We often come across tiled floors that have simply never been maintained after their original installation. This inevitably leads to problems: over time, the sealer starts to wear away, particularly in high traffic areas, allowing dirt and staining to become easily ingrained in the stone and grout. The longer this is left unaddressed, the harder it becomes to clean the tiles.
An excellent case in point are this cream coloured Polished Limestone tiled floor installed in the downstairs WC and upstairs bathroom of a property in the prosperous Merchiston area of Edinburgh. The floor were already laid when the customer bought the house 10 years ago, and as far as they know, it has never experienced professional maintenance.
The result of this is quite clear: just looking at the photos below you can see how dull and unimpressive the tiles looked before I was called in to restore them to their best possible condition. The customer was particularly unhappy with how easily the floor became stained and patchy where the sealer had failed in certain areas of the floor.
Cleaning and Burnishing Limestone Floor Tiles
To clean the Limestone tiles, I used Tile Doctor’s system of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads, which range from Coarse to Very Fine. The abrasive Coarse grit pad are applied to cut back through the stone to remove stains, while the Fine and Very and Fine pads are applied to achieve a high quality polished shine.
The pads are fitted to a rotary machine in sequence from coarse to fine and lubricated with a small quantity of water which is sprayed onto the surface. The resultant slurry is rinsed off with more water and extracted using a wet vacuum.
The downstairs WC was approached using much the same method except the space was tighter so we had to use smaller six-inch burnishing pads fitted to a handheld buffer.
After completing the burnishing process, I scrubbed the grout with a narrow brush and a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a high performance alkaline cleaner, to remove any dirt and stains.
Last step before leaving was to rinse both floors with water to remove any trace of cleaning solution. The wet vacuum was then used to remove as much water and moisture from the tiles as possible.
Sealing a Limestone Tiled Bathroom Floor
I left the floor to fully dry out overnight before returning the next morning to re-seal the stone which would protect it from future staining.
My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is the ideal sealer for sealing Limestone. As an impregnating sealer, it penetrates deep into the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. It also subtly enhances the natural shades in the stone.
The customer was delighted with the job as both floors were completely transformed. It’s sometimes hard to believe how long some tiles go without proper maintenance, but it’s equally amazing just how quickly they can be rejuvenated with the right products and methods!