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

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

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