Monthly Archives: May 2014

This Limestone tiled kitchen floor in Hampton, Middlesex, was proving troublesome to keep clean and was now in need of a deep clean and re-seal to ensure easy maintenance in the future. Being a high traffic area the tile and grout had accumulated a high amount of soil over the years and the tiles had lost their shine due to wear on the face of the stone.

Limestone Kitchen floor cleaned in Hampton Before

Cleaning Limestone Tiles

I gave the floor a quick wash down with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to ensure we had removed any surface soil and grit and then proceeded to burnish the Limestone tiles using a set of diamond abrasive burnishing pads fitted to a heavy rotary machine. You start with the coarse pad which cuts through the stone and removes any remaining old sealer and soil and then smooth off the surface ready to receive a new seal using the medium, fine and extra fine pads until a highly polished finish is achieved.

The grout lines were then scrubbed by hand using more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a fair amount of elbow grease; the whole floor was then washed down with the water being removed from the floor using a wet vacuum.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

The floor was then left for twenty four hours to allow it to dry and then I returned to seal the Limestone and Grout using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone so contaminates cannot become ingrained in the stone making it easier to clean in the future. Hopefully you can appreciate from the pictures how transformed the kitchen now looks.

Limestone Kitchen floor cleaned in Hampton After
Source: Expert Limestone Tile Cleaning site

This rather dirty Travertine tiled floor is located in the reception area of the hotel and conference centre of the Cranfield University, apparently the tiles had been laid ten years prior and had not been properly cleaned and resealed since.

Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Tiles

Before starting we covered all the area around the floor with masking tape and plastic sheeting to protect it from any splashing which can happen when you’re using high speed floor machines.

The tiles were in need of a good deep clean so a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak into the tile for twenty minutes before being scrubbed in with a using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was rinsed off using clean water and extracted using a wet vacuum repeating the process until you could see the improvement in the floor. A stiff hand brush was also used along the grout lines with more Pro-Clean to get them clean.

Travertine Tiles Before Cleaning at Cranfield University Travertine Tiles After Cleaning at Cranfield University

Burnishing Travertine Tiles

To restore the shine back to the travertine we used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads starting with a coarse pad and a little water fitted to a heavy rotary machine, the coarse pad strips off any remaining dirt and seal from the floor, the resulting slurry was then removed using a wet vacuum.

Once finished with the course pad we moved on to the medium and fine pads again with a little water until the floor was polished. The final “Very Fine” pad brings up the polish on the floor and buffs it to a nice shine.

Sealing Travertine Tiles

Last step was to seal the tiles which would prevent any dirt getting trapped in the pores making it easy to clean and ensuring it keeps it appearance for longer. For this we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as well as sealing the tiles works to bring out the natural colours in the stone.

The customer was very happy with the results and commented that they thought the transformation was amazing.
Source: Cleaning Tiles in Public Buildings

Self leveling compound is used to smooth and strengthen any loose OSB, wood or plywood subfloor. The type of floor determines which type of subfloor will work best.

What Causes Uneven Floors?

Some of the most common causes of humps and valleys on the floor are joists that come about due to the twists and flex that take place over time.

Precautions to Take when Using Plywood as a Subfloor

As much as plywood will work best with self leveling compound, you must make sure that you seal all the joints that may be evident in the plywood to prevent any risk of leakage. The other option would be to get a sizeable layer of rubber to support the plywood. This will give the floor some flexibility to withstand any expansion or contraction that may result from temperature changes.

How Poor Self Leveling Affects Floors

If you make the mistake of putting concrete floor tiles without a proper self leveling compound, the floor will develop humps which will result in cracks in the tiles. In the case of wooden floor tiles, the result is a swelling that pushes some tiles leaving the wooden tiles protruding dangerously.

Determining the correct floor sheathing thickness is important to the strength, performance, and longevity of your structure.

Span Ratings

The material that you use on your floor must have a span rating. A span rating is stamped on each piece of material you purchase. Usually these materials are either plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) and are purchased in 4 by 8 foot sheets. The required span rating is affected by the spacing on your floor joists. The wider the space between your joists, the thicker your material must be as thicker material has a higher span rating. The span rating is written in 2 numbers such as 24/16. The first number is how wide the span can be on a roof and the second number is how wide the span can be on a floor.

Deciding on Which Material to Use

Measure the distance or span between the centers of your floor joists. This is the number you will be looking for when purchasing the materials for your floor. Check the span rating on the material to be sure it is manufactured to cover at least the span you are working with.

Using the correct thickness of material for your application will help to ensure a solid, long lasting application.

This Terracotta tiled kitchen floor in Twickenham had accumulated a high amount of soil over the years. Spots and spills from kitchen activity had also proved impossible to remove by the owner which was due to the sealer breaking down; the floor was now in need of a deep clean, stripping off the old sealer and then re-sealing to ensure easy maintenance in the future.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Twickenham Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The first step was to use a rotary scrubbing machine together with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a high alkaline cleaner for use with tile and stone. This action breaks down the soil in the tile and releases it along with the remaining old sealer. The floor was then pressure rinsed to ensure all of the dirt was removed from the pores of the tile and grout lines scrubbed by hand with a stiff brush. Once I was happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to remove any remaining chemical and left it to dry.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Twickenham During Cleaning

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

The floor was left to dry for a period of twenty four hours before sealing which was done by applying five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a water based topical sealer that leaves no smell and will repel liquid and soil allowing the tile to keep its appearance and making it easier to maintain in the future. The sealer also gives a high sheen finish which reflects the light and enhances the colours of the stone. As you can see from the pictures, the restored floor brought the kitchen back to life and made the room look brighter.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Twickenham After Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor Twickenham After Cleaning

Source: Help Resolving Problems with Terracotta floors

Any kind or color of granite flooring provides a lively appeal to rooms and spaces. However, like all good things, the beauty of these items might fade over time. The luster of granite flooring may diminish thus making your floor look old and unattractive. Good thing there are steps that you can follow to make sure that your granite flooring always look as good as new. These steps include refinishing. This type of granite flooring maintenance is usually performed by equipped workers. However, those who believe that they can perform the job well, follow the steps below.

What you’ll need
Industrial sander
Diamond pads with abrasive grits
Diamond pads with less abrasive grits
Buffing chemical solution
Clean rug
Pail of water

Step 1 – Clean the Granite Flooring Area

Granite flooring undoubtedly loses its luster and shine because of dirt and stains. Make sure that your granite flooring really needs refinishing by removing dust particles and stains using a broom, clean rag and water. Consider letting it dry after cleaning to see if you need to proceed to the next steps.

Step 2 – Flatten Your Granite Flooring

Once you have determined that your granite flooring really needs refinishing, start the steps to flatten out the tiles. Get a regular industrial sander to even out slants and rough edges on your granite flooring. Flatten areas that have seemingly irremovable stains. Clean off dusts and debris.

Step 3 – Hone Your Granite Flooring

Fit a diamond pad with an abrasive grit to your industrial sander. Get to the spots that have deep scratches, slants and rough surfaces. You can also use the diamond pad-powered industrial sander to get rid of the hardest to remove stains and similar impurities. Be careful not to hone the areas that do not need further sanding as this would only create irregular textures.

Step 4 – Polish Your Granite Flooring

Remove the diamond pad with abrasive grit from your industrial sander and replace it with one that has a lot less abrasive grit. Again, run your industrial sander on the entire space of your granite flooring. Remember to do this with care so as not to damage your precious granite tiles. Clean off dust with an airbrush to determine if you still need to do the next step. If you think that your granite flooring has gained back its shine and luster, stop your refinishing routine here.

Step 5 – Buff Your Granite Flooring

Buffing for granite flooring only takes place when the project involved is considered to be old. Those who have abandoned spaces usually resort to this last step to gain back the shine of granite flooring. Get a buffing chemical solution especially made for granite floor. Apply it to the area concerned as instructed by the packaging. Leave the chemical solution to dry unless otherwise advised. The solution would begin a chemical reaction that would bring out the best shine possible from your granite flooring. Read the instructions of the solution as you might need to use a floor polisher for the best results.

This fifty year old Ceramic tiled floor was installed in the communal parts of a small block of flats in Poole, Dorset. The tiles had not been given a deep clean in a long while and were now ingrained with dirt from many years of wear.

Yellow Ceramic Tiles Before Cleaning in Poole

Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tile and Grout

To clean the tiles a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied a left to soak into the tile for some time before working it into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. During this process it became clear that there was evidence that the tiles had been previously sealed using a metallised emulsion. This needed to be completely removed by buffing the floor and then steaming it; steaming also removed a myriad of paint spots that had accumulated over the years.

At this stage we took the opportunity to give the grout a good scrub with more Pro-Clean and a stiff hand brush before removing the cleaning solution with a wet vacuum and giving the entire floor a thorough rinse to remove and trace of cleaning product.

Sealing Ceramic Floor Tiles

The tiles were left to dry off overnight and we came back the next day to see if further work was needed. Now normally Ceramic tiles have a glazed surface that a sealer cannot take to however these tiles being were very old and the glaze had been worn off so sealed a small test are to see if it would take. The test was successful so I proceeded to seal the whole floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Due to the age of the tiles some were more faded than others which I could do nothing about however they looked generally clean and bright after restoration and the new Colour Grow sealer should provide protection for years to come.

Yellow Ceramic Tiles After Cleaning in Poole
Source: Expert Ceramic Tile Maintenance site

Laying a floor joist in a wood frame house is a simple procedure that can be done in 4 easy steps. Wood joists are structural framing members that are laid upright (on edge) and nailed equally spaced (usually 16 inches on center) onto the wall plates. Joists range in size from 2 x 6 to 2 x 12 based on the distance being spanned. Joists are cut to lay flush with the outer surface of the exterior walls and usually run parallel to the short overall dimension of the floor plan. If the house is a multi-story structure, the joists would function as ceiling joists for the lower floor and floor joists for the upper floor. When used as floor joists, subflooring or decking is installed onto the upright joists in either 4 x 8 sheets of plywood or interlocking tongue and groove boards.

What you’ll need
Framing hammer
Framing square or measuring square
Measuring tape
#16 nails
Circular saw

Step 1: Select Appropriate Boards for the Joists

A board can be curved in 3 different directions. A bow refers to the curve in a plane perpendicular to the face (long dimension) of the board. A board that is twisted is curved in a plane that is perpendicular to both the short and long dimension (thickness and width). A board with a pronounced “crown” or side bend has a curve in the plane parallel to the face of the board. Select boards that are neither twisted nor bowed for the joists. A board with a crown is acceptable and even preferable. Joists are installed with the crown pointing up so that over time the applied loads will cause it to straighten. A board installed with the crown pointing downward is sagging and will most likely sag even further.

Step 2: Remove Material to Expose the Rough Framing

Installing joists in new home construction is much easier than replacing joists in an existing house, but the end result is the same. If you are replacing existing joists, you will most likely have to remove the flooring and subflooring to get to the structural framework.

Step 3: Install the Joists

Measure the distance being spanned and cut the joists to length. If the plate is on an interior wall, the joists may extend past the plate. Layout the joists (mark equal spacings) onto the plates; continue the spacing pattern of the existing adjacent joists. Place the joists upright onto the plates on the marks and toenail each joist into the plate with 2 nails on each side. Make sure that the joists are installed parallel to adjacent joists. Measure the spacings between adjacent joists at both ends of each joist.

Step 4: Install Bridging for Spans Over 15 Feet

Many building codes require bridging for joist spans greater than 15 feet. Bridging consists of short blocks that maintain equal spacing and prevent buckling. Using lumber of the same dimensions as the joists, cut blocks to fit the cavity between each pair of joists. Install the blocks staggered, flush with the top edge and perpendicular to the joists at the midpoint of the span.