Old Blue Lias Flagstone Kitchen Floor Restored and Sealed in Odcombe, Somerset

This post comes from the kitchen of a house in the village of Odcombe, which is a few miles west of Yeovil, where the Blue Lias Flagstone floor which dated back to 1780 was far from looking its best. With the exception of ingrained dirt the Flagstones were in good physical condition considering their age but the some of the grouting had come loose and would need replacing as part of the restoration process.

Blue Lias Flagstone Kitchen floor in Odcombe Somerset Before Restoration

If left unprotected dirt becomes ingrained into the pores of stone and once this happens it can become very difficult to keep it clean. A sealer will add that layer of protection but does wear off over time and in this case I suspect it had been quite some time since the floor had been given a deep clean and re-seal.

Deep Cleaning Blue Lias Flagstones

To deep clean the floor we spent two days scrubbing the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner/sealer remover that’s designed for use on Tile, Stone and Grout. The product is diluted with water and then applied to the floor where it is left to soak into the stone for ten to twenty minutes before scrubbing the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This process released the dirt from within the pores of the stone and we were able to rinse it away with more water which was extracted using a wet vacuum.

The process was repeated a couple of times to ensure the stone was as clean as it could be and we used stiff brushes along the grout lines where the pad struggled to reach to ensure the grout was also clean.

One done our attention turned to raking out loose grout and replacing it with new in a matching colour to ensure it blended in with the old.

Blue Lias Flagstone Kitchen floor in Odcombe Somerset Before Restoration

Sealing Blue Lias Flagstones Floor Tiles

We left the floor to dry for a further two days before returning to apply a sealer, it’s important that the floor is dry before sealing as applying a sealer to a damp floor will can have undesirable results.

After the deep cleaning process, the Flagstones were looking cleaning but rather grey so before sealing and to bring the colour back two coats of Stone oil were applied and left to soak in.

Once the Stone Oil had dried it was followed by sealing the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (so no smell as it dries) that leaves an appealing satin sheen lifting the appearance as well as protecting the stone.

Blue Lias Flagstone Kitchen floor in Odcombe Somerset After Restoration

It took some time to do but I think you will agree this two-hundred-year-old floor has been transformed by the process.

Blue Lias Flagstone Kitchen floor in Odcombe Somerset After Restoration

 
 

Restoring the Appearance of a Sandstone tiled floor in Somerset

Cleaning and Resealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Crewkerne

This is an unusual job we did in the old town of Crewkerne which is on the southern edge of Somerset near Dorset. We were asked to restore a Terracotta tiled kitchen floor where the seal on the terracotta tiles had been damaged when the floor had been cleaned with bleach leaving horrible smears all over the floor.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach before cleaning Crewkerne

Bleach is a very strong product with a high pH that can easily damage the sealer on a floor and unfortunately there is no easy way of restoring the damaged sealer so the whole floor would need to have the remaining sealer stripped off so the floor could be resealed.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach before cleaning Crewkerne

Stripping Sealer from a Terracotta Tiled Floor

To remove the existing sealer the Terracotta tiles were covered in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean before scrubbing the product into the tiles with the aid of a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a powerful alkaline cleaner designed for use on all types of natural stone. In concentrated form, it breaks down old sealers as well as removing dirt, while the rotary machine helps the product to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone to eradicate ingrained dirt and stains.

The now soiled cleaning solution was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the then the floor rinsed with water. Water will pool on a sealed surface to I was able to spot where more work was required and re-treated those areas until I was happy the floor was clean and all the sealer had been removed. I then gave the floor a final rinse and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum and then then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

The next day, I returned to the property to find the tiles dry, and ready to be sealed so I started by the application of two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhanced then natural reddish colours in the tile. Colour Grow is also an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores of the Terracotta preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there.

To add the Satin finish my client had requested I topped off the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a water based sealer that words really well on Terracotta. Sealing the Terracotta took some time as you need to let the first coat dry before applying the next.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach after cleaning and sealing Crewkerne

The floor is now fully sealed and looking like new, additionally I have advised the client to clean the floor going forward using a pH neutral tile cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which should avoid the problem happening again.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach after cleaning and sealing Crewkerne

My customer was really happy with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor Feedback system.

“We were amazed at how hard David worked. The floor is greatly improved.
Caroline P., Crewkerne”
 
 

Restoring Bleach Damaged Sealed Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Somerset

Rejuvenating Pitted Travertine Tiles in Frome

Pitting, which can be described as a natural form of corrosion that occurs on stone such as Travertine, can be a big problem for property owners with tiled floors. This is because the corrosion causes lots of small holes to form in the stone; without proper protection in place, these holes can quickly become ingrained with dirt. To make things worse many supermarket cleaning products are acidic and overtime they can eat into the stone making the problem worse.

Without the right maintenance and adequate sealer in place Pitted Travertine will be very difficult to keep clean and this was the problem that had affected the Travertine tiled floor of one of my customers in the town of Frome; a Somerset market town packed with interesting architecture and historic buildings.

Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Frome Somerset

Cleaning a Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor

I travelled to the property to see what could be done to resolve the situation and I could immediately see the very noticeable problem was related to dirt that had become ingrained into the stone and grout, a problem that covered a large area from the kitchen to the dining area.

Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Frome Somerset

To deep clean the floor I set about applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is our go-to alkaline cleaner for natural stone. I left it to soak for ten minutes before scrubbing it into the stone and grout paying focus to the individual pits to soften and help dislodge the ingrained dirt. The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off with water using a wet vacuum to extract it from the floor.

I then used Tile Doctor’s set of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Each pad was fitted to a rotary floor machine and applied with a little water to help lubricate. In our system, we start with a Coarse grit pad to remove old sealers and dirt and gradually work our way through to Medium, Fine and Very Fine grit pads to achieve a high quality polished finish.

It was a large area so it took most of the day to completely burnish the floor and once finished I filled the larger pits with a matching resin which will improve the overall appearance of the floor and minimise the issue of dirt becoming ingrained.

Sealing a Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor

The Travertine tiled floor was then left to dry out fully before I could return to seal it though next day. We typically allow for at least 24 hours, unless there are any inherent damp issues.

My sealer of choice here was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to enhance colour and protect he stone. It does this by penetrating the pores to fill them and therefore prevent dirt becoming trapped – which had been the major problem with these tiles to begin with.

Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Frome Somerset

The photos below show a complete transformation. As you can imagine, the owners were thrilled with the finished floor.

Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Frome Somerset

 
 

Professional Travertine Stone Floor Restoration in Somerset

Restoring Dirty Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Minehead

Anyone with familiar with tile cleaning and maintenance will know that Terracotta is one of the most difficult of tiles to seal. This is due to the clay being particularly porous thus requiring several coatings of sealer to ensure complete saturation and protection against ingrained dirt and stains. The next problem is that a sealer will wear down in high traffic areas first and without regular maintenance will wear off allowing dirt to penetrate resulting in areas which seem to be impossible to keep clean.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Minehead Somerset

At this property in Minehead, the coastal town in Somerset known for its beaches, the sealer on the Terracotta kitchen tiles had not been maintained in over four years and during that time, the sealer had deteriorated, allowing dirt and dust to enter the pores of the stone. Trying to get the floor to look clean was now an impossible task so I was contacted by the property owner to resolve the problem first by cleaning the tiles with professional products and methods, and second by applying a fresh sealer.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Minehead Somerset

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

My focus for the cleaning process was soak the Terracotta tiles in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for around ten minutes before scrubbing the solution into the tiles with the aid of a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a powerful alkaline cleaner designed for use on all types of natural stone. In concentrated form, it breaks down old sealers as well as removing dirt, while the rotary machine helps the product to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone to eradicate ingrained dirt and stains.
The now soiled solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the then the floor rinsed with water. With the floor clear I was able to see stubborn areas that need more work and spot treated them using the same process.
One I was happy that the floor was clean and free of old sealers it was given a final rinse and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum and then then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

The next day, I returned to the property to find the tiles fresh, dry, and ready to be sealed.

My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealant which provides a robust seal and the durable low sheen finish in one product. Sealing the floor took some time as you need to let the first coat dry before applying the second and if you recall from my note at the beginning of this post it’s important to use several coats of sealer on Terracotta to achieve saturation due to the naturally high porosity of the clay.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Minehead Somerset

The floor is now fully sealed and looking like new, additionally It will be easy to keep clean simply by using a mop and Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH neutral product designed for the routine cleaning of sealed tiled floors.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Minehead Somerset

 
 

Restoring the appearance a dirty Terracotta tiled kitchen floor in Somerset

Tile Cleaning and Grout Recolouring of White Pitted Ceramic Tiles in Somerton

The task of keeping these white Ceramic Kitchen and Conservatory tiles clean was proving very challenging for this customer, who lives in the town of Somerton in Somerset. Somerton is known for its bustling market, which has supposedly been run on a weekly basis since the Middle Ages, and its famous ‘Market Cross’ at the centre of the beautiful marketplace is a popular tourist attraction for visitors to the West Country.

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that white tiles are often more difficult to keep clean than others. However, in this case, rather than being badly marked or damaged, these Ceramic tiles had become dirty due to the surface being pitted rather than smooth which trapped ground in marks from spills and dirty footprints etc. The pitted rough surface is very characteristic and provides better grip however they do trap dirt are therefore more difficult to keep clean.

The grout had also suffered over the years, losing a lot of its colour in the process so as well as cleaning the tiles we agreed to give the grout a really deep clean and also to colour the grout to make it more uniform.

Cleaning a Pitted Ceramic Tiled Floor

To clean the tiles, I firstly created a strong diluted of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and applied it liberally across the entire floor, leaving it to dwell and soak into the tile for a short period in order to soften the ingrained dirt. I then used my heavy weight rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to agitate the solution and break down the muck.

Once satisfied with the condition of the tiles I turned my attention to the grout lines, cleaning them carefully by hand using a stiff tile cleaning brush and the same solution of Pro Clean and water. This provided a deep, penetrating that clean that left the grout lines clean and free from the dirt and grease that had dulled their appearance for so long.

With some great results achieved through the cleaning, I rinsed the whole floor to wash away any leftover Pro-Clean and left it to dry fully overnight.

Ceramic Tiles Somerton After Cleaning but Before Grout Colouring

Recolouring Grout for a Ceramic Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the next day to check on the floor and after ensuring the floor was completely dry, proceeded to recolour the grout lines using Tile Doctor’s Grout Colourant. Our Grout Colourants are a waterborne epoxy that recolours, seals and rejuvenates existing grout joints and is available in ten different colours ranging from white to dark greys. The scrubbing with Pro-Clean the day before would also ensure the surface of the grout was clean and would make a good surface for the colourant to bond with.

Since in the past the grout lines had undergone a number of repairs, the existing colour was a mix of different greys. It made most sense then that they picked our ‘Natural Grey’ Grout Colourant for me to use. I painted the Colourant on carefully and waited for 30 minutes before removing any excess, leaving the grout lines perfectly covered in a uniform colour.

Ceramic Tiles Somerton After Cleaning and Grout Colouring

The difference was really noticeable and the property owner was really happy with the results. As you can see from the photos, the new grey Colourant really made the grout lines stand out against the clean white Ceramic tiles. Another satisfied customer.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Grout Recolouring of White Ceramic Kitchen and Conservatory Tiles in Somerset

Quarry Tiles Cleaned and Sealed at a Pub in Yeovil, Somerset

The proprietor of this pub in the good old English country town of Yeovil, Somerset had plans for a complete refurbishment, including the restoration of the very poorly maintained Quarry tiled floor in the kitchen.

Without professional attention the kitchen floor had suffered under years worth of food and drink stains and grease, and plenty of general dirt, leaving it looking dull and grotty. In a busy kitchen environment this is to be expected, but the pub owner decided it was finally time for a thorough clean and a fresh seal, and recruited me to get the job done.

Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Yeovil in Somerset

Cleaning a Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin the restoration I covered the entire floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, our heavy duty remover designed to break down soil and grease buildup, and to strip away any old sealer on the tiles. I then proceeded to scrub the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to remove the many layers of muck. Special attention was paid to cleaning the grout lines by hand using a special grout brush.

The difference made by the cleaning was immediate once I had throughly rinsed the floor to remove any excess cleaning residue. As per usual, I then left the floor to dry completely. Having the floor completely dry before sealing it is essential as even the smallest amount of moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its ability to protect the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was left for two full days, leaving it plenty of time to dry. Upon my return to the pub, the owner requested a sealer that would provide a natural matte finish since this is a high traffic commercial kitchen used for a lot of cooking, and therefore would not suit a sheen finish in the same way that a residential kitchen would.

I sealed the floor with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that fills the pores of the Quarry to prevent muck from becoming ingrained, which will prove important in this area that is prone to spillages. Colour Grow also accentuated the reddish shades in the stone, while providing the natural no-sheen finish requested by the customer.

Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Yeovil in Somerset

To say that the condition of this Quarry tiled kitchen floor has been transformed would be quite an understatement. A deep clean has taken it from looking excessively grotty and greasy to fresh and clean, while the addition of a new, robust seal will prevent it from falling back into such a bad state. The customer was very pleased indeed!
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Restoration in Yeovil, Somerset

Unsealed and Dirty Sandstone tiled floor Cleaned and Sealed in Taunton

The photographs below are of a very dirty Sandstone tiled floor which was installed throughout the ground floor of a property in the village of Taunton which lies in one of the most picturesque areas of Somerset if not the entire UK.

It appears the tiles had never been sealed following installation and as a result dirt had over the years become ingrained into the pores of the Sandstone making it increasingly difficult to clean eventually causing it to lose all colour.

Sandstone tiled floo -before cleaning in Taunton Somerset

Sandstone tiled floo -before cleaning in Taunton Somerset

Deep Cleaning Sandstone Tiles

There was no sealer to remove so it was simply a question of giving the tiles a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which being an alkaline product is safe to use on natural stone. We diluted the Pro-Clean with water at varying strengths during the course of the cleaning, left it to dwell and soak into the pores of the stone and then scrubbed it in with hand brushes and also with the assistance of a floor scrubbing machine. This process released the dirt from within the pores of the stone and we were able to rinse it away with more water which was extracted using a wet vacuum.

For the stubborn areas we used a product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a powerful stripper usually used for removing sealers from stone floors however we applied this in the same way as the Pro-Clean and between the application of the two products we managed to get the entire ground floor clean over the course of two days making sure to give the floor a good rinse at the end to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Sealing a Sandstone floor

We left the floor to dry for two days before returning to apply a sealer, it’s important that the floor is dry before sealing as applying a sealer to a damp floor will can have undesirable results. We discussed sealing options and for this floor opted for Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and also enhancing the natural colours. The difference was amazing and the owners were delighted with the results.

Sandstone-tiled-floor-after-cleaning-in-Taunton-Somerset

The floor was really transformed and the difference was amazing, we were very happy with what we had been able to achieve and the owners were delighted with the results as you can imagine.

Restoring the Appearance of a Sandstone tiled floor in Somerset