Removing Limescale from Limestone Shower Tiles in Berkshire

This enquiry came from a theatre buff at a house in Sonning Eye near Reading who regularly hosted cast members playing at the local Mill Theatre. Five years prior he had a Limestone tiled wet room installed and unfortunately the floor tiles were laid unevenly and the fall on the tiles didn’t allow the water to drain off efficiently. The water would therefore tend to pool in the centre and overtime heavy limescale built-up and mould had also started to appear.

Limestone Shower Before Renovation Sonning Eye

Cast members staying at his house although grateful of the hospitality had often mention the state of the unsightly shower and so we were asked to pop round and see what could be done to renovate it and restore its appearance.

Shower Tile and Grout Cleaning

The first task was to remove the mould that had ingrained the Limestone, to do this I used Tile Doctor Duo Clean and scrubbed it into the tile with assistance from a steamer. I repeated this action three times, after each time I could see a visible improvement in the affected area and once it had lightened to a very faint grey, I knew that the next cleaning process to burnish the stone would see it disappear completely so left it at that.

Limestone Shower During Renovation Sonning Eye Limestone Shower During Steam Cleaning Sonning Eye

Next job was to remove the limescale build-up and re polish the Limestone tiles. I found the best way to do this was with a small hand-held machine, this allowed me to get into all the edges and groves that would have been impossible with a larger machine which would have struggled to cope with the uneven tiles.

Limestone Shower During Polishing Sonning Eye

I started with a 400-grit burnishing pad, but this struggled to cut into the years limescale build-up, so I switched this for 100-grit soft milling pad which did the trick. Once all the limescale had been removed it was time to rebuild the polish on the surface of the stone, so the process was repeated working through finer and finer burnishing pads 200, 400, 800,1500 and finally 3000-grit until the appearance of the Limestone was restored. This is quite a time-consuming process as the pad are quite small, additionally each pad is applied with water to provide lubrication which turns into a slurry that has to be rinsed off before applying the next pad. The result however is worth at as it really restores the polished appearance of the Limestone.
The last part of the cleaning process was to give the grout a quick clean I did this by scrubbing in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a grout brush, again rinsing off the slurry afterwards. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaner that’s safe to use on natural stone.

Sealing Limestone Tiles in a Wet Room

The final task was to seal the Limestone and replace the worn mastic/silicon sealant around the edges. Usually I would leave the stone to dry out overnight but as it was a small area, I was able to thoroughly dry it out using a heat gun. Once dry two good coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal were applied to provide on-going protection. Ultra-Seal is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the small pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained, also it doesn’t change the colour of the stone in any way leaving a very natural appearance.

Last step before finishing was to apply a fresh application of white mastic sealant along the edges of the tiling to ensure a good seal and no leaks.

Limestone Shower After Renovation Sonning Eye

My customer was over the moon with the result as initially he thought he might have to have it replaced. He was so pleased in fact that he left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Excellent prompt and courteous service from Dennis who I cannot recommend too highly. After completion of the work a previously very tired looking wet-room looked better than it did when new.”

Limestone Shower After Renovation Sonning Eye

 

Source: Limestone Cleaning and Polishing Service in Reading, Berkshire

Unpolished Limestone Hallway Deep Cleaned in Twickenham, South Middlesex

These unpolished Limestone tiles were installed in the hallway of a property in Twickenham, Middlesex. The stone had not been cleaned or sealed for six years and being the main entrance to the house it was subject to a lot of foot traffic which had taken its toll on the stone over the years. As you can see from the photos, dirt was ingrained in the stone which happens when the protective sealer wears off with use. They had chosen to cover the floor with some rugs to improve the appearance and make the hall more inviting and as you can see especially where the rugs had been protecting the Limestone there was a visible difference in colour.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham

Twickenham is a suburb of London and of course most famous for being the home of Rugby Union in England and a short distance from by base in Shepperton so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop in and survey the floor.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham

I discussed with the client what could be done to clean the floor and demonstrated the products and technique I would use on a test patch. They were suitably impressed, and we agreed a price for the work and booked a time to complete the job. The job was scheduled for two days, one day to clean and the second to seal the floor.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

To start with, we pre-sprayed the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak in for ten minutes, this allows the product to break down any remaining sealant and greasy soils. Then we machine scrubbed the floor with our rotary cleaner fitted with a black scrubbing pad lubricated with another Tile Doctor product, Pro-Clean. This strong alkaline chemical breaks down the dirt and leaves it ready to be rinsed away.

The grout lines were also cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but not with a machine as the pad struggles to reach down into the grout lines, so it was scrubbed by hand to give the best result.

Following the clean, we low pressure rinsed the floor with water and vacuumed all the residue away, leaving the floor ready for sealing. The Limestone tiles and grout looked much better already after cleaning and it was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning to the property the next day our first action was to check the moisture levels in the floor with a damp meter. All was well so we to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within by occupying the pores in the stone, so dirt can’t become lodged there. The sealer will make the floor much easier to keep clean in future and as the name of the product suggests it also enhances the natural colours in the tile.

For the aftercare of unpolished Limestone, I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is designed for the cleaning of sealed Tile and Stone. If using a different product always read the label first as many cleaners are too strong for use on sealed surfaces and will strip off the sealer over time.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Twickenham

The client was very happy with the result and felt they could now keep on top of keeping it clean and looking fresh moving forward. They could now remove the rugs too! If you require a free quotation to clean and seal your stone floors do get in touch.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Twickenham

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Twickenham, South Middlesex

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

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

Deep Cleaning White Limestone Tiles in a Oxfordshire Kitchen

Photographs below of a White Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Wallingford that was proving difficult for the owner to clean effectively. I went around to inspect the floor and could see that the sealer had worn off leaving the tiles vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone. Once this happens it makes the job of keeping the floor clean quite difficult as you really need to get the dirt out of the pores of the stone to do it right and of course once you do dirt will soon become trapped again without a sealer in place.

Given these Limestone tiles were White the dirt was more visible than usual, so the customer was keen to have the floor deep cleaned to remove the ingrained dirt and then sealed to prevent the problem reoccurring.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning

Cleaning White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To restore the floor back to its original condition I used a set of burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds and come in different grades from coarse to very fine. Applied with a little water the coarse 400 grit pad is designed to strip the floor of dirt and old sealers whilst the remaining pads which are a finer restore the polished surface. Between each pad you need to rinse the floor with fresh water which is removed with a wet vacuum before finally being left to dry overnight.

On this occasion I found when I started with the 400 grit pad it wasn’t having the effect I was expecting and quickly established that this floor would need grinding back with a much coarser milling pad first. Fortunately I have numerous different types of pads available and was able to switch to a 50 grit milling pad which not only got rid of any remaining seal but also grinded out the ground in dirt. This does leave the stone in a rough condition so to restore the final finish I followed up with the 400 and 800 grit pads and finished with the 1500 grit pad, rinsing with water between each pad to remove the soil that is generated. It was quote a large floor, so it took two days to complete the process over every Limestone tile.

Sealing White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which works by impregnates the stone occupying its pores and thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in there. This particular sealer doesn’t change the appearance of the stone and so leaves it with a natural look. Again, it was a large area, so it took two days to apply two coats. I then returned on day 5 to go over the whole floor with a 3000 grit polishing pad to give the floor a slight sheen.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Oxfordshire

Polishing Limestone Bathroom Floor Tiles

We often come across tiled floors that have simply never been maintained after their original installation. This inevitably leads to problems: over time, the sealer starts to wear away, particularly in high traffic areas, allowing dirt and staining to become easily ingrained in the stone and grout. The longer this is left unaddressed, the harder it becomes to clean the tiles.

An excellent case in point are this cream coloured Polished Limestone tiled floor installed in the downstairs WC and upstairs bathroom of a property in the prosperous Merchiston area of Edinburgh. The floor were already laid when the customer bought the house 10 years ago, and as far as they know, it has never experienced professional maintenance.

Limestone downstairs toilet Floor Merchiston before

The result of this is quite clear: just looking at the photos below you can see how dull and unimpressive the tiles looked before I was called in to restore them to their best possible condition. The customer was particularly unhappy with how easily the floor became stained and patchy where the sealer had failed in certain areas of the floor.

Limestone Bathroom Floor Merchiston before

Cleaning and Burnishing Limestone Floor Tiles

To clean the Limestone tiles, I used Tile Doctor’s system of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads, which range from Coarse to Very Fine. The abrasive Coarse grit pad are applied to cut back through the stone to remove stains, while the Fine and Very and Fine pads are applied to achieve a high quality polished shine.

The pads are fitted to a rotary machine in sequence from coarse to fine and lubricated with a small quantity of water which is sprayed onto the surface. The resultant slurry is rinsed off with more water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

The downstairs WC was approached using much the same method except the space was tighter so we had to use smaller six-inch burnishing pads fitted to a handheld buffer.

After completing the burnishing process, I scrubbed the grout with a narrow brush and a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a high performance alkaline cleaner, to remove any dirt and stains.

Last step before leaving was to rinse both floors with water to remove any trace of cleaning solution. The wet vacuum was then used to remove as much water and moisture from the tiles as possible.

Limestone Bathroom Floor Merchiston during

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Bathroom Floor

I left the floor to fully dry out overnight before returning the next morning to re-seal the stone which would protect it from future staining.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is the ideal sealer for sealing Limestone. As an impregnating sealer, it penetrates deep into the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. It also subtly enhances the natural shades in the stone.

Limestone downstairs toilet Floor Merchiston after

The customer was delighted with the job as both floors were completely transformed. It’s sometimes hard to believe how long some tiles go without proper maintenance, but it’s equally amazing just how quickly they can be rejuvenated with the right products and methods!

Limestone Bathroom Floor Merchiston after

 
 
Source: Limestone Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Edinburgh

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 Polish on a Limestone Floor

This beautiful Limestone tiled floor was installed in the lounge of a house in the popular London commuter town of Esher. The floor was looking dull after years without a polish and the grout was dirty, there was also a crack running along a number of tiles however without matching replacements it was decided not to address that problem at this time.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning and Polishing in Esher

Limestone is a very tough stone so to clean the tile and rebuild the polish it would need to be burnished using different grades of Diamond encrusted pads and then sealed to protect it from ingrained dirt and stains. It’s worth noting that polished stone tile does need to be regularly maintained if you want to keep up its appearance and Tile Doctor does offer this as a service.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning and Polishing in Esher

Cleaning Limestone Tile and Grout

Before working on the tiles I decided to treat the grout to a good old fashioned scrub with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and stiff grout brush. This soon got the grout clean and the soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed away with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Next step was to start the burnishing process using a coarse pad which was attached to a rotary buffer and then, using a litre of water per square metre as lubrication, I cleaned and stripped away any remaining sealer.

Once I’d removed any excess residue with the wet-vacuum, I changed to the a medium grit pad, repeated the cleaning process, and again extracted the soiled residue. Finally, I completed the process once more with the fine grit pad. Once this was completed I buffed the floor with a soft white pad to clean up any dried residue, leaving it ready to be sealed.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Two days later, once the floor was completely dry, I returned to the property to seal and polish the floor. To begin, I restored the shine to the tiles by applying the last of the four burnishing pads – the very fine grit pad.

To seal the Limestone I applied Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the Limestone to provide durable protection against ingrained dirt without changing the natural look of the tile.

After an hour, the floor was ready to be buffered once again to bring up the shine and then we were done

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Polishing in Esher

I was very pleased with the result and more importantly so did the customer who left the following feedback

“All work very professionally carried out, floors are sparkling.”

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Polishing in Esher

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning & Polishing Service in Surrey

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

Restoring a Limestone Kitchen Floor in Somerset

Bridgwater is known to be one of Somerset’s liveliest towns. With a history dating back over 1000 years, it has many traditions, including a carnival which happens every November, and is hailed as the world’s largest illumination procession.

What wasn’t looking lively, however, was this Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in the town. It had been laid five years previously but at the time of laying hadn’t been sealed with adequate amounts of sealer.

As a result, the Limestone had absorbed a lot of wet footprints and other dirty stains. The sealer simply broke down after a while, leaving the homeowner with a floor that never looked clean no matter how much they cleaned it – using all kinds of products. In fact, the tiles looked blackened and mouldy, as you can see in the photos below.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Bridgwater Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Bridgwater

It was time for the homeowner to seek out professional assistance, so she decided to contact her local Tile Doctor. I was asked to completely restore the look of the floor – something the homeowner had deemed impossible at this point.

Cleaning a Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor

In practice, I knew the floor could be restored using the right products and methods including a really deep clean and resealing with the right type of sealer for these tiles.

I scrubbed in Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a powerful coatings remover which draws out ingrained stains and strips away any old sealer remaining on the tiles. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with plain water to neutralise it, and the resulting soiled solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I repeated the process on stubborn areas, eventually transforming the floor back to its natural and clean state.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

I allowed the Limestone to dry out completely overnight before returning to the property to seal the tiles. This is important as the slightest amount of excess moisture can damage the performance of the sealer, and we would’ve been back to square one!

After checking with a damp meter, I could see everything was fine, so I proceeded to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is not only a robust impregnating sealer that will protect the floor going forward but also enhancing the natural colours in the stone at the same time.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Bridgwater Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Bridgwater

In the space of two days, the Limestone tiles had been completely transformed. Now it had been properly sealed, the floor will be much easier to clean and therefore should stay looking great for a long time to come. The customer was very happy to have finally resolved the problem with some assistance from the Somerset Tile Doctor!
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration Service in Somerset

Polishing Limestone Flooring in Gloucestershire

Limestone is known on the international market for its premium toughness, durability and aesthetic characteristics. This can make it difficult to maintain however, especially if the stone has been polished and lustre on the stone has started to wear down which is inevitable with use.

The traditional method of getting a the shine back on polished stone is called honing which is expensive however at Tile Doctor we have worked out a much more affordable process called burnishing which utilises different grades of diamond encrusted pads to clean and then bring up the polish.

I recently undertook the restoration of a large area of Limestone tiles in the kitchen and lounge of a property in Yate, Gloucestershire. The floor as a while had become dull and dirty – and was long overdue some professional attention.

Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor Before Cleaning in Vale Gloucestershire

Burnishing a Limestone Tiled Floor

Before starting I removed the kick boards from the underneath the kitchen units so they wouldn’t get affected by the cleaning process. Once prepped I started the burnishing process which is a chemical free process that uses a small amount of water for lubrication and a quick rinse between the use of each pad. I started with the first of the four burnishing pads which is a coarse 400 grit pad that designed to grind away the dirt and old sealer on the surface of the floor.

After applying the first pad, I moved my way through the medium 800 and fine 1500 grit pads to gradually build up the shine. As the floor became cleaner it became apparent the grout lines were not in particularly good condition as well so I opted to clean these using a stiff grout brush and Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is specially formulated to remove old sealers whilst tackling dirt and stains.

After completing the clean and giving the floor a final rinse I extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible using a wet vacuum and left the tiles to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

Returning to the property next day, I tested to check tiles were dry and then proceeded to buff the tiles once over using the last of the four pads which is a 3,000 grit burnishing pad that finished off the polishing process.

Finally, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is an impregnating dealer designed to provide maximum stain production with a natural look finish. I buffed further in between each coat to ensure the best possible polish was achieved.

Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor After Cleaning in Vale Gloucestershire
This was a tricky floor to photograph due to the sunlight streaming through the windows on both days but hopefully you can appreciate the difference as much as the customer can.

Source: Limestone Tile and Grout Cleaning and Polishing Service in Gloucestershire

Repairing Cracks in Limestone Tiles

I appreciate my photography is not the best but hopefully if you take a close look at the lower half of the picture below showing a dull Limestone floor tiles you can see a couple of long cracks in the tiles. The picture was taken at a house in Hornchurch which is in the East End of London; we had been asked round to see if we could repair the cracked tile and put some new life into the floor.

Limestone floor before cleaning in Hornchurch

Cleaning and Repairing a cracked Limestone floor

To begin I gave the floor a thorough clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. I wanted the floor clean before I tacked the cracked tiles and this would also ensure any grit etc. would be removed from the floor before I started the polishing process. After cleaning the floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum. I should mention Pro-Clean is a versatile, alkaline cleaner recommended for cleaning natural stone floors such as Limestone. The crack was then filled using a special stone glue and hardener.

Polishing a Limestone tiled floor

Once the glue had hardened we started to restore the appearance of the Limestone using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which you apply in sequence from coarse to super fine with a little water for lubrication and a rinse with water in between. It takes a while to do but it does a great job of bringing back the polish on the tiles.

Once we were finished burnishing the next step was to apply Tile Doctor Shine Powder into the tiles, the shine powder is worked in using a white buffing pad attached to a rotary machine running on slow speed. It adds more depth to the polish and forms a very durable finish.

Sealing a Limestone tiled floor

Last step was to finish the floor by sealing it with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, Shine Powder works as a sealer too but Colour Grow gets deep into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing it’s natural colours.

Limestone floor after cleaning in Hornchurch

As you can image the owner of the property was very happy with the results and with the added protection of Shine Powder and Colour Grow it should stay that way for some time to come.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Repair Service in South Essex

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

Polishing Unsealed Limestone Floor Tiles

This beautiful Limestone kitchen tiled floor at a property in Peel Green was only a year old and, while it wasn’t in too bad of a state, the customer told me the floor had not been sealed properly due to issues with retaining moisture. The lack of an adequate sealer had allowed the Limestone to become duller over time after exposure to dirt and muck. It also had some more obvious marks and stains in some place and needed some grouting to be done around the corners and edges of the room.

Limestone tiled floor before burnishing Peel Green Limestone tiled floor before burnishing Peel Green

I travelled to the property in Peel Green, which is within the Greater City of Salford in Greater Manchester, to see what could be done to restore the condition of the tiles.

Burnishing Dull Limestone Kitchen Tiles

Upon closer inspection of the tiles, I recommended to the customer that we proceed with the process known as burnishing, which we use primarily on Limestone, Marble, and Travertine. Burnishing, which involves the application of diamond encrusted burnishing pads, breaks down old sealers, gets rid of marks, stains and ingrained dirt, and gradually builds and evens out the polish on the tiles.

I started burnishing the Limestone kitchen tiles straight away when I arrived at the property as it was a big area and would require lots of hard work to achieve the desired results within the space of a day.

Our burnishing system consists of four diamond encrusted pads: Coarse, Medium, a Fine and Very Fine. Each pad was applied to the Limestone in sequence in tandem with a small amount of water to act as lubrication, gradually smoothing and polishing the surface of the tiles. After every pad, I also used my wet vac machine to remove any dirty water left on the floor and, after the Fine pad I rinsed the floor thoroughly to remove any dirt left on floor. I then left it to dry.

Sealing Limestone Kitchen Tiles

When I was satisfied that the floor was completely dry, it was time to seal the Limestone tiles. However, I first went over the floor with Very Fine grit pad to provide a final polish before sealing.

My choice of sealer was the impregnating Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a product which enhances the natural colours in the stone whilst also offering robust protection against dirt and stains. Remembering that the tiles had never been properly sealed, I applied plenty of sealer and left it to dry for 10 minutes. Following this, I carefully removed any excess sealer left on the surface with a dry cotton cloth. After sealing I went over the floor once final time with the Very Fine pad, just to smoothen things down and leave an exceptionally neat finish.

Limestone tiled floor before burnishing Peel Green

When the job was finished, I gave the owner some tips and recommendations on the cleaning of the floor going forward and a complimentary bottle of neutral cleaner to get them started.

Limestone tiled floor after burnishing Peel Green Limestone tiled floor after burnishing Peel Green

The customer was very pleased with the finish, so much so that she opted and take up the Tile Doctor Maintenance Plan to keep the floor looking good for years to come! This involves popping round every 6-12 months to top up the sealer and give the floor a quick polish.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Cleaning and Polishing Service in Greater-Manchester

Cleaning and Polishing a Dull Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles in the New Forest

Limestone is a beautiful flooring material however it’s a porous sedimentary rock with is not as tough as its cousins, Marble and Travertine, and therefore will need more Maintenance over time. This Limestone tiled kitchen floor in Lyndhurst is a great example of how this material can lose its appearance without a regular maintenance regime in place.

Limestone floor before cleaning Lyndhurst New Forest Limestone floor during cleaning Lyndhurst New Forest

Cleaning Limestone Kitchen Tiles

To restore the appearance of polished Limestone we use a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing Pads which effectively cut back the layer of dirt on the floor and then build back up the polish. It was a reasonably large kitchen with an island worktop to so we worked in sections removing the kick boards as we went.

You can see the effectiveness of the process from the test patch below.

Limestone floor before cleaning Lyndhurst New Forest

We stated the burnishing process with the coarse pad fitted to a rotary machine and applied with a little water. The coarse pad is very good at removing dirt and old sealers from stone and once completed the resultant surface water and loose dirt is removed using a wet vacuum.

At this point the grout was also cleaned by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed in along the grout lines, this is necessary as the recessed nature of the grout makes it difficult for the pads to reach it.

Limestone floor during cleaning Lyndhurst New Forest

I mentioned earlier there are four pads in the burnishing system, so once the floor was rinsed with water following the grout cleaning the other three pads were applied to the stone floor in sequence finishing on the finer polishing pads one after the other until we were left with a high shine finish.

Sealing Limestone Tiled Floor

We left the floor to dry and came back later to seal the floor, the floor must be dry before sealing otherwise it can effect the performance of the sealer. Once we were happy the floor was dry we proceeded to seal the Limestone tile using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that impregnates the pores of the stone bringing out the natural colours and protecting it from within.

Limestone floor after polishing Lyndhurst New Forest Limestone floor after polishing Lyndhurst New Forest

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Hampshire

Deep Cleaning Bathstone Window Cills

Bath Stone is a material that we don’t often encounter. A variation of Limestone, its distinctive yellowish or ‘honey’ colouring is best associated with historical buildings in the City of Bath – hence the name ‘Bath Stone’. However, it has commonly been used as a building material throughout southern England and Wales.

The owner of this property in Cardiff was quite upset that her Bath Stone window sills had become so unsightly over the four-year period since her house was built, so much so that she contacted Tile Doctor to see if we could help.

Bathstone window cill before cleaning Cardiff Bathstone pillar before cleaning Cardiff

Cleaning Dirty Bath Stone Window Sills

While at Tile Doctor we most often work on tiled floors, patios and shower cubicles, I was more than happy to assist in this situation. I popped round to the property to carry out some initial cleaning tests on an inconspicuous area of one of the window sills.

I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our high alkaline cleaner, since it’s a very versatile and reliable product, and is suitable for use on most kinds of natural stone. Some fantastic results were achieved quickly, with Pro Clean working efficiently to remove the green and black algae that I presumed came from the trees which were plentiful around the property.

Bathstone window cill after test clean Cardiff
With the test clean a success, we agreed a date to complete the job. I returned on the agreed date with a ladder to treat the rest of the sills using Pro Clean, including the one on the first floor window.

Bathstone window cills after cleaning Cardiff
Before carrying out the work, I tested the stone for moisture and the readings were sky high. Therefore, I suggested to the customer not to seal the stone, but instead to maintain it using the same cleaning process as I had undertaken.

Bathstone window cill after cleaning Cardiff
The outcome of my restoration was brilliant, so now when the customer feels that the sills need to be rejuvenated again, she can do so very easily.

Source: Bathstone Cleaning and Maintenance Service in South Wales

Dealing with Deep Soiling on a Limestone Patio

This patio, at a house in Windermere was made of fantastic Green Indian Limestone that despite sounding exotic is widely available in tile shops and building yards. But while it is a very good quality stone, it doesn’t always make for a good patio tile. Tiled patios are rarely easy to keep clean, especially if they are made of a sensitive stone, like Limestone. Over time, damage from weather and other environmental elements can leave these sorts of patios in really poor shape.

Indian limestone patio Windermere before cleaning

The area at this property was covered in outdoor shrubs and trees, including Rhododendrons, which are prone to shedding their leaves. The leaves had intermittently fallen onto the acid-sensitive Limestone and, since the leaves are actually slightly acidic, they can leave some quite deep marks. Other trees with can have acidic leaves include Japanese Maples and Azaleas. In this case, fruit berries from Rowan trees had also dropped onto the patio and crushed underfoot, leaving stains they had proven very difficult for the customer to remove.

Indian limestone patio Windermere before cleaning

In fact, the customer was at the point of giving up on the patio. Power washing was having limited success, failing to remove the deeply embedded marks left by the leaves and berries, amongst other general wear and tear. Thus the customer decided to turn to Tile Doctor for a professional cleaning service.

Cleaning a Stained Indian Limestone Patio

A year ago, this job would have been a challenge, but Tile Doctor recently bought out a product called Oxy Gel that proved to be an excellent cleaning product in this particular situation. Oxy Gel is a heavily concentrated alkaline cleaner in a gel form so it’s easy to handle. I applied this to the Limestone and left it to dwell for about 20-30 minutes to neutralise the acidic staining, before power washing and extracting the waste water.

A certain amount of manual cleaning with a wire brush was required to remove the particularly stubborn marks, including underneath the Rowan trees where the fruit berries were prevalent. As you can see, the problem was quite excessive in these areas, and without the Oxy Gel even we would have found this job too much of a challenge. We also removed the dirty cleaning water containing the remains of the Oxy Gel using a wet vacuum, as this may otherwise have contaminated the garden soil.

Indian limestone patio Windermere after cleaning

We didn’t seal the patio, as we don’t recommend sealing outdoor stone (although we will occasionally make an expectation with particularly sensitive Black Limestone). This is because external sealers generally can’t cope with exposure to acidic leaves and constant wet weather in the winter. What’s more, if the temperature falls below -5 degrees centigrade, the sealer will start to break up and crumble. As I suggested to the customer, it’s best to power wash patio tiles twice a year – once in spring and once again in late summer.

Indian limestone patio Windermere after cleaning

The results were absolutely fantastic considering the extent of the environmental damage. While such damages can’t always be avoided, this situation proves that with the right cleaning products and techniques, they can be reduced significantly. Needless to say, the customer was very happy with the transformation.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Cumbria

Shine Restored on Dull Limestone Floor Tiles in Harrogate

I was recently at a property in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate, undertaking what I initially thought would be the cleaning and polishing of a Cream Limestone tiled kitchen. However, as I began the cleaning process I quickly discovered that under the dirty grout lines someone had taken a lot of effort to paint with a small brush directly onto the grout using varnish!

Cream limestone floor before cleaning Harrogate Cream limestone floor before cleaning Harrogate

Removing Varnish from Grout

In a normal situation, I would have covered the whole floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go to solve the problem, however compared to, say, adhesive or paint staining, varnish is very difficult to remove. So instead I opted for the long, yet necessary process of cleaning the grout manually with several thin wire brushes. Over the course of two days I managed to remove approximately 90% of the stubborn varnish – and could finally move onto cleaning and polishing the Limestone as originally planned.

Burnishing and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The polish had been lost from the Limestone kitchen tiles over time, so I set about restoring it using a type of polishing known as burnishing. This involves the application of diamond encrusted pads of varying grit to the floor to gradually buff the stone and achieve an aesthetic and durable shine. Burnishing is most commonly used on high-end stone such as Marble, Travertine and, of course, Limestone.

At Tile Doctor, our burnishing system comprises four burnishing pads, ranging from a Coarse grit to a Very Fine grit. After applying the first three pads (Coarse, Medium and Fine), I gave the tiles a further clean with Tile a Doctor Pro Clean, which is our alkaline cleaner, to remove any residue from the burnishing process. I then rinsed the floor with clean water and soaked up the residue with a wet vacuum, before leaving it to dry.

The floor was then polished to a satin finish using the fourth and final Extra Fine burnishing pad. I sealed it using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, an impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum protection against dirt and stains.

Cream limestone floor after cleaning Harrogate Cream limestone floor after cleaning Harrogate

The combination of burnishing and sealing always makes a huge difference to Limestone tiles. Here, the finished result was almost like a new floor! The customer was both amazed and very pleased with the transformation.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in North Yorkshire

Maintaining the Polish on Limestone Floor Tiles

These Limestone tiles had been laid in a modern property in Witham, an Essex town that sits between Chelmsford and Colchester. The property owners had spent many hours over the years cleaning and sealing the floor to maintain its condition, but while the tiles were in certainly in good shape, they had lost their shine and lustre. The result was quite a dull looking floor that could certainly be improved on.

When the property owners contacted me about the problem, I informed them that due to the hardness of the stone only a process known as burnishing, which involves cleaning and polishing with special gritted pads instead of a liquid product, would do the trick to restore the Limestone tiles.

Burnishing a Limestone Tiled Floor

We use burnishing to restore several types polished stone to looking their best, including Limestone, Marble, and Travertine. Tile Doctor’s burnishing system consists of four diamond encrusted twister pads with varying levels of grit. The pads are graded so that each hones the stone to a greater degree than the previous one, resulting in the build-up of a durable polish and shine on the stone.

Using a small amount of water as lubrication, I worked my way through the system, applying each pad in succession, beginning with the Coarse grit pad, before on to Medium, Fine and Very Fine pads. While polishing the tiles, the diamond encrusted pads also serves to break down any dirt. Thankfully, these tiles were already well taken care off and were not currently suffering from heavy soil build up.

After completing the burnishing process, I promptly rinsed away any cleaning slurry and left the floor to dry.

Limestone tiles before cleaning Witham Limestone tiles after cleaning Witham

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

I returned the property once the floor had dried completely to seal the tiles, with my choice of sealer being Tile Doctor Colour Grow. I applied three coats of the sealer to the tiles, before buffing them for a final time.

Colour Grow is an ideal sealer for Limestone for two main reasons. Firstly, it is an impregnating sealer, meaning it penetrates deep into the pores of the Limestone to provide robust protection against ingrained dirt. Secondly, it contains colour intensifying properties which enhance the natural colours in the Limestone.

I took a couple of photographs before and after (above) in which you can see a significant improvement in the shine and lustre of the Limestone tiles. Most of the cream and tan shades in the Limestone were practically invisible before the burnishing was carried out and a fresh seal was applied – now the tiles stand out as the most prominent feature of the room. Needless to say, the customer was very satisfied.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in North Essex