Tile and Grout Refresh for Neglected Bathroom in Stockport

If you’re a landlord, it can be quite difficult to know what your tenants are getting up to and whether they are taking good care of your property. It’s usually only when major problems emerge that a landlord will get involved.

Such was the case with a recent customer of mine who owns a property in Stockport, a large town in Greater Manchester not too far south from the main city centre. The tenants of the property either neglected or didn’t know how to take care of the tiled shower walls in the bathroom. Over time, the condition of the tiles and grout had become so appalling that the landlord had to call Tile Doctor to see about restoring them.

Bath Shower Tile Before Refresh Stockport

Cleaning Dirty Shower Tiles

I began the restoration by cleaning the grout lines, which were truly filthy. This was done using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Pro-Clean is an ideal product for cleaning up neglected tiles and grout, since it removes all manner of dirt, including the soap scum and grease which had built up on these shower walls over the course of several months.

The product was left to dwell for a couple of minutes before being scrubbed deep into the grout. The area was subsequently rinsed with fresh water to remove the soil. In some stubborn places, I didn’t achieve the desired result right away, so I repeated the cleaning process a couple of times.

When the grout and tiles were cleaned to the best of my abilities, I used my heat gun to dry the walls quickly. Next, I removed all the mouldy silicone around the shower, a process which proved quite tricky because the tiles were all quite small, and there was newer silicone on top of old, very mouldy silicone, so I had to dig in deep to get it all out.

After doing this, I had to clean and dry the gap between the tiles and the bath because the old mouldy silicone didn’t leave it in a pretty state.

Sealing Shower Tiles

After everything was cleaned and dried, I sealed the walls using Tile Doctor Wall Tile and Grout Sealer Aerosol Spray. What makes this such a brilliant product is how easy it is to use. It is a spray-on sealer that adds long lasting protection against water, dirt, grease, mould and limescale. This reduces the amount of maintenance required.

When I had finished sealing the tiles and grout, I applied new, high quality and mould resistant silicone. With that, the restoration was complete. The whole process took only a day’s work, but you must agree that a fantastic outcome was achieved. The landlord and tenants were very happy with it, remarking that if they didn’t know any better, they would’ve thought it was a brand-new installation.

Bath Shower Tile After Refresh Stockport

 
 

Filthy Bath Tile and Grout Cleaned and Sealed in Greater Manchester

Burnishing the Polish Into Travertine Tiles in Didsbury

While popular and highly coveted due to its natural brown colouring, Travertine is not as tough as other types of natural stone and thus needs regular maintenance if you wish to keep it looking good. Without it the polish can quickly dull, and can suffer from erosion over time if acidic cleaning products are used often resulting in small holes or pitting appearing.

This house in the Manchester suburb of Didsbury had a particularly large area of Travertine tiles which had proven to be very difficult for the property owner to maintain. When I spoke to her I explained that Tile Doctor have a reliable process for the restoration of Travertine and similar types of natural stone such as Marble and Limestone using a polishing process we have developed called burnishing, and I assured her that we could achieve the same with her floor.

Travertine tiled floor before polishing in Didsbury

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Tiles

Tile Doctor’s burnishing system involves the application of four different diamond encrusted burnishing pads in sequence from coarse to fine, using a small amount of water with each pad for lubrication.

Travertine tiled floor before polishing in Didsbury

I started work on this Travertine by applying a Coarse 400 grit burnishing pad to strip away dirt and any old sealer remaining on the tiles, before removing any dirty water with a wet vac machine and rinsing the floor (a process which is repeated after the application of each pas). Next, I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad, which I used to break down any ingrained dirt and stubborn marks, and to start smoothing down the rough and uneven surface that had developed on some of the tiles. I then used the Fine 1500 grit pad to smooth the surface even further and get the floor ready for its final polishing.

However, before applying the fourth and final pad, I took the time to carefully fill all the cracks and holes as these were spoiling the overall appearance of the tiles. Following this I left the floor for the day so it could dry off fully overnight.

Sealing Travertine Tiles

I returned to the property the next morning to seal the floor. My first course of action was to run a damp test; which we do in every situation as even a small amount of damp threatens to spoil the sealer. The test did reveal some damp spots, so I used my heat gun to dry them out quickly.

Once the floor was completely dry, I went over the floor with the Very Fine 300 grit pad, without any water as lubricant this time, to achieved the final desired polish. In this situation, I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles as I knew it would enhance the natural shades in the Travertine. Colour Grow is a solvent based colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection while allowing the surface to breath and enhance colour.

It’s really important that all excess sealer – that which doesn’t penetrate the stone – is polished off. For polishing off the excess, I used our three cloth system. After completing the sealing process, I went over the floor one final time with the Very Fine 3000 grit diamond burnishing pad to ensure a smooth and shiny finish.

Travertine tiled floor after polishing in Didsbury

Needless to say, the customer was very happy with result, remarking that the floor never looked that good before!

Travertine tiled floor after polishing in Didsbury

 
 

Professional Polishing and Sealing of a Dull Travertine Tiled Floor near 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

Recently Laid Travertine Tiled Floor Cleaned in Didsbury

Incredibly this Travertine tiled floor had been laid just two weeks prior and unfortunately the tiler had not cleaned the floor prior to sealing thus trapping in dirt and dust that were present on the floor and now the tiles looked dull and dirty. Sealing floors can be a minefield and it’s possible the dirt was not that obvious and by sealing the floor it magnified the issue literally; whatever the reason the only solution would be to strip the floor of its sealer, clean the floor and then reseal.

New Travertine Floor Before Cleaning in Disbury

Maintaining Travertine Tiles

To strip the floor of the sealer and clean it requires the application of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which are fitted to a rotary machine in a set sequence and run over the floor lubricated with a little water. There are four pads in the set, you start with a coarse pad which will remove ingrained dirt and sealers before moving on to the medium, fine and very fine polishing pads which are a much finer grit and restore the polished finish of the stone. The floor needs to be rinsed down between each pad application to remove the soil that is produced and then given a final wash at the end to make sure the floor is clean before sealing.

Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tile

The floor must be dry before sealing so it was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone so dirt cannot become ingrained there and in the process it also enhances the natural colours in the stone. Once the sealer was dry it was buffed using a white buffing pad to make sure that I hadn’t left any residues from the seal.

New Travertine Floor After Cleaning in Disbury
The customer was very happy with work and they now have the floor that they wanted.

Travertine tiled floor cleaned and re-sealed 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

Travertine Tiled Floor Polished in West Didsbury

This job was a Travertine tiled Kitchen floor in West Disbury, the customer ask me to have a look at the tiles which had been down for three years and had quite a lot of cracks in, on top of that it had not been sealed very well when it had been laid which had allowed dirt to become ingrained into the tile leaving it looking dull.

Travertine-Floor-West-Disbury-Before Travertine-Floor-West-Disbury-Before

Maintaining Travertine Tiles

The first job was to wash the floor down to remove any grit from the floor and then remove what remained of the old sealer, now with Travertine being a very hard stone it has to be removed using of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. Once this was done all the cracks in the Travertine were filled in using a flexible grout which was a blend of three different grout colours in order to get a shade that matched the colour of the travertine. The tiled area was quite confined and tricky to work in so this process including the sealer removal took two days in all.

Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tile

On the third day I used the fine burnishing pad to give the final polish and then to protect the floor from stains it was sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the colours in natural stone. Once the sealer was dry it was buffed using a white buffing pad to make sure that I hadn’t left any residues from the seal.

Travertine-Floor-West-Disbury-After Travertine-Floor-West-Disbury-After

The customer was very pleased with the finish and found it very hard to spot the cracks I had filled.
 
 

Travertine tiled floor maintained 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

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Maintained in Stockport

The owner of this modern bungalow in Stockport requested that we visit and rejuvenate the Travertine tiled floor installed in their kitchen. Stone floors do loose their appearance over time and so if you want to keep them looking good it makes sense to call us in every few years to give them a face lift.

Stockport-Travertine-Tiled-Floor-Before

Cleaning Travertine Tiles

For the best results hard stone tiles such as Travertine and Marble etc. need to be polished with a set of Burnishing pads however before you start that process it’s necessary to remove any surface dirt from the floor first, this will ensure any grit that could get trapped in the burnishing pads and scratch the floor is removed first. With this in mind we washed the floor using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this was also a good opportunity to get a stiff brush into the grout lines and give them a good scrub. We washed the floor down with clean water using a wet vacuum to remove the water from the floor before moving onto the next step.

Polishing and Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

We polished the floor using a set of 17” Burnishing pads fitted to our weighted polishing machine; the pads are diamond encrusted and you start with the coarser Red pad designed to remove sealers before moving on to the White, Yellow and finally Green polishing pad to achieve a high shine finish.

The last step was to seal the floor which we did using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is colour intensifying sealer that will provide on-going durable surface protection as well as enhancing the natural colours in the Travertine tile.

Stockport-Travertine-Tiled-Floor-After

The kitchen wasn’t a large area and the Travertine dried quite quickly so we managed to clean, polish and seal the floor in the same day.
 
 

Cleaning Travertine Tiled Kitchen floor in Stockport