Limestone Tiled Floor with Grout Haze Cleaned in Clipston


These photos are of a Limestone tiled floor which was installed in the Kitchen approximately at a property in the small parish of Clipston, which is close to the towns of Market Harborough and Daventry, three years ago. The customer was never very happy with it since it was laid as it never seemed to look clean asked me to cover over and work out what could be done.

On my initial visit I soon realised that the installer had not cleaned off all the grout from the tiles before applying the sealer. This effectively trapped the grout under the sealer and gave the whole floor a dirty appearance, this explained the problem the customer was frustrated with as she could never ever seem to get the floor looking clean.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze Before Cleaing Clipston

This issue is known as Grout Haze or Grout Smears and is a problem we often come across where the floor has been laid without the excess grout residue being completely polished off the tiles after the grouting. Some manufacturers recommend the tiles are sealed before grouting to make it easier to polish the grout off later. After discussing how we could remedy this I issued a quote which the customer accepted, and we scheduled the work to be done.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze Before Cleaning Clipston

Removing Grout Haze from Limestone Kitchen Tiles

I arrived on site on the arranged date, as it was a painted kitchen it was not possible to mask up the units, so I used a small hand-held polishing machine fitted with a six inch 400-grit burnishing pad to carefully clean around the edges and break through the sealant. This process was then repeated with a larger seventeen inch 400-grit burnishing pad fitted to a floor polishing machine throughout the rest of the area.

Once the original sealant had been removed using the burnishing pad the next step was to remove the Grout Haze by given the floor an acid wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Being a gel, this product is easier to control than a liquid and sits on the surface where it’s needed to break down the unsightly Grout Haze. It’s left to dwell for a short period before being worked in with a special brush that is designed for this purpose. The resulting slurry is then removed with a professional wet pick up machine and the floor given a rinse with water to remove any trace of the product.

After treating the Grout Haze my next step was to refine the surface of the Limestone using a medium 800-grit and fine 1500-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad which are applied with water and restore the polished appearance of the stone. The floor is rinsed with more water between the application of each pad to remove the slurry that is generated and then dried with the wet pickup machine.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following day to buff the tiles with a white polishing pad as the customer didn’t want a high shine finish which is normally achieved with the 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad, this gave a low sheen honed look as the customer had requested. The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that and will protect the newly restored and polished tiles going forward.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze After Cleaning Clipston

The customer was very happy with the results and has left the following positive feedback on our website.

‘Professional, floor looks much better’ – Vicki S, Clipston

I gave the customer some tips on maintenance and a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap to enable her to keep the floor looking its best, this product is designed for the regular cleaning of polished stone floors and is pH neutral, so it won’t prematurely degrade the sealer.

Limestone Floor With Grout Haze After Cleaning Clipston

 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Northamptonshire



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Limestone tiled floor Damaged by Citric Acid Restored in a Wokingham


The photographs on this page show the spot restoration of an acid damaged newly installed Limestone tiled floor at a medieval cottage in the historic town on Wokingham, Berkshire. It seems the customer accidentally spilled lime cordial on honed surface leaving dull stain spots on about six to eight tiles.

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor Wokingham Before Restoration

After attempting to remove the damage themselves using a variation of different sealers the customer accepted defeat and contacted Tile Doctor to see if the issue could be resolved. If not, they were considering replacing the floor.

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor Before Restoration Wokingham

Being the local Tile Doctor for the area I was asked to take a look and advise the customer. I explained that the dull spots had appeared because the surface tension of the limestone had been damaged from the citric acidic in the cordial. The affected tiles would essentially need to be re-polished; the customer was eager to see if I could resolve the issue and get all the tiles to be as uniform as possible.

Spot Polishing a Limestone tiled floor

My first task was to identify which tiles needed re-polishing with burnishing pads as once I got going it would be tricky to spot them; I did this by simply leaving post it notes on the affected areas.

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor Wokingham Before Restoration

To restore the appearance of the Limestone tiles I started with a 400 grit 3-inch pad fitted to a handheld flex machine. You can’t actually buy these 3 inch pads, they are found in the centre of the large 17 inch floor pads. The 400-grit pad is quite abrasive and needs to be applied with water to lubricate. I then followed the 4-stage burnishing process increasing the surface tension with each pad used this to leave the tile with a good sheen and most importantly a uniform appearance with the surrounding tiles.

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor Wokingham During Restoration

The Burnishing pads are actually loaded with industrial diamonds and you apply them in sequence starting with the coarse 400 grit pad before moving onto the medium 800 grit pad, fine 1,500 grit pad and then finally the super fine 3,000 grit pad which really brings up the shine. You have to rinse with water between each pad to remove the slurry that is generated. The final 3,000 grit pad is applied with very little water and so the floor is dry when completed.

Spot Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The last step was to carefully re-seal the tiles that had been burnished so they would blend in with the rest of the floor. I decided on Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal for this, it’s an impregnating sealer that doesn’t alter the colour of the stone leaving them with a natural look.

The process went well and was completed in around four hours, my customer was very happy with the result and left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system

“We felt very comfortable with the recommended course of action and Mr Buckland inspired confidence so we were happy to let him get on with the remedy.”

Acid Damaged Polished Limestone Floor During Restoration Wokingham
 
 

Spot Treating Acid Damaged Limestone Floor Tiles in Berkshire



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Large Limestone Tiled Floor Stripped and Resealed in Weybridge


Weybridge is an affluent commuter town with good train connections into London Waterloo, as a result, there are some impressive houses here, many of which feature beautiful polished stone floors. This particular residence in Weybridge had a very large Limestone tiled floor installed in their Kitchen/Dinning Room, the floor had been cleaned and sealed about a year prior, so it was still in good condition however the customers ageing dog had a few accidents which had damaged the sealer.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Weybridge

Urine contains Uric Acid which being an acid can damage the sealer, this is why for daily cleaning we always recommend using pH neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Stone Soap if the floor is polished. Limestone and Travertine are especially vulnerable to acids due to their high levels of calcium carbonate and often results in pock marks or small holes forming in the stone.

Resealing a Polished Limestone Floor

Once we’d moved the furniture to another room I started with a deep grout clean. I ran a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines then left it to dwell for five minutes while I got the wet vacuum from the van. When ready I cleaned the grout by hand with a hard nylon brush and then extracted the soiled cleaning solution with the wet vacuum.

With the grout now clean and the soil removed I set up my rotary floor cleaning machine ready to burnish the stone tile and restore the finish with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

The first pad in the set to be applied is a coarse 400 grit pad that is designed to remove existing sealers and dirt and is run over the tiles with water for lubrication. During the following hours the process was repeated with the medium 800 grit and fine 1500 grit pads which gradually polish the stone and return the shine. The floor is rinsed between each pad to remove the soil which is generated from burnishing.

This process took up much of the day so after rinsing the floor after the 1500 grit pad and extracting the soil with the wet vacuum I left the customer strict instructions not to spill anything on the unsealed floor. The tiles need to be dry before re-applying the sealer and any remaining moisture from the rinsing should evaporate overnight.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Returning the next day, I tested the floor was dry the applied the first coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. Once I’d wiped away any excess I left it to dry for half an hour before applying a second coat.

Breaking for lunch allowed sufficient time for the sealer to dry and I was able to complete the floor with a final polish.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Weybridge
 
 

Stripping and Resealing a Polished Limestone Floor in West Surrey



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