tile sealing

Victorian and Quarry Tiled Floors Restored in Shrewsbury

Details below of a red and black Quarry tiled floor at a house belonging to a customer in the Shropshire market town of Shrewsbury, which dates back to medieval times. The owner had recently moved back to the area and purchased the house with the intention of restoring all its original features including the Quarry tiles floor which had several coats of red floor paint and had been covered with carpet for several years, I guess the previous owner wasn’t sure what else to do with it.

Black and Red Quarry Tiled Dining Room Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury
I was also asked to refurbish the Victorian Tiled hallway and porch which was in an equally neglected state.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury
Naturally this is exactly the sort of thing we do so I was confident the floor could be significantly improved with our assistance and after popping round to take I look provided a quote although due to other priorities it was a whole year later before I was asked to come and do the job.

Black and Red Quarry Tiled Dining Room Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

There was cement based building residue, plaster and efflorescence on the floor so I decided to treat the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tiles for a while before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; the resultant slurry was washed away using more water and a wet vacuum.

The whole process was repeated until I was satisfied that any stubborn areas had been dealt with and then the floor given an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to remove the efflorescence.

Once I was happy with the condition it was given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then left to dry for four days.

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The tiles have to be dry before sealing and after testing the floor with a damp meter I confirmed that four days has been sufficient and the floor was indeed dry. The next step was to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile and enhances the natural colour of the tiles in the process.

Black and Red Quarry Tiled Dining Room After Sealing in Shrewsbury
I was able to use the same cleaning and sealing process on both floors and I think you will agree it made quite a difference and both floors have been transformed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Quarry and Victorian Floor Tile restoration in Shropshire

Modern Quarry Tiles Uncovered and Restored in Nesscliffe

This customer had just bought a house in the small Shropshire village of Nesscliffe. Like many new property owners, she was keen to make some changes to the interior decoration, deciding to pull up the carpet they she didn’t like that covered almost the entire ground floor of the house. Upon doing so she and her partner discovered a large area of original Quarry tiles.

Modern quarry tiled floor in Nesscliffe before cleaning
They decided that instead of replacing the carpet with a new one, they would keep the original floor and attempt to restore its condition. However, their efforts to restore the tiles by themselves proved ineffective – many of the cheaper, supermarket cleaning products were not suited for the job of removing years’ worth of dirt and stains.

Modern quarry tiled floor in Nesscliffe before cleaning
At that point they decided to call me. I visited the property and ran a test clean to see what could be achieved. The customer was more than happy with the initial results and booked me in to undertake the full restoration.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Quarry Tiles

The most noticeable problem with the tiles was a series of paint splashes and plaster deposits covering almost the entirety of the floor, the result of previous decoration work and the installation of carpet.

I removed these by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and working it into the tiles using a scrubbing brush fitted to a rotary machine, with the alkaline cleaner reliably breaking down the stubborn paint splashes.

I then worked the product into the grout lines too using a grout brush. To tackle the plaster and cement-based residue I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a phosphoric acid cleaner which removes heavy stains.

Following the cleaning, I left the floor to dry for a week to allow for any excess moisture to evaporate.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

On my return to the property I immediately checked whether the floor was dry enough to be sealed. We always do this as excess moisture can very easily effect the performance of the sealer.

Thankfully the floor was completely dry and I was able to seal the tiles using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. Seal & Go is a topical sealer, meaning it builds up a layer of protection again dirt and stains on the surface of the stone. We recommend it for tiles such as Quarry, Victorian and Slate. While offering surface protection it also provides a pleasing low-sheen finish.

Modern quarry tiled floor in Nesscliffe after cleaning
The customer was really pleased with the result. Within a week the newly discovered Quarry tiled floor had been transformed from an apparent lost cause to a real asset to the home of the new property owners.

Modern quarry tiled floor in Nesscliffe after cleaning

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Shropshire

Marble Tiled Floor Restoration in Albrighton

For this job I travelled to the town of Albrighton, which is actually the most easterly settlement in the whole of Shropshire. My client had an issue with their Marble tiled floor which was installed in the kitchen and hallway. They had dropped and broke a bottle of vinegar in the kitchen, and the substance unfortunately came in contact with the tiles. Since Marble is highly sensitive to acid, the vinegar (an acetic acid) had basically etched the surface of the tiles make it impossible clean chemically.

Marble tiled floor before restoration in Albrighton
Although the tiles were a nice, expensive Marble, the person who had first installed them had done a poor job, leaving lippage of up to 5mm in some areas, which would make work trickier. Undeterred I could see it would be possible to restore the floor using a combination of burnishing for the tiles and cleaning with a high alkaline product for the grout lines. I demonstrated this to my client on one tile which went well and I was then given the go ahead to restore the entire floor.

Marble tiled floor before restoration in Albrighton

Cleaning and burnishing acid damaged Marble tiles

My first task focused on cleaning the grout lines using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with a stiff grout brush. Pro-Clean is a high alkaline cleaner suitable for use on most types of natural stone floor. It helped to alleviate most of the grout staining caused by the vinegar, whilst also lifting out any ingrained dirt and muck, and this left the grout looking a lot cleaner.

After cleaning the grout lines I was able to move on to burnishing the tiles. As previously mentioned, no chemical product would be able to have an effect on the damaged tiles, so I resolved to burnish them using a system of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. Working first with a coarse burnishing pad, and moving through to medium, fine and very fine pads, lubricated with a little water, I was able to significantly reduce the appearance of the acid stains, while also giving the tiles a nice polished finish.

Sealing a Marble tiled floor

Following the cleaning and burnishing processes I gave the tiles a good rinse to remove any remaining residue and then ensured the floor was completely dry before starting on the sealing.

To seal the floor and maximise the appearance I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow and Tile Doctor Shine powder. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone intensifying and enhancing the natural shades and colours in the stone whilst also providing stain protection;
Shine Powder on the other hand is a crystallising powder that is ground directly into the tiles to provide a high shine finish and durable surface protection.

Marble tiled floor after restoration in Albrighton
My client and her husband were really happy with the results and left the following message on the Tile Doctor Feedback system:

“Jozsef was a charming young man in every respect, who worked very hard and achieved an amazing result. The tiles look better than the day they were laid. We are absolutely delighted with the work he has done and will recommend him to all our acquaintances. Thank you, Jozsef!”

Marble tiled floor after restoration in Albrighton

Putting new life into an acid etched Marble tiled kitchen floor in Shropshire

Cleaning and Sealing Handmade Mexican Terracotta tiles in Wellington

This Mexican Terracotta tiled floor was installed throughout the kitchen, dining room, hallway and back porch of a house in the town of Wellington which is the third largest town in Shropshire. It was interesting to work with real handmade Mexican Terracotta tiles which I understand are left outside to dry in the sun, which would seem to be true as in some places you could see the tiles were marked by some animal footprints.

These particular Terracotta tiles were laid over a decade ago and now overdue a deep clean and re-seal, additionally the floor had suffered from a crack in the grout line near the doorway to the kitchen, so I quickly fixed that before making a start on a thorough clean and re-seal for the entire surface.

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta tiles

The previous sealer had worn away so to clean the floor I used a strong dilution of the high alkaline cleaner Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Under normal circumstances I would apply the solution to the tiles using a black scrubbing pad, but in this case I resolved to use a brush fitted to my rotary machine due to the Terracotta floor’s uneven surface. The solution really helped to lift out the dirt and stains, and the residue was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Mexican Terracotta Tile Cleaning Wellington Mexican Terracotta Tile Cleaning Wellington

I then turned my attention to cleaning the grout, using the same Pro-Clean and water combination applied with a stiff grout brush. After giving the floor an initial rinse, I realised that there were a couple stubborn stains still remaining on the tiles. To remove these I used Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a powerful cleaner that is particularly effective at penetrating into porous stone like Terracotta to lift out deeply ingrained muck.

After completing the clean, I gave the floor another thorough rinse, before leaving the house for a week to give the area plenty of time to dry.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning in Wellington Mexican Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning in Wellington

Sealing Mexican Terracotta tiles

Upon my return, my first task was to inspect the floor for dampness. It is always important to do this because any leftover moisture can potentially damage the performance of the sealer. Nonetheless, as expected, the floor was dry enough for the sealer to be applied.

I applied a total of nine coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provided the floor with a nice sheen finish and durable surface protection for the future. Seal & Go is suitable for use on internal, unsealed porous surfaces such as Terracotta, Sandstone, Slate, and more.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles After Sealing in Wellington Mexican Terracotta Tiles After Sealing in Wellington

My client was extremely pleased with the results, and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Joe is a true professional. He was completely committed to doing the best job possible. Also, his manners were impeccable. A pleasure to have in the house.”

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Tiled Floors in Shropshire

Limestone Kitchen and Utility Refurbished in Shrewsbury

This customer had recently bought a house in Shrewsbury and was in the process of refurbishing it including replacing the kitchen which when I arrived had been removed leaving an area of flooring which was a different shade to the rest. Additionally the floor has been very badly laid resulting in lippage problems between the tiles and in some places there was a 3mm difference in the level between adjacent tiles. To make things worse there had a leak in the bathroom above which caused the ceiling to come down leaving a big mess in the utility room.

Limestone Floor in Shrewsbury Kitchen Before Limestone Floor in Shrewsbury Utility Before

Cleaning Limestone Tiles

The polished Limestone tiles needed to be cut back and refinished with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads however my first task was to clean the grout lines by applying a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbing it into the Kitchen and Utility grout with a stiff narrow brush. I gave the grout a rinse with hot water and removed the now soiled water with a wet vacuum.

I had spoken to the customer earlier about the lippage problem and recommended that we could resolve it with a set of very coarse milling pads which effectively grind away at the Limestone until the whole floor is completely flat. The customer was not keen on this and after discussing the options I agreed to treat the most problematic edges with a handheld machine and set of six inch burnishing pads which gave a fairly good result.

The burnishing process requires the application of four different grades of diamond pad fitted to my rotary floor machine and lubricated with a little water. You start with the coarse pad which removes the dirt from the Limestone and you move onto the medium, fine and superfine polishing pads until the surface is restored. The process requires the floor to be rinsed between the application of each pad and this needs to be removed using a wet vacuum.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Once I had finished polishing and the floor was dry I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which impregnates into the pores of the tile to prevent other contaminates getting in there; Colour Grow also does a great job of bringing out the natural colours in the stone.

Limestone Floor in Shrewsbury Kitchen After Limestone Floor in Shrewsbury Utility After

The customer was very happy with the end result and left the following feedback:

” Jozsef was really excellent, professional and very polite. The limestone tiles in our new home were dreadful, we thought they would have to be removed, but Joe somehow managed to get them clean again. He left everywhere clean and tidy and we would wholeheartedly recommend him. Mr & Mrs Leech, Shrewsbury.”

Limestone Tiled Floor Burnished and Sealed in Shropshire

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