The photographs on this page show the spot restoration of an acid damaged newly installed Limestone tiled floor at a medieval cottage in the historic town on Wokingham, Berkshire. It seems the customer accidentally spilled lime cordial on honed surface leaving dull stain spots on about six to eight tiles.
After attempting to remove the damage themselves using a variation of different sealers the customer accepted defeat and contacted Tile Doctor to see if the issue could be resolved. If not, they were considering replacing the floor.
Being the local Tile Doctor for the area I was asked to take a look and advise the customer. I explained that the dull spots had appeared because the surface tension of the limestone had been damaged from the citric acidic in the cordial. The affected tiles would essentially need to be re-polished; the customer was eager to see if I could resolve the issue and get all the tiles to be as uniform as possible.
Spot Polishing a Limestone tiled floor
My first task was to identify which tiles needed re-polishing with burnishing pads as once I got going it would be tricky to spot them; I did this by simply leaving post it notes on the affected areas.
To restore the appearance of the Limestone tiles I started with a 400 grit 3-inch pad fitted to a handheld flex machine. You can’t actually buy these 3 inch pads, they are found in the centre of the large 17 inch floor pads. The 400-grit pad is quite abrasive and needs to be applied with water to lubricate. I then followed the 4-stage burnishing process increasing the surface tension with each pad used this to leave the tile with a good sheen and most importantly a uniform appearance with the surrounding tiles.
The Burnishing pads are actually loaded with industrial diamonds and you apply them in sequence starting with the coarse 400 grit pad before moving onto the medium 800 grit pad, fine 1,500 grit pad and then finally the super fine 3,000 grit pad which really brings up the shine. You have to rinse with water between each pad to remove the slurry that is generated. The final 3,000 grit pad is applied with very little water and so the floor is dry when completed.
Spot Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor
The last step was to carefully re-seal the tiles that had been burnished so they would blend in with the rest of the floor. I decided on Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal for this, it’s an impregnating sealer that doesn’t alter the colour of the stone leaving them with a natural look.
The process went well and was completed in around four hours, my customer was very happy with the result and left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system
“We felt very comfortable with the recommended course of action and Mr Buckland inspired confidence so we were happy to let him get on with the remedy.”
Spot Treating Acid Damaged Limestone Floor Tiles in Berkshire
This was an unusual request to clean a large Limestone wall used to mount a sign at a Reading Business Park that had been installed approximately 8 to 10 years prior and never cleaned. The old sign had been removed from the stone which had exposed the unprotected areas of stone leaving a shadow. Pollutants, carbon soils, road dirt and weathering had discoloured the Limestone and the client was unable to get it satisfactorily clean. You can see from the photo below how obviously dirty the stone had become.
Deep Cleaning a Limestone Wall
To get the Limestone cleaned I applied a liberal 50:50 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a roller brush and allowed it to dwell for on the stone for around twenty minutes.
The chemicals got to work on the dirt whilst I set up our truck mounted medium pressure hot water clean and capture system which uses a twin rotary jet system to fire hot water at 90 degrees at 1200psi onto the stone in a circular spinning motion. It’s a great tool that immediately vacuums the waste water away to a separate tank in the van. This mess free clean and capture system is self-contained and doesn’t require the disposal of hot water or dirty water on site either. Using the tool I was able to blast away the soils and pollutants from the stone and then left it to dry.
Sealing the Limestone Wall
When I returned I checked the stone was dry, fortunately it hadn’t rained and the sun and wind had dried it out well. To seal the Limestone I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone to prevent contaminates discolouring it, additionally it’s suitable for internal and external applications and has the added effect of enhancing the natural colour in the stone. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to take a final photograph once it was sealed due to a rather irritating traffic warden.
Cleaning and Sealing Limestone Sign Wall in Reading