Stone Renovation

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

Yellow Stained Bullnose Travertine Tiles Rejuvenated in Pateley Bridge

The photos below show a beautiful Bullnose Travertine tiled kitchen floor at a property in Pateley Bridge which needed professional attention as a consequence of being protected by a cheap and ineffectual sealer.

The problem was that sealer that had been applied did not provide resistance to UV rays, and the exposure to the sunlight had turned the Travertine tiles an unnatural yellow colour. Over time the sealer had gradually worn away in the busiest areas, so it was less noticeable but of course without the protection of the sealer the stone then became exposed to ingrained dirt and stains.

Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge

I took some pictures however they don’t really show the problems that well but needless to say, the property owner was very keen to have the situation rectified – which of course is where I came in. I travelled to Pateley Bridge, a small market town in Nidderdale in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

What is a ‘Bullnose’ tile, you say? Well, it simply refers to the trim of the tile. While traditional tiles will have a straight edge, a Bullnose tile will have a slightly rounded or curved edge.

Cleaning Yellow Stained Travertine Tiles

To begin the restoration, I deep cleaned the tiles mechanically using Tile Doctor diamond burnishing pads starting with a coarse grit. These pads served the purpose of grinding away the very top damaged layer of the stone, effectively removing the yellow staining, grease marks and any old sealer. You use a little water to help lubricate the process and this soon becomes soiled and needs to be rinsed away and removed after each pad is applied.

Next, I cleaned all of the stained grout lines by hand. I did this using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a reliable, alkaline-based cleaner for use on both natural stone tiles and grout. I mixed the Pro Clean into a solution of one part cleaner to three parts fresh water and worked it in by hand using a stiff brush along the grout lines. Once done the now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor and extracted leaving the grout fresh and clean.

Bullnose Travertine During Cleaning Patley Bridge
To finish the cleaning process, I polished the floor with a 3000 grit (very fine) burnishing pad to leave the tiles with a silky satin finish. This pad is applied mechanically with a little water in a technique we often call a spray burnish.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the floor was dry it needed protecting to ensure that dirt could no longer penetrate the pores of the stone. So to guarantee that this wonderful satin finish would last, I sealed the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal.

Ultra-Seal is Tile Doctor’s premium impregnating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation and serving areas such as the kitchen.

Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge

The photos above show the outcome of the restoration, I appreciate my photograph skills are not the best but hopefully you can notice how much healthier the stone looks now, compared to the yellow, sickly appearance of the stone before.

Professional Renovation of a Bullnose Travertine Tiled Floor in North Yorkshire

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