Burnishing Pads

Cardiff Patio Ruined by a Builder Restored in Cardiff

This customer from Cardiff was in despair after a builder ruined her expensive Black Limestone Patio after using brick acid to clean it up. She contacted Tile Doctor in the hope that it could be saved and being their local agent, I was asked to contact her.

Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cardiff
I visited the property to assess the damage to the patio and it was immediately clear to me what needed to be done as this is not the first time I had come across this problem. It turns out the builder was attempting to remove cement splatters from the stone after applying render to the back of the property. Limestone is a sedimentary stone composed primarily of calcium carbonate which can be dissolved in acid, so using acid on Limestone is never a good idea.

Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cardiff

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

I spent the first day removing the damage to the stone by burnishing the patio with a weighted buffer machine fitted with a 100-grit diamond pad lubricated with water and using a wet vacuum to remove the soiling it generates.

This was followed by a 200-grit, 400-grit and then finished with an 800-grit diamond pad until I had removed all the damage and resurfaced the Limestone. Again, water was used to lubricate the process and the floor was rinsed with fresh water after each pad and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

This work was done in August 2022 and I had purposely chosen a patch of good weather to do this work and was able to leave the patio to dry off overnight after another thorough round of rinsing with water and extracting.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

I returned the next day to finish the renovation, first checking first that the stone was dry with the use of a damp meter. The readings were good, so I went ahead and applied the sealer. Secondly its recommended for outdoor use and is UV safe so should last a long time ensuring the patio will now be able to withstand the outside weather and the stone will be protected from the elements.

Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cardiff Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cardiff

The results were amazing, and my customer was relieved and delighted with the finished result allowing her to look forward to several summer garden parties that were planned.

Black Limestone Patio After Sealing Cardiff

Professional Restoration of a Black Limestone Tiled Patio in South Wales

Restoration of a 1930s Terrazzo Hallway Floor in Cardiff

Tile Doctor were appointed to restore a 1930’s Terrazzo hallway floor in Cardiff which was deeply ingrained with dirt after being covered with carpet for many years. Rather than coving the floor with carpet again the owner had decided it was time to have it restored having had our services recommended by a previous client.

After surveying the floor, I could see the carpet had been down so long you could see its pattern in the Terrazzo. I could see there was a large amount of ingrained dirt in the floor that would need to be flushed out which meant several cleans would probably be required. There were numerous cracks in the floor and in one area near a wall the Terrazzo had broken up and turned to rubble.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor Before Restoration Cardiff

Unfortunately, there was little that could be done to repair this, so we agreed to back fill it with cement and the owner planned to cover it with a timber boxing and then paint.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor Before Restoration Cardiff

Cleaning and Repairing a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway Floor

To get the Terrazzo looking its best I planned to remove the dirt and restore the surface by burnishing the floor with a six-stage diamond polishing process. This would involve applying Tile Doctor burnishing pads of differing grits ranging from very coarse to very fine, rinsing between each pad to extract the soiling.

To start I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell and soak into Terrazzo for a short time so it could get to work digesting and breaking down the dirt. The first pad was then applied which was a very coarse 100-grit pad using the Pro-Clean for lubrication. The combination of the two lifted out the dirt from the heavily soiled pores of the Terrazzo where it could be extracted from the surface with a wet vacuum.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor During Restoration Cardiff

This process was repeated working through each of the six different burnishing pads, rinsing the floor along the way and extracting the soil after each pad. It was an arduous task, but it was rewarding to see the floor slowly come back to life.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor During Restoration Cardiff

With the floor clean the next stage was to make repairs to the various cracks. Terrazzo is poured onto the floor in one go and then polished to leave a unique and hardwearing surface, so you can’t simply replace a tile or cut out a section. What you can do however is to fill the crack with a resin or flexible grout colour matched to the unique colours in the floor. Once the whole floor had been sealed the crack should be difficult to spot.

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway Floor

The next step would be to seal and protect the floor however it needed to be fully dry first, so it was left to dry for twenty-four hours and when I returned this was confirmed by taking several moisture readings with a damp meter.

The sealer of choice for this floor was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable impregnating sealer which also enhances the colour of the stone chippings in the Terrazzo. This sealer is an impregnator that works by soaking into the pores of the floor rather than sittings on the surface, thus protecting it from ingrained dirt. Hallways are by their very nature a high traffic area so this should provide adequate protection and keep the floor in good condition for a long period of time.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor After Restoration Cardiff

Colour Grow is however a matt finish and my client had requested a very high sheen finish. So, after leaving the sealer to dry for 24 hours I returned to apply a further product called Tile Doctor Shine Powder which is a crystalline powder that is worked into the floor using a white buffer pad running at slow speed.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor After Restoration Cardiff

The client was delighted with the newly restored floor, as you can see from the pictures it looked so much fresher and of course free of dirt, not bad for a 90-year-old floor. For the aftercare of polished Terrazzo, I recommend Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is compatible with the sealer and will help maintain the patina.


Professional Restoration of a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway in Southeast Wales

Chancel Terrazzo Floor Restoration at a Cardiff City Church

During last summer I was asked to restore a Terrazzo floor in the chancel of a Catholic Church in the centre of Cardiff city centre. Our client was actually the architect in charge of the restoration, and he wanted to see if the Terrazzo floor that was laid around 1900 could be restored.

Terrazzo Church Floor During Restoration Vale of Glamorgan

The architect was coordinating different trades with a plan to restore the church interior back to its near original state and I’m proud to say that Tile Doctor was the architect’s choice of contractor to carry out the work. We talked though what needed to be done, how we would gain access, and agreed a plan of work, as well as the price for the job.

Deep Cleaning a Terrazzo Tiled Chancel Floor

The altar at the back of the church had been taken away for renovation which was just as well as the carpet ran underneath. With this section of the church to ourselves the first job was to remove the black rubber carpet underlay glued to the surface of the Terrazzo. To remove the bulk, it had to be scraped off using sharp blades and a great deal of effort. This was a messy process that could only be completed manually.

Terrazzo Church Floor During Restoration Vale of Glamorgan

Once the underlying Terrazzo floor was visible, I was able to work out what products and processes would be the best option for the restoration. With the bulk of the rubber out of the way I decided to try burnishing the floor with Tile Doctor Diamond Floor Pads starting with a very abrasive grade lubricated with water.

To keep the mess to a minimum the waste was vacuumed up as we went, and this made it possible to crack on across the whole area. At this first stage we also burnished around the perimeter and awkward to reach areas with a handheld polisher to ensure nothing was missed and to blend the areas.

One finished with the coarse pad the floor was given a full rinse with water and the remaining soil removed with the wet vacuum. Once done finer grit burnishing pads were applied using the same process to bring up the polish on the Terrazzo. After the wet work was completed, the floor was left to dry out for a minimum of 24 hours.

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Church Floor

On our return a few days later, the fourth and final polishing pad was used to create a shine and smooth the surface. The church council had requested a deep shine appearance to the Terrazzo so to finish the floor in two stages starting with the application of a sealer. For this floor I chose to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing impregnating sealer which provides hard wearing surface protection whilst improving the colour contrast.

The final stage was to grind Tile Doctor High Shine Powder into the floor completing two sqm at a time and rinsing with clean water as we worked. This is a crystallising powder that provides a very high shine and provides a tough durable finish that works well on many floor types and was perfect for this terrazzo floor.

Terrazzo Church Floor After Restoration Vale of Glamorgan

Once the final polishing had been completed, we buffed the floor with a soft White Buffing Pad. The church members and architect were delighted with the finished result and contacted Tile Doctor to relay their thanks. This was a lovely project to complete, it is always nice to work within the community as well as for retail clients.

Terrazzo Church Floor After Restoration Vale of Glamorgan


Professional Restoration of a Terrazzo Church Floor in South Wales

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