Monthly Archives: November 2012

By Katherine Kally, eHow Contributor

It is important to seal marble floors with sealer that is made specifically for natural stone. A good marble sealer protects the floors and the grout between the tiles from staining. Your marble floors should be sealed as soon as possible after installation when the grout is completely dry. You can find sealers for marble floors at your local tile distributor, home improvement store or online tile retailers.

Things You’ll Need

  • Spray on marble sealer
  • Liquid marble sealer
  • Mop


  1. Clean the marble floors and let them dry completely before applying the sealer. Spray or pour a small amount of your marble sealer onto a test area of your floor to make sure that the product will not discolor your marble and will work with your floor. Marble flooring is usually polished at the factory, but it still needs to be sealed once it is installed. Marble is a very porous material and will absorb any liquids that are spilled onto it. Acidic stains like mustard or wine are difficult to remove if your floor is not properly sealed.
  2. Spray the sealer over the entire surface of your marble floors. You can find water-based spray on sealers that will protect the natural color of the stone, create a protective bond against stains and still allow moisture to escape from the interior of the marble. These water-based products will not yellow over time.
  3. Avoid stepping on the floors for at least three hours after you seal them. You should also avoid putting any type of liquid on the marble floors for 48 hours after they are sealed.
  4. Pour liquid-based, water-based or solvent-based sealer directly onto the marble floor. Some of it will be absorbed at the point of impact and you can spread the excess with a mop. Continue pouring the sealer and spreading it until you cover the entire floor. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dry times on the particular sealer you selected.

Tips & Warnings

  • Seal your grout and your marble floor with one sealer.
  • Wear protective masks and clothing when applying any chemical sealer.



This beautiful Victorian tiled floor was discovered under carpet in the hallway of a house in Hinckley, Leicestershire. If you look closely at the photograph you will see it was in quite a bad condition with cement covering some areas and not to mention the strong adhesive that had been used to hold the carpet. I suspect the cement was the reason the floor was covered up in the first place, with the original homeowner choosing to hide the problem rather than resolve it.

Victorian Floor Before Restoration

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the cleaning process using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty tile and stone cleaning product mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a multi-purpose tile friendly stripper that can remove sealers and other coatings. The solution was left to soak in for a while before the floor was scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed thoroughly to remove any cleaning products and neutralise the floor and then left to dry so it could be sealed.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

The floor was sealed using several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides durable surface protection whilst enhancing the colours in the tile, it certainly did a great job enhancing this floor which has been restored to its former beauty and looks new again.
Victorian Floor After Restoration

Source: Restoration of a Victorian Tiled floor in Hinckley, Coventry

By Travis Martinson, eHow Contributor

Sealing any stone product is necessary, and should be done on a regular basis. This is especially true for backsplashes and countertops, because of the regular presence of moisture. Fortunately, it’s easy to seal stone, and anyone, even without home maintenance experience, can seal a travertine backsplash. The sealing process is quick and simple.

Things You’ll Need

  • Rags
  • Stone sealer


  1. Pour stone sealer onto a rag. Apply the sealer to the travertine backsplash with the rag, using slow, smooth strokes. Check that the coat is even and allow the sealer to dry completely, following instructions on the label.
  2. Reapply the sealer in as many coats as needed until you achieve your desired sheen.
  3. Reapply the sealer on a regular schedule. The bottle of sealer will tell you how often the sealer should be reapplied to ensure effectiveness.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some stone sealer companies have released a cleaning/sealing product that can be used when cleaning your travertine backsplash. This will seal the surface everytime it is cleaned.


It’s not uncommon for home owners to try all sorts of treatments to stone floors in an effort to keep them cleaning and looking new again; it’s not surprising really as there are many products available on the market and lots of people in hardware stores and tile shops ready to offer advice. I suspect this Slate tiled floor in the kitchen of a house in Melton Mowbray (famous for pork pies) had been a victim of this as a number of products had been used over the years including various sealers and wax treatments, there was also evidence of grease and it was quite soiled.

Slate Before Cleaning and Sealing

Cleaning Slate Kitchen Tiles

To remove the dirt, grease and remains of previous sealing products we applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to dwell for some time so the chemicals could get to work breaking down the surface soil. The solution was then agitated using a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad before being washed off with clean water which we removed with a wet vacuum; if your doing this work yourself I really helps to have the right equipment.

Sealing Slate Kitchen Tiles

Once the floor had been cleaned and washed down to remove any remaining chemical it was left to dry before being sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhances the beautiful colour in the slate and provides a nice finish as well as protecting it from stains.

Slate After Cleaning and Sealing
Source: Slate tiled kitchen floor cleaning in Melton Mowbray

By Genae Hinesman, eHow Contributor

Travertine stone is a warm-colored porous material related to limestone that is prized for its ability to instantly add a look of sophistication to any building project. Well suited for use in residential bathrooms and kitchens, travertine tiles are available beginning at only a few inches square to several feet across. A beautiful use of travertine is as a backsplash in the kitchen. This article will show you the installation of a travertine tile kitchen backsplash from start to finish. The mortared tiles must be allowed to rest overnight before the project can be completed, so it is best to leave this project until an uneventful weekend appears in your schedule. Adding travertine tiles can modernize any home, imparting a simple elegance.

Things You’ll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Travertine tiles
  • Inlay tiles or design tiles (optional)
  • Measuring tape
  • Tile spacers
  • Wet tile saw
  • Thin set mortar
  • Notched trowel
  • Grout

Lay your tile out on a flat surface or counter to determine your pattern. Make careful measurements and take note of them before you begin. If you are using inlays, include them in the plan of your designs. Remove all cover plates from electrical outlets and shut off the power that services them.

Put on your safety glasses and turn on the wet tile saw. Use the saw to carefully cut the tiles for your chosen pattern and border. Turn off the wet saw once all of the tiles have been cut to size. Mix the thin set mortar according to the manufacturer’s directions to the thickness of firm cream cheese or peanut butter.

Put a layer of mortar on the notched trowel. Hold the trowel at an acute (about 45 degrees) angle to the wall for the best application. Beginning at a corner, thinly apply the mortar to a section of wall.

Press the first tile against the wall, and slightly move it rapidly back and forth in place to create a vacuum seal.

Put tile spacers between the tiles to keep the spacing uniform. For this project, the bottom row/border was put into place first, before diagonally cut triangular shaped tiles were placed above. Full tiles were then used, turned at an angle for a diamond effect. Some of the tiles were cut to accommodate the planned inlays and to allow for electrical outlets. Remember to put in spacers as you work.

Finish your design and permit your tiles to set overnight for 24 hours. Remove the spacers and apply grout to the new travertine tile backsplash. Replace the electrical outlet covers, and restore power to the kitchen wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remove any excess mortar with a clean cloth to avoid staining the porous travertine tile. Travertine stone tiles can be slightly different sizes or uneven, but will appear uniform once grouted. Always put on your safety glasses first before operating the wet tile saw. Cut the tiles slowly, keeping your fingers well away from the blade.
  • Always measure twice (or more) and cut once whenever possible. Whenever you are in doubt about how much tile needs to be trimmed or cut, always cut conservatively. You can always cut more if necessary, but you cannot reattach a cut piece without ruining your design. Purchase three to five percent more tiles than you think you may need, in case you happen to break or damage some of them. Nothing is better than being prepared.



By Racheal Ambrose, eHow Contributor

Bad home odors come from various sources, including food and animals. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice all work well to get rid of smells. All three products are environmentally safe to use and won’t damage surfaces. Vinegar and lemon juice also kill germs, making them a safe disinfectant. Odors from fireplaces, cooking and cigarette smoke soak into walls and surfaces, so you may have to clean those areas to completely remove the smell from your home.

Things You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Vacuum
  • Lemon juice or lemon
  • Rag
  • Bowl

Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your trash can to help stop odors from your garbage. If you throw away something particularly smelly and don’t want to get rid of the trash yet, sprinkle baking soda on top of what you placed in the container.

Sprinkle baking soda or spray vinegar over the entire carpet if that’s the source of the odor. If you use baking soda, vacuum it up after it sits for two hours. Allow vinegar to dry. The vinegar absorbs odors and loses its smell as it dries.

Clean nonporous surfaces with lemon juice. The lemon juice removes the smell on the surface and disinfects. Pour the lemon juice on a rag and wipe down the surface. You can also rub a lemon on the surface.

Fill a bowl with vinegar and set it in a room to absorb odors in the air. Let it sit for at least a day. Pour the used vinegar down a drain. You can also set a bowl of vinegar in a smelly cabinet.

Spray vinegar onto porous, bad-smelling surfaces. The vinegar soaks into and absorbs the odor. If the surface can’t get wet, sprinkle baking soda over it. Let it sit for two or three hours. Wipe or vacuum off the baking soda.

Tips & Warnings
If you smell gas, call your local authorities. You may have a gas leak.


This Quarry Tiled floor was in a house in the village of Clifton-upon-Dunsmore which is close to Rugby; the tiles had been covered in an unattractive damp proof tar membrane and then hidden under carpet for many years and the owner wanted the floor restoring.


Quarry Tile Tar Removal

To remove the tar membrane the Quarry Tiled floor was coated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra-Clean and left to dwell for 30 minutes to an hour. We then scrubbed the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, the combined effect of the chemicals and scrubbing action broke down the tar and loosened it from the surface of the tile and was then removed with water and a wet Vacuum. It took a whole day to complete the floor as it was necessary to remove the tar in 2 metre square sections.

The following day the floor was washed down with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an Acid based product ideal for removing the salt in the floor, all the edges were done by hand with a tar remover solvent and steel wire wool then washed down again 4 times with cold water before being rinsed with a high pressure spinner tool.

The last step was to use a warm air dryer to speed dry the floor before it was sealed. For this we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable sealer that will provide durable stain protection as well as allowing vapour transmission a necessary feature for old floors with no damp proof course.

Source: Removing Tar from a Quarry Tiled Floor

One of the best attributes of a decorative concrete driveway is how little maintenance and routine care it will need over its lifetime. But no driveway paving material—including concrete—is truly maintenance-free. Here are some tips for preserving the life and appearance of your investment.

Clean and reapply sealer as needed
Cleaning your concrete driveway on occasion and keeping it sealed are the best measures you can take to keep it looking its best. How often you clean and reseal will depend on the weather conditions the concrete is exposed to and the amount of vehicle traffic it receives. Generally, you should reseal a concrete driveway every two years or so, or when the finish begins to show wear. Good commercial sealers are available from concrete material suppliers and hardware stores. Or ask your contractor for recommendations. Always apply the sealer according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Remove stains immediately
While a sealer will help to protect concrete from stain absorption, it’s still a good idea to remove oil, gasoline, grease and other spills as soon as possible. If the concrete does discolor, pressure washing and certain cleaning chemicals will remove most stains.

Avoid using deicing chemicals
Using deicers on your concrete driveway in the winter can cause surface damage—primarily scaling and spalling—by forcing the thawing and refreezing of moisture. Products containing ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates are especially harmful because they will actually attack the concrete chemically. Rock salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride will do less damage, but they can harm vegetation and corrode metal. Avoid the use of any deicers the first winter after driveway placement, since new concrete is more susceptible to the harmful effects of salt. As an alternative, use sand for traction.

Treat it with care
Although concrete is one of the most durable paving materials for driveway construction, the typical residential driveway isn’t engineered to support heavy vehicles (like a huge moving van) and large construction equipment. Also use care when plowing or shoveling your driveway. Avoid the use of metal blades that might scrape or scratch the surface.


By Sarabeth Asaff, eHow Contributor

Limestone tiles have a natural beauty unmatched by man-made products. However, because limestone is a sedimentary stone made primarily of calcite, it is also extremely soft and porous. Therefore, to maintain your limestone’s beauty, you need to seal it with an impregnating sealer designed for soft stones. Limestone should be sealed when it is first installed, and again on a regular basis when it shows signs of absorbing water.

Things You’ll Need
Impregnating sealer for limestone, such as Porous Plus or an Aldon sealer
Small bowl
Foam paintbrush
Lint-free cloth

Seal newly installed limestone tiles before grouting them. Limestone tiles that have been installed for a while should be washed before sealing. Use a stone cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Spray the tiles with cleanser straight from the bottle and wipe clean. Allow the tiles to dry completely before sealing.

Pour some impregnating sealer into a small bowl and dip a foam paintbrush into the sealer. Apply the sealer to the limestone tile in broad strokes, covering all surfaces. The limestone should appear wet when you have applied enough.

Let the sealer stand for five minutes, then wipe the surface dry with a lint-free cloth. Buff the limestone in circles until completely dry and all excess sealer has been removed.

Wait two to three hours, then apply a second coat of sealer. Water will bead up on the surface of well-sealed limestone. When the water ceases to bead, it is time to reseal the stone. Limestone that is installed in a wet area should be sealed three or four times a year. Dry walls will need only occasional resealing, while a limestone floor should be sealed about twice a year.

Tips & Warnings
Impregnating sealers that contain silicone are the most effective at treating soft stones. They also give off fumes while the tiles are wet, so use a fan or open a window if you are sensitive to smells.


Slate tile has been widely used for centuries in the building industry. Its main function has been as a building stone due to its easy to work with texture. However, it is a very heavy material, thus quite expensive to move around, so it was mainly used in regions close to slate quarries. Those areas producing such beautiful slate tiles included Wales, Portugal, United Kingdom and New York.

Slate is a natural quarried stone consisting mainly of quartz and muscovite particles.

Some of the secondary ingredients may include chlorite, graphite and magnetite. The process of slate formation begins when layers and layers of clay and volcanic ash have been foliated together over a long period of time. This foliation then forms the clay and ash into a finely grained sedimentary rock.

Slate tile and pavers come in many amazing and varied colors, ranging from the dark blacks and browns, to purples and greens, to blue-grays and also reds and rusts. The aesthetic appeal of slate tile or pavers is that no two tiles are the same, not only in color but also in texture! The use of slate gives a natural yet elegant appeal!

Slate Paving Stones will give you the look of traditional slate with the strength and durability of concrete.

Slate Paving Stones are available with straight edges, straight sides, a variety of sizes and consistent thicknesses. These features make Slate Paving Stones so easy to work with when installing them. It also means that they are extremely versatile when it comes to laying out various patterns and designs.

Slate Paving Stones are flexible and have high compressive strength, with an absorption rate of less than 5%. This makes Slate Pavers a great flooring alternative for your patio, decking and walkways.