cleaning Limestone Tiles

Reviving a Beige Moleanos Limestone Floor in Harrogate

I recently went to survey a floor in Harrogate which I immediately recognised as beige Moleanos Limestone which comes from Portugal. If you have been reading my previous posts you will remember I am not a fan of this type of stone as it is very difficult to clean, polish or seal. This particular floor was laid around 5 years prior and was now looking quite dull and was in need of reviving.

Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

The client didn’t want to spend much so l suggested l could spray burnish the floor to get her shine back again and remove the splash marks. We do this a lot for owners of polished stone floors as part of an annual maintenance package, it is a low cost option that uses a very fine 3,000 grit burnishing pad to renovate the stone and bring up the shine. However, I pointed out to her that this process wouldn’t clean her grout which was making her floor look scruffy.

Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

I priced up the different options and after weighing up the quotes I’m pleased to say she decided to go for a full clean and seal. The full process involves the use of different grades of diamond encrusted burnishing pads from low to very fine grits to renovate the Limestone and also a chemical clean of the grout followed by a fresh seal.

Cleaning a Moleanos Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned on the scheduled date and after preparing the floor I started cleaning the Limestone by running over the tiles with a 400-grit coarse burnishing pad lubricated with water. The soil was rinsed off with more water and extracted with a wet vacuum. This process was repeated with the 800 and 1500-grit pads which starts to build-up the polish on the stone.

I then turned my attention to the grout with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the grout for ten minutes before scrubbing it by hand with a stiff brush. After a final rinse and extraction with the wet vacuum the tile and grout were looking much cleaner and was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Moleanos Tiled Kitchen Floor

On Day 2 I stated with the application of the 3,000-grit pad which is the last step in the polishing processed and builds up a lovely satin finish on the stone floor. This is done using only a little water and is basically the spray burnish technique I referred to earlier. This process has the added advantage of leaving the floor dry.

With the stone tiles looking lovely and the grout clean the last step was to seal it all in and protect it from dirt and future staining with the application of a sealer. For this I used two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal.

Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

My client was very pleased she had spent the extra money to achieve the floor she had always wanted, apparently it had never looked this good even when new. We discussed the annual maintenance plan to ensure the floor remained looking this good.

Moleanos Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

 

Professional Renovation of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in North Yorkshire

White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Renovated in Leeds

Moleanos Limestone is a very difficult stone to work with due to its’ porous chalky nature and needs to be sealed to prevent dirt accumulating in the stone. Without a sealer in place dirt builds up in the pores leaving it looking dirty and this is exacerbated in the case of White Moleanos Limestone which really shows up the dirt. I mention this as I was asked to visit a property in Leeds which had White Moleanos Limestone installed in the Kitchen and was now suffering this exact problem with the client unable to get it clean. The grout was also quite badly discoloured.

White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Leeds Before Cleaning White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Leeds Before Cleaning

I visited the property to survey the floor and quote for renovating the stone. I ran some tests and could see that as suspected the original sealer had broken down leaving the stone vulnerable. Sealers typically last around three to five years depending on use, but this can be significantly reduced if a strong household cleaning product is used to clean the floor.

Without a seal in place dirt was able to get into the porous stone and once ingrained it can be very difficult to remove without the right products and equipment. I completed a demonstration clean on a small area to show how the floor should look and the result was immediate. Confident I was able to get the floor clean my client booked me in and we agreed a date to complete the work.

Cleaning White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Tiles

To restore the appearance of the stone I used a set of Tile Doctors Burnishing Pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds and are used to hone the stone, remove dirt and restore its appearance. This is a slow steady process and involves working through the different grades of burnishing pads from coarse to very fine. The pads are applied with a small amount of water to lubricate and the soil generated by the process is extracted with a wet vacuum afterwards, to keep the mess to a minimum.

All the grout was cleaned by hand using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is scrubbed into the grout lines by hand with a stiff brush. For best results I leave it to dwell for ten minutes before scrubbing, this allows it more time to break down and lift the dirt from the cementitious grout lines.

After cleaning I left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Moleanos Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following morning, I returned to the property and checked the floor was dry using a moisture meter. This is always worth checking as applying a sealer to a damp floor can result in a patchy appearance.

I had discussed the effects of the different sealers suitable for use on Limestone and the client specified they were after a natural look that wasn’t over shiny. With this in mind I selected Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection and is especially recommended for use in kitchen areas. Ultra-seal doesn’t change the look of the stone which made it a nice match for the client’s needs, it’s also a good grout sealer and will ensure the grout looks cleaner for longer.

Three coats of Ultra-Seal where applied allowing each one to dry before applying the next. With the new sealer in place the stone is protected from ingrained dirt and would prove to be much easier to keep clean in future.

White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Leeds After Cleaning White Moleanos Limestone Kitchen Floor Leeds After Cleaning

The client was very pleased with the finished result and before leaving I recommended, they maintain the floor using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is designed for the cleaning of polished stone.

 

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

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