Polishing Limestone

Renovating Polished Limestone Floor with Stained Grout in Wellingborough

This Limestone tiled floor installed in a kitchen and family room at a property in Wellingborough is a great example of how this material can lose its appearance without a regular maintenance plan in place.

Limestone Tile and Stained Grout Before Cleaning Wellingborough

The customer called me as not only was she concerned that the floor had lost its lustre the grey grout had become very stained and almost black in heavy traffic areas, in fact my customer had originally asked about re-grouting but I was confident it could be cleaned.
I provided a quote which they were happy to accept.

Limestone Tile and Stained Grout Before Cleaning Wellingborough Limestone Tile and Stained Grout Before Cleaning Wellingborough

Cleaning/Polishing Limestone Tiled Flooring

The area was a nice wide 6 metre by 5 metre space and except for a few items of furniture that would need moving around there were relatively few obstacles. I reasoned the most efficient way to restore the polished appearance of the Limestone would be to use a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing Pads. These are fitted to a rotary machine and applied to the stone in sequence from coarse to smooth. It’s an effective process that cuts back the layer of dirt on the floor and then we build back up the polish.

We started burnishing the Limestone with a coarse 400-grit pad fitted to a rotary machine and applied with a little water for lubrication. The coarse pad is very good at removing dirt and old sealers from stone and once completed the resultant surface water and loose dirt is removed using a wet vacuum.

At this point I turned my attention to the badly stained grout lines, and applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed in along the grout lines using a stiff grout brush, this is necessary as the recessed nature of the grout makes it difficult for the rotary pads to reach it.

I then repeated the burnishing process with the medium 800-grit pad and fine 1500-grit pad, the 800-grit pad removes any small surface scratches and the 1500-grit further refines the look of the Limestone slowly restoring its polished appearance.

Renovating Stained Grout on a Limestone Tiled Floor

After the whole floor had been burnished in this way it was given a further rinse with water and the soil extracted as before. I then inspected the floor to see if more work would be needed.

I was not fully happy with how some of the grout lines had responded, some were still slightly stained, and some marks were visible in the high traffic areas. I had already discussed on my initial visit with the client that this might be the case and it was agreed between us that should this be the case I would apply a Tile Doctor Grout Colourant in Light Grey to recolour all the grout lines and achieve a uniform finish.

The stone and grout was still damp from cleaning and polishing, so I decided to leave the grout colouring until the following day.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On day two I started by grout recolouring all the grout lines, it’s a straight forward process but can be a little tedious where there is a lot of grout to cover. Once complete I allowed the grout colour to dry for a couple of hours before moving onto the next step.

The last pad to be applied in the stone burnishing process is the very fine 3000-grit polishing pad which is applied dry to the tiles using a small amount of water sprayed onto the floor and leaves the stone dry and with a polished silk finish.

The floor was then sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal Sealant allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. Ultra-Seal is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. It’s also a natural look sealer that doesn’t affect the appearance of the stone

Limestone Tile and Stained Grout After Renovation Wellingborough Limestone Tile and Stained Grout After Renovation Wellingborough

My customer was very happy with the transformation of her floor and provided the feedback copies below. In-fact she was so impressed with the results that she also used our services to restore the grout and silicon in one of her bathrooms.

“Phil was on time & easy to deal with and did an amazing job on my kitchen and bathroom floors and the carpets & sofa. No fuss, just a great job. Liz O.”

Limestone Tile and Stained Grout After Renovation Wellingborough

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Northamptonshire

Cleaning of Polished Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles in Stanwick

I was contacted by a client from the village of Stanwick regarding their Limestone tiled floors, which were installed throughout the kitchen area and steps leading to the hallway. Polished stone does lose its appearance over time due to wear and this floor was now in need of re-polishing. An appointment was made to visit the client and carry out a survey of the floor.

Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick

On my arrival I could see that the Limestone tiles had as suspected become dull and the grout needed attention; it was clear that the sealer had worn off in the busier area and dirt was now becoming ingrained in the stone and grout.

Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick

To bring back its polished appearance the floor would need to be honed with burnishing and then re-sealed to protect it. This is a straightforward task which would take two days and so I provided a quote to do the work. The quote was accepted, and the job booked in.

Limestone Floor Tiles Before Polishing Stanwick

Cleaning and Honing Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first course of action was to protect the walls and kitchen units using a protective wrap before scrubbing the first area using a hot solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a brush head attachment. This process lifted the dirt from the grout and surface of the tiles.

The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with water to remove the released dirt and cleaning solution which was then extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum. I then proceeded to burnish the Limestone using a set of four Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads fitted to a rotary floor machine. As usual I started with the application of a 400-grit coarse pad lubricated with water, this removes any remaining sealers and ingrained dirt from the stone. The slurry generated was then rinsed away using a wet pick up machine. I then repeated this process using the medium 800-grit and fine 1500-grit burnishing pads which slowly polish the stone, rinsing and extracting after each pad. The floor was then allowed to dry off overnight

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following day and continued the process using the superfine 3000-grit polishing pad which is the last stage in the polishing process and bought back the polished surface. In this instance I polished the floor to a high shine as requested by the customer. Only a small amount of water is used with this last pad, so it leaves the floor dry and ready for sealing.

To seal I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal Sealant which is an impregnating sealer that protects from within and gives the floor a natural look. The last step once the sealer was dry was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad.

Limestone Floor Tiles After Polishing Stanwick

As the photos show, the floors were bought back to life with a gleaming high shine finish, the clients were extremely pleased with the results as you can see from their feedback below.

“Phil is a very hardworking and pleasant guy who kept me fully informed at all stages and the floors and patios look great. Many thanks. Michael B, Stanwick”

Limestone Floor Tiles After Polishing Stanwick

Whilst I was at the property the client asked me if I was able to clean their flagstone patio, I was able to do this and carried out the work for them, you can see the results achieved in the patio section of my website.

Limestone Floor Tiles After Polishing Stanwick

 

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Honed and Polished in Northamptonshire

12-Year-Old Limestone Floor Renovation in Yelvertoft

I was called in to look at this Limestone tiled kitchen and hallway floor that had been installed 12 years prior at a small cottage in Yelvertoft. Yelvertoft is a small village with a population of less than a 1000 people near Daventry, with the Grand Union Canal passing close by.

I always like to do a site visit to survey the floor before recommending a solution, photographs help but you can never be certain until you have had chance to run some tests and discussed the history of the floor with the owner. As it turns out the stone had not been professionally cleaned and sealed since it was installed and was now in a bad state. So much so that my client was concerned it was beyond restoration and had considered replacing the floor.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Yelvertoft

I carried out a cleaning test on a small area and although it was very badly soiled, I found the Limestone responded well to our cleaning processes. The client was quite surprised as they had almost given up on it! We discussed the process involved, which would take two days and worked out a cost for the works. Confident I would do the job well my quote was accepted, and a date set for my return.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Yelvertoft

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

Arriving on the first day, we noted that there was a fairly new oak stairway and beam that had been fitted. I protected these and the kitchen units with a protective wrap to prevent any splashes from the cleaning process.

To restore the appearance of the Limestone I started with the application of a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing pads beginning with a very coarse 200-grit pad instead of the usual 400-grit. I reasoned that with the Stone being in such bad condition it could benefit from the coarser pad which gives a very deep clean, removing light and medium scratches by resurfacing the top of the tile. The pads are applied with water to lubricate and the fine slurry generated is rinsed off afterwards with more water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. After applying the 200-grit pad this process is repeated with increasingly higher grit pads to further hone the stone and eventually finishing with a very fine 3000 grit pad to achieve a polished finish.

Once I was satisfied with the Limestone tiles a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Grout Clean-Up was used to remove the stubborn staining from the grout lines. The floor was given a final rinse and extraction and you could see a huge improvement in the floor which looked lighter and much cleaner.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

I allowed the floors to dry off overnight and returned the next day to apply a sealer first checking for moisture with a damp meter to ensure the floor was dry and ready for sealing.

To seal the Limestone, I chose Tile Doctor Ultra Seal Sealant which is a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer that is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation areas like the kitchen. It is also an excellent grout sealer, but mainly it gives a lovely natural finish allowing the variations in the natural Limestone to shine through.

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Renovation Yelvertoft

The pictures and clients’ testimonial really do speak for themselves; I was really pleased that she was so satisfied with the result and had saved a fortune in relaying the floor.

“I was about to replace my Limestone 12 year old floor … then Phil the Tile Doctor worked his magic… I now have a good as new lovely floor, I am absolutely delighted. Thanks, so much Phil.” Louise O, Yelvertoft

Limestone Kitchen Floor After Renovation Yelvertoft

 

Limestone Tiled Floor Professionally Cleaned and Polished in Northamptonshire

Honed Limestone Floor Renovated in Ecton

I was contacted by the owner of a property in the picturesque village of Ecton who was concerned that her Limestone floor spanning the kitchen and open plan breakfast area was starting to lose its natural appeal and was finding it harder to clean and maintain.

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor Before Renovation Ecton

I went over to take a closer look at the floor and carry out a survey. In order determine the best cleaning method I conducted a test on a small area of the floor. This gives the clients confidence in my abilities and a good idea of what result we they can expect. The Limestone was honed smooth but was not polished and the customers were keen not to add too much of an unnatural shine to the floor. The grout lines in some of the more heavily used areas, such as by the sink, were also discoloured and would require a decent scrub with an appropriate cleaning product.

I spoke to the clients about options for the finish to be applied after cleaning and they decided that they wanted to keep the tiles as light as possible with a slight shine. With the clients impressed with the test area I prepared I went away and produced a detailed quote which was e mailed to them along with our general T&Cs and the work was booked in to be completed shortly after.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Ecton

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

The floor covered quite a large area, some 38m2, and had some larger items of furniture that needed to be moved before starting. The first task was to scrub the grout lines with a specialist grout brush, designed to work the product into the grout. Limestone is an acid-sensitive stone, so a strong alkaline cleaner was required. I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with warm water at a ratio of 3:1 which was left to dwell for around twenty minutes.

The area was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted before applying a series of diamond impregnated burnishing pads attached to a rotary scrubbing machine, ranging from a coarse 400 grit (200 in some of the more stubborn areas), a medium 800-grit and finishing with a fine 1500 grit to clean the stone. The whole area was then rinsed again and extracted using a wet pick up vacuum. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The following day a very fine 3000 grit diamond pad was used to ‘spray burnish’ the floor which uses very little water and ensures that any remaining residues are lifted as well as finishing the floor in the highest level of mechanical polishing possible prior to sealing.

If the clients desired a higher level of shine a powdered high shine sealer would have been worked into the tiles to achieve a highly reflective surface, however the mechanical polish was the highest level of shine wanted.

My client requested a completely natural finish so to seal the stone after cleaning I applied an impregnating sealer called Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Impregnating sealers soak into the pores of the tile protecting them from within and Ultra-Seal doesn’t alter the appearance of the floor and so maintained the natural appearance of the stone keeping it as light as possible.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Renovation Ecton

Aftercare instructions along with a bottle of suitable pH Neutral Tile Cleaner were supplied.
The customer was thrilled with the result and was surprised at the transformation of the floor, they even left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor website.

“Thank you so much Phil for a professional service resulting in my floor looking just as I wanted it too. You were attentive to all detail. I would strongly recommend Phil as a trustworthy, honest person to anyone who is considering work done. See you again in the Summer Phil to clean my patio. Natalie W, Northampton”

Limestone Tiled Dining Room Floor After Renovation Ecton

 

Cleaning and Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

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