This Limestone tiled floor had been installed in the kitchen of a property in Teddington three years before and due to the use of the wrong cleaning product was now stripped of its protective sealer. Limestone like any natural stone is porous and without a sealer in place dirt becomes trapped in the stone making it very difficult to keep clean. The property was close to Bushy Park situated in South West London on the North bank of the Thames which is only about seven miles from my base in Shepperton.
I discovered all of this after visiting the property to quote for deep cleaning and resealing the floor. It turns out they have been using Flash multi-surface & floor cleaner which has an acidic pH of 10.3, compare this to Tile Doctor Remove and Go which we use to strip sealers off floors and has a pH of 12. Needless to say, this was not the right product to use and the old sealer had been completely stripped off the floor and probably within the first few months.
On top of this our customer had 3 children and a dog running in and out of the garden and was therefore transferring quite a lot of dirt into the stone. After surveying the floor, I discussed the renovation process with the customer which would take two days and include a deep clean of the Limestone followed by the application of a sealer to ensure it did not hold onto the dirt. They were after a sheen finish for the floor and were keen to have natural brown and cream variations in the stone highlighted. We agreed a price for the work and booked a date for the work to start.
Deep Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor
To start with, we machine scrubbed the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to break down the dirt and release it from the stone. We find the best process is to spray the Pro-Clean onto the floor first and then leave to dwell for ten minutes before scrubbing. It’s not long before the cleaning solution turns dark with the dirt released from the pores of the stone and this soil is then rinsed with water and vacuumed off the floor with a low-pressure hard floor cleaning machine.
Following the cleaning, we honed the Limestone using a sequence of 800, 1500 and finally 3000-grit Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads. The pads are applied with water to lubricate and the slurry generated is rinsed off the floor as before. This burnishing process brings up the natural sheen of the stone and tightens up its pores prior to sealing. I left the floor overnight to allow it to dry out.
Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor
The next day I returned to the property and checked the floor for moisture using a damp meter. The readings were fine, so I proceeded with the application of the sealer for which I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that enhances the colours and contrast on the stone while protecting it against future soiling and spillages. It gave a lovely sheen finish to the floor as requested by the customer.
As you can see from the pictures the process made a huge difference to the floor which now looks lighter and brighter, certainly the customer was more than happy. Before leaving I recommended, they should clean the floor using Tile Doctor Stone Soap, this is a pH neutral product that will ensure the seal does not get broken down like it previously had using the household cleaners. It is gentle enough to use every day if you wish is designed to help maintain the patina of the burnished stone.