Old Grubby Stone Fireplace Transformed in Brighton

I’m really pleased with the transformation I managed to achieve cleaning this Stone Fireplace at a lovely period house in Brighton. The client had been decorating the room which highlighted just how grubby the Stone Fireplace now looked and she desperately wanted to use it for the cold nights towards Christmas.

Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning Brighton

The run up to Christmas is generally a busy time for us as we usually find homeowners are really keen to have their tiles cleaned in time for the festivities. However these jobs tend to only take a day at most so I was confident I could squeeze it in quite quickly.

Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning Brighton Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning Brighton

Cleaning a Stone Fireplace

Before starting any job I make sure the surrounding furnishings are protected from splashes from the cleaning products we use. I tend to use a thin blue film for this as it sticks well to most surfaces and like professional decorators masking tape it doesn’t remove the paint when you remove it later.

Stone Fireplace During Cleaning Brighton

To clean the fireplace I used a diluted combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Acid Gel which was applied to the stone and left to soak in for few minutes before scrubbing it by hand and then carefully rinsing it off. Pro-Clean is a powerful cleaning product on it’s own but I needed something that would deal with the soot and Acid Gel is able to remove all sorts of deposits plus being a gel it sticks well to vertical surfaces.

I couldn’t really use any machinery on the Fireplace that would make the job easier so I had to use a lot of elbow grease instead. The intricate carvings in the stone took some time to get really clean and so in total the job took me about four hours. The Stone Fireplace was transformed by the time I had finished and I think you will agree it now looks fantastic.

Stone Fireplace After Cleaning Brighton

Brighton is a great place to go shopping especially around “The Lanes” behind the main promenade where they have lots of unusual gift shops and with Christmas looming I was able to spend what was left of the afternoon roaming around.
 
 
Source: Stone Fireplace Cleaning and Restoration Service in East Sussex

Dirty Sandstone Fireplace Deep Cleaned in Lancashire

We often get asked to do a combination of jobs at Tile Doctor so we have to be prepared for the unexpected, like getting asked to clean an old Sandstone fireplace whilst your cleaning a Victorian tiled floor at a house in Preston. We normally charge extra for these types of jobs but it depends how much cleaning is required.

Red and Black Victorian Tiles Preston Before Cleaning

This Fireplace had been in use for a number of years and due to its grainy texture was hard to keep clean, dirt and soot had built up on its surface and there was no sealer visible, either that or it had worn off with the heat.

Sandstone Fireplace Preston Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Sealing a Sandstone Fireplace

To clean the uprights and Hearth I applied Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being in Gel form and not a liquid, stays in place increasing dwell times and doesn’t drip where it shouldn’t. In this case I let it soak into the stone for about forty minutes before scrubbing it in with a stiff hand brush and steam. Some marks were still visible after this process so we opted for using handheld Diamond blocks in 50.100.200 and then 400 grit to grind off the staining and restore the surface finish. Using these small handheld blocks takes off some of the heavier texture as well as cleaning the stone at the same time, but is really useful to use where chemicals alone struggle to get the results required. Once fully clean the fireplace was rinsed with water a couple of times and the slurry removed using a wet vacuum. After speed drying the stone with a heat gun it was ready for a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, even we were impressed with the results.

Sandstone Fireplace Preston After Cleaning

Cleaning and Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The Red and Black Victorian Tiles were cleaned with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is very similar to Oxy-Gel only in a liquid form. The product was left to soak into the tiles for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a black buffing pad attached to a slow speed buffing machine. I used the wet vacuum again to soak up the residue and stubborn stains were retreated until I was satisfied.

Old Victorian floors rarely have a damp proof membrane installed and so it’s not uncommon for damp to rise-up through the ground and tile resulting in white salt deposits being left on the surface. To prevent this process, which is commonly referred to as Efflorescence, Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied. The solution is scrubbed into the tiles and then rinsed off with clean water and removed with a wet vacuum ready for sealing.

Victorian Tiles can take a while to dry and in this case I left it two days before returning to apply a breathable sealer to protect the tiles from ingrained dirt and staining. In this case a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied. If you recall this was the same sealer we used on the fireplace as the customer wished to bring out the colour and have a Matt finish.

Red and Black Victorian Tiles Preston After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Fireplace Cleaning and Renovation Service in Lancashire

Marble Fireplace Refresh in Bedfordshire

As you may know already, Tile Doctor aren’t limited to the maintenance and restoration of tiled floors. Our expertise covers all different types of tile and stone cleaning, meaning we are even able to clean and restore stone fireplaces. A good example of this is a polished Marble fireplace I recently restored in Bedford, which is the county town of one of England’s smallest counties, Bedfordshire. Marble is reputed in the international market for its premium quality, toughness, and durability, making it a great choice for a fireplace – if you can keep it properly maintained!

The following pictures show the state of the fireplace before the restoration. As you can see, the stone was stained and discoloured, possibly from smoke damage as it had previously been used as an open fire. My task was to get the Marble back to looking its best again through a combination of polishing and sealing. Here’s how I did it.

Marble Fireplace Before Cleaning Bedford

Cleaning a Stained and Discoloured Marble Fireplace

The process I took to restore the fireplace is much the same as the one I would for tiled floor polishing except on a smaller scale and with smaller tools. Cleaning a vertical surface can be trickier and make a bit more of a mess with possible splashes, so I fully sheeted up the area, covering the customer’s furniture and newly decorated walls.

It involved the application of six inch diamond encrusted polishing pads of varying grits, fitted to a handheld machine, as well as handheld diamond encrusted blocks to get into all small, difficult to reach areas. Just like with tiled floor polishing, I started with a Coarse grit pad to grind away the tough stains and then worked my way through the system of different grades of pads until finishing with a very fine pad to refine the polished finish.

Marble Fireplace During Cleaning Bedford

Sealing a Marble Fireplace

Once the fireplace had been polished to a high standard, I sealed the stone using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection. It’s perfect for high-end natural stone like Marble, it can also be used on Granite, Slate, Travertine, and Limestone to achieve a high shine finish and protect the stone.
By the time, I had finished it was starting to get dark, so unfortunately the photo below, which shows the result, does not show off the quality of the shine that I was able to achieve on the Marble. Nevertheless, the customer was very happy with the results.

Marble Fireplace After Cleaning Bedford

 
 
Source: Marble Fireplace Cleaning & Polishing Service in Bedfordshire

Deep Cleaning a Stone Fireplace Surround in Surrey

This is a follow-on post from the Travertine Kitchen floor that I wrote about recently, you may recall the customer from East Byfleetalso asked me to clean the stains from the hearth of their Natural Stone Fireplace as well.

Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning East Byfleet

Stone Fireplace Hearth Stain Removal

The fireplace was suffering from general dirt build-up as well as bad rust and oil stains. I treated the rust stains using Tile Doctor Rust Remover which is a specialist product developed by Tile Doctor especially for the removal of rust marks from stone. Then to deal with the oil stains I applied a solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean alkaline cleaner combined 50/50 with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to give the solution extra strength.

While this improved the condition of the stone and removed the un-sightly stains more work was required so I continued the cleaning process with the application of a Coarse 30 grit pad fitted to my hand machine. This proved effective, so I then refined the surface further using a series of fine grit pads before sealing the fireplace with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, another of our impregnating sealers.

Stone Fireplace After Cleaning East Byfleet

The appearances of both Travertine tiled kitchen floor and the natural stone fireplace have benefitted greatly from deep cleaning, high quality polishing, and a fresh seal. Much to the delight of my customer, they will prove much easier to keep clean I’m the future.

Stone Fireplace Before and After Cleaning East Byfleet

 
 
Source: Stone and Tiled Fireplace Cleaning Service in Surrey

Tiling, Cleaning and Sealing a Fireplace in Oyster Slate

The owner of this property in Wawne Village was keen to have their electric fireplace – which was built into the wall – spruced up with some patterned tiles. While at Tile Doctor we most often focus on cleaning and sealing tiles many of the team such as myself are fully trained tilers we are also carry out full installations where requested.

I suggested that the fireplace would look fantastic if tiled with the Oyster Slate and you may recall I did a similar fireplace in Hull which worked out really well. Oyster Slate is a natural stone that is especially well suited for giving feature walls, such as this built in fireplace, a really distinct, elegant look. My customer agreed with the suggestion, and I travelled up to the property to complete the work.

Oyster Slate Fireplace Before Installation Wawne

Cleaning and Sealing Oyster Slate Fireplace Tiles

Upon arriving at the property I spent a number of hours carefully fixing the Oyster Slate tiles and then grouting. Although the installation was new and looking very nice, it was necessary following installation to clean and seal the area, especially given the amount of loose dust particles and other general muck created in the process of cutting the tiles.

Oyster Slate Fireplace After Installation Wawne

To clean the slate and grout I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our versatile alkaline cleaner. The great thing about this product is that it can be used to achieve reliable results on almost any kind of natural stone, from Victorian and Slate, to Limestone and Marble.

Oyster Slate Fireplace Before Sealing Wawne

Once clean, the area was left to dry completely. As most tiled floor owners will already know, the drying phase is very important as even the smallest quantity of excess moisture left on the tiles can cloud any sealer you choose to use. When I was satisfied that the tiles were dry and therefore ready to be sealed, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is our premium, natural look penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum protection against dirt and stains.

Oyster Slate Fireplace After Sealing Wawne

Both myself and my customer were very pleased with the results. The addition of the Oyster Slate tiles have taken the fireplace from being a relatively uninteresting feature to one that really stands out and adds character to the room. With a deep clean and fresh seal, it will also be easy for the customer to keep it looking fantastic in the future.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Clearing and Installation Service in Yorkshire

Tiling a new Fireplace in Oyster Slate

While at Tile Doctor we are more often than not asked to carry out professional maintenance for existing tiling installation we have also been known to do the installation as well. This was the case with this customer, living at a property in Hull, who contacted me about a full tile installation on their fireplace, situated in a living room which itself was undergoing some redecoration. I recommended an Oyster Slate tile, a natural stone which contains a nice range of black, brown and white shades to give walled areas a really distinct look.

Oyster Slate Fireplace Before Installation Hull

I explained to my customer – who was very happy with the choice of tile – that the fireplace would have be cleaned and sealed once the Slate tiles had been installed. This customer planned on having a coal fire installed following the tiling, but without a robust seal the Slate would be blackened by the coal and become difficult to clean.

Oyster Slate Fireplace After Installation Right Hull

Cleaning and Sealing an Oyster Slate Tiled Fireplace

Once I had successfully tiled the fireplace with the new Oyster Slate, I set about cleaning the area with an application of Tile Doctor’s versatile alkaline-based cleaner, Pro Clean. The tiles were caked with debris and dust from the tile installation, but Pro Clean – which is suitable for use on most types of natural stone tile – quickly cut through the layers of dirt and left the area looking perfectly clean and ready to be sealed.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, an impregnating sealer which soaks into and fills the pores of the Slate, thus preventing dirt – such as debris from a coal fire – from becoming ingrained in the stone. Ingrained dirt can make tiles notoriously difficult to clean, so it’s always recommended that you have use a suitable sealer – and keep it topped up – to make your life easier when maintaining the appearance of your tiles in future.

Oyster Slate Fireplace After Sealing Hull

The sealer also enhanced the natural colours in the slate enhancing the look of the fireplace and the customer was very pleased with her new tiled fireplace with a robust seal in place she will not have to worry about its appearance becoming spoiled any time soon.
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Yorkshire

Old Quarry Tiled Fireplace Deep Cleaned in Bedford

The oldest properties often have the most interesting tiled features and this Quarry Tiled Fireplace was a fine example. The customer lived in a quaint old cottage just outside the main town centre of Bedford and contacted us about restoring their fantastic Quarry tiled fireplace. While the customer knew that the cottage itself was over 200 years old, they had no idea whether or not the fireplace is an original feature.

However, it’s safe to say that the fireplace is very old in its own right, and that it had been a long time since it had experienced any kind of professional maintenance. It goes without saying that as any kind of tiles get older they will need more frequent care to keep them looking at their best. Here, the Quarry tiles desperately needed cleaning up as they were covered in old candle wax and what looked to be several years’ worth of general dirt. This had significant dulled the natural shades in the stone, leaving it looking lifeless and unappealing. The tiles would also require a fresh seal to ensure protection against muck in the future, and to help restore the colour to the stone.

Quarry Tiled Fireplace before cleaning and sealing Bedford

Cleaning an Old Quarry Tiled Fireplace

Firstly, I applied Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel tile cleaner, which is particularly effective on tricky areas as being in a gel form it adheres better to non-horizontal areas. It was left it to dwell on the tiles for around twenty minutes so it could penetrate into the pores and get to work lifting out and dissolving the dirt that had been trapped in there over the years . Oxy-Gel is suitable for use on a wide range of natural stone tiles, including Quarry, Travertine and Slate. In this situation it cut through and removed most of the candlewax quite easily, and softened the stubborn residue to a point where I could easily remove the rest manually with handheld scrappers.

I then left area it to dry, with an air mover installed to reduce drying time. The advantage of using a gel product is that uses a smaller amount of moisture than a standard liquid cleaner, and therefore allows the tile to dry – and to be sealed – quicker; and in this case we were able to seal the same day where-as normally we would have to wait until the next day.

Sealing an Old Quarry Tiled Fireplace

Once the tiles were completely dry, I sealed the fireplace with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that fills the pores of the stone to prevent dirt and general muck from becoming ingrained, making the tiles much easier to keep clean in the long-term.

The added benefit of Colour Grow is that – as its name suggests – it emphasises the natural colours in the stone. This was something that the Quarry fireplace was desperately in need of, and the Colour a Grow quickly got the job done!

Quarry Tiled Fireplace after cleaning and sealing Bedford

The customer was very pleased with the finished results. The clean removed years’ worth of muck, while the fresh seal brought out the natural beauty in the Quarry tiles and, at the same time, will protect the tiles on future candle-lit evenings.
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Bedfordshire

Sandstone Fireplace Cleaning in Market Harborough

We don’t get a great deal of inquiries about the restoration of stone fireplaces so its refreshing when one comes along, however the principles of cleaning and are the same so were always happy to take on the work.

Stone Fireplace Before Restoration
As you can see from the photograph above the Sandstone Fireplace was stained from soot and in need of a good clean. Soot staining is inevitable given the location however it can be reduced with wood burning stoves by fully opening the air vents shortly before opening the door, this reduces the amount of soot carrying gasses being released upwards and onto the stone when the opening.

Sandstone Fireplace Cleaning

Before cleaning the Fireplace we protected the surrounding walls using black plastic secured with decorator’s masking tape. The next step was to mix up a 50/50 solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Ultra-Clean which was decanted into a spray bottle and sprayed directly onto the stone. Pro-Clean is a heavy duty cleaner and stripper whilst Nano-Clean contains abrasive particles so together they form a useful cleaning product. The spray mixes the cleaning solution with air which makes it lighter and more able to stick to vertical surfaces. The cleaning solution was left to dwell on the limestone for 15 minutes, then scrubbed and rinsed. The final step was to seal the fireplace with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer that will provide stain protection going forward, I think you will agree the difference was amazing.

Stone Fireplace After Restoration

 
 
Source: Restoration of Sandstone Fireplace in Market Harborough

Cleaning a Sandstone Fireplace Surround in Thame

Details below of a Sandstone Fireplace surround from a house in Thame, Oxfordshire. The fireplace had never been cleaned as the customer did not know where to start and so gave us a call.

Thame Sandstone Fireplace Before Cleaning

Sandstone Fireplace Cleaning

To clean the fireplace I used a diluted mixture of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean which combines the cleaning power of Pro-Clean with the tiny abrasive particles in Ultra Clean to produce a very effective cleaning product that is safe to use on Stone. This was left to dwell on the stone for a short while in order to let it soak in and work on the dirt before scrubbing it into the Sandstone with a hand brush. This process did a good job cleaning the stone and once I was happy with the result the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the stone was rinsed with water to make sure all the chemical had been removed.

Sandstone Fireplace Sealing

When dry the Sandstone was sealed using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will protect the stone going forward as well as bringing out the deep colour in the stone. To finish the job off I removed the grate and cleaned it up using some grate black to make it look new again before putting it back; last step was to remove the protective strip I had put around the fireplace to protect the wall and carpet and the job was done.

Thame Sandstone Fireplace After Cleaning
As you can imagine the customer was quite surprised by the results and hadn’t realised what a wonderful fireplace they had until now.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Fireplace Cleaned and Sealed in Thame, Oxfordshire

Tackling a urine stained Slate fireplace hearth in Boars Hill

I thought you might find this post interesting as it’s a little unusual. I had arrived at a client’s house in Boars Hill near Oxford to do a travertine floor and she asked if I could also take a look at her fireplace where one of her dogs had urinated on it. Urine is acidic so if not quickly removed it will start to eat away a sealer and in this case as you can see from the photo below it left a mark. It was quite a small area and as I already had the necessary products to deal with it I said no problem.

stained slate fireplace hearth Boars Hill Before

Cleaning a Slate Fireplace Hearth

The urine had penetrated the existing protective seal so to get a uniform appearance it was going to be necessary to remove the covering and re-seal. To do this I covered the hearth in Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a tile and stone friendly product for removing of protective coatings. This was carefully scrubbed into the stone and bit by bit the old wax/seal was removed exposing the bare slate.

Sealing a Slate Fireplace Hearth

The stripped slate was now clean and all trace of previous sealer had been removed but once it had fully dried was left looking washed out. This was easily remedied however by applying a coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which brought back the deep black colour. When the Stone Oil had dried I finished the job off by applying a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that will protect the slate going forward.

stained slate fireplace hearth Boars Hill After

 
 
Source: Slate Fireplace Hearth Stripped and Sealed in Oxfordshire