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.
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.
Tiled Victorian floor restoration in Buxton for Derby University
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
If your hiring a decorator beware, for some reason were seeing an increase in floors splattered with paint due to a lack of care. This was certainly the case on this Riven Slate tiled floor in Bury, Greater Manchester where decorators had made a right mess of this floor with plaster and paint.
Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floors
I started the cleaning process by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner/stripper safe to use of natural tile and stone. The Pro-Clean was left to soak in for a while before being worked into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; this worked well and removed all of the plaster and most of the paint. The remaining suborn paint spots were dealt with individually by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a specialist coatings remover. The last step was to rinse the floor down with water three times in order to wash away any remaining chemical and neutralise they floor before sealing.
Sealing Riven Slate Tiles
I left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides good stain protection and a low sheen finish. You can see from the photographs the improvement in the floor.
Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Floor in Bury, Greater Manchester
Details below of a Victoria floor tile renovation we did recently in the hallway of a house in Heaton Mersey, which is an old suburb of Stockport. The floor was an original feature in the house being laid sometime in the eighteen hundreds, some sealer was left on the floor to offer protection but most had been worn down and the floor was suffering from the impact of ground in dirt from recent building works.
Cleaning the Victorian Floor
The floor was cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a black buffing pad to loosen the soil that had built up on the floor. The floor was then neutralised to remove any remaining cleaning solution by rinsing it three times with water and then left to dry.
Sealing the Victorian Floor
Once dry the floor was sealed with 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for sealing Victorian tiled floors as it brings out the colours in the tile whilst providing stain protection and allowing moisture vapour to breathe through.
The owner Mr Mitchell was very pleased with my work and left a great testimonial which is copied below.
“Steve has done an excellent job of cleaning up a very dirty old Victorian floor. The job was not without its problems, but Steve dealt with them very professionally, taking responsibility for issues with third parties that he had little control over. He has also done an excellent job of cleaning our carpets.”
Cleaning and Sealing a Victorian floor in Heaton Mersey, Stockport
This beautiful Limestone tiled floor was installed at a busy country club in Hale, Manchester around eighteen months prior and had seen significant foot traffic with around 500 people traversing it daily. The floor was taking a significant amount of punishment and although regularly cleaned the dirt had started to become ingrained into the stone and the maintenance team were struggling to keep it looking good, I also suspect that the cleaning product used on the floor may have accelerated the degradation of the sealer leading to the premature ingress of dirt.
Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles
The floor was given a quick wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner in order to remove any surface grit and then cleaned using a set of Burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. The burnishing pads come in four different types and you work your way through them starting off with a course stripper pad with a little just water and then carry on with the white pad and then the yellow pad until the floor is thoroughly cleaned and any previous sealer removed. Next step was to use Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a stiff brush to get the grout clean as well. To bring up the polish on the Limestone tiles I used a green polishing pad which is the last in the set of the four burnishing pads.
Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles
Once the floor was dry we set about sealing it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection on natural stone floors whilst bringing out the deep colour in the stone. The last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad.
The Limestone floor is now back to its best and I took the time to explain the need to use a neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner on the stone in future.
Limestone Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed at a Hale Country Club
This Ceramic tiled bath with shower was installed at house in Didsbury, this customer wanted to give the bathroom a facelift and not usually it was the grout rather than the ceramic tile that had discoloured, the silicone also needed to be replaced due to the mould build-up and if you get mould on silicone it’s impossible to remove and can only be replaced. Unfortunately mould build-up in bathrooms is quite common in the UK due to our damp climate and modern insulated homes that restrict air flow. If you’re having this problem yourself consider installing a more powerful extractor fan or simply leaving the door to the bathroom open more often.
Cleaning Tile and Grout
The Ceramic tiles and grout were treated using a strong 2:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a highly recommended Tile and Grout cleaning product; being alkaline it’s safe to use on all sorts of tile and stone surfaces. For vertical tiled surfaces I recommend the mixture is decanted into a bottle with a trigger spray attachment which when sprayed onto the wall allows the cleaner to mix with air making it lighter and allowing it to stick better. The solution was then worked in using a stiff scrubbing brush by hand before being rinsed off with water; this process was repeated a number of times until we had managed to clean all the areas 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 col=”http://www.TileDoctor.co.uk/Oxy-Pro-Shower-Tile-Grout-Cleaner.asp” target=”_blank”>Oxy Pro that is ready to use and can save you some time.
Whilst waiting for the tile and grout to dry the Silicone Sealer was removed using a sharp knife, as I mentioned before once mould gets a grip on silicone it will need to be replaced. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that silicone will last longer if the residue from soaps, shampoos and body washes etc. are rinsed away with clean water after having a shower as it’s the chemical and not the water that damages the silicone in the first place.
Cleaning the grout had made a visible difference and improved the overall look of the bathroom but it wasn’t showroom condition so to improve it further it was necessary to apply a white Grout Colourant. 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.
Last step was to re-new the silicone sealant around the top of the bath and the job was finished; my customer was very pleased with the results and made the comment that she thought it looked like new.