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Matthew Harris
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Restoring the Spoiled Appearance of a Sandstone Tiled Patio in Bedford

This is the ideal time of year for property owners to not only think about restoring their internal natural stone floor tiles, but also their external tiles. With it being Summer, the weather is warm and dry enough for patio restorations to take place.

The photographs below show a recent restoration of a two-year old Sandstone tiled patio at a property on a new build development in Bedford, the country town of Bedfordshire. Sandstone is a naturally porous stone, which does make it more vulnerable to the elements when it is used for outside flooring and is not sealed.

Unfortunately, the patio had not been sealed when it was first installed, and during the two years since, the combination of damp weather, a lack of sunlight in shaded areas, and a build-up of green staining from moss spores – together with general dirt and grime – had greatly spoiled the appearance of the beautiful stone.

Cleaning a Spoiled Sandstone Tiled Patio

My first course of action in carrying out the restoration was to lightly coat the patio with Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is a multi-purpose, alkaline-based cleaner which is suitable for use on most natural stone, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone, Slate, and Travertine.

The product was subsequently agitated with a scrubbing brush fitted to a rotary machine, before I pressure washed the patio at a medium pressure to avoid damaging the stone. As you can see from the photos below, this cleaning made a great improvement to the condition of the patio – in fact, it appeared almost new again! The customer was very pleased with the outcome.

The customer decided not to have the patio sealed, as he preferred the natural look and would prefer to have it cleaned on a yearly basis. Sealing is less important for external tiles, as compared to internal tiles, however if you do decide not to seal your patio, it’s highly recommended that you establish a routine maintenance plan for the stone. Otherwise, you run the risk – after just a few years – of allowing your tiles to end up in a similar condition to this Sandstone tiled patio before it had been restored.
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Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Refreshed in Bedford

This was a very straightforward request to clean and seal an old Quarry tiled floor that dated back to the Victorian era. The tiles didn’t appear to have any sealer or other treatment applied, it could be if there was anything it had worn off a long time before.

Cleaning Old Quarry Tiles

A strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak into the tile for around twenty minutes before being worked into the floor using a rotary floor scrubber fitted with a black pad. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline product so unlike acid based cleaners it’s safe to use on any tile and stone which given the age of these tiles was quite an important consideration.

Pro-Clean was also used along the grout lines which were scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed with clean water which was removed using a wet vacuum and the whole process repeated until we were happy that the tile and grout was clean.

This process took most of the day and before we left the floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water to remove any trace of Pro-Clean as this can upset sealing later on.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The floor was left to dry overnight and when we came back the next day we were able to start the sealing process. For sealing a combination of sealers was used starting with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow; Colour Grow is a impregnating sealer that fills the pores in the tile in order to repel any contaminates that can stain the floor, it also as its name suggests brings out the colour in the tile. Once this had dried a coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go was applied which is a topical sealer that adds a nice sheen to the floor. This proved to be a great combination and the quarry tiles looked really nice when they were finished in fact the customer was so surprised by the result we had managed to achieve.
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Cleaning Ceramic Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bedford

The photograph below was taken in the kitchen of a residence in Bedford where the new owner wanted the Ceramic floor tiles deep cleaned before they moved in; you can see for yourself how dirty they had become.

Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tiles

To get the clean Ceramic tiles clean I applied a medium strength dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean with a mop; this was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for around twenty minutes. The next step was to then run over the floor using our high pressure Rotovac machine which applies and removes water at high pressure to remove the soil and rinse the floor at the same time. The Rotovac machines are an expensive investment but they do make Tile Cleaning easier, they are also flexible and can be used for carpet cleaning etc.
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Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Cleaned and Sealed in Leighton Buzzard

This Ceramic tiled family bathroom with shower was installed at house in Leighton Buzzard and was in need of rejuvenation. You can see from the photograph below that the tiles were in reasonable condition but the grout had become ingrained with dirt which is not unknown as the top layer of grout is porous and will discolour over time if not protected.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile and Grout

The Ceramic tiles and grout were treated using a strong 2:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultraclean which combines a highly powerful Tile and Grout cleaning product with tiny abrasive particles. For vertical tiled surfaces I recommend the mixture is decanted into a bottle with a trigger spray attachment which when sprayed onto the wall allows the cleaner to mix with air making it lighter and allowing it to stick better. The solution was then worked in using a stiff scrubbing brush by hand before being rinsed off with water; this process was repeated a number of times until we had managed to clean all the areas and then left to dry.

Sealing Grout

The grout was dried and the sealed with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Grout Sealer which forms a protective barrier over the porous grout and keeps it looking good for longer. Most sealers can be used on grout (check the label to confirm) but for best results use a spray bottle as mixing the sealer with air improves its ability to stick to a vertical surface.
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