Renovating a Lapicida White Sandstone Kitchen Floor in Ilkley

These pictures are of a beautiful Sandstone floor in Ilkley, the tiles were sourced from Lapicida of Harrogate and installed around twelve years prior. If you take a look at their website now you will see they are selling a similar London White Sandstone for nearly £100 per m2. This floor was 35 square metres so clearly this was a significant investment for the owner at the time.

Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Ilkley

After twelve years of use however the sealer had worn off the floor and dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the stone making it very difficult to keep clean. A good sealer takes a long time to wear off so the change to the appearance of the stone happens so slowly you don’t notice it. The floor was now looking permanently dirty, and the owner of the property had decided it was time to get it renovated.

Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Ilkley

Before quoting I paid a visit to the property to survey the floor and conduct an initial test clean which came out well. The test cleaning did not go as quickly as I had hoped it might however, due to traces of old satin sealer on some of the stone. It’s important to remove all the old sealer before applying new or you can end up with a patchy appearance. The remnants of old sealer proved challenging to remove as a result I had to try several products and methods before working out the right approach. In the end I resulted to using a product called Tile Doctor Wax Away. I had considered applying diamond burnishing pads which would have been a quicker option, but the flagstones had a riven finish, and the dirt was deeply pitted.

Lapicida Sandstone Floor During Test Clean Ilkley

With a successful cleaning plan worked out I provided the client with a which was accepted, and a date agreed for my return.

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The cleaning plan I had worked out was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Wax Away, leave it to soak into the stone for thirty minutes and then scrub it in with a rotary buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The old sealer proved to be tough to remove and in total I used five litres of Tile Doctor Wax Away in the process, as I said it was a big floor!

Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Ilkley

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On day three, I sealed the floor using three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which gave the Sandstone a lovely satin finish that the client liked. This product is also water based so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Sealing Ilkley

Once done the floor was completely transformed, and my client very pleased with the floor which looked so much lighter and cleaner. For aftercare cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner for maintenance, it is pH neutral so will ensure the newly applied seal is protected. It has a nice fresh smell and is gentle enough to use frequently keeping the newly renovated floor looking lovely.


Professional Restoration of a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen in North West Yorkshire

Old Terrazzo Tiled Bakery Floor Renovated in Addingham Village

The Terrazzo tiled floor at this house in Addingham, which sits between Skipton and Ilkley, had quite some history to it. Apparently, the property was once the village bakery and originally had a traditional Yorkshire stone floor. However, they struggled to keep the flags clean and as one of the bakers was half Italian, they decided to tile over the stone with Italian Terrazzo tiles. All of this happened nearly 100 years ago but was discovered by the new owners who had managed to trace back the history of the 200-year-old building.

Terrazzo Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire
Clearly the Terrazzo had been down for a long time and was very overdue some care and attention. Terrazzo floors are a flooring material which is traditionally made by exposing marble chips on the surface of concrete and then polishing until smooth. They are now, often used in public buildings because the surface is so long-lasting, and it can be refinished repeatedly to bring it back to life.

The client wanted the floor as shiny as possible however the floor was quite pitted due to heavy foot traffic, so it was clearly going to be a challenge. Having worked with all sorts of stone floors I was optimistic I could restore this one to a good standard and quoted for the work which would take two days. The quote was accepted, and we agreed a suitable time to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Terrazzo Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin I taped up the skirting and plinths in the kitchen to protect them from splashing. Next, I gave the floor an initial clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, which strips and degreases. We dilute it to varying strengths depending on the job requirements. It is a very effective Tile and Grout cleaner and is particularly good for areas that have been neglected or subjected to heavy use.

This was ideal for this floor and the Pro-Clean was left to dwell for a short while before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The process was repeated on the stubborn areas, but it lifted all the ingrained dirt, the floor was rinsed with water, and the soiled solution removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was then left overnight to dry.

Polishing a Terrazzo Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the next day, I set about improving the appearance of the Terrazzo tiles using a coarse 400-grit burnishing pad, again fitted to the rotary machine. Water is used to lubricate the process and the pad is run over each tile at least three times. Tile Doctor Burnishing pads are made from tiny industrial diamonds and lightly cut into the surface of the tile to remove pitting and scratches. The water quickly turns into a grey slurry that is rinsed off with water and extracted from the floor as before.

Terrazzo Tiled Floor During Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire Terrazzo Tiled Floor During Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire

Once done the process was repeated with other finer grit burnishing pads which further refine the surface of the stone to give it a light polished appearance. The Terrazzo tiles benefited greatly from the polishing and I was pleased to see the pitting was gone and the tile was once again smooth.

Sealing Terrazzo Floor Tiles

The polishing process leaves the floor dry, so it wasn’t long before I was able to move onto the sealing the floor in order to protect it from ingrained dirt and staining. My initial thought was to use Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal for this however this product although ideal for Kitchens is almost invisible and the owner had specified a shine, so I opted for Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

Terrazzo Tiled Floor After Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire Terrazzo Tiled Floor After Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire

I applied the sealer to a small area first to see how it might look and to ensure the Terrazzo would take it without any issues. The tile took the sealer no problem and so three coats were applied, leaving them to dry before applying the next. The floor now had the shiny finish the client had requested.

I was very pleased with the outcome as was the client.

Terrazzo Tiled Floor After Cleaning Addingham West Yorkshire

Professional Restoration of a Terrazzo Tiled Kitchen Floor in West Yorkshire

Grade 1 Listed Mosaic Tiled Floor Renovated at Ilkley Manor House

Dating back to the 14th century, the Ilkley Manor House is a Grade 1 listed building with an original Italian mosaic floor, laid when the house was re-built 500 years ago. The property is maintained by charitable trust run by local volunteers with the aim of preserving and transforming the building into a community asset and they were keen to preserve the floor.

It was an honour to be asked by the Trust to work on the mosaic floor, I’ve worked on a lot of old building in my time and understand how to go about cleaning and preserving old floors such as this. The floor was about 8m2 and had stood the test of time but was now in need of a sympathetic deep clean and renovation.

I visited site to take a closer look at the floor and decide on the best course of action for cleaning. I knew I had to be very careful with the floor as some pieces were slightly loose, and some were crumbling. I was satisfied that I would be able to improve the floor and I gave them a quote for the works which they were happy to accept. We arranged to carry out the work the following month.

Cleaning a Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

As with all Victorian and Mosaic floors if you take a few out the surrounding tiles can become loose and before you know it 50 tiles need re-laying. As a result, I decided not to use a floor buffer and cleaned the whole floor by hand, I didn’t even use a wet vacuum in case the suction was too strong. This meant the process took a lot longer than usual, but I would rather be on the safe side than risk damaging the floor any further.

Mosaic Tiled Floor During Renovation Ilkley

Working in small sections I applied a combination of Tile Doctor Pro Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak in for ten minutes. Then using a white scouring pad instead of a brush, I carefully scrubbed each tile until it was clean. The difference in the floor was very noticeable as you can see from the before and after pictures.

The mosaic floor needed to be dry before sealing so I arranged to return two day later.

Sealing a Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

On returning the floor looked dry but I tested it with a moisture meter to be sure. I don’t recommend applying sealer to damp floors as it can comprise the effectively and lead to inconsistent results. Once I was satisfied, I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, each coat was allowed to dry before I applied the next one. Colour Grow was an ideal choice for this floor, not only does it enhance the colour in the mosaics its also fully breathable which is important on old floors that don’t have a modern damp proof membrane installed.

Mosaic Tiled Floor After Renovation Ilkley

As you can see from the picture the floor looked great. The sealant had given the floor back its lustre and would now make it easier for them to maintain. For aftercare I suggested they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, it’s a pH neutral product so it will be nice and gentle on the floor and ensure the newly applied seal last a lot longer.


Professional Restoration of a Mosaic Tiled Hallway in North West Yorkshire

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