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Kamila Logozny
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Deep Cleaning a Sandstone Flagstone Floor in Burscough

This customer had just moved into a lovely property in the small Lancashire town of Burscough and wanted to have the Sandstone Kitchen floor professionally renovated as it was not looking its best.

I arranged an appointment to visit the property after discussing the floor over the phone, some customers like to get a quote over the phone and although I’m happy to give someone a ball park figure I really need to see the floor in order to give them an accurate price as you simply don’t know what your going to find.

Upon inspecting the floor inspect the floor I could see the previous owner had sealed the floor with multiple layers of Varnish which is not a suitable agent for protecting Sandstone floors. The stone was the riven variety and was trapping dirt across its veins and was now proving difficult to clean, the grout had also gone black with dirt. Undeterred I did a test clean on part of the floor and the results proved promising, so we agreed a price and date to return and complete the job.

Deep Cleaning a Sandstone Kitchen Floor
To deep clean the floor the sandstone flagstones were covered in a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU Remover which stands for Heavy Build-Up Remover. It was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed clean using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The now dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor rinsed with water.

I had to repeat the process on stubborn stains assisted with a steam cleaner to lift the dirt out of the pores of the stone. Once I was happy with the floor I gave it a final rinse to with water to neutralise the floor and remove any trace of cleaning products. It was then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum and then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Kitchen Floor
I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter, the flagstones were dry, so I was able to proceed as planned. To seal the stone, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a breathable acrylic sealer that can be used on internal and external Sandstone flagstone floors and does a nice job of lifting the appearance of the stone.

You can see from the final photograph that the Sandstone flagstones and grout now looks so much better. My Customer was amazed with the transformation and the floor now looks brand new, they even left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Extremely happy with the end result. Kamila was knowledgeable & professional. We cant recommend her enough. Paul B., Burscough
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Etched and Damaged Limestone Kitchen Tiles Restored in Todmorden

There is perhaps nothing more frustrating as a homeowner than trying to keep your house clean, only to accidentally make things worse. This is often due to a misunderstanding around suitable cleaning products for different types of surfaces.

In the case of natural stone tiles using the right products is imperative and you really should read the label, as the wrong product can actively damage the floor. A customer of mine, who lives in Todmorden, a market town in Pennines, found this out the hard way. Just six months earlier, the customer had installed a new Limestone tiled floor in the Kitchen but was becoming increasingly unhappy with it as they found it difficult to keep it clean.

Nothing they could do seemed to help. To make matters worse, they had not been given any information on the correct maintenance of the floor by the original flooring company. As a result, they had tried to use several unsafe cleaning products including bleach and CIF. These acidic products had stripped away the sealer that was protecting the stone, and caused etching marks on the stone. This made cleaning the stone with normal methods nearly impossible.

The only method that could possibly save the tiles is one used by Tile Doctor, which is known as burnishing. When the customer contacted me, I suggested that this would be the best course of action. Given that the customer was on the verge of giving up, they were happy to book in the work.

Burnishing a Damaged Limestone Tiled Floor
To restore the Limestone tiles back to their original condition, I used the Tile Doctor four-pad burnishing system. In this system, we use four diamond encrusted burnishing pads of varying grits to grind away the damaged layer of stone, before slowing honing the surface and restoring the polished finish.

Depending on the size of the pads and the size of the affect area, they are either fitted to a handheld machine or to a larger rotary machine and applied directly to the surface with a small amount of water as lubrication.

I started with the first of the four pads, which is a Coarse 400 grit pad and is designed to strip off any old sealers and to grind away the marks caused by the etching. I then proceeded to work my way in sequence through the next three pads, moving from Medium 800 grit, on to Fine 1500 grit and finally to Very Fine 3000 grit. I paused to rinse the floor with fresh water between each pad to remove any resulting soil and mess.

The combination of diamond encrusted burnishing pads was highly effective in grinding out any scratches and achieved a high-quality polished finish to ensure the floor looked perfect.

Sealing a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor
Once it had been left to dry, I sealed the Limestone tile was sealed with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is a premium solvent-based penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection and to leave a no-sheen, natural look finish.

The customer very happy indeed with the result after believing nothing could be done to remedy the situation. I ensured they received the right advice on how to keep it clean until it would need routine maintenance from a professional tile cleaning company.
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Cleaning Shower Cubicle Grout in Walshaw

The photograph below is of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle at a house in the lovely village of Walshaw which is part of the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, near Tottington and Bury. Most of the grout had darkened and some of the grout had cracked and had fallen out, the silicone seal at the bottom of the shower had gone mouldy in places and would also need replacing.

I find mould is a common problem in bathrooms and more prevalent in smaller bathrooms where the hot air and steam are unable to dissipate as easily creating the ideal environment for mould to grow. The solution is improved ventilation; alternatively you can keep on top of the situation by regular cleaning with Tile Doctor Duo Clean.

Tile and Grout Cleaning
To tackle this installation I started by spraying the Tile and Grout down with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean, let it soak in for about ten minutes and then scrubbed it in by hand with a stiff brush followed by rinsing with water. This made a big improvement however there were still areas where the grout was still showing evidence of staining and would need a grout colourant applied to make it look like new again.

Next step however was to rake out the areas of grout that had crumbled and replace with new. Being a Tile Doctor this is something we are very familiar with and once the grout had dried I was able to move onto colouring.

Normally I would recommend using a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater before colouring however in this case I felt the scrub down I gave the grout with Duo-Clean would prepare the grout sufficiently and further preparation would not be necessary. The colourant is painted on using a small brush over the grout and any excess wiped off the ceramic tiles. The process makes a big difference to the look of a shower and the colourant provides a barrier over the grout making it easier to clean in future.

Last step was to strip out the silicone sealant between the shower wall and tray and replace with a new mould resistant sealant in white.

The shower cubicle was transformed and now looks as though it was recently installed.
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Very Dirty Porcelain Kitchen Tiles Refreshed in Heywood

Porcelain tiles are known to be provide durability at a reasonably low cost in comparison to some other types of stone flooring however you do have to be careful as many varieties are micro-porous and need to be sealed to ensure dirt doesn’t become ingrained making them difficult to clean.

I recently visited a customer in Heywood, which sits between Bury and Rochdale, who was suffering from this exact problem. Their Porcelain kitchen tiles had been laid about twelve months prior as part of some changes to the property. Unfortunately, builder’s dirt, grout and plaster got stuck to the tiles during the building works and nothing the customer had tried could get it out. The customer was very unhappy with the floor and thought that nothing would resolve the issue, they had even considered ripping it out and getting new flooring.

As their last cry for help, they got in touch with Tile Doctor and being their local representative, I went around to take a look at the problem. I conducted a test clean using Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our highly reliable alkaline-based cleaner for tile and stone. The product was scrubbed into a test patch of the tile and grout with a black pad. The results were promising and so the customer booked a day for us to do the job.

Cleaning a Dirty Micro Porous Porcelain Tiled Floor
On our return we repeated the process with Pro-Clean using a black scrubbing pad this time fitted to a heavy rotary machine which weighs 41kg! This combined with the Pro Clean gave the tile and grout a deep clean. Some stubborn areas were scrubbed by hand, especially in the corners where machine would not reach. The grout lines were also given special attention with a grout brush and more Pro-Clean to get them clean again.

The now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed with water and then removed using a wet vacuum. Being micro-porous the tiles didn’t take too long to dry.

Sealing a Micro Porous Porcelain Tiled Floor
The results from the cleaning were great so, once the floor had dried completely, we sealed the tiles using a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the Porcelain and Grout and also to ensure the floor would be much easier to clean in future.

Ultra-Seal is a premium quality sealer which offers a natural look finish and is designed to provide maximum stain protection, which makes it excellent for use in food preparation and serving areas such as this kitchen. It also very works well as a grout sealer.

The customer was over the moon with the outcome of the clean. Perhaps most importantly, this job has saved them the significant cost of having to replace the floor. Another satisfied customer!
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Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tiles in Blackburn

Close-up photo below of a Travertine tiled floor installed in a house in the former mill town of Blackburn where simply put the polished appearance had worn off and was now looking dull and unappealing.

I popped round to the house to take a look and could see that the tiles would need to be burnished to restore the polished appearance. To demonstrate the difference this would make I polished one of the tiles using the Tile Doctor burnishing pad system which consists of the application of four 17 inch diamond encrusted pads applied in sequence from coarse to very fine with a rotary buffer. The customer was amazed at the difference and we agreed a date to come in and complete the whole floor in time for the Christmas holidays.

Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine
On my return I repeated the burnishing process across the entire floor starting with the 400 Grit Coarse Red No.1 Burnishing Pad which strips off old sealers and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polish with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and I turned my attention to the grout which was scrubbed by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. The floor was given another rinse and then inspected to ensure I hadn’t missed anything. Before leaving for the day I used the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible.

At this point the customer commented that the floor looked amazing and that the floor never looked this good, even after it was first installed.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles
On the second days we used the 4th burnishing pad which is a 3000 grit pad to burnish and polish the surface until it came up looking gorgeous and glossy. With this pad you simply spray a little water on the floor during the polishing process, something we call a spray burnish.

The last step was to seal the tiles using a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which was applied and then buffed in with a white pad to remove any excess. Ultra-Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection.

The customer was really pleased with the difference we had made to the floor and before leaving we advised the customer of the best way to maintain the floor using neutral PH cleaners and to avoid strong cleaning products which can erode the life of the sealer prematurely.
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Old Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor Refurbished in Haslingden Rossendale

This client had contacted us for help renovating their Flagstone hallway floor as nothing they did was helping to keep them clean. The problem with the tiles was due to the pores of the flagstone being ingrained with dirt and once this happens they are really difficult to clean effectively. This is why we always recommend stones floors are sealed after cleaning.

After a successful survey that included measuring background moisture levels and testing different products for stain removal I was able to work out the best process for cleaning the floor and a day to clean and seal the tiles was scheduled.

Deep Cleaning Flagstone Hallway Tiles
I’d established during my earlier testing that I would need a very strong cleaning product to get the floor clean and deal with the stubborn staining that was present and with that in mind I applied Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and is a problem solving tile cleaner and stain remover that adds nano-sized abrasive particles to the mix. This was left to dwell on the floor for a few hours and additionally was covered with a plastic sheet to prevent it from drying out. I then gave the floor a scrub using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine and a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for good measure.

Once happy with the result the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor given a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products. Again the wet vacuum was used to remove the fluids and extract as much moisture from the stone as possible. The floor was then left to dry out fully overnight assisted with a floor dryer to help accelerate the process.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor
We came back the next day and tested the floor with a damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone. The air mover had done its job and the Flagstones were dry so we proceeded to seal the floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which penetrates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the stone.

It’s difficult to appreciate from the photographs but the customer was amazed at how much of a difference our process had made and at how much dirt we were able to remove. The flagstones were probably more then 100 years old and more aggressive machinery and cleaning products were the only things that would shift the old dirt. The fresh sealer will also ensure the floor is much easier to clean in future.
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Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Renovated for a Property Investor in Burnley

A property investor contacted Tile Doctor to see if we could help renovate a property that was to be sold in few weeks’ time. To get maximum value from the investment she wanted to preserve the character and period features of the house including the Victorian Tiled Hallway floor, which as you can see from the photograph below was in need a bit of TLC!.

Victorian tiled floors and other period features have become very popular in recent years and are often discovered under hallway carpets covered in years of dirt. Fortunately, they are very resilient and with the right techniques and products can be restored back to their former glory.

On our initial visit I conducted a survey of the floor to check its condition and work out the most suitable products and methods to employ to restore it. One of the main concerns we have with these old floors is damp as damp-proof membranes were not invented until relatively recently. I have a damp meter to check for this and it did indicate high moisture levels which isn’t really an issue for cleaning the floor but would restrict our choice of sealer to those which are fully breathable and allow moisture to rise-up through the tile. We agreed a price and schedule with the customer and within two weeks we were able to start the work.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was in quite a state, made worse I suspect by recent restoration work by other contractors who unfortunately didn’t take as much care with the floor as the could have done.

After protecting the skirting boards and carpets with film work got underway starting by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor to strip away old sealers and other coatings. This product also helps to break down the paint stains on the surface of the tile, though I also used a handheld scraper, as well as a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, to speed up the process. The resultant slurry was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor clean of coatings, the next step was to deep clean the tiles with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaning product that deeply cleans away ingrained stains. Again, we used a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine to make the job easier. Corners were tough to tackle with a machine, so we had to do them by hand.
The floor was given a final rinse to remove any soil and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used a final time to extract as much moisture out of the floor as possible. Upon finishing the cleaning, we left the floor for a few days, so it could dry out fully.

Dealing with Efflorescence

When we came back to seal the floor we noticed problems with white salt deposits coming to the surface of the tile a problem known as efflorescence. I had suspected this might become an issue but there was no indication of it happening before so was not overly concerned at the time. However, it meant I could not seal the floor as planned until the efflorescence had been dealt with. Fortunately salts like these can be treated and to resolve the problem I gave the floor a wipe with a solution of Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form, formulated to remove grout haze (grout smears) and treat efflorescence. Once this was done the floor was given a light rinse and dried again.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry again for a few more days and on my return, I was pleased to see the problem had not resurfaced and I was able to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

To seal the tiles, I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a penetrating sealer designed to soak into the pores of the clay thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained whilst additionally enhancing the colours in the tile. The sealer really deepened the colours in the tile bringing them to life and with Colour Grow being fully breathable there shouldn’t be any issues with damp becoming trapped under the tile and causing issues later.

The customer was delighted with the results (see feedback below) and the work we did should more than pay for itself when the house goes on the market.

“Thoroughly impressed with Kamila, she was so lovely, professional and thorough! Our tiles look amazing and I was especially happy with how quick she sorted that floor out from the first email I sent. Janice M., Burnley”
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Cleaning Student Shower Cubicle Tile and Grout at Oldham University

Earlier in the year we were contacted by the facilities manager of one of the student apartment blocks in Oldham which provides accommodation for the students of Oldham University. They were looking for a firm to revamp the student en-suite bathrooms during the summer recess. The building has 270 apartments and we had been asked to quote for the renewal of the ceramic tile and grout of around 45 shower cubicles (possibly more) which were judged to be in a bad state and beyond the ability of their in-house cleaning team.

The University runs degree courses from Accounting to Sports Coaching and as you can image Students are not known for their cleanliness so we knew we would have our work cut out completing the assignment on time.

Several companies competing for the work however after successfully demonstrating what we can do with a patch test in one of the bathrooms and comparing of quotes I’m pleased to say the facilities company awarded us the contract!

Tile and Grout Cleaning

We returned in the summer and facing a time limit to complete the work we worked out a system whereby we would spray the Tile and Grout down with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean, let it soak in for about ten minutes and then scrubbed it in by hand with a stiff brush. Duo Clean is an effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover that can remove mould and blackspot from grout and silicone. It’s really useful for cleaning shower tiles as the spay attachment mixes the product with air as its spayed onto the surface allowing it to stick to vertical surfaces more easily. Once the tile and grout was clean it was rinsed off with water and stubborn areas re-treated until clean.

Duo Clean is effective at dealing with Mould on Silicone in most situations however some of the silicon sealant was beyond cleaning so in these cases the old Silicone was stripped out and replaced with new.

We were able to clean all the shower tile and grout using this process however I had brought a long a few Grout Colouring kits as a back-up solution just in case. Once the grout is clean the colourant is painted on using a small brush and makes a huge difference to the look of a shower. There also inexpensive and provide a barrier over the grout so it keeps its appearance for longer.

There were a lot of bathrooms to cover so once the cubicle was spotless we immediately moved onto the next one completing the whole project three days ahead of the due date.

The facilities manager was delighted with results and timing of our work and it just goes to show that using the right cleaning products can save you time and money compared to the alternative of re-grouting.
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Old Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated at a Stacksteads Cottage near Backup

The pictures below were taken in the Kitchen of a charming cottage situated in the village of Stacksteads near the town of Backup, North of Manchester in the district of Rossendale. The flagstone floor was over 100 years old and the customer was unhappy with their appearance. They had tried to clean/mill and seal themselves a few years ago and had found the process hard work and very time consuming. This time round they decided to ask professional applicator at Tile Doctor for help.

We had conducted a small patch test so we could show possible results to the customer. They had also advised us that they felt the stained areas of grout was beyond cleaning and would probably need replacing. However replacing the grout would have been quite an expensive option so instead of replacing we suggested deep cleaning the grout lines during the renovation process.

The customers were happy with the results of the patch test so the job was booked in.

Deep Cleaning Old Flagstone Flooring

On our return visit we set about deep cleaning the flagstones using a strong dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in using a Black Scrubbing pad fitter to a rotary cleaning machine. This action certainly gave the floor a good clean and removed the old sealer but some stains were proving stubborn to shift so we tried a stronger product called Remove and Go combined 50/50 with NanoTech HBU which add nano-sized abrasive particles to the mix.

We left the resulting formula to soak into the stone for a while and then scrubbed it into the floor with a stiff brush paying particular attention to the grout lines. This did the trick and so we then removed the now soiled and dirty cleaning products with a wet vacuum and washed down the floor with clean water to remove any trace of product and neutralise the floor before sealing. We then left for the evening so the floor could dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

We came back the next day and tested the floor with a damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone. The Flagstone was dry so we proceeded to seal the floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which penetrates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the stone.

The beautiful colours of blue and dark sand were showing after sealing with Colour Grow which is the best sealer for stone floors. Certainly the customer was very happy with the results and left the following 5 star review!

We could not praise Kamila enough. Our flagstone floor was in desperate need of some TLC. She was punctual, thorough and completely professional. Throughout the whole process she invited me to see the progress and to keep me informed of what she was doing. She also gave us good advice on how to clean and care for our stone floor. The end result is fabulous and we are absolutely delighted. We would definitely recommend Kamila to anyone.
Jo H, Bacup
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Restoration results on some of the work we have done as Tile Doctor Cleaning Specialists.
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9/13/17
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