Restoring Heavily Soiled Marble Tiles with Burnishing in Penrith

When you have high quality tiles like Marble, Limestone and Travertine, it’s even more important than normal to use suitable cleaning products. If, for example, you apply a slightly acidic cleaner to Limestone, it can cause severe, irreparable etching that significantly damages the appearance of the stone.

In a similar way, this customer in Penrith had been using an unsuitable wax-based liquid soap to clean her “Crema Marfil” Spanish Marble kitchen tiles. It had failed to prevent a heavy buildup of dirt, and had in fact darkened the stone, leaving it looking stained, unnatural, and all-around difficult to clean.

Marble floor before cleaning Penrith

To avoid the floor becoming a complete nuisance, the customer contacted me to see what could be done to alleviate the problems.

Marble floor before cleaning Penrith Marble floor before cleaning Penrith

Burnishing a Dirty Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor

I explained to the customer that a process we use at Tile Doctor known as burnishing would be the most effective way to clean the Marble. Also suitable for Limestone and Travertine, this process involves the sequential application of specialist diamond encrusted pads of different grits to grind down any soil buildup and gradually create an aesthetic polish in the surface of the tiles.

Our system consists of four burnishing pads: Coarse, Medium, Fine and Very Fine. I started, using a little water as lubrication, by applying the Coarse pad across the floor, as its rough grit is ideal for breaking down stubborn dirt and stains – and doss so without damaging the tile in any way.

Satisfied with the initial cleaning result achieved by the Coarse pad, I proceeded to work my way through the four burnishing pad system, applying the Medium, Fine and Very Fine pads in turn to restore the polish to the tiles. Following this, I paid some specific attention to the dirty grout, cleaning it with our reliable, multi-purpose alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean, in combination with a steaming system.

Sealing a Marble Kitchen Floor

After completing the burnishing process, I left the tiles to dry overnight. Upon my return to the property I polished the floor one final time with the Very Fine pad before deciding that it was time to give it a fresh seal.

My choice of sealer in this situation was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer that I knew would really do well to emphasise the natural beige shades in the Marble. I applied two coats of the sealer, before polishing off the excess with a buffing pad and leaving the tiles to dry again for a few hours before they could be walked on again.

Marble floor after cleaning Penrith

My customer was very pleased with the outcome. Naturally, she was drill quite concerned about keeping the tiles clean in the long term, so I left her with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, which is specifically designed for aftercare cleaning on polished Marble, Limestone and Travertine.

Marble floor after cleaning Penrith Marble floor after cleaning Penrith

 
 

Professional Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor Restoration in Cumbria

Milling, Cleaning and Sealing Sandstone tiles in Penrith

Here’s an interesting job that I recently completed down in Penrith, a small market town just under three miles from the Lake District National Park.

My client had a Sandstone tiled flagstone floor in her kitchen which had been continually sealed over its lifetime – but without removing the old sealer first. This is not advised, as it can lead to a severe problem where the layers of sealer become compacted on the surface. The result is a significant build-up of old sealer which is almost impossible to remove, even with some of the best and strongest products available.

Sandstone floor before milling in Penrith

This problem is particularly acute in Sandstone because, as a naturally porous stone, it has a high grab factor when it comes to polyurethane type wax sealers. As a result, it would take me a significant amount of work to reduce the problem as far as possible.

Milling Sandstone tiles

As no chemical products would prove effective in resolving the issue, I opted to use a milling technique using abrasive, coarse milling pads. The idea is that the milling pads penetrate beneath the many layers of old sealer and re-finish the stone. In order to validate the proposed solution I conducted an experiment in a test area under the dishwasher. The test proved satisfactory, and so my client was happy to extend the solution to the rest of the kitchen floor.

Sandstone floor during milling in Penrith

As you can see from the photos, the milling pads allowed me to get in deep where chemical products were simply unable to make a difference, giving the Sandstone tiles a much more refined look. As well as flattening a stone milling does strip a tile naked so it’s necessary to seal the stone after to enhance the natural colours and features as well as protect the stone going forward.

Cleaning and sealing Sandstone tiles

After spending all day milling the rest of the floor, it came time to give it a thorough clean to remove any remaining dirt and muck, especially along the grout lines. My choice of cleaner was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high-alkaline cleaner which is used on most natural stone floors, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone and Slate. The Pro-Clean was diluted with water and then scrubbed into the tile and grout.

After finishing the clean, I left for a few days as the floor needed at least 48 hours to dry completely before it could be sealed. Tiled floors must always be left to dry completely before being sealed because any excess moisture or residue can damage the performance of the sealer. When I returned, I applied three layers of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer which is designed to provide durable surface protection from within, while also accentuating the natural shades and colours in the stone.

Sandstone floor after milling and sealing in Penrith

My client was very pleased with the results, and was amazed I was able to do anything to resolve the compacted sealer issue considering that the chemical products used previously were unsuccessful.
 
 

Bringing a Sandstone tiled floor back to life in Cumbria

1831 Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovation in Penrith

Details below of a Victorian Tiled floor I renovated in Penrith earlier this year. The floor had previously been hidden under laminate flooring and the mat well had been concreted over and other tiles were missing and replaced with concrete infill.

Victorian Tile Renovation Penrith Before

Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles

I carried out a damp test and started by removing the concrete infill and levelling the mat well with a self-levelling compound. Fortunately I had been able to source reproduction tiles that were a pretty good match to the originals which is amazing bearing in mind that the floor was originally laid in 1831 (pre Victorian in fact).

Before replacing the missing tiles I cleaned the existing floor with a diluted mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech UltraClean; Remove and Go is a coatings remover so as well as cleaning the floor it also removed the traces of adhesive that was used to stick down the line. I washed down the floor and found there were still some stubborn marks which I tackled with neat Remove and Go and a steam cleaner. Once I was happy with the floor I gave it another rinse and then set about fixing the replacement tiles.

Victorian Tile Renovation Penrith After

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

I needed the floor bone dry before sealing so I allowed it to dry out for a couple of days before returning. I sealed the tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle shine however I did find the Victorian tiles to be extremely absorbent and so needed seven coats of sealant in total which took much of the day. The sealer did well to bring out the deep colours in the tile as well as brought out the colour in the tiles as well as providing the lovely satin finish. The customers were extremely satisfied with the final result

Victorian Tile Renovation Penrith After

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing Victorian Tiles in Cumbria

Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiles in Ulveston

This property in Ulveston had previously been used as a guest house and was now being refurbished and turned back into a home. The kitchen and conservatory had a Slate tiled floor and as you can imagine had seen a fair amount of wear from the numerous fried breakfasts that had been prepared in there. The owners had decided to replace the kitchen but were keen to keep the slate floor however it was in a bad state and looked as if it had never been cleaned and sealed for some time.

I did a small test using Tile Doctor Remove and Go (which you can see in the photograph below) and it came up really well, naturally we were booked to come back and finish the rest of the floor which I had estimated would take two days.

Slate Floor in Ulveston Test Area Slate Floor in Ulveston Test Area

Cleaning Slate Floor Tiles

Two weeks later I turned up at 9am as agreed and set up my equipment, the kitchen had already been removed so with the exception on the cooker little preparation was required. I worked in small areas using a high pressure spinner tool to remove as much dirt off the tiles as possible and a wet vacuum to remove the soiled water.

Slate Floor in Ulveston Before Cleaning Slate Floor in Ulveston Before Cleaning

Stubborn areas were treated with Remove and Go and then I moved onto the next job which was to clean up the grout. For this I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a alkaline tile and grout cleaner that is safe to use on natural stone. It was scrubbed in using a stiff brush and then rinsed off with clean water, again using the wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution. The floor was now clean but still damp so I tidied up my tools and left for the day.

Slate Floor in Ulveston After Cleaning Slate Floor in Ulveston After Cleaning

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The Next day I came back and inspected the floor to ensure it was dry and that I hadn’t missed anything. All was well so I started to seal the floor with five thin coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for slate as it adds a nice subtle sheen to the tile and being water based there is no smell as it dries. The sealer was applied using a paint pad applicator and each coat took around about twenty minutes to dry.

Slate Floor in Ulveston After Sealing Slate Floor in Ulveston After Sealing

When it was complete and the floor had dried I packed up my equipment and spent some time talking to the customer to check they were happy with the results (they were very happy) and to advise them on how to maintain the floor using with a neutral tile cleaner going forward which will help extend the life of the sealer.
 
 

Slate Floor Cleaning in South Cumbria

Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Windermere

I recently paid a visit to Windermere in the Lake District to clean and re-seal a Victorian Tiled hallway floor. The customer wanted the shine putting back on the Victorian tile and some tile grout had become loose and needed replacing.

Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles

On arrival I set up my tools and covered any areas that needed protecting against water. Once that was done I started to strip the floor of any remaining sealer using Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coatings and sealer remover product that is safe to use on tile, stone and grout. Working in small areas the product was scrubbed into the tile and then washed it off with water using a wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution. This process was repeated until the whole floor was clean, there were a few stubborn areas and for these I mixed the Remove and Go 50/50 with Nano Tech Ultra Clean which adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution to make a more effective product. The process of scrubbing the floor made me realise that the loose grout problem was greater than first thought and some tiles need re-laying so I decided to come back and do this the next day, before leaving however I gave the floor a thorough rinse to ensure any trace of cleaning product was removed.

Grouting Victorian Tile

The next day I arrived and fixed all the loose tiles, my preference is to use the Mapei range of tile adhesives and grout, in fact the grout comes in a range of colours which is very useful if your filling in holes in travertine etc. One the adhesive had gone off I began to grout them in including those areas where the grout was missing or become loose. The last step was to wash off the grout from the tile surface and making sure it was all tidy for the next day.

Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere During Cleaning

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

On the third day I returned to the house and after verifying the floor was dry with a damp tester and the grout had hardened I started sealing the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go putting on thin coats which took about twenty minutes to dry, in total seven coats were applied which gave the floor the nice shine the customer was after.

Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere After Cleaning

This job took me three days in total and after I had finished we discussed how to maintain the appearance and increase the longevity of the sealer by using a Neutral Cleaning product which unlike many acidic cleaners does not eat away at the sealer.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing Victorian Tiles in Cumbria

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cockermouth

The customer called me in to resolve a problem in at a beautiful holiday cottage in Cockermouth which had an old Quarry tiled floor installed which she had tried to make shine but had ended up turning it pink in places

Cockermouth Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor before cleaining 1 Cockermouth Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor before cleaining 2

Cleaning Quarry Floor Tiles

On my arrival I spent time protecting the kitchen units and adjacent wooden floor and then started on removing the old sealer with Tile doctor Remove and Go; I sprayed it on working in small areas and working it into the tile with a brush making sure to scrub it in well, the resultant soiled solution was washed off with clean water the and then removed using a wet vacuum. After finishing with the tile I moved onto the grout joints using the same process to make sure they were all clean and then the floor was given a good rinse to neutralise the floor before sealing. Again a wet vacuum was used to remove any liquids from the floor and it was then left to dry fully overnight.

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

The next day I returned to the cottage and after verifying the floor was dry with a damp tester it was sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides on-going protection as well as adding a nice shine to the tile.

Cockermouth Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor after cleaining 1 Cockermouth Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor after cleaining 2

This job took me two days and whilst I was there I took the time to explain how to maintain the floor going forward and the importance of using a Neutral Cleaner to extend the life of the sealer. Certainly the customer was very happy with the results and left the following message our feedback system:

“Absolutely delighted the tiles were very marked in places but Heidi has managed to get them off and the tiles are back to their true colour which I hoped they would be. Heidi explained step by step the procedure and I am very pleased with the result Thank you very much for the time spent and I would recommend Heidi — Veronica”
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiles in Cumbria

Quarry Tile Cleaning in Kendal Utility Room

A customer from Kendal (famous for its Kendal Mintcake) called me in to look at their Quarry Tiled Utility floor, which was looking very dirty and stained. On inspection the sealer had broken down and was no longer protecting the tile resulting in dirt getting ingrained into the pores of the tile resulting in discolouration. We agreed what short of finish was required and the customer booked me in to do the work.

Quarry Tile Cleaning Kendal Before

Cleaning Quarry Floor Tiles

My first job was to protect the surrounding areas from splashes so on my arrival I covered the wooden floor in the hallway before starting to remove the old sealer with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, I sprayed it on working in small areas leaving it to dwell for a while before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush making sure I scrubbed it in well before removing the soiled solution with a wet vacuum. I scrubbed all the grout joints at this point to make sure they were all clean and then washed the floor down to remove any chemical and neutralise the floor. It was a relatively small floor so I left it to dry and returned a few house later to seal it.

Quarry Tile Sealing Kendal

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

On my return I used a damp tester to make sure the floor was dry, which it was, so I sealed it with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a as well as protecting the floor brings the natural colours out in the tile. Naturally if the damp tester had showed that it was damp I would not have sealed the floor that day as the sealer would not have taken properly.

Quarry Tile Cleaning Kendal After

This job took me one day as it was only a very small floor and I was able to seal it in the same day the customer were happy with the result I went through the maintenance program and explained how to clean the floor.
 
 

Restoration of Quarry Tiles in Kendal

Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiles in Windermere

The customer from Windermere called me in to take a look at their Slate tiled kitchen floor which was looking very dirty with ingrained stains and marks on the stone from spills etc. that were proving difficult for the customer to clean. The brief was to give the floor a deep clean, remove the stains and make it easier for them to maintain thereafter. On inspection I could see the sealer had broken down, which is why the slate was getting stained and hard to clean. I did a test area on the slate and grout to show them how it could look and it came up really well so the signed my Work survey form and booked me in to do the work.

Slate Tile Floor Cleaning Before Slate Tile Floor Cleaning Before

Cleaning Slate Floor Tiles

On my arrival I covered the wood and carpet in the kitchen and hallway to protect it then started on removing what was left of the old sealer with Tile Doctor Remove and Go; I sprayed it on working in small areas and activated it with a brush making sure I scrubbed well around the areas of slate that are risen as in this slate its uneven and then washed it off using a wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution. It was very satisfying to watch the tiles come back to life with bright colours, I kept at it all day until all the Slate tiles were clean and the sealer was fully removed, I then scrubbed all the grout joints to make sure they were all clean then I washed all the floor down before I left ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The next day I sealed the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go to protect and enhance the tile putting on five coats before it was fully sealed. I used an industrial air blower to help it dry quicker as the house owner had a dog and I did not want any paw prints in my work. Below is a photograph of the end results in which you can see the natural colours have come back to life.

Slate Tile Floor Cleaning After

This job took me two days and the owner was extremely happy with the result, I also spent time to explain a maintenance program discussing how to clean the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which has a low PH and not an off the shelf supermarket cleaner which being mildly acidic can break down the sealer and reduce its life.
 
 

Restoration of Slate Floor in Windermere

Changing the Grout Colour used on Porcelain tiles in Kendal

A customer in Kendal requested that the colour of grout installed on 20m2 newly laid textured Porcelain tile floor was changed; the tiler had used a Sandstone coloured grout and they were not happy with the colour or the grouting in general which looked patchy. I recommended the use of an epoxy Grout Colouring product that re-colours, seals and rejuvenates existing grout joints and comes in twelve different colours and after showing the customer the different colour options they picked Charcoal Grey.

Textured Porcelain Tile with Limestone Grout in Kendal

Applying Grout Colourant

I did a test area so they could see how it might look under the lights which went well and so I started to apply the grout colouring to the whole kitchen floor completing small areas until the entire floor was covered and taking care not to get any on the Porcelain tile as the textured surface makes it difficult to remove and requires the use of an white abrasive scouring pad. Normally you have to use a Pre-Treater product on the grout before Grout Colouring however this grout was new and so this step was unnecessary.

Textured Porcelain Tile with Charcoal Grey Grout in Kendal Textured Porcelain Tile with Charcoal Grey Grout in Kendal

This job took me one day and only required one tube of Grout Colourant. The owner was extremely happy with the result will now have a fairly maintenance free tiled floor as Porcelain tiles are very hard wearing and the epoxy grout colourant acts as a barrier and therefore unlikely to discolour.