Resolving Yorkstone Installation by Cowboy Builders Near Leeds

In an interesting turn of events, I was recently contacted again by a homeowner from Guiseley, near Leeds, with whom I had been in touch with two years prior. At that time, I had quoted for cleaning and maintenance work to be carried out on a Yorkshire Stone, or ‘Yorkstone’ tiled floor, but the customer had opted to go with a different company. Yorkstone is a variety of Sandstone that it unique to the quarries of Yorkshire.

When the customer called me again, she explained that the previous work – most likely carried out by inexperienced cowboy builders – had been disastrous. The stone evidently had not bene properly cleaned and very little sealer had been used to protect it against wear and tear. The result was a very dirty and dusty floor – and the only solution was to start the restoration process over again, this time with the help of a true professional!

Here’s a photo of what the floor looked like before the restoration:

Yorkshire Stone Floor Guiseley Leeds Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dull and Dirty Yorkstone Tiles

Since the floor had not been cleaned properly to begin with, there were several unsightly paint stains on the stone in addition to general dirt and stains. To remove these, I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a reliable alkaline cleaner, liberally across the floor and left it dwell for a short period. I then used a wire brush to scrub away the muck.

The customer had asked the builder to grout the tiles to reduce the likelihood of trapped dirt and make the floor feel complete. For whatever reason, builder either wouldn’t or couldn’t oblige, so I grouted the whole floor as well, much to the customer’s delight.

Sealing Yorkstone Tiles

Once the floor was fresh and clean, it was left to dry completely so it could subsequently be sealed.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable and aesthetically-pleasing low-sheen finish to really enhance the character of the stone. Four coats of sealer were used in total to ensure maximum protection.

Here’s what the floor looked like after the restoration:

Yorkshire Stone Floor Guiseley Leeds After Cleaning

After cowboy builders had botched the job, the customer was exceptionally happy that the situation had finally been put right. The floor is now in top shape and will be protected against wear and tear for a long time to come.
 
 
Source: Yorkstone Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in North West Yorkshire

Tired Old Flagstone Tiled Floor Renovated in Lancashire

This customer in Great Harwood was so fedup with their Flagstone tiled flooring on the ground floor of their property. In fact they were ready to take up the floor, put a new concrete base in place and lay a wood floor down on top. However this is the original floor from when the house was built in 1894 so was not replaceable as such, and the customer really wanted to restore the floor back to its original condition, as well as other material’s in the house, to recreate the Original Victorian feeling that had been missing for many years.

Flagstone Floor Before Restoration Great Harwood Flagstone Floor Before Restoration Great Harwood

We have completed quite a lot of this type of work for customers in the past and we publish all out work on our website and it was one job similar to this that convinced the customer that we had the answer to her problem.

Milling an Old Flagstone Floor

A few years ago Tile Doctor invented a system called Milling to deal with problematic stone floors like this one. The system uses very coarse Diamond pads fitted to heavy machinery to mill the stone until it is a smooth as possible. This action gets rid of years of traffic marks, ingrained dirt as well as old wax and sealers. There’s nothing harder than Diamond so we find this system woks really well on an old damaged floor like this one.

The process will leave the stone looking rough so once finished with the coarse pads we then apply a lighter Diamond grit pad to remove the scratch marks that the heavy diamond grits leave behind. The floor is rinsed between pads and a little water is also used to provide lubrication.

After resolving the stone issues we re-grouted the whole floor and conduct one more final clean using Tile Doctor Neutral Clean before leaving it to dry out ready for sealing a few days later.

Sealing an Old Flagstone Floor

On our return the sealer we chose for these old flagstone was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it penetrates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and in the processes lift the natural colours in the Stone.

Colour Grow is a breathable sealer which you need when sealing these old stone floors which won’t have a damp proof membrane installed. A wet look or polishing sealer will eventually spoil in damper wetter weather.

Another advantage of Colour Grow is it leaves a Matt finish which is a more natural look for Sandstone Flagstones like these. They will also be easier to clean as the milling process made the stone much smoother to the touch, so it becomes a lot easier to maintain in the future.

Flagstone Floor Before Restoration Great Harwood Flagstone Floor Before Restoration Great Harwood

The results were fantastic, and the customer is really pleased that they will no longer have to replace the tiles. The appearance and condition of the Flagstone had been improved so much that most people would not believe it had been laid 123 years ago!
 
 
Source: Flagstone Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Lancashire

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

Putting new life into a Dull Sandstone Patio

At the start of the year we usually get asked to restore the appearance of patios and other outside areas which have suffered from the staining of autumn leaves and the ravages of winter cold snaps. Most patios are quite straight forward to maintain however when you’re dealing natural stone then it’s best to call in your local Tile Doctor to ensure nothing is applied to the stone that could damage it.

Such was the case with this four-year-old Sandstone Patio at a house in the town of Kettering. Unfortunately, it was not sealed when it was first installed and the combination of weather and UV sunlight had faded the tiles, this together with general soiling had greatly affected the appearance of this beautiful stone and could almost have been mistaken for concrete slabs.

Sandstone Patio Before Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

Maintaining Sandstone Patio Paving

My first course of action was to lightly spray the area with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful tile cleaning product that is safe to use on Stone. The solution was allowed to soak in for a while before being agitated with a brush to bring out the dirt. This was followed by pressure washing with a spinning tool at a medium pressure so as to not damage the stone.

Once dry I re-grouted the entire area and then sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a impregnating breathable product (essential for damp environments) that also enhances the natural colours of the stone.

Sandstone Patio After Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

Within hours of finishing the customer came home and called me straight away to say he couldn’t believe the transformation that was achieved and they looked better than when they were first laid.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Patio Maintenance in Northamtonshire

Restoring Flagstones Damaged by Strong Cleaning Products

This customer in Grange-over-Sands, a town on the Morecambe Bay, contacted us because an oven cleaning company had spilt a strong cleaning solution onto their Sandstone Flagstone Kitchen tiles, damaging them. The customer hadn’t realised the damage until after the oven company had been paid, and because nothing had been said at the time the cleaning company unfortunately wouldn’t accept responsibility.

When we arrived at the property, we were asked to do a spot clean on the affected tiles, however to do so would have resulted in a patchy finish compared to the rest of the floor. However, we could see that the rest of the floor was well overdue a deep clean and the sealer was past its best. So, we suggested the best course of action was to deep clean and reseal the whole floor to ensure a consistent finish across the tiles.

Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Damaged Flagstone Tiled Floor

The customer agreed to the work, and we started on the same day. To begin, we used a Coarse 200 grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a heavy weight buffing machine to grind away the damaged layer of stone.

This worked well on about 90% of the area, but the harder to reach spots needed a chemical clean, so Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel cleaner was applied. This is an alkaline-based gel cleaner that is effective for neutralising acidic stains. The product was left to dwell for 30 minutes and then scrubbed into the tiles, before being rinsed away. Following this, we extracted the dirty solution off the tiles using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

Since we used quite a lot of water to rinse away the chemically-infused cleaning solution, we had to leave the floor to dry overnight before we could seal it. This is really important because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Arriving back at the property the next day, we ran some damp tests. Once satisfied that the tiles could be sealed, we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This sealer provides an aesthetically pleasing, low-sheen finish and is fully breathable. Most of the old Flagstone tiled floors found in properties don’t have a damp proof membrane installed underneath them, so a sealer which allows for moisture vapour transmission is essential.

Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands After Cleaning Flagstone Floor Grange Over Sands After Cleaning

The customer was very happy with the work, not only because we restored the condition of the damaged tiles, but also because we were able to drastically improve the overall appearance of the floor. We recommended that the customer use Tile Doctor Stone Soap as a regular aftercare cleaner. This product not only cleans the stone, but adds to the natural stone patina by maintaining and enhancing its shine.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Floor Cleaning and Restoration in in Cumbria

Levelling and Restoring a Flagstone Kitchen Floor in Lancashire

Flagstones are a durable Sandstone based material that give a solid feel to any floor, however while large and impressive to look at they can be very rough and un-even. This isn’t so much of a problem when Flagstones are used externally for patios and pathways, but rough surfaces trap dirt and when these tiles are used internally, they are much easier to maintain if the stone is smooth and sealed.

This customer, who lives in the Lancashire town of Haslingden, had this problem with their Flagstone tiled floor and like most things related to tile, stone and grout we have a solution in the form of a process known as milling. This basically involves grinding down the surface of the tile using coarse diamond encrusted pads to make it smooth.

Flagstone Floor Before Milling Haslingdon Flagstone Floor Before Milling Haslingdon

The customer booked me in to get the job done, having seen some previous milling work of ours on our website and liking what we had achieved for other people with similar floors.

Flagstone Floor Before Milling Haslingdon

Milling an Uneven Flagstone Tiled Floor

Milling the stone involves the use of a set of thee millings 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 between each pad. The process requires the use of a solid weighted rotary machine and a fair bit of muscle power to guide it.

We successfully managed to mill the Flagstone tiles virtually flat in places and the process removed the unappealing stained and dirty layer of stone that was ruining the appearance of the floor. Interestingly we usually find that by grinding away the old and dirty layer of stone the true colour of the tiles that had been hidden under many years’ worth of muck is revealed. Unfortunately, in this case, due to the darkness of this stone it was difficult to see a great deal of colour change.

Sealing Flagstone Floor Tiles

Finally, the floor needed to be sealed to protect against future instances of staining and ingrained dirt. To do this I sealed the tiles using several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone and occupies that space preventing dirt from become ingrained. The sealer also leaves a matte, natural looking finish, which is a perfect match for the rustic character of the Flagstone tiles.

Flagstone Floor After Milling Haslingdon Flagstone Floor After Milling Haslingdon

Now that the floor has been levelled and sealed, the surface is smooth and protected. This means the customer will not be ruining any more mops when the cleaning bucket comes out!

Flagstone Floor After Milling Haslingdon

 
 
Source: Tile and Stone Cleaning and Restoration in Lancashire

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

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

Indian Sandstone flagstones restored in Cheshire

This Indian Sandstone floor was laid in a large Kitchen, utility and WC in a house in Prestbury, Cheshire. It was cleaned professionally five years earlier and in that time the sealer had started to wear down and the floor had become dirty again. On top of that the rough nature of the Sandstone flagstones were shredding cleaning mops used to clean the floor so the customer decided it was time for a spring clean and arranged with us to have the floor cleaned and re-sealed.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Before Indian Sandstone WC Before

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We cleaned the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with 5 parts warm water and worked into the stone surface using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was removed with a wet vacuum and floor rinsed with clean water using a spinning tool which applies water under high pressure and removes it at the same time. There were a few paint splashes evident so Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied and left on the problem areas for about an hour which dealt with the problem and the floor washed down again with clean water applied with the spinner tool. This process had taken most of the day so we then left for the evening allowing the floor to dry overnight.

TileDoctor Kevin Ward Cleaning Sandstone

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We came back the next day and tested the floor with a Stanley 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 Seal and Go which offers a good level of protection as well as giving a nice low sheen finish. Sandstone is fairly porous so it took five coats of sealer to fully seal the floor, also Seal and Go is a topical coating so this has also taken the roughness out of the stone and resolved their mop shredding issue. The floor was good to walk on several hours later.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen After Indian Sandstone WC After

 
 
Source: Indian Sandstone Tile Cleaning in Prestbury, Cheshire