No more ‘fade to grey’ with new LTP Blackstone sealer & restorer

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UK surface care specialist, LTP has launched a new outdoor sealer and restorer for dark natural stone and artificial stone surfaces. New Blackstone has a water-based, impregnating formulation, which restores the appearance of faded limestone, marble, slate and concrete.  Like all LTP treatments, the new product is manufactured in the UK and is offered alongside expert advice from LTP’s technical team.

Ideal for paths, terraces and external cladding, LTP Blackstone is fast and safe to use and the permanent finish created provides protection against the elements.  It can be applied in multiple coats until the desired colour effect is achieved – from grey to ebony.  On honed surfaces, it is applied with a cloth or sealant applicator and, on rough cut/textured surfaces, with a foam roller or paintbrush.  Surfaces can be walked on four hours after the final application and can be returned to ‘heavy use’ after 24 hours.

New Blackstone is available in one litre and five litre units and is offered as part of LTP’s extensive range of surface maintenance products.  To find out more, please visit http://www.ltp-online.co.uk.  For further information, please contact LTP on tel. 01823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk

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The rise of the Porcelain Paver – and ensuring a great installation

It’s been pretty incredible to see the rise of the porcelain paver this year. Domestic and contract customers have really embraced these new tiles. They do bring lots of benefits, in terms of their many practical features; durability and non-absorbency are big pluses outdoors. The new textured finishes also make them a lot more practical. But, like all new trends, they bring new challenges.

Porcelain tiles_patio setting

The main issues relate to residues. When using a brush-in jointing compound, it’s very important to keep the surface of these tiles as wet as possible, so that any residue can be easily wiped away. Porcelain tiles can dry out quite quickly, causing an element of the resin within the compound to cling to the surface. The textured nature of most external porcelains also makes it more difficult to apply grouts and jointing compounds.

Whilst keeping the surface wetter for longer helps to improve and increase the working time of grouts and jointing compounds – and greatly reduces the possibility of grout and resin staining – problems can still arise. Dried on jointing compound can be difficult to remove and the residue left can ruin an installation.

External Porcelain with grout residue-not sealed prior to grouting

In response, we’ve developed two new products for unpolished porcelain. Our new Porcelain Tile Protector is applied before grouting. Once it has dried it helps with cement and jointing compound release. For surfaces that have been stained, our new acid replacement Cement, Grout and Salt Residue Remover can also turn back the clock for cement stains. For removal of resin stains caused by jointing compounds, use Solvex.

LTP_2019_Porcelain-Tile-Protector_Group_Std copyLTP CGSR Remover_PR group

Aftercare education is also very important. We’re routinely recommending that customers don’t stop at the bi-folds when they’re cleaning porcelain that’s installed from inside to out. They need to keep going and mop the patio too! This greatly reduces the need for intensive cleaning outdoors – although we have various eco-friendly options up our sleeve should the need arise!

For information on caring for natural surfaces, visit http://www.ltp-online.co.uk, tel. 01823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk. Or, for instant advice on-the go, visit http://www.ltp-productguide.co.uk

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For further media information and photography, please contact: Angela Fitzhugh PR Ltd on email enquiries@afpr.co.uk or tel. +44 (0)1590 622521

Stone Super Store & LTP feature at celebrity showroom – Honey I’m Home

Stone Super Store and LTP have completed a stunning porcelain installation for bespoke furniture manufacturer and retailer, Honey I’m Home, at its new showroom in Leigh, near Salford. Featuring upholstered ceilings, flower walls and a stunning Hive bar, the showroom offers a completely unique retail experience. Stone Super Store’s Marmo Calacatta Minimale polished floor tiles was chosen to complement the glamorous interior design, with LTP’s MPG Sealer specified to protect the stunning polished surface.

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The brainchild of entrepreneur and interior designer, Maddison Santamaria, Honey I’m Home is a stand-alone brand with ambitious plans. These include the opening of an Academy to teach upholstery, interior design and social media management, along with plans to help school leavers from underprivileged backgrounds break into the interiors industry. Its huge celebrity following includes Reality TV royalty, soap stars and industry movers and shakers, who turned out in force for the new showroom launch.

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Described as “the most instagrammable showroom ever”, Honey I’m Home is unabashedly feminine. Sumptuous fabrics and a pink and gold colour scheme contrast beautifully with the Marmo Calacatta Minimale tiles; a polished finish accentuates the porcelain’s striking blue and grey veining and a rectified edge creates a seamless look throughout the interior.

LTP’s MPG Sealer is an impregnating treatment designed for polished porcelain and stone. It protects against water, oil, grease and dirt without altering appearance, making it ideal for high traffic showroom areas, as well as worktops, fireplaces and external surfaces.

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To find our more, please contact LTP on tel. 01823 666213, email info@ltp-online.co.uk or visit http://www.ltp-online.co.uk. For more information about Stone Super Store and Honey I’m Home, please visit:

http://www.stonesuperstore.co.uk

https://www.instagram.com/__honeyimhome__/

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For media information and photography, please contact Angela Fitzhugh PR Ltd on tel. (01590) 622521 or email angie@afpr.co.uk

LTP Blackstone turns back the clock at George & Dragon

LTP has helped the George & Dragon restore the paving of its popular south-facing beer garden in Dartmouth. The Kandla Black natural limestone paving – after just three years exposure to the Devon sunlight and weathering – had faded from its original ’black’ / dark grey to an innocuous light grey.  LTP’s Blackstone sealer and restorer was chosen to restore the stone’s dark finish and aestheticcontrast between the paving and white walls with grey/green structural steelwork and roof tiles.

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The George & Dragon has been a public house for over 200 years and its large paved beer garden is next to and bordered by a historic natural stone wall, once the end of the former shipyards on the foreshore.  The venue’s tardis-like interior now blends old and new, with many original features, as does the paved beer garden that is popular for alfresco dining and live music in the summer.

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TheKandla Black limestone paving was originally laid in 2015.  As well as restoring the aesthetic and protecting the stone, the owners also wanted to make the paving easier to clean and remove food and drink spillages. However, they did not want an unnatural, glossy finish, or a ‘wet-look’ they had seen produced by paving sealers elsewhere, which would then be quick to wear in trafficked areas, leaving an unattractive, patchy result.

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LTP Blackstone is a safe, water-dispersed, impregnating, colour enhancing paving sealer that is applied in 2-3 coats – before being ‘cut-back’ with a dilute solution of LTP Powerstripper to give a uniform finish.  The treated surface can be walked on just four hours after the final application and can be returned to normal use within 1 or 2 days.

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The George & Dragon treated the limestone paving just two weeks before the Dart Music festival, when over a three-day period more than 200 visitors dined and danced on the treated paved surface.  LTP’s Blackstone sealer and restorer withstood this extremely well and the owner is “delighted” with the results.

For more information about Blackstone and other LTP treatments, please visit http://www.ltp-online.co.uk, tel. 01823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk

To find out more about the George & Dragon, please visit http://www.gandddartmouth.co.uk

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For media information and photography, please contact Angela Fitzhugh PR Ltd on tel. (01590) 622521 or email angie@afpr.co.uk

New Porcelain Tile Protector joins LTP range

LTP has introduced a new eco-friendly protection treatment for unpolished porcelain tiles. Suitable for use indoors and outside, the new Porcelain Tile Protector is a water-based ‘pre-and-post-grout’ treatment; it is designed to protect tiles from staining and allow easy removal of residues of cement-based grouts and two-part resin based jointing compounds, as well as stubborn organic matter.

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Ideal for textured wood and stone-effect patios, the new Porcelain Tile Protector creates a barrier, without forming a film or altering appearance. This helps to improve and increase the working time of grouts and jointing compounds – and greatly reduces the risk of cement and resin staining.

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The new protector is easy to apply – with a spray, roller or brush – and tiles are treated before grouting or pointing. Then, once residues have been removed and the surface is dry, a further coat can be applied to the tiles and joints, to help assist with future cleaning and aftercare.

LTP Porcelain Tile Protector is manufactured by LTP in the UK and is available from UK stock, in one litre and five litre bottles. Other complementary treatments include LTP Grimex – a heavy-duty intensive cleaner that can be used before application of the Protector – and LTP Porcelain Floor Tile Cleaner – a highly effective no-rinse aftercare cleaner for indoor and outdoor spaces.

 

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For more information on the new treatment and LTP regimes, please visit http://www.ltp-online.co.uk, tel. 01823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk

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For media information and photography, please contact Angela Fitzhugh PR Ltd on tel. (01590) 622521 or email angie@afpr.co.uk

 

 

A remedy for patchy granite

We’ve had a number of calls recently about external patchy granite. Our first port of call was to check that the sealer had been correctly applied after installation. An uneven application could cause this light/dark appearance on the surface of an outdoor paver. One of the slabs in question was lifted and water beading showed that the sealer was still doing it’s job across the whole surface of the granite, in both the lighter and darker areas. The sealer was performing and there was no evidence of over application residue. So what was causing this mottled appearance?

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Following further investigation, and tests on our own granite, we found that moisture was penetrating the grout joint from above, collecting under the slab and then rising back up through the granite. On warm days, the damp patches dried out, as the sealer applied was breathable, but in wet or humid conditions the staining returned, as more moisture was drawn up through the stone. Armed with this knowledge, we were able to recommend a solution.

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We lifted the slabs and used our own new Cement, Grout & Salt Residue Remover to remove the stains from the surface of the granite. Granite is acid-sensitive, so it’s really important to use an acid replacement solution to avoid potential erosion of the surface. This particular treatment can be safely used on all types of natural stone, except for those with a polished finish. It works by dispersing the salt residue caused by rising damp (and also by spot fixing).

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To prevent further moisture from rising through the granite, the stone manufacturer recommended applying a coat of PVA to the back of the slab. This ‘back-buttering’ technique protected the underside of the stone from moisture and the damp that was absorbed through the grout travelled back to the surface without entering the stone’s porosity. A simple solution to (it would seem) a very common problem.

For more advice and information, please visit http://www.ltp-online.co.uk, tel. 01823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk

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For media information and photography, please contact Angela Fitzhugh PR Ltd on tel. (01590) 622521 or email angie@afpr.co.uk

 

PROBLEMS WITH STEAM CLEANING LIMESTONE

The simplicity of water-based steam cleaning can be appealing, but repeated use of too much super heated water can lead to risks of residual staining, mobilisation of salts and corrosion of hidden particles of Iron within some limestone surfaces.

 

Mud vein in limestone magnified 120 Microns

Surface of a Limestone magnified by 120 microns

Steam can penetrate the small cracks and fissures on the surface of the limestone.
This does clean the limestone, but will also embed water into the surface.
Repeated cleaning using a steam cleaner can activate salts and weaken the stone over time. This can also lead to spalling or fragmentation of the surface.

Cleaning to expose new fissuresCOMPROMISED SEALER?
Surfaces that have been treated with an impregnating sealers can also be compromised. Steam cleaning does not normally remove the impregnating sealer, however repeated use can expose new fissures and capillaries within the stone. The newly exposed and unsealed surface takes in more dirt and becomes harder to clean, which then requires more frequent cleaning. This increase in cleaning can exacerbate the problem.

 

SURFACE SEALER DAMAGE?Damage to stone surface

Sealers used to finish the surface of stone can also be damaged. Steam is often used to remove paints, wall papers and other
coatings from surfaces. If a film forming
sealer has been used then contact by a
steam cleaner can cause a partial separation of the seal from the surface of the stone causing it to turn white or opaque.

 

                                                                        Rust stains in Limestone after spalling
RUST STAINS ON THE SURFACE?                                  
Rust stains:  These stains are reddish-orange and are caused by the oxidation (rusting) of iron. The source of iron staining is normally from within the stone, as most of the iron on the surface is normally
removed or discarded at the point of fabrication by the quarry. Therefore most Iron remains hidden and within the stone rather than on it; however, water from steam cleaning penetrating through natural fissures in the  stone can activate or accelerate rusting.
CRUMBLING OF THE SURFACE?
Moisture from repeated steam cleaning can in someSpalling Limestone
cases cause spalling or fragmentation of the surface.
The migration of salts from moisture in the limestone can promote crumbling of the surface causing larger fissures and craters to appear. This is more
common in Limestone’s and marbles that contain naturally occurring mud or calcite veins which are more vulnerable to this issue.

 

WHAT TO DO?

COMPROMISED SEALER: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Grimex. Leave overnight to dry. Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

SURFACE SEALER DAMAGE: Remove the Film forming sealer using LTP Grimex or LTP Solvex. Leave overnight to dry. Re-apply the film forming sealer – LTP Ironwax Satin or LTP Ironwax Gloss. For routine aftercare use LTP Floorshine. This gentle cleaner will clean the surface and repair the seal where it has worn from abraision every time the floor is washed.

RUST STAINS ON THE SURFACE: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Power Stripper. Leave overnight to dry.Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

CRUMBLING OF THE SURFACE: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Grimex. Leave overnight to dry. Use a suitable resin stone filler of the correct colour to fill in the voids. Re- hone the surface of the stone using a twister pad and sponge down with a little water to remove any dust or sediment. Leave to dry. Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

This information is offered without guarantee.  The material should be used so as to take account of the local conditions and the surfaces to be treated.  In case of doubt, the product should be tried out in an inconspicuous area.

Hard surface maintenance made easy with LTP treatments

As the night’s draw out and warmer weather beckons, our attention turns to the garden.  Lawns and borders certainly need attention, but so too do hard landscaped areas.  Moisture and bacteria can lead to moss and algae build-up, discolouring surfaces and making them slippery.  Fallen leaves and other dirt and debris will also stain slabs, and a combination of rain, frost and UV will fade darker surfaces.

The best way to remove dirt and slippery residues is to use a specialist paving cleaner.  It’s generally best to avoid acid-based products, as these can etch stone and eat away at grout.   A viscose-type product, like LTP Mouldex Paving Cleaner, will cling to the surface (rather than running off into beds and borders) and will help remove mould stains caused by mould spores, black spot, lichen, fungus and algae.  It will also help restore the surface to its original colour.

ltp_2017_mouldexpavingcleaner_plasticbottle_5ltrOnce clean, it’s worth protecting the slabs with a sealer – especially if you have a stone surface that continues indoors and you want to maintain a seamless aesthestic.  Look out for a modern, water-based treatment, like LTP External Stone Sealer, which can be applied in damp weather; it will protect against stains and the elements, and will provide a more convenient (and safer) alternative to a spirit-based product.

LTP_2017_ExternalStoneSealer_PlasticBottle_5Ltr_2.jpgTwo new products are joining our British-made LTP range this year, to help restore hard landscaped areas.  New ‘Cement, Grout & Salt Residue Remover’ removes grout and building residues, as well as salt marks caused by rising damp and an installation method called ‘spot fixing’.  This new Remover replaces conventional acid, which would normally be used for the job, so it can safely be used on all types of tile and stone – indoors and outside – except those with a polished finish.  Notably, it can be used on unpolished acid-sensitive surfaces, including limestone and travertine, without any risk of etching.

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The second new treatment  – LTP Blackstone – is an outdoor impregnating sealer and restorer that restores the appearance of faded dark limestone, marble, slate, concrete and artificial stone surfaces.  Blackstone is water-based, so it’s safe and convenient to apply, and it provides further protection against the elements.  It’s applied in multiple coats until the desired colour effect is achieved – from dark grey to ebony – and it can also be used to restore stone fireplace hearths.

For samples of the new products and for more information and advice on landscaping maintenance, please visit http://www.ltp-online.co.uk, tel. 01823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk

Removal of white blooms and chalky residues

White, mineral-based residues can ruin a tile installation.  They come in various guises – from that chalky white grout haze left after an installation, to white blooms that rise up from a subfloor. As well as compromising appearance, they can also make maintenance really difficult.  So, how can you remove them without damaging a tile or natural stone surface?

Most of these residues can’t be removed with a standard cleaning product.  They need something tougher.  The problem is that acid-based solutions generally needed to remove minerals can’t be used on a lot of tile surfaces.  If you attempt to clean an acid-sensitive material with a traditional acid cleaner, like ‘brick acid’, it will corrode the surface and effectively eat it away.  Hydrochloric-based acids also emit harmful fumes and can damage certain metals, like aluminium trims around a shower enclosure.

A safe and effective solution comes in the form of LTP’s new Cement, Grout & Salt Remover.   This brand new product replaces conventional acid and, when used as instructed, is safe to use on all types of tiles – from porcelain to glazed ceramics – and all natural stone surfaces too, except for those with a polished finish.  A diluted application removes mild mineral residue within 30 minutes, whilst a stronger application and agitation gives instant results.  After treatment, just extract deposits with a sponge and rinse the surface with clean water. Wet vacs can also be used.

 

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Efflorescent and spot fixing

As well as removing cement and grout, LTP’s new Cement, Grout & Salt Remover also disperses rising salt residues caused by efflorescence and spot fixing.

Efflorescence is very common on outdoor surfaces, like bricks and patio pavers.  It creates a powder-like dusting or ‘bloom’ on the surface.  Efflorescence is caused by soluble salts and moisture rising from the ground or subfloor, or migrating through a wall.  When they reach the surface they evaporate and leave a layer of salt deposits behind.

Spot fixing creates a similar issue.   Adhesive is often dabbed onto each corner and the centre of a tile to fix it onto a wall or floor.  This creates a void between the adhesive, the tile and wall/subfloor. Moisture from the adhesive then collects in this void; minerals from the adhesive or concrete sub floor are then activated and they travel through to the tile surface, leaving a tell-tale ring mark or staining effect above each dab of adhesive.

Stone floor that has been spot fixed

Natural stone floor that has been installed using spot fixing. 

Usually, an acid-based treatment like LTP Grout Stain Remover would be used to remove these marks from acid-resistant stone – but, where the surface is acid-sensitive, LTP Cement, Grout & Salt Remover now offers a safe and very effective solution.

To find out more about the new Remover,please contact LTP on tel. 01823 666213 or email technical@ltp-online.co.uk

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For media information and photography, please contact Angela Fitzhugh PR Ltd on tel. (01590) 622521 or email angie@afpr.co.uk

 

Don’t let aftercare be an after thought

Getting a customer to invest in good maintenance products isn’t easy.  Having bought new tiles – and possibly other ancillaries – they’re generally not terribly receptive to an ‘aftercare sales pitch’.  The problem is that when it comes to natural materials, people really do need to be educated.  And, the introduction of so many fabulous natural-effects has made this even more imperative…

A few years ago, I received a call from the owner of a London-based cleaning business needing help.  One of its clients had invested thousands on a renovation which included new bathrooms; they had commissioned a fairly unique vein cut marble which had been mechanically polished to a high sheen. The cost of the marble and installation was around £10,000.   Starting at the top of the walls, one of the cleaners applied a spray detergent and left it to run down the face of the brown-toned marble. The detergent was a general-purpose kitchen and bathroom cleaner, designed to remove limescale and dirt.   On a marble-effect porcelain or ceramic surface, this probably wouldn’t have caused too much of an issue.   But because the product was highly acidic, contact with the delicate polished marble caused etching and irreversible damage to the whole of the wall surface. In some instances, an attempt could have been made to re-burnish the marble, to polish out the damage, but the amount of water needed and the size of the bathroom ruled this out.

Damaged marble in shower

The huge improvement in digital print technology has, in many ways, compounded this problem.  Tile manufacturers have become incredibly good at copying natural materials like marble.  As a result, some people might not recognise an authentic material or realise that it needs to be treated differently.   Multiple surface finishes may then be maintained with the same general purpose ‘tough on grime’ product, rather than a more gentle pH neutral detergent that would provide a safer – and just as effective – solution.

At the property in London, the insurers are still trying to decide who’s responsible and who should pay for the damage caused. It materialised that the marble suppliers didn’t offer any maintenance advice at the point of sale and the installers didn’t give any guidance on aftercare. The architects who commissioned the marble for the client didn’t specify a sealer or provide any care advice – and the cleaners couldn’t have been expected to know the difference between a glazed engineered tile and polished marble. If the correct advice had been given at anystage, the damage might not have happened.

Shockingly, the cleaner that caused the damage cost just 64p.  A concentrated, specialist neutral detergent probably wouldn’t have cost any more, per wash.   As awful as this sorry story is, it serves as a good example; it’s also worth offering that best practice advice, no matter how prickly the customer might be.

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For information on caring for natural surfaces, visit http://www.ltp-online.co.uk, tel. 01823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk.  Or, for instant advice on-the go, visit www.ltp-productguide.co.uk

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For further media information and photography, please contact:

Angela Fitzhugh PR Ltd on email enquiries@afpr.co.uk or tel. +44 (0)1590 622521

 

Best-selling LTP Mattstone nominated for TTS Awards 2019

LTP’s Mattstone sealer has been short-listed as a finalist in Tomorrow’s Tile & Stone Awards’ Top 20. The annual awards honour the most exciting and innovative products and services that have had the biggest impact on the industry over the past 12 months. The shortlist was chosen from reader nominations and editor’s picks, and winners will be announced following a public vote early next year.

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LTP Mattstone has been part of the LTP range for over 25 years and has quietly established itself as a run-away best seller. This great British ‘stain and Brexit-proof’ product, which is manufactured in the West Country, is renowned for its quality, performance and ease of application, protecting natural and artificial stone and other surfaces at extremely competitive prices. The impregnating sealer protects surfaces from staining and strongly repels water, oil and grease. It’s available in a water-based and traditional solvent formulation and can be used inside and outdoors.

Mattstone has a natural finish and it allows surfaces to breath, so it can be used on floors with no damp proof course. Water-based Mattstone can also be applied over residual moisture and offers an eco-friendly, low-odour option.

To find out more, please visit http://www.ltp-online.co.uk. For further information, please contact LTP on tel. 01823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk

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For media information and photography, please contact Angela Fitzhugh PR Ltd on tel. (01590) 622521 or email angie@afpr.co.uk