Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Limestone tiles carried out in North London

Cleaning and Renovating Limestone tiles

Limestone is a sedimentary stone, as such it’s generally very porous and acid sensitive and can be damaged through the use of even mildly acidic soaps, shampoos and body washes. Because of this we do not recommend it for use in wet rooms, shower cubicles or near swimming pools.

Like any stone Limestone needs to be sealed to prevent dirt becoming ingrained in its pores and many varieties including Blue Lias, Blue Moleanos, Jerusalem and White Moleanos to name a few can be polished to a high shine using a series of burnishing pads.

We have found that Black Limestone has become very popular in gardens where it contrasts well against green planting and looks fantastic when wet. One issue we find however is it easily upset by the use of acidic patio cleaners that leave the stone looking dull and lifeless. If this has affected you then not to worry we do have a way of restoring the beauty of the stone back to its original condition.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Limestone Floor Before After Renovation Highgate

Grubby Honed Limestone Floor restored in Highgate

This client from Highgate in North London, N6 contacted us about their large honed Limestone tiled floor that was installed throughout the ground floor. It had been laid seven years prior and was now grubby and in need of a deep clean and seal including the grout which had turned black with dirt.

I visited the property to survey and assess what was required and provided the owner with a quotation for the renovation. The hallway pictured was in the worst condition, it was a busy house with young children and dogs and over the years the sealer had worn down leaving it vulnerable to ingrained dirt. Without a sealer to protect the stone it had become heavily soiled and lost its original polished appearance.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Highgate

Happy with the quote we scheduled a date for the work to go ahead. The quote included deep cleaning and burnishing the stone to bring back the polish, grout cleaning and re-sealing the Limestone to protect it.

Cleaning a Honed Limestone Tiled Floor

We arrived on the first day and prepared the area by taping up the skirting and woodwork to protect them from potential splashing. Next step was to burnish the floor using a set of Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing Pads, specifically the 400, 800 and 1500 grit pads fitted to a rotary machine, these were used in sequence running each pad over the tiles several times with water to lubricate the process. The water turns into a fine slurry as pores in the stone are opened and the dirt is released, the slurry is rinsed off with more water and extracted using an industrial wet vacuum after each pad. The finer 800 and 1500-grit pads slowly close the pores and refine the appearance of the stone building up the polish in the process.

A strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was then applied to the grout lines, leaving it for a short while to soak in and then hand scrubbing with a grout brush. The dirty cleaning solution and were then removed from the floor with the wet vacuum.

This process was repeated across the different sections of the Limestone floor until I was satisfied with its appearance. Before leaving for the day, I rinsed the floor again using a buffing machine fitted with a brush fitted to give it a final clean. The floor was dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum and then allowed it to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Honed Limestone Tiled Ground Floor

The following day the final 3000-grit pad in the four-pad set was applied to the floor to bring up the polish even further. The pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile. We call this process a “Spray Burnish” and as well as leaving the floor nice and dry ready for sealing it adds a nice subtle shine to the stone.

The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is a colour intensifying impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone so dirt cannot become ingrained there. It will provide durable protection and make the floor much easier to keep clean. It worked well on the pale Limestone and beautifully enhanced the colour and features in stone. Once complete the floor looked brand new again.

Honed Limestone Floor After Renovation Highgate

I left a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap with the client and gave them some information about how best to maintain the floor. This product is pH neutral and cleans whilst maintaining the patina on the stone helping to keep the floor in great condition.

The client was delighted with the result and left us a great review.

“Andrew is excellent and gets on with the job and we got a fantastic result. Highly recommend. By Aaron S, Highgate, 15 March 2021”


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