This kitchen and dining area at a house in Iford was installed ten years prior and had not been given a thorough clean since. Dirt had become ingrained into the stone and as you can see from the photos below tiles and grout were now overdue for a deep clean. On the home survey visit I ran a test clean on the grout up with Tile Doctor Pro-clean and the grout cleaned up easily so I was in no doubt this floor was going to look fantastic one complete.
Deep Cleaning Limestone Tiles
I was booked in and on my return continued with a 4:1 dilution of Pro-clean and warm water leaving it to soak into the tiles for a few moments before agitating with with a deck brush. Then working in small sections at a time I introduced the buffer machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Straight away the tiles and grout gave up the dirt and after a couple of hours of cleaning and washing down with warm water the tiles were free from any remaining sealer and dirt. Limestone has many natural holes and cracks that trap dirt so before I left for the day I got down on my hands and knees and worked them with a toothbrush.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
I returned two days to seal the floor, two days had been enough to get the floor dry and ensure any moisture in the tile would evaporate. The customer wanted a matt look so on my recommendation we went with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone and further improved the depth of colour. The floor benefited from three coats which had to dry fully before starting with the next so whilst I was waiting for I jet washed their small driveway.
We were asked by the new owners of this property in Marlow to clean and seal the Limestone tiled kitchen floor which was in a heavily soiled condition and it was apparent that the tiles and the grout lines hadn’t been professionally cleaned for some time.
Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor
To lift the ingrained soiling and restore the grout we started by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was hand scrubbed into the grout lines with a stiff grout brush, this was followed up with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which returned the grout lines to the original colour. The resultant soiled solutions were then removed from the floor with the aid of fresh water and an industrial wet vacuum.
Polishing Limestone Tiles
Our next task was to re-hone the stones using the Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pad system which cleans and polishes natural stone returning it to its original condition. The pads come in a set of four and you start with the coarse pad together with a little water. This this cuts through and removes surface grime, dirt and any remaining sealer. The floor is then rinsed and you move on through the remaining pads until the polish has been restored to the tiles. This process took up much of the first day so the floor was given a final rinse and left to dry overnight.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
On the second day we returned to find the tiles had dried and as expected and we started to seal the tile which we did with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone bringing out the natural colours whilst providing that all important lasting protection.
The customer was amazed with the clean appearance of her tiled floors and said it had transformed her house ready to live in.
Limestone is a natural stone with a lot of unique character and surface features with each tile being uniquely different from the last. These surface characteristics however can however make a stone very difficult to clean and unless sealed can result in dirt becoming trapped and ingrained. These particular Limestone tiles installed throughout the downstairs floor of a house in Corby are known as Crushed Edge Limestone and have an increased susceptibility to this issue. As you can see from the photographs below the crevices in the tile have become black with trapped dirt which has proved very difficult to clean.
Cleaning Crushed Edge Limestone
Limestone is a very hard surface that has to be burnished with diamond encrusted pads to restore the finish so we set about this task using a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads. Before starting however we soaked the floor in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbed this into the tile surface spending particular attention on the grout lines; this process gets a head start on the cleaning and also remove any grit etc. that might cause problems before burnishing. The soiled solution was then rinsed away using water and all was removed using a wet vacuum.
Burnishing Crushed Edge Limestone
The burnishing pads come in a set of four, you start with the coarse pad together with a little water and this cut’s through and removes surface grime and any remaining surface sealer. The resultant slurry is washed away and you then progress through the other finer pads one by one until you get to the final polishing pad which provides a nice shine. You need to rinse the tiles in-between and use a wet vacuum to remove the slurry.
Sealing Crushed Edge Limestone
When we came back the next day we tested a few areas for dampness before starting to seal the floor, this is an important step for this type of tile as it can easily trap dirt. We chose Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal for this, it’s a natural look impregnating sealer that occupies the tiny pores in the stone preventing dirt and other contaminates from becoming ingrained, two coats were sufficient. Once the sealer had fully dried we went over it with a white buffing pad to finish.
This Limestone tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in the town Market Harborough, Leicestershire. The tiles were quite dirty and had become ingrained with dirt which hopefully you can see from the photograph below.
Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor
Before commencing cleaning we remove the kick boards from the kitchen units and applied a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to dwell on the tile for twenty minutes before being worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing black pad. We also used Remove and Go along the grout lines but scrubbed them using a stiff grout brush by hand to get them clean. When we were happy with the results the soiled cleaning solution was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product before sealing.
Sealing the Limestone Floor
The floor was left to dry overnight and we came back the next day to seal the tiles checking first that the floor had dried out. To customer wanted a matt appearance so to seal the tiles a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied, Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone occupying them so other contaminates can’t become ingrained in the stone, it also lifts the natural colours in the Limestone tiles as well. Once the sealer had dried I then finished it all off with a quick buff using a white buffing pad.
Details below of a Limestone Tiled Floor that I recently cleaned and sealed at a residence in Westminster in the heart of London. The tiles were not looking the best and after deciding to do something about the owner searched the internet for a solution saw my website and emailed to book me in 2 months before.
Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor
I arrived on site at the agreed time and decided to scrub the floor first using a hot 4:1 dilution 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 medium brush head. The soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was then rinsed down with fresh clean water. Doing this removed a lot of dirt, that was ingrained in the stone, and by using the brush it got into the recesses of the grout, once I had done this the floor looked great but I could see it would still needed to be burnished to restore the original appearance.
Burnishing Limestone Floor Tiles
We used a set of diamond encrusted 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, Travertine and Marble, the come in a set of four and you start with the Coarse pad together with plain water and this cuts through and removes surface grime and any surface seal. You then progress through the Medium, Fine and Superfine polishing pads one to achieve a high polish.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
The floor was left to dry and I returned a couple of days later to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the colours in natural stone, finally buffing the floor using a soft white buffing pad.
The lady was really pleased with the result and left a nice testimonial on the tiled doctor website, she has also booked me in to sort out two bathroom floors (one Marble and one Limestone) and she has also booked me in to carry out the cleaning of all her carpets.