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.

Red Wine Stained Limestone Fireplace Renovated in Sealand

Red Wine Stains Removed from a Limestone Fireplace Surround in Sealand

Earlier this year we was contacted by a resident on a new housing estate on the former MOD Sealand RAF base about their wine stained Limestone fireplace. This base was famous for its gliders and spitfires on the edge of North Wales and Cheshire but has since been closed.

The customer had dropped a glass of red wine on her new Limestone fireplace which resulted in obvious dark staining as it dripped down the Limestone. Naturally The customer was keen to have the stains removed and was horrified how badly it had affected the stone.

Red Wine Stained Limestone Fireplace Before Cleaning in Sealand

Fortunately, after researching the problem on the internet, she found Tile Doctor who have a simple solution for this problem which I’ll detail below.

Removing Wine Stains from a Limestone Fireplace

The first job was to protect the new carpet and walls from any splashing during the cleaning process. With that in place I started to apply our secret solution for dealing with these sorts of problems in the form of Tile Doctor Reduxa which is designed to remove acid stains from calcareous stone.

The stained areas were sprayed with Reduxa and then left to soak in for a few minutes. The solution was then warmed up with a heat gun. Doing this causes the solution to evaporate into a vapour which draws out the stain. This process needs repeating four or five times to draw out the stain but its very effective and does the job. Once removed the Fireplace was washed down with clean water then dried off with the heat gun.

The stone had never been sealed before so the last job was to apply Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is an impregnating sealer that works by soaking into the pores of the stone thereby preventing anything from residing there. Once dry it becomes invisible and does not change the colour of the stone.

Red Wine Stained Limestone Fireplace After Cleaning in Sealand

The work was soon completed and as you can imagine my customer was relieved that the staining was now gone.


Professional Removal of Wine Stains from Limestone in Cheshire

Red Wine Stains Removed from a Limestone Fireplace Surround in Sealand Read More »

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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