Black Limestone Patio Ruined by Brick Acid Restored in Berkshire

Black Limestone has become very popular in recent years, unfortunately however we find installers ruin its appearance with the use of unsuitable cleaning products. This was the case with this relatively new property in Highclere Village near Newbury in Berkshire.

Black Limestone had been installed throughout the exterior by a landscaping company, but the owner wasn’t satisfied with they had left the stone. It turns out they used brick acid to wash away the remaining residue that had been left from a messy installation. Limestone is acid sensitive, and this resulted in the stone being stripped of its natural oils that give it the rich black colour. The stone now looked very grey, bland and was extremely porous. It certainly wasn’t how the client expected the patio to look.

Black Limestone Paved Steps Before Renovation Highclere Village

I visited the house and conducted a test in a small inconspicuous area. Luckily the Limestone hadn’t been sealed which was fortunate as stripping back exterior stone sealers can be a very time-consuming process. After the demo was completed the client was very satisfied and a provisional date was booked in. The client was eager to have the Black Limestone patio looking lovely ready for the summer weather, but we would need a dry day to be able to complete the work.

Black Limestone Paving Before Renovation Highclere Village

Highclere is a village situated in the North Wessex Downs, an area of natural outstanding beauty. It is also home to Highclere Castle, which has been used in many films and TV series, including Downton Abbey.

Renovating Black Limestone Patio Tiles

The first job was to remove all the surface dirt that had built up on the surface of the stone since it had been laid. I did this using a cleaning and extraction system that’s run from my vehicle. It’s a high-pressure cleaner with long hoses that can clean and extract dirt keeping things as mess free as possible. Once the area was cleaned the stone was left to bake and dry out in the hot sun.

Later that afternoon I conducted several moisture tests with a damp meter. The readings were good so I was happy the stone was dry, and I could move onto the next stage of re-oiling the stone. I used Tile Doctor Stone Oil for this purpose, it’s a conditioning product that penetrates the stone and revives the colour. Two coats were applied throughout and any excess oil that hadn’t penetrated the stone was buffed off. The oil was then left to cure overnight.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

I returned the next day and was very pleased how the Limestone looked, the rich colour was now showing. The oil had cured, and the stone was ready to seal. Two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal were applied to seal the stone. Rated for external use Ultra-Seal works by occupying the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from become ingrained there. This product doesn’t change the appearance of the stone, resulting in a completely natural look.

Black Limestone Paving After Renovation Highclere Village

My client was over the moon with how her Black Limestone now looked and left the following feedback: “Dennis oiled and sealed our newly laid black limestone paving. He transformed it from grey and stained looking into a beautiful black even colour. He takes great pride in his work and I would recommend him highly.”

Black Limestone Paved Steps After Renovation Highclere Village

 

Source: Black Limestone Patio Restoration Service in Highclere, Berkshire

How to Restore the Appearance of Black Limestone Flooring

This client called Tile Doctor to see if anything could be done about the colour of their limestone patio which was laid about 6 months prior at their house in Cheltenham. It and had always looked grey rather than the black they had expected and with summer on the way felt it was time to get it resolved.

Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cheltenham

I went over to survey the Limestone paving and could see straight away that whoever had installed it had not cleaned off the cement and grout residue afterwards. Add on top of that the green algae and dirt build-up you get over winter and the Patio was now looking very sorry for itself.

I conducted a test clean on a small area to work out the best method for restoring the appearance of the stone. The Limestone responded well to the test and it gave the customer the results he was looking for. Happy with the potential result and my quotation a date was booked for the work, although this was weather dependent. The job would take 3 days to complete.

Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cheltenham Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cheltenham

Removing Cement and Grout from a Black Limestone Patio

We were quite fortunate with the weather and managed to find a few days without rain. Arriving on day one, the client had moved all the patio furniture out of the way, so we were able to get to work immediately starting with the application of a coarse 200 grit diamond pad fitted to a large buffing machine. The pad is applied to each paving stone in turn and lubricated with plenty of water. This action slightly mills the Limestone to remove all the old cement and grout that had been left of the surface. After rinsing with water and extracting the soil the process was repeated using a 400 and 800-grit burnishing pad to hone the stone and bring up its appearance. The area was quite large, so this took most of the first day.

Returning the following morning, we moved onto cleaning the grout lines using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Then the whole patio was rinsed with water and scrubbed using a wet vacuum to extract all the soil generated. The patio was left overnight to dry out, the weather remained good, so we were able to come back the next day to seal it and complete the job.

Sealing a Black Limestone Tiled Patio

To seal the Limestone and restore colour I selected to use Tile Doctor Stone Oil, this is an easy to apply impregnating sealer, ideal for low porosity stone such as Limestone. Stone Oil is designed to enhance the colour and texture of stone, it also improves mechanical strength once it is cured.

One coat was applied to get the colour back in the stone, giving it the nice rich black it should have been. The stone was left to dry for two hours and then followed up with a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to further seal the stone. Ultra-Seal is a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection. It is also an excellent grout sealer.

Black Limestone Patio After Renovation Cheltenham

As you can see from the pictures the results were fantastic and the customer was very happy that the patio now looked how they had expected it to when it was installed. The sealant should give it adequate protection from the elements but would need to be reapplied in future years. They were looking forward to making the most of the sunny weather and getting the barbeque out to make use of their lovely newly restored patio.

Black Limestone Patio After Renovation Cheltenham

 

Source: Black Limestone Patio Cleaning Service in Gloucestershire

How to Renovate Acid Etched Limestone Shower Tiles

I was recently asked to take a look at a Limestone tiled shower cubicle at a house in the market town of Huntingdon. It turns out a cleaning company had tried to clean the tiles with an acidic product which was unsuitable for a calcium stone. I suspect they used a limescale remover which is very acidic. The owner was horrified by the damage that had been caused which as you can see from the pictures had ruined the appearance of the stone.

Etched Limestone Tiled Shower Before Renovation Huntingdon Etched Limestone Tiled Shower Before Renovation Huntingdon

Always check the label before applying an unfamiliar product to natural stone as most household and commercial cleaning products are simply not suitable. It is essential that the correct product is used and if in doubt talk to Tile Doctor who have a product for everything related to maintaining stone.

I discussed with the client what needed to be done to rectify the job. They were happy with my quote and were relieved that their Limestone tiles could be salvaged.

Renovating Damaged Limestone Shower Tiles

With the extent of the damage, most of the work to rectify was to be done by hand. I started by applying a set of handheld diamond blocks to cut back the stone to remove the etching. This was then followed up with a set of small diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads are applied to the Limestone tiles in sequence using a handheld buffer with water for lubrication. The sequence runs from coarse to very fine and we rinsed with water between each pad to remove the soil.

With a lot of man hours and elbow grease later, we had corrected the damage caused.

Sealing Limestone Shower Tiles

Once the stone had dried, I moved onto sealing the Limestone to prevent dirt and other stains from shampoo dyes affecting the stone going forward. To do this I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, this is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone leaving a natural look yet leaving a delicate sheen. As you can see from the pictures the results were dramatic and very successful.

Etched Limestone Tiled Shower After Renovation Huntingdon Etched Limestone Tiled Shower After Renovation Huntingdon

The client was impressed with the transformation I had managed to achieve and left the following feedback for me.

“Tom was punctual on both the day he quoted and on the day he arrived to undertake the work. He was also very mindful of our semi house cats and made sure he did not let them out. That sounds simple but of the many tradesmen we have had around in the last six months for restorative work on the house he was one of a couple that did not need constant reminding. The work he undertook was to rectify, as he put it, “some of the worst damage to tiles I have seen to date”! The tiles were limestone and had been badly marked by an acid based cleaner. By the end of five solid hours work he had got the tiles back to looking brand new with not a mark to be seen. He did so with no mess, a very cheerful disposition and several cups of coffee! I would not hesitate to recommend Tom to all my own clients and friends” Bob H, Huntingdon

 

Source: Limestone Tile Renovation and Restoration Service in Cambridgeshire

Resolving Limestone Floor Lippage issues in Wickham, Hampshire

The client in the small village of Wickham had recently had a new Limestone tiled floor laid in his kitchen/conservatory on top of electric underfloor heating or UFH as its commonly known. Although the Limestone looked great the tiler had not laid the tiles very level and there were many tiles with 2 to 5 mm lippage between them. Not only was this unsightly it also created a tripping hazard. It was unacceptable to the client and they were very disappointed with the new floor.

Uneven limestone tiled floor Wickham before levelling

Wickham is a small village close to Fareham and actually only ten miles from our base in Portsmouth, so it wasn’t long before I was able to head over and survey the floor and come up with solutions.

As I saw it, we had three options,

  1. Live with it as is.
  2. Rip it all up and damage the electric underfloor heating matt, which would then also need replacing.
  3. Mill the stone with abrasive pads to grind down the lippage.

We discussed all three options and the cost implications; they really were not happy to live with it so that option was out and taking the floor up was going to cause huge disruption and cost. He chose wisely and went for option 3! We confirmed the price and arranged a time to return to carry out the work.

Uneven limestone tiled floor Wickham before levelling

Levelling an Uneven Stone Floor with Milling Pads

We returned a few weeks later to carry out the work. We used two technicians who very slowly they started grinding the floor level with a heavy rotary machine fitted with milling pads. The pads are applied in sequence with water from 50-grit, 100-grit, 200-grit, 400-grit, 800-grit and then finally 1500-grit. The floor is rinsed with more water in between each pad to remove the fine slurry that is generated. This can be a messy job, but we make use of a wet vacuum to extract the slurry and try hard to keep the dust created to a minimum.

The 50, 100 and 200 grit milling pads are very coarse and grind down the stone flattening the lippage difference between the tiles, the 400, 800 and 1500 grit burnishing pads then refine and hone the stone bringing back its polished appearance. Once we were satisfied that the floor had been milled successfully and the level of the floor was now acceptable, we gave the floor a final rinse and extraction, then left it to dry out.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

After a couple of days, we came back to seal it with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. The floor was checked before sealing with a moisture meter to ensure it was nice and dry. The seal would not cure property otherwise.

Three coats of the Tile Doctor Colour Grow product were applied to the Limestones. This product is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. Colour Grow enhances the natural colours in the stone and works well on Limestone where it brings out the cream and brown shades and really enhances the appearance of the stone.

Uneven limestone tiled floor Wickham after levelling Uneven limestone tiled floor Wickham after levelling

After completion the floor was completely level and it looked lighter and cleaner. You can see the results in the pictures, the floor was transformed, and the kitchen now looks stunning. The client was ecstatic and recommended Tile Doctor to the shop where he had purchased the stone as they had felt he would never get the finish he had hoped for. He also left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

We had a new limestone floor installed in a large and difficult area but the result was not satisfactory in that there was too much “lippage” from stone to stone in many parts of the floor. All the advice we received was that it would not be feasible to mill the floor level and that we would either have to live with it or lift and replace it – a terrible prospect. However, Charles persuaded us that it could be done and his team managed to mill it and polish it such that it now looks superb. The process was relatively quick and very clean. The team was thorough, professional and a pleasure to have around. We are delighted with the result and would recommend them strongly for any similar work
Philip G., Wickham

 

Source: Uneven Limestone Floor Levelled and Polished in Wickham, Hampshire

Renovating a Black Limestone Patio in Surrey

This customer from Farnham called me with three requests. First, can you clean and seal our Black Limestone patio? Secondly can you remove some scratches? and finally, can you make it less slippery as my children have slipped a couple of times in the wet.

After discussing the problems over the phone, we agreed a convenient date and I went along to the property to have a look. I could certainly do the first and second but not the third. There are products on the market but most Anti-slip products I’ve come across contain acids which etch and roughen the surface. Her patio was made of dark limestone which is acid sensitive and applying an acidic product would ruin the look of the stone leaving it looking washed out. I discussed with her the options and the process and we agreed a price, booking the work in for later in the month.

Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Farnham

Cleaning a Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

First, I cleaned the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean which was left to soak in for about ten minutes before being scrubbed with a nylon brush and being careful not to further scratch the stone.

The next step was to clean the stone with a series of burnishing pads starting with a coarse 400-grit lubricated with water then moving onto increasingly finer pads of 800 and 1500 grit. It’s important to rinse and extract the slurry after applying each pad. This process removes the existing sealer and slightly mills the tiles firstly opening the pores then slowly closing them as the process continues. I avoided the dark area in the picture where the table was situated as it had been protected from the weather, sun and small children. My aim was to get the same consistent colour across the whole patio.

Once I had used the three pads, I completed a final rinse and extraction with a wet vacuum. I then checked surveyed the floor looking for any areas that needed more work and to verify that the scratched had been removed as part of the process. The work went well, and I was happy to see that the scratches had been lifted and the appearance of the stone looked much better and more even.

Sealing a Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

It was a warm day, so it wasn’t long before the stone had dried and were dry enough to be sealed. I talked through the customers options for sealing and recommended the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as it contains a colour enhancer which would return the dark colour to the stone and match the original colour under the table. Colour Grow is also rated for external use.

Limestone Patio After Cleaning Farnham

Two coats of Colour Grow were applied, and this made a big improvement to the appearance of the stone resulting in a stunning transformation. The customer was over the moon and with the patio now ready for the summer she could not wait to get the patio furniture in place and enjoy the space.

 

Source: Black Limestone Patio Cleaning and Renovating Service in Farnham, Surrey

Removing 12 years of Dirt from Limestone Tiles in Northamptonshire

I was called in to look at this Limestone tiled kitchen and hallway floor that had been installed 12 years prior at a small cottage in Yelvertoft. Yelvertoft is a small village with a population of less than a 1000 people near Daventry, with the Grand Union Canal passing close by.

I always like to do a site visit to survey the floor before recommending a solution, photographs help but you can never be certain until you have had chance to run some tests and discussed the history of the floor with the owner. As it turns out the stone had not been professionally cleaned and sealed since it was installed and was now in a bad state. So much so that my client was concerned it was beyond restoration and had considered replacing the floor.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Yelvertoft

I carried out a cleaning test on a small area and although it was very badly soiled, I found the Limestone responded well to our cleaning processes. The client was quite surprised as they had almost given up on it! We discussed the process involved, which would take two days and worked out a cost for the works. Confident I would do the job well my quote was accepted, and a date set for my return.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Yelvertoft

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

Arriving on the first day, we noted that there was a fairly new oak stairway and beam that had been fitted. I protected these and the kitchen units with a protective wrap to prevent any splashes from the cleaning process.

To restore the appearance of the Limestone I started with the application of a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing pads beginning with a very coarse 200-grit pad instead of the usual 400-grit. I reasoned that with the Stone being in such bad condition it could benefit from the coarser pad which gives a very deep clean, removing light and medium scratches by resurfacing the top of the tile. The pads are applied with water to lubricate and the fine slurry generated is rinsed off afterwards with more water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. After applying the 200-grit pad this process is repeated with increasingly higher grit pads to further hone the stone and eventually finishing with a very fine 3000 grit pad to achieve a polished finish.

Once I was satisfied with the Limestone tiles a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Grout Clean-Up was used to remove the stubborn staining from the grout lines. The floor was given a final rinse and extraction and you could see a huge improvement in the floor which looked lighter and much cleaner.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

I allowed the floors to dry off overnight and returned the next day to apply a sealer first checking for moisture with a damp meter to ensure the floor was dry and ready for sealing.

To seal the Limestone, I chose Tile Doctor Ultra Seal Sealant which is a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer that is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation areas like the kitchen. It is also an excellent grout sealer, but mainly it gives a lovely natural finish allowing the variations in the natural Limestone to shine through.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Renovation Yelvertoft

The pictures and clients’ testimonial really do speak for themselves; I was really pleased that she was so satisfied with the result and had saved a fortune in relaying the floor.

“I was about to replace my Limestone 12 year old floor … then Phil the Tile Doctor worked his magic… I now have a good as new lovely floor, I am absolutely delighted. Thanks, so much Phil.” Louise O, Yelvertoft

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Renovation Yelvertoft

 

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

White Moleanos Limestone Floor Renovated in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

These tiles are White Moleanos Limestone which I must say is not my favourite, you can just breath on them and they will stain, so not a practical choice for any floor really. They had been installed in the kitchen of a house in Harrogate and although it was only a small floor it was trapping the dirty and the owners were pulling their hair out trying to look after it.

I went over to survey the floor and explained to them Moleanos Limestone is a chalky stone from Portugal which is very porous and being so pale meant dirt easily stood out. With porous stone like this you need to ensure that the sealer is kept in good condition otherwise dirt will become ingrained in the pores and once that happens it becomes very difficult to clean effectively. In fact, once the sealer has worn off even dark coloured soles can mark it.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

I carried out a small test patch, which was successful so once we had agreed a price, they were more than happy to go ahead with getting the work done. We booked a time the following week, the work would take a couple a days, one to deep clean and one to seal.

The property is in a lovely area of Harrogate which is well known for its tourist attractions, it is said that Harrogate spa water contains iron, sulphur and common salt. The town became known as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. Later in the 17th and 18th centuries its waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment, and this led to an influx of wealthy but unfortunately sickly visitors which in turn contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

Cleaning a White Moleanos Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

To restore the appearance of the stone I used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which clean and slowly hone the stone giving it a natural polished appearance. This is a slow steady process working through the different grades of burnishing pads from coarse to very fine. The pads are applied with water to lubricate and the soil generated is extracted with a wet vacuum afterwards.

Once the burnishing process was completed, I inspected the floor and was pleased to see that the floor was looking significantly better than when I had arrived. I gave the stone a final rinse and extracted as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum before leaving for the day. The floor was left overnight to be sure that it would be dry before sealing. In the meantime, I asked the client to avoid walking on it.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor During Cleaning Harrogate

Sealing a White Moleanos Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day and checked the floor was dry. All was well and so I proceeded to seal the floor using three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which will add the protection the stone needed. Ultra-Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look sealer. It provides maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation areas like the kitchen. It is also great for sealing the grout to prevent colour change from spillages.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

The client was very happy and satisfied with the floor which looked much cleaner and fresher. After discussing after-care they were confident they could keep the floor looking that way going forward.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Large Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealing in Shepperton, Middlesex

This Limestone kitchen floor in Shepperton was laid new 3 years ago when a new kitchen was installed. The client had called in despair as the floor was just not looking its’ best and they were trying hard to get it clean, using household cleaners which were having no effect. I’m actually based in Shepperton, so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop round and survey the floor. The town has a lot of history and is famous for nearby Shepperton Studios which were built on the grounds of Littleton Park, many famous films have been created here including Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982) and David Lean’s A Passage to India (1984).

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Clean and Seal Shepperton

As you can see from the pictures, the soil had penetrated the stone as the sealer had broken down over time. The grout lines were particularly bad but also, the small veins and pores had accumulated dirt, mainly due to pets and kids coming in from the garden. It’s worth noting that the use of supermarket cleaning products will have escalated the decline of the sealer, most are simply too strong for sealed surfaces and you should always read the label to ensure its suitable before using it on your floor.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Clean and Seal Shepperton Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Clean and Seal Shepperton

This problem is quite common, and the solution is straight forward. Restoring the look of the floor requires removing the soiling with a deep clean and then when the floor is dry apply a new sealer to protect it. I talked the process over with the customer and agreed a quotation for completing the work which was accepted and arranged a convenient date. The work would be carried out over two days.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

A strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was sprayed on to the floor and after leaving it to soak in for about ten minutes, we mechanically scrubbed the solution into the Limestone using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout however to that was manually scrubbed using more Pro-Clean. This process broke down the soil and released it from the stone and grout. Following this, we used a low-pressure rinsing machine and vacuumed all the soil and remaining cleaning product away from the floor.

Whilst I was working on the floor, I got the shock of my life as a bird hit the kitchen window resulting in a loud bang. I rushed outside to find a beautiful Green Woodpecker lying dazed on the floor, the poor thing had knocked itself unconscious. I put him in a cardboard box until he eventually recovered and flew off. I guess being able to drill into trees makes Woodpeckers tough birds who can withstand a knock or two. In this job no two days are the same, you never know what’s going to happen!

Shepperton Woodpecker

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

After allowing 24 hours for the floor to dry, we returned the following morning to apply a new seal. The best sealer for this type of stone is Tile Doctor Colour Grow. It is a colour enhancing impregnator that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within whilst enhancing the natural colours in the process. Impregnating sealers work by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Clean and Seal Shepperton

The client was delighted with the floor which now looked cleaner and fresher. We had managed to restore it back to it looking as it did when it was new, and the new sealer will keep it looking that way for some time to come.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Clean and Seal Shepperton Limestone Kitchen Floor After Clean and Seal Shepperton

For a free, no obligation quote for cleaning and sealing your stone or tiled floors in Shepperton, Middlesex, please call us on 0345 512 0122

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Shepperton, Middlesex

Repair and Polishing a Limestone Tiled Pool Surround in East Kent

This was meant to be a relatively straightforward clean and polish of the Limestone tiles surrounding a swimming pool at a large house on the outskirts of Canterbury. However, after visiting the property to survey the installation I discovered that a lot of the tiling around the edge of the pool was loose and water was getting in underneath.

I discussed the problem with the owner and concerned about health safety he asked me to remove the affected tiles and refit them securely. The Limestone tiles were also stained due to the chemicals in the pool however I already had a plan to burnish the stone tiles to resolve that problem. We agreed a date for the work and the owner agreed to have the pool drained in order to make the tiling work much easier.

Re-Tiling a Loose Limestone Swimming Pool Surround

I returned to the property on the agreed date and started by setting up some scaffolding and adding plastic sheeting to the pool to protect the tiling. The next step was to tackle the loose Limestone which is when I discovered that the tiles had only been secured in a few places with what could best be described as blogs of tile adhesive which left a large cavity for water to sit. This practice is often referred to in the tiling trade as “Dot and Dab” and very much frowned upon. The tiles should have been fully bonded onto a layer of adhesive that had been spread with a notched trowel to form a very secure bond and ensure water could not seep underneath.

Limestone Swimming Pool Tile Surround Dot and Dab Canterbury

TIP: If you want to check your tiling to see if it has been “Dot and Dabbed” then tap the tiles with the end of a wooden broom handle, it should sound dull throughout, if the tapping sounds hollow in certain areas then this indicates Dot and Dabbing.

The remedy was to lift all the affected limestone edging including the dabbed adhesive and then allow the affected area to dry out thoroughly. I then returned two weeks later to level off the surface with a water proof screed before re-installing the tiles. The tile adhesive and grout needed to be dry before the next stage of cleaning so once I had completed this step, I used the rest of the day to clean up and removing the plastic sheeting and scaffolding.

Limestone Swimming Pool Tile Surround Repair Canterbury

Deep Cleaning Stained Limestone Tiles

On the next day I checked my previous work was secure and then set about cleaning the floor with a set of Diamond burnishing pads. You start with the application of a coarse 400-grit pad, then move onto medium 800-grit pad, fine 1500-grit pad and finishing with the extra fine 3000-grit pad.

The pads are fitted to a rotary floor buffer and are run over each tile using water for lubrication. The floor is rinsed between the application of each pad so the fine slurry produced can be extracted using a wet vacuum. Fortunately, due to the pool being emptied I didn’t have to worry too much about contaminating the pool water.

The pads made a big difference to the stained Limestone and really brought out the best in the them. Once the pool had been refilled the whole scene looked amazing, I just wished I taken more pictures.

Limestone Swimming Pool Tile Surround After Repair and Clean Canterbury

 

Source: Limestone Tile Repair and Polishing Service in East Kent

Renovating Honed Limestone Flooring in Ecton, Northampton

I was contacted by the owner of a property in the picturesque village of Ecton who was concerned that her Limestone floor spanning the kitchen and open plan breakfast area was starting to lose its natural appeal and was finding it harder to clean and maintain.

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor Before Renovation Ecton

I went over to take a closer look at the floor and carry out a survey. In order determine the best cleaning method I conducted a test on a small area of the floor. This gives the clients confidence in my abilities and a good idea of what result we they can 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 cleaning product.

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 e mailed to them along with our general T&Cs and the work was booked in to be completed shortly after.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Ecton

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

The floor covered quite a large area, some 38m2, and had some larger items of furniture that needed to be moved before starting. The first task was to scrub the grout lines with a specialist grout brush, designed to work the product into the grout. Limestone is an acid-sensitive stone, so a strong alkaline cleaner was required. I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with warm water at a ratio of 3:1 which was left to dwell for around twenty minutes.

The area was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted before applying 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), a medium 800-grit and finishing with a fine 1500 grit to clean the stone. The whole area was then rinsed again and extracted using a wet pick up vacuum. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled 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.

My client 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.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Renovation Ecton

Aftercare instructions along with a bottle of suitable pH Neutral Tile Cleaner were supplied.
The customer was thrilled with the result and was surprised at the transformation of the floor, they even left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor website.

“Thank you so much Phil for a professional service resulting in my floor looking just as I wanted it too. You were attentive to all detail. I would strongly recommend Phil as a trustworthy, honest person to anyone who is considering work done. See you again in the Summer Phil to clean my patio. Natalie W, Northampton”

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor After Renovation Ecton

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Ecton, Northampton

Achieving a Deep Shine on Polished Limestone Tiles in Boxworth, Cambridgeshire

I was asked to visit a house in Boxworth Cambridge to survey a large Limestone tiled kitchen, dining room, utility and hallway. The customer was not happy with the finish of the tiles and wanted it to have more lustre. Additionally, the floor had suffered some damage in the dining room where the floor had been scratched by table and chair legs.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Boxworth is a small village of around 100 houses, this property being one of the larger ones. The village lies around eight miles to the north west of Cambridge. I examined the floor and discussed with the client the process we would use. Although not looking their best, I could see that the Limestone tiles contained a variety of natural colour shades which with the right treatment could be made to really come to life. I presented a quote which they were happy to accept.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

My first job was the protect all the surrounding areas from splashing during the cleaning process. To do this I removed the kickboards from underneath some of the kitchen units, elsewhere was covered with a blue protective film.

To start the cleaning, I first applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and then worked it in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. I also scrubbed the grout by hand as the pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout line. After rinsing the floor with water, the soiled solution was then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

I followed up this process with the application of a set of Diamond burnishing pads starting with the coarse 400-grit pad, then medium 800-grit pad, fine 1500-grit pad and finishing with the extra fine 3000-grit pad. The pads are fitted to a rotary floor buffer and are run over each tile using water for lubrication. All the slurry produced by the cleaning pads is removed away using our truck mounted hot water extraction machine to cause minimum mess to the client.

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I would return the next day to finish the polishing process.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

On the following day, we checked the floor was completely dry and then using a white buffing pad ground Tile Doctor Shine Powder into the Limestone floor. The powder builds up a deep and durable polish on the tiles leaving a deep and resilient lustre.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

To further protect the stone and enhance the natural colours in the Limestone a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer were applied followed by a light buff with a red pad. The sealant is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and intensifying the natural colours in the stone.

When finished the floor looked great. We had managed to remove the scratches from the dining area and the floor now had the lustre that the client had been hoping for.

The client was extremely happy with the outcome and gave the following feedback:

“Quoted very quickly, carried out the work quickly and efficiently with no fuss.”

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Boxworth, Cambridgeshire

Black Limestone Floor Ruined by Coffee Machine Descaler, Stratford upon Avon

I really felt for this customer who was mortified after accidentally spilling limescale descaling solution on their beautiful Black Limestone floor in Stratford upon Avon. The problem started when attempting to descale a coffee making machine in the kitchen, unfortunately the bottle fell out of his hands and onto the Black Limestone floor, the subsequent attempt to mop it up spread the problem across the floor.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Restoration Stratford Upon Avon Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

Descaling solutions contain strong acids that dissolve the minerals in limescale so they can be easily removed. Limestone being of a similar structure is equally effected however in this case the product was removed quickly and didn’t have time to etch the stone. Unfortunately, the descaler did have time to upset the factory polish leaving a right mess and ruining the appearance of the stone.

I went over to survey the floor and reassured my customer the floor could be restored. There are several products and methods that can be applied to resurface and polish stone floors, so I knew the problem was repairable, it was just a question of finding the best solution for the customer.

Stripping Sealer from Black Limestone Flooring

I reasoned that the underlying stone was not etched by the acid, it was the wax-based factory finish that had been upset so the best course of action would be to strip back the entire floor to the bare stone and then reapply a new sealer that would provide a similar appearance.

To do this I started with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the whole floor. This product is a coatings remover that is specially designed for use on Tile and Stone, it was sprayed onto the floor and after ten minutes scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The resultant slurry was then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated until I was confident that the factory polish had been removed.

Next step was to strip the stone of the black dry added by the factory by giving it an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This was necessary to rebalance the appearance of the stone across the entire floor and would result in a consistent appearance one resealed. The Acid Gel was scrubbed into the Limestone, then rinsed off and extracted using the same procedure as before.

After a final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Black Limestone Floor Tiles

The next day I first checked the floor was dry using a damp meter, there were no excess moisture issues so I able to go ahead and seal the stone using a product that would bring back the colour and add protection against dirt and staining.

The best product for this was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing natural colour at the same time. The only disadvantage of this product is it leaves a matt finish whereas my customer wanted the shiny, easy to clean appearance of the original tile. To resolve I recommended we leave the floor to settle for a while and if no issues develop, I would add a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is compatible with Colour Grow and would give the desired finish.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

Due to various commitments on both our parts it was six weeks until I was able to return and top up the sealer with Seal and Go. It was worth waiting for and much to the relief of the owner his Black Limestone floor has been transformed to new again.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire

Removing Scratches and re-sealing Black Limestone Tiles for Godalming Property Developer

A property developer contacted me looking for a solution to two problems with a Black Limestone floor he had installed in the kitchen of a house in Godalming. The first problem was the sealer used didn’t do anything to enhance the look of the Limestone tiles and the new owner was very unhappy with their appearance which was now light in colour as opposed to the black Limestone he was expecting. Secondly the kitchen fitter had dragged a wooden box with a rogue screw hanging from the bottom across the floor in several places leading to scratches.

Scratched Black Limestone Floor Before Godalming

With direct trains to London Waterloo taking 45 minutes Godalming is a very desirable place to live and a property hotspot. Fortunately for the developer I was able to advise that both problems were fixable. Firstly, I had to remover the existing sealer, tackle the scratches and then re-seal and polish. Keen to have the problem resolved I was instructed to go ahead with the work.

Scratched Black Limestone Floor Before Godalming

Removing Sealer and Scratches from Black Limestone tiles

The old sealer was not doing anything to enhance the look of the Black Limestone and simply applying a new sealer on-top of the old would not have improved the appearance, so it had to be stripped off first. To remove the old sealer, I attached a coarse 400-grit Diamond burnishing pad to a floor buffer and ran it over tiles with water for lubrication. The process generates a fine slurry so once the whole floor had been burnished in this way the slurry was rinsed off with more water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, using a small handheld burnishing block I very carefully removed the scratches that the kitchen fitter had caused. Like the burnishing pads these blocks come in different grades and are encrusted with industrial diamonds.

Once happy I was happy that the scratches were gone, I continued to burnish the floor using a medium 800-grit and then a fine 1500-grit pad. These pads are used to hone the stone and build-up its polished appearance. As with the 400-grit pad water is used to lubricate the process and the floor is rinsed and extracted after each pad.

Sealing Black Limestone Tiles

I left the floor to dry off and returned after the weekend to apply the sealer. This is essential for any stone floor as otherwise dirt will become trapped in its pores making it difficult to clean effectively. Sealers can also enhance the appearance of the stone and in this case, we wanted to really bring out its natural dark colour. With this in mind I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects from within and includes a colour enhancing agent that improves colour and, in this case, considerably intensified the black colour of the stone to achieve the effect the customer wanted.

Scratched Black Limestone Floor After Burnishing Godalming

Before leaving I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to add an extra lustre to the stone, by the time I had finished the floor looked amazing. Unfortunately, I never got to hear how the customer felt about the new appearance of their Black Limestone floor however the property developer was much relieved as he thought the whole floor might need to be replaced.

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Godalming

Pitted Limestone Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Warboys

The photographs below are from a Limestone tiled floor which had been installed throughout the kitchen, hall and downstairs WC of a property in the Cambridgeshire village of Warboys. The owner was fed up with the floor which was not cleaning up after multiple attempts, he surmised it was overdue a deep clean and re-seal and so got in touch with us to do the work.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning

We visited the property to survey the floor and could straight away that the owner was right to call us, the floor was definitely overdue a professional clean and he would not have been able to improve it without the right equipment. It was a large space and being the hallway and kitchen area, it was subject to a lot of foot traffic so was not looking its’ best. One of the biggest problems was the pitting in the Limestone which had trapped a lot of dirt which was difficult to shift. We discussed the options and the cost for the work which was agreeable to the client and arranged an appointment to return to carry out the renovation.

Deep Cleaning and restoring a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

Before starting I wrapped protective tape around the woodwork and removed the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units to protect them during the cleaning process.

Limestone and Travertine are notorious for pitting and on this floor the pits had trapped dirt making it look very unattractive. To deal with this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, allowed it to soak in and break-down the dirt and old coatings such as sealers for ten minutes and then scrubbed it in with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

To remove the slurry that was generated I used our hot water pressurised extraction system which is a great tool that operates from a large compressor situated in my van which was parked outside. It fires hot pressurised water onto the floor via a floor spinner tool and then extracts the dirty water back onto a tank in the van. The pressure allows the water to penetrate deep into the pits of the stone to maximise the dirt extracted. This machine was an expensive investment however it saves a lot of time and allows me to achieve some outstanding results.

This process was repeated across the floor using the 800-grit and then the 1500-grit diamond burnishing pads using only water to lubricate and the extraction system to extract the slurry afterwards.

There were number of areas to cover so it took most of the day to clean all the floors, by the end of the day however the floor looked much cleaner and brighter. I left the floor to dry out overnight and came back the next day to apply a sealer.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

The next day I inspected the floor and checked it was dry before applying the sealer. To seal the Limestone I applied multiple coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer which penetrates into the stone, protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours in the stone in the process. Any excess sealant was buffed off the surface with a cloth after ten to fifteen minutes.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing

The sealer really brought out beauty and colours in the natural stone and the floor was transformed in just two days. The owner of the house was happy with the results and left the following feedback on the tile doctor feedback system.

‘Tom did a superb job of cleaning my tiles to look like new. Very professional, methodical and proud of his work’
Brian A, Warboys

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Warboys, Cambridgeshire

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

Pitted Jerusalem Limestone Floor Renovated in York

Jerusalem Stone is a pale variety of Limestone that comes from Israel and is available in different colours. It’s a high-quality material that has been used in construction for thousands of years however like all Stone used as flooring, it benefits from being sealed to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone.

Jerusalem Limestone Before Cleaning York

This ground floor of this house in the historic walled city of York had around 60 metres of Jerusalem Limestone installed throughout the kitchen area and some adjacent steps. Its appearance had degraded with use and was now looking flat, dirty and generally uninviting. Additionally, the customer didn’t like the natural pitting in the stone which proved to be a trap where dirt became ingrained making it more difficult to clean.

Jerusalem Limestone Before Cleaning York

I surveyed the floor and discussed the process required to restore the floor including restoration work to fill the pitting. I also worked out a price which was agreed and booked a date in the diary for the work to be done.

Cleaning and Filling a Jerusalem Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first task was to fill the holes using three different colours of grout. The floor was a mixture of shades, so I chose the best match based on the different colours in the stone. This work was tedious and a little slow but worked well and I was very pleased with the result. I come from a Tiling background so am quite used to working with grout in this manner.

Jerusalem Limestone Before Filling York Jerusalem Limestone After Filling York

Next the floor was deep cleaned with the 400, 800 and 1500 grit diamond burnishing pads fitted to a weighted floor buffer and lubricated with water. The pads are applied in sequence starting with the 400-grit pad first and the soil generated is rinsed off with water in-between. This process removes grease marks, old sealers, ingrained dirt and builds the polished finish of the limestone. I also used a hand-held burnishing block on the steps to get into the intricate corners.

The grout was particularly dirty and was cleaned by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush and the soil rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. This product is a multi-purpose cleaner and degreaser and it really gets to work on the hard to shift build-up of dirt, grime and grease.

The floor was left to dry off overnight, the lovely warm weather was a blessing as the floor was pretty large, thankfully we didn’t need to install any driers on this occasion.

Jerusalem Limestone During Grout Cleaning York

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to finish the polishing with the final 3000-grit pad applied with a little water sprayed onto the tile. once done I tested the floor with a damp meter to make sure it was nice and dry and ready for sealing. The filled areas were looking particularly good, eliminating the issue the customer was having with dirt getting stuck in them.

To seal the Jerusalem Limestone and protect it from ingrained dirt I used two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t alter the appearance of the stone. As well as providing the natural no-sheen look that the customer wanted it will provide stain protection and is recommended for food preparation areas such as kitchens. It also was excellent for sealing the grout and the areas I had filled.

Jerusalem Limestone After Cleaning York

The customer was very happy with the result and couldn’t believe how fast we had worked to restore the floor. She was relieved it would now be much easier to clean and maintain.

Jerusalem Limestone After Cleaning York

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in York

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

London White Stone Cleaned and Sealed in Leyburn, North Yorkshire

This floor is London White Limestone which is a very expensive but stunning stone that costs around £60 per square metre. It’s a pale stone that has a wonderful texture and aged appearance that makes it quite unique. Unfortunately, however being a pale stone, it didn’t photograph well, especially in low light so apologies in advance for the poor photographs.

The stone was installed in a very large area across much of the ground floor of this stunning house in the North Yorkshire spa town of Leyburn. The property was in the centre of the town which is just 13 miles from the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There were four areas in total that needed attention, two of which were still quite clean, the main areas that needed attention were the high traffic areas around the entrance hall and kitchen which needed a full clean. The sealant had started to break down and with the stone being white, the floors were looking a bit dirty and drab.

London White Limestone Before Cleaning Leyburn London White Limestone Before Cleaning Leyburn

The two other rooms were only laid around a year ago and were still clean and unmarked however due to the state of the other floors the customer was concerned about the original sealer that had been used and so I agreed to top up the seal in these rooms with a different product to add more protection. Lithofin Stain-Stop had been used previously which from my experience isn’t up to sealing Limestone properly, so l said l could apply a more effective sealer which would penetrate the existing and provide more protection. To make matters worse the client had been using household cleaners which weren’t suitable for cleaning a sealed floor. We agreed a price for the work to be carried out, which the client was happy with, the work was scheduled in for a few weeks later.

Cleaning a London White Limestone Tiled Ground Floor

After adding protection to the skirting boards, I started cleaning the stone in the entrance and kitchen areas. I find you get the best results on Limestone by applying a series of Diamond encrusted honing pads which clean and hone the stone. They are applied in sequence starting with a coarse 400-grit pad followed by the medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pad. The pads are applied with water to provide lubrication and the floor rinsed in between the application of each pad with the soil being extracted with a wet vacuum.

If you have read any of my other posts, you are would probably be expecting me to follow-up the burnishing process with a 3000-grit polishing pad however that wasn’t required in this case as we only use that on polished stone to achieve a deeper shine. The immediate result was a lightly polished floor which looked much brighter than before.

Sealing a London White Limestone tiled Ground Floor

The floor was left overnight to dry off, I double checked with the moisture meter that the previously cleaned area was dry and then all four areas were sealed the next day using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. This is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer which is created to provide maximum stain protection without changing the appearance of the beautiful stone floor.

London White Limestone After Cleaning Leyburn London White Limestone After Cleaning Leyburn

For after care I recommended to my customer the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will clean the floor without prematurely eroding the sealer. The client was very happy with the finish and thankful for the maintenance advice that will help them maintain their beautiful stone floor in good condition.

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Leyburn, North Yorkshire

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

Renovating a Stained Limestone Fireplace in Chelmsford

The UK has been experiencing an increasing amount of rain over the last few years and this has resulted in quite a few areas being flooded. One of those areas is the old city of Chelmsford in the middle of Essex which is prone to flooding due to the rivers Cam and Chelmer that run through the town.

Limestone Fireplace Before Flood Stain Removal Chelmsford

I was asked to visit a property in the town that had been flooded over winter and the red dye in the carpet that was lying on the floor adjacent to their lovely Limestone Fireplace had stained the hearth in several places but primarily around the edges.

Limestone Fireplace Showing Red Dye Staining Chelmsford

The fire place had never been sealed and because of this the stone had sucked up the flood water like a sponge. They had drying equipment installed and as the moisture evaporated the red staining became more and more evident. Since then several companies had been to try and remedy the problem and each one was unsuccessful. The couple contacted us, and we went to assess the problem fully equipped to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Dye Stained Limestone Fireplace Hearth

Had the Fireplace been sealed we our first task would have been to remove to ensure we would have no issues sealing the fireplace later. In this case however that wasn’t an issue, so we were able to move straight onto cleaning up the stone using a set of diamond encrusted hand-held burnishing blocks. We started with the coarsest block (50 grit) and rubbed the stone with a bit of added water as lubrication, before wet vacuuming away the excess residue. This process was then repeated with progressively finer blocks (100, 200 and 400 grit), and the hearths were given a final rinse with fresh water.

The burnishing blocks are excellent tools to remove scratches and marks from tile and stone and did a good job of removing the red dye from around the hearth. They also took care of some marks that had appeared where the owner had placed a couple of slate tiles on the flat part of the hearth.

Limestone Fireplace Showing Rust Stain Spots Chelmsford

Along with these marks were some corrosion spots where a metal ornament had been sitting on the hearth for several years. I treated these with Tile Doctor Rust Away which is a specialist product for removing rust stains from tile and stone after a few applications the stain was gone.

Limestone Fireplace Showing Rust Stain Spots Chelmsford

Sealing a Limestone Fireplace Hearth

After we had cleaned the fireplace up to the satisfaction of the client we used a smail dryer to dry everything out so that we could finish the job and seal the fireplace the same day. Once the stone moisture levels were at the correct level the Limestone Fireplace was sealed using three coats of Tile doctor Ultra-Seal leaving twenty minutes between coats.

Ultra-Seal is a no-sheen product that impregnates the pores of the stone protecting from within without changing the look of the stone thereby leaving it with a natural appearance. I’m please to say our efforts paid off and the Limestone Fireplace and Hearth is now stain free and looking like new.

Limestone Fireplace After Rust Stain Removal Chelmsford Limestone Fireplace After Flood Stain Removal Chelmsford

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Chelmsford