cleaning terracotta tiles
Written by Silver Lining Floor Care

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Terracotta Tiles:

Maintain Their Natural Beauty

Terracotta tiles, with their distinctive warm and earthy tones, add a unique charm to any space they adorn. However, to ensure these tiles retain their appeal over the years, a dedicated cleaning and maintenance regime is essential. This guide dives into the best practices for cleaning terracotta tiles, emphasizing techniques that safeguard their porous nature while enhancing their inherent beauty.


Essential Steps for Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The cornerstone of terracotta tile upkeep is a consistent cleaning routine coupled with proper sealing. When attended to regularly, cleaning terracotta floors may only require a minimal reapplication of sealer—often just one or two coats. This not only keeps the process straightforward but also crucially maintains the tiles’ resistance against moisture and grime.

Tackling the Challenges of Terracotta Tile Restoration

Delaying regular cleaning can lead to a more daunting task—complete restoration. This process can involve stripping the old sealer, a step that demands considerable effort and preparation. Once the old sealer is removed, and the tiles are deep cleaned, an extended period is necessary for the tiles to dry thoroughly. Afterwards, applying three to six coats of sealer ensures the tiles are adequately protected once again.

The Role of Dry Soil Removal and Coir Mats in Cleaning Terracotta Floors

A pivotal, yet often underestimated, aspect of maintaining terracotta tiles is effective dry soil removal. Since dry soil can act as an abrasive and degrade the sealer over time, removing it regularly through vacuuming or sweeping is crucial. Additionally, employing coir mats at entryways dramatically reduces the ingress of dirt and moisture, effectively preventing potential damage to the tiles. Implementing these strategies significantly contributes to the longevity and aesthetic of terracotta tiles by minimizing wear and tear.

Consistent Care for Terracotta Tiles’ Long-Lasting Beauty

Adopting a routine of diligent cleaning, strategic sealing, effective dry soil management, and the use of coir mats at entrances ensures the lasting beauty and durability of terracotta tiles. Such meticulous care not only preserves the visual appeal of your flooring but also safeguards your investment in your home’s aesthetics.

Silver Lining Floor Care specializes in the expert cleaning and maintenance of terracotta tiles, offering comprehensive solutions tailored to keeping your floors in pristine condition. Discover how our expertise in terracotta tile care can help maintain the natural allure and integrity of your flooring.

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Limestone polishing
Written by Silver Lining Floor Care

The Art of Vitrification of Your Limestone Floor

The Art of Vitrification of Your Limestone Floor

When it comes to creating a luxurious and durable flooring solution, limestone is a timeless choice. Its natural beauty and durability make it a popular option for both residential and commercial spaces. However, to truly unlock its full potential and achieve that coveted glossy finish, one must turn to the art of vitrification. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the intricate process of vitrification for limestone floors, a transformative technique that elevates the aesthetics and longevity of this exquisite natural stone.

The Foundation: Preparation

Before we delve into the fascinating world of vitrification, it’s essential to start with a clean canvas. Preparing the limestone floor is the foundation of the entire process. Begin by meticulously removing any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the surface. Sweeping or vacuuming will do the trick, but be thorough. A pristine starting point is crucial for the best results.

Step 1: Initial Grinding

The journey to a luminous limestone floor begins with the first step: initial grinding. Coarse diamond abrasive pads or discs are employed in this phase. Their purpose is to level the floor and eliminate any existing blemishes, coatings, or scratches. Through this grinding process, a smooth and uniform surface is achieved, setting the stage for the subsequent polishing steps.

Step 2: Progressive Polishing

As we move forward, it’s time to bring out the shine. Progressive polishing is the heart of the vitrification process. This involves using finer grits of diamond abrasive pads or discs to gradually refine the limestone’s surface. The progression ranges from coarse (30-100 grit) to fine (800-3000 grit), each pass taking the floor closer to its ultimate glossy glory. It’s an art form where patience and precision are key.

Step 3: Chemical Treatment

Once the desired level of shine is attained, the limestone receives a special treatment. A chemical densifier or hardener is applied, which penetrates the stone and reacts with its calcium carbonate content. This chemical transformation makes the limestone denser and more resistant to staining and wear. It also helps to lock in the shine achieved during the polishing process, ensuring longevity and durability.

Step 4: Final Polishing

Now, as we approach the zenith of luminosity, we continue with the final polishing. This stage involves additional passes with fine-grit diamond abrasive pads, bringing the floor to its highest shine potential. The surface becomes smooth as silk, and the reflections are akin to gazing into a crystal-clear pool. It’s the moment when the limestone truly dazzles.

Step 5: Buffing and Crystallization

But wait, we’re not finished yet! The vitrification process often includes a final flourish known as crystallization. Here, a specialized crystallization compound, typically containing oxalic acid, is applied. A machine fitted with a steel wool or synthetic pad is employed to gently buff the floor. This seemingly magical process triggers a chemical reaction that forms a protective crystalline layer on the limestone’s surface. The result is a glossy finish that not only shines but also guards against future wear and tear.

Step 6: Cleaning and Maintenance

With the vitrification process complete, it’s imperative to conduct a thorough cleaning to remove any residual compounds. This ensures that your limestone floor not only looks stunning but is also safe for use. Regular maintenance is equally crucial to preserve the shine and durability of your newly vitrified floor. Routine sweeping and mopping with a pH-neutral cleaner will keep it looking its best for years to come.

In conclusion, vitrification is a masterful process that transforms ordinary limestone floors into extraordinary works of art. This intricate and labour-intensive technique requires expertise and the use of specialized equipment and chemicals. It’s a job best entrusted to professionals trained in stone restoration and maintenance. When executed with precision, vitrification can breathe new life into a dull and worn limestone floor, turning it into a breathtaking and long-lasting surface with a high-gloss finish.

So, if you’re looking to elevate the elegance and durability of your space, consider the art of vitrification for your limestone floors. It’s a journey worth taking, one that will leave you with a floor that not only reflects light but also the timeless beauty of natural stone.

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Written by Silver Lining Floor Care

Outdoor Stone Cleaning

Outdoor Cleaning

Outdoor stone cleaning might not be the first thing you think about. Rain cleans it naturally every time.  Some tests, actually showed that the pavement outside is cleaner than carpet inside the house. Rain is perfectly fine for a little while. You should also sweep or blow your outside stone once in a while. Collect the leaves after autumn, as they can stain the stone over winter. Don’t do any car repairs as it may leak oil, etc. 

Cleaning methods

outdoor stone cleaning machine

Depending on the kind of your stone you can attempt cleaning it yourself. For more flat and smooth outdoor stone, use just a simple mop with an appropriate cleaning agent for fairly good results. For stone which has more texture, you could use a pressure washer to give it a rinse. You might ask the man in the house as we like to buy toys like this 🙂. Remember to remove the dry soil before attempting wet cleaning. it is a general rule for cleaning. fond out more about basics of cleaning here.


What to do after cleaning your stone? 

Once you have finished your tile or stone cleaning job, it would be a great idea to make it last. You can use a solvent-based sealer to protect it from getting dirty too quickly, but also it protects it from mould getting onto the stone from the other way. You must wait at least 2 sunny days for the stone to properly dry before applying a sealer – it is crucial. This depends on the stone. Only solvent-based sealer is suitable for outdoor as it is simply too moist throughout the years to apply a water-based finish, as it may trap the moisture in. This can generate all sorts of problems.

Why outdoor cleaning is important?

Love your stone - outdoor cleaning sign

After cleaning and also after fitting your outdoor stone it is very important to seal it. The mould, I mentioned before, once get through the stone us practically not removable. The oil stains, if you have an accident, will likely clean, if the stone was protected. it will protect the stone from any other dirt and will not get dirty rapidly, also will ease the maintenance DIY jobs with greater results. 

How can we help with outdoor stone cleaning?

Free advice about what to do with any outdoor cleaning jobs. Just email us and send us as much info about the stone with some photos. We will provide you with the best advice about any stone cleaning enquiry. Send us an email rather than call as you will have in writing and the vibe might not be answered by the best person to get the advice from. 

We also like our toys and we have a lot of them. It is unlikely that you will have any of the machines that we have. Whichever it is a diamond brush or pressure washer, we have it. Sometimes we can even combine these two to get the best results. 

Outdoor cleaning cannot be done during the winter and colder months. It must be done during the warm days as the stone must dry before applying a sealer. 

Get in your with us now to get a quote or free advice on any outdoor stone cleaning jobs in London. 

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Watch out youTube video with the samples of our outside cleaning in London here.

grout cleaning titled photo
Written by Silver Lining Floor Care

Grout Cleaning Tips & Advice

Grout Cleaning – where to start?

Grout cleaning is a common reason why people call for a cleaning service. First of all, we need to answer ourselves why did it get dirty in the first place. In flood restoration, we must stop the source of water before the attempts of the drying. Then we can move on to dealing with the effects of the leak. The grout on your tiles can become dirty for variation of reason.

Reasons for the grout to be dirty

Most common, it is simply dirty from foot traffic. and it may show this dirt sooner than the tiles or stone itself. The porous material of the grout sokes with soil and dirt much easier than the tile itself.  It also lyes little beneath the tiles so the dirt accumulates in grout lines.

It could be a simple staining. Ink is a perfect example as it probably works well on your imagination. You can see how it can penetrate the grout much deeper than dry soil particles. It as well could be an oil-based stain or makeup. Even the regular soil if left for too long may penetrate deep. All stain removal from any surface depends on:

  • the age of the stain
  • how was it spilt
  •  was it treated at all
  • Temperature – hot coffee will go deeper than a cold one

Cleaning your grout

floor cleaning

The first approach for all the grout cleaning is the same – brush it out with chemical help if needed. Based on the sample and our judgment we will use the most suitable approach but the basics are always the same – CHAT (Chemicals, Heat, Agitation, Time). You can read more about the basics of cleaning everything.

We can’t ever say how bad is the grout on the floor as the stains may occur randomly and are hidden around the general soil. Only once the entire grout and tiles cleaned, the may appear. This is the same as all other stains on all other types of flooring.

During the job, it may require some additional work and another approach is not the 100% grantee that all the stains will be successfully removed.

With the grout, there is another way to tackle and restore the grout fully. Dig it ut and relay the grout. This is a very different job, very often greater than the cleaning itself. It may take days to do it. Once, you re-grout the floor it has to wait for around a week before it cures properly and then you can seal it for better performance and additional protection.

DIY Cleaning

most importantly is the regularity of cleaning. This way you will not require our help often, therefore, it will save you some cash. First, remove dry soil by vacuuming or sweeping, as a result, there will be less dry soil to soak in the grout after cleaning. Follow with mopping using a flat mop and appropriate cleaning products.

Grout is cracking!

cracking surface

That is a very different matter. We can repair it, but the underlying cause is elsewhere. As it cracked it means something is moving. Either the tile itself wasn’t properly fitted. Tile moves or the entire building has moved a bit and it caused the grout to crack. Nowadays, you can purchase a flexible grout, which lowers the risk of cracking. This is something you do not want to safe the money on, it is an investment. If you buy it too cheap, you will lose everything. The product will not do what it supposed to do. Removing the old grout and re-grouting is a massive job. Make a wise choice when purchasing the grout, tile fitter you employ and even the builder that will build your house or extension.

Our grout cleaning work

How can we help with grout cleaning?

We are not the builders or tile fitters, we focus on floors. The maintenance and keeping the good performance and the good looks of your floor. We want it to be a bliss to your eye and give you peace of mind. Please get in touch with us to get any advise or quote on your floors. We are here to give you the best possible solution.

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Cost and value
Written by Silver Lining Floor Care

Price, Value, Cost, Profit

The true cost of your service

What is the difference between price and cost?


When you look for a service or buy an item, usually the best price is the lowest one. You never think about the true cost. It will leave the most amount of money in your pocket. But will you get what you paid for?

We do not often consider any other costs as the effects of it can be grasped right now. You don’t have money now, you need to buy other stuff now, and the bills need to be paid now. The environment will not suffer from your small decisions. Your health probably won’t be affected by this decision significantly anyway. You are probably not even thinking about it anyway, so your mental health is not affected at all you might think. The 2nd set of costs is important! Not so urgent now, you may think. You can always work on them in the future, at some other point.

Why don’t you take a step back, meditate on it for a while, and look from that perspective? I came to understand that important and urgent issues have a massive impact on what happens now. They can be very important. Think about something would you need to do to improve your relationships, your business, and your health. It is very unlikely that it is urgent, isn’t it?  This might be the very cause of why it needs improvement in the first place. It tends to be the things that are also important but not so urgent. Exercise, mental health, planning holidays, and dreaming in general.


You get what you paid for, don’t you believe it? You can’t get good and cheap, good things aren’t cheap. It is also possible to get poor quality and very expensive – we have all been there and suffered because of our poor choice. Usually, we were uninformed, not fully understood, and rushed. All you really want is value for money, isn’t it? At Silver Lining, we have our values and we want you to make an informed decision when it comes to the restoration of your wood, stone, or carpeted floors.

It is always better to spend a ‘little’ more than you planned as at the most you can lose is just that ‘little’. If you spend a little too less than you should, you will lose everything and yet you will not have the product which does what it is supposed to do. Sometimes, waiting is a better option, this way you are not losing anything, you are just withdrawing your investment.


Isn’t the cost often called the price? Let’s take a burger as this example. The price of it is £3.99, which is the cost of making this burger. You need a cow to start with, the cow needs to be born, raised, and slaughtered. It drinks around 150L of water daily for around 15 months – that’s the cost to the environment. It eats a lot as well! The grain must be grown to feed it.  grain needs a field, this is why deforestation happens – in order to feed the cow. Then it needs to be slaughtered, packed, shipped, and cooked. So, the cost in this instance is likely to be more than the price you pay of £3.99. We like to pretend to be blind and ignore the true costs.


In order for any business to be healthy economically, treat the workers fair, treat the planet well, don’t go mental, and serve good value to its customers, it must produce a profit. Otherwise, costs will go up and you will not even notice. Next time you call, the business may not exist anymore as it was not sustainable. Do you often hear the business owner saying that his/her employees are paid more than the owner?


Consider all the costs and look at the value of the product. if it doesn’t match the price, there is something wrong. It may just be a feeling, or it can be very obvious. Either way, the decision, in the end, is yours and you have to live with its consequences.


This actually makes me a hypocrite as sometimes I ignore the true cost. The truth comes in 3 stages – ridicule, violent opposition and acceptance – I am somewhere in between all 3 :).

Written by Silver Lining Floor Care

Basics of Cleaning Everything

Basics of Cleaning

  • Chemicals
  • Heat
  • Agitation
  • Time

CHAT – these are the 4 basics when it comes to cleaning everything. Whether it is dishes, wood floor, or your skin. It is all about balance, like everything in life.


At Silver Lining Floor Care we try to stay as eco-friendly as possible, following ‘Zero Waste’ idea, we try to minimise on chemical input. Chemicals have no benefits when it comes to health, and our ultimate goal is to protect your health and those you love. At the same time, we try to do as much thorough cleaning as possible when it comes to your wood floors, stone floors, porcelain, carpet, rugs or any 0ther floor.  This will directly benefit your health. That is why we use….


As we minimise our chemical input we increase on the heat for water used for cleaning to allow better penetration. With higher temperature water tension changes which allow water to penetrate surfaces that are being cleaned. To achieve this while cleaning your carpets, we have a truck-mounted machine to increase the heat of our water to maximum instead depending on your water tap. Depending on the fibre we will make sure it is safe to use. Water is the most common solvent and is actually very powerful, yet many people forgot about it and add sometimes unnecessary chemicals.


Since our chemical input is low, our heat is high, how about time? Instead of working with strong chemistry, while decreasing its power, we shall just give it a bit more time. Time cure everything. If you are to wash your dirty frying pan, you often leave it in the sink overnight so it dissolves in most common solvent (water) mixed with a cleaning product. Dishwashing chemicals are usually very strong, sometimes too strong to safely use on wool carpets. Either we leave the pre-sprayed weak chemicals or we just dedicate more time for cleaning.


This is a mechanical part of the job. It is a sponge when it comes to dishes or your skin. We use different types of brushes, pads for our rotary machine. We have carpet brush for agitating the pre-spray for carpet cleaning, diamond brushes at different grids when it comes to stone and hard floor to agitate the cleaning solution. For wood we use different grids of sanding paper to achieve the desired effect.

CHAT – basics of cleaning – summary

You could wash your oily, dirty frying pan with slowly running cold water but it would just take forever and probably wasted a lot of water. You could also use some chemicals, increase temperature, leave it to dwell in the warm water with some cleaning products and use the sponge to clean and rinse at the end. As I said at the beginning…. It is always about finding the right balance in these four. Very often a good chemical can be water. It is healthier and we may spend a bit more time during agitation and boost up the heat to achieve very same results as with high chemical input in order to save on time, often with less agitation. The ‘high chemical’ methods are not necessarily great for your health, your family’s health, for the technician’s health and for the health of our planet.

Can you put a price tag on your health? Probably not. Can you put a price tag on time? Probably yes. This may be one of the reasons why some cleaning firms might be more expensive than others. Some will use strong chemistry in order to save time.  We’d rather spend a bit more time and value the biggest treasure which is our health. Health is the new wealth. Price and value are very different aspects. It all depends on priorities.

The best way to minimise chemical use is good maintenance.

  • Maintenance cleaning vs deep cleaning
Written by Silver Lining Floor Care

Maintenance Cleaning vs Deep Cleaning

Maintenance cleaning – what are the benefits?

Maintenance cleaning  – the real cost. What is cheaper, better for you and your family, and our planet? And most of all, what is better for your health and can you put a price tag on your health? I will try to answer those questions for you and I shall try to keep it short and simple.

Everything requires maintenance

Probably everything that you ever bought and own will require some maintenance. Not only material items but also the most important things in life like relationships, friendship & family.  If you look after them and maintain them well, as a result, it should bring joy to your life. Therefore having less stress and headache, giving you more free time to spend with friends & family and loved once. Healthy, happy,  stress-free life, isn’t it the ultimate goal to all of us?

Maintenance cleaning of your floor

How often do you clean your teeth? Do you wait until they get dirty and then give them a deep clean? Probably not. Because at this point cleaning may not be an option anymore. More likely you clean them every day in order to keep them in good condition. As a result, you have less stress going to the dentist, therefore it should result again with a happier and healthier life.

Same applies to your floor. If it’s carpet, wood or stone. The floor acts as an air filter. You change the filter in your car every year, don’t you? It traps small particles from the air and as a result, creates a cleaner environment for you. It seems like it would be better to keep it clean rather than clean it after it gets dirty and clogged and doesn’t do such a great filtering job any more.

The real cost of the maintenance?

There are two types of costs. Direct and indirect cost. Direct cost is the money that you may need to pay and indirect cost is your health, health of our planet and consequently the health of everyone around you. Keeping your floor nice and clean may cost you directly a bit more rather than having it done once a decade. Maybe we should prioritise things differently? Estimate the value of our own health, health of our planet and what we will leave behind for our children as a result. Can you really afford to ignore all of these? When you maintain your “stuff”, as a result, it will give you more pleasure, better health, it will last longer.

There is so much to write about, but probably I should leave it for another topic to keep it nice and simple.

Benefits of maintenance cleaning for you

  • your floor is constantly kept clean and fresh
  • clean floors keep the air cleaner
  • healthier environment for you and your family
  • one less thing on your head to worry about
  • you get to know us better each visit – we are building the relationship
  • easy to manage monthly fee – no need to suddenly spend much in one go
  • prevention is always better and cheaper than solution

Benefits for our planet

  • with good maintenance, much less water is wasted
  • fewer chemicals used or none at all
  • it keeps the air quality better which creates a healthier environment for life in general

Benefits for us

  • much less stress to worry about regular income
  • with less stress, we can focus more on providing great service (there is always space for improvements)
  • with the regular income, we can plan better and grow slowly with a solid base
  • we can invest in what I think is most important in life – education
  • we get to know you and your place better and your needs with each visit

To summarise, by helping yourself you are also saving the planet and helping us. Do you find value in maintenance? 1000 miles journey starts with the first step, make yours now and get in touch so we can work out a good plan designed specifically to your needs.

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