Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Thought Beyond Repair Rejuvenated in Cardiff

Many property owners who are lucky enough to have an original Victorian tiled floor in their homes face the same conundrum: can an old and potentially very damaged floor be salvaged and restored to peak condition or should I replace it?

Some people would instinctively tell you that the answer is no – even trained professionals! In fact, a leading tile restoration company (which shall remain unnamed) based in Cardiff told a recent customer of mine that her original Victorian tiled floor, dating back to 1905, was beyond repair. The company recommended that she not waste any money on having it restored and instead that she should have it ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff Before Restoration

It was in a bad state, however replacing the floor would incur a significant cost and the original characteristics of the period floor would be lost. The customer was feeling rather deflated and was left undecided on what to do. Fortunately after browsing the web for a solution, she came across Tile Doctor and I was asked to pop over and take a look.

I visited the customer at her home and removed parts of her hallway carpet to get a better look at the Victorian tiles beneath. The floor was certainly in a very poor state, there were many old paint splash marks covering the tiles and the surface of the floor was deeply darkened after many years’ worth of wear and tear. In my opinion however, it was still salvageable, and the customer was happy to see what could be done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

A week before I was due to start the restoration, I asked the customer to remove the foam-backed carpet to let the floor breathe a bit.

Before beginning the work, I ran a few damp tests and the floor proved surprisingly dry considering how old it is and the very probable lack of a damp proof membrane. I started by manually scraping as much of the old paint staining off the stone as possible and cleared other debris from the surface.

Knowing that clay based Victorian tiles like these easily soak up paint splashes, I knew it would take a thorough clean to remove them completely. I firstly soaked the floor with water and left it to dry slightly before mixing a concoction of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the stone, while Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner that tackles heavy soil build-up. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product which both cleans and strips away any old sealer.

I left this mixture to dwell on the floor for around half an hour, scrubbed it in firstly using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then a wire wool pad. I followed by rinsing the products off with water and extracted up the excess with a wet vacuum machine.

This technique was repeated until I was satisfied with the condition of the floor.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight, I returned to the property the next day to carry out the sealing process. I applied seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only adds a protective covering to the tile, but also enhances its appearance.

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results of the restoration, especially considering that she was told the floor was ruined by a leading company and not worth saving.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff After Restoration

I think you will agree that its always worth trying to restore a period floor and my customer deserves praise for sticking to their guns.
 
 

Professional Period Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in South Wales

Uneven Travertine Tiled Floor Levelled and Polished in Swansea

The customer, who lives in Swansea, the second largest city in Wales after Cardiff, had been searching for a company to rectify the problems with his Travertine tiled floor for a few months with no luck. Fortunately, he discovered Tile Doctor online and as their local agent I was asked to assess the problems first hand.

Uneven Travertine Floor Before Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

Upon my inspection, I was quite astounded by the way the Travertine floor had been installed. It covered an around 60 square metres and suffering severe lipping of 2-3 mm in some areas between tiles. Lipping occurs when you have variation in the height of adjoining tiles, and it can be quite a trip hazard.

Uneven Travertine Floor Before Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

The floor was laid in September 2016 on a new screed, so I knew there would be no damp issues. I checked the spare tiles the customer had in surplus and determined they were 13mm thick so the solution I proposed was to grind down the tiles by 2-3mm using coarse diamond encrusted milling pads and then restore the polish with a set of fine burnishing pads. You can only do this with natural stone and given the tiles were 13mm thick it shouldn’t present a problem.

Levelling an Uneven Travertine Tiled Floor

I used a set of Tile Doctor milling pads, starting with the 50 grit Extra Coarse pad to remove the lippage throughout the whole floor. It was a large area and with 2-3mm to grind off the tile it took four days nearly three pads to complete.

Uneven Travertine Floor During Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

I then used the 100-grit coarse pad to further smooth the surface the 50-grit pad had etched, followed by the 200-grit pad to refine the finish even further. After every pad application, I rinsed and vacuumed and the area to remove the slurry.

Uneven Travertine Floor During Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

Restoring the Polish on a Travertine Tiled Floor

After removing the tile lippage, I knew that the floor would be a lot easier to polish using our set of four Tile Doctor burnishing pads, which would do the job of restoring the desired polish. I started with the Coarse 400 grit pad and worked my way through the system of burnishing pads using a little water to help lubricate and rinsing away the slurry between each pad. The pads were applied in sequence from Medium, Fine and then Very Fine pads to achieve a fantastic polished finish.

Next, I needed to fill a lot of cavities remaining in the stone. I did this filling after the burnishing to avoid the filler coming loose during the work in progress.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The final step in the restoration process was to seal the floor using our impregnating sealer, known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow. I highly recommend this product for stone as it not only does add durable protection by occupying the pores in the stone it also enhances it’s natural colours.

Finally, I removed any surplus sealer with a cloth and left the floor to dry for another hour, before using the Very Fine pad to refine the polish and ensure that no smears were present.

Uneven Travertine Floor After Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

The work took eight days to complete and both myself and the customer were delighted with the results of the restoration of the floor which was a total disaster to look at when I first inspected it. The customer thought it was beyond repair – until he found Tile Doctor.

Uneven Travertine Floor After Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

 
 

Professional Tile Milling, Burnishing and Sealing for a Travertine Tiled Floor with Lipping Issues in Swansea

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Penarth

This Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in Penarth needed a deep clean and seal but also there was the added complication of what to do with the under stairs area as you will see in the photographs below. There were many options to consider and after many visits to the property to discuss various options we finally decided on adding new replacement tiles that complimented the main colour in the floor.

Victorian Hallway Penarth Before Restoration

This floor was in quite a bad state covered in paint splashes and cement after new damp proofing also under the staircase there were no tiles just cement which the customer hoped could be tiled. I assured the customer that they made the right choice by contacting Tile Doctor that they would be very happy with the outcome of their project.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Using a Kango hammer I first removed all the cement from area under the stairs that was to be retiled to get the main mess out of way then scraped off as much cement and paint off the tiled surface as possible. Once this was done and the area clear I was able to re-cement the area to be tilled to the right level and once dry tile the area with tiles in the chosen colour from a company known as Original Style which produce good tile replicas.

Victorian Hallway Penarth During Restoration Victorian Hallway Penarth During Restoration

Deep Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles

The floor was checked for moisture which proved dry and then cleaned with a mixture of Tile Doctor products including NanoTech HBU Remover (HBU stands for Heavy Build-up), Remove and Go to tackle the paint splashes and to ensure any sealers were removed and Pro-Clean which is another powerful cleaning product. All these products are safe to use on tiles floors and were worked into the tile and grout using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

Once the floor was clean the soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the floor then thoroughly rinsed down with water, again extracted using a wet vacuum. Problem areas were re-treated by hand and scraped using wire wool and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid product designed to remove cement stains and grout smears. The floor was then rinsed again to remove any product traces, dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I came back the next day to seal the floor, checking the tiles for moisture first using a damp meter. To seal the tiles, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds that protective layer and a nice sheen to the floor.

Victorian Hallway Penarth After Restoration Victorian Hallway Penarth After Restoration

The replacement tiles blended in well with the original Victorian floor tiles which now following the deep clean and re-seal looks like a new installation.

Victorian Hallway Penarth Before Restoration

 
 

Restoring a Victorian Tiled floor hidden in South Wales

Deep Cleaning and Sealing to Restore Original Victorian Tiles in Maesteg

The owners of this property in Maesteg, a town in the Llynfi Valley not too far from Port Talbot, had decided after many years to remove the carpet covering the downstairs hallway. Upon doing so they revealed some truly fantastic patterned Victorian tiles, and decided that instead of replacing the old carpet with new carpet, they would restore the condition of the original flooring.

Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning Maesteg Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning Maesteg

Whenever you remove carpet that has been hiding tiled flooring, it’s almost inevitable that you will find traces of rubber underlay, glue and cement deposits, and paint stains – or, in this particular case – a combination of all the above. The best course of action to bring original tiles back to their peak condition is to seek professional restoration. Everyday cleaning products and DIY methods rarely achieve the desired result. As the local Tile Doctor, these property owners contacted me to get the job done efficiently and effectively. Here’s how I did it.

Cleaning an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Upon arriving at the property, I started by checking the floor for any inherent moisture problems. This was important to do considering that the tiles appeared quite old; thankfully there were no major issues that would have affected the restoration.

After checking for moisture, I began the cleaning process by manually scrapping off as much of the heavy glue and cement deposits as possible to clear the area and give the cleaning products an easier time of penetrating deep into the tiles.

I then mixed a strong cleaning solution consisting of three of our products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU. Pro Clean is a reliable cleaner that cans be used on most natural stone floors, Remove & Go helps with the removal of glues, adhesives, and old sealers, and NanoTech HBU uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate beneath tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them out.

This solution was worked into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a coarse black pad, before I rinsed the floor thoroughly. Then, on my hand and knees, I carefully checked every tile for any additional paint splashes or other deposits, using a handheld scraper and wire wool in combination with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to remove any I came across. This cleaning method for this type of floor is generally always successful.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

After leaving the floor to dry overnight I returned to the property, once again checking for moisture. Happy that the floor was ready to be sealed, I applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only provides a protective layer but also gives the tiles to a beautiful low sheen finish. Seal and Go is best suited for use on internal, porous surfaces such as Victorian, Quarry, Sandstone and Slate.

The two photos below show the outcome of the restoration. The transformation achieved in the space of one day was exceptional and needless to say the customer was over the moon with their new Victorian tiles.

Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning Maesteg Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning Maesteg

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South Wales

Dirty Bath Stone Cill’s Deep Cleaned in Cardiff

Bath Stone is a material that we don’t often encounter. A variation of Limestone, its distinctive yellowish or ‘honey’ colouring is best associated with historical buildings in the City of Bath – hence the name ‘Bath Stone’. However, it has commonly been used as a building material throughout southern England and Wales.

The owner of this property in Cardiff was quite upset that her Bath Stone window sills had become so unsightly over the four-year period since her house was built, so much so that she contacted Tile Doctor to see if we could help.

Bathstone window cill before cleaning Cardiff Bathstone pillar before cleaning Cardiff

Cleaning Dirty Bath Stone Window Sills

While at Tile Doctor we most often work on tiled floors, patios and shower cubicles, I was more than happy to assist in this situation. I popped round to the property to carry out some initial cleaning tests on an inconspicuous area of one of the window sills.

I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our high alkaline cleaner, since it’s a very versatile and reliable product, and is suitable for use on most kinds of natural stone. Some fantastic results were achieved quickly, with Pro Clean working efficiently to remove the green and black algae that I presumed came from the trees which were plentiful around the property.

Bathstone window cill after test clean Cardiff
With the test clean a success, we agreed a date to complete the job. I returned on the agreed date with a ladder to treat the rest of the sills using Pro Clean, including the one on the first floor window.

Bathstone window cills after cleaning Cardiff
Before carrying out the work, I tested the stone for moisture and the readings were sky high. Therefore, I suggested to the customer not to seal the stone, but instead to maintain it using the same cleaning process as I had undertaken.

Bathstone window cill after cleaning Cardiff
The outcome of my restoration was brilliant, so now when the customer feels that the sills need to be rejuvenated again, she can do so very easily.

Professional Cleaning of Stained Bath Stone Window Sills in South Wales

Terrazzo and Quarry Tiles Restored at a Fire Damaged Church in Bath

Back in June, I had the absolute pleasure of undertaking a large scale tiled floor restoration at St. Mary’s Church in Bath. An architect who does a lot of commissions in Bath and the surrounding areas got in touch with me as they needed to restore the very weathered and worn Church flooring, which dates back to 1840.

The Church itself had suffered a lot from fire damage and the Terrazzo flooring had lost any shine due to both exposure to the smoke and, of course, a lot of wear and tear over the course of 176 years. There were also a number of missing tiles that needed to be replaced.

St Marys Church Bath Before Fire Restoration

In addition, some old carpet which was beyond repair had been pulled up to reveal some fantastic red Quarry tiles that the architect hoped could also be restored. They had discovered that some of the tiles had been removed in front of the Altar (an area of around 2.5 square metres) and cemented over due to the Altar being moved back a metre.

St Marys Church Bath Before Fire Restoration

Fully restoring both large areas of tiled flooring would take time however with numerous contractors and trades also working in the building at the same time I completed the work in stages over a period of two months.

Cleaning and Sealing Terrazzo Tiles

To begin, I took moisture readings over all areas due to be worked on. In some places, the levels of moisture were high for two reasons: first, a significant amount of water had been used to quell the fire, and second the red Quarry tiles had been laid with no damp proof membrane due to the age of the building.

Next, I liaised with the architect to decide what tile and pattern would be best to replace the cement area in order to compliment the surrounding red tiles. We decided on a similar shape and colour from original style. I then removed the cement, re-cemented and tiled the area accordingly. Following this, I removed the badly damaged Terrazzo tiles and replaced them with spare replica tiles that the architect had leftover from previous projects.

St Marys Church Bath Before Fire Restoration

My method for restoring the Terrazzo tiles was to use the Tile Doctor four pad burnishing system, applying each diamond encrusted pad in turn – from Coarse to Very Fine – to clean and polish the stone. I then sealed the tiles with an impregnating sealer known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhances the natural colours in the stone. Finally, I went over the tiles again with the Very Fine burnishing pad to refine the shine. Needless to say, I checked for moisture before sealing, and thankfully the floor proved dry.

St Marys Church Bath During Fire Restoration

Cleaning and Sealing Red Quarry Tiles

In some areas, the red Quarry tiles had glue on them from the carpet being stuck down for many years. I manually scraped off the large, tough glue residues, and once this had been done, I used Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor Pro Clean to soften and break down any particularly stubborn glue deposits. After rinsing the floor, I went over it again with the Coarse grit burnishing pad to give the surface a really good clean. The remaining Quarry tiles were cleaned by using the same Coarse grit pad. using water to lubricate the process and rinsing periodically as I worked.

St Marys Church Bath During Fire Restoration

Having cleaned the tiles, I left the Church for a week to allow the builders and other trades to finish their work. Upon my return, I ran some damp tests to and found the readings were sky high, meaning sealing was not an option at this time. I discussed this issue with the architect and we decided to carry on with the completion in a month, leaving the floor enough time to dry out and for any other building work to be completed. By that time, the heating system would have also been installed and would work to help the floor to dry out quicker.

A month passed, and I returned to seal the Quarry tiles. However, before doing so I noticed efflorescence in some areas and neutralised it using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. I then left the floor a further two days to dry, by which time the Acid Gel had successfully removed all traces of efflorescence. To my satisfaction, the moisture readings I took upon my return were low, meaning the tiles were ready to be sealed.

St Marys Church Bath After Fire Restoration

To seal the tiles, I applied several costs of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which helps protects with no damp proof membrane, follows by a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a sealer which prices a nice satin shine finish. This really enhanced the old fire red pigment in the tiles.

St Marys Church Bath After Fire Restoration

While it was a long and difficult process to fully restore both sets of tiles, the outcome was very much worth the wait. Looking at the before and after photographs, it’s easy to see why the architect, priest and the parishioners were absolutely delighted with the results. I’m also really pleased to have contributed to the restoration and continued conservation of this wonderful building.
 
 

Fire Damaged 176-Year Old Terrazzo and Quarry Tiled Floors Retorted at Bath Church

Quarry and Victorian Tiles Repaired, Cleaned and Sealed in Swansea

The owner of this property in Swansea contacted me recently about a two-part job that would involve the restoration of both a Quarry tiled hallway and a Victorian tiled lobby. The property itself dates back to 1918 – making it nearly a century old – and its safe to assume that both sets of tiles are of a similar age. As you can see from the photographs, they had certainly had absorbed a lot of wear and tear over the years, and as these tiles get older it becomes in increasingly difficult to maintain their appearance.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway

A number of the Quarry tiles had at some point in the past been removed to allow the installation of electrical cables below ground, with an unsightly layer of cement left in their place. At a later point I would need to replace these tiles, but initially I needed to remove the old cement, along with any old sealer remaining on the floor by applying and scrubbing in Tile Doctor Remove & Go.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Swansea

Next, I applied an undiluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our effective alkaline tile cleaner, to break down and remove the ingrained dirt. I then rinsed with clean water, and removed the resulting slurry with a wet vacuum. With the floor freshly cleaned, I proceeded to retile the area where tiles were missing.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Lobby

The Victorian tiles in the porch/lobby room area were adjoined to the Quarry tiles. In this area there were several loose tiles, and I opted to recement and regrout them before beginning a clean.

Following this the tiles were treated to a thorough clean in a similar fashion to that provided to the Quarry tiles, however, in this case I mixed Remove and Go and Pro Clean to form a powerful cleaning solution. This was applied to the floor, left to dwell for a short period, and then scrubbed into the tiles, quickly bringing them back to life. I then lightly steamed cleaned the floor with a Karcher tool to eliminate or neutralise any chemicals that remained.

Victorian-Tiled-Lobby-Floor-During-Restoration-Swansea-114646

Sealing Quarry and Victorian Tiles

I left the two sets of tiles to dry out fully overnight. Upon my return to the property, I ran damp tests to confirm that the floors were ready to be sealed. The customer had asked for a satin finish on both floors, so I decided to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This topical sealer provides a durable sheen seal, and is a cost-effective option for Quarry and Victorian tiles. I applied seven coats of Seal and Go in total across both sets of tiles.

Quarry-Tiled-Floor-After-Restoration-Swansea-112352 Victorian-Tiled-Lobby-Floor-After-Restoration-Swansea-112433

The customer and myself were delighted with the results. In the space of just a couple of days these classic tiles have been brought been completely revitalised, and thanks to the application of a fresh sealer will be easier for the customer to keep clean going forward.
 
 

Restoration of an Old Quarry Tiled Hallway and Victorian Tiled Lobby in South Wales

Badly Stained and Mouldy Marble Shower a Cubicle Transformed in Beddau

Tiled shower cubicles can very easily become tired and grubby looking without the right care. The shampoos and soaps we use in our everyday lives can have long lasting damage if their effects are not sufficiently dealt with, with grout mould being a very common problem for property owners in the UK where we have a cold climate that encourages us to seal up our homes limiting natural ventilation.

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles Before Cleaning in Beddau

At this property in the small village of Beddau, near Cardiff, my customer had a particularly poorly maintained Marble tiled shower cubicle suffering from bad staining. Since Marble is an acid-sensitive stone it is especially vulnerable to damage when exposed to even slightly acidic shower products. The grout was also in a bad way, having turned from a pleasant off white colour to black. The entire area was now well overdue from some attention from the Tile Doctor.

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles Before Cleaning in Beddau

Cleaning a Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle

To begin the restoration of these tiles I had to remove any old sealer. I did this by applying a combination of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a versatile cleaner, stripper and degreaser, and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, which is a more powerful product designed for the removal of heavy soil buildup.

As the old sealer came away, I left the two products to soak into the tiles to lift out the stains and ingrained dirt caused by the Marble’s exposure to shampoo and soaps. This really helped to alleviate the grubby appearance previously held by the tiles.

As previously mentioned, the grout lines were also in a really bad state. Undeterred, I attempted for three hours to clean the grout lines with unsatisfactory results, and so resolved instead to remove the old grout entirely and re-grout with a new Jasmine coloured grout throughout the bathroom. I did consider simply recolouring the grout with one of our Grout Colourants but, as an experienced tiler, I felt for me it would quicker and easier to achieve the required results by re-grouting.

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles During Cleaning in Beddau

Sealing a Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle

After leaving the grout and tiles to dry overnight following the cleaning and regrouping, I returned to the property to seal the area. To do this I opted to use two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, our solvent-based impregnating sealer which fills the pores of the stone to act as a barrier against trapped dirt and stains, and to prevent further contamination.

As a colour intensifying sealer it really emphasised the natural shades in the Marble. Colour Grow can achieve similar results on other types of unpolished stone, including Limestone, Flagstones, Quarry, Sandstone and Slate.

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles After Cleaning in Beddau

I added the finishing touches to the restoration by removing all the mouldy silicone and replaced it with new silicone. Though this wasn’t the easiest of jobs, the final result is one of which I am particularly proud. It certainly pleased the customer!

Marble Shower Enclosure Tiles After Cleaning in Beddau

 
 

Marble Tiled Shower Cubicle Professionally Refinished in South Wales

Heavily Soiled and Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Pontcanna

Pontcanna is a popular residential area in the western district of Cardiff, in South East Wales. Known for its rather large houses and spectacular foliage, interestingly enough roughly a quarter of the population are English folk.

I was called down to a property in the area to take a look at a Victorian tiled floor which was in quite poor condition. Along with the typical amount of dirt and muck seen on poorly maintained tiles, there were a number of missing tiles and a fair bit of cement caked on the surface of the floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration Pontcanna

It would require a robust clean, fresh seal, and several repairs to get this floor back into optimum condition.

Cleaning and Repairing a Dirty Victorian Tiled Floor

To begin, I checked for excess moisture problems using a damp meter in various places of the hallway floor and, thankfully, it was showing dry results. Any dampness could have potentially caused problems later on in the restoration process, so it was s good idea to run tests before starting.

Next, I manually scraped as much of the dry paint and cement off the tiles as possible, with no lubrication necessary. I then proceeded to clean the floor with a solution I mixed early, consisting of equal parts Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Pro Clean, rinsing as I went. Both products are designed to tackle heavy soil build-up, with the former uniquely using nano-sized particles (as the product name suggests) to penetrate deep into difficult to reach areas in the tiles in order to lift out ingrained muck.

Following the initial clean, I removed all of the loose tiles and those heavily affected by cement, before retiling as necessary with fresh Victorian tiles, and grouting the whole floor. Of course, these replacement tiles were carefully sourced to ensure consistency, as far as possible, with the original pattern of the floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration Pontcanna

The next day, I went over the whole floor with an application of the acid-based Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, diluted with a little alkaline Pro Clean to form a cleaning solution. I then used a black pad to scrub the cleaner into the tiles, similarly to the previous day’s cleaning. This was followed by a through rinse with water to neutralise the floor.

It was at this point that I noticed some stubborn cement stains remained so I set about breaking them down using a 60 grade hand held diamond polishing block, and this technique proved successful.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

After completing the clean, I left the floor to dry out for roughly 24 hours. Upon my return to the property to seal the tiles, I tested again for moisture. It is recommended to run damp tests before sealing, as excess moisture can cloud the sealer, affecting its performance in the long run.

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration Pontcanna

Fortunately, no dampness was detected and I was proceeded to seal the floor with seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which enhances the natural colours in the stone and provides a nice satin gloss appearance, as requested by the customer.

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration Pontcanna

I was extremely pleased with the results of this restoration, as was the customer. The extent of the soil build up and damage was such before the restoration that, after completion, the floor looked like it had been newly laid!
 
 

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in South Wales

Heavily Worn Polished Limestone Floor Restored in Cowbridge

When given the right care, a polished Limestone floor can be an amazing asset to any house. If neglected, however, the tiles can quickly discolour from wear, especially in areas of high traffic, such as the kitchen.

Such was the case at this house in the small, picturesque town of Cowbridge, in South East Wales. My client had contacted Tile Doctor to see what could be done to improve the condition of the tile and grout which, as you can see from the photographs had not been properly maintained.

To get the floor back to its best it would need to be burnished which is a process that rejuvenating the appearance of polished stone through the application of different grades of diamond encrusted floor pads from coarse to very fine.

Re-Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

Before beginning the burnishing process, I made sure to check that there were no inherent moisture issues using a damp meter, the home owner had informed me beforehand that the floor did have a damp proof membrane installed however it is always a good precaution to check and additionally it provides a good baseline for later when checking the floor has dried after cleaning.

Polished Limestone Before Burnishing Cowbridge Polished Limestone Before Burnishing Cowbridge

Burnishing and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The Tile Doctor burnishing system consists of four main burnishing pads. I began by applying the coarse pad to the tiles lubricated with a little water, before rinsing the floor and moving on to medium and fine grit pads again lubricating with water and rinsing after each pad. After finishing with the third pad, I paused to rinse the entire area a thorough rinse extracting the resulting waste with a wet-vac machine.

Polished Limestone During Burnishing Cowbridge

I then paid special attention to cleaning the grout lines, which had turned black in places. I applied undiluted Tile Doctor Pro Clean and agitated the grout lines with a stiff scrubbing brush to restore the original colour. This was followed by another thorough rinse.

Polished Limestone Cleaned Grout Cowbridge

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

I left the floor to dry overnight, before completing the burnishing process by applying the final very fine grit pad which adds that aesthetically pleasing shine. I used the damp meter to check the floor had dried and once I was happy I began the sealing process with the application of three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a great choice for Limestone as it penetrates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within whilst enhancing the natural colours in the Limestone. As a final step and to ensure there were no unappealing marks left on the floor, I went back over the floor once more with the fine grit burnishing pad.

Polished Limestone After Burnishing Cowbridge

What was once a dull stone floor with dirty grout lines has now been restored back to its original condition and with the correct maintenance going forward should stay that way for some time.
 
 

Cleaning, Burnishing and Sealing a Polished Limestone Floor in South Wales

Restoring A Stained Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cardiff

The following post is follows on from the Limestone tiled kitchen floor restoration I recently completed in Cardiff. You may recall that the floor had not been maintained properly since it was first installed in 2008 and one of the key problems I had to deal with during that particular restoration was a number of dark stains left on the tiles by the kitchen dustbin. Here’s a detailed account of how I tacked the staining.

Limestone Reduxa Before Stain Removal

Cleaning a stained Limestone tiled floor

To deal with the stains, I suggested to the client that I experiment with a Tile Doctor product called Reduxa, which is formulated to remove certain stains, including red wine stains, from natural stone. It is suitable on Limestone, Marble and Travertine tiles, amongst others. Nonetheless, I did have to advise the client that unfortunately some stains are unavoidably permanent and that there was no guarantee that the product would be able to remove these particular stains. Had the sealer been maintained on this floor, then the problem would have been much easier to tackle. However, in this case the sealer had worn off over the years.

I began treating the problem area by applying the Reduxa solution, before heating up the tile with a heat gun to lift out the stains. This process of spraying and heating was repeated around eight times.

Limestone Reduxa After Stain Removal

To cut a long story short, the process worked very well, and both myself and the client were amazed at the results the Reduxa stain removal solution had on the floor. This product really does what it says on the label!

Limestone Reduxa After Stain Removal

If you would like more information on the product, check out the video on the Reduxa page on the Tile Doctor website.
 
 

Professional tile cleaning restoration for badly stained Limestone tiled kitchen floor in Cardiff

Unmaintained French Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Restored in Cardiff

This customer from the historic city of Cardiff was keen to see what Tile Doctor could do to put some life back into their treasured Limestone kitchen floor that was laid in 2008. My first observations were mainly centred on the horrific condition of the surface which although adequately sealed initially the floor had not received any subsequent maintenance and its condition had deteriorated over time. The light shining in from the patio doors highlighted all the imperfections in the floor caused by surface wear and tear commonly seen in high traffic areas such as a kitchen.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cardiff

Upon closer inspection, there were further problems: the floor was stained and scuffed, and in most places the sealer had worn off completely allowing the dirt to become ingrained into the pores of the Limestone. Additionally the grout was recessed but was now flush with the tile surface due to dirt build-up. There were also areas contaminated with grease and kitchen cooking oil.

The Limestone floor tiles were 20mm thick French Limestone, and had been laid very well so there was no requirement to do any tile or grout repairs however to get this floor back to its original condition the surface would need to be reconditioned using the Tile Doctor four stage burnishing system.

Restoring a French Limestone Floor

I started by giving the floor a wash with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, focusing mainly on the grout lines in order to remove the muck that had built-up there. I used a special stiff grout brush for this activity; it’s quite narrow and ideal for grout scrubbing.

This worked well, but the significant build-up of dirt along some of the grout lines meant more work was required. I tackled this problem with a hand scraper assisted with steam. At the end of this process, the whole floor was then rinsed down with water to remove any soil and the resulting slurry was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Grout Steam Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Grout Steam Cleaning Cardiff

Burnishing French Limestone Tiles

The next step was to start the burnishing process, which basically involves applying four diamond encrusted floor pads in sequence over the floor. Each pad is a different grade, starting with the most abrasive coarse pad and moving through to the finer grades using a little water to lubricate and rinsing away any slurry between each pad.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Cardiff

I eventually finished with the extra fine pad which builds up shine and lustre on the tile; it had taken two days to clean the grout and burnish the Limestone but the floor was much improved and so after a final rinse down I left the floor to dry off overnight with the aid of the underfloor heating.

During this time, I also addressed the stained Limestone in the area of the kitchen where the dustbin was situated. This had been a major upset for the customer and I’m happy to report I managed to deal with it. However, it was quite an involved process, so I’ll write about this in a separate post.

Sealing a Limestone tiled kitchen floor

On the third day I came back to seal the floor, checking first that it had dried sufficiently with a damp meter. Fortunately, the underfloor heating had done a great job of drying the stone and I was able to seal the floor using three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant. This sealant not only provides a durable seal but also penetrates deep into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the Limestone in the process.

After the final layer of sealant, I worked over the floor again with the extra fine burnishing pad both to add shine again following sealing, and to ensure that no smear marks were visible as the lighting conditions were unforgiving and highlighted any imperfections.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cardiff

The customer was delighted with the results: so much so, in fact, that they booked me in to restore their Victorian hallway floor as well but that’s a story for another time!
 
 

Restoring French Limestone Kitchen Floor in South Wales

Tile Installation Problems Resolved in a Cardiff Bathroom

Sometimes my clients ask the question: “Why is the grout coming out of the joints in my bathroom floor, and what can I do about it?” This job at a house in the city of Cardiff had exactly that problem and I had been asked to resolve it, additionally one of the tiles had become cracked and need replacing.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

The cause was due to movement in the floor when walked on, causing the grout to dislodge from the tile; this is not uncommon on tiled floors where there is wooden base and there is a lack of flexibility in the adhesive, most likely because it was watered down upon initial installation or a flexible product was not used. In this case the floorboards outside the bathroom door would squeak when stepped on, suggesting that there was some degree of movement under the bathroom floor, making the substrate move very slightly – but enough to cause problems. All I could really do in this situation was to remove the existing grout with a small machine and re-grout the entire area using a highly flexible grout.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

These thoughts were confirmed when I came to replace one cracked tile in the centre of the floor. Upon removing the broken tile I saw that the tiles had been laid on 13mm of adhesive which was very brittle and soft, allowing it to be scraped off the tile and the floor easily. Only approximately 50% of the tile was covered in adhesive, suggesting that it had been laid rather carelessly. Tiles must have 100% adhesive coverage, especially in bathrooms with underfloor heating, because the heat and cold can directly impact the stone and cause cracks.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

Fortunately the customer had a spare tile and so I carefully chopped out the broken tile and removed the surrounding grout and adhesive causing no disruption to the surrounding area. The replacement tile was secured in place with adhesive and then grouted using a matching grout, this time using flexible products.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

The next job was to take a look at the shower cubicle where I was disappointed to see that the contractor who was responsible for the initial installation of the floor had used a very cheap silicone between the base and the shower wall. It was now mouldy and had de-bonded in places that it had to be cut out and replaced by a stronger, high quality silicone. Generally speaking, silicone should last more than 2-3 years (this floor had been installed in 2012).

Shower Tile Refresh Cardiff

I cut the old silicone out with a sharp knife, cleaned up the edges and replaced the silicone with a quality product.

Shower Tile Refresh Cardiff

The ceramic and mosaic tiles were in good condition so this really was just a case of resolving some installation problems however for general cleaning I would recommend Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is a new Biodegradable organic product ideal for cleaning bathroom tiles.
 
 

Bathroom Installation Problems Resolved in South Wales

110 Year Old Quarry Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Merthyr Tydfil

The pictures below were taken at a house in the town of Merthyr Tydfil, which is located not too far north of Cardiff. My client was keen to keep her very old Quarry tiled floor – which dated back to 1905 – intact. The floor had understandably seen a large amount of traffic in its lifetime, and was now in dire need of a professional restoration, including a thorough clean and seal.

Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil before cleaning Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil before cleaning

First, I completed a survey of the area and provided my client with a quote. After completing many similar jobs in the past, I generally have a good idea of what the final result will look like. I passed on some images of a final result to my client, who was happy for me to begin my work.

Cleaning a Quarry tiled floor

On the first day, my first task was to take run some damp tests which were fine; it’s always good to know up front if there are likely to be any damp issues. Next I covered the floor with water to take the surface suction out and waited fifteen minutes before applying a cocktail of Tile Doctor NanoTech Heavy Build-Up cleaner mixed with Pro-Clean and Grout clean-up covering the whole floor. I then immediately starting to work the solution into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a coarse black pad. The solution was then rinsed off with water which was then extracted with a wet vacuum as I worked. For stubborn areas I applied more of the previously mixed solution scrubbed into the floor with coarse wire wool by hand followed by further rinsing with water.

Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after cleaning Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after cleaning

Each of the products used serves a particular purpose. Pro-Clean is a strong high-alkaline cleaner for natural stone, while NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner that uses nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the stone to get underneath and lift out ingrained dirt and stains. Grout Clean-Up, as the name implies, is a product for resolving grout related problems such as removing grout smears from tile surfaces aka grout haze.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

After completing the clean I left the house for 48 hours, to leave enough time for the floor to dry completely in preparation for sealing. Upon my arrival back at the house I conducted some more damp tests to check that the floor was dry enough to seal using the previous readings as a benchmark. The results indicated that I was fine to proceed with the seal, so I applied a total of eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go for durable protection. This was the product I recommended to my client as she wanted a nice, soft shine for her surface seal.

Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after sealing Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after sealing

As you can see from the photos, the desired result was achieved to a high standard and needless to say my client was delighted with the transformation.
 
 

Very old Quarry tiled floor restored and transformed in South Wales

Victorian Chequer Tiled Hallway Floor Deep Cleaned in Cardiff

Sometimes you survey a job and you know that if you get the chance to restore it the results will be totally fantastic! This was the case with this Victorian black & white chequer tiled floor in the hallway of a large terraced Victorian house in Cardiff which dated back to around 1900 and was now looking well past its best, I know this because my family used to live in the house opposite. It was a well laid floor with no readings of dampness; I believe it’s imperative you check a floor for dampness before starting so you know what the baseline damp level is and which sealers will work with the floor.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff Before Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff Before

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

My first action was to hoover the floor and then scrape as much debris off the surface as possible, and then as always I mixed 50/50 Tile Doctor HBU (Heavy Build-Up) remover with Pro-Clean and on this occasion because I wanted the white tiles to become really white I added the same amount of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This special recipe created a very formidable and strong cleaning solution which is what the job called for. I swept it over the whole floor letting it soak in for about ten minutes and then worked it into the floor using a scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse black pad adding more of the solution to the floor where it was drying out as I went.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff During Cleaning Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff During Cleaning

The next step was to rinse the floor twice with water and extract the now filthy cleaning solution using a wet vacuum. At this point I inspected the tiles and I could see there were still a few stubborn areas with spots of paint and glue which I addressed with a decorators steam plate together with a scraper and hand held scrubbing pad.

I was now happy that the floor was clean and ready to be sealed, before sealing though it’s important to remove any trace of cleaning solution as it may contaminate the sealer so I gave the floor a thorough rinse and extracted as much of the water as possible to reduce drying times.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I left the floor to dry for 48hrs before coming back to seal the tiles taking a reader on my damp meter first to establish they had indeed dried out. To seal the floor I used eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which really works well on Victorian tiles and in this case made the whites really stand out.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff After

The customer wanted this floor to look good because they were selling the property and were due to have an open day. The clean tiles really gave the house the wow factor and period features are so desirable these days so I don’t think it will take long to sell.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff After

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales

1920’s Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Pontcana

The new owner of this house in Pontcana, Cardiff recently discovered a 1920’s Victorian tiled floor hidden under carpet in the hallway and was keen to restore it as an original feature. They contacted Tile Doctor to have it repaired and I popped round to do a survey. I could see there was a great deal of movement in the floor by the front door area where the old brittle cement base had buckled causing the tiles to become loose and uneven.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Before Repairs

Most contractors would consider this beyond repair however I suggested we take up the main area of buckled tiles and keep them for the repair to the centre of the hallway where a copper strip had been laid in the cement. I suggested that in the area which we lifted up the tiles by the front door that we made a mat well which not only looks good but serves a purpose and remedies the main problem of the cement base.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first task was to check moisture readings then to remove the tiles carefully as I could in order to save the pieces for the repair of the other damage in the centre of floor. I then chiselled the raised areas of cement away with a small Kango hammer in preparation for the self-leveller which would be needed to make the base suitable for the new doorway mat.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Starting Repairs Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Removing Damaged Section

Once this was done I proceeded to repair the other damaged parts of the floor using the original tiles that were now spare. I laid the tiles through the damaged areas and grouted them in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Before Repairs Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana During Grouting

Once the grout had gone off I was able to start cleaning the floor starting with an application of Grout Clean-Up to remove the grout smears followed by a solution of Tile Doctor HBU mixed 50/50 with Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the tile and then rinsed off before steam cleaning the floor to make sure any dirt or trace of chemical was removed before sealing the tiles.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana After Repairs

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry out and I returned two days later to seal the floor checking that the moisture readings were acceptable first. To seal the floor I used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which can even make an old floor look vibrant.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana After Cleaning and Sealing

The floor now looks great and I’m confident the restoration of this period feature will add value to the property.
 
 

Victorian Tiled floor hidden under carpet fully restored in South Wales

Polished Limestone Reception Floor Cleaned in Central Cardiff

We were engaged by a commercial maintenance contractor to clean the large Limestone reception floor area of a very prestigious office building in the centre of Cardiff. The office’s main tenant is a bank and the owners were keen to restore the floor as they were letting out the remaining office space and keen to show off its potential to other businesses. The Limestone floor had been laid in 2009 and naturally being a reception area had seen a lot of foot traffic and the standard cleaning process was struggling to keep pace with the ingrained dirt and would now need to be burnished with diamond encrusted pads to remove the ingrained dirt and bring back the polish.

Polished-Limestone-Central-Cardiff-Offices-before-095020

Restoring Polished Limestone

First went over the area with a very course black burnishing pad fitted to a rotary cleaning machine and a little water to remove the worst dirt and cleaned the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean in the process with a stiff grout brush. For stubborn areas I mixed in a little Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which deals with the heavy build-up of dirt, rinsing and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum as I worked.

Polished-Limestone-Central-Cardiff-Offices-during-163211

Once the main ingrained dirt was lifted I moved onto the a medium burnishing pad which is the first step in restoring the surface back to its normal appearance; this was followed with the next pad in the sequence all the time lubricating with water as you go. The floor was then given a thorough rinse to remove any soil created by the processes and left to dry overnight.

Polished-Limestone-Central-Cardiff-Offices-after-195052

The next day the floor was given a final polish with the last burnishing pad which is super fine and then it was sealed including the grout lines with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which impregnates the stone to prevent contaminates becoming ingrained into the tile, it also enhances the natural colours in the stone. Last step was a final run over with a buffing pad to ensure any blemishes were removed.

Polished Limestone office floor restored in South Wales

Deep Cleaning a Terrazzo Hallway near Caerphilly Castle

I previously restored an Quarry Tiled floor for the owner of this residence near Caerphilly Castle and was asked back to deep clean their Terrazzo hallway floor which was far from looking its best.

Terrazzo Hallway before deep cleaning near Caerphilly Castle Terrazzo Hallway before deep cleaning near Caerphilly Castle

Restoring a Terrazzo Floor

Terrazzo is a very hard surface and needs to be burnished to get the best results so after scrubbing the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a black scrubbing pad to remove what felt like 100 plus years of black dirt I set about burnishing the floor with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads and a little water. The set comprises of four different grades of diamond pads ranging from coarse to smooth that produce a shiny clean surface. The floor is rinsed between pads to remove any slurry from the process and given another rinse at the end.

Sealing a Terrazzo Floor

The hard Terrazzo soon dried and I was able to seal the floor with the application of three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer which will prevent staining and make it easier to clean in future. Once the last coat was dry I and gave the floor a further polish with the 4th stage green pad to give a true deep shine.

Terrazzo Hallway after deep cleaning near Caerphilly Castle Terrazzo Hallway after deep cleaning near Caerphilly Castle

I think you will agree that what was once an old and tired terrazzo hallway floor now looks much better following its facelift, something that was only made possible due the quality of installation when first laid.

Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Quarry and Terrazzo floors restored near Caerphilly Castle

The owner of this residence near Caerphilly Castle had discovered a 150x150mm red Quarry tiled floor in the kitchen which dated back to before 1900 and had unfortunately been tiled over by a previous owner. Keen on restoring such an original feature the owner set about removing the tiles on top using a chisel and scraping off the adhesive, it was at this point we got the call to assist.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

Restoring a Quarry Tiled Floor

Before proceeding my first job is to always check the moisture levels, many of these old floors have no damp proof membrane so without taking a base reading it’s tricky to know if the floor has thoroughly dried later. The kitchen was being replaced and the old kitchen had been removed so I was able to work on the restoration before the new one had been installed making the task easier.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

To clean the floor I realised I would need a strong cleaning solution to get these old Quarry tiles clean so I diluted Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50:50 with Heavy Build-up Remover or Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU as we like to call it. This was applied to a wet floor and scrubbed in using a scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse back pad running on slow speed. I rinsed the floor every so often so I could see the difference and discovered my choice of cleaning product has proved to be effective and fast. Before long I was happy to rinse away the now soiled cleaning solution satisfied that I could not improve the tiles any further with more cleaning.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry for 24h hours before returning to seal the tiles. On my return I checked the moisture levels and there were some high readings so using a heat gun I applied some gentle heat to the tiles allowing them to cool before checking again. This did the trick and the second reading was much better so I proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which I find works well on quarry tiles. The quarry tiles were quite worn and very porous and as result needed at nine coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. I do find multiple of coats of sealer works well on floors of this condition as it helped to hide the imperfections and marks caused by the chisel and scrapper.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

The owners were delighted with the results and asked me to come back and restore their terrazzo hallway floor which will be subject to another post.
 
 

Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales

18th Century Flagstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Caerleon

This flagstone floor was installed in a farmhouse in Caerleon near NewPort, it was actually the original floor dating back to 18th century and had been lifted up by the previous owners and re-laid with underfloor heating and a damp proof membrane, this was good news for me as so often with these old floors you can get damp issues rising up through the stone and consequently it can take a long time to dry out following a deep clean.

Old Flagstones Before Restoration in Caerleon

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

I stripped the sealer off with Tile Doctor HBU (Heavy Build-Up Remover) Ultra-Clean mixed 50/50 mixed with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to double the cleaning and stripping power and also to thin the HBU out. The old sealer had been applied two years prior when then the floor was re-laid as part of a renovation due to the farm house going on the market for the sale, it had worn through in the heavy traffic areas letting in dirt and now needed to be replaced.

Old Flagstones Before Restoration in Caerleon Old Flagstones Before Restoration in Caerleon

To work the cleaning solution into the floor I used a scrubbing machine with a stiff brush attached cleaning and rinsing as I renovated, the old sealer proved quite tough to shift in some areas so the process had to be repeated until I was satisfied all the old sealer and dirt had been removed.

A lot of the cement joints had broken down which I repointed with fast setting Mapei floor grout colour matched to the original. One small piece of stone had to be replaced by the kitchen unit for which I managed to source a slab from B&Q after a hunt around from various outlets to match the original as best as possible.

Old Flagstone Tile Replacement in Caerleon

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

I left the floor to dry out for two days checking later with a damp meter to ensure it was completely dry before sealing.

Old Flagstones During Sealing in Caerleon Old Flagstones After Restoration in Caerleon

The customer wanted a satin finish as previously sealed so I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which gave the stone floor a nice mild shine and being water based didn’t leave smell whilst it dried.

Old Flagstones After Restoration in Caerleon

 
 

Old Flagstone Tiled Kitchen floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in South Wales

Sandstone Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned in Cardiff

This Sandstone tiled floor with Limestone coloured grout in Cardiff was laid in 2006 and had now discoloured with wear and tear and had almost turned black in places which I suspect was due to no sealer being applied after installation.

I carried out a cleaning sample using Tile Doctor HBU Remover, which is a strong cleaning solution, applied it to one tile in the utility room and the dirt lifted off with remarkable results; I then dried the tile with a heat gun to show the customer the results which she was happy with.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning Sandstone Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Floor

For the rest of the floor I started by wetting the surface and carried on treating it with more HBU remover diluted 50% with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which made it thinner and more effective for deep cleaning. Using a stiff sweeping brush with bristles about half inch long (well broken in for this type of job) I then scrubbed away at the tiles and then the grout joints using a small hand held scrubbing brush which I always find is more effective than a machine which can make a lot of mess and can be overly aggressive. I cleaned the tiles in 5m2 sections rinsing each section four times to ensure there were no trace of cleaning solutions left behind. When finished the floor was left to dry for two to four hours and I tested for moisture knowing it would be ok but always worth checking.

Sealing a Sandstone Floor Sealing

I sealed the Sandstone with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating and colour enhancing product which will protect the floor for many years to come.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

I tested the floor with a water test to ensure it was fully sealed, this is a simple test whereby you check to see if drops of water applied to the surface form beads on the tile. The end result was incredible as you can see the tiles looked as good if not better than the day they were cut from the quarry, and the Colour Grow certainly enhanced the true colours in the stone.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 

Sandstone Tiled floor cleaned and Sealed in South Wales

Full Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Cardiff

Never give up is how I would describe this job!!! I initially surveyed the floor in this Cardiff kitchen in November 2014 and finally completed it and the end of February 2015 working on it off and on as I searched for right tiles to match the existing.

On my survey the Victorian tiled floor which the customer was hoping to restore was covered over by ceramic tiles which the customer agreed to remove before my next visit so I could carry out a cleaning sample. Additionally there was an area of flooring which needed to blend in with kitchen as the pantry wall that previously separated it had been knocked down.

The ceramic tiles were removed and I came round to carry out a cleaning sample in what I thought was one of the more heavily soiled areas; I used Tile Doctor Remove & Go combined with another Tile Doctor product called NanoTech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-up Remover. The results were successful and it was decided to go ahead with the restoration.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Exposing the tiles Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Exposing the tiles

During my visit I tested for moisture and in general the readings were good with the highest reading of 12 in different parts of the floor.

Fully Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor

To restore the tiles I set about cleaning adhesive and grime off using a combination of Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU and Pro Clean which was left to dwell and soak in for two hours before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I tried this for a while and found it was not removing the dirt as expected and on inspection I discovered that the inner body of the ceramic tile was still stuck to the floor. It seems the when the customer removed the ceramic tiles they had only managed to remove the top layer of the tile and had left the lower part stuck to the floor. This Job was now becoming a nightmare as the solution would be to chip and scrape away tiny pieces of the remaining tile away so I could reach and clean the original Victorian floor.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Scraping Off Adhesive Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Scraping Off Adhesive

I had suggested to the customer that it might be cheaper to replace the whole floor but he was adamant that we should continue with our original plan and try to do the best job possible so never giving up I was happy to oblige.

In between cleaning the floor I prepared the base adjacent to the original floor with levelling compound. Also with the cleaning in progress I was getting a better look at the Victorian tiles which were now starting to appear and I could see how badly damaged which would have to be replaced.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Levelling Compound Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff laying replacement tiles

The hallway floor had to be cut at the kitchen doorway as it protruded into the kitchen which when the door was closed looked odd so the customer was happy with my suggestion. I made different suggestions for the new floor layout, and colours which we felt complimented each floor pattern , the new tiles were purchased from original style and the local reclamation yard but I did have to cut the back off a few because of different thickness.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Trimming reclaimed tiles Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Laying new tiles

I finished fixing the replacement tiles and laying the new tiles in a pattern that we had agreed and in a style that best matched the original floor.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Ready for sealing

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

After all the work undertaken including the tilling of the area attached to the original I gave the whole floor a final and thorough steam clean which I did on a the Friday leaving it to thoroughly dry out over the weekend so I could move onto sealing early the following week.

Unfortunately when I arrived on Monday I discovered patches of efflorescence had appeared on certain tiles and I was still unable to finish the job. To resolve this the tiles needed to be given an wash down with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up diluted 50/50 with water; this did the trick so I gave the floor another rinse with water and left to dry overnight.

When I returned the next day I checked for moisture which was a borderline reading of 15-16 so using a heat gun applied some warmth to the whole floor making sure to let it cool down before sealing with a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. Next I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which added a nice sheen to the floor and really brought out the vibrant reds in the tile. The following day I returned to do some tiling on wall above the cooker so applied a further three coats of Seal and Go to the floor to ensure it was fully sealed.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Finished Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Finished

If you have read this story through to the end you will appreciate that this was a mammoth job however it was satisfying to do and the final result looks fantastic, needless to say both myself and the customer were very happy with the end result.
 
 

Victorian Tiled floor hidden under ceramic tiles fully restored in South Wales

Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Refurbished in Port Talbot

A customer in Port Talbot discovered an original but damaged Victorian Tiled Floor, circa 1890, hidden under laminate flooring in their hallway and were keen to restore it back to its original condition. They trawled the Internet and discovered Tile Doctor, made contact and a visit was arranged to conduct a survey.

The Victorian floor tiles were in a poor condition and to make matters worse a central heating pipe had been laid through the width of the hallway floor destroying the Victorian tiles. I assured the owners something could be done and we made a booking for me to return and do the work; in the meantime I spent a considerable amount of time sourcing tiles with the right measurements to replicate the original. Fortunately I managed to find a close match with a tile supplier called Original Style.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot Before Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot Before

Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles

My first task was as always to check for moisture then to scrape as much adhesive and paint off the tiles as possible; then resorting to a chisel and small jackhammer tool around all the edges of the area to be replaced to remove any more badly damaged tiles.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot During Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot During

I could see from the start I was going to need all the assistance I could get to clean this floor and lifts the stains out so to deep clean the tiles I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which adds fine abrasive particles to an already powerful coatings remover. I brushed the solution over the whole floor and then went over it with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I then left it to soak in for at least an hour before going over it again with the machine. Next the floor was rinsed with water to remove the worst of the dirt and to enable further attention to be focused on the more stubborn stains. Further cleaning was required so I covered the tiles in Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaning product and then rinsed the floor again scrapping off any old paint and stubborn glue residue in the process.

The floor was looking much improved but there were still areas with light cement smears and deeply ingrained dirt so this time I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product so you can’t leave it on too long but it’s the only effective way to treat mineral type deposits. I wanted to be sure all this product was removed so afterwards the floor was rinsed three times using a wet vacuum to remove the water. Once I was satisfied the floor was clean I applied a levelling compound to the area damaged by the heating pipes for the new base so I could tile it the following day.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot Before Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot During

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Floor

On the second day I started by cutting larger tiles into small pieces as the tiles were only certain sizes available from the tile supplier, but the colour match was nearly perfect so I made do. Next I started to tile the area using a fast setting adhesive so I could grout the tiles the same day. Once everything had set I gave the rest of the floor a final steam clean to make sure there was no trace of chemical that could upset a sealer.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot Before Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot During

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I left the floor to dry out over the weekend and then came back on the Monday to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for this type of tile as it adds a nice shine. I applied three coats leaving and interval in-between so it could dry before applying the next coat.

The customer was delighted with the results and that she chose Tile Doctor to do the work, we were not the cheapest quote she had received but you have to admit the floor looks like new so well worth the money.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot After Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot After

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Splott near Cardiff

After removing the hallway carpet the new householders had discovered a Victorian tiled floor and being keen to restore it as an original feature made contact with Tile Doctor. Restoring original features can add a lot a value to a house so it’s well worth pursuing.

Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Carpet in Splot Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Carpet in Splot

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor actually caught me out because on initial visit I’d made my judgement on a small area by the doorway which had been uncovered. After removing the rest of the floor covering however I could see the floor was in an extremely poor condition especially around the perimeter which had ingrained dirt and cement, old paint and was generally well worn. I would estimate the floor was original from at least 120 years ago

Before starting any cleaning I put the damp meter reader on several tiles to check the damp levels which read border line .15 -.17 in places which I was not very happy with especially as the weather we’ve had recently had been hot and dry in Cardiff for some time. Undeterred I scrapped the whole floor and then chiselled the edges with Hammer and bolster; next I mixed a 50:50 batch of Tile Doctor Remove and Go with NanoTech Ultra-Clean cleaner and applied this to the whole area, agitated it with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine and left it to dwell on the tile for half an hour so it could work on any old sealers that may have been present on the tile.

I then rinsed the floor twice and although the floor was looking better I could really see how bad the condition was so next I applied undiluted Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the whole floor which is a strong alkaline cleaner. It was left to dwell on the floor for half an hour scrubbing in between, rinsing with clean water as I carried on.

Although improved again I was still not happy with the results especially the borders as there appeared to be dark cement stains deeply ingrained into the tiles which no doubt had been there for eighty years. So next step was to apply Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is designed to remove mineral deposits and cement, it’s very effective solution for this type of work and it removed most of the stains but not all.

The floor still needed more work so in my frustration I rinsed the floor and mixed a concoction of Remove and Go, Pro-Clean and Grout Clean-up together with a squirt of the NanoTech Ultra-Clean cleaner and spread it over the whole area leaving it to dwell for around 10 minutes before scrubbing it again. The floor was then rinsed and then for the final clean I steam cleaned the area twice rinsing in-between.

Victorian Tiled Floor Discovered in Splot Before Victorian Tiled Floor Discovered in Splot Before

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The cleaning was done on a Friday and then left to dry out over the weekend. I returned on Monday and tested for moisture which was slightly high in places so being ever over precautions dried the whole floor with a heat gun until it gave me an absolute dry meter reading.

I left the floor to cool down to ambient temperature and then sealed it with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. The customer was over the moon and I think you will agree that the tiles have been renovated to a high standard.

Victorian Tiled Floor Discovered in Splot After Victorian Tiled Floor Discovered in Splot After

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor Restored in Splott, South Wales

Cleaning Red and Black Versatile Ceramic tiles in Penarth

This Ceramic Tiled Floor was in Penarth near Cardiff, the tile were 150 mm x 150 mm red dust pressed composition, known as versatile as it can be laid on both sides sometimes found around swimming pool areas due to their non-slip raised definition. The floor was looking a bit tired, so the customer asked if they could be revived. I did an inspection of the floor and noticed the grout was lose at the lounge doorway and this had to be re-grouted after my wet vacuum sucked it out part way through the cleaning process.

Versatile Tile Cleaning Penarth Before Cleaning

Cleaning Ceramic Tiles

First of all I tested for moisture which read very low, which was good news as it meant I was not going to have any issues with moisture in the tiles. I then applied masking tape to the skirting and carpet riser at the bottom of the staircase; I always protect these areas as once I removed a little paint on another customers skirting with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and so I deducted £50 .00 off the bill by way of compensation.

Versatile Tile Cleaning Penarth Masking
I then covered the floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go let it soak in for half an hour, the floor was then rinsed twice and then to clean the grout I applied with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then scrubbed into the grout joints; it was at this point some lose grout came away. The floor was rinsed twice again and I re-grouted the areas which needed it. The floor was dried with a wet vacuum and then it was left to dry for two days.

Versatile Tile Cleaning Penarth Grouting Versatile Tile Cleaning Penarth During Cleaning

Sealing Ceramic Versatile Tiled Floor

On my return I checked the damp levels again before starting to seal the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which also adds a nice shine to the tile. Caution should be applied to this type of tile as streak marks can be prominent when applying the sealer, in my experience I find as soon as the sealer is applied to the tile with a paint pad a cloth or any other method it marks the tile. It’s possible I’m just a being a perfectionist as the customer was thrilled with the finish.

Versatile Tile Cleaning Penarth After Cleaning

Ceramic Tiled Versatile floor cleaned in South Wales

Starburst Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned in Penarth

This Black and White Victorian Tiled hallway floor laid in a “Starburst” pattern at a house in Penarth which had been previous restored in 2011 by another Tile Doctor however the house had recently been subject to some renovations and unfortunately the builders did not cover the hallway floor (typical) so the floor was looking rather tired when I came round to take a look. Whilst I was there I took a damp meter reading which showed the floor to be bone dry which given the hot weather was to be expected; a dry floor and hot weather works in our favour as restoring a tiled or stone floor in hot weather is much more efficient as everything dry’s so quickly.

White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth Before White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth Before

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

My first job was to apply masking tape to the Slate step at the front doorway as the customer was very proud of it and I certainly didn’t want to get any Tile Doctor Remove and Go on it which would of stripped of the sealer. I then cut out a few tiles which were to be replaced before cleaning the whole floor with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean to make it more effective. The solution was left to dwell for around ten minutes before being scrubbed into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a black coarse pad.

This process not only removed any previous sealer but really thoroughly cleaned the tiles as the small abrasive particles in the NanoTech UltraClean gave the floor a light abrasive deep clean. I should mention that during the cleaning stages I rinse the floor at least four times with clean water and then steam clean the whole floor to open up the pores to ensure that there is no cleaning agents present. I then give the floor a final rinse using a wet vacuuming to remove the water and make the floor as dry as possible prior to sealing. Before leaving for the day I carefully fitted the replacement tiles.

White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth After White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth After

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I cleaned the floor on Friday so it was left to dry out over the weekend coming back on Monday to ensure it was dry and then sealing it with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works very well on Victorian floor tiles as it gives a nice satin sheen as well as providing stain protection.

White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth After

 
 

Black and White Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Problems resolved in Gwent

This particular Victorian tiled floor had been installed in the hallway of a house in Stow Park, Gwent around 130 years ago. Despite its age it was in a good condition and the detailed pattern although dirty was still very distinctive, the customer felt however that the floor was spoilt by the total erosion of the stone step at the front door which had suffered from the 130 years of footfall that had occurred across the threshold.

Victorian Tile Issue Resolved in Gwent Before

They asked me for any suggestions to make it more pleasing on the eye so I chose various colours from the main floor area and created a new entrance step leading to the main hallway comprising of 150 mm x 150 mm original style red and black floor tiles and 150 mm x 75 mm original style black round edge tiles.

Victorian Tile Issue Resolved in Gwent After

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

The difference between the old and new was fairly obvious so once the tiles had been laid and the grout had gone off I returned to give the original Victorian tiles a thorough clean. There were some stubborn stains on the floor so I decided to scrub in a couple of strong products called Tile Doctor Remove and Go followed by Tile doctor Grout Clean-up rinsing in between the stages.

Remove and Go is a sealer and coatings remover that as well as cleaning will remove old coatings such as sealers from the tile, this is important if you wish to re-seal the floor as you can get unexpected results if you add one sealer on top of another. Grout Clean-up removes mineral deposits such as the white salts from effloresce, rust and grout smears. The floor was given a thorough rinse following the cleaning process to ensure no product was left on the floor that could upset a sealer.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

Aided by the warm weather it wasn’t long before the tiles were dry enough to be sealed and so I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor as well as providing on-going stain protection.

Victorian Tile Issue Resolved in Gwent After Sealing

I think you would have to agree my solution worked out well and the new tiles look part of the original floor.
 
 

Victorian Tiled floor problems resolved in South Wales

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned in Cardiff

This owner of this house built around 1900 in Cardiff had asked me if I could make their look any better following their attempt at renovating their original Victorian Tiled floor. I examined the floor and established that they had sealed the floor without testing for moisture also it seemed it had been sealed but not correctly cleaned and more importantly not rinsed thoroughly to eradicate any cleaning solutions first; the results as you can see has caused a terrible patchy mess .

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning in Cardiff Victorian Floor Before Cleaning in Cardiff

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was tested for moisture first which established it was dry and also established a baseline as to what to look for later. The next step was to remove any sealers present which proved very difficult because the sealer had only been applied 6 months earlier and applied thickly with a roller. I used three litres of Tile Doctor Remove and Go in total to strip 6 m2 applying it, letting it soak in and then scrubbing it in to get the sealer off. It took multiple rounds of scrubbing but once the sealer was removed I then went over the floor with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any grout smears and mineral deposits and then gave the floor a thorough rinse with plenty of clean water. To make sure I had given the floor a thorough clean the floor was then finished off more Remove and Go mixed with Tile Doctor NanoTech Ultra-Clean to make it more effective and then steam cleaned. The floor was then rinsed again with another two rinses with fresh cold clean water which was then removed with a wet vacuum I worked.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Cardiff Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Cardiff

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry out and I came back on two occasions to check if it was dry enough to seal. The first time I visited was three days later and the floor had a high moisture level, I tested again after five days and the readings were ok to carry on with the sealing stage. The customer wanted a satin finish so I went ahead and sealed the floor with several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go with great results as you can see.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Cardiff

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Cleaning Old Red Quarry Tiles in Treharris

This Red Quarry Tiled floor had been laid when the house was built back in 1910 so it was over 100 years old and had years of wear and tear to show for it including old cement and paint from some decorating work that had been done some years prior. The house was located in the town of Treharris just outside of Cardiff and being an original feature of the house the owner wanted it looking as good as it could be.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I first checked for any moisture as these old floors were often laid without damp proofing and a damp floor can impact sealing later. Fortunately the reading was nice and dry, I then set about carefully scrapping off as much old paint and cement as possible. I then swept up as much of the dust as I could and caught the rest with a hoover.

The next step was to cover the whole floor in Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed with a little NanoTech Ultra Clean which basically adds tiny abrasive particles to a powerful coatings remover. I left this on to soak into the tile for about an hour knowing that using this combination would not only remove any old surface coatings such as sealers it would also clean the floor as well. The solution was then worked into the floor using a rotating scrubbing brush attachment on a floor machine effectively letting the machinery do all the hard work. The floor was then rinsed twice with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Scrubbed

It was clear at this point that the cement I could see on the surface of the tile was basically grout from an appalling tiling job when the floor was laid 100 years earlier. Fortunately Tile Doctor has a solution for that problem called Grout Remove and Go which is an acid based product that will remove grout and mineral deposits such as efflorescence. Being an acid I had to be careful so it was applied to the tile working one square metre at a time cleaning and scraping as I went along. After each section the floor was given a good rinsing again using the wet vacuum to remove the liquids from the floor. The last step of the cleaning process which I always do for Quarry and Victorian floor tiles was to finish off the rinsing process with a steam clean which brings out any remaining dirt and brings the tile back to its raw state.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I cleaned the floor on the Friday and then left it to try for two days coming back on the Sunday to damp test the floor once again to ensure it was ready for sealing. The moisture reading was fine for sealing and as the customer had asked for a mild shine finish I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which brought out the black and red colours in the tile back to life.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Sealed

 
 

Old Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Kitchen Quarry Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Cardiff

This Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor had been laid in 2000 which is relatively recent compared to some of the floors I’m asked to deal with, the tiles are 150 x 150 mm Quarry tiles with a mixture of colours. A customer in Cardiff said that the Quarry tiles has been sealed by the tiler however it wasn’t long after it was completed that the before became very grubby looking. You can see this for yourself in the photograph below where you should be able to make out the ingrained dirt and discoloured tile grout.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

I set about cleaning the floor with undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 3 to 1 with NanoTech UltraClean which adds tiny abrasive particles to a strong coatings remove; this mixture not only removes any previous sealers but also deep cleans the tiles and brings the grout back to its original colour. I used a rotary machine with a disc shaped scrubbing brush attachment disc which really gets into the dirt. The soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum, stubborn areas retreated and then the floor was rinsed until all the cleaning solution had been removed.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff During Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry for 24 hours and I came back later to seal it. Before sealing I used a hand held damp meter to verify the floor had dried. I had previously discussed the choice of sealer with the customer to establish how they wanted the floor to look and selected Tile Doctor Seal and Go for its satin shine.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff During Sealing

I went on to seal the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go using a water test to verify I had applied the right amount of sealer and that liquids were being repelled from the surface of the tile as opposed being absorbed.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

The floor cleaned up really well especially after sealing which brought the colours in the tile back to life; the customers were delighted with the results.
 
 

Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Cardiff

This Red and Black Quarry tiled floor was discovered underneath a laminate floor in the hallway of a house built in Cardiff around 1910. The customer was keen to restore it as an original feature and I was confident that despite the damaged tiles, cement and paint we would be able to do so.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Cardiff

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The area around the doorway was in the worst condition and unfortunately those tiles were beyond rescue and needed to be replaced which wasn’t a problem as with a bit of research you can usually find what you need.

The next step was to carefully scrape as much cement and old paint off the tile surface as possible by hand and remove the waste; I also tested the floor at this point for dampness at the doorways as its good to know if there are any damp problems that may require additional attention. I then applied undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the whole floor with a brush agitating as I went, it was left it on for about an hour to break down any old sealers and coatings before being rinsed off with clean water twice which was then hovered up with a wet vacuum.

The next stage was to remove the cement using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being an acid based products starts to work as soon as it’s applied to the tile, this was worked in using a small hand held scrubbing brush before being given a good rinse down with clean water.

The last step of the cleaning process was to steam clean the tiles to open up the pores and ensure that no trace of cleaning agents was left behind that could upset the sealer.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Cardiff

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry for two days before and I came back the next day to seal it. Before sealing however I wanted to be use it had dried out sufficiently so I tested it again use a Stanley hand held meter, the previous reading I took proved to be a useful benchmark. Sealing was done using two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which really brought the floor back to life and lifted the lovely colours in the tile. Needless to say the customer was delighted with the restoration of the floor.
 
 

Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Abused Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Refurbished in Cardiff

This is an original Victorian tiled hallway floor in Cardiff that dated back to when the house was built in the year of 1890. The previous householders of which had a radiator installed serviced by laying pipes right through the middle of the floor destroying the tiles as they went, they then back filled the channel with cement. On top of that many of the other tiles had been splashed with cement and paint.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

Repairing Victorian Floor Tiles

My first job was to carefully remove the cement from the channel and to precisely cut back any old cement bedding and old cement grout away from any tile edges in preparation for the replacement tiles which fortunately I was able to get hold of.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

After all the previous preparation I started carefully scraping off cement from all around the edges of the remaining tiles as well as gloss and emulsion splashes from the surface essentially giving the whole floor a thorough scrape with a hand held scraper vacuuming up the mess as I worked. Interestingly for a floor of its age I tested the floor in various places for moisture and found it to be perfectly dry.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

To clean the floor I mixed three parts Tile Doctor Remove and Go with NanoTech UltraClean which basically adds small abrasive particles to a powerful sealer and coatings remover making it even more effective. This was applied to the whole floor and left to soak in for an hour making sure not to let it dry out by applying further amounts; leaving it to dwell for an hour gives it time to eat away at any dirt and coatings on the tile making the scrubbing processes easier.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

To scrub the tiles I used a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad rinsing and extracting the soiled solution along the way. This cleaned up the tiles well however there were still some cement stains so this time Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up was applied to the floor in sections and left to ten minutes to dwell before working it in with another black scrubbing pad and rinsing off. This product is acid based so you can’t leave on the tiles for too long; once I was happy with the final result the whole floor was given a thorough rinse with plenty of clean water using a wet vacuum to extract the waste and dry the floor.

The channel was then filled with cement and once it had set replacement replica Victorian tiles from The Original Tile Company were installed. I then grouted the floor in a medium grey grout let the tiles become solid and the grout go hard before using a steam cleaner to make sure that I have removed all the tile doctor cleaning solutions prior to sealing.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Completed

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The customer wanted a semi-gloss finish so once I had tested the floor again to make sure it was dry I sealed the tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which enhanced the colour of the floor tiles and added a nice sheen.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Completed Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Completed

As you can see the new tiles fitted beautifully and the old floor tiles cleaned up so successfully the difference is impossible to spot. It was a lot of painstaking work though taking five days to finish but well worth the result.
 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales