Finishing a Victorian Hallway Floor in Hebden Bridge

The photographs below are of a lovely Victorian tiled hallway that had been repaired and cleaned by another tradesman a his a few months earlier. The workman had left the customer to seal the floor himself, which he had done but the floor ended up looking patchy and dull and he wasn’t happy with the results which didn’t highlight the beautiful colours in the tile. Realising he needed help to achieve the correct finish I was given a call and asked to finish the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Hebden Bridge

The property was in Hebden Bridge a market town situated between Halifax and Rochdale. After carrying out a survey, I advised that the floor would need re-cleaning to strip off the sealant he had applied and to remove the marks from the floor. We would then be able to re-seal the floor correctly for him. We agreed a price for the job and set a date to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the first day we started preparing the hallway to be cleaned by covering the stair carpet and new and expensive wood panelling and skirting boards to protect them from any possible marking during the cleaning process. I then used a 200-grit Diamond burnishing pad attached to a rotary buffing machine to remove the sealant and dirt from the floor. In this instance the pad was applied just with water which is used to lubricate the pad, the resultant slurry is then removed with a wet vacuum. The advantage of using this process as opposed to a chemical clean is that moisture is kept to a minimum which is important on old floors like this where no damp proof membrane exists.

After making sure that the floor was to a standard that I was happy with, I then repeated the process along the edges with a set of hand-held diamond blocks which makes it easier to get into the corners and edges where the machine struggles to reach effectively.

Still concerned about the moisture levels in the floor I decided to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which will neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor. As I mentioned earlier this is a common problem on floors of this age, they do not usually have a Damp Proof Membrane fitted so moisture is able to rise through the tiles bringing with it salt which gets left on the surface of the tile, this process is more commonly known as Efflorescence. The floor was then rinsed with water and the floor dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum. Finally, I tidied up before leaving for the day and allowing the floor to fully dry out overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the next day, I first took moisture readings to ensure that the floor was dry enough to seal. If a floor is too damp the seal won’t cure properly and therefore won’t be effective. Fortunately, on this occasion the floor was within limits and I could proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer allowing around thirty minutes between coats for drying.

Colour Grow is a breathable impregnating sealer that allow moisture to evaporate from the floor whilst also protecting it from dirt and stains. This sealer leaves a matt finish which is what the owner wanted but it also enhances the colours in the tile which really being the floor alive.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Hebden Bridge

The customer was very pleased with the results, the floor looked much cleaner and will be easy for them to maintain. I hope that you can see the difference from the before and after pictures.

 

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Yorkshire

Dirty Quartzite Tiled floor in a Leeds Kitchen

This Quartzite tiled kitchen floor from a house in Leeds was in need of some attention and as well as a build-up of general dirt it was also affected by cooking oil and Grease. Any sealer that may have been in place had long since worn off and it was time for a good clean and re-seal.

Cleaning Quartzite Tile

I followed the usual process for cleaning floors of this type by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, allow it to dwell for a while and then give the floor a good scrub using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and floor washed down with clean water; sometimes this process needs to be repeated a number of times and often you will need to get into the grout lines by hand with a hard scrubbing brush as a scrubbing pad can float over the surface of the grout.

Quartzite Tiled Floor in leeds during cleaning

Sealing Quartzite Tile

Once the floor was dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer which gives leaves a durable high sheen finish together with stain resistance. There are a number of sealers available in the Tile Doctor range including Seal and Go which has a Low Sheen finish and Colour Grow which helps to bring out the colour in the tile; the final selection is a combination of the customer’s requirements and my guidance.

Quartzite Tiled Floor in leeds after cleaning
 

Quartzite tiled kitchen floor in Leeds cleaned and sealed

Victorian Tiled Floor stained with Bitumen in Heckmondwike

This was a very tough assignment to restore a Victorian Tiled floor in the village of Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire which had been stained with Bitumen. If you look closely at the photographs on this page you should be able to see it; although this may sound unusual Bitumen was used frequently as an adhesive for carpet or linoleum when tiled floors were not so fashionable.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning
To solve the problem I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is the strongest product we have for removing coatings from tiles, its ideal for removing sealers but it’s also good at removing adhesives, grout haze and paint as well. Once applied I left it to dwell for a while to allow it get to work on the problem before agitating with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and manually using a scrubbing brush. The dirty solution was removed using a wet vacuum and washed down with clean water; it was necessary to repeat this process a couple of times and although improved I have to admit although it made a great improvement it wasn’t 100% successful, I have tried some other products and methods on subsequent visits to shift the remaining bitumen staining but you have to be careful not to damage the tile.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Closeup

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor, it gives a durable low sheen finish that brings a nice depth to the floor and will protect it going forward, Seal and Go is also a breathable sealer which is important on these older floors which may not be protected from damp.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning and sealing
 

Restoring an Old Victorian Floor stained with Bitumen in Yorkshire

Cleaning and Sealing Black Slate floor tiles in Ilkley

Details below of a slate floor we cleaned and sealed in the kitchen of a house in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. You can see from the photographs that the large Black Slate floor tiles were looking dull and the grout had become soiled with ingrained dirt.

Black Slate floor Ilkley before Black Slate floor Ilkley before

Cleaning Black Slate Tile Flooring

To remove the remaining sealer and dirt from the Slate Floor Tiles I used a solution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor Nanotech Ultra-Clean agitated with a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The grout was particularly stained and given the scrubbing machine isn’t as effective on the grout lines it was necessary scrub in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean Tile and Grout cleaner into the grout lines by hand using a grout scrubbing brush. The floor was then washed down with water to neutralise it and remove any remaining cleaning solution prior to sealing, it had take all day to clean the floor so we decided to let it dry overnight and come back the next day to seal.

Sealing Slate Tile Flooring

The Slate was sealed with several coats of Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer which provides a good combination of stain protection together with a high-sheen finish. Slate needs four to five coats and it’s necessary to let it dry between coats this step can take some time to complete. You can see the different in the photograph below; also notice how the sealer has given the floor a lift; the sealer will also protect the grout from further staining.

Black Slate floor Ilkley After
 

Black Slate floor cleaned and sealed in Ilkley

Cleaning and Sealing a Yorkshire stone Floor in Ilkley

The owners of this house in Ilkley, West Yorkshire discovered this Yorkshire stone floor hidden under carpet, they had done their best to remove the carpet adhesive and carpet backing but unsatisfied with their efforts decided to get Tile Doctor to complete the job.

Stone Floor after carpet removal in Ilkley

Yorkshire Stone Floor after carpet removal in Ilkley and before cleaning

Cleaning the Yorkshire Stone Floor

To removing the remaining carpet glue and clean up the stone floor I applied mix of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This was left to dwell on the floor for a while before using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to get the stone floor really clean. The machine isn’t a 100% effective on an uneven riven surface so it was necessary to get in with a stiff hand brush afterwards. Once I was satisfied with the condition of the stone floor it was given a sluice down with clean water which was removed using a wet vacuum to make sure no chemical was left on the floor as this could affect the sealer later.

Yorkshire Stone Floor in Ilkley Cleaned and Sealed

Yorkshire Stone Floor in Ilkley after Cleaning and Sealing

Sealing the Yorkshire Stone Floor

Sealing the Stone floor was a relatively straight forward process once the floor was clean and free of any debris etc. The sealer chosen for this floor was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a low sheen whilst providing stain protection. Five coats were applied using a paint pad applicator on a pole, the number of coats you need depend on the porosity of the stone and each floor is different so you need to let each coat dry before proceeding to the next.

Stone Floor after carpet removal in Ilkley

Yorkshire Stone Floor after carpet removal in Ilkley and before cleaning

Cleaning and Sealing a Yorkshire Stone floor in Ilkley

Cleaning and Sealing Slate floor tiles in Linton, Wetherby

Details below of a dirty slate floor in the village of Linton near Wetherby. The large 60 x 40cm Slate tiles were laid in a kitchen with grey grout and covered and area of approximately 10-12sqm.

Dirty Slate Floor Linton Wetherby

Cleaning Slate Tile Flooring

The dirt was removed from the Slate Floor Tiles using a solution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go mixed with Tile Doctor Nanotech Ultra-Clean agitated with a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The scrubbing machine isn’t as effective on the grout lines so it was necessary to scrub these by hand using a grout scrubbing brush. The floor was then washed down with water to neutralise it and remove any remaining cleaning solution prior to sealing, it had take all day to clean the floor so we decided to let it dry overnight and come back the next day to seal.

Sealing Slate Tile Flooring

The Slate was sealed with Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer which as the name suggests provides a good combination of stain protection together with a high-sheen finish. If you’re doing this yourself I recommend the use of a paint pad which gives a nice even application, slate needs four to five coats and it’s necessary to let it dry between coats. You can see from the photograph below how the sealer really gave the floor a lift and the home owner was delighted with the results.

Wetherby Slate Floor Tiles Cleaned and Sealed
 

Cleaning and Sealing Slate floor tiles

Quarry Tile Floor Restoration in Otley

This Red and Black Quarry Tiled floor in the West Yorkshire village of Otley was 90 years old and in serious need of the Tile Doctor treatment, you can see from the photographs that not only was it in need of a good clean there were a number of tiles missing and replacements had to be sourced and fitted.

Old Quarry Tiles Before Repair and cleaning Quarry Tiles in Otley with missing tile

Quarry Tile Cleaning

Fortunately Quarry Tiles are still popular so finding replacement wasn’t too much of a problem. We fitted the tiles and grouted them working carefully to ensure they would match the existing. Once this was done we were able to start the cleaning process which involved scrubbing the quarry tiles with a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong multi-purpose alkaline cleaning product specifically designed for cleaning tile, stone and grout. For the stubborn areas we mixed the Pro-Clean 50/50 with Tile Doctor Nanotech Ultra-Clean which provides extra cleaning power. The last step before sealing was to wash the floor down with clean water in order to remove any trace of cleaning products that could upset the sealer.

Old Quarry Tiles Repaired cleaned and sealed Old Quarry Tiles Otley Repaired cleaned and resealed

Quarry Tile Sealer

Once the Quarry Tile floor was dry we sealed it four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based low sheen breathable sealer that will provide stain protection. You can see the difference from the photographs, quite a transformation I think you will agree,

Red and Black Quarry Tile Restoration in Otley, West Yorkshire

Cleaning and Sealing a Honed Travertine Tile Kitchen Floor

The photographs on this page are from a Honed Travertine Tile floor in the Kitchen of a house near Keighley. The travertine was in such a bad condition that the customer was considering replacing the tiles at the cost of thousands. Fortunately he discovered Tile Doctor and we were able to restore the floor at a fraction of the cost.

Honed Travertine in need of a deep clean Honed Travertine before cleaning

Cleaning Honed Travertine Tile

We cleaned the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell for 15 minutes before being worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Once clean we washed the floor down with water to remove any remaining chemical and neutralise the floor before cleaning.

Sealing Honed Travertine Tile

Once dry we sealed the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which brings out the colour in the tile as well as providing excellent stain protection.

Travertine cleaned and sealed as good as new Travertine in Kitchen near Keighley after cleaning

 

Cleaning and Sealing Honed Travertine Tiles in Keighley

Applying Anti-Slip on Polished Porcelain Tiles at a Leeds Retailer

Polished Porcelain is very hard wearing and looks great in the retail environment; it does however get very slippery when wet and given the increase in accident claims in the UK and companies happy to pursue them it can be a real problem. Prevention with an Anti-Slip solution is definitely cheaper than a court case and this is the very problem we were asked to address at a shop in Leeds recently.

Anti-slip for the Polished Tiles

Applying Anti-Slip to Polished Porcelain Tiles

This floor in a retail outlet in Leeds was laid with white Polished Porcelain tiles and the retailer was keen to prevent accidents happening to their customers. First we treated the area with Anti-slip cleaner to make sure the floor was free from dust and dirt contaminants before the Anti-slip solution was applied.

We then applied Tile Doctor Anti-Slip with a spray pump bottle and lightly scrubbed this in, left it on the floor area for the correct time duration and then applied the bonding agent on top of this.

Appying Anti-slip solution to Polished Porcelain
The last step was to buff the floor with a black buffing pad attached to our Victor floor buffer; afterwards we rinsed the floor with water and removed the water using a wet and dry Vax machine.

Buffing Polished Porcelain After Anti-Slip Application
The effects of Anti-slip work as soon as the floor has been buffed, rinsed off and left to dry, needless to say the customer was very happy with the results and left the following message.

Just wanted to thank you for sorting an anti-slip treatment for the new porcelain tiles in our Leeds store. The treatment definitely works,(as we found out the first time it rained!!), and the whole process was dealt with efficiently and promptly.
Val Caine (Director).Wish, Bond Street, Leeds.

Applying Anti-Slip at a shop in Leeds