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Henry Mall
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Dull Limestone Kitchen Floor Burnished and Polished in Chesterfield

You can’t beat the natural beauty of a stone floor, but you will find that over time the protective sealer wears down and dirt becomes ingrained in the pores of the stone. This process is so gradual you might not notice it until one day your looking at old photographs and realise the difference.

On this occasion a customer of mine had a Limestone tiled floor installed in the Kitchen of her house in Chesterfield fifteen years prior. It had never been deep cleaned and resealed since being installed and having recently completed a house extension with a new Limestone floor she realised just how dirty and tired the original floor now looked.

I went over to take a look at the floor, demonstrate the cleaning process and discuss the different sealers we have available. She has happy for me to do the work and specified she didn’t want the floor to have a gloss appearance, so a matt sealer would be best.

Deep Cleaning a Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor
I returned a few weeks later to carry out the work and started by adding protection to the Kitchen units. The Limestone has quite ingrained and had quite a few scratches in the stone that would need to be grinded out so fitted a very coarse 100 grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to my heavy rotary floor buffer. You apply water to help lubricate the process and then once finished the floor is rinsed with more water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to get the grout as clean as possible by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then scrubbing it by hand with a stiff narrow brush. This action released the dirt from the grout and was rinsed away again with water extracted using the wet vacuum.

This burnishing process was then repeated using a 200 grit and then 400 grit burnishing pads to refine the finish of the stone and close the pores, again water was used to rinse off the soil and the vet vacuum used to get the floor as dry as possible.

Whilst drying the floor with the wet vacuum I also inspected the floor and identified areas for further spot treatment. I also noticed a few places where the grout had crumbled and needed replacing and so this was raked out and re-grouted with a beige grout.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor
The next morning, I returned to the property to finish off the floor with the matt sealer we had discussed earlier. The floor must be dry before applying the sealer, so I took a few readings with a damp meter first to ensure that was the case. This is important as it’s not unusual for sealers to go milky or ever peel off later if the floor hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned or wasn’t dry when the sealer was applied.

All was well, so I started applying the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, it’s a matt sealer that protects the stone from within by impregnating the pores with sealant without altering its appearance.

My customer was very happy with the result and now has two matching Limestone tiled floors, she also left the following short comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Great job, faultless ….. thanku
Anne M, Chesterfield
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Black and Red Quarry Tile Renovation in Whaley Bridge

This was an unusual Quarry Tiled Floor that I was asked to renovate at a house in Whaley Bridge which is a small town in Derbyshire Peak district. The floor tiles were laid in a diamond pattern using alternating Black & Red quarry tiles. The house was more than 100 years old and recently changed hands. A large rug had previously occupied the middle of the floor and the tiles around the side has been painted over with black paint.

To restore the floor to a consistent appearance I could see the paint would need to be removed and then the whole floor given a deep clean and seal. Additionally, there was an old Fireplace at one end of the room decorated in antique Ceramic tiles that needed cleaning, the Tiles are very old but in good physical condition for their age.

Cleaning Old Black and Red Quarry Tiles
My first task was to remove the black paint and years of ground in dirty by treating the tiles with a poultice made from two Tile Doctor products namely Nano-Tech HBU Remover and Remove and Go. Working in sections the solution was applied to the tiles and left to soak in for a good twenty minutes before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad running at slow speed.

The resulting soil was extracted using a wet vacuum and then the tiles rinsed with water, so I would see where more work was needed. Stubborn stains were then spot treated with the same process before moving onto the next section. The Ceramic tiles in the fireplace hearth was treated in the same way.

After removing all the dirt, stains and paint I gave the floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and extracted as much moisture as possible using the wet vacuum. The floor would need to be dry before applying a sealer, so to allow the floor to fully dry off I left the floor for two days.

Sealing Original Quarry Hallway Tiles
On my return I checked the tiles first to ensure they were dry. All was good so I set about applying a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the clay. Additionally, Colour Grow is a breathable sealer which is important for these old floors that don’t have a damp proof course. There was no need to apply the sealer to the ceramic tiles in the hearth however as they won’t take a sealer due to the glaze.

Once completed the floor looked completely transformed and the client was more than happy. Work continues in other parts of the house and once they have finished decorating they have asked me to return to restore their beautiful old Victorian tiled hallway.
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Brown and Cream Victorian Tiled Hallway Refreshed with a Deep Clean and Seal in Buxton

When we encounter original Victorian tiles we can be assured of one thing – and that is that they are very likely be at least 100 years old. However, what we can’t typically be assured of is the maintenance history of these tiles. Over the course of a century, these tiles can be exposed to a variety of cleaning and sealing methods, repairs and modifications, and very often coverings such as carpet and linoleum. Fortunately, Victorian Tiles are very robust which is just as well as many customers of ours want their Victorian tiles to be restored their former glory despite years of neglect and poor maintenance.

This example is of an unusual Brown and Cream Victorian Tiled hallway I restored recently in Buxton, a wonderful area which is sometimes referred to as “The Gateway to the Peak District”.

Cleaning Original Victorian Hallway Tiles

To begin the restoration, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go liberally across the floor and worked it into the tiles using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove and Go is a multi-functional product which both strips old sealers and coatings as well as drawing out ingrained dirt and stains.

Next, I treated the area with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form, and is used to eliminate efflorescence and mineral deposits. These problems are commonly caused by damp issues which affect old Victorian floors that lack a damp-proof membrane.

I rinsed off the acid gel with water to remove any trace of cleaning product. The floor in question was only around 2m2 and since it was a very warm and sunny day the tiles quickly dried out (assisted with a little help from a heat gun). It’s important the tiles are dry before sealing so later that afternoon I was able to confirm this with the aid of a damp meter.

Sealing Original Victorian Hallway Tiles

To seal the tiles, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer which provides both robust protection and leaves a smooth, glossy finish on the floor. Some customers choose to opt for a sealer which provides a natural-look, matte finish, but in this case the customer really wanted the floor to shine.

Since the floor is so old it’s hard to achieve a ‘perfect’ outcome, but the improvements we can make are still hugely significant. Happily, the customer was very pleased with the result and left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

”Very well mannered, polite and genuine young man. The finished work is good, although only time will tell how long it lasts and continues to shine. Ask me again for feedback in 3 months’ time.”

I’m confident she will not be disappointed.
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Refreshing Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles in Ticknall

This post comes from a lovely house in Ticknall, Derbyshire where the owner had installed a Welsh Slate Tiled Floor in their Kitchen ten years earlier. Welsh Slate is renowned the world over for its quality however ten years of use in a high traffic does take its toll and the customer complained that she wanted the tiles to look colourful with a matt finish but they always looked dull and dirty even after cleaning with mop.

Interested to know the history of the floor I asked when it was last sealed and apparently it had not been redone since it was installed. It was clear to me that any sealer had long since long worn off and now dirt was becoming trapped in the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively.

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

To get the Slate clean I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which as well as cleaning deep into the pores of the tile should also deal with any remaining sealer. I left it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffer machine. After this I rinsed the floor with water and extracted the now soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum.

At this point it became apparent there were some stubborn stains in front of the oven that needed dealing with so I scrubbed in a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acid based product that is great for removing mineral deposits such as salts as well as grout smears. This worked well and the floor was now in ready for sealing so I gave the floor a good rinse to remove any trace of product and left it to dry.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was about 7 square meters in size and being relatively modern it had a Damp Proof Membrane and Underfloor Heating installed, as a result it was fully dry within three hours and ready to take a sealer.

With the floor now dry I started applying the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, thus acting as a shield against ingrained dirt whilst enhancing the natural colour of the tiles to provide an aesthetically appealing appearance. You may recall the owner had requested a matt finish so after applying a couple of coats the job was done.

With the tiles clean and now protected with the colour enhancing matt sealer I asked the customer to inspect the floor. As you can imagine she was very pleased with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Mr Mall was a very efficient, hardworking and helpful worker. The end result was excellent and I am delighted with the outcome. Highly recommend…”
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Yorkstone Tiles Rejuvenated in Deepcar near Sheffield

This customer living at a property in Deepcar near Sheffield, experienced problems keeping their twenty year old Yorkstone floor clean and I was asked to take a look and see what could be done to resolve the situation.

After inspection I could see that the sealer had worn off and now dirt had become lodged in the pores of the stone, leaving the floor looked grey and dull to the extent even the customer couldn’t remember that their stone floor had some colour once! Due to all the problems the customer had with experienced with the floor, they had reached the point where they were thinking of ripping the floor up entirely.

Luckily they had found Tile Doctor and I was more than happy to see what I could do to resolve the problem. Yorkstone is similar to Sandstone which I was very familiar with, so I assured them the floor could be rejuvenated and conducted a test clean on a patch of the floor. Seeing the result, the customer was happy to go ahead with the work.

Cleaning a Dull and Dirty Yorkstone Tiled Floor

To clean the floor and strip away old sealers, I used a strong dilution of our alkaline cleaner known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean, working it into the stone with a black scrubbing pad fitted to my rotary machine. I followed by removing the dirty and chemical-infused water from the floor with a wet vax machine.

Although this combination worked really well, I still found some light traffic areas where some of the old sealer remained. In order to restore a floor properly you have to strip the floor right back and remove all the old treatments from the floor otherwise the final result can look patchy and you may find the new sealer isn’t compatible with the existing.

To these problem areas I applied Tile Doctor’s Remove & Go, which is a dedicated
stripper and coatings remover, applied with a long dwell-time it can remove sealers, draw out ingrained stains and eliminate heavy grease build-up. I left the Remove & Go to soak into the stone for about ten to fifteen minutes before scrubbing it in with the black scrubbing pad, following again by removing the resulting slurry from the floor with a wet wax machine and rinsing the area with water. After the floor was successfully cleaned I carefully rinsed it again to get any trace of cleaning product off the floor and then dried it as much as possible with the wet vacuum.

Sealing a Yorkstone Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the next day, starting by making sure that the floor was completely dry for sealing. Unfortunately, there were some areas that were still very damp. I worked on these damp areas with my heat gun, but couldn’t get them dry enough, so after consulting with the customer, I decided to leave it to dry for another day with heating on maximum and doors/windows opened.

Upon my return these problem areas were less severe, and I managed to get them dry by applying my heat gun for an hour. When the floor was ready to be sealed I applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Sealer, which is a water based sealer (no smell) that provides durable protection and a high quality satin finish.

The customer was really happy with the work carried out and left the following feedback:

“Tony has done a fantastic job on our kitchen floor, which I was considering ripping up due to the state of it – but now it looks like new! Tony was punctual and very hard working – excellent customer service. Have already recommended him to a colleague.”
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Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation in Littleover

From The 1860s Victorian tiled floors started to appear in public buildings and by the 1890s they had become an essential feature in the most ordinary Victorian terraced houses. Although these floors fell out of fashion during the 1960s and ’70s, when many of them were covered over, they are now being rediscovered by their present owners and this is exactly what happened to my customer in the village of Littleover.

The customer had attempted to clean the floor by themselves but they couldn’t archive the result wanted, fortunately they discovered the Derbyshire Tile Doctor and after their call I went over and did a test for cleaning to make sure I can archive the needed results. They were happy with what they saw, so they booked me in to complete the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Floor Tiles

For cleaning the hallway I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctors Pro Clean which is strong multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner. I left the Pro Clean to dwell for 10 minutes and then worked it in the tiles by using a strong black scrubbing pad fitted to my rotary machine. After scrubbing I rinsed the floor several times with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product from the floor.

After successfully cleaning the hall I moved on to the porch which still had some old topical sealer on less walked areas. On these areas I had to use Tile Doctors own very effective stripper Remove and Go. Remove and Go has a long dwell time to remove any given sealer or wax so I left it to soak in for fifteen minutes followed by scrubbing it in with black pad fitted to rotary machine. The next step was to wash off the residue with water which was then removed using a wet vacuum.

Following this the tiles were given a rinse with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product that can remove grout smears and mineral deposits. Last step before sealing was to give the floor a thorough wash down with clean water to remove any cleaning product left on the tiles and then I left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

Next day when I returned I used my damp tester to make sure that the floor is completely dry. Luckily for me floor was all dry and I started sealing. For sealing I used Tile Doctors Colour Grow Sealer which is colour enhancing breathable sealer. I applied 2 coats of the sealer and after every coat I polished off the excess with clean cotton cloths.

The result was really good and my customer was very happy with the work and said that now the floor looks transformed.
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Grout Cleaning and Recolouring for a Stained Shower Cubicle in Ramsbottom

Many homeowners will be able to relate to this post about tiled shower cubicles which can become mouldy, grubby, and just plainly unappealing to look at. The reality is that dirt, mould, and stains can be quite easily removed with the right products if addressed on a regular basis. However, many busy homeowners simply don’t have the time, and subsequently the mould problems gradually worsen over time. This is what had happened at this property in Ramsbottom (a town known for its annual Chocolate Festival) – the customer’s Ceramic tiled shower cubicle had not been adequately cleaned in a long time, resulting in severe staining that would prove impossible to remove entirely.

When the customer contacted me after finding Tile Doctor over the internet, I suggested that I could provide the grout with the best clean possible before re-colouring the grout with a white Grout Colourant to hide the staining and it back to looking similar to its original condition. The customer agreed that this would be the best course of action, and booked me in to complete the work.

Cleaning Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle Grout

The first step in the restoration was to get the grout ready for the new Grout Colourant to be applied. This involved cleaning the grout with Tile Doctor Pre-Treat Cleaner, which successfully removed the various dirt, soil, soap scum and hard water deposits that had built up after plenty of exposure to acidic shampoos and soaps. Getting the grout joints clean allows the colourant to form a better bond with the grout.

The Pre-Treat Cleaner was sprayed onto the grout and left to dwell for roughly five minutes before being agitated with a grout brush. Next, I rinsed the grout with water and removed the old and mouldy silicone around the shower cubicle.

Colouring Grout and Siliconing for a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

After running tests I discovered a few damp issues, but these were quickly resolved with the help of my heat gun. With the grout now ready to be coloured, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor’s white Grout Colourant, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second.

The Grout Colourant is an epoxy-based product that seals and rejuvenates the grout, protecting it against future staining and making it easy to clean in the future. After completing the grout colouring I cleaned up the area – including removing any excess product – and then applied fresh silicone in a matching white around the base of the shower cubicle.

As you can see from the photographs, the appearance of the shower cubicle was transformed by the new Colourant. My customer even left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Tony was polite punctual and efficient. We are very happy with his work!”
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Restoring the Look of Badly Stained Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Matlock

Having an effective sealer in place is essential for ensuring the long term condition of tiled floors in fact a lack of sealer can make cleaning the tiles exceptionally difficult as the sealer prevents dirt becoming ingrained in the tile.

This property owner, living in the former spa town of Matlock in Derbyshire, was experiencing problems with their Terracotta tiled kitchen floor since they had applied some kind of wax to act as a sealer, and this had worn off within a few weeks. After this happened the tiles were not sealed again, making cleaning a big problem. Terracotta is a highly porous stone and thus easily soaks in spillages and stains, and allows dirt to become very easily trapped.

In this situation, the property owner resolved to contact me about some professional maintenance. I suggested that the tiles would need a deep clean followed by the application of a fresh, high quality sealer. The work was agreed on and I made my way down to the property the following week.

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

When I arrived at the property and saw the tiles first hand it became clear that a professional clean had been in need for a long time: greasy looking stains were particularly prevalent and covered large areas of the kitchen floor.

To remove I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a multi-purpose, high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser, and, working in small areas, applied it to the floor. Working in small sections was important because the stone is very porous and quickly soaked in any product laid down. I scrubbed the cleaner into the stone using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, with the dirt and stains coming away nicely. Pro Clean is highly versatile and can be used for similar cleaning purposes on most types of natural stone floor.

After cleaning each section, I quickly removed the excess dirty water and chemicals with my wet vax machine. Once the whole floor had been cleaned I rinsed it several times with fresh water just to make sure all cleaning chemicals were gone. I then left the floor to dry completely for 36 hours.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

When I returned to the property, I conducted several damp tests to check for any areas of the floor that needed further drying. As is almost always the case, there were a few areas that remained slightly damp, and I set about speeding the drying process along using my heat gun. In fact, it actually took me more than three hours to get the floor completely dry, but this was worth the effort as even the slightest excess moisture can damage the performance of the sealer.

Once the floor was finally dried I began sealing the floor with one coat of Tile a Doctor Colour Grow sealer. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, thus acting as a shield against ingrained dirt, and also raises the colour of the tiles to provide an aesthetically appealing appearance. sealer. After sealing with Colour Grow, I left the floor to dry for couple of hours and then applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which is a topical sealer that builds up durable protection on the surface of the tiles.

The combination of through cleaning and the application of not one, but two high quality sealers really did wonders for the appearance of these Terracotta tiles. Looking at the final results you wouldn’t have believed they had been without a proper clean and seal for so long! Needless to say the customer was exceptionally pleased and will surely be able to keep her floor looking great for a long time to come.
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Dull Travertine Kitchen Floor Burnished and Polished in Ashbourne

This customer had some real difficulty in getting their fantastic Travertine tiled kitchen area looking as good as it should. The cleaning methods they had previously employed were unable to prevent the tiles from appearing dull, and the customer was also unable to deal with the displeasing marks and small cracks damaging the stone.

Keen to get the floor back to looking its best, the customer called me down to their property, which overlooks the beautiful countryside area of Ashbourne, to see what could be done to restore the tiles.

Burnishing a Dull Travertine Tiled Floor

Upon my arrival at the property, I assessed the situation and resolved that the best way to restore the polish and general appearance of the floor was to use a process known as burnishing. The burnishing process, which involves the application of four diamond encrusted polishing pads of varying grit, works to grind away ingrained dirt while smoothing and polishing rough surfaces. Most commonly we use burnishing to restore the shine to Limestone and Marble tiles, but it can be used on most types of natural stone floor where a deep polish is required.

To start the process, I applied the Coarse 400 grit burnishing pad to the floor using a small amount of water as lubrication in order to break down and remove any old sealer from the stone. Once this had been done across the entirety of the floor, I removed any soiled water with a wet-vac machine; this removal of soiled residue was repeated after each use of a burnishing pad.

Next, I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad which is less coarse than the 400 grit, but still rough enough still to break down layers of ingrained dirt. I followed this up with the application of a Fine 1500 grit pad, which started to smooth down the rough areas of the surface to prepare the floor for a final polish with an even finer burnishing pad later on. Before moving straight on to the final of the four pads, I took the time to carefully fill in the all of the small cracks and holes in the stone, before leaving the floor to dry until the next day.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property to finish off the floor restoration. As soon as I arrived I used a damp tester to make sure the floor was completely dry. Noticing a number of small damp spots, I opted to use my heat gun to speed up the drying process.

Once the floor was completely dry, I used the Very Fine 3000 burnishing pad – the last of the four – without any lubricant to finally achieve a high quality polished finish. For polished floors it is recommended to use an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the stone rather than sitting on the surface of the floor, as this ensures the quality of the polish isn’t damaged.

As such I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. This is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection and allows the surface to breathe whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone. It’s important that any sealer that doesn’t penetrate into the stone is removed by polishing it off with a cloth.

After completing the seal, I went over the floor for a final time with the 3000 grit diamond burnishing pad to leave a smooth and shiny polished finish. Needless to say that the customer was very happy with result as they had never before been able to get the floor looking this good!
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Fantastic 1920’s Victorian Tiled Floor Unearthed and Restored in Derby

Victorian tiled floors are timeless – despite first coming into popular use in UK houses during the 19th century, they’ve remained stylish in the eyes of many homeowners and interior designers. This fantastic black and white patterned example at a property in Derby dates back to 1929. However, the owners only recently discovered the floor, it having being hidden under carpet for many years.

Discovering a tiled floor beneath carpet like this is, in my experience, a relatively common occurrence, yet it can be difficult to restore the tiles back to their original condition without professional assistance. In this instance – as is the case with most examples – the tiles were marked with numerous glue stains from where the carpet had been originally installed. Initially, the customer had tried to clean the tiles themselves but, despite successfully removing most of the glue stains, they couldn’t achieve the full restoration they were hoping for.

This is where I stepped in – to provide the floor with the deep clean and fresh seal it desperately needed.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

While the customer had succeeded in providing the tiles with a basic clean, I needed to take it one step further. To do this, I firstly mixed a strongly diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water, before applying this to floor and scrubbing it directly into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to my buffing machine.

Pro-Clean is multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser. This did the job to remove ingrained dirt in large areas of the floor, but in some places a stronger product was required. To tackle these stubborn areas, I used Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, which was applied to the floor in combination with my steam cleaner. NanoTech HBU is a heavy soil build-up remover designed to reaches areas within the stone that other cleaners are unable to. It utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate below tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them out.

After a thorough clean with this product the floor looked ready to be sealed. Nonetheless, before moving on to the sealing process, I carefully rinsed the entire floor three times with fresh water to rid the floor of any excess chemicals left over from the cleaning. I then removed the water with my wet vax machine.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry for five days as there was a slight dampness issue in one corner. When I returned to the property, I made sure the floor was completely dry by conducting several damp tests. The corner with the damp issue was just a bit damp still, so I opted to use my heat gun to solve the problem, and not long after the floor was ready for sealing. Removing all excess moisture before sealing is essential as it can cloud the sealer and damage its ability to protect the tiles.

For sealing, I used four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra sealer. This is a special acrylic-based formula which allows moisture vapour transmission making it fully breathable and ideal for situations where no damp proof membrane has been installed and where mineral salt deposits (efflorescence) are more likely to occur which is not uncommon with these old floors. As well as enhancing the appearance of the floor the sealer will provide a layer of protection to the surface of the tiles and prevent dirt and stains from becoming ingrained in the pores.

The results of the restoration were fantastic – in fact, if you had seen the restored the floor for the first time, you might have thought it was only recently installed! As you can see from the Before and After photos, the floor was completely transformed, from a dull, dirty and worn condition to looking almost brand new.

The customer was very happy with the work and no doubt will be much looking forward to showing off her new floor!
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