The pictures below are from a York Stone flagged hallway floor in an old building in the historic and picturesque market town of Newark, Nottinghamshire. The building dates back to the late 17th Century so the flagstone were likely to be very old, additionally the building is now the busy offices of local solicitor and so does get a lot of wear. The flagstones had a heavy build-up of soiling and old worn down coatings, there was also evidence of remove paint spots and I suspect adhesive residues suggesting at some point the floor had been covered in a carpet.
Cleaning Old Flagstones
The first step was to remove any previous coating such as sealers so a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak into the stone for twenty minutes. Pro-Clean is a multi-purpose heavy duty cleaner & coating remover that due to its alkaline formula is safe to use of Tile, Stone and Grout. The cleaning solution was scrubbed by hand into the wall edges and corners and paint spots and adhesive contamination marks were spot treated whilst the solution on the main part of the floor was getting to work breaking down the years of soiling. Once the edges were done it was time to agitate the flagstones on the main part of the floor with a weighted low-speed rotary machine fitted with a special restoration brush.
After thoroughly scrubbing the floor, the resulting slurry was vacuumed away and stubborn areas re-treated. The floor was then given a further rinse and the floor then left to dry off overnight.
Sealing York Stone Flags
The following day I returned to seal the floor. As the property dates back to the 17th Century it’s unlikely the floor has a damp proof membrane installed so it would be important to choose a breathable sealer that will allow moisture to pass up through the stone. We chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow for the job, it’s a breathable impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone preventing contaminates from staining the floor and also enhance the natural colours in the stone. The flagstones were quite porous so three coats were required to ensure complete protection.
I think you will agree from the photographs that flagstones have been transformed and the Colour Grow sealer will provide a durable barrier to both water & oil based spills. Tracked in soiling is also easier to remove when damp mop cleaning for which I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which unlike acidic cleaners will not impair the integrity of the sealer.
I was asked by my local Indian restaurant in South Croydon if I could improve the look of their marble tiles in the reception area of the restaurant. They had been laid several years ago and now the sealer was failing and dirt was becoming ingrained in the tile and especially the grout which had gone dark.
Marble Tile and Grout Cleaning
To get the grout clean and remove the surface dirt we started with the application of a coarse grade diamond encrusted burnishing pad, the pad is used in conjunction with a little water which helps lubricate the process and it effectively cuts back the layer of grime from the surface. Rotary pads do struggle to reach into the grout lines so a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty tile and grout cleaner that’s safe to use on natural stone and grout was also scrubbed into the grout by hand using a stiff brush.
The floor was then rinsed to remove the now dirty water and cleaning solution and we moved on to polishing the floor using a medium grade, fine and then super fine pads to build the surface shine backup. The floor was rinsed with water in-between each pad and then dried out as thoroughly as possible using large air movers.
Sealing Marble Floor Tiles
Normally I would have finished off with the application of Tile Doctor Shine Powder to give it a mirror like finish but the owner was happy with the way it looked and so once the floor had dried we moved onto sealing it with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works from the inside by occupying the pores within the stone, it also enhance the colours within natural stone.
The owner was over the moon with the results and has now engaged us to maintain the floor on a regular basis.
The photographs below were taken at a privately owned swimming pool in the historic village of Naseby an area famous for the civil war battle that tool place there in 1645. The pool was surrounded by Anti-Slip safety tiles which have a roughened texture to improve traction around the water’s edge, this does have the side effect however that they trap dirt more easily. The tiles were overdue a deep clean and had become very dirty and additionally there were rust marks from metal furniture and blackish grout lines.
Cleaning Pool Tiles and Removing Rust Stains
Working one area at a time and taking care not to contaminate the swimming pool a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the tiles and then worked into the tile, especially the rust stains before being washed off using a Rotovac machine which applies hot water at high pressure and then removes it to a remove tank using suction. It’s an ideal machine for this sort of job as it’s very self-contained.
Stubborn areas were treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a powerful product designed to deal with sealers and other surface coatings. Once done another rinse with the Rotovac ensured the soiled cleaning solution and any trace of cleaning product is removed from the surface.
Sealing Ant-Slip Porcelain tiles
Once the tile and grout was clean it was left to dry so it could be sealed which will prevent the tile and grout becoming dirty so quickly. For this we used Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a no-sheen, natural look, water based penetrating sealer.
It makes a significant difference if you have the right tools for the job and this resulted in the tiles looking as good as new in no time.
The owner of this swimming pool at a large residence in the suburban village of Oxshott had put the property on the market and naturally wanted the pool area to look its best. The pool was surrounded by Porcelain tiles which are very resilient and generally a good choice for a swimming pool surround, additionally the slate effect tiles in this post had a riven surface which would make them less slippery than the highly polished variety. The chemicals used in swimming pools however are quite strong and I suspect this has contributed to the build-up of Limescale on the surface of the tiles.
Cleaning Porcelain Tiles
The first job was to give the tiles a deep clean and this was done by scrubbing in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted 1 part cleaner to four parts hot water using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Once scrubbed the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the tiles given a thorough rinse. There were a lot of tiles to clean and naturally care has to be taken to avoid getting any cleaning solution in the pool.
After rinsing the tiles were dried with the assistance of an air mover so we could get an idea of what other remedial work would be required and in this case it became clear where the areas with Limescale staining were.
Removing Limescale from Porcelain Tiles
To remove the Limescale each stain was spot treated using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is a strong acid based cleaning product normally used to remove grout smears from tiles but also equally useful at dealing with mineral deposits such as Limescale. You have to be very careful with acids on tiles, especially natural stone so once it had done its job the tiles were thoroughly rinsed and the whole floor rinsed again once we have completed everything.
When we had finished the client couldn’t believe the transformation we have managed to achieve.
Granite is as you would imagine a very hard surface that looks beautiful when polished; in this case however it the floor had been abused by workmen who had been working at this commercial premises in the market town of Fareham and trailed all sorts of building materials and dirt onto the floor during renovation work. The once beautiful Granite floor tiles were now looking in a sorry state and the site manager was keen to have them restored to their former glory.
Cleaning Marble Floor Tiles
The floor a quick sweep and wash down with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean partly to ensure any surface grit etc. was removed but also so we could get a stiff grout brush in along the grout lines and give them a clean. Next the floor was rinsed down with water which was removed with a wet vacuum. The next step was to burnish the Granite with a set of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads which come in different grits and are applied in sequence working from coarse which removes old sealers and dirt through to medium, fine and super fine pads which build up the polish on the floor. The floor needs a rinse with water in-between each pad to remove any slurry and water is extracted from the floor using the wet vacuum, after the super fine pad we removed as much water from the floor as possible and left it to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.
Sealing Marble Floor Tiles
Being a commercial floor I was concerned about the foot traffic wearing down the polish on the tiles so Tile Doctor Shine Powder was sprinkled onto the Granite and ground in using a little water to help lubricate the process and another pad at slow speed. Once this was complete the floor was buffed using a white buffing pad and now it looks transformed.
A company based in the 17th century market town of Watlington were renovating their office space and decided to replace the carpet which had been glued to the floor below. Upon further inspection this turned out to be a Quarry Tiled Floor and they were keen to restore it and so we got the call.
Restoring Quarry Tiles
I first covered the whole floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, leaving this to dwell for a while whilst I fitted a scrubbing pad to my rotary machine. Once the machine was ready the whole floor was scrubbed followed by a rinse with water; the resultant soil was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. This process removed most of the glue so I repeated the process until satisfied all the glue had gone. Remove and Go lives up to its name and although normally used to remove sealers it will remove most other coatings as well. This process took up most of the day so after the final and thorough rinse I left the floor to dry aiming to come back the next day to seal it.
When I returned the next day the floor had white patches of effervescence on it where salts had been forced up through the tile as the water evaporated; this had to be dealt with before the tiles could be sealed so I spent the second day scrubbing the entire floor with Grout Clean Up to remove it, after finishing the floor was given another thorough rinse to remove any product from the floor and used the wet vacuum again to get it as dry as possible.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled floor
I returned the third day to a nice dry and most importantly clean floor. To seal Quarry tiles I usually go for Tile Doctor Seal and Go as it’s water based (so no smell) and it adds a nice shine to the floor; however in this case being an office environment with a lot of heavy traffic I decided to go with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile and is likely to be more durable, it also enhances the natural colours in the tile leading to a very nice finish.
I think you will agree the final result was a remarkable transformation
This Slate tiled floor is in a barn in Beckley, near Rye, Hawkhurst, Tenterden and Robertsbridge. For years it had been used to store furniture, gardening equipment and worryingly, a leaky motorbike which had stained the slate.
You can see from the photographs below that the Slate tiles were much worn, stained, faded and far from looking their best.
Deep Cleaning Slate Tiled Floor
Firstly I swept out the whole area then applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to several areas where engine oil had leaked. After leaving it to soak in for fifteen minutes I began to strip and clean the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-clean worked in with a buffer machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. However it became apparent that some of the ridges on the slate were damaging the black pad so the remainder had to be done by hand with a deck brush. Once the stone was stripped and cleaned the appearance was even greyer than before. I assured the customer that once the sealer has been applied it would be transformed to a much darker colour.
Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles
After two days drying I returned to seal the floor checking first to ensure it was dry and no further work was required which is just as well as I had to wipe away what appeared to be stray dog paw prints. I got to work applying Tile Doctor Ultra Seal having previously estimated that four coats would sufficient to give it a dark finish; I should mention that Ultra Seal was chosen due to the fact that it’s provides a no-sheen natural look appearance.
Frustratingly it was quite a cold barn with little ventilation despite it being an unseasonably warm autumn day outside and this increased drying times. However by about four o’clock in the afternoon the job was finished and looking remarkably transformed. The customer was pleased with the improvement and is now moving forward with to fit out the barn as a yoga studio.
These photographs are taken at an Enterprise Centre in Millom where local business are encouraged to network and they also offer various training courses, all of which results in a large amount of people coming and going across the 120m2 of rough black Slate which covers the communal areas. Interestingly enough this is not the first time we have cleaned and sealed this floor with the last visit being five years ago. Five years of wear and tear had taken its toll on the tiles though and the black Slate was looking tired but not horrendous given its location so I think it’s fair to say the sealer had performed well over the Intermitting period.
Cleaning Rough Black Slate
As I mentioned before the area in total was about 120m2 which is a large area so we operated in sections working around the public and ensuring the correct signage was displayed were relevant.
To clean the Slate tile and grout and remove the remaining sealer the floor a good deep clean using a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go leaving it to soak in for fifteen minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. This process was followed by rinsing and cleaning with fresh water, stubborn areas were retreated and the water was removed using a wet vacuum to the get the floor as dry as possible.
Sealing Rough Black Slate
Once the section of floor was clean we left it to dry and moved onto cleaning the next section coming back later to seal it which we did with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores preventing contaminates from becoming ingrained. Colour Grow is also a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the deep colour in the slate.
The customer knew about using the right cleaning solution for regular cleaning however as it had been five years since our last visit we thought it best to remind them and recommend the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which will not reduce the life of the sealer like an acidic cleaning product would.
I recently paid a visit to a Golf Club in Derbyshire to assist local Tile Doctor Steve Carpenter with the application of Anti-Slip treatment to the 6inch porcelain tiles in the men’s changing rooms. This is the advantage of being a member of a large network, if a fellow member needs assistance on a time consuming job they can just ask for assistance. In this case the floor was only around 12m2 but the Golf Club were hosting a Tournament later that afternoon and needed the work completing before 1pm.
Cleaning Porcelain Tiles ready for Anti-Slip treatment
For best results the Anti-Slip treatment requires a clean surface so the first job was to give the tiles a thorough wash using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The resultant dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with clean water.
Applying Anti-Slip treatment to Porcelain tiles
The next step was to apply the Priming and Locking solution to the tile surface diluted one part solution to four parts water and this was left to dry. Once dry we applied the Anti-Slip treatment ensuring the tile was kept wet for up to 20 minutes in the process. The last step in the treatment was to re-apply the diluted Priming and Locking solution before the floor fully dried, it’s this last step that activates the treatment and locks it in place. There’s no need to wait for the floor to dry at this point it can be used immediately after the last step has been applied.
To test the floor I invited the manager to try the floor dry and wet so he could experience the improvement in surface friction on a wet surface for himself. The treatment worked well and the manager was impressed, not only that we managed to complete the job with 45 minutes to spare.
For after care we recommend the floor should be cleaned daily by damp mopping with our Neutral Tile Cleaner, diluted at 35ml per 5-Litres of water periodically scrubbing the floor with a deck brush.
This original Victorian Tiled floor was uncovered at the Grade 2 listed Salford Town Hall in Salford, Manchester. This public building which built around 1827 was the former Salford Town Hall and Magistrates Court; it’s currently being turned in to luxury apartments and this amazing floor is located in the main entrance hall. The floor was only recently re-discovered during the conversion works after being hidden for many years and was in surprisingly good condition. The company remodelling the building are maintaining the historic features so we got the call to go in and clean and seal the floor.
Cleaning Victorian Tiles
Cleaning the floor was fairly straight forward and involved the application of a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for around ten minutes before being worked into the Tile and Grout using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. The dirty solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the whole floor rinsed down three times to ensure there was no trace of cleaner left on the floor. It’s a large tiled area so it took the whole day to complete.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
I returned the next day to see that the floor had dried off overnight and so started to seal it using Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a topical sealer that adds a nice shine to the tiles, five coats of sealer were needed before the tiles were fully sealed. I think you would agree the floor now looks fantastic; certainly the client was happy with the finish.
The great thing about being in the floor cleaning business is that the equipment we use are very flexible and allow the cleaning of many surfaces from Tile, Stone, Grout and Carpet through to in this case a Vinyl floor at Church in Wyken.
Cleaning Vinyl Flooring
You can see from the photograph that although the floor was in good physical condition it was dirty and in need of a really deep clean. To do this the floor was mechanically scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a very flexible heavy duty cleaning product primarily designed for Tile, Stone and Grout but equally effective on Vinyl floors as well. The soiled cleaning solution was then washed away with water which was removed using a wet vacuum and left to dry.
Once the floor was dry three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied to the surface which restored the shine finish. You have to wait for a coat to dry before applying the next so this process can take a while to complete.
These photographs are from the cleaning of a Travertine tiled floor installed in an old house in Dunmow that had been used as offices by employees of a Ford dealership. The house was empty when we started the cleaning process and you could see that the dirt had become ingrained into the tile and any sealer that had been present had now been worn away.
Cleaning Travertine Tile and Grout
We tackled the grouting first by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (diluted 1 part cleaner to 3 parts water) which was left to dwell on the grout for about fifteen minutes before being scrubbed in using small stiff hand brushes. As you imagine this was time consuming but the grout came up really well so the end result was well worth the effort. The tiles were then cleaned using more Pro-Clean (diluted 1 part cleaner to 2 parts water) but this time we were able to use a scrubbing machine fitted with black pads. We scrubbed the tiles several times in order to bring them up to a good standard. The floor was also washed down at this point to remove the soiled cleaning solution, all liquids being removed using a wet vacuum.
Burnishing Travertine Tile
The Pro-Clean worked well to clean the Travertine but if you want to restore the original appearance it needs to be burnished using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads come in a set and you start with the coarse pad and a little water and move on through to the very fine pads until the surface is pristine.
To protect the floor and bring up the appearance even further Tile Doctor Shine Powder was polished into the floor using a buffing pad, the powder add a deep finish to the appearance of the travertine and hardens on the surface to provide durable surface protection.
I think you will agree we have managed quite a transformation; certainly the customer was very happy with the work.
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.
Our client’s project was to refurbish four toilets in a London Night Club but didn’t want the expense of replacing all the existing ceramic floor and wall tiles; after come across our web site we were invited to visit the club and provide a demonstration after which we were awarded the contract. Our main task on this project was to deep clean the ceramic wall tiles and floors and colour seal grout lines which had over the years had stained to a yellow appearance
Night Club Toilet Cleaning Day One
We started by giving all the tiles a though deep clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner that is able to penetrate into the tile and lift the years of built up soiling on the tile and grout lines. This was followed with a further treatment of on the wall tile grout lines using Tile doctor Grout Clean up and another deep clean with Pro-Clean and pressure cleaned using our powerful truck mounted system which cleans under heat and high pressure and returns all the slurry to our recovery tanks for disposal.
Night Club Toilet Cleaning Day Two and Three
The tiles looked fantastic and like new again with the exception of the grout lines which although being deep cleaned of twenty years of dirt and grease still had a yellow appearance. The solution was to use a Grout Colourant to colour all the grout lines white again, the product we use is brilliant as not only does it give the appearance of newly applied grout is also protects the grout with a waterproof and stain proof barrier that is very easy to clean. Once dried we removed all the excess grout colourant residue from the tile and then polished the tiles to a pleasing high shine.
The client was totally satisfied and impressed with our work which cost a fraction of what it could of cost to replace all the wall tiles. In fact a member of the management team was adamant that we had replaced the tile and grout as he thought it impossible we could of managed this good as new look any other way.
This Limestone tiled floor was installed in a holiday rental cottage in Chipping Norton which had a regular change of occupants and was in need of a deep clean and polish. To deep clean stone floors such as Limestone, Marble and Travertine the floor needs to be burnished with diamond encrusted pads.
Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles
The floor was given a quick wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner in order to remove any surface grit and then cleaned using a set of Burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. The burnishing pads come in four different types and you work your way through them starting off with a course stripper pad with a little just water and then carry on with the white pad and then the yellow pad until the floor is thoroughly cleaned and any previous sealer removed. Next step was to use Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a stiff brush to get the grout cleaner. To bring up the polish on the Limestone tiles I used a polishing pad which is the last in the set of the four burnishing pads. The floor was still wet at this stage so an air dryer machine was used to speed up the drying process.
Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles
Once the floor was dry we set about sealing it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection on natural stone floors whilst bringing out the deep colour in the stone. The last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad.