Terracotta Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned in Poole

The photographs below are of Terracotta tiled floor at a house in the coastal town of Poole, Dorset that had not been professionally clean in some time and having seen years of wear and tear from the active family who live there was not looking its best.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Poole

The Terracotta had previously been treated with Wax which had now pretty much been worn off and the grout had gone dark with the dirt. We often find wax being used traditionally as a coating on Terracotta however a lot of science has gone into developing sealers in the last twenty years that do a much better job so Wax is not something we could recommend these days.

After surveying the floor and running several tests I was happy what was left of the wax could be removed and provided the customer with a quote for stripping the floor and resealing. The quote was accepted, and we arranged a date to return and carry out the work.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Poole

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floor was covered in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and this was left to dwell on the floor to allow it to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt and breakdown the dirt and what was left of the wax. The solution was then worked into the tile and grout using a heavy 17″ rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then rinsed off using a high-pressure tool that also extracts the soil at the same time.

The grout was cleaned using more Pro-Clean and a stiff brush that was run along the grout lines. After rinsing and extracting again the floor was inspected to look for any outstanding issues. This highlighted several areas where Wax residue was still present on the tile which were spot treated using a new tile product called Tiled Doctor Wax Away which as its name suggests is designed for the purpose.

After another rinse and extraction, the floor was inspected again and this time happy with the floor it was left to dry off fully overnight with the assistance of an air mover.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

Returning the next day, the floor was checked first with a damp meter to ensure it was dry and ready for sealing. The moisture readings were all good, so I set about sealing the Terracotta using three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer that adds a robust and deep finish to the tiles. This can take some time to apply as you have to wait thirty minutes to allow the first coat to dry before applying the next.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Poole

I’m not sure the photographs do it justice, but the homeowners were “over the moon” with the difference in the floor and regretted leaving it so long before calling us in.

 

Terracotta Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Dorset

Cleaning and Sealing A Black Limestone Patio in Broadstone, Dorset

Earlier in the year I was contacted by a client down in Broadstone (a town supposedly named after a local legend) to revamp 100 square metres of black Limestone patio, which hadn’t looked right ever since it was first laid. The main problem was water ingress where water had been allowed to seep into the stone due to a poor sealing job. This had caused natural salts to form, and the resulting rough surface had collected grout haze at installation. I decided to run a test on a small patch of the patio to determine the best methods for cleaning and removing the grout haze.

Cleaning Limestone patio with water ingress and grout haze

I decided to conduct my test on just one square metre of the Limestone patio. First of all, I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up on the grout, a cleaner which helped to remove the grout haze by penetrating beneath the surface and lifting the muck out.

After cleaning the grout I moved onto cleaning the tile itself, using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and clean water in combination with a black buffing pad. After achieving some great results with this cleaning method, I left the test area to dry completely before the seal, as any excess moisture left on the surface could potentially affect the performance of the sealer.

Sealing the Limestone patio

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a multi-use product which works well on both internal and external unpolished surfaces. One of the great things about Colour Grow is that it is a colour intensifying sealer, meaning it really helped to bring out the black colour in the Limestone which had previously been affected by dirt and water ingress. The sealer will also provide durable protection against these types of problems in the future.

black limestone patio test clean patch in Broadstone

As you can see from the photos, the result of my test was very good – the stone became almost completely black once again, and the defects in the grout were successfully removed. Nonetheless, I decided to leave the test patch for a month to see how well it withstood the effects of the weather. The test patch proved very durable – proving that the sealing had been done properly this time – and my client subsequently hired me to restore the remaining 99 square metres of patio!
 
 

Cleaning a Stone Patio in Dorset

Repairing and Sealing a cracked Travertine tiled floor in Sandbanks, Poole

Every now and again, I get a call from a client located on the small peninsula of Sandbanks, Poole. Sandbanks, sometimes referred to as ‘Britain’s Palm Beach’, is known for its fantastic beach and high value property. My client asked me to take a look at a Travertine floor in his kitchen which was, in fact, more highly polished than he had wanted. The polished finish had worn off the travertine tiles where they had been walked on, leaving a dull trackway running down the centre of the kitchen. With its distinct characteristics, travertine is a popular choice for kitchen flooring, although it is also quite often used in bathrooms. In any case Travertine tiles will need regular maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Travertine tiled floor before cleaning in Sandbanks

Unfortunately, the kitchen floor must have experienced some sort of settlement or shrinkage as a long crack has appeared, which ran along the same line as the dull trackway. It is not uncommon for Travertine tiles to crack due to wear over time, or even bad fitting in some cases. While the exact cause of the crack was unclear, the homeowner concluded that the floor was certainly in need of restoration.

Repairing a crack in a Travertine tiled floor

Replacing the Travertine tiles was not an option due to a lack of spare tiles, so I opted instead to fill the crack in the floor using Harbro Stone Filler, an epoxy stone filler, matching the colour of the tile as closely as possible. I left this to set, before sanding down the excess filler.

My next action was to use a set of Tile Doctor Diamond burnishing pads to sand out any scratches and restore a more even shine to the floor, as per the client’s request. For polished stone, I recommend using a set of four burnishing pads applied in order: Coarse, Medium, Fine, and Very Fine. I used these one after the other with a little water to lubricate and restore the surface polish to the desired level.

Sealing a Travertine tiled floor

The next day, I returned to seal the floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer which penetrates deeply into the pores of the stone, thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained within. This particular sealer also enhances the natural colours within the Travertine tile, whilst also providing long term durable protection.

Travertine tiled floor after cleaning in Sandbanks

Although the crack could not be made to disappear completely, its appearance was much improved. The customer was also very pleased with the long-lasting lower sheen provided, describing it as “the finish I had wanted in the first place when the tiles were fitted”.
 
 

Cracked Travertine Tiled Floor Repaired in Sandbanks, Poole

Removing Glue from a Portland Limestone Patio in Poole Harbour

This Portland Limestone patio on Round Island in Poole Harbour had, together with a sun room indoors, been covered in a thick layer of carpet glue which had set hard in the warm sun over the years and the owner had found it impossible to remove themselves. There’s no bridge so the island is serviced via a boat from the mainland, which as you can imagine made it a bit of a task getting all my equipment over there.

Cleaning Portland Limestone Flagstones

I began by using 17″ Starke Silicone carbide discs which at 24 grit are much coarser that the burnishing pads we usually use. To get the right level of traction I used the disks on a Numatic buffing machine that had been weighted down and the combination worked well to cut through the glue and turn as much as possible of it to dust.

Portland limestone patio round island begin

To remove the remaining glue I soaked the Limestone in a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left on the glue overnight under sheets of plastic and dust sheets so it wouldn’t dry out it. It also ensures the product remains in contact with the glue and kept it away from any wildlife which might use the patio when I wasn’t there.

The next day the remaining glue had softened and I removed as much as I could using a black buffing pad attached to the buffing machine together with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean before applying more Remove and Go again and steaming each tile in turn whilst brushing with a brass coated Spid wire brush.

Portland limestone patio round island during

This was quite a lot of work and as the stone was not dense and had wide pores the glue had sunk in deep when it was applied and I had to repeat this process several times before the stone was clean. Finally I used a pressure washer to thoroughly rinse and clean the stone before re-pointing where necessary.

Portland limestone patio round island finished

 
 

Portland Limestone patio deep cleaned in Dorset

Cleaning and Sealing Shell Slate Kitchen Tiles in Lytchett Minster

This Shell Slate tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Lytchett Minster and had not been sealed after its installation over twenty years ago and had now become deeply ingrained with dirt which the owner could not remove however hard she tried.

Cleaning Shell Slate Tiles

To clean the tiles I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted one part cleaner to five parts water, the solution was applied it to the floor and then left to soak in for ten minutes before working it in with a Numatic buffing machine fitted with 17″ medium firm brush. Next the tiles were steamed using an Earlex steamer and stubborn stains cleaned by hand using sections from a cut-up black buffing pad and a Spid brass-coated wire brush where necessary. Being riven slate the floor was too uneven to successfully clean using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine as the sunken parts of the tile would have been missed and so cleaning tile by tile was the only option to ensure the slate was returned to the best possible condition. A stiff brush was also run along the grout lines before thoroughly rinsing the floor to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Shell Slate at Lytchett Minster Before Cleaning

Sealing Shell Slate Tiles

The floor was left to dry overnight and I returned the next day to seal using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which is a penetrating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile preventing contaminates from lodging there and enhances the many beautiful colours of the Slate as well as leaving a subtle shine to floor.

Shell Slate at Lytchett Minster After Cleaning
The customer was very pleased with the result and said that she hadn’t before seen the true colour of her floor.

Shell Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Dorset

Cleaning old Yellow Ceramic Floor tiles in Poole

This fifty year old Ceramic tiled floor was installed in the communal parts of a small block of flats in Poole, Dorset. The tiles had not been given a deep clean in a long while and were now ingrained with dirt from many years of wear.

Yellow Ceramic Tiles Before Cleaning in Poole

Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tile and Grout

To clean the tiles a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied a left to soak into the tile for some time before working it into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. During this process it became clear that there was evidence that the tiles had been previously sealed using a metallised emulsion. This needed to be completely removed by buffing the floor and then steaming it; steaming also removed a myriad of paint spots that had accumulated over the years.

At this stage we took the opportunity to give the grout a good scrub with more Pro-Clean and a stiff hand brush before removing the cleaning solution with a wet vacuum and giving the entire floor a thorough rinse to remove and trace of cleaning product.

Sealing Ceramic Floor Tiles

The tiles were left to dry off overnight and we came back the next day to see if further work was needed. Now normally Ceramic tiles have a glazed surface that a sealer cannot take to however these tiles being were very old and the glaze had been worn off so sealed a small test are to see if it would take. The test was successful so I proceeded to seal the whole floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Due to the age of the tiles some were more faded than others which I could do nothing about however they looked generally clean and bright after restoration and the new Colour Grow sealer should provide protection for years to come.

Yellow Ceramic Tiles After Cleaning in Poole

 
 

Old Ceramic Tiled Floor Cleaned in Dorset