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

Cleaning Unique London White Limestone Flooring in Leyburn

This floor is London White Limestone which is a very expensive but stunning stone that costs around £60 per square metre. It’s a pale stone that has a wonderful texture and aged appearance that makes it quite unique. Unfortunately, however being a pale stone, it didn’t photograph well, especially in low light so apologies in advance for the poor photographs.

The stone was installed in a very large area across much of the ground floor of this stunning house in the North Yorkshire spa town of Leyburn. The property was in the centre of the town which is just 13 miles from the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There were four areas in total that needed attention, two of which were still quite clean, the main areas that needed attention were the high traffic areas around the entrance hall and kitchen which needed a full clean. The sealant had started to break down and with the stone being white, the floors were looking a bit dirty and drab.

London White Limestone Before Cleaning Leyburn London White Limestone Before Cleaning Leyburn

The two other rooms were only laid around a year ago and were still clean and unmarked however due to the state of the other floors the customer was concerned about the original sealer that had been used and so I agreed to top up the seal in these rooms with a different product to add more protection. Lithofin Stain-Stop had been used previously which from my experience isn’t up to sealing Limestone properly, so l said l could apply a more effective sealer which would penetrate the existing and provide more protection. To make matters worse the client had been using household cleaners which weren’t suitable for cleaning a sealed floor. We agreed a price for the work to be carried out, which the client was happy with, the work was scheduled in for a few weeks later.

Cleaning a London White Limestone Tiled Ground Floor

After adding protection to the skirting boards, I started cleaning the stone in the entrance and kitchen areas. I find you get the best results on Limestone by applying a series of Diamond encrusted honing pads which clean and hone the stone. They are applied in sequence starting with a coarse 400-grit pad followed by the medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pad. The pads are applied with water to provide lubrication and the floor rinsed in between the application of each pad with the soil being extracted with a wet vacuum.

If you have read any of my other posts, you are would probably be expecting me to follow-up the burnishing process with a 3000-grit polishing pad however that wasn’t required in this case as we only use that on polished stone to achieve a deeper shine. The immediate result was a lightly polished floor which looked much brighter than before.

Sealing a London White Limestone tiled Ground Floor

The floor was left overnight to dry off, I double checked with the moisture meter that the previously cleaned area was dry and then all four areas were sealed the next day using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. This is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer which is created to provide maximum stain protection without changing the appearance of the beautiful stone floor.

London White Limestone After Cleaning Leyburn London White Limestone After Cleaning Leyburn

For after care I recommended to my customer the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will clean the floor without prematurely eroding the sealer. The client was very happy with the finish and thankful for the maintenance advice that will help them maintain their beautiful stone floor in good condition.

 

Professional Clean and Seal of White Limestone Floor in North West 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