Milling Stone

Milling a Rough Sandstone Kitchen Floor Smooth in Bamber Bridge

This client at a property in Bamber Bridge was really fed up with his Indian sandstone kitchen floor. The sandstone suited the age of the property but due to its course rough texture he was having issues keeping the stone clean and maintaining it to a decent standard. Ideally, he wanted something long lasting that was easier to keep clean.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Bamber Bridge Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Bamber Bridge

Sealers can only help so much on a rough stone like this, in my opinion really rough stone is best sold for use outside in patio’s etc. My client didn’t want to rip it up as it ran underneath the kitchen units and it cost them a lot of money to have it laid, so having been on our website and checked out our previous work they realised we could mill the stone and smooth down the rough texture to a much smoother finish and yet still leave enough texture in the stone for it to look very natural.

Milling an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

We have developed a system at Tile Doctor called “Milling” which is very similar to sanding rough wood to reveal the inner patina. Once done we then we give it one more clean before adding a fresh sealer to add protection. Milling does change the look of the stone as you will see on the before and after pictures on this page, so it is not for everyone. It is however a one-off process so once done it will never need to be milled again. Like all stone floors it will still benefit from a deep clean and re-seal every five years (depending on use) just to keep it looking its best but after milling you will be able to walk on the stone in bare feet or socks and slippers as it really does make a big difference to the finish.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Bamber Bridge

By milling we mainly use coarse-grit burnishing pads that contain segments made from hard industrial diamonds. Working our way up the different grits the pads are applied using a weighted floor buffer which is run over each tile several times to cut the stone back. The process is so effective we often find that the pads are all you need to clean the stone so hardly ever use any chemicals with this process, apart from the sealer which is applied once fully dry.

I should mention that Milling is not something a customer should consider doing themselves as you need invest in a heavy-duty weighted buffing machine which are rarely available for hire.

Sealing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

To seal internal Sandstone floors, I usually use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which brings out the natural colours in the stone. On this occasion however two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal were applied to the stone and grout which results in an invisible natural finish and better matched the clients’ requirements.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Bamber Bridge Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Bamber Bridge

My client was really pleased with the new floor and left the following feedback:

“Only finished today but looks so good now. Russell did a great job milling the flags to a much smoother finish. Two coats of sealant applied by Heidi on last day which hopefully will keep it looking that way. Mark F. Bamber Bridge”

For aftercare cleaning I left them with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is specially designed for cleaning sealed floors. You need to be very careful when using supermarket cleaners as many are tool strong and will slowly strip the sealer off the floor, always read the label.

 

Professional Restoration of a Sandstone Kitchen Floor in Lancashire

Rough Textured Indian Sandstone Grinded Smooth in Barnoldswick

The pictures below show a Rough Textured Indian Sandstone floor installed in the Kitchen and Hallway at a property in Bernoldswick which is a small town just outside the Yorkshire Dales national park. The client called us out to have a look at their floor which was very dirty. They were undecided as to what to do with it and were even considering ripping it up and putting a more practical floor down. This Sandstone has a rough texture which traps dirt and can shred mops making it very difficult to maintain so it’s not surprising that the client was close to giving up on it.

Textured Indian Sandstone Before Cleaning Barnoldswick

Initially we were asked just to deep clean and seal the Stone, but I realised that wouldn’t resolve the problem completely, so I offered a service we call Milling. This is a process involves applying coarse diamond pads with special machinery to remove a good chunk of the rough texture (about 80 to 85% ). It would leave the stone with a much smoother finish which is easier to keep clean, easier to seal and a lot easier to maintain in the future.

Textured Indian Sandstone Before Cleaning Barnoldswick Textured Indian Sandstone Before Cleaning Barnoldswick

After a demonstration was done and a price given for either a clean and seal or to Mill first followed by a clean and seal the customer opted for the latter. This would also prove significantly cheaper than ripping up the floor, hiring a skip to take away the stone, then self-levelling the concrete to get it ready for the new floor, not to mention the cost of the new floor covering.

Cleaning and Milling an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

Milling the stone involves the use of a set of thee milling 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 with a wet vacuum between each pad. The process requires the use of a solid weighted rotary machine and a fair bit of muscle power to guide it.

As you can see from the pictures the difference is immense but what you can’t tell from these photos is how smooth the stone feels to the touch as its the rough texture of Sandstone that catches all the dirt and makes it hard to clean, even after it has been cleaned and sealed professionally.

To refine the surface of the Sandstone even further the Milling process is followed by the application of finer grade Burnishing pads, again applied with water and the soil rinsed off between each pad. This process uses no chemical cleaning products only water, Diamond pads and machinery.

Sealing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

After allowing the stone to fully dry out overnight we finished the job with several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within. It gave the stone a nice low-key matt colour enhanced finish that really showed off the character in the stone.

Textured Indian Sandstone After Cleaning Barnoldswick Textured Indian Sandstone After Cleaning Barnoldswick

The client was over the moon with the result and were so pleased they had not ripped up the floor!

Textured Indian Sandstone After Cleaning Barnoldswick

 

Professional Restoration of Indian Sandstone Floor in Lancashire

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