Tile Replacement

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Redhill

This client from Redhill had her kitchen floor tiled with Travertine tiles following a house extension a few years ago. The extension had enabled the kitchen to be made significantly larger however as the new floor settled a crack developed along the line of the join between the old and new concrete floor causing the Travertine tiles to crack along the line.

I was tasked with removing the broken tiles and existing adhesive, fitting replacement tiles, sealing and re-grouting. Fortunately, the floor did not have electric underfloor heating installed, removing tiles with an electric floor matt stuck to it is bound to break the circuit so best avoided.

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration Redhill

I visited the property to get a good understanding of the problems and then prepared a quote for the whole restoration which was accepted. I also had to source new Travertine tiles to replace the cracked ones. Its worth noting that Tile Doctor often gets asked to replace cracked tiles but unless its part of a bigger renovation job like this one we won’t take it on.

Replacing Travertines in a Redhill Kitchen

Removing tile is a noisy, messy operation that can generate dust so I had agreed with the customer that they would clear the room beforehand and remove anything they might need from the cupboards so I could tape them up.

Work started by cutting the grout lines with an oscillating tool and then started removing the tile by knocking out from the centre outwards. Once all tiles where removed this exposed the previous floor adhesive which was carefully removed using a chisel and hammer.

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor During Repair Redhill Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor During Repair Redhill

After a much need lunch break, I mixed up some fresh quick setting flexible adhesive and laid in the replacement Travertine tiles. Later that day I was then able to apply the grout and left the floor to them to set.

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Repair Redhill

Deep Cleaning and Sealing Travertine Kitchen Tiles

A week later, once the tiles had cured and had time to settle, I returned to deep clean and seal the tiles which would blend in the replacement tiles with the original and make the floor look whole again.

Firstly, I hand cleaned the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with a wire brush. Its hard work but I find this is the most effective way to get grout clean.

The next job was to remove what remained of the previous sealer and top layer of dirt. This was done with a rotating buffing machine and a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The first one applied is a coarse 400-grit pad followed by 800 and 1500-grit, working through the pads in sequence. You might be familiar with the grit system from sandpaper, rough down to smooth. The process is lubricated with water and the slurry generated is rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

I left the floor to dry off overnight, they can walk on it during this time, but they needed to be careful of any spillages.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The second day started with and inspection of the Travertine tile and grout looking for any areas that need further attention. I was satisfied that the floor was looking its’ best and once the preparation was complete, I applied the first coat of sealer.

On this occasion I went with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is doesn’t change the look of the stone giving a completely natural look. This product soaks into the pores of the stone protecting if from within and should last between three and five years depending on the amount of wear it received and how the floor is cleaned and maintained.

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Redhill

Two coats of sealer were applied and after each coat dried, I polished the floor using a very fine 3000-grit diamond pad. The pad is run across the Travertine dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a process we call a ‘Spray Burnish’. I asked the client to keep off the travertine until it’s cured, usually for a couple of hours which is always a good excuse to go out for the evening!

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Redhill

The client was very happy the floor and relieved that the cracked tiles were gone and their kitchen floor looked amazing again. For aftercare I recommended using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is ideal for the regular cleaning of sealed natural stone floors, many supermarket products are simply too harsh and will reduce the life of the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in Surrey

Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Fully Restored in Brixton

I was asked to look at an old Victorian Tiled Hallway floor at a house in Brixton, South London. This classic floor had been discovered underneath an old hallway carpet while refurbishment works were being carried out. I went over initially in mid December to survey the floor and talked the owner through a number of similar restorations we had completed in the past. I could see this floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and also some tiling would needed to be done to tile a section of concrete near the stairs that had been dug out to lay pipe work when central heating had been installed many years prior. She didn’t want to make a commitment at that point so I left her with our quotation so she could think it over. I suspect she had other quotes to review however I’m pleased to say that she decided to give the work to us.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton

Once we had agreed a date to do the work I started looking around for replacement tiles that would be needed to restore the floor. Unfortunately the octagonal ones are not made anymore and I couldn’t hold of any salvaged ones either. Having been involved in Tile Restoration work for some time now, I have a list of companies and reclamation yards that are usually a good source for these materials. To resolve the problem I sourced square tiles with a similar look and would cut them to the same shape when on site.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton

Cleaning and Repairing a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned after Christmas to start the restoration process which was due to take two to three days. To start the restoration process we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor, allowed it to soak in for ten minutes and then worked it into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove and Go is a product that removes coatings from tiles including in this case old paint splashes and carpet adhesive. The floor was then rinsed and the now dirty solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration
Once this was finished the floor was looking cleaner and the next step was to tackle the concrete area near the stairs where the heating pipes had been buried. The cement had to be carefully chipped away and then refilled with fresh cement but to the level of the original surface so we could lay new tile on top. We use a quick setting compound for this and were able to start relaying and grouting the section with new specially cut tiles later that afternoon.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brixton Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brixton

Naturally the strip of new tiles were quite noticeable against the old and although the customer was happy I knew I could get a better result by running a very coarse burnishing pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine over the surface. I used a diamond resin hybrid 50 grit pad to take off the top layer of the tiles and then refinished the surface with a 100 and then 200 grit pad. This did the trick and it was impossible to tell the old and new apart.

After this I carried out an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up diluted with four parts water. The purpose of this was to remove any old grout smears and mineral deposits from the floor as well as counteract any possibility of unsightly efflorescence salts rising up through the tile at a later stage. This is quite a common problem with these old floors which don’t have a damp proof coarse and certainly I could see no trace of a DPC when I dug out the cement around the pipe work earlier.

The last step in the cleaning process was to steam the entire floor and then leave it to dry off fully over the New Year break.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned on the 2nd of January and after inspecting the floor to ensure it was clean and free of damp I began to seal it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing its appearance in the process. Four coats of sealer were needed and as you can see by the final pictures the final results were outstanding.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brixton
Period features such as old Victorian floors add a lot of value to and the customer was over the moon with the transformation and is so happy she chose to have the floor restored rather than covering it back up with carpet.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brixton
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South London

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