Monthly Archives: July 2013

Tumbled marble tile provide a rustic and dark appearance wherever they are installed. You will need to apply grout to install the tiles. The process can create uneven edges and pits in the surface. This makes grouting tumbled marble tile more challenging. The following article will review the proper installation process.

What you’ll need
Grout float
Sanded grout

Step 1 – Apply the Grout

Use the grout float and apply a small amount of the grout to the end of the tile. Scrape the grout float over the tumbled marble tile.

Step 2 – Direct the Grout

Hold the float at a 45 degree angle and drag the float over the tumbled marble tile. This will push the grout into the joints between the tiles. Do this in several directions, adding more grout as necessary.

Step 3 – Excess Grout

Hold the grout float at a 90 degree angle and then drag it over the tumbled marble tile. Drag it toward the joints. This will pack the grout and remove the excess.

Step 4 – Hazing Grout

Wait for the grout to dry for about 10 minutes. Dampen a sponge and wipe down the tumbled marble tile. This will remove the faint haze that forms after grouting.

Applying premixed grout to vinyl tile is a task which should be carried out with care. This is especially due to the fact that vinyl tiles are shallower than most other tiles, and so the grout needs to be applied more neatly.

What you’ll need
Premixed grout
Warm Water
Grout float or putty knife

Step 1 – Pour the Premixed Grout

Pour the premixed grout you acquired in a bucket. You do not have to add or mix anything, as it is ready to use. Place it at one of the corners of the room so as to start off from there.

Step 2 – Applying the Grout

Scoop some premixed grout onto a grout float. Afterwards, press it into the line between the vinyl tiles, while trying to avoid having grout fall onto the tile’s surface. If you do not have a grout float you may use a putty knife to apply the grout into the grout lines. Press the grout downwards and smoothen it to achieve a neater result. Keep repeating this process until you finish all the floor area.

Step 3 – Removing Excess Grout

The more carefully you applied the grout, the less excess grout you will have to remove. Dip a small sponge in a bucket of warm water and start wiping away any excess grout. Be careful not to wet the grout as it will ruin all your work. While doing so you will be also producing a neater and more linear grout line.

This Limestone tiled floor was installed in a Kitchen at a house near Burton on Trent. You can see from the photographs below that the Limestone had lost its polished appearance and was trapping dirt on the surface including a few stubborn marks; the grout was also looking grubby and dark.

Limestone Floor Before Limestone Floor Before

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

Restoring the shine on a polished stone such as Limestone, Travertine or Marble requires the surface to be stripped back and then buffed, which we did by using a set of burnishing pads. These diamond encrusted pads come in different grade sand each one does a different job from scrubbing to polishing. I started with the course red pad together with a little water and then carried on with the white, then yellow pads again using a little water removing the soiled water along the way. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a green pad to buff the floor up. This activity took most of the day so left the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing Limestone Tile

On our return the next day the floor was given a quick wipe with a damp mop to get remove any debris or dust that may have landed on the floor overnight. This soon dried and we were able to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a specially designed stone sealer that brings out the deep colour of the stone. Once this had dried it was given a quick once over with a white buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine on a slow speed, this step ensures any excess sealant is removed off the tiles.

The floor was then left for about one hour to dry before working in Tile Doctor Shine powder with a buffing pad to give a really deep finish. We were still not finished however; the grout was still looking grubby so we agreed with the customer to pop back the next day and apply Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in a Sandstone colour.

Limestone Floor After Limestone Floor After

When we had finished the customer was very happy with the work we done and even commented that it looked better than when they first had the floor laid. I recommended that for future maintenance and to extend the life of the sealer they should use Tile Doctor neutral cleaner, it’s a PH neutral cleaner and so is safe to use on sealed stone.
Source: Learn more about maintaining Limestone Tiles

A grout float is a tool that is used to apply grout to the tile. It consists of a rectangular and flat metal head with a handle that facilitate the application of a smooth and even coat of grout on the floor. Although the grout float is a simple tool, handling it requires skill, thus here are the steps on how to use the grout float properly.

Step 1 – Mix The Grout

Mix the grout to its proper consistency and put ample amount of grout on the grouting float.

Step 2 – Apply Grout On The Tile

Apply the mixture of grout to the surface of the tile.

Step 3 – Spread The Grout Evenly

Spread the grout on the tile evenly. Make sure that you spread it in a unidirectional manner. Do this procedure until the entire surface and the spaces between the tiles are completely filed with grout.

Step 4 – Remove The Excess Grout From The Tile Surface

Hold the grout float at a 45-angle and drag or scrape it across the surface of the tile.

Step 5 – Clean The Grout Float

Clean the grout float using a squeegee or a wet sponge to prevent the grout from drying completely on the flat metal surface.
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A customer recently purchased a property the village of Chesham and hoped we could improve the appearance of her textured marble tiled floors which had over a number of years become dull and lost the polished marble look one would expect from a floor of this quality.

Marble Tile Cleaning and Polishing

For polished stone like Marble and Limestone the only way to restore the finish is to burnish the floor and this floor was no different. The burnishing pads are diamond encrusted and come in a setup of four seventeen inch pads for use with a heavy rotary machine, each pad having a different purpose.

So we started with the Red pad which is designed to remove sealers together with a little water, we then took the opportunity to clean up the grout by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbing it into the grout lines to get them clean. Next step was to remove the soiled cleaning solution and wash the floor down with water before moving onto the white burnishing pad which will grind off ingrained dirt and is the first step in polishing the floor. We then completed the floor polishing using the Yellow then Green polishing pads which smooth down the surface and produce a shiny finish.

Textured Marble floor in Chesham Before

Sealing Textured Marble Tiles

Once the floor was polished we applied Tile Doctor Shine Crystallising Powder to the marble tile using a rotary machine fitted with a white polishing pad. This last step gives a very deep high shine as well as a tough durable finish.

Textured Marble floor in Chesham After

When the customer returned she asked was it safe to walk on as the floor as at first glance it looked wet; we assured her this is the Tile Doctor high shine appearance and is perfectly ok.
Source: Learn more about Polishing Marble

Removing an epoxy coating from a garage floor is a labor intensive process. It will involve hours of scrapping the epoxy with a metal or plastic scraper to remove as much of the materials as possible. Once you scrape the floor with the metal or plastic scraper, you will need to apply a solvent, such as lacquer or acetone to remove the remaining coating.

You may need to remove epoxy coating from a garage floor in the case where the epoxy coating was improperly applied or it is old and flaking on its own. This article will discuss the step-by-step process and tool and materials needed to remove epoxy coating from a garage floor.

If you intend to place a new epoxy coat on the same garage floor, remove as much of the old epoxy as you can, understanding that you may not possibly remove all of the material. Enlisting additional help in scraping the floor will help tremendously in removing the epoxy coating from your garage floor.

What you’ll need
Stiff Metal or Plastic Scraper
Lacquer, Paint Thinner, Epoxy Remover (Acetone) or Alcohol
Garden Hose

Step 1: Acquire Materials Needed to Remove the Epoxy Coating

Purchase the materials needed to remove the epoxy coating from the garage floor. The two essential tools needed for this project are a scraper (metal is preferred over a plastic scraper) and some type of solvent needed to pull up the loosened epoxy on the garage floor.

Step 2: Remove Items from the Garage

Remove all items from the garage and make sure that it is cleared. Sweep the floor up to remove any dirt and debris that has accumulated before you begin.

Step 3: Scrape the Garage Floor

If it is possible, organize a small group of friends to assist you in the process of scraping the floor with the metal scrapers. The more people that you can enlist in this project, the easier it will be to complete. With the friends, get down on your knees and begin scraping the floor. You will find this process slow and tedious, but unfortunately necessary in order to remove the epoxy coating from the garage floor. Work as methodically as you can to remove as much of the epoxy coating possible.

Step 4: Apply Solvent to the Garage Floor

After you finish scraping as much of the floor as you can, you need to pour solvent such as lacquer, paint thinner or acetone to remove additional amounts of epoxy coating. The scraping will allow the solvent to penetrate the epoxy coating and make it easier to continue scraping. With the solvent applied. Go back to scraping the floor to remove the remaining amounts of epoxy coating.

Step 5: Hose the Floor with Water

Use a garden hose when you complete all of the scraping to hose off the floor with water. This will remove the remaining epoxy coating and allow you to work with the concrete to reapply the epoxy coat.

Your garage floor takes a beating, which is why you should look into enhancing it’s overall appearance by looking into a garage floor finish.

Look for Quality Products

When looking into which garage floor finish you want to get, make sure to do your homework, since there are many types of epoxy garage floor paints that come in a variety of colors. Look for one that is quick drying; easy to keep clean; resists water, oil and grease stains, as well as scuffing and scraping; has an ultra tough finish; and contains a slip-resistant additive for a safer finish.

Follow All Instructions

Once you have chosen your garage floor finish, make sure to follow all the instructions that the epoxy paint so that you correctly apply it for maximum results. If you want a professional-looking job, then you must adhere to the proper steps when applying.

Give it Enough Drying Time

Once you have correctly applied your garage floor finish, make sure that you allow it to dry for an adequate amount of time. Touch dry usually takes an hour, while you should reapply an overcoat in six hours of your initial coat. The floor should be ready for use in about 48 hours.

The key to keeping your marmoleum floor looking nice and making cleaning up a breeze is adding a floor finish. While this is best done soon after the floor is first installed, it’s always helpful later down the road to help avoid damage and wear and tear, or to give your floor an extra-glossy shine.

What you’ll need
Broom or vacuum cleaner
Marmoleum floor cleaner
Lint free cloth
Marmoleum floor finish

Step 1 – Preparation
First things first, ensure that all debris and loose dirt is swept or vacuumed from the area you’re going to be working with.

Step 2 – Cleaning the Floor
Now it’s time to mop. Check the bottle’s directions to ensure that you are using the correct dilution of Marmoleum floor cleaner concentrate and water. Dampen the mop and go to town over the entire floor. Make sure that it’s all covered, but not enough that your floor is flooded.

Step 3 – Rinsing the Floor
When you’re done cleaning the floor, it needs to be thoroughly rinsed off. If you’re using the same mop as in the previous step, make sure to clean it well before you do this so that all the dirt and gunk doesn’t get dragged right back in.
Using a concoction of one tablespoon vinegar for every five liters of water, rinse off the marmoleum floor cleaner. It is important to not use products such as ammonia to clean the floor, as marmoleum is made from raw natural materials and products with high pH or harsh alkalis can cause damage, whereas the vinegar will make certain that any alkaline residues are removed.

Step 4 – Drying
Take a break and let your floor dry completely.

Step 5 – Applying the Finish
Once your floor is dry, you’re finally ready to apply the marmoleum floor finish itself. To do this, it is best to use a lint-free cloth, such as one made out of rayon or microfiber. If you’re working with a large area of flooring, your better bet to save you time and back-pain would be to use a microfiber mop applicator, or a cotton-string mop.
Work backward to avoid cornering yourself in, and apply the finish evenly over the entire floor surface whilst being careful to avoid the wall bases, furniture or anything else that isn’t the floor itself.
It will take between thirty to forty minutes for the floor finish to dry. When you are certain that it is completely dry, a second coat should be applied. A third coat may be applied if you want an even glossier floor, but is not necessary. A few thin layers rather than one thicker coat is recommended, but allow forty or so minutes between each coat. You’ll get a better, smoother shine, and the multiple coats ensure you don’t end up with streaky or ‘spotty’ floors.

We were asked to improve the appearance of this Ceramic tiled floor and Grout installed in a kitchen in Chalfont St Giles which over a few years had become difficult to keep clean and the grout lines had become stained and discoloured.

Ceramic Tile and Grout Before Ceramic Tile and Grout Before

Cleaning Tile and Grout

Our first task on day one was to clean the Ceramic tiles and Grout so we created a diluted 50/50 mixture of tile doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech UltraClean, the two products combine to provide a very powerful tile friendly alkaline cleaner with tiny sized abrasive particles. This was left to soak into the tile and grout before being agitated and scrubbed with a scrubbing machine running on low speed. We also used stiff grout hand brushes along the grout lines. Once we were happy with the overall condition of the tile and grout it was washed down using clean water and the resultant soiled solution extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I’m pleased to say that using this method we were able to return the tile and grout back to its original colour.

Whilst this was a fantastic transformation the grout lines being porous would untreated soon become dirty and discoloured. The only answer to this problem is a permanent colour seal to the grout lines which not only aids the future floor cleaning, but improves the whole appearance of the floor.

Applying the Grout Colour

Before applying a Grout Colour it’s important to ensure the grout is clean of grease and dirt naturally we had just cleaned this floor so this was not a problem I only mention it in case you were considering taking on a similar task yourself.

Once the grout has dried you can start applying the colourant which is a relatively straightforward process of squeezing the product onto a toothbrush and running it onto the grout. Don’t be tempted to use an old toothbrush for this purpose as it may contaminate the colourant leading to discolouration in the finish.

We completed the project the next day using an Aqua Mix sand coloured Grout Colourant; the customer was extremely pleased and commented how whole clean and efficient the process was.

Ceramic Tile and Grout After Ceramic Tile and Grout After

Source: Grout Colouring and Tile Cleaning

A cobblestone floor adds the beauty of the outside to the inside of your home with an old world charm. Floors made of cobblestone are known for handling an abundance of traffic without showing immediate signs of wear and tear. While these type floors are known for their enduring qualities, they are heavy and can be brittle in some cases. There are times that you may need to repair a section of your cobblestone floor. Doing the repairs yourself is not as difficult as you may think. With the proper instruction and tools, you can make repairs to your floor on your own.

What you’ll need
Safety Goggles
Paintable Caulk
Artist’s Paint Brush
Acrylic Paint
Grout Saw
Small Chisel
Rubber Grout Float

Step 1 – Repairing Grout

One of the most common issues with cobblestone floors is the cracking of the grout between the stones. This can happen because of the natural movement of your house or earthquakes. Cracks start out small and are often overlooked and attention is not immediately given to them. When water seeps into the cracks, they become larger and will need fresh grout.

Use a grout saw to remove the damaged grout from around the stones vacuum up the debris. Mix the new grout in accordance to the manufacturer’s directions. Use the rubber grout float to pour the grout onto the affected area around the stones and smooth out with your finger. Once the grout is in place, allow it to rest for 30 minutes and use a damp sponge to wipe the excess grout from the surface of the stones.

Step 2 – Repairing Stone Tile

If you have a cobblestone floor that is tile instead instead of grout placed around actual stone, you may experience one or more spaces in your floor where the tile has cracked. If the crack in the tile is small, you will be able to repair it by using a paintable caulk to seal the crack in the tile. Once the caulk is applied and dried, use an acrylic paint as close to the color of the tile as possible and paint the tile. Using an artist’s paintbrush will allow you to paint the caulk easier.

Step 3 – Replacing Stone Tile

If the crack in your tile is too large, your only option is to replace the tile. If you have tile leftover when you laid your cobblestone tile, having an exact match won’t be an issue. However, if you have no tile leftover, you should consult the place that you purchased your tile and purchase the exact matching tile or you may have to order the match.

Use a hammer and small chisel to remove damaged tile from the floor. Ensure that you hammer the chisel carefully so as not to damage neighboring pieces of tile. Once the tile is removed, you will need to put the new tile in place and grout it. The new grout will be obvious around the new tile. Staining the grout after it has dried is a solution to make it look like the rest of the grout.