Restoring Bleach Damaged Slate Pool Tiles In in Northamptonshire

This very nice house in a village near Oundle in Northamptonshire features something we don’t see too often in residential property – an indoor swimming pool. The pool is surrounded by some very complementary and rustic looking Slate tiles which act as the flooring in the poolhouse.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

However, over the years, the Slate tiles had been badly damaged by the chlorine bleach which is used to sterilise the pool water. The cumulative effect of people splashing water onto the tiles or walking around wet on the floor had caused the sealant to break down and the bleach had left a white blotchiness on the stone. I was asked to rectify the situation by deep cleaning the tiles, resurfacing some of the damaged stone, and applying a fresh sealant.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

Cleaning Bleach-Damaged Slate Tiles

My first course of action in restoring these tiles was to clean the entire floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline-based cleaner for most types of natural stone. This product was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff brush fitted to a rotary machine. After cleaning, I rinsed the floor with fresh water and used a wet vacuum to soak up the resulting slurry. Although the pool was protected with a cover I had to take care not to allow any of my cleaning water to contaminate the pool.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

The process was effective in removing most of the white calcium deposits caused by the bleach, but not all of them. I tackled the more embedded stains with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids which treats stubborn smears such as these. The gel was brushed onto the tiles and left to dwell for 15 minutes, and then agitated using a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After rinsing the floor again, I found that there were yet still stubborn stains remaining that didn’t respond to chemical cleaning. I decided that removing these would necessitate a more aggressive approach, and so used a set of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads to literally remove the damaged layer of stone and resurface the face of some of the badly damaged tiles.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

Sealing Slate Tiles

The tiles were left to dry overnight after being cleaned and repaired. The next day, I returned to the property to applying the fresh sealant. For this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a sealant which impregnates the stone to provide maximum protection and enhances its natural colours.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

The customer was very impressed with the result and was very much keen to make sure the tiles remained in such good condition, so I made sure to provide the groundsman with instructions on routine maintenance.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

I informed him that each time the pool is used the entire area needs to be hosed and brushed down as no sealer can withstand continuous exposure to chlorine bleach. I also left a complementary tin of Colour Grow sealant with him for periodic top-ups, as well as information on the yearly maintenance plan we offer at Tile Doctor.
 
 
Source: Pool Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Riven Slate Patio Left Covered in Grout Smears By Northans Builder Restored

This customer, who lives in Wollaston, a small village in Northamptonshire, called me to look at the unfortunate condition of her Riven Slate tiled patio. She had hired a builder to install it, but he had neglected to remove the grout haze which had occurred quickly enough, allowing it to set. He was subsequently unable to remove the haze because he had already sealed over it. This had left it looking very unsightly, as you can see in the photo below.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Before Cleaning

The customer initially contacted me back in December 2016. At that time, I did explain to the customer that the Winter wouldn’t be an ideal time to restore the patio, and that it would be best to carry out the work in the Spring. However, she was so unhappy with the appearance of the patio and – knowing she had guests coming over for Christmas – wanted something to be done to improve the condition of the tiles as soon as possible.

It was agreed that I would immediately carry out the removal of the old sealer and the grout haze beneath, but leave the re-sealing until the Spring of the following year when the weather was dry. The customer understood that when I returned in the Spring, the patio would require another light clean and brush to prepare it for sealing.

To put the customer’s mind at rest somewhat, I carried out a test clean on one slab of the patio using Tile Doctor impregnating, colour intensifying sealer, known as Colour Grow. This darkened the tile and provided a natural look finish, which was preferred by the customer. I also returned to the property several days later to carry out a water repellency test, but as you can see from the photo below, the rain beat me to it. Thankfully, the repellency test had positive results.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Testi Cleaning

I was then able to begin the cleaning process.

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Patio

To begin, I removed the old sealer using a strong mix of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a stripper and cleaner. This product was scrubbed into the tiles with a rotary brush machine. Net, I rinsed away the resulting slurry and soaked up the water with a wet vax machine.

This initial clean exposed the true extent of the grout haze – it was over all every tile! My next course of action was therefore to remove this using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a gel cleaner specially formulated to neutralise grout haze. This was allowed to dwell for a short period before I brushed it in.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston During Cleaning

Following this, I gave the whole area a second brush with a small amount of water, before using a wet vax machine once again to make sure all cleaning chemicals were removed. I used the customer’s hosepipe to rinse down the entire patio as there was good drainage.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 2nd Cleaning

I allowed the tiles to dry out naturally, before waited for a dry day in April this year to return to the property. During this day, I sealed the entire area with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to really deepen the colour in the stone and provide the whole patio long-lasting protection against the elements.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 1st Coat

The customer was exceptionally happy to have the patio restored to perfect condition. I’m sure she’ll make great use of it over the Summer!

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Completed

 
 
Source: Slate Patio Tile Renovation Service in Northants

Old Slate Floor Renovation in Northamptonshire

The problems with not maintaining a natural stone floor properly are manifold. The build-up of ingrained dirt and muck is not just unhygienic, it also makes the stone appear dull and discoloured – and for many property owners, this can completely ruin the character of a room.

Here’s an example of a very dull and lacklustre Slate tiled floor at a small cottage in Little Harrowden, which is tiny village of less than 1,000 people situated roughly three miles north-west of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire. The owner was concerned that the poor condition of the floor was making the feel kitchen narrow and confined, and so she called me to help with brightening it up with a deep clean and seal. Achieving a sheen finish would help to reflect the natural light that comes into the room.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

I began the restoration by masking up the edges of the room and applying a clear silicon to the base boards of the kitchen units to prevent any water damage.

My choice of cleaner was Tile Doctor Oxy Gel, which is a strong alkaline-based gel cleaner. It’s like Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is also alkaline-based, except it sticks to the tile due to its consistency and so it’s excellent for cleaning vertical surfaces such as bathroom walls. On this occasion, I wanted to use Oxy Gel to keep the amount of water I needed to use to a minimum. Since this was an old cottage there were a few damp issues that I wanted to avoid exacerbating.

I spread the Oxy Gel out evenly over half of the floor, before agitating it with rotary brushes. I allowed this to dwell for 10 minutes before adding a small amount of water and agitating the floor again, this time paying attention to the grout lines, which were very badly soiled. This process was subsequently carried out over the rest of the floor.

Slate Floor During Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

I wet-vaxed each area after completion of the process and then wet-vaxed the entire floor again to neutralise the tiles and remove any remaining product. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Returning to the property the following day, I took damp meter readings to see if the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. As I mentioned, the floor had some damp issues so this was important to check. I did, in fact, have to use a heat gun to finish drying a few damp areas of grout.

Once satisfied, I sealed the Slate with Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which is a breathable water-based sealer, which is ideal in situations where no damp proof membrane is present or where there are damp issues. Once dry, the sealer provides an aesthetically pleasing light sheen finish.

Slate Floor During Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

As you can see from the photo below, the deep clean and fresh seal really helped to improve the patina of this Slate tiled floor, helping the entire kitchen feel brighter and more spacious. Another satisfied client!

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough


 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Northamptonshire

Natural Slate Patio Stripped, Treated for Grout Haze and Sealed

Along with internal tiled floors at residential and commercial properties, we also specialise in the cleaning, restoration and sealing of all types of external tiled floors, including patios.

This customer, who lives in the small town of Brackley in Northamptonshire, had made the unfortunate mistake of sealing a brand new Slate tiled patio without removing the layer of grout haze smeared across the surface of the tile first. With the grout trapped between the tile and the new sealant the sealer was unable to fulfil its potential and the entire floor appeared really dull and patchy. The customer contacted me about setting the situation right.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Before Cleaning Brackley

Treating a Slate Tiled Patio for Grout Haze

My initial course of action was to remove the new sealer using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially designed to strip away sealant, as well as adhesives and paints in cases where building and decorating works have left the tiles stained. The product was applied liberally across the surface area of the patio and agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a special stripping pad. Of course, this was necessary because the grout haze could not be treated without removing the sealant first. The soiled cleaning solution was promptly soaked up using a wet-vac machine.

Once the tiles were exposed I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in more manageable gel form, all over the patio and allowed it to dwell for ten minutes to begin neutralising the grout haze. I then added a little water and worked the product into the patio with a stiff scrubbing brush and a rotary machine to ensure all grout haze was removed from the surface of the tiles. The remaining slurry was then removed using the wet vacuum, and I rinsed the area twice with plain water to ensure all cleaning products had been removed. It was them left to dry completely.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Being Cleaned in Brackley

Sealing a Slate Tiled Patio

I returned to the property several days later to give the patio a fresh seal now that it was free from grout haze. First, I gave the patio a vacuum and light mop to remove any dust and debris. The customer wanted the tiles as dark as possible, therefore I suggested we use Tile Doctor Stone Oil before sealing, as this would darken the Slate significantly.

Once this was agreed, I applied one coat of Stone Oil, allowed an hour for the product to dry, and then followed this applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is our impregnating, colour enhancing sealant which provides maximum protection against ingrained dirt and stains, as well as a durable no-sheen finish.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Removed and Sealed in Brackley

As you can see from the photographs, the Slate tiles experienced an impressive transformation. The fresh sealant, combined with the Stone Oil, really took the appearance of the tiles to a new level and, what’s more, it will be easier for the happy customer to keep it clean in the future.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Grout Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Northamptonshire

Deep Cleaning and Sealing of a Chineese Slate Tiled Floor

This first photo shows a classic example of a poorly maintained floor, which had faded and lost its colour due to it not being maintained or sealed for many years. In this case, the tiles were Chinese Slate, and were proving very difficult for the property owner to keep clean due to the lack of sealer to protect against dirt and stains. The grout in particular was quite discoloured and of increasing concern to the owner, prompting up the decision to contact me about a restoration job.

Chinese Slate Before Cleaning in Norton near Daventry

I agreed to the work – consisting of a deep clean and the application of a new sealer – and travelled down to the property in Norton near Daventry in Northamptonshire to see what results could be achieved.

Cleaning a Dirty Chinese Slate Tiled Floor

My primary concern when approaching this challenging restoration was to clean the grout which as aforementioned, had become dirty and discoloured. Most tiled floor owners will understand the pain of keeping grout lines clean; regular professional attention is often the easiest solution.

In this scenario, the grout was cleaned using a strong dilution of the alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, mixed with warm water. This was applied directly onto the grout lines using a spray bottle and scrubbed in using a hand held grout brush, as shown in the second photo.

Chinese Slate During Grout Cleaning in Norton near Daventry

With the grout taken care of it was now time to turn attention to the Slate tiles themselves which I tackled with more Pro-Clean but worked in this time using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This process also stripped away any traces of old, ineffectual sealers from the tiles. This process was followed by machine rinsing the floor with cold water to neutralise the chemicals in preparation for sealing.

Additionally, any particularly stubborn areas of old sealant were removed by hand brushes in combination with undiluted Tile Doctor Remove & Go remover. These areas were also rinsed to fully remove excess cleaning products.

Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Floor

I allowed the floor to dry completely overnight with a dehumidifier installed to assist the drying process. Upon my return to the property the next day I carefully checked the floor was completely dry, since even the slightest amount of excess moisture can cloud the fresh sealer and damage its performance.

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry I applied five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go sealer to achieve a high shine finish, as per the customer’s request. This is the most popular finish for this type of flooring, as it its aesthetically pleasing whole with the assurance that the sealer is providing robust surface protection against stains and dirt.

Chinese Slate After Cleaning and Sealing in Norton near Daventry

The last photo shows the finished result with which the customer was extremely happy! Floors like this can so easily degrade into a terrible state without the right care so it’s always a great pleasure to make such a difference.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Northamptonshire

Maintaining Slate Kitchen Tiles

Another example of a tired Slate Tiled floor that was in need of a clean and seal, this time in the industrial town of Corby famous for its iron and steel works.

Slate floor before cleaning Corby Slate floor before cleaning Corby

Cleaning Slate Kitchen Tiles

To get the Slate tile and grout clean the a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied which was left to soak into the tile for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then using a stiff grout brush to clean along the grout lines.

Slate floor during cleaning Corby Slate floor during cleaning Corby

The floor was then thoroughly rinsed using clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum; there were a few stubborn areas that needed further attention which were re-treated. The last step of the cleaning process was to use a high pressure cleaning tool that extracts as well as washes, we normally use this tool for cleaning carpets but it also does a great job of giving a hard floor a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product before sealing.

Slate floor during cleaning Corby Slate floor during cleaning Corby

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry and we came back the next day to seal the slate using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied using a paint pad applicator. I usually use Seal and Go for slate tiles as it provides good stain protection with adds a nice sheen finish that adds to the look of the floor.

Slate floor during sealing Corby
The job took two days and the floor now looks transformed.

Slate floor after sealing Corby Slate floor after sealing Corby

Source: Residential and Commercial Tile and Stone Cleaning in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing Slate tiles in a Kitchen

These photographs of a Slate tiled floor were taken in the Kitchen of a house in Towcester where the slate was looking rather dull and had lost its appeal. This does happen with natural stone floor where the sealer which can add a shine to the stone becomes worn down and ineffective.

Towcester Slate Tiles Before Cleaning Slate Tiles Towcester Before Cleaning

Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles

We removed the kickboards from the kitchen units and lined the skirting boards with green Frog tape in order to protect them from cleaning fluids. The next step was to soak the floor in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which we let soak into the tile for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad and then using a stiff grout brush to clean out the grout lines.

Slate Tiles Towcester Scrubbing Slate Tiles Towcester Scrubbing

The floor was then thoroughly rinsed using clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was now free of sealers etc. and this showed up a few stubborn areas that needed to be retreated and washed down again. It’s important to give the floor a good rinse to ensure it’s free of any cleaning products as they can upset the sealer.

Slate Tiles Towcester After Cleaning Towcester Slate Tiles After Cleaning

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry and we came back the next day to seal the slate using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied using a paint pad applicator. I usually use Seal and Go for slate tiles as it provides good stain protection with adds a nice sheen finish that adds to the look of the floor.

Slate Tiles Towcester After Sealing Slate Tiles Towcester After Sealing

The job took two days and the floor now looks much better and much easier to clean, certainly the customer was very pleased and left the following message on our feedback system.

Phil is extremely professional and provided excellent customer service. He explained the process in detail and did a thorough job and worked extremely hard. The job was completed in the time proposed with a brilliant result. We have no hesitation in recommending Phil to others. Thank you.
Pete and Angie, Towcester
 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Tile Cleaning Services in Northamptonshire

Maintaining Black Welsh Slate

The photographs below are taken from a job in the village of Whilton near Daventry where we were asked to clean and seal a black Welsh Slate tiled floor that was installed in a Kitchen and adjacent dining area.

The customer was concerned that the floor was very dull and proving difficult to keep clean additionally she was having a new kitchen fitted and didn’t want to replace the floor but wanted to achieve a shiny finish that was easy to maintain.

Welsh Black Rough Slate kitchen Before Cleaning 1

On the initial survey I found the sealant was of a poor quality and had all but worn off allowing stain and soil to seep into the grout and stain the tiles, stains which were difficult to remove with normal household cleaning products.

Cleaning Welsh Slate Tiles

After fully masking up the areas to protect the skirting boards and wooden steps I carried out a deep clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad in order to strip the floor and remove the old wax sealer and tackle the ingrained stains and grime. Additionally the grout lines were scrubbed using stiff hand brushes to bring them back to an acceptable appearance. The soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and then washed down with clean water so we could see the areas that needed further work and repeated the process.

Once I was happy with the overall appearance the entire area was given a thorough rinse and wash to remove any chemical and neutralise the floor before sealing. We left a dehumidifier in place to assist in the drying process as we wanted to ensure the tile and grout was fully dry prior to application of a sealer.

Welsh Black Rough Slate kitchen after Stripping

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

We came back two days later and checked the floor was dry which it was so we proceeded to apply the sealer for which we chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) that is recommended for Slate tiles and provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish that really does bring the floor alive. It took five coats before the slate tiles were fully sealed.

Welsh Black Rough Slate kitchen After Cleaning and Sealing 1 Welsh Black Rough Slate kitchen After Cleaning and Sealing 2

 
 
Source: Slate Cleaning specialist in Northamptonshire

Maintaining Chinese Slate tiles

On this page you will find a good selection of photographs taken during the cleaning and sealing of a Chinese Slate tiled floor in the village of Kingsthorpe, Northampton. The floor had been installed in the kitchen and the lounge and both the slate and the grout was in need of a deep clean.

Chinese Slate Tile Before Kitchen

Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles

The first thing we do is to protect anything that can’t by moved by wrapping it in a plastic sheet once this was done we set about scrubbing the slate tiled floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a rotary machine fitted with a black pad, we used a grout brush to clean out the grout lines and then rinsed the floor thoroughly with clean water.

Chinese Slate Tile Cleaning Kitchen Chinese Slate Tile Cleaning Lounge

It’s not until the floor has been washed down that you can spot any stubborn or missed areas so it’s not usual to have to repeat this process until a satisfactory result is obtained. We had both the kitchen and lounge to do and this took most of the day, before leaving for the evening we switched on an air blower to help the floor to dry.

Chinese Slate Tile Lounge Drying

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

We came back the next day and checked the floor was dry, fortunately the air blower had done its job and we were able to get on with the sealing the floor.

To seal the floor five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied using a paint pad applicator. Seal and Go is recommended for Slate tiles and provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish that really does bring the floor alive.

Chinese Slate Tile Sealing Lounge Chinese Slate Tile Lounge After

 
 
Source: Cleaning and sealing Chinese Slate in Northamptonshire