The owner of this Limestone tiled floor in Tenterden was having a new Kitchen installed and called Tile Doctor to have it renovated beforehand. Consideration was given to replacing the floor, but this would have worked out to be far more expensive than renovation. Renovating natural stone floors such as Limestone involves deep cleaning, polishing and then sealing. Stone floors respond very well to this treatment so it’s an option well worth considering and is better for the environment.
I was able to visit the property beforehand, inspect the floor and work out a quote for the work which would take two days. We then agreed a date do the renovation which would sit between the old kitchen being stripped out and the new one being installed. With the old kitchen removed it would be a perfect time to do the work as I would have full access to the floor and wouldn’t need to tape up the kitchen units to protect them.
Deep Cleaning Tumbled Limestone Tiles
The first part of the job involved giving the floor a thorough clean to remove what was left of old sealers etc that were still present on the floor. To do this a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes before being actively worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The solution soon darkened as dirt was flushed out of the pores of the stone, it was then rinsed off with water and extracted with an industrial wet vacuum.
Following this, I moved on to a process known as burnishing that hones the Limestone to bring up the polished. This is done through the application of a series of diamond encrusted burnishing pads from coarse through to very fine.
The coarse 400-grit pad fitted to the rotary floor buffer and run over each tile at least three times using only water for lubrication. The water turns into a slurry as the pad does its job removing dirt and this is rinsed off the floor and extracted with the wet vacuum before applying the next pad. The process was then repeated with medium 800 grit pad for an initial polish followed by the Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish using water for lubrication and rinsing and extracting in between each pad.
This process took up much of the day and so after a final rinse and extraction the floor was left to dry off overnight.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
The next morning I started with the application of the last pad in the four-pad set which is a very fine 3000 grit pad. The pad and is applied with only a little water sprayed onto the floor using a technique we call a Spray Burnish. This last pad really brings up the polished appearance of the stone.
To bring up the appearance of the stone even further and add a really durable polish Tile Doctor Shine Powder was applied. This is a crystallising powder sealer that ensures a very high shine and a tough, durable finish. This powder is applied directly to the tiles in combination with approximately ½ a litre of water and a soft white buffing pad.
Last step was to add to the protection provided by the Shine Powder with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t change the look of the stone and is applied to the stone and grout. This sealer works by seeping into the stone, occupying the pores and preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.
By the end of the 2nd day the Limestone floor had an amazing deep shine which was a massive improvement on how it looked when we started. For aftercare cleaning I recommended a product called Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will help maintain its appearance.