Levelling an Uneven Limestone Kitchen Floor in Wickham

The client in the small village of Wickham had recently had a new Limestone tiled floor laid in his kitchen/conservatory on top of electric underfloor heating or UFH as its commonly known. Although the Limestone looked great the tiler had not laid the tiles very level and there were many tiles with 2 to 5 mm lippage between them. Not only was this unsightly it also created a tripping hazard. It was unacceptable to the client and they were very disappointed with the new floor.

Uneven limestone tiled floor Wickham before levelling

Wickham is a small village close to Fareham and actually only ten miles from our base in Portsmouth, so it wasn’t long before I was able to head over and survey the floor and come up with solutions.

As I saw it, we had three options,

  1. Live with it as is.
  2. Rip it all up and damage the electric underfloor heating matt, which would then also need replacing.
  3. Mill the stone with abrasive pads to grind down the lippage.

We discussed all three options and the cost implications; they really were not happy to live with it so that option was out and taking the floor up was going to cause huge disruption and cost. He chose wisely and went for option 3! We confirmed the price and arranged a time to return to carry out the work.

Uneven limestone tiled floor Wickham before levelling

Levelling an Uneven Stone Floor with Milling Pads

We returned a few weeks later to carry out the work. We used two technicians who very slowly they started grinding the floor level with a heavy rotary machine fitted with milling pads. The pads are applied in sequence with water from 50-grit, 100-grit, 200-grit, 400-grit, 800-grit and then finally 1500-grit. The floor is rinsed with more water in between each pad to remove the fine slurry that is generated. This can be a messy job, but we make use of a wet vacuum to extract the slurry and try hard to keep the dust created to a minimum.

The 50, 100 and 200 grit milling pads are very coarse and grind down the stone flattening the lippage difference between the tiles, the 400, 800 and 1500 grit burnishing pads then refine and hone the stone bringing back its polished appearance. Once we were satisfied that the floor had been milled successfully and the level of the floor was now acceptable, we gave the floor a final rinse and extraction, then left it to dry out.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

After a couple of days, we came back to seal it with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. The floor was checked before sealing with a moisture meter to ensure it was nice and dry. The seal would not cure property otherwise.

Three coats of the Tile Doctor Colour Grow product were applied to the Limestones. This product is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. Colour Grow enhances the natural colours in the stone and works well on Limestone where it brings out the cream and brown shades and really enhances the appearance of the stone.

Uneven limestone tiled floor Wickham after levelling Uneven limestone tiled floor Wickham after levelling

After completion the floor was completely level and it looked lighter and cleaner. You can see the results in the pictures, the floor was transformed, and the kitchen now looks stunning. The client was ecstatic and recommended Tile Doctor to the shop where he had purchased the stone as they had felt he would never get the finish he had hoped for. He also left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

We had a new limestone floor installed in a large and difficult area but the result was not satisfactory in that there was too much “lippage” from stone to stone in many parts of the floor. All the advice we received was that it would not be feasible to mill the floor level and that we would either have to live with it or lift and replace it – a terrible prospect. However, Charles persuaded us that it could be done and his team managed to mill it and polish it such that it now looks superb. The process was relatively quick and very clean. The team was thorough, professional and a pleasure to have around. We are delighted with the result and would recommend them strongly for any similar work
Philip G., Wickham

 

Professional Milling of a Limestone Tiled Kitchen in Hampshire

Acid Damaged Marble Kitchen Floor Restored in Winchester

Marble is a natural material which although hard wearing can easily be ruined by a strong chemical such as acid. In this case my client’s kitchen floor which was laid with black Marble square tiles was etched due to the accidental spill of a corrosive agent and the subsequent attempt to clean it up.

Acid Damaged Marble Floor Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Winchester

The property was in the historic city of Winchester and as you can image my client was horrified by the state of their Marble floor which was now ruined. Desperate for a solution that didn’t involve the expensive tiles being replaced we were asked to take a look.

After surveying the floor, I recommended resurfacing the stone with a set of diamond encrusted floor burnishing pads which would remove the etching and hone the stone back to its original appearance.

Happy to discover there was a solution to the problem we were given instructions to go ahead with the restoration.

Honing Acid Etched Marble Floor Tiles

Our first task was to remove the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units, this ensures they are not scratched during the cleaning process and it also allows our buffer machine to get right to the edge of the floor.

I then started the burnishing process by applying a 400-grit coarse burnishing pad lubricated with a little water to the floor. This coarse pad will remove the etching and dirt from the Marble. It does generate a fine slurry on the floor so after each pad it’s best to rinse the slurry away with water and then extract it off the floor using a wet vacuum.

Following this, I worked my way through the remaining burnishing pads repeating the process with 800-grit medium and 1500-grit fine grit burnishing pads. I also used some small hand-held burnishing blocks in the difficult to reach corners and edges.

The floor pads struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout lines so halfway through the burnishing process I stopped to apply a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines and give them a scrub with stiff hand brushes repeating the process in stubborn areas.

After a final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Black Marble Floor Tiles

The next day I finished the polishing process by applying the last of the four pads in the set which is a very fine 3000-grit pad which refines the polish even further. This last pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the floor using a technique we call a ‘Spray Burnish”. The one of the advantages of this method is it leaves the floor dry so is ready for sealing.

Now that the appearance of the Marble had been restored it was time to protect the stone against future dirt, stains and damage by applying a sealer. On this occasion I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that really improves the depth of the black Marble tiles and increases the contrast with the white veins in the stone. Two coats of Colour Grow were applied allowing time for each coat to dry in-between coats. Once the sealant had hardened, I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to further enhance the look of the Marble floor.

The Marble tile and grout was completely transformed much to the relief of the owner.

 

Marble Kitchen Floor Tiles Restored in Winchester