I do enjoy breathing new life into old floors as was the case with this Terrazzo tiled hallway floor in Southbourne near Bournemouth, installed in 1924 it had been knocked about by various building alterations and then finally covered in a carpet which had been glued to the floor.
Removing Adhesive from Terrazzo tiles
Stubborn remnants of the carpet adhesive were removed using Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU Remover which is applied to the tiles and then left to soak in for a before being scrubbed in with a black buffing pad and a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. HBU actually stands for Heavy Buid-up Remover and it’s a great problem solver that penetrates through tough stains and coatings so they can be easily removed. The floor was then washed down with clean water and any areas that needed further attention were retreated until I was satisfied with the floor was clean and free of glue.
The next step was to re-polish the Terrazzo using a set of of Tile Doctor burnishing pads which are applied in sequence from Coarse through to Super Fine with a little water to help lubricate. The coarse pad removes any surface grime and old sealant and the remaining pads build up the polish to bring back the original shine. The floor is washed down between each pad to remove the soil generated during the process.
Sealing Terrazzo Tiles
Cleaning took most of the day so I returned the next day to apply the sealer testing the floor first to ensure it was dry. To seal the floor I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that impregnates into the pores of the stone and prevents contaminates staining the floor.
The customer decided that she would conceal the concrete patches at the edges of the floor using Colours Stone Effect speckled spray paint which is available in B&Q in her own time.
As you can see from the photos the floor looked a hundred times better and the customer was very satisfied with the result.
This Georgian house in the beautiful historic town of Sherbourne, Dorset still had its original floor of black limestone flagstones. These were in a sorry condition, having been smoothed over with a cement screed to make it level for a carpet and, before that, painted at various times with both red and green floor paint.
A combination of cement, hardened carpet glue and old floor paints all needed to be completely removed before I could even begin to clean the original stone beneath.
Removing Sealer from Limestone Floor Tiles
After chipping away the areas of cement with a chisel I used an application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the stone for a while in order to loosen the old floor paint before steaming and wire-brushing the entire floor. This I followed with an application of Tile Doctor “Pro Clean” scrubbed in with a black buffing pad under fitted to a Numatic buffing machine to further clean the slabs.
Next step was to cut back and re-polish the Limestone flagstone using of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. You start with a coarse pad with a little water, then a medium pad, fine pad and finish with a very fine polishing pad rinsing the floor between each pad.
Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles
Following all this treatment the flagstones needed a few days to thoroughly dry out after which I returned to seal them with Tile Doctor “Colour Grow”, a long lasting impregnating sealer which enhanced the natural colour of the tiles and turned them from a drab grey to a rich and shining black.
Black Limestone Floor Polished and Sealed in Dorset
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.
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.
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
Occasionally I get a call to pop down to Sandbanks on the Dorset Coast which is well known for containing the most expensive property in the UK outside of London. This particular residence had a Travertine tiled hallway which was badly in need of renovation, it had become very soiled and dirt had become trapped in holes that has opened up in the stone over time and now needed cleaning and filling.
Cleaning and Filling a Travertine Tiled Floor
I began by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the floor for ten minutes before being worked into the tile and grout using a Numatic buffing machine fitted with a medium brush. I then dried the floor using a hot air gun and filled the holes with Harbro Stone Filler which is an epoxy filler as hard as the stone itself. I carefully scraped off the excess filler before leaving it to set overnight.
Burnishing Travertine Tiles
The next day I used 17″ wet and dry paper to remove the excess filler and to cut out some of the deep scratches in the travertine. This I followed by honing and polishing the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads which are diamond encrusted and come in a setup of four pads which are applied one after the other from Coarse, Medium, Fine and then Super Fine to restore the surface polish.
Sealing Travertine Tiles
On the third day I returned to seal the Travertine tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone occupying them and in doing so preventing dirt and soil from becoming ingrained into the stone. Colour Grow is also a colour enhancing product that brings out the colour in the stone
Unfortunately I didn’t remember to take a photo of the floor until after the initial clean but the effect of the filling and burnishing pad treatment should be visible.
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.
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.
This 50m2 Tumbled Marble tiled floor in Dewlish, near Dorchester had not been deep cleaned and re-sealed for at least five years and showed signs of the normal wear and tear associated with a busy kitchen/dining room and a dog that enjoyed muddy walks. The old sealer was now breaking down allowing dirt to become ingrained in the Marble making it difficult to clean.
Stripping a Tumbled Marble Floor
To restore the surface finish it needed to be burnished using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads come in a number of different grades from coarse (used to strip off sealers and dirt from the Marble) too very fine (used for final polishing) and are applied one after another starting with the coarse pad and moving through to the very fine pad towards the end. Each stage requires a little water which captures the soil and is rinsed away and removed with a wet vacuum. This process completely removed the old sealer and surfaces scratches with a new shine. The floor was given a thorough wash down at this point again using a wet vacuum to remove as much water as possible from the surface before leaving it to dry for the evening.
Sealing Tumbled-Marble Tiles
The next day the Marble had dried and I started to seal the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which was first applied to a couple of test tiles first to ensure it gave the effect the customer was looking for.
Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the natural colour of the tile and certainly the customer was pleased with the results so the sealing work continues until the whole 50m2 floor had been sealed with two coats.
When the whole fifty square metres of floor had been sealed using Colour Grow the effect was dramatic and the owners were so pleased with the result that they invited over a friend with a similar stone floor who immediately asked for her floor to be done in the same way.
Tumbled Marble Floor Restoration in Dewlish near Dorchester
This small Terracotta tiled floor with tumbled travertine inserts at a house in Middlemarsh, Dorset was around 25M² and had been in place for over ten years, since before the owner moved in. After a recent freezer leak caused the tiles and grout to become stained in the utility area; the customer was looking to either clean them or replace them as she wasn’t that keen on them anyway.
After a demonstration of what could be achieved she was happy to go ahead and have them stripped and resealed as opposed to the more expensive replacement option.
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 any remaining sealer. The solution was then worked into the tile and grout using a heavy 17″ rotary scrubbing machine and then rinsed down using a high pressure wash to remove the soiled solution and neutralise the floor of any remaining cleaning solution before sealing. The grout proved to be stubborn to clean so we had to repeat the process a second time and use stiff hand brushes along the grout lines to get them clean.
You should be able to appreciate from the photographs below how we have managed to get the floor back to its original state and the difference in the grout particularly which was looking very dark prior to cleaning.
Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles
The customer had opted to seal the floor themselves with Tile Doctor Seal and Go naturally I was keen to see how it came out so I asked them to send me some photographs a couple of which are shown below. The final result is a practically new floor and the customer is very happy with it.
Photographs below of a beautiful pale Crema Marble tiled floor in Bovington, Dorset; it had suffered from scratching and the general wear and tear over the short two years since it had been immaculately laid and also sealed. The customer wanted the floor scratches polished out and made to look like it had just been installed again.
Marble Tile Cleaning and Polishing
A sealer is not recommended on this type of floor as it’s so soft and will need regular maintenance to keep it looking tip top, the sealer can’t stop wear and tear and it would just mean more work to remove the sealer whilst polishing. The polishing process itself seals the floor to a good degree anyway.
Re-polishing the floor involved the use of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing Pads fitted to a rotary buffing machine, the pads come in a set and are very effective at restoring the shine back on Marble, Limestone and Travertine etc. You start with the red pad which is more abrasive and removes sealers with a little water before moving onto the White, Yellow and Green polishing pads to get a high shine glossy finish.
After the treatment the scratches were gone and the floor was uniform in appearance, it took a whole day of polishing and a set of pads to acquire the right lustre; Travertine and Limestone with a polished finish can also be treated the same way
Crema Marble Floor Tiles Re-polished in Bovington, Dorset