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

Unpolished Limestone Hallway Deep Cleaned in Twickenham, South Middlesex

These unpolished Limestone tiles were installed in the hallway of a property in Twickenham, Middlesex. The stone had not been cleaned or sealed for six years and being the main entrance to the house it was subject to a lot of foot traffic which had taken its toll on the stone over the years. As you can see from the photos, dirt was ingrained in the stone which happens when the protective sealer wears off with use. They had chosen to cover the floor with some rugs to improve the appearance and make the hall more inviting and as you can see especially where the rugs had been protecting the Limestone there was a visible difference in colour.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham

Twickenham is a suburb of London and of course most famous for being the home of Rugby Union in England and a short distance from by base in Shepperton so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop in and survey the floor.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Twickenham

I discussed with the client what could be done to clean the floor and demonstrated the products and technique I would use on a test patch. They were suitably impressed, and we agreed a price for the work and booked a time to complete the job. The job was scheduled for two days, one day to clean and the second to seal the floor.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

To start with, we pre-sprayed the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak in for ten minutes, this allows the product to break down any remaining sealant and greasy soils. Then we machine scrubbed the floor with our rotary cleaner fitted with a black scrubbing pad lubricated with another Tile Doctor product, Pro-Clean. This strong alkaline chemical breaks down the dirt and leaves it ready to be rinsed away.

The grout lines were also cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but not with a machine as the pad struggles to reach down into the grout lines, so it was scrubbed by hand to give the best result.

Following the clean, we low pressure rinsed the floor with water and vacuumed all the residue away, leaving the floor ready for sealing. The Limestone tiles and grout looked much better already after cleaning and it was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning to the property the next day our first action was to check the moisture levels in the floor with a damp meter. All was well so we to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within by occupying the pores in the stone, so dirt can’t become lodged there. The sealer will make the floor much easier to keep clean in future and as the name of the product suggests it also enhances the natural colours in the tile.

For the aftercare of unpolished Limestone, I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is designed for the cleaning of sealed Tile and Stone. If using a different product always read the label first as many cleaners are too strong for use on sealed surfaces and will strip off the sealer over time.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Twickenham

The client was very happy with the result and felt they could now keep on top of keeping it clean and looking fresh moving forward. They could now remove the rugs too! If you require a free quotation to clean and seal your stone floors do get in touch.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Twickenham

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Twickenham, South Middlesex