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

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

Large Honed Limestone Kitchen Floor Polished in Daventry

The following photos show a recent job we undertook at a timber framed house in the village of Upper Boddington, just south of Daventry. The client was having a new kitchen installed but didn’t want to replace the floor as it was generally in good condition, just dull with some staining and general wear and tear.

As the photos show the kitchen units had already been removed and as the tiles were wall to wall this was an ideal time to have this work carried out as the kitchen was being reconfigured and the customer wanted the floor to look uniform throughout, we also included the hallway in the cleaning process.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

Burnishing and Cleaning Polished Limestone Tiles

With tiles made of Limestone, Travertine, Marble and other high quality polished stone, we find that the best way to restore appearance is through a process known as burnishing and in the before photo you will see the specialised grinding and polishing equipment we use to achieve brilliant results and a professional finish.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

As the tiles were worn and stained in the high traffic areas we applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which had been diluted and decanted into a pump-up sprayer. After leaving it to soak in for ten minutes it was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a rotary floor machine and a stiff brush. This was followed by washing and rinsing of floors with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to apply a full set of Tile Doctor Stone Burnishing pads from 200 grit, 400 grit, 800 grit and finishing with 1500 grit for a honed look. We worked through the pads in 10 metre sections at a time lubricating with water and rinsing with water between each pad.

The kitchen and hallway floors were then allowed to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing Polished Limestone Tiles

The next day I returned to the property and completed the polishing process by applying the very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad with a little water and leaves a high shine finish.

The floor was then sealed with three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, natural look, impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection without altering the colour of the stone. The sealer takes an hour to dry and with three coats to apply it took most of the day to finish.

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington

The customer was happy with the results and left the following 5-star review on our site.

“Superb Service Chris P, Daventry”

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington

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