Lime Mortar Grout Renovated in 300 Year-Old Cottage Bury

We received an unusual request from the owner of an old cottage in Bury who was unhappy with the state of the grouting in their Kitchen. The customer advised us that the floor was very old and originally grouted with a lime mortar also that they had been in touch with several companies before contacting us including tilers and masons and none of them was interested.

Intrigued I paid the customer a visit to survey the floor and work out the best way to renovate the grout. The cottage turned out to be three hundred years old and the owner wanted to keep the Quarry tiled floor which was laid in a Herringbone pattern and still in good condition as a period feature as it complemented the rustic look of the cottage.

Lime Mortar Grout Before Restoration Bury Cottage

After testing the floor, I was able to confirm it was indeed Lime Mortar which was historically used on walls and natural stone floors until the 19th century when it was replaced by cement. The mortar was now grubby and had shrunk in places where it had then been topped up with conventual grout resulting in a patchy appearance.

Lime Mortar Grout Before Restoration Bury Cottage

I felt simply cleaning the grout wouldn’t resolve the irregular look so my suggestion was to use a grout colourant that would sit on the surface of the grout and provide a uniform appearance. I must point out that the Grout Colourants used by Tile Doctor are not like grout pens you see on home make over shows, they are much more effective.

Applying a Grout Colourant to Lime Mortar

Happy to go with my recommendation I set about preparing and cleaning the Quarry tile and mortar with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is sprayed onto the floor and then scrubbed in with a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This action turns the cleaning solution into a slurry as the dirt is lifted out of the floor which is then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Tile Doctor do sell a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater product that has been especially designed for this purpose however it’s slightly acidic and so not something I would recommend for use on lime mortar.

Lime Mortar Grout During Cleaning Bury Cottage

Once the floor had dried, I started with the grout colouring which is painted onto the surface with a small brush. Two thin coats of natural grey colourant were applied and any excess that came into contact with the quarry tile was quickly wiped off with a cloth. The product dries within two hours but takes twenty-four hours to fully harden.

Lime Mortar Grout After Restoration Bury Cottage

I think you will agree the results speak for themselves and made the area look nearly new! My client was certainly impressed and left the following feedback which says it all:

Kamila was professional, courteous and very hard working. I am delighted by the job done on a very old difficult tiled floor. I would not hesitate to use Tile Doctor again or in recommending them to a friend. – Mrs Law, Bury

 

Lime Mortar Floor Grout Renovated in Greater Manchester

Old Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor Refurbished in Haslingden Rossendale

This client had contacted us for help renovating their Flagstone hallway floor as nothing they did was helping to keep them clean. The problem with the tiles was due to the pores of the flagstone being ingrained with dirt and once this happens they are really difficult to clean effectively. This is why we always recommend stones floors are sealed after cleaning.

After a successful survey that included measuring background moisture levels and testing different products for stain removal I was able to work out the best process for cleaning the floor and a day to clean and seal the tiles was scheduled.

Flagstone Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Haslingden

Deep Cleaning Flagstone Hallway Tiles

I’d established during my earlier testing that I would need a very strong cleaning product to get the floor clean and deal with the stubborn staining that was present and with that in mind I applied Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and is a problem solving tile cleaner and stain remover that adds nano-sized abrasive particles to the mix. This was left to dwell on the floor for a few hours and additionally was covered with a plastic sheet to prevent it from drying out. I then gave the floor a scrub using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine and a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for good measure.

Once happy with the result the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor given a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products. Again the wet vacuum was used to remove the fluids and extract as much moisture from the stone as possible. The floor was then left to dry out fully overnight assisted with a floor dryer to help accelerate the process.

Flagstone Hallway Floor After Cleaning Drying Out Haslingden

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

We came back the next day and tested the floor with a damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone. The air mover had done its job and the Flagstones were dry so we proceeded to seal the floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which penetrates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the stone.

Flagstone Hallway Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Haslingden

It’s difficult to appreciate from the photographs but the customer was amazed at how much of a difference our process had made and at how much dirt we were able to remove. The flagstones were probably more then 100 years old and more aggressive machinery and cleaning products were the only things that would shift the old dirt. The fresh sealer will also ensure the floor is much easier to clean in future.
 
 

Old Flagstone Hallway Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Rossendale