Restoring Blue Lias Limestone Kitchen Flagstones in Somerset

This post comes from the kitchen of a house in the village of Odcombe, which is a few miles west of Yeovil, where the Blue Lias Flagstone floor which dated back to 1780 was far from looking its best. With the exception of ingrained dirt the Flagstones were in good physical condition considering their age but the some of the grouting had come loose and would need replacing as part of the restoration process.

Blue Lias Flagstone Kitchen floor in Odcombe Somerset Before Restoration

If left unprotected dirt becomes ingrained into the pores of stone and once this happens it can become very difficult to keep it clean. A sealer will add that layer of protection but does wear off over time and in this case I suspect it had been quite some time since the floor had been given a deep clean and re-seal.

Deep Cleaning Blue Lias Flagstones

To deep clean the floor we spent two days scrubbing the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner/sealer remover that’s designed for use on Tile, Stone and Grout. The product is diluted with water and then applied to the floor where it is left to soak into the stone for ten to twenty minutes before scrubbing the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This process released the dirt from within the pores of the stone and we were able to rinse it away with more water which was extracted using a wet vacuum.

The process was repeated a couple of times to ensure the stone was as clean as it could be and we used stiff brushes along the grout lines where the pad struggled to reach to ensure the grout was also clean.

One done our attention turned to raking out loose grout and replacing it with new in a matching colour to ensure it blended in with the old.

Blue Lias Flagstone Kitchen floor in Odcombe Somerset Before Restoration

Sealing Blue Lias Flagstones Floor Tiles

We left the floor to dry for a further two days before returning to apply a sealer, it’s important that the floor is dry before sealing as applying a sealer to a damp floor will can have undesirable results.

After the deep cleaning process, the Flagstones were looking cleaning but rather grey so before sealing and to bring the colour back two coats of Stone oil were applied and left to soak in.

Once the Stone Oil had dried it was followed by sealing the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (so no smell as it dries) that leaves an appealing satin sheen lifting the appearance as well as protecting the stone.

Blue Lias Flagstone Kitchen floor in Odcombe Somerset After Restoration

It took some time to do but I think you will agree this two-hundred-year-old floor has been transformed by the process.

Blue Lias Flagstone Kitchen floor in Odcombe Somerset After Restoration

 
 
Source: Limestone Flagstone Floor Cleaning and Restoration Service in Somerset

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Balcony

This balcony in St John’s Wood, London, NW8, which had been clad in Limestone floor tiles, had not been professionally cleaned for 15 years and was now covered in mould which the customer was unable to remove.

Limestone-Balcony-NW8-Before-Cleaning

Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor

To get the Limestone clean I used a neat solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with was left to soak into the stone before being worked in with rotary machine fitted with a black buffing pad. This process removed most of the mould but there were still some stubborn patches so I then used a further application of Pro-Clean this time mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean to add an abrasive element to what is a powerful alkaline cleaning product. This was scrubbed into the tile and then steamed off using a Bosch steamer followed by further scrubbing by hand.

The next step was to use a set of four Tile Doctor burnishing pads to polish the Limestone surface to a low sheen. These diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours and are applied one after another with each pad being a finer grade than the last. After thoroughly rinsing the stone again and removing the waste water with a Numatic aqua vacuum I left the tiles to dry off overnight. Luckily the weather remained fine.

Sealing Yorkshire Limestone Tile

The next day I sealed the Limestone tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which I prefer for Limestone as it enhances the natural colours in the Limestone floor as well as providing stain protection something I’m sure it’s going to need given the location.

Limestone-Balcony-NW8-After-Cleaning

Although not quite all the damage from the mould could be entirely removed the tile was 95% improved and the customer was very satisfied with what had been achieved.
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning in London

New Ruined Limestone floor restored

This client had recently had a black limestone tiled floor installed in the kitchen and dining area in his home on the northern border of Warwickshire. Unfortunately however the tiler had not sealed the tiles prior and struggled to remove the grout smears from the Limestone surface. The tiles were then sealed trapping the grout haze under the sealer; naturally the client was far from happy and was instructed to remove the grout using an acid wash.

Black Limestone Tiles Before Black Limestone Tiles Before

The acid things turned the floor grey removing the oils in the floor from the factory and also caused the natural salts within the tile to rise to the surface. The tiles were then sealed with an external patio sealant without removing the existing surface sealer. All this compounded the problems in the floor causing it to mark easily and lose its colour; on top of that it had big cloudy white patches all over from the trapped salts.

Stripping sealer from a Limestone Floor Tiles

To resolve the problems with the floor it had to be fully stripped back and cleaned of all sealants and salt etc. which was done by applying a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nanotech UltraClean mopped on to the floor in two square metres at a time. The solution was allowed to soak into the floor for thirty minutes to allow the chemicals break down and then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. The soiled solution was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated across the entire floor until all the sealer had been removed.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning

Removing Salts from Limestone Tiles

To remove the salts and remaining grout haze the floor was treated with Grout Clean-up which is an acid based cleaning product that is designed to penetrate below the surface and remove light grout smears (grout haze) as well as mineral deposits such as salts and efflorescence, again this treatment was applied two square meters at a time, quickly worked into the floor and removed with the wet vacuum. Once this process was complete the whole floor was washed at high pressure rinse three times to ensure all trace of chemicals had been removed.

The floor was left to dry and when we came back the second day it was noticed that there were still some salts coming through to the surface of the Limestone, these areas were re-treated and the floor washed down again and left to dry as before.

Limestone Kitchen Part Sealed

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

The floor looked much improved on the third day although it was still looking washed out. To put the colour back into the black limestone it was treated with stone oil with turns the floor back to black and then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will protect the tile going forward.

The floor now looks how it was intended and certainly the customer was pleased and left the following comment on our feedback system.

“We are so pleased with the work carried out by the tile doctor to our kitchen, utility and family room. The floor now looks exactly how we hoped it would look when we originally purchased it. We’ve struggled to get it looking right since then and now we feel we finally have a floor we can enjoy at last! We also found Mick to be professional and highly knowledgeable on our floor. He has given us really good advice and has been really easy to contact and has also been happy to give us further help and advice over the phone even when the job’s been completed. L. Nash”

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing

Source: Resolving Limestone tile installation problems in Warwickshire

Limestone Tiles Polished in Burton Upon Trent

This Limestone tiled floor was installed in a Kitchen at a house near Burton on Trent. You can see from the photographs below that the Limestone had lost its polished appearance and was trapping dirt on the surface including a few stubborn marks; the grout was also looking grubby and dark.

Limestone Floor Before Limestone Floor Before

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

Restoring the shine on a polished stone such as Limestone, Travertine or Marble requires the surface to be stripped back and then buffed, which we did by using a set of burnishing pads. These diamond encrusted pads come in different grade sand each one does a different job from scrubbing to polishing. I started with the course red pad together with a little water and then carried on with the white, then yellow pads again using a little water removing the soiled water along the way. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a green pad to buff the floor up. This activity took most of the day so left the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing Limestone Tile

On our return the next day the floor was given a quick wipe with a damp mop to get remove any debris or dust that may have landed on the floor overnight. This soon dried and we were able to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a specially designed stone sealer that brings out the deep colour of the stone. Once this had dried it was given a quick once over with a white buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine on a slow speed, this step ensures any excess sealant is removed off the tiles.

The floor was then left for about one hour to dry before working in Tile Doctor Shine powder with a buffing pad to give a really deep finish. We were still not finished however; the grout was still looking grubby so we agreed with the customer to pop back the next day and apply Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in a Sandstone colour.

Limestone Floor After Limestone Floor After

When we had finished the customer was very happy with the work we done and even commented that it looked better than when they first had the floor laid. I recommended that for future maintenance and to extend the life of the sealer they should use Tile Doctor neutral cleaner, it’s a PH neutral cleaner and so is safe to use on sealed stone.
 
 
Source: Polishing Limestone Floor tiles in Staffordshire

Restoration of Limestone Floor in a Kitchen

Details below of a Limestone tiled floor clean, polish and seal job we completed recently for a client in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. It’s quite common for a Limestone floor to loose it’s polished appearance over time and start to look dull and dirty and this floor was no different.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before

Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor

To resolve we had to stripped back the Limestone surface using a set of burnishing pads, these diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours each one does a different job from scrubbing to polishing. I started with the red pad together with a little water and this does the job of stripping back the surface of the floor removing any dirt and seal in the process. We then cleaned the grout lines by soaking them in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective alkaline cleaning product which we worked in with a stiff brush by hand; when we were happy with the results the soiled cleaning solution was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor washed with clean water.

The next step was to begin the polishing process by using applying the white, then yellow pad again in conjunction with a little water. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a green pad to buff the floor up. This activity took most of the day so left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing the Limestone Floor

The next morning I arrived to find the floor had dried out enough for me to seal it which was done using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a great sealer that impregnates into the stone and lifts the natural colours in the Limestone floor as well as providing stain protection. Once the sealer had dried I then finished it all off with a quick buff using a white buffing pad.

Limestone Tiled Floor After

Hopefully you can appreciate the difference in the photographs above.
 
 
Source: Maintaining Limestone Floor

Antalya Limestone Tile Restoration

I don’t mind a few stairs but these Antalya Limestone tiles were installed in a flat at the top of a three storey residential block in Reading with no lift. The sealer had worn down over time which was making the floor hard to clean and always looking dirty.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

To clean the floor we applied a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaning product specially designed for cleaning stone floors. This was left to dwell for a while and then agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a Black Scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was then rinsed down with fresh clean water.

Antalya Limestone During Cleaning

Limestone Tiled Floor Polishing

We used a set of diamond encrusted Twister Burnishing Pads fitted to a rotary buffing machine to polish the Limestone floor. These pads are ideal for restoring the shine on hard stone surfaces such as Limestone and Marble, the come in a set of four and you start with the Red pad together with plain water and this cuts through and removes surface grime and any surface seal. You then progress through one by one until you get to the final Green pad which provides a high polish.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Once the floor was dry I sealed it using two coats of Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a penetrating sealer that provides a natural look and will help protect the floor going forward.

Antalya Limestone After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Restoring Antalya Limestone Tile in Berkshire

Limestone Tiled Floor Maintenance

This Limestone tiled floor was around 50m2 and installed in Kitchen and Hallway in a new build style property in Newmarket, ‘The Home of Horse Racing’. The property was only 3 years old and the owner was having difficulty keeping the floor clean.

Newmarket 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 natural stone. This process ended up taking all day and requiring a full five litre bottle of Pro-Clean to get the floor how we wanted it, It was after a reasonably large area and we had to repeat the process in some areas.

The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with clean water to remove any cleaning products and we then we switched on the under floor heating and left for the day so the floor could dry overnight.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

When we came back the next day the floor was nice and dry and we set about sealing the Limestone tile with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides stain resistance and enhances the natural colour within stone, three coats were sufficient but again due to the size of floor we did use a full five litre bottle.

Newmarket Limestone Floor After

The floor now looks splendid and the sealer has made it a lot easier to maintain, certainly the customer was pleased and left the following comment on our feedback system.

“Great job, very friendly, tiles look excellent. Mrs Fothergill, Newmarket, Suffolk”

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning in Suffolk