Milnthorpe Tile Cleaning

Red Sandstone Kitchen Flagstones Renovated in Kirkby Lonsdale

The client in Kirkby Lonsdale called us in to sort out deep staining on the kitchen and utility floor area which was laid with Red Sandstone throughout. The stone flags were in quite a state mainly due to a failed sealer which allowed dirt to become ingrained in the stone. Sealers do wear down off over time especially in busy areas such as kitchens and once the sealer has gone the stone has little protection.

Red Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Kirkby Lonsdale Red Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Kirkby Lonsdale

Cleaning a Red Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Work started by removing the kick boards under the kitchen units where we could, some were stuck fast so to protect them from water ingress during cleaning a silicone sealant was applied. We have learned from experience that although kitchen units are often sold as solid wood the kick boards underneath the units are often made from cheaper chipboard and thus very susceptible to water damage. They can blow within 15 to 20 minutes of water standing underneath, and we find silicone is a simple and effective answer to this issue.

Red Sandstone Floor During Renovation Kirkby Lonsdale

To renovate the sandstone, a very coarse 100-grit milling pad was worked into the floor using a heavy weighted floor buffer and water to lubricate the process. This process cuts into the surface of the sandstone to strip off a very thin layer to reveal uncontaminated stone underneath. The slurry generated is rinsed off with more water and extracted with a wet vacuum. The process is repeated with a 200-grit pad that refines the surface.

Following this the floor and especially the grout is given a scrub with Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is worked in with a black scrubbing pad and then rinsed off with more water and the wet vacuum. We always make a point to clean behind washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges etc wherever we can as you can see in the pictures.

Red Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Kirkby Lonsdale

Once the cleaning process was over the floor was dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum and it was left to dry out overnight.

Sealing a Red Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day we returned to seal the floor before doing so however moisture readings were taken from the stone; we are a big believer in letting the stone or tiles fully dry out before they are sealed otherwise if the stone or tiles are still damp then the sealer won’t cure correctly. There are occasions where you can clean and seal the same day i.e. upright showers but when it comes to a thick stone like sandstone it really needs time to dry out before applying a sealer.

I mention this because there are certain companies which will offer a clean and seal on the same day. At Tile Doctor we are trained to do the job correctly and not to cut corners, if there is a problem with the job you can rely on us to come back and put it right.

On this occasion three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours in the stone. It works really well on Red Sandstone and added a nice lift to the appearance of the floor.

Red Sandstone Floor After Renovation Kirkby Lonsdale Red Sandstone Floor After Renovation Kirkby Lonsdale

The client was very happy with the renovated floor and before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare. I cannot stress how important it is to use the correct cleaning product when it comes to a cleaning a sealed floor, so for cleaning I always leave the customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. Many regular floor cleaning products you find in supermarkets will strip the sealer off a floor, so it is well worth checking the label before choosing a cleaner.

Red Sandstone Floor After Renovation Kirkby Lonsdale

 

Professional Restoration of a Red Sandstone Kitchen in South Cumbria

Stone Effect Pre-Cast Concrete Kitchen Flooring Deep Cleaned in Arnside

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.

Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside

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.

Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside Stone Effect Concrete Kitchen Flooring Before Cleaning Arnside

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

Red Sandstone Floor Restored in Kirby Lonsdale

The Red Sandstone flagstones at this property in the historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale had been covered with carpet and underlay and to make matters worse it had a screed level laid on top of the stone to make the floor smoother to walk on before the carpet went down. The current owner of the property had discovered the floor under the carpet and was now keen on having it restored back to its former beauty as a period feature.

Red Sandstone Floor before cleaning in Kirby Lonsdale

Restoring Sandstone

Stone is difficult enough to restore with the conventional chemical approach as it is so instead we opted to use a full diamond pad cutting system which is designed to cut back the screed to the stone underneath. This involves applying a very coarse 50 grit Diamond pad, followed by a 100 Grit and so on to the 200 grit. As you can see from the results this not only removed the Screed/Self levelling compound but also revealed the true red colour of the Sandstone.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We had to leave to the stone to dry out for several days as the diamond system uses a lot of water to lubricate the process which can saturate the stone making it take longer to dry out. Once fully dry we applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow for a nice even matt finish, colour grow also accentuates the deep colours in the natural stone.

Red Sandstone Floor after cleaning in Kirby Lonsdale

I think you will agree; this was quite the transformation.
 
 

Old Sandstone Floor Renovated in South Lakeland

Travertine Tiled Floor Burnished and Sealed in Kirkby Lonsdale

Here’s a job I completed recently at a house in the tiny town of Kirkby Lonsdale, situated in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria. My client had a large area of Travertine tiled flooring that was in certain need of a deep clean and reseal.

Travertine Tiled Flooring Before Cleaning Kirby Lonsdale Travertine Tiled Flooring Before Cleaning Kirby Lonsdale

Additionally, the floor suffered from a number of naturally occurring holes in the Travertine. This can be quite a common problem with Travertine, due to the fact that it’s a softer material than some types of stone and I’ve often heard of holes opening up in Travertine floors over time due to the use of acidic cleaning products. These holes needed to be filled before commencing the cleaning and sealing processes which I did this on the first day using a flexible grout in a matching shade of cream/brown.

Burnishing a Travertine Tiled floor

To restore the finish on the Travertine I used a process known as burnishing rather than resorting to a form of liquid cleaner which would clean the floor but not restore the appearance. Burnishing involves the use of diamond encrusted pads in varying grits. I began with the coarse pad, and worked my way through the system with medium, fine, and lastly a very Fine pad, using water to lubricate and rinsing the floor after each pad to remove the slurry. This process left the stone exceptionally clean, and with lustre restored to the floor as a whole.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Stone floors are porous and overtime they will collect dirt which can become ingrained into the tile and make it very difficult to clean effectively. The solution is to seal the floor and so I returned to the house on the second day to seal the newly cleaned floor. My sealer of choice on this occasion was to apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is as its name suggests a colour intensifying sealant that provides durable surface protection and enhances the natural shades in the stone.

Travertine Tiled Flooring After Cleaning Kirby Lonsdale Travertine Tiled Flooring After Cleaning Kirby Lonsdale

As you can see from the photographs, the burnishing process made a great difference to the condition of the Travertine tiled flooring, not just in its appearance, but also in terms of its now polished texture.
 
 

Professional Travertine Floor Restoration in Cumbria

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South Cumbria Tile Doctor

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