I was recently asked to this property in Wimbledon in to see if there was anything we could do to resolve the problem with a recently laid Black Limestone tiled floor. The builders that had laid the Limestone did not cover or clean the tiles prior to sealing with an impregnating seal thereby trapping in all the dirt from the building works. They then grouted the tiles but didn’t clean the grout off the surface before putting on another two coats of sealer all of which resulted in a very poor finish.
Naturally the customer was not happy so called them back to rectify the problem and so they came back and tried to strip the sealer off with cloths and a chemical stripper. Then without rinsing the stone to remove the chemicals they added another two coats of sealer; in desperation the lady gave up with them and called me in.
Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor
To resolve I tried all the sealant strippers available to me but couldn’t budge the mess effectively. The only other option available was to diamond grind the surface so I discussed this with the customer and she agreed to this and left me to carry on.
Initially I started with a coarse 400 grit diamond pad but even that wasn’t having much effect so in the end I had to cut back the surface using a 100 grit pad moving up to 200 grit, then 400 before finally stopping at 800. To lubricate the process you need to use a little water and then rinse away the resultant soil after each pad. If this was a polished stone surface I would have continued with finer and finer grits to restore the surface polish however these tiles were rough limestone and I needed to leave it as near to how it should be.
Once all the Limestone had been stripped back the stone turned an uninviting grey colour, so to bring it back to black I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which enhanced the colour.
Sealing Black Limestone Tiles
I left the floor overnight to allow the Stone Oil to dry out and then returned to seal the Limestone using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances the colour in the stone and will protect it from staining going forward.
When the customer saw the final result she was overwhelmed and said she felt like crying with relief, because the floor now looked how she had imagined it to be. It was a great feeling for me to know that I had solved the problems for her.
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout restoratioin service in East Sussex