Assisting Cleaning Contractor to Restore a Terracotta Tiled Floor for Amersham Council

A local cleaning contractor called us in to work on the Terracotta tiled floors at a council building in Amersham. The Terracotta had not been deep cleaned and resealed for about ten years and the sealer had worn off leaving the tile vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the tile. The grout had also suffered the same fate and had almost gone black in many areas.

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

This is a common problem with Terracotta which is quite porous and once those pores become ingrained with dirt the tile becomes difficult to clean effectively. The solution is to seal the tile however sealers wear off over time and this was basically the problem.

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

After discussing the issues we agreed on a plan of action to deep clean the Terracotta tile and grout and then re-seal to protect it. Due to the busy nature of the building we agreed to do the work between Christmas and New Year when we knew the building would be empty.

Cleaning Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a strong tile cleaning product that being in a gel form ensures it sits on the tile for longer, giving it a longer effective dwell time so it can really eat into and loose the dirt. After approximately twenty minutes the gel was scrubbed into the tile with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This broke down most of the dirt and removed any remaining sealer. Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was rinsed thoroughly with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soiled cleaning solution removed I could see the next step would be to spot clean stubborn staining and clean the grout. For this task I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbing it in by hand using stiff brushes and aided with a hand-held steamer to help treat the stubborn staining. Once done the floor was given a final rinse and then as much moisture as possible removed with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We then left the floor to dry off completely and came back a couple of days later to seal the Terracotta tile.

I mentioned earlier that Terracotta is porous; in fact it’s probably the most porous material I deal with, so to fully seal the floor I had to apply eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide complete and long lasting protection against staining and dirt. Seal and Go also adds an appealing satin sheen to the tile and the new seal will make it much easier to clean in future.

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

The floor tile and grout now look much healthier and I’m sure the council will be very impressed when they go back to work after the holidays.

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

Happy New Year…
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Large Grout Restoration Project at Manchester HQ

We recently received a request from the Manchester headquarters of a global engineering and construction company which was founded in 1911 and now operates in over 160 countries. The company contacted us because they were keen to restore the tiled walls and floors in 20 different toilets and kitchens throughout the offices.

It would be a big job, but we were more than happy to respond to the enquiry. We agreed a complimentary visit to the office for us to test clean one of the floors to show what kind of results could be achieved. The management team at the offices was very impressed with the results of the test clean and asked us to complete the whole job.

Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices Manchester Before Cleaning

There was talk of replacing some of the grout completely and I explained that it would be less expensive and time consuming to restore the discoloured grout through cleaning and recolouring and they were happy to let us proceed on that basis.

Mens Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices Before Cleaning

Cleaning Discoloured Grout Lines

As there were 20 different rooms to clean and recolour, our team worked in a couple of rooms at a time to ensure firstly, that we got the job done in time and secondly, that we wouldn’t disturb the normal operations of the offices.

The process was as follows. To clean the grout, we used a strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a strong Alkaline-based cleaner which reliably gets the job done in situations where most run-of-the-mill cleaners won’t. We applied the Pro Clean to the grout lines and tiles and left it to dwell for about 10 minutes. We then scrubbed the grout lines with specially designed grout brushes and followed by cleaning the tiles with a black scrubbing pad fitted to our rotary machine.

Ladies Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices During Cleaning

After scrubbing the tiles and grout, we rinsed and removed all the dirty water and cleaning
solution with a wet vacuum. We repeated the rinsing process several times to make sure all chemicals were neutralised. Similar cleaning techniques were used to clean the tiles on the walls, but the walls took a lot longer to complete as the tiles were much smaller and therefore had a greater number of grout lines. When all the cleaning process was finished, we left the tiles to dry until the next day.

Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices Manchester After Cleaning

Recolouring the Wall and Floor Grout Lines

To recolour the grout lines, we used the Grout Colourant from Tile Doctor’s own range. Available in ten different colours, this is a brilliant product as it rejuvenates and also seals the grout. The fact that the colourant is epoxy based will also make future maintenance easier, as you can just wipe off the dirt.

Mens Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices After Grout Colouring Mens Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices After Grout Colouring

For the floor grout lines, we used the Natural Grey colourant and for walls we used White. The application of the colourant is simple yet quite laborious when working in large rooms. After finishing, we wiped off any excess product.

Bathroom Wall Grout Refresh at Corporate Offices Before and After Cleaning

Overall, it took us two weeks to complete all the work but I think you will agree from the photographs that all toilets and kitchens look completely rejuvenated. We got lots of good feedback from the people who work at the company. They all stated that the toilets and kitchen look like new and even asked us about restoring grout in their own homes.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning and Restoration in Greater Manchester

Refinishing Polished Limestone at a Bedforshire Office

The following photos show a modern Limestone tiled floor that had been damaged by the office cleaner. Bit of a long story but basically the cleaner had inadvertently placed a bottle of a strong cleaning chemical which was leaking in a bin liner, that then proceeded to leak onto several areas of the floor as he walked around the office. The chemical soaked into the Limestone tiles unnoticed causing damage and acid etching.

Polished Limestone Office Floor Before Refinishing in Maulden

These close-up photos below show the damage, which couldn’t be removed with normal cleaning products and required machine cleaning the floor with the Tile Doctor burnishing pad system as well as hand held Tile Doctor diamond blocks to get into the edges.

Polished Limestone Office Floor Before Refinishing in Maulden Closeup Polished Limestone Office Floor Before Refinishing in Maulden Closeup

Due to it being a busy office environment it wasn’t possible to do work during the week so the work was booked in for the weekend.

Burnishing and Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

The process used for cleaning and restoring these floors was to use hand held diamond blocks starting with 100 grit and polishing out the acid etching lines using small amounts of water, I then repeated this process with a 200 grit block graduating the cleaned area to blend in before switching to the machine to apply the burnishing pads.
The burnishing pads are applied from coarse to fine starting with a coarse 400 grit pad that removes old sealers and dirt. The floor was rinsed and then then the 800 grit pad was applied which is the first step in restoring the polish to the Limestone, this was followed by the finer 1500 grit pad which brings up the polish even further and giving the whole area a consistent appearance. One of the benefits of using this system is as no chemical are required, only a little water to help lubricate so it’s extremely environmentally friendly.
After applying the third pad the floor was given a thorough rinse with water to remove any soil produced by the burnishing process. The water was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

I returned on the Sunday to polish the floor to a high shine with the last very fine burnishing pad which is 3000 grit and is applied without any water. Once complete the floor was sealed using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium hard wearing sealer that provides a natural finish.

Polished Limestone Office Floor After Refinishing in Maulden Closeup Polished Limestone Office Floor After Refinishing in Maulden Closeup

I appreciate it’s tricky to see the difference in these photographs but hopefully it’s comforting to know that if you have a similar problem it can be resolved.

Prevention of course is better than the cure of course so be wary of acidic products especially supermarket cleaning products which tend to have acidic formulas that will reduce the life of your sealer and damage the stone floor over time.

Polished Limestone Office Floor After Refinishing in Maulden

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bedfordshire

Removing Limescale from Stone Bathroom Worktops at a Business Park

This job required the cleaning of Marble Worktops in twelve toilets at a very nice office in the Abingdon Science Park. The building was occupied by a company called Sophos who you may have heard of and over a period of time the Marble had become stained through the build-up of Limescale from the water supply and the cleaning company servicing the office could not clean it off. I’ve seen a few horror stories of stone surfaces being damaged through the use of acidic Limescale removers so the cleaning company was quite right not to touch it.

Marble Bathroom Worktop Abingdon Before

Polishing Marble Worktops

To remove the Limescale it would be necessary to hone the Marble using a set of small six inch burnishing pads fitted to a handheld buffing machine. The process involves starting with the coarse 400grit pad with a little water which cuts through the Limescale and then moving on to the 800, 1500 and finishing with 3000 grit to hone the surface and build the polish backup. The water helps lubricate the activity and the surface needs to be rinsed down between each pad.

Sealing Marble Worktops

When the surface was dry I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer which impregnates the pores of the stone to protect it, it also enhances the natural colours in the stone.

There were twelve of these to do so as you can imagine it took me a while to get round.

Marble Bathroom Worktop Abingdon After

If you are experiencing a similar problem with highly polished Marble do get in touch as we can achieve a mirror finish.
 
 
Source: Commercial Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Oxfordshire