sealing limestone

Restoration Clean of a Limestone Tiled floor in York

The pictures show a large Limestone floor laid through much of the ground floor of a property situated on the outskirts of York seventeen years prior.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning York Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning York

The owners had three dogs that slept in their own doggy room. The floor in this room was in the worst condition of the five rooms as it had been subject to significant wear and tear. The Limestone tiles looked dull with ingrained dirt and the grout was stained and patchy.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning York

The original tiler had laid the floor well, but he had applied a satin topical sealer to the stone most of which had worn off over the years. A floor like this would need a little maintenance and the sealer reapplying from time to time to maintain it.

I completed a test clean for the client to show them what could be achieved which came out well. Happy with the result they accepted my quote for the restoration work, and we booked in a suitable time to complete the work.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

The area was quite large, so I separated the job into rooms and started by protecting the skirtings and woodwork from splashing etc. I decided to do a chemical clean first to remove what was left of the old sealer but more importantly to give the grout a thorough clean which was making the floor look scruffy.

For this I opted to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell for a short while and then worked in with a mechanical rotary cleaner. It gets to work on the ingrained dirt and sealer. It should also help to get rid of the doggy smells. This process turns the cleaning solution black and is then extracted using a wet vacuum keeping the mess to a minimum. I paid particular attention to the grout which was deeply discoloured and found that some areas required going over a couple of times to get them clean. I was only just getting started on the cleaning but immediately the floor was looking so much better.

I then deep cleaned the Limestone with a set of diamond burnishing pads, working in sequence from the 400 grit through to 1500 grit. A small amount of water was used to aid the lubrication and after each pad have been over the entire area few times the solution is rinsed off with more water and extracted with the wet vacuum.

The floor came back to almost new and as the client wanted a satin finish, I ended by applying a 3000-grit pad to add a deeper polish to the Limestone. The floor was then left overnight to dry.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing York

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The last step of polishing with the 3000-grit pad already leaves the floor quite dry however I always like to check before sealing so just to be sure I took some reading with a damp meter. The readings were fine, so I started applying the first of two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to finish the floor. This is an impregnating sealer (as opposed to the previous topical sealer) that soaks into the stone protecting it from within but without affecting its appearance. This product was chosen in consultation with the client who was specific about how they wanted to floor to look.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing York Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing York

The floor now looked superb. Both the client and l were very pleased with the finished floor and so where the dogs! For aftercare I recommended Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is designed for cleaning polished stone floors like these, it’s a gentle stone cleaner that helps maintain the patina and ideal for this type of floor.

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Hallway in North West 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

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

Limestone Flagstone Floor Cleaned and Polished in Austwick

These rather dirty but beautiful classic Minster Limestone flagstones had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in the village of Austwick. They were now overdue for a deep clean and polish and so we were asked to do to the work.

York Minster Limestone Before Cleaning Harrogate York Minster Limestone Stairs Before Cleaning Harrogate

Stripping and Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

To restore the surface of polished stone we use a set of diamond encrusted pads however before starting we gave the floor tiles a general clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mainly to clean-up the grout and secondly to remove any loose surface grit. This was rinsed away and removed with a wet vacuum before starting the burnishing process using a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad and a little water. The coarse pad strips off dirt and old sealers from the tile and the resulting slurry is then removed using a wet vacuum.

The burnishing pads come in a set of four so once we were done with the coarse pad we moved on to the Medium and then Fine pads again with a little water until the floor was polished. To bring up the polish on the Limestone tiles the last “Very Fine” pad was fitted to the rotary machine and run over the floor to buff it to a nice shine.

York Minster Limestone During Cleaning Harrogate York Minster Limestone During Cleaning Harrogate

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry we set about sealing it using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone filling them so dirt can’t penetrate below the surface. As well as offering excellent protection Ultra Seal doesn’t enhance the stone the stone in anyway giving it a natural look. Once sealing was complete and dry the Limestone tiles were given a final buff with a soft white pad.

York Minster Limestone After Cleaning Harrogate York Minster Limestone After Cleaning Harrogate

I think you will agree that the Limestone tiles now look much better and now that’s it’s been sealed cleaning the floor should be so much easier.

Minster Limestone Flags Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Yorkshire

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