It’s always nice when one of our former customers refers their family and friends to Tile Doctor as it’s a testament to the great work we do. As the Tile Doctor for Northamptonshire, I often carry out tile cleaning and restoration jobs in the Oundle area.
Recently, a customer from the nearby village of Ashton was referred to me by a friend. Her friend has the same type of floor in the same type of barn conversion in the area, and had chosen to use our services both last year and this year for their annual maintenance clean.
This new customer had a polished Limestone kitchen floor that was proving difficult to keep clean. The grout had become extremely dirty and – in the absence of an effective sealer – dirt and general muck had easily penetrated the pores of the Limestone itself. The result was a very dull appearance – not one that any property owner wants to suffer!
On our initial inspection visit, we always carry out a test clean within a small area of the floor to give the customer an idea of the final results they can expect. Upon my first visit to this property, I carried out the test clean and the customer couldn’t believe the difference made to the appearance of the grout lines. In fact, she had even forgotten their original colour!
Cleaning and Burnishing Polished Limestone Kitchen Tiles
When I next visited the property, it was time to carry out the full restoration. The work was carried out in sections of around 10m2 each, with two Tile Doctor technicians on site using the latest Tile Doctor products and machinery.
The issue of the extremely dirty grout lines was tackled first. We cleaned them with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline tile and grout cleaner. We will use Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on all types of natural stone – it’s just that reliable for cutting through the grime. The product was applied using specialised grout brushes and the resulting chemical slurry was rinsed away using fresh water and extracted with a wet vacuum.
Satisfied with the cleanliness of the grout lines, we moved onto improving the appearance of the polished Limestone tiles. When it comes to restoring polished stone, including Limestone, Travertine and Marble, we typically use a process we have developed known as ‘burnishing’. Burnishing involves both cleaning the tile and gradually polishing it to achieve a high-quality, long-lasting sheen finish.
We use a set of four diamond-encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine to do this. The first to be applied is a pad with a Coarse grit, which breaks down any old sealer and shaves off the very top layer of the dirty stone, leaving a fresh surface beneath.
Next, burnishing pads with Medium, Fine and Very Fine grits are applied to slowly but surely polish the stone, achieving a very pleasant and shiny appearance. In most cases, the tiles come out looking better than they did when they were originally installed!
Once burnished, the floor was left overnight.
Sealing Polished Limestone Kitchen Tiles
The following day, we returned to seal the tiles. We did this using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, a sealant which is formulated to protect the floor and grout lines against dirt build-up and staining.
The very happy customer was given a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, which is a highly concentrated neutral stone cleaner that helps to maintain the patina on polished stone. This will help her keep the appearance of the floor maintained until her next maintenance clean with Tile Doctor.