Stained Terracotta Conservatory Tiles Rejuvenated in Isleham

Isleham is a small village in the Fens area of Cambridgeshire which, as the name suggests, is a natural marshland. The town itself is home to just over 2,000 people and some very nice properties.

I recently visited a customer in the town who contacted me after finding our website because her Terracotta tiled conservatory and utility room had become worn and stained due to leakages from plant pots and other various spillages. Terracotta is a highly porous stone and so has a strong propensity to absorb stains, and dirt can easily become ingrained. This problem is easily exacerbated when the sealer has worn away and can no longer adequately protect the stone.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

These tiles were now due for deep clean and reseal, and I was more than happy to oblige.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

Cleaning a Stained Terracotta Tiled Floor

My first action, before beginning the restoration, was to tape up all the walls and wood features around the conservatory and utility areas with our décor protection film, to protect them from getting damaged.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Isleham Conservatory Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

Then, to begin, I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean – which is our high alkaline cleaner – across the floor to strip away the old sealer and to provide an initial clean. The product was left to dwell for 10-20 minutes before being worked into the pores of the stone using a firm scrubbing brush fitted to a rotary machine.

Next, I removed any deep staining using Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a potent cleaner which contains nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the Terracotta to dissolve and lift out the embedded stains. I also used this product to remove the very stubborn salt deposits in the utility room – although it took three to four attempts.

To complete the cleaning process, I gave the grout a light clean using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner designed to remove grout haze and any deep staining in the grout. The floor was then dried down with cloths and air-movers, and left over the weekend to make sure any excess moisture had evaporated.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Upon returning to the property at the beginning of the week, I sealed the floor firstly using one coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, followed by five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra.
Ultra-Seal is a penetrating sealer which fills the pores of the stone to protect against staining and ingrained dirt. It is also fully breathable and allows for moisture vapour transmission. Seal and Go Extra provides further protection and a durable and aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish to really improve the overall look of the floor.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Isleham Conservatory Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

The customer absolutely loved her newly restored Terracotta tiles and was amazed by the transformation. I’m sure she is looking forward to spending time in her conservatory over the course of the summer months.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Stained Terracotta Tiled Conservatory and Utility Room in Cambridgeshire

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Harston

These photographs are from that lovely old period property in the village of Harston near Cambridge, you may recall an earlier post where I worked on the Victorian Tiled hallway. These photographs are from the Slate Tiled Kitchen floor which they asked me to clean and re-seal as well.

Harston Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning 1 Harston Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Closeup Kitchen 2

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floor

The process for cleaning and sealing slate is very similar to Victorian and Quarry tiles so this was as they say a bread and butter job for a Tile Doctor. The beauty of working in a kitchen is I was able to remove the kick boards instead of having to protect the skirting boards with tape. Once the preparation was done a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak into the Slate tile for a while before being worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean by the way is an alkaline cleaner so it’s safe to use on tile and stone unlike some acidic products which will cause damage over time.

Harston Slate Tiled Floor Cleaning 1 Harston Slate Tiled Floor Cleaning 2

As before I re-applied Pro-Clean on any stubborn stains and also gave the grout lines a good scrub with a stiff hand brush to make sure they were clean. Once happy with the general condition of the tile it was time to use the spinner tool which applies hot water under pressure effectively rinsing the floor whilst removing the water at the same time with suction. This does a great job of rinsing the floor and removing any trace of cleaning product before sealing, this is important to ensure a good finish when sealing.

Harston Slate Tiled Floor Rinse 1 Harston Slate Tiled Floor Rinse 2

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

The spinner tool does a good job of removing liquids from floors however the tile was still damp so it was left to dry assisted with air blowers until dry. Now normally I would use Tile Doctor Seal and Go to seal slate tile however the customer wanted a matt finish for this surface so it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which provides a more natural look it’s also recommended for use in food preparation areas.

Harston Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning 1 Harston Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Closeup Kitchen 2

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate tiled kitchen floor in Harston, Cambridgeshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Harston

These photographs are from a lovely old period property in the village of Harston near Cambridge which had an original Victorian Tiled floor installed throughout the hallway and stairwell. Considering its age the tiles were in a very good condition but they were looking dull and overdue for a deep clean and re-seal.

Victorian Tiled Floor Harston Hallway View Before Cleaning 1 Victorian Tiled Floor Harston Before Cleaning 2

Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

Working in sections the first step was to protect the beautiful skirting boards with clear plastic fixed with decorator’s masking tape. This was followed by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and letting it soak into the tile for about 20 minutes before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Victorian Tiled Floor Harston Skirting Protection 3 Victorian Tiled Floor Scrubbing Harston 4

This did a good job of cleaning the floor however there were some stubborn stains that needed further attention so more Pro-Clean was applied and worked in with a stiff hand brush as a steamer was used to help lift the dirt out of the pores in the tile. Once we were happy with the floor the soiled cleaning fluid was removed from the floor using a spinner tool which applies hot water under pressure effectively rinsing the floor whilst removing the water at the same time with suction.

Victorian Tiled Floor Harston Steam Cleaning 5 Victorian Tiled Floor Spinning and Steaming Harston 6

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry assisted with air blowers before moving on to sealing with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a recommended sealer for Victorian floor tiles that provides on-going stain protection as well as adding a nice subtle shine to the floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Harston After Cleaning and Sealing 7 Victorian Tiled Floor Harston Completed 8

The customer was really pleased with the results and even asked us back to do the slate tiles in the kitchen something I will no doubt write about in a later post.
 
 

Victorian Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Harston, Cambridgeshire

Sandstone Tiled Patio Cleaned in Cambridge

Just so you know we don’t just clean stone and tile floors we also do external patios as well and this particular job was at a property in Cambridge with a Sandstone patio. We have all the tools and products to clean most surfaces so cleaning patios and brick paved driveways isn’t a problem.

Sandstone Patio Before Cambridge 1 Sandstone Patio Before Cambridge 2

The process was quite straight forward and involved pre-soaking the driveway with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, it’s a versatile cleaner that equally effective on Patios as well as Tile, Grout and Stone; being an alkaline cleaner it has the added advantage that it doesn’t cause damage to the surface that typical acid cleaners can.

Sandstone Patio During Cleaning Cambridge 1 Sandstone Patio During Cleaning Cambridge 2

The Pro-Clean was left to dwell on the patio for a good hour before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush and following up with a high pressure professional jet washing machine which did a great job dislodging the grime that had built up on the surface over time. You can see from the photographs what a difference it made.

Sandstone Patio Kiln Sanding Cambridge

Pressure washing can dislodge the grout joints so once we were done cleaning the floor the gaps between the tiles was filled in kiln dried sand.

Sandstone Patio Completed Cambridge 1 Sandstone Patio Completed Cambridge 2

I think you will agree the patio looks good as new.
 
 

Sandstone Tile Restoration in Cambridge

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Cambridge

These photographs are from a Quarry Tile Cleaning job we did for a house owner in Cambridge, I’m afraid my photographs are not the best but I think you can see how the Quarry tiles were looking discoloured and worn.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cambridge Before

Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

Working in sections the floor was wetted with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined 50/50 with Nanotech UltraClean, these two products combine to make a powerful and effective cleaning solution that’s safe to use on tile and stone. The solution was left to soak into the tile for twenty minutes whilst we got our machinery ready.

It helps if you have the right tools for the job and in this case we fitted a scrubbing pad to a rotary buffing machine and working the cleaning solution into the floor to scrub away the ingrained dirt. The machine can struggle to get into the grout lines so these need to be scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush and more cleaning solution. Once the floor was clean the soiled solution was picked up using a wet and dry vacuum and then washed down with clean water to remove any trace of chemical. This revealed a few stubborn areas that needed further work so these were re-treated and the floor washed down again and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

We came back the next day to seal the floor and after checking the tiles had indeed dried we proceeded to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) that really brings out the shine and colour in Quarry tiles. Around five coats were sufficient and once it had dried the floor was transformed.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cambridge After

 
 

Quarry Tile Renovation in Cambridge