Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing

Stained Limestone Fireplace Facelift in New Romney

If you have a Stone Fireplace like this Limestone Fireplace at a house in New Romney, you will no doubt be very careful what you place on it in case it becomes stained. Water ring marks are an obvious problem, and you probably find yourself rushing for a coaster when a guest puts a glass on it.

Limestone Fireplace Before Cleaning New Romney

If can relate to that you will sympathise with my customer who being a divorcee faces a similar issue with his children when they come to stay every other weekend. Naturally, he loves having them over, but you can imagine his despair when fruit juices and mucky fingers came into contact with his Limestone fireplace. After several attempts cleaning the fireplace himself he gave up trying and called Tile Doctor instead.

Limestone Fireplace Staining Before Cleaning New Romney

Deep Cleaning a Limestone Fireplace

After protecting the wooden floor from splashing I set about cleaning the Fireplace and removing the staining using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. Being a Gel this stone cleaner sticks well to vertical surfaces allowing for longer dwell times which allow it to dissolve stains and dirt that get trapped in the pores of the stone.

That may sound straightforward but in fact it took several attempts and three hours of hard work and elbow grease to scrub the Limestone clean at the same time careful rinsing with water extracting the resultant soil as I went.

Sealing a Limestone Fireplace

After cleaning and drying the fireplace with a hot air gun I set about applying a sealer to protect it from future grubby fingers. For this I used Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is an impregnating sealer that works by soaking into the stone occupying the pores thereby protecting it from within. This product is an invisible sealer that does not change the colour of the stone leaving it with a very natural appearance.

Limestone Fireplace After Cleaning New Romney

As you can see the Limestone Fireplace looked new again after my visit much to my customers relief. The sealer will make it much easier to clean the stone, the benefit of which will definitely become apparent the next time the kids pay their dad a visit!

 

Professional Clean of a Limestone Fireplace in South Kent

Recently Laid Black Limestone Patio Renovated in Ashford

We were called out to look at this new Black Limestone patio in Ashford which was not looking as it should. The client had laid it himself but unfortunately had not managed to polish off all the grout from the surface of the Limestone thereby degrading the appearance of the stone.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Ashford
Grout Smearing or Grout Haze is a common problem when it comes to tiling and this problem seems to be on the increase due to new grout formula’s which are tougher but dry a lot faster. Usually, the excess grout can be removed using a mild acid however it is not possible to do that on Limestone as this Stone is acid sensitive and as well as etching the stone can cause it to turn white. I know Tile Doctor has resolved a few jobs like this in the past for builders who do not always understand the unique characteristics of the stone.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Ashford
I discussed with the client how Tile Doctor could help and gave him a quote for the work to be carried out. He was happy to go ahead so having consulted the weather forecast for a couple of dry days we agreed a date to return.

Cleaning a Black Limestone Patio Floor

To remove the Grout Haze and clean the appearance of the Limestone I applied a Tile Doctor Brick and Patio Cleaner and worked it in with a coarse 400 grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad. The coarse pad does leave the stone looking a little rough, so the surface was then renovated using the finer burnishing pads of 800 and 1500 grit using water for lubrication. By using the pads in sequence, it gradually smooths the surface of the stone. Once done the tiles were rinsed with water and the soil removed with an industrial wet vacuum. The patio was looking good, the day was nice and bright, so we left the patio for a few hours to dry in the sun.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

Once the stone was dry the patio was sealed with single coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which is an impregnating sealer that improves strength and restores colour to the stone.

Once dry the Stone Oil was followed by a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which like the Stone Oil penetrates the pores of the stone improving colour and adding protection. The treatment and combination of products transformed the appearance of the patio and provided the client with exactly the look he required.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Ashford
As you can see from the after pictures the patio had a rich black colour and looked as it should. The client was over the moon with the result and was thankful that we had managed to rescue his work. Lesson learned for any future project he might take on, beware of grout haze!

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Ashford
 

Professional Restoration of a Black Limestone Patio in South Kent

Limestone Floor Refurbished in Tenterden Ready for Kitchen Installation

The owner of this Limestone tiled floor in Tenterden was having a new Kitchen installed and called Tile Doctor to have it renovated beforehand. Consideration was given to replacing the floor, but this would have worked out to be far more expensive than renovation. Renovating natural stone floors such as Limestone involves deep cleaning, polishing and then sealing. Stone floors respond very well to this treatment so it’s an option well worth considering and is better for the environment.

Limestone Floor Before Polishing Tenterden Limestone Floor Before Polishing Tenterden

I was able to visit the property beforehand, inspect the floor and work out a quote for the work which would take two days. We then agreed a date do the renovation which would sit between the old kitchen being stripped out and the new one being installed. With the old kitchen removed it would be a perfect time to do the work as I would have full access to the floor and wouldn’t need to tape up the kitchen units to protect them.

Deep Cleaning Tumbled Limestone Tiles

The first part of the job involved giving the floor a thorough clean to remove what was left of old sealers etc that were still present on the floor. To do this a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes before being actively worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The solution soon darkened as dirt was flushed out of the pores of the stone, it was then rinsed off with water and extracted with an industrial wet vacuum.

Limestone Floor During Cleaning Tenterden

Following this, I moved on to a process known as burnishing that hones the Limestone to bring up the polished. This is done through the application of a series of diamond encrusted burnishing pads from coarse through to very fine.

The coarse 400-grit pad fitted to the rotary floor buffer and run over each tile at least three times using only water for lubrication. The water turns into a slurry as the pad does its job removing dirt and this is rinsed off the floor and extracted with the wet vacuum before applying the next pad. The process was then repeated with medium 800 grit pad for an initial polish followed by the Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish using water for lubrication and rinsing and extracting in between each pad.

This process took up much of the day and so after a final rinse and extraction the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

The next morning I started with the application of the last pad in the four-pad set which is a very fine 3000 grit pad. The pad and is applied with only a little water sprayed onto the floor using a technique we call a Spray Burnish. This last pad really brings up the polished appearance of the stone.

To bring up the appearance of the stone even further and add a really durable polish Tile Doctor Shine Powder was applied. This is a crystallising powder sealer that ensures a very high shine and a tough, durable finish. This powder is applied directly to the tiles in combination with approximately ½ a litre of water and a soft white buffing pad.

Last step was to add to the protection provided by the Shine Powder with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t change the look of the stone and is applied to the stone and grout. This sealer works by seeping into the stone, occupying the pores and preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.

Limestone Floor After Polishing Tenterden Limestone Floor After Polishing Tenterden

By the end of the 2nd day the Limestone floor had an amazing deep shine which was a massive improvement on how it looked when we started. For aftercare cleaning I recommended a product called Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will help maintain its appearance.

 

Professional Renovation of a Tumbled Limestone Tiled Floor in East Surrey

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East Surrey Tile Doctor

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