Author: Bruce Copping

Failed Travertine Tile Sealer Resolved in Great Green, Thurston

The pictures below are of a Travertine tiled floor installed in the large Kitchen of a barn conversion in the small village of Great Green near Thurston which is four miles from Bury St Edmunds. The floor had been laid ten years prior and the customer was now finding it increasingly difficult to get the tile and grout clean.

Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Great Green Thurston

I visited the property to survey the floor and quickly confirmed that the problem was quite clear, the sealant had been worn away over the years and now unprotected dirt was getting into the surface and pores of the stone. Once ingrained with dirt it becomes impossible to get them clean with everyday household cleaners. The floor was in the kitchen which being one of the busiest areas in the house so really needed to be protected.

Travertine Floor Before Cleaning Great Green Thurston

I ran a test clean on a small patch of travertine and they could see straight away the colour the floor should have been. It was clear the tile and grout would need a deep clean and then resealed however due to the inevitable wear I advised the customer stone floors like these really need continual attention and recommend that after the initial renovation they consider getting us back in once a year to do a surface clean and seal.

Happy with our test clean and quotation we got the go ahead to do the initial clean and seal and we arranged complete the work the following month.

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

On arrival I first taped up the skirting boards and kitchen plinths to protect them from splashing during cleaning. The floor was then scrubbed with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was first left to dwell for ten minutes so it could soak into the pores and break down the dirt. For best results I use a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a multi-purpose tile and grout cleaning product that really gets to grips with ingrained dirt and grease as well as removing the remains of old sealer.

Scrubbing pads struggle to reach into the grout recesses so I scrubbed the grout lines by hand using a wire brush and more Pro-Clean. The resultant slurry was then vacuumed off the floor using a wet vacuum, the floor was then rinsed with water and vacuumed again.

To improve the appearance of the Travertine tiles further it was given a light burnish using a 400-grit then 800-grit diamond burnishing pad. These pads are attached to the rotary machine and then run over each tile several times using only water for lubrication. This action brings up the natural polished appearance of the stone to leave a mild sheen as per the clients’ request. After another rinse and extraction to remove the slurry generated during burnishing the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day I returned and first took some moisture readings from the floor using a damp meter. I needed to be sure the floor was dry enough to accept the sealer as applying sealer to a damp floor is not recommended.

The floor had dried out nicely, so I began the application of the sealer, Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This product is a colour intensifying impregnating sealer that penetrates the stone, occupying its pores, improving colour, and resulting in long lasting protection. I highly recommend this for use on Travertine and it enhances the natural brown colours in the stone beautifully.

Travertine Floor After Cleaning Great Green Thurston

The job took 2 days in total to complete and the clients were very happy with the result. For aftercare I have advised the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will help maintain the patina whilst keeping the floor clean. I’ve also made a note to give them a call in a years’ time to discuss giving the floor a light Maintenance Clean and apply a new coat of Colour Grow.

Travertine Floor After Cleaning Great Green Thurston

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in Suffolk

Restoration of Famous Palm Court Marble Tiled Floor in Felixstowe

Earlier this year I was asked to restore a large 290m2 Marble tiled floor in a room known as Palm Court at the famous clifftop Grade II listed Felix Hotel in Felixstowe which has now been redeveloped into 61 retirement apartments with communal areas. The Felix Hotel was originally opened in Felixstowe in 1903 and was advertised as the Finest Hotel on the East Coast. It is said that Ms Simpson stayed at the Hotel during her divorce proceedings In Ipswich to allow her free to marry King Edward VIII.

Marble Floor Before Renovation Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe Marble Floor Before Renovation Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe

The building was taken over by Fisons in 1952 who used it as their HQ and it is believed that they covered the Marble floor with carpet so they could use it for office space.
Our task was to remove all the carpet glue and restore the Marble tiles of Palm Court back to its original glory. The room is used for wedding ceremonies and the company that runs the property wanted to restore the floor as an original feature. There are some photos below of the room as it used to be when it was opened.

Original Poster 1903 at Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe Palm Court 1903 Harvest House Felixstowe

With 290m2 of Marble flooring to restore it was clearly large project however having worked on numerous stone floor restorations previously I was confident we could restore it and was able to bring Dean who runs the North Essex Tile Doctor to assist.

To provide an accurate price for the work however I visited the property to survey the floor and ran a test clean in one section. This allows me to work out the best method and products to use on the floor and ensure there are no surprises, the test worked out very well and transformed that small section of Marble remarkably well. The quote was agreed, and a suitable time was arranged to start the restoration which would take place over a few weeks.

Marble Floor Before Renovation Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe - TestClean

Removing Carpet Adhesive from a Marble Tiled Floor

I started the work by tackling the old carpet adhesive which covered the entire floor. The method I used involved applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a coatings remover that is safe to use on stone. Working in sections the product was applied to the surface and then covered with plastic sheeting to prevent the solution from drying out. It took the best part of a day to achieve this as the area was so large.

The following day we started removing the plastic in small sections and got to work scrubbing the Marble clean using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Scraper blades were also used by hand to remove stubborn areas of glue and carpet backing. The floor was rinsed with water and the slurry extracted using an industrial wet vacuum. This part of the job took four days in total to complete but we could now see the beautiful marble that had been hidden beneath.

Marble Floor During Cleaning Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe Marble Floor During Cleaning Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe

Restoring the Appearance of Polished Marble Tiles

The next step was to restore the appearance of the Marble using a process we call Burnishing but is also referred to as Honing. This involves applying diamond encrusted pads of increasingly finer grits to the Marble tiles to grind off the dirt and polish the surface. We started with a very coarse 200-grit pad which was run over every tile three times using water to lubricate the process. This generated a fine slurry which is then rinsed off with water and then extracted with the wet vacuum The 200-grit pad was then followed using a sequence of 400, 800 grit pads rinsing each time between pads and extracting the slurry as before using the wet vacuum.

Marble Floor During Burnishing 400-grit Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe Marble Floor During Burnishing 800-grit Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe

Re-grouting a Large Marble Tiled Floor

Burnishing the stone tiles took care of renovating the appearance of the Marble but did little for the grout which had been badly stained and over the years and now needed to be removed and replaced. Removing the old grout and replacing with new was a mammoth job but I knew it would make all the difference to the final appearance of the floor

With the grouting redone the floor was given a further polish with the application of a 1500-grit pad, again the floor was rinsed with water and extracted afterwards. This stage of re-grouting and polishing took another four days to complete.

Marble Floor During Regrouting Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe Marble Floor During Burnishing 1500-grit Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe

Sealing a Large Marble Tiled Floor

The last stage was to seal the marble. To do this, two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal were applied which took a further two days to apply and that’s with two of us doing the work. Tile Doctor Ultra Seal provides a protective seal and gives a no sheen natural look finish, so the floor is not left too shiny and slippery. The natural beauty of the marble was then allowed to shine through.

Marble Floor After Restoration Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe

Once finished the floor looked amazing, the stone looked lighter in colour and overall, it gave the impression it has only recently been installed. I was incredibly pleased with the result and most importantly the Directors of Harvest House Ltd were delighted with the outcome. It had been hard work to bring such a large Marble floor back to life but a real pleasure to restore a historic 117-year-old floor back to its former glory.

Marble Floor After Sealing Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe Marble Floor After Sealing Palm Court Harvest House Felixstowe

 

Professional Restoration of a Large Marble Tiled Floor in Suffolk

Working Through COVID-19

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 Coronavirus it’s become necessary to change our working practices in-line with government guidelines and to take action to minimise health risks to you and our team.  At present, none of our team are showing any symptoms of the virus so we are continuing home visits for quotes and to complete scheduled works should it be safe to do so.

All Tile Doctors are aware to look out for the known symptoms of High Temperature and New Continuous Cough. We are aware of the need to self-isolate should it be necessary and should this be the case we will contact you to postpone. We also ask you monitor your own health and contact us should it be necessary for you to postpone for the same reason. Should you be in a high-risk group we recommend contacting us to re-arrange a visit to later in the year.

Naturally the situation could change very quickly and therefore we will no longer ask for any official notice should you wish to postpone or cancel a booking, however we would appreciate a phone call.

Our Tile Doctors are aware of the guidelines and will carry out a risk assessment at every premises they visit. They also understand the importance of observing the following whilst on site:

  • Avoiding Physical Contact
  • The importance of Social Distancing
  • Wearing single use Gloves and Overshoes
  • Regular hand washing and use of liquid sanitiser
  • Cleaning Equipment with Detergent after use

We are monitoring Government guidance and will ensure we continually adjust our working practices as required and endeavour to keep you informed. These are challenging times that are impossible to predict, the key is to stay safe and accepting of late changes should they occur.

Regards

Bruce Copping
Suffolk Tile Doctor
#TileDoctorUK #weareinthistogether #pulltogether #staystrong

For more information about Covid-19 virus we recommend the following sources:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-track-coronavirus-cases

Renovating Porcelain Tile with Stained Grout in Ipswich

The pictures below detail the renovation of a Porcelain Tiled Floor I completed at a property in Ipswich. Installed throughout the Kitchen and into the adjacent WC the porcelain tile and grout were in a very dirty state and the client was desperate to get them clean. The situation wasn’t helped by their two dogs with grubby paws. She had tried all the usual household cleaners she could find, and nothing seemed to work. Unfortunately, household cleaners can make the problem worse due the strong chemicals they contain.

Porcelain Tile Grout Before Renovation Ipswich Porcelain Tile Grout Before Renovation Ipswich

I visited the property to survey the floor and was able to reassure the client that although the grout was heavily stained it could be renovated by recolouring it with a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. I was confident we would soon be able to get the floor looking great again and demonstrated the process I would use on a small part of the floor. The demonstration went well and happy with the result we agreed a date for my return the following week to complete the work which should be completed in a single day.

Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled Hallway and Kitchen Floor

Returning on the agreed date we started by protecting the by applying a clear silicone sealant to the MDF skirting boards and kitchen base units. We left this to dry for an hour before proceeding with the cleaning.

The Porcelain tile and grout was cleaned with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using 3 parts cleaner to 5 parts water. The solution was applied to the tile and grout and then left to soak in for ten minutes before being worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a Black Scrubbing Pad. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner which is designed for deep cleaning tile, stone and grout of dirt and grease and can also remove sealers.

Pads can struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout line so once I was finished with the tile, I hand scrubbed the grout with a wire brush. The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant slurry extracted off the floor with wet vacuum.

The floor took about three hours to deep clean which was just the right timing for us to have lunch whilst the floor dried. The grout was much improved by the cleaning process but as suspected there were too many deep-seated stains to be able to guarantee a consistent finish. So as previously agreed with the client we set about colouring the grout using a light grey colourant. This took most of the afternoon as there was a lot of grout.

The Porcelain tiles were the non-porous type that won’t take a sealer and the colourant acts as a barrier over the grout protecting it and making it easy to clean so once I was done colouring there was no need to apply a sealer.

Porcelain Tile Grout After Renovation Ipswich Porcelain Tile Grout After Renovation Ipswich

My client was relieved to have the floor looking clean and presentable again. For aftercare I recommended that moving forward it would be best to use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH neutral cleaner. This will ensure that with regular cleaning the floor will keep clean and the grout won’t be compromised by overly strong products.

 

Professional Renovation of a Porcelain Tiled Kitchen Floor in Suffolk

Restorative Clean of an Old Quarry Floor in a Levington Gamekeepers Cottage

The Quarry Tiled Floor pictured below was located in a wood on the outskirts of the pretty coastal village of Levington, just East of Ipswich. The client had recently purchased this old Gamekeepers cottage and they were looking to redecorate and refurbish the property including the floors.

Quarry Tiled Floor Gamekeepers Cottage Before Cleaning Levington Quarry Tiled Floor Gamekeepers Cottage Before Cleaning Levington

The floors in the house were all very dirty and the new owners wanted them cleaned in time for Christmas. I visited site and conducted a demonstration on a small section of Quarry tiles which covered the whole of the ground floor. The demonstration went well, and the client was very pleased to see the kind of result they could expect. We agreed a price for the work and arranged a suitable time to return.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I knew from the age of the cottage it very unlikely to have a damp-proof membrane present under the floor so I had to consider damp and efflorescence issues could become factors during cleaning. Efflorescence occurs when salts trapped in water from the ground rise through the porous Quarry tiles and are left on the surface of the tile as white deposits when the moisture evaporates.

Before starting with the cleaning process, we set about taping up the wooden skirting and doorways to protect them. Then because of the lack of a DPM I decided to clean the floor with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which would require less water and counter any alkaline salts trapped in the floor. It was applied to the floor and then worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The grout was then scrubbed by hand using a wire brush and the resultant slurry vacuumed using our wet vacuum.

Once I was satisfied the floor was as clean as possible the floor was rinsed with warm water using the least amount of water possible. This removed any trace of cleaning product and the floor then dried using the wet vacuum and microfibre cloths. The floor was then inspected, and any stubborn areas were spot treated before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

The following morning, I conducted a damp test with a moisture meter to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a sealer. Sure enough, due to the cleaning method used, the floor was dry, and I was able to move on to applying the sealer which for this floor I used Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra.

I selected Seal & Go Extra as it has a special acrylic-based formula which allows moisture vapour transmission making it partially breathable and well suited for floors without a damp-proof membrane. This is important as to use non-breathable sealer can result in damp building up in the tiles and under the floor where it can cause damage and spread out to the walls resulting in rising damp. Six coats of sealer were applied to the Quarry tiles to ensure the floor was fully sealed and this left a nice low sheen finish.

Quarry Tiled Floor Gamekeepers Cottage After Cleaning Levington Quarry Tiled Floor Gamekeepers Cottage After Cleaning Levington

The clients were extremely happy with the result, as you can see from the the pictures the floor looked in much better condition.

For aftercare I recommended the use of the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor in the best condition and make maintenance easy for them. This would ensure the newly applied seal stayed put.

 

Professional Renovation of Quarry Tiled Flooring in Suffolk

Brick Floor in Barn Conversion in Great Green

Details below of large Brick tiled floor we worked on at barn conversion in the village of Great Green on the outskirts of Thurston. The floor had been laid fifteen years ago when the barn had been converted. The customer was now finding it almost impossible to keep the bricks clean. They also had two rather large husky type dogs and five smaller breeds that had all been rescued from various parts of the world.

I knew this would be a challenge as the bricks had not been sealed when they were first installed, so dirt was just going straight into the floor and getting embedded in the rough surface of the brick. I discussed with client the process we needed to go through, first cleaning the floor and then sealing it. I demonstrated my cleaning method on part of the floor, and they were impressed with the result. They agreed to my quote and we arranged a time to carry out the work.

Barn Conversion Brick Floor Before Cleaning Great Green Thurston

Deep Cleaning a Brick Tiled Floor

We cleaned the floor in sections using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which was brushed onto a 1m2 area of the bricks and then left for five minutes to soak in. It was then worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The slurry was then vacuumed of the floor using our wet vac. The bricks were then rinsed using warm water and dried with microfibre cloths – this is a long drawn out method but is very effective on porous floors as not much water is used which results in less being absorbed into the brick.

The whole floor took a complete day to clean and was then left overnight to dry.

Sealing a Brick Floor

The following day I conducted a damp test to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a sealer. I was confident it would be due to the cleaning method we had used, and I was not disappointed.

The sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra this is an acrylic sealer which I like to use on brick. My reason for using this sealer is that it fills all the pores in the brick and provides a surface coating making the brick nonporous and therefore easier to clean as the dirt has nothing to grip hold of.

The floor was very porous and soaked up six coats of sealant before it was fully sealed. You have to let each coat dry before applying the next which I usually do with a paint pad and then wipe off what little excess there is with a microfibre cloth. This process took up much of the first day, but the result was transformational. My clients were overjoyed at the clean floor and happy they would now be able to clean their floor without shredding mops!

Barn Conversion Brick Floor After Cleaning Great Green Thurston

For regular cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, as this is pH balanced it will ensure that the newly applied sealer is not compromised by the use of a strong cleaning product. It has a nice fresh fragrance and a small amount goes a long way. They were happy they would now be able to keep the floor clean and have asked for me to come round once a year to maintain the floor.

 

Professional Restoration of a Brick Tiled Floor in Suffolk

Tile Doctor of the Year Winner 2015

Thanks again to all my customers who sent in feedback about my service recently, your feedback is used to determine the winner of the Tile Doctor of the Year Competition and I’m happy to report that I was awarded the first place trophy at the recent Tile Doctor conference in Worcester.

There are around 50 Tile Doctors dotted around the UK so the competition for first place is high and winning is not easy, however I must be doing something right as this is the 3rd time I’ve won, so much so they have decided to let me keep the trophy.

Bruce Copping - Tile Doctor of the Year Award Winner 2015
Bruce Copping – Tile Doctor of the Year Award Winner 2015

Pictured with me above and presenting the award are Tile Doctor directors Jeremy Taylor (Left) and Russell Taylor (Right).

Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing a Marble floor and Wall Tiles in Elmswell

Not too long ago I was called down to a house in the small village of Elmswell, Suffolk. I was asked to take a look at a Marble floor and wall tiles which had become dull and lifeless over time, especially in high traffic areas and now need to be burnished to bring the polish back. In addition, my client was unhappy with the beige colour of the grout lines, requesting that I change the colour to white following the clean and polish.

Polished Marble Floor Elmswell Before Cleaning Polished Marble Floor Elmswell Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble tiles

To get the floor clean and bring back the polish I used a set of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads which have different levels of grit, applied to the Marble tiles with a small amount of water. I started with a Coarse pad, before moving on to a Medium pad, a Fine pad, and finally a Very Fine pad to achieve the desired polished look. The floor was given a thorough rinse between each pad in order to remove any excess residue that had resulted from the burnishing process.

Once I had finished the floors I moved onto the Marble wall tiles in the bathroom where the same process was repeated, for wall tiles however you need to use the smaller six inch burnishing pads fitted to a hand held buffer.

Sealing Marble Floor Tiles

I left the floor to dry for a few days before returning to seal it for which I used Tile Doctor Shine Powder. This is a crystallising powder that offers a very high shine and tough durable finish. It it ground directly into the tiles, and can be used to seal all natural stone, including Marble, Granite, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, for both interior and exterior floors.

Changing the Grout Colour

My final task was to change the colour of the grout, as per my client’s request. I did this using a couple of tubes of Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in white. The colourant is painted onto the grout with any excess wiped off the tile before it gets chance to harden. It’s an epoxy product that looks completely natural and additionally provides excellent stain protection for the future.

Polished Marble Floor Elmswell After Cleaning Polished Marble Floor Elmswell After Cleaning

My client was very pleased with the results of my work and took the time to leave the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“I cannot praise the standard of Bruce Copping’s work enough. He completely transformed the marble floors and shower room walls in my home and made them look brand new. His attention to detail was excellent, plus no mess, just a perfect finish and valuable advice on maintaining the walls and floors. I’m so relieved I was able to find Tile Doctor online; I’d almost given up hope of finding someone to sort out the problems with my marble, but Bruce Copping was superb. I’m absolutely delighted with the results and have no hesitation in recommending him.”

Marble Tiles Refurbished in Suffolk

Cleaning and Sealing a Pamment Tiled Floor in Ipswich

I was contacted by a client living in Ipswich, the county town of Suffolk, who had a dirty Pamment tiled floor that needed some attention. The sealer had pretty much worn off the surface of the tiles which had allowed dirt to become ingrained in the pores of the stone, making it difficult to clean for the homeowner.

Pamment Tiled floor Ipswich Before Cleaning Pamment Tiled floor Ipswich Before Cleaning

Pamment tiles are very popular in Suffolk homes; they are made locally from clay and, like Terracotta, are porous and therefore need to be sealed. Pamments are quite versatile, and can be used for internal floors and external surfaces like patios.

Cleaning a Pamment tiled floor

To remove the remaining sealer and clean the tiles I decided to apply Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which was diluted with water to form a medium strength solution. I applied a layer of this solution to the floor, leaving it to soak into the pores of the stone for approximately ten minutes. I then worked the solution into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove & Go is versatile cleaner, suitable and safe to use on many natural stone floors, ceramic tiles, grout and more.

I rinsed the solution off the floor with water once it had worked its magic, and extracted the resulting soiled residue with a wet-vac machine. In order to tackle the particular stubborn stains, I repeated this process until I was satisfied that the floor had been cleaned to the highest standard possible.

Pamment Tiled floor Ipswich During Cleaning

The floor was then left to dry overnight before returning the next day to complete the seal. It is imperative that a tiled floor is given at least 24 hours to dry completely. This is because any excess moisture left on the floor can potentially damage the performance of the sealer. However, in this case I installed a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.

Sealing a Pamment tiled floor

To seal the Pamment tiles I used a total of six layers of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provided a robust, durable surface seal along with an aesthetically pleasing, low-sheen finish (as you can see from the photos). Seal & Go is the go-to sealer for internal, unsealed porous surfaces such as Terracotta, Sandstone, Slate, and more.

Pamment Tiled floor Ipswich After Cleaning Pamment Tiled floor Ipswich After Cleaning

 
 

Refreshing Pamment floor tiles floor in Suffolk

Restoring a Poorly Sealed Limestone Patio in Ipswich, Suffolk

This Limestone patio had been poorly sealed, resulting in a lack of protection from weather and the general wear and tear of nature. As such, the patio was in need of a thorough clean, and any remaining sealer stripped off and replaced. In addition, the pointing between the Limestone tiles was crumbling, and in places the stone was marked by oil spots. The patio was installed at a house in Ipswich, Suffolk which incidentally is considered to be one of, if not the oldest town in England. I knew the Limestone tiles would be difficult to clean, especially after being exposed to dirt and wear for so long so I figured this would take some time to resolve.

Limestone patio before renovation in Ipswich Limestone patio before renovation in Ipswich

Removing tough stains and dirt from a Limestone patio

My first step was to give the patio an initial rinse with clean water in order to remove any loose debris. Following this, I mixed up an equal cleaning solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and NanoTech HBU. Pro-Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner which can be used on a variety of natural stone floors, whilst NanoTech HBU (formerly known as Ultra Clean) is specifically designed to tackle the heavy build-up of dirt and stains. It does this by using nano-sized particles to penetrate beneath tough stains to dissolve and lift them out.

As you can see from the photographs, the combination of the two cleaning products was highly effective. After completing the cleaning, I left the house for two days to allow plentiful time for the patio to dry completely, and therefore ready to be sealed.

Sealing a Limestone Patio with Stone Oil

Fortunately the weather held and I was able to call in as planned and applied Tile Doctor Stone Oil, an easy-to-apply product that adds colour to the stone. I left the floor for a further two days and then returned again to protect the Limestone using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal.

After cleaning and sealing the patio, my final task was to deal with the pointing issue. I replaced any missing pointing and fixed the loose pieces, before colouring the grout using a dark colourant to provide uniformity. This was difficult, but highly rewarding work, as the patio now looks bold and inviting.

Limestone patio after renovation in Ipswich

My customer was certainly pleased with my work, and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the service I received from Bruce Copping. He communicated well, was reliable and managed to breathe life back into my very unattractive limestone garden patio that had been excruciating badly sealed by my original contractors…The whole area, which is around 30ft square, now looks fantastic.”

Limestone patio after renovation in Ipswich

 
 

New life breathed into Limestone Patio in Suffolk

Sandstone flagstone floor cleaned in Boxford, Suffolk

This sandstone flagstone floor measured around 15m2 and was installed in a house in the village of Boxford, Suffolk, you can see how dark the stone had become from the build-up of dirt and soil over time, clearly they were in need of a deep clean and seal.

Sandstone Flags before cleaning Sandstone Flags before cleaning

Cleaning Sandstone

We cleaned the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with 10 parts warm water and worked in using a Black Scrubbing pad. This action certainly gave the floor a good clean but there were some staining that was proving stubborn to shift so we tried a stronger product called Remove and Go combined 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which add nano sized abrasive particles into the mix. We left the resulting formula to soak into the sandstone for about a while and then used a steam to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone and lift out the dirt, this did the trick and so we then removed the cleaning products with a wet vacuum and washed down the floor with clean water to neutralise the floor before sealing and left for the evening so the floor could dry overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We came back the next day, the floor had dried overnight so we proceeded to seal the Sandstone with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which gives a nice low sheen finish; Sandstone is fairly porous so it took five coats of sealer in the end. Seal and Go is a topical sealer which works well on Sandstone to really bring out the veins and natural colour in the stone, it also leaves them a lot easier to clean as flagstones invariably have a rough riven surface.

Sandstone Flags after cleaning Sandstone Flags after cleaning

 

Sandstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Suffolk

Pamment Tiled Hallway Maintained in Creeting St Peter, Suffolk

This Pamment tiled hall was in a Grade II listed former Manor House in the village of Creeting St Peter, there were three areas of floor requiring attention two having being recently laid and the other the original floor. Similar to Terracotta, Pamment tiles are made from Clay and have been traditionally used throughout Norfork and Suffollk.

pamment tiles before cleaning pamment tiles before cleaning

Cleaning Pamment Tiles

I started the job using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a heavy duty cleaner ideal for stone, tile and grout. The cleaner was diluted with water and left to soak into the Pamment tile and grout for about 10 minutes before being scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soiled solution was then removed with a wet vacuum and washed down with clean water to neutralise the floor of any chemical; we repeated this process a couple of times and we also used a stiff hand brushes to clean up the grout lines. Once happy the floor was given a final rinse and left to dry overnight, A dehumidifier was left running to ensure that the floor would be dry enough to seal the next day.

Sealing Pamment Tiles

The next day came back to do the sealing and after checking the floor had dried sufficiently proceeded to seal it . Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor, it’s a water based sealer so it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish which enhances the look of the tile. Like Terracotta Pamment tiles are very porous and took seven coats of sealer r before it was fully sealed.

pamment tiles after cleaning pamment tiles after cleaning

The work took two days in all and now the floor is much easier to maintain.

Pamment Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Suffolk

Terracotta Tiled Floor Maintained in Cringleford, Norwich

This terracotta floor was in a 1950’s style property in the village of Cringleford near Norwich. In total there was 13m2 of tile laid in the kitchen and conservatory around fifteen years ago. The floor had been given very little treatment since then resulting in the tiles looking faded and dull.

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I started the job using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a heavy duty alkaline product ideal for cleaning natural products such as Terracotta, this was scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. We used 3 litres of Pro-Clean in total having had to repeat the cleaning a couple of times, we also used stiff hand brushes along the grout lines where the pads can often struggle to reach. Once happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to remove any remaining chemical and left it to dry overnight. A dehumidifier was left running to ensure that the floor was dry enough to seal the next day.

Terracotta Tile in Cringleford before

Sealing Terracotta Tile

The next day came back to do the sealing and checked the floor first for any spots we might had missed and also to ensure it had dried sufficiently. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor, it’s a water based sealer so it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. Terracotta is very porous and in the end the floor actually took seven coats of sealer requiring three litres of Seal and Go before it was fully sealed. Applying a sealer does takes a long time to apply as you have to wait for it to dry before applying the next coat.

Terracotta Tile in Cringleford after
The work took two days in all and you can see the difference for yourself, the floor now looks wonderful and will be a lot easier to maintain going forward.

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Norfolk

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor in Newmarket

This Limestone tiled floor was around 50m2 and installed in Kitchen and Hallway in a new build style property in Newmarket, ‘The Home of Horse Racing’. The property was only 3 years old and the owner was having difficulty keeping the floor clean.

Newmarket Limestone Floor Before

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

The first step was to scrub the Limestone tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong multi-purpose alkaline cleaning product designed for use on natural stone. This process ended up taking all day and requiring a full five litre bottle of Pro-Clean to get the floor how we wanted it, It was after a reasonably large area and we had to repeat the process in some areas.

The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with clean water to remove any cleaning products and we then we switched on the under floor heating and left for the day so the floor could dry overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

When we came back the next day the floor was nice and dry and we set about sealing the Limestone tile with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides stain resistance and enhances the natural colour within stone, three coats were sufficient but again due to the size of floor we did use a full five litre bottle.

Newmarket Limestone Floor After
The floor now looks splendid and the sealer has made it a lot easier to maintain, certainly the customer was pleased and left the following comment on our feedback system.

“Great job, very friendly, tiles look excellent. Mrs Fothergill, Newmarket, Suffolk”

Limestone Floor cleaning and sealing in Suffolk

Restoring the Shine on a Travertine Floor Tiles in Haughley

This travertine tiled floor was in a converted Chapel in the Suffolk village of Haughley. The floor had been laid about 4 years previous as part of the conversion. The owner has been applying sealer to the floor but was finding it difficult to keep clean and as you can see from the photographs it had become dull and lost its shine.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Travertine Tiled Floor Before

Cleaning Travertine Floor Tile

The Travertine floor tiles were cleaned and polished using a set of diamond encrusted Twister burnishing pads. They really are the best solution for restoring hard floor surfaces such as Travertine, Limestone and Marble. We started with the red pad to remove the existing sealer followed by the white and yellow pads to clean and hone the stone. The wall and floor tiles were then rinsed with water to clean and neutralise the floor ready for sealing; this work had taken much of the day so we left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tile

We came back the next day to complete the floor starting by adding a final polish using a Green burnishing pad. The last step was to seal using three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides stain protection as well as enhancing the colour in natural stone surfaces; a five litre bottle of sealer was required to cover this 45m2 kitchen floor.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Travertine Tiled Floor After

I’m happy to report our efforts restored the shine on this floor and the owner now finds it much easier to maintain.

Travertine Tiled Floor in Suffolk Cleaned and Sealed

Marble Tiled Wet Room in Great Bricett, Suffolk

Details below of a wet room lined with 10m2 of Marble in old cottage on the outskirts of the medieval village of Great Bricett in the heart of Suffolk. You can see from the photographs staining of the Marble Tiled wall and floor which was left in a mess after a friend of the family had tried to remove the limescale during a visit.

Marble Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Marble Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Sealing Marble Tile

The Marble tiles were cleaned and polished using a set of mini Twister burnishing pads. The pads are encrusted in diamonds are brilliant at restoring hard stone surfaces such as Marble. You start with the red pad to remove the existing sealer followed by the white and yellow pads to clean and hone the stone. The wall and floor tiles were then rinsed with water to clean and neutralise the floor ready for sealing.

The room had under floor heating which helped to dry out the tile and so it was soon possible to use the final green pad to polish the tiles and move onto sealing. To seal we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying breathable sealer that enhances colour as well as providing durable surface protection, a one litre bottle of sealer was sufficient.

Thanks to the under floor heating we managed to complete the job in a single day and as you can see from the final set of photographs below the stains have been removed and the tiles restored to their original appearance.

Marble Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Marble Shower Cubicle After Cleaning

 

Limescale removed from Marble Tiled Shower in Suffolk

Cleaning Burford Limestone Tiles in Rendham, Suffolk

These Burford Limestone tiles were in an old farmhouse in the village of Rendham in Suffolk. We were called in because the floor had only been laid less than a year prior and it was proving extremely difficult to keep clean. In fact you should be able to see from the photographs a number of stubborn lines and staining.

Burford Limestone Before Burford Limestone Before

Cleaning and Sealing Limestone Tile

To thoroughly clean the Limestone tile we applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaning agent; it’s important to use an alkaline cleaner as even weak acidic products will harm natural stone with continued use. We used 5 litres of Pro-Clean in total, leaving it to dwell on the surface of the tile for a few minutes before actively scrubbing the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The scrubbing process works the solution into the surface of the tile to release the dirt. The Limestone floor was then rinsed thoroughly with water to clean and neutralise the floor and wash away any remaining cleaning fluid ready for sealing; a wet Vacuum machine really helps at this stage to suck up the water from the floor.

We let the floor dry overnight and were back the next day to start the sealing process. To seal the floor we used three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying breathable sealer that enhances colour as well as providing durable surface protection, two litres of Colour Grow was required to cover the 25m2 area of Limestone with three coats of sealer.

You can see from the photographs the improvement in the floor, plus its now a lot easier to clean.

Burford Limestone After Burford Limestone After

 

Burford Limestone cleaned and sealed in Suffolk

Marble Tiled Hallway in Woodbridge, Suffolk

This Marble tiled floor was in the hallway of a house in the historic town of Woodbridge; the floor had lost its lustre was looking dull and in need of a good polish.

Marble Hallway Before Polishing Marble Hallway Before Polishing

Marble Cleaning and Sealing

It took a day to clean the Marble tiles using a set of 17 inch diamond encrusted Twister burnishing pads fitted to a buffing machine. The pads come in a set of four and you start with the red pad in conjunction with water to remove the existing sealer followed by the white and yellow pads also with water to clean and hone the stone. The tiles were then rinsed with clean water to clean and neutralise the floor ready for sealing.

Once the floor was dry we used the final green pad with a small amount of water to polish the tiles before moving onto sealing. To seal we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which does what it says on the tin and enhances colour as well as providing that important surface protection, a five litre bottle of sealer was required to provide two coats on this 35m2 floor.

I’m not the world’s best photographer but hopefully you agree from the pictures on this page that the floor has now got its shine back.

Marble Hallway After Clean and Polish Marble Hallway After Clean and Polish

Marble Tiled Hallway polished in Suffolk

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration

This original Victorian quarry tiled floor was laid in the hallway of an old 1897 cottage dating back to built in the Norwich village of Great Melton. The owner was able to show me pictures from the early 1900s showing the then owner and the floor. It had been covered by carpet for several years and was covered in paint and other debris from the renovation work being carried out.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor

You can see from the pictures above that the floor was in quite a state and it took a day to whole day to clean. The floor area was only around 6m2 but consumed two litres of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a very strong tiled floor stripper that will just about shift anything and a further 2 litres of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean getting it clean. Once that was done we washed down the floor to neutralise the floor and left it to dry so it could be sealed the next day

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning

Sealing the Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor

We returned the next day to seal the floor, for this we used four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which gives a nice low sheen finish and is recommended for these types of floor, one litre of sealer was sufficient to do the job. You can see a huge improvement from the photographs which clearly show a stunning transformation.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Victorian Floor After Cleaning and Sealing

 

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration

Sandstone Tile Cleaning in Beyton

We were called into Clean and Seal 36m2 of Sandstone tile flooring installed in the Kitchen, Utility, Hallway and Cloakroom of a house in the Suffolk village of Beyton. The sandstone floor tile was laid around 10 years prior, the tiles had never been sealed and despite regular cleaning the riven surface had become a natural home for dust and grime.

Sandstone Tile Cleaning

Cleaning the floor was straight forward using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a very effective and flexible cleaning product recommended for natural stone surfaces, it was a large area so we used around 5 litres in total. We washed the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining product and then left it to dry over night.

Sandstone floor before sealing Sandstone floor before sealing

Sealing Sandstone Tile

The sandstone tile sealer we chose for the floor was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it leaves a matt finish as opposed to a shiny polished effect but it does bring out the colour in the Sandstone tile, we used around 5 litres of sealer to complete the floor.

Sandstone floor after cleaning and sealing Sandstone floor after cleaning and sealing

 

Cleaning and Sealing Sandstone Tile Floor

Ceramic Tile Cleaning in Newmarket

This ceramic tiled floor had only been laid in a Kitchen floor in Newmarket just over a year ago. The tiles from the Topps Tiles Padova range did not have a glazed finish to them and therefore the owner was having difficulty keeping them clean on a daily basis. I did a quick search on the Internet and it seems this range of tiles are difficult to remove grout smears from once laid.

The floor was cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-clean diluted with 3 parts water to effectively clean the floor and grout removing the ingrained dirt that had accumulated. The tiled floor was 14m2 and required 2 litres of Pro-Clean to get it clean. The photo below clearly demonstrates the improvement in the two tiles which were cleaned before moving onto the rest.

Ceramic Tiled Floor Cleaning

We washed the floor down with water to neutralise it and then left to dry for a few hours before sealing it with two coats of Seal & Go which on this size of floor required one litre of product. Normally ceramic tiles won’t take a sealer due to the glazing however in this case a sealer will be necessary to protect the floor.

Ceramic Tile Cleaning in Newmarket

Quarry tiled floor restoration in Ipswich

This old quarry tiled floor was in the dining room of a Victorian terrace house in central Ipswich, Suffolk. The tiled floor had been covered by carpet for the previous 12 years and the owner wanted it restoring back to its original condition.

Quarry Tile Cleaning

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration

The carpet backing had been glued to the quarry tiled floor and it took two days of hard graft using 2 litres of Remove & Go to remove the backing followed by 2 litres of Pro-Clean to clean up the tile. Once we had finished cleaning we washed down the floor to remove any remaining cleaning products and left it to dry overnight. We find a Wet and Dry Vacuum helps a lot when doing this; it’s a great tool for removing liquids from floors.

Quarry Tile Sealing

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration
We came back the next day and sealed the floor with five coats of Seal & Go, about 1 litre, which brought out the beauty in the floor, you can see the remarkable difference in the photographs.

Quarry Tile Floor Restoration in Ipswich

Quarry Tile Flooring in Friston

Quarry Tile Floor in Friston

Details below of An 8m2 Quarry Tiled Floor in the kitchen of an old 18th century farm cottage in the village of Friston, which over time had lost its shine and become dull. This floor like a lot of floors we get asked to maintain had lost it’s sealer over the years and was in need of some Tile Doctor TLC.

Quarry Tile Flooring Before Cleaning Quarry Tile Flooring Before Cleaning
Quarry Tile Flooring Before Restoration

Quarry Tile Cleaning

The floor was thoroughly cleaned using 1 litre of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, degreaser and stripper created for use on most stone and ceramic tiles in use today. The tiled floor was left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next morning.

Quarry Tile Flooring After Cleaning Quarry Tile Flooring After Cleaning
Quarry Tile Flooring After Restoration

Quarry Tile Floor Sealing

The following day, the tiles were sealed with four coats of Seal & Go, a Tile Doctor product that provides a long lasting stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish. You can see the difference in the photographs.

Restoration of Quarry Tile Flooring in Friston, Suffolk

Diamond Laid Quary Tile Floor Restoration

Quarry Tile Floor in Bury St Edmunds

This 10m2 old quarry tiled floor laid in diamond pattern was in the hallway of a lovely thatched cottage, once part of the Hengrave Hall estate, had not been sealed for several years and was in need of restoration. Hengrave Hall itself is a Tudor mansion, located just north of Bury St Edmunds and in the heart of the picturesque village of Hengrave. It’s an imposing country mansion with beautiful gardens and offers a perfect venue for Weddings.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration
Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration

Cleaning the Quarry Tiled Floor

The floor was given a thorough clean using a litre of Tile Doctor Pro-clean which is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser designed for use on Quarry Tiles and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration
Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration

Sealing the Quarry Tiled Floor

The next day we sealed the floor using 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish; we found 1 litre of the product was sufficient for the job.

Quarry Tile Floor Restoration in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Polished Marble Care

Polished Marble Care in Felixstowe

This large 52m2 marble tiled floor located in the Entrance Hall of a property in Felixstowe had been laid when the property was renovated in 2002. Unfortunately 15 of the tiles were cracked and so our first job was to carefully remove and replace them.

Polished Marble Tiled Floor Care and Restoration
Polished Marble Tiled Floor After Restoration 

The floor was then burnished using a set of Burnishing Pads and then sealed using two litres of Ultra-Seal which is a no-sheen, natural-look penetrating sealer that offers maximum stain protection. All in this Marble Floor Care job took 3 days and should now keep on looking good for some time to come.

Polished Marble Care, Felixstowe

Slate Flooring Care

Slate Flooring Care in Whepstead

Some details below of a cleaning and sealing job we we did on a 43m2 Slate Floor in a kitchen/utility room in Whepstead, Suffolk.

Slate Floor Care Before Restoration

This beautiful slate floor had been sealed several years ago, the sealer had worn and it was in need of some slate flooring care. The floor was cleaned with Pro-clean, it was a reasonably large and it tool around 2 litres to get it clean. We then left it to dry overnight and came back the next morning to seal it using 6 x coats of Seal & Go consuming around 2 litres of the product.

Slate Flooring Care applied in Whepstead

Slate Flooring Care applied in Whepstead, Suffolk

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Suffolk Tile Doctor

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