Riven Slate Tiles Rejuvenated by Deep Clean and Seal in Boston

While fantastic to look at, Riven Slate tiles can be particularly difficult to keep clean. The natural unevenness of the stone causes dirt to become more easily trapped and more difficult to remove. Over time, heavy buildup of ingrained dirt can have the effect of dulling the colours in the stone. This was the case with this large area of Riven Slate tiles at a very busy farmhouse in the Lincolnshire port town of Boston, the original namesake for the perhaps more famous city in Massachusetts, USA.

Riven slate floor before cleaning at Boston farmhouse

The property owner couldn’t figure out the best way to improve the situation and so called me in to see what could be done. Upon inspecting the tiles first hand I decided that the best course of action would be a very deep clean and the application of a fresh sealant to offer long-term protection against ingrained dirt.

Riven slate floor before cleaning at Boston farmhouse

Cleaning Dirty and a Dull Riven Slate Tiles

The cleaning process was split into two main components. Firstly, I scrubbed a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean into the tiles to remove the initial layers of soil buildup. Pro Clean is our go-to cleaner for most natural stone due to its reliability and the fact that, unlike a lot of supermarket floor cleaners, it isn’t acid-based and so won’t damage the stone.

Since the ingrained dirt problem was quite severe, I opted to also clean the tiles using our van-mounted pressure cleaning system. This very efficient system applies hot water under pressure to the to stone to penetrate deeply and eradicate particularly stubborn ingrained dirt. It then automatically extracts the soiled water back into a tank in our van.

Riven slate floor during cleaning at Boston farmhouse

Satisfied that the floor had been cleaned as throughly as possible, I then installed several turbo dryers to thoroughly dry the flooring, allowing it to be ready for sealing the next day. Efficient drying was especially important here due to the amount of water used in the cleaning process; many tiled floor owners will already know that sealant cannot be applied if any moisture remains.

Riven slate floor during cleaning at Boston farmhouse

Sealing Riven Slate Tiles

To seal the tiles I used four costs of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a topical sealer, meaning it forms a robust layer of protection on the surface of the tiles. Seal and Go also helps to enhance colour while providing a natural look matte finish that complements the natural stone.

Riven slate floor before cleaning at Boston farmhouse

Looking at the photos of the floor before and after my work you can really get an idea of the transformation achieved in a short space of time. What a difference! The property owners were very pleased with the results, especially now that they are aware of the best way to keep their lovely Riven Slate tiles clean and protected.

Riven slate floor before cleaning at Boston farmhouse

 
 

Professional Riven Slate Tiled Floor Restoration in Lincolnshire

Restoring a Stained Flagstone Tiled Floor in Boston

Recently, I was asked to visit a property in the small port town of Boston, Lincolnshire, to quote for a clean and seal. My client had recently moved into a new home, but the riven natural Sandstone flagstone floor had not been properly cared for or sealed by the previous owners and was now in need of a thorough clean. Sandstone flagstones are a popular choice for both residential and commercial use, and are especially popular in kitchens and hallways.

This particular floor was blemished by noticeable stains that had seeped into the stone. Further liquid stains were visible in other areas of the floor, as they had soaked into the stone due to the lack of a surface sealer. My primary tasks would be removing these blemishes and to provide a stain resistant surface seal to prevent damage in the future. My client also requested a natural look finish to the floor rather than a topical shine seal.

Riven Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Boston Riven Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Boston

Cleaning a stained Flagstone tiled floor

This was a two day job. On day one, my main focus was on eliminating the stubborn stains on the stone tiles. I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, with water to tackle the heavy soil build-up and applied the solution to the floor in sections leaving it to dwell for a short period first so it could get underneath the dirt and lift it to the surface.

I then used a combination of a stiff brush and a specialist Rotovac machine to scrub and clean the floor. The Rotovac uses water under high pressure to clean the floor and is highly effective in eliminating the difficult-to-reach dirt, particularly where it might be hidden due to the riven nature of the tiles. The cleaning process was repeated until I was satisfied with the results.

Sealing a Flagstone tiled floor

After finishing the clean I left the house, allowing the floor to dry off overnight. On day two, I returned to the house and ran damp tests to ensure that the surface was completely dry before commencing the seal.

Riven Flagstone Floor During Sealing Boston

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. As an impregnating sealer, this product soaks into the stone to provide robust protection from within. It also contains a colour intensifier and so, as you can see from the photographs, it really helped to enhance the natural shades in the Sandstone.

Riven Flagstone Floor After Sealing Boston

My client was delighted with the results and I think you will agree the floor looks transformed and much more appealing. Additionally the sealer is now protecting the stone from staining and liquids form puddles on the surface of the tile instead of soaking into its pores.

Riven Flagstone Floor After Sealing Boston

 
 

Tile cleaning and sealing for stained Flagstone tiled floor restoration in Lincolnshire

Natural Riven Stone floor stripped and re-sealed in Boston

Details below of a Natural Riven Stone tiled floor installed in the Kitchen of a house in Boston, Lincolnshire. The client had previously sealed this floor with a commonly available sealer and found the results unsatisfactory; the floor had a riven surface and that combined with two large dogs made cleaning was a constant burden.

Natural Stone Floor in Boston Before

Natural-Stone Tile Cleaning

The first step was to remove the existing sealer and give the floor a thorough clean; fortunately we were able to do this using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multipurpose cleaner/stripper. Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and then left to dwell for a good twenty minutes giving it time to break down the remaining sealer before being worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. To get the grout clean we made up a further batch of Pro-Clean, this time with warm water and scrubbed it by hand into the grout lines using a stiff grout brush.

The soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor given a thorough rinse using clean water. Stubborn areas were re-treated using the same process and the floor was left to dry overnight assisted with a turbo air blower.

Natural Stone Floor in Boston Stripped

Sandstone Tile Sealing

The next morning we applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to the tiles with each coat taking around twenty minutes to dry. Seal and Go is an ideal sealer for natural stone flooring and being water based there are no nasty smells to worry about like most solvent based products. Seal and Go also added a nice subtle sheen to the floor and will protect the tiles for years to come.

Natural Stone Floor in Boston Resealed

The customer was delighted with the results.
 
 

Natural Stone Tiled Floor Cleaned and Re-Sealed in Boston

Italian Riven Slate tiled floor cleaned and sealed in Boston

This Italian Riven Slate tiled floor installed in the dining room of a house in Boston, Lincolnshire was in need of a good clean and re-seal. If you look closely at the photographs below you should be able to see large areas where the surface has faded and become soiled which was probably due to the sealer wearing off allowing dirt to settle in the riven surface of the slate.

Italian Riven Slate Before Cleaning Italian Riven Slate Before Cleaning

Cleaning Italian Riven Slate floor tiles

We set about scrubbing the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad together with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaner especially recommend for stone floors due to its alkaline formula. It’s also quite good at stripping sealers from floors however this wasn’t too much of a problem on this floor.

The next step was to get into the grout lines with stiff brushes in order to give the grout a good scrub, this step has to be done by hand as the scrubbing pads can struggle to reach the grout. The next step was to remove the soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum and wash the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning product and neutralise the floor before the next step of sealing.

Sealing Italian Riven Slate floor tiles

Once the floor was dry we came back to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which really does help to bring out the natural colours in the slate and will protect the tile and grout from stains going forward.

Italian Riven Slate After Cleaning
The job took two days in total and the customer was absolutely delighted with the improvement in the floor.

Italian Riven Slate tiles restored in Boston

Quarry Tile Cleaning at a Public House in Boston

Great set of photographs here for a client in Boston this time in an old Public House. The floors were made up of stone and quarry tiles and looked to be over 100 years old, there was no evidence of a sealer being applied and they were in need of a good clean.

Quarry Tile Before Cleaining

Cleaning Quarry Tile Flooring

To start the Quarry tile cleaning we set about giving the floor a good scrub using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a rotary machine fitted with a buffing pad. We find machines can take a lot of the work out of the job but can only do so much, to reach those tricky corners you have to get down on your hands and knees with a scrubbing brush and add a bit of elbow grease. We worked at it for much of the day finishing by washing the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining chemical and neutralise the floor ready for sealing.

Quarry Tile After Cleaning and Sealing

Sealing the floor with a Quarry Tile Sealant

We let the floor dry overnight and came back the next day to apply the sealer. For this we used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for older Quarry Tile floors which were probably laid without any form of damp proofing, the sealer is water based and as well as bringing out the colour in the tile and providing protection it allows the transmission of moisture vapour up though the floor.

The Quarry Tile floor required 4 coats of Seal and Go to get the job done, we find it always best to do a water test to discover if the right amount of sealer has been applied as too much will lead to the floor going sticky. To do this you wait for the sealer to dry and add a drop of water to the top of the tile, if the drop sits on top of the tile in a bubble then enough sealer has been applied.

Needless to say the customer was delighted with the results and the pub is now open for business.

Cleaning Quarry Tile at a Public House in Boston

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles Near Boston

Details below of a terracotta floor cleaning job we did near Boston, that’s Boston in Lincolnshire which is small port on the east coast of the UK as opposed to Boston, Massachusetts which was given its name by emigrants from this area.

The tiles were expensive handmade terracotta tiles, a few of which contained finger prints that had been baked onto the tile during the manufacturing process. The owner had previously tried to seal the floor themselves using other products but was having difficulty and had delayed making use of their new kitchen extension until the floor could be sealed.

Terracotta Floor Tile Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

To ensure a consistent finish we had to remove the previous sealer and make sure the Terracotta floor was clean it was scrubbed with a buffing machine assisted with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective alkaline cleaner and sealer remover depending on the dilution. Cleaning the Terracotta floor tiles took a day to complete before being washed down with clean water to remove any remaining cleaner and neutralise the floor.

Terracotta After Cleaning and Sealing

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

The floor was left overnight to dry and we came back the next day to apply a sealer to protect the tiles, sealing those pores that collect dirt and make them easier to clean. We used four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go for this; it’s recommend for Terracotta floors bringing out the colour in the tile whilst providing a Matt finish. The customer was over the moon with the results and can now move into their new kitchen and sealed tiles.

Cleaning and Sealing handmade Terracotta floor tiles near Boston