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

Putting the Polish back on a Dull Limestone Floor in Gloucestershire

The photographs below are of a Polished limestone floor that had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in Cheltenham approximately eight years prior. The polish and sealer had worn off over that time allowing dirt to become ingrained into the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean.

This is a common problem with all types of porous stone and tile which need to be sealed to maintain their appearance. Sealers do wear down over time with use however and need to be maintained, this is why Tile Doctor have created a maintenance program whereby we pop by every 12 months to give the floor a light clean and top-up the sealer, it only takes a few hours, but it keeps your sealer in good condition.

Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Cheltenham Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Cheltenham

Cheltenham by the way is a lovely town situated on the edge of the Cotswolds which is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has a racecourse and is well known for the mineral springs which were discovered here in 1716.

Burnishing a Dull and Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor

My first job was to protect the wooden kitchen units from any splashes by covering them some cotton sheets. Next, I set about restoring the Limestone’s appearance using a set of Burnishing Pads which is a form of polishing which involves the sequential application of four diamond encrusted pads of different grit levels.

The first pad applied is a Coarse 400 grit pad which is applied to the floor with a buffing machine and lubricated with water. This process grinds away the top layer of dirt and staining from the stone, along with any old sealer, the floor is then rinsed to remove the soil that is generated. I then move through the system, applying the Medium and then Fine pads using less and less water as you go but rinsing in-between and extracting the water with a wet-vac machine.

Once I was happy with the stone I scrubbed the grout lines to remove any soiling that the pads had failed to pick up. The floor was then given a final rinse and the wet vacuum used to extract as much moisture as possible. The floor was then left to dry out completely overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The next day I gave the floor a polish with the Very Fine 3,000 grit diamond burnishing pad, this is applied using a technique we call a “spray burnish” due to the fact that very little water is used during its application.

The next step was to seal the stone using for which I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within by occupying its pores. Colour Grow also has the added benefit of intensifying the natural colours in the stone. The floor was then left to dry for an hour before I gave it one final dry polish using the Very Fine burnishing pad.

Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Cheltenham

My customer was very happy with the final result and made the comment that they thought the floor looked brand new.

Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Cheltenham

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Cheltenham, Gloucester

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