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

Dirty White Limestone Tiles Restored Through Burnishing in Knaresborough

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.
 
 

Polishing White Limestone Floor Tiles in North Yorkshire