Traditional Terracotta Kitchen Floor Renovated in Welwyn Garden City

The pictures below were taken at a beautiful Hertfordshire Lodge located on the outskirts of Welwyn Garden City where the traditional Terracotta Kitchen floor had lost its appeal and was now in need of renovation.

Welwyn Garden City is actually a new town that was created in the 1920 with an aim to create a modern garden city, the architecture is therefore fairly modern.

Terracotta Lodge Floor Tile Before Cleaning in Welwyn Garden City

Deep Cleaning Kitchen Terracotta Tiles

As usual the first step before starting the cleaning process was to clear the floor of as move furniture as practical and use protective tape to cover the threshold edges, skirting’s and doors and use a protective sheet to the fixed kitchen units.

To deep clean the Terracotta tiles and remove any trace of old sealers and waxes present a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes. Then the solution was agitated using detail brushes along the grout lines and edges and polypropylene pads.

Once done the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the tile and grout rinsed with fresh water.

This process removed most of the dirt and old coatings but more work was required so a further treatment using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong tile cleaner and sealer remove was applied and worked in using an orbital floor machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.

Again the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the tile and grout given a steam clean to remove any trace of cleaning product residue. The floor was then left for two days to fully dry out.

Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

On our return the floor was checked for dampness before we proceeded to seal the floor; sealing damp tiles can result in a patchy finish so this is always worth checking.

To seal we gave the Terracotta tiles a primer coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that brings out the natural colours in the tile and by occupying the pores of the clay tile it stops dirt becoming ingrained. This was then followed by six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Terracotta and adds a nice satin sheen finish. The floor now looks much healthier and has really lifted the appearance of the kitchen.

Terracotta Lodge Floor Tile After Cleaning in Welwyn Garden City

Before leaving we advised the customer to avoid commercial acid based cleaning products as these are not appropriate for sealed Terracotta tiles. We suggest using a low alkaline/neutral PH product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner as this will maximise the life of the sealer and maintain the sheen of the tile.
 
 

Traditional Terracotta in the Kitchen Restored in Welwyn Garden City

18th Century Quarry Tile Renovation near Hemel Hempstead

The photographs below are of a very old Quarry Tiled hallway floor taken at a beautiful 18th century farmhouse near Hemel Hempstead; the floor was believed to be original and the customer wanted it repaired and restored.

Old Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Hemel Hempstead Farmhouse

Deep Cleaning 18th Century Quarry Tiles

Before starting the cleaning process we made sure to protect any vulnerable areas such as the oak panelling on the staircase and then set about repairing the broken tiles which were replaced with matching reclaimed quarry tiles.

Old Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Hemel Hempstead Farmhouse

Once the replacements and new grout had set we made a start on deep cleaning the Quarry tiles and removing remaining old stubborn waxes and polishes by applying Tile Doctor Remove & Go combined 50:50 with Tile Doctor Nano-Clean which combine to form a very effective stripper and cleaner. The solution was left to soak into the tile for a good ten minutes before being scrubbed in with detail brushes and scrubbing pads fitted to a rotary machine.

The resulting soiled solution was rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum which allowed us to see the underlying condition of the tiles which indicated more work was required especially to the grout. To get the grout looking cleaner it was treated with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then scrubbed into the grout manually using a stiff grout brush; the soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor was given a further rinse and also a steam clean to remove any trace of product.

Old Quarry Tiles During Cleaning Hemel Hempstead Farmhouse Old Quarry Tiles During Cleaning Hemel Hempstead Farmhouse

Sealing 18th Century Quarry Tiles

It’s essential that tiles are bone dry before sealing so we left the floor to dry for a full seven days before returning. To get the best out of the floor I decided to seal the floor with two different but compatible sealers; first a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied which is an impregnating sealer that restores colour to the tile and protects it from stains by occupying the pores in the clay.

Once the Colour Grow had dried it was followed with six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a special acrylic based formula that promotes moisture vapour transmission which is essential for these old floors where no damp proof course was installed.

Old Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Hemel Hempstead Farmhouse

I’m pleased to say the restoration went very well and as you can see the quarry tiled hallway floor now looks fantastic.

Old Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Hemel Hempstead Farmhouse

 
 

Professional Restoration of 18th Century Quarry Tiles in Hertfordshire

Porcelain Tile Deep Cleaning at a Hotel Health Club

Some further photographs below of work we did at a London Hotel in the West End where we removed staining from the Limestone laid in reception. These photographs relate to the cleaning of a Porcelain Tiled floor laid in the Health Club changing rooms which although in good condition were in need of a heavy duty clean.

Health Club Porcelain floor tiles changing room before cleaning

Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tiles

Unlike stone Porcelain Tile is a relatively straight forward surface to clean. It does help however if you have the right tools and products for the job as household tools and products can struggle.

For this floor we applied a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean diluted with three parts water to the dry surface. The solution was left on the surface to dwell for 30 minutes to allow it to penetrate the heavy soiling on the floor. During this time the product was scrubbed in using black polypropylene floor pads on a slow speed orbital scrubber. The soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum before rinsing with clean water.

A second clean using the Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied diluted with three parts water and the scrubbing process repeated. This was needed in order to penetrate deeper into the porcelain tile and also to remove any calcium (limescale) deposits from the surface. The soiled solution was extracted again using a wet vacuum and then each tile was carefully rinsed using a fan jet power wash to fully flush the tiles and finally wet vacuumed to dry.

Health Club Porcelain floor tiles part way through
You can see from the photographs the difference deep cleaning made to the Porcelain floor, not only did we manage to restore their natural appearance and texture but there was a significant improvement in the wet slip resistance of the tile surface. The work was all completed out of hours between 22.00hr and 06.00 hrs so that there was no disruption to the hotel or health club guests.

Health Club Porcelain floor tiles after cleaning
 

Deep Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled floor at a Health Club in London

St Albans Slate Floor Renovation

The Slate floor in the kitchen and conservatory of a house in St. Albans was laid around five to six years old and now required deep cleaning and re-sealing. Previously a grout repair had been carried out but unfortunately after the initial clean the grout applied was the wrong colour and needed to be replaced.

Slate floor before restoration

Cleaning the Slate Floor

The Slate floor was pre-cleaned using a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Nanotech Ultra-Clean scrubbed with a buffing machines fitted with a polypropylene brush running at a slow speed. The dirty solution was removed using a wet vacuum, floor rinsed with clean water and left to dry.

It’s not a good idea to apply new sealer on top of a different product so it was necessary to ensure all the old sealer had been completely removed. Sealers are by nature stubborn to remove so it was necessary to apply Remove & Go (a product designed for the removal of sealers) which we left to dwell on the surface for an hour. Often a strong solution of Pro-Clean is sufficient but not in this case.

The dirty solution was removed with the wet vacuum and rinsed with water to remove any residues and neutralise the floor.

Removing Grout

To remove the grout we used a specialist “Oscillating Grout Tool”, if there was a large area to do we would normally recommend the user of an epoxy Grout Colourant however there wasn’t a great deal to remove so it was quicker to cut out the offending Grey grout and replace with a matching sandstone.

Grout removal and repair Cutting out with an Oscillating grout tool

Sealing the Slate Floor

We sealed the floor with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which really helps bring out the deep colour from the slate. To finish and build up the lustre and richness of the colour we then applied seven coats of Seal & Go.

Finished Slate floor with new grout
All of the job took two full days and was ready for soft foot traffic after two hours of completion and fully dry in 24 hours. For maintenance we recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, diluted 1:30 with water and applied with a microfibre flat mop, rinse with water and then remove with a clean microfibre flat mop.

The customer was very pleased with the results and left the following comment:

We are delighted with the results achieved by the Tile Doctor on our slate floor. It looks like we have laid a completely new floor in our kitchen and conservatory! Rob was a true professional and we would thoroughly recommend the Tile Doctor to anyone considering using their services

Ms. S. Hiller, St Albans, Hertfordshire

 

Slate Floor Renovation in St. Albans

Limestone Floor Cleaning at a Hotel in London

Details below of a Limestone floor installed in the reception of a Victorian hotel in London’s West end. The Limestone Floor had been cleaned incorrectly leaving very noticeable staining marks to the grout lines. We were asked to return the floor to its natural appearance and improve the finish from Matt to Polished.

Badly Stained Limestone Floor Hotel Reception

Cleaning the Limestone Floor

Working at night to minimise disruption for the hotel guests our first step was to clean the floor and grout with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is ideal for this purpose due to its alkaline formula, acidic products even those with mild acidity will damage the floor over time and can lead to small holes forming where the calcareous stone has been dissolved.

Limestone Floor London Hotel Reception before restoration
The next step was to burnish the floor using four stage diamond encrusted twister pad system. This is a labour intensive process where you scrub the floor using a buffing machines fitted with different pads; each pad is designed for a different purpose and will remove sealers, grind off ingrained dirt, smooth the surface as well as polish.

Polishing and Sealing the Limestone Floor

To obtain the requested highly polished finish the floor was then polished using Tile Doctor Shine crystallising powder which as well as providing a high shine also leaves a tough durable finish, ideal for high traffic areas such as this. We finished off the floor with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer which was then buffed to a high shine finish.

Limestone Floor in London Hotel After Honing and Polishing
For regular cleaning we have advised the hotels maintenance team to use a 1-30 dilution of Neutral Cleaner applied with a microfibre flat mop, water rinsed and the dried with second clean microfibre mop.

Limestone Floor Cleaning at a Hotel in London

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles, St Albans

Mexican Terracotta tiled floor laid several years ago in the kitchen of a property in Wheathampstead near St Albans. It had originally been laid and sealed in the classic method with a wax and was becoming increasingly impossible to clean.

Mexican Terracotta before prepped for cleaning

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

We started the cleaning process using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean in order to remove excess dirt and soil from the surface of the tile. This was followed by the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean agitated with a brush fitted to a scrubbing machine running at slow speed. This worked to breakdown and remove the remaining wax sealer returning the Mexican Terracotta back to its original condition. The resulting solution was rinsed off with water and a cleaned with Neutral Tile cleaner followed by two further water rinses. A wet vacuum comes in very useful at this point for removing the liquids from the floor.

Mexican Terracotta Cleaning and wax removal Mexican Terracotta After cleaning ready for sealing

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

We left the floor to dry and returned some days later to seal. We started this process with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which really helps to bring out the colour in the tile followed by six to seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Terracotta is by its nature a very porous tile and so it’s not unusual for it to need seven coats.

Cleaned and Sealed Mexican Terracotta floor

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles in St. Albans

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles In London

We were called in during some major house renovations to restore the Limestone Floor tiles fitted in the kitchen and utility room. This involved a good deep clean, burnishing and then sealing to restore the natural colour and appearance of the stone.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Cleaining Limestone Steps Before Cleaining

The floor was pre cleaned with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech Ultra-Clean agitated with a slow speed machine fitted with polypropylene brush, the solution was removed with a wet vacuum rinsed with water and dried.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Pre-Clean

A couple of the floor tiles in the hallway were fractured so the next job was to replace them; this involves chopping out the tile and cleaning up the exposed area so new tiles can be installed and grouted.

 

Limstone Floor Tile Replacement Prep Limestone Tile Repair Prep
New Inserted Limestone Ready For Burnishing

The Limestone Tiled floor was then Burnished using the four stage Twister Burnishing pad set which removes topical sealers, ingrained dirt before finally polishing the floor into a high shine.

Limestone Tiled Floor Final Stage Sealed And Buffed

Once the final finish had been achieved the floor was sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which brings out the colour of the tile and provides a protective impregnating seal. The last step was to run a buffing machine over the floor to get that final finish.

Cleaned Limestone Tiled Kitchen Finished Limestone Steps Completed

Before leaving we advised the customer to clean the floor using a neutral frequent use cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, other products can be acidic and can actually dissolve holes in the tile over time. The customer was very pleased with the work we did and left the following comment:

Very professional, high quality job. Rob and his team were a pleasure to deal with and worked hard to meet our time constraints. The floor is unrecognisable from what it was before!

Mr. B. Chapman, London, NW8

Limestone Floor Restoration in London

Cleaning Natural Slate Paving

We were asked to take a look at a natural slate paving leading up to the entrance of a lovely old residence in North London. The slate path had only been recently laid, grouted and sealed and the owner was not best pleased with the results and a request was made to remedy the situation and return the slate back to its natural colour and appearance.

Natural Slate Path Before Cleaining Natural Slate Path Before Cleaining

We carried out a series of tests to ensure we could remove both the sealer and grout haze from the surface of the tile. It’s not a good idea to apply a different sealer on top of an existing product as the end results will be inconsistent and the products maybe incompatible. We cleaned up the tile, sealed it and left it to weather for a few days to demonstrate to the customer the durability of the finish.

Natural Slate Path Pre-testing Natural Slate Path Pre-testing

Cleaning Natural Slate Paving

All was well with the test and we got the green light to do the whole slate path. We started by cleaning the path with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then washed off and allowed to dry. We then applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor NanoTech Ultra Clean; this is a really powerful combination which we left to dwell on the tile for an hour in order to soften up the current sealer and ingrained dirt. The solution was then removed and the slate tile washed down with more water.

Natural Slate Path Mid-Process
With the sealer removed we tackled the Grout Haze by using Grout Clean Up and a fair amount of elbow grease with stainless steel and polypropylene detail brushes.

Last step before sealing was to neutralise the floor with another rinse down, this time washing the tile with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, it’s important that any remaining chemical is removed from the surface otherwise it may upset the sealer.

Sealing Natural Slate Paving

Finally once the slate had dried, we applied 3 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow and buffed off the last coat with a buffing pad to bring out the deep colour from within the Slate; the sealer was fully dry and path ready for normal use 12 hours. For maintenance we recommend using Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, diluted 1 to 30 with water applied with a microfibre flat mop, rinse with water and dry with second microfibre mop. The customer was very happy with the results and left the following message:

Robert’s communication was excellent and he always kept us informed on what to expect and the timescales involved. He was very reliable and punctual and the quality of his work was to a very high standard. We were very pleased with his work and overall service.
Mr. M. Vaughan, Alexandra Park, London

Natural Slate Path Cleaned and Sealed

Cleaning Natural Slate Paving in North London