Cleaning a Slate effect Porcelain Tiled floor in Bury

A client from Bury, north of Manchester, contacted us to have their Slate tiled floor stripped and sealed and have the grout replaced. They were finding it difficult to keep clean and were mainly concerned about the grout which they described as awful.

As per usual practice I went over to survey the floor and work out a price for doing the work. After running some tests, I realised that the tiles were actually Porcelain which are manufactured to imitate Slate and therefore far easier to maintain. I recommended a deep clean of the tile and grout followed by the application of a grout colourant to restore the appearance. I completed a test clean on part of the floor which they were very happy with and they agreed to my quote. We booked the work in to be completed later in the month.

Slate Look Porcelain Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Bury Slate Look Porcelain Tile and Grout Before Cleaning Bury

Cleaning/Repairing a Slate effect Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor

First, I prepared the area and taped up the plinths and skirting to protect them. I then cleaned the floor using Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is sprayed onto the tile and grout and then scrubbed in with the aid of a rotary floor machine fitted with a scrub brush. The slurry was then extracted off the floor by rinsing with water and extracting with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to apply Tile Doctor Grout Colourant Pre-Treater to the grout lines and scrub it in. This product is slightly acidic so as well as cleaning it also etches the grout to provide a better bond with the colourant. It was left to get to work on the grout for a few minutes and then was scrubbed in with a stiff narrow brush. I used a steamer and a wet vacuum to get the grout as clean as it could be and then left it to dry for a short time.

With the tile and grout as clean as it could be, I inspected the floor and could see areas where the grout was still stained and others where it was crumbling. Only the application of a grout colourant would give the consistent appearance desired by the customer. First though I needed to tackle the crumbling grout by scrapping out the old grout and replacing with new.

Sealing a Slate effect Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor

I needed the fresh grout to dry out, so I left the floor overnight and came back the next day to complete the grout colouring for which I used one bottle of Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in Limestone wiping off any excess as I went. As the floor tiles were in fact Porcelain there was no need to apply a sealer so once the colourant had dried the job was complete.

Slate Look Porcelain Tile and Grout During Grout Colouring Bury

Once finished the floor looked great, it was now clear that it has been the grout that had brought down the overall appearance of the floor.

My customer was very happy with their new floor and even left me a bottle of wine! I left then with some Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, used regularly it will ensure the appearance of the floor is maintained and the grout is protected.

Slate Look Porcelain Tile and Grout After Renovation Bury

 

Professional Restoration of a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Greater 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

Riven Slate Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Bury

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.

riven-slate-floor-before-photo

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.

riven-slate-floor-after-photo

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Floor in Bury, Greater Manchester