Renovating Polished Limestone Floor Tiles in a Beaconsfield Kitchen

Below are photographs of a Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Knotty Green near Beaconsfield. The stone floor had lost its polish with use and now appeared flat and unattractive additionally the grout had darkened severely with dirt and was overdue a good scrub to get it clean.

Natural stone is actually a porous material that needs to be sealed in order to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained however unless its maintained constant foot traffic on floor tiles wears down the sealer leaving the stone vulnerable and difficult to clean effectively.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Knotty Green

Burnishing and Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

If you have read other posts on my website, you will know that we find the best way to restore the appearance of polished stone is through the application of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads of varying grits to grind away dirt and slowly build the polish on the stone.

You start with the application of the coarse 400-grit pad which is fitted to a rotary buffer machine and applied to the floor with water to lubricate the process, the resultant slurry is then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Next is the Medium 800-grit pad and then the Fine 1500-grit pad, both applied in exactly the same way.

Once I had completed the whole floor with three of the four pads I got to work cleaning the grout. For this, I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our reliable alkaline cleaner, in combination with a handheld scrubbing brush. Once the grout was clean I gave the floor another rinse with water and then removed as much liquids and moisture as possible using the wet vacuum leaving it to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day I returned to complete the floor starting with the application of the fourth diamond encrusted pad in the set of four which is a Very fine 3000-grit using a method we call a spray burnish which essentially involves applying the pad dry to the floor with a small amount of water sprayed on the stone. This process closes the pores in the floor and adds a good quality sheen to the tile.

Finally, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the stone to provide maximum stain protection from within. This sealer is also completely transparent, so it does not affect the natural look of the stone.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Knotty Green

The Limestone responded really well to the treatment and the floor now looks like new.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Beaconsfield

Removing a Wood Sealer from Limestone Tiles in a Gloucestershire Kitchen

Slightly different story for you below; this time from the medieval town of Tewksbury which dates all the way back to the 8th century. A customer there had asked if there was anything that could be done to restore the appearance of their polished Limestone kitchen floor on which he had previously applied a wood sealer which had turned the tiles brown.

I inspected the floor and ran a test clean on a small section of tile which successfully removed the wood seal. This gave the customer the confidence to book me into to complete the job which I estimated would take three days to strip off the old sealer, deep clean and reseal with a more appropriate product.

Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer before restoration in Tewksbury

You probably can’t appreciate how bad the tiles looked from the photograph above but if you look at the indicated area under the kitchen units where the kick boards have been removed you can really see how the brown stain in the wood sealer has darkened the look of the tile.

Removing Old Sealers from Limestone Kitchen Floor

On the first day I prepared the area by removing the kick boards from the underneath the kitchen units so they wouldn’t get affected by the cleaning process and started wetting the floor with water. The water lubricates the burnishing process whereby coarse diamond encrusted pads are applied to the floor with a buffing machine. We started the process using a very coarse 100 grit milling pad to remove the wood sealer before moving onto the finer pads from 200 grit, 400 grit, 800 grit and finally 1500 grit pad building the finish of the floor as we progressed. The floor is rinsed with water between pads and the slurry is removed using a wet vacuum.

This burnishing process took up all of the first day so the next day I returned to focus on the edges I had missed and the grout lines, being a relatively small format tile for Limestone there was a lot of grout to cover. I tacked the grout lines with Remove and Go which is a powerful stripper and cleaning agent which is applied along the grout line and then scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush before being rinsed away with water. The edges were treated with a set of small six inch milling pads fitted to a hand held buffing machine in a similar process as on the first day.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

On the third and final day the floor was spray burnished which a process is involving a very fine 3,000 grit floor burnishing pad and a little water spayed onto the floor during the application. This process really tightens up the pores in the stone and restores its appearance.

After making sure the floor was free of any lose grit I then proceeded to seal the Limestone with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t alter the appearance of the stone but penetrates into the pores of the stone to protect it from within. I left it to dry for an hour then buffed the floor with a white buffing pad before apply a second coat. This was also left to dry for an hour before running the buffing pad over for a last time.

Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer After restoration in Tewksbury

It took a fair amount of work to get the floor looking back the way it was meant to be but I’m very pleased with the outcome and more importantly my customer was really happy.

Limestone Tiles Sealed With Brown Wood Sealer After restoration in Tewksbury

 
 
Source: Limestone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Gloucestershire

Getting a Natural Look with Light Limestone Tiled Floor in Devon

Ashprington is a small, picturesque village just outside of Totnes and boasts a quaint stream running through the centre of the village, several listed cottages and a pub, ‘The Watermans Arms’, which offers good food – including their now famous triple-fried chips!

I was approached by the owners of one of the beautiful listed cottages in the village, which had the river running through the garden and was a stone’s throw from the pub, because they had extensively developed the building around five years ago. This work included the installation of a lovely light-limestone floor spanning the kitchen and open-plan extension, however the floor was starting to lose its natural appeal and the owners were finding it harder to clean.

With summer fast approaching the owners were keen to get the property ready for their annual holiday and a visit was quickly arranged. I took a closer look at the floor and conducted a test on a small area to give the clients an idea of what to expect. The limestone was honed smooth but was not polished and the customers were keen not to add too much of an unnatural shine to the floor.

The grout lines in some of the more heavily used areas, such as by the sink, were also discoloured and would require a decent scrub with an appropriate Tile Doctor product.

Light Limestone Kitchen Floor Ashprington Before

I spoke to the clients about options for the finish to be applied after cleaning and they decided that they wanted to keep the tiles as light as possible with a slight shine. With the clients impressed with the test area I prepared I went away and produced a detailed quote which was sent to them along with our general T&Cs and the work was booked in to be completed shortly after.

Cleaning a Light-Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor spanned quite a large area, some 40m2, and had some larger items of furniture that needed to be moved before starting. Because the house was empty at the time it was a straightforward task to divide the area into two and stagger the work over four days so that the furniture could be moved to suit.

The first task was to scrub the grout with a specialist grout brush, designed to get right into the grout lines and work the product in. Limestone is an acid-sensitive stone so a strong alkaline cleaner called Remove & Go was used which was then allowed to dwell for around 45 minutes to work its magic. The area was quickly rinsed before using a series of diamond impregnated burnishing pads attached to a rotary scrubbing machine, ranging from a coarse 400 grit (200 in some of the more stubborn areas) up to a fine 1500 grit to clean the stone. The whole area was then rinsed using a truck-mounted system that feeds pressurised water to the floor whilst extracting the dirty water at the same time. A rotary spinner tool was also used which helps to get a really thorough rinse. The first area was then left to dry overnight, aided by the underfloor heating which was installed with the tiles.

Polishing a Light-Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day a very fine 3000 grit diamond pad was used to ‘spray burnish’ the floor which uses very little water and ensures that any remaining residues are lifted as well as finishing the floor in the highest level of mechanical polishing possible prior to sealing.

If the clients desired a higher level of shine a powdered high shine sealer would have been worked into the tiles to achieve a highly reflective surface, however the mechanical polish was the highest level of shine wanted.

Sealing a Light-Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

My client has requested a completely natural finish so to seal the stone after cleaning I applied an impregnating sealer called Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Impregnating sealers soak into the pores of the tile protecting them from within and Ultra-Seal doesn’t alter the appearance of the floor and so maintained the natural appearance of the stone keeping it as light as possible.

Light Limestone Kitchen Floor Ashprington After

The following day the furniture was carefully moved to the recently sealed area and the whole process was repeated for the second area. Aftercare instructions and a bottle of suitable pH-neutral cleaner were supplied.

The customer was thrilled with the final result and was surprised at the transformation of the floor and left me the following feedback:

“Great service, and the floor looks new again.”
Elaine M, Ashprington
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Devon

Putting the Polish back on Limestone Floor Tiles in Gloucestershire

This customer was looking to rent out his property in the East Gloucestershire town of Cirencester, the largest in the Cotswold District. However, he found that many prospective tenants were put off by the condition of the Limestone floor tiles on the ground floor.

Limestone Bathroom Floor Before Cleaning Cirencester

Over the years, the sealer had worn away and that had allowed for dirt and stains to become ingrained in the pores of the stone, leaving the Limestone tiles looking very dull, unclean and generally undesirable. To boost his chance of finding a tenant for the property, the customer asked me to come in to restore the Limestone tiles to their best possible condition.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cirencester

I arrived at the property and conducted a survey to assess the situation. The customer – not wanting to waste any more time – asked if I could complete the restoration straight away, fortunately I was able to shuffle a few things around and was able to make a start two days later.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Cirencester

Burnishing a Dull and Dirty Limestone Tiled Floor

With Limestone, as well as other high-end stone like Marble and Travertine, we find that the best method for restoration is burnishing. This is a form of polishing which involves the sequential application of diamond encrusted pads of different grit levels.

We work with a system of four pads fitted to a buffing machine. The first is a Coarse pad, which grinds away the top layer of dirt and staining from the stone, along with any old sealer. I then moved through the system, applying each in turn the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine burnishing pads to gradually refine the polish on the floor. A small amount of water was used as lubricant between each pad, and I hoovered up any resulting slurry with a wet-vac machine.

Having finished polishing the stone, I paid attention to cleaning the grout lines, applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which draws out any ingrained stains and heavy grease build-up, and scrubbing it in with a specialised grout brush. The floor was then left to dry out completely overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

Upon returning to the property the next day, I checked the floor was completely dry and quickly vacuumed up any leftover debris from the previous day’s work. Next, I gave the floor another polish with the Very Fine 3000 grit diamond burnishing pad, vacuumed it again, and it was then ready to be sealed.

Limestone Floor Sealing Cirencester

To do this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer that not only acts to protect the stone, but also intensify its natural colours. The floor was then left to dry for an hour, before I subsequently gave it one final dry polish using the Very Fine burnishing pa fitted to the buffing machine. After vacuuming up any debris, I applied a second coat of Colour Grow, left it to dry, and finally buffed it with a soft white pad.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Polishing Cirencester

The customer was really pleased with the results, having never expected for the restoration to turn out so well. Undoubtedly there will a queue of prospective tenants hoping to see the property now that the Limestone tiled floor looks so great!

Limestone Bathroom Floor After Polishing Cirencester

 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Tile Polishing Service in Gloucestershire

Limestone Floor Restored in Plymouth Listed Building

Hidden underneath a lot of grime and staining in the basement of a building of special interest (Grade II-listed) in Plymouth is a fantastic Limestone tiled floor that was originally sourced from a local quarry near the city.

The floor had been hidden under a covering at some point in its history, but for at least the last decade it had been used to house dogs. As far as the new owner of the building could tell, the floor had never once been cleaned! To worsen the situation, the floor had also suffered from damp during winters and periods of heavy rain.

The customer got in touch because the suggested solution that was accepted by the council was to install an expensive floating floor on top of the limestone and hide this lovely feature. I produced a report on the floor about how the design of the traditional floors worked, plus my findings and recommendations which was passed to the council. The recommendations to re-grout in a natural lime mortar, mill the stones to lift any grime and improve any mild undulation and lippage to help with any pooling issues and to seal the floor in a breathable sealer were endorsed.

Plymouth Limestone Floor Plymouth Before Restoration

Milling a Stained Limestone Tiled Floor

The first job was to rake out all the existing grout, an inappropriate patchwork of cement and lime which had been completely scuffed away in parts and was contributing to the damp issues by preventing the floor from working how it was designed to (moisture permeates evenly through the lime-based grout and evaporates into the house due to the heat of the people living there). The grout, or pointing, was then replaced with lime mixed with a ratio of 1:3 with sand which is what would have been used originally, allowing the floor to ‘breathe’.

Following this, a process called milling was used which uses diamond-impregnated discs to cut the surface of the stone back and strip the stone, opening the pores to remove any stains as well as flatten any stones out where necessary.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

After successfully removing the grime and stains on the surface of the floor, it was necessary to seal the stone to protect it against ingrained muck in the future.

To do this, I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is our colour-enhancing, breathable sealer which prevents moisture from becoming trapped. Additionally Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates and fills the pores of the stone to block dirt and stains becoming trapper there, it also leaves an aesthetically pleasing natural look finish which really suited the character of this Limestone tiled floor.

Plymouth Limestone Floor Plymouth After Restoration

It took some work and once done the floor looked fantastic, certainly the new property owner seemed to think so – he was exceptionally happy to have this fantastic feature back to looking its absolute best and left the following feedback.

“Stuart completed the restoration of a stone floor within a Grade II listed building. He completed milling and polishing of the 200 year old stones over around 50m2. The outcome of the work was amazing; the floor was transformed from a dull grey colour to a finish like marble. Great service provided and looking forward to working with you on again on the next project.”
Mr J. Yorke, Plymouth
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Devon

Restoring an Acid Damanged Wet Room Floor in London

All carbonate materials, including those used in building and construction, are sensitive to acid deposition. A common example of this is the reaction that occurs when you combine bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Another example of a material affected by this is Limestone, which is often used as tiled flooring. When exposed to acidic products, the damage caused to Limestone tiles is both material and aesthetic, and many property owners who suffer this kind of damage assume that they are beyond repair.

I was recently called to a property in Wapping, Central London, to take a look at a damaged Limestone tiled floor situated in a wet room. The surface of the stone had suffered heavily from corrosion due to the spillage of an acidic solution and the property owner was keen to see what could be done to restore the condition of the tiles. He had been told by another company that the floor was beyond repair, but I knew that with the right products and techniques that I could provide a full restoration.

Limestone Floor Damaged by Acid Before Restoration Wapping

Cleaning and Burnishing Acid-Damaged Limestone

My first attempt at reducing the acid stain was to apply Tile Doctor Reduxa, which is formulated to remove or significantly lighten stains caused by acidic beverages such as cola and white wine, as well as acid-based household cleaners.

I followed this by rinsing the tiles with water rinse and applying Tile Doctor Pro Clean solution, a high alkaline product that would neutralise the acid and stop it from causing any further damage. After leaving the Pro Clean to dwell on the Limestone for ten minutes, I used a handheld rotary buffer fitted with a small black scrubbing pad to remove any dirt, soap scum, and excess old sealer from the tiles and grout lines. Next, the floor was carefully rinsed with water to make sure no chemical residue remained from the cleaning products.

Although the situation was significantly improved, the stain remained visible, so the next step was to re-surface the tile using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads of different grades. I started with a Coarse grit diamond encrusted pad to grind away the damage layer of stone, and followed this by applying Medium, Fine and Very Fine pads to slowly hone and polish the floor, back to its original condition.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

I left the tiles to dry completely overnight before returning to the property the next day. With the acid stain removed, it was time to re-seal the floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour- enhancing, impregnating sealer that is particularly effective at boosting the appearance of Limestone.

Limestone Floor Damaged by Acid After Restoration Wapping

The result was very satisfying for both myself and the customer. In fact, the customer even when so far as to leave the following feedback on the Tile Doctor Feedback System.

“Didi is indeed very knowledgeable and professional. I was more than a little worried by Limestone corrosion due to accidental spillage of a corrosive substance in our wet room. Didi came to sort it out for us and what to the layman looked like a catastrophe and possible new tiling operation was expertly repaired by Didi and his team. Our wet room now looks like new, much better than before in fact, and we are very grateful to Didi and also Tile Doctor for being able to head straight for the problem and sort it out so efficiently. Highly recommended!”
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Cleaning and Restoration in in London