Tile Doctor Innovation Award

Tile Doctor Innovation AwardI’m happy to report that at last years Tile Doctor conference I was given the Tile Doctor Innovation Award for my contribution to the creation of Rust Away which is a revolutionary product in the tiling industry for the removal of rust stains from tiles which is problem that is more common that you might think.

Tile Doctor is a network of like minded individuals who are passionate about maintaining tile and stone so when I started a discussion with Russell about the problems I had been experiencing removing rust stains he immediately grasped the issue and promised to work with me to find a solution.

Tile Doctor Innovation Award Presentation

Tile Doctor Innovation Award Presented by Tile Doctor Director Russell Taylor

Tile Doctor have team of chemists at their disposal and were able to come up with a number of potential solutions. After some extensive testing Rust Away was born. It does exactly what it says on the bottle and more importantly it’s formula is safe to use on tiles.

For more information about Rust Away please visit the following page: http://www.tiledoctor.co.uk/shop/item.aspx/tile-doctor-rust-away/15/

York Pattern Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Wanstead, E11

Victorian black and white tiles in the hallway of a house in Wanstead (E11), laid in what is often referred to as the York Pattern with a Kingsley Border, however sadly neglected for many years after being covered with a heavy underlay and carpet.

York Patten Victorian Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Wanstead

Restoring a Victorian Floor

First we cleaned the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean which releases the dirt stuck in the pores of the tiles; the solution was scrubbed into the floor with a buffer machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then the released soil extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was then rinsed with water and extracted again with the wet vacuum. It was left to dry for thirty minutes and the floor inspected which revealed a few stubborn areas that were then treated using Nano-Tech Heavy Build-up remover (HBU) which was left to dwell for forty minutes and then scrubbed and then extracted again with water.

York Patten Victorian Floor Tiles Before and After Cleaning Wanstead

To Slow down or stop the possibility of an issue we sometimes have with older floors such as Victorian Tiles we often use a product developed by Tile Doctor called Acid Gel, this is left on the surface for 5 minutes and then removed with light agitation and water and a wet vac machine, the floor is then rinsed with water again just to make sure there is no Acid Gel left in the Tile or on the surface. The Acid Gel not only Keeps mineral salts (efflorescence) at bay but also helps as a bonding agent for the sealer to make sealing theses type of tiles a lot easier.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

After leaving the floor to dry overnight I came back the next day to seal the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for Victorian tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection.

York Patten Victorian Floor Tiles After Cleaning Wanstead

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor Restoration in London

Refurbishing a Marble Onyx Countertop in Hampstead

My client asked me to take a look at a very dirty Marble Onyx countertop in her home in Hampstead which is located within the London Borough of Camden. Interestingly, Hampstead is home to more millionaires than any other area of the UK so if you’re going to find bathrooms of this standard this is the place.

Marble Onyx Countertop London Before and After Cleaning

This particular worktop had been heavily soiled by roughly fifteen years of soap scum and old sealer. It would take a thorough clean as well as a fresh seal to get this countertop back to looking its best. Marble is a fantastic type of stone which has, throughout history, been used to forge beautiful, yet resilient surfaces.

Cleaning a dirty Marble Onyx countertop

I immediately set to work cleaning the countertop using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is an alkaline product and therefore suitable for use on natural stone, meaning that, along with Marble, it is also suitable for use on Limestone, Granite, Slate, Travertine, and others. After leaving it to dwell on the surface for a short period of time, I began scrubbing the solution of cleaner into the Marble, and gradually the years of soap scum, old sealer and ingrained dirt began to come off. It was amazing just how quickly I was able to remove many years of muck with a bit of elbow grease.

Following this, I rinsed off any excess cleaning product with clean water and then left the surface to dry, before I began the process of burnishing the Marble countertop using small six inch burnishing pads starting with a coarse pad and then moving up to super fine. After the burnishing process was complete, I gave the surface a rinse followed by an additional polish with a buffing pad until the shine was fully restored to the worktop.

Marble Onyx Countertop London Before and After Cleaning

Sealing a Marble Onyx countertop

After ensuring the countertop was fully dry following the cleaning and burnishing processes, I set about providing the surface with a fresh seal. My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which is designed to both provide durable surface protection, whilst also intensifying the natural colours within the stone. I applied a layer of Colour Grow carefully to the countertop, and the Onyx shades within the Marble really came to life once again.

Marble Onyx Countertop London Before and After Cleaning

I was very happy with the results overall, as was my client. It is very rewarding to think that hard work can go a long way to quickly restoring a surface which had been hidden for so long by many layers of muck.
 
 

Marble Countertop Restored in Hampstead

Cleaning, Burnishing and Sealing a Limestone Floor in St. John’s Wood

I was recently engaged to refresh the Limestone tiled floor at a house in St. John’s Wood, which is a very affluent area and apparently has the 5th most expensive postcode in London so as you can imagine this was a very expensive floor. The client had requested an improvement condition of the Limestone tiles in the living room and a thorough clean, polishing and seal was required. Over time, the floor in this busy living room – which was also used as a play area for young children – had become dirty and certainly worse for wear with all the use it had been getting. So, I set about my work to get this floor back to looking its best.

Cleaning and burnishing a Limestone floor

My initial task before beginning the cleaning process was to remove any furniture (as well as toys) from the room so I would have a clear area to work in. I then applied a layer of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean cleaner, diluted with water, to the floor. Pro-Clean is also suitable for use on other natural stone floors such as Slate, Granite and Travertine.

After leaving the solution to dwell for a period of a few minutes, I began to scrub the floor with a stiff hand brush. Whilst helping to remove a lot of the built up dirt on the surface of the tiles, the product also stripped off the old sealer and polish. Following this, I paid special attention to the dirty grout lines, cleaning them with Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro, a powerful, high-alkaline cleaner.

Limestone Floor London NW8 After Cleaning Grout Lines with Oxy Pro Limestone Floor London NW8 After Cleaning Grout Lines with Oxy Pro

After completing the cleaning, I rinsed the floor with clean water to remove any excess cleaning products. I then began to burnish the floor using Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. This was done in four steps, as I used four different pads (coarse, medium, fine and very fine) rinsing the floor with water between each pad. I would recommend using this setup of four pads for restoring the appearance of polished stone floors; you starting with a coarse pad and the gradually work your way up to the very fine pad achieving a high polish finish in the process. I finished of the process with a quick rinse and a buffing pad to give the floor a final polish before I commenced the sealing.

Sealing a Limestone floor

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is specifically designed to not only provide durable surface protection, but also to intensify the colour of the tiles. The sealer penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing water resistance and long-term protection from ingrained dirt and stains. As you can see from the photos, the sealer really helped to accentuate the fantastic natural colours in the Limestone.

Limestone Floor London NW8 After Burnishing Limestone Floor London NW8 After Burnishing

My client was very pleased with the final result, and was amazed by how quickly I had been able to improve the state of her floor which, with a colourful and shiny finish, has really brightened up the living room.
 
 

Full Restoration on Limestone Floor in St. John’s Wood

Victorian Hallway Tile Restoration in London W2

This large entrance hall tiled in Victorian black and white floor tiles in London W2 had been quite badly damaged in the past by having a carpet glued and nailed on to it. Many tiles were broken or missing and those missing had been replaced by cement.

Victorian-Tile-Before-Cleaning-in-London.jpg

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

On the first day of this three day job I removed the cement filling and extracted the nails that remained in the floor. I then stabilised the exposed area with a PVA solution before replacing the missing tiles with replica or salvaged ones to match the floor was swept out and vacuumed to remove all loose debris.

On the second day I cleaned the floor, removing the old carpet glue with Tile Doctor “Remove and Go” which was left to dwell onto the tile for a while to allow it to soak into the tile and break down the adhesive; this was then removed with a wet vacuum. The next step was to clean the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was worked in with a black srubbing pad to scrub the cleaning solution into the tile and finish off the cleaning process, again the soiled solution was removed with a wet vacuum. Normally by now the floor would of have been clean however In this case the levels of soaked-in old glue and ground-in dirt from decades of use were such that the floor also required steaming, scraping and wire brushing with a Spid brass wire brush before a final clean with another round of Pro-Clean and a black buffing pad fitted to a Numatic buffing machine. This had the desired affect and the last step was to wash the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining chemicals etc.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

After leaving the floor to dry overnight I came back the third day to seal the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for Victorian tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection.

Victorian-Tile-After-Cleaning-in-London
As you can see from the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos the results were impressive and the customer described it as, “looking great”.

Victorian Tiled floor cleaned and sealed in West London

Cleaning a Tumbled Marble mosaic wet room floor in London SE1

This Tumbled Marble mosaic wet room floor was installed in a house in London, SE1 four years before prior and was now looking a little tired. This was mostly caused by a build-up of Limescale which had then become grimy.

Tumbled-Marble-London-Before

Stripping a Tumbled Marble Floor

To treat the Limescale I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which managed to remove most of the scale and to remove the remainder I steamed the tiles using an Earlex Steamer and carefully scraped any remaining Limescale residue away with a Stanley window scraper. To restore the marble itself I used Tile Doctor burnishing pads to re-polish the tiles using 17″ pads on the main area and 8″ pads on a hand-held Clarke polishing machine in the corners. These diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours and are applied one after another with each pad being a finer grade than the last. After thoroughly rinsing the stone again and removing the waste water with a wet vacuum. As the marble was naturally fast drying I used an Earlex heat gun to speed dry the floor and repeated this after lunch to ensure the floor was entirely dry before sealing.

Sealing Tumbled-Marble Tiles

Once the Marble tiles were dry I started to seal them using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which is a great choice for natural stone as it enhances the natural colours in the tile as well as providing stain protection.

Tumbled-Marble-London-After
As the photographs show the results were very good and the customer was highly delighted.

Tumbled-Marble-London-After
 

Restoring Tumbled Marble Mosaic in a Wet Room

Cleaning a Limestone Balcony in St John’s Wood

This balcony in St John’s Wood, London, NW8, which had been clad in Limestone floor tiles, had not been professionally cleaned for 15 years and was now covered in mould which the customer was unable to remove.

Limestone-Balcony-NW8-Before-Cleaning

Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor

To get the Limestone clean I used a neat solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with was left to soak into the stone before being worked in with rotary machine fitted with a black buffing pad. This process removed most of the mould but there were still some stubborn patches so I then used a further application of Pro-Clean this time mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean to add an abrasive element to what is a powerful alkaline cleaning product. This was scrubbed into the tile and then steamed off using a Bosch steamer followed by further scrubbing by hand.

The next step was to use a set of four Tile Doctor burnishing pads to polish the Limestone surface to a low sheen. These diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours and are applied one after another with each pad being a finer grade than the last. After thoroughly rinsing the stone again and removing the waste water with a Numatic aqua vacuum I left the tiles to dry off overnight. Luckily the weather remained fine.

Sealing Yorkshire Limestone Tile

The next day I sealed the Limestone tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which I prefer for Limestone as it enhances the natural colours in the Limestone floor as well as providing stain protection something I’m sure it’s going to need given the location.

Limestone-Balcony-NW8-After-Cleaning
Although not quite all the damage from the mould could be entirely removed the tile was 95% improved and the customer was very satisfied with what had been achieved.

Limestone Restoration in St John’s Wood

Ceramic Tiled Floor Cleaned in London W9

These ceramic tiles situated in a large flat in Bravington Road W9 which is near Kensal Town in the City of Westminster, London. The tiles had been in place when the client moved into the flat some years ago and were badly in need of deep cleaning, attempts to remove the dirt using a steam cleaner had been successful but very slow. In the end the owner, realising that cleaning more than 75 square metres of tile herself in this way was going to take too long, decided to call in professional help from Tile Doctor.

Ceramic Tile Cleaning Before

Cleaning Ceramic Tiles

Using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaning product and a medium brush on a Numatic buffing machine I lifted most of the ground-in dirt from the tiles before rinsing and scrubbing the floor again with a black buffing pad and scrubbing the grout clean by hand using a stiff grout brush.

Ceramic Tile Cleaning During

I then thoroughly washed the floor with a mop and fresh water which was then removed with an aqua vacuum, this process was repeated until I was satisfied the floor was clean. When the floor was dry it revealed an nearly as-new ceramic tiled floor with a pleasing sandstone imitation design.

The photos show the floor before cleaning with a mark around where a piece of furniture had been removed and then the uniformly clean floor after the cleaning process was complete. The customer was delighted with the restored condition of her floor and amazed that it could have been made so clean.

Ceramic Tile Cleaning After

 
 

Ceramic Tiles Deep Cleaned in London W9

Emery and Cie Cement Encaustic tiles Restored in Ealing

This unusual Emery and Cie Cement Encaustic tiled floor in Ealing W5 had been poorly installed by the tiler with grout haze on the tiles and the wrong sealer used. Cement encaustic tiles are quite delicate and difficult to restore.

Cleaning Cement Encaustic Tiles

I used a red burnishing pad fitted to a buffing machine to cut into the tile surface and remove the grout haze and old sealer. The next step was to apply a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean letting it soak into the tile before working it in to the tile with a red buffing pad. The soiled cleaning solution was then removed using a wet and dry Vacuum and the floor washed down with clean water. This cleaned up the floor well but there were some stubborn stains which were removed using a steamer.

Cement Encaustics Before Emery and Cie Tiles After

Sealing Cement Encaustic Tiles

Once the floor had dried it was sealed using three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection. Last step was to burnish the tiles again with a green burnishing pad to bring up the shine.

Although the floor had been too damaged to be made perfect, it was very much better when I had finished and the customer was delighted with the result.

Cement Encaustic tiles cleaned and Sealed in London

Slate Tiled Wet Room floor in Ealing

This was a slate floor in a wet room in a house in Ealing W5. The black semi-riven slate had originally been sealed by the tiler on installation but had never looked how the customer wanted it to.

Cleaning Semi-Riven Slate Tiles

To strip off what was left of the old sealer we used Tile Doctor Remove and Go leaving it to soak into the floor for a while before working it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black buffing pad. The solution was then removed using a wet and dry Vacuum and the floor washed down with clean water. This work removed any remaining sealer but we still needed to give the floor a deep clean and so the whole process was repeated this time using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective heavy duty alkaline cleaning product ideal for cleaning up natural stone floors and grout. After we gave the floor a thorough rinse to remove any cleaning products and neutralise the floor ready for sealing, last step was to remove the water from the floor using the wet vacuum again and leave it to dry out overnight.

Semi Riven Slate Floor Before

Sealing Semi-Riven Slate Tiles

The next way came back and sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as you can see from the photographs did an excellent job lifting the colour out of the tile.

Semi Riven Slate Floor After
The customer was very pleased to have a well-sealed black slate with a slight sheen instead of the dull-looking grey floor she had had before.

Semi Riven Slate Tiled Bathroom floor Cleaned and Sealed in London

Cleaning an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Porch

These photographs are from an Edwardian Quarry tiled porch at a house in central London. The tiles had previously been sealed with several layers of varnish which was now beginning to wear off in places and was making the entrance to the house look very untidy.

Cleaning Edwardian Quarry Tiles

I used a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and Nanotech Ultra Clean and left it to soak into the floor for an hour to break down the old varnish. The floor was then rinsed with clean water and steamed to remove any remaining residue. Following this I used a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean cleaner worked into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black buffing pad to machine clean the floor giving it another rinse to neutralise the floor of any chemicals before leaving for the day

Edwardian Quarry Tiled Porch Before Cleaning

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

The next day the tiles had dried out overnight and were ready for sealing for which we used three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a durable sealer that helps to lift the colour out of the tile.

Edwardian Quarry Tiled Porch After Cleaning and Sealing
You can see the difference in the floor from the photographs in fact the customer said that they had put up with the condition of the tiles in the porch for ten years and were very pleased to have found a solution with Tile Doctor.

Edwardian Quarry Tiled floor restoration in London

Varnished Quarry Tiled Hallway Restored in London SW11

This Quarry tiled hallway installed in a house in South West London had been varnished many years previously and was worn through leaving a dark and uneven appearance and difficult to clean.

Cleaning the Quarry Tiled Floor

We started cleaning the Quarry Tiles by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked into the floor using a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Although this had an effect on the Varnish it was proving difficult to shift so using a scraper tool it was manually scraped off the floor. The floor was washed down with clean water and then cleaned again using Pro-Clean before finally washing down three more times using clean water in order to neutralise the floor and remove any trace of cleaning products before sealing.

Quarry-Tiled Hallway before cleaning

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

The floor was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to apply the sealer. For sealing the Quarry tiles I used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, it’s recommended for Quarry tiles and adds a nice low sheen to the floor; sealing does take time as it’s necessary to allow each coat to dry before applying the next so it took most of the day to complete the job. You can see the difference in the floor which has come up a lot lighter and is now much easier to maintain.

Quarry-Tiled Hallway after cleaning and sealing
 

Removing Varnish from a Quarry Tiled Floor in London SW11