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

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

Cleaning a Limestone Balcony in St John’s Wood

This balcony in St John’s Wood, London, NW8, which had been clad in Limestone floor tiles, had not been professionally cleaned for 15 years and was now covered in mould which the customer was unable to remove.

Limestone-Balcony-NW8-Before-Cleaning

Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor

To get the Limestone clean I used a neat solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with was left to soak into the stone before being worked in with rotary machine fitted with a black buffing pad. This process removed most of the mould but there were still some stubborn patches so I then used a further application of Pro-Clean this time mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean to add an abrasive element to what is a powerful alkaline cleaning product. This was scrubbed into the tile and then steamed off using a Bosch steamer followed by further scrubbing by hand.

The next step was to use a set of four Tile Doctor burnishing pads to polish the Limestone surface to a low sheen. These diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours and are applied one after another with each pad being a finer grade than the last. After thoroughly rinsing the stone again and removing the waste water with a Numatic aqua vacuum I left the tiles to dry off overnight. Luckily the weather remained fine.

Sealing Yorkshire Limestone Tile

The next day I sealed the Limestone tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which I prefer for Limestone as it enhances the natural colours in the Limestone floor as well as providing stain protection something I’m sure it’s going to need given the location.

Limestone-Balcony-NW8-After-Cleaning
Although not quite all the damage from the mould could be entirely removed the tile was 95% improved and the customer was very satisfied with what had been achieved.

Limestone Restoration in St John’s Wood

Limestone tiles hallway cleaned and polished in Notting Hill

This was a Limestone tiled hallway at a house in Notting Hill, London W2 where extensive renovations had just been completed. The floor had been badly affected by being left uncovered during the building works as well as having a build-up of many years of dirt and stains on its surface. The tiles had been laid more than twenty years ago and had not been cleaned or sealed since.

The customer was considering replacing the floor as she believed that it was beyond restoring. As well as ingrained dirt there were several quite severe rust stains and large ring-shaped marks that looked as if they had come off the bottom of paint or varnish tins.

Limestone Tile Cleaning During

Cleaning the Limestone Tiled Floor

I used a black buffing pad on my Numatic buffing machine and neat Tile Doctor “Pro-Clean” to perform an initial deep clean on the floor. In order to re-polish the floor and not leave it too porous I then used the a red and then a white diamond encrusted burnishing pad. Even after this some stains remained, so at this point I used Tile Doctor “Reduxa” stone stain remover to attack the stubborn ingrained marks. All of these were successfully removed except for two very deep rust stains which, never-the-less, were reduced in size and intensity by about 70%.

After this I used a yellow burnishing pad to return the floor to its original finish.
At this point, as one of the tiles was broken at the edge and a piece missing, I used Akemi stone floor repair filler to fill in the broken piece with a filler that is stronger than the original stone.

Limestone Tiles After Cleaning

Sealing the Limestone Floor

The next day I returned to seal using Tile Doctor “Colour Grow” Sealer.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a “before” picture until after I had started this job but still the transformation is clear from the photos that I took. When the limestone was fully restored it was found to have attractive bedding lines running through it and to be all-in-all a very nice looking floor.

Limestone Tiles After Cleaning

The customer was amazed by what had been achieved and very pleased that she had opted for restoration over the far more expensive option of replacement.
 
 

Limestone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in London

Polishing a Granite & Limestone floor tile in Westminster

This interesting unusual Granite and Limestone tile combination was installed in the kitchen of a house in Westminster, London. The black Granite was looking Dull and the Limestone had a dirty appearance of the tile surface which had lost its shine and was looking dull.

Stripping the Granite and Limestone Tiled Floor

To resolve we had to strip back the Granite and Limestone surfaces using a set of burnishing pads, these diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours each one has a different grade of coarseness and does a different job from scrubbing to polishing. I started with the red pad together with water and then carried on with the white, then yellow pads using water. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a green pad to buff the floor up. This activity took most of the day so left the floor to dry overnight.

Granite and Limestone Kitchen floor before

Sealing Granite and Limestone Tiles

The next morning I arrived to find the floor had dried out sufficiently for it to be sealed which was done using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a a great sealer for lifting the natural colours out in hard stone flooring such as Granite and Limestone floor as well as providing stain protection. Once the sealer had dried I then finished it all off with a quick buff using a white buffing pad.

Granite and Limestone Kitchen floor after
You can see from the photographs how the combination of the burnishing pads and sealer and really lifted the look of the floor.

Polishing hard Magnesium Limestone floor tiles in London SW18

The owner of this house in Wandsworth had imported these hard magnesium Limestone tiles direct from Italy and fitted them into a conservatory three years prior; over they years however they had lost their shine and started to go dull and look uninviting. This is fairly normal for polished stone which does need to be re-polished for it to keep its appearance however the owner was unhappy with the finish and wanted it re-polished. There were also a number of naturally formed holes in the Limestone floor and these needed filling to give a completely even appearance.

Stripping and Polishing the Limestone Tiled Floor

To resolve we filled the holes using grout coloured to match the Limestone surface and then proceeded to strip back the tile surface using a set of burnishing pads. These diamond encrusted pads come in a number of different colours each one does a different job from scrubbing to polishing. I started with the red pad together with water and then carried on with the white, then yellow pads using water. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a green pad to buff the floor up. This activity took most of the day so left the floor to dry overnight.

 

Sealing Magnesium Limestone Tile

The next morning I arrived to find the floor had dried out and so began to seal it which was done using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which does what it says on the bottle and as well as provided stain protection lifted the natural gold colour in the Limestone floor. Once the sealer had dried I then finished it all off with a quick buff using a white buffing pad.

Imported hard magnesium limestone after
Apologies for not capturing a good before photograph for comparison, I can tell you however that the owner was very pleased with the results and reported they looked better than when they were new.

Hard magnesium limestone tiled floor polished in Wandsworth SW18