Work History


Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of Tile, Grout and Stone Cleaning and renovation work carried out within North East Yorkshire.

16th Century Yorkstone Floor Renovation Listed Manor House Harrogate

Yorkstone Flagged Floor Renovated at 16th Century Harrogate Manor House

This customer was completely refurbishing a 16th Century Manor House just outside Harrogate in the Yorkshire Dales and had just started renovating the downstairs after completing the upstairs. The kitchen and entrance hall had an original Yorkshire stone floor that had come from local quarry. The floor had been covered up with lino and carpet until it was discovered as part of the renovations.

16th Centtury Yorkstone Floor Before Renovation Listed Manor House Harrogate

The manor was a listed building and so the new owner wanted to preserve as much of the original features as possible including the floor which must have been as old as the building. Tile Doctor has been involved in numerous historical restorations previously and so we were called in to renovate the stone flooring and bring it back to life. Given the potential age of the floor and its historical significance I realised a sympathetic and careful approach would be needed but was more than happy to get involved.

16th Centtury Yorkstone Floor Before Renovation Listed Manor House Harrogate

Deep Cleaning a Yorkshire Stone Floor

To deep clean the stone flags a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was sprayed onto the floor and left to soak in for ten to fifteen minutes. This product is a concentrated alkaline tile and grout cleaner that is powerful enough to strip off coatings and is ideal for deep cleaning natural stone. We used this in combination with a floor buffing machine fitted with gritted brushes to remove multiple layers of ground in grease and dirt and to remove sealers. The floor was then rinsed with water and vacuumed with a wet pick-up vacuum to remove the soiling.

Afterwards the floor was inspected and I could see more work would be needed to get the floor completely clean. As a result, the process was repeated but this time with a stronger product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is good at removing stubborn stains, adhesives and draws out ingrained grease and sealers.

The final step of the cleaning process was to apply Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which is an acid cleaner that will remove old cement smears, alkaline salts whilst neutralising the ph level of the stone after the use of strong alkaline cleaning products earlier.

By the end of the first day the floor was looking so much cleaner. The next step would be to seal the stone, but it would need to dry out before I could do that. So, after the final rinse the whole floor was dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum and left to dry off fully naturally.

Sealing a Yorkstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned to seal the stone floor and started by checking it had dried with the help of a damp meter. I know from experience that applying sealer to damp stone is a bad idea as it will affect the way the sealer cures and can affect the overall finish.

The moisture readings were fine so before sealing the whole floor I discussed the finish the customer was looking for. Their preference was for a natural looking finish that showed the beauty of the stone yet improved the different colours. There are several different sealers in the Tile Doctor range and after applying a couple of samples Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra was chosen. This product ticked all the boxes in that it would bring out the natural colouring in the stone and give a very slight smooth finish, at the same time as protecting the floor and making it easy to maintain. Additionally, this sealer is breathable with is an important consideration when sealing old stone floors which don’t have the benefit of a damp proof membrane under the floor.

16th Centtury Yorkstone Floor After Renovation Listed Manor House Harrogate

The deep cleaning process and fresh natural sealer transformed the stone floor bringing out its original beauty. The customer was delighted with the floor and the way in which the colours came out and left the following glowing feedback for us.

“Excellent products supplied for cleaning and renovating an old stone flag floor in a listed building. Their agent, Simon Testa carried out the work in a very conscientious and professional manner with excellent results.”

For ongoing maintenance cleaning of the floor I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to use, this product will clean the floor but is mild enough not to impact the sealer which can be a problem with the harsher cleaning products you tend to find in supermarkets.

16th Centtury Yorkstone Floor After Renovation Listed Manor House Harrogate


Professional Cleaning of a Yorkstone Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

Yorkstone Flagged Floor Renovated at 16th Century Harrogate Manor House Read More »

Polished Limestone Floor Clean Polish and Seal York

Deep Shine Achieved on a Large Limestone Floor in York

This large Limestone tiled kitchen and lounge area had been installed at a residence in the York area. Over time the Limestone tile had lost its shine and were badly etched in the kitchen area due to acid contamination from food, products and not using the right cleaning products for the floor.

Polished Limestone Floor York Before Cleaning

I was asked to call round and carry out a full survey on the floor to ascertain what needed to be done to restore the appearance. My immediate thought was to restore polish to the stone using diamond encrusted burnishing pads so whist there I tested a small area with a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads to see how well the floor would respond and demonstrate what could be achieved. I’ll describe the burnishing process in more detail below, but the small test area responded very well to the approach.

My client was very excited to see that the appearance of the Limestone tiles could indeed be restored and happily excepted my subsequent quote. Fortunately, I had a gap in the diary, so I was able to come back the following week to carry out the work.

Polished Limestone Floor York Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Polishing a Limestone Kitchen and Lounge Tiled Floor

The first step was the protect the skirting and kitchen plinths from splashing so these were taped up before starting. Next, and working in large sections I began the process of removing old sealers and dirt by stripping back the floor to the original stone using a coarse 400-grit burnishing pad. The process involves fitting the pad to a weighted floor buffer and running the pad over each tile at least three times using only water for lubrication.

There are four burnishing pads in the set and after rising off the slurry generated by the first coarse pad and extracting with a wet vacuum I moved onto the next pad in the sequence. This is a medium 800-grit pad which is the first step in bringing back the polished appearance of the stone. I followed the same process as before rinsing with water and extracting the slurry afterwards. The next pad is a finer 1500-grit and is applied to the Limestone floor exactly as before.

The last pad in the sequence is a very fine 3000-grit pads which brings up a deep high gloss polished finish to the stone. You don’t need to apply much water for this pad, it’s basically applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a process we call a ‘Spray Burnish’. Once done and I was satisfied that the floor was complete, it was left it to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Lounge Floor

The next day the floor was checked for moisture using a damp meter to ensure it was completely dry. Fortunately, the wet vacuum and spray burnishing the previous day had helped to dry the floor and the readings were fine.

Its not a good idea to seal a damp floor, so satisfied all was well I was able to start applying the sealer which for this floor Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal was chosen. This product is almost invisible after application, so we recommend it when the client wishes a natural a look as possible. Two coats were needed, and this will add protection to the floor by seeping into the natural pores in the stone occupying the space and preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. After sealing you find fluids form a bubble of the surface and not soak into the stone thereby leaving a stain.

Polished Limestone Floor York After Refurbishment

Once completed the Limestone tiles had a taken on a deep shine which my client was extremely pleased about and commented that the floor had never looked so good.

For the aftercare cleaning of polished stone including Limestone, I recommend using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which enhances patina yet it’s a mild enough cleaning product that’s safe to use on sealed tiles.

Polished Limestone Floor York After Refurbishment


Professional Polishing of a Limestone Tiled Floor in Northeast Yorkshire

Deep Shine Achieved on a Large Limestone Floor in York Read More »

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Renovation York

Victorian Tile Hallway Renovation York

The owner of this beautiful period property on the outskirts of York was renovating the whole property and had uncovered a Victorian tiled floor in the hallway. The tiles were extremely dirty and stained with white paint spots from decorating at some point in its long history.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Renovation York
I visited the property to survey the floor and come up with a renovation plan. It was indeed dirty but fortunately in reasonably good physical condition for its age. It needed a deep clean and there were some small repairs needed. I conducted a test clean on a small part of the floor which responded well and based on that I was able to give them an accurate quote for the renovation. They were happy to go ahead, and we arranged a mutually convenient time to complete the works.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Renovation York

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first thing needing attention was to re-set some loose tiles at the door entrance which is a common problem with old floors. The sub floor and old tile were cleaned and reset using a fast-setting adhesive and grout. This was left to set for a time before making a start on deep cleaning the hallway floor.

First up was to apply Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is our go to Tile and Grout cleaner which is diluted before being mopped on to the tile and allowed to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a black pad and rotary machine.

After rinsing off the now dirty cleaning solution I could see something stronger was required to really shift the deep-seated dirt, paint sports and who knows whatever else had been used on the floor over the years. So, to turn up the cleaning power a notch I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go using the same process and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum. This process where repeated and hand scrubbed some areas until I was satisfied the floor was clean.

The final stage was to give the tiles and acid wash by scrubbing in Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, this process is designed to counter and salts in the tile, remove old grout smears and neutralise the pH level of the tile after using the alkaline cleaners earlier.

The floor was given a final rinsed and the wet vacuum was deployed for the las time until as much moisture as possible was taken out of the floor. The floor was left to dry naturally for a few days before returning to carry out the sealing.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On returning to the property to carry out the sealing it was first tested for moisture using a damp meter. The tiles needed to be dry before sealing and any high readings can be resolved using a heat gun.

Once satisfied the floor was dry the floor it was sealed using four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will provide maximum protection from staining and enhance the colours in the tile. Additionally, Colour Grow is fully breathable which basically means it will allow any damp in the subfloor to rise through the tile and evaporate at the surface. This is an important consideration for old floors without a damp proof membrane as a non-breathable sealer can cause problems with damp building up under the floor.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Renovation York
The client was delighted with the result and was really pleased to see the floor restored to its former glory. As you can see from the photos the floor now looks clean and bright and this vastly improved the appearance of the hallway in keeping with the rest of this beautiful period property.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Renovation York

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North East Yorkshire

Victorian Tile Hallway Renovation York Read More »

Yorkshire Flagstone Kitchen Floor Refurbishment Tadcaster

Yorkshire Flagstone Kitchen Floor Refurbished in Tadcaster Cottage

The owner of this period cottage in the old market town of Tadcaster near Leeds, had what was once a beautiful Yorkshire stone floor in the kitchen. It has been a long time since it had been given a proper clean so over the years and with the Kitchen being a high traffic area the whole floor including the grout had darkened and he now wanted it refurbished in time for Christmas.

I visited the property to assess what needed to be done and could see straight away that any protective sealer that was once on the floor had long since worn off. In fact, it was so consistently dirty with years of built-up grease and dirt I had to wonder if one had ever been applied.

Yorkshire Flagstone Before Cleaning Tadcaster

I explained what the floor needed was a really deep intensive clean and then a sealer applied to make it easy to keep clean. The problem with most tile and stone is its porosity and if left unprotected dirt easily becomes lodged into its pores making cleaning a struggle.

To prove the difference that can be achieved and to allow me to work out a process on which I could base an accurate quote I ran a test clean on part of the kitchen floor. The test clean went very well, the difference was remarkable, and the cleaned section really stood out. Pleased with the potential of a clean floor they accepted my quote, and we pencilled a date in the diary.

Yorkshire Flagstone After Cleaning Demo Tadcaster

Cleaning a Yorkshire Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned on the appointed date and began by removing the kickboards from under the kitchen units to protect them from splashing. Next, I set about spaying the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is a purpose made tile and grout cleaner that eats into the grease and dirt so it can be removed. This product works best if you leave it for ten minutes before scrubbing in using a heavy-duty machine fitted with a heavy-duty brush. The soil released from the floor was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

The Pro-Clean did a good job on the grout however it was clear something stronger was required to really get the stone clean, so I stepped up a gear and applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go using the same process as before. This is a really good product for removing deeply ingrained grease and dirt.

The final step of the cleaning process was to give the stone and acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove old grout haze and other mineral deposits; additionally, being an acidic product, it counters the alkaline cleaning products used earlier neutralising the pH level of the floor and leaving it ready for sealing.

Sealing a Yorkshire Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Before sealing I like to discuss the different products available and the finishes they can provide. In this case my clients’ main concerns were that they wanted the stone to look natural and easy to maintain going forward.

With this in mind, Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra was chosen, it’s a modern acrylic-based sealer that brings out the natural colours in the stone and gives a very slight smooth finish. The protection it provides will prevent dirt becoming ingrained int the pores of the stone and ensure the floor is easier to maintain. Several coats were applied, until we achieved the required finish.

The deep cleaning process and fresh sealer transformed the stone floor bringing out its original beauty and my customer couldn’t believe the difference in the floor and was highly delighted.

For aftercare I gave the client a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, this product is pH neutral so it will clean the floor but won’t damage the sealer. Often people use household cleaners for cleaning tiled floors, but due to the strong chemicals they contain, they can do more harm than good by slowly stripping away the protective sealer and taking the floor back to square one. Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner is reasonably priced, and the concentrated formula means a small amount goes a long way so it’s well worth using.

Yorkshire Flagstone After Cleaning Tadcaster

This was a pleasurable job for me as it was good to see the floor transform from dull and lifeless to clean and showing the natural colour and beauty of the York stone, and always lovely to have another satisfied client.

Yorkshire Flagstone After Cleaning Tadcaster


Professional Refurbishment of a Yorkshire Stone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Yorkshire

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North East Yorkshire Tile Doctor

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