kitchen floor

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

Sandstone Floor Clean and Seal in Windermere

We had been to maintain this Sandstone floor about two years previously at a property in the pretty area of Windermere in the English Lake District. The client had run out of our Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner that we left after completing the job and had started using a standard cleaner instead (a well-known ecological cleaner). Unfortunately, this product has a 5% non-ionic surfactant in its chemical structure, which will strip a coat of stone sealer off the surface within 6 months, once that topcoat has been removed the sealed surface is only 50% as strong as it should be.

Sandstone Floor Before Clean Seal Windermere

Readers of this article should be aware that even washing up liquid which is a degreaser will strip sealers although it will take many months of regular use before you will start to notice an issue. Stronger bleach-based cleaning products such as Flash and Domestos will cause instant damage to stone sealer which will often go an off-white colour as a result. So, the importance of using the right cleaner is imperative. Having used our services on this floor previously he client knew what to expect and was happy to go ahead with our quote.

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first task would be to clean the floor and completely remove what was left of the old sealer to ensure the floor would have a consistent appearance. On this occasion I used a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked into the floor with a Black buffing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. The Sandstone floor was then rinsed with water, scrubbed again and then the waste extracted using a wet vacuum.

This was followed with acid rinse using a 1:5 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, this is a Phosphoric Acid (not a Brick Acid). After being scrubbed into the tile it was rinsed off the floor as before using water and the wet vacuum. This process further cleans the stone and neutralises the floor after the use of the strong alkaline Pro-Clean used earlier.

Before leaving for the day I gave the floor one final rinse with water and then dried the floor as much as possible with the wet vacuum. The floor was now clean and free of sealer and left to fully dry off overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I came back the following morning and started by testing the floor with the moisture meter. I always do this as I know from experience how important it is to ensure the floor is dry before applying a sealer.

Happy the Sandstone was dry I then proceed to apply the first of what would be four coats of sealer. For this I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a nice low sheen finish. This product is specially formulated blend of acrylic polymers that provides will protect the floor from ingrained dirt and staining; it will make the floor easy to clean and has the added advantage of being water based so it doesn’t leave a solvent smell as it dries.

Sandstone Floor After Clean Seal Windermere

The client was left another complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner and hopefully the seal will last a long longer the 2nd time around. The client was pleased the floor had been restored and vowed to use nothing but Tile Doctor products on it in the future.

 

Professional Clean of a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen in South Cumbria

Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiles in Windermere

A Kendal Tiles customer from Windermere called me in to take a look at their Multi Coloured Chinese Slate tiled kitchen floor which was looking very dirty with ingrained stains and marks on the stone from spills etc. that were proving difficult for the customer to clean. The brief was to give the floor a deep clean, remove the stains and make it easier for them to maintain thereafter. On inspection I could see the sealer had broken down, which is why the slate was getting stained and hard to clean. I did a test area on the slate and grout to show them how it could look and it came up really well so the signed my Work survey form and booked me in to do the work.

Slate Tile Floor Cleaning Before Slate Tile Floor Cleaning Before

Cleaning Slate Floor Tiles

On my arrival I covered the wood and carpet in the kitchen and hallway to protect it then started on removing what was left of the old sealer with Tile Doctor Remove and Go; I sprayed it on working in small areas and activated it with a brush making sure I scrubbed well around the areas of slate that are risen as in this slate its uneven and then washed it off using a wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution. It was very satisfying to watch the tiles come back to life with bright colours, I kept at it all day until all the Slate tiles were clean and the sealer was fully removed, I then scrubbed all the grout joints to make sure they were all clean then I washed all the floor down before I left ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The next day I sealed the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go to protect and enhance the tile putting on five coats before it was fully sealed. I used an industrial air blower to help it dry quicker as the house owner had a dog and I did not want any paw prints in my work. Below is a photograph of the end results in which you can see the natural colours have come back to life.

Slate Tile Floor Cleaning After

This job took me two days and the owner was extremely happy with the result, I also spent time to explain a maintenance program discussing how to clean the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which has a low PH and not an off the shelf supermarket cleaner which being mildly acidic can break down the sealer and reduce its life.
 
To Buy These Multi Coloured Chinese Slate tiles contact Kendal Tile and Stone.

Restoration of Slate Floor in Windermere

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