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.
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.
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.