Cleaning an Old Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Runcorn

This post comes from a job I did for a customer in who lives in the town of Runcorn on the south bank of the River Mersey. The request was to restore the Terracotta floor tiles in the kitchen of a property which dated back to 1773 and still had all its original features inside and out. You can see from the photograph below that the tile and grout were looking very dull and well overdue a deep clean and seal.

Old Terracotta Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Runcorn

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

To clean the floor, I soaked the floor in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong stripping and cleaning solution which removes sealers and also draws out ingrained stains and also the heavy grease build up that was present around the cooker.

After twenty to thirty minutes the solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soiled solution was then removed with a wet vacuum and this was followed by scrubbing the grout lines with more Remove and Go and a grout brush until they were clean. The whole floor was then rinsed with water to remove any soil and trace of cleaning product. The water was then extracted using the wet vacuum. The floor was then checked to make sure it was as clean as it could be and stubborn areas spot treated.

Once I was happy the floor was clean it became apparent that some of the grout was loose and would need replacing so I took care of that using a matching grout before calling it a day and leaving the floor to dry out overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

We returned next morning and tested the tiles with a damp meter making sure it was dry before we could seal it. To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice sheen to the tiles and works really well on Terracotta.

Old Terracotta Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Runcorn

I took some time to complete though as due to the porosity of the clay it required eight coats to fully seal the tiles. You have to wait between coats to allow them to dry however I was able to speed up the drying process though using an air blower.
 
 

Restoring an Old Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire

Kitchen Tiles Transformed by Grout Recolouring in Stockton Heath

You often see some fantastic tiled surfaces transformations in lifestyle and home decoration magazines. This customer, who lives in Stockton Heath, had recently seen a feature in which an area of white kitchen tiles had been transformed by changing the white grout to a charcoal coloured grout, giving it a new and particularly striking appearance.

Grout before recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen Grout before recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen

Very impressed with the result, she wanted to know if Tile Doctor could do the same for her white kitchen tiles, which covered the majority of the room. I told her that not only could we do it – we could do it even better in the space of a day!

Here’s how we did it.

Cleaning and Recolouring White Kitchen Tiles

Our process for recolouring grout involves an application of a pre-treatment cleaner to ensure a complete refresh of both the grout and tiles. This pre-treatment cleaner removes any dirt and stains, as well as prepares the the grout joints for a superior bond with the Grout Colourant. I applied this carefully and scrubbed it in using a specialised grout brush, before drying the area with a heat gun.

It was then time to apply Charcoal Gray Grout Colourant, one of the options from our range of 10 Grout Colourants that includes Black, Ivory, and Cappuccino. Our Grout Colourant is an easy-to-use waterborne epoxy that not only recolours grout joints, but also seals and rejuvenates them to guarantee their long-term protection. This was applied using a good old fashioned toothbrush, and any excess was swiftly removed.

Grout during recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen Grout during recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen

To complete the process I removed the old silicone around the windows and worktops and replaced with a fresh batch. When the customer saw the finished result she was over the moon. She thought this kind of transformation could only be made with difficulty and at a high cost but we showed that it’s a very simple and cost-effective process for any home owner.

Grout after recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen Grout after recolouring at Stockton Heath kitchen

 
 

Professional Kitchen Tile Cleaning and Grout Recolouring in Stockton Heath

Ceramic Kitchen Tiles Refresh and Grout Recolouring in Warrington

It can be amazing and equally frustrating just how quickly grout can become dirty and discoloured. I was recently contacted by a couple in Warrington to see if I could help them with their Ceramic tiled kitchen floor that had only been laid six months earlier. To their dismay, in that short time the grout had become discoloured and difficult to clean. They had given up trying to resolve the situation by themselves and so turned to Tile Doctor for some professional assistance.

Naturally I was happy to assist and so arranged to visit the property to conduct a small cleaning test where I demonstrated how with a combination of the right tools and products I could indeed get the grout lines clean again. Seeing the results of the test, the couple were more than happy to book me to complete the job.

Kitchen tiles before cleaning and grout recolour in Warrington

Grout Cleaning for Dirty Ceramic Tiles

On my return to the property, I repeated the same successful test clean across the entirety of the floor. This involved the application firstly of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a strong cleaner, stripper and degreaser. I scrubbed the product thoroughly into all the grout lines, making sure I did not miss any dirt and stains.

I then started to clean the Ceramic floor tiles using our high alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This was scrubbed into the floor in a similar fashion to the Remove and Go and then rinsed off with plain water extracting the waste water with a Wet Vat. The floor was left to dry over lunchtime.

Recolouring Grout for Ceramic Tiles

In the afternoon, I explained that whilst I could get the grout clean it was only a matter of time before it became dirty again. So, to provide a permanent solution I recommended to the customer that we apply an epoxy Grout Colourant, which adds a protective barrier over the grout. An alternative would have been to apply a Grout Sealer however this is best applied to new grout and in this case would not have guaranteed the uniform appearance required.

Before applying the Grout Colourant, I made sure the grout lines were dry by giving them a quick blast with a heat gun. I then started to colour the grout lines with our White Grout Colourant, which is part of a range made by Tile Doctor and is available in ten popular colours, including Black, Charcoal Grey and even Cappuccino Brown.

The difference made to the floor was quite remarkable. Not only is the grout now a uniform brilliant white, but it should remain so for a long time to come. You can see this yourself in the photograph below!

Kitchen tiles after cleaning and grout recolour in Warrington

 
 

Restoring the Appearance of Grout on a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire

Grubby, Unsealed Slate Tiles Revitalised in Lymm

One of the worst examples of bad tiling practice is to leave a newly installed floor unsealed and therefore unprotected. This is exactly the problem that had occurred at this property in Lymm, West Cheshire. A builder has installed a new Slate tiled floor in the kitchen of this property, but had neglected to seal it, leaning the tiles exposed to dirt, stains, and other general muck so they quickly lost their appearance. To be fair I could not fault the installation but the floor now looked terrible.

Slate Floor Before Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

The property owner was keen to have the grubby Slate tiles refreshed and sealed, so she gave me a call. I agreed to complete the work and travelled to the property in Lymm – which incidentally means “place of running water” in Celtic – and was named after an ancient stream that ran through the village centre.

Cleaning a Grubby Slate Tiled Floor

Upon my arrival at the property I got straight to work, cleaning the tiles with our heavy duty remover/cleaner, Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was applied to the floor, left to soak in and then scrubbed into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to break down the layers of muck. Normally I would use Remove and Go to strip away old coatings and sealers, but here of course there was no sealer to begin with just a lot of ingrained dirt.

I also carefully scrubbed the grout lines with a special grout brush as I went along. The grout lines are often where dirt can be come easily ingrained, and it was no different here. The floor was then rinsed off with clean water, and any resulting could residue was quickly removed using a wet vac machine. Finally, the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property and started by checking that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. This involved running damp tests to check for excess moisture. When satisfied, I proceeded to seal the floor with a single coat of our impregnating, colour enhancing sealer, Tile Doctor Colour Grow followed by two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which gives the tiles a fantastic sheen finish.

Refreshing Grout with a Grout Colourant

The customer requested for the grout lines to be recoloured, but first I had to leave the property overnight to allow the sealer to dry. The next morning, I coloured the grout lines with white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which is just a question of applying the colourant with a small brush and then wiping the excess off the tiles. It’s not a tough job but it can be quite fiddley and it does make a real difference to the appearance of the grout.

Slate Floor After Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

As you can see from the After photograph the white Grout Colourant contrasted very nicely against the naturally dark Slate. The absence of a sealer had left the floor looking very dull but now, with a fresh, robust seal, it has been completely revitalised. My customer was exceptionally pleased with her hugely improved kitchen floor.
 
 

Post Installation Treatment of a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire

Newly Discovered Quarry Kitchen Tiles Restored in Chester

If you’re a first time buyer in the process of renovating or redecorating your new property, you may well discover some fantastic tiled floors hidden under your carpets. Certainly in my experience this happens quite often, so it came as no surprise when I got a call from a couple who had pulled up the carpet in the kitchen of their new house in Chester to find Quarry tiles, along with some fantastic Victorian tiles in the hallway.

Quarry tiled floor Chester Before Cleaning

While the Quarry tiles were in relatively good condition – having been shielded by carpet for many years – the couple were still understandably keen to get them back to looking their very best. I was more than happy to help them do just that.

Quarry tiled floor Chester Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Before beginning the restoration, I removed the kick boards from the kitchen cupboards so as not to damage them. I then applied a solution of our versatile, high alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, and let it soak into the tiles for a short period before scrubbing it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Pro Clean is suitable for use on most natural stone tiles, including Quarry, Victorian and Slate, doing the trick to break down medium to heavy soil buildup.

The floor was then rinsed off with clean water, and the resulting slurry was promptly removed using a wet vac. I then left the floor dry out overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned to the property the next morning, and started out by taking a couple of damp meter readings to make sure the floor was dry enough to seal. This is an essential task before sealing any tiled floor as even the smallest amount of excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

To seal the floor, I firstly applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which really brought out the natural reddish shades in the Quarry. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Colour fills the pores in the stone and prevents dirt from becoming ingrained. I followed the application of Colour Grow by applying three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. As a topical sealer, Seal and Go Extra forms an additional stain resistant seal on the surface of the tiles to protect against dirt and stains. It also gave the tiles a quality sheen finish as requested by the customer.

Quarry tiled floor Chester After Cleaning

The customers were very happy with their newly restored Quarry tiled floor. They left the following feedback:

“We were both thrilled to bits with how nice the Quarry tiled kitchen floor looked, after being cleaned and sealed. Alastair was a pleasure to deal with and we would highly recommend him to anyone considering having their floor done.”

Quarry tiled floor Chester After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire