Removing Years of Dirt from Sandstone Flagstones in Long Buckby, Northants

A client in the village of Long Buckby called us out to look at her Flagstone floor that needed some love and attention. As you can see in the pictures the floor was looking very dull which was due to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone.

The Flagstone tiles were installed in the dining room and well suited the look of the period property. Long Buckby is a small village with a long history that dates to the Vikings and is situated midway between Rugby and Northampton, so not too far from my base over in Rushden.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Long Buckby

I went over to inspect the floor and could see the Flagstone and grout was in need of deep clean to extract the dirt. It looked as if they had never been sealed since installation which according to the owner was many years ago. With no sealer to protect the pores of the stone it wouldn’t have been long before the build-up of dirt had become unsightly in the high traffic areas. I discussed with the client the best way to clean the floor and we agreed a price for the work to be done, booking it in for the following week.

Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Long Buckby

Cleaning and Restoring a Flagstone Tiled Dining Room Floor

To start I decided to apply a dedicated cleaning agent, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The cleaning solution was sprayed onto the floor and then left to soak in for about twenty minutes. It was then agitated with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and also with stiff brushes run along the grout lines. The soiled solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with clean water and left to dry.

As the floor dried, we could see that the deep clean was a success and that we had managed to clean the floor and remove all the embedded dirt in one go. This is quite rare, and normally more work is required before it meets the standard we aim for. The floor was left to dry overnight in preparation for the all-important sealing process.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Dining Room Floor

Returning the following day, we checked the floor was dry enough to seal with a moisture meter. It met the acceptable level, so we sealed the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that helps bring out the deep colour from within the flagstone.

Colour Grow also offers superior protection from everyday staining and will prevent dirt from reaching the pores of the stone so it keeps its appearance for some years to come. Another benefit is the sealer is breathable which is useful for older properties with no damp proof course membrane, as the sealer allows the floor to pass moisture from the sub floor. Three coats of sealer were applied, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

Flagstone Floor After Clean Seal Long Buckby

The client was over the moon with the result, as you can see from the pictures the floor was now looking good and should be easier for them to maintain.

Flagstone Floor After Clean Seal Long Buckby

For general cleaning and to get a longer life out of the sealer we recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. It’s super concentrated product so a small amount product goes a long way.

 

Source: Sandstone Flagstone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Long Buckby, Northamptonshire

Renovating Yorkstone Flags at Sheffield Office

We were called in by a hygiene supplies company after one of their delivery drivers had delivered some hand wash to one of their clients in Norton, Sheffield and unfortunately during delivery one of the bottles had leaked all over this York Stone floor. It had caused some staining and removed some of the sealant, so the floor now required a complete deep clean and seal.

Office Yorkstone Floor Before Cleaning Norton Sheffield

The modern building in the Yorkshire Hills close to Sheffield is the headquarters of a Bar & Pub dispensing equipment suppliers and the York Stone runs right throughout the main reception area. As it is the first impression for visitors, it was important that the floor was cleaned and restored and obviously the company were keen to put right their drivers’ accident. After visiting the property to survey the floor we arranged to carry the work out over a weekend while the employees were out of the way and no clients would be visiting.

Cleaning a Yorkstone Office Floor in Sheffield

Firstly, we protected the skirting boards, carpets and adjoining rooms so any splashes from cleaning would not damage or stain anything. Then we set about applying Tile Doctor Pro Clean diluted 1:5 with water. This was left to soak into the stone for ten minutes to lift the grime, dirt and previous sealer out of the stone. Once it had been given time to soak in the solution was scrubbed into the stone with a 40kg weighted floor buffer fitted with a 17in black scrubbing pad running at medium speed. Immediately you could see a huge change in the appearance of the stone as the natural colours of the stone were revealed.

Office Yorkstone Floor During Cleaning Norton Sheffield

When one area had been scrubbed, we vacuumed up the resulting slurry and gave the floor a thorough rinse with fresh water. The rinsed water was also extracted with the wet vacuum before moving onto another area of floor. It took a full day to clean the whole floor and then we left it to dry off fully overnight.

Office Yorkstone Floor During Rinsing Norton Sheffield

Sealing a Yorkstone Office Floor in Sheffield

We returned the following morning, the floor was checked with the damp meter to ensure it was dry enough, it was within the correct parameters, so we were good to go ahead and apply the seal.

Office Yorkstone Floor After Cleaning Damp Test Norton Sheffield

The floor was given two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow; this is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone, intensifying the natural colours in the stone whilst providing the durable surface protection needed for such a high traffic area. Each coat is left to dry before applying the next.

Office Yorkstone Floor After Cleaning Norton Sheffield Office Yorkstone Floor After Sealing Norton Sheffield

Once complete the floor looked much cleaner, the colours in the stone were much more evident and any evidence of the staining was gone. The new sealer is set to keep the floor protected from ingrained dirt for some time to come. The owners of the company were over the moon, and the driver was relieved too, as you can see from the pictures the change was dramatic. In fact, the feedback I got from the customer was.

“What a transformation!!!”

Office Yorkstone Floor After Sealing Water Test Norton Sheffield

 

Source: Yorkstone Flagstone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Norton, South Yorkshire

Dealing with a Rough Sandstone Kitchen Floor in Colne, Lancashire

A customer from Colne near Burnley was absolutely frustrated with their newly installed Sandstone floor in the kitchen of their farmhouse. Ever since it was installed it had proved impossible to keep it clean. The customer contacted Tile Doctor in the hope that we could remove the ingrained dirt and make the floor much easier to maintain going forward.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Colne Farmhouse Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Colne

I went over to inspect the floor and recommended a course of action. There was a section of stone which had a stain on it due to a pet accident, so we chose area to conduct a test clean. The flagstone responded well to the cleaning process which impressed the customer who booked us in for the job. There were happy to go ahead with my quote and quite relieved that she had finally found a solution.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor Patch Test Zoom Colne

Cleaning a Sandstone Paved Kitchen Floor

Arriving on day one, first I taped up the plinths and skirtings to ensure they were not marked during the cleaning, especially as the kitchen was newly installed. Then, to deep clean the floor and remove the ineffectual coating applied by the installer I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and let it soak in for about ten minutes. The solution was then worked into the stone using a coarse 100-grit milling pad. This coarse pad was then followed up with the application of a finer 200-grit pad. Together these pads resurface and clean the stone and remove the coarse surface that was trapping dirt so easily.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Colne Farmhouse Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Colne

The pads are applied with water which lubricates the abrasive action and results in a fine slurry that is rinsed off after each pad. The slurry is then extracted with a wet vacuum, keeping the mess to a minimum. The flagstone floor was then given a quick acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to clean the stone further and counter the alkaline cleaning product applied during the first stage of cleaning. After a further rinse with water and extraction with the wet vacuum the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the following day, the floor was first checked using a moisture meter to ensure it was dry. We then sealed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which added a nice subtle sheen to the stone and as well as protecting the stone from staining ensuring it is a lot easier to clean going forward.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor After Renovation Colne

I recommended they should use the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is pH neutral so it will ensure that the sealant is not compromised during cleaning. This is a concentrated product so only a small amount is required, so a small bottle goes a long way.

The client was delighted with the floor and very relieved that it now looked exactly as it should.

Farmhouse Sandstone Floor After Renovation Colne

 

Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Colne, South Lancashire

Renovating a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Mapplewell, Barnsley

We were contacted by a family in the Barnsley area of South Yorkshire who were tearing their hair out trying to keep their Sandstone Tiled floor clean. The kitchen area was especially grubby and once the island had been removed during recent renovations, the dirty floor really stood out.

The house was located on the Northern tip of Barnsley in Mapplewell, close to the border of South and West Yorkshire, an area which is steeped in coal mining history. Even though all the coal mines have gone there’s still lots of evidence of its’ proud mining history in the area.

Sandstone Tiled Floor Before Renovation in Mapplewell

After inspecting the tiles, I could see their problem revolved around the fact that the Sandstone had a texture to it and the previous sealer used was an impregnating sealer, as a result the dirt had no problem sticking to the stone as you can see from the picture. At Tile Doctor we see Sandstone/flagstones used a lot as Kitchen flooring, it is a popular choice due to it being so hardwearing, however as with any natural stone it needs to be sealed to protect it and bring out its beauty and colour.

I demonstrated the cleaning process on a small part of the floor, which they were very satisfied with. The testing also enables me to understand what it would take to renovate the whole floor and provide them with an accurate price. They were happy with my proposal and keen for me to begin the work which would take two days to complete, one day to clean the floor and returning a further day to complete the sealing of the floor.

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On arrival at the agreed date I set about preparing the working area by removing the kickboards and protecting other surfaces that might come into contact with the cleaning products and equipment.

My process for cleaning the floor was to spray the floor first with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the stone for ten minutes so it could breakdown old sealers and dirt. The solution was then scrubbed into the stone using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a 400-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad. It didn’t take long for solution to turn grey with the soil that was released from the floor and the true beauty of the Sandstone started to appear. The dirty slurry was extracted with a wet vacuum and the floor given a thorough inspection. Stubborn stains were spot-treated using the same process and once I was satisfied the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and dirt. The floor was dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum and then assisted with fans left to dry off fully overnight. It was clear to me at this stage that the floor was already showing significant improvement.

Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Mapplewell

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I tested the stone for moisture using a damp meter to ensure it was dry before sealing. It confirmed that the floor had dried overnight and would be able to start applying the sealer.

It was already clear that an impregnating sealer was not the best choice for a textured stone so a topical sealer would be the best option, not only does it bring out the colours of the stone it also adds a barrier between the fine pores of the stone and dirt. Six coats of Tile Doctors Seal & Go were applied to ensure the stone was fully sealed, which took some time as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next. Seal and Go is a water based acrylic satin sealer which is perfect for this type of floor. It gives a nice natural finish but allows the natural colour and beauty of the floor to shine through.

Sandstone Tiled Floor During Sealing in Mapplewell

The sandstone now looks much lighter and cleaner, certainly my client was very happy with the transformation of the floor, especially where the island had been. In fact, we have agreed with the customer we will return every year to maintain the floor to keep it looking in perfect condition. In the meantime, they should be able to easily keep it clean using Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is designed for the regular cleaning for sealed floors like this.

Sandstone Tiled Floor After Renovation in Mapplewell

 

Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Mapplewell, Barnsley

Amazing Red Sandstone Floor Milled and Restored in Keswick

We love working with Sandstone, it’s very satisfying as we usually get called in when it looks really horrible and grubby and after some work it ends up looking stunning. The floor in this property in the famous Lake District town of Keswick had been covered with carpet for many years, so when we uncovered it as you can see from the pictures, it was clearly in needed of major attention and a great candidate for restoration.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Before Renovation Keswick

When the floors this bad there’s no point trying to get a decent clean just by using chemicals alone, so we often offer a system we have perfected at Tile Doctor called “Milling”. We discussed the project in detail with the client and agreed a price and a time to complete the work.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Fireplace Hearth Before Renovation Keswick Red Sandstone Flagstones Before Renovation Keswick

Restoring the Appearance of Red Sandstone

Milling involves the application of several coarse grades of hard diamond pads to the stone using water to lubricate the process, the water also helps make the removal of the soil easier and reduces dust. On this occasion we used coarse 50, 100 and 200-grit milling pads applied in sequence with a weighted rotary floor machine, the floor is rinsed with water between each pad and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

We worked our way across the floor using this process. Not only does this give the stone the deepest clean it has ever had but it also cuts back the stone a few millimetres and takes off a lot of roughness leaving the finish a lot smoother, this makes the now Milled Stone a lot easier to maintain in the future as it has a much smoother texture and finish.

Loose grout is a common problem on these older floors, so the next step was to rake out any broken and loose grout between the slabs, clean-up and repoint to match the existing. Once that had set, we gave the floor another lighter clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean run along the recessed grout lines with a rush to clean them up. I was then satisfied the floor was a clean and it could be, the floor now needed to dry our before we applied the sealer.

Sealing a Red Sandstone Tiled Floor

We returned the following day and checked the floor was dry using the moisture meter, we don’t recommend applying a sealer to a damp floor as the sealer will not cure properly. All was well, so we then applied several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer, this is a fully breathable, impregnating sealer that will protect the stone from staining whilst enhancing the natural red colour in the Sandstone.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Fireplace Hearth After Renovation Keswick Red Sandstone Flagstones After Renovation Keswick

Using a breathable sealer on old stone floors like this is highly recommend as these floors rarely have a damp proof membrane installed and so it’s important to give moisture a way of rising through the floor naturally and evaporating rather than being trapped under the floor where it can eventually build up in the walls.

As you can imagine from the after pictures the customer was happy with the overall outcome and relieved that their decision to remove the carpet had worked out.

Red Sandstone Flagstones After Renovation Keswick

 

Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Keswick, Cumbria

Renovating Indian Fossil Sandstone Kitchen Floor in Thirsk, North Yorkshire

The stone floor in the pictures is an Indian Fossil Sandstone which had been installed in the Kitchen of a house in the North Yorkshire market town of Thirsk. The Sandstone tiles had not been professionally cleaned and sealed for ten years so and was now overdue a deep clean. The customer had tried cleaning it but gave up and give me a call instead as no matter what she did nothing seemed to make a difference.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning

They had been using numerous household cleaners to maintain the floor which doesn’t help as many supermarket cleaning products are too strong for use on a sealed floor and will prematurely reduce the life of the sealer. Without the protection of a sealer dirt becomes ingrained in the stone making it very difficult to clean effectively. Another problem was that the Sandstone tiles were very uneven and rough in texture, so the dirt was getting caught in the bumps which didn’t help.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk Before Cleaning

I went over to the property in Thirsk to survey the floor and conduct a test clean, so they could see how the stone would look on completion. The Sandstone responded well to treatment and we agreed a date for me to return and complete the floor.

Maintenance issues aside Sandstone pavers look great in a Kitchen where they give a rustic farmhouse appearance that brings the outside in. Imported from India, Indian Fossil Sandstone is full of character and with prices from around £19m2, very affordable. Due to the thickness of the stone we wouldn’t recommend using pavers with under floor heating.

Cleaning an Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor

To get the stone clean and remove what was left of the sealer I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and allowed it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer.

This removed a lot of the dirt and stains however floor pads struggle on uneven surfaces, so I found that to get the stone and grout really clean I had to rescrub most of them by hand. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and any stubborn areas retreated using the same process and more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The floor was then left to dry off overnight in preparation for it being sealed.

Sealing an Indian Fossil Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to finish the renovation. First, testing the floor with the moisture meter to ensure it was dry enough to take the sealant. I started by applying two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which will protect against ongoing dirt and stains. You can always tell when stone floor has had enough sealer applied by adding a droplet of water to the tile, if it forms a bubble on the surface then you know its sealed. I demonstrated this to the customer, so they would know in future and could give us a call when they needed to redo the floor.

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning

As before the Sandstone responded well to the treatment leaving it much cleaner and lighter in appearance. The floor had a lovely variety of colours and you could now clearly see the fossils trapped in the stone. Before leaving I recommended that they use a pH neutral cleaning product going forward such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is specifically designed for cleaning sealed floors and will help keep the floor maintain its appearance.

My customer was amazed at the transformation and left the following feedback for me.

“Floor has never been cleaner! Elizabeth R, Thirsk”

Indian Fossil Sandstone Floor Thirsk After Cleaning

 

Source: Indian Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Thirsk, North Yorkshire

Grinding Textured Indian Sandstone Tiles Smooth in Barnoldswick, Lancashire

The pictures below show a Rough Textured Indian Sandstone floor installed in the Kitchen and Hallway at a property in Bernoldswick which is a small town just outside the Yorkshire Dales national park. The client called us out to have a look at their floor which was very dirty. They were undecided as to what to do with it and were even considering ripping it up and putting a more practical floor down. This Sandstone has a rough texture which traps dirt and can shred mops making it very difficult to maintain so it’s not surprising that the client was close to giving up on it.

Textured Indian Sandstone Before Cleaning Barnoldswick

Initially we were asked just to deep clean and seal the Stone, but I realised that wouldn’t resolve the problem completely, so I offered a service we call Milling. This is a process involves applying coarse diamond pads with special machinery to remove a good chunk of the rough texture (about 80 to 85% ). It would leave the stone with a much smoother finish which is easier to keep clean, easier to seal and a lot easier to maintain in the future.

Textured Indian Sandstone Before Cleaning Barnoldswick Textured Indian Sandstone Before Cleaning Barnoldswick

After a demonstration was done and a price given for either a clean and seal or to Mill first followed by a clean and seal the customer opted for the latter. This would also prove significantly cheaper than ripping up the floor, hiring a skip to take away the stone, then self-levelling the concrete to get it ready for the new floor, not to mention the cost of the new floor covering.

Cleaning and Milling an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

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

As you can see from the pictures the difference is immense but what you can’t tell from these photos is how smooth the stone feels to the touch as its the rough texture of Sandstone that catches all the dirt and makes it hard to clean, even after it has been cleaned and sealed professionally.

To refine the surface of the Sandstone even further the Milling process is followed by the application of finer grade Burnishing pads, again applied with water and the soil rinsed off between each pad. This process uses no chemical cleaning products only water, Diamond pads and machinery.

Sealing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen and Hallway Floor

After allowing the stone to fully dry out overnight we finished the job with several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within. It gave the stone a nice low-key matt colour enhanced finish that really showed off the character in the stone.

Textured Indian Sandstone After Cleaning Barnoldswick Textured Indian Sandstone After Cleaning Barnoldswick

The client was over the moon with the result and were so pleased they had not ripped up the floor!

Textured Indian Sandstone After Cleaning Barnoldswick

 

Source: Indian Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Barnoldswick, Lancashire

Deep Cleaning a Sandstone Effect Concrete Floor Floor in Garstang

We were called by our client to visit a property in Garstang, a small market town in Lancashire which is halfway between Preston and Lancaster. Where possible we like to survey the floor before doing any work, so we can ascertain what may have happened to the floor, what the best course of treatment is and of course provide the customer with a quote.

The large hallway floor was certainly in need of some love and care as it was not looking its’ best. On initial inspection it appeared to be tiled in Sandstone slabs, but it is in fact a Sandstone effect concrete floor. The owner had been using washing-up liquid to clean the floor which over time had upset the colours that were dyed into the cement. The pores in the concrete were also ingrained with dirt.

Sandstone Effect Concrete Before Cleaning Garstang Sandstone Effect Concrete Before Cleaning Garstang

We discussed with the client the cleaning process and showed them a test patch. They were happy with the test area and the price for the work, so we booked a mutually convenient time in to carry out the cleaning.

Sandstone Effect Concrete Before Cleaning Garstang

Deep Cleaning Sandstone Effect Concrete Tiles

To deep clean the floor, we applied a strong alkaline cleaning product called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Not only does this product break down the dirt it can also strip off coatings such as old sealers when used in a more concentrated form. We left the product to dwell for a short while and then using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a Black Buffing pad we gave the floor a good scrub. Using the wet vacuum to remove the soil residue generated by the clean. We repeated the process to ensure the floor was deeply cleaned and any sealer residue removed. The floor was then left overnight to dry out, with a little help from the radiators as the weather had turned a little cooler.

Sealing a Concrete Effect Sandstone Tiled Hallway Floor

We returned the following day and checked the floor was fully dried out using our moisture meter. We then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, this provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen appearance.

The concrete tiles now looked great but unfortunately the colour of the grout lines had been affected by the washing-up liquid and needed more work. We decided the best course of action was to apply a Sandstone Grout Colourant, so we arranged to call back the next day once the sealer had fully dried and applied the colourant. We use the Tile Doctor range of Grout Colourants which are available in ten popular colours, the colorant also provides a barrier over the surface adding further protection.

Sandstone Effect Concrete After Cleaning Garstang

The customer had left us the keys to the property so needless to say, they were very happy with the transformation when they returned. I think you’ll agree the floor looks great and they can keep it looking in great shape by using Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is designed for cleaning sealed floors.

Sandstone Effect Concrete After Cleaning Garstang Sandstone Effect Concrete After Cleaning Garstang

 

Source: Concrete Effect Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Garstang

Removing Wax Sealer from Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tiles in Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria

Normally rough stone like this is used on an outdoor patio where the natural texture and riven prevents people from slipping in a wet area, however when used inside you find the dirt gets trapped into the riven textures and clefts of the Sandstone and it is quite difficult to remove.

Our customer found that mop heads would get shredded by the rough stone and leave bits of mop material on the stone. To make problems worse they had originally been advised to use a wax-based sealer on the floor which didn’t last and soon allowed dirt to become trapped in the stone making it even more difficult to clean.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

We were asked to deep clean the stone and apply a sealer which would stop the dirt getting stuck into the nooks and crannies of the stone thus providing a surface that could be easily maintained. The property was in Grange Over Sands a town in in the pretty area of Morecombe Bay. We discussed what could be done with the customer and demonstrated the process on a small test patch which came out well and then agreed a price and date to carry out the work.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

Cleaning/Repairing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On our return we started the cleaning process by sraying a warm dilution of Tile Doctor Wax-Away on the floor and leaving it to dwell for five to ten. The product was then scrubbed in the stone to remove the dirt and what was left of the wax sealer. The now dirty solution was rinsed off the floor with water and removed with a wet vacuum.

This process cleaned most of the floor but there were one or two stubborn marks which we spot treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product has a slightly longer dwell time but works well to remove stubborn wax sealers and deep stains and it did not disappoint. The grout was also scrubbed using the same product which made a huge difference to the overall look. We then rinsed the floor with cold water a couple of times to remove any remaining dirt and trace of cleaning products each time using the wet vacuum to dry the floor.

Sealing an Indian Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The stone was left overnight to dry out and then we called back the next day to apply a fresh sealer. Four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied, this is a satin finish sealer which coats the tiles with an acrylic base which prevents any dirt getting into the grooves making the floor much easier to clean going forward as well as solving the problem with shredding mops.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

For every day cleaning we recommend the use of a pH Neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which has a neutral pH that will not prematurely erode the sealer like some tile cleaning products which if you read the label are only for use on ceramic tiles and not natural stone.

The client was really pleased with the floor, it made a huge difference, you could see the lovely natural colours and patterns in the floor. She could also see that the floor would be much easier for her to keep clean in the future.

Indian Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Grange-Over-Sands

 

Source: Indian Sandstone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria

Transforming Grubby Sandstone Flagstones in Wolverhampton, Birmingham

This client had recently moved into a house in Wolverhampton and was hoping to improve the appearance of their Sandstone flagged kitchen/Diner floor which looked very unappealing. The client got in touch with us at Tile Doctor and asked us to take a look to see what could be done.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Wolverhampton

I’m based very close by in Bliston, so I know Wolverhampton quite well; in-fact Wolverhampton was historically a part of Staffordshire but is best known as a city in the new very metropolitan West Midlands and did you know the ‘native’ people of Wolverhampton are actually known as ‘Wulfrunian’.

Being so close it wasn’t long before I was able to survey the floor which was looking quite grubby, there were paint stains and overall it was in need of a good deep clean and reseal. The floor was a large kitchen diner and in constant use, so it needed to be easier for them to look after and maintain. A test clean was done for them which came out well and showed what could be achieved. We agreed the price and organised a suitable date with the client to return and renovate the floor.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Wolverhampton

Cleaning and Restoring a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was covered in a thick dirty grime and had paint splashes in areas, so the floor was deep cleaned with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is a heavy-duty alkaline cleaner that also works as a stripper and degreaser when applied in concentrated form.

The solution was left to dwell for 15 minutes then scrubbed in using a weighted rotary machine with a black stripping pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant slurry rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. The Sandstone floor was then inspected and the areas that needed more work were such as the corners and edges were completed with hand using hand burnishing pads. The cleaning solution had softened the paint splashes and were now able to carefully scrape them off.

Once we were satisfied that the floor was as clean as possible, the floor was given another rinse and then allowed to dry off fully over the weekend.

Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Wolverhampton

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On my return I first checked that the Sandstone floor was dry; all was well so I was able to move onto sealing with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying breathable sealer which provides a durable surface as well as enhancing the appearance of the stone. It worked really well on the Sandstone and brought out the natural colours of the stone which can be seen in the pictures.

Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Wolverhampton

The client was amazed with the transformation as they hadn’t realised what colour the tiles actually were; impressed with the results they left a great testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system for me. The floor looked great and it is always lovely to receive good feedback as our business is built on our reputation.

“Kieron was fantastic, very knowledgeable and friendly. I’m over the moon with the work he did on the stone floor in our new house. I had no idea that it was a light coloured sandstone floor, I’d thought it was dark brown slate before he came over and gave it a proper clean! We would definitely recommend to anyone considering having a professional floor clean. It’s made a huge difference to our home and will last for years.”

Sandstone Floor After Sealing Wolverhampton

Before leaving I gave the customer a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance. This product is especially formulated for the regular cleaning of stone tiles and has a pleasant smell. Most household cleaners are made for ceramic tiles and will prematurely erode the sealer, so it is important to use the correct product for the job.

Sandstone Floor After Sealing Wolverhampton

 

Source: Sandstone Flagstone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Wolverhampton, Birmingham

Removing Varnish and Cleaning a Sandstone Kitchen Floor in a Burscough Lancashire

This customer had just moved into a lovely property in the small Lancashire town of Burscough and wanted to have the Sandstone Kitchen floor professionally renovated as it was not looking its best.

I arranged an appointment to visit the property after discussing the floor over the phone, some customers like to get a quote over the phone and although I’m happy to give someone a ball park figure I really need to see the floor in order to give them an accurate price as you simply don’t know what your going to find.

Upon inspecting the floor inspect the floor I could see the previous owner had sealed the floor with multiple layers of Varnish which is not a suitable agent for protecting Sandstone floors. The stone was the riven variety and was trapping dirt across its veins and was now proving difficult to clean, the grout had also gone black with dirt. Undeterred I did a test clean on part of the floor and the results proved promising, so we agreed a price and date to return and complete the job.

Sandstone Floor Before Renovation Burscough

Deep Cleaning a Sandstone Kitchen Floor

To deep clean the floor the sandstone flagstones were covered in a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU Remover which stands for Heavy Build-Up Remover. It was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed clean using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The now dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor rinsed with water.

Sandstone Floor During Renovation Burscough

I had to repeat the process on stubborn stains assisted with a steam cleaner to lift the dirt out of the pores of the stone. Once I was happy with the floor I gave it a final rinse to with water to neutralise the floor and remove any trace of cleaning products. It was then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum and then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Sandstone Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter, the flagstones were dry, so I was able to proceed as planned. To seal the stone, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a breathable acrylic sealer that can be used on internal and external Sandstone flagstone floors and does a nice job of lifting the appearance of the stone.

Sandstone Floor After Renovation Burscough

You can see from the final photograph that the Sandstone flagstones and grout now looks so much better. My Customer was amazed with the transformation and the floor now looks brand new, they even left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Extremely happy with the end result. Kamila was knowledgeable & professional. We cant recommend her enough. Paul B., Burscough

 

Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Burscough, Lancashire

Renovating an Indian Sandstone Patio in Northampton

The scorching hot summer has meant we are all in the garden and making much more use of our outside spaces. Our client got in touch because her Indian Sandstone patio was looking a little unloved. Looking forward to entertaining outside it was time to bring it back up to scratch so it wouldn’t be an embarrassment.

This house in Northampton which is the county town of Northamptonshire, lying on the River Nene it is one of the largest towns in the UK, had a lovely large patio. The Sandstone paving was looking tired and dirty, it was covered in lichen, embedded soil and was missing grout. I discussed with the client how Tile Doctor could help, and she agreed to go ahead so I returned a few days later. Indian Sandstone is a very hardwearing material, but one of the biggest problems we find with stone flooring outside is it soon becomes stained by the elements, especially with our great British weather, sun, (acid) rain, and ice. Without its’ protective sealer porous stone quickly becomes ingrained with dirt making it increasingly difficult to clean effectively.

Indian Sandstone Patio Before Cleaning Northampton

Cleaning and Restoring Indian Sandstone Patio in Northampton

I pre-treated the entire are with a medium dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for about 15 minutes, so it started breaking down the soil. This is a highly concentrated multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner which is great on heavily soiled areas, breaking down the dirt and the lichen. This was then scrubbed in using a rotary machine and stiff buffing brush.

This was followed by pressure washing and rinsing the entire area with water, removing the soiled waste with a wet vacuum. It is always a little easier carrying out this type of messy job as we are outside. This process took much of the day to complete and got the Indian Sandstone tiles really clean. They were already looking good and had changed from a dull grey colour to a lovely warm beige.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Cleaning Northampton

Grouting and Sealing Indian Sandstone Patio Northampton

I allowed a few days for the area to dry and then returned to finish renovating the patio, thankfully the weather remained dry! My first task was to re-grout areas where the grout had become loose, this made an instant difference defining the tiles as they should be, also this will prevent the problem with weeds growing between the paving slabs.

Finally, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant to enhance the natural colours of the stone. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It is also a breathable sealer which is ideal for external areas where moisture is an issue.

As you can see from the pictures this process made a huge impact and the colours appear much brighter, the customer was delighted with the results and she is looking forward to being able to enjoy her garden. The hot weather is thankfully continuing so she will be able to enjoy the space for many weeks to come.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Sealing Northampton

 

Source: Indian Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Northampton

Cleaning Sandstone Flagstones in a 12th Century Undercroft in Bedale, North West Yorkshire

When I was asked to visit this job, I understood that the property was Grade One Listed and I was in for a treat when I arrived. The property is an undercroft which is traditionally a cellar or storage room, often brick-lined and vaulted and used for storage in buildings since medieval times. In modern usage, an undercroft is generally a ground (street-level) area which is relatively open to the sides but covered by the building above.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

This example was part of a large 12th Century building near Bedale which is halfway between Harrogate and Middlesbrough, that had been converted into luxury apartments. It was truly impressive, by far one of my favourite jobs to date.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

The magnificent building had been tastefully restored and renovated some years ago. You will see from the photos how unique it is, although it is hard to do it justice in photos. Since that time the huge 60sqm Sandstone flagstones had become dirty and now needed to be deep cleaned and restored to its’ former self.

Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I discussed what was required with the owner and went through the cleaning procedure I felt would be most appropriate. This was well received, and we agreed my quote and arranged a suitable time to return and complete the work. I must say I felt honoured and privileged to be asked to work on the floor as this is not something you would trust many people with.

Cleaning a Large Sandstone Floor in an Undercroft

I returned on the agreed date to start the cleaning and I was a bit apprehensive at first, as naturally with such an old building I wanted to be confident that the methods I was going to use would work without issue. Also, there was some very, very expensive Marble statues scattered about near the edge of the floor which I was very mindful of. It was clear that the utmost care was required to restore this beautiful floor. In the end I did not need to worry as it was quite straightforward. The floor was nice and flat and graded sandstone, in pretty good physical condition.

I cleaned the floor by applying a strong dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove old sealers and break down the dirt. I left this on the floor for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with what turned out to be several black scrubbing pads to get the dirt out of the stone. Pro-Clean is a highly effective Tile and Grout cleaner which can deal with all sorts of issues including grease, grime and general dirt build up.

Sandstone Floor During Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I worked in sections and found some of the flagstones quite challenging to clean due to their sharp edges which tore into the pads and destroyed a few during the process. Luckily, I had bought plenty of replacements along and with a bit of perseverance, I was able to give the floor a very thorough clean. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sandstone Floor During Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

After cleaning and rinsing the whole floor I left it for a few days, so it could dry out thoroughly before I returned to seal it.

Sealing a 60m2 Sandstone Floor in a 12th Century Undercroft

When I returned I checked that the floor was completely dry by taking some moisture readings. All was well, but I noticed that the room became dusty very quickly from all the exposed stone, so l vacuumed the floor first.

Sandstone Floor After Cleaning 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

I chose to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal for this floor, main reasons being it’s an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there also, it leaves a natural look finish that doesn’t darken the stone which was ideal for use in the Undercroft where there isn’t much natural light. I applied a couple of coats to the floor and it was soon looking good.

Sandstone Floor After Sealing 12th Century Undercroft Bedale

It was a massive transformation and the clean floor really lightened up the whole room. The client was very pleased with the result. I think you will agree this is a very special room!

 

Source: Sandstone Flagstones Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bedale, North West Yorkshire

Yorkshire Stone Floor Brought Back to Life in Keighley, Yorkshire

This was a typical and relatively straightforward job for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it because it amply demonstrates how a modest investment in professional cleaning and sealing can transform a tired old Yorkshire Stone floor into something really stunning!

Older properties in the small village of East Morton, near Keighley in West Yorkshire, are built almost entirely of locally quarried Sandstone – from its Manor Houses, Churches and barns to the many cottages built during the Industrial Revolution for workers in Morton’s textile and paper mills. Yorkshire stone is a sedimentary rock made up of quartz, mica, feldspar, clay and iron oxides. Its colour depends on the ratio of minerals it contains, and differs throughout the quarries where it is mined. It is incredibly hard wearing and durable, and has been used for building, construction and landscaping since mediaeval times.

Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning in East Morton

The lovely original Yorkshire Stone floor in this client’s home was in great condition but looked lifeless and uninteresting. As the local Tile Doctor agent, I was tasked with deep cleaning and sealing the floor to bring it back to life. Rather unusually, this customer wanted a matt finish for the floor – which on reflect was a great choice.

Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning in East Morton Yorkshire Stone Before Cleaning in East Morton

Cleaning a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

I started by deep cleaning the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser which is safe to use on all types of tile, stone and grout including natural stone. I diluted one part Pro-Clean to three parts water – enough to ensure that any traces of grease, scum, oil, mildew and algae were removed and scrubbed it in using a floor buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at slow speed to cut down on splashing. This brought out all the dirt from the floor which I then rinsed off with more water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Stubborn areas were re-treated using the same process and once I was satisfied the floor was clean I left the floor for two days, so it could dry out thoroughly.

Sealing a traditional Yorkshire Stone internal floor

The next step was to test a couple of suitable Tile Doctor sealers to see which would give the best matt finish the customer was looking for. I decided upon Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium, solvent-based penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection yet without changing the colour of the stone. Being a premium product it’s ideal for high traffic areas such as hallways, kitchens and stairs, it’s also an excellent grout sealer and a perfect choice for this floor. Most importantly, it gave the no-sheen, natural-look finish that the customer wanted.

I started by sweeping and vacuuming the floor to ensure that every trace of dust was removed before sealing. Then I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Sealer – one in the morning and one in the afternoon to allow the first coat to dry out before applying the second. 30 minutes after applying the second coat I tested with water droplets to make sure that the surface was completely sealed. The customer was able to walk on and use the floor as normal after just two hours, and after just 24 hours the full cure was achieved.

Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning in East Morton

What a transformation! The lifeless, grey floor was now full of colour and character, highlighting all the wonderful and original textures and tones in the Yorkshire Stone. The customer was very happy!

Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning in East Morton Yorkshire Stone After Cleaning in East Morton

 
 
Source: Yorkstone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Keighley, Yorkshire

Shaling Sandstone Flagstone Floor Restored in Chagford, Devon

Chagford is a small town on the north-east edge of Dartmoor and so as you can expect is surrounded by plenty of old farmhouses, some still as part of a working farm, some long since converted to family homes with just a small area around the property remaining and some having made use of the land and reinvented farmland. I visited a property that falls into the latter category, having converted pastoral farmland into stables and a riding school with a family home at the centre. Whilst the owners were on holiday having a well-earned rest a pipe burst flooding the ground floor of their house, damaging the Sandstone flagstone flooring in the process.

I went over to inspect the floor and could see that the stone floor had dried out but was now dull from dirt and in addition some of the stones were now suffering from shaling. This is where the top layers of the stone start to delaminate, and the only treatment is to cut the stones back to a decent surface through a process called milling. Tile Doctor has available a set of very coarse diamond encrusted pads for this purpose which I was able to demonstrate. I carried out the demonstration on a small area so that the customers could be confident that there was a remedy and then I measured the floor so that I could work out the amount of products that would be needed and priced the job accordingly.

Flood Damaged Sandstone Tiled Floor Chagford Before Restoration

The customers were keen to go ahead with the quote and I arranged to go back and restore the floor at a mutually suitable date.

Milling Delaminated Sandstone Flagstones

On my return I prepped the skirting boards around the hallway with plastic tape to protect them from the soil generated during the milling process. Once done I started the floor treatment using a very coarse with a 50-grit diamond milling pad to cut the sandstone back and then followed with a 100, 200 and finally a 400-grit pad to get rid of any scratches caused by the coarser pads and to tighten the pores of the sandstone which would allow for easier maintenance. Water is used to lubricate the process and the floor is rinsed with more water, which is then extracted with a wet vacuum between the application of each pad.

Once this was completed and the sandstone floor was thoroughly rinsed and then dried with the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible. The floor was then left to dry out thoroughly before I returned to seal. This was a large area and so the milling was done in various stages over a few days so by the time I had finished the last area the first one was nearly ready to be sealed.

Sealing Sandstone Flagstones

The customers wanted a slight sheen to the stone floor, but not too shiny and so Tile Doctor’s Seal and Go was used; this is an acrylic sealer which once fully cured will settle to a satin finish which works really well on this Sandstone. Like the cleaning the sealing was also staggered into sections to avoid the whole of the ground floor being out of action whilst the sealer dried.

Flood Damaged Sandstone Tiled Floor Chagford After Restoration

Similar to paint drying, the polymers in Seal and Go initially give the floor a semi-gloss appearance and so I warned the customer of this, reassuring them that it would dull to a satin finish over the next week or so. In fact, I called back two weeks later to check and they confirmed this had happened and they were very happy with the result.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Chagford, Devon

Renovating an Unsealed Flagstone Kitchen Floor in East Sussex

This customer who lived in the old Sussex village of Vines Cross near Horam, had a lovely Flagstone floor installed in the Kitchen some years earlier but because they wanted a completely natural look no sealer had been applied. With no protection in place dirt had become ingrained into the pores of the stone over time making it dull and difficult to clean effectively.

Flagstone floor before restoration Vines Cross

Their beautiful flagstone floor no longer looked as it should and the owner of the house was keen to have it deep cleaned and looking its best again. I was happy to do the work and before starting I made sure to discuss the topic of sealing and recommended one called Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t change the look of the stone yet protects it from dirt becoming ingrained.

Flagstone floor before restoration Vines Cross

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

With no sealer evident on the stone there was no need to use a coatings remover on the tiles, so after protecting the Kitchen units and skirting board with plastic tape I started with a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean tile and grout cleaner mixed with a small amount of another Tile Doctor product called NanoTech HBU. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and this product utilises nano-sized abrasive particles to assist in the cleaning process.

The solution was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black pad. With the cleaning solution on the floor I also took the time to run a stiff brush along the grout lines to make sure they were also scrubbed clean. After a while the cleaning solution became dirty with all the soil that was being released from the tile and was then extracted using a wet vacuum. The floor was then rinsed with water and stubborn areas re-treated using the same process until I was satisfied it was thoroughly clean.

Flagstone floor during restoration Vines Cross

After giving the floor a final rinse and drying it as much as possible with a wet vacuum it was left to dry off fully overnight.

Flagstone floor during restoration Vines Cross

Sealing a Flagstone Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter. All was well, and the flagstones were dry, so I was able to proceed with sealing the stone.

As I mentioned earlier my client liked the natural look but having experienced the problems of maintaining an un-sealed floor had agreed for me to seal it with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. I applied a single base coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal as agreed and then recommended that we add a coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go as well, just to brighten up the floor and add a slight sheen.

Flagstone floor after restoration Vines Cross

I knew from experience this would work well on Flagstones and my client was happy to trust me. As suspected the combination of the two sealers was a winner and my client was overjoyed with the resulting effect and more so that she can now maintain it satisfactorily.

Flagstone floor after restoration Vines Cross

 
 
Source: Flagstone Tile Cleaning and Restoraton Service in East Sussex

Premium Lapicida Sandstone Floor Deep Cleaned in Yorkshire

This customer who lived in the old North Yorkshire market town of Bedale, had a Lapicida Sandstone floor installed many years prior and over the years the sealer had worn off and dirt had become ingrained into the pores of the stone making it dull and difficult to clean effectively. Based in Harrogate, where they have Europe’s largest stone gallery, Lapicida are a premier Tile and Stone company that specialise in reclaimed Sandstone with prices that range from £79 to £594 per square metre.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Bedale

Naturally having such an expensive stone floor installed my customer wanted it to look its best however when your living with a stone floor day in, day out you fail to notice the gradual decline in its overall appearance. Then one day you suddenly realise the floor is overdue a deep clean and reseal and call in Tile Doctor; there is an alternative however, simply speak to Tile Doctor about setting up an annual Maintenance Plan whereby we pop by once a year to clean the floor and top up the sealer.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor Before Cleaning Bedale

Deep Cleaning a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

To deep clean the floor the sandstone flagstones were covered in a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell and soak into the stone for ten minutes before being scrubbed clean using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black pad. The now dirty cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and then the whole floor washed down with water and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied. Unusually for Sandstone it was all graded and uniformly flat which made cleaning a lot easier.

With the floor clean and all the dirt removed it revealed some black marks, most of which were from candle wax which is very difficult to get off. To tackle this problem a heat gun was used to melt the wax and then it was dappled with a clean cloth. This process was mostly successful, but some still left a faint Mark which the customer was ok with.

After giving the floor a final rinse and drying it as much as possible with a wet vacuum it was left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Lapicida Sandstone Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking it for dampness using a damp meter. The flagstones were dry. I was going to seal the Stone with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which would have enhanced the natural colours in the stone, but the customer liked the light appearance of the cleaned stone, so l used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal instead; Ultra-seal is a natural look sealer, so it doesn’t darken the stone. Both sealers are what we call impregnators which work by soaking into the pores of stone protecting it from within by preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Bedale

I’m sure you will agree the floor looks much improved, certainly the customer and myself were both very pleased with the transformation of the floor; my customer even left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Nigel Stoker was knowledgeable, efficient and very pleasant. My floors are looking amazing. Claire G, Bedale

Dirty Lapicida Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Bedale

 
 
Source: Lapicida Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in North Yorkshire

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

Glue Stained Sandstone Hallway Restoration in Carbrooke, Norfolk

This was perhaps the most challenging restoration we have been presented with to date.
The work involved removing carpet and underlay from a long Yorkstone tiled hallway at a beautiful old Grange in Carbrooke on the outskirts of Watton and restoring the flagstones to their original glory. These pavers are a type of Sandstone, a carboniferous sedimentary rock consisting of quartz, mica, feldspar, clay and iron oxides quarried in Yorkshire and having a rich sandy colour with a slightly sparkling surface.

On lifting the carpet, we found, to our dismay, that the rubber-backed underlay had been firmly stuck down to the surface of the stone with what appeared to be a thick layer of yellowing impact adhesive which covered the entire area right up to the thresholds and skirting boards.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Carpet Removed Revealing Underlay Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Glue Covering Entire Floor Surface

Stripping Carpet Adhesive off a Sandstone tiled floor

Our first task was to remove as much of the underlay by hand using sharp-bladed scrapers and a heck of a lot of elbow grease. Having done this, the next step was to cover the remaining adhesive layer with a specialist water-based stripper which was applied by brush and allowed to react for an hour. The result was an incredibly sticky substance with the consistency of chewing gum which we had to painstakingly remove inch by inch with paint scrapers. This process had to be repeated twice as even the specialist stripper couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of goo in a single application. The floor was then left overnight to dry out and settle down.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Applying Stripper Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Stone Surface After Stripping

The following day, we deep-cleaned the whole area using very strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and Remove & Go, scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black stripping pad. Four pads were used up in this process as they quickly became clogged with the thick slurry which was then power rinsed and vacuumed away from the floor. Any remaining patches of the glue were further softened using Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover and carefully picked off by hand with the bladed scrapers.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Deep Cleaning Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Stone Surface After Deep Cleaning

Finally, the slabs were finished using a brush fitted to the rotary machine with 320 grit honing powder to achieve a smooth, silky and very clean surface before being power rinsed with plenty of clean water. Again, the floor was left to dry thoroughly overnight with the assistance of our large capacity dehumidifier and thermostatic hot air blower.

Sealing a Sandstone tiled floor

Returning the following day, we found that the dehumidifier and heater had done their job and the sandstone was ready for sealing, the moisture content having been brought down to an average of 10% overall as shown by our damp meter testing.

The client had requested a light shine on the floor so that it would be easy to maintain on a daily basis. We chose, therefore, to use Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a combination sealer with a mid-sheen topical finish, which we applied using paint pads and microfibre cloths in five thin coats, resulting in an excellent fluid resistant seal with a lustrous shine.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Applying Sealer To Edges Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Finished Floor

This was a tough job but a highly satisfying result, further emphasised when the client’s antique furnishings were placed in situ.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Norfolk

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