Edwardian Hotel Marble Floor Restoration

Windlestraw is a picturesque Edwardian manor hotel overlooking the Tweed Valley, near Walkerburn in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. One of the bathrooms in the manor was in the process of being refurbished when two layers of floor tiles were removed, unveiling an original Marble tiled floor dating back to the 1920s.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor Before Restoration Walkerburn

After the top layers of tile had been removed the Marble was still covered in old adhesive and cement and although Marble is known for its quality and durability the hotel owner didn’t want the building contractor to proceed any further in case they damaged it. The owner was keen to restore the Marble floor as an original feature so we were called in to set the situation right.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor Before Restoration Walkerburn

Refurbishing a Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor

To restore the floor I used two processes known as milling and burnishing. Milling literally involves grinding down uneven or rough surfaces using very coarse, diamond encrusted pads. The pads are usually used to resolve lippage issues on natural stone but in this case we needed to use the very coarse abrasive pads to grind off the adhesive and cement. I used a set of three coarse milling pads rinsing with water between each pad and starting with a 50 grit pad, before moving on to 100 and 200 grit pads. This process was very effective and ground off the cement and adhesive, while also removing any lippage in the tiles to leave a completely flat surface.

Milling leaves the surface of the Marble tiles clean but in a rough condition and this is where the second process Burnishing comes in. Similar to milling, burnishing focuses on achieving a polished finish with the application of ever finer grades of polishing pads and is often used to bring back the polish on Limestone and Travertine as well as Marble. Moving on to the burnishing, I worked my way through the four diamond encrusted pad system lubricating with a little water and again rinsing between each pad to remove the slurry. The grits go from Coarse (400 grit), Medium (800 grit), Fine (1500 grit) and then eventually Very Fine (3000 grit) and come in a 17” pad for use on a rotary floor machine and were applied twice in sequence to achieve a fantastic polished shine.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor

The floor was given a final rinse and then dried with a wet-vacuum before we proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Shine Powder which is a crystallizing powder that is applied directly to the floor and worked in using a buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

Shine Powder provides a very high shine (as you can see from the photos), along with a tough durable finish. On top of this, it is suitable for sealing all natural stone, including, of course, Marble, along with Limestone, Granite, Slate and Travertine.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor After Restoration Walkerburn

The customer was absolutely delighted with the results as were we although it’s now up to them to ensure the bathroom fitters take appropriate care when completing the room which I’m sure will look absolutely fantastic when complete and no doubt add to the allure of this magnificent hotel in the Scottish Borders.

Marble Tiled Bathroom Floor After Restoration Walkerburn

 
 
Source: Marble Floor Restoration Service in the Scottish Borders

Regular Maintenance of Restaurant Tiles

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 Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon Before Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon Before

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.

Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon During Cleaning Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon During Cleaning

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.

Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon After Cleaning Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon After Cleaning

The owner was over the moon with the results and has now engaged us to maintain the floor on a regular basis.

Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon Before and After Marble Tiles Indian Restaurant South Croydon Before and After

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Maintenance services in East-Surrey

Granite Floor Builders Clean

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.

Polished Granite Floor Before Cleaning Fareham

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.

Polished Granite Floor After Cleaning and Polishing Fareham

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Maintenance Service in Hampshire