Scratched Limestone

Cleaning a Stunning Pale Limestone Hallway Floor in Toft

This job was for a repeat client in Toft near Cambridge who had aa stunning large hallway that was tiled in beautiful pale Limestone. My client had asked me back to work on the floor having previously completed the deep clean and seal of a Terracotta floor previously.

Polished Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Toft

The Limestone tiling in the entrance hall had years of some type of topical sealer applied to it. This caused the stone to look slightly discoloured and from certain lights showed up hundreds of scratches and smudges embedded in the seal. I’ve tried to capture this problem in the photographs on this page, but it was very difficult.

Polished Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Toft Polished Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Toft

A topical sealer sits on the surface of the tile where it is vulnerable to scratching, hallways are generally high traffic areas and so more likely to see this sort of problem. Ideally an impregnating sealer should have been applied, impregnators work by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing soiling from becoming ingrained in the stone.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

Before starting we protected the woodwork against splashing with blue film, I don’t usually make a great deal of mess, but you can never be too careful when working in someone’s property especially one as beautiful as this.

To strip off the old sealer I began by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the Limestone tiles. I split the floor into sections and used a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad to work the Tile Doctor Remove and Go into the tiles. The floor was then rinsed off using our high-pressure cleaning system that applies pressurised hot water to the floor whilst simultaneously extracting the soil with its built-in vacuum. The system is quite heavy, so it is built into my van, and I run a large flexible hose to a spinner tool that does the cleaning. It is an expensive tool, but it saves a lot of time and leaves the floor fairly dry afterwards.

The 400-grit pad had released a lot of the sealer but there were quite a few layers to get through, so I changed the burnishing pad to a coarse 200-grit pad and repeated the process. After another rinse and extract I would see it had the desired effect and I was able to carry on building up the finish on the Limestone by apply the 400-grit followed by the 800, 1500 grit pads. It was a large floor and so this took up much of the day so once complete I left for the day so it could dry off overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I finished the polishing process with the application of a 3000-grit burnishing pad which is applied with a little water sprayed onto the tile and really brings up the polish on the stone. This process has the added advantage of leaving the floor dry so not long afterwards I was able to move on to sealing.

For this floor two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal were applied, it is an impregnating sealer that won’t alter the colour of the tiles leaving a natural look.

Polished Limestone Floor After Cleaning Polishing Toft

My client was much happier with the new finish and has asked for another quotation on some more Terracotta flooring that needs attention. For aftercare I recommend using Tile Doctor stone soap, it’s a special formula that builds on the patina which will help maintain the polished appearance of the Limestone.

Polished Limestone Floor After Cleaning Polishing Toft Polished Limestone Floor After Cleaning Polishing Toft

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Hallway 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

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