We recently had a request to take a look at the Ceramic floor tiles installed at a fairly new office building in Lancaster. Well over 300 people work at the builder and they all come and go via the entrance hall where ceramic tiles have been installed which when wet were very slippery. To confirm this we conducted a pendulum test which is a specially designed piece of certified equipment that measures the surface co-efficient of friction which basically is a recognised measure of how much traction a surface has. The testing is very detailed and the output is an official report that can be used for insurance purposes; the report came back high risk which was expected so no surprise there, the next step was to see how this could be improved.
Cleaning Porcelain Tiles ready for Anti-Slip treatment
As well as maintaining Tile and Stone Tile Doctor are also trained in the application of Anti-Slip treatments so we were asked to apply Anti-Slip to the 36m2 of Ceramic tiles in the entrance and rectify the problem. We do this by first getting the floor as clean as possible for which we use a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The dirty cleaning solution is removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with clean water.
Applying Anti-Slip treatment to Porcelain tiles
The second step is to apply a Priming and Locking solution which is part of the treatment diluted one part solution to four parts water. This is then left to dry and once dry is followed by the application of the Anti-Slip treatment itself.
The third step in the treatment is to re-apply the diluted Priming and Locking solution before the floor fully dries out and 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.
Once completed we conducted another Pendulum test so this could be compare to the original test to see if there had been any improvement. I’m glad to report the treatment worked as expected and the latest report came back as low risk. The customer keeps this to prove to any potential insurance claimant that steps had been taken to make the floor as safe as possible. You might notice that floor looks much better as well.
I should mention that the work was carried out outside of working hours so no disruption was made to the normal operation of the building.
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.
This Terrazzo Floor was at the entrance to a School in Kilmacolm where as you can see from the photograph below had come under some heavy use and was now proving difficult to keep clean. We were asked to give it a deep clean, polish and re-seal therefore making it much easier to maintain going forward.
Cleaning a Slate Floor
Hard stone surfaces such as Terrazzo have to be burnished to get the shine back and this process basically involves cutting back the surface with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads.
Before burnishing however the floor was swept out to remove any loose debris that could get caught under the pads and scratch the floor. Once that was done a Coarse 400 grit burnishing pad was fitted to our heavy rotary machine and run over the surface with a little water to help lubricate the process, the coarse pad removes surface dirt and coatings such as sealers. Once that was finished we moved onto the medium 800 grit pad which is the first step of the polishing process and also removed ingrained dirt. The surface of the Terrazzo is still quite rough at this stage so once complete with the medium pad the fine (1,500 grit) is used smooth down the surface and continue to build up the polish in the floor. The last pad is a very fine (3,000 grit pad) and this pad builds on the existing polished effect to create a high shine finish.
All these pads are applied with water and the resultant slurry needs to be cleaned off during the process with the final step of giving the floor a thorough rinse with clean water, I can recommend a wet vacuum at this point as it makes light work of removing liquids from floors.
Sealing a Terrazzo Floor
Once the floor was completely dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a great product to use of these characteristic floors as it brings out the colour in the floor as well as providing on-going stain protection. The floor was then buffed using a white buffing pad to bring up the shine further; needless to say our client was extremely happy with the finished result.
This job was to strip and re-seal these Quarry tiles installed in a commercial kitchen which was undergoing refurbishment at a canteen in Rushden, Northamptonshire. The tile finish had dulled and there was a lot of staining to the grout.
Cleaning Quarry Tiles
As there was little in the way of kitchen units to protect I go straight down to stripping down the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner/stripper that’s safe to use on stone, tile and grout. The solution was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes in order to give it chance to soak into the tile surface and get to work on the existing sealer and dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and stiff hand brushes were used along the grout lines to get the grout clean. The resulting soiled solution was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and stubborn areas re-treated. Once I was happy the floor was given a final rinse and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
After checking the tiles had dried I proceeded to seal the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the floor from staining going forward and also adds a nice shine to the tile.
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.
You may recall a Limestone job I did recently at a Manchester country club in Hale. This Anti-Slip porcelain floor was installed at the same location in the passageway on route to the toilets and in the toilets themselves. Slips and falls can be a huge problem for buildings with public areas and so tiles which have been etched to make a normally smooth surface rough make perfect sense, the downside of course is that those rough surfaces trap dirt and are difficult to clean. Tile Doctor have a chemical Anti-Slip alternative that only activates when the tile get wet that doesn’t require the tile to be etched but it does need to re-applied every few years.
Cleaning Anti Slip Floor Tiles
The floor tiled need a deep clean to bring out the ingrained dirt so we applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using two parts water to one part Pro-Clean and left it to soak into the tile for twenty minutes. The solution was then scrubbed into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. You could see the dirt coming out the pores of the tile and the resultant soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum before washing the tiles down with clean water.
Including the ladies, gents and hallway there was a lot of floor area to cover and some of the stubborn areas had to be re-treated so it was a long job but I think you will agree the floor now looks great.
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.