Grout Cleaned and Recoloured in Manchester Office Toilets and Kitchens

We recently received a request from the Manchester headquarters of a global engineering and construction company which was founded in 1911 and now operates in over 160 countries. The company contacted us because they were keen to restore the tiled walls and floors in 20 different toilets and kitchens throughout the offices.

It would be a big job, but we were more than happy to respond to the enquiry. We agreed a complimentary visit to the office for us to test clean one of the floors to show what kind of results could be achieved. The management team at the offices was very impressed with the results of the test clean and asked us to complete the whole job.

Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices Manchester Before Cleaning

There was talk of replacing some of the grout completely and I explained that it would be less expensive and time consuming to restore the discoloured grout through cleaning and recolouring and they were happy to let us proceed on that basis.

Mens Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices Before Cleaning

Cleaning Discoloured Grout Lines

As there were 20 different rooms to clean and recolour, our team worked in a couple of rooms at a time to ensure firstly, that we got the job done in time and secondly, that we wouldn’t disturb the normal operations of the offices.

The process was as follows. To clean the grout, we used a strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a strong Alkaline-based cleaner which reliably gets the job done in situations where most run-of-the-mill cleaners won’t. We applied the Pro Clean to the grout lines and tiles and left it to dwell for about 10 minutes. We then scrubbed the grout lines with specially designed grout brushes and followed by cleaning the tiles with a black scrubbing pad fitted to our rotary machine.

Ladies Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices During Cleaning

After scrubbing the tiles and grout, we rinsed and removed all the dirty water and cleaning
solution with a wet vacuum. We repeated the rinsing process several times to make sure all chemicals were neutralised. Similar cleaning techniques were used to clean the tiles on the walls, but the walls took a lot longer to complete as the tiles were much smaller and therefore had a greater number of grout lines. When all the cleaning process was finished, we left the tiles to dry until the next day.

Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices Manchester After Cleaning

Recolouring the Wall and Floor Grout Lines

To recolour the grout lines, we used the Grout Colourant from Tile Doctor’s own range. Available in ten different colours, this is a brilliant product as it rejuvenates and also seals the grout. The fact that the colourant is epoxy based will also make future maintenance easier, as you can just wipe off the dirt.

Toilet Floor Grout During Recolouring at Corporate Offices Manchester Toilet Floor at Corporate Offices Manchester After Grout Colouring

For the floor grout lines, we used the Natural Grey colourant and for walls we used White. The application of the colourant is simple yet quite laborious when working in large rooms. After finishing, we wiped off any excess product.

Kitchen Floor at corporate offices Before and After Cleaning

Overall, it took us two weeks to complete all the work but I think you will agree from the photographs that all toilets and kitchens look completely rejuvenated. We got lots of good feedback from the people who work at the company. They all stated that the toilets and kitchen look like new and even asked us about restoring grout in their own homes.
 
 

Commercial Toilets and Kitchen Grout Restoration at International HQ Manchester

Burnishing and Sealing to Restore Travertine Tiles in Bury

Travertine is a distinct and characterful stone that makes for some truly beautiful tiled floors. However, like any natural stone the main difficulty with Travertine tiles is keeping them looking fantastic and unfortunately without regular maintenance its appearance can decline over time.

This customer, who lives in Bury, contacted me for this exact reason. For the past decade, she had attempted to keep her Travertine floor clean by using some kind of wax polish, only to find that this actually made maintenance more difficult, the wax built up in layers and was difficult to remove.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bury

I visited the property to conduct a test clean and determine the kind of results I could achieve through restoring the entire floor. The customer was very impressed with the small area I cleaned and booked me in on the same day to complete the full job.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bury

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

As a result of my successful test clean, I already knew that the best process to restore the tiles was burnishing. This involves the application of different grades of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to strip away dirt and staining, and gradually polish the stone to achieve a quality shine.

Normally on Travertine tiles I would start by applying the Coarse 400 and Medium 800 grit pads, followed by moving up to Fine 1500 and Very Fine. In this particular case, I started by using a Very Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to strip off the wax coating and old sealers from the tiles. The pad was fitted to a rotary machine and lubricated with a small amount of water.

After finishing with the 200-grit pad, I removed all soiled water with my wet vacuum. There were still few areas of wax left in the corners of the room, and on these areas, I used a 200 grit handheld burnishing block.

When I finished with first round of burnishing, I repeated the exact same process with the 400, 800, and 1500 grit pads, rinsing away the soil in between until I was left with a high quality polished finish right across the floor.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Polishing Bury

After completing the burnishing, I filled a number of small pitted holes in the stone using a beige flexible epoxy-based grout to match the rest of the floor. I then left the floor to dry until the next day.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property and used a damp tester to make sure the floor was dry enough for sealing. Usually with polished tiles this isn’t a problem, but sometimes the grout can be an issue. Luckily, there weren’t any issues with dampness.

Before sealing I went over the floor again using the Very Fine grit pad with a tiny amount of water as lubricant. Finally, I sealed the floor with our impregnating sealer known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow. The sealer penetrates the stone and enhances the natural colours and patterns in the stone. I polished off any excess sealer with several cotton cloths.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bury

To make sure the floor was in pristine condition I went over the floor for a final time with the Very Fine grit pad to smoothen the surface after sealing.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bury

The customer was extremely pleased with the result, and even promised to recommend me to her daughter to clean and seal her Marble tiled floor. I also left her a free bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to help her ensure the floor stays beautiful, we recommend Neutral Clean for the regular cleaning of sealed floor as most supermarket cleaners are acidic and will reduce the life of your sealer over time.
 
 

Restoring the Polish on a Travertine Tiled Floor in Greater Manchester

Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing Travertine Floors in Newton Heath

This customer in Newton Heath, just outside of Manchester, used to have a beautiful polished travertine floor on most of the ground floor and bathroom but over time it was getting duller and duller as the polish became worn down, not helped I might add by their choice of cleaning products which were not appropriate for this type of floor. Additionally, numerous cracks and holes had appeared in their floor and worried it was going to get worse they decided to call in some professional help and get the whole floor fully restored.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Newton Heath

When I got the call I went over to the house to take a in-depth look at the problem and recommended that the floor was burnished using diamond pads of different grades. They also asked if I could apply the same treatment to the travertine bathroom floor and shower cubicle as well, which I was very happy to do so we agreed a price and scheduled a date to do the work.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Newton Heath

Dull Travertine Floor Cleaning/Polishing

To start the burnishing process, I applied the Coarse 400 grit burnishing pad to the floor using rotary machine and water as lubrication to break down and remove any old sealer from the stone. When finished with first burnishing pad I removed all the soiled water left on floor with a wet vacuum. This removal process of soiled residue was repeated after each use of a burnishing pad.

Next, I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad which is less coarse, but still rough enough to break down layers of ingrained dirt. I followed this up with the application of a Fine 1500 grit pad, which started to smooth down the rough areas of the surface to prepare the floor for a final polish with 3000 grit. However before moving straight on to the final of the four pads, I took the time to carefully fill in the all the small cracks and holes in the stone, before leaving the floor to dry until the next day.

Sealing Travertine Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property to finish off the floor restoration. As soon as I arrived I used a damp tester to make sure the floor was completely dry.

All was well so I went over the floor with the final Very Fine 3000 grit burnishing pad, this time without any water lubricant, to finally achieve a high quality polished finish.

For polished floors, we recommend the use an impregnating sealer that penetrates the pores of the stone rather than sitting on the surface of the floor, as this ensures the quality of the polish isn’t damaged. With this in mind I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. This is a colour enhancing sealer that provides durable surface protection and allows the surface to breathe whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone. At this point it’s important that any sealer that doesn’t penetrate the stone is removed by polishing it off with a cloth.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning and sealing Newton Heath

After this I went on to repeat the cleaning, polishing and sealing process on their Travertine Tiled shower cubicle but I’ll detail that in a separate post.

Needless to say, the customer was very happy with the work carried out on the floor and shower cubicle and recommended me to his neighbour straight away.

Travertine Bathroom Floor After Cleaning and sealing Newton Heath

 
 

Professional Travertine Tile Restoration in Greater Manchester

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

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

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.