Sandstone Tile Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Sandstone flooring carried out in West Surrey

Cleaning and Renovating Sandstone Floors

Sandstone is often used for Kitchen and Hallway flooring, however as with any natural stone it needs to be sealed to protect it and bring out its beauty and colouring. One of the biggest problems we find with stone flooring is with the sealer becoming stripped away prematurely by the continuous use of cleaning agents not designed for this type of surface. Without its protective sealer porous stone quickly becomes ingrained with dirt making it increasingly difficult to clean effectively.

Our method for renovating Sandstone typically involves stripping the floor of any existing sealer/coatings, deep cleaning to extract the dirt and then applying a fresh sealer for which I recommend Tile Doctor Colour Grow as it enhances the natural colours in the stone. If the floor is particularly bad, it’s best to resurface it with coarse milling pads which can remove a thin layer from the surface of the stone.

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.

300 Year Old Sandstone Flagstone Floor Renovation Pirbright Mill

Old Sandstone Flagstone Restoration at Pirbright Mill

The pictures of a Sandstone floor below were taken at a 300-year-old mill house in the very picturesque village of Pirbright between Woking and Guildford. My client was selling the property which was really beautiful with many original features.

300 Year Old Sandstone Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Pirbright_Mill

During the week before my arrival, the owner had a restoration company remove the grout surrounding her Sandstone flags and had them lifted so a damp proof course could be laid beneath. The flagstones were then re-laid and regrouted, I assume this was something that had come up in a survey and needed to be rectified as a condition of the sale. I certainly didn’t envy the guy chipping away at the grout for days on end.

Unfortunately, cleaning was not part of the process and by the time I turned up the old Sandstone flagstones were looking washed out and had lost a lot of their character. I was tasked with cleaning them up and sealing them after they had been re-laid, fortunately I wouldn’t need to clean the grout which can be quite a task on old floors like these.

300 Year Old Sandstone Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Pirbright_Mill

Normally old floors are notorious for damp issues and I usually have to take steps to neutralise efflorescent salt issues however due to the damp proofing work recently completed this would not be a problem. I was very conscious however that the flagstones were very old and so had to be handled with care. So, after running some cleaning tests in a small area behind the mill I worked out the best way forward would be to give the Sandstone a deep clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective alkaline tile and grout cleaning product. She was happy with the testing and agreed my quote, so we were good to go ahead.

Cleaning an Old Sandstone Flagstone Floor

My method was to spray a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean onto the floor, it was left to soak in for ten minutes and then agitated with a nylon scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. This process released the ingrained dirt from the pores of the stone which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. I inspected the stone flagstones after each scrub and repeated the process where necessary until I was satisfied the stones were as clean as they could be. Once done the floor was left to dry off ready for the next stage of applying a protective sealer.

Sealing Old Sandstone Paving Flagstones

Old buildings are often very cold and damp, so I used as little water as possible during cleaning, however Sandstone is quite porous, so I left the stone floor for three days to dry out before returning to seal.

For sealing I chose to apply Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is a colour intensifying sealer that will add durable protection to the stone whilst enhancing the natural colours of the very old sandstone flags.

300 Year Old Sandstone Flagstone Floor After Sealing Pirbright_Mill

The client has since sold the house with the new owners benefitting from some considerable restoration. I am sure they will be very pleased to live here, I left a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to get them started.

300 Year Old Sandstone Flagstone Floor After Sealing Pirbright_Mill


Professional Renovation of old Sandstone Flagstone Paving in a Surrey Mill

Old Sandstone Flagstone Restoration at Pirbright Mill Read More »

Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovation Farnham

Restoring a Sandstone tiled kitchen floor in Farnham

Laid six years ago at a house in Farnham this Sandstone tiled kitchen floor was routinely trampled on by two teenagers, gardening parents and two large dogs. All of this had taken its toll of the sealer which had worn off and without its protection the Sandstone tile and grout had turned an indistinguishable sea of brown.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Farnham

The floor now needed a deep clean and reseal to restore it appearance and get it looking its best for which I had planned should take two days, the first day for cleaning and drying, the second for sealing and quoted accordingly. My client was happy with the quote and we scheduled a date to do the work.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Farnham

Farnham is a market town in Surrey and is largest town in the borough of Waverley. It is quite a historic town, with many old buildings, including a number of Georgian houses. With good access links to the A3 and London by train its popular with commuters and I often get requests to work here.

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I began by taping up the wooden skirting and the plinths in the kitchen to protect them from splashing during the work. Then armed with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff brush I set about cleaning up the grout. The dirt released was removed with a wet vacuum before it had a chance to dry then using more Pro-Clean and a 17” buffing machine fitted with a rotating black nylon pad I cleaned the tiles.

The unamused dogs had been banished to the garden. I love dogs but they were chasing my machine around, so I needed to keep them out of the way. The floor tiles were surprisingly dirty, and the client was quite shocked by the amount of dirt I manged to extract.

Once finished I left the floor to dry off fully overnight, sealing a damp floor is never recommended and can result in a patchy appearance.

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the next day, I first checked for areas that needed further attention and then took several moisture readings with a damp meter to check the floor was dry. Satisfied that it was, I was ready to apply the sealer.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor During Sealing Farnham

We had discussed choice of sealer previously and for this floor I had recommended a Tile Doctor sealer called Seal and Go Extra which would be ideal for her traffic heavy floor. Sealing is an important step as it protects the tiles and grout from dirt becoming ingrained in the stone and improves the look of the stone. Seal and Go Extra is also super tough and should last for years if cleaned with the right product. It sets with a subtle sheen but not a shine which she definitely didn’t want. Three coats of sealer were applied which takes around two hours to be dry to the touch but really needs 24 hours for it to cure.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Farnham

The sealer brought out the variety of colours in the stone floor and the family were happy with their new floor, now they just had to keep the dogs out of the way for 24 hours!

For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor in great condition.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Sealing Farnham


Professional Restoration of a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen in West Surrey

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Indian Sandstone After Cleaning

Beautiful Indian Sandstone floor deep cleaned in Guildford

This beautiful Indian Sandstone tiled floor was laid throughout an open plan Kitchen, Dining and Lounge in a house in Guilford. The floor was in need of a deep clean and seal so we called round initially to survey the tile and grout and provide a quote which was accepted.

Indian Sandstone During CleaningIndian Sandstone Washing

Cleaning Indian Sandstone

To clean the floor we used a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a flexible strong alkaline cleaner specially designed for use on stone floors mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor Nanotech Ultra-Clean which contains tiny abrasive particles. This solution was left to dwell on the floor for thirty minutes before being worked into the floor with scrubbing brushes. We then used a tile spinner tool and truck mount cleaning system to rinse the floor of all residue soils and chemicals, the floor was covered with dust sheets whilst it dried and also to keep it clean until we came back to seal it.

Indian Sandstone After Cleaning

Sealing Indian Sandstone

On our return we discussed the effects of different sealers, they all offer stain protection to different levels but change the appearance of the tile in different ways. The customer liked the natural look of the stone so we applied Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal using three coats of sealer to fully seal the tiled floor; Ultra-Seal is also a penetrating sealer that gets deep into the pores of the stone. The customer was delighted with the result and we have been asked to return every year to maintain the floor.

Indian Sandstone After Sealing

Indian Sandstone Floor Maintained in Guilford

Beautiful Indian Sandstone floor deep cleaned in Guildford Read More »


West Surrey Tile Doctor

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