This Pale Limestone floor was installed in the kitchen and adjacent dining area at a property in Walton-on-Thames around three years ago. Unfortunately, it was not sealed after installation and over those three years dirt had slowly become ingrained in the stone giving it a darker/dirty appearance.
Kitchens especially are high traffic areas and so always under attack from foot traffic and spillages from cooking. Additionally, the adjacent dining area had patio doors and was vulnerable to dirt being walked in from the garden.
We always recommend sealing porous flooring material like natural stone such as Limestone. Otherwise, dirt becomes lodged in the pores of the stone and once that happens it becomes very difficult to remove.
I visited the site to survey the floor and carried out a small test clean at one end of the Kitchen to work out the best cleaning solution and to show the client the result that could be achieved.
The test went well, and the clean tiles showed up well against their neighbours. My clients were very happy to see the potential of a full clean and were happy to go ahead with my quotation.
Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor
To deep clean the Limestone, it was initially wetted with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which as is name suggests is a powerful cleaning agent designed to remove coatings and stains from tiles. Working in sections the solution was applied and left to soak into the stone for around fifteen minutes before being scrubber into the tile using a black pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer.
During scrubbing the cleaning solution soon turned black as the dirt was broken down and pushed out of pores in the stone. The soil was then rinsed off the floor and extracted using a low-pressure extraction machine. The buffing pad can struggle to reach into the depths of the grout so after cleaning the tile I gave the grout a good scrub by hand using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean.
After a final rinse and extraction to remove any remaining products and dirt from the floor you could see huge difference between the clean and original sections of floor. Some areas that were very heavily soiled did need more work though, so the process was repeated until I was satisfied that the floor was as clean as possible. The floor was then left to dry overnight, ready for sealing the following day.
Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor
Returning the next day, the moisture level of the floor was checked with a damp meter to ensure it had fully dried out. Satisfied with the readings two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow tile sealer were applied to the floor. Colour Grow is a premium impregnating sealer which gives excellent protection against spillages and general foot traffic, making the floor very easy to maintain in the future. I chose this sealer as it improves colour and brings out the best in Pale Limestone.
Once complete the Limestone looked so much cleaner and brighter and as you would expect given the transformation my client was very happy with the work.
Before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare cleaning and with the floor being sealed, I recommended in future they use a milder cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. Stronger household tile cleaning products can prematurely break down the sealer and once that happens, they will soon be back to square one.