Black Limestone Floor Ruined by Descaling Solution in Stratford upon Avon

I really felt for this customer who was mortified after accidentally spilling limescale descaling solution on their beautiful Black Limestone floor in Stratford upon Avon. The problem started when attempting to descale a coffee making machine in the kitchen, unfortunately the bottle fell out of his hands and onto the Black Limestone floor, the subsequent attempt to mop it up spread the problem across the floor.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Restoration Stratford Upon Avon Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

Descaling solutions contain strong acids that dissolve the minerals in limescale so they can be easily removed. Limestone being of a similar structure is equally effected however in this case the product was removed quickly and didn’t have time to etch the stone. Unfortunately, the descaler did have time to upset the factory polish leaving a right mess and ruining the appearance of the stone.

I went over to survey the floor and reassured my customer the floor could be restored. There are several products and methods that can be applied to resurface and polish stone floors, so I knew the problem was repairable, it was just a question of finding the best solution for the customer.

Stripping Sealer from Black Limestone Flooring

I reasoned that the underlying stone was not etched by the acid, it was the wax-based factory finish that had been upset so the best course of action would be to strip back the entire floor to the bare stone and then reapply a new sealer that would provide a similar appearance.

To do this I started with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the whole floor. This product is a coatings remover that is specially designed for use on Tile and Stone, it was sprayed onto the floor and after ten minutes scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The resultant slurry was then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated until I was confident that the factory polish had been removed.

Next step was to strip the stone of the black dry added by the factory by giving it an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This was necessary to rebalance the appearance of the stone across the entire floor and would result in a consistent appearance one resealed. The Acid Gel was scrubbed into the Limestone, then rinsed off and extracted using the same procedure as before.

After a final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Black Limestone Floor Tiles

The next day I first checked the floor was dry using a damp meter, there were no excess moisture issues so I able to go ahead and seal the stone using a product that would bring back the colour and add protection against dirt and staining.

The best product for this was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing natural colour at the same time. The only disadvantage of this product is it leaves a matt finish whereas my customer wanted the shiny, easy to clean appearance of the original tile. To resolve I recommended we leave the floor to settle for a while and if no issues develop, I would add a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is compatible with Colour Grow and would give the desired finish.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

Due to various commitments on both our parts it was six weeks until I was able to return and top up the sealer with Seal and Go. It was worth waiting for and much to the relief of the owner his Black Limestone floor has been transformed to new again.

Acid Damaged Limestone Kitchen Floor Tile After Restoration Stratford Upon Avon

 

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles Restored in Stratford upon Avon

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Acid Damaged Marble Kitchen Floor Restored in Winchester

Marble is a natural material which although hard wearing can easily be ruined by a strong chemical such as acid. In this case my client’s kitchen floor which was laid with black Marble square tiles was etched due to the accidental spill of a corrosive agent and the subsequent attempt to clean it up.

Acid Damaged Marble Floor Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Winchester

The property was in the historic city of Winchester and as you can image my client was horrified by the state of their Marble floor which was now ruined. Desperate for a solution that didn’t involve the expensive tiles being replaced we were asked to take a look.

After surveying the floor, I recommended resurfacing the stone with a set of diamond encrusted floor burnishing pads which would remove the etching and hone the stone back to its original appearance.

Happy to discover there was a solution to the problem we were given instructions to go ahead with the restoration.

Honing Acid Etched Marble Floor Tiles

Our first task was to remove the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units, this ensures they are not scratched during the cleaning process and it also allows our buffer machine to get right to the edge of the floor.

I then started the burnishing process by applying a 400-grit coarse burnishing pad lubricated with a little water to the floor. This coarse pad will remove the etching and dirt from the Marble. It does generate a fine slurry on the floor so after each pad it’s best to rinse the slurry away with water and then extract it off the floor using a wet vacuum.

Following this, I worked my way through the remaining burnishing pads repeating the process with 800-grit medium and 1500-grit fine grit burnishing pads. I also used some small hand-held burnishing blocks in the difficult to reach corners and edges.

The floor pads struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout lines so halfway through the burnishing process I stopped to apply a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines and give them a scrub with stiff hand brushes repeating the process in stubborn areas.

After a final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Black Marble Floor Tiles

The next day I finished the polishing process by applying the last of the four pads in the set which is a very fine 3000-grit pad which refines the polish even further. This last pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the floor using a technique we call a ‘Spray Burnish”. The one of the advantages of this method is it leaves the floor dry so is ready for sealing.

Now that the appearance of the Marble had been restored it was time to protect the stone against future dirt, stains and damage by applying a sealer. On this occasion I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that really improves the depth of the black Marble tiles and increases the contrast with the white veins in the stone. Two coats of Colour Grow were applied allowing time for each coat to dry in-between coats. Once the sealant had hardened, I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to further enhance the look of the Marble floor.

The Marble tile and grout was completely transformed much to the relief of the owner.

 

Marble Kitchen Floor Tiles Restored in Winchester

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