Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Great Holm

The Terracotta tiled kitchen floor in the kitchen house of this house in the residential district of Great Holm, just outside of Milton Keynes had been laid some time ago and was now well worn and dirty. The houses in the area are not that old and so I suspect the floor may have been down since the house was built.

The Terracotta tiles had not been professionally cleaned for many years and the floor had lost its’ lustre where the sealant had worn away and dirt had become ingrained in the tile, the Grout had also darkened. I went over to look at the floor and perform a test clean, so I could give the owner an accurate quote for renovating the floor.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Milton Keynes

The quote was accepted, and we agreed a date to do the work which would take place over a four-day period. One day to clean the tiles, two days between for it to dry and one day to seal the floor in order to protect it going forward.

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

We started by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor. Pro Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser. It is ideal for heavily soiled and neglected floors. After about 10 minutes dwell time we used our scrubbing machine fitted with a black buffing pad to scrub the floor and loosen the ingrained dirt from the pores of the tile.

A wet pick up vacuum was then used to remove the now dirty cleaning solution, we then thoroughly rinsed the floor by hand to remove any trace of cleaning product and so we could inspect the tiles to see if more work was required. In this instance I felt the floor could do with more work, so the process was repeated, and the edges scrubbed by hand.

We let the floor dry a little over lunch but noted a few of the areas were not quite perfect. To get the best result on these areas we then used Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, this is a stronger gel-based version of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is perfect for spot cleaning specific stubborn areas.

With the floor clean it was time to turn our attention to the grout and for this we used more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a specialized narrow grout brush to meticulously scrub each grout line. The floor was then completely rinsed with water.

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Milton Keynes

The floor was now spotless but before it could be sealed it would need to be dry, so we left specialised drying equipment in the room and allowed the floor two days to completely dry out.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

After two days we returned, we used a moisture meter to test that the floor was dry enough to seal. It was thoroughly dry, so we were able to carry on with applying the sealer which can be quite time consuming as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next. In this case the Terracotta proved to be very porous which is not unusual for a clay tile and it took eight coats of sealer before I was satisfied the tiles were fully sealed. The sealer used to protect the floor was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a nice subtle satin finish on the tiles. Tile Doctor have a variety of sealers available and we select the sealant to suit dependent on the finish the client wishes to achieve.

The customer was absolutely delighted and left a great review (please see the feedback below)

“Andrew explained the process clearly and the floor looks absolutely stunning. It is hard to believe the difference between before and after. I would have no hesitation in recommending Andrew.

Fiona W, Great Holm”

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Milton Keynes

 

Professional Cleaning of Terracotta Tiled Kitchen in South Buckinghamshire

Deep Cleaning Dirty Ceramic Kitchen Tiles in Henley-on-Thames

This customer from the picturesque town of Henley on Thames got in touch to ask about cleaning and sealing her Ceramic tiled kitchen floor. Now Ceramic tiles are glazed and so normally won’t absorb a sealer so intrigued I scheduled a time to pop over and take a look. When I got here I could see the tiles were in deed dirty but as I suspected they were not Ceramic but micro porous Porcelain which does need to be sealed. In this case the sealer had worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the tiny pores of the tile.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Henley on Thames

The tiles were a Terracotta style Porcelain, but this was hardly recognisable due to the accumulation of dirt. I discussed all of this with the owner and agreed I would give the tile and grout a thorough deep clean and then reseal them to ensure the dirt was kept out of the pores in the Porcelain going forward.

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Style Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor

As well as cleaning the floor I would need to remove any trace of original sealer if I was to achieve a consistent appearance later. To achieve this, I soaked the tile in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then left it to dwell for ten minutes, so it could get to work on breaking down old sealers and dirt.

The next stage was to work the Pro-Clean into the floor with a rotary floor buffer running on slow speed fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The cleaning solution soon changed colour with the dirt that became released. The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum. The grout given the same treatment but this time by hand using a stiff brush and more Pro-Clean.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and then dried with a wet vacuum. Being micro-porous Porcelain, this didn’t take as long as clay tiles such natural Terracotta or Victorian.

Sealing a Terracotta Style Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was then left to dry and I returned later to re-seal it for which I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that protects the tile from within by impregnating the pores in the tile with sealant thus preventing dirt from becoming trapped there.

Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Henley on Thames

I think you will agree the floor now looks much cleaner and fresher, certainly my customer was happy with transformation and left the following note on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“My manky old kitchen floor is absolutely transformed. So much easier, quicker and cheaper than getting the floor replaced. Andrew did an amazing job, highly recommended. Yvonne B, Henley”

 

Deep Cleaning and Sealing a Micro-Porous Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles Transformed in Knotty Green

Below are photographs of a Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Knotty Green near Beaconsfield. The stone floor had lost its polish with use and now appeared flat and unattractive additionally the grout had darkened severely with dirt and was overdue a good scrub to get it clean.

Natural stone is actually a porous material that needs to be sealed in order to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained however unless its maintained constant foot traffic on floor tiles wears down the sealer leaving the stone vulnerable and difficult to clean effectively.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Knotty Green

Burnishing and Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

If you have read other posts on my website, you will know that we find the best way to restore the appearance of polished stone is through the application of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads of varying grits to grind away dirt and slowly build the polish on the stone.

You start with the application of the coarse 400-grit pad which is fitted to a rotary buffer machine and applied to the floor with water to lubricate the process, the resultant slurry is then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Next is the Medium 800-grit pad and then the Fine 1500-grit pad, both applied in exactly the same way.

Once I had completed the whole floor with three of the four pads I got to work cleaning the grout. For this, I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our reliable alkaline cleaner, in combination with a handheld scrubbing brush. Once the grout was clean I gave the floor another rinse with water and then removed as much liquids and moisture as possible using the wet vacuum leaving it to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day I returned to complete the floor starting with the application of the fourth diamond encrusted pad in the set of four which is a Very fine 3000-grit using a method we call a spray burnish which essentially involves applying the pad dry to the floor with a small amount of water sprayed on the stone. This process closes the pores in the floor and adds a good quality sheen to the tile.

Finally, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the stone to provide maximum stain protection from within. This sealer is also completely transparent, so it does not affect the natural look of the stone.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Knotty Green

The Limestone responded really well to the treatment and the floor now looks like new.
 
 

Polishing Limestone Kitchen Tiles back to Health in Buckinghamshire

Mouldy Ceramic Tiled Shower Renovated in Uxbridge

Ceramic and most Porcelain tiles are very easy to clean which makes them a good choice for shower cubicles, the one problem you will find though is that due to the cementitious nature of grout the top layer does attract dirt as can silicone. As a result, we recommend rinsing down showers with Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro on a regular basis or the problem will build. Mould can also be a problem especially if your bathroom is quite small or has inadequate ventilation to extract the hot steam in which mould thrives.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Uxbridge

This Ceramic tiled shower cubicle at a house in Uxbridge had all these problems and would need something much stronger to deal with the mould and remove the limescale which had also built up. Limescale from hard water is a problem that affects 60% of the UK with the South and East of England is particularly impacted due to the local chalk and limestone geology the water is filtered through. Buckinghamshire is known to have hard to very hard water and these tiny mineral deposits build up slowly on the surfaces of shower cubicles during use.

Deep Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

To get the shower cubicle clean I began by spaying the tile and grout down with Tile Doctor Duo Clean which is a dual action product that is designed to clean grout and remove mould. You leave the product on the tiles for ten minutes and then scrub it in with a stiff brush, it’s hard work and you need to repeat in the stubborn areas, but it gets good results.

The tile and grout were then rinsed down with water and left to dry whilst I popped out for lunch. On my return I dried off any damp areas with a heat gun and took a step back to review the work I had done.

The results were good but unfortunately there were still a few dark stains in the grout which I was unlikely to be able to remove. When this happens, I find the best solution to achieve a consistent appearance is to apply a grout colourant to the grout. Tile Doctor grout colourants come in ten colours are relatively straight forward to apply, I always keep some of the popular colours in stock and on this occasion, I felt a White colourant would work best.

Normally the first stage would be to prepare the grout first with a pre-treater but given the grout had already been scrubbed hard I was able to move onto applying the colourant with a small brush. Grout Colourants not only recolour and rejuvenate the grout lines but also adds a barrier over the grout sealing it in and protecting it from further staining.

Whilst waiting for the colourant to dry I stripped out the mouldy sealant strip between the tile and shower tray and replaced with mould resistant silicone.

Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Uxbridge

The shower cubicle now looks much fresher and I’m sure will be a pleasure to take a shower in.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle in Buckinghamshire

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Refreshed in Buckingham Farm Cottage

I was recently contacted about the restoration of a fantastic example of a Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen of a farm cottage just south of Buckingham.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

There was a very noticeable build-up of dirt on the tiles and in the grout lines. Additionally, there were lots of white spots on the tiles in front of sink area because of a caustic soda spillage. Caustic soda is also known as sodium hydroxide, as is commonly used as a drain unblocking agent. It’s a highly alkaline product and isn’t very friendly to Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The grout was also stained and naturally, the homeowner was keen to get her floor back into the best shape possible – and I was on hand to see what could be done.

Terracotta is a very attractive and useful material that has been in use for over two millennia throughout the world. It has been used perhaps most famously for sculptures and other forms of art, although it has since the days of the Ancient Romans been used as a building material – including in the form of floor tiles. It’s still a popular choice for tiles amongst homeowners today, since Terracotta tiles are typically thicker, and the red colour adds a warm country feel to the home.

Cleaning Stained and Dirty Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I first removed the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units to protect them from splashes from the cleaning products I would be using.

Once this had been done, I got straight into deep cleaning the tile and grout lines using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. To get the best result I left the solution to soak into the pores of the tile for approximately ten minutes before being agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

The floor was then rinsed with fresh water and the resulting slurry of soiled cleaning solution was promptly extracted using a wet vacuum. This process left the tiles and grout looking much cleaner and fresher, however, the white spots caused by the caustic soda would need something extra to remove them.

I treated these spots using Tile Doctor Acid Gel in combination with a steam machine. Acid Gel is a mixture of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form, and can be used to neutralise alkali-based stains such as these. We also commonly use it to treat efflorescence (mineral salt deposits).

The floor was then once again rinsed with fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning products and neutralise the floor, before being left to dry off fully for two days.

Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

I returned after 48 hours and the floor was dry enough to be sealed. The customer wanted to retain the natural-looking and rustic appearance of the Terracotta, so I suggested that we seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealer is impregnating and colour-intensifying (so it emphasises the patina of the stone), but also leaves a matte finish.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The after photos show the result of the restoration – I job well done if I say so myself. And certainly, my customer agreed!

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

 
 

Professional Cleaning of a Stained Terracotta Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire

Recolouring Stained Grout in Milton Keynes Office Toilet

Although much of the work Tile Doctor does is residential were more than happy to take on commercial tile cleaning jobs, as well. In fact, many office buildings contain very nice tiled kitchens and bathrooms, but the cleaners who visit them daily are rarely have the right training and products to keep stone, tile and grout looking it’s best.

In some cases, a long period of time passes before the facilities manager or cleaning company reach out to seek help from companies like Tile Doctor and by this time the tiles can be a very bad way. With this in mind I received a call from an office manager in Milton Keynes who needed help to restore the appearance of the tile and grout in a Porcelain tiled toilet.

Commerical Porcelain Toilet floor Milton Keynes Before Cleaning

You can see from the photograph that the White floor grout had become stained and unsightly through use and a lack of adequate grout cleaning. The owner of the building had decided, in fact, that he wanted to change the grout to a dark colour but was concerned about the cost and time it would take to remove the original grout and applying new.

I suggested to him that we give the tile and grout a deep clean and then simply recolour the grout with a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. Additionally, it’s a relatively quick process which could be done outside of office hours to minimise disruption. The customer was happy with this solution, so I we agreed a time for me to come back and carry out the work.

Cleaning and Grout Recolouring of a Porcelain Tiled Office Toilet

The restoration process began with a deep clean of the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaner. The product was applied to the tile and grout and then left to dwell for a short period before being worked in with a large scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Pro-Clean very reliably breaks down ingrained dirt and muck and can even be used to remove sealers in a concentrated form.

Next, I paid special attention to freshening up the stained grout lines. This was done using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, an acidic product which is usually used to remove grout smears from the tile surface but in this case applied to etch the grout surface to ensure a stronger bond with the colourant.

The tile and grout was rinsed and then dried before I could continue with the final step of recolouring the grout lines to make them darker, as per the customer’s request. This was done using the Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in Grey, which is just one of ten colours available. Other options include White, Chocolate, Sandstone and Black.

The Grout Colourant serves not only to recolour and rejuvenate the grout lines but also adds a barrier over the grout sealing it in and protecting it from further staining.

Commerical Porcelain Toilet floor Milton Keynes After Grout Colouring

I think you’ll agree, looking at the photo of the result below, that the toilet now looks much smarter and more professional. The customer was very happy with the outcome of the work and left me the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Great diligent work undertaken by Andrew-very pleased with the outcome.
Mr. Hirani, Milton Keynes 03 February 2018

 
 

Professional Renovation of a Stained and Discoloured Porcelain Tiled Office Toilet in Buckinghamshire