Old York Stone Flagstones Deep Cleaned at Newark Office

The pictures below are from a York Stone flagged hallway floor in an old building in the historic and picturesque market town of Newark, Nottinghamshire. The building dates back to the late 17th Century so the flagstone were likely to be very old, additionally the building is now the busy offices of local solicitor and so does get a lot of wear. The flagstones had a heavy build-up of soiling and old worn down coatings, there was also evidence of remove paint spots and I suspect adhesive residues suggesting at some point the floor had been covered in a carpet.

York Stone Flagstone Hallway Floor Before Cleaning in Newark

Cleaning Old Flagstones

The first step was to remove any previous coating such as sealers so a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak into the stone for twenty minutes. Pro-Clean is a multi-purpose heavy duty cleaner & coating remover that due to its alkaline formula is safe to use of Tile, Stone and Grout. The cleaning solution was scrubbed by hand into the wall edges and corners and paint spots and adhesive contamination marks were spot treated whilst the solution on the main part of the floor was getting to work breaking down the years of soiling. Once the edges were done it was time to agitate the flagstones on the main part of the floor with a weighted low-speed rotary machine fitted with a special restoration brush.

After thoroughly scrubbing the floor, the resulting slurry was vacuumed away and stubborn areas re-treated. The floor was then given a further rinse and the floor then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing York Stone Flags

The following day I returned to seal the floor. As the property dates back to the 17th Century it’s unlikely the floor has a damp proof membrane installed so it would be important to choose a breathable sealer that will allow moisture to pass up through the stone. We chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow for the job, it’s a breathable impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone preventing contaminates from staining the floor and also enhance the natural colours in the stone. The flagstones were quite porous so three coats were required to ensure complete protection.

York Stone Flagstone Hallway Floor After Cleaning in Newark York Stone Flagstone Hallway Floor After Cleaning in Newark

I think you will agree from the photographs that flagstones have been transformed and the Colour Grow sealer will provide a durable barrier to both water & oil based spills. Tracked in soiling is also easier to remove when damp mop cleaning for which I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which unlike acidic cleaners will not impair the integrity of the sealer.
 
 

Old Flagstone Floor Restored in Newark, Nottingham

Victorian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Deep Cleaned in Mapperley

This original Victorian Geometric tiled floor was recently uncovered in the hallway of a house in Mapperley near Nottingham. These beautiful old floors built by Victorian Craftsmen are often neglected and sometimes hidden by other floor coverings. In this case we had to remove carpet, carpet grippers and underlay which had been stuck down and often we find vinyl tiles glued to the tile surface etc. This takes its toll on the floor causing it to lose its vitality however help is at and in the form of the specialist Tile Doctor Restorative Cleaning and Sealing Treatment.

Victorian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Mapperley Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

The first job was to protect the adjacent carpets and wood flooring, before starting the cleaning process. Then I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty cleaning solution mixed with Remove and Go which is a coating remover. This helps to remove old and worn coatings along, with the many years of soiling which was hiding the vibrant colours of the Victorian tiles beneath.

This unique cleaning solution along with a combination of dwell time and mechanical agitation breaks down the many years of contamination on the tiles. During this stage of the cleaning process, we also sometimes have to remove paint and adhesive residues. The cleaning process is intensive to ensure maximum soil removal and is achieved as above by using a weighted rotary floor cleaning machine, along with Tile Doctors restoration floor pads.

The resulting slurry created by the cleaning process above is vacuumed away with a wet vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with a dilution of Tile Doctors Grout Clean-Up product which removes any inherent efflorescence contamination that is common on old floors without damp proof membranes.

The floor is then given a thorough rinse with clean water to neutralise the floor and removing any trace of cleaning solution from the previous treatments which could affect the sealer, again a wet vacuum was used to get the floor as dry as possible.

The cleaning was completed in a day and to ensure the floor would be dry for sealing the next day I installed a couple of air movers and left it to dry out overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

The following day I sealed the tiles to saturation point with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a ‘Colour Enhancing’ Impregnating Sealer. It’s an advanced sealer that allows the floor to breath, and also protects from both water and oil based spills and if maintained correctly will act as a long lasting treatment that will last many years!

With regards to maintenance I recommend that customers use a damp mop with a neutral PH cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner. This is highly effective on soiling but most importantly it’s not acidic and so will not damage the integrity of the sealer. Many household cleaning products, and also high-street branded cleaning products, can quickly damage floor coatings; they can also leave residues on floors that contribute to rapid re-soiling.

Victorian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Mapperley After Cleaning

 
 

Original Victorian Floor Restored in Mapperley, Nottingham

Grout Haze on honed Limestone tiles in Bingham

The photographs below are of a honed Limestone floor in the kitchen/diner of a house in Bingham, Nottinghamshire which had been contaminated with heavy grout haze from dark grout that had penetrated into the surface of the natural stone tiles due to the face that they had not been properly sealed prior to grouting. The customer had asked the tiler to rectify the issue, but without the proper equipment and knowledge he was unable make any impact on the problem and so we got the call.

Honed Limestone Tiled Floor in Bingham Before Cleaning Honed Limestone Tiled Floor in Bingham Before Cleaning

Milling a Limestone Tiled Floor

Before starting we cleared any furniture from the area and masked skirting boards and kitchen units. We then set about rectifying the problem with a set of Milling Pads that which remove a layer off the surface of the stone; this also has the added advantage of removing any lippage issues between the tiles.

Milling natural stone flooring is a controlled process using water, and specially manufactured diamond milling pads. We have a special low speed rotary floor machine for this purpose which is weighted with 65kg to ensure the right level of tension on the floor.

A rotary hand polisher and oscillating multi-tool fitted with smaller milling pads were used to remove the grout haze from the wall edges and wall corners of the tiled kitchen. Once satisfied the contamination had been removed, then the floor was thoroughly rinsed with fresh water to remove the resulting slurry created by the milling process and then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing the Limestone Floor

The next morning I arrived to find the floor had dried out enough for me to seal it which was done using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an advanced sealer from the Tile Doctor range that impregnates into the stone and lifts the natural colours in the Limestone floor as well as providing stain protection from both water and oils spills. Once the sealer had dried I then finished it all off with a quick buff using a white buffing pad.

Honed Limestone Tiled Floor in Bingham After Cleaning

After an hour of sealing the floor can be walked on, but impregnating sealers take up to 48 hours to fully care so care should be taken before the floor is subjected to normal use. For maintenance I recommended regular cleaning with a damp mop using a diluted solution (1:100) of Tile Doctors Stone Soap which is PH neutral and won’t affect the sealer.
 
 

Grout Haze Removal on Limestone Floor in Bingham