George 3rd Flagstones Floor Renovated in a Cotswolds Cottage

Minchinhampton is an ancient market town located on a hilltop in the Cotswolds area of Gloucestershire, famous for being one of the UK’s areas of outstanding beauty. The town has a long history and many of the residents live in some truly picturesque and characterful cottages that date back to the 18th century and beyond.

I was recently contacted by a property owner in the village. She had just uncovered an original Flagstone tiled floor in her cottage, which dates to 1765. The floor had previously been covered by a wooden floor and the property owner was keen to see if I could restore it. We’ve had some fantastic success with restoring similar floors in the past, so I was more than happy to see what could be done.

I visited the property initially to conduct a test clean and check that I would be able to remove the copious wood adhesive left on the floor after the covering had been lifted. This test clean was successful, and the customer booked me in for complete the full restoration straight away.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Restoration at Minchinhampton Cottage

Cleaning a Dirty Flagstone Tiled Floor

My first action in the process of restoring the floor was to mix a strong solution of two products – Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Remove and Go is designed to strip away any old sealer on the floor and dissolve any adhesive and paint stains, while NanoTech HBU is a potent cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the stone and eliminate ingrained dirt.

This solution was applied across the floor and left to dwell for 40 minutes. Then, using a poly-brush fitted to a floor buffing machine, I cleaned the floor and in doing so removed 85 percent of the ingrained dirt. To tackle the rest of the ingrained dirt, I spot cleaned the stubborn area using Tile Doctor Acid Gel in combination with a handheld steamer. Acid Gel is a concentrated mix of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids.

I also used a handheld buffing machine fitted with a Coarse 100 grit diamond encrusted pad to grind away any outstanding dirt and level off the surface of the tiles. When I was satisfied with the results of the cleaning process, my next operation was to replace all the missing grout on the floor. I did this using a Limestone grout, which was a good colour match for the Flagstone.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

With the first day of work complete, I left the floor to dry out for the next three days. With the floor being particularly old, it was important to give it a long period to dry to help avoid any damp issues.

Upon returning to the property, I ran some quick damp tests to check the floor could be sealed. When satisfied that there was no excess moisture to deal with, I proceeded to seal the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving 30 minutes to dry between coats. This will give the floor robust protection against ingrained dirt along with the high-quality satin finish the customer had requested.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Restoration at Minchinhampton Cottage

Seeing the result, the customer was really pleased with her floor. She had previously thought there was nothing that could be done to restore these old Flagstones, but with the right combination of products and cleaning methods I was able to achieve a fantastic restoration. Another satisfied customer.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Cotswolds

Cleaning and Sealing Indian Sandstone

These beautiful Indian Sandstone tiles were installed on the ground floor of a house near Macclesfield and as you can see from the photographs had become heavily soiled which was masking the true natural colours in the stone resulting in a dark grey appearance.

Indian Sandstone Floor Macclesfield Before Cleaning

Cleaning Indian Sandstone Floor Tiles

To get the tiles clean I let them soak in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for a while before working the cleaning agent in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The Pro-Clean also acts as a stripper so this process will remove any remaining sealer on the surface of the tile as well as the dirt.

Additionally all the grout lines were scrubbed by hand using more Pro-Clean and stiff scrubbing brushes. The remaining soiled solution was then removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and the tiles given a thorough rinse rinsed and left to dry completely with any stubborn marks re-treated using the same process.

Sealing Indian Sandstone Floor Tiles

Once I was satisfied the floor was dry it was sealed using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a topical sealer that leaves an attractive low sheen finish and smooth surface, it’s also a water based sealer so there is no smell.

Indian Sandstone Floor Macclesfield After Cleaining

 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaner in Cheshire

Resolving Problems With Rough Textures Sandstone Tiles

Sandstone is generally a rough textured surface requiring regular cleaning and sealing to keep it looking good, I’ve also known customers to complain that the rough texture can shred mops during regular cleaning. This Sandstone tiled floor installed in a house in Lancaster was no different and so with the owner’s approval we decided to gently grind the sandstone to produce a smoother more manageable surface. At Tile Doctor we refer to this process as Milling and it’s especially useful for flattening a raised surface between tiles often called lippage.

Sandstone Floor Lancaster Before Milling Sandstone Floor Lancaster Before Milling

Milling and Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

As far as I know Milling was developed at Tile Doctor to basically smooth down a rough textured surface to make it easy to clean, seal and maintain; it’s a one off process and is akin to sanding down a rough piece of wood with sandpaper. We don’t use sandpaper for this purpose but diamond encrusted burnishing pads which like sandpaper come in different levels of coarseness. Milling actually reveals more of the character in the surface of the stone which is further enhanced during sealing for which recommend the use of a matt finish sealer such as Tile Doctor Colour Grow or if there is still a bit of texture in the stone we recommend the use of a topical sealer such as Tile Doctor Seal and Go which also leaves a nice low sheen finish.

Milled Sandstone Floor Lancaster After Milled Sandstone Floor Lancaster After

The customer was on holiday when the work was done but was so pleased with the effect of the milled Sandstone floor she rang me up personally to say thanks and left the comment below on the Tile Doctor feedback system, she was experiencing a lot of trouble cleaning this floor and we managed to resolve that and still keep the texture and character of this beautiful floor.

“Total transformation of our floor. Can’t quite believe the results. No mess and an amazing result. Thank you v much
D. Rix, Lancaster”
 
 
Source: Sandstone Problems Resolved in Lancaster

Expert Sandstone Cleaning in South London

Details below of a Sandstone floor installed in the Kitchen of a house in Clapham, South London. The client had not been happy with the floor since it had been installed because the tiler hadn’t applied the seal correctly. The owner had also had a quote from a stonemason who had recommended grinding off the top later of stone. I explained that that would not be necessary and went on to explain the process to restore it. As it turns out my quote was £500 cheaper that the Stone mason but I was confident I could get as good a result and the customer could see I knew what I was talking about and gave the job to me.

Sandstone Tiles Before Cleaning Sandstone Tiles Before Cleaning

Sandstone Tile Cleaning

I began work on the floor using a coarse diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine with a little water. I slowly scrubbed the floor in small areas and removed the old sealer from the whole tile. The next step was to tackle the grout which was done by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in along the grout lines using a stiff grout cleaning brush. After this the pad was replaced on the rotary machine with a medium brush head and the floor was given a good scrub followed by rinsing thoroughly with fresh water.

At this stage it was evident that a couple of stubborn areas were still in need of attention due to the old sealer still being present so Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied which is a strong sealer stripper and left to dwell for around 40 minutes before being scrubbed in and washed down again.

I can recommend a Wet Vacuum at this point as they are great at removing liquids from floors; at this point I left for the day to allow the floor to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Sandstone Tile Sealing

Then next day when I returned I checked to make sure the floor was dry and ready to seal, there were a couple of little patches I needed to redo and once they were rinsed I dried them using my heat gun. I then sealed the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow and when the last coat had dried I demonstrated to the customer that it was fully sealed using a water test.

Sandstone Tiles After Cleaning Sandstone Tiles After Cleaning

The client was really pleased with the results and that I had saved him so much money and left the following comment on our feedback system.

Bill was great and worked hard to restore and protect the floor. We’re very pleased. There has been some accidental damage outside which I’m happy we’ll sort.
Ian Blandford, Clapham

Sandstone Tiles Before and After

 
 
Source: Resolving Sandstone Sealer issues in Clapham

Maintaining a Sandstone flagstones

This customer in Hannington had a badly soiled and stained rough sandstone tiled floor which they were finding extremely difficult to keep clean. It was apparent that the previous sealer was no longer working well and so the only solution was to strip and clean the floor then re-seal.

Sandstone Hannington Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Rough Sandstone Tiled Floor

I stripped the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean to produce a strong stripper and cleaning solution that is safe to use on natural stone. This was worked into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing brush rather than a pad to cope better with the uneven finish of the rough Sandstone.

This activity was then followed with a high pressure spinning tool operating at (1200psi) in four to five metre square sections. The spinner tool washes the tile surface with high pressure water and also extracts the water from the surface simultaneously which dislodges and loosens built up ingrained grim from the tiles and grout.

The floor was now clean and free of old sealer and was left to dry for a couple of day aided by turbo fans and dehumidifiers which we left at the property.

Sandstone Hannington After Cleaning Sandstone Hannington After Cleaning

Sealing a Rough Sandstone Tiled Floor

When we came back we first tested the floor with a damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone, fortunately the machines we had left behind had done their job and the floor was completely dry so we started to seal the floor. For this the customer had chosen Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a high gloss finish as well as lifting the natural colour in the stone.

Sandstone Hannington After Sealing Sandstone Hannington After Sealing

Source: Sandstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing soiled Sandstone flags

This sandstone flagstone floor measured around 15m2 and was installed in a house in the village of Boxford, Suffolk, you can see how dark the stone had become from the build-up of dirt and soil over time, clearly they were in need of a deep clean and seal.

Sandstone Flags before cleaning Sandstone Flags before cleaning

Cleaning Sandstone

We cleaned the floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with 10 parts warm water and worked in using a Black Scrubbing pad. This action certainly gave the floor a good clean but there were some staining that was proving stubborn to shift so we tried a stronger product called Remove and Go combined 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which add nano sized abrasive particles into the mix. We left the resulting formula to soak into the sandstone for about a while and then used a steam to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone and lift out the dirt, this did the trick and so we then removed the cleaning products with a wet vacuum and washed down the floor with clean water to neutralise the floor before sealing and left for the evening so the floor could dry overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

We came back the next day, the floor had dried overnight so we proceeded to seal the Sandstone with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which gives a nice low sheen finish; Sandstone is fairly porous so it took five coats of sealer in the end. Seal and Go is a topical sealer which works well on Sandstone to really bring out the veins and natural colour in the stone, it also leaves them a lot easier to clean as flagstones invariably have a rough riven surface.

Sandstone Flags after cleaning Sandstone Flags after cleaning

 
 
Source: Sandstone Flagstone Cleaning in Sufflolk

Maintaining Sandstone Flagstones

These Sandstone flagstones were in the hallway of a house in the 16th century village of Stretton under Fosse, Warwickshire. The flagstone floor was in good condition however it had never been sealed so every time it was cleaned the cleaning product soaked into the floor and was less effective also the customer wanted to reveal the natural colours in the Sandstone and needed some of the grout repairing.

Cleaning Sandstone Flagstones

The first job was to clean and flush the flagstone so we set about cleaning the stone using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra-Clean and further diluted with water. I often use this combination, Pro-Clean is a strong and effective alkaline cleaner whilst NantoTech adds tiny abrasive particles that assist and speed up the cleaning process.

Sandstone Flagstone Cleaning

The solution was applied using a mop and then worked into the floor using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black 17” scrubbing pad. The soiled cleaning solution was then picked up off the floor using a wet and dry vacuum and the floor was given a thorough wash down with clean water to remove a trace of cleaning products that may impact the sealer. There were a few areas of grout that had cracked and become lose so we set about replacing the grout with a closer match as possible and then left for the day to allow the floor to try overnight.

Sandstone Flagstones Before Sealing Sandstone Flagstones Before Sealing Close-Up

Sealing the Flagstone Floor

We sealed the Sandstone flagstones with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, there are a number of sealers we could of used for this floor all have different effects and differing levels of stain protection against spills but Colour Grow is really durable and helps to bring out the deep colour from within the stone . To finish and build up the lustre and richness of the colour we then applied seven coats of Seal & Go which add a nice low sheen to the surface of the tile.

Sandstone Flagstones After Sealing Sandstone Flagstones After Sealing Close-Up

 
 
Source: Sandstone Floor Maintenance in Warwickshire

Restoration of Sandtone Floor in Beyton

We were called into Clean and Seal 36m2 of Sandstone tile flooring installed in the Kitchen, Utility, Hallway and Cloakroom of a house in the Suffolk village of Beyton. The sandstone floor tile was laid around 10 years prior, the tiles had never been sealed and despite regular cleaning the riven surface had become a natural home for dust and grime.

Sandstone Tile Cleaning

Cleaning the floor was straight forward using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a very effective and flexible cleaning product recommended for natural stone surfaces, it was a large area so we used around 5 litres in total. We washed the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining product and then left it to dry over night.

Sandstone floor before sealing Sandstone floor before sealing

Sealing Sandstone Tile

The sandstone tile sealer we chose for the floor was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it leaves a matt finish as opposed to a shiny polished effect but it does bring out the colour in the Sandstone tile, we used around 5 litres of sealer to complete the floor.

Sandstone floor after cleaning and sealing Sandstone floor after cleaning and sealing

 
 
Source: Cleaning and Sealing Sandstone Tile Floor in Beyton

Sandstone Floor Restoration

These pictures are of a Sandstone floor installed in a house in Leyland, the dog seems quite content with the floor but the owner wasn’t; the trouble with Sandstone is that is a relatively soft sedimentary stone which doesn’t provide the best foundation for a sealer causing it to breakdown faster. To counteract this I usually apply as much sealer as the floor will accept and then leave any spare with the customer so they can top it up when the shine starts to wear off. I find this works better than to let the Sealer break down as this will allow dirt to get trapped in the stone and then you have to start all over again with the clean and seal. Applying a regular top up of sealer will keep the floor in good condition for several years before it needs to be done again saving the customer time and money in the long run.

Cleaning Sandstone flagged flooring

We cleaned the Sandstone flags with a 1 to 10 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and warm water agitated with a Black buffing pad attached to our floor scrubbing machine. The soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed off with water, judging by the colour of the dirty water it was clear we had managed to dislodge a large amount of dirt. The process was repeated a few times until we were confident the floor was as clean as it could be and then we left it to dry overnight.

Sandstone floor in leyland before

Sealing Sandstone floor tile

The next morning the floor had dried and we proceeded to seal the sandstone with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is highly recommended for this type of stone providing a good level of stain protection combined with a nice low sheen finish. Five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were needed to cover the floor which can take some time to apply as each coat needs to dry first before you can apply the next.

Sandstone floor in leyland After

 
 
Source: Cleaning and Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor in Lancashire