The owner of this recently purchased property in the Berkshire village of Twyford had inherited a Jerusalem limestone floor that had been installed throughout the ground floor including the Kitchen. The previous owner hadn’t maintained the stone floor very well and as a result it had become dull, patchy and the new owner was finding it impossible to keep clean. The floor was becoming a problem for them and they had been considering ripping it all up and getting it replaced. However due to the size of the floor and potential cost of replacing it they searched for other solutions and contacted Tile Doctor to see if it could be renovated.
I scheduled an appointment with the owners to survey the floor and it wasn’t long before I realised that we could achieve a great result by polishing the Limestone using a set of diamond burnishing pads. To prove how well I thought the floor would clean up I offered to complete a demo within the small utility room. This was arranged and completed a week later, as I expected once I had finished the demo the floor looked fantastic, more importantly the client was ecstatic with the results and couldn’t wait to book us in to complete the rest of the house.
It was a large floor so I estimated the process would take 4-5 days to complete and would need to work in sections starting with the kitchen then progressing into the study and cloakroom, dining room and finishing off with the entrance hall. Thankfully I had an empty house to work in which helped as I could start sealing the area I worked on the prior day.
Cleaning a Jerusalem Limestone Tiled Floor
The limestone had become quite pitted in the high traffic area, these pits had filled up with soil and become unsightly. My first task was to deep clean the dirt filled pits and grout, to do this I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and a stiff nylon brush making sure I could get into the pits releasing the dirt, then vacuuming up all the chemical slurry as I went along.
The next task was to fill these pits I used a two-part epoxy filler that matched the colour of the stone. Once the filler had dried, I worked through the hand burnishing blocks from 100 grit to 400 and I smoothed out the areas that had been filled.
Now the holes/pits had been filled I continued with the restoration of the floor by moving onto the burnishing process using diamond encrusted floor burnishing pads. This involves honing the Limestone with a set of burnishing pads starting at 400-grit. The pads are applied to the floor with a heavy floor buffing machine using water to lubricate the process. The pad is run over each tile around three times and the fine slurry this process generates is rinsed off afterwards with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. You then move onto the 800-grit and then 1500-grit slowly building back the appearance of the stone.
Sealing a Jerusalem Limestone Tiled Floor
As I had worked in sections/rooms at a time I was able to allow a full day drying time before sealing. Happy with the depth of colour from the pad system I opted to seal the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. I had a range of sealers to choose from an in this case I felt Ultra-Seal would be most suited as it doesn’t change the natural appearance of the Limestone yet will provide years of protection and make it much easier to keep clean.
The owners were over the moon with how the limestone now looked and relieved that their problem floor had been restored. For aftercare cleaning I recommended Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is designed for maintaining the patina on polished stone floors.