This rather dirty Travertine tiled floor is located in the reception area of the hotel and conference centre of the Cranfield University, apparently the tiles had been laid ten years prior and had not been properly cleaned and resealed since.
Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Tiles
Before starting we covered all the area around the floor with masking tape and plastic sheeting to protect it from any splashing which can happen when you’re using high speed floor machines.
The tiles were in need of a good deep clean so a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak into the tile for twenty minutes before being scrubbed in with a using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was rinsed off using clean water and extracted using a wet vacuum repeating the process until you could see the improvement in the floor. A stiff hand brush was also used along the grout lines with more Pro-Clean to get them clean.
Burnishing Travertine Tiles
To restore the shine back to the travertine we used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads starting with a coarse pad and a little water fitted to a heavy rotary machine, the coarse pad strips off any remaining dirt and seal from the floor, the resulting slurry was then removed using a wet vacuum.
Once finished with the course pad we moved on to the medium and fine pads again with a little water until the floor was polished. The final “Very Fine” pad brings up the polish on the floor and buffs it to a nice shine.
Sealing Travertine Tiles
Last step was to seal the tiles which would prevent any dirt getting trapped in the pores making it easy to clean and ensuring it keeps it appearance for longer. For this we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as well as sealing the tiles works to bring out the natural colours in the stone.
The customer was very happy with the results and commented that they thought the transformation was amazing.
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.
The Quarry tiles shown below were installed in the kitchen of a take away restaurant near Hockliffe, as you can see they were quite tarnished and not looking their best due to general wear and tear and the use of strong cleaning products; an inspection was also due and the proprietor was concerned it would be an issue.
Cleaning Quarry Tiles
To clean the floor tile and grout I decided to apply a strong combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean and then diluted with water. This combination creates a powerful cleaning product containing nano sized abrasive particles that can penetrate deep into the dirt. The cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for twenty minutes before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then washed off with a Rotovac machine which applies and removes hot water at high pressure effectively cleaning the tile and grout and rinsing then removing the water at the same time.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
Once we were happy with the Quarry tile and grout was clean we left the floor to dry assisted with air blowers to speed up the process. It wasn’t long before it had dried and we were then able to the Tile and Grout using Tile Doctor High Shine sealer which should protect the floor for at least three years given the high traffic, this is of course as long as they use the correct cleaning products as acidic products will reduce the life of a sealer. The kitchen was now ready for inspection where it should pass with flying colours.
The Ceramic tiles with dark grout were installed in a Bedford Coffee Shop where we have a regular contract to deep clean the tile and grout, whilst we appreciate the regular work you do have to work out of hours to minimise impact to trade. It’s worth noting that many commercial tiling installations do avoid white grout as it can get dirty quite quickly and will be difficult to clean if badly stained, not that that’s a problem for Tile Doctor as we have a solution for most problems.
Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tiles
This was a general maintenance clean so a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak in for 20 minutes or so before giving the floor a thorough clean using a Rotovac machine which applies and removes water at high pressure to remove the dirt and rinse the floor. Once this was done we took the opportunity to apply more Pro-Clean to the grout and hand scrubbed along the grout lines using a stiff brush to ensure the black grout was clean.
Ceramic tiles don’t normally need a sealer so once all the tile and grout was clean and was dry we were done.
Before and after photograph below of a Quarry Tiled floor at a school in Dunstable that was in such a bad state we had to apply grout colourant to the floor. Quarry tiles are fairly indestructible so ideal for use in schools etc. where they will see a lot of foot traffic and abuse, having said that they will fade with wear over time and naturally the grout can become ingrained with dirt if not protected.
Cleaning Quarry Tiles
It had been a while since the Quarry Tiles and Grout had been given a really deep clean to so we mixed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean and applied it to the floor and left to soak in for around 10 minutes; Pro-Clean is a multipurpose alkaline cleaning product designed specifically for cleaning tile and stone and NanoTech UltraClean adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution to make a more effective cleaner. The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and the grout lines scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly 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 of the Pro-Clean/UltraClean mix and a steamer. At this stage it became apparent that that although the grout had improved it was too far gone and never going to make the grade and either needed to re-done or as per our suggestion re-coloured.
For floor grout we always recommend the use of an epoxy grout colouring product which not only completely covers the grout making it look new again but also provides a permanent barrier that prevents the grout from staining in future. They can be quite time consuming to apply however especially if you have a small format Quarry tile with lots of grouting.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
Once happy with the floor and it had time to dry off it was sealed with six coats of Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer which will provide future surface stain protection and also leaves a nice deep shine on the floor. It took a long time but I think you will agree from the before and after photograph below we managed quite a transformation.
This beautiful Limestone tiled floor was installed at a busy country club in Hale, Manchester around eighteen months prior and had seen significant foot traffic with around 500 people traversing it daily. The floor was taking a significant amount of punishment and although regularly cleaned the dirt had started to become ingrained into the stone and the maintenance team were struggling to keep it looking good, I also suspect that the cleaning product used on the floor may have accelerated the degradation of the sealer leading to the premature ingress of dirt.
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 clean as well. To bring up the polish on the Limestone tiles I used a green polishing pad which is the last in the set of the four burnishing pads.
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.
The Limestone floor is now backed to its best and I took the time to explain the need to use a neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner on the stone in future.
The Ceramic floor tiles shown below were installed in a Luton high street restaurant, as you can see they were far from clean, deeply stained and even the grout had gone black.
Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tiles
Given the amount of dirt on the tile and grout we decided to apply a very strong combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which results in the creation of a heavy duty stripper/cleaner containing nano sized abrasive particles that can penetrate deep into the dirt. The cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for twenty minutes before using a Rotovac machine which applies and removes water at high pressure to remove the dirt and rinse the floor.
Glazed ceramic tiles won’t take a sealer so once the entire floor was dry and stubborn areas re-done we were finished.