Sandstone Kitchen Floor Renovation for National Trust in Cheshire

Quarry Bank Mill is an old textile mill just outside of Wilmslow in East Cheshire that dates back to the Industrial Revolution when it was used to produce cotton. The mill is now under the care of the National Trust who recently put together a £9.4 million project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund the further restoration of the mill and its gardens.

The 18th century mill is now a popular attraction and I was recently asked to clean and seal the Sandstone flooring in the Kitchen of the head gardeners cottage. The cottage is actually located in the formal gardens which were recently visited by HRH Price of Wales.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The Sandstone Kitchen floor was in good physical condition so unlikely to be the original however like any stone floor in constant use the sealer was wearing off and dirt was becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone detracting from its overall appearance.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Cleaning Dirty and Dull Sandstone Flagstones

Our first job was to protect the wooden kitchen units and other woodwork with tape. Next I set about cleaning the Sandstone and stripping any reaming sealer off in the process. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is multi-purpose stripper and cleaner. The product strips away any old sealer on the tiles and draws out ingrained dirt, stains and heavy grease build-up.

I applied the product and left it to soak for roughly fifteen to twenty minutes to allow time to break down the old sealer and penetrate the pores of the stone to reach any embedded dirt. Next, I scrubbed the floor using a specialised buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad swelled with water to get the stone clean. The resulting dirty cleaning slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum and after rinsing with water With the floor clear I was able to spot stubborn areas that need more work and repeated the process.

With the stone clean I turned my attention to the grout lines and scrubbed in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then rinsed off with water. I then completed another spot check of the floor whilst using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible. With the cleaning part of the job complete I left for the day to allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Sealing Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

Upon returning to the property the following day, I tested the floor with a damp meter, checking for any excess moisture that could prevent me from sealing the stone. The floor proved dry and so I began to seal the Sandstone starting with a single coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that is designed to fill the pores of the stone blocking dirt from becoming ingrained there whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone at the same time.

Once the Colour Grow was dry I followed with the application of five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a compatible water-based acrylic sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The floor now looks much healthier and the new sealer show keep it looking that way for some years to come.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in East Cheshire

Sandstone Flagstones Renovated in a Cheshire Kitchen

Bramhall is an affluent area of East Cheshire and home to some truly fantastic properties with equally impressive floors. I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of these properties to attend to a Sandstone tiled kitchen that was looking past its best.

Sandstone has been used as a building material since ancient times, with some famous examples of Sandstone architecture being the Strasbourg Cathedral in Strasbourg, France, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Of course, Sandstone is also commonly used for paving and tiled floors. It is typically very porous, meaning that dirt and stains can easily become ingrained if the stone is not taken care of correctly. The wonderful natural shades in the Sandstone quickly lose their character and, as was the case with this floor, the tiles become dull and unappealing.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Bramhall Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Bramhall

Cleaning Dirty and Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

To clean this floor, I first mixed a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is multi-purpose stripper and cleaner. The product strips away any old sealer on the tiles and draws out ingrained dirt, stains and heavy grease build-up. It always provides consistent results and it can be used it on all kinds of tile, stone and grout to great effect.

I applied the product and left it to soak for roughly 20 minutes to allow time to penetrate the pores of the stone and reach the deeply embedded dirt. Next, I scrubbed the floor using a specialised buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to get the stone clean. The resulting dirty cleaning slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum and after rinsing with water I used the wet vacuum again to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the day and allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Bramhall

Sealing Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

Upon returning to the property the following day, I tested the floor with a damp meter, checking for any excess moisture that could prevent me from sealing the stone.

Thankfully the floor proved dry and I could seal the floor using two different types of sealer. First, I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to fill the pores of the tiles to block ingrained dirt, as well as to enhance the natural colours in the stone.

By itself, Colour Grow provides a natural-looking matte finish, but in this instance the customer had requested a low-sheen finish, so I also applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water-based acrylic sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Bramhall Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Bramhall

Looking at the before and after photos, you can see the floor underwent a real transformation. The deep clean really restored the condition of the Sandstone, while the addition of robust sealers will ensure that it is easy for the customer to keep clean in the long term. Needless to say, the customer was really pleased with the result!
 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Cheshire

Restoring Salvaged Flagstone Flooring in a Gloucestershire Kitchen

Here we have an interesting situation in which an old Flagstone tiled floor had been salvaged from a cottage approximately 30 years ago and subsequently reinstalled at a house in Ledbury, a small market town which lies to the west of the Malvern hills in the North of Gloucestershire. Since being reinstalled, the Flagstone tiles had been barely touched in terms of maintenance for three decades and so the stone and grout were naturally in need of a deep clean and seal!

Salvaged Flagstone Floor Before Restoration in Ledbury

The property owner had heard about the natural stone tile restoration services Tile Doctor provides and so booked me in to see what could be done to improve the condition of his floor.

Salvaged Flagstone Floor Before Restoration in Ledbury

Cleaning a Dirty Flagstone Tiled Floor

My first job in the cleaning process was to distribute a mixed solution of two cleaning products across the floor. These products were Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose stripper designed to remove old coatings and sealers, as well as any adhesive and paint stains, and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a powerful cleaner which utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate difficult-to-reach areas of the stone to eliminate deep lying dirt and stains.

This potent cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the floor for 45 minutes before being worked deep into the stone with a poly brush fitted to a buffing machine. The resultant cleaning slurry was then hoovered up with wet-and-dry vacuum. Next, the floor was rinsed and cleaned with just clean water and the slurry was once again hoovered up.

Salvaged Flagstone Floor During Restoration in Ledbury

This left the tiles clean and fresh, so I turned my attention to cleaning the grout lines in detail, which also involved spot cleaning any stubborn grout smears with Remove and Go and Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in gel form designed to remove stains of this kind.

When satisfied with the result of the cleaning process, I rinsed the floor for a final time with fresh water, hoovered up as much moisture as possible with a wet vacuum and left the stone to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

On arrival at the property the following day, I checked the floor for dampness with my damp meter. The test proved that no excess moisture was present, so I proceeded to give the Flagstone a fresh seal.

With regards to sealer choice, the customer had requested a natural-looking matte finish to match in with the rustic characteristics of the Flagstone, so I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow – which provides exactly that. Colour Grow is a durable impregnating sealer that also enhances the natural shades in the stone to really bring the whole floor back to life. Roughly an hour was left between the application of each coating of sealer to allow the floor dry before applying the next.

Salvaged Flagstone Floor After Restoration in Ledbury

The result was a noticeable improvement in the condition and appearance of the Flagstone – and the customer couldn’t have been happier. It’s always satisfying to breathe some new life into old natural stone tiles.

Salvaged Flagstone Floor After Restoration in Ledbury

 
 
Source: Flagstone Tile Restoration in Gloucestershire