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End of Tenancy Terracotta Clean and Seal Kitchen Floor for Dormansland Landlord

A landlord contacted to have the Terracotta floor tiles in the Kitchen of a rental property in Dormansland, near Lingfield, cleaned and sealed after Tenants moved out. There are plenty of “end of tenancy cleaning” companies around however they don’t specialise on tile and grout and therefore won’t have the equipment to deep clean them properly.

Terracotta is a porous material so it has to be protected with a sealer to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in its pores, as once this happens it’s a real struggle to remove. Pitfalls including using the wrong cleaning method which can result in scratching and not allowing the tile to dry before sealing which can result in an uneven finish.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Test Cleaning Dormansland

Before quoting for the work, I visited the property and carried out a small test clean. For this I used both a black nylon pad and then a 400-grit diamond pad. The result from the black pad was ok but not exceptional but the result from the 400-grit pad was much better. The diamond pad uses industrial diamonds to cut through and loosen the dirt however the pads are expensive, so I like to try an alternative first. The client was happy for me to go ahead, he just wanted me to ensure the floor was nice and tidy and was easy for the new tenants to keep clean and maintain.

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Tile and Grout

On arrival first I taped up the kitchen plinths and the skirting boards to protect them from the cleaning solutions I would be using which can be quite messy. I started by cleaning the grout first then the tiles. With the grout being recessed it tends to gather dirt easily and is best cleaned by hand using a wire brush and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Dormansland Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Dormansland

After the grout I turned my attention to the Terracotta tiles which were pre-wetted in Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then scrubbed using the 400-grit diamond pad mentioned earlier. Once the whole floor was treated in this way it was rinsed with water and the soiling removed with a wet vacuum.

Once done the floor was inspected and stubborn areas were retreated until I was satisfied with the condition of the Terracotta and grout. Then after a final rinse and extraction the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the next day, I tested the floor with the damp meter to check for remaining moisture. The tests confirmed that the floor was dry enough to seal, I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. The customer wanted a strong sealer but not too glossy. The alternative Tile Doctor Seal and Go can be thought to be too glossy so Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra is a good compromise.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Sealing Dormansland

I suggested leaving a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner for the incoming new tenant. Hopefully if they use it regularly, they will keep the floor in good condition. It is pH neutral and mild enough to use every day but will not compromise the newly applied seal. Standard household cleaners tend to be too strong and will break down the sealer which will take the floor back to square one.

He was delighted with the overall finish and agreed encouraging them to use the cleaner would be a good plan.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Sealing Dormansland

 

Professional Restoration of a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen in West Surrey

Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Reigate

It had been a while since this Victorian tiled hallway at a property in Reigate had received a deep clean and re-seal and it was now looking quite unloved. The sealer had almost worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the tile leaving it dull and lifeless. Hallways floors receive a lot of foot traffic so do need regular attention if they are to look their best and this example was no different.

Fortunately, the floor was intact with no broken or loose tiles to deal with, there were a few chipped tiles in the floor but I think that adds character to a floor of this age. I worked out a quote to deep clean the tiles, flush out the dirt and add a fresh sealer to protect them. The quote was accepted and a date set for the work to commence.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Reigate

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I started the work by applying a generous coating of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and left it to soak into the pores of the Victorian tiling for around 30 minutes. I used Oxy-Gel so as to minimise the use of water which can exacerbate efflorescence salt issues which is a typical problem of floors of this age that don’t have the benefit of a damp proof membrane.

Then using a very coarse 100-grit diamond encrusted pad attached to a rotary floor machine the tiles were given a good scrub. This process skims away a small layer off the surface of the tiles to remove the dirt and old coatings such as sealers. All the soil was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and I repeated this process twice for maximum effect.

At this point the tiles were already looking significantly better but I hadn’t finished yet. I still needed to deal with the edges and corners where the pad can struggle to reach. For this I use handheld burnishing blocks and more Oxy-Gel, you need a lot of elbow grease to do this but its an important step and can also be used to deal with any stubborn areas.

Once finished I used a little water to help rinse off the floor and the wet vacuum again to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The tiles need to be dry before sealing so the next day my first action was to test the floor for moisture using a damp meter. They passed and were ready to take a sealer which for this floor I used Tile Doctor seal and Go Extra. It’s super tough and ideal for doorways and hallways and leaves a nice sheen without being too shiny.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Reigate

Before leaving I left advice on how to maintain the tiles using Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a gentle tile cleaning product that will clean the floor without impacting the sealer which can be a problem with many of the strong products you find in supermarkets.

 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in East Surrey

Rejuvenating White Metro Stye Bathroom Tiles in Dorking

These clients from Dorking were selling their house soon but were concerned about the appearance of the tile and grout in their shower room and bath. The tiles were White Ceramic laid in the popular Metro style, whilst the tiles looked fine, they were being let down by the grout which had discoloured and was turning a shade of pink and brown. Also, the white mastic sealant was blackening and mouldy in places. Naturally, my clients were keen to ensure that potential buyers were not put off by the bathroom and wanted to get the maximum price for the house sale.

Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Before Cleaining Dorking Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Before Cleaining Dorking

This was a nice straight forward job, the tiles can be easily cleaned, and the mastic removed and reapplied, but it would make a massive difference to the overall look of the room. I gave them a price and they were happy for me to go ahead.

Deep Cleaning a Ceramic Tile and Grout

Firstly, I sprayed the grout with Tile Doctor Duo Clean. This breaks down the accumulated dirt and grime and is left to dwell for 10-15 minutes. Then I brushed the grout with a strong wire brush and showered away the dirt. Permanent discolouration is common so there were places the grout failed to return to its original white colour. To resolve this, I discussed colouring the grout with my customer as removing and re-grouting is a time consuming and expensive option. Additionally, the colourant provides an easy to clean barrier over the grout that will protect it from discolouration going forward.

While waiting for the grout to dry following the cleaning I set about removing the mastic around the shower and walls with a sharp knife.

After an hour of slow cutting the grout was ready for colouring. With a small, stiff paintbrush I painted a White Tile Doctor Grout Colourant into the grout lines, wiping away any excess from the tiles. The colourant dries very quickly so I could apply a second coat where needed soon after.

Once done my final task was to apply the white silicon mastic to all verticals and the bath surround to ensure the bath was watertight. This takes a while to cure so I advised the clients not to use the shower for 24 hours. I should mention the glaze on Ceramic tiles provides adequate protection from dirt, ensuring they are easy to clean and therefore do not require further sealing.

By the end of the day the bathroom looked like a new installation, their trendy Metro style tiles were rejuvenated, and my clients loved the wall of white.

Ceramic Tiled Bathroom After Cleaining Dorking Ceramic Tiled Bathroom After Cleaining Dorking

As my client was selling the property there was little point in discussing aftercare, however for your benefit I would recommend cleaning with Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro. This product will neutralise any acid build up caused by shampoos and shower products in the first place and it is these acids that cause discoloration over time.

Now I don’t want to worry anyone about the word acids, the human skin is slightly acidic so the products we use on our skin are designed for this, but if your eyes sting slightly when they come into contact with the shampoo then that is the acid. Naturally, it washes out with water, but you can imagine what it will do to your grout, tiles, and silicone over a long period of time.

 

Professional Cleaning of a Ceramic Bathroom Tiles in Surrey

Achieving a Deep Polish on Marble Floor Tiles at a Reigate Cottage

The photographs below are of a Marbled Tiled floor that was installed over much of the ground floor of a cottage that formed part of a large county estate near Reigate.

Marble Tiled Floor Before Polishing Reigate Marble Tiled Floor Before Polishing Reigate

The Marble floor tiles were lovely however the polish and sealer had worn off some time ago and the were now looking much worse for wear, additionally the once white grout had turned dark with dirt and I`m not sure even the owner realised its full potential. I provided a quote for cleaning and applying a deep polishing to the floor which was agreed and set a date to do the work.

Marble Tile and Grout Cleaning in Reigate

After protecting the wooden skirting with tape, I started the cleaning process by applying a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff brush to remove any loose dirt and debris from the floor but primarily along the grout lines. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Next step was to deep clean the tiles and bring back the polish using a set of four Tile Doctor diamond encrusted honing pads which fit a weighted rotary floor buffer and are applied in sequence starting with the 400-grit pad lubricated with water. This is followed with the 800-grit and then the 1500-grit pads rinsing with water after each pad and removing the soil generated by the burnishing process with the wet vacuum as before.

This work took much of the day so after applying the 1500-grit pad and rinsing I left the floor to dry out overnight.

Sealing and Polishing Marble Tiles with Shine Powder

The next day I started by applying the 3000-grit pad which is the final pad in the polishing process and really helps bring up the polished appearance of the Marble. The pad is applied to the floor dry using a little water sprayed onto the floor using a process we call a spray burnish.

The last step was to seal the Marble tiles and build the polish even further by applying Tile Doctor Shine Powder which is diluted with water and buffed into the Marble tiles using a white buffing pad. The shine powder did an excellent job of building the shine on the floor and provides a tough durable finish that should last.

Marble Tiled Floor After Polishing Reigate Marble Tiled Floor After Polishing Reigate

After two days work the Marble tiled floor looked transformed and I was especially pleased with the deep level of shine and restored white grout that I had managed to achieve.

 

Restoring Polish to Marble Floor Tiles in East Surrey

Renovating Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles in Sanderstead

This customer, who lives in Sanderstead located between Croydon and Purley in Surrey had been experiencing difficulties in keeping her beautiful Travertine tiled kitchen floor in good condition. Over the years it had suffered from a heavy build up of dirt and oily stains, not to mentioned a number of cracks and small holes. Needless to say, the customer was keen to have the Travertine tiles and grout renovated and made easier to keep clean.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Sanderstead Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Sanderstead

Restoring Travertine Flooring

To begin the renovation, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entirety of the large tiled area. This heavy duty remover breaks down any old sealers and other coatings, leaving the area ready to cleaned or, in this case, burnished.

Burnishing is a method for cleaning and polishing certain types of high-end stone, including Travertine, Marble, and Limestone. Our burnishing system involves the application of four diamond encrusted pads of varying grits. Firstly, I applied the Coarse grit pad, which helps to break down any dirt and stains on the surface of the tiles. Then, I worked my way through the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine pads, using a little water which acts to lubricate the process gradually building the polish on the Travertine. The floor is rinsed with water between the application of each pad to remove the soil that is generated and also give a final rinse at the end before leaving to dry.

To round off the first day of work, I filled any cracks and holes in the Travertine using a colour matching resin which greatly improved the look of the tile.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile Before Repair Sanderstead Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile After Repair Sanderstead

Sealing Travertine Tiles

The following day I returned to the property to seal the tiles checking first that the floor had dried. I use a moisture meter to do this and it confirmed the floor was dry so I proceeded to seal the floor using our colour intensifying impregnating sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Once that was dry, I added the finishing touches by buffing the floor with a soft white buffing pad. As you can see from the photographs, the combination of a fresh seal and polish worked wonders.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing Sanderstead
We did such a good job with the floor that the customer asked if we could also improve the appearance of their natural stone fireplace which was suffering from bad rust and oil stains however I do a separate write up on that.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing Sanderstead
 

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Fully Restored in Surrey

Terracotta Tiled Floor Sealing

We were consulted on this Terracotta Tiled floor because the owner complained that whenever she cleaned and sealed them they always got dirty quickly. I asked how many coats of seal was used on the floor and as it turns out only two coats were used because that was the instructions on the bottle. I suspect the bottle hadn’t listed Terracotta specifically and I informed the owner that with this type of floor the minimum amount of coats would be seven, she was very surprised by this but the fact is Terracotta is very porous.

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I started the job using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a heavy duty alkaline product ideal for cleaning tiles, scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. I had to repeat this about five times and also used a steamer to clean out the grout lines and any bits left on the tiles, once this was done I thoroughly rinsed the floor to remove any remaining chemical and left it to dry overnight.

Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning

Sealing Terracotta Tile

I left the floor to dry overnight and the next day came back to do the sealing. There were a couple of spots that needed further attention which were tackled using the steamer which has the added advantage to neutralising the floor and evaporating leaving the floor dry again. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor, it’s a water based sealer so it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. In the end the floor actually took nine coats of sealer before it was fully sealed, which naturally took a long time to apply as you have to wait for it to dry before applying the next coat.

Terracotta Tile after cleaning and sealing
The lady was extremely happy and said it turned out exactly as she had always wanted it to.

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Surrey

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