Jerusalem Limestone Floor Renovation in the City of York

Jerusalem Stone is a pale variety of Limestone that comes from Israel and is available in different colours. It’s a high-quality material that has been used in construction for thousands of years however like all Stone used as flooring, it benefits from being sealed to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone.

Jerusalem Limestone Before Cleaning York

This ground floor of this house in the historic walled city of York had around 60 metres of Jerusalem Limestone installed throughout the kitchen area and some adjacent steps. Its appearance had degraded with use and was now looking flat, dirty and generally uninviting. Additionally, the customer didn’t like the natural pitting in the stone which proved to be a trap where dirt became ingrained making it more difficult to clean.

Jerusalem Limestone Before Cleaning York

I surveyed the floor and discussed the process required to restore the floor including restoration work to fill the pitting. I also worked out a price which was agreed and booked a date in the diary for the work to be done.

Cleaning and Filling a Jerusalem Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first task was to fill the holes using three different colours of grout. The floor was a mixture of shades, so I chose the best match based on the different colours in the stone. This work was tedious and a little slow but worked well and I was very pleased with the result. I come from a Tiling background so am quite used to working with grout in this manner.

Jerusalem Limestone Before Filling York Jerusalem Limestone After Filling York

Next the floor was deep cleaned with the 400, 800 and 1500 grit diamond burnishing pads fitted to a weighted floor buffer and lubricated with water. The pads are applied in sequence starting with the 400-grit pad first and the soil generated is rinsed off with water in-between. This process removes grease marks, old sealers, ingrained dirt and builds the polished finish of the limestone. I also used a hand-held burnishing block on the steps to get into the intricate corners.

The grout was particularly dirty and was cleaned by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush and the soil rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. This product is a multi-purpose cleaner and degreaser and it really gets to work on the hard to shift build-up of dirt, grime and grease.

The floor was left to dry off overnight, the lovely warm weather was a blessing as the floor was pretty large, thankfully we didn’t need to install any driers on this occasion.

Jerusalem Limestone During Grout Cleaning York

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to finish the polishing with the final 3000-grit pad applied with a little water sprayed onto the tile. once done I tested the floor with a damp meter to make sure it was nice and dry and ready for sealing. The filled areas were looking particularly good, eliminating the issue the customer was having with dirt getting stuck in them.

To seal the Jerusalem Limestone and protect it from ingrained dirt I used two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t alter the appearance of the stone. As well as providing the natural no-sheen look that the customer wanted it will provide stain protection and is recommended for food preparation areas such as kitchens. It also was excellent for sealing the grout and the areas I had filled.

Jerusalem Limestone After Cleaning York

The customer was very happy with the result and couldn’t believe how fast we had worked to restore the floor. She was relieved it would now be much easier to clean and maintain.

Jerusalem Limestone After Cleaning York

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen in North West Yorkshire

Worn Sealer Replaced on a Slate Tiled Floor in York

The photographs below are of a Slate Tiled floor in a house in York, a walled city in North West Yorkshire which is very famous for its Viking heritage and its many landmarks, including the stunning York Minster. I visited the client to discuss what could be done to improve the look of the slate tiles which were installed in the kitchen and run into the downstairs cloakroom WC.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York Before Cleaning

I could see that the floor was suffering from the usual problem of dirt becoming ingrained into the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively. This happens as the protection provided by the sealer wears off with use and the stone becomes dull and lifeless with the trapped dirt; additionally, the floor had some bad scratches from chairs being dragged across the floor. Being a Kitchen, the area was in used to high family traffic, so it was in need of some care and attention. The client was happy to go ahead with my quote.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

I arrived the following week and started by taping up and protecting the surrounding areas and thresholds. Then working in sections, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (1 part Pro-Clean to 3 parts water) to the floor and left it to soak in and get to work breaking down what was left of the old sealer and dirt. This is a multi-purpose cleaner which works hard on stubborn areas. It was then scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. I then used more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the grout which was stained in places and this was scrubbed in by hand using a thin stiff grout brush.

The floor was then rinsed with water, and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum before moving onto the next section. We try and keep the mess to the absolute minimum. One area included a downstairs WC which was too tight to get the floor buffer in so there was no option but to scrub the tiles and grout by hand.

After cleaning all the slate and grout I inspected the floor and was pleased to see that the scratches were a lot less obvious after cleaning, so I suspect it was the old sealer that had been mostly affected. Had the scratches been deeper we would be looking at resurfacing the stone with milling pads which is a messy and more expensive process. The client was very pleased to hear that wouldn’t be required.

After a final rinse the floor was looking much better already and was left to dry off overnight aided by the hot summer weather.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and checked the floor was fully dried out by using my moisture meter. All the readings were fine so the lovely weather had done its job which was much appreciated by myself as this greatly helps the floor cleaning process.

I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer (so no smell) that leaves a lovely deep lustre to the floor. The scratches had all but disappeared and I was able to get on with the job quite quickly due to the bonus weather that helped he sealer dried a lot quicker than usual between each coat.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York After Cleaning

The customer was very pleased with the finished floor, and I think you can see from the pictures how much better it looks. It will be much easier for them to clean and maintain in the future.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Cloakroom in North West Yorkshire

Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in York

As promised below are the photographs from the second floor I cleaned recently at a house in historic city of York. If you recall the first floor was Mexican Terracotta which proved pretty tough to clean as the rotary floor scrubber I use struggled to cope with the bull nose edges. You can find the article I created for that floor via the link below:

Mexican Terracotta Tiles Deep Cleaned in York.

The second floor was a Victorian tiled hallway which like its neighbour was dull, lifeless and now overdue a deep clean to remove ingrained dirt, part worn sealer and then reseal.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning York

Cleaning Victorian Tiles Tiles

As with the Terracotta tiles I cleaned the floor using a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water. This is a strong dilution ratio which will not only clean the tile but also strip off what was left of the original sealer. You need to do this as the sealer will wear off first in the most commonly used part of the floor first which in this case is down the middle of the hallway. I left the solution it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. I the scrubbed along the grout lines with more pro-clean and a stiff narrow brush by hand to ensure the grout was also clean.

The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I could then see those area’s that needed more work and re-treated them with more Pro-Clean until I was satisfied all the previous sealer was gone and the tile and grout was as clean as it could be.

The tiles were given a final rinse with water and the wet vacuum used again to extract as much moisture off the floor as possible. The next step would be to seal, however the Terracotta floor tiles needed a longer drying time so I left both floors to dry out for two days before returning.

Sealing Victorian Tiles Tiles

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provided a beautiful satin finish that really improved the look of Victorian Tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning York

The hallway tiles now looked clean and much brigher, needless to say my customer was very happy with the transformation.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Resealed in Yorkshire

Dirty Mexican Terracotta Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned and Sealed in York

A few months back I posted a story about cleaning Catalan Terracotta tiles where I mentioned that Terracotta tiles are made all over the world. To prove the point I thought you might be interested to read about this Mexican Terracotta Tiled floor I cleaned recently at a house in York.

The customer actually had two floors they wanted me to clean, the other was a Victorian Tiled floor which is cleaned using a similar process but I’ll post about that separately. Both floors looked a bit tired but especially the Mexican Terracotta which looked dull and lifeless additionally the Grout had gone black when it should have been a Sandstone colour.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York

Mexican Terracotta tiles are invariably hand made and made to the same standard as other makes such as Spanish, as a result the porosity levels between each tile can vary greatly which makes them harder to maintain.

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

I cleaned the floor using a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water which is an effective alkaline Tile and Grout cleaner that will clean and strip old sealers from tiles when used in a strong dilution such as on this occasion. I left it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process made a different but the machine couldn’t cope with the “Bull Nose” edges to I had so spend a lot of time cleaning the old fashioned way using a scrubbing brush and a lot of elbow grease. I had the same issue with the grout which being slightly recessed wasn’t cleaned sufficiently by the machine; however I have narrow scrubbing brush that works well for this purpose.

Mexican Terracotta Floor During Cleaning York

The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I could then see those area’s that needed more work and spot cleaned them with more Pro-Clean until I was satisfied all the previous sealer was gone and the tile and grout was as clean as it could be.

The tiles were given a final rinse with water and the wet vacuum used again to extract as much moisture off the floor as possible. The next step would be to seal, however the tiles would need to be dry for that to happen and given Terracotta is notoriously porous and absorbs water quickly l decided after I’d leave the floor to dry out for two days.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a satin finish and really improves the look of Terracotta.

Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York

My customer was very happy with the transformation that had occurred to their floor and I think you will agree from the photographs the floor looks much healthier.
 
 

Mexican Terracotta Tile and Grout Renovated in Yorkshire

Victorian Design Linoleum Tiles Restored in York

Here’s an interesting job I recently completed at a house near the centre of York, the biggest town in North Yorkshire and famous for its Viking history. My client had initially emailed me some pictures of her tiles which, upon first inspection, looked like Black and Red Victorian tiles. This was also the opinion of my client and her friend, who is a builder.

Linoleum Tiled Floor Before Restoration in York

The floor had previously been covered by carpet, which was fixed down by adhesive. As such, the newly unveiled floor was in a bit of a state, with adhesive markings ruining the appearance of the tiles. I agreed a date with my client to give the tiles a closer inspection.

Restoring Linoleum Vinyl flooring

Upon my arrival at the house, I discovered that the floor was in fact made up of linoleum, rather than Victorian tiles. This was a surprise to me as Tile Doctor don’t usually get asked to work on Vinyl flooring. Nonetheless, I agreed to restore the floor to the best of my abilities.

To clean the floor, I started with a blunt chisel (so not to puncture or tear the Lino) and proceeded to scrape off all the glue and plaster from the floor. Had the tiles been unpolished natural stone I would’ve used a product such as Tile Doctor Remove & Go to break down the adhesive markings.

The next step was to restore the appearance of the floor using a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Grout Clean-up. The latter product contains phosphoric acid to break down any remaining cement, while the former is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner.

Linoleum Tiled Floor During Restoration in York

Finally, the floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water to remove any trace of chemical and then sealed with a Linoleum sealer.

Despite not coming across this type of floor often, I am very pleased with the results I was able to achieve. Needless to say, my client was also very happy with what is essentially a fantastic new feature for her house.

Linoleum Tiled Floor After Restoration in York

 
 

Restoring Linoleum Vinyl Flooring in Yorkshire