Monthly Archives: September 2013

Details below of a Sandstone Fireplace surround from a house in Thame, Oxfordshire. The fireplace had never been cleaned as the customer did not know where to start and so gave us a call.

Thame Sandstone Fireplace Before Cleaning

Sandstone Fireplace Cleaning

To clean the fireplace I used a diluted mixture of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean which combines the cleaning power of Pro-Clean with the tiny abrasive particles in Ultra Clean to produce a very effective cleaning product that is safe to use on Stone. This was left to dwell on the stone for a short while in order to let it soak in and work on the dirt before scrubbing it into the Sandstone with a hand brush. This process did a good job cleaning the stone and once I was happy with the result the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the stone was rinsed with water to make sure all the chemical had been removed.

Sandstone Fireplace Sealing

When dry the Sandstone was sealed using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will protect the stone going forward as well as bringing out the deep colour in the stone. To finish the job off I removed the grate and cleaned it up using some grate black to make it look new again before putting it back; last step was to remove the protective strip I had put around the fireplace to protect the wall and carpet and the job was done.

Thame Sandstone Fireplace After Cleaning

As you can imagine the customer was quite surprised by the results and hadn’t realised what a wonderful fireplace they had until now.
Source: Help maintaining Sandstone

Marble is a delicate stone that can become damaged fairly easily but have no fear as you can repair a marble floor without spending thousands. A marble floor is very expensive and replacing it isn’t in the cards or the budget. The only recourse you can take is to repair the marble floor by patching any chips or chunks from the marble. It seems much harder than it actually is and the article below will show you how to do easily repair the marble floor.

What you’ll need

  • Two-part clear epoxy
  • Plastic spoon
  • Putty knife
  • Soft brush
  • Metal nail file
  • 2 plastic bowls
  • Water
  • Clean rags
  • Tack cloth
  • Miniature vacuum
  • Stone adhesive
  • Polyurethane
  • Micro brush

Step 1 – Marble Floor Surface Preparation

Since the marble floor is already chipped this means you do not have to remove the finish like you would to repair scratches. You do not even have to wipe down the floor. There is some minimal preparation to consider though as you are still left with a hole in your expensive marble floor. Inside the hole will most likely be loose marble which will need to be removed in order to make the patch adhere. Use the brush to dust out the bits of rock in the hole as well as to remove any loose pieces from the hole of the site. Use the miniature vacuum to suck up the debris. Use the tack cloth to remove the dust away from the perimeter of the hole.

Step 2 – Replace the Chunk

If the chunk of marble still remains then you may be in luck. Marble does not usually crumble and depending on how the hole was made you will be able replace it. When you want to repair a marble floor in this manner you will need to use adhesive formulated for marble or stone. Apply some of the adhesive to the hole and some to the piece then place it inside the hole. Press down and wipe away any excess adhesive.


Step 3 – Filling a Hole

This is the easiest method to repair a marble floor that has a chunk taken out of it and is missing. Make sure that the hole has been full cleaned and prepared prior to filling the hole with epoxy. Use an epoxy that comes in two parts and mix them in a clean bowl according to the directions. You will have to work quickly before the epoxy starts to set. Spoon the epoxy into the hole with the spoon until it overflows the edges. Use the putty knife to spread the epoxy out and this will also push the epoxy all the way inside the hole. Wet down a rag and remove the excess water and use it to wipe around the edges of the hole. This will remove the excess epoxy so that the edges are flush to the marble floor.


Step 4 – Finishing Up

After the epoxy has cured you can seal the spot using polyurethane. Pour a very small amount of polyurethane in a plastic bowl. Apply it over the epoxy using the micro brush.

Sometimes older houses need concrete floor restoration in order to make the floor look like new again. Restoring concrete floors require repairing damaged concrete and hiding the repairs using various strategies, such as stenciling, staining, or painting.

Concrete Patching

Small cracks on the floors of old houses can be fixed by patching it with a special mortar mix designed for concrete repairs. Before applying the patch, remove any loose debris on the damages and clean them thoroughly with a wire brush. Use a vacuum to remove any remaining dust or residue. Purchase a concrete patch mix. Pour the powder in a container and add water until a good consistency is achieved. Make sure that the patch is level with the concrete floor surface. Allow it to dry completely.

Concrete Injections

Cracks and joints may also be repaired using an injectable concrete repair product, such as hydraulic mortar or epoxy. Once the product is injected into the cracks, it fills in the gaps and creates a strong bond that will protect the concrete from further damage. If the holes on the cracks are too small, new holes can be drilled into them to allow the injecting device to access the inner gaps in the crack. Before applying the product, make sure to clean and remove any loose debris inside the cracks first.

Concrete Recasting

If the floor has a large extent of damage, the entire damaged area has to be demolished first. When the damaged area is removed from the floor, the damaged steel bar supports have to be replaced as well. Afterwards, the damaged area has to be cemented again with a better grade of concrete.


Staining is a great way to cover up the repaired concrete. Concrete patches and re-casted areas may be very noticeable after repair and need to be hidden. Staining is one of the best ways to restore the concrete floor and hide the repairs from public view. This method requires the use of an acid solution that will easily get absorbed in the concrete floor. When using this method, make sure to cover all surfaces connected to the floor with painter’s tape, especially the walls and the door.

Painting and Stenciling

Painting the floor with epoxy-based paints is a good way to hide repaired areas on the floor. Use paints specifically designed for concrete floors. Stencils are ready-made patterns that can be placed on top of the floor to create elaborate designs when painting the floor. Use stencils only after staining or painting the concrete.


After repairing, staining or painting the floor, it also needs to be sealed to ensure that it stays protected. A concrete sealer can be applied using a paint roller or a specialized sealer spray. Make sure that the floor is completely dry when doing this. Any trapped moisture can lead to further concrete damage. The sealer should also be reapplied after two years.

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Marble floor restoration is a project that is usually more trouble than it is worth. A marble floor is very expensive and opulent in its look and will enhance the interior of any building, but marble is easily damaged. Marble floor restoration is usually done because the surface become nicked or scratched and needs to be refinished. When setting out on a marble floor restoration project, you have to take great care or else you may damage the marble beyond restoration. The article below will share with you several tips that you should keep in mind in order to ensure that the marble floor restoration is a success.

Not Removing All of the Finish

The marble floor restoration process always begins with removing the finish that is on the marble. If you fail to remove all of the finish, you will wind up with an uneven looking marble floor. Do not remove the finish just in one area, but the finish on the entire floor. The finish is typically hardened wax or polyurethane and is removed by sanding. A motorized sander is the only way to go, and you will need to use fine grit sandpaper. Use medium pressure when using the sander and continue until the floor looks milky white. This will indicate that the finish is effectively removed from the marble flooring and will allow marble floor restoration to be done without flaw.

Not Wearing Proper Attire

Once you have removed the finish, you need to be very careful about what you wear when restoring the marble. Particularly important is your choice of footwear. Since the finish has been removed from the marble, you will be walking directly on the exposed marble. Marble is fairly soft and easily damaged. Avoid wearing shoes with dark rubber soles, as you can leave streaks on the marble. You should also avoid anything with a rigid heel. You should wear cotton booties over sneakers, socks or your bare feet. The cotton is soft enough that it will not scratch or damage the marble.

Using Chemicals

The worst thing you can do for a marble floor is to use chemicals. Many chemicals used to remove a finish or repair the luster of the marble are very harsh. The chemicals usually contain acid which will literally eat away at the top surface of the marble. This will, in the end, damage the marble and may also harm you. If you want to repair the luster of the marble, you only need to look as far as your faucet or pantry. Wipe the marble down with a damp rag soaked in fresh water. Water will help add moisture to the stone and make it shine prior to finishing it, which will seal in the shine.

Stiff Brushes and Scrubbing

Marble, unlike cement or granite, is easily damaged when the finish has been removed. Even the slightest misuse of a cleaning utensil can cause it to be damaged. Never use anything with stiff bristles, as they can easily scratch the marble surface.

This job was a full restoration of a Victorian tiled floor that had been hidden under those thin adhesive backed lino tiles (see photo below) in the hallway of a house in Sutton Coldfield.

Victorian Tiles Sutton Coldfield Before Restoration

Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles

The first job was to remove the vinyl tiles which being stuck onto the floor left a rather nasty looking floor. I knew from experience this would be tricky to remove and so soaked the floor in Tile Doctor Remove and Go (does what it says on the tin) and left it for a while to soften the glues. Then with a rotary machines fitted with a polyscrub brush attached running at slow speed set about scrubbing the floor to get as much glue of the Victorian floor tiles as possible. This process worked quite well however once I have removed the soiled solution using a wet vacuum I could see there were still quite a a few stubborn patches remaining. The solution was to get down on my hands & knees with a nylon brush, a scraper and more Remove and Go, as you can imagine it took a long time to get the floor really clean and when finished I gave the tile a thorough wash down with water to neutralise the floor and then left it overnight to dry.

Victorian Tiles Sutton Coldfield Before Restoration Victorian Tiles Sutton Coldfield Before Restoration

Sealing Victorian floor Tiles

The next day I confirmed the floor had dried and then proceeded to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is the recommended sealer for Victorian tiles, it not only protects the tile it also leaves a nice shine on the floor.

The photographs show a huge transformation and my customer was absolutely delighted with the results, and left the comment below on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Trevor had a very tough job to do getting our Victorian tiles into shape after decades under a Marley tile floor. They were covered in layers of hard glue but Trevor worked exceptionally hard restoring them to like new. Trevor was very friendly and punctual. An excellent job done and we would definitely recommend him.
Giles Stendall, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

Victorian Tiles Sutton Coldfield After Restoration Victorian Tiles Sutton Coldfield After Restoration

Source: Victorian Tile Maintenance and Restoration

You can repair a marble floor if you have accidentally etched the surface. Many assume it’s difficult to do but is actually simple. A marble floor is very expensive and you want to not only protect your investment but also preserve the beauty of your home. Marble is softer than granite and concrete which means etching it is easier. When you repair a marble floor you have to take great care I doing so because of its soft properties as you could easily damage it more. It is important to not panic when you find that the marble floor is etched as they are fairly superficial. The article that follows will show you how to repair a marble floor that is etched.

What you’ll need
120-grit sandpaper
Radial sander
Tack cloth
Liquid wax
Polyurethane sealer
Two-part clear epoxy
Plastic spoon
Putty knife

Step 1 – Surface Preparation

In order to remove etching from a marble floor you have to first prepare the area. This is especially important if you are not going to be working in a localized area of the marble floor. Soak a rag in ordinary water and squeeze out the excess then wipe the floor down. Doing this not only cleans the surface of the marble floor but also highlight etches.

Step 2 – Remove the Finish

A marble floor is sealed with polyurethane, which protects the surface from damage while maintaining a brilliant surface. Etches in the marble floor are often on the surface of the finish and not directly on the marble. It is important to remove the finish slowly because you may repair the marble floor inadvertently in this Step. Attach a piece of 120-grit sandpaper to the radial sander and use medium pressure as you gently sand away the finish. Continually run your hands over the area to check to see etches are still there. The finish will be removed from the marble floor when it appears dull and somewhat milky white. Use the tack cloth to wipe down the marble floor to remove the dust. This will help you tell that etches are gone or if they remain and the finish is gone.

Step 3 – Remove Etches

Removing etches in marble is fairly simple because it is a softer material than granite or concrete. Use a fresh piece of 120-grit sandpaper attached to the radial sander. Instead of using medium pressure you will want to press firmly directly on the etch. Never stop moving the sander because if you leave it in one place the sander will further damage the marble floor. Use a tack cloth to remove the particles of dust and wipe it down with a damp rag. This will show you if you need to sand the floor more or if you can finish the repair.

Step 4 – Finishing

You can complete the repair of a marble floor by applying a thin layer of wax and buffing it until it shines. You will then paint on at least two layers of polyurethane. Wait for it to dry prior to using the marble floor.

Sandstone is generally a rough textured surface requiring regular cleaning and sealing to keep it looking good, I’ve also known customers to complain that the rough texture can shred mops during regular cleaning. This Sandstone tiled floor installed in a house in Lancaster was no different and so with the owner’s approval we decided to gently grind the sandstone to produce a smoother more manageable surface. At Tile Doctor we refer to this process as Milling and it’s especially useful for flattening a raised surface between tiles often called lippage.

Sandstone Floor Lancaster Before Milling Sandstone Floor Lancaster Before Milling

Milling and Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

As far as I know Milling was developed at Tile Doctor to basically smooth down a rough textured surface to make it easy to clean, seal and maintain; it’s a one off process and is akin to sanding down a rough piece of wood with sandpaper. We don’t use sandpaper for this purpose but diamond encrusted burnishing pads which like sandpaper come in different levels of coarseness. Milling actually reveals more of the character in the surface of the stone which is further enhanced during sealing for which recommend the use of a matt finish sealer such as Tile Doctor Colour Grow or if there is still a bit of texture in the stone we recommend the use of a topical sealer such as Tile Doctor Seal and Go which also leaves a nice low sheen finish.

Milled Sandstone Floor Lancaster After Milled Sandstone Floor Lancaster After

The customer was on holiday when the work was done but was so pleased with the effect of the milled Sandstone floor she rang me up personally to say thanks and left the comment below on the Tile Doctor feedback system, she was experiencing a lot of trouble cleaning this floor and we managed to resolve that and still keep the texture and character of this beautiful floor.

“Total transformation of our floor. Can’t quite believe the results. No mess and an amazing result. Thank you v much
D. Rix, Lancaster”
Source: Help with Sandstone Tile Maintenance