Cleaning a Limestone Floor in a Chester Restaurant Ready for Reopening

We were asked to clean and seal a large Limestone floor at a restaurant on the outskirts of Chester. The large hostelry and Steak House was reopening after being closed since lock down and the floor had not been cleaned since.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Chester Restaurant Cheshire

I arranged a visit to survey the floor and could see that although the Limestone tiles were still stained with beer, wine, and other detritus they were in good condition for a busy commercial floor. On the back of that visit, I was able to provide a detailed quote and at the request of the manager agreed to do the work three days before it was due to open.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Chester Restaurant Cheshire

Although this did not leave much time in the way of contingency it made a lot of sense for the manager as the floor would be pristine for the grand opening. I had calculated that the work should take two days and that left them a day for final preparations, including setting out the furniture and last-minute staff training.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Restaurant Floor

To get the limestone floor clean I sprayed the area with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (a multi-purpose degreaser tile cleaner) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (a multi-purpose stripper and coatings remover). The cleaning cocktail was left to soak into the stone for a good twenty minutes to allow it time to break down ingrained dirt and marks in the old polish from around the fixed furniture and skirting boards that had been applied by the cleaners over the years.

To help the process of taking the stains out of the limestone the cleaning mixture was worked into the tile using a coarse 400-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad. The pads are fitted to a rotary buffer machine applying weights were required to maintain a better contact with the stone. The cleaning solution turns into a dark slurry as the dirt is released from the floor and once the pad has been over each tile at least three times as vet vacuum is used to extract it.

This process was then followed up with the application of a finer 800-grit pad but applied only with water which helps lubricate the process. Again, the slurry was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with water which is vacuumed off once more. This process is then repeated with a 1500-grit burnishing pad which starts putting the polish back on the floor. These large 17-inch pads can struggle around the edges of the floor so small six-inch burnishing pads fitted to a hand polisher are used. Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was rinsed down once more and dried with the wet vacuum before being left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Restaurant Floor

The next day the last burnishing pad in the series was run over the floor, this is a very fine 3000-grit pad which completes the polishing process and leaves the Limestone with a healthy shine. This final pad is applied dry with only a few squirts of water applied to the surface, a process we call spray burnishing.

Lastly to protect the floor it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a premium natural look penetrating and durable sealer. The sealer prevents dirt from becoming trapped in the pores of the stone and allow it to be easily cleaned off the surface. Once the last coat of sealer was dry the floor was dry the floor was buffed with a White buffing pad to improve the sheen and remove any excess sealer.

Limestone Floor After Renovation Chester Restaurant Cheshire Limestone Floor After Renovation Chester Restaurant Cheshire

I am pleased to say we didn’t encounter any complications during cleaning, so the timings worked out beautifully and the owner was able to open on schedule.

For future maintenance I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap cleaner which is a pH neutral that will gently cleans the tile whilst improving patina. Many commercial tile cleaning products are simply too strong for sealed floors and can degrade the sealer prematurely.

Limestone Floor After Renovation Chester Restaurant Cheshire


Professional Cleaning of a Limestone Floor in a Cheshire Restaurant

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Tarvin

I was recently contacted by a client who had just moved into a large Victorian property in the West Cheshire village of Tarvin about renovating their Victorian tiled hallway. Apparently, the floor was in good condition, and it would just be a case of removing what was left of the old sealer, deep cleaning the tiles and then applying a fresh seal. Unless the floor has been regularly maintained with the same sealer it’s important to remove all traces of old sealers before applying fresh.

Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning Tarvin Cheshire

A lot of the work we do at Tile Doctor can be a lot more involved, often requiring the sourcing of matching replacement tiles and rebuilding large sections of tiled flooring so straight forward clean and seal job is always welcome.

Stripping and Cleaning a Victorian Hallway Tiles

To remove what was left of the sealer and the ingrained dirt from the pores of the Victorian tile I dressed the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. On this occasion I used a 1:3 dilution with water and applied it to the floor with a mop. I left it to soak into the tile for fifteen minutes before scrubbing so it could get to work breaking down the old sealer.

During this time, I set up a weighted floor buffer and fitted a black buffing pad, these pads are designed for scrubbing hard floors and lifting out the dirt. I applied a little water as required during this process to ensure the pad was lubricated. Shortly the cleaning solution darkened as the old sealer and dirt was released from the tile.

The soil was rinsed away with water and then removed using a wet vacuum. Once clear the floor was inspected and the process repeated until I was satisfied it was as clean as it could be and free of sealer.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Before Sealing Tarvin Cheshire

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry off overnight and returned the next day to apply a new sealer. Before doing so however I like to use a damp meter to take moisture readings from the floor. This is needed to ensure it is dry enough to seal which is important as any moisture in the tile can affect the sealer and lead to an inconsistent finish.

To seal I started with the application of a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying breathable impregnator that soaks into the tile improving appearance and adding protection from within. Any excess sealant was removed by wiping the floor with a microfibre cloth and then it was left to dry for an hour.

This was followed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is an acrylic breathable sealer which adds a pleasing subtle shine to the tile. This is an important feature when choosing a sealer for old floors where moisture needs to be allowed to rise through the tile, otherwise it can become trapped under the floor and reach out to the walls causing rising damp.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sealing Tarvin Cheshire

The customer was very happy with the revamped hallway which made the house a lot brighter and welcoming. Before closing I should mention that for aftercare cleaning I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which is designed for the daily cleaning for sealed tiles, this is important as most domestic supermarket cleaners are simply too strong and can prematurely erode the sealer.


Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Cheshire

Bringing Life Back to Encaustic Cement Tiles in Chester

This very old Encaustic tiled flooring was uncovered at a property in Chester when the present owners started to undertake renovation. They removed the carpets and vinyl tiles from the hallway, revealing the Encaustic tiles to find that they were in truly horrific condition. This included being covered by heavy dirt, dust and, in some parts, by a sticky black bitumen.

Encaustic tiles are made out of compressed cement, and were commonly used in properties built during the Edwardian and Victorian period. This gives us a good idea of just how old these tiles are – but the owners were keen to see what Tile Doctor could do to restore their condition.

Encaustic tiled hallway before restoration in Chester Encaustic tiled hallway before restoration in Chester

Cleaning Extremely Dirty Encaustic Cement Tiles

The black bitumen was my main concern when it came to cleaning the tiles. To remove this, along with all the other dirt and dust, our powerful cleaner for heavy soil buildup, known as Tile Doctor Remove and Go, was applied.

The product, which is also effective for removing adhesive and paint stains, was worked into the tiles then left to dwell for thirty minutes, before being scrubbed with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting cleaning residue was soaked up with a wet vac machine. This cleaning process was repeated once more over to get the tiles as clean as possible, before leaving them to dry overnight.

Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

The next day, damp readings were taken to make sure the floor was dry enough to seal. It’s essential to take damp readings before sealing – especially with old tiled floors that may not have a damp proof membrane installed – as even the slightest amount of excess moisture can damage the performance of the sealer.

Two types of sealer were used in this situation. First to be applied was a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer which enhances the best shades in the tiles. Following this, four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied. This is a topical sealer, which means it builds a layer of protection on the surface of the floor, while also providing an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish.

The customer was over the moon at the end result. At first the floor looked to be with a lost cause, but with the right cleaning methods and products it has been a restored to a standard where it almost appears new. Another satisfied customer!

Encaustic tiled hallway after restoration in Chester Encaustic tiled hallway after restoration in Chester


Professional Restoration of an Old Encaustic Cement 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

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