Shine Restored on Dull Limestone Floor Tiles in Harrogate

I was recently at a property in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate, undertaking what I initially thought would be the cleaning and polishing of a Cream Limestone tiled kitchen. However, as I began the cleaning process I quickly discovered that under the dirty grout lines someone had taken a lot of effort to paint with a small brush directly onto the grout using varnish!

Cream limestone floor before cleaning Harrogate Cream limestone floor before cleaning Harrogate

Removing Varnish from Grout

In a normal situation, I would have covered the whole floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go to solve the problem, however compared to, say, adhesive or paint staining, varnish is very difficult to remove. So instead I opted for the long, yet necessary process of cleaning the grout manually with several thin wire brushes. Over the course of two days I managed to remove approximately 90% of the stubborn varnish – and could finally move onto cleaning and polishing the Limestone as originally planned.

Burnishing and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The polish had been lost from the Limestone kitchen tiles over time, so I set about restoring it using a type of polishing known as burnishing. This involves the application of diamond encrusted pads of varying grit to the floor to gradually buff the stone and achieve an aesthetic and durable shine. Burnishing is most commonly used on high-end stone such as Marble, Travertine and, of course, Limestone.

At Tile Doctor, our burnishing system comprises four burnishing pads, ranging from a Coarse grit to a Very Fine grit. After applying the first three pads (Coarse, Medium and Fine), I gave the tiles a further clean with Tile a Doctor Pro Clean, which is our alkaline cleaner, to remove any residue from the burnishing process. I then rinsed the floor with clean water and soaked up the residue with a wet vacuum, before leaving it to dry.

The floor was then polished to a satin finish using the fourth and final Extra Fine burnishing pad. I sealed it using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, an impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum protection against dirt and stains.

Cream limestone floor after cleaning Harrogate Cream limestone floor after cleaning Harrogate

The combination of burnishing and sealing always makes a huge difference to Limestone tiles. Here, the finished result was almost like a new floor! The customer was both amazed and very pleased with the transformation.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in North Yorkshire

Maintaining the Polish on Limestone Floor Tiles

These Limestone tiles had been laid in a modern property in Witham, an Essex town that sits between Chelmsford and Colchester. The property owners had spent many hours over the years cleaning and sealing the floor to maintain its condition, but while the tiles were in certainly in good shape, they had lost their shine and lustre. The result was quite a dull looking floor that could certainly be improved on.

When the property owners contacted me about the problem, I informed them that due to the hardness of the stone only a process known as burnishing, which involves cleaning and polishing with special gritted pads instead of a liquid product, would do the trick to restore the Limestone tiles.

Burnishing a Limestone Tiled Floor

We use burnishing to restore several types polished stone to looking their best, including Limestone, Marble, and Travertine. Tile Doctor’s burnishing system consists of four diamond encrusted twister pads with varying levels of grit. The pads are graded so that each hones the stone to a greater degree than the previous one, resulting in the build-up of a durable polish and shine on the stone.

Using a small amount of water as lubrication, I worked my way through the system, applying each pad in succession, beginning with the Coarse grit pad, before on to Medium, Fine and Very Fine pads. While polishing the tiles, the diamond encrusted pads also serves to break down any dirt. Thankfully, these tiles were already well taken care off and were not currently suffering from heavy soil build up.

After completing the burnishing process, I promptly rinsed away any cleaning slurry and left the floor to dry.

Limestone tiles before cleaning Witham Limestone tiles after cleaning Witham

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

I returned the property once the floor had dried completely to seal the tiles, with my choice of sealer being Tile Doctor Colour Grow. I applied three coats of the sealer to the tiles, before buffing them for a final time.

Colour Grow is an ideal sealer for Limestone for two main reasons. Firstly, it is an impregnating sealer, meaning it penetrates deep into the pores of the Limestone to provide robust protection against ingrained dirt. Secondly, it contains colour intensifying properties which enhance the natural colours in the Limestone.

I took a couple of photographs before and after (above) in which you can see a significant improvement in the shine and lustre of the Limestone tiles. Most of the cream and tan shades in the Limestone were practically invisible before the burnishing was carried out and a fresh seal was applied – now the tiles stand out as the most prominent feature of the room. Needless to say, the customer was very satisfied.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in North Essex

Maintaining White Limestone Floor Tiles

Knaresborough is a historic town in North Yorkshire, popular amongst holiday goers for its numerous attractions. I travelled to the area not to visit the attractions, however, but to visit a customer, whose fantastic white Limestone tiled floor was in need of a deep clean.

White Limestone Floor Before Cleaning in Knaresborough

Limestone is a porous material, meaning that without a sealer dirt can become easily trapped in the pores of the stone, as well as the grout. With this Limestone being naturally white, the dirt was particularly visible, making the tiles look very unsightly. Once deep cleaned the floor would also require a fresh seal to provide long-term protection against muck and stains.

White Limestone Floor Before Cleaning in Knaresborough

Burnishing a Dirty White Limestone Floor

To treat high end, polished stone floors such as Limestone and Marble, we recommend using the process of burnishing. Simply put, burnishing involves the application of diamond encrusted pads of varying grits, which serve to break down dirt and then polish the stone.

Typically, we use a set of four pads in gradual succession; here, I used the first three pads on the first day. Starting with the Coarse grit pad, along with a little water as lubrication, I polished the Limestone, before repeating the process with Medium and Fine pads to refine the polish.

On the same day, I also cleaned the grout using a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (a high alkaline cleaner) and three parts water. On Limestone floors you should take care to avoid even mildly acidic cleaning products as sensitive stones like Limestone and Travertine can be damaged over time. After successfully cleaning the dirt grout lines, I rinsed the floor before using a wet-vac machine to soak up the residue. The floor was then left to fully dry overnight.

Sealing a White Limestone Floor

The next day, I returned to the property to complete the restoration. Before sealing the tiles, I applied the fourth and final of the burnishing pads to achieve a Very Fine polish.

White Limestone Floor After Cleaning in Knaresborough

To seal the tiles, I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, the customer didn’t want to darken the stone in the way that a colour enhancing sealer might. Additionally, the customer required a more natural finish, which this product provides.

Then, I polished the excess sealer off with a white buffing pad and left it to dry for an hour, before polishing a final time with the Very Fine grit burnishing pad. With this method, the floor was perfectly dry and the customer could walk on the tiles as soon as I left.

White Limestone Floor After Cleaning in Knaresborough

Before leaving my very satisfied customer to enjoy their newly restored Limestone floor, I made sure to impart some aftercare advice. I recommend Tile Doctor Stone Soap for the Limestone (and other polished stone) as its helps to retain the sheen whilst also acting as a general cleaning agent.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in North Yorkshire

Removing Limescale from Limestone Shower Tiles

Sometimes, Tile Doctor customers will have more than one tiled area in need of professional maintenance. At this house in Wandsworth, South London; I was commissioned to clean and seal firstly a Limestone tiled kitchen floor, and a Limestone tiled shower unit.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Wandsworth

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Kitchen Floor

I started with the Limestone tiled kitchen floor which, like many other stone floors had not been treated to the correct regular care and had become dull and dirty over time as a result.

My first task involved applying Tile Doctor Remove & Go stripper in order to break down any old surface sealant and dirt. Then, I began the burnishing process, which essentially involves polishing with pads of varying grit. I started with a Medium 800 grit burnishing pad to provide an initial polish and grind away ingrained dirt, before refining this with a Fine 1500 grit pad to achieve a smooth surface. The burnishing pads are used in combination with a small amount of water.

Limestone Floor During Cleaning Wandsworth

After leaving the floor to dry for 24 hours, I sealed the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This will provide durable surface protection for the future and also further accentuate the great natural shades in the Limestone. To add the finishing touches, I buffed the floor with a soft white buffing pad.

Limestone Floor After Burnishing Wandsworth

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Shower Unit

During the time it took for the Limestone tiled kitchen floor to dry, I set my sights on tackling the shower unit. The unit was suffering from a terrible amount of limescale, which would need to be removed using a set of hand held burnishing pads. Limescale deposits build up on surfaces which come into contact with hard water, and can become very unsightly if not dealt with promptly.

Limestone Shower Tiles Before Cleaning Wandsworth

This proved to be a more awkward job thanks to the intricate Limestone fittings on the shower walls. I used the smaller 6-inch burnishing pads fitted to a hand buffer, while for the kitchen floor I naturally used the larger sized pads attached to a heavy weight buffing machine.

With the limescale as bad as it was, I started to grind it off with a Very Coarse 120 grit burnishing pad, before working my way up gradually through the system of pads – each time using a slightly finer grit pad until I finished with the Ultra Fine 3000 grit pad and the surface finish had been restored.

Limestone Shower Tiles After Cleaning Wandsworth

Following this, I removed the silicone sealant around the shower fittings, and dealt with the mould growing behind it.

On the second day of work, I sealed both the kitchen floor and the shower unit. Much like the kitchen floor, the shower unit was sealed using Colour Grow to ensure long lasting protection, and fresh silicon was also fitted.

Two days of work and two rejuvenated Limestone features later, I was left with a very happy customer.

Limestone Shower Tiles Before and After Cleaning Wandsworth

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Restoration Service in Surrey

Polishing and Sealing Grey Limestone Floor Tiles

This beautiful Grey Limestone tiled floor in the small village of Barton had been installed by a tile company but had not been treated in any way. The customer had been told by the tile shop that the stone in question would have to be sealed. After doing her own research and finding us at Tile Doctor I went to see what could be achieved.

Grey Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Barton

Polishing a Limestone tiled floor

As the floor was new I was able to get straight into polishing the Limestone with a set of four diamond encrusted Burnishing pads fitted to a rotary floor machine. I started with a course burnishing pad lubricated with a little water and then this was followed by the medium, fine and very fine pads to achieve the desired effect giving the floor a quick rinse in-between each pad.

Grey Limestone Floor During Cleaning Barton

As you can see from the photographs going over the full floor with each pad I managed to achieve a great polish on the floor and it was soon ready to be sealed.

Grey Limestone Floor After Cleaning Barton

Sealing a Limestone tiled floor

After polishing, the only task remaining was to provide the floor with a durable seal that would protect the Limestone from staining. I did this by applying a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, natural-look penetrating sealer that is specially designed to provide maximum stain protection from within.

Grey Limestone Floor After Cleaning Barton

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Yorkshire

Maintaining A Large Pristine Honed Limestone Floor

This customer owned a large house in Uckfield, East Grinstead with honed Limestone tiled flooring throughout the whole downstairs, which comprised the living room, dining room and kitchen.

The Limestone floor was in good condition and had been treated to regular professional care, however, the customer wanted the floor to be pristine and I was asked to further refine the appearance of the floor. Limestone is a very tough stone so this is done primarily through the process of burnishing using diamond encrusted pads.

Burnishing Honed Limestone Tiles

I began with the dining room area, first shifting the furniture out of the way to allow space for the burnishing to take place, before bringing in my three main tools: the buffing machine, a set of four diamond burnishing pads, and the wet-vacuum.

To start the process, I attached the red coarse grit pad to the buffer, and then, using a litre of water per square metre as lubrication, I cleaned and stripped away any existing sealer. Since, Limestone is particularly porous, I limited myself to working on nine tiles at a time.

Once I’d removed any excess residue with the wet-vacuum, I changed to the blue medium grit pad, repeated the cleaning process, and again soaked up the soiled residue. Finally, I completed the process once more with the yellow fine grit pad. Once this was completed I buffed the floor with a soft white pad to clean up any dried residue, leaving it ready to be sealed.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Two days later, once the floor was completely dry, I returned to the property to seal and polish the floor. To begin, I restored the shine to the tiles by applying the last of the four burnishing pads – the green very fine grit.

I then used the three cloth method to apply Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, a solvent-based, impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the Limestone to provide durable protection against ingrained dirt. Colour enhancing sealers such as Tile Doctor Colour Grow were available to the customer, but he stated that he was very happy with the current appearance and wanted the more natural look.

After an hour, the floor was ready to be buffered once again with the very fine pad, which I attached to a hand held buffing machine to work around the corners and electrical sockets.

Polished Limestone Floor After Being Maintained in Uckfield

Given the size of the property, this job took me three days – a day spent in each room. The customer was very exact with his requirements, and was very happy with the results, being left with fantastic looking Limestone tiles throughout the entire downstairs of the house.

Polished Limestone Floor After Being Maintained in Uckfield

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Maintenance Service in East Sussex

Jura Limestone Floor Restored after Flood Damage

The recent winter floods had a devastating effect on Cumbria, with many houses suffering severe damage from exposure to the water. This property in Kirkby Lonsdale had been flooded, and while the contract cleaners had made some basic repairs, the Jura Limestone floor had been left dull and patchy, and in dire need of a professional restoration.

Jura Limestone Before Burnishing Kirkby Londsdale

Jura Limestone has been in use for over 180 million years and is an absolutely top quality stone, consisting of up to 97% dense calcium carbonate. Thanks to its density it is far less porous than other types of Limestone available on the market. Generally speaking, this makes it easy to look after as it is more difficult for dirt to become ingrained.

Jura Limestone Before Burnishing Kirkby Londsdale

Burnishing and Cleaning a Jura Limestone floor

To restore the surface of the floor we used a process known as burnishing, which achieves particularly good results on polished stone tiles. It involves the application of several burnishing pads with different grades of grit to break down any old sealer and dirt, and to gradually smooth and polish the rough surface of the tiles.

In this case, I worked my way through through the four pad system, starting with a Coarse pad lubricated with a little water before moving on to Medium, Fine and Very Fine pads to achieve the desired polished finish.

Following this, we decided that the grout would also benefit from a special clean with Tile Doctor Pro Clean, and so applied the high alkaline cleaner to tackle the outstanding stains and dirt. The whole floor was then rinsed with clean water to remove any remaining slurry and then left to dry.

Sealing a Jura Limestone floor

We returned to the property the following day, by which time the floor had dried completely. I gave the tiles another polish with an Extra Fine burnishing pad, before proceeding to seal the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone to provide durable protection whilst enhancing the natural shades in the Limestone.

Jura Limestone After Burnishing Kirkby Londsdale

Finally, I gave the floor one last polish with the Extra Fine burnishing pad just to tighten up the hone and polish off any extra sealer.

Jura Limestone After Burnishing Kirkby Londsdale

You can see the results in the corresponding photographs, and needless to say, the customers were exceptionally pleased to have their fantastic floor back to looking its best, especially considering the significant damage caused by the floods.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Restoration Service in Lancashire

Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

When given the right care, a polished Limestone floor can be an amazing asset to any house. If neglected, however, the tiles can quickly discolour from wear, especially in areas of high traffic, such as the kitchen.

Such was the case at this house in the small, picturesque town of Cowbridge, in South East Wales. My client had contacted Tile Doctor to see what could be done to improve the condition of the tile and grout which, as you can see from the photographs had not been properly maintained.

To get the floor back to its best it would need to be burnished which is a process that rejuvenating the appearance of polished stone through the application of different grades of diamond encrusted floor pads from coarse to very fine.

Re-Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

Before beginning the burnishing process, I made sure to check that there were no inherent moisture issues using a damp meter, the home owner had informed me beforehand that the floor did have a damp proof membrane installed however it is always a good precaution to check and additionally it provides a good baseline for later when checking the floor has dried after cleaning.

Polished Limestone Before Burnishing Cowbridge Polished Limestone Before Burnishing Cowbridge

Burnishing and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The Tile Doctor burnishing system consists of four main burnishing pads. I began by applying the coarse pad to the tiles lubricated with a little water, before rinsing the floor and moving on to medium and fine grit pads again lubricating with water and rinsing after each pad. After finishing with the third pad, I paused to rinse the entire area a thorough rinse extracting the resulting waste with a wet-vac machine.

Polished Limestone During Burnishing Cowbridge

I then paid special attention to cleaning the grout lines, which had turned black in places. I applied undiluted Tile Doctor Pro Clean and agitated the grout lines with a stiff scrubbing brush to restore the original colour. This was followed by another thorough rinse.

Polished Limestone After Cleaning Cowbridge

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

I left the floor to dry overnight, before completing the burnishing process by applying the final very fine grit pad which adds that aesthetically pleasing shine. I used the damp meter to check the floor had dried and once I was happy I began the sealing process with the application of three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a great choice for Limestone as it penetrates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within whilst enhancing the natural colours in the Limestone. As a final step and to ensure there were no unappealing marks left on the floor, I went back over the floor once more with the fine grit burnishing pad.

Polished Limestone After Burnishing Cowbridge

What was once a dull stone floor with dirty grout lines has now been restored back to its original condition and with the correct maintenance going forward should stay that way for some time.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Polishing Service in South Wales

Restoring the Appearance of Limestone Floor Tiles

The owner of this house in the town of Kislingbury, Northampton called me in because her sealer wasn’t performing very well and the floor had only been cleaned and sealed 6 months previous by her builders contractor. Although the rest of the floor was in very good condition there were quite a few tiles that were being easily scratched from day to day use and stained from liquid spills which should have been easy to remove.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury Before Cleaning

It isn’t always the case that a whole floor is in poor condition, it can be just the high foot traffic areas or just a few damaged tiles either way it can spoil the appearance of the entire feature.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury Before Cleaning

Upon initial contact with my client, we talked through the work the previous contractors had carried out. Then, upon testing the affected areas of the floor, I discovered that that the sealant had been applied very patchily, meaning it had better coverage in some areas than others. I also speculated that the underfloor heating in the room may have affected the curing of the sealant as it dried.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

Even though this work was carried out in January, with outside temperatures of -2 degrees, I insisted that the underfloor heating was turned off to eliminate the potential of it impacting the performance of any products used during the restoration.

I began by stripping off all of the old sealer with the coarse pad from the Tile Doctor burnishing system. I then diluted a solution of the high alkaline cleaner Tile Doctor Pro Clean and this was mainly applied to clean the grout lines because as I previously mentioned, the condition of the tiles was generally speaking very good. The solution was allowed to dwell for approximately ten minutes, before I proceeded to agitate the area with a scrubbing brush to remove ingrained dirt. The floor was then finished off using the rest of the pads in the burnishing pad system to restore the surface shine and then rinsed down with water to remove the slurry.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

After allowing the floor adequate time to dry, I sealed it with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which provides not only a durable surface seal, but also contains properties which intensify the natural colours in the Limestone.

I completed the seal with the underfloor heating off and this allowed the sealer to cure properly. Just to make sure, I also tested several different areas for water repellency – it was only after that I allowed my client to put the heating back on!

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury After Cleaning

The photos really show the difference made in the appearance of those areas of the floor that were once stained. Needless to say that the several days of work were really worth it to get this Limestone tiled floor back to looking its best. With a deep clean and robust, properly applied sealer, this floor will be protected against damage for a long time to come.

Limestone Tiles Kislingbury After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Cleaning and Maintaining Limestone Tiles in Northamptonshire

Restoring Cracked Limestone Conservatory Floor

Here is a job I completed late last year in the charming tranquil village of Grafton UnderwoodFlagstone tiled Living Room which you will find I have written about previously.

This second floor was Polished Limestone that had been laid in their conservatory. The floor was not only was in dire need of a thorough clean and fresh seal, but was also suffering from cracks in some areas.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning

Repairing a Limestone tiled conservatory

My first task was to address the multiple cracks in the floor, which I repaired by filling with a colour matching filler.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning

I also managed to remove some displeasing rust marks ruining the appearance of the floor by using Tile Doctor Rust Away. Rust Away is used to remove embedded rust stains on any type of Stone or Clay-based tile.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood After Polishing

Cleaning a Limestone tiled conservatory

I then gave the conservatory floor a thorough clean, focusing first on the grout with Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner that’s safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout.

The Limestone tiles were then cleaned and re-polished with Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. I started with the Coarse burnishing pad to remove dirt and old sealer before moving through the other pads from Medium to Fine, stopping to lubricate and rinsing the area with a little water after burnishing with each pad.

Sealing a Limestone tiled conservatory

After completing the clean, I left the conservatory to dry fully overnight. Upon my return to the house the next day, I ran damp tests to confirm the floor was dry enough to take the sealant, and then proceeded to seal the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood After Polishing Limestone Tiled Conservatory Grafton Underwood After Polishing

Colour Grow is a sealant which offers a robust surface seal, while also enhancing the natural colours in the stone. It also offers an aesthetically pleasing matte finish, which is exactly what my client had requested.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

The Importance of Sealing Limestone Tiled Floors

This customer from the historic city of Cardiff was keen to see what Tile Doctor could do to put some life back into their treasured Limestone kitchen floor that was laid in 2008. My first observations were mainly centred on the horrific condition of the surface which although adequately sealed initially the floor had not received any subsequent maintenance and its condition had deteriorated over time. The light shining in from the patio doors highlighted all the imperfections in the floor caused by surface wear and tear commonly seen in high traffic areas such as a kitchen.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cardiff

Upon closer inspection, there were further problems: the floor was stained and scuffed, and in most places the sealer had worn off completely allowing the dirt to become ingrained into the pores of the Limestone. Additionally the grout was recessed but was now flush with the tile surface due to dirt build-up. There were also areas contaminated with grease and kitchen cooking oil.

The Limestone floor tiles were 20mm thick French Limestone, and had been laid very well so there was no requirement to do any tile or grout repairs however to get this floor back to its original condition the surface would need to be reconditioned using the Tile Doctor four stage burnishing system.

Restoring a French Limestone Floor

I started by giving the floor a wash with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, focusing mainly on the grout lines in order to remove the muck that had built-up there. I used a special stiff grout brush for this activity; it’s quite narrow and ideal for grout scrubbing.

This worked well, but the significant build-up of dirt along some of the grout lines meant more work was required. I tackled this problem with a hand scraper assisted with steam. At the end of this process, the whole floor was then rinsed down with water to remove any soil and the resulting slurry was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Grout Steam Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Grout Steam Cleaning Cardiff

Burnishing French Limestone Tiles

The next step was to start the burnishing process, which basically involves applying four diamond encrusted floor pads in sequence over the floor. Each pad is a different grade, starting with the most abrasive coarse pad and moving through to the finer grades using a little water to lubricate and rinsing away any slurry between each pad.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Cardiff

I eventually finished with the extra fine pad which builds up shine and lustre on the tile; it had taken two days to clean the grout and burnish the Limestone but the floor was much improved and so after a final rinse down I left the floor to dry off overnight with the aid of the underfloor heating.

During this time, I also addressed the stained Limestone in the area of the kitchen where the dustbin was situated. This had been a major upset for the customer and I’m happy to report I managed to deal with it. However, it was quite an involved process, so I’ll write about this in a separate post.

Sealing a Limestone tiled kitchen floor

On the third day I came back to seal the floor, checking first that it had dried sufficiently with a damp meter. Fortunately, the underfloor heating had done a great job of drying the stone and I was able to seal the floor using three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant. This sealant not only provides a durable seal but also penetrates deep into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the Limestone in the process.

After the final layer of sealant, I worked over the floor again with the extra fine burnishing pad both to add shine again following sealing, and to ensure that no smear marks were visible as the lighting conditions were unforgiving and highlighted any imperfections.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cardiff

The customer was delighted with the results: so much so, in fact, that they booked me in to restore their Victorian hallway floor as well but that’s a story for another time!
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Restoration Service in South Wales

Deep Cleaning a Filthy Limestone Tiled Kitchen

Recently I visited a client in the town of Maidenhead, Berkshire who needed assistance restoring a very dirty pitted Limestone tiled floor which had suffered over the years due to poor maintenance choices. The pressures of a busy family life had, understandably, prevented my client from undertaking regular cleaning and the products and methods used for cleaning were by and large unsuitable for this type of natural stone. In addition, the pits in the tiles had been filled with grout; however, they were not flush to the tile and therefore a large amount of soil had collected in the pockets. The result was a Limestone tiled floor in considerably poor condition that was increasingly difficult to keep clean.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Maidenhead Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Maidenhead

My client had tried and tried to get the floor clean, using methods such as scrubbing with toothbrushes, steam cleaners, and mopping – but they weren’t getting anywhere! I explained to my client that steaming is, in fact, one of the worst cleaning systems to use on natural stone floors. Steam not only damages sealers, it also thins out greasy soils. Some of these soils are absorbed onto the domestic microfiber pads, however a lot of the soil becomes thinner allowing it to penetrate deeper into the pours of the stone and grout. This in itself starts the vicious circle to rapidly soiled and dirty tiles and grout. This happens because the grease soils magnetise dirt!

Solution: cleaning a Limestone tiled floor

My first task in the cleaning process was to mix a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner. This solution was applied liberally across the entire Limestone tiled floor and grout. It was allowed to dwell for 30-40 minutes, giving it time to seep into the stone to get underneath and lift the ingrained dirt to the surface. During this time, I scrubbed the grout lines using a specialist stiff grout brush. The Limestone tiles were then scrubbed with heavy mechanical rotary agitation machine.

Limestone Floor During Cleaning Maidenhead Limestone Floor During Cleaning Maidenhead

I then gave the floor a thorough rinse using the latest in cleaning and capture technology, which involves firing hot water at high pressure in a spinning motion across the floor, in effect blasting away the ingrained soils from the grout and pitting in the limestone. The high pressure is delivered from a system mounted inside my van which also contains waste tanks to capture the extracted soiled water.

Solution: sealing a Limestone tiled floor

After being allowed to dry thoroughly for 24 hours, I returned to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which would have brought out the deep colours in the stone, however after discussing the options with the client it became clear that they wanted to keep the floor looking as light as possible so Tile Doctor Ultra Seal was applied. Ultra Seal is a natural look impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone and protects it from within.

Limestone Floor After Cleaning Maidenhead Limestone Floor After Cleaning Maidenhead

The floor now looks fantastic and the sealer should ensure it remains looking that way for some time to come and before leaving I made sure to provide my client with some professional maintenance advice.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Cleaning and Sealing service in Berkshire

Refurbishing Limestone Floor Tiles

I was recently contacted by a client who lives in the small coastal town of Bridlington, East Yorkshire. Bridlington has a small sea fishing port known for its great shellfish.

My client had a Limestone floor that was really in need of a fresh up: over the years the tiles had become dull and worn-looking, and she was keen to restore a nice shine to the surface. I was on hand to treat the floor to a much needed clean, polish and seal.

Limestone Tiled Floor Bridlington Before Burnishing Limestone Tiled Floor Bridlington Before Burnishing

Cleaning and polishing a Limestone tiled floor

My first job was to strip off the old sealer. I did this using a coarse diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The floor was then given a thorough rinse with clean water to clear off any dirt and excess sealer. Following this, the excess water was quickly soaked up with a wet-dry vac machine to make sure there was no leftover moisture, as this could have potentially affected the performance of the new sealer (which I would apply at a later stage).

To polish the floor I continued with the system of burnishing pads, starting first with a medium burnishing pad, followed by the fine and very fine pads to achieve the desired effect. The result was a very nice overall sheen.

Sealing a Limestone tiled floor

After cleaning and polishing, the only task remaining was to provide the floor with a durable seal. I did this using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, natural-look penetrating sealer that is specially designed to provide maximum stain protection from within. This particular product is suitable for use on a range of different natural stone floors, including Limestone, Slate, Granite, Marble and Travertine.

Limestone Tiled Floor Bridlington After Burnishing Limestone Tiled Floor Bridlington After Burnishing

Overall, my client was very happy with the results. As you can see from the photographs, the clean, polish and seal made a marked difference on the condition of the floor, turning the tiles from dull and lifeless to full of character and colour once again.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in East Yorkshire

Limestone Patio Maintenance

Earlier in the year I was contacted by a client down in Broadstone (a town supposedly named after a local legend) to revamp 100 square metres of black Limestone patio, which hadn’t looked right ever since it was first laid. The main problem was water ingress where water had been allowed to seep into the stone due to a poor sealing job. This had caused natural salts to form, and the resulting rough surface had collected grout haze at installation. I decided to run a test on a small patch of the patio to determine the best methods for cleaning and removing the grout haze.

Cleaning Limestone patio with water ingress and grout haze

I decided to conduct my test on just one square metre of the Limestone patio. First of all, I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up on the grout, a cleaner which helped to remove the grout haze by penetrating beneath the surface and lifting the muck out.

After cleaning the grout I moved onto cleaning the tile itself, using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and clean water in combination with a black buffing pad. After achieving some great results with this cleaning method, I left the test area to dry completely before the seal, as any excess moisture left on the surface could potentially affect the performance of the sealer.

Sealing the Limestone patio

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a multi-use product which works well on both internal and external unpolished surfaces. One of the great things about Colour Grow is that it is a colour intensifying sealer, meaning it really helped to bring out the black colour in the Limestone which had previously been affected by dirt and water ingress. The sealer will also provide durable protection against these types of problems in the future.

black limestone patio test clean patch in Broadstone

As you can see from the photos, the result of my test was very good – the stone became almost completely black once again, and the defects in the grout were successfully removed. Nonetheless, I decided to leave the test patch for a month to see how well it withstood the effects of the weather. The test patch proved very durable – proving that the sealing had been done properly this time – and my client subsequently hired me to restore the remaining 99 square metres of patio!
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in Dorset

Restoring the Look of a Limestone Patio

This was a job I did earlier in May this year where I was asked to clean this lovely Limestone patio installed at the rear of a house in Haddenham near Thame on the Oxfordshore borders which had succumbed to the ravages of the English winter weather and was far from looking its best.

As a Tile Doctor and carpet technician I have invested a lot in powerful high pressure machinery that can make light work of interior and exterior installations so taking on this patio was not a problem and it was nice to work outside for a change.

Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Haddenham

Power washing a Limestone Patio

On arrival I set-up the high pressure equipment and then proceeded to pressure wash the patio in order to get the worst of the dirt out of the tile. Then I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell for thirty minutes. The next process was to use a deck brush to scrub the cleaner into the stubborn areas and then rinse the patio with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum. After letting it dry I then had to re clean the worst areas again following the same process until I was satisfied with the condition of the tile.

Limestone Patio After Cleaning Haddenham

Sealing a Limestone patio

The patio soon dried in the warm sun and later that day I was able to seal it using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that can be used internally and externally, it works really on Limestone and did well to bring out the natural colours in the stone.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in Oxfordshire

Putting the Polish Back on Limestone Floor Tiles

I was recently engaged to refresh the Limestone tiled floor at a house in St. John’s Wood, which is a very affluent area and apparently has the 5th most expensive postcode in London so as you can imagine this was a very expensive floor. The client had requested an improvement condition of the Limestone tiles in the living room and a thorough clean, polishing and seal was required. Over time, the floor in this busy living room – which was also used as a play area for young children – had become dirty and certainly worse for wear with all the use it had been getting. So, I set about my work to get this floor back to looking its best.

Cleaning and burnishing a Limestone floor

My initial task before beginning the cleaning process was to remove any furniture (as well as toys) from the room so I would have a clear area to work in. I then applied a layer of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean cleaner, diluted with water, to the floor. Pro-Clean is also suitable for use on other natural stone floors such as Slate, Granite and Travertine.

After leaving the solution to dwell for a period of a few minutes, I began to scrub the floor with a stiff hand brush. Whilst helping to remove a lot of the built up dirt on the surface of the tiles, the product also stripped off the old sealer and polish. Following this, I paid special attention to the dirty grout lines, cleaning them with Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro, a powerful, high-alkaline cleaner.

Limestone Floor London NW8 After Cleaning Grout Lines with Oxy Pro Limestone Floor London NW8 After Cleaning Grout Lines with Oxy Pro

After completing the cleaning, I rinsed the floor 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. I would recommend using this setup of four pads for restoring the appearance of polished stone floors; you starting with a coarse pad and the gradually work your way up to the very fine pad achieving a high polish finish in the process. I finished of the process with a quick rinse and a buffing pad to give the floor a final polish before I commenced the sealing.

Sealing a Limestone floor

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is specifically designed to not only provide durable surface protection, but also to intensify the colour of the tiles. The sealer penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing water resistance and long-term protection from ingrained dirt and stains. As you can see from the photos, the sealer really helped to accentuate the fantastic natural colours in the Limestone.

Limestone Floor London NW8 After Burnishing Limestone Floor London NW8 After Burnishing

My client was very pleased with the final result, and was amazed by how quickly I had been able to improve the state of her floor which, with a colourful and shiny finish, has really brightened up the living room.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in Central-London

Restoring the Appearance of Limestone Floor Tiles

Earlier this year I was contacted by a lady in Icklesham which is a small village near Hastings. My client requested a deep clean for her Limestone tiled kitchen floor which had, over time, become quite dirty, with the grout in particular being very much worse for wear. Limestone is a popular choice for tiled floors however it needs to be sealed to ensure dirt doesn’t get into the pores of the stone otherwise it becomes difficult to clean and if the sealer is not maintained it will wear down and the floor will lose its protection especially in high traffic areas such as kitchens.

Filthy Limestone Kitchen in Icklesham Before Cleaning Filthy Limestone Kitchen in Icklesham Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Limestone tiled kitchen floor

My product of choice for cleaning this floor was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which I found to be particularly effective in lifting ingrained dirt out of the grout. I used a stiff grout brush to work the solution of Pro-Clean diluted with warm water to work the cleaner deep into the grout. I also used a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and more Pro-Clean to lift the dirt out of the Limestone tiles. It wasn’t long before the dirty grout lines began to disappear, and the floor was well on its way to looking great again.

Once I’d also cleaned the nearby utility room, bathroom and cloakroom in a similar manner, I gave the floor a thorough rinse with fresh water before using a wet-dry vac machine to remove the soiled water from the surface of the tiles. I removed as much moisture from the Limestone tile and grout as possible to speed up the drying process as it’s important to ensure a stone floor is bone dry before sealing it as any excess moisture will compromise the sealer.

Applying Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to Limestone tiles

I left the floor for three days to dry before returning and used a damp meter on my return to confirm the floor was in-deed dry, spring had arrived and the sunshine really helped. My choice of sealer for the Limestone tiles was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a product which soaks into the pores of the stone to enhance the colour of tiles whilst also providing durable protection. In this case two coats of Colour Grow were applied and as you can see from the photographs this really did bring out the fantastic natural colours in the Limestone and exaggerate the shading. At the same time, the added surface protection will help the floor stay looking great for longer, even with a lot of usage.

Filthy Limestone Kitchen in Icklesham After Cleaning Filthy Limestone Kitchen in Icklesham After Cleaning

When she returned from dog walking, my client was so pleased with the final result that she almost screamed the house down! She was so pleased, in fact, that she promised to have me return every year to ensure her floor was maintained to a high standard. I was also really happy with my work, particularly in terms of getting the grout into far better condition than it had been before.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in East-Sussex

Restoring Grout Colour on a Limestone Floor

Recently, I was called to a work on a Limestone tiled floor in a house near Hove Park. Hove Park is a popular park in Hove, East Sussex, which was once opposite to the Goldstone Ground, the traditional home of Brighton and Hove Albion football club until the ground was demolished. My client informed me that the house was used a meeting place every Friday, and the high traffic of people was taking its toll on the floor.

Grout Colouring Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park Before Grout Colouring Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park Before

Cleaning a Limestone tiled floor

The floor was clearly in need of a good clean, especially the grout. You do need to take care when cleaning Limestone as it can be affected by the acidic substances you get in some cleaning products which can break down the surface of the Limestone and cause further damage. The results of my test clean showed the Limestone tiles responded well to the cleaning, but I was concerned about the grout, which was not cleaning very easily. I suspected that the grout had, in fact, been discoloured by a bleach-based cleaner, turning it grey. Bleach contains strong chemicals, so there is a good chance that any bleach-based cleaners used on tiled floors will discolour the grout over time. After discussing this issue with my client, I quoted separately for a possible grout recolour.

On the first day of working on the floor, I started the cleaning process using a black buffing pad attached to a floor buffer machine, in combination with a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which I applied to the floor. This combination really helped to remove the heavily built up grime and dirt. Although the tiles looked great after the clean, I still wasn’t convinced by the state of the grout. After drying a test area with a heat gun, I confirmed that the grout was not continuous in colour and would need a recolour to get it back to looking its best again.

Recolouring the grout

I left the rest of the floor to dry for a period of two days, allowing any residual moisture to evaporate, before returning to recolour the grout with a white Grout Colourant which was applied using a good old fashioned toothbrush and baby wipes to remove any excess. I was careful to apply thin, even coats in order to prevent the possibility of the Colourant staining the tile.

After several hours of knee-breaking work, the recolouring was complete, and I was extremely pleased to be able to show my client the finished product. She was very happy to be able to show off the floor to her friends, which was now white all the way through, without the dark lines caused by the discoloured grout.

Grout Colouring Limestone Tiled Floor in Hove Park After

Another satisfied client.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in East-Sussex

Cleaning Limestone Floors for that Luxury feel

This was a substantial engagement at a luxury rental apartment in Brighton rejuvenating the Limestone tiles in two bathrooms and a hallway taking six days of hard work. In addition, I would be working around two decorators, making for even more testing work conditions.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor Before Cleaning

Cleaning Limestone bathroom tiles

I first set to work on the smallest bathroom, which featured limestone tiles from floor to ceiling, as well as a large bath, copper sink and a tiled surround. Limestone is a very popular choice for interior and exterior decoration, but the tiles in this bathroom were in need of some care to get them looking their best again. My initial task was to strip away any previous sealer by hand; this was done using a mixture of warm water and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which, along with Limestone, is also suitable for use on other types of natural stone, such as Granite, Slate and Travertine. Pro-Clean serves both as an effective stripper and cleaner, meaning that once the sealer had been stripped away, the tiles also received a thorough clean. Once I had cleaned the tiles, I sucked up any excess water and residue using a Wet-Dry Vac machine.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom Before Cleaning
Since the tiles would have to be left to dry for a couple of days, I offered to restore the copper sink for the customer, even though this was not actually part of my job description. After conducting some research into copper cleaning, I opted to use a combination of lemon juice, vinegar and salt. The research paid off as, once I began to apply the solution to the sink, the bright orange and brown colours of the copper quickly rose to the surface. Within the space of an hour, I had transformed what initially appeared to be a ruined sink into a lovely, shimmering copper feature for the bathroom. Both the decorators and I were truly amazed at the results – but all credit goes to Google!

Brighton Luxury Flat Copper Sink Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Copper Sink After Cleaning

The larger of the two bathrooms was a much stiffer test for the Tile Doctor products. It had not been left in great condition, as the shower area had clearly not been sealed correctly, and the tiles had been left in such a manner that soap scum from shampoos, soaps and shower gels had built up on the window sill. In fact, the damage was significant enough that I had to explain to the customer before starting the work that whilst I could greatly improve the appearance of the tiles, I would not be able to restore them to new. This is because many shampoo and body wash products are acidic and can cause permanent damage to stone work especially when left to dwell for a long time.

My choice of product was Tile Doctor Mould Away, a formula which, over time, seeps deeply into the pores of the stone, effectively lifting away the muck. In cases of particularly stubborn areas, it is necessary to apply another covering of Mould Away and leave it for an extended period of time. This is exactly what I did over the next few days, leaving the product overnight to work its magic. The change was certainly drastic, if not perfect.

Brighton Luxury Flat Window Sill Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Window Sill After Cleaning

Cleaning and sealing the hallway and bathrooms

As both bathrooms required extended periods of drying, I spent two days working on the hallway, which had been partially covered with a plastic sealing for the previous six months due to building work. Needless to say, the hallway was in need of a good clean. I set about cleaning the hallway with a solution of warm water and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, before once again using a Wet-Dry Vac machine to remove any excess water to prepare the floor for sealing at a later point. It is very important to remove any residue of cleaning solution before sealing, as this may impact the performance of the sealer. Following this, I left the hallway to dry for two days, providing the builders with strict instructions to cover it with blankets for protection while they were working.

While the floor was drying, I sealed the bathrooms – both now fully dried – with Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer, a solvent-based sealer that was highly effective at enhancing the colour of the brown tiles around the sinks. The product will also provide durable surface protection. I spent the final of the six days sealing the hallway floor with Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides both a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable, low-sheen finish. This was an ideal choice of product, as the customer requested a hard-wearing, yet shiny finish.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom After Cleaning

The hard work really paid off, as both the customer and the decorators were very impressed with the final results in the two bathrooms and the hallway. I was extremely pleased that I was able to complete this big job to the highest possible standards.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor After Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor After Cleaning

Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning service in East Sussex

Deep Cleaning Textured Limestone Tiles

This property near the town of Horsham was a converted from a pig barn many years ago and had a lovely textured Limestone tiled floor installed on the ground floor kitchen and dinning room. The Limestone tile and adjacent grout were now looking rather grubby and we were asked if we would give them a deep clean and re-seal.

Textured Limestone Before Tile Cleaning in Horsham Textured Limestone Before Tile Cleaning in Horsham

Deep Cleaning Textured Limestone Tiles

Once I’d helped the customer move the furniture I set about soaking the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean applied with a deck brush and then left to dwell for around five minutes. Leaving the product to dwell on the tiles gives it time to break down and soften up and old sealer left of the tile making it easier to remove. To get the Pro-Clean worked into the tile and grout I used a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and ran a stiff brush along the grout lines. The result was immediate, especially the grout. I then rinsed the floor with warm water and extracted the now soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum.

After this I inspected the floor and re-treated any areas which need further attention using the same process giving the floor a good rinse with clean water at the end and using the wet vacuum to remove as much water as possible before leaving the floor to dry off.

Sealing Textured Limestone Tiles

I returned two days later to give the tiles plenty of time to allow the moisture to evaporate; it’s important that the tiles are bone dry before sealing or you will get unexpected results. All was well so I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours within the stone at the same time.

While I was waiting for the sealer to dry between coats I gave her front step a good scrubbing with some left over cleaning product.

Textured Limestone After Tile Cleaning in Horsham Textured Limestone After Tile Cleaning in Horsham

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in East-Sussex