Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Renovation Garstang

Rough Indian Sandstone Floor Milled and Restored in Garstang

Due to the textured nature of the Indian Sandstone tiles installed their kitchen, this client from Garstang was having trouble keeping their stone floor clean. Having decided enough was enough they contacted Tile Doctor to see what could be done to rectify the problem.

I went over to survey the floor and could see dirt was being trapped in the riven surface of the Sandstone and any sealer put there to protect the stone had long since worn off. I find the best solution for rough stone floors like these is to mill the stone with coarse diamond pads thereby removing the grubby surface layer and revealing a new surface underneath. This action also flattens the stone to remove the roughness and makes it easier to maintain.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Garstang

I provided a price for milling the stone, cleaning up the grout lines and then applying a new sealer to protect it going forward. Happy with the price, the client arranged to purchase the required products, and we booked in a date for the work to commence. It was only a small 5 m2 area so I was happy that it could be done by one Tile Doctor over a couple of days.

Cleaning and Restoring an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

To mill the Sandstone, we use a couple of very coarse milling pads of different grades which are applied to the stone with water for lubrication. The pads are fitted to a rotary floor machine to which extra weight is added to ensure a good contact with the stone. The floor was rinsed with water as I progressed, and the soiling generated was extracted with a wet vacuum.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Garstang

Circular pads do struggle to maintain contact with the edges and especially corners so this is done manually using a set of hand-held diamond blocks. I also scrubbed the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get the lines as clean as possible.

It’s worth noting that Indian Sandstone is full of iron and a lot harder to mill compared to English Sandstone, Flagstone, and Slate etc. As a result, it took most of the first day to complete this stage.

Sealing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once milled and cleaned I left the sandstone to dry off overnight and then called back the next day to apply the sealer. For this floor we went with Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal which is a breathable oil-based sealer that contains a colour enhancing formula to improve the general appearance of the stone.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Garstang

What might not be noticeable from the pictures is the smoothness of the stone after it’s been milled, this makes it a lot easier to clean and makes it a lot less absorbent to dirt and muck etc.

The fresh sealer will maintain its appearance for many many years to come and maybe in another 100 years it will need to be milled again.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Garstang

It always helps to use the right product when cleaning stone after it’s been sealed, so we dropped off a bottle of pH Neutral Cleaner for the client which we call Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This will ensure easy maintenance without damaging the sealer.


Professional Restoration of an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen in Lancashire

Honed Travertine Kitchen Floor Renovated in Preston

Renovating a Large Stained Travertine Tiled Floor in Preston

This customer in Preston in Lancashire had just moved into a house with a large 60m2 Travertine tiled floor that was installed throughout most of the ground floor. Travertine is a lovely stone but the previous owner had not maintained the sealer on the tiles and as a result it now looked grubby and there was a lot of dirt ingrained in the tiles leaving black staining, especially in the Kitchen.

Honed Unfilled Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Preston

This is a common problem with all natural stone floors, some are hardier than others but without a protective barrier in place they will attract dirt as the sealer become worn off. The new owner was seriously considering having the tiles ripped up, fortunately however they came across our service and decided to try having them renovated first.

Honed Unfilled Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Preston

Deep Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the stone clean and bring back the beautiful appearance of the Travertine I used several diamond burnishing pads which are run over the tiles with water for lubrication. The first was a coarse 200-grit pad which is fitted to a rotary floor machine and buffed into the stone in a circular motion. This process generates a lot of slurry which is then rinsed off afterwards and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Honed Unfilled Travertine Kitchen Floor During Renovation Preston

This process was then repeated using finer burnishing pads and continued with a 400-grit, 800-grit and finally a 1500-grit, again each pad was run over the tiles several times and then the slurry extracted as before. It’s a completely abrasive process with no other products needed and the result is a sealer and dirt-free tile.

Honed Unfilled Travertine Kitchen Floor During Renovation Preston

At this point I inspected the floor to see if the pads had been able to clean up the grout as well as the tile. Pads can struggle to reach down into the recess so I often find more work is needed on the grout. As suspected the Travertine had responded well to the treatment however it was clear the grout would need more work and was still stained black in places.

Normally use a grout cleaning product called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for the grout but on this occasion, I felt something stronger would be needed. So, on this occasion I applied undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go along the grout lines and left it to soak in for ten minutes. It was then scrubbed in by hand, rinsed off and the soil remove with the wet vacuum. The grout cleaning had worked a treat and happy with the condition of the floor it was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next morning time was spent filling in holes (aka pitting) in the Travertine with colour matching grout before running over the whole floor with a very fine 3000-grit polishing pad to further bring up the appearance of the stone. This is done using a little water sprayed onto the tile a process we call a spray burnish.

Spray burnishing also leaves the floor dry and ready to be sealed. The owner wanted the Travertine to look as natural as possible so two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal were applied. This is an impregnating sealer which is recommended for use on polished stone and for use in kitchens.

Honed Unfilled Travertine Kitchen Floor After Renovation Preston

Before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare cleaning and how important it is to avoid the use of strong cleaning products (especially bleach) on Travertine, not only will it degrade the sealer but can also harm the stone. For the regular cleaning of sealed Travertine, I recommend using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is a gentle but effective cleaner that also helps maintain the patina.

Honed Unfilled Travertine Kitchen Floor After Renovation Preston


Professional Renovation of a Travertine Floor Tiles in Lancashire

Copper Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned Sealed in Ribchester

Renovating Copper Slate Tiles with a Semi Riven Finish in Ribchester

This Copper Slate tiled floor at a property in the Ribble Valley village of Ribchester had been sealed just twelve months before by another company who used a topical acrylic sealer as the client wanted a shiny finish. However, this was a bad choice for a semi-riven tile and exacerbated by the fact that the client had three large dogs. The topical sealer just couldn’t cope and the shine on the Slate faded in a few months.

Semi Riven Copper Slate Before Cleaning Ribchester

After discussing the problem, I suggested stripping off what was left of the topical seal and then re sealing with a sturdier impregnating sealer. I recommended a product called Tile Doctor X-Tra seal which is a premium product that improves colour and is very durable so much so it can also be used externally. Since releasing this product last year it has proved to be very popular and has proven to be the answer in numerous tricky situations. It also adds a lustre and patina to the stone. The client was happy to go ahead with my quote.

Semi Riven Copper Slate Before Cleaning Ribchester

Cleaning a Semi Riven Copper Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first concern when dealing with a floor situated in a kitchen is to prevent water being absorbed by the kitchen base units and plinths. Normally the plinths can be removed but if not, the solution is to run a bead of silicone around the area of concern. MDF is easily blown by moisture, and it doesn’t take us long to add so it’s well worth doing.

Semi Riven Copper Slate Before Cleaning Ribchester

The cleaning started with the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the floor to remove the old sealer. On this occasion it was scrubbed in using a 200-grit milling pad fitted to a rotary machine. As well as stripping off the old sealer this action deep cleans the tile and grout. A lot of soil is released during the process, and this is brushed and rinsed away with clean water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the floor an Acid Rinse using a product called Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, this not only cleans the grout but also neutralised the pH of the floor after cleaning with The Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline product.

An acid wash removes grout smears, unwanted mineral deposits and roughens the stone at a microscopic level to provide a better bond for the sealer. You must be careful what you use it on, and we wouldn’t recommend it for use on acid sensitive materials such as Limestone, Marble, or Travertine. Grout Clean-up is however safe to use on Slate, but I wouldn’t leave it on for a long period of time.

After another rinse with water the wet vacuum was deployed again to remove as much moisture from the floor as possible. The floor was then left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Semi Riven Copper Slate Kitchen Floor

The next day after confirming the floor was dry, work started with the application of what would be two coats of Tile Doctor X-Tra seal. X-Tra seal is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the Slate ensuring dirt cannot reside there.

Semi Riven Copper Slate After Cleaning Ribchester

I would be the first to admit that a topical sealer would have resulted in a shiner finish but clearly this was not a practical choice when you have 3 big dogs who will run around the floor and tear at the sealer with their claws. Topical sealers as the name suggest sit on the surface and are simply not a very practical option for this situation.

Semi Riven Copper Slate After Cleaning Ribchester

Once completed the Copper colour in the Slate was really enhanced, the grout looked much cleaner and overall, the floor looked great; more importantly the client was very happy with the work we had carried out.

For the cleaning of sealed Slate tiles, I recommend the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is pH neutral and gentle enough for regularly use. Its also provided in concentrated form so a small amount goes a long way. Many of the floor cleaning products you find in supermarkets are bleach based and far too strong for use on a sealed tile resulting in premature damage to the sealer. I forgot to ask what they had been using to clean the floor previously, but this may also have been a factor in why the previous sealer only lasted a few months.


Professional Restoration of a Semi Riven Copper Slate Kitchen Floor in Lancashire

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning

Flagstone Floor in a Victorian House in Lancaster

Restoration of Flagstone Floor in the Kitchen

Details of an original Flagstone Floor cleaning job below from a Victorian House in the City of Lancaster, we often find flagstone floor tiles in kitchens and hallways and in this case they were in the hallway. You can see from the photographs below that the flagstone floor tiles were in a very bad state and it became clear that no amount of cleaning was really going to remove the decades of trapped dirt embedded in the pores of the Sandstone.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Flagstone Floor

To get over this problem it was necessary to remove the top surface of the flagstone using a milling pad together with a small amount of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The flagstones were then washed down with water which was then removed using a wet and dry vax machine. There was no damp proof course under the tiles so I left it to dry for a week before coming back to seal.

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Flagstone Floor After Cleaning

Sealing and Restoration of Flagstone Floor

The milling process had opened up the pores in the sandstone flagstone floor tile so to seal it I used 1 coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow in order to bring out the colour in the stone and then topped this off wth a further 3 coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

Flagstone Floor Restoration in Lancaster

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