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