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

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

Damaged Travertine Tiled Floor Repaired in Oldham Conservatory

The photographs below probably don’t do this job justice but in summary recent high winds had dislodged tiles from the roof adjacent this conservatory at a house in Oldham causing them to smash through the glass roof and damage the Travertine Tiles on the floor below.

Damaged Travertine Tiles Oldam Conservatory Before

Cleaning, Filling and Polishing Travertine Tiles

The first job was to wash the floor down with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to give it a general clean and remove any surface dirt and grit from the floor. Travertine is a very hard stone so to restore the finish it needs to be cut back and polished 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, this takes some time but the effect it quite transforming, it does build up slurry on the floor so it all needs to be washed down again at the end. I use a wet vacuum to remove the liquids from the floor and this also gets the floor quite dry. I then filled the holes in the damaged tiles using resin cement that matched the colour of the Travertine.

Sealing and Buffing Travertine Tile

I let the floor dry fully overnight and came back the next day to seal the tiles checking first with a damp meter that the floor has dried. A sealer is highly recommended for natural stone as it protects the stone from staining and keeps it looking good for longer. For this floor I used coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the colours in natural stone, it’s also an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone and preventing dirt becoming ingrained there. 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.

Damaged Travertine Tiles Oldam Conservatory After

The job took two days to complete and the customer was very happy with the final finish and the fact that you could not tell where the damage had been.
 
 

Travertine tiled floor maintained by Greater Manchester Tile Doctor

Restoring Victorian Tiles at the Salford Town Hall

This original Victorian Tiled floor was uncovered at the Grade 2 listed Salford Town Hall in Salford, Manchester. This public building which built around 1827 was the former Salford Town Hall and Magistrates Court; it’s currently being turned in to luxury apartments and this amazing floor is located in the main entrance hall. The floor was only recently re-discovered during the conversion works after being hidden for many years and was in surprisingly good condition. The company remodelling the building are maintaining the historic features so we got the call to go in and clean and seal the floor.

Victorian Tiles at Salford Town hall before

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

Cleaning the floor was fairly straight forward and involved the application of a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for around ten minutes before being worked into the Tile and Grout using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. The dirty solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the whole floor rinsed down three times to ensure there was no trace of cleaner left on the floor. It’s a large tiled area so it took the whole day to complete.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I returned the next day to see that the floor had dried off overnight and so started to seal it using Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a topical sealer that adds a nice shine to the tiles, five coats of sealer were needed before the tiles were fully sealed. I think you would agree the floor now looks fantastic; certainly the client was happy with the finish.

Victorian Tiles at Salford Town hall after

 
 

Cleaning a large Victorian tiled floor in Salford

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