How we clean and restore stone floors
Saul at Cornwell Services works to a tailored process, specific to the condition of the floor, grout and the type of stone. This is a general guide.
Floor Cleaning Preparation
Floor cleaning preparation is very important. We inspect the floor to ensure we identify all possible problem areas such as loose tiles, lippage (uneven tile surface), scratches, grout haze on tile surface (grout residue which dulls appearance and captures dirt), stains and discolouration. Before any work is carried out the floor is thoroughly vacuumed to remove any damaging grit and unwanted debris. Then a protective cover is applied to mask off surrounding walls and furniture.
Re-grout and repair
Where required we fix loose tiles and replace any cracked tiles prior to cleaning. This can be done with spare tiles that you have kept or that we have sourced. We then re-grout the tiled floor. Once dried we can start cleaning works.
The floor is deep cleaned to remove dirt and previous seals and coatings. This is done with specialised stripping and cleaning products, heavy duty scrubbing machines and pressurised cleaning tools linked to our van-mounted hot water extraction machine. The tools are skirted and enclosed to prevent any splashes. All the waste slurry and water is removed into the van’s waste tank.
When completely dry, usually after a few days, a protective impregnating seal can be applied to help prevent the ingress of oil and water-based spills. A topical dressing can usually be applied to leave a satin sheen or waxed appearance.
The main reason for grinding a marble or limestone floor is to create a flat and even surface to allow the further stages of honing and polishing to be carried out. Using three stages of coarse diamonds under heavy rotary machines the unevenness of the tiles is removed leaving a very flat but scratched surface. The grinding, process is completely dust-free since water is used to create an abrasive slurry which removes the lippage, and other high spots from the tiles.
Honing and polishing
The honing process, also dust-free, is the next step after grinding. The floor is now completely flat but with deep scratches caused by the coarse diamonds. Using progressively finer diamonds under the same heavy rotary machines, the scratches are gradually reduced to the point where the floor becomes reflective. The scratches become invisible to the naked eye and the process can stop if a flat smooth non or semi reflective honed finish is required. Otherwise a few further stages of progressively finer diamonds are used to prepare for the final polishing stage.
During the final process before sealing we use high quality polishing powders under a lighter rotary machine with a natural hair pad. The polishing powder, mixed with water, chemically reacts with the stone to create a deep and highly reflective gloss shine. The floor is now ready for sealing.
Once dry, a specialised impregnating seal is applied. This is buffed until dry to prevent the ingress of water and oil-based spills in future.
For safety reasons some floors cannot be polished, for example, tiled marble pool surrounds require a non-slip finish.
Saul at Cornwell Services can draw on his many years’ experience to tailor the cleaning and restoration process. This ensures your floor is brought back to its very best.