian tiles

My first task was to mix a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water, which was then spread across the floor. Pro-Clean is a high alkaline cleaner which also contains stripping properties and this helped to break down the old, damaged sealer. The solution was left to dwell for approximately 20 minutes, giving it time to seep into the stone to get underneath, and lift out, any ingrained dirt. Pro-Clean was worked into the tiles using a heavy low speed rotary machine fitted with a black pad.

Once cleaned and stripped, we rinsed the floor using plain, clean water to neutralise the high alkaline Pro-Clean and the removed the resulting slurry using a wet-vac machine.

At this point I noticed that the white/magnolia tiles were particularly well worn and still very dirty and in need of further cleaning. Around this time Tile Doctor had also been discussing the successful use of Burnishing Pads (normally used on polished stone) on Victorian Tiles so I hand burnished the most stained tiles with a small 6 inch diamond encrusted burnishing pad with a little water to help lubricate the process. Following this, I rinsed the entire floor once again.

Method for sealing Victorian tiles

After leaving the floor to dry for four days, I returned to the house to seal the tiles opting to apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer first followed up with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This combination of sealers provides a durable internal and surface stain protection whilst lifting the colours and adding a nice subtle sheen finish.

Victorian Tiles after Cleaning in Bedford

Once dried and cured, the floor was buffed using micro-fibre clothes to further enhance the appearance of the tiles further. My client was very pleased with the results, and couldn’t believe it was possible to get a floor that was so old appear brand new! The floor will dull with wear so I advised my client on the benefits of a regular maintenance plan going forward to ensure this great flooring feature remains in top condition.
 
 

Professional tile cleaning and sealing for Victorian tiled hallway restoration in Bedford

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Resealed in Cople

This was an unusual request in that this customer, in the small Bedfordshire village of Cople, had her Kitchen Quarry tiled floor cleaned and sealed six months earlier by another company. The sealer had come off and it soon became evident that after the work had been carried out the client was ill advised as to the correct maintenance of her floor. The cleaning product left by the previous company was totally unsuitable and over the course of six months she had managed in fact to slowly strip the sealer off of the tiles.

I soon realised the problem and advised that the only solution would be to strip any remaining sealer off the floor and re-seal, it’s generally not good practice to apply a different sealer on top of an existing sealer as there can be compatibility issues and the floor may look different in places where there are more layers of seal.

Quarry tiles in Cople Before Cleaning Quarry tiles in Cople Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Stripping Quarry Tiles

I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to strip any remaining sealer off the tiles and clean them in the process, this involves spreading the solution over the tiles, allow it to dwell and soak in and then scrubbing the solution into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water applied with a mop and bucket and the soiled water extracted using a wet vacuum. One the floor was clean I noticed there was evidence of concrete dust and grout haze on the surface of the tiles from when they were installed so I applied a another Tile Doctor product called Grout Clean-up to remove it, again the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water which was extracted the floor dried using air movers.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Tiled floors need to be dry before sealing and so I left this floor for four days to allow enough time for it to thoroughly dry out before returning to seal it. Choice of sealer for this floor was four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell and additionally adds a nice subtle shine to the floor. The difference was transformational as the sealer really does bring out the best in the quarry tiles.

Before leaving we have provided the customer a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is the correct cleaning agent to maintain a sealed floor. It has a neutral PH formula so it won’t erode the sealer like many of the acidic floor cleaning products you find in the supermarket which are really only meant for use on Vinyl or Ceramic tiles.

Quarry tiles in Cople After Cleaning Quarry tiles in Cople After Cleaning

 
 

Resealing Quarry Tiles in a Bedfordshire Kitchen

Neglected Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Langford

This was a very interesting job at a house in the town of Langford in Bedfordshire which used to be an old butchers shop which had been converted for residential use. One aspect of the butcher’s shop that my client wanted to keep for the new house was an extremely worn and dirty Quarry tiled floor. The floor had experienced a high amount of traffic in the past, evidenced by the fact that in some areas the top layer of the tiles had been lost and to make matters worse the floor had been covered in a layer of concrete paint which would need removing.

Although the floor had fallen into a serious state of neglect, I was confident that with the right products and techniques I would be able to restore the appearance of the tiles.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Langford

Cleaning Old Quarry tiles

My first step in the restoration was to apply a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, to the floor, leaving it to dwell for roughly twenty minutes. I then agitated the solution into the tile using a combination of scrubbing pads and brushes, in an attempt to remove as much of the dirt and muck as possible. This served more as an initial rinse to prepare the floor for a much deeper clean later on in the process.

Having rinsed the tiles, I installed air movers to help the floor dry quickly. This allowed me to see which areas of the floor required some more specific cleaning attention. The next step was to give the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Tile and Grout Clean-Up. This step was necessary to tackle the salt deposits which were coming up through the tile and grout; this process is more commonly known as efflorescence and is usually due to a lack of damp proofing under the floor which is not surprising given the age of the floor.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Langford

I soon realised that the tiles were still partly shielded by a plastic covering which had been in place for upwards of forty years. I used a steamer to loosen the covering to the point that I could then remove it by hand. Once all of the Quarry tiles were finally exposed I came across a lot of stubborn marks along and, unsurprisingly, decade’s worth of dirt. To give the tiles a thorough clean I used Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up cleaner. As the name suggests, this is a product which uses tiny abrasive particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the tile to lift out the dirt normal cleaning products simply can’t reach, enabling the removal of tough dirt and stains.

Sealing Quarry tiles

After completing the clean I left the house for several days to allow the floor to dry assisted by a number of air movers and dehumidifiers that I left at the property to speed up the drying process. When I returned to the house, I ran damp tests to double check that the tiles were completely dry. This was important as any excess moisture has the potential to damage the performance of the sealer.

To seal the floor I used a combination of Tile Doctor Colour Grow (one coat) and Seal & Go (six coats). This provided a robust surface seal and also accentuated the natural shades in the Quarry tiles.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Langford Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Langford

As you can see from the photographs, although not perfect due to its history, this was quite a transformation and I was happy to bring yet another old floor full of character back into daily use; original features are also very popular these days so I’m sure this has added a lot of value to the property.
 
 

Old Butchers Shop Quarry Tiles Restored in Bedfordshire

Acid Damaged Terrazzo Tiled Floor Restored in Luton

We visited a lady in Luton who had just had a brand new Terrazzo tiled floor installed and had chosen not to have it sealed. Terrazzo is a beautiful tile made from natural stone and as such is very sensitive to acid.

Terrazzo tiles etched with vinegar before restoration

Although this is common knowledge within the tiling industry, the builder who completed the initial installation of the Terrazzo floor did not make the client aware of the stone’s acid sensitivity. What’s more, he actually advised against sealing the floor. This resulted in the client unknowingly using an unsuitable cleaner and left what looked like water splashes all over the floor.

In a desperate attempt to remove the stains she applied vinegar to the floor. Since vinegar is an acid it caused a deep etching and immediately took away the shine of the tile, leaving in its place a dull mark. At this point she decided to contact the Bedfordshire Tile Doctor, and I came along to her rescue!

Terrazzo tiles etched with vinegar before restoration

Burnishing an Acid Damaged Terrazzo Tiled Floor

To remove the etching I used a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Since the marks were particularly severe I opted to take the tile right back using an extra fifth pad rather than the usual four. The pads are applied in sequence from Coarse to Extra fine with a little water and a rinse between each pad. After the burnishing process was completed, all of the marks had been removed and were replaced by a beautiful polished shine.

Terrazzo tiles etched with vinegar after restoration

Sealing a Terrazzo tiled floor

We then sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing a durable seal from within. This will help protect against dirt and stains in the future, and will also help to lessen the impact of mishaps should the floor become exposed to acidic products again. In addition, Colour Grow is a colour intensifying sealer so, as you can see from the photos, the lovely natural shades of the Terrazzo were accentuated.

Terrazzo tiles etched with vinegar after restoration

With the floor restoration a success, my client was very happy and before leaving I advise her to use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Tile Doctor Stone Soap for regular cleaning as these products will maintain the floor without affecting the appearance of the floor or degrading the sealer.
 
 

Terrazzo tiled floor restoration in Bedfordshire

Cleaning Badly Stained Floor Grout in Luton

The grout lines on this Porcelain floor in a Luton Kitchen was excessively stained and even with the application of the heavy duty cleaning products we have at our disposal it was very unlikely that it could be restored to its former standard. The best option therefore was to colour the grout using a Tile Doctor Grout Colouring kit.

Grout Before Colouring Luton

Choosing a Grout Colour

The customer wasn’t completely sure which colour would suit best so I was able to test the effect of various colours within the Tile Doctor range by applying a small amount to the grout colourant in different colours to the floor and then wiping it off before it had chance to harden. This helped and the sandstone colourant was decided upon, the range includes a number of popular colours so it can be a tricky decision; I’ve included a table of the range below so you can see for yourself.

Black Cappuccino Charcoal Grey Chocolate Ivory
Light Grey Limestone Natural Grey Sandstone White
(Colors are displayed as accurately as possible. Some colors below may not represent exact grout colors. They may appear differently on computer monitors with different resolutions).

Colouring Grout

Before applying the colourant the grout needs to be clean and free of any debris; you can a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for this Tile Doctor however do sell a special Pre-Treater product that is recommended for this, its mildly acidic which etches the grout to provide a better bond. The Pre-Treater is safe to use on Porcelain tiles but for natural stone such as Marble or Travertine I would go with Pro-Clean.

Once the floor was dry I started with the application of the white colourant using a tooth brush to paint it onto the grout, pressing down firmly to make sure it is keyed into the original grout. Once the whole floor had been covered and all the grout lines coloured, we let it dry for several hours returning to clean up the tiles. Once all the excess colourant had been removed we used a polishing pad to buff the floor back to a polishes state.

Grout After Colouring Luton

Apologies for the photographs which are not my best but I think you can see the improvement.
 
 

Refreshing a Porcelain floor in Bedfordshire

Cleaning and Sealing a Twenty Year Old Slate Floor in Bedford

Every now and again, I get called to work on tiled floors which have were laid some time ago and not properly maintained in a long time, as was the case with this customer in the town of Bedford at the heart of Bedfordshire. They had a twenty year old Slate tiled floor that was now in need of a thorough clean and a re-seal.

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

As you can see from the photos, the floor was very much worse for wear in some areas, with the tiles looking very dull and dirty. To clean the tiles I used a combination of a steamer and a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner suitable for use on many different types of natural stone floor, including Slate, Limestone, and Victorian tile – just to name a few.

The solution is scrubbed into the tiles to lift out the ingrained dirt and stains. Concentrated Pro-Clean is also strong enough to strip off the old sealer from the floor. After completing the clean and inspecting the tiles to ensure all of the problem areas had been successfully tended to, I rinsed the floor thoroughly with water to remove any trace of cleaning product. After rinsing the floor in such a way it is important to leave plenty of time for it to dry before sealing, so I left the house for 24 hours before returning.

Slate Tiled Floor Bedford after Cleaning and before sealing

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

Upon my return to the house, I inspected the floor to ensure it had dried completely, as any excess moisture remaining of the tiles has the potential to damage the performance of the sealer. The sealer I used was the new and improved Tile Doctor Seal & Go known as Seal and Go Extra, which has an acrylic base and a much higher content of solid. This means that when the sealer dries it is able to provide an even better level of protection for the stone.

I applied several coats of Seal & Go Extra to give the Slate tiles a stain resistant surface seal and the high quality finish the client had requested. Seal & Go Extra is suitable for use on internal and external, unsealed porous surfaces such as textured Quarry, Sandstone, Victorian tile and, of course, Slate.

Slate Tiled Floor Bedford After Cleaning and sealing

 
 

Old Slate Floor brought back to life in Bedfordshire

Red and Black Victorian Tiled Floor Restored in Sharnbrook

We were asked to restore a beautiful Victorian tiled floor at a house in the small village of Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. The floor had been badly treated for many years until new occupiers decided to restore it.

The area comprised of a Pantry, Loo, Lobby, Dining room, Kitchen and Conservatory, we had several problems to deal with including some tiles that were loose, some had cement on them and the dining room floor had the remnants of a coir rug stuck to the surface.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Sharnbrook

Cleaning Old Quarry Tiles

Having moved all the furniture we started from the far end pre-treating the coir matted dining room tiles by soaking them in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean; leaving them to soak in this way would soften up the matting and enabled us to remove the debris more easily with a scrapper by the time we got to the dining room.

We then started on the rest of the floor again using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for ten minutes before being worked in using a scrubbing pad until any remaining old sealer was stripped off the tile the tiles were clean.

For the tiles which were covered in cement we treated them with an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, being an acid you have to take care and wear appropriate personal protection and not to leave the acid on the tile for too long. It was satisfying however to watch the cement fizz away to reveal the beautiful tile below.

Once everything was stripped and the floor clean we gave the tiles a thorough rinse and extracted as much water from the floor as possible before installing a number of and air movers to speed up the drying process.

Whilst the floor was drying our attention moved onto the replacement of the lose tiles and re-adhering them to the floor. This was a straight forward job using tile adhesive and matching grout and we then left to allow the floor to dry out thoroughly.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Deep Cleaning in Sharnbrook

Sealing Quarry Tiles

We returned seven days later and took more damp readings, these all read ok so we proceeded to seal the floor. First we used a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer the gets into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and also enhancing the colours in the tile in the process; this was then followed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to leave a high shine finish as requested by the client.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration in Sharnbrook

 
 

Restoring and repairing old Victorian Quarry Tiles in Bedfordshire

Leighton Buzzard Victorian Hall Tile Clean and Restore

We were asked to restore a beautiful geometric Victorian tiled floor. The property had been used as a letting house and the floor had been used and abused for many years, just given an occasional mop over from time to time.

Victorian Tile Before Cleaning Leighton Buzzard Victorian Tile Before Cleaning Leighton Buzzard

The new owners wanted to revive the colours and deal with the neglect. Step one was to put down the tile doctor pro clean alkaline cleaning solution and to let it dwell for a period of around twenty minutes.

We gave the solution plenty of dwell time before setting up our low speed rotary machine, underneath it we used a black pad to agitate and help loosen the ingrained dirt.

Once completed we set up our powerful rinsing tool which is attached to a machine fixed into our van, by doing this we do not need to dispose of any dirty water on your property but instead we take it away with us and dispose of it in the proper manner in an appropriate disposal point.

After rinsing the floor came up very well but we still felt it could be better, we used a steamer coupled with HBU Nanotech and a scraper to remove various deposits of paint and other sticky residue which had set over time.

After thoroughly rinsing the floor again we left the floor to dry for 4 days, Victorian tiles along with other earth based tiles are very absorbent and need to dry thoroughly and fully.

Victorian Tile After Cleaning and sealing Leighton Buzzard Victorian Tile After Cleaning and sealing Leighton Buzzard

On our return we tested for damp ensuring the floor was dry enough to seal.

To seal the floor we used two coats of colour grow impregnating sealer, once the sealer had dried we then began sealing the floor using seal and go.

After applying several thin coats of seal and go, the floor reached the desired appearance.

A combination of Pro clean, hbu nanotech, colour grow and seal and go with a little bit of care from your local tile doctor restored this old uncared for floor back to the prime of its life.
 
 

Refreshing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Leighton Buzzard