Victorian Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Ulverston

Ulverston is one of several historic market towns in Cumbria which has some excellent views of Morecambe Bay and the Southern Lake District. It is also home to some lovely old properties, including one that I visited recently to provide some repairs, cleaning and sealing for a Victorian tiled floor.

Although the floor was in good condition overall, the tiles were starting to loosen in some areas because the grout had come adrift and needed to be replaced.In fact, several tiles had broken as a result of this and so they would need to replaced too.

Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning in Ulverston Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning in Ulverston

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

As I’ve mentioned, the floor had been well maintained, but I opted in any case to give the tiles a routine clean with our reliable high alkaline product, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, scrubbed in using a pad fitted to a rotary machine. This helped to remove any debris and dirt left over on the tiles.

After the initial clean I proceeded to replace the broken tiles with matching reproduction Victorian tiles, as well as the grout in the areas where the tiles had loosened.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

After finishing the cleaning and repair processes, it was time to seal the floor with a combination of sealers.

To do this I firstly applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer. We find that by applying a base coat of Colour Grow we can lock out the damp that can come through from underneath as many old floors don’t have damp proof membranes fitted, unlike many modern floors. What’s more, acrylic polymer sealers such as Tile Doctor Seal and Go do not respond well to a damp environment.

Once the Colour Grow had been applied and had dried completely, I applied five thin coats of Seal and Go to add further protection and a quality sheen finish. This sealer is also fully breathable and allows Vapour Moisture Transmission (VMT).

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing in Ulverston Victorian Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing in Ulverston

The finish was exactly what the customer was looking for and they were very happy with the overall restoration of the floor. Another satisfied customer!
 
 

Professional Tile Repairing, Cleaning and Sealing for a Victorian Tiled Floor in Ulverston

Red Sandstone Floor Restored in Kirby Lonsdale

The Red Sandstone flagstones at this property in the historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale had been covered with carpet and underlay and to make matters worse it had a screed level laid on top of the stone to make the floor smoother to walk on before the carpet went down. The current owner of the property had discovered the floor under the carpet and was now keen on having it restored back to its former beauty as a period feature.

Red Sandstone Floor before cleaning in Kirby Lonsdale

Restoring Sandstone

Stone is difficult enough to restore with the conventional chemical approach as it is so instead we opted to use a full diamond pad cutting system which is designed to cut back the screed to the stone underneath. This involves applying a very coarse 50 grit Diamond pad, followed by a 100 Grit and so on to the 200 grit. As you can see from the results this not only removed the Screed/Self levelling compound but also revealed the true red colour of the Sandstone.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We had to leave to the stone to dry out for several days as the diamond system uses a lot of water to lubricate the process which can saturate the stone making it take longer to dry out. Once fully dry we applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow for a nice even matt finish, colour grow also accentuates the deep colours in the natural stone.

Red Sandstone Floor after cleaning in Kirby Lonsdale

I think you will agree; this was quite the transformation.
 
 

Old Sandstone Floor Renovated in South Lakeland

Travertine Tiled Floor Burnished and Sealed in Kirkby Lonsdale

Here’s a job I completed recently at a house in the tiny town of Kirkby Lonsdale, situated in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria. My client had a large area of Travertine tiled flooring that was in certain need of a deep clean and reseal.

Travertine Tiled Flooring Before Cleaning Kirby Lonsdale Travertine Tiled Flooring Before Cleaning Kirby Lonsdale

Additionally, the floor suffered from a number of naturally occurring holes in the Travertine. This can be quite a common problem with Travertine, due to the fact that it’s a softer material than some types of stone and I’ve often heard of holes opening up in Travertine floors over time due to the use of acidic cleaning products. These holes needed to be filled before commencing the cleaning and sealing processes which I did this on the first day using a flexible grout in a matching shade of cream/brown.

Burnishing a Travertine Tiled floor

To restore the finish on the Travertine I used a process known as burnishing rather than resorting to a form of liquid cleaner which would clean the floor but not restore the appearance. Burnishing involves the use of diamond encrusted pads in varying grits. I began with the coarse pad, and worked my way through the system with medium, fine, and lastly a very Fine pad, using water to lubricate and rinsing the floor after each pad to remove the slurry. This process left the stone exceptionally clean, and with lustre restored to the floor as a whole.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Stone floors are porous and overtime they will collect dirt which can become ingrained into the tile and make it very difficult to clean effectively. The solution is to seal the floor and so I returned to the house on the second day to seal the newly cleaned floor. My sealer of choice on this occasion was to apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is as its name suggests a colour intensifying sealant that provides durable surface protection and enhances the natural shades in the stone.

Travertine Tiled Flooring After Cleaning Kirby Lonsdale Travertine Tiled Flooring After Cleaning Kirby Lonsdale

As you can see from the photographs, the burnishing process made a great difference to the condition of the Travertine tiled flooring, not just in its appearance, but also in terms of its now polished texture.
 
 

Professional Travertine Floor Restoration in Cumbria

Victorian Black and White Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Windermere

This job was at a house in near Windermere in South Cumbria, a place which is very popular amongst tourists to the Lake District. My client had a Black and White Victorian tiled floor in dire need of a clean and re-seal.

Victorian Black and White Tiles before cleaning and sealing Windermere

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Prior to the application of any cleaning products, my first task was to run damp tests to make sure there were no inherent damp problems. With old floors of this type it’s good to know if there is a damp problem as this will affect the choice of sealer and also the length of time the floor requires to dry.

Fortunately, there were no damp issues present, and I was able to proceed however had the floor been damp and being December I would have offered to carry out the clean and seal in the Summer, when the water tables were lower and the damp levels would be more settled, thus creating a better environment for the sealer to operate in.

I started cleaning the Victorian tiles with Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a product which breaks down old sealers in preparation for a fresh seal to be applied. The product is diluted with water and then scrubbed into the floor with a scrubbing pad fitted to rotary machine; the resulting slurry is then removed using a wet vacuum.

Next step was to apply Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was applied liberally to the floor, left to dwell for a short period and then agitated with a black scrubbing pad to lift out the ingrained dirt. I also paid special attention to cleaning the grout lines with a stiff scrubbing brush. The floor was then rinsed with clean water, and the resulting residue was extracted using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

After the cleaning was completed, the tiles were left for a couple of days to allow them ample time to dry. Upon my return to the house I checked the damp levels again and then applied two coats of the impregnating, colour enhancing sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow which gives the black tiles more depth of colour, along with the robust surface seal and Matt finish my client had requested.

Victorian Black and White Tiles after cleaning and sealing Windermere

My client was exceptionally pleased the results – but really, the photographs speak for themselves.
 
 

Professional Victorian Floor Restoration in the Lake District

Original Sandstone Floor Milled and Sealed in Sedbergh

I had arranged to work on an original Sandstone floor in an old barn conversion in the town of Sedbergh, Cumbria, however I had to delay the visit due to the poor conditions of the roads in this area at the time due to Storm Desmond which you may recall brought a substantial amount of flooding to Cumbria. Sedbergh was historically considered part of the West Riding of Yorkshire – sitting just within the Yorkshire Dales National Park – but in more modern times, it has come to be part of Cumbria.

Storm Desmond Flooding on route to Sedbergh

The floor had been hidden by several old carpets and underlay and, unsurprisingly – judging by the condition – had never been professionally cleaned, at least not by today’s standard. Given the location of the property and the fact it was a barn conversion we can assume the stone flooring was very old, and certainly now in need of restoration.

I could see that the stone had never been properly refined, leaving a rough surface that my client wanted to be smoothed down. I told my client that we would be able to achieve this using a process Tile Doctor has developed using very coarse diamond encrusted pads, known as Milling.

Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh Before Milling Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh Before Milling

Milling a Sandstone floor

The diamond encrusted grit pads are designed to smooth down the stone; much like coarse sandpaper is used to smooth down a rough piece of wood. To begin the coarse pads were fitted to a heavy Victor Trojan rotary machine and Russell was on hand to mill the floor. This process requires quite a bit of water to lubricate the pads and can cause a mess so it’s just as well the owner had decided to have the floor done before the new kitchen was fitted.

Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh Before Milling

The Sandstone stairs were also milled and once done the whole floor was given a thorough wash down to remove any remaining debris.

Sealing a Sandstone floor

We decided to leave the sealing until after the kitchen fitters had been and so we came back a few days later to seal the floor, but not before giving the tiles a light clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Cleaner, which is suitable for use on most kinds of stone – especially those which are acid sensitive.

The floor was then speed dried with fans and then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealer really brought out the natural colours in the Sandstone tiles, and provided the Matt finish my client had requested.

Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh After Milling Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh After Milling

The outcome was great, but the photographs can tell the story better than we can. My client was very pleased with result, leaving the following feedback: “Both Russell and Heidi were helpful and particularly flexible in view of the flooding at the time. They were both professional and polite and did the job thoroughly. I was delighted with the result”.

Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh After Milling

 
 

Sandstone floor restoration at a Cumbrian Barn Conversion

Black and White Terrazzo Tiled Floor Refinished in Windermere

For this job, I paid a visit to the bustling town of Windermere in South Cumbria. My client asked me to refinish a black and white Terrazzo tiled entrance and hallway floor. Terrazzo if you’re not familiar is a very interesting and beautiful stone of Italian origin, which has been used for flooring in houses for centuries.

We had previously quoted to do the work on this floor however the customer has also received a quote from another firm in Glasgow and had chosen to go with them solely because they were more expensive. However, it stands to reason that the most expensive companies are not always the best quality and Tile Doctor prides itself on the amount of customer feedback we display on our websites which we believe is a far better indicator.

On the arranged day no one from the Glasgow firm showed up and after following up with the firm a young man in his early 20s arrived five hours late and began work on the floor. According to the customer he spent three days attempting to complete the job, but ran out of time and asked the client to apply the sealer themselves. The client applied the sealer, but as she had never done it before the floor turned out blotchy in appearance and she was far from happy.

Black and White Terrazzo Tiles Before Cleaning Windermere

To cut a long story short, my client complained to the Glaswegian company, after all she had paid for a full service and not received it. Unable to get a satisfactory conclusion from them she decided to call in Tile Doctor to put the matter right. I must point out that although I have included before and after photos one this post it’s really difficult to appreciate the extent of the problem without seeing the floor in real life.

Re-Applying Sealer to a Terrazzo tile floor

To resolve the sealer, and to provide my client with the polished finish she had originally wanted, I burnished the floor using a set of four Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Each of the four pads has a different grit: I first applied the coarse pad and worked my way through medium, fine and eventually very fine using a little water to lubricate and rinsing the floor between each pad to remove any residue; after the burnishing process was complete I gave the entire floor a final, thorough wash.

I then used a wet-vac machine to extract the water and get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the day and allowing it to fully dry completely overnight, it’s very important that the floor is as moisture free as possible before being sealed as it can affect the final result.

The next day I returned to the house and sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer that really accentuates the look of the black and white tiles.

Black and White Terrazzo Tiles After Cleaning Windermere

Now that the problem has been resolved, my client is very happy with the condition of her Terrazzo tiled entrance and hallway floor.

Black and White Terrazzo Tiles After Cleaning Windermere

 
 

Burnishing and Sealing Black and White Terrazzo tiles in Cumbria

Flagstone floor maintained in Ambleside, Cumbria

This Flagstone floor was installed in a house near the village of Ambleside and had previously been sealed with varnish and other products which had left the floor looking dull and nowhere near its best. I did a test clean which came out well and then agreed a date and price I came back a couple of weeks later to do the job

Flagstone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Ambleside

Cleaning Flagstone Tiles

Due to the numerous coatings that had been applied to the floor it was necessary to completely strip off the coatings back to the bare stone. To start I used Tile Doctor Remove and Go which does what it says on the bottle and removes coatings from tiles, the product was diluted with water and left to soak in before being scrubbed in using a Black Scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The now dirty cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and I could see that the Remove and Go had removed most but not all of the coatings so it was time to using something stronger. To do this I applied NanoTech UltraClean which is a gel that is left to soak into the floor for thirty minutes before adding water and then agitating with the black pad. The floor was rinsed with water and the solution removed with the wet vacuum. At this point I could see that all the varnish and dirt had been removed so I gave the floor a final wash down with clean water to neutralise the floor before sealing and left for the evening so the floor could dry overnight.

Flagstone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Ambleside

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

I came back the next day and tested the floor with a damp meter to confirm the floor was dry and then proceeded to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied with a paint pad which gave the floor a nice low sheen finish that the customer requested.

Flagstone Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Ambleside

 
 

Flagstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Cumbria

Bitumen removed from Victorian Tiles in Barrow in Furness

I was asked to take a look at restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor in the Cumbrian town of Barrow in Furness where the floor had been covered in black bitumen; the bitumen was so thick it was difficult to gauge the condition of the floor underneath. I did a test clean which came out well but I had to explain there could be tile damage and other hidden problems so very difficult to quote for however we agreed a date and price and I came back a couple of weeks later to do the job.

Victorian Tiles Covered in Bitumen Barrow in Furness

Removing Bitumen form Victorian Tiles

Removing the bitumen from the floor without damaging the tiles underneath was a slow process involving spraying on a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, letting it soak in, applying steam and then carefully scraping off the bitumen. The floor was treated in this manner a small area at a time and a wet vacuum was used to rinse and remove the resulting slurry. This process took up the whole day and was completely successful at removing the bitumen, before finishing I gave the floor a thorough rinse with clean water and used the wet vacuum to dry the floor was much as possible before leaving.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I had used a lot of water cleaning the floor so I agreed with the owner to leave the floor for a few days before sealing it so it could thoroughly dry out. When I did return I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles, the customer had wanted a satin finish but having weighed up the options including the fact that there was a damp problem in the house I felt Colour Grow which is a penetrating and breathable sealer would have the best longevity.

Bitumen Cleaned from Victorian Tiles in Barrow in Furness

The customers were very happy with the results and before leaving we discussed aftercare cleaning, with sealed surfaces you have to be careful not to use acidic products as this can reduce the life of the sealer.
 
 

Victorian tiled hallway floor Restored in South Lakes