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Jonathan Oldham
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Unpolished Limestone Hallway Deep Cleaned in Twickenham

These unpolished Limestone tiles were installed in the hallway of a property in Twickenham, Middlesex. The stone had not been cleaned or sealed for six years and being the main entrance to the house it was subject to a lot of foot traffic which had taken its toll on the stone over the years. As you can see from the photos, dirt was ingrained in the stone which happens when the protective sealer wears off with use. They had chosen to cover the floor with some rugs to improve the appearance and make the hall more inviting and as you can see especially where the rugs had been protecting the Limestone there was a visible difference in colour.

Twickenham is a suburb of London and of course most famous for being the home of Rugby Union in England and a short distance from by base in Shepperton so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop in and survey the floor.

I discussed with the client what could be done to clean the floor and demonstrated the products and technique I would use on a test patch. They were suitably impressed, and we agreed a price for the work and booked a time to complete the job. The job was scheduled for two days, one day to clean and the second to seal the floor.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor
To start with, we pre-sprayed the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak in for ten minutes, this allows the product to break down any remaining sealant and greasy soils. Then we machine scrubbed the floor with our rotary cleaner fitted with a black scrubbing pad lubricated with another Tile Doctor product, Pro-Clean. This strong alkaline chemical breaks down the dirt and leaves it ready to be rinsed away.

The grout lines were also cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but not with a machine as the pad struggles to reach down into the grout lines, so it was scrubbed by hand to give the best result.

Following the clean, we low pressure rinsed the floor with water and vacuumed all the residue away, leaving the floor ready for sealing. The Limestone tiles and grout looked much better already after cleaning and it was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor
Returning to the property the next day our first action was to check the moisture levels in the floor with a damp meter. All was well so we to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within by occupying the pores in the stone, so dirt can’t become lodged there. The sealer will make the floor much easier to keep clean in future and as the name of the product suggests it also enhances the natural colours in the tile.

For the aftercare of unpolished Limestone, I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is designed for the cleaning of sealed Tile and Stone. If using a different product always read the label first as many cleaners are too strong for use on sealed surfaces and will strip off the sealer over time.

The client was very happy with the result and felt they could now keep on top of keeping it clean and looking fresh moving forward. They could now remove the rugs too! If you require a free quotation to clean and seal your stone floors do get in touch.
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Black Slate Tiled Floor Stained by Decorators in Hampton

It’s surprising how often I get asked to look at tiled floors stained with paint and other chemicals because of careless decorating work. Such was he reason that I was asked to renovate this Slate tiled floor that had been installed in the garden room of a house in Hampton, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. On this occasion the customers decorators had not covered the floor properly prior to painting which led to spots of paint and a white haze in places where they had tried and failed to rub the emulsion off the stone floor.

I went over to take a look and could see that the floor would benefit from been given a thorough clean, spot treating the decorating issues in the process and then given a fresh coat of sealer to protect the floor going forward and bring out the character of the stone. Having given the customer a quote which was accepted we agreed a date for me to return and given the floor a new lease of life.

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
The correct way to restore a floor such as this is to first strip off any existing coatings such as old sealers and take the tile back to its original condition. To do this I sprayed on a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left to dwell and soak into the old sealer and paint stains. Remove and Go is a stripper that as its name suggests is designed to be used on Tile, Stone and Grout. After ten minutes the product was worked into the slate tile and grout using a heavy duty rotary scrubbing machine. To help with the cleaning process, we also sprayed on Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is our go to Tile and Grout cleaning product.

The solution soon turned into a slurry as the dirt, old sealers and stains were lifted out of the pores of the slate. To remove the soil the floor was rinsed with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then inspected, and stubborn stains spot treated until I was happy with the condition of the tile and grout. The floor was given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
I left the floor overnight to dry completely following the cleaning and returned the next day to finish the renovation. After testing for damp to ensure the floor was dry, two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied to fully seal the floor. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that penetrates int the pores of the stone to protect it from within. It worked really well on the Black Slate and restored the contrast in the tile while giving it the deep black look that the customer was expecting. The fresh sealer has the added benefit of making the floor easier to clean in the future

The floor now looks completely revived and the sealer will help keep it looking that way for some time to come.
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