The pictures below are of a Cream Limestone floor that I was recently asked to renovate in Cambridge. Limestone tile had been installed throughout much of the ground floor and due to the original sealer wearing off it had started absorbing dirt into the pores of the stone. This is an inevitable problem with natural stone and once ingrained with dirt the tiles looked permanently dirty despite the efforts of the owner to clean them.
Having visited the property to survey the floor, I discussed with the owner the process required to deep clean and polish the stone back to health. Happy with my quotation we agreed a date for the work to be carried out.
Cleaning and Polishing a Large Limestone Tiled Floor
To renovate the stone back to its original condition it need to be honed with a series of floor burnishing pads from 400 through to 3000 grit. Some areas were worse than others especially those which had a heavy traffic flow, i.e. kitchen, hallway, and dining room. For those areas I dropped right down to a very coarse a 200-grit burnishing pad to really get into the pores of the stone before moving on to the 400-grit.
During the first stage of honing I also applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was worked into the limestone with the burnishing pad. The process does generate a lot of soil which needs to be removed after each pad. For this I have a van mounted extraction system that applies hot pressurised water onto the floor and then simultaneously extracts the soil back into a collection tank using a vacuum. It is very efficient and saves a lot of time when cleaning a large floor like this, it also has the added benefit of keeping the floor reasonably dry and keeping the mess to a minimum.
I progressed through the other pads including 400, 800 and 1500-grit using water to lubricate the burnishing process and the van mounted cleaning system to clean up afterwards. The last 3000 grit pad is applied using a little water sprayed onto the floor which is a process we call a spray burnish and really brings up the polish on the Limestone. With the pad being applied dry it also leaves the tile dry and ready for sealing.
Sealing a Limestone Tiled Ground Floor
Once the honing was complete, I did a quick test with the moisture meter to ensure the floor was dry enough to seal. Due to only using minimum water during the burnishing and the large area of the floor the areas I had started on were dry enough to seal. I applied multiple coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is an impregnating sealer which gives the floor protection and a nice sheen. Any excess sealer was buffed off with a red pad.
During the work there were multiple trades working on the house, so in all the work took five days to complete. The client was extremely pleased with the final finish and our flexibility in working around the other tradesmen. He also left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.