Renovating an Acid Etched Limestone Tiled Shower in Huntingdon

I was recently asked to take a look at a Limestone tiled shower cubicle at a house in the market town of Huntingdon. It turns out a cleaning company had tried to clean the tiles with an acidic product which was unsuitable for a calcium stone. I suspect they used a limescale remover which is very acidic. The owner was horrified by the damage that had been caused which as you can see from the pictures had ruined the appearance of the stone.

Etched Limestone Tiled Shower Before Renovation Huntingdon Etched Limestone Tiled Shower Before Renovation Huntingdon

Always check the label before applying an unfamiliar product to natural stone as most household and commercial cleaning products are simply not suitable. It is essential that the correct product is used and if in doubt talk to Tile Doctor who have a product for everything related to maintaining stone.

I discussed with the client what needed to be done to rectify the job. They were happy with my quote and were relieved that their Limestone tiles could be salvaged.

Renovating Damaged Limestone Shower Tiles

With the extent of the damage, most of the work to rectify was to be done by hand. I started by applying a set of handheld diamond blocks to cut back the stone to remove the etching. This was then followed up with a set of small diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads are applied to the Limestone tiles in sequence using a handheld buffer with water for lubrication. The sequence runs from coarse to very fine and we rinsed with water between each pad to remove the soil.

With a lot of man hours and elbow grease later, we had corrected the damage caused.

Sealing Limestone Shower Tiles

Once the stone had dried, I moved onto sealing the Limestone to prevent dirt and other stains from shampoo dyes affecting the stone going forward. To do this I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, this is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone leaving a natural look yet leaving a delicate sheen. As you can see from the pictures the results were dramatic and very successful.

Etched Limestone Tiled Shower After Renovation Huntingdon Etched Limestone Tiled Shower After Renovation Huntingdon

The client was impressed with the transformation I had managed to achieve and left the following feedback for me.

“Tom was punctual on both the day he quoted and on the day he arrived to undertake the work. He was also very mindful of our semi house cats and made sure he did not let them out. That sounds simple but of the many tradesmen we have had around in the last six months for restorative work on the house he was one of a couple that did not need constant reminding. The work he undertook was to rectify, as he put it, “some of the worst damage to tiles I have seen to date”! The tiles were limestone and had been badly marked by an acid based cleaner. By the end of five solid hours work he had got the tiles back to looking brand new with not a mark to be seen. He did so with no mess, a very cheerful disposition and several cups of coffee! I would not hesitate to recommend Tom to all my own clients and friends” Bob H, Huntingdon

 

Professional Renovation of Damaged Limestone Shower Tiles in Cambridgeshire

Large Limestone Floor Polished to a Deep Lustre in Boxworth

I was asked to visit a house in Boxworth Cambridge to survey a large Limestone tiled kitchen, dining room, utility and hallway. The customer was not happy with the finish of the tiles and wanted it to have more lustre. Additionally, the floor had suffered some damage in the dining room where the floor had been scratched by table and chair legs.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Boxworth is a small village of around 100 houses, this property being one of the larger ones. The village lies around eight miles to the north west of Cambridge. I examined the floor and discussed with the client the process we would use. Although not looking their best, I could see that the Limestone tiles contained a variety of natural colour shades which with the right treatment could be made to really come to life. I presented a quote which they were happy to accept.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

My first job was the protect all the surrounding areas from splashing during the cleaning process. To do this I removed the kickboards from underneath some of the kitchen units, elsewhere was covered with a blue protective film.

To start the cleaning, I first applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and then worked it in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. I also scrubbed the grout by hand as the pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout line. After rinsing the floor with water, the soiled solution was then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

I followed up this process with the application of a set of Diamond burnishing pads starting with the coarse 400-grit pad, then medium 800-grit pad, fine 1500-grit pad and finishing with the extra fine 3000-grit pad. The pads are fitted to a rotary floor buffer and are run over each tile using water for lubrication. All the slurry produced by the cleaning pads is removed away using our truck mounted hot water extraction machine to cause minimum mess to the client.

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I would return the next day to finish the polishing process.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

On the following day, we checked the floor was completely dry and then using a white buffing pad ground Tile Doctor Shine Powder into the Limestone floor. The powder builds up a deep and durable polish on the tiles leaving a deep and resilient lustre.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

To further protect the stone and enhance the natural colours in the Limestone a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer were applied followed by a light buff with a red pad. The sealant is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and intensifying the natural colours in the stone.

When finished the floor looked great. We had managed to remove the scratches from the dining area and the floor now had the lustre that the client had been hoping for.

The client was extremely happy with the outcome and gave the following feedback:

“Quoted very quickly, carried out the work quickly and efficiently with no fuss.”

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Flooring in Cambridgeshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Repaired and Restored in Great Paxton

I was called out to a house in the Village of Great Paxton to quote for deep cleaning a sealing a Victorian tiled hallway floor, there was also a triangular cemented section at the bottom of the stairs that the owner wanted retiling to match.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Great Paxton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning and Repair Great Paxton

Fortunately, the owner had discovered some spare tiles in the under-stair cupboard that would do the job; were not sure why this triangular section had been cemented in at some point in the past, but I was happy that the spare tiles would be enough to cover. My quote was accepted, and it wasn’t long before I was able to return to carry out the renovation.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I started by taping up the skirting boars and other woodwork with protective tape. Once that was done I removed the triangular section of cement at the foot of the stairs. I noticed that the sub floor consisted of rubble and sand so once removed I was able to lay a section of a damp prof membrane and then back filled with self-levelling compound.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning and Repair Great Paxton

Once the levelling compound had dried I laid the tiles that the owner had found under the stairs continuing the black and red diamond pattern. I used a quick setting adhesive which enabled me to grout the tiles in before leaving for the day and leave it to set overnight.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Day two was begun by inspecting the previous day’s work to make sure all was well with the tiling and then continuing the restoration of the floor. In general, the tiles were dirty and had white paint splashed from decorating and so were now looking dull and faded. To remove the ingrained dirt, I gave the tiles a soak in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. This process did a good job of removing the dirt and softened the paint splashes which I was then able to carefully scrape off.

After rinsing the floor with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum I could see the tiles were much cleaner but needed more work to get the replacement section to blend better with the existing. To resolve this, I honed the surface of the tiles with a 100-grit and then 200-grit pad rinsing with water and extracting after each pad.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to apply a sealer that would add colour and protect the tiles going forward. Multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied which a water-based product that adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor which works well on Victorian Tiles and put new life into the tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Great Paxton Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Repair Great Paxton

My customer was very happy with the transformation and left the following feedback.

“We are very pleased with the restoration of our Victorian tiles in the hallway. We are also very pleased with the service and quality of the works carried out.”

 

Repair Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cambridgeshire

Large Slate tiled floor Cleaned and Sealed in Hemingford Grey

This is a 25m2 Slate tiled floor installed in a grade 2 listed coach house in the village of Hemingford Grey on the banks of the river Ouse. It was originally called the six bells and the original coach house sign is still hanging from its original ironwork in the entrance lobby. The slate floor was laid through the kitchen and hallway in 2000 and since then it had just been mopped and extra coats of polishes/waxes had been applied leading to a build-up.

Slates Tiles Hemingford Grey Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floor

Before starting work I protected the kitchen units and Aga cooker in plastic film to protect against splashing and mopped onto the tiles a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coatings remover. Remove and Go I should mention is not only an effective cleaning product but as its name suggests is ideal for removing sealers from floors.

To get the floor completely clean you need to strip it back to bare tile and because of the layers of sealer we let the Remove and Go soak into the Slate tile for some time before being worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Then rather than wash the product away we blanketed the floor in a polythene sheet and left for two hours.

Slates Tiles Hemingford Grey During Cleaning

The polythene sheet prevents the floor from drying out and allows the chemical process of breaking down the layers of sealant to take place. After removing the sheet we scrubbed the floor again before removing the residue with our high powered internal pressure washing tool.

Slates Tiles Hemingford Grey After Cleaning

The floor was now bare and all the natural colours in the slate became far more evident. The tiles do need to be bone dry before sealing however so we left it to dry out for a day and left a number of special air blowers setup around the floor to assist with the drying.

Slates Tiles Hemingford Grey After Cleaning

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

When we returned the third day the floor was dry so we sealed it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (so no smell) that add good stain protection as well as adding a nice subtle sheen to the tile which really enhanced the colours in the slate.

Slates Tiles Hemingford Grey After Sealing Slates Tiles Hemingford Grey After Sealing

The customer was ecstatic with the result, so much so that before we left she gave us a thank you card in an envelope. On returning to our unit we opened the card and out dropped £50, well I was amazed, even though we explain all the processes to our clients and take the upmost care at their homes we really didn`t expect that level of generosity. This is how the card read:

“To Mick,
Thank you to you and Tom for your high quality in Service, Integrity and Value x Excellent craftsmanship. Much appreciated. So pleased with your work.
Kind regards. M. Evans

It was a pleasure to work for such a nice lady and we look forward to returning in the New Year to restore some more stone and terracotta flooring for her.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a large Slate tiled floor in Cambridgeshire