Bleach Etched Limestone Kitchen Floor Restored in the Pennines

There is perhaps nothing more frustrating as a homeowner than trying to keep your house clean, only to accidentally make things worse. This is often due to a misunderstanding around suitable cleaning products for different types of surfaces.

In the case of natural stone tiles using the right products is imperative and you really should read the label, as the wrong product can actively damage the floor. A customer of mine, who lives in Todmorden, a market town in Pennines, found this out the hard way. Just six months earlier, the customer had installed a new Limestone tiled floor in the Kitchen but was becoming increasingly unhappy with it as they found it difficult to keep it clean.

Nothing they could do seemed to help. To make matters worse, they had not been given any information on the correct maintenance of the floor by the original flooring company. As a result, they had tried to use several unsafe cleaning products including bleach and CIF. These acidic products had stripped away the sealer that was protecting the stone, and caused etching marks on the stone. This made cleaning the stone with normal methods nearly impossible.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse

The only method that could possibly save the tiles is one used by Tile Doctor, which is known as burnishing. When the customer contacted me, I suggested that this would be the best course of action. Given that the customer was on the verge of giving up, they were happy to book in the work.

Burnishing a Damaged Limestone Tiled Floor

To restore the Limestone tiles back to their original condition, I used the Tile Doctor four-pad burnishing system. In this system, we use four diamond encrusted burnishing pads of varying grits to grind away the damaged layer of stone, before slowing honing the surface and restoring the polished finish.

Depending on the size of the pads and the size of the affect area, they are either fitted to a handheld machine or to a larger rotary machine and applied directly to the surface with a small amount of water as lubrication.

I started with the first of the four pads, which is a Coarse 400 grit pad and is designed to strip off any old sealers and to grind away the marks caused by the etching. I then proceeded to work my way in sequence through the next three pads, moving from Medium 800 grit, on to Fine 1500 grit and finally to Very Fine 3000 grit. I paused to rinse the floor with fresh water between each pad to remove any resulting soil and mess.

The combination of diamond encrusted burnishing pads was highly effective in grinding out any scratches and achieved a high-quality polished finish to ensure the floor looked perfect.

Sealing a Polished Limestone Tiled Floor

Once it had been left to dry, I sealed the Limestone tile was sealed with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is a premium solvent-based penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection and to leave a no-sheen, natural look finish.

The customer very happy indeed with the result after believing nothing could be done to remedy the situation. I ensured they received the right advice on how to keep it clean until it would need routine maintenance from a professional tile cleaning company.

Limestone Floor After Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse Limestone Floor After Cleaning Todmorden Farmhouse

 
 
Source: Limestone Cleaning and Restoration Service in Lancashire

Deep Cleaning and Resealing Cream Limestone Floor Tiles in Yorkshire

Ilkley is a wonderful little spa town in North West Yorkshire and a popular destination for tourists visiting the Yorkshire Dales. It’s particularly notable for its quaint tearooms, beautiful countryside and challenging rock climbing opportunities. The town itself is well populated, with approximately 15,000 residents.

Recently, I visited one of the homeowners in the town who was in the process of selling the house. To help make the house more attractive to potential buyers they wanted to make sure the Cream Limestone tiles laid throughout the Kitchen and Dining room were in the best possible condition. The floor was comprised of four different sizes of Limestone tile, laid geometrically.

The floor had originally possessed a natural matte finish, but a satin sealer had been applied at some point in the past to enhance its appearance. Over the years, this sealer had worn away and the Limestone had become dull and dirty, especially in the high foot traffic areas. The grout was similarly in a bad way.

Cream Limestone Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Ilkley Cream Limestone Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Ilkley

I spoke with the property owner about the options for cleaning the floor, outlining the merits of a restoration using our Tile Doctor burnishing pad system, a process which involves polishing the tiles with special diamond encrusted pads of various grit levels. The result would be a high-quality finish which could subsequently be preserved using a sealant.

I felt it was the best course of action to restore the appearance of the Limestone tiles. Even though the customers didn’t want to spend a lot (understandable as they were moving out), they agreed to proceed.

Cleaning a Cream Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I started the restoration by cleaning the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a suitable alkaline-based cleaner for natural stone tiles and grout. The product was scrubbed into the grout lines with a stiff brush. Once I was happy that the grout had been completely cleaned of any soil, I rinsed the cleaning solution away and extracted the slurry using a wet vacuum.

The next step as to apply each of the four diamond encrusted burnishing pads in the Tile Doctor system. In this process, we start with the Coarse grit pad to grind away the very top layer of the dirty stone. We then move through the system to apply Medium, Fine and finally the Very Fine pad to gradually refine the polish on the floor. Each pad is used with a small amount of water for lubrication.

Sealing a Cream Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Since this was a large area to restore, it took around two days before the grout cleaning and tile burnishing work was completed.

Some fabulous results were achieved by the burnishing work, and I came back on the third day to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. Ultra-Seal is a natural-look impregnating sealer that will protect the floor for some time to come.

Cream Limestone Floor Tiles After Cleaning Ilkley Cream Limestone Floor Tiles After Cleaning Ilkley

The customers were so pleased with the outcome that they even joked that they no longer wanted to move! I’m glad that they are happy with the results and I’m sure the new property owners will be too.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Cleaning and Renovation Service in North Yorkshire