Sandstone Tile Cleaning

Renovating a large Sandstone Floor in Disley

This is a large 17.2 m2 Sandstone Floor installed throughout the living and kitchen areas of a property in the beautiful village of Disley close to Lyme Park which is run by the National Trust. The floor had been installed four years ago and my client was unhappy with the original sealer which hadn’t lasted very long. Without the protection of a sealer dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the stone which was now difficult to clean. Another issue was the rough nature of the Sandstone meant it was impossible to mop as it shreds the mop! As a result, the floor was mainly cleaned with a hoover which was not ideal, especially in a kitchen.

I went over to survey the floor and before quoting I ran a small test clean in the kitchen which took the floor back to its natural pale colour and really showed how dirty the floor had become. Test cleans are great as it helps me to formulate an effective cleaning plan and provide an accurate quote. My client was impressed with the result and so I was booked to come back and deep clean and then reseal the whole floor. Due to its size I estimated the floor would take two days to deep clean and a further day to apply a new sealer, so three days in total.

Large Sandstone Floor During Test Clean Disley

Deep Cleaning and Restoring a Sandstone Tiled Floor

Working in large sections I started by cleaning the floor and stripping off the old sealer with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coatings remover that is safe to use on stone. The solution was left to soak into the pores of the Sandstone for ten minutes before being worked in with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This action not only removed the old sealer and cleaned the floor but the 200-grit pad being vey coarse removed a lot of the roughness from the surface of the Sandstone so it shouldn’t shred any more mops.

Large Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Disley Large Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Disley

After rinsing the floor with water and removing the slurry with a wet vacuum I set about cleaning the grout with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked into the grout line with a stiff brush and assisted with steam from a professional steam cleaner with a grout attachment. Once done the floor was rinsed and extracted again to remove the soil from the grouting. There was also an area near one of the doors where the grout had become loose and needed replacing so I made up a batch of matching grout and filled this in. The floor was then left overnight to dry with assistance from a couple of air movers.

Large Sandstone Floor During Cleaning Disley

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Floor

I returned the next day to finish the floor by applying a sealer. First, I double checked the floor was dry with the damp meter. The readings confirmed the air movers had done a good job and that the floor was within the accepted parameters, so I was ready to seal. The sealer I chose was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which being water based doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, it really works well on Sandstone and adds a nice subtle sheen to the stone.

Once finished the floor looked much cleaner, lighter in colour overall more inviting, you could even see the fossils in some of the tiles.

Large Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Showing Fosils Disley

The surface was also smoother so the customer should find cleaning with a mop much easier in future. On that subject its worth pointing out that owners of sealed floors should always use a neutral pH tile cleaner on their floors as most supermarket products are simply too strong and will prematurely strip the sealer off a tile if used repeatedly. Tile Doctor sell a product called Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is ideal for cleaning sealed Sandstone floors like this one.

My client was really happy with the results and sent me a message later saying: “the floor looks amazing!”

Large Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Disley Large Sandstone Floor After Cleaning Disley

 

Professional Renovation of Sandstone Tiled Kitchen and Living Room in Cheshire

Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles Revitalised in Quarry Bank Mill

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.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Sandstone Tiled Floor in Wilmslow

Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles Revitalised in Bramhall

Bramhall is an affluent area of East Cheshire and home to some truly fantastic properties with equally impressive floors. I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of these properties to attend to a Sandstone tiled kitchen that was looking past its best.

Sandstone has been used as a building material since ancient times, with some famous examples of Sandstone architecture being the Strasbourg Cathedral in Strasbourg, France, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Of course, Sandstone is also commonly used for paving and tiled floors. It is typically very porous, meaning that dirt and stains can easily become ingrained if the stone is not taken care of correctly. The wonderful natural shades in the Sandstone quickly lose their character and, as was the case with this floor, the tiles become dull and unappealing.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Bramhall Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Bramhall

Cleaning Dirty and Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

To clean this floor, I first mixed 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. It always provides consistent results and it can be used it on all kinds of tile, stone and grout to great effect.

I applied the product and left it to soak for roughly 20 minutes to allow time to penetrate the pores of the stone and reach the deeply embedded dirt. Next, I scrubbed the floor using a specialised buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to get the stone clean. The resulting dirty cleaning slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum and after rinsing with water I used the wet vacuum again to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the day and allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Bramhall

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.

Thankfully the floor proved dry and I could seal the floor using two different types of sealer. First, I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to fill the pores of the tiles to block ingrained dirt, as well as to enhance the natural colours in the stone.

By itself, Colour Grow provides a natural-looking matte finish, but in this instance the customer had requested a low-sheen finish, so I also applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water-based acrylic sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Bramhall Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Bramhall

Looking at the before and after photos, you can see the floor underwent a real transformation. The deep clean really restored the condition of the Sandstone, while the addition of robust sealers will ensure that it is easy for the customer to keep clean in the long term. Needless to say, the customer was really pleased with the result!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Sandstone Tiled Floor in Cheshire

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