Limestone Tile Cleaning and Polishing

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Limestone tiles carried out in Birmingham

Cleaning and Renovating Limestone tiles

Limestone is a sedimentary stone, as such itโ€™s generally very porous and acid sensitive and can be damaged through the use of even mildly acidic soaps, shampoos and body washes. Because of this we do not recommend it for use in wet rooms, shower cubicles or near swimming pools.

Like any stone Limestone needs to be sealed to prevent dirt becoming ingrained in its pores and many varieties including Blue Lias, Blue Moleanos, Jerusalem and White Moleanos to name a few can be polished to a high shine using a series of burnishing pads.

We have found that Black Limestone has become very popular in gardens where it contrasts well against green planting and looks fantastic when wet. One issue we find however is it easily upset by the use of acidic patio cleaners that leave the stone looking dull and lifeless. If this has affected you then not to worry we do have a way of restoring the beauty of the stone back to its original condition.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Limestone Fireplace Cleaning Great Barr

Stained Limestone Fireplace Renovated in Great Barr

I recently cleaned and sealed a stone floor for a customer in Great Barr who called me a couple of weeks later and asked if I could restore his Limestone fireplace. The hearth was heavily stained and that along with the usual soot markings made him decide it was overdue a clean.

Having been to the house before I was able to quote for the work quite easily. It was just a matter of explaining the process and agreeing a date for the work which should only take a day.

Limestone Fireplace Before Cleaning Great Barr

Deep Cleaning a Limestone Fireplace

After protecting the surrounding woodwork, I set about cleaning the fireplace first using hand-held 60 grit diamond blocks with only water for lubrication. The water is sprayed onto the stone and the block is worked in using a circular action to get deep into the pores.

The whole fireplace was cleaned using this method before turning my attention to the hearth. The staining on the hearth was worse so for this I first applied a coating of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to help breakdown the stains. Being in a gel form makes this cleaning product much easier to handle in a tight space. The gel was left to soak in for fifteen minutes before being scrubbed with a black pad. The hearth was then carefully rinsed and the released soiling extracted with a wet vacuum.

I followed up with further cleaning using the 60-grit diamond block to get the stone hearth as clean as possible. I then rinsed the fireplace, and went through the process again with 120, 200 and finally a 400-grit block to bring up the appearance of the stone. Only was I was satisfied did I give the Fireplace a final rinse and then dried it off with towels, air movers and a heat gun until the stone was fully dry.

Sealing a Limestone Fireplace

To seal the Limestone and make it easier to clean going forward I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. This product is almost invisible and leaves a natural finish, it works by soaking into the stone, occupying the pores, and thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Limestone Fireplace After Cleaning Great Barr

For aftercare cleaning I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which will help maintain the appearance of the fireplace. The customer was delighted with the results and said that it even looked better than when it was installed over 15 years ago!”


Professional Clean of a Limestone Fireplace in Birmingham

Stained Limestone Fireplace Renovated in Great Barr

Limestone Floor Renovation Codsall

Limestone Floor Installation Clean and Polish for Codsall Builder

A builder got in touch with me about aLimestone tiled floor he had installed for a client in Codsall near Wolverhampton. He was doing some renovation work on the property and clearly stone floors were not his speciality. The tiles had been sealed incorrectly and then covered up which had left marks in the stone. To his credit he did attempt to make good the issues, but ultimately got into a mess with it and decided to call us in to rectify.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Codsall Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Codsall

I went along to survey the floor and work out a plan to rectify the issues and as part of this conducted a few tests. The testing went well and it confirmed to me which products and methods would work best on the floor, it also demonstrated that the Limestone floor could be renovated to a good standard. Luckily, I had a spare couple of days so I could do the job quickly, so the builder was very relieved, and the client pleased it was going to be resolved.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Codsall

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

The firstly job was to strip the floor of the sealer and give it a deep clean. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor, left it to dwell and then went over the floor with a Black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soiling generated was then rinsed off the floor with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

After this I started burnishing the stone tiles with a 400-grit diamond pad covering each tile at least three times; the floor was then rinsed and the soiling extracted with the wet vacuum as before. I purposely worked on the floor in two sections so it didn’t dry out and leave a chalky finish, especially in the grout as this can be difficult to remove when dry. I then moved on to the 800-grit pad and then a 1500-grit pad using the same method. I also used smaller 6-inch pads around the edges and corners where the rotary machine could not reach using a hand polisher.

After rinsing and drying off with three air movers, I asked the client to have a think overnight if they wanted to leave it at the 1500-grit finish or go up to a 3000-grit very fine finish. My concern was that an adjoining room which wasn’t being cleaned wasn’t that high a finish and the two floors would look different.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the next day and checked the moisture readings of the floor using a damp meter, the readings were good confirming the floor was dry and ready to be sealed. Having thought about it overnight the client agreed with my concern and was happy to leave it at a 1500 grit finish.

To seal the Limestone floor, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone to provide maximum protection and leaves a natural finish. Additionally, this sealer is particularly good in a high traffic area such as the hallway.

Limestone Floor After Renovation Codsall

My client was delighted with the transformed floor and was now happy which was a relief to the builder who was keen to get the job signed off. For aftercare cleaning I left the client a bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will allow them to keep the tiles clean and help to keep the polished patina finish.

Limestone Floor After Renovation Codsall


Professional Renovation of a Limestone Tiled Hallway in Birmingham

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Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before and After Restoration Bromsgrove

Acid damaged black limestone patio tiles in Bromsgrove

A local company in Bromsgrove were commissioned to lay a stunning and expensive Black Limestone patio for a customer who was renovating their property. Unfortunately, the company tried to clean the finished patio with brick acid, and because limestone is generally very porous and acid sensitive this discoloured the tiles to a rather unsightly, dull grey – a far cry from what their customer was expecting!

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before Restoration Bromsgrove
The company facing a large bill contacted Tile Doctor for expert advice to see if the beautiful tiles could be restored. If Tile Doctor couldnโ€™t come to the rescue, then the company would have no choice other than to replace them at their own expense.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before Restoration Bromsgrove Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before Restoration Bromsgrove

Black limestone paving has become incredibly popular over the last few years as its dark tones suit the current trend for a monochrome palette. It is also hard wearing and readily available.

Tile Doctor specialise in the restoration of all types of tile and stone and as their local agent, I was asked to go over and see what could be done. I realised that the brick acid will have damaged the surface of the stone so to restore it I first tried applying a coarse 200 grit diamond burnishing pad. The pad successfully demonstrated that the appearance could be restored and impressed with the difference the site foreman booked me in to complete the whole patio. Luckily the weather forecast was set fair for a few days, which would be needed to clean and seal the patio.

Restoring an Acid Damaged Limestone Patio

Made with industrial diamonds and available in different sizes and grits, burnishing pads are ideal for restoring the appearance of polished stone floors. The first step was to work on the tiles with a course 200 grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine and lubricated with water. This took off a layer of the limestone, bringing back the original black appearance of the tiles.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio During Diamond Pad Polishing Bromsgrove Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning With CRB Machine Bromsgrove

Next the patio was worked on with 400 grit diamond pads followed by 800 grit pads – the first stage of polishing – and each application was cleaned off with water. Because the property was being renovated there was a lot of dirt on the tiles and grout from construction, so I scrubbed in medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a CRB (counter rotating brush) machine. Once done I rinsed down the area with more water and left it to dry. As you can see from the pictures it was a large area, so this work took two days to complete.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning Bromsgrove

Sealing Limestone Patio Tiles to Restore Colour

I returned the next day to start the sealing process beginning with the application of Tile Doctor Stone-Oil which restores the deep black colour and texture to the limestone, itโ€™s also an impregnating sealer that adds protection and improves mechanical strength once cured.

I allowed this to dry for 24 hours and then applied a coat of Ultra-Seal, a no-sheen natural-looking sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio After Sealing Bromsgrove
The customer was very happy with the results. The patio tiles were fully restored to their original glory and their customer was delighted. More importantly, the company had been saved from making an insurance claim. They left the following feedback on completion:

“Great job by Kieron after the wrong cleaning solution was used on a patio we installed. Came up better than new!โ€

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio After Restoration Bromsgrove Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio After Restoration Bromsgrove


Professional Restoration of a Black Limestone patio Near Birmingham

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