Removing Grout Haze from a large Mottled Brown Limestone Floor in Norfolk

Now here’s a problem we regularly come across with natural stone floors such as this Mottled Brown Limestone floor installed at a house in Hindolveston; it should have a deep rich shine but without regular maintenance the polish wears off and it becomes dull and uninviting.

Hindolveston is a small village near the North Norfolk coast east of Fakenham. There are several large old houses in the area, and we had been invited by the owner of one of them to advise on the renovation of their recently laid and hugely expensive Brown Limestone floor. Measuring approximately 110 square metres the Limestone tiles had been installed throughout the lounge, dining area and spacious kitchen which featured an enormous AGA range.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Renovation in Hindolveston

The floor tiles themselves had been very well laid but had an odd milky film across the surface which completely masked the beautiful deep brown mottled nature of the stone. A builder had put down some protective coverings during renovations which became damp and had left a distinct pattern in the film when they were removed. After carrying out appropriate testing to determine what this was, we found that the grout haze had not been completely removed before the floor was sealed and allowed to cure across the whole surface. This combination resulted in the milky film which was impervious to all the cleaning and stripping chemicals the builder had tried.

Removing Grout Haze and Cleaning a Brown Limestone Floor

Our solution to the problem was to burnish and re-polish the stone with a 4-piece set of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads which with the addition of a coarser grade 200-grit pad when we found the thick film to be extremely tenacious.

The pads were applied with a 17″ rotary floor machine in sequence from 400-grit to 1500-grit. No chemicals are needed for this only water to lubricate, rinsing and extracting after each pad. We make use of a Ninja high-pressure cleaning machine to rinse and extra the soil released from the floor; it runs at 400psi so its very effective.

The pads struggle to reach into the internal corners so the last step of the cleaning process was to treat them by hand using Tile Doctor burnishing blocks. The whole floor was then left to dry off thoroughly overnight with assistance from our large capacity dehumidifier.

Sealing Brown Limestone Floor Tiling

On our return, we checked across the whole floor with a moisture meter to ensure that there was no significant moisture left in the tiles which would adversely affect the performance of the sealer before it had time to cure fully.

Satisfied that this was the case, we vacuumed the floor to remove any dust and grit before spray burnishing the surface with the last of the four burnishing pads which is a very fine 3000-grit diamond pad. Again, this is applied using the rotary floor machine and run over the Limestone floor to produce a deep shine, much to the delight of the client.

Finally, the tiles were sealed using Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a no-sheen penetrating sealer which provides excellent fluid resistance without altering the appearance of the stone itself. One last vacuuming and the job was done!

Limestone Tiled Floor After Renovation in Hindolveston

A very relieved and happy client who then promptly booked us in to renovate the limestone and encaustic tiled floors in all her bathrooms.

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning, Sealing and Renovation Service in Norfolk

Polishing a Large Limestone Floor in Beckenham Kent

This modern town house in Beckenham had a Limestone tiled floor laid in the family room, kitchen, utility room and hallway. It had been some time since it was last polished and was now starting to look flat and even grubby in places.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Beckenham
Polished stone floors need regular attention if you want to keep them looking good and this is why we offer a maintenance program where we pop back to the property once a year to top up the sealer and re-polish. In this case a thorough clean, polish and re-seal was required and due to the large area to be cleaned and the need to move furniture around it would have to be done in three stages.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Beckenham

Stripping and Polishing Limestone Tiles

The best way to restore high quality stone like this is to hone the floor using varying grits of abrasive floor pads. Tile Doctor have developed a technique for this known as burnishing which is a version of stone polishing that involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads. Each pad in the system has its own level of grit and is applied in sequence from Coarse to Very Fine in order to clean and re-hone the finish on the stone.

I swept the floor to remove any loose dirt and grit and then began the burnishing process using a
Coarse 400 grit pad lubricated with water, then after rinsing and wet vacuuming the floor with water I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pads. The next step was to get the grout as clean as possible by scrubbing in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a narrow stiff brush. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline product that is safe to use on Tile and Stone and is a good grout cleaner. With the Limestone tiles and grout now clean I gave the floor another quick rinse and finished honing the section with a very fine 3000 grit pad that gives the stone a final polish. You don’t need too much lubrication with this last pad, just a spray of water.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Once the floor section was dry it was sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnated sealer that protects from within and really brings out the brown colours in the Limestone. Once the sealer was dry I polished the floor using Tile Doctor Shine Powder which is a stone polishing compound that is worked into the floor wet, left to dry and then buffed off with a white buffing pad to leave a durable high shine on the stone.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Beckenham
As I mentioned at the start this was a large area that had to be completed in three sections, so it took a few days in order to complete the whole floor. It was worth waiting for however and the customer was very pleased with the finish. For general day to day cleaning of polished stone we recommend using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which not only cleans but also adds patina to the finish, I left with a complimentary bottle, so she could try it.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Beckenham

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Beckenham, Kent

Restoring the Polish on Pet Soiled Limestone Floor Tiles in Biddenham

The client from the Bedford village of Biddenham had requested a quote to restore the look of their Limestone floor tiles which were laid throughout the whole ground floor including lounge, hallway and kitchen covering approximately 120m2 in total. The floor needed a thorough clean, filling of holes in high traffic areas followed by polishing and then sealing.

Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor Before Cleaning Biddenham

Over time, the floor in this busy household with 2 large dogs had become dirty and certainly worse for wear with all the use it had been getting. A quote was given and accepted and work was booked in to be carried out over 4 days with 2 Tile Doctor technicians on site for 2 of those days.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Biddenham

Deep Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

We returned on the agreed date and started work to get this floor back to looking its best. My initial task before beginning the cleaning process was to apply a protective wrap around the oak doors and moving heavy furniture with sliders that the client couldn’t move themselves to give us a clear area to work in.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Biddenham

We then applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, diluted with water, to the floor. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner that is suitable for use on all natural stone floors such as Limestone, Slate and Travertine.

After leaving the solution to dwell for a few minutes, We began to scrub over sections (Approximately 10m2 at a time) with a 17” scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine, whilst helping to remove a lot of the built up dirt on the surface of the tiles, the products also stripped off the old sealer, this was then rinsed and removed using a wet pick up machine. Following this we paid special attention to the grout lines, scrubbing with grout brushes and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up.

After completing the cleaning, I rinsed the floor again with clean water to remove any excess cleaning products. I then began to burnish the floor using Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. This was done in four steps, as I used four different pads (coarse, medium, fine and very fine) rinsing the floor with water between each pad. Starting with a coarse pad and then gradually working up to the very fine pad achieving a high polish finish in the process. I finished off the process with a quick rinse and a white buffing pad to give the floor a final polish before I commenced the sealing of each area the following day to allow grout and stone to fully dry overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

The client requested a natural look finish so my choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which will protect the floor but not change the colouring in any way. The sealer penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing water resistance and long-term protection from ingrained dirt and stains.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Biddenham Limestone Tiled Lounge Floor After Cleaning Biddenham

This was a large area so it took some time to complete but it was well worth the effort, certainly the customer thought so and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor Feedback System.

Phil and his team were polite, friendly and professional at all times. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they worked very diligently to ensure they got the best possible outcome and the floors l. . . ok better than new at the end.

As you can see from the comments the client was extremely happy with the results and he has asked for details of our maintenance plan to keep his floors looking their best for years to come.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Biddenham
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Bedfordshire