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 South Yorkshire

Cleaning and Renovating Limestone tiles

Limestone is a sedimentary stone, as such it’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 Tiled Restaurant Floor Renovated Chester

Cleaning a Limestone Floor in a Chester Restaurant Ready for Reopening

We were asked to clean and seal a large Limestone floor at a restaurant on the outskirts of Chester. The large hostelry and Steak House was reopening after being closed since lock down and the floor had not been cleaned since.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Chester Restaurant Cheshire

I arranged a visit to survey the floor and could see that although the Limestone tiles were still stained with beer, wine, and other detritus they were in good condition for a busy commercial floor. On the back of that visit, I was able to provide a detailed quote and at the request of the manager agreed to do the work three days before it was due to open.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Chester Restaurant Cheshire

Although this did not leave much time in the way of contingency it made a lot of sense for the manager as the floor would be pristine for the grand opening. I had calculated that the work should take two days and that left them a day for final preparations, including setting out the furniture and last-minute staff training.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Restaurant Floor

To get the limestone floor clean I sprayed the area with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (a multi-purpose degreaser tile cleaner) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (a multi-purpose stripper and coatings remover). The cleaning cocktail was left to soak into the stone for a good twenty minutes to allow it time to break down ingrained dirt and marks in the old polish from around the fixed furniture and skirting boards that had been applied by the cleaners over the years.

To help the process of taking the stains out of the limestone the cleaning mixture was worked into the tile using a coarse 400-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad. The pads are fitted to a rotary buffer machine applying weights were required to maintain a better contact with the stone. The cleaning solution turns into a dark slurry as the dirt is released from the floor and once the pad has been over each tile at least three times as vet vacuum is used to extract it.

This process was then followed up with the application of a finer 800-grit pad but applied only with water which helps lubricate the process. Again, the slurry was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with water which is vacuumed off once more. This process is then repeated with a 1500-grit burnishing pad which starts putting the polish back on the floor. These large 17-inch pads can struggle around the edges of the floor so small six-inch burnishing pads fitted to a hand polisher are used. Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was rinsed down once more and dried with the wet vacuum before being left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Restaurant Floor

The next day the last burnishing pad in the series was run over the floor, this is a very fine 3000-grit pad which completes the polishing process and leaves the Limestone with a healthy shine. This final pad is applied dry with only a few squirts of water applied to the surface, a process we call spray burnishing.

Lastly to protect the floor it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a premium natural look penetrating and durable sealer. The sealer prevents dirt from becoming trapped in the pores of the stone and allow it to be easily cleaned off the surface. Once the last coat of sealer was dry the floor was dry the floor was buffed with a White buffing pad to improve the sheen and remove any excess sealer.

Limestone Floor After Renovation Chester Restaurant Cheshire Limestone Floor After Renovation Chester Restaurant Cheshire

I am pleased to say we didn’t encounter any complications during cleaning, so the timings worked out beautifully and the owner was able to open on schedule.

For future maintenance I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap cleaner which is a pH neutral that will gently cleans the tile whilst improving patina. Many commercial tile cleaning products are simply too strong for sealed floors and can degrade the sealer prematurely.

Limestone Floor After Renovation Chester Restaurant Cheshire


Professional Cleaning of a Limestone Floor in a Cheshire Restaurant

Cleaning a Limestone Floor in a Chester Restaurant Ready for Reopening Read More »

Polishing Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles in Helsby

Getting the best out of a natural stone floor isn’t straight forward and we often get calls from customers who have come to the realisation they need help. An example of this being a lady from the village of Helsby who got in touch after her husband had given up following spending two days cleaning their Limestone tiled kitchen floor but actually making it worse.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled Before Cleaning

Burnishing and Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

On arrival the first step was to give the floor a general clean with a focus on cleaning the grout lines and removing any grit from the floor. I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline tile cleaning product that is safe to use on grout and stone. The cleaning solution was applied by sponge mop and left to soak for ten to twenty minutes before being scrubbed in along the grout line using a stiff narrow brush to get them really clean. Once done the floor was then rinsed with clean water and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled During Cleaning

The next step was to use a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads to polish the stone back to a deep shine. The pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds are applied with a rotary floor buffer in sequence from coarse to extra fine. The first pad has a Coarse 400 grit which is applied with only water for lubrication, removes minor scratches, sealers, and the top surface dirt. Working in small areas, I applied the pad across the Limestone, rinsing in between and picking up the soiled solution with a wet-vac machine. I then repeated this same procedure with the Medium 800 grit pad which is the first stage polishing pad again rinsing with water after use. The next two pads are a Fine 1500 grit and Extra Fine 3,000 grit which really build up a high-quality polish on the stone.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to seal the Limestone first checking with a damp meter that the stone was dry. The customer wanted a natural look finish to the Limestone, so to seal the tiles I applied two coasts of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer doesn’t change the look of the stone in anyway. Ultra Seal is an impregnating sealer that works under the surface by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.

Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled After Cleaning Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiled After Cleaning

Once the sealer had dried the floor was treated to a gentle buff with a white pad to bring up the shine even further. Once complete the stone looked a lot healthier and the grout looked much cleaner.

Professional Limestone Floor Polishing in Cheshire

Polishing Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles in Helsby Read More »


West Cheshire Tile Doctor

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