Polishing Limestone Bathroom Floor Tiles

We often come across tiled floors that have simply never been maintained after their original installation. This inevitably leads to problems: over time, the sealer starts to wear away, particularly in high traffic areas, allowing dirt and staining to become easily ingrained in the stone and grout. The longer this is left unaddressed, the harder it becomes to clean the tiles.

An excellent case in point are this cream coloured Polished Limestone tiled floor installed in the downstairs WC and upstairs bathroom of a property in the prosperous Merchiston area of Edinburgh. The floor were already laid when the customer bought the house 10 years ago, and as far as they know, it has never experienced professional maintenance.

Limestone downstairs toilet Floor Merchiston before

The result of this is quite clear: just looking at the photos below you can see how dull and unimpressive the tiles looked before I was called in to restore them to their best possible condition. The customer was particularly unhappy with how easily the floor became stained and patchy where the sealer had failed in certain areas of the floor.

Limestone Bathroom Floor Merchiston before

Cleaning and Burnishing Limestone Floor Tiles

To clean the Limestone tiles, I used Tile Doctor’s system of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads, which range from Coarse to Very Fine. The abrasive Coarse grit pad are applied to cut back through the stone to remove stains, while the Fine and Very and Fine pads are applied to achieve a high quality polished shine.

The pads are fitted to a rotary machine in sequence from coarse to fine and lubricated with a small quantity of water which is sprayed onto the surface. The resultant slurry is rinsed off with more water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

The downstairs WC was approached using much the same method except the space was tighter so we had to use smaller six-inch burnishing pads fitted to a handheld buffer.

After completing the burnishing process, I scrubbed the grout with a narrow brush and a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a high performance alkaline cleaner, to remove any dirt and stains.

Last step before leaving was to rinse both floors with water to remove any trace of cleaning solution. The wet vacuum was then used to remove as much water and moisture from the tiles as possible.

Limestone Bathroom Floor Merchiston during

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Bathroom Floor

I left the floor to fully dry out overnight before returning the next morning to re-seal the stone which would protect it from future staining.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is the ideal sealer for sealing Limestone. As an impregnating sealer, it penetrates deep into the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. It also subtly enhances the natural shades in the stone.

Limestone downstairs toilet Floor Merchiston after

The customer was delighted with the job as both floors were completely transformed. It’s sometimes hard to believe how long some tiles go without proper maintenance, but it’s equally amazing just how quickly they can be rejuvenated with the right products and methods!

Limestone Bathroom Floor Merchiston after

 
 
Source: Limestone Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Edinburgh

Cleaning Limestone Floors for that Luxury feel

This was a substantial engagement at a luxury rental apartment in Brighton rejuvenating the Limestone tiles in two bathrooms and a hallway taking six days of hard work. In addition, I would be working around two decorators, making for even more testing work conditions.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor Before Cleaning

Cleaning Limestone bathroom tiles

I first set to work on the smallest bathroom, which featured limestone tiles from floor to ceiling, as well as a large bath, copper sink and a tiled surround. Limestone is a very popular choice for interior and exterior decoration, but the tiles in this bathroom were in need of some care to get them looking their best again. My initial task was to strip away any previous sealer by hand; this was done using a mixture of warm water and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which, along with Limestone, is also suitable for use on other types of natural stone, such as Granite, Slate and Travertine. Pro-Clean serves both as an effective stripper and cleaner, meaning that once the sealer had been stripped away, the tiles also received a thorough clean. Once I had cleaned the tiles, I sucked up any excess water and residue using a Wet-Dry Vac machine.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom Before Cleaning
Since the tiles would have to be left to dry for a couple of days, I offered to restore the copper sink for the customer, even though this was not actually part of my job description. After conducting some research into copper cleaning, I opted to use a combination of lemon juice, vinegar and salt. The research paid off as, once I began to apply the solution to the sink, the bright orange and brown colours of the copper quickly rose to the surface. Within the space of an hour, I had transformed what initially appeared to be a ruined sink into a lovely, shimmering copper feature for the bathroom. Both the decorators and I were truly amazed at the results – but all credit goes to Google!

Brighton Luxury Flat Copper Sink Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Copper Sink After Cleaning

The larger of the two bathrooms was a much stiffer test for the Tile Doctor products. It had not been left in great condition, as the shower area had clearly not been sealed correctly, and the tiles had been left in such a manner that soap scum from shampoos, soaps and shower gels had built up on the window sill. In fact, the damage was significant enough that I had to explain to the customer before starting the work that whilst I could greatly improve the appearance of the tiles, I would not be able to restore them to new. This is because many shampoo and body wash products are acidic and can cause permanent damage to stone work especially when left to dwell for a long time.

My choice of product was Tile Doctor Mould Away, a formula which, over time, seeps deeply into the pores of the stone, effectively lifting away the muck. In cases of particularly stubborn areas, it is necessary to apply another covering of Mould Away and leave it for an extended period of time. This is exactly what I did over the next few days, leaving the product overnight to work its magic. The change was certainly drastic, if not perfect.

Brighton Luxury Flat Window Sill Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Window Sill After Cleaning

Cleaning and sealing the hallway and bathrooms

As both bathrooms required extended periods of drying, I spent two days working on the hallway, which had been partially covered with a plastic sealing for the previous six months due to building work. Needless to say, the hallway was in need of a good clean. I set about cleaning the hallway with a solution of warm water and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, before once again using a Wet-Dry Vac machine to remove any excess water to prepare the floor for sealing at a later point. It is very important to remove any residue of cleaning solution before sealing, as this may impact the performance of the sealer. Following this, I left the hallway to dry for two days, providing the builders with strict instructions to cover it with blankets for protection while they were working.

While the floor was drying, I sealed the bathrooms – both now fully dried – with Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer, a solvent-based sealer that was highly effective at enhancing the colour of the brown tiles around the sinks. The product will also provide durable surface protection. I spent the final of the six days sealing the hallway floor with Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides both a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable, low-sheen finish. This was an ideal choice of product, as the customer requested a hard-wearing, yet shiny finish.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom After Cleaning

The hard work really paid off, as both the customer and the decorators were very impressed with the final results in the two bathrooms and the hallway. I was extremely pleased that I was able to complete this big job to the highest possible standards.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor After Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor After Cleaning

Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning service in East Sussex