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

Brazilian Slate tiled cellar floor in Urmston, Manchester

This beautiful Brazilian Slate tiled floor was installed in the cellar of a house in Urmston, Manchester; the slate has never been sealed as so as you would expect it dirt soon became ingrained into the pores of the tile and it lost its appearance.

Brasilian Slate Floor in Urmston before cleaning

Cleaning slate Floor Tiles

I gave the floor a good deep cleaning using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean which is an alkaline cleaner safe to use on natural stone such as Slate; I should mention this is an industrial strength product and it’s very good at removing general dirt, grime and even grease. I let the product soak into the tile for five minutes before scrubbing it into the slate using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Pro-Clean was also used along the grout lines to get them clean, although this had to be scrubbed by hand with a stiff brush. Finally I gave the floor a through rinse using hot water to make sure that no chemical remained on the tile before sealing and then left for the evening so the floor could dry.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The next day I checked the floor was dry and then began to seal it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides stain protection and leaves a nice shiny finish.

Brasilian Slate Floor in Urmston after cleaning

I think you will agree the Brazilian slate tiles look much improved.
 
 

Brazilian Slate Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Urmston, Manchester

Shower Cubicle Tile and Grout Refresh in Hale

This Ceramic Tiled shower cubicle in a house in Hale was overdue a deep clean, the Ceramic Tiles were in reasonable condition but the grout lines had discoloured and become stained from the dyes in shampoo’s and soaps and the silicone needed to be replaced.

Shower Refresh Hale Before Cleaning 1

Cleaning Shower Tile and Grout

To clean the grout I decanted a strong 2:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into a spray bottle and sprayed the solution on the tile and grout working in small sections. I think I’ve mentioned this before but in case you were wondering mixing the cleaner with air makes it lighter and allows it to stick onto vertical surfaces better. The solution was then worked in using a stiff scrubbing brush by hand before being rinsed off with water; this process was repeated until all the tile and grout was clean and then left to dry. If you’re doing this work yourself then you should know that Tile Doctor produces a product that comes with a spray attachment called Oxy Pro that is ready to use and can save you some time.

The next step was to take a sharp knife and remove and replace the silicone strip between the tile and the shower tray.

Grout Colouring

Although the grout was cleaner following the scrubbing it was still showing some staining so to improve it further a white Grout Colourant was applied, fortunately the tiles were large format and the grout lines minimal. The product we use is epoxy based and forms a thin impermeable barrier over the grout so not only does it look good it protects the grout as well; it’s very easily applied using a small brush along the grout lines and you just wipe of the excess so it wasn’t long before the grout was looking like new.

I think you will agree from the photographs the finished result looks like a new installation, certainly my customer was very pleased with job I had done.

Shower Refresh Hale After Cleaning 2

 
 

Refreshing a Ceramic Tiled Shower in Hale

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

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

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor maintained in Manchester

This Travertine Tiled Floor was laid in an open plan Kitchen in West Didsbury, Manchester, hopefully you will be able to see from the photographs it was in need a regular clean and re-seal.

Dirty-Travertine-Befiore Dirty-Travertine-Before-photo

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Tile

I gave the Travertine tiles a quick clean with a weak dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove any loose surface dirt and this was rinsed off with clean water before starting with a set of Burnishing pads. The Burnishing system we use has four different coloured pads and they fit to a rotary machine. You work your way through them together with a little water one by one until the floor is thoroughly cleaned and polished; we used the white buffing pad for this one.

Sealing Travertine Tile

When the Travertine tile was dry it was sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection.

Travertine-Floor-After Travertine-Floor-After

 
 

Travertine Tiled Kitchen floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed.

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