Monthly Archives: November 2014

Floor tile is a popular material used for many different rooms in a home. A wide variety of floor tiles exist today on the market ranging in size, shape and material. Most frequently used in kitchens and bathrooms, floor tile is also commonly used in entryways, sunrooms or even as the threshold to a fireplace. Here are some pros and cons regarding the use of floor tiles

Pros of Floor Tiles

There are so many advantages to floor tiles. We have chosen our top five things we love about floor tiles. They are as follows:

1. Tile Floors are Beautiful

Floor tiles add an element of beauty to the floor. Coming in so many unique styles, shapes, colors and designs, floor tiles accent a room’s design and ambiance. They quickly become an integral part of the room’s look and feel.

2. Tile Floors are Durable

Most floor tiles are hard to crack, break and destroy. Drop a pot, a dish or any other piece of glassware and you’ll find that the tile isn’t cracked, shattered or broken. They will last for years to come.

3. Tile Floors are Easy to Clean

The easiest way to clean floor tile is with a mild vinegar and warm water solution. Mop up the tile and you’ll have a shiny, clean surface.

4. Tile Doesn’t Absorb Odors

If you like to cook, and if you cook food using oils or strong smells, you know how the odor can penetrate almost anything. Tile floors are generally not porous materials and they resist absorbing any of the smells or scents that are developed inside your home because of your hobbies or your cooking desires.

5. Tile Floors are Easy to Install

With a little instruction and the right materials, floor tiles are very easy for the average person to install. Installation of floor tiles becomes a great weekend do-it-yourself project.

Now to the Cons of Floor Tile

Yes, there are some negative aspects to your lovely floor tile. Here they are!

1. Cold To The Touch

If you have sensitive feet or if you get cold easily, going barefoot is not an option on tile floors, especially in the colder months. Tile flooring tends to retain cold.

2. Slick when Wet

After a good wash and a rinse, floor tiles may have you flying across the room if you don’t have a matt or rug. Because most floor tiles do not have texture, they are slippery when squeaky clean!

3. Noisy!

If you wear click-and-clack shoes or high heels, the floor tile will do nothing to muffle the sound. Be ready to every step in your household and a great deal of echoing as tile tends to carry sound across rooms and down hallways.

Installing quarter round molding can be a quick and easy way to finish off a room. However, if you do not install the quarter round properly, it can look like a very cheap solution. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when installing quarter round molding.

Stain First

Many people will try to install the quarter round and then paint it or stain it later. While you can do this, it will increase the likelihood of getting paint or stain it on your flooring or wall. This will be much easier if you paint or stain the quarter round outside and then apply it to the wall.

Use a Finish Nailer

If you try to install quarter round throughout a room or an entire house, it could take a substantial amount of time with a hammer. By using a finish nailer, you can significantly cut down the amount of time it takes to complete the job. This will also reduce the likelihood of damaging the quarter round with a hammer.

Wood Filler

Once you have nailed the quarter round into place, you should consider filling the nail holes with a wood filler. This will provide you with a professional looking installation. Then paint or stain the wood filler to match the rest of the quarter round.

The photographs below are from a set of steps outside a house near Brighton Marina; the customer had a number of requirements which included bringing the Victorian tiled door steps back to life and also to resolve a leak into the basement below.

Victorian Tiled Steps Brighton Marina Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Steps

To get them clean we scrubbed in a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean brushing off any moss growth in the process and exposing holes and weaknesses. It was a small area so this was done by hand using water to rinse away the soiled cleaning product and a wet vacuum to extract the water. Once the tiles were cleaned all the visible holes and cracks were filled using clear mastic and a builder went about resealing the basement below.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

With winter quickly approaching the weather has changed for the worse and I struggled to find two clear days of dry weather to seal the tiles in fact three weeks passed until it was clear enough to return. I started by wiping away any visible dampness and used the heat gun on any tricky corners. Once dry the tiles were sealed using Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the tile occupying the pores in the tiles so contaminates can’t.

The property was fifty metres from the sea front so I applied four coats to be sure it would have extra protection against the elements; fortunately the weather was quite windy they dried quickly. The customer was very pleased with the result, so much so that she’s recommended me to her neighbours.

Victorian Tiled Steps Brighton Marina After Cleaning
Source: Hard Floor Cleaning Service in Sussex

If you are considering laying concrete for a home improvement project, there are several questions to answer before starting construction. Concrete is one of the foundational materials for many construction projects, so choosing the right type of concrete is extremely important.

Different Types of Cement Delivery

Ready Mix concrete is probably one of the easiest types of concrete for the do-it-yourselfer to use. It is sold in large bags of powder mix and only requires the addition of water to become a mixture that is easily poured and laid into forms.

Ready Mix is good for small projects, but can be quite expensive for large projects. Additionally, it is difficult to manage mixing and getting the concrete into place before the material begins to set.

Transit Mix concrete is delivered to the job site by a concrete mixer truck. These are the trucks with revolving barrels that constantly mix the concrete as it is being transported. When the concrete is delivered, the forms must be already assembled, and the concrete workers must be prepared to begin immediately working with the concrete.

Transit Mix concrete is appropriate for large projects and involves paying not only for the concrete, but also for the delivery.

You-Haul concrete is similar to Transit Mix concrete, except that the homeowner must rent a mixer and deliver it to the project site himself. The cement is already premixed.

This approach is good for both small and large projects, but will involve work on the part of the homeowner to transfer the cement from the mixer to the cement forms.

What Are the Different Types of Concrete?

There are several different types of concrete, and each can be used in several different types of applications.

  • General Purpose – General purpose cement is a mixture of Portland cement, gravel and sand. It is appropriate for curbs, sidewalks, driveways, patios and steps.
  • Fiber-Reinforced Concrete – Fiber-reinforced concrete has fibers added to the cement mix that adds reinforcement to the gravel aggregate and sand. This type of cement is appropriate for applications where a great deal of foot traffic or heavy usage is expected, like garages, walkways or workshop floors.
  • Countertop Concrete – Countertop concrete is specifically designed for the construction of kitchen and bath countertops. It is a low-moisture mix with a proprietary additive that reduces shrinkage when the concrete dries.
  • Fast Setting Concrete – Fast setting concrete is designed to set up quickly. It is appropriate for installations that do not require forms like fence posts, deck posts or setting posts, as in a swing set. In most cases, it is only necessary to create the hole for the post, add the cement mix and water and wait for the mix to set.

How Long Does Concrete Need to Set?

The length of time needed for concrete to set depends on several factors, including the type of concrete used and the humidity and moisture levels of both the concrete and the environment.

As a general rule, most cement requires a minimum cure time of at least a month for large amounts of cement before it can be used. Concrete continues to cure and will become harder over time.

If you haven’t considered travertine flooring for your home, it may be because a certain refrain overshadadows this attractive option: porcelain, porcelain, porcelain. You may have heard that over and over when it comes to hard surface flooring, but there are a number of natural stones such as granite, marble, slate, and travertine that can be just as good. Traver what? Travertine. Travertine is a natural alternative that creates an elegant atmosphere in almost any room. Neutral colors found in travertine allow for an array of color schemes, and once you have seen a properly installed travertine floor in a home you may wonder how you’ve overlooked this option so far.

A Natural Variation

Travertine has many characteristics that make it a beautiful alternative for your flooring, from the most formal area in the house to the most casual. Travertine is pourous and has holes that are filled to give it a consistent, smooth surface to make it, “honed,” travertine. There are also applications in which the holes are left open, adding a different effect. Travertine is a natural product, and therefore its color will not be consistent from one tile to another. Variation in shade and color tone gives travertine a distinctive appeal, often accented by chiseled edges.

Some Tips for Installation

If your considering installing travertine yourself, there are a few differences between this material and traditional ceramic or porcelain tiles you need to be aware of. First, as a base to secure the tile, use white thin-set instead of gray. White thin-set is mixed and applied the same as gray and is used to avoid compromising the natural color of the stone. When grouting travertine, or any natural stone, use un-sanded grout to prevent scratching. Unlike ceramic tile and porcelain, travertine must also be sealed, and consider that enhancers can be applied to bring out color and natural characteristics of the stone. Depending on foot traffic, travertine will need to be re-sealed every one to two years.

The choices seem endless when selecting the right hard surface floor. Wood, tile, and natural stone floors can all be distinctive and long lasting. Travertine, with its neutrality and elegance, makes a great alternative that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Many homeowners use protective floor covering to keep their floors in good condition for longer. Floor coverings also help to reduce maintenance work on the floor. Several floor covering options are available on the market. There is a boundless array of designs, shapes, patterns and colors available for each type. Below are 4 popular options.


Not only does vinyl floor covering give the floor excellent protection, it is also one of the most durable options. It is easy to install and is also low maintenance. Vinyl floor covering is a favorite in bathrooms and kitchens due to the high incidence of moisture in these rooms. It also protects the floor from stains. Vinyl floor covering is extremely versatile. It can be used to create a wide range of designs. You can get vinyl floor covering that resembles tiles, stone or wood. Color and texture combinations are virtually unlimited with vinyl. Some of the most fashionable home floors incorporate vinyl covering.


Carpets are one of the most convenient protective floor covers available to homeowners. The beauty of carpets is that they can be used on and off. However, for wall-to-wall carpeting, this gives a more enduring effect. Carpets insulate the room well during cold weather. They provide a cushioned walking surface that is more comfortable than most other floor covers. A carpeted floor also absorbs sound well.

The anti-skid surface of a carpeted floor appeals to many. The materials, design and color options are numerous. Carpets are especially ideal on stone floors. They add beauty to the room while allowing the beauty of the floor to be appreciated. Concrete, marble, granite or limestone floors can all benefit from a carpet. However, carpets require regular cleaning.

Mats and Rugs

Mats and rugs protect the floor from scratches, chips and spills. This helps keep your floor in great condition for longer. Mats and rugs are an affordable option. Due to their small size and lightweight nature, they can be shifted with ease according to need. They are especially ideal for protecting the garage floor. The bathroom floor can also benefit from mats to protect from water spillages. The mobility of mats and rugs makes them easy to clean when dirty. Simply roll up the mat and take it outside for a thorough wash. The versatility of mats gives you more choice when it comes to installation. You may place the mats individually in specific areas or lay out a large portion from wall to wall to give a finished look.


Rubber floor covering is ideal for protecting floors in the bathroom, playroom or garage. Rubber floor covering effectively protects your floor from damages caused by heavy impacts. Spills onto the floor are also prevented with rubber covering in place. The beauty of rubber is that it is easily installed. Rubber protective floor covering provides a cushioned and comfortable walking or play surface. It absorbs noise well. Rubber covering also increases the insulation properties of the house. This helps make the house more energy efficient.

This particular Slate tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Huston, that’s Houston near Glasgow not the city in Texas. This is another example of a natural stone floor was overdue a deep clean and re-seal, any remaining sealer on the slate has worn off and the tiles have become dull and stained.

Slate tiled floor Huston before cleaning

Cleaning Slate Floor Tile and Grout

First we stripped any remaining sealer from the slate tiles by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak in before being worked into the stone using a black pad on a rotary bonnet machine; the resultant soiled cleaning solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated three times to make sure all the sealer and dirt was completely removed and extracted.

After this we focused on cleaning the grout using more Pro-Clean this time worked in using a stiff grout brush by hand. Once done the floor was given a thorough rinse using clean water again using the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the floor as dry as possible.

Changing the Colour of Grout

We then left for the evening to allow the floor to dry off overnight and returned the second day and coloured the grout to dark grey using a grout colouring kit to achieve an even grout appearance. This is rather painstaking work but the effect is well worth the effort, then once that had dried we gave the floor a quick clean using Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

After allowing to dry overnight again, we came back the third day to seal the slate tiles for which we used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) which added a nice sheen to the tile and gave the desired finish.

Slate tiled floor Huston after cleaning and sealing
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning Tips