Saffron Walden Tile Cleaning

Neglected Tumbled Travertine Floor Renovated in Saffron Walden

We recently visited a property in Saffron Walden, a pretty market town in Essex, where the owner asked us to look at her Tumbled Travertine kitchen floor. The floor had been laid and sealed around 10 years prior and the pits in the Travertine had become very dirty with trapped dirt, the floor now had a grubby neglected look about it. No matter how much they tried to clean with a multitude of household cleaners, the floor had become worse and worse which is not unusual as strong chemicals can strip off the sealer completely which protects the floor.

Tumbled Travertine Before Cleaning Saffron Walden Tumbled Travertine Before Cleaning Saffron Walden

It was clear that the original sealer was no longer doing its job and so I discussed the options for renovating the floor whilst carrying out a test clean. Sealers rarely last ten years, in my experience three years is about the maximum you can expect regardless of manufacturers claims. The test clean went well and we agreed a price and a timescale for the work and scheduled it for the following week.

Cleaning a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

It’s not a good idea to apply a different sealer on top of the original unless you know they are compatible, also you can end up with uneven layers so our first step was to strip off any remaining sealer and clean the floor. To do this we used Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is designed for the removal of coatings on tiles such as sealers, adhesives and paints. This product is also great for drawing out ingrained stains and removing heavy grease build-up. It can be used on both vertical and horizontal surfaces. We applied and let it soak into the pores of the Travertine for ten minutes before working it in.

To work the product into the stone and get deep into the pits a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine was run over the floor and lubricated with plenty of water. After than the floor was rinsed with water and the slurry extracted with a wet vacuum. With the floor clean the process was repeated with finer grades of pads from 800-grit through to 1500-grit. As before between pad the floor was rinsed thoroughly to remove any trace of slurry off the tiles and the slurry extracted with the wet vacuum; the more thorough the rinse the better the finish. By the end of day one the cleaning process was completed, stripped of any coatings and the floor looked much better and lighter in appearance which made the room seem bigger.

Sealing a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The Travertine tiles were left to dry off fully overnight and I started on the second day with a floor inspection to ensure the floor was ready for sealing. At that point I could see that there were a few small areas that needed further attention, so I spot treated them with Hand Burnishing Block. This was followed by spray-burnishing the floor with a very fine 3000-grit polishing pad which is applied using a little water sprayed on to the Travertine. This very fine pad left the floor with a natural looking sheen.

Once we completed this and were satisfied with the finish, all that remained was the sealing of the floor, this will protect it and prevent the dirt from impregnating the pores in the stone. Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied, leaving thirty minutes drying time between each coat. Colour Grow is an impregnating and colour enhancing sealer which leaves the floor resistant to staining and spills whilst improving the natural brown shades in the Travertine resulting in a lovely finish.

The client was very satisfied with the finish, the whole room had been lifted, looking much lighter and brighter.

Tumbled Travertine After Cleaning Saffron Walden Tumbled Travertine After Cleaning Saffron Walden

 

Professional Restoration of Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen in North Essex

Cleaning Farm Office Safety Flooring in Saffron Walden

It’s worth noting that I don’t just cover Tile, Stone and Grout, the equipment I use works equally well cleaning all types of hard floors including Patios, Vinyl and industrial flooring. An example of this being a request to clean the floors at an office farm near Saffron Walden which is a lovely medieval market town north of Stansted Airport.

Inspecting Farm Office Flooring

It was an incredibly muddy area with lots of tractors and lorries in the yard and poor drainage. As you can imagine all that mud and dirt was regularly being walked into the office and they were struggling to keep it clean. The main issue was that the floor was covered in a specialist textured surface which increases grip and significantly reduces the chance of anyone slipping.

Farm Office Safety Flooring Before Cleaning Saffron Walden Farm Office Safety Flooring Before Cleaning Saffron Walden

Manufactured by a company called Altro this product is known as “Safety Flooring” and given then environment I’m sure it was well specified. The downside of a textured surface however is that it traps dirt and once trapped it can be difficult to shift with conventional cleaning methods and equipment.

Farm Office Safety Flooring Before Cleaning Saffron Walden Farm Office Safety Flooring Before Cleaning Saffron Walden

Deep Cleaning an Altro Safety Floor

The first thing we did was to break out a set of brushes and vacuums in an effort to remove as much dry soil as possible. Once this was done the floor was wetted with a medium dilution of Tile doctor Pro-clean, this product is a great degreaser and after a short time the soil started to lift out of the non-slip textured surface.

After a dwell time of about ten minutes the Pro-Clean was worked into the floor with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffer machine. The machine was run evenly over the floor at a slow speed to reduce splashing. The cleaning solution had turned black at this stage with all the dirt that was being released from the flooring. Once this had been carried out we rinsed the entire floor using our truck mounted cleaning system which is a very efficient machine that applies clean water under pressure to rinse the floor whilst simultaneously extracting the soil back to a recovery tank on the vehicle.

Farm Office Safety Flooring After Cleaning Saffron Walden Farm Office Safety Flooring After Cleaning Saffron Walden

The truck mounted system utilises a powerful vacuum to extracts a lot of the moisture from the floor but to ensure the floor was completely dry we left drying equipment in place to ensure a quick turn-around for the company.

Farm Office Safety Flooring After Cleaning Saffron Walden Farm Office Safety Flooring After Cleaning Saffron Walden

 
 

Industrial Safety Floor Deep Cleaned at an Essex Farm Office

Lustre Restored to Dirty Slate Tiles in Thaxted

The single most important thing you need to do after having a new natural stone floor installed is to seal the tiles. The sealant acts as a barrier of protection for the stone against ingrained dirt, so without it the floor will become very difficult to keep clean.

This is the exact problem faced by my recent customer, who lives in the town of Thaxted in North Essex. Thaxted is a very historic place with over 1000 years of history and several fantastic medieval houses. The Slate kitchen tiles in the property had not been sealed after installation and, despite Slate being naturally durable and hard wearing, the tiles had quickly become dull and difficult to keep clean.

Despite valiant efforts at a DIY restoration, the customer required our professional assistance with deep cleaning and sealing the tiles to restore them back to their best condition.

Slate Tiled Floor Thaxted Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the cleaning process, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the floor and scrubbed it in using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product: it strips away any old sealer, adhesive and paint stains, and draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy soil build-up. The resulting slurry was then removed using a wet-vac machine.

Next, I focused my attention on the dirty grout lines, treating them with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then scrubbed in along the grout line using a stiff brush.

There was still evidence of some grout haze on the stone following installation some years back so the floor was then treated to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner designed to life grout smears haze (smears).

Once done I pressure washed the floor using a specialised spinning tool which blasts the tiles and grout with water to remove ingrained dirt from the most difficult-to-reach areas in the stone. The water is subsequently vacuumed back into a holding tank in my van without causing any splashing or overspill.

Sealing a Slated Tiled Floor

The customer was keen for the restoration to be finished within the space of a single day, so I installed a few Dri-Pod floor dryers to get the floor dry and ready to be sealed in no time. We typically leave at least 24 hours for these types of floors to dry naturally, but in this scenario the floor dryers were able to remove any excess moisture.

To complete the restoration, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra to the floor to seal it. This a special acrylic-based sealer that protects the stone and allows for moisture vapour transmission. The makes it ideal for situations in which no damp proof membrane has been installed.

The addition of the sealer gave the floor a beautiful lustre – as you can see from the photos below – and will make the floor much easier to keep clean in the future. After months of difficulty, the customer was over the moon that the floor had finally been restored to its peak condition.

Slate Tiled Floor Thaxted After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor in Essex

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