limestone tiles

Limestone Floor Cleaned and Polished in Hammersmith

Recently I paid a visit to a customer in Hammersmith whose whole ground floor was covered in Limestone tiles. It was a nicely situated Victorian house, but the Limestone floor was a big concern for the owner. The floor had been installed during a house renovation approximately seven years earlier and hadn’t been treated since. The Limestone was now looking dull and in need of a renovation to bring back the polished appearance.

Limestone Floor Before Polishing in Hammersmith
Limestone was used throughout the property including the Hallway and Kitchen which are typically the busiest area’s and so not surprisingly they had seen the biggest build-up of soiling. This is not an unusual situation for stone floors which will trap dirt in the pores of the stone once the sealer wears off. Sealer wear is inevitable and will usually last between three to five years depending on use and what is used to clean the floor.

Limestone Floor Before Polishing in Hammersmith
I explained the process of renovating and honing the Limestone and bringing back its appearance, after agreeing on details we chose the dates. The job was scheduled for 3 days to be completed.

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tile and Grout

When we arrived on the first day, we set about covering the skirting boards and furniture, to protect from any splashes. Then starting in the Kitchen and Dining area the first phase involved giving the floor an initial clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The primary focus was on the grout lines which were hand scrubbed using a stiff grout brush.

Then the solution was spread all over the tiles and left for approximately ten minutes to allow it to soak into the pores of the stone and break down the dirt and what was left of the old sealer. I used a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine to work the solution into the floor. Then the floor was then carefully rinsed, and the soil extracted with a vacuum.

The floor was already showing improvement when I moved onto phase two which reconditions the stone using a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing Pads. There are four pads in the set, each one with a different grit from coarse 400-grit through to extra fine 3000-grit. I started with the 400 grit, followed by 800, 1500, 3000 grit to bring back the shine. Water is used to lubricate the process and the floor is rinsed well after each step to remove the fine slurry generated. At the end of the first day the Kitching and Dining section looked really good in comparison to the untouched areas and I hadn’t applied the sealer yet.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

On the second day we started on the Limestone floor in the Hallway using the same technique as before. Being a smaller area, it didn’t take as long to complete, and we were able to make a start on applying a fresh sealer to the floor we cleaned the day before.
Underfloor heating was installed, and this is useful for helping to dry a wet floor however I don’t like to use it when sealing and I asked the owner to switch it off. In my experience you get a better result if the sealer is allowed to dry and cure naturally.

For this floor I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, Limestone is a light stone and Colour Grow really brings out the brown shades in the stone. It actually works by penetrating into the pores of the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. As well as protecting the stone it will also make regular cleaning much easier and for polished Limestone you should use Stone Soap which is designed for cleaning sealed stone floors and will help maintain the patina.

Limestone Floor After Polishing in Hammersmith
The job took 3 days to complete but to do it properly and to a high standard there is no place for a rush or cutting corners. The final result was transformational, and our customer was more than happy.

Limestone Floor After Polishing in Hammersmith
 

Professional Restoration of a Polished Limestone Floor in West 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

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

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