Dealing with a Rough Sandstone Kitchen Floor in Colne, Lancashire

A customer from Colne near Burnley was absolutely frustrated with their newly installed Sandstone floor in the kitchen of their farmhouse. Ever since it was installed it had proved impossible to keep it clean. The customer contacted Tile Doctor in the hope that we could remove the ingrained dirt and make the floor much easier to maintain going forward.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Colne Farmhouse Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Colne

I went over to inspect the floor and recommended a course of action. There was a section of stone which had a stain on it due to a pet accident, so we chose area to conduct a test clean. The flagstone responded well to the cleaning process which impressed the customer who booked us in for the job. There were happy to go ahead with my quote and quite relieved that she had finally found a solution.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor Patch Test Zoom Colne

Cleaning a Sandstone Paved Kitchen Floor

Arriving on day one, first I taped up the plinths and skirtings to ensure they were not marked during the cleaning, especially as the kitchen was newly installed. Then, to deep clean the floor and remove the ineffectual coating applied by the installer I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and let it soak in for about ten minutes. The solution was then worked into the stone using a coarse 100-grit milling pad. This coarse pad was then followed up with the application of a finer 200-grit pad. Together these pads resurface and clean the stone and remove the coarse surface that was trapping dirt so easily.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Colne Farmhouse Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Colne

The pads are applied with water which lubricates the abrasive action and results in a fine slurry that is rinsed off after each pad. The slurry is then extracted with a wet vacuum, keeping the mess to a minimum. The flagstone floor was then given a quick acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to clean the stone further and counter the alkaline cleaning product applied during the first stage of cleaning. After a further rinse with water and extraction with the wet vacuum the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the following day, the floor was first checked using a moisture meter to ensure it was dry. We then sealed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which added a nice subtle sheen to the stone and as well as protecting the stone from staining ensuring it is a lot easier to clean going forward.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor After Renovation Colne

I recommended they should use the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is pH neutral so it will ensure that the sealant is not compromised during cleaning. This is a concentrated product so only a small amount is required, so a small bottle goes a long way.

The client was delighted with the floor and very relieved that it now looked exactly as it should.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor After Renovation Colne

 

Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Colne, South Lancashire

Renovating Indian Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor in Thirsk, North Yorkshire

The stone floor in the pictures is an Indian Fossil Sandstone which had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in the North Yorkshire market town of Thirsk. The Sandstone tiles had not been professionally cleaned and sealed for ten years so and was now overdue a deep clean. The customer had tried cleaning it but gave up and give me a call instead as no matter what she did nothing seemed to make a difference.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning

They had been using numerous household cleaners to maintain the floor which doesn’t help as many supermarket cleaning products are too strong for use on a sealed floor and will prematurely reduce the life of the sealer. Without the protection of a sealer dirt becomes ingrained in the stone making it very difficult to clean effectively. Another problem was that the Sandstone tiles were very uneven and rough in texture, so the dirt was getting caught in the bumps which didn’t help.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning

I went over to the property in Thirsk to survey the floor and conduct a test clean, so they could see how the stone would look on completion. The Sandstone responded well to treatment and we agreed a date for me to return and complete the floor.

Maintenance issues aside Sandstone pavers look great in a Kitchen where they give a rustic farmhouse appearance that brings the outside in. Imported from India, Indian Fossil Sandstone is full of character and with prices from around £19m2, very affordable. Due to the thickness of the stone we wouldn’t recommend using pavers with under floor heating.

Cleaning an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

To get the stone clean and remove what was left of the sealer I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and allowed it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer.

This removed a lot of the dirt and stains however floor pads struggle on uneven surfaces, so I found that to get the stone and grout really clean I had to rescrub most of them by hand. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and any stubborn areas retreated using the same process and more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The floor was then left to dry off overnight in preparation for it being sealed.

Sealing an Indian Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to finish the renovation. First, testing the floor with the moisture meter to ensure it was dry enough to take the sealant. I started by applying two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which will protect against ongoing dirt and stains. You can always tell when stone floor has had enough sealer applied by adding a droplet of water to the tile, if it forms a bubble on the surface then you know its sealed. I demonstrated this to the customer, so they would know in future and could give us a call when they needed to redo the floor.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning

As before the Sandstone responded well to the treatment leaving it much cleaner and lighter in appearance. The floor had a lovely variety of colours and you could now clearly see the fossils trapped in the stone. Before leaving I recommended that they use a pH neutral cleaning product going forward such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is specifically designed for cleaning sealed floors and will help keep the floor maintain its appearance.

My customer was amazed at the transformation and left the following feedback for me.

“Floor has never been cleaner! Elizabeth R, Thirsk”

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning

 

Source: Indian Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Thirsk, North Yorkshire

Grinding Textured Indian Sandstone Tiles Smooth in Barnoldswick, Lancashire

The pictures below show a Rough Textured Indian Sandstone floor installed in the Kitchen and Hallway at a property in Bernoldswick which is a small town just outside the Yorkshire Dales national park. The client called us out to have a look at their floor which was very dirty. They were undecided as to what to do with it and were even considering ripping it up and putting a more practical floor down. This Sandstone has a rough texture which traps dirt and can shred mops making it very difficult to maintain so it’s not surprising that the client was close to giving up on it.

Textured Indian Sandstone Before Cleaning Barnoldswick

Initially we were asked just to deep clean and seal the Stone, but I realised that wouldn’t resolve the problem completely, so I offered a service we call Milling. This is a process involves applying coarse diamond pads with special machinery to remove a good chunk of the rough texture (about 80 to 85% ). It would leave the stone with a much smoother finish which is easier to keep clean, easier to seal and a lot easier to maintain in the future.

Textured Indian Sandstone Before Cleaning Barnoldswick Textured Indian Sandstone Before Cleaning Barnoldswick

After a demonstration was done and a price given for either a clean and seal or to Mill first followed by a clean and seal the customer opted for the latter. This would also prove significantly cheaper than ripping up the floor, hiring a skip to take away the stone, then self-levelling the concrete to get it ready for the new floor, not to mention the cost of the new floor covering.

Cleaning and Milling an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

Milling the stone involves the use of a set of thee milling pads of different grades (50, 100 and 200 grit) which are applied in sequence. You start with the coarse and abrasive 50 grit milling pad and follow this by smoothing this surface with the finer 100 and 200 diamond grit milling pads. Water is used to lubricate and capture the dust which is created during the process resulting in a slurry which needs to be rinsed away and extracted with a wet vacuum between each pad. The process requires the use of a solid weighted rotary machine and a fair bit of muscle power to guide it.

As you can see from the pictures the difference is immense but what you can’t tell from these photos is how smooth the stone feels to the touch as its the rough texture of Sandstone that catches all the dirt and makes it hard to clean, even after it has been cleaned and sealed professionally.

To refine the surface of the Sandstone even further the Milling process is followed by the application of finer grade Burnishing pads, again applied with water and the soil rinsed off between each pad. This process uses no chemical cleaning products only water, Diamond pads and machinery.

Sealing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

After allowing the stone to fully dry out overnight we finished the job with several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within. It gave the stone a nice low-key matt colour enhanced finish that really showed off the character in the stone.

Textured Indian Sandstone After Cleaning Barnoldswick Textured Indian Sandstone After Cleaning Barnoldswick

The client was over the moon with the result and were so pleased they had not ripped up the floor!

Textured Indian Sandstone After Cleaning Barnoldswick

 

Source: Indian Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Barnoldswick, Lancashire