Resurfacing Dirty Flagstone Flooring in an Oldham Kitchen

A customer from Oldham contacted us looking for a solution to their very dirty flagstone kitchen floor. They hadn’t lived in the property long and it seems the previous owner had neglected it completely. They had contacted several different stone restoration companies and had received varying advice and quotes that ranged from £500 to £3000. Some companies had said it was a lost cause and others recommended sandblasting. They hired one firm to do the work and were disappointed with the result, as I would have been given the photographs on this page. They had nearly given up but after finding us on-line decided to have one last attempt at having it renovated.

Flagstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Oldham Flagstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Oldham

I went over to inspect the flagstones and recommended a process we call milling which has proved to be very effective in resurfacing stone floors in the past. It uses very coarse diamond encrusted floor pads which grind away the top layer of stone and unlike sand blasting doesn’t make a huge mess. I ran a small test whilst I was at the property and it was immediately obvious this solution would be effective. Another advantage of milling the floor in this way was that the stone would end up being smooth to the touch and not rough as before.

Flagstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Oldham

It was a large job so I asked my neighbouring Tile Doctor Russell Taylor from North Lancaster Tile Doctor to work with me on the floor for the first day, this would ensure my customer wouldn’t be overly inconvenienced and without the use of their kitchen for a long time.

Resurfacing a Flagstone Kitchen Floor in Oldham

On the first day the kitchen was prepped which included removing the kickboards underneath the units for better access. Once this was done the milling process began using a 50-grit DRB milling pad followed by 100-grit DRB and 200-grit DRB pads. The pads are fitted to a weighted floor buffer and run over the floor using water to lubricate the process. After each pad the floor is rinsed with water and the slurry removed with a wet vacuum.

Flagstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Oldham Flagstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Oldham

After the first day it was clear the floor was rapidly improving, the customer emailed me that evening thanking me for the improvement, and we weren’t even finished yet.

“Ahh fabulous. Honestly, we can’t thank you enough for the work you’ve done. We are completely over the moon with it – thank you so much 🙂 “

Flagstone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Oldham

I returned the following day to further improve and smooth the flagstone surface with softer pads of 200 and 400-grit. Again, the floor was rinsed with water and then the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

On day three an area of damaged grout was cut out using an angle grinder and then repointed with a matching flexible grout. Using a light grey grout complemented the renovation of the floor.

Flagstone Kitchen Floor During Grout Removal Oldham

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

For the sealer to cure effectively the stone floor needs to be bone dry so before sealing we always take several moisture readings with a damp meter before applying a sealer. In most cases we can seal the next day however when dealing with old floors that don’t have a damp-proof membrane under the floor you can never be sure.

Unfortunately, there was too much moisture in some of the floor when I returned the following day, so I left it for another day. Fortunately, by day five the moisture readings had settled and so I proceeded to seal the whole floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a penetrating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone so dirt cannot become ingrained there. Ultra-Seal doesn’t change the look of the stone leaving it with a very natural appearance.

Flagstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Oldham Flagstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Oldham

The pictures speak for themselves and the customer who finally has the floor they wanted was over the moon with the result!

Flagstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Oldham

 

Professional Restoration of a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen in Greater Manchester

Flagstone Kitchen Floor Resurfaced in Broadbottom

The new owners of this lovely terraced house in the village of Broadbottom that was built circa 1900, inherited with it a lovely old flagstone floor in the Kitchen which was now in a rather bad state with ingrained dirt and stains.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Broadbottom

I suspected that the White staining was due to alkaline salts, a problem more commonly known as efflorescence. However, I took a moisture reading of the floor with a damp meter and the readings were normal, so it may have been a historic damp problem that cause it. We are always wary of efflorescence issues when it comes to older properties as damp proof membranes which resolve this problem are a relatively modern invention.

Old Flagstone Floor Before Cleaning Broadbottom

After explaining the process, I worked out a quote which was accepted and booked a date in the diary for the work to commence, which would take place over two days.

Cleaning and Grouting a Flagstone Kitchen Floor

First the floor was in a terrible state and needed to be resurfaced if it was going to live up to its potential. To do this I used a 100 followed by a 200-grit coarse Diamond milling pads to grind off the top layer of ground in dirt, resurface the stone and reveal the beautiful stone beneath. These abrasive pads are run over the floor with a weighted floor buffer running on a nice slow speed and lubricated with water. The floor is rinsed with more water after each pad and then the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

As the floor had quite a few areas where the grout had cracked and crumbled, I decided to rake this out and replaced it with a flexible grout using a colour sympathetic to the original. This and the milling made an immediate improvement to the overall appearance of the floor. The floor was then left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to apply a sealer.

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I checked the floors moisture level before sealing, all was well, so I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that has a matt finish. Tile Doctor Colour Grow is also fully breathable so should cope well with any damp issues and allow moisture to rise through the stone and evaporate. This is important as otherwise moisture could become trapped under the floor where it could eventually cause problems in the walls.

Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom

The customers were delighted with the outcome, the colour of the stone had really improved also Milling the surface of the floor makes it smoother so it would now be much easier for them to keep clean in future.

Old Flagstone Floor After Sealing Broadbottom

For aftercare I left them with a bottle of concentrated Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which once diluted is a pH neutral product that will not erode the newly applied sealer. Many household cleaners are too strong for sealed floor and will prematurely erode the sealer over time.

 

Professional Restoration of a Flagstone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Greater Manchester