I was contacted by a client in Kendal to see if I could help with their Black Flagstone basement floor. As you can see from the photographs it was in a bit of a state and the stone looked mostly White rather than Black.
I carried out a site visit, to survey the floor and work out the best approach to restore its appearance. After testing a few different products and techniques I worked out an effective restoration plan and discussed this with the owner. Happy with my plan and costing’s we agreed a date to start the work. Being in the basement of the property had its challenges but it would mean we could work socially distanced from the owner.
Cleaning a Tired Black Flagstone Tiled Basement Floor
To restore the floors appearance, I started with a set of coarse wire (60 and 120 grit) brushes lubricated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong coatings remover. I had considered using milling pads on the tiles to reveal a new surface underneath but that does involve the use of an expensive set of coarse pads and given it was a basement the owners didn’t feel the extra expense would be justified.
The wire grits work well on rough stone floors when attached to a weighted buffing machine and we add some Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the mix. Once clean the floor was rinsed with water and the slurry extracted using an industrial wet vacuum. After cleaning the floor, it looked transformed, some pointing was required so we carried this out after the main clean.
Sealing a Black Flagstone Tiled Basement Floor
The stone was left to dry out for a few days before returning to apply a sealer. For this floor I felt Tile Doctor X-Tra seal would be the best product and applied two coats. I chose X-Tra seal for this job as it ticks a lot of boxes, it’s a breathable oil-based resin sealer which being breathable will allow moisture to rise through the floor. Old floors like this don’t have a damp proof membrane so it is important to choose a sealer that can allow the floor to breath and not let damp build up under the floor where it can reach out to the walls and cause rising damp.
I also chose X-Tra Seal as it has a great ability to bring out the colour of the darker stone due to its high oil content, the oil will deter salts from forming if efflorescence is an issue. This is a unique property of this sealer as we never know if efflorescent salts are going to form or not so having this in place as a sealer is a great plus for a Tile Doctor, it is new to the market and is already proving popular on floors like this and for protecting external stone.
If the tiles are smooth Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal adds a bit of a sheen to the appearance of the stone however this stone was very rough, so we didn’t manage a shine, but the customer was happy with the matt finish and the slightly honed effect.
The floor looked great and much more appealing making the space more attractive and likely to be used. For aftercare I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which will clean the floor without impacting the sealer which can be a problem with many of the stronger products you find in supermarkets.