Removing Grout Haze from Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles in Clipston, Northamptonshire

These photos are of a Limestone tiled floor which was installed in the Kitchen approximately at a property in the small parish of Clipston, which is close to the towns of Market Harborough and Daventry, three years ago. The customer was never very happy with it since it was laid as it never seemed to look clean asked me to cover over and work out what could be done.

On my initial visit I soon realised that the installer had not cleaned off all the grout from the tiles before applying the sealer. This effectively trapped the grout under the sealer and gave the whole floor a dirty appearance, this explained the problem the customer was frustrated with as she could never ever seem to get the floor looking clean.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze Before Cleaing Clipston

This issue is known as Grout Haze or Grout Smears and is a problem we often come across where the floor has been laid without the excess grout residue being completely polished off the tiles after the grouting. Some manufacturers recommend the tiles are sealed before grouting to make it easier to polish the grout off later. After discussing how we could remedy this I issued a quote which the customer accepted, and we scheduled the work to be done.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze Before Cleaning Clipston

Removing Grout Haze from Limestone Kitchen Tiles

I arrived on site on the arranged date, as it was a painted kitchen it was not possible to mask up the units, so I used a small hand-held polishing machine fitted with a six inch 400-grit burnishing pad to carefully clean around the edges and break through the sealant. This process was then repeated with a larger seventeen inch 400-grit burnishing pad fitted to a floor polishing machine throughout the rest of the area.

Once the original sealant had been removed using the burnishing pad the next step was to remove the Grout Haze by given the floor an acid wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Being a gel, this product is easier to control than a liquid and sits on the surface where it’s needed to break down the unsightly Grout Haze. It’s left to dwell for a short period before being worked in with a special brush that is designed for this purpose. The resulting slurry is then removed with a professional wet pick up machine and the floor given a rinse with water to remove any trace of the product.

After treating the Grout Haze my next step was to refine the surface of the Limestone using a medium 800-grit and fine 1500-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad which are applied with water and restore the polished appearance of the stone. The floor is rinsed with more water between the application of each pad to remove the slurry that is generated and then dried with the wet pickup machine.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following day to buff the tiles with a white polishing pad as the customer didn’t want a high shine finish which is normally achieved with the 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad, this gave a low sheen honed look as the customer had requested. The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that and will protect the newly restored and polished tiles going forward.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze After Cleaning Clipston

The customer was very happy with the results and has left the following positive feedback on our website.

‘Professional, floor looks much better’ – Vicki S, Clipston

I gave the customer some tips on maintenance and a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap to enable her to keep the floor looking its best, this product is designed for the regular cleaning of polished stone floors and is pH neutral, so it won’t prematurely degrade the sealer.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze After Cleaning Clipston

 

Source: Limestone Flagstone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Clipston, Northamptonshire

Black Limestone Patio Renovated in Northamptonshire

The following photos show a large black limestone patio that had been installed at a house in the village of Walgrave by a local builder who had sealed the stone before cleaning it first. Doing so trapped the dirt and grout smears (ka grout haze) underneath the sealer which resulted in a hazy appearance that could never be cleaned off.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Spring is an ideal time to work on patios which tend to get stained most from leaves and other detritus during the windy autumn and then ravaged by the winter frosts. If you want to seal the stone though its best to wait until a spell of continuous hot weather for the best results.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Cleaning a Black Limestone Patio

To clean the stone, I would first need to remove the builder’s sealer, so I started by applying Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a strong product designed to safely remove coatings such as sealers and paint from stone and tile. A strong dilution of Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes before being worked into the Limestone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor scrubbing machine. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off the patio with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning Walgrave

With the sealer removed along with the dirt then next task was to tackle the smears of grout that had been left on the surface of the stone. To do this I applied a specially developed product called Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is left to dwell on the surface of the stone just long enough to weaken the unwanted grout which can be then scrubbed off. The solution is then rinsed off the patio and extracted as before. This process was done in sections worked across the length of the patio and then when finished it was given a through rinse.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

I would need the limestone patio to be dry before sealing so I left it fully dry out over the course of a few days before coming back to finish off, fortunately the weather was good, and it wasn’t long before I returned.

Black Limestone Patio During Sealing Walgrave

My sealer of choice for Black Limestone is Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s an impregnating sealer the penetrates the pores of the stone protecting it from within and simultaneously enhancing the natural colours in the stone. This product is also fully breathable which makes it ideal for external use or damp areas where moisture needs to rise through the stone and evaporate. Two coats of Colour Grow were all that was required to fully seal the stone.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

The work was a huge improvement to the look of the patio which is now vibrant, inviting and fully transformed by the process.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

 

Source: Limestone Patio Cleaning and Renovation Service in Northamptonshire

Large Honed Limestone Kitchen Floor Polished in Daventry

The following photos show a recent job we undertook at a timber framed house in the village of Upper Boddington, just south of Daventry. The client was having a new kitchen installed but didn’t want to replace the floor as it was generally in good condition, just dull with some staining and general wear and tear.

As the photos show the kitchen units had already been removed and as the tiles were wall to wall this was an ideal time to have this work carried out as the kitchen was being reconfigured and the customer wanted the floor to look uniform throughout, we also included the hallway in the cleaning process.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

Burnishing and Cleaning Polished Limestone Tiles

With tiles made of Limestone, Travertine, Marble and other high quality polished stone, we find that the best way to restore appearance is through a process known as burnishing and in the before photo you will see the specialised grinding and polishing equipment we use to achieve brilliant results and a professional finish.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

As the tiles were worn and stained in the high traffic areas we applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which had been diluted and decanted into a pump-up sprayer. After leaving it to soak in for ten minutes it was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a rotary floor machine and a stiff brush. This was followed by washing and rinsing of floors with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to apply a full set of Tile Doctor Stone Burnishing pads from 200 grit, 400 grit, 800 grit and finishing with 1500 grit for a honed look. We worked through the pads in 10 metre sections at a time lubricating with water and rinsing with water between each pad.

The kitchen and hallway floors were then allowed to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing Polished Limestone Tiles

The next day I returned to the property and completed the polishing process by applying the very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad with a little water and leaves a high shine finish.

The floor was then sealed with three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, natural look, impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection without altering the colour of the stone. The sealer takes an hour to dry and with three coats to apply it took most of the day to finish.

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington

The customer was happy with the results and left the following 5-star review on our site.

“Superb Service Chris P, Daventry”

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Daventry, Northamptonshire

Removing Limescale From Limestone Tiles

Limescale deposits are a big problem in many parts of the UK where hard water is common. To remove it you need to use a strong acidic cleaner however what to do if you have limescale deposits on Limestone? As many may already know, Limestone is an expensive, high-quality stone that like a lot of natural stone is acid sensitive and can be damaged with the application of acid-based products.

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Everdon Vilage

You can use acids on Limestone however if your careful and I demonstrated this recently at a property in this village of Everdon near Daventry in Northamptonshire. My customer had a fantastic black Limestone tiled shower cubicle that had been absolutely ruined by white limescale staining and it had reached the point where the situation simply couldn’t be resolved with standard cleaning products.

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning Everdon Vilage

Cleaning and Burnishing a Stained Black Limestone Shower Cubicle

As the staining was so severe, I opted to use Tile Doctor Acid Gel to clean the tiles. This is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form and is the best product for cleaning vertical services, since water based products just run off and don’t have time to work on the staining.

Working in small areas, I carefully scrubbed the product into the stone and then rinsed it off with plain water. This process was repeated across the whole cubicle, reducing the stains significantly in the process.

Next, I used a handheld polishing machine fitted with 6” diamond encrusted burnishing pads, along with some water for lubrication, to polish and deep clean the stone, removing any stubborn stains remaining on the tiles.

Sealing a Black Limestone Shower Cubicle

I left the cubicle to dry completely overnight. Upon my return the next day, I proceeded to seal the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer.

This sealer is impregnating, meaning it fils the pores of stone to protect against ingrained dirt and staining. As well as providing stone protection, Colour Grow also enhances the natural colour in the stone – in this case, the deep black shades in the Limestone.

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Everdon Vilage

Having finished the job, I gave the very happy customer some advice on keeping limescale and other staining at bay in future. I explained that proper maintenance can be conducted by simply rinsing the tiles with clean water after each use of the shower, and by using Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro tile aftercare cleaner at least once a week.

Black Limestone Shower Cubicle After Cleaning Everdon Vilage

 
 
Source: Limestone Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Northamptonshire

Maintaining the Appearance of Polished Limestone in Northamptonshire

Limestone is known on the international market to be a stone of premium quality, durability and toughness, and Limestone tiles give any property a high-end wow factor when they are looking their best. To maintain that appearance however does require some work and this is where Tile Doctor is happy to assist.

This Polished Limestone tiled floor had been installed four years prior in the kitchen and living room of a house in Ashton Village, near Oundle in Northamptonshire. The tiles had lost their shine and the grout had become dirty and stained and the floor in general was proving to be increasingly difficult to clean.

Polished Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Ashton Village

This is a common problem with polished stone floors, the surface polish and sealer wear down over time allowing dirt to penetrate. At a loss with what to do to restore the appearance of the floor, the property owner called me in to give the Limestone a professional-level clean, seal and polish.

Polished Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Ashton Village

Burnishing and Cleaning Polished Limestone Tiles

With tiles made of Limestone, Travertine, Marble and other high quality polished stone, we find that the best way to restore appearance is through a process known as burnishing.

Our burnishing system involves the application of four different diamond encrusted pads. Working in small sections of between four and six square metres, I applied the first pad, which uses a coarse grit to remove light scratches and dirt, followed by a pad with a medium grit pad to prepare the floor for polishing. Next, I used the third pad with a fine grit to start the polishing process.

Before moving on to the fourth and final pad, I cleaned the grout lines using handheld brushes in combination with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline tile and grout cleaner that is safe to use on tiled floor. The floor was rinsed and the soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sealing Polished Limestone Tiles

Following this, I allowed the floor to dry completely overnight. Upon my return to the property the next day, I used the fourth pad, which uses a Very Fine grit is to give the stone a high shine finish.

The floor was then ready to be sealed with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, natural look, impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection. This was allowed to dry for an hour, before I then re-polished the tiles to remove any excess sealer and to refine the finish the absolute best quality possible.

Polished Limestone Floor Ater Cleaning Ashton Village

The benefit of the burnishing pad system is that no chemicals are used (just a small amount of water for lubricant) so it is environmentally-friendly. I recommend the customer to use Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner in the future to provide quick and effective maintenance. She was very pleased with the results and now she will be well-equipped to keep the floor in fantastic shape.

Polished Limestone Floor Ater Cleaning Ashton Village

 
 
Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Northamptonshire

Restoring the Appearance of Limestone Floor Tiles

The owner of this house in the town of Kislingbury, Northampton called me in because her sealer wasn’t performing very well and the floor had only been cleaned and sealed 6 months previous by her builders contractor. Although the rest of the floor was in very good condition there were quite a few tiles that were being easily scratched from day to day use and stained from liquid spills which should have been easy to remove.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury Before Cleaning

It isn’t always the case that a whole floor is in poor condition, it can be just the high foot traffic areas or just a few damaged tiles either way it can spoil the appearance of the entire feature.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury Before Cleaning

Upon initial contact with my client, we talked through the work the previous contractors had carried out. Then, upon testing the affected areas of the floor, I discovered that that the sealant had been applied very patchily, meaning it had better coverage in some areas than others. I also speculated that the underfloor heating in the room may have affected the curing of the sealant as it dried.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

Even though this work was carried out in January, with outside temperatures of -2 degrees, I insisted that the underfloor heating was turned off to eliminate the potential of it impacting the performance of any products used during the restoration.

I began by stripping off all of the old sealer with the coarse pad from the Tile Doctor burnishing system. I then diluted a solution of the high alkaline cleaner Tile Doctor Pro Clean and this was mainly applied to clean the grout lines because as I previously mentioned, the condition of the tiles was generally speaking very good. The solution was allowed to dwell for approximately ten minutes, before I proceeded to agitate the area with a scrubbing brush to remove ingrained dirt. The floor was then finished off using the rest of the pads in the burnishing pad system to restore the surface shine and then rinsed down with water to remove the slurry.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

After allowing the floor adequate time to dry, I sealed it with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which provides not only a durable surface seal, but also contains properties which intensify the natural colours in the Limestone.

I completed the seal with the underfloor heating off and this allowed the sealer to cure properly. Just to make sure, I also tested several different areas for water repellency – it was only after that I allowed my client to put the heating back on!

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury After Cleaning

The photos really show the difference made in the appearance of those areas of the floor that were once stained. Needless to say that the several days of work were really worth it to get this Limestone tiled floor back to looking its best. With a deep clean and robust, properly applied sealer, this floor will be protected against damage for a long time to come.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Cleaning and Maintaining Limestone Tiles in Northamptonshire

Restoring Cracked Limestone Conservatory Floor

Here is a job I completed late last year in the charming tranquil village of Grafton UnderwoodFlagstone tiled Living Room which you will find I have written about previously.

This second floor was Polished Limestone that had been laid in their conservatory. The floor was not only was in dire need of a thorough clean and fresh seal, but was also suffering from cracks in some areas.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning

Repairing a Limestone tiled conservatory

My first task was to address the multiple cracks in the floor, which I repaired by filling with a colour matching filler.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning

I also managed to remove some displeasing rust marks ruining the appearance of the floor by using Tile Doctor Rust Away. Rust Away is used to remove embedded rust stains on any type of Stone or Clay-based tile.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood After Polishing

Cleaning a Limestone tiled conservatory

I then gave the conservatory floor a thorough clean, focusing first on the grout with Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner that’s safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout.

The Limestone tiles were then cleaned and re-polished with Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. I started with the Coarse burnishing pad to remove dirt and old sealer before moving through the other pads from Medium to Fine, stopping to lubricate and rinsing the area with a little water after burnishing with each pad.

Sealing a Limestone tiled conservatory

After completing the clean, I left the conservatory to dry fully overnight. Upon my return to the house the next day, I ran damp tests to confirm the floor was dry enough to take the sealant, and then proceeded to seal the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood After Polishing Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood After Polishing

Colour Grow is a sealant which offers a robust surface seal, while also enhancing the natural colours in the stone. It also offers an aesthetically pleasing matte finish, which is exactly what my client had requested.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Cleaning ingrained dirt from a Crushed Edge Limestone Tiled Floor

Limestone is a natural stone with a lot of unique character and surface features with each tile being uniquely different from the last. These surface characteristics however can however make a stone very difficult to clean and unless sealed can result in dirt becoming trapped and ingrained. These particular Limestone tiles installed throughout the downstairs floor of a house in Corby are known as Crushed Edge Limestone and have an increased susceptibility to this issue. As you can see from the photographs below the crevices in the tile have become black with trapped dirt which has proved very difficult to clean.

Crushed Edge Limestone Corby Before Crushed Edge Limestone Corby Before

Cleaning Crushed Edge Limestone

Limestone is a very hard surface that has to be burnished with diamond encrusted pads to restore the finish so we set about this task using a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads. Before starting however we soaked the floor in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbed this into the tile surface spending particular attention on the grout lines; this process gets a head start on the cleaning and also remove any grit etc. that might cause problems before burnishing. The soiled solution was then rinsed away using water and all was removed using a wet vacuum.

Burnishing Crushed Edge Limestone

The burnishing pads come in a set of four, you start with the coarse pad together with a little water and this cut’s through and removes surface grime and any remaining surface sealer. The resultant slurry is washed away and you then progress through the other finer pads one by one until you get to the final polishing pad which provides a nice shine. You need to rinse the tiles in-between and use a wet vacuum to remove the slurry.

Sealing Crushed Edge Limestone

When we came back the next day we tested a few areas for dampness before starting to seal the floor, this is an important step for this type of tile as it can easily trap dirt. We chose Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal for this, it’s a natural look impregnating sealer that occupies the tiny pores in the stone preventing dirt and other contaminates from becoming ingrained, two coats were sufficient. Once the sealer had fully dried we went over it with a white buffing pad to finish.

Crushed Edge Limestone Corby After Crushed Edge Limestone Corby After

 
 
Source: Tile and Stone Cleaning Service in Northamptonshire