Deep Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Flooring in a Thirsk Kitchen

The stone floor in the pictures is an Indian Fossil Sandstone which had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in the North Yorkshire market town of Thirsk. The Sandstone tiles had not been professionally cleaned and sealed for ten years so and was now overdue a deep clean. The customer had tried cleaning it but gave up and give me a call instead as no matter what she did nothing seemed to make a difference.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning

They had been using numerous household cleaners to maintain the floor which doesn’t help as many supermarket cleaning products are too strong for use on a sealed floor and will prematurely reduce the life of the sealer. Without the protection of a sealer dirt becomes ingrained in the stone making it very difficult to clean effectively. Another problem was that the Sandstone tiles were very uneven and rough in texture, so the dirt was getting caught in the bumps which didn’t help.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning

I went over to the property in Thirsk to survey the floor and conduct a test clean, so they could see how the stone would look on completion. The Sandstone responded well to treatment and we agreed a date for me to return and complete the floor.

Maintenance issues aside Sandstone pavers look great in a Kitchen where they give a rustic farmhouse appearance that brings the outside in. Imported from India, Indian Fossil Sandstone is full of character and with prices from around £19m2, very affordable. Due to the thickness of the stone we wouldn’t recommend using pavers with under floor heating.

Cleaning an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

To get the stone clean and remove what was left of the sealer I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and allowed it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer.

This removed a lot of the dirt and stains however floor pads struggle on uneven surfaces, so I found that to get the stone and grout really clean I had to rescrub most of them by hand. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and any stubborn areas retreated using the same process and more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The floor was then left to dry off overnight in preparation for it being sealed.

Sealing an Indian Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to finish the renovation. First, testing the floor with the moisture meter to ensure it was dry enough to take the sealant. I started by applying two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which will protect against ongoing dirt and stains. You can always tell when stone floor has had enough sealer applied by adding a droplet of water to the tile, if it forms a bubble on the surface then you know its sealed. I demonstrated this to the customer, so they would know in future and could give us a call when they needed to redo the floor.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning

As before the Sandstone responded well to the treatment leaving it much cleaner and lighter in appearance. The floor had a lovely variety of colours and you could now clearly see the fossils trapped in the stone. Before leaving I recommended that they use a pH neutral cleaning product going forward such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is specifically designed for cleaning sealed floors and will help keep the floor maintain its appearance.

My customer was amazed at the transformation and left the following feedback for me.

“Floor has never been cleaner! Elizabeth R, Thirsk”

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning

 

Professional Renovation of an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor in North Yorkshire

Renovating a Sandstone Tiled Floor at a 12th-Century Undercroft Near Bedale

When I was asked to visit this job, I understood that the property was Grade One Listed and I was in for a treat when I arrived. The property is an undercroft which is traditionally a cellar or storage room, often brick-lined and vaulted and used for storage in buildings since medieval times. In modern usage, an undercroft is generally a ground (street-level) area which is relatively open to the sides but covered by the building above.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

This example was part of a large 12th Century building near Bedale which is halfway between Harrogate and Middlesbrough, that had been converted into luxury apartments. It was truly impressive, by far one of my favourite jobs to date.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

The magnificent building had been tastefully restored and renovated some years ago. You will see from the photos how unique it is, although it is hard to do it justice in photos. Since that time the huge 60sqm Sandstone flagstones had become dirty and now needed to be deep cleaned and restored to its’ former self.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I discussed what was required with the owner and went through the cleaning procedure I felt would be most appropriate. This was well received, and we agreed my quote and arranged a suitable time to return and complete the work. I must say I felt honoured and privileged to be asked to work on the floor as this is not something you would trust many people with.

Cleaning a Large Sandstone Floor in an Undercroft

I returned on the agreed date to start the cleaning and I was a bit apprehensive at first, as naturally with such an old building I wanted to be confident that the methods I was going to use would work without issue. Also, there was some very, very expensive Marble statues scattered about near the edge of the floor which I was very mindful of. It was clear that the utmost care was required to restore this beautiful floor. In the end I did not need to worry as it was quite straightforward. The floor was nice and flat and graded sandstone, in pretty good physical condition.

I cleaned the floor by applying a strong dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove old sealers and break down the dirt. I left this on the floor for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with what turned out to be several black scrubbing pads to get the dirt out of the stone. Pro-Clean is a highly effective Tile and Grout cleaner which can deal with all sorts of issues including grease, grime and general dirt build up.

Sandstone Floor During Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I worked in sections and found some of the flagstones quite challenging to clean due to their sharp edges which tore into the pads and destroyed a few during the process. Luckily, I had bought plenty of replacements along and with a bit of perseverance, I was able to give the floor a very thorough clean. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sandstone Floor During Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

After cleaning and rinsing the whole floor I left it for a few days, so it could dry out thoroughly before I returned to seal it.

Sealing a 60m2 Sandstone Floor in a 12th Century Undercroft

When I returned I checked that the floor was completely dry by taking some moisture readings. All was well, but I noticed that the room became dusty very quickly from all the exposed stone, so l vacuumed the floor first.

Sandstone Floor After Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I chose to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal for this floor, main reasons being it’s an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there also, it leaves a natural look finish that doesn’t darken the stone which was ideal for use in the Undercroft where there isn’t much natural light. I applied a couple of coats to the floor and it was soon looking good.

Sandstone Floor After Sealing 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

It was a massive transformation and the clean floor really lightened up the whole room. The client was very pleased with the result. I think you will agree this is a very special room!

 

Professional Clean of a Sandstone Undercroft Floor in North Yorkshire

Cleaning and restoring a traditional Yorkshire Stone floor

This was a typical and relatively straightforward job for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it because it amply demonstrates how a modest investment in professional cleaning and sealing can transform a tired old Yorkshire Stone floor into something really stunning!

Older properties in the small village of East Morton, near Keighley in West Yorkshire, are built almost entirely of locally quarried Sandstone – from its Manor Houses, Churches and barns to the many cottages built during the Industrial Revolution for workers in Morton’s textile and paper mills. Yorkshire stone is a sedimentary rock made up of quartz, mica, feldspar, clay and iron oxides. Its colour depends on the ratio of minerals it contains, and differs throughout the quarries where it is mined. It is incredibly hard wearing and durable, and has been used for building, construction and landscaping since mediaeval times.

Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning in East Morton

The lovely original Yorkshire Stone floor in this client’s home was in great condition but looked lifeless and uninteresting. As the local Tile Doctor agent, I was tasked with deep cleaning and sealing the floor to bring it back to life. Rather unusually, this customer wanted a matt finish for the floor – which on reflect was a great choice.

Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning in East Morton Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning in East Morton

Cleaning a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

I started by deep cleaning the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser which is safe to use on all types of tile, stone and grout including natural stone. I diluted one part Pro-Clean to three parts water – enough to ensure that any traces of grease, scum, oil, mildew and algae were removed and scrubbed it in using a floor buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at slow speed to cut down on splashing. This brought out all the dirt from the floor which I then rinsed off with more water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Stubborn areas were re-treated using the same process and once I was satisfied the floor was clean I left the floor for two days, so it could dry out thoroughly.

Sealing a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

The next step was to test a couple of suitable Tile Doctor sealers to see which would give the best matt finish the customer was looking for. I decided upon Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium, solvent-based penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection yet without changing the colour of the stone. Being a premium product it’s ideal for high traffic areas such as hallways, kitchens and stairs, it’s also an excellent grout sealer and a perfect choice for this floor. Most importantly, it gave the no-sheen, natural-look finish that the customer wanted.

I started by sweeping and vacuuming the floor to ensure that every trace of dust was removed before sealing. Then I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Sealer – one in the morning and one in the afternoon to allow the first coat to dry out before applying the second. 30 minutes after applying the second coat I tested with water droplets to make sure that the surface was completely sealed. The customer was able to walk on and use the floor as normal after just two hours, and after just 24 hours the full cure was achieved.

Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning in East Morton

What a transformation! The lifeless, grey floor was now full of colour and character, highlighting all the wonderful and original textures and tones in the Yorkshire Stone. The customer was very happy!

Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning in East Morton Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning in East Morton

 
 

Professional Renovation of a traditional Yorkshire Stone floor

Deep Cleaning Lapicida Sandstone Flagstones in Bedale

This customer who lived in the old North Yorkshire market town of Bedale, had a Lapicida Sandstone floor installed many years prior and over the years the sealer had worn off and dirt had become ingrained into the pores of the stone making it dull and difficult to clean effectively. Based in Harrogate, where they have Europe’s largest stone gallery, Lapicida are a premier Tile and Stone company that specialise in reclaimed Sandstone with prices that range from £79 to £594 per square metre.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Bedale

Naturally having such an expensive stone floor installed my customer wanted it to look its best however when your living with a stone floor day in, day out you fail to notice the gradual decline in its overall appearance. Then one day you suddenly realise the floor is overdue a deep clean and reseal and call in Tile Doctor; there is an alternative however, simply speak to Tile Doctor about setting up an annual Maintenance Plan whereby we pop by once a year to clean the floor and top up the sealer.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Bedale

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

To deep clean the floor the sandstone flagstones were covered in a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed clean using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black pad. The now dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor washed down with water and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied. Unusually for Sandstone it was all graded and uniformly flat which made cleaning a lot easier.

With the floor clean and all the dirt removed it revealed some black marks, most of which were from candle wax which is very difficult to get off. To tackle this problem a heat gun was used to melt the wax and then it was dappled with a clean cloth. This process was mostly successful, but some still left a faint Mark which the customer was ok with.

After giving the floor a final rinse and drying it as much as possible with a wet vacuum it was left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter. The flagstones were dry. I was going to seal the Stone with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which would have enhanced the natural colours in the stone, but the customer liked the light appearance of the cleaned stone, so l used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal instead; Ultra-seal is a natural look sealer, so it doesn’t darken the stone. Both sealers are what we call impregnators which work by soaking into the pores of stone protecting it from within by preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Bedale

I’m sure you will agree the floor looks much improved, certainly the customer and myself were both very pleased with the transformation of the floor; my customer even left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Nigel Stoker was knowledgeable, efficient and very pleasant. My floors are looking amazing. Claire G, Bedale

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Bedale

 
 

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Flagstone Floor in North Yorkshire

Botched Yorkstone Tiled Floor Instalation Resolved in Guiseley

In an interesting turn of events, I was recently contacted again by a homeowner from Guiseley, near Leeds, with whom I had been in touch with two years prior. At that time, I had quoted for cleaning and maintenance work to be carried out on a Yorkshire Stone, or ‘Yorkstone’ tiled floor, but the customer had opted to go with a different company. Yorkstone is a variety of Sandstone that it unique to the quarries of Yorkshire.

When the customer called me again, she explained that the previous work – most likely carried out by inexperienced cowboy builders – had been disastrous. The stone evidently had not bene properly cleaned and very little sealer had been used to protect it against wear and tear. The result was a very dirty and dusty floor – and the only solution was to start the restoration process over again, this time with the help of a true professional!

Here’s a photo of what the floor looked like before the restoration:

Yorkshire Stone Floor Guiseley Leeds Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dull and Dirty Yorkstone Tiles

Since the floor had not been cleaned properly to begin with, there were several unsightly paint stains on the stone in addition to general dirt and stains. To remove these, I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a reliable alkaline cleaner, liberally across the floor and left it dwell for a short period. I then used a wire brush to scrub away the muck.

The customer had asked the builder to grout the tiles to reduce the likelihood of trapped dirt and make the floor feel complete. For whatever reason, builder either wouldn’t or couldn’t oblige, so I grouted the whole floor as well, much to the customer’s delight.

Sealing Yorkstone Tiles

Once the floor was fresh and clean, it was left to dry completely so it could subsequently be sealed.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable and aesthetically-pleasing low-sheen finish to really enhance the character of the stone. Four coats of sealer were used in total to ensure maximum protection.

Here’s what the floor looked like after the restoration:

Yorkshire Stone Floor Guiseley Leeds After Cleaning

After cowboy builders had botched the job, the customer was exceptionally happy that the situation had finally been put right. The floor is now in top shape and will be protected against wear and tear for a long time to come.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Yorkstone Tiled Floor in North Yorkshire

Indian Fossil Stone Floor in Terrible Condition Restored in Skipton

This Indian Fossil Sandstone tiled floor in Skipton was in a terrible state. Indian Sandstone, sometimes known as Indian Sandstone Flags, are an alternative to Yorkshire Sandstone (or ‘Yorkstone’), which is known for being particular hard wearing and high quality.

Indian Fossil Stone floor Before Cleaning in Skipton

Nonetheless, the problems with the floor were not due to the quality of the stone, per say. Rather, the floor’s poor condition was caused by a lack of sealer, allowing the floor – and by extension the entire house – to become very dusty. In addition, the grout lines had been pointed with cement and sand instead of normal grout, which simply made the floor look messy and poorly cared for.

Indian Fossil Stone floor Before Cleaning in Skipton

I was called down to the property to set the situation right by providing a deep clean and fresh seal.

Cleaning an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

I started the job by dealing with the unsightly cement splashes around the grout lines, breaking them down manually using a good old fashioned hammer and chisel.

Nonetheless, my main concern around the grout lines was the grout haze caused by the excess cement. To neutralise the haze I carefully treated the grout lines with a phosphoric acid cleaner known as Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, this product removes mineral deposits such as excess cement leaving the surface looking a lot tidier. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the acid cleaner.

To round off the cleaning process, I mixed a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to four parts clean water, before applying it to the tiles and scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. This helped to remove the ingrained dirt caused by a lack of sealer and clean the area ready to receive a fresh seal.

Sealing an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

I left the property to allow the floor to dry over night. Upon my return the next day, I checked for excess moisture and, once satisfied the floor was dry, I proceeded to seal the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go.

Indian Fossil Stone floor After Cleaning in Skipton

Seal & Go is a water-based topical sealer designed to build up stain resistant protection on the surface of the floor and to allow moisture vapour transmission. It is typically used to seal internal, unsealed porous surfaces, including Sandstone, Quarry and Victorian tiled floors.

Indian Fossil Stone floor After Cleaning in Skipton

Given the awful original condition of this floor, the results achieved over the space of two days were very good. Certainly my customer was very pleased with the transformation. The addition of a robust surface seal will go a long way to ensure the floor doesn’t fall back into such a bad state again.
 
 

Restoring the Appearance of an Indian Fossil Sandstone Flagstone Floor in North Yorkshire