Working Through COVID-19

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 Coronavirus it’s become necessary to change our working practices in-line with government guidelines and to take action to minimise health risks to you and our team.  At present, none of our team are showing any symptoms of the virus so we are continuing home visits for quotes and to complete scheduled works should it be safe to do so.

COVID 19 Symptoms Reproduced Courtesy of Public Health England

All Tile Doctors are aware to look out for the known symptoms of High Temperature and New Continuous Cough. We are aware of the need to self-isolate should it be necessary and should this be the case we will contact you to postpone. We also ask you monitor your own health and contact us should it be necessary for you to postpone for the same reason. Should you be in a high-risk group we recommend contacting us to re-arrange a visit to later in the year.

Naturally the situation could change very quickly and therefore we will no longer ask for any official notice should you wish to postpone or cancel a booking, however we would appreciate a phone call.

Our Tile Doctors are aware of the guidelines and will carry out a risk assessment at every premises they visit. They also understand the importance of observing the following whilst on site:

  • Avoiding Physical Contact
  • The importance of Social Distancing
  • Wearing single use Gloves and Overshoes
  • Regular hand washing and use of liquid sanitiser
  • Cleaning Equipment with Detergent after use

We are monitoring Government guidance and will ensure we continually adjust our working practices as required and endeavour to keep you informed. These are challenging times that are impossible to predict, the key is to stay safe and accepting of late changes should they occur.

Regards

Mark Conway
Worcestershire Tile Doctor
#TileDoctorUK #weareinthistogether #pulltogether #staystrong

For more information about Covid-19 virus we recommend the following sources:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-track-coronavirus-cases

Restoration of a Victorian Minton Tiled Hallway Floor in Kidderminster

I received this Tile Doctor enquiry from a customer in the historic market town of Kidderminster who had a Victorian Minton Tiled hallway floor that had been covered in carpet for a long time. The carpet had since been removed and now the floor was fully exposed you could see it was covered in carpet glue and dirty with ingrained grime.

Victorian Minton Tiled Hallway Covered in Carpet Before Restoration Kidderminster

I arranged an appointment to inspect the floor thoroughly and provide a quote; you can never be sure what issues you might find, so surveying the floor first ensures I can give an accurate price. As anticipated the entire floor was covered in thick glue, fortunately apart from a few loose tiles the floor was in good order. I explained to the client the process I would use on the floor and that I was confident the floor could be restored for them. My quote was accepted, and we arranged a date to carry out the work.

Victorian Minton Tiled Hallway Covered in Carpet Before Restoration Kidderminster

I often get customers claiming to have an original Minton Tiled floor however there were many manufacturers creating similar patterns at the end of the 19th century, the only way to be certain is to lift a tile and look to see what’s stamped on the back. In this case we had a few loose ones that needed relaying, so I was able to confirm that quite easily.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I arrived on the booked day and the first step was to tape up the surrounding area to prevent any damage from splashing. I was then ready to tackle the glue. I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and covered the floor with industrial cling film to allow the solution to get to work without drying out. The film was removed after an hour and then the Remove and Go was worked into the tiles using a coarse 200-grit milling pad to cut through the glue and resurface the tiles.

Afterwards the floor was rinsed with water and the soil removed with a wet vacuum. Some of the glue proved very stubborn to remove and had to be dealt with carefully by hand using an industrial scraper, sometimes a bit of elbow grease is the only way to get the job done.

The floor was then given an Acid Rinse with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, this is designed to further clean the tiles and counter any efflorescent salts that might be present in the tiles due to the lack of damp proof membrane.

After another rinse and soil removal I turned my attention to the loose tiles which were secured by removing the tile, scraping out the adhesive and re-fixing. The appearance of the floor was much improved after day and the floor was then left overnight to dry out in preparation or the sealing process.

Sealing a Victorian Minton Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the next day, I first checked the floor was dry using a damp meter. Once I was satisfied it was dry, I started to seal the floor. I had selected to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra for sealing. It adds a richness to the colour of the tiles and a subtle sheen finish. I applied three coats, waiting for each one to dry before applying the next.

Victorian Minton Tiled Hallway Covered in Carpet After Restoration Kidderminster

The pattern on the floor was really nice and the colours were now very vibrant. The client was very pleased and left a great review copied below:

“Our floor wasn’t easy as it had some form of coating on it which was difficult to remove but Mark took a lot of time to ensure the surface was thoroughly clean before the sealant was put down. Very pleased with how it looks. K. B, Kidderminster”

Victorian Minton Tiled Hallway Covered in Carpet After Restoration Kidderminster

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire

Polishing Honed Marble Flooring in Callow End near Worcester

The pictures below are of a Polished Marble floor installed at a property in the village of Callow End which is a few miles South of Worcester. The owner of the house had attempted to clean and seal the floor by themselves and as you can see from the photographs, they ended up dulling its appearance. The physical nature of Marble and natural stone floors in general make them a difficult project to attempt without expert knowledge and the right equipment.

Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Callowend Marble Tiled Floor Before Polishing Callowend

I arranged to survey the floor and explained to the client how I intended to restore the appearance of the Marble to how it should look. I demonstrated the process on a small test area so they could get an idea of the result and explained that the floor could look even better than the day it was installed.

Tile Doctor has developed a system called burnishing for natural stone floors which involve the application of a set of diamond pads which are used in sequence to clean and restore the polish to the stone. My quote was accepted, and a date set for the work to begin which should take two days.

Cleaning and Polishing a Marble Tiled Floor

I arrived on the agreed date and started by sealing up the bases of the kitchen kickboards and skirting with silicone to protect against any damage from water ingress. I then vacuumed the floor to remove any debris and grit.

Tile Doctor Stone Soap was then worked into the floor with the first of a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing Pads. The first pad is a coarse 400-grit pad and is run over each Marble tile four times. The floor is then rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum. This process was then repeated with an 800-grit, 1500-grit and then finally a 3000-grit pad which is applied dry with only a little water spayed onto the floor.

Tile Doctor Stone Soap is a stone cleaning product designed for maintaining the patina on polished stone. Additionally, it has a sealer friendly pH Neutral formula which is ideal for floors like these. Many floor cleaning products you find in supermarkets are too harsh for use on natural stone and can cause damage over time (always read the label).

Sealing a Polished Marble Floor

Once the burnishing was complete the floor needed to be sealed to protect its’ final finish. Tile Doctor have a whole range of sealing products available but for a really durable shiny finish on Marble I recommend the application of Tile Doctor Shine Powder. This is a crystallising powder that provides a very high shine and tough durable finish, it’s worked into the stone using a white pad fitted to a rotary machine.

Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor After Polishing Callowend

My client was absolutely delighted with the result and agreed the floor had never looked so good and lived up to the high standard I told them they could expect.

For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will keep the floor clean and help maintain the deep patina that I had built-up on the Marble tiles.

Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor After Polishing Callowend Marble Tiled Floor After Polishing Callowend

 

Professional Polishing of a Marble Tiled Floor in Worcestershire

Renovating Flood Damaged Victorian Flooring at a Worcester Church

Earlier this year I was contacted by the church warden of St Clements Church in Worcester regarding the renovation of its Victorian floor tiles. The Church was built 200 years ago and is one of the oldest churches in the city. Unfortunately, being situated close to the West bank of the River Severn it is at risk of flooding and a recent flood had ruined a large section of carpeting which had to be removed. In fact, according to the local newspaper Worcester has been named as sixth worst place in the UK for flooding.

Flood Damaged Church Victorian Tiles Before Restoration Worcester

Every cloud has a silver lining, so they say and, in this case, once the carpet was removed it revealed a very impressive Victorian tiled floor. There were two sections of 24m2 & 10m2, and I visited the Church to survey the floor and assess its condition.

Victorian tiles are generally very robust, and I discovered that the carpet had helped to preserve them in good physical condition. I conducted a few cleaning tests and I could see there were two areas where there was quite a lot of wax, dirt and carpet adhesive that would need removing. I discussed with the warden the process and provided a detailed quote.

Flood Damaged Church Victorian Tiles Before Restoration Worcester

My quote was accepted, and a date agreed to commence the work when their diary was a little quieter as the area would be out of use for a few days.

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Church Floor

On the first day I decided my first task would be to tackle the years of wax build-up and glue around the Altar. To do this I sprayed the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a powerful coatings remover designed for use on Tile and Stone. The tiles were then covered in industrial cling film, this prevents the solution drying out and increases the active dwell time on the tiles so it can really get to work breaking down the wax and adhesive.

Working in sections I repeated the process across the whole floor and after an hour I removed the cling film and then scrubbed the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad. This really got deep into the tiles and after repeating the process several times the soiled cleaning solution containing the wax and glue was rinsed off the tiles and extracted with a wet vacuum.

I then used handheld burnishing blocks and a scraper on the stubborn and hard to reach places that couldn’t be accessed by the rotary machine. It was a large area that needed to be treated in this way, so the cleaning process took three days before I was satisfied with the result.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Church Floor

I used a lot of water in the cleaning process, so I left the floor to dry out for a few days, returning the following week to apply a sealer to the tiles.

I sealed the Victorian tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is which is breathable thereby allowing for moisture to rise through the tiles and evaporate. This is an important consideration for old tiled floors where a damp-proof membrane hasn’t been installed. Without this moisture can build up in the floor where it could eventually spread out to the walls resulting in rising damp. The tiles took five coats of sealer and each coat had to be left to dry before applying the next so naturally this took some time and had to be done in sections cordoned off from the parishioners. Once the sealer had been applied to the whole floor the transformation of the church floor was complete, the floor looked fantastic and much more in-keeping with the period look of the building.

Flood Damaged Church Victorian Tiles After Restoration Worcester

I received a glowing review from the Church which I have copied below. I also heard that a parishioner had seen the floor and had cried because the last time she had seen the floor was 50 years ago at her wedding, its moments like those that make my job very worthwhile!

Mark Conway was an absolute star. He worked so hard on our Church floor. It looks magnificent now and everyone has commented on how beautiful it looks. Mark was such a nice friendly and helpful person and went the extra mile. Thanks Mark. A brilliant job.

Flood Damaged Church Victorian Tiles After Restoration Worcester

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Church Floor in Worcestershire

Carpet Covered Quarry Tiled Hallway Renovated in Stourport-on-Severn

I was contacted by a client from the Georgian canal town of Stourport-on-Severn regarding their Quarry tiled hallway floor. The client had moved into the property sometime in the past and unhappy with the appearance of the tiled floor decided to have it covered up with carpet. The carpet was now due for a change and rather than replace it she looked around to see if anyone could restore the original quarry tiles.

Having found Tile Doctor, I was asked to pay the property a visit and quote for the restoration. I arranged a convenient time and went over to survey the tiles which although dirty were in good physical condition. The carpet however had secured to the floor with a carpet gripped screwed through the grout and a strong carpet adhesive all of which would need rectifying as part of the restoration.

Quarry tiled hallway floor Stourport-on-Severn Before Restoration

After reviewing the whole floor and completing a few tests I was confident we could remove the old glue and restore the floor back to its original condition. My quote was accepted, and a date agreed to start the work.

If you have never been, I can recommend a visit to Stourport, close to Kidderminster and famous for its canal junction location it was once one of the principal distribution centres for goods to and from the rest of the West Midlands.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The first job was to remove the carpet, underlay and carpet grippers. I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to breakdown the adhesives and to remove any old sealers. It was left to soak into the Quarry tile and grout for about ten minutes before being worked into the floor with a scrubbing rotary machine fitted with a black pad. It wasn’t long before the solution went dark with all the dirt that had been released from the pores of the tiles and the slurry was removed with a wet and dry vacuum.

Quarry tiled hallway floor Stourport-on-Severn During Restoration

I then applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove some cement residue and combat any potential efflorescence issues which are quite common in old floors like these that don’t have a damp-proof membrane installed. The floor was then rinsed down with water to remove any trace of cleaning products, then then left to dry off overnight. Before leaving I spent time filling in the holes left by the screws of the carpet rods with a dark coloured grout which was as close a match to the colour of the tile as possible.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return the following day I checked the moisture readings on the floor using a damp meter and as the readings were good, I proceeded to seal the floor. For a sealer I had chosen to use the tried and tested Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This sealer allows for moisture vapour transmission making it partially breathable and ideal for situations where no damp proof membrane has been installed and where there is risk of moisture being trapped under the floor. It also allows the colour of the tiles to shine through without leaving a shiny finish. I gave the floor five coats allowing ample drying time in-between coats.

Quarry tiled hallway floor Stourport-on-Severn After Restoration

As you can see from the pictures the floor looked great and my client was extremely happy with the result and so pleased, they had finally taken the old hallway carpet up. For aftercare I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor in the best condition and ensure maximum longevity for the new sealer.

Quarry tiled hallway floor Stourport-on-Severn After Restoration

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire