Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration at Jodrell Bank Farmhouse

We received an enquiry from a client who had just brought a farmhouse with a Victorian Tiled floor close to Jodrell Bank near the village of Goostrey. Jodrell Bank is a few miles north of Homes Chapel and famous around the world for the nearby Jodrell Bank Observatory which is an astrophysics centre and part of the University of Manchester.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Jodrell Bank

On restoring the farmhouse, the client discovered a Victorian tiled floor hidden under their hall carpet and wondered if it was worth saving. I rang the client up to arrange a day to do a test clean and talk through the process of restoring the floor. Turns out the floor was looking washed out and there were a few tiles that would need replacing. I went over to survey the floor and complete a test clean which worked out well. Certainly, the client was happy with the result and could now see the floors potential, so a date was arranged to start work.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Jodrell Bank Zoom

Cleaning/Repairing a Farmhouse Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first job was to cut out the damaged tiles and replace them, this was done using spare tiles I had been saving over the years for replacements and they were fixed using rapid set tile adhesive which meant I was able to start cleaning the floor after two hours.

To get the years of ingrained dirt out of the tiles I used Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form, so it stays on top of the tiles and does not run off. This was left to dwell for a good ten minutes before scrubbing the floor using a weighted floor buffer fitted with a 200-grit resurfacing pad. A little water was used to lubricate the resurfacing pad and dilute the acid gel which helps stop efflorescence which is often a problem with floors of this age. The solution soon turned into a dark slurry which was then removed using a vet vacuum.

The next step was to repeat the process using more water and a 400-grit burnishing pad which refines the surface after the application of the coarser 200-grit pad. After more rinsing and extracting the floor was wiped using a microfibre cloth and then left to dry out overnight so it would be ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing a Farmhouse Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next morning, I took a couple of moisture readings with a damp meter to make sure the floor was dry and ready to seal. The results were good so three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra were applied using a clean microfibre cloth rubbing in circles to blend the polymers together to leave a semi sheen to the floor. I chose Seal and Go Extra due to the fact that it’s a breathable sealer that will cope with any moisture rising through the floor, this is an important consideration with old floors as they don’t have a damp-proof membrane installed under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Jodrell Bank Zoom

The client was very satisfied with the restoration, it looked better than they had expected and of course a lot nicer than the previous hall carpet! I recommended they should use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to maintain the floor which is pH neutral and will ensure the longevity of the seal we had applied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Jodrell Bank

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in East Cheshire

Renovating a Quarry Tiled Hearth in Lindow End

We received an inquiry from a client in Lindow End near Wilmslow Golf Club in the Cheshire stockbroker belt. They were restoring their home and were unhappy with the state of the Quarry tiled hearth under their log burning stove. We arranged a site visit to survey the tile and grout and provide a quote for restoring the appearance. The village is situated in what’s known as the ‘Cheshire Golden Triangle’ which is one of the most sought-after places to live in the UK after London. As a result, we often find ourselves in this area working on some very nice properties, so it wasn’t long before we were able to call in and survey the tiles.

Quarry Tiled Hearth Before Grout Colouring Lindow End

As you can see from the pictures the hearth was quite dirty and the grouting had discoloured from years of use of the wood burner. The work here was a minor part of their restoration which had included significant building work. We agreed a price to carry out the work, which should only take a day and were able to return the following week.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hearth

Our first job was to cover the newly sanded and sealed wooden floors with dust sheets, so we didn’t mark them as we came in the front door to the lounge. We always try and make as little mess as possible and we are always as careful as possible.

We then sprayed Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the fire hearth tiles. This is a multi-purpose tile and grout cleaner which would make light work of the dirty tiles. The product was left to soak into the Quarry tile and grout for about twenty minutes before being scrubbed in. The hearth was a small area, so this was done by hand and then washed down with clean water.

The dirty residue was removed using a wet vacuum then the tiles where wiped down with a clean micro fibre cloth. We then dried off the tiles using a little encouragement with a heat gun to speed up the drying process. Speed drying the tile and grout in this manor would allow us to complete the work in one visit.

Applying Sandstone Grout Colourant

Once the tiles and grout lines were dry it was clear that years of dirt and soiling had stained the grout, so although no much cleaner it was clear more work would be needed to give the grout a fresh and consistent appearance.

To address this issue with the grout we selected to apply a Sandstone Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. This is applied with a small brush and brushed it into the grout lines. It is quite a precise job but any colourant that goes onto the tiles is removed with a baby wipe before it dries. This process really transformed the look of the grout, the colourant also forms a barrier over the grout which will protect it going forward and make it easier to clean.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles were then given a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing sealer. This brings out the best in the quarry tiles and adds protection against future staining which will be needed given its location.

Quarry Tiled Hearth After Grout Colouring Lindow End

The client was very happy with the finish, in fact the hearth looked like it had been newly tiled, the impact of the recoloured grout was that striking. Sometimes the smallest jobs can be the most rewarding.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Hearth in Cheshire

Colourful Terrazzo Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Bosley

This post is from the small Cheshire village of Bosley where I had received an enquiry from the owner of the old station master’s house. The house was quite old and the owner had been modernising it whilst keeping many of the original features. This includes some fantastic Terrazzo kitchen tiles which unfortunately were not looking their best due to an abundance of ingrained dirt. The floor was well overdue to be restored by a professional, so we were called in to get the job done.

Terrazzo Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Bosley Cheshire

Terrazzo is a very hard wearing and affordable material that was quite common in many public buildings so I suspect this floor was original.

Terrazzo Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Bosley Cheshire

Burnishing a Terrazzo Tiled Floor

Terrazzo is very hard wearing so we find the best method to clean them is to treat them like a Marble or Travertine and use a process we have developed called ‘burnishing’. This process cleans and polishes the tiles using a system of four 17″ diamond-encrusted burnishing pads of varying grits in conjunction with a little water as lubrication.

We started by applying the Coarse 400 grit pad to grind away the stubborn ingrained dirt, a little water is used to lubricate and then the floor is rinsed to remove the slurry that is generated. We then worked our way through the system to a Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally a Very Fine 3000 grit pad each one applied in the same way.

This process carefully refines the polish of the surface of the tiles, restoring shine and lustre while ridding the stone of ingrained dirt. Once the burnishing had been completed, we gave the floor a thorough rinse to remove dirty water and soil residue the floor. It was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Floor

The floor had dried by the next day, so the tiles were ready to receive a fresh seal to protect against ingrained dirt and make them easier to keep clean in the future.

Our choice of sealer for this floor was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s an impregnating sealer that’s specially formulated to enhance the natural colours in the tiles. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow fills the pores in the stone to act as a barrier against muck.

Terrazzo Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning in Bosley Cheshire

Before we left the customer to enjoy their newly restored Terrazzo tiles, I made sure to use a rotary machine fitted with a white pad to gently buff the floor and make sure the finish was pristine.

Terrazzo Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning in Bosley Cheshire

 
 

Polishing Terrazzo Kitchen Floor Tiles in East Cheshire

Grouting Wood Effect Porcelain floor tiles in Homes Chapel

I thought I would do a quick post on this request I received to finish off the grouting of these wood effect Porcelain floor tiles at a house in Homes Chapel. The owner is a DIY enthusiast and had been making some renovations to the property including the laying of this long format distressed wood effect tiles which are really realistic.

Porcelain wood effect tiles before grouting in Holmes Chapel

Grouting a Porcelain Floor

The owner had done a good job laying a level floor but was unsure how to apply the grout so put in a request for some assistance. Always happy to help what ever the situation I popped down and finished the job.

Grouting is relatively straight forward however it was made a little more complex as the grout had to be mixed with a dark gray grout powder to provide a better colour match with the tiles. Once the grout batch was made up it was just a question of pushing it into the gaps between the tiles and the using a float the sponge to remove the excess grout from the tile.

Porcelain wood effect tiles after grouting in Holmes Chapel

Once the grout had dried I washed the floor once more and left the happy customer.

Porcelain wood effect tiles before grouting in Holmes Chapel Porcelain wood effect tiles after grouting in Holmes Chapel

 
 

Grouting Porcelain Wood Effect Tiles in Cheshire

Ceramic Tiled Bath and Shower Tiles Refreshed in Hale Village

We commonly encounter customers who are struggling to keep their Ceramic tiled shower cubicles clean. Since most people use their showers every day, the tiles and grout inevitably come into contact with shampoos and soaps that can cause staining, discolouration and mould. In fact, it’s not uncommon for property owners to completely give up on trying to clean the tiles, especially as many everyday cleaners are ineffectual, and this allows the situation to worsen over time.

This customer, who lives in Hale Village – known to be one of the UK’s quietest and best kept villages despite being just outside the busy city of Liverpool – was fed up with the state of her tiled shower cubicle and decided to seek professional assistance. I explained that with regular maintenance using suitable products, the tiles could be easily kept clean. I visited the property to show her first hand the results that could be achieved by cleaning and recolouring the grout.

Ceramic bath tiles before refresh Hale Village Ceramic bath tiles before refresh Hale Village

Grout Cleaning and Recolouring Ceramic Bathroom Tiles

The ideal product for cleaning grout that has become affected by mould is Tile Doctor Mould Away, a fast and effective formula that can be directly applied. After applying the Mould Away I allowed it to soak into the grout for 20 minutes, before scrubbing it in with a special handheld brush. I also scrubbed it into the tiles to remove any excess staining caused by coming into contact with shampoos and soaps.

After completing a thorough clean of both the grout and tiles, it was time to remove the old silicone sealant from around the edges of the bath, and replace it with a fresh white sealant. I then opted to recolour the grout to match it with the tiles and the new sealant, doing so carefully with Tile Doctor’s own White Grout Colourant. This is just one of ten different Grout Colourant options we offer. Other options include Charcoal Grey, Black and Cappuccino Brown to much different colour tiles.

Ceramic bath tiles after refresh Hale Village Ceramic bath tiles after refresh Hale Village

The combination of cleaning and recolouring completely refreshed the appearance of this Ceramic tiled shower cubicle, to the point that it almost looks new. Needless to say my customer was very happy, and can see now just how easy it can be to keep these tiles looking good using the right products.
 
 

Professional Bathroom Tile and Grout Cleaning in Cheshire

Marble Entrance Hall Restored Through Burnishing in Congleton

A fantastic Marble tiled entrance hallway is the first thing you see when you open the door to this property in Congleton. Unfortunately, polished stone does need regular maintenance to keep its appearance, especially in high traffic areas such as this vestibule which had lost their shine, leaving them looking dull and unexceptional. Needless to say, the property owner was keen to get the floor restored to its former glory. That’s where I stepped in.

Marble Tiled Enterance Congleton Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Burnishing a Marbled Tiled Entrance Hall

There was no evidence of old sealers present on the floor, so I started deep cleaning the tiles and grout lines using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed with clean water.

A quick word on cleaning here, as an alkaline-based cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is suitable for use on natural stone floors, including acid-sensitive stone such as Marble and Limestone. Many everyday household cleaners from the supermarket are acidic, which will erode the life of the sealer and a strong acid can etch the surface of sensitive stone, so make sure to source the correct cleaning product to avoid this problem.

The cleaning solution was left to soak into the tiles for ten minutes before being worked in to give a thorough clean using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The soiled cleaning solution was then removed with a wet vac machine, and the floor washed down with clean water.

The next step in the restoration was to restore the polish on the surface by burnishing the floor using the Tile Doctor four pad burnishing pad system. This involved the application of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a floor buffing machine. Each of four the pads are used in sequence from the coarse 400 grit pad through to the 3000 grit extra Fine pad applied in sequence with a little water to lubricate and giving the floor a rinse in-between each pad to remove the slurry.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Entrance Hall

To finish off the restoration, I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Shine Powder, a sealer in crystallised powder form which increases the polish and durability of the floor which is especially useful in a high traffic area..

Marble Tiled Enterance Congleton After Cleaning

Once I had polished off the excess, the floor had an exceptionally high shine and a robust, durable surface. Now that the entrance hallway has been completely restored it is a real asset to the house. The customer was very happy with the result and will surely be showing off these beautiful Marble tiles to their guests.
 
 

Professional Marble Vestibule Polishing in Cheshire

Grubby, Unsealed Slate Tiles Revitalised in Lymm

One of the worst examples of bad tiling practice is to leave a newly installed floor unsealed and therefore unprotected. This is exactly the problem that had occurred at this property in Lymm, West Cheshire. A builder has installed a new Slate tiled floor in the kitchen of this property, but had neglected to seal it, leaning the tiles exposed to dirt, stains, and other general muck so they quickly lost their appearance. To be fair I could not fault the installation but the floor now looked terrible.

Slate Floor Before Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

The property owner was keen to have the grubby Slate tiles refreshed and sealed, so she gave me a call. I agreed to complete the work and travelled to the property in Lymm – which incidentally means “place of running water” in Celtic – and was named after an ancient stream that ran through the village centre.

Cleaning a Grubby Slate Tiled Floor

Upon my arrival at the property I got straight to work, cleaning the tiles with our heavy duty remover/cleaner, Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was applied to the floor, left to soak in and then scrubbed into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to break down the layers of muck. Normally I would use Remove and Go to strip away old coatings and sealers, but here of course there was no sealer to begin with just a lot of ingrained dirt.

I also carefully scrubbed the grout lines with a special grout brush as I went along. The grout lines are often where dirt can be come easily ingrained, and it was no different here. The floor was then rinsed off with clean water, and any resulting could residue was quickly removed using a wet vac machine. Finally, the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property and started by checking that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. This involved running damp tests to check for excess moisture. When satisfied, I proceeded to seal the floor with a single coat of our impregnating, colour enhancing sealer, Tile Doctor Colour Grow followed by two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which gives the tiles a fantastic sheen finish.

Refreshing Grout with a Grout Colourant

The customer requested for the grout lines to be recoloured, but first I had to leave the property overnight to allow the sealer to dry. The next morning, I coloured the grout lines with white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which is just a question of applying the colourant with a small brush and then wiping the excess off the tiles. It’s not a tough job but it can be quite fiddley and it does make a real difference to the appearance of the grout.

Slate Floor After Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

As you can see from the After photograph the white Grout Colourant contrasted very nicely against the naturally dark Slate. The absence of a sealer had left the floor looking very dull but now, with a fresh, robust seal, it has been completely revitalised. My customer was exceptionally pleased with her hugely improved kitchen floor.
 
 

Post Installation Treatment of a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire