Monthly Archives: May 2015

These slate tiles had been laid in the kitchen of a farmhouse in the village of Little Hampden around twenty years ago and since that time had become heavily soiled with a build-up of dirt and over applied sealants.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Farmhouse Floor Before Cleaning in Little Hampden

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

To get the floor clean a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor, allowed to soak in for a while and then scrubbed into the tile and grout with the aid of a commercial rotary machine. Once done the floor was washed down with water which was then removed along with the soiled cleaning solution using a wet vacuum.

The Pro-Clean removed the top soiling throughout the floor but it became clear that something stronger would be need to remove the heavy build-up of old sealants. Fortunately we have a product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is designed to strip floors of sealers so this was applied to the floor in a similar fashion as before and this tackled the problem. The next task was to clean the grout lines with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and give the whole floor a final rinse with more water to ensure any chemical residue is removed leaving the floor ready for sealing.

Sealing a Slate Floor

The floor was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to seal it to protect for years to come and improve the general look of the slate which really does look better when sealed.

To seal the floor I used a combination of products to get the best results. First a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealant which occupies the pores in the stone protecting it from within and then a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were added to add a nice subtle sheen to the floor.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Farmhouse Floor After Sealing in Little Hampden

Our customer was extremely pleased with the results and took up our offer of a Tile Doctor maintenance contract to enable her to keep the floor in pristine condition.
Source: Stone Cleaning advice for Slate

Chipboard boxes are eco-friendly boxes made of recycled paper. It is an inexpensive way to pack various products and items, such as frozen dinners and other supermarket items. Chipboard boxes are easy to manufacture using cheap recycled paper. Chipboard varies in weights. There are chipboards that can carry light items, such as candies, and there are also chipboard boxes that can carry relatively heavy items, such as frozen dinners. Aside from packing, chipboard boxes are also ideal for gift boxes that you can customize with only your creativity as the limit. Designing your own chipboard box is easy. Below are the materials that you need along with the instructions on how to decorate chipboard boxes.

What You’ll Need
Spray Paint
Decoupage Medium
Clippings, Photos, Illustrations
Decorative Items such as Beads, Glitters, Sequins,…etc
Quick-Dry Glue

Step 1-Paint the Chipboard Box
Purchase a spray paint at your local hardware store. Choose an oil-based spray paint with the color that you want to use for your chipboard box. Wear a protective mask and position the spray paint can about 10 inches away from the chipboard box. Spray the chipboard box with paint in a uniform motion starting from the sides of the chipboard. Allow the paint to dry. Proceed with painting the bottom and upper portion of the chipboard box. You can also choose to paint the inside of your chipboard box if you want.

Step 2-Use Decoupage Medium
To add news clippings, photos, illustrations and other printed designs to your chipboard box, use a decoupage medium. You can purchase a decoupage medium at the arts and crafts section of your local shopping mall. Apply decoupage medium to the area of the chipboard box that you want to add the design. Place your photo or news clipping on the area where you applied the decoupage medium. Apply more decoupage medium over the design item.

Step 3-Designing the Chipboard Lid
Add other decorative items around the area of your chipboard box lid. Do not add decorative items over the decoupage items that you added on step two. You can use seashells, beads, sequins, glitter and other craft items as your decoration for your lid of your chipboard box. Secure the decorative items using clear-drying glue. You can also use artificial flower blooms and any decorative items as long as they do not appear too large or too cumbersome on your chipboard box lid.

Step 4- Designing the Sides of the Chipboard Box
You can decorate the sides of your chipboard box the same way that you decorated the lid. Make sure not to use too many varieties of decorative items to create a good chipboard box design. Do not apply quick-dry glue to the upper portion of your chipboard box so as not to block the lid from closing. Once you have added all the decorative items in your chipboard box, inspect for any loose items and secure them by adding more quick-dry glue.

In order to install linoleum flooring, there are a number of steps that must be followed. By installing linoleum flooring, you will be able to get a beautiful floor that is also environmentally friendly. Here are the basics of how to install linoleum flooring on concrete.

What You’ll Need
Utility knife
Straight edge
Tape measure
Pry bar
Self-leveling compound
Caulk gun

Step 1 – Preparation
Before you can get started with this job, a fair amount of preparation has to be done. Start out by removing any of the old flooring that is still on top of the concrete. Then you may need to use a prybar to remove the baseboards around the outside of the room. You also need to make sure that the concrete subfloor is level and even. If there are imperfections in the subfloor, you need to use self-leveling compound to even them out. Allow the self-leveling compound to dry before moving forward.

Step 2 – Acclimation
Before you install, you also need to let the linoleum acclimate to the new surroundings. Linoleum is a natural product and it requires and acclimation period before you can install it. This allows it to expand and contract based on the humidity and temperature of the room. Leave it in the room for about 24 to 48 hours before installing.

Step 3 – Loose Lay the Linoleum
Then you should unroll the linoleum and let it relax. Spread the linoleum out in the room in which it is going to be installed in. If there is excess linoleum, you can use a knife to trim off the edges.

Step 4 – Start Installing
At this point, you need to start applying some of the adhesive. Roll back half of the piece of linoleum to expose the concrete floor. Then use your trowel to apply some of the adhesive to the concrete. Make sure that the adhesive is spread evenly over the surface of the concrete floor. Then you can lay the first half of the linoleum down on the floor. Press it down as firmly as possible to the ground.

Step 5 – Continue
You will then need to pull the other portion of the linoleum up and expose the concrete below. Take your trowel and use it to apply more adhesive to the surface of the floor. Then take the remaining piece of linoleum and press it down firmly into the adhesive. At this point, the adhesive should be underneath all of the linoleum.

Step 6 – Roll
Once you get all of the linoleum down on the floor, you need to roll it with a flooring roller. By doing this, you will be able to remove any gaps between the floor and the linoleum and make sure that it sticks down into the adhesive well.

Step 7 – Finishing Up
If there is any excess linoleum around the edge of the room, you can use your utility knife to cut it off. You may need to use a straight edge to make a good cut. You should also apply a bead of caulk to the edge of the linoleum so that water will not be able to get up underneath it.

The rather dirty but beautiful classic Minster Limestone flagstones had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in the village of Austwick. They were now overdue for a deep clean and polish and so we were asked to do to the work.

Limestone Floor Tiles Stripping and Polishing

In order to bring back the surface of polished stone we use a set of diamond encrusted pads however before starting we gave the floor tiles a general clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mainly to clean-up the grout and secondly to remove any loose surface grit. This was rinsed away and removed with a wet vacuum before starting the burnishing process using a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad and a little water. The coarse pad strips off dirt and old sealers from the tile and the resulting slurry is then removed using a wet vacuum.

The burnishing pads come in a set of four so once we were done with the coarse pad we moved on to the Medium and then Fine pads again with a little water until the floor was polished. To bring up the polish on the Limestone tiles the last “Very Fine” pad was fitted to the rotary machine and run over the floor to buff it to a nice shine.

Limestone Floor Tiles Sealing

Once the floor was dry we set about sealing it using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone filling them so dirt can’t penetrate below the surface. As well as offering excellent protection Ultra Seal doesn’t enhance the stone the stone in anyway giving it a natural look. Once sealing was complete and dry the Limestone tiles were given a final buff with a soft white pad.

I think you will all agree that the Limestone tiles now look way better and now that’s it’s been sealed cleaning the floor should be so much easier.

The photographs on this text is of a Slate tiled floor were taken in the Kitchen of a house in Towcester where the slate was looking rather dull and had lost its appeal. This does happen with natural stone floor where the sealer which can add a shine to the stone becomes worn down and ineffective.

Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles

We lifted the kickboards away from the kitchen units and lined the skirting boards with green Frog tape in order to protect them from cleaning fluids. The next step was to soak the floor in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which we let soak into the tile for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad and then using a stiff grout brush to clean out the grout lines.

The floor was then thoroughly rinsed using clean water which was then cleared away using a wet vacuum. The floor was now free of sealers etc. and this showed up a few stubborn areas that needed to be retreated and washed down again. It’s important to give the floor a good rinse to ensure it’s free of any cleaning products as they can upset the sealer.

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry and we came back the next day to seal the slate using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied using a paint pad applicator. I usually use Seal and Go for slate tiles as it provides good stain protection with adds a nice sheen finish that adds to the look of the floor.

The job took two days and the floor now looks much better and much easier to clean, certainly the customer was very pleased and left the following message on our feedback system.

“Phil is extremely professional and provided excellent customer service. He explained the process in detail and did a thorough job and worked extremely hard. The job was completed in the time proposed with a brilliant result. We have no hesitation in recommending Phil to others. Thank you.”
Pete and Angie, Towcester

We were asked to take a look at these Marble effect Porcelain floor tiles installed in the Kitchen of a house in Maidenhead. Porcelain are very strong tiles which unlike natural stone does not normally need a sealer; they can still become surface stained however especially in a kitchen but the grout is more likely to become stained than the tile which was certainly the case with this floor.

Cleaning Black Porcelain Floor Tiles

To get the Tile and Grout clean we applied a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to seep and soak into the tile and grout for twenty to thirty minutes to help break down the oils, grease, skin fats, food fats and other soils which are found in the kitchen and stain the floor. The solution was then worked into the tile using a heavy rotary machine fitted with a white pad and also manually into the grout using a stiff grout scrubbing brush.

Next was to remove the dirty cleaning solution and give the floor a good rinse and for this we have invested in a high pressure, hot water, vacuum system that has been installed in our van. This tile and grout cleaning machine simultaneously extracts dirty solutions from the floor whilst blasting engrained soiling away from the grout and tiles.

After deep cleaning and extraction the floor was allowed to dry for a period of 1 hour and an air mover was introduce to help encourage drying.

Grout Coloring

The Porcelain tiles were now looking fantastic and the grout improved however the trouble with grout is that it is absorbent, and so gets dirty quickly and is difficult to clean. So to get the Grout back to the color it once was we applied a Grout Colorant to the grout lines which not only restored the uniform appearance of the grout but also adds an impervious layer to the grout protecting it from staining and making it easy to clean going forward.

Like a sealer the grout colorant can be damaged through the use of aggressive cleaning products and heavy scrubbing so for aftercare I recommended the use of a mild cleaning solution such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner applied with a microfiber cloth to simply wipe the grout lines clean again.

This 50 m2 Limestone tiled floor at an old thatched cottage in Slough had regrettably been stained following a radiator system leak which covered the tiles in dirty radiator water and sludge. The limestone tiles had been laid on a floor without a screed damp proofing membrane which resulted in the release of efflorescent mineral salts rising up through the stone from the soil beneath. This left a constant layer of reforming fine salt on the surface of the stone which looked like fine dust. The water had also damaged the surface of the stone leaving patches of dull etched stone next to clean polished areas.

Limestone Tiled Floor Stripping

In order to encourage the stone to dry out thoroughly we left a number of dehumidifiers in the room for a week and increased the room temperature. Once the stone was completely dry, it stopped releasing effloresce salts and we were able to restore the surface polish by burnishing the floor.

Burnishing involves stripping back the Limestone surface using a set of burnishing pads, these diamond encrusted pads come in a number of grades and each one does a different job. I started with the coarse pad together with water removed the slurry with a wet vacuum, rinsed the floor and then carried on with the medium, fine and super fine pads using the same processes until the surface was polished again. Lastly when I had dried the floor I used a green buffing pad to buff the floor up.

Limestone Floor Sealing

The next step was to seal the Limestone with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Color Grow which will provide a durable protective sealer against future staining. The result was an even, polished limestone tiled floor with a durable sealing to protect against future soiling and staining.

A client near Maidenhead requested us to take a look at their dirty porcelain floor tile and grout which had degenerated following ten years of traffic from children and pets. Domestic cleaning products were proving ineffective and professional help was now required to get the floor looking healthy again.

Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tiles

In order to get the dirt out of the tiles they were cleaned with a very mild hot water dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was spread over the tiles and left to soak into the tiles for twenty minutes, during this time the solution was scrubbed into the grout lines using a stiff brush.

Next was to connect up our van mounted high pressure hot water clean and capture system (see photo below) and rinse the tiles and grout. This system produces very little water or spray because of its unique recovery system to a waste tank in our van. It also neutralizes cleaning solutions and the high pressure penetrates into the pores of the tile removing all the soiling and pollutants.

Grout Colorant Application

The powerful pressure cleaning worked well on the tiles but unluckily the grout lines had absorbed too much soiling and staining over the years which had become ingrained to a depth which could not be removed without replacing the grout. Favorably there was another option which was to apply a Grout Colorant. Tile Doctor has a range of epoxy based colorants available in different colors which are relatively easy to apply and form a barrier over the existing grout to provide a uniform look and durable protection against future staining and discoloration

The floor was ready for surface traffic in a few hours and I think you will agree the final result has restored this dirty and tired floor to a fresh, revitalized as new finish

My client was very ecstatic with the results and left the following testimonial:

“Hi Tim, Many thanks for the amazing results you achieved with my Kitchen/Conservatory floor, I was blown away by the finish – it looks like new! Thank you for care instructions, we will make every effort to follow carefully. Best wishes and thank you again.” – Ms. J Walker