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.
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.
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.
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.