Restoring Heavily Soiled Marble Tiles with Burnishing in Penrith

When you have high quality tiles like Marble, Limestone and Travertine, it’s even more important than normal to use suitable cleaning products. If, for example, you apply a slightly acidic cleaner to Limestone, it can cause severe, irreparable etching that significantly damages the appearance of the stone.

In a similar way, this customer in Penrith had been using an unsuitable wax-based liquid soap to clean her “Crema Marfil” Spanish Marble kitchen tiles. It had failed to prevent a heavy buildup of dirt, and had in fact darkened the stone, leaving it looking stained, unnatural, and all-around difficult to clean.

Marble floor before cleaning Penrith

To avoid the floor becoming a complete nuisance, the customer contacted me to see what could be done to alleviate the problems.

Marble floor before cleaning Penrith Marble floor before cleaning Penrith

Burnishing a Dirty Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor

I explained to the customer that a process we use at Tile Doctor known as burnishing would be the most effective way to clean the Marble. Also suitable for Limestone and Travertine, this process involves the sequential application of specialist diamond encrusted pads of different grits to grind down any soil buildup and gradually create an aesthetic polish in the surface of the tiles.

Our system consists of four burnishing pads: Coarse, Medium, Fine and Very Fine. I started, using a little water as lubrication, by applying the Coarse pad across the floor, as its rough grit is ideal for breaking down stubborn dirt and stains – and doss so without damaging the tile in any way.

Satisfied with the initial cleaning result achieved by the Coarse pad, I proceeded to work my way through the four burnishing pad system, applying the Medium, Fine and Very Fine pads in turn to restore the polish to the tiles. Following this, I paid some specific attention to the dirty grout, cleaning it with our reliable, multi-purpose alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean, in combination with a steaming system.

Sealing a Marble Kitchen Floor

After completing the burnishing process, I left the tiles to dry overnight. Upon my return to the property I polished the floor one final time with the Very Fine pad before deciding that it was time to give it a fresh seal.

My choice of sealer in this situation was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer that I knew would really do well to emphasise the natural beige shades in the Marble. I applied two coats of the sealer, before polishing off the excess with a buffing pad and leaving the tiles to dry again for a few hours before they could be walked on again.

Marble floor after cleaning Penrith

My customer was very pleased with the outcome. Naturally, she was drill quite concerned about keeping the tiles clean in the long term, so I left her with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, which is specifically designed for aftercare cleaning on polished Marble, Limestone and Travertine.

Marble floor after cleaning Penrith Marble floor after cleaning Penrith

 
 

Professional Marble Tiled Kitchen Floor Restoration in Cumbria

Milling, Cleaning and Sealing Sandstone tiles in Penrith

Here’s an interesting job that I recently completed down in Penrith, a small market town just under three miles from the Lake District National Park.

My client had a Sandstone tiled flagstone floor in her kitchen which had been continually sealed over its lifetime – but without removing the old sealer first. This is not advised, as it can lead to a severe problem where the layers of sealer become compacted on the surface. The result is a significant build-up of old sealer which is almost impossible to remove, even with some of the best and strongest products available.

Sandstone floor before milling in Penrith

This problem is particularly acute in Sandstone because, as a naturally porous stone, it has a high grab factor when it comes to polyurethane type wax sealers. As a result, it would take me a significant amount of work to reduce the problem as far as possible.

Milling Sandstone tiles

As no chemical products would prove effective in resolving the issue, I opted to use a milling technique using abrasive, coarse milling pads. The idea is that the milling pads penetrate beneath the many layers of old sealer and re-finish the stone. In order to validate the proposed solution I conducted an experiment in a test area under the dishwasher. The test proved satisfactory, and so my client was happy to extend the solution to the rest of the kitchen floor.

Sandstone floor during milling in Penrith

As you can see from the photos, the milling pads allowed me to get in deep where chemical products were simply unable to make a difference, giving the Sandstone tiles a much more refined look. As well as flattening a stone milling does strip a tile naked so it’s necessary to seal the stone after to enhance the natural colours and features as well as protect the stone going forward.

Cleaning and sealing Sandstone tiles

After spending all day milling the rest of the floor, it came time to give it a thorough clean to remove any remaining dirt and muck, especially along the grout lines. My choice of cleaner was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high-alkaline cleaner which is used on most natural stone floors, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone and Slate. The Pro-Clean was diluted with water and then scrubbed into the tile and grout.

After finishing the clean, I left for a few days as the floor needed at least 48 hours to dry completely before it could be sealed. Tiled floors must always be left to dry completely before being sealed because any excess moisture or residue can damage the performance of the sealer. When I returned, I applied three layers of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer which is designed to provide durable surface protection from within, while also accentuating the natural shades and colours in the stone.

Sandstone floor after milling and sealing in Penrith

My client was very pleased with the results, and was amazed I was able to do anything to resolve the compacted sealer issue considering that the chemical products used previously were unsuccessful.
 
 

Bringing a Sandstone tiled floor back to life in Cumbria