Restoring a Salt Satined Quarry Tiled Floor in Gamlingay

This quarry tiled floor in the village of Gamlingay had been subject to efflorescence salt staining over many years. This problem typically occurs in older houses where the floor has been laid without a damp-proof membrane allowing moisture to rise through the tile bringing with it salts from the sub floor. Gamlingay is located in South Cambridgeshire, near the border with Bedfordshire, is an ancient village which features in the Domesday Book. Not surprisingly a lot of the property here is quite old and includes sixty listed buildings.

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning

Before the current owner moved in the property had been left dormant and empty with no heating which hadn’t helped the condition of the floor amongst other things. The white efflorescent salt staining was now very evident on the Quarry tiles and had caused a lot of damage to the surface of the floor. I discussed with the client how we could help and carried out a test clean. They were happy with the result and we agreed our quote to renovate the floor. We arranged to return later in the month.

Renovating a Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The cleaning began with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was sprayed onto the tile and left to soak in for about ten minutes. The tiles were then scrubbed with a very coarse 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soil was then extracted using our van mounted hot water extraction system which makes light work of rinsing the floor and keeps the mess to a minimum. The combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and the coarse pad cleaned and resurfaced the tile improving the appearance of the floor and once the soil was removed you could really see the transformation.

We finished the cleaning process by giving the whole floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The acid dissolves the alkaline salt still present in the floor and removes any grout haze still present on the tile. Once this had been scrubbed in it was rinse off and extracted using the hot water extraction system as before. The floor was then left to dry out which due to the lack of damp-proof membrane was expected to lake longer than usual, so we decided to leave the floor a few days.

Sealing an Old Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

We returned on a nice sunny day and first tested the floor with our damp-proof meter. This just tests the moisture levels in the floor to check they are to an acceptable level. If the floor is not dry the seal will not cure properly, and the process would be a waste. In this case the readings were fine, and I was happy the floor was dry enough to be sealed.

The client had requested the floor have a low sheen appearance and they didn’t want it to look too shiny. Given the floors history with Efflorescence however I needed to choose a sealer that would give the desired appearance but was also breathable to allow for moisture to rise through the tile. Trapping moisture under the tile with a non-breathable sealer can result in moisture spreading to the walls leading to rising damp.

On this occasion I opted to go with the application of Seal and Go extra which is breathable and leaves a subtle sheen appearance. The acid wash we gave the tiles should neutralise the alkaline salts and now the house was occupied the damp issues which had led to them occurring in the first place are less likely. I applied six coats of sealer, allowing each one to dry before applying the next.

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning

As you can see from the pictures, the work made a dramatic difference to the floor and my client was delighted with the transformation.

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning
 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Hallway 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