Grinding

Flaking Sandstone Flagstone Floor Restored in Preston

The pictures below are of a 12m2 Sandstone Flagged floor at a property in Prestonwere the surface of the stone was flaking off. The floor looked terrible and more importantly my customer mentioned that visitors had occasionally tripped on the uneven stone, and this was causing some concern.

Flagstone Floor Preston Before Renovation

The most likely cause of the surface flaking or shaling was due to water damage at some point in the stone’s history and probably well before the flagstones were laid. However here at Tile Doctor we have developed a solution for this problem called Milling. The process involves applying very abrasive floor pads to the stone in order cut back approximately 3 to 5mm of damaged stone from the top of the slab to reveal a fresh surface underneath. Essentially it will reface the stone and, in the process remove heavy lippage to leave a smoother beautiful surface that is easier to clean and maintain.

Another job which we agreed to do was to knock out the old pointing (what there was of it) and apply fresh. With the Sandstone flagstones smoothed, new pointing and stone sealed the floor was going to be transformed and unrecognisable once completed.

Milling a Flaking Sandstone Flagged Floor

Milling Sandstone flagstones involves the use of a set of thee coarse millings pads of different grades (50, 100 and 200 grit). They are applied to the stone in sequence beginning with the 50-grit pad and applied using a weighted heavy duty floor buffer. This generates a lot of dust, so water is used to lubricate and keep the dust down. During the process the water turns into a murky brown slurry which needs to be rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum as you go.

With the shaling removed it was then a question of polishing up the surface of the stone with the finer 100 and then 200-grit milling pads. Again, water is used to lubricate and capture the dust created during the process and then rinsed away and extracted with the wet vacuum.

Flagstone Floor Preston During Renovation

The process successfully managed to remove all the flaking material, flatten out the lippage and remove the unappealing surface.

When it comes to repointing old flagstone floors, I find a lot of builders and tilers I speak to usually recommend Limecrete or similar which is staple for old floors as its breathable, but I find it difficult to work with and it takes a long time to cure fully. Another problem is every time the floor is given a decent clean, some of the White Limecrete rinses out and into the stone.

Personally, I like to use a German product called VDW800, its fully breathable, has a reliable working time, its easy to apply and does a great job. I’ll put a link to a video about it in this post so you can see how to use it. It’s not a Tile Doctor product but I’m more than happy to endorse it.

Flagstone Floor Preston During Renovation

Sealing Flagstone Floor Tiles

The stone and fresh mortar was left to dry out for 48 hours to ensure it would be dry before completing the last stage of applying a sealer. Before starting with sealing, I gave the floor light clean to remove any loose mortar from the pointing.

One done I sealed the sandstone using several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating product that soaks into the pores of the stone and occupies that space preventing dirt from become ingrained. Colour Grow as its name suggests also improves the appearance of the stone by enhancing its natural colours. The sealer also leaves a matt finish, which is a perfect match for the rustic character of the old stone.

Flagstone Floor Preston After Renovation

For aftercare I recommend using a pH neutral tile cleaner such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, many supermarket products are very strong and contain bleach, using something like that on a sealed floor will reduce the life of the sealer.

Flagstone Floor Preston After Renovation

 

Professional Transformation of a Flaking and Uneven Stone Floor in Lancashire

Milling and Sealing Uneven Flagstone Flooring in Haslingden

Flagstones are a durable Sandstone based material that give a solid feel to any floor, however while large and impressive to look at they can be very rough and un-even. This isn’t so much of a problem when Flagstones are used externally for patios and pathways, but rough surfaces trap dirt and when these tiles are used internally, they are much easier to maintain if the stone is smooth and sealed.

This customer, who lives in the Lancashire town of Haslingden, had this problem with their Flagstone tiled floor and like most things related to tile, stone and grout we have a solution in the form of a process known as milling. This basically involves grinding down the surface of the tile using coarse diamond encrusted pads to make it smooth.

Flagstone Floor Before Milling Haslingdon Flagstone Floor Before Milling Haslingdon

The customer booked me in to get the job done, having seen some previous milling work of ours on our website and liking what we had achieved for other people with similar floors.

Flagstone Floor Before Milling Haslingdon

Milling an Uneven Flagstone Tiled Floor

Milling the stone involves the use of a set of thee millings pads of different grades (50, 100 and 200 grit) which are applied in sequence. You start with the coarse and abrasive 50 grit milling pad and follow this by smoothing this surface with the finer 100 and 200 diamond grit milling pads. Water is used to lubricate and capture the dust which is created during the process resulting in a slurry which needs to be rinsed away and extracted between each pad. The process requires the use of a solid weighted rotary machine and a fair bit of muscle power to guide it.

We successfully managed to mill the Flagstone tiles virtually flat in places and the process removed the unappealing stained and dirty layer of stone that was ruining the appearance of the floor. Interestingly we usually find that by grinding away the old and dirty layer of stone the true colour of the tiles that had been hidden under many years’ worth of muck is revealed. Unfortunately, in this case, due to the darkness of this stone it was difficult to see a great deal of colour change.

Sealing Flagstone Floor Tiles

Finally, the floor needed to be sealed to protect against future instances of staining and ingrained dirt. To do this I sealed the tiles using several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone and occupies that space preventing dirt from become ingrained. The sealer also leaves a matte, natural looking finish, which is a perfect match for the rustic character of the Flagstone tiles.

Flagstone Floor After Milling Haslingdon Flagstone Floor After Milling Haslingdon

Now that the floor has been levelled and sealed, the surface is smooth and protected. This means the customer will not be ruining any more mops when the cleaning bucket comes out!

Flagstone Floor After Milling Haslingdon
 

Professional Milling and Sealing of Stained and Uneven Floor in Lancashire

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