Dirty and Scratched Travertine Tiles Burnished in Hunt

Travertine, a form of Limestone, is a highly coveted stone that had been in use as a building and flooring material for hundreds of years. In fact, the Romans used Travertine to build the famous Colosseum, the largest building in the world that was built primarily from the material.

It is understandable, then, that anyone who owns a Travertine tiled floor would want to ensure its regular cleaning and maintenance, especially given that Travertine is a relatively soft stone in comparison with other stone, is easily damaged and is naturally pitted. This customer, who lives in the town of Hunt in Berkshire, was keen to have her Travertine tiles deep cleaned, several deep scratched removed and for the pitted holes to be filled.

Scratched travertine tiled floor before cleaning in Hunt

Burnishing and Cleaning a Scratched Travertine Tiled Floor

To clean the Travertine floor, I firstly used a hot clean and capture system, which essentially involves the application of hot water to the floor under high pressure. The system then captures the dirty water and transports it back to a tank on our van. It’s a highly efficient method for cleaning large areas in a short space of time, with great results.

Next, I treated the pitted holes in the Travertine were filled with a coloured matched resin. Pitting is a form of corrosion that occurs naturally in this type of stone, and can be quite unsightly if not treated. Additionally, it’s not unusual for pitting to be made worse by the constant use of weak acid cleaning products which can actually erode the calcium in the stone.

As mentioned, the tiles also suffered from deep scratches in parts, and these were removed using a process we call burnishing, which involves the application of diamond encrusted pads to polish the stone. The scratches were polished out using Coarse 100 and 200 grit diamond pads.

Scratched travertine tiled floor repaired in Hunt

The whole floor was then burnished using the four pad Tile Doctor burnishing system, starting with a Coarse pad and working through Medium, Fine and Extra Fine pads, with rinsing in between each pad and a final rinse at the end of the process.

I left the floor to dry off fully and retuned later to enhance the polish further using Tile Doctor Shine Powder, a crystallising powder product which provides a very durable and deep shine on the Travertine.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Having successfully dealt with all the problems affecting the Travertine, my last job was to seal the whole floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer that we recommend highly on quality stone such as Travertine, Limestone, and Marble due to the fact that it provides excellent protection and emphasises the wonderful natural shades in the stone.

Scratched travertine tiled floor after restoration in Hunt

The customer was extremely happy with the results and sent over the following feedback for Dennis who worked on the floor:

“Dennis was brilliant – very professional and conscientious – he worked so hard and in 30+ degree temperatures! He has rejuvenated our Travertine flooring to a beautiful, almost mirror like effect – it is now more amazing than it was when it was first laid down.”

Scratched travertine tiled floor after restoration in Hunt

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Pitted, Scratched and Dirty Travertine Floor in Berkshire

Victorian Effect Marble Tiled Floor Restored in Streatley

Never judge a tiled floor by its appearance! On this particular occasion, I visited a client at a house in the village of Streatley which is a small village that sits alongside the River Thames as it runs through the county of Berkshire. The requirement was to take a look at a very old Marble floor which was initially believed to consist of Victorian, rather than Marble, tiles due to the pattern. My client simply could not get the white Marble tiles looking their best; many were a displeasing off-cream colour and naturally wanted them looking new again.

Victorian Effect Marble Floor tiles before cleaning Steatley

Before beginning the restoration, we confirmed that the stone was actually Marble. We did this by testing the tile with acid, which the tiles responded to since Marble is naturally acid-sensitive. Additionally, we could also see the veins running through the tiles, which you simply would not get with a Victorian tiles.

Burnishing a Marble tiled floor

Chemical cleaning had no effect on this floor, so it’s understandable that my client’s attempts at cleaning with everyday household products were unsuccessful. With this type of stone the only method would be to burnish the floor with a set of diamond encrusted pads.

I started off by using a Medium 800 Grit burnishing pad to no avail, followed by a Coarse 400 Grit burnishing pad, which was also unsuccessful. It was only when I used an even coarser 200 Grit pad that some improvement was shown, and it was a very abrasive 100 Grit pad that finally started to achieve the right results. After breaking down all of the dirt, I reverted back to a very fine 1500 grit pad to give the tiles an aesthetically pleasing, light sheen. You use the pads with a little water which lubricates and allows the resultant slurry to be rinsed away.

Restoring the Colour of Black Marble Tiles

The floor was then allowed to dry overnight and upon my return, I treated the black Marble Tiles with Tile Doctor Stone Oil, which gave the stone its deep black shine you can see in the photo.

Final step was to seal the Marble floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile enhancing colour and protecting the floor from staining from within.

Victorian Effect Marble Floor tiles after cleaning Steatley

The floor now looks fantastic and back to how it looked when it was first installed.
 
 

Professional Marble Tiled Floor Restoration in Berkshire

Filthy Limestone Tiled Floor Restored in a Maidenhead Kitchen

Recently I visited a client in the town of Maidenhead, Berkshire who needed assistance restoring a very dirty pitted Limestone tiled floor which had suffered over the years due to poor maintenance choices. The pressures of a busy family life had, understandably, prevented my client from undertaking regular cleaning and the products and methods used for cleaning were by and large unsuitable for this type of natural stone. In addition, the pits in the tiles had been filled with grout; however, they were not flush to the tile and therefore a large amount of soil had collected in the pockets. The result was a Limestone tiled floor in considerably poor condition that was increasingly difficult to keep clean.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Maidenhead Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Maidenhead

My client had tried and tried to get the floor clean, using methods such as scrubbing with toothbrushes, steam cleaners, and mopping – but they weren’t getting anywhere! I explained to my client that steaming is, in fact, one of the worst cleaning systems to use on natural stone floors. Steam not only damages sealers, it also thins out greasy soils. Some of these soils are absorbed onto the domestic microfiber pads, however a lot of the soil becomes thinner allowing it to penetrate deeper into the pours of the stone and grout. This in itself starts the vicious circle to rapidly soiled and dirty tiles and grout. This happens because the grease soils magnetise dirt!

Solution: cleaning a Limestone tiled floor

My first task in the cleaning process was to mix a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner. This solution was applied liberally across the entire Limestone tiled floor and grout. It was allowed to dwell for 30-40 minutes, giving it time to seep into the stone to get underneath and lift the ingrained dirt to the surface. During this time, I scrubbed the grout lines using a specialist stiff grout brush. The Limestone tiles were then scrubbed with heavy mechanical rotary agitation machine.

Limestone Floor During Cleaning Maidenhead Limestone Floor During Cleaning Maidenhead

I then gave the floor a thorough rinse using the latest in cleaning and capture technology, which involves firing hot water at high pressure in a spinning motion across the floor, in effect blasting away the ingrained soils from the grout and pitting in the limestone. The high pressure is delivered from a system mounted inside my van which also contains waste tanks to capture the extracted soiled water.

Solution: sealing a Limestone tiled floor

After being allowed to dry thoroughly for 24 hours, I returned to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which would have brought out the deep colours in the stone, however after discussing the options with the client it became clear that they wanted to keep the floor looking as light as possible so Tile Doctor Ultra Seal was applied. Ultra Seal is a natural look impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone and protects it from within.

Limestone Floor After Cleaning Maidenhead Limestone Floor After Cleaning Maidenhead

The floor now looks fantastic and the sealer should ensure it remains looking that way for some time to come and before leaving I made sure to provide my client with some professional maintenance advice.
 
 

Restoring the appearance of a pitted Limestone tiled Kitchen in Berkshire

Dirty Terracotta Tiles and Grout Cleaned and Sealed in Fifield

For this job, I travelled to a house in the town of Fifield, near the city of Windsor, Berkshire. My client’s problem was a heavily soiled Terracotta tiled floor. Terracotta tiles have been used for over two millennia, but are known to pick up dirt quite easily due to their porosity and a lack of natural surface glaze. This dirt can become ingrained if not removed quickly.

In this particular case, the tiles and grout lines were very dirty, with a small amount of grout haze blemishing some of the newly installed tiles. The affected area of the floor required a thorough clean. Additionally, most of the old sealer had worn away, further exposing the tiles to dirt and damage – this would need to be replaced.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning in Fifield

Cleaning dirty Terracotta tiles and grout lines

To clean the floor, I first used Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a strong multi-purpose stripper/cleaner which as its name suggests is designed to remove any old sealer left on the surface. Working in sections, I sprayed down a layer of Remove & Go, before leaving it dwell for roughly 5-10 minutes.

While Remove & Go was soaking into the Terracotta, I scrubbed the grout lines using a stiff grout brush. This helped to lift out the ingrained dirt and grout haze. After I was done with the grout my attention went back on the tiles, so I added a small amount of water to form a solution, which was then scrubbed into the affected area using a heavy weighted rotary machine and a stiff agitation pad.

Terracotta Floor Part Cleaned in Fifield Terracotta Floor Part Cleaned in Fifield

The floor was then rinsed using a high pressure hot water tile and grout cleaning extraction system to remove any remaining soils, pollutants, debris and old sealer. After cleaning, the floor was inspected to ensure all of the issues had been dealt with. Following this, it was treated to a final rinse.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning in Fifield

Sealing Terracotta tiles and grout

The floor was then let to dry overnight. Thanks to the Aga cooker and damp proof membrane under the floor, the tiles and grout were clean and completely dry, ready for sealing the next day.

I sealed the floor with 6 coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide a healthy, durable seal, which also gave the tiles aesthetically pleasing sheen.

Terracotta Floor After Sealing in Fifield

As you can see from the photograph, the clean and seal made a marked improvement to the condition of the tiles and grout – and my client was very pleased!
 
 

Reconditioning the Terracotta Tiles

Smelly Slate Toilet Floor Problems Resolved At Slough Bowling Complex

Although we do get a lot of residential work we also cover commercial properties such as this local bowling complex in Slough where complaints of a bad odour in the male toilets had been received. The owner of the bowling complex realised the problem was coming from the slate tiled floor and decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to identify and eliminate the odour.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Inspection

Upon closer inspection, it was identified that the unsealed slate floor in the toilets had been contaminated by urine ingress. Urine ingress is a common problem for people who have small animals like cats or dogs as household pets, but it also quite often affects public toilets.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Inspection

Urine ingress occurs because urine, after leaving the body as an acid, becomes a white alkali crystal salt as it dries. Using normal detergents (including bleaches) for cleaning will actually add to both the odour and the problem overall since they are alkaline-based cleaners. At the same time, neglecting to clean can also be damaging, as urine in its initial acidic form will start to eat away at the sealer if not removed quickly.

Cleaning Slate Tiles

Our first action was to use Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a tile and stone friendly stripper, which we applied liberally to the toilet floor. This particular solution is highly effective at removing protective sealers, whilst also drawing out ingrained stains and removing any heavy grease build-up. The solution was allowed to sit for a short period of about ten minutes. It is important not to leave the product to dwell on the surface for too long in case it dries completely. Next, we added a small amount of water to the Remove & Go, before employing a heavy weighted rotary with a nylon brush to carefully scrub the slate and grout lines.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Stripping

After the soils and sealers had been successfully removed, the next task at hand was to neutralise the bad odour caused by urine ingress. This was achieved using a mild mix of the phosphoric acid-based detergent Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which was able to neutralise the alkali crystal salts back to a neutral state. The floor was then scrubbed again, before being thoroughly rinsed with plenty of fresh water.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Stripping

Sealing a Slate Floor

As the bowling complex experiences high volumes of customers on a daily basis, it was essential to use a sealer which would provide the floor with durable protection. We advised our client that an impregnating sealer rather than a topical sealer would be the most suitable for use in this type of environment and recommended a combination of Tile Doctor Stone Oil and Ultra-Seal (suitable for use on all natural stone, including slate) be used instead.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Sealing

We left the floor to dry overnight before applying the Stone Oil. Stone oil reconditions the Slate tile and enhances the colours within the stone. The product then needed a further period of time to dry before we applied two coats of Ultra-Seal impregnating sealer to the stone.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Sealing

Why did we use an impregnation sealer instead of a topical sealer?
Impregnation sealers, such as Ultra-Seal and Colour Grow, are absorbed by the pores in the stone, offering both stain and soil resistance, and providing protection from within. In addition, they are usually solvent-based, and provide durable protection even in areas which experience high traffic. By comparison, topical sealers will essentially build up layers on top of the stone in order to offer protection. The downside to using this is that, in high traffic areas, the sealer can be effectively ‘kicked’ or walked off the surface of the stone.

You’ll notice in some of the photos that the grout appears to be a different colour after cleaning. That’s because the grout had been repaired by the bowling complex prior to our work on the floor. This mistake has been realised, however, as they have matched the grout in with the dirty discolouration, rather than the clean so addressing this issue will be another job on their list!

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Sealing

In summary I’m happy to report we were able to effectively clean the slate floor and eliminate the bad odour caused by urine ingress in the process; then due to the busy nature of the bowling complex a combination of sealing products were applied to the stone to provide long-lasting protection.

Overall, our client was left with a cleaner and more durable slate floor.
 
 

Elimination of Odour in the Toilet’s Slate Floor at a Bowling Complex in Slough

Soiled Limestone kitchen floor deep cleaned and sealed in Crookham

Recently, Berkshire tile doctor was asked to restore a pitted and heavily soiled limestone floor in the village of Crookham by a previous customer. I always like it when that happens as there’s no better testimonial that than being asked by a previous customer to do more work. This floor ran throughout the kitchen, utility and downstairs toilet and had a range of soils on the floor, especially in the kitchen. The floor had also lost its sheen and although the customer did not want a deep shine they did want the floor to have some reflection to it.

Limestone Kitchen Floor in Crookham before cleaning Limestone Kitchen Floor in Crookham before cleaning

Deep Cleaning the Limestone Tiled Floor

We used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get the floor clean again by applying a medium dilution which was spread liberally over the floor using a bucket and soft brush. The cleaning solution was allowed to dwell on the stone before being scrubbed into the tile and grout using a stiff brush and pad.

Limestone Kitchen Floor in Crookham during cleaning Limestone Kitchen Floor in Crookham during cleaning

A coarse diamond burnishing pad was then used to remove some surface soils and any remaining sealer from the surface of the limestone before giving the floor a rinse using our unique clean and capture system. This system combines, water, heat, pressure and powerful vacuum extraction and is highly effective at blasting away soils from the pits in the limestone. Once we were happy the floor was clean we set about restoring the finish to the stone with the medium, fine and very fine burnishing pads.

Limestone Kitchen Floor in Crookham during cleaning Limestone Kitchen Floor in Crookham during cleaning

The floor was given another rinse and the limestone left for 48 hours so it could thoroughly dry out before sealing.

Sealing the Limestone Floor

To seal the stone we applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a durable sealer that impregnates the stone and enhances the deep natural colours in the stone.

Limestone Kitchen Floor in Crookham after cleaning

We believe it’s important to seal stone after deep cleaning and restoration as it helps prevent future soils and staining. There are many sealers available on the market for stealing stone, however, it’s important to recognise the importance of using a quality sealer and having used Tile Doctor products for some time now can confidently say they offer long term protection for your floor. We do however recommend an annual deep clean and touch up to ensure your floors stay looking as great as the day we leave and we offer a regular maintenance service to enable you achieve that.
 
 

Restoration of Solid Limestone Floor in Crookham