tile sealing

External Terrazzo Tile Steps Refinished in Glasgow

The photographs below are from a set of Terrazzo steps outside a house in Glasgow which had completely lost their colour after being subject to years of weather staining and believe me we see all sorts of weather up here in Scotland. The owner of the house wanted them restoring back to their natural state but naturally concerned about safety didn’t want them shiny or slippy in anyway.

Terrazzo Steps Before Cleaning and Sealing in Glasgow

Cleaning Terrazzo Steps

I could see tackling the different surfaces of the stone stairs would be tricky so rather than opt for a cleaning product I decided to use a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a handheld flex machine.

I started with the very coarse 50 grit pad lubricating along the way with a little water and moved up through the medium and fine pad until the job was finished. Now normally when working on stone this is followed up with the application of a very fine pad to restore a polished appearance but clearly in this case that would not be necessary. In between the application of each pad the steps were rinsed with water to remove the slurry generated in the burnishing process.

One complete I left them to dry out for a few days; fortunately I had timed my visit within a warm weather window so I was confident they should be dry when I returned.

Sealing Terrazzo Steps

I returned a few days later and after checking the stone had indeed dried out I sealed the Terrazzo with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer suitable for external application. Being an impregnator it protects the stone from within by occupying the pores in the stone where dirt might otherwise become ingrained, it also enhances the natural colours in the stone and as you can see from the photograph below the steps now look much pinker.

Terrazzo Steps After Cleaning and Sealing in Glasgow

Terrazzo Tile Steps and Grout Refreshed in Glasgow near Edinburgh Airport

Cleaning and Sealing Heavily Soiled Slate Tiles in Gateside

On rare occasions we encounter extremely dirty tiled floors which have clearly not been cleaned for months, or even years. As you can see from the first photograph, this Slate tiled floor at a property in Gateside is an example of one of these extreme cases, being completely caked in thick layers of dirt that had amassed over a long time.

Slate floor before cleaning Gateside
While Slate is typically more hard wearing and rougher in texture many other types of tile, this doesn’t mean that it requires less frequent maintenance. With the floor measuring in at 20×20 metres, getting the tiles back to looking their best would be a big job, and certainly one that required the attention of a professional.

Slate kitchen floor before cleaning Gateside

Cleaning an Extremely Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

As the tiles were exceptionally dirty, I applied a strong dilution of our alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which can be used for both light soil buildup and very heavy soil buildup. After applying the product, I left it to dwell for a healthy period to allow it to break down the thick layers of dirt.

Slate kitchen floor after cleaning Gateside
I then used a black scrubbing pad fixed to a heavy rotary machine to scrub the tiles, extracting the resulting slurry using a wet vac machine. Due to how dirty the tiles were, I repeated this process several times until satisfied that the tiles were as clean as possible. Next, I paid attention to the grout, cleaning it by hand, again using Pro Clean. Once this was completed, I rinsed the floor a few times with clean water to remove any trace of chemical.

Slate floor after cleaning Gateside

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

I was keen to seal the floor the following day, so I installed a fan overnight to speed up the drying process. As many will already know, a tiled floor cannot be sealed until it is completely dry, or else the excess moisture will cloud the sealer.

Upon my return to the property the next morning, I used Tile Doctor High Shine to seal the floor as requested by the customer. This sealer is specifically designed for use on textured natural stone such as Slate, providing a durable, resistant and high shine surface seal. I applied four coats in total.

Slate kitchen floor after cleaning Gateside
The customer wasn’t at home when I finished the job, but he sent me a text later in the day to say just how impressed he was with the transformation of the floor. Another satisfied customer!

Slate kitchen floor after cleaning sealing Gateside

Professional Restoration of a Heavily Soiled Slate Tiled Floor in Ayrshire

Black Slate Kitchen Tiles Rejuvenated in Paisley

This customer, who lives in Paisley, one of Scotland’s biggest towns – and one with a rich history in the textiles industry – had not been completely satisfied with her Slate tiled kitchen floor since it had been laid. Having only been laid recently, the tiles themselves were in good shape, but they lacked the aesthetic quality desired by the customer.

She wanted them to be a richer, darker black in colour while keeping the matte look – as she had seen advertised in the tile shop – but once laid the tiles had been left looking rather unexceptional. The floor area itself was only small (at around 12 metres squared), and I was confident I could have it looking much nicer in no time at all using the right products.

Slate Floor Cleaned in Paisley

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin, I stripped away any previous sealer using a diluted mixture of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and Tile Doctor Remove and Go scrubbed into the tiles. This also helped to remove and bits of dirt and dust left on the floor. While the tiles, as mentioned, were in relatively good nick, I wanted to get the floor as clean as possible before giving it a fresh seal and my chosen combination of products did not let me down.

The floor was then neutralised with clean water, removing any outstanding cleaning chemicals, and the resulting cleaning slurry was promptly removed using a wet-vac machine. To finish the clean, I washed the tiles in pH Neutral Tile Cleaner, leaving it fresh and ready to be sealed.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I returned to the property to seal the Slate tiles making sure first that the tiles were dry. To restore the colour and texture of the Slate I started with an application of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which impregnates the pores of the stone and like a sealer provides a barrier to ingrained dirt once cured. To maintain the matt finish, as requested by the customer, I added a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal.

Slate Floor Treated with stone oil in Paisley
Just looking at the before and after photographs it’s clear to see that the customer got that the exact result she had requested. Stone Oil worked wonders to restore the rich, dark tones to the Slate that had been so sorely lacking previously. The customer can also be assured that the sealer will be keep the floor easy to clean for a long time to come.

Slate Floor Cleaned and seaeled in Paisley

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Glasgow

Slate Kitchen Floor Stripped Cleaned And Sealed Lochwinnoch

These photographs of a Slate tiled kitchen floor are from a house in Lochwinnoch in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. You can see that the slate and grout was looking very dull and any sealer that was present had failed leaving the stone in need of a deep clean and re-seal.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Lochwinnoch

Cleaning Slate Floor Tile and Grout

On the first day we stripped the floor of any remaining sealer using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with Remove and Go, this was left to dwell for 5-10mins before scrubbing it in with a scrubbing pad and then extracting the slurry with a wet vacuum. It was important to ensure all the sealer was removed in order to get an even finish and to avoid any compatibility issues when re-sealing later.

Slate Floor During Cleaning in Lochwinnoch
After this we focused on cleaning the grout using more Pro-Clean this time worked in using a stiff grout brush by hand. Once done the floor was given a thorough rinse using a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Neutral Clean to remove any trace of cleaning solutions that may impact the sealer and again using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The floor was left to dry off overnight and then we returned on the second day to seal the slate with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) which adds a nice sheen to the tile and gave the desired finish. Slate is quite porous so five coats of Seal and Go were required to ensure the floor was fully sealed.

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Lochwinnoch

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate tiled floor in Renfrewshire

Natural Rough Slate Tiles Renovated at Stirling Business Park

The photographs on this page are of a natural Rough Slate tiled floor installed in the ground floor and stairs of the Touch Business Centre in Stirling where recent building renovation works had left the floor covered in dirt and plaster dust which they couldn’t remove. The owner of the business centre now needed the floor renovating prior to renting out the units to new tenants.

Dating from around 1750 the business units had been converted within the stable block of a large house; now a listed building they would originally have been used for horses and carriages before becoming a milking parlour, estate workshops and garages. The conversion was supported by Historic Scotland and had to retain the feel and features of an historic building and the slate floor was an important part of this.

Natural Rough Slate Tiled Floor Touch Estate Before Cleaning

Cleaning Slate Floor Tile and Grout

To remove the dirt and plaster we used a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong coatings remover that’s safe to use on natural stone but also very effective. It was mopped onto the tile and left for around twenty minutes to allow it to soak into the pores of the tile and get to work and break down and soften any remaining sealer and plaster etc. This was then scrubbed into the tiles using a black pad fitted to a rotary machine running on a slow speed; the resultant soiled cleaning solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum, the floor rinsed and the process repeated until we were satisfied the floor was completely clean.

Natural Rough Slate Tiled Stairs Touch Estate During Sealing Natural Rough Slate Tiled Stairs Touch Estate During Sealing

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

After allowing the floor sufficient time to dry we returned on-site to seal the slate tile and protect it from stains etc checking first with a damp meter that the tiles were indeed dry. To seal the floor we used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) which adds a nice sheen to the tile and gave the desired finish.

Natural Rough Slate Tiled Floor Touch Estate After Cleaning and Sealing

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate tiled floors after Building works in Sterling

Restoring an Old Quarry Tiled Church Floor in Greenock

The photographs below are from the Lyle Kirk Church of Scotland in Greenock where we asked to clean the Quarry tiles in the main entrance of the church. As you can imagine the floor is very busy and is constantly in use from parishioners and had now become very unappealing from ingrained dirt and was proving impossible to clean effectively.

Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Greenock Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Greenock

Cleaning Old Quarry Tiles

With such an old floor we had to take a lot of care and so using a buffer machine to speed up the process was out of the question. As a result so we cleaned the whole tiled floor including the grout by hand using various strength dilutions of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then Pro-Clean to remove the years of wax and coatings from the tiles, both products I should mention are safe to use on tile, stone and grout. It was arduous and slow work taking us four days to complete and the floor was given a thorough wash down once clean to remove any trace of cleaning product before sealing.

Dealing with Efflorescence

Whilst cleaning the floor we noticed some signs of efflorescence which is where salts from the ground below evaporate up through the pores in the tile and leave white deposits on the surface of the tile above. The efflorescence was removed easily using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up but it alerted us to the fact that normally old floors were traditionally laid directly on compacted earth with no damp proof course and that damp could be an issue that could affect the sealer.

Lyle Kirk Church Greenock

Sealing an old Quarry Tiled Floor

We left the floor to dry off and when we returned being cognizant of the damp issue we chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra to seal the floor, this a new sealing product which is highly breathable and ideal for sealing external tiles or internal tiles where there is a damp problem. Four coats were sufficient and once done the floor looked completely transformed.

Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Greenock Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Greenock


Church Floor restored in Greenock

Victorian Mosaic Hallway Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Glasgow

These unusual period Victorian mosaic tiled floor at a residence in the west end of Glasgow were far from looking their best and well overdue for a deep clean and re-seal.

Victorian Mosaic tiles glasgow before cleaning Victorian Mosaic tiles glasgow before cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

I’ll try and keep the details short so as not to lose your attention but basically the tiles were first stripped from all sealers and coatings that had been previously applied to the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to dwell for an hour before working it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then rinsing the floor with water which was extracted with a wet vacuum. Secondly we then cleaned the floor four times using a rotary machine and a strong mixture of Pro-Clean which was again wet extracted and rinsed again. Finally we cleaned and rinsed the floor using Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to neutralise the tiles from any products which may affect the sealer before leaving the floor overnight to dry assisted with a turbo air mover.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

Once the floor was dry it was then sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which brings out the colour in the tile and provides the matt effect the owners were looking for as well as protecting the floor from staining.

Victorian Mosaic tiles glasgow after cleaning Victorian Mosaic tiles glasgow after cleaning


Victorian Mosaic Tiled floor cleaned and sealed in Glasgow

Slate Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in a Glasgow Kitchen

These Slate tiles were installed in the kitchen of a house in Glasgow and as you can see from the photograph below they were looking dull and tired and there was evidence of grout haze over a lot of the tiles. The Tile Doctor diagnosis was that a face lift was in order for which a deep clean and re-seal was prescribed.

Slate Tiles in Glasgow Kitchen Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Floor

The first step was to sweep up all the loose debris from the floor; we scrub the floor quite hard during our work so it’s important to remove any grit that could scratch the surface of the tile. We then mixed a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean and began to work the solution into the floor allowing it to dwell for around an hour first (This process helps to soften and break down the remains of the sealer on the stone). We used a hard deck scrubber to agitate the chemicals and loosen the dirt and old sealer from the floor which is then extracted from the surface using a wet vacuum and rinsed down with clean water several times to make sure all chemicals are removed.

The next step was to apply a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which was then scrubbed the floor once again with hard deck scrubber. This broke down and removed all of the cement/ grout haze that the installer had left over the surface of the tile, again the floor was then rinsed with water and extracted to remove any chemical residue.

The floor was scrubbed again this time using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to make sure all old sealer, cement, grout haze and dirt had been completely removed. We then give the floor a thorough and final rinse and mopped the tiles with Neutral Tile Cleaner to neutralise any remaining trace of chemicals and removed the solution using the wet vacuum before leaving the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Floor Sealing

Once the floor was dry it was then sealed using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which was chosen to provide the desired finish that the customer wanted.

Slate Tiles in Glasgow Kitchen After Cleaning and sealing

Slate Tiled Kitchen floor cleaned and sealed in Glasgow

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