Flagstone Kitchen Floor Resurfaced in Broadbottom


The new owners of this lovely terraced house in the village of Broadbottom that was built circa 1900, inherited with it a lovely old flagstone floor in the Kitchen which was now in a rather bad state with ingrained dirt and stains.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Broadbottom

I suspected that the White staining was due to alkaline salts, a problem more commonly known as efflorescence. However, I took a moisture reading of the floor with a damp meter and the readings were normal, so it may have been a historic damp problem that cause it. We are always wary of efflorescence issues when it comes to older properties as damp proof membranes which resolve this problem are a relatively modern invention.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Broadbottom

After explaining the process, I worked out a quote which was accepted and booked a date in the diary for the work to commence, which would take place over two days.

Cleaning and Grouting a Flagstone Kitchen Floor

First the floor was in a terrible state and needed to be resurfaced if it was going to live up to its potential. To do this I used a 100 followed by a 200-grit coarse Diamond milling pads to grind off the top layer of ground in dirt, resurface the stone and reveal the beautiful stone beneath. These abrasive pads are run over the floor with a weighted floor buffer running on a nice slow speed and lubricated with water. The floor is rinsed with more water after each pad and then the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

As the floor had quite a few areas where the grout had cracked and crumbled, I decided to rake this out and replaced it with a flexible grout using a colour sympathetic to the original. This and the milling made an immediate improvement to the overall appearance of the floor. The floor was then left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to apply a sealer.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I checked the floors moisture level before sealing, all was well, so I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that has a matt finish. Tile Doctor Colour Grow is also fully breathable so should cope well with any damp issues and allow moisture to rise through the stone and evaporate. This is important as otherwise moisture could become trapped under the floor where it could eventually cause problems in the walls.

Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom

The customers were delighted with the outcome, the colour of the stone had really improved also Milling the surface of the floor makes it smoother so it would now be much easier for them to keep clean in future.

Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom

For aftercare I left them with a bottle of concentrated Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which once diluted is a pH neutral product that will not erode the newly applied sealer. Many household cleaners are too strong for sealed floor and will prematurely erode the sealer over time.

 

Professional Restoration of a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Greater Manchester



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Flood Damaged Sandstone Flagstone Floor Renovated in Chagford


Chagford is a small town on the north-east edge of Dartmoor and so as you can expect is surrounded by plenty of old farmhouses, some still as part of a working farm, some long since converted to family homes with just a small area around the property remaining and some having made use of the land and reinvented farmland. I visited a property that falls into the latter category, having converted pastoral farmland into stables and a riding school with a family home at the centre. Whilst the owners were on holiday having a well-earned rest a pipe burst flooding the ground floor of their house, damaging the Sandstone flagstone flooring in the process.

I went over to inspect the floor and could see that the stone floor had dried out but was now dull from dirt and in addition some of the stones were now suffering from shaling. This is where the top layers of the stone start to delaminate, and the only treatment is to cut the stones back to a decent surface through a process called milling. Tile Doctor has available a set of very coarse diamond encrusted pads for this purpose which I was able to demonstrate. I carried out the demonstration on a small area so that the customers could be confident that there was a remedy and then I measured the floor so that I could work out the amount of products that would be needed and priced the job accordingly.

Flood Damaged Sandstone Tiled Floor Chagford Before Restoration

The customers were keen to go ahead with the quote and I arranged to go back and restore the floor at a mutually suitable date.

Milling Delaminated Sandstone Flagstones

On my return I prepped the skirting boards around the hallway with plastic tape to protect them from the soil generated during the milling process. Once done I started the floor treatment using a very coarse with a 50-grit diamond milling pad to cut the sandstone back and then followed with a 100, 200 and finally a 400-grit pad to get rid of any scratches caused by the coarser pads and to tighten the pores of the sandstone which would allow for easier maintenance. Water is used to lubricate the process and the floor is rinsed with more water, which is then extracted with a wet vacuum between the application of each pad.

Once this was completed and the sandstone floor was thoroughly rinsed and then dried with the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible. The floor was then left to dry out thoroughly before I returned to seal. This was a large area and so the milling was done in various stages over a few days so by the time I had finished the last area the first one was nearly ready to be sealed.

Sealing Sandstone Flagstones

The customers wanted a slight sheen to the stone floor, but not too shiny and so Tile Doctor’s Seal and Go was used; this is an acrylic sealer which once fully cured will settle to a satin finish which works really well on this Sandstone. Like the cleaning the sealing was also staggered into sections to avoid the whole of the ground floor being out of action whilst the sealer dried.

Flood Damaged Sandstone Tiled Floor Chagford After Restoration

Similar to paint drying, the polymers in Seal and Go initially give the floor a semi-gloss appearance and so I warned the customer of this, reassuring them that it would dull to a satin finish over the next week or so. In fact, I called back two weeks later to check and they confirmed this had happened and they were very happy with the result.
 
 

Restoration of Water Damaged Sandstone Flagstone Flooring in Devon



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Bitumen Stained Victorian Geometric Hallway Rejuvenated in Barrow in Furness


This old Victorian tiled Hallway floor, laid in a geometric pattern, at a house in Barrow in Furness was a challenging project. The tiles were extremely dirty and also stained with Black Bitumen which has been used as an adhesive, however we have come across these sorts of problems before and so I was confident it could be resolved.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

Deep Cleaning an Old Victorian Tiled Floor

I roped in Heidi and my son Lewis who spent a whole day cleaning with chemicals, steam, buffing pads and unfortunately the results were far from satisfactory; the customer wasn’t happy and Heidi wasn’t happy with it either. It was clear that the black bitumen had penetrated deep into the pores of the clay and becoming so embedded that no chemical or technique we were using would shift it fully.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

To top it off I had gone out earlier to tile the old mat well with matching tiles before we started the cleaning but due to the depth of the floor matt. The matt well was at least 35mm so it was clear I couldn’t use standard floor adhesive. I opted instead for a sand cement mix, similar to what the Victorians would have used originally. This filled up the depth and allowed me to tile and grout the same day, however overnight there was a bit of shrinkage and some of the new tiles settled unevenly.

Geometric floor before Milling Barrow in Furness

I racked my head for a solution to both issues and decided the best course of action would be to Mill the clay tiles to remove the Bitumen and smooth down the uneven effect of my tiling. This is not something we would normally do on a clay tile as this system can leave scratches which potentially would look worse that the dirt. After I had milled the Tiles down with a course pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine and removed all the issues I then counteracted any scratches left over using a higher grit milling pad. This solution fully resolved both issues leaving it ready for the final step of sealing.

Geometric floor After Milling Barrow in Furness

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the next day to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a matt finish, fully breathable and colour enhancing sealer which really lifts the colour of the stone or in this case clay tile. Colour Grow is impregnating – meaning that it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt and stains. We recommend Colour Grow for both internal and external applications and especially for areas where no damp proof membrane is evident, since the sealer allows for the floor to breathe moisture.

Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness

There were plenty of problems to overcome and It took a lot of work but I’m pleased to say the floor was transformed by our efforts and now looks fantastic and I’m sure has added a lot of value to this period property.
 
 

Hallway Restoration of Bitumen-Stained Victorian Floor in Barrow in Furness



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