Colour Grow

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

Deep Cleaning a Fossil Sandstone Tile Kitchen Floor in Newport

The Fossil Sandstone floor pictured was installed in the kitchen of a property in Newport South Wales. The grout was originally a matching Sandstone colour, but it had been some time since the installation and now the stone and the grout had darkened with wear and ingrained dirt. The Sandstone itself was really grubby and the unique and beautiful fossils imprinted in the stone were barely recognisable.

Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Renovation

Unhappy with the appearance of their stone floor and aware of our reputation from a friend, the owner got in touch to see what could be done and to get a quote for renovating the floor. I arranged to visit and conduct a survey and could immediately see that the protective sealer had long since worn off and not the stone was very dirty with ingrained dirt ruining its appearance.

Before creating a quote, I conducted a couple of cleaning tests on a small inconspicuous section of stone and grout to work out the best method and products to restore its appearance. Once I had worked out the best approach, I provided a quote for the renovation, and they agreed to go ahead.

Cleaning a Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I had found the most effective method for cleaning this floor was to start by applying a combination of Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Cleaner with the same amount of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up which pretty much described the problem I was facing here however both products and versatile stone and grout cleaning products. The solution was applied to 2 square meters of floor at a time and given a light scrub with a handheld scrubbing brush paying specific attention to the grout.

Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tiles During Cleaning

The solution was left to soak into the floor for about five minutes and then with clean warm water added to the surface by a sponge from a bucket and then agitated with the scrubbing brush. It took quite a while as we were working on a small area at a time. But by working methodically it wasn’t long before it was completed.

Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tiles During Renovation

The grout joints were also scrubbed in the same way as the stone. As we cleaned the controlled areas the waste dirt was then vacuumed up. We then rinsed twice with fresh clean water, vacuuming the liquid waste away so as not to let the dirty water soak back into the tile. Afterwards the floor was inspected, and the process repeated until I was satisfied it was as clean as possible. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tiles During Cleaning

Sealing a Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On my return the sandstone tiles were tested for moisture using a damp meter. I wanted to ensure that it was dry enough to apply a sealer and I don’t recommend applying a sealer to a damp floor as the new seal won’t cure and I’d probably get a call back.

The preferred sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnator that soaks into the pores of the stone to create a durable barrier that will prevent future staining and to make maintenance easier. Several coats were applied, allowing each one to dry before applying the next.

The clients were not home during the work being carried out as they went on a short break.
On their return they had a lovely surprise to see their floor looking in tip top condition.
They left a glowing feedback report to Tile Doctor stating their delight with the result. Another happy client!

Sandstone Floor Renovation Feedback Newport

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a final picture of the finished floor for this post however I did leave them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner for aftercare cleaning.


Professional Cleaning of a Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor in South Wales

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