Tired Black Flagstone Floor Restored in Kendal Basement

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.

Black Flagstone Floor Before Renovation Kendal

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.

Black Flagstone Floor Before Renovation Kendal Black Flagstone Floor Before Renovation Kendal

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.

Black Flagstone Floor After Renovation Kendal Black Flagstone Floor After Renovation Kendal

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.

Black Flagstone Floor After Renovation Kendal


Professional Restoration of a Black Flagstone Basement in Cumbria

Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Grange-over-Sands

This customer in Grange-over-Sands, a town on the Morecambe Bay, contacted us because an oven cleaning company had spilt a strong cleaning solution onto their Sandstone Flagstone Kitchen tiles, damaging them. The customer hadn’t realised the damage until after the oven company had been paid, and because nothing had been said at the time the cleaning company unfortunately wouldn’t accept responsibility.

When we arrived at the property, we were asked to do a spot clean on the affected tiles, however to do so would have resulted in a patchy finish compared to the rest of the floor. However, we could see that the rest of the floor was well overdue a deep clean and the sealer was past its best. So, we suggested the best course of action was to deep clean and reseal the whole floor to ensure a consistent finish across the tiles.

Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor

The customer agreed to the work, and we started on the same day. To begin, we used a Coarse 200 grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a heavy weight buffing machine to grind away the damaged layer of stone.

This worked well on about 90% of the area, but the harder to reach spots needed a chemical clean, so Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel cleaner was applied. This is an alkaline-based gel cleaner that is effective for neutralising acidic stains. The product was left to dwell for 30 minutes and then scrubbed into the tiles, before being rinsed away. Following this, we extracted the dirty solution off the tiles using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

Since we used quite a lot of water to rinse away the chemically-infused cleaning solution, we had to leave the floor to dry overnight before we could seal it. This is really important because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Arriving back at the property the next day, we ran some damp tests. Once satisfied that the tiles could be sealed, we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This sealer provides an aesthetically pleasing, low-sheen finish and is fully breathable. Most of the old Flagstone tiled floors found in properties don’t have a damp proof membrane installed underneath them, so a sealer which allows for moisture vapour transmission is essential.

Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands After Cleaning Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands After Cleaning

The customer was very happy with the work, not only because we restored the condition of the damaged tiles, but also because we were able to drastically improve the overall appearance of the floor. We recommended that the customer use Tile Doctor Stone Soap as a regular aftercare cleaner. This product not only cleans the stone, but adds to the natural stone patina by maintaining and enhancing its shine.

Restoration of a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor in South Cumbria

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