Grange-Over-Sands Tile Cleaning

200-Year-Old Black Slate Floor Restoration in Grange over Sands

The customer from Grange Over Sands had taken up a musty smelling carpet that had been in place for many years over a Black Slate tiled floor. After taking to the internet to do some research he had worked out that the pointing would need to be re-done, the stone deep cleaned and then a breathable sealer put in place. Using a breathable sealer on an old floor is very important as it won’t have a damp proof membrane and so must be allowed to breathe. If the moisture can’t rise through the floor, it will accumulate and reach out to the walls causing rinsing damp which can be most unpleasant and result in mould.

Black Slate Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

Realising this was a lot of work to do on his own we were asked to quote for renovating the whole floor including sealing. Whilst I was there surveying the floor, I also noticed the slate slabs were slightly uneven with small height differences between the stone tiles, something we call lippage which can be a trip hazard.

Black Slate Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

Speaking with the owner I discussed the lippage problem and how it could be resolved using a process Tile Doctor invented called milling which uses very coarse diamond encrusted pads to grind away up to 4mm of unwanted stone and then refinish the surface. Happy to go with my suggestion out quote was accepted and a date arranged for the work to begin.

Milling Black Slate Flooring Level

We use a heavy weighted buffing machine to mill the stone, it weighs about 55kg when fully loaded and the extra weight ensures the coarse diamond pads make good contact. The process starts with a 50-grit DRB Milling pad to cut into the stone and remove the lippage, only water is used to help lubricate the process and once done the floor is rinsed and the soiling removed with a wet vacuum.

This process is followed with a 100-grit DRB pad and then a 200-grit DRB which hones the stone and gives it a smooth texture. The other advantage of using these pads is by removing the top layer it also takes the dirt with it leaving a new clean surface.

Next step was to knock out the old pointing with a Titan Breaker tool, it’s a noisy process but much of was already loose or missing so it was easier than it sounds. The old pointing was replaced using a modern flexible product that is also breathable.

The new pointing was allowed to cure overnight and then we called back to finish that stage of the restoration by working in a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go with a 200-grit milling pad. This step is designed to remove any sticky texture left over for the pointing and then we give the floor a final rinse with water and vacuum off the excess.

Sealing Black Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we came back for a 3rd day to seal the slate which was the final stage in the restoration. Before doing so though we like to check the moisture levels of the stone to make sure its dry enough. We don’t recommend applying a sealer to damp tile as it the results can be patchy.

To seal this floor two coats of Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal were applied, this product is oil based which is perfect for Black Slate as it helps restore the colour and adds texture to the stone. X-Tra Seal is also breathable and so will allow moisture from under the floor to rise through the stone and evaporate at the surface so no more musty damp smell.

Black Slate Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

Once the sealer dried the room was transformed, additionally the newly milled finish will make the stone a lot easier to clean and maintain unlike the rough texture it had before. This was a great result when you consider this is an original slate floor over 200 years old; original features like this are very much sought after so a good investment that’s a natural fit within the older building.

I always mention to my customers the importance of using a PH neutral tile cleaning product for aftercare cleaning and not to use a bleach-based cleaning products which are simply too strong and will prematurely damage the sealer given time reducing its protective qualities and appearance.

Black Slate Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

 

Professional Slate Floor Restoration in South Cumbria

Old Black Slate Hallway Floor Renovated in Grange over Sands

I recently completed the renovation of a Black Slate Floor at a property in Grange over Sands. The Slate floor was in the hallway which as you can imagine is one of the busiest areas in any house. The Slate had been down for many years and was now in need of an upgrade.

Black Slate Floor Before Renovation Grange over Sands

After surveying the Slate floor, I recommend using a method we have developed at Tile Doctor called Milling. This doesn’t just clean the stone but cuts through the rough texture and old shaling leaving a much smoother finish. This It is a bit like sanding a wooden floor using various grits of sandpaper to resurface the wood and then add a polish. In the case of stone of course sandpaper wouldn’t long, so when Milling we use coarse heavy duty floor pads encrusted with industrial diamonds.

I gave my client a quote for the work, which was happily accepted, and we scheduled a date for the work to be done the following month.

Resurfacing a Black Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

For Milling we use three different grits of pad applied in sequence with a weighted heavy duty floor buffer, the extra weight is needed to ensure a strong contact with the floor. Work starts with the 50-Grit Milling pad, then 100-grit and finally a 200-grit. Water is used to help lubricate the process and a wet vacuum is used after each pad to remove the slurry generated, the water also helps keep down the dust.

The mortar between the Slate was also in a poor state so this was broken out using a hammer drill and new pointing was applied, we like to use VDW800 for this purpose as it is available in 5 different colours. The natural tone looks very similar to lime pointing, but unlike lime pointing this product sets fully hard after 48 hours and it’s fully breathable so it is perfect for using with old floors like this without a damp proof membrane.

Black Slate Floor During Renovation Grange over Sands

Once the stone was milled and pointed, it was left to dry for 48 hours so it would be ready for sealing. I don’t recommend applying a sealer to a damp floor as the seal will struggle to cure and this can lead to an uneven result.

Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning later in the week, we then gave the floor one last light clean before applying two coats of Tile Doctor X-tra seal. This is a very effective and modern oil-based impregnating sealer the leaves a nice satin finish and breathable. Oil based sealers are essential for black stone as black stone is only black because of its oil content. In fact, Tile Doctor developed X-tra Seal in 2021 for exactly this type of job. The sealer can also be used outside as it comes with UV light protection unlike most sealers on the market which are really designed for internal use.

Black Slate Floor After Renovation Grange over Sands

My client was very happy with the work and even left the following feedback.

“Excellent service by both”

For aftercare cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which will keep it looking in great condition.

Black Slate Floor After Renovation Grange over Sands

 

Professional Restoration of a Black Slate Tiled Hallway in South Cumbria

Removing Wax Sealer from Indian Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands

Normally rough stone like this is used on an outdoor patio where the natural texture and riven prevents people from slipping in a wet area, however when used inside you find the dirt gets trapped into the riven textures and clefts of the Sandstone and it is quite difficult to remove.

Our customer found that mop heads would get shredded by the rough stone and leave bits of mop material on the stone. To make problems worse they had originally been advised to use a wax-based sealer on the floor which didn’t last and soon allowed dirt to become trapped in the stone making it even more difficult to clean.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

We were asked to deep clean the stone and apply a sealer which would stop the dirt getting stuck into the nooks and crannies of the stone thus providing a surface that could be easily maintained. The property was in Grange Over Sands a town in in the pretty area of Morecombe Bay. We discussed what could be done with the customer and demonstrated the process on a small test patch which came out well and then agreed a price and date to carry out the work.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

Cleaning/Repairing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On our return we started the cleaning process by sraying a warm dilution of Tile Doctor Wax-Away on the floor and leaving it to dwell for five to ten. The product was then scrubbed in the stone to remove the dirt and what was left of the wax sealer. The now dirty solution was rinsed off the floor with water and removed with a wet vacuum.

This process cleaned most of the floor but there were one or two stubborn marks which we spot treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product has a slightly longer dwell time but works well to remove stubborn wax sealers and deep stains and it did not disappoint. The grout was also scrubbed using the same product which made a huge difference to the overall look. We then rinsed the floor with cold water a couple of times to remove any remaining dirt and trace of cleaning products each time using the wet vacuum to dry the floor.

Sealing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The stone was left overnight to dry out and then we called back the next day to apply a fresh sealer. Four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied, this is a satin finish sealer which coats the tiles with an acrylic base which prevents any dirt getting into the grooves making the floor much easier to clean going forward as well as solving the problem with shredding mops.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

For every day cleaning we recommend the use of a pH Neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which has a neutral pH that will not prematurely erode the sealer like some tile cleaning products which if you read the label are only for use on ceramic tiles and not natural stone.

The client was really pleased with the floor, it made a huge difference, you could see the lovely natural colours and patterns in the floor. She could also see that the floor would be much easier for her to keep clean in the future.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

 

Professional Restoration of Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen in South Cumbria

Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Grange-over-Sands

This customer in Grange-over-Sands, a town on the Morecambe Bay, contacted us because an oven cleaning company had spilt a strong cleaning solution onto their Sandstone Flagstone Kitchen tiles, damaging them. The customer hadn’t realised the damage until after the oven company had been paid, and because nothing had been said at the time the cleaning company unfortunately wouldn’t accept responsibility.

When we arrived at the property, we were asked to do a spot clean on the affected tiles, however to do so would have resulted in a patchy finish compared to the rest of the floor. However, we could see that the rest of the floor was well overdue a deep clean and the sealer was past its best. So, we suggested the best course of action was to deep clean and reseal the whole floor to ensure a consistent finish across the tiles.

Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor

The customer agreed to the work, and we started on the same day. To begin, we used a Coarse 200 grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a heavy weight buffing machine to grind away the damaged layer of stone.

This worked well on about 90% of the area, but the harder to reach spots needed a chemical clean, so Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel cleaner was applied. This is an alkaline-based gel cleaner that is effective for neutralising acidic stains. The product was left to dwell for 30 minutes and then scrubbed into the tiles, before being rinsed away. Following this, we extracted the dirty solution off the tiles using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

Since we used quite a lot of water to rinse away the chemically-infused cleaning solution, we had to leave the floor to dry overnight before we could seal it. This is really important because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Arriving back at the property the next day, we ran some damp tests. Once satisfied that the tiles could be sealed, we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This sealer provides an aesthetically pleasing, low-sheen finish and is fully breathable. Most of the old Flagstone tiled floors found in properties don’t have a damp proof membrane installed underneath them, so a sealer which allows for moisture vapour transmission is essential.

Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands After Cleaning Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands After Cleaning

The customer was very happy with the work, not only because we restored the condition of the damaged tiles, but also because we were able to drastically improve the overall appearance of the floor. We recommended that the customer use Tile Doctor Stone Soap as a regular aftercare cleaner. This product not only cleans the stone, but adds to the natural stone patina by maintaining and enhancing its shine.
 
 

Restoration of a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor in South Cumbria

Shower Cubicle Refreshed in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria

Grange-over-Sands is a quaint little town on the Morecambe bay, roughly halfway between Barrow-in-Furness and Kendal in Cumbria. I was recently contacted by a property owner in the area who had heard about Tile Doctor services and was keen to have us restore their tiled shower cubicle which, as you can see from the photos below, had staining and mould on the ceramic tile, grout and silicone sealant.

Shower Cubicle in Grange-over-Sands Before Cleaning

The shower cubicle was looking far from inviting and well in need of a good deep clean. I agreed a quote for cleaning and recolouring of the grout, and was soon on my way to the property to carry out the work.

Shower Cubicle in Grange-over-Sands Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Recolouring a White Tiled Shower Cubicle

I started by cleaning the dirty grout with Tile Doctor Mould Away, which is a fast and effective formula for the removal of mould from silicone and grout. I sprayed the product onto the tile and grout and left it to soak in for five minutes, before scrubbing the area with a stiff brush. I then rinsed the area with water, and repeated the process until the mould and staining had completely disappeared.

To guarantee the overall appearance I had agreed with the owner to apply a grout colourant to the grout. For best results, we recommend a pre-treater is applied to the grout first as it helps bond the grout colour to the Grout. The pre-treater was applied then the whole cubicle was rinsed.

The next step was to carefully strip out the old silicone sealant from around the base of the cubicle using a sharp blade.

Colouring Grout in a Shower Cubicle

The grout needs to be dry to take the colourant so after cleaning and pre-treating I dried the grout with a heat gun on a low setting.

Once I was happy the grout was dry I started the recolouring process using a White colourant from the Tile Doctor range which has ten popular colours to choose from including Charcoal Grey, Cappuccino and Black. This would ensure the grout matched nicely with the rest of the cubicle.

The colourant not only restores the colour, it also rejuvenates and seals the grout joints. The lastly step was to apply fresh white silicone around the base of the cubicle.

Shower Cubicle in Grange-over-Sands After Cleaning

I think you will agree from the photos of the finished result the whole cubicle looks much fresher and that it would be difficult to tell the difference from a new installation.

Shower Cubicle in Grange-over-Sands After Cleaning

 
 

Professional White Tiled Shower Cubicle Restoration in Grange-over-Sands

Sandstone Flagstone Renovation In Grange Over Sands

We received a request to take a look at these Sandstone flagstones at a house in Grange over Sands, the request implied all was required was a usual clean and Re-seal however once we took a look at the floor it was obvious a lot more was involved and the floor was in need of restoration work including Sandstone floor restoration including grout replacement and paint stripping.

Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning

Cleaning Sandstone

To get the floor clean I decided to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean to give it more cleaning power. We normally use Remove and Go to remove old sealers but it works just as well softening up paint splashes so they can be removed. It was left to soak into on the flagstones for a good twenty minutes before being scrubbed into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The resultant slurry was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor washed down so we could get an idea of the improvement in the floor. There were quite a few stubborn areas so the whole process was re-done until I was happy the floor was as good as I could get it and at that point rinsed the whole floor down again with clean water to neutralise the floor before dealing with the missing and loose grout which was replaced with a close a colour match as possible before leaving for the evening so the floor could dry overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We came back the next day and tested the floor with a damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone. The sandstone was dry so we proceeded to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone preventing contaminates becoming ingrained there and also as its name suggests brings out the colours in the natural stone.

Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands After Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands After

 

Old Sandstone floor Cleaned and Sealed in South Lakes

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South Cumbria Tile Doctor

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