Dull Limestone Tiles Brought Back to Life with Burnishing in Peel Green

This beautiful Limestone kitchen tiled floor at a property in Peel Green was only a year old and, while it wasn’t in too bad of a state, the customer told me the floor had not been sealed properly due to issues with retaining moisture. The lack of an adequate sealer had allowed the Limestone to become duller over time after exposure to dirt and muck. It also had some more obvious marks and stains in some place and needed some grouting to be done around the corners and edges of the room.

Limestone tiled floor before burnishing Peel Green Limestone tiled floor before burnishing Peel Green

I travelled to the property in Peel Green, which is within the Greater City of Salford in Greater Manchester, to see what could be done to restore the condition of the tiles.

Burnishing Dull Limestone Kitchen Tiles

Upon closer inspection of the tiles, I recommended to the customer that we proceed with the process known as burnishing, which we use primarily on Limestone, Marble, and Travertine. Burnishing, which involves the application of diamond encrusted burnishing pads, breaks down old sealers, gets rid of marks, stains and ingrained dirt, and gradually builds and evens out the polish on the tiles.

I started burnishing the Limestone kitchen tiles straight away when I arrived at the property as it was a big area and would require lots of hard work to achieve the desired results within the space of a day.

Our burnishing system consists of four diamond encrusted pads: Coarse, Medium, a Fine and Very Fine. Each pad was applied to the Limestone in sequence in tandem with a small amount of water to act as lubrication, gradually smoothing and polishing the surface of the tiles. After every pad, I also used my wet vac machine to remove any dirty water left on the floor and, after the Fine pad I rinsed the floor thoroughly to remove any dirt left on floor. I then left it to dry.

Sealing Limestone Kitchen Tiles

When I was satisfied that the floor was completely dry, it was time to seal the Limestone tiles. However, I first went over the floor with Very Fine grit pad to provide a final polish before sealing.

My choice of sealer was the impregnating Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a product which enhances the natural colours in the stone whilst also offering robust protection against dirt and stains. Remembering that the tiles had never been properly sealed, I applied plenty of sealer and left it to dry for 10 minutes. Following this, I carefully removed any excess sealer left on the surface with a dry cotton cloth. After sealing I went over the floor once final time with the Very Fine pad, just to smoothen things down and leave an exceptionally neat finish.

Limestone tiled floor before burnishing Peel Green

When the job was finished, I gave the owner some tips and recommendations on the cleaning of the floor going forward and a complimentary bottle of neutral cleaner to get them started.

Limestone tiled floor after burnishing Peel Green Limestone tiled floor after burnishing Peel Green

The customer was very pleased with the finish, so much so that she opted and take up the Tile Doctor Maintenance Plan to keep the floor looking good for years to come! This involves popping round every 6-12 months to top up the sealer and give the floor a quick polish.
 
 

Professional Maintenance of a Dull Limestone Tiled Floor in Greater Manchester

Shower Cubicle Cleaning and Re-Colouring in Dane Bank

Shower and bathroom mould and soap scum growth are probably the most common, annoying and frustrating tile-related problems. Wet and high humidity areas with poor ventilation provide the perfect breeding ground for mould and stains. Soap residue and body oils also create a food source for soap scum, mould to grow.

My customer in Dane Bank had the exact problem with dirty and mouldy grout lines in her shower cubicle. She had tried scrubbing the grout lines herself with a toothbrush and standard supermarket cleaners but never got the result she wanted.

Shower cubicle before refresh in Dane Bank

Fortunately she was lucky to find Tile Doctor from the internet and I was asked to pop over and take a look to see what could be done. I was confident we could make a big difference so I went through the options with her and give her price for the job. She was happy with the price and we agreed a date for me to return and complete the work.

Shower cubicle before refresh in Dane Bank

Cleaning a Ceramic Shower Cubicle

For grout lines cleaning I used Tile Doctor Grout Colorant Pre-Treat Cleaner, which successfully removes dirt, soil, soap scum and hard water deposits from grout joints. The product was sprayed on to the grout and left to dwell and seep into the pores for approximately five minutes to break down the soap scum and dirt before being scrubbed in using a stiff grout brush. The cleaning was successful but there were still few mouldy spots left. On these spots I used Tile Doctor Mould Away Spray that is meant for quick removal of mould from grout and silicone. One again product got sprayed on grout lines and left to dwell for five minutes and then scrubbed with stiff grout brush and then rinsed with clean water. After I had finished cleaning I express dried the tile and grout using high power heat gun.

Grout Colouring in a Shower Cubicle

With the area nice and dry, I had to choose the matching colour for the existing grout. There are ten colours to choose from the Tile Doctor range of Grout Colourant and on this occasion we chose Limestone as the best colour to match the tile.

Shower cubicle after refresh in Dane Bank

The colourant is easily applied directly to the grout and in this case I applied two coats. The product is epoxy based and completely seals and rejuvenates the appearance of the grout, which not only drastically improves appearance it also makes it much easier to clean in the future. After applying the re-colourant I buffed all grout colorant excess off the tiles and the shower cubicle was ready.

Shower cubicle after refresh in Dane Bank

My customer was very satisfied with the work and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor Feedback system

“Really, really happy with the service Tony provided and the recommendations he suggested. The work was carried out in a highly professional manner, to a high standard. I have already recommended him to friends. Thank you”
 
 

Shower Tile Refresh in Greater Manchester

Encaustic Cement Tiles Burnished and Sealed in Stockport

I’m often asked if you should seal a tile before grouting and the answer is a definite yes, and this Encaustic Cement tiled bathroom floor installation in Stockport is a great example as to why. The tiles had not been sealed before grouting and then, once the tiler went to grout the newly installed tiles with a grey grout, the colour ran into the tiles, staining them and leaving them looking grubby and dirty. Had the tiles been sealed it would of made the process of removing the grout from the surface of the tile much easier.

If you haven’t come across them before Encaustic cement tiles are often hand painted and are available in a range of beautifully artistic patterns, so it was a real shame that these tiles were allowed to be spoilt by an avoidable mistake. As you can imagine, the property owner was keen to have the tiles professionally restored, and she contacted me to get the job done. I took some photographs but I’m not sure that they do justice to the problem.

Encaustic Cement Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Stockport

Burnishing and Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

Rather than use a liquid cleaning product, I opted to use diamond encrusted handheld burnishing pads to remove the grout stains. Our burnishing system comprises four pads of varying grits. I started with the Coarse grit burnishing pads applying to the tiles it with a small amount of water as lubricant to grind down the grubby marks. Following this I worked my way through the system, applying Medium, Fine and Very Fine pads to gradually restore the appearance of the floor. Once the burnishing process has been completed I rinsed the tiles and then accelerated the drying process using a heat gun to prepare them to be sealed.

Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

Removing any excess moisture before sealing is essential as even a small amount can cloud the sealer and prevent it from properly protecting the tiles from dirt and stains. Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I proceeded to seal it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. As an impregnating sealer Colour Grow penetrates deep into the pores of the stone to fill them and thus prevent dirt from becoming ingrained. Colour Grow’s colour intensifying properties also really accentuated the patterns of the Encaustic Cement tiles.

Encaustic Cement Floor Tiles After Cleaning Stockport

Now that these fantastic tiles have been properly sealed it will be far easier for the customer to keep them clean in future. Needless to say, she was very happy with the result. We recommend topping up your sealer on a regular basis to ensure problems like those which occurred here do not damage the appearance of your tiles.
 
 

Professional Tile Burnishing, Cleaning and Sealing for an Encaustic Cement Tiles Bathroom Floor Restoration in Stockport

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Refreshed in Wigan

Shower cubicles can be the most difficult of tiled features to keep clean. Most are exposed to various acid-based soaps and shampoos on a daily basis, allowing mould and general muck to quickly build up along the grout lines and silicone. This leaves the entire area looking quite unappealing. In some cases, the grout lines become stained beyond a point where they can be restored to their original condition, so property owners will typically request to have the grout cut out and replaced however a faster and cheaper method is to have the grout completely recoloured.

Such was the case with this Ceramic tiled shower cubicle at a house in Wigan. It would take a lot to get the cubicle looking great again, having not been cleaned properly for a long time. The property owner decided to contact me for a professional refresh, including cleaning, new silicone sealer and recolouring of the grout.

Ceramic Shower Cubicle Before Refresh Wigan

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiles Shower Cubicle

I started the refresh by applying Tile Doctor Mould Away spray to the tiles and grout, and leaving it to dwell for an hour. As the name of the product suggests, Mould Away is a fast and effective cleaner for the removal of mould from silicone and grout, making it ideal for use on shower cubicles similar to this one. I then rinsed the entire area down with water before scrubbing the grout lines and tiles with a stiff grout brush to remove any remaining mould and lime scale, leaving them looking a lot cleaner.

Colouring Grout in a Ceramic Tiles Shower Cubicle

The cleaning process made a big improvement however the grout was still too stained so after removing the silicone strip from around the base of the shower I proceeded to recolour with our white Grout Colourant. The colourant is painted onto the grout and any excess is wiped of the tile before it dries which both improves the appearance of the grout and seals it in to protect it from further staining. The last step was to apply fresh white silicone along the base of the shower.

Ceramic Shower Cubicle After Refresh Wigan

The customer was very pleased with the refreshed appearance of their shower and you must admit it looks much more inviting now.
 
 

Professional Ceramic Tiles Shower Cubicle Restoration in Greater Manchester

Rough Chinese Slate Kitchen Floor Revitalised in Cheadle

This small rough Chinese Slate floor in the kitchen of a house in the village of Cheadle near Stockport in Greater Manchester had not had any sealer put on it for many years and was very grubby (dishevelled as described by the customer) looking even after the customer had tried to clean it.

Sealers do take a lot of punishment, especially in a high traffic area such as a small kitchen and will wear off over time and once this happens the floor will start to lose its appearance as dirt becomes ingrained in the stone and it can no longer be cleaned effectively.

Dishevelled Chinese Rough Slate Before Restoration Cheadle

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floors

As we have to apply a liberal amount of water with this sort of work, the first step was to remove the Kicker boards at the bottom of the Kitchen units and silicone the Kitchen units that were fixed; this stops water seeping in and blowing the MDF allowing us to concentrate on cleaning the Slate without causing any damage.

I started the cleaning process by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get rid of the built up dirt and any remaining sealer, leaving it to soak into the Slate before scrubbing the floor with a black scrub pad fitted to buffing machine running at slow speed. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner/stripper that is safe to use on natural stone, we do have stronger products available if required but in this case a strong dilution of Pro-Clean was sufficient to tackle any remaining sealer.

This process gave the Slate and grout lines a good deep clean and after rinsing the floor with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum I repeated the process on stubborn areas until satisfied the floor was as clean and free of old sealer. Last stage of the cleaning process was to give the floor a final rinse and then get it as dry as possible using the wet vacuum to soak up the moisture.

Sealing Riven Slate Tiles

The floor was quite small so I was able to leave the floor to dry off over lunch time and then on my return managed to get it fully dry with a little heat from a heat gun. The customer wanted a mat finish so once dry I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which impregnates into the pores of the natural stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the Slate at the same time.

Dishevelled Chinese Rough Slate After Restoration Cheadle

For general cleaning of Sealed stone floors, we recommend the use of a PH Neutral Cleaner as anything with a strong PH will degrade the life of the sealer over time.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Floor in Greater Manchester

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Maintained in Didsbury

This Travertine tiled kitchen floor had been laid around five years previously in a house in Didsbury and now most of the sealer had worn down making the floor difficult to clean effectively. This resulted in the tiles looking continually dirty and a few of the tiles had cracked which you can see in the photograph below.

Travetine Tiled Floor Before Burnishing Didsbury

Maintaining Travertine Tiles

To start off with i scrubbed Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into all the grout lines with a stiff brush in order to get them as clean as possible followed by a rinse with water which was extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to strip the Travertine of any remaining sealer and dirt using a set of four Diamond encrusted burnishing pads which come in a number of grades and are applied from coarse to extra fine with a little water to help lubricate.

I used the first three pads from coarse to fine rinsing between each pad to restore the polished finish of the stone but stopped before applying the final pad so I could fill all the cracked tiles with a resin filler in a matching shade. Once the filler had dried I gave the floor a final polish with the fourth extra fine burnishing pad and gave the floor a final rinse at the end to make sure the floor was clean before sealing.

Cracked Travertine Didsbury Repair

Sealing Travertine Tiles

Once the floor was dry it was sealed using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone so dirt cannot become ingrained there. This particular sealer also enhances the natural colours in the stone.

Travetine Tiled Floor After Burnishing Didsbury

After the final polish and sealing the cracked areas had blended in very nicely and the customer was very pleased with the overall result.
 
 

Repairing and Maintaining Travertine Floor Tiles in Greater Manchester

Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Didsbury

This Terracotta tiled floor was in the kitchen of a house in Didsbury near Manchester. The tiles had never been sealed before and so had become ingrained with dirt making them very difficult to clean.

Terracotta floor cleaning Didsbury before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

To get the Terracotta tiles clean I soaked tiles in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for ten minutes. Then using a large 17inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and a stiff grout brush proceeded to work the cleaning solution into the tile and grout. This process soon turned the cleaning solution dark with the dirt that had been released from the tile and this was removed using a wet vacuum. The floor rinsed down with water and stubborn areas retreated, finally once happy with the condition of the floor the tiles were thoroughly rinsed to remove any trace of cleaning product prior to sealing and the floor left to dry overnight.

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

I returned the next day to seal the floor testing it first with a damp meter to make sure it had dried. I then started to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave any smell as it dries. Terracotta is a very porous clay based material and so the floor took seven coats of sealer to do the job, this is not unusual and I’ve known some Terracotta to need even more coats of sealer.

Terracotta floor cleaning Didsbury after

 
 

Terracotta Tile Cleaning near Manchester

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration at Buxton Outward Bound Centre

Derby University have a 58 acre outward bound centre in Buxton at the centre of the famous peak district. The manor which was previously a hotel is the hub of centre and caters for numerous outdoor pursuits including climbing, underground caving and canoeing; as you can imagine the floors in manor house get a fair amount of wear as students come and go in their boots and rucksacks. All this takes its toll and I was asked to restore a marvelous old Victorian tiled floor at the manor house.

Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

The Victorian tiled floor was looking tired; any sealer that may have been applied previously had long since worn off. There were a few cracked and broken tiles which needed replacing and fortunately you can still source these tiles and so once this was done I set about cleaning the floor. To clean I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline product in conjunction with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad; once the floor was clean I washed it down with clean water to remove any remaining chemical before sealing. I can recommend the use of a wet vacuum at this point as it makes the job of removing liquids from floors much faster.

Outward-Bound-victorian-Floor-before

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

One the floor was dry I started the sealing process or applying five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, this can take a while as it’s necessary to allow each coat to dry before applying the next. The sealer added a nice sheen to the floor and will provide protection to the Victorian tiles going forward; you can see the difference in the photographs.

Outward-Bound-Victorian-Floor-after

 
 

Tiled Victorian floor restoration in Buxton for Derby University

Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovated in Ashton Under Lyne

This Victorian Tiled Entrance Hall was an original feature of a house in Ashton under Lyne which is a town in the wider Greater Manchester area; naturally an entrance hall is a high traffic area and subject to a fair amount of wear so it was in need of a deep clean and re-seal.

Victorian-Floor-Before-Cleaning

Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

The Victorian Tiled tiles were fairly dirty so we mixed Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra-Clean and then diluted it with water; the two products together form a very powerful cleaner as you get the cleaning power of Pro-Clean combined with the tiny abrasive particles found in Ultra-Clean. The resulting mixture was worked into the floor using a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Once the floor was clean and I was happy with the results it was rinsed with clean water to remove any trace of cleaner and neutralise the floor prior to sealing. We used a wet vacuum to remove the water from the floor and left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

The next day the floor was dry so we set about applying the sealer. For Victorian Tiled floors I recommend the use of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, its ideal for Victorian Tiled and as well as providing good stain protection its adds a nice low sheen to the floor. To fully seal this floor we needed four coats of Seal and Go before which does take time as it’s necessary to allow each coat to dry before applying the next.

Victorian-Floor-After-Cleaning-and-Sealing

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing Victorian Tiled Floor Tiles in Greater Manchester

Problems with Travertine in Shower

As you can see from these photographs we don’t just clean and seal stone floors we can also rectify problems with wall tiles as well. In this case our customer had a problem with Travertine installed in a shower at a house in Stockport which had not been sealed following installation. Travertine is porous and over time the tiles had becomes stained with the dyes and soap scum, mould had also managed to get a grip in the pores of the travertine.

Travertine-shower-tile-before

How to Clean a Travertine Shower

To get the Travertine back to its original condition it was necessary to use a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a set of six inch Burnishing pads, each one serves a different function from scrubbing to polishing, the buffing pads are applied with water and restore the shine on the surface of the tile. The Tile Doctor Pro-Clean also came in handy to clean the Grout, its best applied with a spay attachment so it can mix with air allowing it to dwell on the tile before being scrubbed with a stiff brush and washed down. The whole Travertine Shower tile was washed down with water and left to dry before sealing. Last step was to remove and replace the silicone seal at the bottom of the tray using mildew-resistant Mapei Mapeisil Silcone in Jasmine in order to match the grout.

How to seal Travertine Shower

Once the shower was dry we sealed the Travertine using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which brings out the natural colours in the stone as well as providing surface protection. The sealer will wear off over time so it will be necessary to reapply it from time to time however it will prevent the problems from re-occurring. The transformation was quite remarkable and the customer was extremely happy with the results.

Travertine-shower-tile-after

 
 

Cleaning Travertine Shower Tile in Stockport