These photographs are of a Stained Terrazzo Tiled floor from an old Fish and Chip shop in Wigan which had been closed for several months due to the owner being ill. The shop had then been sold and the new owners asked us to call in and re-furbish the tired and badly stained tiles rather than go to the expense of re-tiling or re-surfacing the Floor area, which would have cost a lot more than what we charged.
Terrazzo is a composite tile made up of Marble and Limestone chippings, sometime Granite, all mixed into a clear cement resin and then made up into tiles of all sizes. We estimated these tiles we laid more than fifty years prior and were not looking their best after being stained with rust stains from heavy equipment, cooking oil and grease, ingrained dirt and grime. Although a tough job to tackle it didn’t put us off and as you will see we still managed to get them clean again.
Cleaning Terrazzo Tile
The method we used to restore the surface was to cut them back using a set of burnishing pads which take off a few millimetres off the tile surface and regrinds to make them look as good as new, this is something you can’t do with Vinyl Tiles or Ceramic and Porcelain. The pads are encrusted with diamonds and are used in conjunction with a little water; you start with a coarse pad and work through the set of pads which become finer in grade as you progress until your polishing the surface. Once this process is complete the floor was given a good wash down to remove any soil and allow us to spot any areas that needed further attention.
Sealing Terrazzo Tile
When the Terrazzo tile was dry it was sealed sealing with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating matt sealer that brings out the colours in natural stone, the client had also specified they didn’t want a shiny finish as they had a concern about slippery surface that could lead to slips and falls. Once the sealer was dry it was buffed using a white buffing pad.
The results are quite satisfying given the age of the floor and the stains we had to deal with not only that but the owner had engaged a number of other cleaning companies who had tried a test clean and he had even tried cleaning it himself but the results were poor.
We were contacted by a builder who had recently laid Porcelain Tiles in an office reception in Wimbledon. Although he has laid this type of tile in various art galleries around London without problem, in this particular lobby which is situated next to a shopping centre the tiles were extremely slippery and the facilities manager wanted the tiles changed at the expense of the builder.
Obviously this would have been an expensive option and so the builder contacted Tile Doctor for help. Initially he had considered having a member of his team apply the treatment however he realised that as a Tile Doctor applicator we had been trained to apply the treatment properly and this gave the facilities manager confidence it would have been applied to the correct standard so we were awarded the work and asked to carry it out on a Sunday when the building would be empty.
Applying the Anti-Slip Treatment
We arrived at the agreed time and were let in by the shopping centre security team. The area we were treating was around 25m2 so decided to work in 5m2 sections first cleaning the tile using the first stage Ant Slip product worked into the tile with a rotary floor machine fitted with a polypropylene brush head and then removing with a wet vacuum followed by rinsing with clean water.
We carried on with this process until the whole floor was done and let it dry before going onto the next stage to apply the Tile Doctor Anti slip (stage two) and leaving for between 3 to 5 minutes before applying the stage three which locks in the Anti Slip.
The Anti Slip product is invisible to the eye however it’s very easy to test it’s been applied, all you need to do is wet the tile as the product only activates when it’s wet.
When we had finished the whole floor we then tested it again just to make sure that everything worked well we cleared away all the tools making sure we left the area tidy and safe and locked the building up.
The Job took us one night and the customer is now recommending us to all other sites that have had these tiles fitted.
Shown below is a video clip for a job we did recently restoring 150 year old Quarry Tiles at a School near Peterborough in Northamptonshire. The school had a lot of problems with this floor over the years and had called in another cleaning company several months prior but found that within weeks the sealant they had applied had started to bubble and peal off. The floor was suffering from ongoing dampness problems in some areas, which isn’t unusual for a floor in an old building as damp proofing is a relatively modern concept. Tile Doctor was called in to try to rectify the issues.
Cleaning Quarry Tiles
The work was booked to be carried out before Xmas and we spent hours stripping the tiles with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean agitated with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad with little affect. To resolve the problem we resorted to getting down on hands and knees with a steamer and scrapper and spend the next 3 days taking off several coats of sealant and wax stripping quarry tile floor. The floors were then allowed to dry for ten days over Christmas.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
We returned in the New Year and took damp meter readings from the floor to ensure it was dry before sealing. The choice of sealer was vital given the floor was 150 years old and it was essential we chose one that was breathable to ensure any dampness could permeate up through the floor and not get trapped causing a problem. We settled for Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is breathable and offers good stain protection as well as enhancing the colour in the tile, two coats were sufficient to ensure to seal the floor. The last step was to buff the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad to bring out the shine.
Quarry Tile Maintenance
The school had faced problems maintaining this floor in the past so I returned to site the following week to explain the best method for cleaning the floor going forward; this essentially involves using two buckets, once containing cleaning solution and another to rinse out the mop, I also gave them a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleanerand a white buffing pad to point them in the right direction. Neutral Cleaner is a PH Neutral formula which unlike most acid products will not degrade the sealer over time.
We were asked to polish this marble floor in Eaton Square which is in Belgravia one of the most historic residential parts of London, a short distance from Buckingham Palace and Knightsbridge.
Cleaning a Marble Tiled Floor
There were a lot of scratches in the Marble floor and it was also looking dull, so we set about first by giving it a good clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an strong alkaline product designed for use on stone floors. It’s important to clean the floor before polishing to ensure there’s no dirt or grit on the floor which might get ground into the floor during polishing making the problem worse.
Polishing Marble Tiles
Once the floor was clean we started the polishing process with a Red Burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine, the pads are diamond encrusted and can remove deep scratches. We went over the floor carefully covering every tile four times and then followed up with the white, yellow and then green polishing pads, each one polishes the floor to a higher degree. The next step was to apply Tile Doctor Shine crystallising powder with a little water polished in with our polishing machine fitted with a natural fibre pad; this step gives the floor a tough durable finish. The floor was then thoroughly rinsed to remove any residues left on the floor all before giving it a final re-polish to bring out a deep high shine.
We were asked to visit a prestige car showroom near Weybridge in surrey to see what could be done to improve the appearance of the Porcelain Tiles in the showroom. As well as foot traffic the floor also had to cope with the rubber from car tyres; naturally they had been cleaning the floor regularly themselves but were not happy with the results.
Cleaning Porcelain Tiles
Porcelain is quite a durable material that likes ceramics don’t usually need a sealer so we prescribed a Deep Clean was in order and set about scrubbing the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaning product specially designed for use on Tile, Stone and Grout where acidic cleaners can cause damage. The solution was scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then thoroughly rinsed down. I should point out a wet vacuum machine comes in very handy here for removing the liquids from the floor. When it had dried I buffed it up using a white buffing pad.
It’s difficult to see the improvement from the photographs but I can tell you the owner was really pleased with the result as were some customers who came in when we were finishing up.
This Quarry Tile floor was found under carpeting at a school in Leatherhead, Surrey during a refurbishment; you can see from the photograph what a terrible state it was in however the school was keen to keep the tiles and we were brought in to restore them.
Cleaning Quarry Tiles
There was a lot of dirt on the tiles so a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak in for around 20 minutes; Pro-Clean is a multipurpose alkaline cleaning product designed specifically for cleaning tile and stone. The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then thoroughly rinsed with water which was removed using a wet vacuum. Once the Quarry tiles were dry it was possible to spot the areas in need of further attention and these were scrubbed by hand together with more Pro-Clean.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
Once happy with the floor it was left to dry off overnight and we came back the next day to seal it with six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide future surface stain protection and also leaves a nice deep low sheen. The builders working on the refurbishment couldn’t believe the finish, I must admit looking at the photographs it was quite a transformation.
I was asked by a building company to look at some slate flooring that was laid during a refurbishment to the offices of a German television station based in central London.
The architect was not happy because there appeared to be some grout haze and some grout along the ridges that you get in slate. I carried out a demonstration to the building manager and she was pleased with the result and we were awarded the job.
Because of the nature of the business I had to do the job out of hours, which suited me because there were 4 toilet areas to do over 6 floors and I was able to get on with the job without any interruption.
Slate Tile Cleaning
On my arrival I laid a coating of Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra-Clean to 2 toilets and left it to dwell while I brought all my equipment in and set up. These two products together create a very powerful stripper cleaning solution ideal for the job in hand. I left the products to soak into the tiled slate floor of the first toilet for an hour before scrubbing it in using water and a hand scrubbing brush. The soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then rinsed and sprayed with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any remaining grout haze off the surface of the tile. The slate was the given two mores rinses with clean water before being left to dry.
Before starting on the next floor I left a mixture of Remove and Go and NanoTech Ultra-Clean to dwell on the next floor. I then carried on with this process described above until all the floors were cleaned.
Slate Tile Sealing
Once the floors were dry I put a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer down on each floor which is a sealer which really brings out the natural colour of the stone.
The client had requested a shiny final finish so the sealing was completed using two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go on each floor.
When I had finished the site manager said that he couldn’t believe how nice they had come out and was looking forward to the reaction of the clients.
I guess it was inevitable that I would be asked to clean the floor in a public toilet at some point; fortunately for me this one in a pub in Ambleside Cumbria was in a reasonably pleasant condition. The floor was Black Honed Slate Tiles but the sealer had been badly etched by Uric Acid (aka urine) around the cubicles, and a bad smell was building up from the reaction with various sealers and coatings that had been applied previously which were unsuitable for a stone floor. Ambleside of course is in the centre of the English Lake District which is famous for its walking and so naturally these floors tend to get a lot of muddy boots trampling over them from the thousands of tourists that visit this area every year.
Cleaning the Black Honed Slate Tiles
I manage to strip the products from the floor using Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with Nano-Tech Ultra-Clean followed by the use of a Steam Cleaner which neutralised the remaining odours as well as helping to remove any remaining cleaning products. Finally the floor was rinsed with water all of which was removed using a wet Vaccum and then left to dry before sealing.
Sealing Black Honed Slate Tiles
We have a number of sealing products for Slate tiles, each one providing a different effect; in this case we opted for two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhances the colours in the natural stone and provides stain protection combined with a nice matt finish, which was very practical for this situation. However the customer wanted a higher sheen effect so we added two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to the surface as well. It isn’t always possible to do this with sealers as their can be compatibility issues.
Before leaving I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is an PH neutral product specially designed for cleaning sealed stone floors.
Polished Porcelain is very hard wearing and looks great in the retail environment; it does however get very slippery when wet and given the increase in accident claims in the UK and companies happy to pursue them it can be a real problem. Prevention with an Anti-Slip solution is definitely cheaper than a court case and this is the very problem we were asked to address at a shop in Leeds recently.
Applying Anti-Slip to Polished Porcelain Tiles
This floor in a retail outlet in Leeds was laid with white Polished Porcelain tiles and the retailer was keen to prevent accidents happening to their customers. First we treated the area with Anti-slip cleaner to make sure the floor was free from dust and dirt contaminants before the Anti-slip solution was applied.
We then applied Tile Doctor Anti-Slip with a spray pump bottle and lightly scrubbed this in, left it on the floor area for the correct time duration and then applied the bonding agent on top of this.
The last step was to buff the floor with a black buffing pad attached to our Victor floor buffer; afterwards we rinsed the floor with water and removed the water using a wet and dry Vax machine.
The effects of Anti-slip work as soon as the floor has been buffed, rinsed off and left to dry, the customer was very happy with the results and left the following message for us.
Just wanted to thank you for sorting an anti-slip treatment for the new porcelain tiles in our Leeds store. The treatment definitely works,(as we found out the first time it rained!!), and the whole process was dealt with efficiently and promptly. Val Caine (Director).Wish, Bond Street, Leeds.