Sealing Newly Installed Sandstone Tiles in Yorkshire

Yorkstone is a variety of Sandstone unique to Yorkshire, and is known for its hard wearing and durable qualities. It was first manufactured during medieval times, but is still used for a range of building and construction purposes including, of course, tiled floors in houses. Yorkstone comes in a variety of natural colours, depending on the mineral makeup of the stone, and means that the tiled floors often have a unique look to them.

Yorkshire Stone Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Driffield

This customer, living in the small Yorkshire town of Driffield is the lucky owner of a fantastic new Yorkstone tiled living room floor. Unfortunately, the floor had been installed by an independent builder, as opposed to a professional tiling company, and had been left with no sealer to ensure it would stay looking great for a long time to come. Over time, the lack of a sealer has allowed the dirt to become ingrained in the stone, making it increasingly difficult for the customer to keep the tiles clean. I was called in to bring completion to what was an unfinished job!

Yorkshire Stone Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Driffield

Cleaning a Yorkstone Tiled Living Room Floor

As you can see from the photographs, the entire floor was quite dusty and dull looking following the recent installation. To get the tiles clean, I mixed a strong 60-40 mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and clean water. Pro Clean is a reliable alkaline cleaner suitable for use on most natural stone floors, including Sandstone, Quarry, and Slate.

The cleaning solution was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 20 minutes, allowing it time to penetrate the stone. Then, using my 17” rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, I proceeded to deep clean the tiles, leaving them looking immediately cleaner and more vibrant. Any resulting cleaning residue was promptly soaked up using a wet vacuum.

Yorkshire Stone Floor After Deep Cleaning Driffield

The process was repeated in the more stubborn areas, and I gave the floor a final rinse with water and left it to dry. Typically, we would leave a 12 to 24 hour drying period, depending on whether there is a damp proof membrane installed. However, this floor had underfloor heating and so dried really quickly, allowing me to seal it on the same day.

Sealing a Yorkstone Tiled Living Room Floor

The customer wished to have a matt, natural finish for the Yorkstone tiled living room, so I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, our impregnating sealer which offers a natural, no-sheen look for textured floors, while providing durable protection against ingrained dirt and stains.

Yorkshire Stone Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Driffield

As the name of the product suggests, Colour Grow contains colour intensifying properties which really helped to accentuate the rich variety of colours in the customer’s Yorkstone tiles. The results were fantastic and you can see from the water test we performed after the sealer dried how water now bubbles up on the surface of the stone.

Yorkshire Stone Floor Cleaned and Sealed Water Test Driffield

 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile and Grout Cleaning and Sealing Service in Yorkshire

Restoring the Appearance of Old Yorkshire Flagstones

This Yorkshire flagstone floor was about 20m2 in size and was well overdue a deep clean, additionally a lot of the pointing was loose or missing which would need to be resolved. The location of this job was at a house in Haworth village which is situated at the edge of the Pennine moors in West Yorkshire, the area is known as Bronte country after the famous Bronte sisters who lived here in the local parsonage in the 19th century.

Old Yorkshire Flagstones Before Cleaning Haworth

Cleaning Yorkshire Stone

To deep clean the floor the sandstone flagstones were covered in a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell and soak into the stone for 15 minutes before being scrubbed clean using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. The now dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor washed down with water and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied.

The next step was to rake out the loose pointing and re-point with a matching grey flexible wide joint grout. This is the advantage of using a Tile Doctor to work on your tiled floors as were not just a cleaning company.

Sealing Yorkshire Stone

The floor was left to dry overnight and I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a Damp Meter. The flagstones were dry so I then proceeded to seal the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle sheen to natural stone, it also a water based sealer so there’s no smell.

Old Yorkshire Flagstones After Cleaning Haworth

You can see from the photo that as well as protecting the floor the sealer adds to the appearance of the tiles and brings out the natural colours that were not visible earlier.
 
 
Source: Flagstone Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Yorkshire

Maintaining Sandstone Floor Tiles

These Indian Fossil Sandstone tiles (sometimes known as ‘Yorkstone’ tiles) at a property in the small town of Swanland near Hull were, on initial inspection, in great condition, with no cracks or damaged tiles. However, thanks to a lack of sealer, the tiles had become ingrained with dirt, resulting in a heavy soil buildup that dulled the appearance of the stone. Also noticeable were some unsightly cement splashes around the grout lines.

Indian Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Swanland

The property owner contacted me with the problem and I recommended that the tiles were simply in need of a deep clean and seal and after arranging a date I went over to carry out the job.

Cleaning an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

I started the job by tackling the cement splashes around the grout lines. In this case I opted to carefully break them down manually using a good old fashioned hammer and chisel, whereas when it comes to stubborn adhesive and paint stains I would recommend a specialised cleaner such as Tile Doctor Remove & Go.

The first step of cleaning the main area of Sandstone tiles was to mix a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to four parts water, before applying it to the stone and scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. This helped to break down the heavy soil build up, and is an effective method for doing so on most types of natural stone floor.

Indian Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Swanland

The second step involved rinsing the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to neutralise the floor (after exposure to the high alkaline Pro Clean) and remove the other products used to clean the surface. This also helped to shift any remaining ingrained dirt caused by a lack of sealer, leaving the tiles clean and ready to receive a new seal.

Sealing an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

After completing the clean, I left the property to allow the floor to dry overnight. Upon my return the next day, I checked for excess moisture and, once satisfied the floor was dry, I proceeded to seal the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. Checking for excess moisture prior to sealing is essential as it can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Seal & Go is a water-based topical sealer designed to build up stain resistant
protection on the surface of the floor and to allow moisture vapour transmission. It
is typically used to seal internal, unsealed porous surfaces, including Sandstone,
Quarry and Victorian tiled floors and being water based you don’t get a smell as it dries.

Indian Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Swanland

These once dull and dirty Sandstone tiles are now restored back to looking their best thanks to a deep clean. With the addition of a fresh seal, the tiles are protected against future soil build up and spillages, and have an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in East Yorkshire

Removing Floor Leveling Screed from a Red Sandstone Floor

The Red Sandstone flagstones at this property in the historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale had been covered with carpet and underlay and to make matters worse it had a screed level laid on top of the stone to make the floor smoother to walk on before the carpet went down. The current owner of the property had discovered the floor under the carpet and was now keen on having it restored back to its former beauty as a period feature.

Red Sandstone Floor before cleaning in Kirby Lonsdale

Restoring Sandstone

Stone is difficult enough to restore with the conventional chemical approach as it is so instead we opted to use a full diamond pad cutting system which is designed to cut back the screed to the stone underneath. This involves applying a very coarse 50 grit Diamond pad, followed by a 100 Grit and so on to the 200 grit. As you can see from the results this not only removed the Screed/Self levelling compound but also revealed the true red colour of the Sandstone.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We had to leave to the stone to dry out for several days as the diamond system uses a lot of water to lubricate the process which can saturate the stone making it take longer to dry out. Once fully dry we applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow for a nice even matt finish, colour grow also accentuates the deep colours in the natural stone.

Red Sandstone Floor after cleaning in Kirby Lonsdale

I think you will agree; this was quite the transformation.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in South Cumbria

Cleaning and Sealing Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Tiles

The pictures below are of an Indian Fossil Sandstone tiled floor at a house in the small town of Hessle which as you can see was in a need of a deep clean and seal. The tiles themselves where in good physical condition with no cracks, just a lack of sealer and a heavy build up of dirt.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Hessle

Cleaning dirty Flagstone floor tiles

I started the job by dealing with some unsightly cement splashes that had been left around the grout lines, breaking them down manually using a good old fashioned hammer and chisel.

Once that was taken care of step one was to mix a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to four parts clean water, applying it to the tiles and scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The second step involved rinsing the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to neutralise the floor and remove any trace of product used to clean the surface. This process removed the ingrained dirt caused by a lack of sealer and clean the area ready to receive a fresh seal.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Hessle

Sealing the Flagstone tiled floor

I left the property to allow the floor to dry over night. Upon my return the next day, I checked for excess moisture and, once satisfied the floor was dry, I proceeded to seal the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. Seal & Go is a water-based topical sealer designed to build up stain resistant protection on the surface of the floor and to allow moisture vapour transmission. It is typically used to seal internal, unsealed porous surfaces, including Sandstone, Quarry and Victorian tiled floors.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Hessle

 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Yorkshire

Restoring Yorkstone Tiled Flooring after Builders

This Yorkstone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Brightonhad been hidden under 18 months worth of accumulated builders work, intended to get the property ready for new occupancy. As you might expect, the tiles were extremely dirty, caked in layers of dust and muck left over from months of brickwork. The site manager asked me to come down to the house on the South Coast to clean and seal the Yorkstone tiles before the new homeowner moved in.

Yorkstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Brighton

It should be noted that Yorkstone is a tightly grained variation of Sandstone, named as such due to being worked in Yorkshire quarries since medieval times. Thanks to its hard wearing nature and being reasonably inexpensive, it is still popularly used for interior and exterior furnishing, construction and landscaping across the globe.

Cleaning a Filthy Yorkstone Tiled Floor

To clear the floor ready to be cleaned, I firstly vacuumed up the excess layers of dust and muck using my strong wet/dry vacuum. Then, I applied a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go stripper, mixed with a dash of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up. This would break down any old sealer and remove the stubbornest muck, while also cleansing the grout at the same time.

Next, I attached a coarse 200 grit pad to my buffing machine and set to work eradicating the subsequent layers of muck. Almost immediately a brown sludge developed, which I promptly removed with the wet/dry vacuum. Stopping first to rinse the floor with clean water, I proceeded with the buffering process, this time with my bristly patio cleaner attachment, which was coarser still to ensure the difficult dirt was completely broken down. Finally, I rinsed the floor again with more clean water to remove any excess cleaning slurry, and then left it to dry.

Yorkstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Brighton

Sealing a Yorkstone Tiled Floor

Three days later, once all moisture had evaporated, I returned to the property to seal the floor. I did so by applying an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer, which is designed enhanced the depth of colours. Colour Grow soaks into the pores of the stone to prevent dirt from becoming trapped within, making it particularly suitable for use on other types of porous stone, such as Limestone.

As the stones were particularly riven, I carefully filled in the gaps with a paint brush, thus ensuring that the sealer covered the entire surface area. After the first coat had dried, I applied another. An hour later this too was dry and the site manager appeared, quite evidently pleased with the results.

Yorkstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Brighton

He commented that it looked amazing and he couldn’t believe the colour range on show, especially since they had the tiles had been hidden for so longer under thick layers of muck. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, and this floor is ready to be enjoyed by the new homeowner.
 
 
Source: Yorkstone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Maintenance Service in East Sussex

Getting the Best From Indian Fosil Flagstones

This Indian Fossil Sandstone tiled floor in Skipton was in a terrible state. Indian Sandstone, sometimes known as Indian Sandstone Flags, are an alternative to Yorkshire Sandstone (or ‘Yorkstone’), which is known for being particular hard wearing and high quality.

Indian Fossil Stone floor Before Cleaning in Skipton

Nonetheless, the problems with the floor were not due to the quality of the stone, per say. Rather, the floor’s poor condition was caused by a lack of sealer, allowing the floor – and by extension the entire house – to become very dusty. In addition, the grout lines had been pointed with cement and sand instead of normal grout, which simply made the floor look messy and poorly cared for.

Indian Fossil Stone floor Before Cleaning in Skipton

I was called down to the property to set the situation right by providing a deep clean and fresh seal.

Cleaning an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

I started the job by dealing with the unsightly cement splashes around the grout lines, breaking them down manually using a good old fashioned hammer and chisel.

Nonetheless, my main concern around the grout lines was the grout haze caused by the excess cement. To neutralise the haze I carefully treated the grout lines with a phosphoric acid cleaner known as Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, this product removes mineral deposits such as excess cement leaving the surface looking a lot tidier. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the acid cleaner.

To round off the cleaning process, I mixed a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to four parts clean water, before applying it to the tiles and scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. This helped to remove the ingrained dirt caused by a lack of sealer and clean the area ready to receive a fresh seal.

Sealing an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

I left the property to allow the floor to dry over night. Upon my return the next day, I checked for excess moisture and, once satisfied the floor was dry, I proceeded to seal the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go.

Indian Fossil Stone floor After Cleaning in Skipton

Seal & Go is a water-based topical sealer designed to build up stain resistant protection on the surface of the floor and to allow moisture vapour transmission. It is typically used to seal internal, unsealed porous surfaces, including Sandstone, Quarry and Victorian tiled floors.

Indian Fossil Stone floor After Cleaning in Skipton

Given the awful original condition of this floor, the results achieved over the space of two days were very good. Certainly my customer was very pleased with the transformation. The addition of a robust surface seal will go a long way to ensure the floor doesn’t fall back into such a bad state again.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile and Stone Cleaning and Maintenance Service in North Yorkshire

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned

Tiled floors are a popular choice for people with large household pets – particularly dogs. Compared to carpeted floor they are hard wearing and reasonably easy to keep clean, with the right methods. At this property near the Northamptonshire village of Brockhall, my customer’s Sandstone tiled floor had been very badly stained thanks to her two large dogs – a problem exacerbated by the fact that the tiles had not been professionally cleaned or sealed for a very long time.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Brockhall

If you have read some of my previous posts you may remember a post detailing the cleaning of a large Sandstone patio with swimming pool, well this kitchen belonged to the same customer, who was so impressed by the results that he opted to have the kitchen cleaned as well.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

As the photographs below show, my first course of action was to apply Tile Doctor Remove & Go to the edges of the floor. Remove & Go is a powerful stripper designed to break down layers of old sealer and dirt, along with any adhesive and paint marks. It can be used to great effect on most types of natural stone floor.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Brockhall

I did this before I unloaded the rest of my equipment, since the product needs time to dwell. The edges were then cleaned carefully by hand so as not to damage the customer’s painted kitchen units.

Following this, I divided the room into four separate sections and, working one section at a time, applied Remove & Go before agitating it with a black stripped pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was promptly soaked up using a wet-vac machine.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Brockhall

Certain areas proved particularly difficult to get clean, so in these cases I repeated the process once over, before following up with an application of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, worked into the stone with a scrubbing brush on the rotary machine. I rounded off the cleaning process with a second wet-vaxing.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

After being thoroughly cleaned, the floor was left to dry, with process being sped up using an industrial fan left on site overnight. Adequate drying is essential as excess moisture can damage the performance of freshly applied surface sealer.

I returned to the house the next day and ran some quick tests to check the floor had dried completely. Then, to accentuate the subtle natural shades in the Sandstone, I sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This colour intensifying sealer improves the appearance of natural stone one step further, while also providing a long lasting and robust surface seal.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Brockhall

It is also important that Colour Grow can provide a matt finish, as a sealant which offers a gloss finish would not have been as hard wearing, especially with two large dogs roaming around.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Brockhall

My customer was very pleased with the results. He can now enjoy his great looking Sandstone tiled kitchen floor, reassured in the knowledge that its rejuvenated appearance will be protected long-term against future dog-related stains and soil.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Northamptonshire

Annual Sandstone Patio Cleaning

As the summer slowly approaches thoughts turn to sorting out those outside areas ready for use again, so it’s about this time of year I get asked to look at cleaning external tiled surfaces such as patio areas driveways. These external surfaces suffer from a heavily build-up of soils due to the general wear and tear caused by exposure to harsh weather conditions. We have all the high pressure equipment and fantastic results can be achieved by pressure washing in combination with quality products.

The photographs below were taken in January at a lovely property in the small village of Brockhall, near the market town of Daventry in Northamptonshire; my customer has a large Sandstone tiled patio and swimming pool area and as you can see the weather had certainly taken its toll and it was now in need of a thorough deep clean.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall Before Cleaning Sandstone Patio Brockhall Before Cleaning

Sandstone is typically a hard wearing tile, but if neglected for a long time it can, much like any other type of stone, very easily lose its appearance without regular maintenance.

Pressure Cleaning a Sandstone Flagged Swimming Pool Area

My first thought when dealing with swimming pool areas is to protect the pool from contaminates thrown up by the cleaning process, fortunately in this case the pool was well secured with a black cover which was tightly strapped down.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall Before Cleaning

The next step was to deal with the particularly stubborn areas of dirt with an application of a high alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Being an alkaline based product Pro-Clean is suitable for use on many different types of natural stone tiles, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, and can be applied to both internal as well as external surfaces.

The cleaning solution was applied to the problem areas agitated so it could get to work on the dirt. This was then followed up with the application of a special circular pressure washing spinning tool running at very high pressure.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall During Cleaning Sandstone Patio Brockhall Cleaning Equipment

I have a truck mounted pressure system on the van however in this case it was easier to use a standalone industrial petrol jet washer to drive the spinning tool.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall During Cleaning

The spinning tool allows the water to be applied under high pressure, and removes dirt and stains at the same time.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall After Cleaning

As you can see from the photographs, the results achieved were amazing. My customer was so impressed, in fact, that he booked me in to restore his Sandstone tiled kitchen as well the following week!

Sandstone Patio Brockhall After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Patio and Driveway Cleaning Service in Northamptonshire

Dealing with Patchy Sandstone Flagstones

Sandstone is a particularly popular choice for kitchen and hallway floors amongst home owners in the UK. It not only possesses beautiful natural shades and features, but it is also typically hard wearing, making it an ideal stone for tiled flooring in high traffic areas of a house and can often be found laid as large riven flagstones in pubs and other commercial premises.

Naturally, just like any other type of tiled floor, Sandstone needs to be maintained using appropriate products and methods. A lack of adequate surface sealer in particular leaves Sandstone susceptible to ingrained dirt, and can leave distinct, unsightly patches such as those in the photograph below.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning in Thaxted

In this instance, I visited a client in the old Essex town of Thaxted, who believed that her four square meter Sandstone tiled floor might be suffering from damp issues after lifting up the mats covering the area.

However, when I arrived at the property and ran damp tests, I found the issue to be superficial. The Sandstone floor however did require attention in the form of a deep clean and a fresh seal to tackle the white patches and prevent further discolouration.

Cleaning a Sandstone tiled floor

To begin the cleaning process I spread Tile Doctor Remove & Go evenly across the floor. It was left to dwell for approximately 15 minutes, during which time it worked to break down the old sealer remaining on the tiles. I then agitated the area twice over with both a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotation machine lift away any dirt.

The resultant slurry was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with water and then mixed a strong solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to three parts water which was used to give the floor a final clean and scrub the grout clean before using the wet vacuum again and giving the floor a final rinse with water.

Sealing a Sandstone tiled floor

After completing the cleaning process I left the floor to dry over the weekend. Upon my return to the house I proceeded to seal the tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone and provide durable surface protection going forward. Colour Grow is also specially designed to let the floor breathe and enhance the natural colours in the stone and, in this case, really helped to intensify the natural sand-coloured shades in the tiles.

Sandstone Floor After Cleaning in Thaxted

The difference made to these Sandstone tiles was really noticeable, with the white patches completely removed and the surface more generally back to looking like new, needless to say, my client was very happy with the results.
 
 
Source: Restoring Sandstone Tiled Flooring in Essex

Removing Grout Haze Left from Sandstone After Tiling

It’s not that uncommon for newly installed tiled floors to suffer from grout haze. This occurs where builder or tiler fails to remove all the excess grout from the surface of the tile after installation. It’s not always immediately obvious as the grout has to dry before it shows up and if the tiles are sealed afterward the grout is trapped on the surface of the tile under the sealer which makes it even more difficult to remove. Not too long ago, I was called to address this exact problem experienced on my client’s Sandstone tiled floor at her house Wappenham, Northamptonshire.

This first picture shows how the builder had left the floor after sealing (note how all the tiles have a similar colour). Also shown in the picture is the equipment I use to remove grout haze should you wish to do this yourself.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

The second picture shows a close-up of the white grout haze deposits on the surface of the tile; the issue is probably difficult to appreciate if you haven’t come across this type of problem yourself however you will find ordinary household cleaning products will be largely ineffectual.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Removing Sealer from Sandstone Floor Tiles

The third picture shows the first stage of the cleaning process which required stripping off the sealer so I could then treat the Grout Haze. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go liberally across the floor, before agitating with a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine to break down the old surface sealer. I followed this by using a wet-vac machine to remove any soiled residue. As you can see in the next photograph, the colours are already starting to show.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Treating Grout Haze on Sandstone

The next photo shows the second stage of the process, which involved the application of a new product in the Tile Doctor range called Acid Gel. The acid based formula is required to remove the cement/grout and being a gel you find the product remains in situ breaking down the grout haze instead of spreading around as you would expect with a liquid.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

I left the Acid Gel to dwell for approximately ten minutes, before mixing it with water and scrubbing it into the tiles with an industrial brush. This was followed by a second wet vacuum to ensure all the residue was removed. A turbo dryer was used on the treated area to speed up the drying process whilst I moved onto the next section.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

Sealing Sandstone Floor Tiles

Once the floor was fully dry I was able to seal it again with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Sealing will protect the floor from staining and make it easier to clean, additionally Colour Grow soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the stone in the process.

Grout Haze Removal from Sandstone Wappenham

The final photograph shows an area which has been fully sealed and the tiles restored to their natural beauty. I achieved this result across the entirety of the floor.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Floor Cleaning and Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Refreshing the Sealer on a Flagstone Floor

This property was situated in the tiny, yet picturesque village of Grafton Underwood in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The village has only a population numbering a few hundred and, interestingly enough, is the childhood home of the famous ‘Bridget Jones’ character. I have previously worked on a number of floors in Grafton Underwood, and on this particular occasion I was called to complete the job through a recommendation – which is always welcome!

This particular customer had two floors that needed re-finishing; the first was a polished Limestone tiled conservatory (which I will cover in a separate post as the process was different) and the second a Flagstone tiled living room; so on a rather dull day in November, I began my work.

Stripping a Flagstone tiled floor

The sealer on the Flagstone tiled living room had failed in certain places, resulting in the floor becoming difficult to clean due to dirt becoming ingrained in the stone. The decline in the sealer is not uncommon, as they do wear down over time – especially in an area of high traffic like a living room. To resolve this issue, the old surface seal needed to be stripped back and re-sealed.

Flagstone Sitting Room Grafton Underwood Before Cleaning

To remove what was left of the old sealer, I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and scrubbed it into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with black stripping pads. I then gave the floor an initial rinse, before paying special attention to scrubbing the stubborn spots, making sure all of the sealer was removed.

I then gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up in order to remove grout haze and other mineral deposits which were evident. Due to its acidic properties, you have to be very careful with this product on any type of stone, so I didn’t let it dwell for too long and made sure the floor was thoroughly rinsed down afterwards, with all solutions extracted using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing a Flagstone tiled floor

The floor was left to dry for more than 24 hours, before I returned to re-seal it using Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This product provides both a stain resistant surface seal and the durable low-sheen finish requested by my client. Seal & Go is suitable for use on internal unsealed, porous surfaces.

Flagstone Sitting Room Grafton Underwood After Cleaning

I guess the photographs don’t really do the transformation justice however the freshly re-sealed Flagstone living room certainly brightened up what was a very dreary autumn day!
 
 
Source: Sandstone Floor Cleaning and Sealing service in Northamptonshire

Short Lived Sealer Needing Re-application

I had arranged to work on an original Sandstone floor in an old barn conversion in the town of Sedbergh, Cumbria, however I had to delay the visit due to the poor conditions of the roads in this area at the time due to Storm Desmond which you may recall brought a substantial amount of flooding to Cumbria. Sedbergh was historically considered part of the West Riding of Yorkshire – sitting just within the Yorkshire Dales National Park – but in more modern times, it has come to be part of Cumbria.

Storm Desmond Flooding on route to Sedbergh

The floor had been hidden by several old carpets and underlay and, unsurprisingly – judging by the condition – had never been professionally cleaned, at least not by today’s standard. Given the location of the property and the fact it was a barn conversion we can assume the stone flooring was very old, and certainly now in need of restoration.

I could see that the stone had never been properly refined, leaving a rough surface that my client wanted to be smoothed down. I told my client that we would be able to achieve this using a process Tile Doctor has developed using very coarse diamond encrusted pads, known as Milling.

Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh Before Milling Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh Before Milling

Milling a Sandstone floor

The diamond encrusted grit pads are designed to smooth down the stone; much like coarse sandpaper is used to smooth down a rough piece of wood. To begin the coarse pads were fitted to a heavy Victor Trojan rotary machine and Russell was on hand to mill the floor. This process requires quite a bit of water to lubricate the pads and can cause a mess so it’s just as well the owner had decided to have the floor done before the new kitchen was fitted.

Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh Before Milling

The Sandstone stairs were also milled and once done the whole floor was given a thorough wash down to remove any remaining debris.

Sealing a Sandstone floor

We decided to leave the sealing until after the kitchen fitters had been and so we came back a few days later to seal the floor, but not before giving the tiles a light clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Cleaner, which is suitable for use on most kinds of stone – especially those which are acid sensitive.

The floor was then speed dried with fans and then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealer really brought out the natural colours in the Sandstone tiles, and provided the Matt finish my client had requested.

Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh After Milling Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh After Milling

The outcome was great, but the photographs can tell the story better than we can. My client was very pleased with result, leaving the following feedback: “Both Russell and Heidi were helpful and particularly flexible in view of the flooding at the time. They were both professional and polite and did the job thoroughly. I was delighted with the result”.

Sandstone Floor in Sedbergh After Milling

 
 
Source: Sandstone Flagstone Floor Cleaning and Restoration service in Cumbria

Refreshing Sandstone Flagstone in a Barn Conversion

These photographs are from a fantastic barn conversion in the town of Newark, Nottinghamshire. The owners of the property, however, were unhappy with the state of their modern Sandstone Flagstone tiled floor, which was looking dull and tired. Flagstones are typically quite hard-wearing and durable but will need proper maintenance over time and I was called in get them looking like new again.

Sandstone Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Newark

Cleaning Sandstone Flagstones

Firstly, I mixed a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner, to 10 parts water; this was then applied to the floor and left it to dwell for 15 minutes before agitating the solution into the Flagstones with a scrubbing brush fitted to a low-speed weighted rotary machine. This helped to remove the soil build-up and also break down the old sealer, the resulting residue was promptly removed using a wet-vac machine and the entire floor rinsed with fresh water.

Following the clean, I installed two whole room air mover driers to accelerate the drying of the floor overnight. It is essential to ensure any tiled floor is completely dry before sealing, as excess moisture has the potential to upset the performance of the sealer.

Sealing a Sandstone Flagstone tiled floor

On my return the next day, I ran some damp tests to check for excess moisture. Once I was satisfied that the floor was ready to seal, I applied a total of four coats of Tile Doctor’s colour intensifying, topical sealer, Colour Grow.

The sealer impregnates the stone, providing durable protection from within, and thereby protecting the stone from soil ingress, and both oil and water based spills. Colour Grow was the ideal choice of sealer since my clients did not want a shiny finish, and this product dries matte in appearance whilst enriching the natural mineral colours in the stone.

Sandstone Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Newark

After completing the job, I made sure to offer my clients some day-to-day cleaning advice. The simplest form of maintenance is damp washing with a mop, using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaning Solution, providing that is has been correctly diluted. I also recommended changing the mop water every 7-10 metres squared, to help avoid suspended soils from being re-deposited back onto the surface of the floor.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Flagstone and Grout cleaning and sealing service in Nottinghamshire

Removing Stains for Sandstone Flagstones

Recently, I was asked to visit a property in the small port town of Boston, Lincolnshire, to quote for a clean and seal. My client had recently moved into a new home, but the riven natural Sandstone flagstone floor had not been properly cared for or sealed by the previous owners and was now in need of a thorough clean. Sandstone flagstones are a popular choice for both residential and commercial use, and are especially popular in kitchens and hallways.

This particular floor was blemished by noticeable stains that had seeped into the stone. Further liquid stains were visible in other areas of the floor, as they had soaked into the stone due to the lack of a surface sealer. My primary tasks would be removing these blemishes and to provide a stain resistant surface seal to prevent damage in the future. My client also requested a natural look finish to the floor rather than a topical shine seal.

Riven Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Boston Riven Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Boston

Cleaning a stained Flagstone tiled floor

This was a two day job. On day one, my main focus was on eliminating the stubborn stains on the stone tiles. I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, with water to tackle the heavy soil build-up and applied the solution to the floor in sections leaving it to dwell for a short period first so it could get underneath the dirt and lift it to the surface.

I then used a combination of a stiff brush and a specialist Rotovac machine to scrub and clean the floor. The Rotovac uses water under high pressure to clean the floor and is highly effective in eliminating the difficult-to-reach dirt, particularly where it might be hidden due to the riven nature of the tiles. The cleaning process was repeated until I was satisfied with the results.

Sealing a Flagstone tiled floor

After finishing the clean I left the house, allowing the floor to dry off overnight. On day two, I returned to the house and ran damp tests to ensure that the surface was completely dry before commencing the seal.

Riven Flagstone Floor During Sealing Boston

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. As an impregnating sealer, this product soaks into the stone to provide robust protection from within. It also contains a colour intensifier and so, as you can see from the photographs, it really helped to enhance the natural shades in the Sandstone.

Riven Flagstone Floor After Sealing Boston

My client was delighted with the results and I think you will agree the floor looks transformed and much more appealing. Additionally the sealer is now protecting the stone from staining and liquids form puddles on the surface of the tile instead of soaking into its pores.

Riven Flagstone Floor After Sealing Boston

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning and maintenance services in Lincolnshire

Refreshing A Flagstone Floor

Here’s a job I completed not too long ago in the town of Maldon, which sits alongside the Blackwater estuary in South Essex. Although the Flagstone tiled floor in my client’s kitchen was – generally speaking – in good physical condition, the surface seal had worn down over time, leaving the tiles looking dull and lifeless.

Flagstone is quite a hard wearing stone that is commonly used for both internal and external surfaces, whether this is something as simple as a kitchen floor, or something more complex like a public monument. I was commissioned to restore the floor back to looking it best, by way of a thorough clean and a new seal.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Maldon

Cleaning a Flagstone tiled floor

My go to cleaner for most kinds of natural stone tile is Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline product which contains both cleaning and stripping properties depending on the dilution ratio. In this case I wanted a strong solution so I could strip off any remaining sealer and so it was diluted one part Pro-Clean to three parts clean water. The solution was left to dwell for 10 minutes, allowing it to soak into the stone and get to work breaking down any remaining sealer.

I then attached a black scrubbing pad to my rotary machine, and used this to agitate the solution into the tiles. This helped to lift out any ingrained dirt and remove the stubborn marks blemishing the floor. Once the initial clean had been completed, I turned my attention to the grout between the tiles, using Pro-Clean in combination with a stiff grout brush to clean up the grout as much as possible. I cleaned the floor twice in total before rinsing the entire area with water and leaving the house for a few days, giving the surface time to dry.

Sealing a Flagstone tiled floor

Upon my return to the house, I ran some damp tests to double check that the floor had dried completely. This is important as any residual moisture can potentially damage the performance of the sealer. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were able to take the seal, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant.

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Maldon

Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone provides durable stain protection from within, along with a nice finish. It’s also specially designed to intensify the natural shades and colours in the stone, turning dull floors into characterful household features. Colour Grow is suitable for use most stone surfaces, including Flagstone, Limestone, Marble, Quarry, Sandstone and Slate.

My customer was very pleased with the result, with marked differences in condition and appearance achieved in the space of a few short days.

Flagstone Floor During Sealing Maldon

 
 
Source: Professional Shower Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning and maintenance services in Essex

Restoring the appearance of a Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

Here’s an interesting job that I recently completed down in Penrith, a small market town just under three miles from the Lake District National Park.

My client had a Sandstone tiled flagstone floor in her kitchen which had been continually sealed over its lifetime – but without removing the old sealer first. This is not advised, as it can lead to a severe problem where the layers of sealer become compacted on the surface. The result is a significant build-up of old sealer which is almost impossible to remove, even with some of the best and strongest products available.

Sandstone floor before milling in Penrith

This problem is particularly acute in Sandstone because, as a naturally porous stone, it has a high grab factor when it comes to polyurethane type wax sealers. As a result, it would take me a significant amount of work to reduce the problem as far as possible.

Milling Sandstone tiles

As no chemical products would prove effective in resolving the issue, I opted to use a milling technique using abrasive, coarse milling pads. The idea is that the milling pads penetrate beneath the many layers of old sealer and re-finish the stone. In order to validate the proposed solution I conducted an experiment in a test area under the dishwasher. The test proved satisfactory, and so my client was happy to extend the solution to the rest of the kitchen floor.

Sandstone floor during milling in Penrith

As you can see from the photos, the milling pads allowed me to get in deep where chemical products were simply unable to make a difference, giving the Sandstone tiles a much more refined look. As well as flattening a stone milling does strip a tile naked so it’s necessary to seal the stone after to enhance the natural colours and features as well as protect the stone going forward.

Cleaning and sealing Sandstone tiles

After spending all day milling the rest of the floor, it came time to give it a thorough clean to remove any remaining dirt and muck, especially along the grout lines. My choice of cleaner was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high-alkaline cleaner which is used on most natural stone floors, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone and Slate. The Pro-Clean was diluted with water and then scrubbed into the tile and grout.

After finishing the clean, I left for a few days as the floor needed at least 48 hours to dry completely before it could be sealed. Tiled floors must always be left to dry completely before being sealed because any excess moisture or residue can damage the performance of the sealer. When I returned, I applied three layers of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer which is designed to provide durable surface protection from within, while also accentuating the natural shades and colours in the stone.

Sandstone floor after milling and sealing in Penrith

My client was very pleased with the results, and was amazed I was able to do anything to resolve the compacted sealer issue considering that the chemical products used previously were unsuccessful.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in North-Cumbria

Refreshing a Very Dirty Sandstone Tiled Floor

This Sandstone tiled floor with Limestone coloured grout in Cardiff was laid in 2006 and had now discoloured with wear and tear and had almost turned black in places which I suspect was due to no sealer being applied after installation.

I carried out a cleaning sample using Tile Doctor HBU Remover, which is a strong cleaning solution, applied it to one tile in the utility room and the dirt lifted off with remarkable results; I then dried the tile with a heat gun to show the customer the results which she was happy with.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning Sandstone Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Floor

For the rest of the floor I started by wetting the surface and carried on treating it with more HBU remover diluted 50% with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which made it thinner and more effective for deep cleaning. Using a stiff sweeping brush with bristles about half inch long (well broken in for this type of job) I then scrubbed away at the tiles and then the grout joints using a small hand held scrubbing brush which I always find is more effective than a machine which can make a lot of mess and can be overly aggressive. I cleaned the tiles in 5m2 sections rinsing each section four times to ensure there were no trace of cleaning solutions left behind. When finished the floor was left to dry for two to four hours and I tested for moisture knowing it would be ok but always worth checking.

Sealing a Sandstone Floor Sealing

I sealed the Sandstone with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating and colour enhancing product which will protect the floor for many years to come.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

I tested the floor with a water test to ensure it was fully sealed, this is a simple test whereby you check to see if drops of water applied to the surface form beads on the tile. The end result was incredible as you can see the tiles looked as good if not better than the day they were cut from the quarry, and the Colour Grow certainly enhanced the true colours in the stone.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Maintenance and Restoration in South Wales

Deep Cleaning Sandstone Tiles in Leicestershire

These Sandstone floor tiles installed in a house in the market town of Uppingham had become completely discoloured and much darker over the years, especially in that well-trodden kitchen triangle between the sink, cooker and fridge. They were now well overdue for a deep clean and re-seal and so we were asked to come and strip back the floor and re-seal it.

Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Uppingham Before

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Floor

Given the discolouration of the tiles it was likely this was caused by more than just ingrained dirt and that multiple products had been applied to the tiles so I decided the best course of action would be to strip the floor back to its original condition first. With this aim I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a sealer and coatings remover which lives up well to its name. It was left to soak into the tiles for a good thirty minutes before being worked using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was rinsed off with clean water which was removed with a wet vacuum; stubborn areas were then re-treated in the same way and once I was happy with the general condition of the floor it was given a thorough rinse with water to remove any traces of cleaning product and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We came back the next day and after checking the floor was dry proceeded to apply the sealer which it was so we proceeded to seal the Sandstone with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the stone, enhances the natural colour in the stone and provides good surface protection, the customer was also after a matt finish and Colour Grow matches the requirement.

Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Uppingham After

Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration Service in Leicestershire

Removating Old Flagstones in Cumbria

We received a request to take a look at these Sandstone flagstones at a house in Grange over Sands, the request implied all was required was a usual clean and Re-seal however once we took a look at the floor it was obvious a lot more was involved and the floor was in need of restoration work including Sandstone floor restoration including grout replacement and paint stripping

Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning

Cleaning Sandstone

To get the floor clean I decided to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean to give it more cleaning power. We normally use Remove and Go to remove old sealers but it works just as well softening up paint splashes so they can be removed. It was left to soak into on the flagstones for a good twenty minutes before being scrubbed into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The resultant slurry was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor washed down so we could get an idea of the improvement in the floor. There were quite a few stubborn areas so the whole process was re-done until I was happy the floor was as good as I could get it and at that point rinsed the whole floor down again with clean water to neutralise the floor before dealing with the missing and loose grout which was replaced with a close a colour match as possible before leaving for the evening so the floor could dry overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We came back the next day and tested the floor with a damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone. The sandstone was dry so we proceeded to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone preventing contaminates becoming ingrained there and also as its name suggests brings out the colours in the natural stone.

Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands After Sandstone Floor Grange Over Sands After

Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning Service in Cumbria