Dealing with Patchy Sandstone Flagstones

Sandstone is a particularly popular choice for kitchen and hallway floors amongst home owners in the UK. It not only possesses beautiful natural shades and features, but it is also typically hard wearing, making it an ideal stone for tiled flooring in high traffic areas of a house and can often be found laid as large riven flagstones in pubs and other commercial premises.

Naturally, just like any other type of tiled floor, Sandstone needs to be maintained using appropriate products and methods. A lack of adequate surface sealer in particular leaves Sandstone susceptible to ingrained dirt, and can leave distinct, unsightly patches such as those in the photograph below.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning in Thaxted

In this instance, I visited a client in the old Essex town of Thaxted, who believed that her four square meter Sandstone tiled floor might be suffering from damp issues after lifting up the mats covering the area.

However, when I arrived at the property and ran damp tests, I found the issue to be superficial. The Sandstone floor however did require attention in the form of a deep clean and a fresh seal to tackle the white patches and prevent further discolouration.

Cleaning a Sandstone tiled floor

To begin the cleaning process I spread Tile Doctor Remove & Go evenly across the floor. It was left to dwell for approximately 15 minutes, during which time it worked to break down the old sealer remaining on the tiles. I then agitated the area twice over with both a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotation machine lift away any dirt.

The resultant slurry was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with water and then mixed a strong solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to three parts water which was used to give the floor a final clean and scrub the grout clean before using the wet vacuum again and giving the floor a final rinse with water.

Sealing a Sandstone tiled floor

After completing the cleaning process I left the floor to dry over the weekend. Upon my return to the house I proceeded to seal the tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone and provide durable surface protection going forward. Colour Grow is also specially designed to let the floor breathe and enhance the natural colours in the stone and, in this case, really helped to intensify the natural sand-coloured shades in the tiles.

Sandstone Floor After Cleaning in Thaxted

The difference made to these Sandstone tiles was really noticeable, with the white patches completely removed and the surface more generally back to looking like new, needless to say, my client was very happy with the results.
Source: Restoring Sandstone Tiled Flooring in Essex

Refreshing A Flagstone Floor

Here’s a job I completed not too long ago in the town of Maldon, which sits alongside the Blackwater estuary in South Essex. Although the Flagstone tiled floor in my client’s kitchen was – generally speaking – in good physical condition, the surface seal had worn down over time, leaving the tiles looking dull and lifeless.

Flagstone is quite a hard wearing stone that is commonly used for both internal and external surfaces, whether this is something as simple as a kitchen floor, or something more complex like a public monument. I was commissioned to restore the floor back to looking it best, by way of a thorough clean and a new seal.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Maldon

Cleaning a Flagstone tiled floor

My go to cleaner for most kinds of natural stone tile is Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline product which contains both cleaning and stripping properties depending on the dilution ratio. In this case I wanted a strong solution so I could strip off any remaining sealer and so it was diluted one part Pro-Clean to three parts clean water. The solution was left to dwell for 10 minutes, allowing it to soak into the stone and get to work breaking down any remaining sealer.

I then attached a black scrubbing pad to my rotary machine, and used this to agitate the solution into the tiles. This helped to lift out any ingrained dirt and remove the stubborn marks blemishing the floor. Once the initial clean had been completed, I turned my attention to the grout between the tiles, using Pro-Clean in combination with a stiff grout brush to clean up the grout as much as possible. I cleaned the floor twice in total before rinsing the entire area with water and leaving the house for a few days, giving the surface time to dry.

Sealing a Flagstone tiled floor

Upon my return to the house, I ran some damp tests to double check that the floor had dried completely. This is important as any residual moisture can potentially damage the performance of the sealer. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were able to take the seal, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant.

Flagstone Floor After Cleaning Maldon

Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone provides durable stain protection from within, along with a nice finish. It’s also specially designed to intensify the natural shades and colours in the stone, turning dull floors into characterful household features. Colour Grow is suitable for use most stone surfaces, including Flagstone, Limestone, Marble, Quarry, Sandstone and Slate.

My customer was very pleased with the result, with marked differences in condition and appearance achieved in the space of a few short days.

Flagstone Floor During Sealing Maldon

Source: Professional Shower Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning and maintenance services in Essex