Renovating a Black Limestone Patio in Surrey

This customer from Farnham called me with three requests. First, can you clean and seal our Black Limestone patio? Secondly can you remove some scratches? and finally, can you make it less slippery as my children have slipped a couple of times in the wet.

After discussing the problems over the phone, we agreed a convenient date and I went along to the property to have a look. I could certainly do the first and second but not the third. There are products on the market but most Anti-slip products I’ve come across contain acids which etch and roughen the surface. Her patio was made of dark limestone which is acid sensitive and applying an acidic product would ruin the look of the stone leaving it looking washed out. I discussed with her the options and the process and we agreed a price, booking the work in for later in the month.

Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Farnham

Cleaning a Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

First, I cleaned the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean which was left to soak in for about ten minutes before being scrubbed with a nylon brush and being careful not to further scratch the stone.

The next step was to clean the stone with a series of burnishing pads starting with a coarse 400-grit lubricated with water then moving onto increasingly finer pads of 800 and 1500 grit. It’s important to rinse and extract the slurry after applying each pad. This process removes the existing sealer and slightly mills the tiles firstly opening the pores then slowly closing them as the process continues. I avoided the dark area in the picture where the table was situated as it had been protected from the weather, sun and small children. My aim was to get the same consistent colour across the whole patio.

Once I had used the three pads, I completed a final rinse and extraction with a wet vacuum. I then checked surveyed the floor looking for any areas that needed more work and to verify that the scratched had been removed as part of the process. The work went well, and I was happy to see that the scratches had been lifted and the appearance of the stone looked much better and more even.

Sealing a Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

It was a warm day, so it wasn’t long before the stone had dried and were dry enough to be sealed. I talked through the customers options for sealing and recommended the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as it contains a colour enhancer which would return the dark colour to the stone and match the original colour under the table. Colour Grow is also rated for external use.

Limestone Patio After Cleaning Farnham

Two coats of Colour Grow were applied, and this made a big improvement to the appearance of the stone resulting in a stunning transformation. The customer was over the moon and with the patio now ready for the summer she could not wait to get the patio furniture in place and enjoy the space.

 

Source: Black Limestone Patio Cleaning and Renovating Service in Farnham, Surrey

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

London White Stone Cleaned and Sealed in Leyburn, North Yorkshire

This floor is London White Limestone which is a very expensive but stunning stone that costs around £60 per square metre. It’s a pale stone that has a wonderful texture and aged appearance that makes it quite unique. Unfortunately, however being a pale stone, it didn’t photograph well, especially in low light so apologies in advance for the poor photographs.

The stone was installed in a very large area across much of the ground floor of this stunning house in the North Yorkshire spa town of Leyburn. The property was in the centre of the town which is just 13 miles from the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There were four areas in total that needed attention, two of which were still quite clean, the main areas that needed attention were the high traffic areas around the entrance hall and kitchen which needed a full clean. The sealant had started to break down and with the stone being white, the floors were looking a bit dirty and drab.

London White Limestone Before Cleaning Leyburn London White Limestone Before Cleaning Leyburn

The two other rooms were only laid around a year ago and were still clean and unmarked however due to the state of the other floors the customer was concerned about the original sealer that had been used and so I agreed to top up the seal in these rooms with a different product to add more protection. Lithofin Stain-Stop had been used previously which from my experience isn’t up to sealing Limestone properly, so l said l could apply a more effective sealer which would penetrate the existing and provide more protection. To make matters worse the client had been using household cleaners which weren’t suitable for cleaning a sealed floor. We agreed a price for the work to be carried out, which the client was happy with, the work was scheduled in for a few weeks later.

Cleaning a London White Limestone Tiled Ground Floor

After adding protection to the skirting boards, I started cleaning the stone in the entrance and kitchen areas. I find you get the best results on Limestone by applying a series of Diamond encrusted honing pads which clean and hone the stone. They are applied in sequence starting with a coarse 400-grit pad followed by the medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pad. The pads are applied with water to provide lubrication and the floor rinsed in between the application of each pad with the soil being extracted with a wet vacuum.

If you have read any of my other posts, you are would probably be expecting me to follow-up the burnishing process with a 3000-grit polishing pad however that wasn’t required in this case as we only use that on polished stone to achieve a deeper shine. The immediate result was a lightly polished floor which looked much brighter than before.

Sealing a London White Limestone tiled Ground Floor

The floor was left overnight to dry off, I double checked with the moisture meter that the previously cleaned area was dry and then all four areas were sealed the next day using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. This is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer which is created to provide maximum stain protection without changing the appearance of the beautiful stone floor.

London White Limestone After Cleaning Leyburn London White Limestone After Cleaning Leyburn

For after care I recommended to my customer the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will clean the floor without prematurely eroding the sealer. The client was very happy with the finish and thankful for the maintenance advice that will help them maintain their beautiful stone floor in good condition.

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Leyburn, North Yorkshire

Deep Cleaning White Limestone Tiles in a Oxfordshire Kitchen

Photographs below of a White Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Wallingford that was proving difficult for the owner to clean effectively. I went around to inspect the floor and could see that the sealer had worn off leaving the tiles vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone. Once this happens it makes the job of keeping the floor clean quite difficult as you really need to get the dirt out of the pores of the stone to do it right and of course once you do dirt will soon become trapped again without a sealer in place.

Given these Limestone tiles were White the dirt was more visible than usual, so the customer was keen to have the floor deep cleaned to remove the ingrained dirt and then sealed to prevent the problem reoccurring.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning

Cleaning White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To restore the floor back to its original condition I used a set of burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds and come in different grades from coarse to very fine. Applied with a little water the coarse 400 grit pad is designed to strip the floor of dirt and old sealers whilst the remaining pads which are a finer restore the polished surface. Between each pad you need to rinse the floor with fresh water which is removed with a wet vacuum before finally being left to dry overnight.

On this occasion I found when I started with the 400 grit pad it wasn’t having the effect I was expecting and quickly established that this floor would need grinding back with a much coarser milling pad first. Fortunately I have numerous different types of pads available and was able to switch to a 50 grit milling pad which not only got rid of any remaining seal but also grinded out the ground in dirt. This does leave the stone in a rough condition so to restore the final finish I followed up with the 400 and 800 grit pads and finished with the 1500 grit pad, rinsing with water between each pad to remove the soil that is generated. It was quote a large floor, so it took two days to complete the process over every Limestone tile.

Sealing White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which works by impregnates the stone occupying its pores and thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in there. This particular sealer doesn’t change the appearance of the stone and so leaves it with a natural look. Again, it was a large area, so it took two days to apply two coats. I then returned on day 5 to go over the whole floor with a 3000 grit polishing pad to give the floor a slight sheen.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Oxfordshire

Dirty and Cracked Limestone Floor Tiles Cleaned and Polished

This customer from Louth had a very dirtyLimestone tiled floor with some cracks evident installed throughout the kitchen, hallway and conservatory. It was dull and not looking it’s best so she had asked several companies in the local area to quote but they did not feel able to help. Fortunately she discovered Tile Doctor and gave us a call, naturally this sort of work is well within our ability so not only were we able to help restore the appearance but also repair the cracks at the same time.

Limestone Tiles in Louth Before Cleaning Limestone Tiles in Louth Before Cleaning Cracked

Burnishing Limestone Tiles

To resolve the surface cracks and remove the dirt from the floor we used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which incidentally are a very environmentally friendly system which only requires water. The pads come is a setup of four and you start with the coarse pad which fitted to a buffing machine running on slow speed, the coarse pad removes old sealers and then you move onto the medium, fine and very fine pads until the Limestone is cleaned and polished again. The floor was washed down with clean water at this point to remove the soil generated by the burnishing process and left to dry overnight assisted by a turbo dryer.

Limestone Tiles in Louth Mid Cleaning Limestone Tiles in Louth After Cleaning Drying

Limestone Tile Sealing

The next day the floor had dried and we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to the tiles, the sealer fills the pores of the stone making it water and resistant and will protect it from stains in the years to come, this particular sealer also lifts the natural colours in the stone.

Limestone Tiles in Louth After Sealing Limestone Tiles in Louth After Sealing Buble

The client was delighted with the results as she had nearly given up on having a nice looking floor, see feedback below which was left on our automated feedback system.

I am very pleased with the work which was completed yesterday. From my first enquiry to the completed work was excellent,
Mrs V Pedder, Tetney
 
 
Source: Stone, Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Lincolnshire

Deep Cleaning Limestone Floor

This was a Limestone tiled floor that had seen better days, unfortunately the customer had not been given the right advice and had been cleaning the floor with a popular supermarket floor cleaning product which being slightly acidic had over time stripped all of the sealer off the tile. With no sealer present dirt and grime had become ingrained into the pores of the tile making it impossible to clean.

Limestone Bedford Olney before cleaning

Deep Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

To deep clean the floor I decided to use a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the tile for around thirty minutes before working it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

We let the solution dwell a bit longer whilst we setup the Rotavac machine which is a brilliant piece of kit that directs fresh warm water under pressure onto the tile whilst simultaneously removing the soiled solution with a secondary vacuum back to a storage unit on the van. The combination worked well and the floor was soon looking a lot cleaner, there were some areas that needed further attention including the grout which we hand scrubbed along the grout lines.

Once happy that the tile and grout was clean the floor was then left to dry.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer which provides maximum stain protection on natural stone floors whilst bringing out the deep colour in the stone. The last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white buffing pad.

Limestone Bedford Olney After Cleaning

The final result was amazing and the customer was very happy also to make sure we didn’t get called back too soon I gave them advice on how to clean the floor in the future using Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is a PH neutral cleaner that is safe to use on Tile, Grout and Stone.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Bedford

Restoring Limestone Tiled Floor

This Limestone tiled floor hadn’t been cleaned properly for 5 years and we were asked to clean and reseal, hopefully you can appreciate the improvement in the photographs.

Limestone Floor Before Limestone Floor Before

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

The first step was to scrub the Limestone tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong multi-purpose alkaline cleaning product designed for use on stone. A strong dilution of Pro-Clean can remove sealer however it was apparent some sealer was still present on parts of the floor so Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a dedicated coatings remover was applied to remove the remaining seal.

The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with clean water to remove any cleaning products and we then used the Twister Burnishing Pad system with a rotary machine to complete the cleaning process and polish the floor. The pads come in four different colours and you work your way through them one by one until the floor is thoroughly cleaned and polished.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry we set about sealing it using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a no-sheen natural look penetrating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection on natural stone floors including Limestone, Granite and Marble. The last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad.

Limestone Floor After Limestone Floor After

The customer was extremely happy with the result and has since recommended us to others.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor, Cleaned, Scrubbed, Polished and Sealed in Fulham

Limestone Tiled floor cleaned and polished

Photographs below of a job we did restoring the shine on a Limestone tiled floor at a house in the town of Hastings which is down on the south coast of England and well known as the location for that famous battle in 1066. The homeowner wanted an easy to maintain low sheen Limestone floor; we advised that Limestone is a soft sedimentary Stone and is not usually classed as a low maintenance surface however with the right treatment and equipment they should be able to maintain it which is a bit like buying a carpet without having a vacuum to keep it clean.

Limestone Tile Before

Cleaning and Polishing Limestone Tiles

To get the Limestone Tiled floor back to its original condition we used a set of diamond encrusted 17” Burnishing Pads fitted to a heavy rotary buffing machine. It’s important to give the floor a clean first to ensure there’s no dirt that could get picked up by the machine and cause deep scratches on the surface. You start off with the coarse red pad together with a little water which can remove sealers and then move onto the White pad which grinds off ingrained dirt again used with a little water. Next step is the Yellow Polishing pad which smooth’s the surface prior to the final Green pad which gives that high shine finish.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

The floor was washed down to remove any particles left over from the polishing and left to dry before we set about sealing using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is recommended for a number of stone surfaces and does well to lift the natural colours in the stone as well as providing on-going surface protection.

Limestone Tile After

I think you will agree the process has really transformed this tired looking Limestone tiled floor; for maintenance we left the customer with a Green polishing pads and recommended that he purchase a rotary machine to use with it, A3 machines do a low cost reconditioned polishing machine for about £100.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tiled Floor Restored in East Sussex