Normally rough stone like this is used on an outdoor patio where the natural texture and riven prevents people from slipping in a wet area, however when used inside you find the dirt gets trapped into the riven textures and clefts of the Sandstone and it is quite difficult to remove.
Our customer found that mop heads would get shredded by the rough stone and leave bits of mop material on the stone. To make problems worse they had originally been advised to use a wax-based sealer on the floor which didn’t last and soon allowed dirt to become trapped in the stone making it even more difficult to clean.
We were asked to deep clean the stone and apply a sealer which would stop the dirt getting stuck into the nooks and crannies of the stone thus providing a surface that could be easily maintained. The property was in Grange Over Sands a town in in the pretty area of Morecombe Bay. We discussed what could be done with the customer and demonstrated the process on a small test patch which came out well and then agreed a price and date to carry out the work.
Cleaning/Repairing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor
On our return we started the cleaning process by sraying a warm dilution of Tile Doctor Wax-Away on the floor and leaving it to dwell for five to ten. The product was then scrubbed in the stone to remove the dirt and what was left of the wax sealer. The now dirty solution was rinsed off the floor with water and removed with a wet vacuum.
This process cleaned most of the floor but there were one or two stubborn marks which we spot treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product has a slightly longer dwell time but works well to remove stubborn wax sealers and deep stains and it did not disappoint. The grout was also scrubbed using the same product which made a huge difference to the overall look. We then rinsed the floor with cold water a couple of times to remove any remaining dirt and trace of cleaning products each time using the wet vacuum to dry the floor.
Sealing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor
The stone was left overnight to dry out and then we called back the next day to apply a fresh sealer. Four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied, this is a satin finish sealer which coats the tiles with an acrylic base which prevents any dirt getting into the grooves making the floor much easier to clean going forward as well as solving the problem with shredding mops.
For every day cleaning we recommend the use of a pH Neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which has a neutral pH that will not prematurely erode the sealer like some tile cleaning products which if you read the label are only for use on ceramic tiles and not natural stone.
The client was really pleased with the floor, it made a huge difference, you could see the lovely natural colours and patterns in the floor. She could also see that the floor would be much easier for her to keep clean in the future.
Professional Restoration of Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen in South Cumbria
The stone floor in these pictures are in fact pre-cast concrete tiles created to emulate Limestone flagstones laid in a Kitchen in Arnside. You can’t beat the natural beauty of Limestone but these concrete tiles do give the Kitchen that rustic look the customer sought. The odd thing is, it’s actually less expensive to buy real Limestone these days as Pre-cast concrete is not a cheap product.
Unfortunately, in this case, the concrete had been smeared with Ivory Grout during installation and the tiler had failed to remove it after grouting and this had dulled the look of the tile. The customer was led to believe by the Tiler that the off-white colour was indeed part of the stone and had put up with it for several years before we were called out.
Cleaning a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor
First of all we conducted a test clean to make sure our usual cleaning system would work as well on pre-cast concrete. I was aware that this type of product has a colour dye added to it which does seem to lose colour over the years and also can lose quite a bit of this dye once we start cleaning with strong chemical’s. Not wanting to risk any depreciation in the colouring I opted instead for the application of a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing pads. The pads are encrusted with industrial Diamonds and come in different grits from coarse to fine and I found that not only did the process remove a lot of the of White grout haze left by the tiler but also gave us a good start to the cleaning process without losing any more of the colour Dye.
The customer has specified they were keen for the floor to have more of a sheen finish, so we finished the cleaning with the rest of the Diamond pads finally ending on the super fine pad. We had to do some edging work where the circular pads could not reach but apart from that the pre-cast concrete responded well to this treatment as you will see on the before and after pictures.
Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor
The next day we called back to seal the Kitchen floor to protect it from staining, something that is more than likely in a Kitchen. For this we used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which not only protects by soaking into the pores of the tile but also restores a lot of the colour that had previously been lost.
For aftercare I explained to the customer that sealers do wear off over time and so to get maximum life out of the sealer they should clean the floor with a pH Neutral Cleaner like Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner. It’s designed for cleaning sealed tiled floors and it won’t affect the colour dye or the Sealer we have applied unlike stronger products will eat away at the sealer over time. Additionally, pre-cast concrete like Limestone is Acid Sensitive and as such products like certain types of the Cillit-Bang range cannot be used on a floor like this as it will cause surface damage.
Restoration of a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor in South Cumbria