Bentham Tile Cleaning

Bentham Tile Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find examples of the cleaning and renovation of tiles carried out in Bentham.

Black Caithness Slate After Renovation Gressingham

Caithness Black Slate Floor Restored with Milling Pads in Gressingham

The photos above detail the restoration of Black Caithness Slate pavers at an old cottage in the village of Gressingham on the outskirts of Lancaster. The building was in the process of being completely overhauled and the floor was next on the long renovation to do list.

Black Caithness Slate Pavers Before Cleaning

Caithness Slate from the northern tip of Scotland and is known for its durability and strength however the years had certainly not been kind to this floor and it was in a very bad state.

To restore the appearance of the slate I recommended milling the floor with a set of very coarse pads that would remove a thin layer of stone off the top of the paving slab to reveal new stone underneath. The pointing was also cracked and loose in places so that would also need chopping out and replacing. After milling the stone would also be smoother and once sealed much easier to maintain going forward.

Black Caithness Slate Pavers Before Cleaning Black Caithness Slate Pavers Before Cleaning

I estimated the process would take four days to complete. Happy to go ahead with the quote a date was booked for the work to start.

Resurfacing Caithness Black Slate

On the first two days there were two of us involved to get through milling the stone which is hard work. We used a set of milling pads applied to a weighted floor machine to cut through the stones surface using water for lubrication. This generates a lot of stone dust so a lot of rinsing and extracting needs to happen to remove it.

Milling carried on into day two but by the end we had started knocking out the old pointing which had already failed and wasn’t too difficult to remove. It was one big room with a partition at one end, the building itself was built in the 1870s or at least that’s as much information as the client could find as it was bought in an auction.

Black Caithness Slate Pavers During Renovation Black Caithness Slate Pavers During Renovation

Due to its age, it had no water or electricity, so we had to work off generators whilst a rudimentary system supplied the water. This was not the easiest job for us as the generators were proving difficult to work with as the relays would overload and cut off the power; this happened more than a dozen times just in the first day alone, but we like a challenge.

As you will see from the pictures the stone flagstones were transformed. This was not a simple clean and seal job, this is milling back the surface using various diamond grits a heavy weighted buffing machine and patience, and some water. Using a wet system, the milling system won’t leave a house full of dust and the diamond grinding leaves the stone much smoother and a lot cleaner which makes it a lot easier to clean and maintain in the future.

Sealing a Caithness Black Slate Tiled Floor

Once the milling was complete and the new flexible breathable pointing was applied for which we like to use a product called VDW 800. We then called back the next day and finished the clean, the floor area was left for another day to dry.

Black Caithness Slate Pavers During Sealing

Once dry, the floor was then sealing using a single coat of Tile Doctor X-Tra seal which is oil-based sealer that really brings out the colour of the Black slate. Additionally, this sealer is fully breathable so it will cope with the damp conditions you find with old floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane and so won’t peel off after a few weeks.

Black Caithness Slate Pavers After Renovation

The client was very happy with the transformation and final finish and invited us back to cover more work in the outbuildings which eventually will join onto the main house. For aftercare cleaning I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is an effective tile and grout cleaner that won’t upset the sealer.

Black Caithness Slate Pavers After Renovation Black Caithness Slate Pavers After Renovation


Professional Restoration of a Caithness Black Slate Tiled Floor in Lancashire

Semi Riven Slate Floor Before After Renovation Bentham

Renovating Dull Semi Riven Black Slate Flooring in Bentham

This is a Semi Riven Black Slate floor which had been installed throughout much of the downstairs floor at a property in Bentham which is right on the Eastern edge of Lancashire. The Black slate and Grout had seen some wear and was now more Grey than black and having recently installed a new Kitchen the owner wanted the floor to look its best.

Rough stone can be especially hard to maintain if the wrong sealer has been applied. With rough or textured stone, it’s always best to use an Acrylic Sealer (aka ” Topical sealer”) where possible. Unlike a Matt finish impregnating sealer a Topical Sealer is designed to sit on the surface of the Stone preventing dirt from getting caught in the nooks and crevices making it much easier to clean.

Rough Black Slate Floor Before Cleaning Bentham

After surveying the floor, I recommend burnishing the stone with a coarse pad to deep clean the stone and remove any remaining sealer, then seal with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a Topical sealer which we find always has provides good results on this type of floors. Happy with the price and keen to get the floor renovated we were given the go ahead and scheduled a date to return to do the work.

Rough Black Slate Floor Before Cleaning Bentham

Deep Cleaning a Semi Riven Black Slate floor in Bentham

The last thing we want to do is cause any damage to their beautiful new wooden kitchen. So before starting the cleaning process I applied clear silicone to the base of the new Kitchen units, this prevents water from the cleaning process seeping into the woodwork through capillary action.

Rough Black Slate Floor Applying Silicone Bentham

To get the tiles clean we burnished the stone floor with a coarse 200-grit Diamond pad fitted to a buffing machine running at slow speed and using water for lubrication. This gives a really deep clean and was followed up with the application of a black scrubbing pad to remove any excess resin released from the Slate which is quite common with Black stones due to the oil content. Once the Slate was clean, we turned our attention to the grout which was scrubbed with Tile Doctor Pro-clean. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum, once done the floor was left dry out.

Whilst at the property we managed to resolve a problem with a poorly laid slate tile in the hallway which the customer had often tripped over, so much so they had covered it with a rug, which was fine, but you couldn’t see the Slate. Rather than lift and relay the tile I managed to cut back the surface of the stone with a hand held flex machine using several different diamond grits. You can see from the pictures how this looks before, during and after the seal. A further advantage of treating the stone in this way is that the slate takes on a more polished finish as the rough texture is cut back. The results speak for themselves and the customer certainly won’t be tripping over the tile from now. With no further need for the rug they can get the full benefit of the slate floor.

Rough Black Slate Tile Before During After Surface Correction Bentham

Sealing a Riven Black Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the following day to apply a sealer first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. All was well, so we started to apply the first of several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. It was a large area across multiple rooms, so it took some time before the job was complete.

Rough Black Slate Floor After Cleaning Bentham

The sealer added a lovely subtle sheen to the floor and restored the black colour in the Slate, the grout was also much cleaner and floor look transformed from the grey dull appearance we first experienced. As usual before leaving we talked about aftercare, using warm water (not hot or cold) with a mop and bucket and half a cap of Tile Doctor concentrated Neutral Tile Cleaner. Using the correct cleaning product will ensure they get maximum life out of the sealer.

Rough Black Slate Floor After Cleaning Bentham


Professional Renovation of a Black Riven Slate Tiled Floor in Lancashire

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before and After Cleaning High Bentham

Dull Riven Black Slate Floor Transfored in High Bentham

We were asked to come and advise a customer regarding their stone floor which the customer was struggling to keep clean. The property was in High Bentham which lies on the River Wenning, just West of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning High Bentham

We often get customers who give up looking after their tiles after a while as some stone like this Black Riven Slate need quite a bit of upkeep to keep them looking good and a standard mop and bucket at times isn’t enough to keep them looking pristine. In this case the sealant had worn away in the high traffic areas and the floor had a slightly rough texture to the surface which meant it was holding onto dirt making it difficult to keep clean. We proposed the floor should be cleaned and resealed, discussed the cost and agreed a time for the work to be carried out.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning High Bentham

Cleaning a Black Riven Slate Tiled Floor

To get the tiles clean we burnished the stone floor with a coarse 200-Grit Diamond pad fitted to a weighted buffing machine using water for lubrication. The floor was then rinsed and then the process repeated using a series of different graded pads, namely the 400 and 800 grit burnishing pads which further cleaned and resurface the appearance of the stone.

The grout was cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the grout lines by hand; Pro-Clean is a heavy-duty cleaner which gets to the really stubborn stains and it did a great job at getting the grout looking like it should. The cleaning process was then finished off by rinsing the floor with water and extracted the slurry with a wet vacuum. The floor was inspected and retreated to the same process where more work was required. We usually find leaving Pro-Clean on a stain for longer and assisting with a bit of steam helps to lift the dirt out of the pores of the stone.

Once cleaned thoroughly we rinsed the floor again and then extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible with a wet vacuum before leaving it to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Riven Black Slate Tiled Floor

We called back the following day to apply a sealer first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. All was well, so we started to apply the first of two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a third coat was attempted but the slate would not accept any more sealer, and this was removed with a cloth. It is important to know if you have reached FCS (Full Cure Sealability) if not then the pores of the tiles will still be open to accepting dirt and the job won’t last long. Over a very short period of time the tiles will diminish in stature and finish.

Slate Floor During Sealing High Bentham

The sealer really restored the black colour to the Slate and transformed the look of the floor. As always, we left the customer a free bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, using the correct cleaning product in future will ensure they get maximum life out of the sealer.

Slate Floor After Sealing High Bentham Slate Floor After Sealing High Bentham

The floor looked lovely when finished and the customer was very happy with the overall result.


Professional Renovation of a Black Riven Slate Tiled Floor in Lancashire

Black Quarry Tiles After

Dennis Ruabon Quarry Tiles cleaned and sealed in Low Bentham

Customer had these Dennis Ruabon Quarry Tiles fitted over 20 years ago in the WC of his house in Low Bentham, various cleaning and sealing products have been used since however this left a build-up of contamination on the Tiles which was detrimental to their aesthetic appeal and also left a noticeable residue smell.

Black Quarry Tiles Before Black Quarry Tiles Before

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

To clean the Tiles and strip off previous sealing coatings we used Tile Doctor Pro-clean diluted 1 to 10 with warm water. This was left to dwell on the floor for a while before being worked into the tile using and black buffer pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. The whole area was cleaned in this manner along with a stiff hand brush to get into the grout lines and a wet vacuum which was used to suck up the dirty residue before the floor was rinsed down with cold water. The wet vacuum was used again to remove the water, one tile was loose so this was re-fixed and the floor left to dry.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once the floor was fully dry we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will protect it going forward and also helps to bring out the colour in the tile whilst maintaining a more natural appearance. There were some stubborn stains and discolouration on the tiles that could not be treated however I think you will agree it is much improved and you will have to take my word for this but it also smells better

Black Quarry Tiles After Black Quarry Tiles After

Before leaving we left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner, this product is recommended for sealed floors due to its very low PH formula; there are a number of acidic floor cleaning products available which should not be used with stone or sealed floors as the acid will eat into the seal or stone surface over time reducing its life.

Restoring old Quarry tiles floor in Lancashire


Lancashire Tile Doctor

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