Renovating an Acid Etched Limestone Tiled Shower in Huntingdon

I was recently asked to take a look at a Limestone tiled shower cubicle at a house in the market town of Huntingdon. It turns out a cleaning company had tried to clean the tiles with an acidic product which was unsuitable for a calcium stone. I suspect they used a limescale remover which is very acidic. The owner was horrified by the damage that had been caused which as you can see from the pictures had ruined the appearance of the stone.

Etched Limestone Tiled Shower Before Renovation Huntingdon Etched Limestone Tiled Shower Before Renovation Huntingdon

Always check the label before applying an unfamiliar product to natural stone as most household and commercial cleaning products are simply not suitable. It is essential that the correct product is used and if in doubt talk to Tile Doctor who have a product for everything related to maintaining stone.

I discussed with the client what needed to be done to rectify the job. They were happy with my quote and were relieved that their Limestone tiles could be salvaged.

Renovating Damaged Limestone Shower Tiles

With the extent of the damage, most of the work to rectify was to be done by hand. I started by applying a set of handheld diamond blocks to cut back the stone to remove the etching. This was then followed up with a set of small diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads are applied to the Limestone tiles in sequence using a handheld buffer with water for lubrication. The sequence runs from coarse to very fine and we rinsed with water between each pad to remove the soil.

With a lot of man hours and elbow grease later, we had corrected the damage caused.

Sealing Limestone Shower Tiles

Once the stone had dried, I moved onto sealing the Limestone to prevent dirt and other stains from shampoo dyes affecting the stone going forward. To do this I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, this is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone leaving a natural look yet leaving a delicate sheen. As you can see from the pictures the results were dramatic and very successful.

Etched Limestone Tiled Shower After Renovation Huntingdon Etched Limestone Tiled Shower After Renovation Huntingdon

The client was impressed with the transformation I had managed to achieve and left the following feedback for me.

“Tom was punctual on both the day he quoted and on the day he arrived to undertake the work. He was also very mindful of our semi house cats and made sure he did not let them out. That sounds simple but of the many tradesmen we have had around in the last six months for restorative work on the house he was one of a couple that did not need constant reminding. The work he undertook was to rectify, as he put it, “some of the worst damage to tiles I have seen to date”! The tiles were limestone and had been badly marked by an acid based cleaner. By the end of five solid hours work he had got the tiles back to looking brand new with not a mark to be seen. He did so with no mess, a very cheerful disposition and several cups of coffee! I would not hesitate to recommend Tom to all my own clients and friends” Bob H, Huntingdon

 

Professional Renovation of Damaged Limestone Shower Tiles in Cambridgeshire

Large Limestone Floor Polished to a Deep Lustre in Boxworth

I was asked to visit a house in Boxworth Cambridge to survey a large Limestone tiled kitchen, dining room, utility and hallway. The customer was not happy with the finish of the tiles and wanted it to have more lustre. Additionally, the floor had suffered some damage in the dining room where the floor had been scratched by table and chair legs.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Boxworth is a small village of around 100 houses, this property being one of the larger ones. The village lies around eight miles to the north west of Cambridge. I examined the floor and discussed with the client the process we would use. Although not looking their best, I could see that the Limestone tiles contained a variety of natural colour shades which with the right treatment could be made to really come to life. I presented a quote which they were happy to accept.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Boxworth Cambridge

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

My first job was the protect all the surrounding areas from splashing during the cleaning process. To do this I removed the kickboards from underneath some of the kitchen units, elsewhere was covered with a blue protective film.

To start the cleaning, I first applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor and then worked it in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. I also scrubbed the grout by hand as the pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout line. After rinsing the floor with water, the soiled solution was then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor During Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

I followed up this process with the application of a set of Diamond burnishing pads starting with the coarse 400-grit pad, then medium 800-grit pad, fine 1500-grit pad and finishing with the extra fine 3000-grit pad. The pads are fitted to a rotary floor buffer and are run over each tile using water for lubrication. All the slurry produced by the cleaning pads is removed away using our truck mounted hot water extraction machine to cause minimum mess to the client.

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I would return the next day to finish the polishing process.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

On the following day, we checked the floor was completely dry and then using a white buffing pad ground Tile Doctor Shine Powder into the Limestone floor. The powder builds up a deep and durable polish on the tiles leaving a deep and resilient lustre.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

To further protect the stone and enhance the natural colours in the Limestone a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer were applied followed by a light buff with a red pad. The sealant is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and intensifying the natural colours in the stone.

When finished the floor looked great. We had managed to remove the scratches from the dining area and the floor now had the lustre that the client had been hoping for.

The client was extremely happy with the outcome and gave the following feedback:

“Quoted very quickly, carried out the work quickly and efficiently with no fuss.”

Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge Limestone Tiled Floor After Polishing Boxworth Cambridge

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Flooring in Cambridgeshire

Pitted Limestone Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Warboys

The photographs below are from a Limestone tiled floor which had been installed throughout the kitchen, hall and downstairs WC of a property in the Cambridgeshire village of Warboys. The owner was fed up with the floor which was not cleaning up after multiple attempts, he surmised it was overdue a deep clean and re-seal and so got in touch with us to do the work.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning

We visited the property to survey the floor and could straight away that the owner was right to call us, the floor was definitely overdue a professional clean and he would not have been able to improve it without the right equipment. It was a large space and being the hallway and kitchen area, it was subject to a lot of foot traffic so was not looking its’ best. One of the biggest problems was the pitting in the Limestone which had trapped a lot of dirt which was difficult to shift. We discussed the options and the cost for the work which was agreeable to the client and arranged an appointment to return to carry out the renovation.

Deep Cleaning and restoring a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

Before starting I wrapped protective tape around the woodwork and removed the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units to protect them during the cleaning process.

Limestone and Travertine are notorious for pitting and on this floor the pits had trapped dirt making it look very unattractive. To deal with this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, allowed it to soak in and break-down the dirt and old coatings such as sealers for ten minutes and then scrubbed it in with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

To remove the slurry that was generated I used our hot water pressurised extraction system which is a great tool that operates from a large compressor situated in my van which was parked outside. It fires hot pressurised water onto the floor via a floor spinner tool and then extracts the dirty water back onto a tank in the van. The pressure allows the water to penetrate deep into the pits of the stone to maximise the dirt extracted. This machine was an expensive investment however it saves a lot of time and allows me to achieve some outstanding results.

This process was repeated across the floor using the 800-grit and then the 1500-grit diamond burnishing pads using only water to lubricate and the extraction system to extract the slurry afterwards.

There were number of areas to cover so it took most of the day to clean all the floors, by the end of the day however the floor looked much cleaner and brighter. I left the floor to dry out overnight and came back the next day to apply a sealer.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

The next day I inspected the floor and checked it was dry before applying the sealer. To seal the Limestone I applied multiple coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer which penetrates into the stone, protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours in the stone in the process. Any excess sealant was buffed off the surface with a cloth after ten to fifteen minutes.

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

The sealer really brought out beauty and colours in the natural stone and the floor was transformed in just two days. The owner of the house was happy with the results and left the following feedback on the tile doctor feedback system.

‘Tom did a superb job of cleaning my tiles to look like new. Very professional, methodical and proud of his work’
Brian A, Warboys

 

Professional Renovation of Pitted Limestone Floor Tiles in Cambridgeshire

Polishing Dull Limestone Floor Tiles to a High Shine in Boxworth

Boxworth is a very small village situated to the north-west of Cambridge. In the Middle Ages, it had a significant population, but in the modern day there are only around 100 houses in the area including one belonging to my customer.

I was there to take a look at a large installation of Polished Limestone floor tiles which had been laid throughout the ground floor including the Kitchen, Dining, Utility room and hallway.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room Before Polishing Boxworth

Many people will already know that Limestone is a premium, yet somewhat sensitive natural stone. It’s also porous, meaning that dirt can easily become ingrained if the tiles are not sealed properly, or if the sealant has worn away. This leads eventually to a very unappealing, dirty, and dull appearance which often happens so slowly it hardly get’s noticed until one day you think, “I’m sure my floor looked better than that before!”.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility Before Polishing Boxworth

In this case the sealer had degraded over time and my customer had called me in because she was now no longer happy with the appearance of the tiles. The lustre the tiles once had eventually disappeared and there was also damage in some areas caused by the placement of table and chair legs. I was asked to restore a high-quality polished finish to the tiles.

Cleaning and Burnishing Limestone Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I took the necessary precaution of covering the walls and kitchen units to protect them from exposure to any cleaning products or mess.

To begin, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a high-performance stripping agent, to break down any old sealant remaining of the tiles. This product can also be used to clean the stone itself, as well as the grout lines.

After completing the initial cleaning process, I moved on to restoring the polish to the tiles. At Tile Doctor, we do this using a system we have developed called Burnishing. This system involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads – each possessing a different level of grit – to grind away the dirt from the stone, which is often stained or damaged. The process effectively resurfaces the stone leaving it looking new and fresh.

Firstly, I applied the Coarse 400 grit pad, fitted to a rotary machine, to grind away any excess muck and sealant lubricated with a little water. The resultant slurry was rinsed away and I followed up with the application of the Medium 800 grit pad to start the restoration of the polish again with a small amount of water, followed by the Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish.

Finally, I applied the Very Fine 3000 grit pad to achieve the most refined and highest quality polish possible. The process of burnishing is a gradual but highly effective means of achieving this kind of finish.

Any slurry that was created through this process was removed using my truck-mounted hot water cleaning and extraction machine, resulting in minimum mess.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

After burnishing the tiles and to achieve a really hard wearing and high polish I covered the floor in Tile Doctor Shine Powder crystals and buffed them into the Limestone tiles using a White buffing pad. Then to give the floor extra protection I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which impregnates the pores of the stone to prevent ingrained dirt.

Colour Grow also intensifies the natural colours in the Limestone, thus improving the appearance of the stone to an even greater extent. Following the application of Colour Grow, I gave the tiles a final light buffing with a soft red pad.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility After Polishing Boxworth

The customer was extremely happy with the outcome, remarking that the work was carried “quickly and efficiently with no fuss.” I took lots of photographs of the process, so you can really appreciate the difference that was made.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room After Polishing Boxworth

 
 

Professional Polishing of a Dull Limestone Tiled Floor in Cambridgeshire

Limestone Tiled Floor Cleaned and Polished in Cambridge

These photographs are from a Limestone tiled floor installed at a residence in Cambridge. The tiles were in good condition but the shine on the Limestone had worn off leaving them looking dull and the owner wanted them re-polishing.

Polishing Limestone Tiles in Cambridge During Cleaning Polishing Limestone Tiles in Cambridge During Cleaning

Stripping and Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles

To restore the shine on polished stone we use a set of four 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 but also to remove any loose surface grit. The cleaning solution 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 next pad after coarse is a medium grit which you apply in the same way followed by the fine pad again with a little water until the floor is polished. The final step to bring up the polish on the Limestone is to apply the last “Very Fine” pad which is fitted to the rotary machine and run over the floor tiles until they are buffed to a nice shine.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry we set about sealing it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer 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 Colour Grow lifts the colours in the stone enhancing it’s natural beauty. Once sealing was complete and dry the Limestone tiles were given a final buff with a soft white pad.

Polishing Limestone Tiles in Cambridge After Cleaning Polishing Limestone Tiles in Cambridge After Cleaning

 
 

Large Format Limestone Tiles Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Cambridge