This 50 m2 Limestone tiled floor at an old thatched cottage in Slough had unfortunately been stained following a radiator system leak which covered the tiles in dirty radiator water and sludge. The limestone tiles had been laid on a floor without a screed damp proofing membrane which resulted in the release of efflorescent mineral salts rising up through the stone from the soil beneath. This left a constant layer of reforming fine salt on the surface of the stone which looked like fine dust. The water had also damaged the surface of the stone leaving patches of dull etched stone next to clean polished areas.
Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor
To encourage the stone to dry out thoroughly we left a number of dehumidifiers in the room for a week and increased the room temperature. Once the stone was dry, it stopped releasing effloresce salts and we were able to restore the surface polish by burnishing the floor.
Burnishing involves stripping back the Limestone surface using a set of burnishing pads, these diamond encrusted pads come in a number of grades and each one does a different job. I started with the coarse pad together with water removed the slurry with a wet vacuum, rinsed the floor and then carried on with the medium, fine and super fine pads using the same processes until the surface was polished again. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a green buffing pad to buff the floor up.
Sealing the Limestone Floor
The next step was to seal the Limestone with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will provide a durable protective sealer against future staining. The result was an even, polished limestone tiled floor with a durable sealing to protect against future soiling and staining.
This Limestone tiled floor was located in the entrance hall of a residential property in Burford. I popped round following a cleaning enquiry to provide a quote and did a sample clean on a test area, I was then asked if I could do the whole floor there and then and not wanting to disappoint I managed to shuffle a few appointments round and got on with it.
Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles
To get the best from this floor I used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which if you have read any of my previous posts you will remember we always recommend these for hard stone floors such as Limestone, Travertine and Marble. They come in four different grades from coarse to very fine and you work your way through them starting off with the coarse stripper pad with a little just water and then carry on with the remaining pads which are a finer and finer grade until the floor is thoroughly cleaned, polished and any previous sealer removed. Next step was to use Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a stiff brush to get the grout clean. When done the floor was washed down with water which was then removed from the tile using a wet vacuum and 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.
The customer was very pleased with the results so much so she booked me to clean the grout on her kitchen floor.