Monthly Archives: October 2012

By Beau Keyes, eHow Contributor

Granite is more expensive than most other stone materials, but its beautiful look and public perception make it a sought-after choice for surfaces such as countertops. Although granite is fairly rugged and durable, it is not unheard of to have to make a repair at some point. Hairline cracks are especially common in granite that is improperly installed or when there has been a sudden and forceful impact against the surface. Hairline cracks are the easiest form of damage to repair and hide, and doing so will help you avoid a costly replacement.

Things You’ll Need

  • Sponge
  • Acetone cleaner
  • Cyanocrylate adhesive
  • Razor blades
  • Permanent marker
  • Granite sealer or wax


  1. Wipe the counter down with a damp sponge to remove any dust, debris or other foreign material.
  2. Apply a few drops of acetone to a clean rag and wipe it over the scratch. Feather the acetone out from the scratch approximately 1 inch on either side. Allow the granite surface to air-dry completely.
  3. Squeeze a thin line of cyanoacrylate into the crack. The adhesive will seep into the crack and fill it totally. Use enough of the substance so that it overfills and doesn’t completely sink into the defect. The adhesive will spread slightly as it dries and flares out across the granite.
  4. Scrape excess cyanoacrylate away with a razor blade. Hold the razor blade with the edge at a 90-degree angle to the granite surface and evenly drag it across in a sweeping motion to remove the raised area and leave the granite smooth. Be careful not to dig the razor blade into the cyanoacrylate. If you damage the crack repair with the blade, you may need to add more cyanoacrylate to the crack and repeat the process.
  5. Color the crack with a permanent marker to more closely match the color of the rest of the granite. This isn’t always needed for hairline cracks, as they are often more difficult to see than larger defects are once the repair is complete. Let the repair dry completely over night.
  6. Seal the stone with a granite wax or sealer, following the product instructions. When the sealer or wax is dry, buff the entire piece of granite with a soft cloth until the surface shines and the scratch is virtually undetectable.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply a granite sealer every year to keep the surface looking good and also to protect the surface from further cracks.
  • Sealer alone won’t repair or hide the crack, as it easily soaks into the porous unsealed stone rather than filling the crack.


We were asked to look a bathroom at a flat in Kensington by a property management company; the slate tiled floor was textured with lines and the stone was affected by a number of problems including limescale and grout haze which had been partly sealed in. The owner was at the property when I arrived and I was able to demonstrate how it was possible to remove the limescale and grout haze using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product and so was given instructions to complete the job.

Line Textured Slate Kensington Before

Removing Limescale from Textured Slate

Armed with more quantities of Grout Clean-Up we were able to remove the limescale from the surface of the slate tile. The floor was then rinsed and then covered with Tile Doctor Remove and Go in order to remove the remaining sealer. We had to repeat this process twice in order to remove the grout haze that had been locked in under the sealer.

Sealing Textured Slate

After a thorough rinsing down to ensure no products remained on the floor we left it to dry and returned later to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will provide future protection and as you can see from the photographs really helped to give the floors appearance..

Line Textured Slate Kensington Partly Sealed Line Textured Slate Kensington Sealed

I then explained how to clean the tiles going forward. She was extremely happy with the work carried out and also pleased with the management company for contacting us in the first place.
Source: Limescale removal from a Slate Tiled Floor

By Emily Beach, eHow Contributor

Floor Preparation
Terrazzo flooring is typically installed over a concrete subfloor. Some installers add a thin layer of sand and cement to the concrete while others pour the terrazzo directly onto the concrete. Before installation can begin, the floor must be properly prepared to receive this material. First, metal divider strips are arranged to separate different colors or designs that are planned for the terrazzo floor. These strips are made from brass, copper or aluminum depending on the desired finish. The strips may be glued to the concrete subfloor using an epoxy adhesive or may simply be set into the sand and cement base, if applicable. Additional metal dividers are also placed at control joints along the concrete floor. This helps prevent the terrazzo from cracking due to shifts in the concrete. Finally, a concrete primer is added to the entire floor to help the terrazzo bond with the surface.

Pouring the Terrazzo
A terrazzo floor is made from a two part epoxy mixture. This mixture contains an epoxy resin and a complementary hardener, which must be mixed immediately before use because of their quick drying time. Some terrazzo floors use pigments and dyes to color the epoxy, while others use a clear finish. The epoxy is mixed and spread within the metal strips using a trowel. As soon as it has been poured, an aggregate mixture is spread across the surface. This aggregate may contain glass, marble or stone, and may be a blend of several different materials. The aggregate will settle into the epoxy as it hardens so that some stones rest at the surface and others are embedded underneath. One color at a time is poured and allowed to dry overnight. This process is repeated until the entire floor has been poured and allowed to cure.

Polishing and Sealing
After the terrazzo is dry, installers use a heavy-duty floor grinder to polish the surface. They start with a high level of abrasion and repeat the process using finer and finer grinding tools. When this process is complete, the floor is very smooth and even, with little to no texture. After the polishing is complete, a clear sealer is added to the surface of the floor. This sealer prevents water and other substances from permeating the surface, helping to repel stains and prolong the life of the terrazzo.


We were asked to clean and seal these black Porcelain floor tiles that had been laid in a bridal shop in the Lakeside shopping centre. The shop fitters and builders had been in to setup the internal layout and the floor was looking dull and not in a presentable state good enough for the shop opening.

Black Porcelain Floor Before Photo

Cleaning black Porcelain floor tiles

We set about scrubbing the floor using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean Tile and Grout cleaner followed by a thorough rinse. We then waited for it to dry before buffing the porcelain tile surface to a deep shine with a white buffing pad.

The floor was ready for sealing so we applied Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to a small test area but it didn’t take, not wishing to waste our time or the customers’ money we called it a day. Most porcelain tiles won’t take a sealer however some are micro porous and do need sealing so it’s always best to check.

Black Porcelain Floor After Photo

They were really pleased with result and they were even happier we were honest about not charging them for not sealing the floor; the deep shine on the floor really did look spectacular.

Black Porcelain Floor Photo
Source: Cleaning Shiny Black Porcelain Tiles

By Jennifer Williams, eHow Contributor

Pebble tile is a cheap way to use small and medium sized pebbles as flooring. Pebble tile flooring brings a natural, zen-like element to a room, and is much easier to lay than flooring made from pebbles and epoxy resin. Pebble tile is small pebbles attached to a nylon mesh backing. It can be cut to fit the project space with a utility knife. Pebble tile installs with thin set mortar and requires sealing and grouting.

Things You’ll Need

  • Pebble tile
  • Thin set mortar
  • Notched trowel
  • Sealant
  • Paint brush
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Bucket

Measure the project area and calculate the square footage of pebble tile needed to cover the floor.

Clean the project floor area thoroughly and fill any cracks or divots in the sub-floor with the appropriate medium for the sub-floor’s composition.

Trowel thin set mortar onto the project floor area with a notched tile adhesive trowel.

Place the pebble tile against one edge of the project floor, in the adhesive, and lightly tap the pebbles to set them into the adhesive without pushing them down too far. Set the second course of pebble tile next to the first with no gap between courses. Cover the entire project area floor in the same manner, Trim the final course of pebble tile, if necessary, to fit flat against the floor to the last wall, with a utility knife.

Wet the protective paper attached to the face of the pebble tile, if it exists on the tile brand installed, with a sponge and carefully peel the paper off of the pebbles.

Apply a sealant formulated for natural stone over the pebbles with a paint brush and let it dry before continuing.

Scrape tile grout lightly across the surface of the pebbles to fill the spaces between them.

Wipe off excess grout with a stiff, damp sponge, then wipe the pebble surface again in approximately one-half hour to remove any film left by grout residue.


By Sarabeth Asaff, eHow Contributor

Limestone tiles, with their soft finish and presence of small fossils, have been used in homes for centuries. Today’s limestone tiles are available in a wide variety of sizes and finishes, perfect for installing in any room of the house. Like any natural stone, limestone does require special consideration when installing to ensure that its beauty lasts for many years.

Things You’ll Need
Tile saw
White thin-set mortar
Grout float
Silicone-based impregnating sealer
Foam paintbrush
Lint-free cloth
Color enhancing sealer (optional)

Lay the tiles to be installed in a dry layout over the area. A dry layout consists of laying the tiles without mortar to determine where cuts will be made. If tiling a floor, begin the dry layout in the center of the furthest wall from the door. For a wall, begin at the bottom center. Move upwards, or outwards, in even tiles to each side, so that the cuts on each side of the tile job are even.

Mark the tiles to be cut with a straightedge and pencil. Cut the tiles on a tile saw and return them to the dry layout to ensure proper fit. If the limestone tiles are tumbled, leave a larger grout joint of approximately 1/4 inch between tiles. If the tiles are polished or honed, leave 1/16-inch grout joints.

Spread a small amount of white thin-set mortar onto the area that will be tiled, smoothing it with the flat end of the trowel. Rake the grooved end of the trowel into the thin-set until all the ridges are level. Begin at the place determined by the dry layout, and work in small batches to ensure the material doesn’t dry.

Begin tiling by pressing the tiles into the mortar and twisting them slightly into place. Take tiles from several boxes at once to ensure a pleasing blend of variation and color. Continue tiling in the same pattern determined by the dry layout.

Allow the thin-set to cure for 24 hours. Seal the tiles by painting them with a silicone-based impregnating sealer. The tiles must be sealed before grouting; otherwise, the grout will soak into the pores of the tiles and be difficult to remove.

Allow the sealer to sit on the tiles for one hour, then wipe off the excess with a lint-free cloth. Grout the tiles by packing the grout into the joints with a grout float, wiping up the excess grout quickly to ensure the tiles are not stained.

Apply a color-enhancing sealer as a top coat to tumbled limestone tiles. Do not apply this sealer to the grout, as it will leave the grout appearing shiny. It will not change the finish of the limestone, only enhancing and deepening the color while adding an extra layer of protection.


by Jenny Harrington, Demand Media

Corners become a magnet for dirt in the kitchen. Crumbs and dirt tend to get kicked into the corners, which aren’t always perfectly visible if the corners sit beneath cabinets or behind a table. By the time you notice the dirt, it may have built up to a thick layer of grime that doesn’t easily sweep or wipe up. Getting into the corners and washing the soil from both the floor and the baseboard without damage regularly prevents them from developing a heavy dirt layer and makes the entire kitchen look cleaner.

Things You Will Need
Whisk broom
White vinegar or ammonia
Spray bottle
Soft-bristle toothbrush

Sweep the entire kitchen floor. Use a small hand-held whisk broom to get into the corners if a standard broom is too large. Alternatively, use a vacuum baseboard attachment to get grime and dust from the corners that has worked between the flooring and the baseboard.
Combine 2 tablespoons white vinegar or ammonia with 1 quart water in a spray bottle. Spray the corner with this solution, which is safe for most flooring and for vinyl or painted baseboards.
Scrub the corner with an old soft-bristled toothbrush. Use the brush to access the tight corner and along the seam where the baseboard meets the floor.
Rinse the corner with clear water and wipe dry with a rag. Inspect the area for remaining dirt and scrub a second time if some remains.
Mop the rest of the kitchen after the corners are clean, using your preferred floor cleaner or the vinegar solution. Do not use a bleach-containing cleaner if you used ammonia to wash the corners. Rinse and dry the floor after mopping so water and dirt don’t accumulate in the corners again.

Sweeping or vacuuming the baseboards and corners of the kitchen at least twice a week prevents dirt from accumulating in kitchen corners.

Avoid harsh abrasive cleaners and brushes, because these can scratch kitchen floor tiles and baseboards.


This Red and Black Quarry Tiled floor in the West Yorkshire village of Otley was 90 years old and in serious need of the Tile Doctor treatment, you can see from the photographs that not only was it in need of a good clean there were a number of tiles missing and replacements had to be sourced and fitted.

Old Quarry Tiles Before Repair and cleaning Quarry Tiles in Otley with missing tile

Quarry Tile Cleaning

Fortunately Quarry Tiles are still popular so finding replacement wasn’t too much of a problem. We fitted the tiles and grouted them working carefully to ensure they would match the existing. Once this was done we were able to start the cleaning process which involved scrubbing the quarry tiles with a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong multi-purpose alkaline cleaning product specifically designed for cleaning tile, stone and grout. For the stubborn areas we mixed the Pro-Clean 50/50 with Tile Doctor Nanotech Ultra-Clean which provides extra cleaning power. The last step before sealing was to wash the floor down with clean water in order to remove any trace of cleaning products that could upset the sealer.

Old Quarry Tiles Repaired cleaned and sealed Old Quarry Tiles Otley Repaired cleaned and resealed

Quarry Tile Sealer

Once the Quarry Tile floor was dry we sealed it four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based low sheen breathable sealer that will provide stain protection. You can see the difference from the photographs, quite a transformation I think you will agree,
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning in Otley

by Michele M. Howard, Demand Media

Upgrading the appearance of your bathroom may include installing a new soap dish in the shower or repairing a damaged tile. In either case, you will most likely have to remove an existing tile. Forget hiring an expensive professional, this is a perfect project for the budget-minded, DIY homeowner. All you need, in addition to a few basic tools and supplies, are an inexpensive specialized handsaw and drill bit.

Things You Will Need

  • Drop cloth (optional)
  • Masking tape
  • Safety glasses
  • Carbide handheld grout saw
  • Nail set
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Putty knife
  • Cordless drill
  • Carbide-tipped masonry drill bit

Damaged Tile Removal
Spread a drop cloth below the work area if the damaged tile you plan to remove is a wall tile. Protect the tiles around the damaged tile. Tear off several strips of masking tape and adhere the pieces to the edges of the surrounding tiles. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.
Remove the old grout in the joints around the tile with a carbide handheld grout saw. Use a back-and-forth sawing motion to cut away the old grout. Be careful not to cut into the drywall or underlayment behind the tile.
Position the tip of a nail set against the tile at the cracked or chipped area. Tap the end of the nail set with a hammer to shatter the tile and pry the pieces off with a chisel. Move the nail set to several areas on the surface of the tile and continue to shatter and chisel away the pieces until you remove the majority of the tile.
Chip away at the old tile adhesive with a chisel and hammer. Scrape and smooth the area clean with a stiff putty knife. Be careful not to gouge into the drywall or underlayment during this process. The area is now ready for the new soap dish or replacement tile.

Undamaged Tile Removal
Follow the instructions as outlined in Step 1 and Step 2 for the removal of a damaged tile.
Take your nail set and punch a series of holes in an “X” pattern along the surface of the tile. These holeshelp to keep the drill bit from wandering when drilling through the tile.
Drill through the tile at each hole with a drill equipped with a carbide-tipped masonry bit. Be careful not to drill through the drywall or underlayment behind the tile. Use your chisel and hammer and connect the “X” pattern of holes.
Shatter the tile and remove the pieces with your chisel and hammer. Follow the instructions in Step 4 for the removal of a damaged tile.