Bucklebury Tile Cleaning

Bucklebury Tile Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find examples of the cleaning and renovation of tiles carried out in Bucklebury.

Douai School Travertine Floor Tile Renovation Upper Woolhampton

Communal Travertine Floor Renovated at Douai School – Upper Woolhampton

This enquiry came from Douai School in Upper Woolhampton which is a listed building near Bucklebury that dates back to 1830. The building was converted in 2003 into a range of extremely individual and stylish apartments. Also nearby is Douai Abbey which is a monastery occupied by Benedictine Monks who used to run the school until it closed.

Douai School Upper Woolhampton

I was called in inspect the impressive entrance and foyer area and main building itself. During the refurbishment in 2003 the whole area was installed with Travertine tiles with small slate inserts. Once an impressive floor it had deteriorated over the past eighteen years and had never been professionally cleaned since installation. Not only had the floor collected years’ worth of dirt in the pores of the stone the natural holes that were filled in during manufacture had started to pop out leaving an unsightly appearance.

Douai School Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Upper Woolhampton Douai School Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Upper Woolhampton

After surveying the Travertine floor, I carried out a test clean on a small inconspicuous area to demonstrate what would be involved and to verify which method and products would be the most efficient choice. From this I was able to provide an accurate quote, which was accepted, and a date was soon booked to carry out the work.

Douai School Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Upper Woolhampton Douai School Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Upper Woolhampton

Cleaning and Polishing a Large Travertine Tiled Floor

Due to the size of the area, I allowed 7 working days it complete the floor, working in sections at a time. This allowed me to cordon off a safe working environment for myself without impacting the residents too much.

I started the cleaning process with the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline based tile cleaner that breaks down heavy soils and old sealers. It was important to ensure as much dirt was removed from the pores, pockets, and holes in the Travertine as possible. I left it to soak in and get to work breaking down the dirt for roughly ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary floor scrubbing machine. The soil released during this process is then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. The section of flooring is then inspected, and the process repeated if needed, stubborn stains were be dealt with by spot treating. Once cleaned air driers where left in place to help speed up the drying process.

Douai School Travertine Floor During Cleaning Upper Woolhampton Douai School Travertine Floor During Filling Upper Woolhampton

The next task was to focus on filling the holes in the Travertine, I did this using an epoxy resin filler specifically designed to fill in stone. I used a combination of straw and light straw colours to compliment the different tones in the tiles. Once applied the product dries pretty fast however I like to leave a good hour before progressing onto the next stage of the refurbishment process.

Polishing Travertine Tiled Flooring

Now the area had been cleaned and filled my next task was to repolish the Travertine tiles that had lost its lustre over the years. Usually on sedimentary stone I would start with a 400-grit pad and work my way through the 4-stage burnishing system finishing on a 3000-grit. However, filling the holes leaves a residue on the tile which meant I needed to smooth back the surface first with a coarser 50, 100 and then 200-grit soft milling pads. This process generates a bit of soil which needs to be rinsed and extracted between each pad.

I continued with the restoration of the floor by moving onto the burnishing process using a further set of finer pads starting with 400-grit. The pads are applied to the floor as before with a heavy floor buffing machine using water to lubricate the process. The pad is run over each tile around three times and the fine slurry this process generates is rinsed off afterwards with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. You then move onto the 800-grit and then 1500-grit slowly building back the appearance of the stone.

Sealing Travertine Tiled Flooring

As I worked in sections at a time, I was able to allow a full day drying prior to sealing. Happy with the appearance of the floor I opted to seal the floor with one thin coat of colour grow. I had a range of sealers to use however I felt the stone would benefit from the colour enhancement properties colour grow sealer provides.

Douai School Travertine Floor After Cleaning Upper Woolhampton Douai School Travertine Floor After Cleaning Upper Woolhampton

Because this was a communal space it was necessary to tape the area I was sealing off to ensure there was no foot traffic whilst it was drying. This process was repeated throughout the job and at any one time I would have several areas sectioned for cleaning, drying, polishing, or sealing.

Douai School Travertine Floor After Cleaning Upper Woolhampton Douai School Travertine Floor After Cleaning Upper Woolhampton

The staff, chairman and residents where over the moon with difference I was able to make. In fact, I have since been invited back to deep clean the chairman’s kitchen and do other jobs for three other residents as they were all installed with the same material. I should mention that for aftercare I leave a bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap for maintenance cleaning.


Professional Renovation of a Polished Travertine Flooring in Berkshire

Communal Travertine Floor Renovated at Douai School – Upper Woolhampton Read More »

Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor Before After Cleaning Bucklebury Berkshire

Dirty Wax Sealed Quarry and Terracotta Floor Renovated in Bucklebury

I was recently asked to survey the floors at a substantial property in Bucklebury which used to be a school. At some point in the 1970’s there was a major makeover and the property was converted into two houses. During the conversion a combination of Terracotta and Quarry tiles were installed throughout the ground floor and then sealed with what we believed was a wax-based product. Although Wax was a traditional sealant for Terracotta there are better modern sealers available now that are designed for the job and so we don’t recommend it. In this case the wax had deteriorated over the years and left the tiles looking tired and dirty.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning

After reviewing the flooring, I demonstrated cleaning the tile and grout which went well and impressed the customer who after living with the floor looking dirty for some time was eager for the job to be completed. I gave the customer a price for renovating the whole floor which was agreed, and we set a date for the work to commence.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dirty Quarry and Terracotta Tiles

My first job was to strip off what remained of the wax sealer using Tile Doctor Remove and Go and a new Tile Doctor product called Wax Away which has been specifically designed for dealing with wax. Both products had very similar effects and together striped off the old coating with little issue. Of the two products my preference to use Wax Away as it foamed less when wet extracting with a spinner tool.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

After applying the Wax Away, I left it to dwell for fifteen minutes re-applying more product when it began to dry out. Leaving it to dwell allows it to penetrate the wax and weaken it so it’s easier to remove. I then used a 17-inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine to scrub the solution into the tiles. Finally, I used a spinner tool fitted to a hot water pressure extraction system that is housed in my van to rinsed away and extract the resulting slurry.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

After the floor was clean, I set to work on the grout lines that still had traces of embedded wax sealer. The floor pads can struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout, so the solution is to use a stiff grout brush and scrub them clean by hand assisted with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is out go to grout cleaning product.

As a last step in the cleaning process I gave the floor and Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. I did this to further clean the floor and to neutralise Its pH after using so many high alkaline cleaning products.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury After Cleaning Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

Sealing Quarry and Terracotta Tiles

I returned at the end of the week and checked that the moisture levels of the floor, we always do this to ensure the floor is dry before sealing and would not recommend sealing a damp floor as the results can be patchy. The readings were spot on, so I was able to get a started.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury After Sealing

The customer wanted to keep the rich terracotta colours in the tile and wanted a sheen, so I selected Tile Doctor Seal and Go as the sealer. To fully seal the tiles, I used six coats on the smaller Quarry tiles and nine coats on the large Mexican Terracotta tiles. Seal and Go is a modern water-based acrylic sealer that provides both a stain resistant seal and a durable low-sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury After Sealing

The result was a huge improvement, needless to say my customer was very pleased and left the following feedback.

”I had a large quarry/terracotta tiled floor in kitchen/conservatory badly in need of cleaning. Dennis did an incredible job. He was very efficient and the result is outstanding, very happy to recommend”


Professional Renovation of a Large Quarry and Terracotta Floor in Berkshire

Dirty Wax Sealed Quarry and Terracotta Floor Renovated in Bucklebury Read More »

Scratched Travertine Tiled Floor Repaired in Hunt Final

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

Dirty and Scratched Travertine Tiles Burnished in Hunt Read More »

Victorian Effect Marble Floor tiles after cleaning Steatley

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

Victorian Effect Marble Tiled Floor Restored in Streatley Read More »


Berkshire Tile Doctor

================================= Read More »

Scroll to Top