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