Folkestone Tile Cleaning

Restoring Quarry and Terracotta Floor Tiles at a Barn Conversion in Hawkinge

I received a request from the owner of an old barn conversion in Hawkinge who was having their kitchen replaced to deal with their expansive terracotta and quarry tiled floor that was installed throughout the ground floor. There were so many issues with the floor my client was planning to have all the tiles ripped out and replaced. Fortunately, she contacted Tile Doctor before doing so and I got a call to pay them a visit first.

Terracotta and Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Old Barn Conversion Hawkinge

I went over to the property and surveyed the floor compiling a list of the issues as I went round. The main issues being dirty tiles and missing, cracked or very dirty grout. I explained the different steps to getting the floor restored conducted a small demonstration. Impressed with the difference that could be achieved and aware of the expense involved in replacing the floor I was asked to quote for renovating.

Terracotta and Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Old Barn Conversion Hawkinge

The client was happy with my quote, and they decided it made sense to try renovating the tiles and I was given the go ahead.

Deep Cleaning and Restoring a Quarry and Terracotta Tiled Floor

Restoring such a large floor would be very time consuming with many stages, so I recommend spreading the work over the course of a month to allow plenty of time for drying between stages. This is especially important when dealing with old porous tiles like Terracotta.

Working in sections and focusing on the kitchen area first the first task was to perform a deep clean of the floor to remove deep seated soiling and to strip off old coating such as sealers. For this a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a cleaning/stripper that’s designed for use on tile and stone was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. This process releases the dirt from the tile, and I then used a van mounted high pressure cleaning system to give the tiles a high pressure clean and extract the dirt.

Terracotta and Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation at Old Barn Conversion Hawkinge

The loose and cracked grout was raked out and the floor was left for a day to allow it dry out. Once dry the tiles were given their first coat of sealer which was an impregnating Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Once this was done, I moved onto refixing a couple of loose tiles and regrouting the floor.

Terracotta and Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation at Old Barn Conversion Hawkinge

When the grout had gone off the floor was given a second clean with a light brush followed by an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. This action removes the last remnants of grout haze and cleans up the tile further. This was then rinsed off with the high-pressure cleaning system and the soils extracted.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Barn Conversion Floor

The floor was left to dry out again, and on my return, a further five coats of sealer were applied to give the coarse floor a level of maintainability. On this occasion I chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle shine to the tiles and is compatible with Ultra Seal.

Terracotta and Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation at Old Barn Conversion Hawkinge

It was a tough project, but I rather enjoyed bringing this old and challenging floor back to life, it was very satisfying and even more so when the feedback received greatly justifies the amount of effort expended in producing the result.

Terracotta and Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation at Old Barn Conversion Hawkinge


Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Barn Conversion in South Kent

Deep Clean and Seal of a Multi-Coloured Slate Kitchen floor in Hythe

This Multi-Coloured Slate floor looks nice in the Kitchen of this property in Hythe, however due to the riven surface of the tile and the deep grout lines my customer had struggled to keep it clean. Additionally, the Slate has lost all of its lustre over the years since it had been installed and it was now due a deep clean and reseal.

Multicoloured Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Hythe

The combination of durability and price makes Slate a popular choice for floor covering, it is also available in a number of colours, ranging from plain black to a more diverse array of shades. Like any natural stone floor though it need sealing to keep the dirt out of the pores of the stone however sealers wear off with use

Multicoloured Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Hythe

Hythe by the way is a lovely medieval coastal market town with its own beach on the edge of Romney Marsh and close to Folkestone.

Deep Cleaning Multicoloured Slate Tiles

Before starting I removed the kickboards underneath the kitchen units and protected the exposed woodwork with a thin film. To deep clean the Slate floor and remove any remaining sealer I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a light carbide brush. As well as removing the old sealer this process releases the dirt from the pores of the stone and brings it to the surface where it can be extracted.

I have probably mentioned this before, but I’ve invested in a powerful van mounted pressure extraction system for removing the dirt, old sealer and emulsified soils released from the stone. The system works by applying water at high pressure on the floor via a spinner tool and then simultaneously extracts the waste under suction back to a grey water tank on the van. From the customers point of view, it makes light work of cleaning the floor and more importantly leaves the floor dry and leaves no mess.

Having a dry floor at this stage is important as it means I can usually seal the floor on the same day. Its not a good idea to apply a sealer to damp floor as it will affect the way it cures and lead to an undesirable finish. The way to make sure the floor its dry is to use a moisture meter and take readings in several places around the floor. You can use an air mover to improve drying times however older floors can take a very long time to dry and for those I tend to book another day to apply the sealer.

Multicoloured Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Damp Reading After Cleaning Hythe

Sealing Multicoloured Slate Tiles

With the floor dry I set about applying the first of two coats of Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal which provides both a hardwearing sheen to the slate as well as enhancing its natural colourings. It has strong water repellency characteristics which makes it ideal for use in a kitchen where spillages are quite common.

Multicoloured Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Hythe

This was quite a small kitchen, so the work was completed in one day. My client was amazed at the transformation and grateful for our advice on continued maintenance which for this floor I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap for daily cleaning.

Multicoloured Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Hythe


Professional Clean and Seal of a Multi-Coloured Slate Tiled Floor in South Kent

Removing Limescale from Granite Worktops in a Folkestone Kitchen

Although expensive Granite makes the most beautiful and practical stone worktop you can install in your kitchen. It gives real wow factor to a room and this kitchen in Folkestone was no different. Normally granite needs little maintenance however Folkestone has very hard water (often referred to as limescale) containing high levels of calcium and over time the calcium in the water gets deposited on nearby surfaces. According to the Affinity Water website the water in Folkestone contains 287.5 mg of calcium per litre which is classed as hard.

Granite Sink and Counter top Before Limescale Removal Folkestone

The owner of the property contacted us explaining that due to this problem the build-up of calcium deposits had overtaken her sink and countertop to a degree that she couldn`t deal with it through normal cleaning and a restoration was required. There are several household products on the market that can remove limescale however you need to be very careful when using these on natural stone as they use acids to break down the calcium and this can etch stone making the problem worse (always read the label). I went and had a look at the problem and gave her a quote for resolving the problem, which she was happy to accept.

Removing Limescale from a Granite Worktop and Sink

Before starting the renovation, I protected the floor with dust sheets and the walls with a blue film that is easy to remove. Then to tackle the limescale I carefully went over each part of the Granite counter using a set of six-inch Tile Doctor Burnishing pads applying them in sequence from coarse to extra fine. To give extra cleaning power the coarser pads were applied with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is an alkaline cleaning gel. The pads were fitted to a hand buffer and the soil generated by the abrasive pads was rinsed off between pads with water. For the finer detail such as the groves in the granite draining board, I used diamond encrusted handheld burnishing blocks of various grits. With the combination of diamond tooling and lots of elbow grease the job took around five hours to complete and the granite now has the polished look it deserves.

Granite Kitchen Worktop Aftercare

The granite worksurface does not require an actual sealer to be applied. However, maintenance is the key to keeping the stone in great condition so for aftercare I left the owner with a bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Patina Spray. This product is designed for cleaning stone worktops and contains a special ingredient that maintains the lustre. This should ensure the Limescale becomes manageable and can be cleaned more easily.

Granite Sink and Counter top After Limescale Removal Folkestone

I made a striking difference to the appearance of the Granite Worktop and the owner was over the moon with the result.


Professional Removal of Limescale Staining from Granite Worktop in South Kent

Cleaning Concrete Paving and Steps in Folkestone

I am sure you will be able relate to this client in Folkstone who had a concrete and brick path and steps to the side of their house that had turned black with dirt. I know many of you reading this post will probably own a Karcher pressure washer and would be happy to do this job themselves, however for those that do not it’s good to know that we don’t just cover expensive patios and driveways and happily deep clean concrete paths as well.

Concrete Path and Steps Before Cleaning Folkstone

The machine I use for this type of work operates at very high pressure, far higher than that of a Karcher and is so large and heavy its actually installed in a van. This type of machine is known in the trade as a Truck Mount and results in a much deeper clean that cleans and extracts the waste at the same time.

Concrete Path and Steps Before Cleaning Folkstone

I popped over to see the client to see what needed to be done and gave them a quote for the work. Having looked round the property I was confident of making a difference. I also noted that steps were not only black with dirt but had become green with algae in places which is slippery when wet and dangerous for the elderly.

Concrete Path and Steps Before Cleaning Folkstone

Cleaning an Outdoor Concrete Path and Steps

Before going over with the machine, I wetted the path with Tile Doctor Patio & Brick Driveway Cleaner and left it to soak into the concrete for a good twenty to thirty minutes so it could breakdown the dirt and deal with blackspots, lichen, moss, and general staining.

The concrete path was in several sections so whilst I was waiting for the cleaner to soak into one section, I was able to run the Truck Mount pressure washer over another section. When you use the jet wash at home, it can be a very messy business, bringing up all the dirt and spreading it around the nearby walls and usually the user. With our machine washing and extracting the dirt at the same time there is zero mess, and you can literally see the path become transformed in front of your eyes which is very satisfying.

Concrete Path and Steps After Cleaning Folkstone

Once done the concrete path looked like it was laid yesterday. The client was amazed saying it now complimented the work they had recently done on the front and back patios. It does show up the neighbour’s path though so I would not be surprised if I get a call soon to do their path as well!

Concrete Path and Steps After Cleaning Folkstone

There was no need to apply any type of sealer to this path. Regular cleaning will maintain it and a once a year deep clean like this would keep it in great shape.


Professional Clean of a Brick and Concrete Path and Steps in South Kent


East Surrey Tile Doctor

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