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.
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.
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.
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”