Black Limestone Floor Ruined by Descaling Solution in Stratford upon Avon

I really felt for this customer who was mortified after accidentally spilling limescale descaling solution on their beautiful Black Limestone floor in Stratford upon Avon. The problem started when attempting to descale a coffee making machine in the kitchen, unfortunately the bottle fell out of his hands and onto the Black Limestone floor, the subsequent attempt to mop it up spread the problem across the floor.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Restoration Stratford Upon Avon Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

Descaling solutions contain strong acids that dissolve the minerals in limescale so they can be easily removed. Limestone being of a similar structure is equally effected however in this case the product was removed quickly and didn’t have time to etch the stone. Unfortunately, the descaler did have time to upset the factory polish leaving a right mess and ruining the appearance of the stone.

I went over to survey the floor and reassured my customer the floor could be restored. There are several products and methods that can be applied to resurface and polish stone floors, so I knew the problem was repairable, it was just a question of finding the best solution for the customer.

Stripping Sealer from Black Limestone Flooring

I reasoned that the underlying stone was not etched by the acid, it was the wax-based factory finish that had been upset so the best course of action would be to strip back the entire floor to the bare stone and then reapply a new sealer that would provide a similar appearance.

To do this I started with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the whole floor. This product is a coatings remover that is specially designed for use on Tile and Stone, it was sprayed onto the floor and after ten minutes scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The resultant slurry was then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated until I was confident that the factory polish had been removed.

Next step was to strip the stone of the black dry added by the factory by giving it an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This was necessary to rebalance the appearance of the stone across the entire floor and would result in a consistent appearance one resealed. The Acid Gel was scrubbed into the Limestone, then rinsed off and extracted using the same procedure as before.

After a final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Black Limestone Floor Tiles

The next day I first checked the floor was dry using a damp meter, there were no excess moisture issues so I able to go ahead and seal the stone using a product that would bring back the colour and add protection against dirt and staining.

The best product for this was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing natural colour at the same time. The only disadvantage of this product is it leaves a matt finish whereas my customer wanted the shiny, easy to clean appearance of the original tile. To resolve I recommended we leave the floor to settle for a while and if no issues develop, I would add a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is compatible with Colour Grow and would give the desired finish.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

Due to various commitments on both our parts it was six weeks until I was able to return and top up the sealer with Seal and Go. It was worth waiting for and much to the relief of the owner his Black Limestone floor has been transformed to new again.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

 

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles Restored in Stratford upon Avon

Unsealed Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Treated for Grout Haze in Malvern

Newly built properties are not without their problems and often take a while to resolve all the snagging which occasionally extends to resolving problems with newly laid tiled floors. At this new property in the village of Malvern, and overlooked by the Malvern hills, the builders had left the Terracotta tiled kitchen floor covered in grout smears (also known as Grout Haze) following installation. They had also neglected to seal the tiles, which was actually quite fortunate in this case as they would have sealed in the grout haze, making it more difficult to remove.

Naturally, the property owner wanted the problem to be resolved as soon as possible, and for me to make the tiles easy to keep clean in future, which can be achieved by sealing the tile.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

Removing Grout Haze from a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Before starting work, I made sure to fully protect any exposed woodwork with a plastic sheet covering to protect them from potential damage. I then proceeded to give the floor a thorough clean, using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to clean the floor and eradicate some stains that had been left behind as a result of the building work.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

Next, I paid special attention to the grout, where the very visible problem of grout haze had arisen. To neutralise these smears I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner that can also remove alkaline mineral deposits and efflorescence. Grout Clean Up is only to be used on acid resistant stone, as sensitive stone can suffer from irreparable etching if it comes into contact with the product.

Once completely clean and free of grout smears the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water to remove any trace of product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum, afterwards an air mover was installed to speed up the drying process.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Later that afternoon the floor was dry and I was able to apply a sealer. To do this I opted to use several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, a topical, fully breathable sealer that works really well on Terracotta.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

The sealer builds up a layer of protection on the surface of the tiles, protecting against ingrained dirt and stains. Seal and Go Extra also provides a high quality sheen finish which really did well to enhance the look of the Terracotta.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

The property owner was exceptionally pleased with the results, and to have this problem dealt with quickly and efficiently, additionally the sealer will ensure the Kitchen floor is easy to keep clean in the future.
 
 

Grout Haze Removal on Terracotta Tiles in Worcestershire

Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Stratford upon Avon

Located in the hallway of an old vicarage in the historic town of Stratford upon Avon these Quarry tiles had been hidden under carpet for many years and before that it appears had been painted in red brick paint and splattered with plaster and paint from decorating. I was asked if there was anything we could do to restore them and having done a number of these types of renovations before I was confident that would could and got the go ahead to proceed.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Stratford-upon-Avon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Stratford-upon-Avon

Restoring a Quarry tiled floor

The first job was to give the floor a really good deep clean and to remove any coatings from the tiles. To do this a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was left to soak into the floor for about 30 minutes before being scrubbed in using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the resultant soiled solution and rinsed the floor down with water. There were quite a few stubborn areas and so the whole process had to be repeated, additionally some of the paint needed to carefully removed using a scraper.

Once the floor was clean I gave it a wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product that will remove light grout smears and mineral deposits from effloresce which can leave to white salt deposits appearing on the tile surface and can be quite common on old tiled floors that have no damp proof course.

The cleaning process took up the whole day and after finishing the whole floor was given a thorough rinse with water to ensure no trace of cleaning product remained on the floor.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

I left the floor overnight to dry then came back next day and used a damp test meter to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which matched their requirements in a sealer exactly as it provides a matt finish brings out the colour in the stone and offers great stain protection.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration in Stratford-upon-Avon Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration in Stratford-upon-Avon

 
 

Quarry tiles tiled floor restored in Warwickshire

Restoring a new laid black Limestone floor in Pillerton Hersey

This is the second black limestone tiled floor we have dealt with this year where the tiler struggled to get the right finish. In this case the floor tiles were newly fitted but unfortunately the tiler had decided not to seal the tiles prior to grouting which resulted in grout becoming trapped on the tile surface (aka Grout Haze). To remedy this problem brick acid was used which removed the grout but this stripped off the black finish turning the tiles grey then in a further attempt to improve the appearance the tiles were covered in boiled linseed oil which just sat on top locking in the grout haze. Linseed oil is a traditional method of sealing stone tiles and is normally used with Terracotta tiles but it’s not ideal and does not have the performance of a modern sealer, certainly in this case it didn’t help at all.

Black Limestone Before Cleaning Pillerton Hersay Black Limestone Before Cleaning Pillerton Hersay

Removing Oil and Grout from Limestone Tiles

To resolve the problems with the floor it had to be fully stripped back to remove the linseed oil so the grout haze problem could be tackled. This was done by applying a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was mopped on to the floor and left to soak in for a while before being scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. This process lifted the linseed oil off the tiles and was removed using a wet vacuum.

Once the Linseed oil was gone I could get to work on the grout haze and for that we have a special product called Grout Clean-Up, it’s a very strong acid based product and normally you would need to be very careful using it on stone as it can damage the stone, in this case however the surface of the Limestone had already been damaged by the brick acid. Once the floor was free of coatings and the grout haze problem had been treated I gave the floor a thorough rinse down to make sure all trace of products had been removed from the floor before the next step.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

There was a lot of Limestone to cover so on the first day I focused on the kitchen and on day two the lounge, hallway and toilet. On the third day I went over the whole area applying Tile Doctor Stone Oil to restore the black colour of the Limestone that had been damaged by the brick acid.

Black Limestone During Cleaning Pillerton Hersay
By the third day the Grout Haze was gone but was still looking washed out. To restore the colour back into the black limestone it was treated with stone oil which as you can see turned the tiles back to their original colour. Stone Oil is an interesting product, if you check the tin it will tell you it’s “an easy to apply pre-polish impregnating sealer, ideal for low porosity stone and terracotta designed to enhance the colour and texture of floors and improve mechanical strength once cured”. Certainly from the customer’s point of view the floor now looks how it was intended and they were much relieved.

Black Limestone After Cleaning Pillerton Hersay Black Limestone After Cleaning Pillerton Hersay

 

Resolving Limestone installation problems in Warwickshire

Victorian Floor Tile Restoration in Stratford-Upon-Avon

I made another visit back to the historic and famous town of Stratford-upon-Avon recently this time to restore a Victorian Tiled Hallway which had been covered In self levelling cement (don’t ask) which was proving very difficult to remove and I doubt William Shakespeare would of approved.

Victorian Floor Tiles Before Restoration in Stratford upon Avon Victorian Floor Tiles Before Restoration in Stratford upon Avon

Removing Cement from Victorian Tiles

None of the usual methods for removing cement from tile was proving to be effective against this stuff, it was simply too thick so it was necessary to resort to a set off milling disks which grind the surface, I could only go so close to the tile with these however and had to resort to a hand scrapper to remove much of the rest and as you can imagine this took a long time to complete and was quite exhausting work.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Restoration in Stratford upon Avon

The resultant powder was swept and vacuumed from the tile before applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which we normally use for removing grout smears, it’s an acidic product that you allow to dwell on the tile for a few minutes and then agitate with a scrubbing pad and then remove shortly afterwards using a wet vacuum and then quickly washing the floor down quickly to ensure the acid is removed.

The next job was to give the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which was worked into the pores of the Victorian tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was removed and the floor rinsed thoroughly with water, again we used the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the tile as dry as possible.

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

I left the floor overnight to dry overnight leaving an air blower to accelerate the drying time and then came back next day to seal the floor; I used a damp test meter first to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian Tiles as it leaves a nice shine on the floor as well as providing great stain protection.

Victorian Floor Tiles After Restoration in Stratford upon Avon Victorian Floor Tiles After Restoration in Stratford upon Avon


It was an exhausting job and quite a transformation, unfortunately there were a few area’s I could do nothing about but it all adds to the character of the floor.
 
 

Victorian tiled floor restored in Warwickshire

Travertine Tiled Floor Polished in Stratford upon Avon

Following on from a referral I agreed to travel down to Stratford upon Avon and deep clean this Travertine tiled floor which had not been professionally cleaned for over eight years and was now looking rather dull as you can see in the photograph below, additionally the holes in the travertine had not been filled and was allowing dirt to get trapped into the tile.

Travertine Stratford upon Avon Before Cleaning

Cleaning, Filling and Polishing Travertine Tiles

The first job was to wash the floor down with Pro-Clean to give it a general clean and remove any surface dirt and grit from the floor and then fill the holes with a colour matching grout; there were quite a few holes to fill so this task took some time to complete. Polished Travertine is a very hard stone so restore its finish it needs to be cut back and polished using of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. You start with a coarse pad with a little water, then a medium pad, fine pad and finish with a very fine polishing pad, this takes some time but the effect it quite transforming, it does build up slurry on the floor so it all needs to be washed down again at the end.

Sealing and Buffing Travertine Tile

To keep the floor looking good for longer and protect it from stains it does need to be sealed so once it was dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the colours in natural stone. Then once the sealer was dry it was buffed using a white buffing pad to make sure that I hadn’t left any residues from the seal.

Travertine Stratford upon Avon After Cleaning

The job took three days to complete in total and I think you will agree it’s now looking much healthier.
 
 

Travertine tiled floor maintained by Greater Manchester Tile Doctor

Matching mixed Terracotta Kitchen tiles in Paxford

This job was a Terracotta Tiled kitchen floor in Paxford near Chipping Camden, the Terracotta tiles were in a large kitchen/diner which had a mix of different types of Terracotta due to the replacement of some damaged tiles. The recently fitted tiles were slightly darker than the older tiles in the kitchen area and the customer wanted a closer match but at the same time didn’t want the floor looking new (with all the wax and oil removed) just the old tiles made darker. You can clearly see the problem in the first photograph below.

Paxford Terracotta Floor Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floor had a heavy build of a wax and oil coatings which we tackled with a Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with two parts NanoTech Ultra-Clean; this combines the strong cleaning power of the alkaline Pro-Clean with the nano sized abrasive particles in the Ultra-Clean to make a powerful cleaning agent. We left the solution to dwell and soak into the tiles for twenty minutes before working it in with a heavy floor buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, some areas had experienced little foot traffic and so had a thicker coating needed up to three cleans. All the edges were done by hand using wire wool pads and brushes. The soiled water was picked up by a wet and dry vacuum and then the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water using a high pressure spinning tool.

Paxford Terracotta Floor after cleaning

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We let the floor dry overnight and returned the next day to seal it for which we used a combination of Tile Doctor sealers. The first step was to darken some of the lighter tiles so they would match the others in the dining room we did this using a sealer called Colour Grow which brings out the colour in a Tile. Once we were happy with this floor was fully sealed using five coats of Tile Doctors new formula High Shine sealer to give a uniform look.

Paxford Terracotta Floor after sealing

 
 

Replacement Terracotta tiles sealed to match existing floor

Cleaning Travertine in Stratford-upon-Avon

Travertine Cleaning in Stratford

We started the cleaning of a travertine floor in Stratford (that’s Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire not East London where the 2012 Olympics are being held) using Pro-Clean diluted with water and a floor buffer fitted with a Scrubbing Pad and Grout Brush. For best results it’s best to leave the cleaning solution to dwell on the Travertine floor for five minutes before agitating and scrubbing, this allows the cleaner to penetrate the tile better and lift the dirt out of the floor.

Travertine Floor in Stratford-upon-avon Before Cleaning Travertine Floor Before Cleaning by Tile Doctor Warwickshire
Travertine Floor Before Cleaning

Travertine Floor Cleaning

The floor was rinsed down with clean water and the use of a high pressure floor spinner tool, before being cut back with a set of Twister burnishing pads finishing on the yellow polishing pad.

Travertine Tiles Before Cleaning Travertine Tiles in Warwickshire After Cleaning
Travertine Floor After Cleaning and Sealing

Travertine Floor Sealing

After the Travetine Cleaning the floor was left to dry before sealing with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, we then applied the last Green burnishing pad in the set to lock in the seal and remove any excess sealer from the surface of the tile. The last step was to use Tile Doctor Shine to give leave a durable high shine on the floor. The floor took a full day to clean, seal and re-polish.

The Customer, Mrs Gough was very pleased with the results and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor website:
Mick is a true professional who totally puts you at ease. It was a lot of money for me as I chose the most expensive package but worth every penny.

Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Stratford