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

Poorly Sealed Limestone Kitchen Tiles Restored in Bridgwater

Bridgwater is known to be one of Somerset’s liveliest towns. With a history dating back over 1000 years, it has many traditions, including a carnival which happens every November, and is hailed as the world’s largest illumination procession.

What wasn’t looking lively, however, was this Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in the town. It had been laid five years previously but at the time of laying hadn’t been sealed with adequate amounts of sealer.

As a result, the Limestone had absorbed a lot of wet footprints and other dirty stains. The sealer simply broke down after a while, leaving the homeowner with a floor that never looked clean no matter how much they cleaned it – using all kinds of products. In fact, the tiles looked blackened and mouldy, as you can see in the photos below.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Bridgwater Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Bridgwater

It was time for the homeowner to seek out professional assistance, so she decided to contact her local Tile Doctor. I was asked to completely restore the look of the floor – something the homeowner had deemed impossible at this point.

Cleaning a Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor

In practice, I knew the floor could be restored using the right products and methods including a really deep clean and resealing with the right type of sealer for these tiles.

I scrubbed in Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a powerful coatings remover which draws out ingrained stains and strips away any old sealer remaining on the tiles. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with plain water to neutralise it, and the resulting soiled solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I repeated the process on stubborn areas, eventually transforming the floor back to its natural and clean state.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

I allowed the Limestone to dry out completely overnight before returning to the property to seal the tiles. This is important as the slightest amount of excess moisture can damage the performance of the sealer, and we would’ve been back to square one!

After checking with a damp meter, I could see everything was fine, so I proceeded to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is not only a robust impregnating sealer that will protect the floor going forward but also enhancing the natural colours in the stone at the same time.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Bridgwater Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Bridgwater

In the space of two days, the Limestone tiles had been completely transformed. Now it had been properly sealed, the floor will be much easier to clean and therefore should stay looking great for a long time to come. The customer was very happy to have finally resolved the problem with some assistance from the Somerset Tile Doctor!

Heavily Stained Limestone Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed 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