Restoring the Polish on Pet Soiled Limestone Floor Tiles in Biddenham

The client from the Bedford village of Biddenham had requested a quote to restore the look of their Limestone floor tiles which were laid throughout the whole ground floor including lounge, hallway and kitchen covering approximately 120m2 in total. The floor needed a thorough clean, filling of holes in high traffic areas followed by polishing and then sealing.

Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor Before Cleaning Biddenham

Over time, the floor in this busy household with 2 large dogs had become dirty and certainly worse for wear with all the use it had been getting. A quote was given and accepted and work was booked in to be carried out over 4 days with 2 Tile Doctor technicians on site for 2 of those days.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Biddenham

Deep Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

We returned on the agreed date and started work to get this floor back to looking its best. My initial task before beginning the cleaning process was to apply a protective wrap around the oak doors and moving heavy furniture with sliders that the client couldn’t move themselves to give us a clear area to work in.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Biddenham

We then applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, diluted with water, to the floor. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner that is suitable for use on all natural stone floors such as Limestone, Slate and Travertine.

After leaving the solution to dwell for a few minutes, We began to scrub over sections (Approximately 10m2 at a time) with a 17” scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine, whilst helping to remove a lot of the built up dirt on the surface of the tiles, the products also stripped off the old sealer, this was then rinsed and removed using a wet pick up machine. Following this we paid special attention to the grout lines, scrubbing with grout brushes and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up.

After completing the cleaning, I rinsed the floor again with clean water to remove any excess cleaning products. I then began to burnish the floor using Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. This was done in four steps, as I used four different pads (coarse, medium, fine and very fine) rinsing the floor with water between each pad. Starting with a coarse pad and then gradually working up to the very fine pad achieving a high polish finish in the process. I finished off the process with a quick rinse and a white buffing pad to give the floor a final polish before I commenced the sealing of each area the following day to allow grout and stone to fully dry overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

The client requested a natural look finish so my choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which will protect the floor but not change the colouring in any way. The sealer penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing water resistance and long-term protection from ingrained dirt and stains.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Biddenham Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor After Cleaning Biddenham

This was a large area so it took some time to complete but it was well worth the effort, certainly the customer thought so and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor Feedback System.

Phil and his team were polite, friendly and professional at all times. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they worked very diligently to ensure they got the best possible outcome and the floors l. . . ok better than new at the end.

As you can see from the comments the client was extremely happy with the results and he has asked for details of our maintenance plan to keep his floors looking their best for years to come.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Biddenham
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Bedfordshire

Removing Acid Etching from Polished Limestone

The following photos show a modern Limestone tiled floor that had been damaged by the office cleaner. Bit of a long story but basically the cleaner had inadvertently placed a bottle of a strong cleaning chemical which was leaking in a bin liner, that then proceeded to leak onto several areas of the floor as he walked around the office. The chemical soaked into the Limestone tiles unnoticed causing damage and acid etching.

Polished Limestone Office Floor Before Refinishing in Maulden

These close-up photos below show the damage, which couldn’t be removed with normal cleaning products and required machine cleaning the floor with the Tile Doctor burnishing pad system as well as hand held Tile Doctor diamond blocks to get into the edges.

Polished Limestone Office Floor Before Refinishing in Maulden Closeup Polished Limestone Office Floor Before Refinishing in Maulden Closeup

Due to it being a busy office environment it wasn’t possible to do work during the week so the work was booked in for the weekend.

Burnishing and Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

The process used for cleaning and restoring these floors was to use hand held diamond blocks starting with 100 grit and polishing out the acid etching lines using small amounts of water, I then repeated this process with a 200 grit block graduating the cleaned area to blend in before switching to the machine to apply the burnishing pads.
The burnishing pads are applied from coarse to fine starting with a coarse 400 grit pad that removes old sealers and dirt. The floor was rinsed and then then the 800 grit pad was applied which is the first step in restoring the polish to the Limestone, this was followed by the finer 1500 grit pad which brings up the polish even further and giving the whole area a consistent appearance. One of the benefits of using this system is as no chemical are required, only a little water to help lubricate so it’s extremely environmentally friendly.
After applying the third pad the floor was given a thorough rinse with water to remove any soil produced by the burnishing process. The water was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

I returned on the Sunday to polish the floor to a high shine with the last very fine burnishing pad which is 3000 grit and is applied without any water. Once complete the floor was sealed using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium hard wearing sealer that provides a natural finish.

Polished Limestone Office Floor After Refinishing in Maulden Closeup Polished Limestone Office Floor After Refinishing in Maulden Closeup

I appreciate it’s tricky to see the difference in these photographs but hopefully it’s comforting to know that if you have a similar problem it can be resolved.

Prevention of course is better than the cure of course so be wary of acidic products especially supermarket cleaning products which tend to have acidic formulas that will reduce the life of your sealer and damage the stone floor over time.

Polished Limestone Office Floor After Refinishing in Maulden

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bedfordshire

Resolving Limestone Floor Installation issues in Bedfordshire

Believe it or not the pictures below show a brand-new installation of black Limestone tiles in the kitchen and dining room of a house in Wixams which is a new town right in the centre of Bedfordshire.

Black limestone floor Wixams before cleaning
The tiles looked terrible and on closer inspection I could see that they were heavily covered with grout haze. The customer thinks the tiler was in a hurry to get the job finished, unfortunately if not washed off immediately and allowed to dry before sealing grout haze can become a real problem.

Black limestone floor Wixams before cleaning
To make matters worse the tiler had sealed over the top of the grout haze hoping to hide his mistake which simply made the problem worse. The property was a new build so the client called in the site foreman to rectify the issue and he was advised to get someone out to assess whether anything could be done.

I inspected the floor and after carrying out a test clean on one tile which the customer was happy with the results and the work was booked in for a couple of weeks’ time

Deep Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

When I returned on site I masked up the kitchen units to protect them and then sprayed on a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to break down the sealant before washing and rinsing aided by a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and a wet vacuum to extract the soiled solution.

Black limestone floor Wixams during cleaning
Once the sealant was removed I was able to tackle the grout haze by applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean up diluted at a ratio of 3:1, I needed a strong solution as the grout smears were quite significant. The solution was allowed to dwell for a few minutes before agitating and adding more water before rinsing. I worked in areas of 3 square metres at a time so as not to leave the product on the floor too long until the whole floor had been treated. After I was happy all the grout haze had been removed the floor was given a final rinse and as much moisture removed from the floor as possible with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

I allowed the tiles to dry off overnight before returning the next day to finish the floor starting with the application of a single coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil to restore the natural black colour into the stone:

Black limestone floor Wixams applying stone oil
One this had dried I proceeded to seal the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant, each coat was polished in by hand leaving an hour for drying between coats, I then waited another hour before giving the whole floor a final polish with a buffing machine to remove any excess sealant.

Black limestone floor Wixams after sealing
The result was quite a transformation and the customer was very happy, I also provided advice on how to clean the floor in the future using Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is a PH neutral cleaner designed for use on sealed stone.

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Bedfordshire

Deep Cleaning Limestone Floor

This was a Limestone tiled floor that had seen better days, unfortunately the customer had not been given the right advice and had been cleaning the floor with a popular supermarket floor cleaning product which being slightly acidic had over time stripped all of the sealer off the tile. With no sealer present dirt and grime had become ingrained into the pores of the tile making it impossible to clean.

Limestone Bedford Olney before cleaning

Deep Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

To deep clean the floor I decided to use a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the tile for around thirty minutes before working it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

We let the solution dwell a bit longer whilst we setup the Rotavac machine which is a brilliant piece of kit that directs fresh warm water under pressure onto the tile whilst simultaneously removing the soiled solution with a secondary vacuum back to a storage unit on the van. The combination worked well and the floor was soon looking a lot cleaner, there were some areas that needed further attention including the grout which we hand scrubbed along the grout lines.

Once happy that the tile and grout was clean the floor was then left to dry.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer which provides maximum stain protection on natural stone floors whilst bringing out the deep colour in the stone. The last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white buffing pad.

Limestone Bedford Olney After Cleaning

The final result was amazing and the customer was very happy also to make sure we didn’t get called back too soon I gave them advice on how to clean the floor in the future using Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is a PH neutral cleaner that is safe to use on Tile, Grout and Stone.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Bedford