Although most of the work we do involves floor cleaning you should know we also cover stone worktops in Kitchens and countertops in bathrooms. An example being this opulent bathroom with Marble countertops that surrounded the sink and bath.
The bathroom was installed at a house in the up-market area of Bowden which together with the villages of Hale and Hale Barns are regarded as being the wealthiest parts of Greater Manchester. The customer had got in touch to ask if we could restore the appearance of the Marble surrounds which had become dirty and etched through general use.
Restoring the Appearance of Marble Countertops
My first job was to protect the wood panelling and lush red carpet that surrounds the bath, once all was protected we started to use a set of tile doctor six-inch burnishing pads to clean the Marble and restore the polish.
The Burnishing pads come in a set of four and are applied to the stone with a little water in sequence from the coarse 400 grit pad which removes etching and then through the medium 800-grit, fine 1500-grit and finally the very fine 3000-grit pad which restore shine to the Marble. I use a hand-held buffing machine to do this and carefully rinse in-between each pad to remove the small amount of slurry which is generated.
The last 3000-grit pad is applied with just a spay of water using what we call a spray burnish technique, this also has the benefit of leaving the stone dry which is exactly how we need it for the next step in the restoration process which is applying a sealer.
Sealing Marble Countertops
To finish off the restoration, I proceeded to seal the Marble tops with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. I should add, Ultra Seal is a natural look sealer that doesn’t change the colour of the stone.
The sealer is applied with a soft cloth, left for five minutes and then the excess is polished off with a soft cloth. We also replaced the silicone sealant around the bath and wash basins and once we were finished the bathroom looked newly installed.
The customer was over the moon that we brought life back to her impressive bathroom.
Although expensive Marble is a highly coveted, popular and classic flooring choice, not only is it hard wearing you can attain a high polish that simply looks fantastic. At peak condition, it’s one of the most beautiful and eye-catching types of stone available, however it’s appearance will degrade over time and with use, so it does need maintaining.
This customer, who lives in the small village of Willington in Cheshire had contacted us because they were concerned that the lustre on their Marble tiled floor which had been installed throughout much of the ground floor had faded and lost its attractive appearance. We arranged a date to go over and re-polish the floor back to health.
Burnishing and Cleaning a Marble Tiled Floor
On arrival the first step was to give the floor a general clean using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline tile cleaning product that is safe to use on Marble. I mention this because there are many cleaning products on the market today which are acidic and really only meant for use on Vinyl and Ceramic tiles. The cleaning solution was applied by sponge mop and left to soak for ten to twenty minutes with a particular focus on the grout lines. I used a stiff brush along the grout lines to get them really clean and then once done the floor was then rinsed with clean water and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum. This process also has the added advantage of removing any grit from the floor which might cause scratching during the next stage which was to polish the floor.
The next step was to use a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads to polish the stone back to a deep shine. The pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds are applied with a rotary floor buffer in sequence from coarse to extra fine. The first pad has a Coarse 400 grit which is applied with only water for lubrication, removes minor scratches, sealers, and the top surface dirt. Working in small areas, I applied the pad across the Marble, rinsing in between and picking up the soiled solution with a wet-vac machine. I then repeated this same procedure with the Medium 800 grit pad which is the first stage polishing pad again rinsing with water after use. The next two pads are a Fine 1500 grit and Extra Fine 3,00 grit which really build up a high-quality polish on the stone.
Sealing a Marble Tiled Floor
The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to seal the Marble first checking with a damp meter that the stone was dry. To seal the Marble tiles I applied two coasts of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained. Colour Grow also has the added advantage of enchasing the natural colours in the stone and in this case brought out the deep brown colours in the Marble.
Once the sealer had dried the floor was treated to a gentle buff with a white pad to bring up the shine even further.
This Polished Marble floor had been installed in the kitchen of a house near Leicester, it had been some time since its last deep clean and re-polish so the tiles had started to look dull and lifeless.
Stripping the Marble Tiled Floor
To resolve the floor was cleaned using a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go worked in using a scrubbing pad to remove any remaining sealer and dirt especially along the grout lines. Once this was done the floor was burnished using a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads which strip the Marble back and then re-builds the polish. These diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different grades and each one does a different job from scrubbing to polishing. I started with the coarse pad together with a little water and this does the job of stripping back the surface of the floor. I then moved onto the finer grades which do the job of building the surface polish to a nice shine.
Sealing the Marble Floor
The next morning I arrived to find the floor had dried out enough for me to seal it which was done using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that provides a natural look and is recommended for use in food preparation area.
Once it was finished the floor took on a new lease of life and the deep shine has been restored.
This Marble tiled floor was installed in the corridor of a very smart block of apartments in the Victoria area of Central London. The corridor was the main access route in and out of the apartment block and was constantly being used by residents, as a result there was a lot of foot traffic and decorators had contributed to the state of the floor which was now looking worse for wear with dirt, varnish and paint spots. Having struggled to get it clean the managing agent was considering replacing the floor, that was of course until the contacted us.
Cleaning Marble Tiled Floors
To remove the paint and varnish we used Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is an effective coatings remover designed for use on most types of tile and stone, we left it to soak and penetrate into the floor for 45 minutes before scrubbing it into the floor with rotary machine fitted with a black pad scrubbing pad followed by a hot water rinse to remove the cleaner. We followed this with the application of 1 to 4 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean again scrubbed in with a scrubbing pad; Pro-Clean is a Cleaner and Stripper so this step removed any remaining sealer and dirt from the Marble floor. Last step was to wash the tile down again to remove any chemical and neutralise the floor.
Polishing Marble Tile
The floor was now clean and just needed polishing to get the shine back, this we did with a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing pads which are and designed for use on Marble and Limestone. They come in different colours each one is a slightly finer grade and work to close up the pores and bring up the shine. Cleaning and polishing took up all of the day so left the day.
Sealing Yorkshire Marble Tile
We came back following day and sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look sealer that penetrates into the floor and will work to protect the floor going forward. You can see from the photographs how the combination of the burnishing pads and sealer and really made a difference in the floor.