Stone Cleaning

Dirty Semi Riven Brazilian Slate Floor Renovated in Thatcham Berkshire

This customer in Thatcham, near Newbury in Berkshire had inherited a rare semi-riven Slate floor with their kitchen. However, years of dirt and contaminations had built up and left the Slate looking dull and the grout discoloured.

Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Floor Before Renovation Thatcham

Slate is a very popular floor and wall tile due to its low porosity; there are many varieties and textures of slate available, it does need to be sealed though to keep the dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone. Unfortunately, the previous owners had not maintained the sealer and owning four dogs had probably used a strong acid cleaner on the floor which will have shortened its life. Inevitably time took its toll on the tiles and it was now overdue a deep clean and new sealer.

Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Floor Before Renovation Thatcham

Cleaning a Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to apply a strong dilution of an alkaline detergent called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was applied and left to dwell for several minutes before agitating with a rotary floor buffer fitted with a scrubbing pad. A stiff brush was also run over the grout lines to get them clean.

I worked in sections and then used a hot water encapsulation system that is used a lot by carpet cleaners to remove the slurry and get the floor as clean as possible. After inspecting the floor, I could see a few stubborn areas than needed more work, so the process was repeated until I was satisfied the Slate tile and grout was as clean as it could be. The floor was then left to dry overnight

Sealing a Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following morning, we returned, the floor looked nice and dry but I took several moisture readings with a damp meter just to be sure. All was in order, and I was able to progress onto the next step of applying a fresh sealer to the floor.

For this type of tile and conditions I chose to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer (no smell as it dries) that works really well on Slate. Multiple coats were required and each coat is left to dry before applying the next. The seal is very hard wearing, perfect for high traffic areas such as the kitchen and it leaves a lovely sheen without making the floor appear too shiny.

Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Floor After Renovation Thatcham

The customer was very happy with the outcome and left the following feedback on our website:

“Extremely professional from point of contact till completion of the job, Dennis has done a magnificent job of my tiles. And I would highly recommend his services”

Before leaving made sure to leave a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Floor Cleaner to help maintain the floor going forward. This is a pH neutral product which makes maintenance of the floor easy and ensures that the newly applied sealant will stay in place and not be compromised. As mentioned before most people, including I suspect the previous owner, tend to use supermarket products which are far too harsh and break down the sealer taking them back to square one.

Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Floor After Renovation Thatcham

 

Professional Restoration of a Brazilian Slate Tiled Kitchen in Berkshire

Red Wine Stains Removed from Travertine Floor in Swallowfield

Earlier this year I was contacted by a homeowner from the village of Swallowfield near Reading about the removal of Red Wine staining from their Travertine tiled floor. Normally these requests are related to a few slashes of wine following a party however in this case the problem was much bigger.

Travertine Floor Before Red Wine Stain Removal Swallowfield Reading

It turns out that their cottage was undergoing some renovations and had a variety of different trades working on various things throughout. After returning to the property following a weekend away it became apparent that an expensive wine rack had fallen over, and two bottles of red wine had been smashed in the process. Consequently, a litre and a half of red wine had spilt onto the Travertine tile and grout and rather than mopping up the spill the contractors threw over some kitchen roll and then left for the weekend.

If you have a Travertine floor you will appreciate that its best to clean up a mess like immediately, leaving it any longer increases the chance the stain will breach the sealer and stain the stone and grout. In this case it had been left far too long and the red wine had penetrated the tile darkening its appearance, understandably my Customer was not happy.

Travertine Floor Before Red Wine Stain Removal Swallowfield Reading Travertine Floor Before Red Wine Stain Removal Swallowfield Reading

One of the advantages of being part of a group like Tile Doctor is they have developed numerous products and techniques for dealing with all types of situations related to the cleaning of stone, tile, and grout. Whilst the most popular work we do relates to the cleaning and sealing of floors sometimes we get asked to resolve more unusual issues such as this. Long story short I was able to arrange a visit to the property where I completed a successful cleaning demonstration, happy with the result from the demo the work was booked in.

Removing Red Wine Staining from Travertine

The first task was to clean the tiles to remove any remaining residue wine, I did this using Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner rinsing with plenty of water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum. Though this did improve the stain slightly it was obvious the wine had penetrated deep into the stone. At this time, the customer was quite concerned that it wasn’t going to budge however I reassured him this was only the first stage of the process and trick up my sleeve.

I mentioned earlier Tile Doctor have developed numerous products and techniques and this includes Tile Doctor Reduxa which is a specialised stain remover that’s sole purpose is to remove acidic stains from stone.

Travertine Floor During Red Wine Stain Removal Swallowfield Reading Travertine Floor During Red Wine Stain Removal Swallowfield Reading

Working in small sections Reduxa is sprayed onto the stain tile, left to soak in and the dried out using a heat gun. Each time the treated area is dried in this manner the heat causes the product to evaporate taking the stain with it. It sounds simple but the process needed to be repeated six to eight times until the stain was invisible to the eye.

Following the removal of the stain I needed to restore the finish of the stone in the affected area by applying a series of Burnishing Pads from 400 to 3000 grit. These pads remove old sealers and then re-build the finish on the Travertine. It’s necessary to lubricate with water and then rinse the floor and extract afterwards as the coarser grit pads do generates some soil.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

I returned the next day to reseal the stone however the floor needs to be dry before applying the sealer, so I checked the moisture levels first with a damp meter. Happily, the floor was dry, so I was able to move straight on to sealing by applying two good coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal.

Travertine Floor After Red Wine Stain Removal Swallowfield Reading Travertine Floor After Red Wine Stain Removal Swallowfield Reading

Ultra-Seal is a no-sheen, natural-look penetrating sealer that provides maximum stain protection without darkening or changing the appearance of the stone. It’s also an excellent grout sealer.

Travertine Floor After Red Wine Stain Removal Swallowfield Reading

By the time I had finished the floor looked much fresher and any sign of the wine stain was now long gone, my customer was delighted and much relieved.

 

Professional Removal of Wine Stains from Travertine in Berkshire

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