I was asked by a building company to look at some slate flooring that was laid during a refurbishment to the offices of a German television station based in central London.
The architect was not happy because there appeared to be some grout haze and some grout along the ridges that you get in slate. I carried out a demonstration to the building manager and she was pleased with the result and we were awarded the job.
Because of the nature of the business I had to do the job out of hours, which suited me because there were 4 toilet areas to do over 6 floors and I was able to get on with the job without any interruption.
Slate Tile Cleaning
On my arrival I laid a coating of Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra-Clean to 2 toilets and left it to dwell while I brought all my equipment in and set up. These two products together create a very powerful stripper cleaning solution ideal for the job in hand. I left the products to soak into the tiled slate floor of the first toilet for an hour before scrubbing it in using water and a hand scrubbing brush. The soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then rinsed and sprayed with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any remaining grout haze off the surface of the tile. The slate was the given two mores rinses with clean water before being left to dry.
Before starting on the next floor I left a mixture of Remove and Go and NanoTech Ultra-Clean to dwell on the next floor. I then carried on with this process described above until all the floors were cleaned.
Slate Tile Sealing
Once the floors were dry I put a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer down on each floor which is a sealer which really brings out the natural colour of the stone.
The client had requested a shiny final finish so the sealing was completed using two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go on each floor.
When I had finished the site manager said that he couldn’t believe how nice they had come out and was looking forward to the reaction of the clients.
Cleaning and Sealing Slate in Central London Office
I’m not sure if Tile Doctor is the reason for this but there seems to have been a marked increase in the restoring of floors that have been found hidden under carpet; this particular floor was Victorian Tiles and the lady who owned the house had discovered it after lifting the carpet that had been down for 15 years and wanted to make a feature of it. The carpet had done a reasonable job of protecting it but it was dull and there were what appeared to be white paint spots on the surface.
Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor
I started the cleaning process using a solution of Tile Doctor Nanotech Ultra-Clean which is an abrasive tile and stone cleaner mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a multi-purpose tile friendly stripper that can remove sealers and other coatings. The working space was quite tight so this was applied to half of the floor and left to soak in for an hour whilst I setup equipment. After an hour I scrubbed the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and plain water. The soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum before repeating the process on the other half of the floor. The tiled floor was then rinsed twice thoroughly before using a steamer to clean deep into the pores of the Victorian Tile.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
The next step was to Seal the Floor but it needs to be dry first, fortunately I have an industrial airmover fan that speeds this along nicely. The floor was sealed using 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides stain protection along with a low sheen finish that really brings out the beauty in Victorian Floor tiles. The transformation was quite evident and the owner has very happy with the result and left the following testimonial.
“Fab Service, Great result, Will Recommend.”
Victorian Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Lewisham
Shower problems must be the most common problem we come across at Tile Doctor where we often here of issues with discoloured shower tile and grout usually combined with a build up of mould. Discolouration problems tend to come from the dyes in bathroom products such as body washes and shampoo, where as mould is due to inadequate ventilation or extraction magnified by our cold damp climate as we keep the windows shut and increase insulation to reduce drafts and keep warm.
Removing Mould and Discolouration from Shower Grout
The photographs shown on this page come from a ceramic tiled shower cubicle in the Surrey town of Caterham which you may have heard of as it’s where they make the Caterham Sports Car. You should be able to see from the photographs areas of discoloration and mould on the grout and silicone sealant which unlike the glazed ceramic tiles are slightly porous and have allowed the dyes and mould to taken a hold.
To resolve the problems with the tile and grout a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was mixed in a spray bottle and then sprayed on; mixing the product with air allows it to stick better onto the vertical surface otherwise gravity causes it to run off. The Pro-Clean was allowed to dwell onto the surface for a few minutes before being worked in with a grout brush. The next step was to rinse the Pro-Clean down and then re-apply the process to areas which we had missed or needed further attention.
The tile was then left to dry before replacing the silicone sealant between the tile and shower tray; whilst Tile and Grout can normally be treated once mould gets a hold on the silicone the only thing you can do is to replace it. In some cases I’ve come across the grout becomes too stained to treat and in that case the only thing you can do is scrape the top layer of grout back using a screwdriver head sized to fit into the grout line.
Shower Grout Sealing
The last step was to seal the grout for which we used Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a penetrating sealer rather than one that sits in the surface. The sealer should prefect staining in future however given the location it will need to be re-applied more frequently than usual.
Shower Tile Cleaning in Caterham, Surrey
Details below of a Limestone tiled floor strip and seal job we did recently for a lady in Wimbledon, South West London. It was a fairly common Limestone problem which had lost its polished appearance and was looking dull.
Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor
To resolve we had to stripped back the Limestone surface using a set of burnishing pads, these diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours each one does a different job from scrubbing to polishing. I started with the red pad together with water and then carried on with the white, then yellow pads using water. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a green pad to buff the floor up. This activity took most of the day so left the floor to dry overnight.
Sealing the Limestone Floor
The next morning I arrived to find the floor had dried out enough for me to seal it which was done using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a great sealer for lifting the natural colours in the Limestone floor as well as providing stain protection. Once the sealer had dried I then finished it all off with a quick buff using a white buffing pad.
I’m not sure the photographs really show the difference in the floor however I can tell you that when the lady returned home from work that day she was over the moon with the transformation and wrote the following testimonial:
So pleased with the service and advice received. Prompt and Professional, My floor looks like new again. Would highly recommend and use again. Thank you.
Limestone Floor Restoration in Wimbledon
Set of photographs here from a Victorian Tiled floor in a block of flats in Richmond Upon Thames. The floor was in the communal hallway and as a result had seen a lot of traffic and was looking very dull and in need of a good clean and re-seal.
Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor
The floor was cleaned using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which had been left to dwell for 20 minutes before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. We use a wet vacuum to remove the dirty cleaning solution before thoroughly rinsing the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning product that might have an adverse effect on the sealer. The floor was left to dry assisted by the use of a warm air blower.
Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor
Having the right equipment can make light work of cleaning a large area and the blower meant we were soon looking at sealing the floor. The trouble with working in a communal area however is we had residents coming and going so we had to seal the floor in two halves. We used Tile Doctor Pro-Seal to seal the floor; it’s more expensive than some but gives a natural look whilst penetrating deeper into the tile to provide maximum stain protection, something you need in high traffic areas.
When the rest of the floor was completed and left to dry for an hour I used a rotary machine fitted with a white buffing pad to harden the floor up.
The managing agent was really pleased because she received a lot of calls from the residents to thank her as this floor hadn’t been cleaned and sealed for a lot of years.
Victorian Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Richmond Upon Thames
These travertine wall tiles were laid in a brick pattern in a large shower cubicle in a house in Wandsworth, South London. As you can see the tiles hadn’t been cleaned for a couple of years and had become discoloured from the shampoo dyes etc, there was also some mould which is a common problem in wet areas and usually down to insufficient ventilation. The owner wanted to sell her house and was keen to get the shower looking like new again.
Cleaning Travertine Wall Tiles
We cleaned the Travertine wall tiles using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. It’s always best to leave Pro-Clean to dwell for a few minutes before cleaning so it can get to work on the dirt, as you would expect however liquids will simply run down a wall tile so the trick here is to apply the solution using a spray attachment; the idea behind this is to combine the product with air so it becomes lighter and sticks to the tile. Then next step is to get in with a small stiff scrubbing brush and really work the solution into the tile and grout and loosening the dirt along the way and the wash the wall down with water to remove any cleaning products.
Sealing the Travertine Wall Tiles
The wall was wiped down and allowed to dry for before applying the sealer. There are a number of products you can use for sealing Travertine and in this case I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which provides stain protection without changing the appearance of the tile. The last step was to remove and replace the silicone seal between the Travertine tile and the shower tray, there was some mould build up on the original silicone which wants it gets a hold into the silicone it cannot be removed and so it’s always best to replace. At the end I had one happy customer and I think you will agree I achieved the aim of making it look like new again.
Wandsworth Travertine Shower Refresh
We were asked to look a bathroom at a flat in Kensington by a property management company; the slate tiled floor was textured with lines and the stone was affected by a number of problems including limescale and grout haze which had been partly sealed in. The owner was at the property when I arrived and I was able to demonstrate how it was possible to remove the limescale and grout haze using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product and so was given instructions to complete the job.
Removing Limescale from Textured Slate
Armed with more quantities of Grout Clean-Up we were able to remove the limescale from the surface of the slate tile. The floor was then rinsed and then covered with Tile Doctor Remove and Go in order to remove the remaining sealer. We had to repeat this process twice in order to remove the grout haze that had been locked in under the sealer.
Sealing Textured Slate
After a thorough rinsing down to ensure no products remained on the floor we left it to dry and returned later to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will provide future protection and as you can see from the photographs really helped to give the floors appearance..
I then explained how to clean the tiles going forward. She was extremely happy with the work carried out and also pleased with the management company for contacting us in the first place.
Removing Limescale from a Slate Tiled Floor
We were asked to clean and seal these black Porcelain floor tiles that had been laid in a bridal shop in the Lakeside shopping centre. The shop fitters and builders had been in to setup the internal layout and the floor was looking dull and not in a presentable state good enough for the shop opening.
Cleaning black Porcelain floor tiles
We set about scrubbing the floor using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean Tile and Grout cleaner followed by a thorough rinse. We then waited for it to dry before buffing the porcelain tile surface to a deep shine with a white buffing pad.
The floor was ready for sealing so we applied Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to a small test area but it didn’t take, not wishing to waste our time or the customers’ money we called it a day. Most porcelain tiles won’t take a sealer however some are micro porous and do need sealing so it’s always best to check.
They were really pleased with result and they were even happier we were honest about not charging them for not sealing the floor; the deep shine on the floor really did look spectacular.
Restoring the Shine on Black Porcelain Floor Tiles
The customer was an American lady who lived in a flat in Marylebone right in the centre of London; she worked in the City and had the slate tiles in her kitchen cleaned and sealed by another company the year before and she had not been impressed with the results.
I had provided a quote and did a small demonstration on the floor to give her an idea of how the finished result would look; having been unhappy with the previous company we had to work hard to win her confidence but the demo combined with photographs and testimonials from previous work that we had done managed to assure her we could complete the job to the right standard.
Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floor
Having turned up at 7am so that she could get to work we set about scrubbing the slate tiled floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a rotary machine fitted with a black pad, we used a grout brush to clean out the grout lines and then rinsed the floor thoroughly with clean water before switching on a air blower to help the floor to dry.
Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor
Once the floor was dry we proceeded to seal it with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish, slate is quite porous and it took five coats before it was fully sealed.
That night I received a call from the lady thanking me for such a good job and not only was she pleased with the work but we were half the price of the original company.
Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Marylebone, London