Acid-Damaged Limestone Tiles Restored to New in Wapping

All carbonate materials, including those used in building and construction, are sensitive to acid deposition. A common example of this is the reaction that occurs when you combine bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Another example of a material affected by this is Limestone, which is often used as tiled flooring. When exposed to acidic products, the damage caused to Limestone tiles is both material and aesthetic, and many property owners who suffer this kind of damage assume that they are beyond repair.

I was recently called to a property in Wapping, Central London, to take a look at a damaged Limestone tiled floor situated in a wet room. The surface of the stone had suffered heavily from corrosion due to the spillage of an acidic solution and the property owner was keen to see what could be done to restore the condition of the tiles. He had been told by another company that the floor was beyond repair, but I knew that with the right products and techniques that I could provide a full restoration.

Limestone Floor Damaged by Acid Before Restoration Wapping

Cleaning and Burnishing Acid-Damaged Limestone

My first attempt at reducing the acid stain was to apply Tile Doctor Reduxa, which is formulated to remove or significantly lighten stains caused by acidic beverages such as cola and white wine, as well as acid-based household cleaners.

I followed this by rinsing the tiles with water rinse and applying Tile Doctor Pro Clean solution, a high alkaline product that would neutralise the acid and stop it from causing any further damage. After leaving the Pro Clean to dwell on the Limestone for ten minutes, I used a handheld rotary buffer fitted with a small black scrubbing pad to remove any dirt, soap scum, and excess old sealer from the tiles and grout lines. Next, the floor was carefully rinsed with water to make sure no chemical residue remained from the cleaning products.

Although the situation was significantly improved, the stain remained visible, so the next step was to re-surface the tile using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads of different grades. I started with a Coarse grit diamond encrusted pad to grind away the damage layer of stone, and followed this by applying Medium, Fine and Very Fine pads to slowly hone and polish the floor, back to its original condition.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

I left the tiles to dry completely overnight before returning to the property the next day. With the acid stain removed, it was time to re-seal the floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour- enhancing, impregnating sealer that is particularly effective at boosting the appearance of Limestone.

Limestone Floor Damaged by Acid After Restoration Wapping

The result was very satisfying for both myself and the customer. In fact, the customer even when so far as to leave the following feedback on the Tile Doctor Feedback System.

“Didi is indeed very knowledgeable and professional. I was more than a little worried by Limestone corrosion due to accidental spillage of a corrosive substance in our wet room. Didi came to sort it out for us and what to the layman looked like a catastrophe and possible new tiling operation was expertly repaired by Didi and his team. Our wet room now looks like new, much better than before in fact, and we are very grateful to Didi and also Tile Doctor for being able to head straight for the problem and sort it out so efficiently. Highly recommended!”
 
 

Professional Acid-Damaged Limestone Tiled Floor Restoration in London

York Pattern Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Wanstead, E11

Victorian black and white tiles in the hallway of a house in Wanstead (E11), laid in what is often referred to as the York Pattern with a Kingsley Border, however sadly neglected for many years after being covered with a heavy underlay and carpet.

York Patten Victorian Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Wanstead

Restoring a Victorian Floor

First we cleaned the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean which releases the dirt stuck in the pores of the tiles; the solution was scrubbed into the floor with a buffer machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then the released soil extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was then rinsed with water and extracted again with the wet vacuum. It was left to dry for thirty minutes and the floor inspected which revealed a few stubborn areas that were then treated using Nano-Tech Heavy Build-up remover (HBU) which was left to dwell for forty minutes and then scrubbed and then extracted again with water.

York Patten Victorian Floor Tiles Before and After Cleaning Wanstead

To Slow down or stop the possibility of an issue we sometimes have with older floors such as Victorian Tiles we often use a product developed by Tile Doctor called Acid Gel, this is left on the surface for 5 minutes and then removed with light agitation and water and a wet vac machine, the floor is then rinsed with water again just to make sure there is no Acid Gel left in the Tile or on the surface. The Acid Gel not only Keeps mineral salts (efflorescence) at bay but also helps as a bonding agent for the sealer to make sealing theses type of tiles a lot easier.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

After leaving the floor to dry overnight I came back the next day to seal the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for Victorian tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection.

York Patten Victorian Floor Tiles After Cleaning Wanstead

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor Restoration in London

Refurbishing a Marble Onyx Countertop in Hampstead

My client asked me to take a look at a very dirty Marble Onyx countertop in her home in Hampstead which is located within the London Borough of Camden. Interestingly, Hampstead is home to more millionaires than any other area of the UK so if you’re going to find bathrooms of this standard this is the place.

Marble Onyx Countertop London Before and After Cleaning

This particular worktop had been heavily soiled by roughly fifteen years of soap scum and old sealer. It would take a thorough clean as well as a fresh seal to get this countertop back to looking its best. Marble is a fantastic type of stone which has, throughout history, been used to forge beautiful, yet resilient surfaces.

Cleaning a dirty Marble Onyx countertop

I immediately set to work cleaning the countertop using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is an alkaline product and therefore suitable for use on natural stone, meaning that, along with Marble, it is also suitable for use on Limestone, Granite, Slate, Travertine, and others. After leaving it to dwell on the surface for a short period of time, I began scrubbing the solution of cleaner into the Marble, and gradually the years of soap scum, old sealer and ingrained dirt began to come off. It was amazing just how quickly I was able to remove many years of muck with a bit of elbow grease.

Following this, I rinsed off any excess cleaning product with clean water and then left the surface to dry, before I began the process of burnishing the Marble countertop using small six inch burnishing pads starting with a coarse pad and then moving up to super fine. After the burnishing process was complete, I gave the surface a rinse followed by an additional polish with a buffing pad until the shine was fully restored to the worktop.

Marble Onyx Countertop London Before and After Cleaning

Sealing a Marble Onyx countertop

After ensuring the countertop was fully dry following the cleaning and burnishing processes, I set about providing the surface with a fresh seal. My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which is designed to both provide durable surface protection, whilst also intensifying the natural colours within the stone. I applied a layer of Colour Grow carefully to the countertop, and the Onyx shades within the Marble really came to life once again.

Marble Onyx Countertop London Before and After Cleaning

I was very happy with the results overall, as was my client. It is very rewarding to think that hard work can go a long way to quickly restoring a surface which had been hidden for so long by many layers of muck.
 
 

Marble Countertop Restored in Hampstead

Cleaning, Burnishing and Sealing a Limestone Floor in St. John’s Wood

I was recently engaged to refresh the Limestone tiled floor at a house in St. John’s Wood, which is a very affluent area and apparently has the 5th most expensive postcode in London so as you can imagine this was a very expensive floor. The client had requested an improvement condition of the Limestone tiles in the living room and a thorough clean, polishing and seal was required. Over time, the floor in this busy living room – which was also used as a play area for young children – had become dirty and certainly worse for wear with all the use it had been getting. So, I set about my work to get this floor back to looking its best.

Cleaning and burnishing a Limestone floor

My initial task before beginning the cleaning process was to remove any furniture (as well as toys) from the room so I would have a clear area to work in. I then applied a layer of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean cleaner, diluted with water, to the floor. Pro-Clean is also suitable for use on other natural stone floors such as Slate, Granite and Travertine.

After leaving the solution to dwell for a period of a few minutes, I began to scrub the floor with a stiff hand brush. Whilst helping to remove a lot of the built up dirt on the surface of the tiles, the product also stripped off the old sealer and polish. Following this, I paid special attention to the dirty grout lines, cleaning them with Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro, a powerful, high-alkaline cleaner.

Limestone Floor London NW8 After Cleaning Grout Lines with Oxy Pro Limestone Floor London NW8 After Cleaning Grout Lines with Oxy Pro

After completing the cleaning, I rinsed the floor with clean water to remove any excess cleaning products. I then began to burnish the floor using Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. This was done in four steps, as I used four different pads (coarse, medium, fine and very fine) rinsing the floor with water between each pad. I would recommend using this setup of four pads for restoring the appearance of polished stone floors; you starting with a coarse pad and the gradually work your way up to the very fine pad achieving a high polish finish in the process. I finished of the process with a quick rinse and a buffing pad to give the floor a final polish before I commenced the sealing.

Sealing a Limestone floor

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is specifically designed to not only provide durable surface protection, but also to intensify the colour of the tiles. The sealer penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing water resistance and long-term protection from ingrained dirt and stains. As you can see from the photos, the sealer really helped to accentuate the fantastic natural colours in the Limestone.

Limestone Floor London NW8 After Burnishing Limestone Floor London NW8 After Burnishing

My client was very pleased with the final result, and was amazed by how quickly I had been able to improve the state of her floor which, with a colourful and shiny finish, has really brightened up the living room.
 
 

Full Restoration on Limestone Floor in St. John’s Wood