Monthly Archives: August 2019

This client who lives in Filton had been informed by the previous owner of his property that there was a Quarry tiled floor in the Kitchen but it had been covered up with stone effect Vinyl flooring. Keen to have it removed and have the original Quarry tiles brought back to life we were contacted to see if it could be done.

I visited the property to survey the floor and work out a plan for the restoration. The lino was heavily stuck in place with about 5mm of adhesive so I could see this was going to be no easy restoration. It would be necessary to remove, the floor, adhesive compound and cement beneath it.

Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration in Filton Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration in Filton

I discussed the project with the client the project, explaining it was difficult to ascertain how long it would take but anticipated it would be around three days. The process would involve stripping off the Vinyl tiles, removing the adhesive, deep cleaning the Quarry tiles and the apply a sealer to protect them. The client agreed my quote and we arranged a convenient date to return to make a start.

Stripping Stone Effect Vinyl from a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

After removing the kickboards from underneath, the kitchen units, and taping up the surrounding areas to protect them, I set about restoring the floor. I used a variety of different methods to remove the adhesive compound and cement but mainly hand tools and hard labour! After three long days we had managed to remove the Vinyl and one once all adhesive was removed it was starting to look like a Quarry tiled floor. It was actually quite rewarding to see the Quarry tiles emerge as we progressed.

Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration in Filton Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration in Filton

Once the Quarry tiled floor was fully exposed, I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel which was worked in using a large buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soil was rinsed off with water and the waste extracted with a wet vacuum. I repeated this procedure until I was satisfied the floor was as clear of old adhesives and residue and as clean as possible. Actually, we had uncovered a really nice-looking floor, which considering the covering was generally in good condition. The floor was left for a few days to ensure it was totally dry, ready for the sealing process.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

We used a lot of water during the cleaning process, so I left the floor to try out for two days before returning to apply the sealer. I had chosen to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow for the sealer; it leaves a matt finish whilst intensifying the natural colours in the tile. It works by occupying the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming trapped resulting in durable protection. It also allows the surface to breathe which is important on a floor of this age. We applied 2 coats to the tiles allowing each to dry before applying the next, the lovely colours of the floor were now enhanced.

Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration in Filton Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration in Filton

Our client was amazed at the results and so happy they were finally rid of the old lino which was passed its best. For aftercare I recommended they should use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is designed for cleaning sealed tile and stone.


Source: Quarry Tile Restoration Service in Filton, Gloucester

I was recently asked to survey an unusual stone floor at a house in in Harrogate comprising of Slate inlaid with Granite. The client advised that it had not been cleaned properly for 20 years and wanted it renovating! It was now definitely overdue a deep clean and professional attention. Fortunately, having worked on these floors for many years I knew I could make a substantial impact and transform its appearance. Fossilized slate is a beautiful stone when cleaned and sealed correctly.

 Slate and Granite Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

The owner confessed they had actually been sealing the floor every two years but without a deep clean first, so they were effectively sealing in the dirt each time. I discussed with them the process I would use to clean and re-seal the floor and we agreed a price to carry to out the work.

Cleaning Slate and Granite Tiled Kitchen Floor

To remove the layers of old sealer and dirt used a set of Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing pads. The pads are attached to a rotary floor machine starting with the coarse 400-grit pad which was lubricated with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to help strip the floor of dirt and layers of sealer. After rinsing and extracting the soil I worked through the different grades of pads in sequence finishing with the 1500-grit and this time using just water for lubrication.

A set of diamond handheld burnishing blocks were then used to clean up the edges and corners where the large 17” pads struggle to reach. This ensures all areas are treated and free of dirt and old sealer.

The floor was then rinsed and extracted again to remove the remaining soil. I find a wet vacuum is an invaluable tool for this. The floor was then left to dry out overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing a Granite and Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor, first checking with a damp meter that the floor was dry, and the moisture reading was below the acceptable level. These results were fine, so I had a green light to continue and seal the stone.

The customer wanted a shine on the floor so rather than apply a satin sealer which I felt wouldn’t adhere to the stone properly I decided to polish the floor further with a the last of the four burnishing pads which is a very fine 3000-grit pad. You don’t need to use a lot of water with this last pad just a small amount sprayed onto the floor using a technique we refer to as a ‘Spray Burnish’.

To seal the floor, two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied. This is an impregnating matt sealer which intensifies the natural colours of this beautiful stone and provides long lasting durable protection.

 Slate and Granite Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

Even I was impressed with the finished result but more importantly the client was over the moon. To keep the floor looking its best I recommended they use Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is pH neutral. You should always read the label in detail when choosing a floor cleaning product as many are too strong and not recommended for sealed stone surfaces as they will prematurely erode the sealer.


Source: Stone Cleaning and Polishing Service in North Yorkshire

Earlier this year I went to visit a property in Canterbury to look at restoring a Terracotta tiled floor. The floor was approximately 11m2 and made from the larger Saltillo type Terracotta tiles. It had been in situ for some time and being located in the hallway it was subject to the heavy foot traffic of a busy household.

Having taken a closer look at the Terracotta tiles I could see there were many high spots due to poor installation by the original tiler, on top of that it had then been sealed with linseed oil followed by a wax paste. Wax was traditionally used to seal Terracotta floors, but it scratches easily and can lead to a thick build-up. Since the introduction of modern sealers designed for the job, we don’t recommend wax treatments anymore.

Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor Before Renovation Canterbury Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor Before Renovation Canterbury

We discussed the process to renovate the floor, explaining that the best course of action would be to use milling pads to level the surface of the tiles which would improve the finish and remove the built-up wax. Once prepared in this way the floor would be sealed to protect it going forward. They were happy with my quotation and we agreed a date to return and complete the work.

Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Hallway Floor

The use of Milling pads can generate a lot of slurry to our first task was to protect the surrounding areas using protective sheeting. The area was quite tight to work in, so we used the smaller six-inch milling pads which are encrusted with coarse industrial diamonds. The pads we fitted to a handheld buffer and worked over the tiles gradually increasing the pads from coarse to finer grits. The machine we use has a water feed that keeps the surface lubricated and this also helps to reduce the dust. The fine slurry generated using this process is rinsed off and extracted with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to remove the old wax the floor had been treated with a dilution of Tile Doctor Wax Away which is designed for exactly this purpose. Its applied to the floor and then scrubbed in using a slow speed rotary machine. Afterwards the floor is rinsed with water several times and the waste removed with the wet vacuum. By the time we had finished that day we could see a big improvement in the floor surface. After the final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the following day and using the moisture meter checked that the floor was dry. It was well within the accepted parameters, so I was ready to apply the seal.

To seal the Terracotta, I had selected to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is a modern durable sealer that provides long lasting protection and ideal for busy hallways. Colour grow also also enhances the natural red and orange colours in the Terracotta leaving a nice subtle finish. Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied.

Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor After Renovation Canterbury Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor After Renovation Canterbury

The photographs I took don’t show the difference in the floor that well, however my customer was very happy with the improvement in the floor and glad that the potential trip hazard has been resolved.


Source: Saltillo Terracotta Tile Floor Cleaning, Renovation and Sealing service in East Kent

Preparation for a tile floor is as important as any step in the tiling process. Taking extra care in the preparation process can save you time, material and aggravation, so follow these guidelines closely. The first steps are to insure the substrate is appropriate for the application. Taking these steps will not only insure the quality of your work, but also guarantee that your flooring will remain in place and free from stress cracks for as long as possible.

In some cases, screeding – a procedure that uses a very dense cement mixture – is spread to level a floor. While this is not a procedure often tackled by the non-professional with care and patience, the finished result can be truly amazing. The next step in preparing for a tile floor is to gauge or lay out the planned flooring area. During this process, it is important to take into consideration any obstacles you may encounter during the installation. These obstacles may include standpipes, drains, doorways, electrical receptacles or floor vents. When preparing for a tile job, it is best to think forward to these potential scenarios and know what to do when they arise.

Consider Substrate Material. When considering an appropriate subfloor or substrate, it’s imperative to consider a few factors. Introducing a cement board or hardi-backer style substrate may raise the level of your floor by up to a half inch. Once that is added to the quarter inch height of the adhesive and the quarter inch of the tile itself, you have now increased the height by nearly an inch. This may be a factor when considering door clearance, or thresholds for crossings into other rooms. When considering height increases in bathrooms, an extended drain pipe may need to be installed in certain circumstances to insure proper connection and sealing to prevent leakage.

In applications where height restrictions prevent cement board, thinner materials are available; lauan or composite substrates offer an equally strong bonding agent and are only around 1/8″ inch thick. Both these substrates are applied approximately the same way: drywall screws are applied to all four corners of the board, secured tightly, and countersunk appropriately to ensure levelness throughout. This procedure should be followed for the entire flooring area, and seams should overlap evenly over plywood joints. This is done to ensure that no tile is left in the middle of a gap, where stress and traffic can cause the tile to break.

Screeding. Screeding is a procedure most commonly associated with commercial applications, yet in recent years, it has found usage in homes across the country. It is best used in a scenario where a high spot is present and the rest of the floor must be brought up to that high spot to ensure levelness.

  1. Using a moist mixture of sand, Portland cement and lime, rake together everything in a large pan and spray lightly with a hose. Once the mix is sufficiently moist enough to clump in your hand and stay together, you are ready to spread the mixture across your floor.
  2. From the low spot, create a level “ribbon” of sand the length of one wall and even with the high spot. Create another ribbon on the opposite wall, level with the high spot. The two ribbons should now be level to each other. You will use these ribbons in conjunction with a large straight edge to evenly distribute the rest of the mixture across the open floor space.
  3. As you make your way across the open area, using a flat trowel, firmly trowel the screeded area to satin finish and inspect the areas for cavities. If you find a cavity, take a fistful of the screed mixture, and forcibly throw it directly on top of the affected area. Pull your straight edge over the area, and trowel to a smooth finish.
  4. Once you have screeded the entire area, let the mixture sit overnight to ensure a solid working surface that you will be able to walk and work on.

Laying Out the Tile. Gauging an area, or creating a layout, requires a certain amount of patience and savvy.

  1. Beginning with the center of the main entrance to the room, snap a straight chalk line through to the back of the room. Use a square to make sure the line is perpendicular to the door.
  2. Determine the center of the chalk line you just laid. Snap another straight line again, perpendicular to the line already present. This is your guideline, a simple gauge to determine if the floor you are laying is straight.
  3. Start laying out dry tile from the main door into the room, so that a full row of tiles is visible when you enter the room. Starting from the door, lay tiles along the first line you snapped. Use a spacer in between each tile to ensure consistent joints between tiles. You can use the side of another tile or another uniform object as a spacer.
  4. Once you reach the opposite end of the room and can no longer fit a full tile, lay a long 1” thick piece of wood perpendicular to the row of tiles, and tack it in place with a screw gun. Continue laying tiles next to this board, moving across the room in both directions.
  5. Examine the amount of un-tiled space left on the sides of the room, and determine how much you need to shift the rows so that you have equal borders on both sides of the room. Snap a new center line based on this measurement. The intersection of the new line and the board will be your new starting point for installing the tile. The original snapped line can be disregarded.
  6. Examine the area for obstacles. If drain pipes are located in the area, make note of their location in the courses, and determine if an adjustment in the layout needs to be made.
  7. Factor in any space, such as a closet or open cabinet bottom, that may need to be tiled. These can be tricky cuts, so prepare for them early to insure a timely and easy installation further down the line.

Now that you have taken the time to gauge, lay out and prepare your flooring area for installation, you can rest assured that your project will move smoothly towards completion. Should any questions arise, refer to your local home improvement store professionals. Be sure to inspect any beams or hardwood subfloors prior to installing any type of substrate. If the removal of any prior flooring is necessary, make certain that every element of that previous floor is fully removed and disposed of properly.