Achieving a Deep Durable Polish on Limestone Floor Tiles in Boxworth

Boxworth is a very small village situated to the north-west of Cambridge. In the Middle Ages, it had a significant population, but in the modern day there are only around 100 houses in the area including one belonging to my customer.

I was there to take a look at a large installation of Polished Limestone floor tiles which had been laid throughout the ground floor including the Kitchen, Dining, Utility room and hallway.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room Before Polishing Boxworth

Many people will already know that Limestone is a premium, yet somewhat sensitive natural stone. It’s also porous, meaning that dirt can easily become ingrained if the tiles are not sealed properly, or if the sealant has worn away. This leads eventually to a very unappealing, dirty, and dull appearance which often happens so slowly it hardly get’s noticed until one day you think, “I’m sure my floor looked better than that before!”.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility Before Polishing Boxworth

In this case the sealer had degraded over time and my customer had called me in because she was now no longer happy with the appearance of the tiles. The lustre the tiles once had eventually disappeared and there was also damage in some areas caused by the placement of table and chair legs. I was asked to restore a high-quality polished finish to the tiles.

Cleaning and Burnishing Limestone Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I took the necessary precaution of covering the walls and kitchen units to protect them from exposure to any cleaning products or mess.

To begin, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a high-performance stripping agent, to break down any old sealant remaining of the tiles. This product can also be used to clean the stone itself, as well as the grout lines.

After completing the initial cleaning process, I moved on to restoring the polish to the tiles. At Tile Doctor, we do this using a system we have developed called Burnishing. This system involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads – each possessing a different level of grit – to grind away the dirt from the stone, which is often stained or damaged. The process effectively resurfaces the stone leaving it looking new and fresh.

Firstly, I applied the Coarse 400 grit pad, fitted to a rotary machine, to grind away any excess muck and sealant lubricated with a little water. The resultant slurry was rinsed away and I followed up with the application of the Medium 800 grit pad to start the restoration of the polish again with a small amount of water, followed by the Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish.

Finally, I applied the Very Fine 3000 grit pad to achieve the most refined and highest quality polish possible. The process of burnishing is a gradual but highly effective means of achieving this kind of finish.

Any slurry that was created through this process was removed using my truck-mounted hot water cleaning and extraction machine, resulting in minimum mess.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

After burnishing the tiles and to achieve a really hard wearing and high polish I covered the floor in Tile Doctor Shine Powder crystals and buffed them into the Limestone tiles using a White buffing pad. Then to give the floor extra protection I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which impregnates the pores of the stone to prevent ingrained dirt.

Colour Grow also intensifies the natural colours in the Limestone, thus improving the appearance of the stone to an even greater extent. Following the application of Colour Grow, I gave the tiles a final light buffing with a soft red pad.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility After Polishing Boxworth

The customer was extremely happy with the outcome, remarking that the work was carried “quickly and efficiently with no fuss.” I took lots of photographs of the process, so you can really appreciate the difference that was made.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room After Polishing Boxworth

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Cambridgeshire

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

Limestone Tiled Floor and Grout Rejuvenated

This Limestone tiled floor was installed at a property in Fulham, I was asked round to quote for cleaning the floor and whilst I was there I did a patch test. The test worked very well and the owner couldn’t believe that the grout was actually white not dark grey.

Cleaning Polished Limestone Floor Tiles

The first step was to give the floor a quick sweep to remove any surface grit etc. Before starting the burnishing process which we use on hard stone surfaces such as polished Limestone to clean and bring up the shine on the floor. The burnishing pads and encrusted with diamonds and come in a pack of four consisting of Coarse, Medium, Fine and Very Fine 17” pads. I started with a coarse pad which removes sealers and dirt from the floor, a little water is added to lubricate the process.

Once we had finished with the coarse pad the grout was cleaned up using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted 1 part cleaner to 4 parts water. The solution was then scrubbed into the grout with a stiff hand brush until it was clean. The floor was then rinsed with clean water to remove any cleaning products and we then continued with the remaining burnishing pads applied in order with Medium, Fine and Very Fine until the floor was thoroughly cleaned and polished. We left for the day at this point to allow the tiles to dry overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

The following day we returned to seal the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a great sealer for natural stone such as Limestone as it works to lift the colours out of the stone. The last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white polishing pad.

The customer was really pleased with the result and couldn’t believe that the floor could look so good.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Rroblems Resolved in East-Surrey

Tiled Limestone Hallway Cleaned, Polished and Sealed

This Limestone tiled floor was located in the entrance hall of a residential property in Burford. I popped round following a cleaning enquiry to provide a quote and did a sample clean on a test area, I was then asked if I could do the whole floor there and then and not wanting to disappoint I managed to shuffle a few appointments round and got on with it.

Limestone-Entrance-Hall-Burford-Before-Cleaning

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

To get the best from this floor I used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which if you have read any of my previous posts you will remember we always recommend these for hard stone floors such as Limestone, Travertine and Marble. They come in four different grades from coarse to very fine and you work your way through them starting off with the coarse stripper pad with a little just water and then carry on with the remaining pads which are a finer and finer grade until the floor is thoroughly cleaned, polished and any previous sealer removed. Next step was to use Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a stiff brush to get the grout clean. When done the floor was washed down with water which was then removed from the tile using a wet vacuum and 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-Entrance-Hall-Burford-After-Burnishing

The customer was very pleased with the results so much so she booked me to clean the grout on her kitchen floor.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Maintenance in Oxfordshire

Limestone Tile Stain Removal

This was a Limestone tiled hallway at a house in Notting Hill, London W2 where extensive renovations had just been completed. The floor had been badly affected by being left uncovered during the building works as well as having a build-up of many years of dirt and stains on its surface. The tiles had been laid more than twenty years ago and had not been cleaned or sealed since.

The customer was considering replacing the floor as she believed that it was beyond restoring. As well as ingrained dirt there were several quite severe rust stains and large ring-shaped marks that looked as if they had come off the bottom of paint or varnish tins.

Limestone Tile Cleaning During

Cleaning the Limestone Tiled Floor

I used a black buffing pad on my Numatic buffing machine and neat Tile Doctor “Pro-Clean” to perform an initial deep clean on the floor. In order to re-polish the floor and not leave it too porous I then used the a red and then a white diamond encrusted burnishing pad. Even after this some stains remained, so at this point I used Tile Doctor “Reduxa” stone stain remover to attack the stubborn ingrained marks. All of these were successfully removed except for two very deep rust stains which, never-the-less, were reduced in size and intensity by about 70%.

After this I used a yellow burnishing pad to return the floor to its original finish.
At this point, as one of the tiles was broken at the edge and a piece missing, I used Akemi stone floor repair filler to fill in the broken piece with a filler that is stronger than the original stone.

Limestone Tiles After Cleaning

Sealing the Limestone Floor

The next day I returned to seal using Tile Doctor “Colour Grow” Sealer.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a “before” picture until after I had started this job but still the transformation is clear from the photos that I took. When the limestone was fully restored it was found to have attractive bedding lines running through it and to be all-in-all a very nice looking floor.

Limestone Tiles After Cleaning

The customer was amazed by what had been achieved and very pleased that she had opted for restoration over the far more expensive option of replacement.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning in London