I was contacted by the owner of this property in Leeds about renovating their old Flagstone floor. The couple who owned the house both worked long hours so after discussing the floor at length over the phone and after reviewing several photographs they emailed me to ask me to go ahead and start work. I normally prefer to do a site visit beforehand so I can provide an accurate quote, clearly however this wasn’t going to possible in this case.
The owner had arranged for his father in law to let me into the property so I could start work. I was aware from the phone calls we had that there was an issue with the pointing, and I was prepared for this, but it was worse than I had anticipated with most of the grout missing or loose.
Interestingly the stone was quite yellow and so probably came from the Salts Mill area near Leeds. Sir Titus Salt was a 19th century industrialist and philanthropist built a large textile mill out of the stone. The mill is now a centre for art, dining and shopping and well worth a visit if your passing.
Cleaning and restoring a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor
I decided to deal with the floor cleaning first and began by scrubbing the flagstones with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean using a rotary floor machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The soil was then extracted using a wet vacuum and flagstones re-inspected. The remaining stubborn stains were spot treated using a repeat of the previous process until I was happy they were as clean as they could be.
As the floor dried I took out all the loose pointing and re grouted the whole floor with a mid grey grout which matched the old flagstones quite well. The floor was now looking vastly improved. The floor was then left to dry fully overnight to ensure the seal could be applied.
Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor
I returned the following morning and tested the floor with the moisture meter, I was satisfied the floor was within the accepted parameters and we could now apply the sealant. I selected to use a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one. This product enhances the colour but leaves a matt finish. It will form a durable protective seal to the floor which will ensure the floor is easier to maintain.
I heard from the later that they were over the moon with the result and as part of the conversation we discussed the best way to maintain the floor going forward. Basically, this involves being careful with what you use to clean it as strong products can weaker the sealer. I recommend they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is pH neural and designed for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles.
Professional Restoration of a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen in North West Yorkshire
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.
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.
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