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

Yellow Stained Bullnose Travertine Tiles Rejuvenated in Pateley Bridge

The photos below show a beautiful Bullnose Travertine tiled kitchen floor at a property in Pateley Bridge which needed professional attention as a consequence of being protected by a cheap and ineffectual sealer.

The problem was that sealer that had been applied did not provide resistance to UV rays, and the exposure to the sunlight had turned the Travertine tiles an unnatural yellow colour. Over time the sealer had gradually worn away in the busiest areas, so it was less noticeable but of course without the protection of the sealer the stone then became exposed to ingrained dirt and stains.

Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge

I took some pictures however they don’t really show the problems that well but needless to say, the property owner was very keen to have the situation rectified – which of course is where I came in. I travelled to Pateley Bridge, a small market town in Nidderdale in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

What is a ‘Bullnose’ tile, you say? Well, it simply refers to the trim of the tile. While traditional tiles will have a straight edge, a Bullnose tile will have a slightly rounded or curved edge.

Cleaning Yellow Stained Travertine Tiles

To begin the restoration, I deep cleaned the tiles mechanically using Tile Doctor diamond burnishing pads starting with a coarse grit. These pads served the purpose of grinding away the very top damaged layer of the stone, effectively removing the yellow staining, grease marks and any old sealer. You use a little water to help lubricate the process and this soon becomes soiled and needs to be rinsed away and removed after each pad is applied.

Next, I cleaned all of the stained grout lines by hand. I did this using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a reliable, alkaline-based cleaner for use on both natural stone tiles and grout. I mixed the Pro Clean into a solution of one part cleaner to three parts fresh water and worked it in by hand using a stiff brush along the grout lines. Once done the now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor and extracted leaving the grout fresh and clean.

Bullnose Travertine During Cleaning Patley Bridge

To finish the cleaning process, I polished the floor with a 3000 grit (very fine) burnishing pad to leave the tiles with a silky satin finish. This pad is applied mechanically with a little water in a technique we often call a spray burnish.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the floor was dry it needed protecting to ensure that dirt could no longer penetrate the pores of the stone. So to guarantee that this wonderful satin finish would last, I sealed the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal.

Ultra-Seal is Tile Doctor’s premium impregnating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation and serving areas such as the kitchen.

Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge

The photos above show the outcome of the restoration, I appreciate my photograph skills are not the best but hopefully you can notice how much healthier the stone looks now, compared to the yellow, sickly appearance of the stone before.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Bullnose Travertine Tiled Floor in North Yorkshire

Travertine Wet Room with Leakage Problem Restored in Harrogate

Travertine is a distinct and highly aesthetic material which offers unique characteristics and colouring that not many other types of stone can offer. It looks great when used on tiled floors and in this case shower cubicles however like any natural stone it does need maintenance.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

A good example of this point was this Travertine wet room in Harrogate, which comprised of large format Travertine tiles on the floor and Travertine mosaic tiles on the walls. It was in poor condition and to make things worse had been leaking for years. A local plumber had tried to resolve the leak, but to no avail. At this point, the property owner was desperately searching for a solution, and decided to contact me to see what could be done both to restore the appearance of the wet room and fix the leakage.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Wet Room

On first inspection of the wet room, l couldn’t see any obvious problems that might be causing the leak, however the white silicon did look a bit questionable and had already decided that would need replacing. To start I turned my attention to cleaning the whole shower cubicle, including the tile and grout.

I did this by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner, to remove the mould, soap scum and dyes caused by daily exposure to acidic soap and shampoos. These issues can build up exceptionally quickly if care is not taken to regularly rinse down the shower after each use.

During this process, I noticed grout haze had been left on the surface of the tiles following installation and so treated the problem with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of hydrochloric and phosphoric acid in gel form. Being a gel, this product works particularly well on vertical surfaces because it is easier to control.

The next step was to resolve the leakage problem, starting by removing all the old and unattractive white silicon. When l removed the silicon, I could see that it was black with mould at the back. It was clear to me then that water was getting behind it and this was the cause of the leak. Also, this revealed a 2-3mm gap between the wall and the base of the shower. The gap was damp and mould had collected there, so this needed to be scraped out manually and the gap dried with a heat gun. Finally, l filled the gap with grout to seal it and left the wet room to dry overnight.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Wet Room

The next day, I returned to the property and sealed the grout with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. This is a premium, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection and allow moisture vapour transmission. To finish the restoration, I applied fresh, clear silicon around the base.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate After Cleaning

In my opinion, white silicon should never have been used with stone, as clear silicon is far more suitable and more pleasing to the eye. Certainly, my customer agreed – and she was very pleased with the result and no more leak.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Wet Room in North Yorkshire

Burnishing and Sealing Works Wonders for Limestone 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.
 
 

Professional Maintenance of Polished Limestone Tiles in North Yorkshire