Kitchen Slate Floor with Inlaid Granite Renovated in Harrogate

I was recently asked to survey an unusual stone floor at a house in in Harrogate comprising of Slate inlaid with Granite. The client advised that it had not been cleaned properly for 20 years and wanted it renovating! It was now definitely overdue a deep clean and professional attention. Fortunately, having worked on these floors for many years I knew I could make a substantial impact and transform its appearance. Fossilized slate is a beautiful stone when cleaned and sealed correctly.

 Slate and Granite Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

The owner confessed they had actually been sealing the floor every two years but without a deep clean first, so they were effectively sealing in the dirt each time. I discussed with them the process I would use to clean and re-seal the floor and we agreed a price to carry to out the work.

Cleaning Slate and Granite Tiled Kitchen Floor

To remove the layers of old sealer and dirt used a set of Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing pads. The pads are attached to a rotary floor machine starting with the coarse 400-grit pad which was lubricated with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to help strip the floor of dirt and layers of sealer. After rinsing and extracting the soil I worked through the different grades of pads in sequence finishing with the 1500-grit and this time using just water for lubrication.

A set of diamond handheld burnishing blocks were then used to clean up the edges and corners where the large 17” pads struggle to reach. This ensures all areas are treated and free of dirt and old sealer.

The floor was then rinsed and extracted again to remove the remaining soil. I find a wet vacuum is an invaluable tool for this. The floor was then left to dry out overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing a Granite and Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor, first checking with a damp meter that the floor was dry, and the moisture reading was below the acceptable level. These results were fine, so I had a green light to continue and seal the stone.

The customer wanted a shine on the floor so rather than apply a satin sealer which I felt wouldn’t adhere to the stone properly I decided to polish the floor further with a the last of the four burnishing pads which is a very fine 3000-grit pad. You don’t need to use a lot of water with this last pad just a small amount sprayed onto the floor using a technique we refer to as a ‘Spray Burnish’.

To seal the floor, two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied. This is an impregnating matt sealer which intensifies the natural colours of this beautiful stone and provides long lasting durable protection.

 Slate and Granite Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

Even I was impressed with the finished result but more importantly the client was over the moon. To keep the floor looking its best I recommended they use Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is pH neutral. You should always read the label in detail when choosing a floor cleaning product as many are too strong and not recommended for sealed stone surfaces as they will prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate and Granite Kitchen Floor in Yorkshire

Leaking Bath Mastic Replaced and Tile Renovated in Harrogate

I couldn’t believe the state of the mastic sealant that had been applied to this bathtub at a house in the North Yorkshire Spa town of Harrogate. As you can see from the pictures, it was a mess. There were at least three layers of white silicon mastic sealant then a layer of clear silicone had been applied with a spatula then some grout on top of that! I feared the worst.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate Before

It was the result of a succession of bodge jobs that didn’t work and continued to let water leak down to the room below where it had left brown stains on the ceiling. The client had unfortunately tried to get it patched up but had just made the problem worse. The problem needed to be resolved properly so the ceiling below could dry out, be repaired and then re-painted.

Had the problem been dealt with immediately the damage would not have been so bad. By the time the water shows itself on the ceiling the leak has probably already been there for some time. The bathroom itself was in good condition but the mastic sealant was really letting it down. I discussed with the client what needed to be done and we agreed a price for the work and returned the following week.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate Before

Cleaning/Repairing Bathroom Tiles

I first washed the Ceramic wall tile and grout surrounding the bath with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to remove staining from the usual combination of dirt, grime, body oil, and soap scum. Being in gel form, this product sticks well to vertical surfaces where its best left for five to ten minutes before scrubbing in so it can get to work breaking down the dirt. I then rinsed the wall tiles with water and re-treated any stubborn stains with a repeat of the process until all the tile and grout was clean.

Once happy with the tile and grout I began to strip off the layers of silicone mastic. This is a slow process by hand, with care not the damage the tiles or the bath. After 4 hours it was all off. The final layer of white silicon was jet black, so had come away from the bath a long time ago. It is essential to have a nice clean surface to apply new silicon to ensure the best result. Adding layer upon layer will not solve the underlying problem.

Once l completely removed all traces of silicone l ran a heat gun over gap for about half an hour to remove the moisture. If any moisture had been left the new sealant wouldn’t adhere to the bath and tile properly causing it to peel off later and we would be back to square one.

The last step of the renovation was to fill the bath with water before applying a fresh thin bead of white silicone sealant. Applying mastic well takes a lot of practice to get a nice smooth finish but having carried out numerous bathroom and kitchen refurbs over the years it’s a skill I’ve manage to acquire. Once the fresh mastic was dry the water was emptied from the bath, this technique ensures the silicone is positioned correctly.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate After

As you can see from the pictures there was quite a remarkable transformation. The client was speechless, the difference to the overall look of the bathroom was astounding. It would no longer be a chore for them to use the bathroom. Now they just need to allow the downstairs ceiling to dry out so they can redecorate.

Renovating White Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Harrogate After

Glazed Ceramic tiles are easy to clean however Grout can be a problem due to its cementous nature which traps dirt therefore I recommend protecting the grout with grout sealer which forms an invisible barrier over the grout and makes it easier to wash clean. For aftercare you can’t go wrong with Tile Doctor Aqua Pro which is designed for cleaning shower tile where the grout has been sealed.

 

Professional Restoration of a Bathroom Tiles in North West Yorkshire

Cleaning a White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor in Harrogate

These tiles are White Moleanos Limestone which I must say is not my favourite, you can just breath on them and they will stain, so not a practical choice for any floor really. They had been installed in the kitchen of a house in Harrogate and although it was only a small floor it was trapping the dirty and the owners were pulling their hair out trying to look after it.

I went over to survey the floor and explained to them Moleanos Limestone is a chalky stone from Portugal which is very porous and being so pale meant dirt easily stood out. With porous stone like this you need to ensure that the sealer is kept in good condition otherwise dirt will become ingrained in the pores and once that happens it becomes very difficult to clean effectively. In fact, once the sealer has worn off even dark coloured soles can mark it.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

I carried out a small test patch, which was successful so once we had agreed a price, they were more than happy to go ahead with getting the work done. We booked a time the following week, the work would take a couple a days, one to deep clean and one to seal.

The property is in a lovely area of Harrogate which is well known for its tourist attractions, it is said that Harrogate spa water contains iron, sulphur and common salt. The town became known as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. Later in the 17th and 18th centuries its waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment, and this led to an influx of wealthy but unfortunately sickly visitors which in turn contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

Cleaning a White Moleanos Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

To restore the appearance of the stone I used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which clean and slowly hone the stone giving it a natural polished appearance. This is a slow steady process working through the different grades of burnishing pads from coarse to very fine. The pads are applied with water to lubricate and the soil generated is extracted with a wet vacuum afterwards.

Once the burnishing process was completed, I inspected the floor and was pleased to see that the floor was looking significantly better than when I had arrived. I gave the stone a final rinse and extracted as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum before leaving for the day. The floor was left overnight to be sure that it would be dry before sealing. In the meantime, I asked the client to avoid walking on it.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor During Cleaning Harrogate

Sealing a White Moleanos Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day and checked the floor was dry. All was well and so I proceeded to seal the floor using three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which will add the protection the stone needed. Ultra-Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look sealer. It provides maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation areas like the kitchen. It is also great for sealing the grout to prevent colour change from spillages.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

The client was very happy and satisfied with the floor which looked much cleaner and fresher. After discussing after-care they were confident they could keep the floor looking that way going forward.

White Moleanos Limestone Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

 

Professional Restoration of a White Moleanos Limestone Tiled Kitchen in North West Yorkshire

Reclaimed Yorkshire Flagstone Floor Renovation in Harrogate

This is a reclaimedYorkshire flagstone floor that was re-laid at a house in Harrogate some years prior with under floor heating. The Yorkshire stone was really nice and contained some varied natural colours including green from what must have been a copper deposit in the stone. This is the beauty of this type of stone, there is a huge variation in tone and colour. The client got in touch with Tile Doctor as the stone looking flat and featureless and had become difficult to keep clean.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor before renovation Harrogate

It was clear to me that the original sealer had all but worn off leaving the floor vulnerable to dirt, there were also some paint splashes from decorating that needed removing and some old tar spots that must have been there some time. The lovely property was in a quiet road near the centre of Harrogate which is a popular tourist spot close to the picturesque Yorkshire Dales.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor before renovation Harrogate

Cleaning a Yorkshire Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I gave the floor a thorough clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This process also softened the paint splashes and tar spots which I was able to carefully scrape off. The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor using water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Once the floor was clear it was then inspected, and stubborn areas re-treated using the same process until I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be and that any trace of old sealer had been removed. It’s important to ensure the floor is clear of old sealers before resealing as otherwise you end up with different layers of sealer on the floor. Also, if you don’t know what was applied previously you cannot guarantee that the new sealer will work with it, so it is best to start with a totally clean base.

Before leaving for the night I gave the floor a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product and then extracted as much moisture as possible with the wet vacuum. Additionally, I asked the owner of the property to leave the underfloor heating on overnight to aid the drying process. We cannot seal the floor if it is not completely dry.

Sealing a Yorkshire Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The customer wanted a matt finish so when I came back the next day to seal the floor, I used two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. This is a natural look sealer that protects the stone from within but without altering its appearance, this works well if you’re looking to keep the floor appearance as light as possible. The deep cleaning and fresh sealer transformed the stone giving it a subtle contrast that brought out the unique colours in the stone including the green of the copper.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor after renovation Harrogate

The client was very satisfied with the overall finish of the floor, the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Flagstone had been restored and now they would be able to maintain the floor keeping it looking lovely for longer. I suggested they use the Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner for ongoing maintenance. This is a nice natural product specifically formulated for this type of floor.

Yorkshire stone flagstone floor after renovation Harrogate

 

Professional Reclaimed Yorkshire Flagstone Floor Restoration in North Yorkshire

Carrara Marble Orangery Floor Harrogate

These photographs are of a large Black Carrara Marble floor at customers house in nearby Harrogate, a North Yorkshire spa town which is steeped in history. In-fact the town became known as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries its ‘chalybeate’ waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment and the influx of wealthy but sickly visitors contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate Before Polishing

When I reached the clients’ property she showed me to the Orangery. This was a lovely garden room and it had a large and expensive Black Carrara Marble tiled floor installed. The floor was installed some time ago and had since lost some of its shine and lustre which is not unusual as foot traffic on the floor will wear down the shine over time particularly as it was a dark black colour.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate Before Polishing

Polishing a Black Carrera Marble Orangery Floor

I was aware that Carrara Marble is usually polished at the factory and re polishing to achieve the same high-end finish requires the use of some very expensive machinery which most Tile Doctors including myself don’t carry.

However, I am always up for a challenge and not to be beaten there were a couple of things we could do to improve the appearance of the floor. Carrara Marble by the way gets its name from the city where it’s quarried which is in the province of Massa and Carrara in the Lunigiana, the northernmost tip of modern-day Tuscany, Italy. It is not surprising that such a beautiful material comes from such a lovely place! In use since Roman times Carrara Marble is an expensive, high quality marble used in sculptures and building décor.

So, after discussing all this with the customer and a little history, l set about giving the tiles a spray burnish with a very fine 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad and a little water sprayed onto the Marble. The 3000-grit pad is a very fine grade that would not damage the surface of the marble, simply restore the shine. This pad had the desired effect and did a good job of bringing back the deep polished look of the floor.

Sealing a Black Carrera Marble Orangery Floor

Once I had finished the spray burnish and ensured the floor was dry, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this product is an impregnating colour intensifying sealer that provides durable stain protection by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. I chose to use this primarily to seal and protect the stone but also to enhance the beautiful natural colours.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate After Polishing

The job was completed in a single day and the result was a big improvement on the dull Marble tiles I had come across that morning. It’s probably difficult to tell from the photographs but I felt the combination of spray burnishing and sealing had completely changed the appearance of the floor.

The customer was very happy indeed, the floor looked much brighter and with the sun shining through the huge area of glass, the highly polished look had definitely been restored.

Black Carrara Marble Orangery floor Harrogate After Polishing

 

Polishing Black Carrara Marble Floor Tiles in North Yorkshire

Re-Sealing Jura Limestone Tiles in Wetherby

This large Jura Limestone floor had been installed in a house in the history Yorkshire town of Wetherby twelve months prior and after only one year the sealer had worn off. Now dirt was getting trapped into the pores of the stone causing it look dull and uninviting and making it difficult to clean.

The builder who installed the floor must have used a really cheap sealer as they usually last a lot longer than a year and such a premium stone really deserved better. There were also a few other issues, it seems the floor wasn’t completely clean when it was sealed causing grit and dirt to become stuck to the floor, additionally the sealer had been applied with the underfloor heating on which is a big No No, for best results sealers need to be allowed to dry off naturally at room temperature.

The floor was now in a sad state and the owner wanted the floor stripping back and sealing properly. He had received a number of quotes for this job that were between one and two days! To do the job correctly was a 5-day job, fortunately the owner of the property wanted the job doing properly this time around.

Jura Limestone Tiled Floor Before renovation Jura Limestone Tiled Floor Before renovation

Stripping and Polishing Jura Limestone Tiles

The best way to restore high quality stone like this is to hone the floor using varying grits of abrasive floor pads. Tile Doctor have developed a technique for this known as burnishing which is a version of stone polishing that involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads. Each pad in the system has its own level of grit and is applied in sequence from coarse to fine in order to re-hone the finish on the stone.

Before burnishing the floor however, the floor was given a clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove any grit but with a main focus on scrubbing the grout lines by hand to get them as clean as possible. Once I was happy with the grout the floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

I started with the Coarse 400 grit pad lubricated with water and then after rinsing the floor with water I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally the Very Fine 3000 grit pad further rinsing in-between each pad to achieve a refined polished finish. This process may sound straight forward but the floor had been laid throughout the ground floor and so each section took time to complete.

Stripping and Polishing Jura Limestone Tiles

The last step was to seal the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium natural look impregnating sealer the protects the stone from within by occupying the pores so dirt and other contaminates can’t get in there.

Jura Limestone Tiled Floor After renovation Jura Limestone Tiled Floor After renovation

The floor now looks fantastic and it should stay that way for some time to come.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Large Jura Limestone Floor in North Yorkshire

Bleach-Damaged Jura Limestone Tiles Restored in Harrogate

Jura Limestone is is a high-quality stone mined in quarries in the Bavaria region of Germany. It is perhaps the best-known stone mined in the country, and it is in strong demand throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

It’s not difficult to see why – this Limestone has some fantastic aesthetic qualities while also being durable and hard. This makes it a popular material for floor tiles in residential properties. I recently encountered a wonderful coffee-coloured Jura Limestone tiled floor at a property in Beckwithshaw, a small village of around 400 people near Harrogate. Harrogate is well known as one of Britain’s best-known spa towns, and attracts many tourists each year to visit its baths.

Unfortunately, the property owner had accidentally spilt a bottle of bleach over some of the tiles. Exposure to the bleach had caused unsightly white marks to appear on the stone and, upon seeing the floor in person, I noticed that the tiles had, in any case, not been polished correctly. They had, however, been sealed with many coatings of satin sealer which would need to be removed to facilitate the polishing of the floor.

Large Jura Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate

The floor was 150m2 and it would have been quite expensive to strip the whole floor of sealer and start again so I decided the best thing to do would be to spot treat the damaged areas.

Polishing Damaged Jura Limestone Tiles

To remove the stains, I needed to use a system we have developed at Tile Doctor, which is known as burnishing. This is a style of stone polishing that involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads. Each pad in the system has its own level of grit and is applied in sequence from coarse to fine in order to re-hone the finish on the stone.

To start I used two small handheld diamond blocks (the 200 grit and 400 grit) to carefully take off the old sealer in the affected areas. This would not be enough to remove the stains on the stone, so I followed this up with the application of the Tile Doctor burnishing system which consists of four 6-inch pads of different grits fitted to a handheld buffer.

This involved starting with the Coarse 400 grit pad and then moving on to the Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally the Very Fine 3000 grit pad to achieve a refined polished finish.

The process of burnishing removed not only the white marks, but also the very top layer of stone which had suffered from pitting. Pitting is a natural form of corrosion that causes small holes to appear in Limestone, encouraging dirt and general muck to become ingrained.

Finally, the floor was rinsed and then left to dry and buffed a last time using a soft white pad. I don’t think my photographs really show the difference that well however I can tell you the result was far better than the customer had hoped for. I had managed to successfully blend the new polished finish on the affected tiles with the satin sealer which already existed across the rest of the floor.

Large Jura Limestone Floor After Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate Large Jura Limestone Floor After Cleaning Beckwithshaw Near Harrogate

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Damaged Jura Limestone Tiled Floor in Harrogate

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

100 Year Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored back to Life in Knaresborough

The photographs below are of a Victorian Tiled Hallway at a house in the historic market and spa town of Knaresborough. The tiles were actually over a hundred years old and as you can see in a terrible state. As well as looking dull and unloved they were traces of plaster, oil based paint and even chewing gum.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first job was to tackle the chewing gum with a sharp flat metal scraper taking to keep the blade level with the tile and not to scratch the tile. Once this was done the next task was to remove the paint by treating the affected areas with a product called Remove and Go which basically does what it says on the bottle. I find it works best by allowing it to soak into the affected area for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off with water.

The next step was to give the whole floor a good deep clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean, which deep cleans the tiles without damaging them. Again, you leave the product to soak into the tile before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off and extracting the now soiled solution with a wet vacuum.

After that we gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which removed the plaster and also adds a slight acid tint into the base of tile which helps to eliminate a problem we sometimes get with these old tiles called efflorescence which is where mineral salts rise up through the floor leaving white marks on the surface.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Once cleaned and fully dried a damp test was conducted to confirm the floor was dry before sealing. The customer has requested a satin finish, however we only apply this if there is no immediate damp issues or mineral salts present, if so we use a sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is fully breathable and soaks into the pores of the tile leaving a matt finish. On this occasion, everything was in normal state so we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provided the satin finish the customer wanted.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough

We pretty much through the book at this floor to restore it and I’m sure you will agree the effort was well worth it as the floor now looks brand new.

Last thing to do before leaving the customer was to provide them with some advice on how to clean the floor going forward. On this occasion, I explained that the floor will maintain its appearance as long as the sealer remains intact; now sealers will wear down over time however you can maximise their life by using a PH neutral cleaning product as anything stronger will cause premature erosion. To get them off on the right track I left them with a free 500ml bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which is PH neutral and will not damage the sealer.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration 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