Terracotta Farmhouse Floor Renovated at Symonds Yat Holiday Home

The pictures below are of a Terracotta tiled floor that was laid in a Farmhouse in Symonds Yat around twenty years ago when the house was being renovated. The Terracotta tiles had been installed throughout the kitchen, utility and downstairs cloakroom and were well overdue a deep clean and seal.

Symonds Yat is a beautiful location amidst the fields of Wye Valley and set on the famous River Wye and is very popular with tourists. The farmhouse has been rented out as a holiday home for some time and with the floor looking faded and dull it was not giving the best impressions with visitors which is not good when you are using the property as a business.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Symonds Yat Holiday Home

I visited the property to survey the floor as the picture’s customers send you never show up all the problems. I could immediately see the tiles were indeed in need of some tender love and care, the old sealer had long since eroded away and now the Terracotta was susceptible to dirt becoming ingrained. I carried out a test clean on a small area so they could see what the result might look like. They were over the moon with the test area and amazed that how much it would bring the floor back to life. I quoted them a price which they were happy to accept, and we booked the job in for later in the month.

Cleaning/Repairing a Terracotta Tiled Farmhouse Floor

To put the life back into the floor it needed to be stripped of any remaining sealer, cleaned and then resealed. I began this process by spraying the floor with a medium dilution of
Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak into the tile and grout for ten minutes. This product is designed to strip off old sealers from tile which is important as you will find the sealer will be completely worn off in the busier parts of the floor but will still be present around the edges etc. If you don’t strip off the sealer and apply a new sealer on top you will find the result becomes inconsistent and leaves a patchy finish.

After ten minutes the Remove and Go was scrubbed into the Terracotta using a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This action removed what was left of the old sealer and after rinsing and extracting I was able to move onto the cleaning process.

This process was repeated using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is tile and grout cleaning product that will remove ingrained dirt. As before the product was diluted, applied to the floor and after leaving it to dwell for a short while it was scrubbed in as before. Some of the grout and corners had to be done by hand as the rotary machine can struggle to reach in places. After rinsing off with water and extracting with a wet vacuum there were a few stubborn areas that required a repeat treatment, but we soon had the floor looking clean.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Symonds Yat Holiday Home

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Farmhouse Floor

After leaving the tile and grout to dry off overnight I came back the next day and checked the floor was dry with the moisture meter. The readings were fine, so I began applying the sealer. I started with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that seeps into the pores of the Terracotta protecting it from within. This was followed with seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Terracotta is very porous and does take a lot of sealer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Symonds Yat Holiday Home

Once the sealer had dried the floor had a lovely satin finish that wasn’t too shiny. The client was over the moon with the restored floor and was keen for his next clients to see it.

 

Professional Restoration of a Terracotta Tiled Farmhouse Floor in Monmouthshire

Beautiful Black and White Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovation in Monmouth

This beautiful black & white Victorian tiled hallway was recently discovered hidden under carpet at a house near Monmouth. As well as the years of grime that had become ingrained in the tile, the carpet had been secured with carpet grippers which had been fixed on top of the tiles and the owner was keen to recruit my help in its restoration.

It’s a lovely drive up through the Wye Valley from my base in Caldicot to the town of Monmouth which has a long history that goes back to the Roman times. In fact it’s famous for its “Monnow Bridge” which dates back to medieval times and is the only remaining stone gated bridge of its type left in Britain. Needles to say it has a strong mixture of architecture with many old houses built during Victorian times.

Victorian Floor Before Renovation in Monmouth

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first step in cleaning the floor was to prepare it for cleaning by carefully removing the old carpet grippers and adhesive deposits using a handheld scraper. This was followed by creating a mixture of two powerful cleaning products namely Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU remover. Remove and Go is a coatings remover designed to strip off old sealers whilst NanoTech HBU is a powerful Heavy Build-Up Remover that uses tiny abrasive particles to clean up tile and stone.

The floor was smothered in the cleaning solution and it was allowed to soak into the tile for about twenty minutes before scrubbing it in. It was not an exceptionally large hallway so a lot of hand scrubbing was required to get the floor as clean as possible. The cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum or wet vac as my colleagues often refer to it.

To finish off the cleaning process I scrubbed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into the grout lines to get them as clean as possible and then gave the floor a final rinse. I need the floor to be dry before sealing so using the wet vac I extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry completely overnight and returned the next day to finish the floor off with a few coats of sealer. On my arrival I started by taking a few reading with a damp meter to ensure the floor was ready to be sealed. Fortunately by efforts with the Wet Vac the night before had paid off and it confirmed the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.

To do this, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian Tiles and adds a nice low sheen that brings them up nicely. Naturally the sealer not only improves the way they look it also makes them much easier to clean and will protect them against ingrained dirt and staining.

Victorian Floor After Renovation in Monmouth

I think you will agree this old floor has been transformed and now has a new lease of life.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Carpet Covered Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in Monmouthshire

Dull Slate Tiles Rejuvenated with Deep Cleaning and Sealing in Ross-on-Wye

Ross-on-Wye, an area located in South Hertfordshire and close to the Monmouthshire border in Wales, is known as the “birthplace of the British tourist industry” due to the Wye Valley’s picturesque river scenery, landscapes, and castles and abbeys. It is also known for the famous Ross and Monmouth Railway, which opened in 1873 and closed in 1959, and ran through the valley.

I visited an old cottage in the area to assist a customer with restoring a Slate tiled kitchen floor. Slate tiles are particularly popular because of their versatility and durability, and truly they can be an asset to any property if the sealer is maintained correctly. Slate tiles need to be sealed to prevent dirt penetrating the pores of the stone as ingrained dirt is difficult to remove and causes the stone to lose its appearance. In this case the floor had been laid around five years earlier and the sealer had worn off in places and was wearing very thin in others. As you would expect dirt had now become ingrained in the tile and the grout had also become stained in places. Overall this problem had left the floor looking very dull and unappealing, as you can see from the photograph below.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Ross-on-Wye Cottage

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go liberally across the floor to strip away any remaining old sealer that was likely to be ineffectual and not preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone. Next, I applied our strong alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean to tackle that ingrained dirt. This was left to dwell on the floor and then agitated using a 17-inch rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

After cleaning the floor, I rinsed the tiles thoroughly with water and used a wet vacuum to clear the area of the resulting slurry. Following this I concentrated on cleaning the grout lines using Pro Clean in combination with a wire brush, before leaving the floor to dry out completely for the next couple of days.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Later in the week, I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before doing so, however, I needed to test the floor for damp issues, especially since this was an old property and was unlikely to have a damp proof membrane installed. Running these damp tests are very important because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Thankfully, there proved to be no issues, and the floor was fine to seal. I did this using eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a water based product (so no smell) that provides a durable, satin finish, and is recommended for use on a variety of tiles, including Quarry, Victorian, Sandstone and Terracotta.

Slate Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed Ross-on-Wye Cottage

As you can see from the photo above, the restoration was transformative and really restored the lustre to this Slate tiled floor. Another satisfied customer!
 
 

Restorative Cleaning and Sealing of a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in the Wye Valley

Terracotta Tiles Ingrained with Dirt Cleaned and Sealed in the Forest of Dean

Terracotta may be one of the most aesthetically pleasing types of tiled floor, but as many of our customers will tell you can be particularly difficult to keep clean. This is due to the naturally high porosity of clay, which allows dirt to become very easily trapped. Quite commonly this situation is made worse by a lack of an adequate sealer to block the intrusion of muck. Of course, poor quality cleaning products also make it difficult for property owners to keep their Terracotta tiles clean, and a combination of the two problems can leave these floors looking a lot like this one, located in the kitchen of a house in the beautiful Forest of Dean.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Forest of Dean Before

The property owner was keen to have me restore some character to her dull Terracotta tiles. It was proving increasingly difficult for her to keep them clean due to the reasons described before, and the grout had also become very dirty. So, the customer turned to me for some professional assistance.

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor in the Forest of Dean

While these Terracotta tiles had been sealed previously it had, over time, lost its ability to protect the stone against ingrained dirt. To remove the old excess sealer my product of choice was the heavy duty soil remover and stripper, Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which I applied liberally across the surface and scrubbed in to the tile used a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This also helped to remove the trapped dirt and left the stone looking fresher.

Once the old sealer was removed – to be replaced with a fresh sealer once cleaning was complete – I was free to focus on the troublesome grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean, an alkaline cleaner that reliably breaks down dirt. When cleaning the grout, I opted to use a handheld grout brush that allowed for more precise, careful application of the product.

As per usual, the floor was given a good rinse and left to dry for 24 hours.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Upon returning to the property I checked the floor was completely dry, ready for sealing. My process for sealing actually involved the application of two different kinds of sealer; initially I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which has soaks into the pores of the tile and has the added bonus of enhancing its natural colours.

Once this had dried I then applied ix coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a product which forms a durable layer of protection of the surface of the tiles and at the same time provides a lovely sheen finish.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Forest of Dean After

The combination of the two sealers will certainly offer a long-term solution to the ingrained dirt problem, and the appearance-enhancing properties in the products really helped to transform the tiles from dull and dirty to lively and eye-catching. Nonetheless, before departing the property, I also left my very pleased customer with some cleaning advice for the future.
 
 

Professional Terracotta Floor Cleaning and Sealing in Monmouthshire

Lifeless Victorian Tiled Hallway Rejuvenated in the Forest of Dean

This Victorian tiled hallway at a house in the Forest of Dean had a very interesting pattern, consisting of an array of different colours, including shades of red, yellow and blue. Unfortunately, as you can see from the first photograph below, the tiles had lost all life, with the colours largely masked by months’ – or maybe even years’ – worth of ingrained dirt and muck. The floor as a whole was also suffering from a number of loose tiles that needed to be reset before it could be cleaned.

The property owner was keen to employ some professional assistance to restore the appearance of the floor and prevent it from getting in an even wrote state, and so contacted Tile Doctor who have a lot of experience working with Victorian tiled floors.

Victorian Floor Forest of Dean Before

Repairing and Cleaning Dirty Victorian Tiles

As mentioned, the loose tiles had to be repaired before the cleaning process could be started. I removed the tiles and extracted excess grout and old adhesive from the exposed concrete substrate using a vacuum, before putting the original tiles back into place and fixing them back into position carefully using fresh adhesive and matching grout.

Once happy the replaced tiles had set, I started the process of cleaning the entire area of hallway tiles using a combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip away the old sealer and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (formerly Ultra Clean) remover to get the tiles as clean as possible. The latter product contains nano-sized cleaning particles (hence the name) to reach difficult areas of trapped dirt, making it more effective than your run-of-the-mill tile cleaner. These two products were scrubbed into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soiled residue was extracted with a wet vacuum.

I then paid particular attention to the grout, applying our alkaline-based multi-purpose cleaner Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the grout lines, before scrubbing them with a narrow grout brush. This quickly had the grout looking clean again: I’d even go as far as to say that it matched it seamlessly with the fresh grout that had just been laid.

With the tile and grout as clean as it was possible to get it, I gave the whole floor a final rinse to neutralise the excess chemicals. I extracted as much water as possible with a wet vacuum and left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

My first task upon returning to the property the next day was to check for any dampness. If you neglect to remove all excess moisture from the surface of the tiles before sealing it is more than likely going to cloud the sealer, rendering it less effective I’m protecting the stone against ingrained dirt and stains.

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I proceeded to seal the tiles using multiple costs of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is what we would classify as a topical sealer, meaning it rests on the surface of the tiles to act as a durable layer of protection against all kinds of muck. While providing surface protection, Seal and Go also adds a nice subtle sheen to the tiles, as per the customer’s request.

Victorian Floor Forest of Dean After

The customer was quite amazed at how quickly the appearance of the tiles had been restored. It was fantastic to see the colours we both knew were hidden in the tiles come to life once again. Another satisfied customer for sure!
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in the Monmouthshire