Monthly Archives: June 2013

Details below of a Victorian tiled floor that we cleaned and sealed at a house in Hale, Cheshire, you can see from the photographs below how poor a condition it was in however the tiles were structurally sound so we set about restoring it.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Victorian Tiled Floor Before

Victorian Floor Deep Cleaning

The tiles were covered with thick layer of old resin, glue, trapped dirt, possibly wax as well, so the best system for this on Victorian Floor Tiles is to cover the Tiles with a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech Ultra-Clean; the Remove and Go breaks down the wax, glues etc. while the Nano-Clean works deeper in to the tiles and encapsulates the trapped dirt. It does take time for this process to work however so to help the process along we soak the area with these products, cover over with a plastic sheet and then leave it. The plastic sheet this stops the products from drying out and also makes the floor sweat which works like a sauna to open up the pores of the Tiles. We then cover the plastic with Cotton Dust sheets and leave it like that overnight, the customer can still walk on the Floor area while the Treatment is in place.

The next day we lifted the plastic and steamed the whole area to help release the old trapped dirt and grime etc., the floor is then given a good rinse with clean water and we use a wet vacuum to remove the resultant slurry. We couldn’t seal the floor that day as it was still wet so the cotton sheets were put back on and switched on a dehumidifier to help speed up the drying process.

Victorian Tile Blanket Cleaning

Victorian Floor Sealing

We came back the nextday and after testing the floor with a damp meter to ensure it was dry we began to seal it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a sealer for Victorian floor tiles as it provides stain resistance as well as a low sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Victorian Tiled Floor After

The customer was very happy with the results and as you can see from the photographs we have managed to completely transform the floor.
Source: Victorian Tile Restoration

Ceramic tile is used to protect the wall underneath it in the shower or tub from getting wet but it can be used for much more. A bathroom mirror, for example, can be transformed into something much more beautiful just by adding a ceramic tile frame. You can create many different patterns and looks using ceramic tile. You can create anything from a very bright ceramic tile frame to a country-inspired one. You are limitless in what can be done. This project is not difficult to do and the article that follows will show you how to get it done.

what you’ll need
Ceramic tile
Tile adhesive
Grout float
Plastic sheet
Painters tape
Metal putty knife

Step 1 – Prep the Area

This can become a messy job so you need to make sure the area is ready for the project. Hold the plastic sheet up to the bathroom mirror and trim it to fit the bathroom mirror. Once the plastic is trimmed; tape it to the face of the mirror with painters tape. The plastic will protect the mirror from being covered with adhesive or grout. The painters tape is a must because it will not pull paint off of the wall. Cover the sink, floor and partial wall with plastic by taping it down.

Step 2 – Prepare the Ceramic Tile

Choose a ceramic tile that fits the width of the frame you want to have around the bathroom mirror. The tile can be found in large squares or small ones and some can be painted with designs or stenciled. The choice is completely yours. Dry fit the ceramic tile around the bathroom mirror to determine how many you will need for the project. If you purchased tile that has a metal mesh on the back you will need to trim the tile to the size you need as there are typically several tiles combined.

Step 3 – Adhere the Tile

Determine if you want a space between the ceramic tiles or if you want them to be tight together. Apply the tile adhesive to the back of the tile and spread it around so that it covers the entire back in a thin layer. Use the putty knife to do this and try to create a serpentine pattern in the adhesive by running the blade in an “S” pattern. Press the ceramic tile to the wall so that it is flush to the side of the mirror. Apply pressure for several seconds so the ceramic tile grips to the wall. If you are using a spacer, place it now and then add another tile. Continue in this fashion until the perimeter of the bathroom mirror is surrounded. Wait for the adhesive to dry and then remove the spacers.

Step 4 – Grout

Place plastic sheeting around the ceramic tile frame to protect the wall. Mix the grout as directed by the container and then apply it over the ceramic tile. Once the grout dries, wipe the ceramic tile frame off using warm water and a sponge. You can then remove the plastic.

This customers Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Great Missenden and had become ingrained with dirt and soiling over the last twenty years leaving an unsightly black greasy appearance which was impacting the sale of the property.

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

On the first day we covered the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a heavy duty Tile Stone and Grout Cleaner mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor Ultra Clean which adds abrasive particles into the mix. The resulting combination provides a powerful cleaning agent that penetrated deep into the tile and in conjunction with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad managed to remove several layers of soiling. We then rinsed the floor with fresh water and removed the vast amount of slurry with a wet vacuum.

Terracotta Tiles During Cleaning

The next step of our cleaning process was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the tiles and let it soak in as before; Remove and Go is a coatings remover that will strip the floor of any seal or wax coatings which had been applied to the floor over the years, again the product was worked in using a scrubbing pad and then washed off.

Once we were happy with all cleaning and seal and wax removal and the floor had returned to its original condition we left the floor to dry.

Terracotta Tiles After Sealing

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry we started to seal it in order to protect it and for this we chose Seal and Go which not only leaves a surface protection but also brings though the true colour of the stone returning the floor to its original beauty, Terracotta is very porous and it took seven coats before it was fully sealed.

Our customer was very happy with the difference and I have since been informed they have received a first offer on the property.

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning

Ceramic tile patterns, intricate or basic, break up the monotony of standard tile. Many tile jobs consist of white tile that is very uniform. Old ceramic tile patterns are not bad but are outdated and very basic. The article below will share with you some ways of updating old ceramic tile patterns.

Stenciled Designs

Upgrade ceramic tile patterns by using stencils to paint on some of them. Try such things as fruit, vegetables, herbs and even phrases or quotations. Stenciled designs can go on with several kinds of paint, such as watercolors, and then a sealer applied to protect them. The stencils stick to the tile, and you simply fill them in with the paint of your choice.

Tile Color Change

Changing individual ceramic tiles seems as if it would be a very difficult job, but it is easier to remove one tile than it is to remove an entire set. Select the tiles you want to change and pick a new solid color for those tiles. You will then cut the grout and chisel out the ceramic tile. Clean the site and the surrounding tiles. Apply adhesive to the new tile and press it in place. You can then add new grout.

Tile Border

One of the simplest ways to breathe new life into ceramic tile patterns is to add a border around the current pattern. The tile can be larger or smaller than the current tiles in the pattern. The tile used in the border can also be glass or different colors. You will either remove the original outer edge of tile or place the new tile on the existing exposed wall.

Wall Paint

Instead of going out of your way to replace sections of ceramic tile, you can enhance ceramic tiles patterns by simply painting the adjoining wall. The color is up to you, but it should be complementary to the color of the current ceramic tile. Use a paint that is impervious to moisture in order to preserve it for a long time.

Wallpaper Border

The same idea that goes in to using wall paint also applies to using wallpaper. Do not wallpaper the entire wall but just add a border around the tile pattern. Use colors that complement the colors of the tiles. Also use wallpaper with a pattern that reflects the pattern of the ceramic tiles.

Tile Stain

This is an easy way to change ceramic tile patterns. You can use watercolor paints to paint the tiles and then wipe it off. After several applications, the color will darken and remain opaque. Use a good sealer to keep the color intact.


Not many people know it, but you can stain grout to be any color you like. After you’ve stained the new grout, remove the old by scraping it off. Apply the new grout, which can set off the color of the current pattern.

Glass Accents

This is similar to removing old patterned tiles and replacing them with solid-colored ones. Use glass tile instead of ceramic. Depending upon size, the empty space left after you remove a ceramic tile might accommodate and look good filled by up to four glass tiles.

Add color and character to an old table by adding some Mexican talavera tile. This tile will fit especially well with a décor of southwestern or Spanish themes. You don’t need to decorative genius to give your table that colorful, Mexican flair. Make your own patterns, or choose from the variety of tile patterns your can buy. All you will need will be to arrange and adhere these tiles to your table.

What you’ll need
Tile saw
1X 3 inch wood strips
Circular saw
Wood glue
Paint primer
Tile Adhesive
Tile grout
Tile spacers
Damp cloth

Step 1 – Choosing Your Style & Pattern

Choose colors and patterns of tiles that will compliment decorative colors in room where you plan to set your table. Limit your tile design to three colors. Create patterns that are simple and uniform. Using solid colors as borders will allow you to cut your tiles to fit your table dimensions without interrupting individual patterns of tile that will need to be cut to fit.

Step 2 – Creating A Frame

If you wish to contain your tiles within a simple wood frame to keep from exposing their edges, create this frame from 1X 3 strips of wood. Attach the frame to the table edge, using glue, screws, or finishing nails. Decide in advance whether you want the top edge of your frame level with the tile surface, or whether you’d prefer to have the frame edges slightly higher (or lower) than the tile surfaces. Then, attach the frame. Paint or varnish the frame before adding your tiles.

Step 3 – Pre-Arranging Your Pattern

Use a large cardboard piece the same size as the table you plan to cover with your tile. Maintaining a quarter-inch space between the tiles, arrange your tiles on the cardboard in the pattern you wish to create. Start in the center and work toward the edges. Keep in mind that you’ll probably need to cut the border tiles in order to maintain the pattern size that will match the table top size.

Step 4 – Applying Your Adhesive and Setting Your Tiles

Clean off any dust, dirt, or debris from your table surface, apply your adhesive to the table surface, one section at a time. Apply only the amount of adhesive that will allow you to lay your tiles on it before the adhesive dries. Use tile spacers to maintain a uniform space between the tiles into which you will apply your grout. When you have set all your tiles on the adhesive you’ve spread, and when you are satisfied with the pattern you’ve created, allow 24 hours for your tile adhesive to fully set.

Step 5 – Applying Grout

Choose the color of grout that will enhance the color and pattern of your tiles. While white grout is more neutral, it is also the most troublesome to keep clean. Black grout may be too harsh for softer colors, but may be the contrast that will heighten your tile colors. Remove the grout spacers and begin applying your grout, working it into spaces between the grout. Use a damp cloth to clean off any grout left on the tile surfaces. When the grout is dry, apply a sealer to the tile surface.

We were asked to restore this Original Victorian Quarry tiled floor following a major refurbishment of a Grade 1 listed mansion in Pangbourne, Berkshire. The tiles has seen many years of neglect and as you can see from the photo below it was not given much thought or care by the builders and decorators who had been working on the property.

Neglected Victorian Quarry Tiles

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

We set about stripping and cleaning the floor of all the paint and dirt that had been left to accumulate on its surface over the years starting with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked into the Quarry tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This was removed using a wet and dry vacuum and followed by hours of detailed cleaning using Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which adds Nano sized abrasive particles to the solution to make a more effective coatings remover. We allowed this to dwell for a short while before agitating it with a rotary machine again fitted with a black scrubbing pad working the solution into the floor, this treatment tackled the stubborn paint and all sorts of other residues. Once we were happy with floor it was given a good rinse down with clean water and then left to dry.

Refurbished Victorian Quarry Tiles

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once the Quarry Tiles were dry we set about sealing them, a low sheen finish was required so four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied, it’s a water based sealer that will protect the surface going forward. The Main contractor could not believe we managed to get the floor looking pristine and back to its original condition.
Source: Neglected Quarry Tiled Floor Transformed

If your hiring a decorator beware, for some reason were seeing an increase in floors splattered with paint due to a lack of care. This was certainly the case on this Riven Slate tiled floor in Bury, Greater Manchester where decorators had made a right mess of this floor with plaster and paint.

riven slate floor before photo

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floors

I started the cleaning process by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner/stripper safe to use of natural tile and stone. The Pro-Clean was left to soak in for a while before being worked into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; this worked well and removed all of the plaster and most of the paint. The remaining suborn paint spots were dealt with individually by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a specialist coatings remover. The last step was to rinse the floor down with water three times in order to wash away any remaining chemical and neutralise they floor before sealing.

Sealing Riven Slate Tiles

I left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides good stain protection and a low sheen finish. You can see from the photographs the improvement in the floor.

riven slate floor after photo
Source: Cleaning and Sealing Riven Slate Tiles

Saltillo Mexican tile is a handmade tile that is unglazed, and very porous. Many homeowners like to use these tiles because of they are handmade. Using these tiles does mean that some extra work is involved. These Saltillo Mexican tiles need to be sealed in order to protect them. The sealant also gives the tile some added strength and keeps dirt and rocks from scratching the surface. Applying the sealant is not a difficult job, but does require some time and attention to detail.

What you’ll need

  • Broom
  • Penetrating Grout
  • Tile Sealer
  • Paint Tray
  • Saltillo Tile Stain
  • Grout Sponge
  • Grout Float

Step 1: Clean Tiles

The first step to sealing your Saltillo Mexican tile is to clean them of any type of dirt or debris. It is important to make sure that the entire surface of the area you are going to seal is free from any dirt. Use a broom for a very light sweeping, and then use a vacuum. After the must has been lifted, then use some warm water to clean off the tiles. Make sure to let the tiles dry thoroughly before continuing.

Step 2: Stain Tiles

Before applying any sealant to the Saltillo Mexican tile you should always apply some stain to the surface. This will make the colors come out much more vibrantly. Use a grout sponge for applying the stain to the tiles. Work in a small 6 square foot area at a time. Continue applying stain until surface is covered. Wait for an hour and then apply a second coat.

Step 3: Clean Tiles Second Time

After the stain has had 24 hours to set and dry, go over them again with a vacuum cleaner. Use a sponge and warm water and go over the area. Make sure not to saturate the tiles with water, but to clean them of any dust and dirt. Allow the tiles to dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Seal Saltillo Mexican Tiles

Apply a coat of the sealant of your choice. You can choose from either a matte finish or a gloss finish for an extra shine. Work the sealer onto the tile with the use of a grout sponge. You should work in a circular motion and do not exceed a 6 foot square area. Continue working along the tiled surface until it is completely sealed. Wait for an hour and then add a second coat of sealant. You can apply up to three coats of the sealant if you feel it is necessary.

Step 5: Grout Tiles

A penetrating grout is best used to give the tiles much better protection. Use a grout float and apply the grout to the space between the tiles. Glide the float over the tiles pushing the grout into the spaces. Allow to dry until it begins to set and wipe away the excess grout.

Step 6: Add More Sealant

Once the grout is dry, and you have washed the tiles of any debris, apply up to three more coats of sealant to the Saltillo Mexican tile. This will ensure that there are no imperfections, or low spots in the sealer.


If you are considering cobblestone flooring in your home, you may want to first weigh the pros and cons. Here is a little information to help you with a decision.


Cobblestone flooring design is unique. You can choose the colors and the patterns of the stone and let the design represent your personal style. There are so many different options and patterns that everyone is likely to find something that they love.


The good thing about cobblestone flooring is that you can really control the cost depending on the design you are after. Because of this, cobblestone flooring is affordable for all budgets and you can use your own budget to decide which style is best for you and your home.


Maintenance is one of the downsides of cobblestone flooring. It can be hard to clean if you have children who track mud through the room. While there are several cleaners that are designed especially for this type of material, some may be costly and getting into the nooks of the flooring may be difficult on a regular basis.

Overall though cobblestone flooring is a wonderful asset to any home. It looks great and if you are up to the maintenance challenge then this flooring is for you.


This Indian Sandstone floor was laid in a large Kitchen, utility and WC in a house in Prestbury, Cheshire. It was cleaned professionally five years earlier and in that time the sealer had started to wear down and the floor had become dirty again. On top of that the rough nature of the Sandstone flagstones were shredding cleaning mops used to clean the floor so the customer decided it was time for a spring clean and arranged with us to have the floor cleaned and re-sealed.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Before Indian Sandstone WC Before

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We cleaned the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with 5 parts warm water and worked into the stone surface using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was removed with a wet vacuum and floor rinsed with clean water using a spinning tool which applies water under high pressure and removes it at the same time. There were a few paint splashes evident so Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied and left on the problem areas for about an hour which dealt with the problem and the floor washed down again with clean water applied with the spinner tool. This process had taken most of the day so we then left for the evening allowing the floor to dry overnight.

TileDoctor Kevin Ward Cleaning Sandstone

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We came back the next day and tested the floor with a Stanley damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone. The sandstone was dry so we proceeded to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which offers a good level of protection as well as giving a nice low sheen finish. Sandstone is fairly porous so it took five coats of sealer to fully seal the floor, also Seal and Go is a topical coating so this has also taken the roughness out of the stone and resolved their mop shredding issue. The floor was good to walk on several hours later.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen After Indian Sandstone WC After

Source: Sandstone Flagstone Cleaning