Blog

Updated 16/03/2021

Restoring a Limestone Floor

Concrete and Stone Solutions recently had the privilege of restoring a stunning limestone floor. It took us a week (and lots of hard work!) to complete, but we’re thrilled with the final result.

Restoring natural stone of any kind has its challenges, but the outstanding results make it one of our most satisfying jobs. This floor, in particular, needed to be re-grouted.

Before the re-grouting could commence, however, we had to remove the old grout. To do this, we used a mini saw to carefully cut it away – a task that requires extreme levels of precision and focus to avoid cutting into the limestone itself. One wrong move and we could have caused irreparable damage… 

Luckily, we’ve done this kind of thing once or twice before! After a couple of days, the old grout was successfully removed, and we could begin the next part of the process: limestone cleaning. This is to ensure that any old, incorrect seals are removed, as is any dirt.

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Once the surface was clean, we began the grouting process. For this floor, we used the Kerakoll Fugabella Color Grout decorative resin cement grout (available in 50 colours!). This grout is naturally anti-bacterial and is free from harmful pesticides, making it environmentally friendly and recyclable.

To enable the grout to dry thoroughly, we left it overnight and returned the next day to start on the final stages of the limestone restoration process.

To ensure the floor was completely smooth, ready for a sealant and stone tension was reduced (this makes maintenance far more manageable!), we used our trusty diamond pad and water. This is always our go-to process for limestone grinding and limestone cleaning, as it really does give the best results.

Once the floor was prepared, it was time for the finishing touch – sealing the floor with an impregnating seal. Impregnating sealer works to protect your floor and retain its natural look, unlike topical sealers that can give an artificial sheen. A naturally polished look should always be achieved mechanically rather than with a chemical sealant.

And that’s it! Our customer was thrilled with their freshly restored limestone floor and even went so far as to say that it looked better than when it was laid ten years ago – another Concrete and Stone Solutions success story!

If you have a limestone floor that you’d like restoring, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Stone and Concrete Solutions – Restoring a 15th Century Floor

Stone and Concrete Solutions has restored many floors of all different types and ages, but it’s not often we get called in to restore a 15th-century flagstone floor! The opportunity and promise of a challenge excited us, as we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

The Inspection

Upon our initial inspection, we noticed that while some of the floor was original, other parts had been replaced. We also found that it did not have a damp-proof membrane – material applied to prevent moisture transmission, usually in the form a polythene sheet laid under stone slabs to prevent them gaining moisture. The floor had been laid on soil, and while the lack of a damp-proof membrane wasn’t surprising (they didn’t exist when the floor was laid!), it did mean that the stone was in need of restoration.

We also found that a varnish had been applied to the floor. This meant that the stone hasn’t been allowed to breathe and that moisture had become trapped. The moisture had begun to show, which in turn had caused the top layer of stone to breakdown.

We knew that the damage would be difficult to reverse, but with years of experience and knowledge behind us, we believed it was possible.

The Restoration

First, we stripped the topical seal and cleaned the stone, allowing us to see the extent of what we were working with. It was a lengthy, manual process involving the use of a chisel and hammer to look for loose bits that could be removed easily without further damaging the stone. We also used our highly-trained ears to tap and listen for hollow areas, allowing us to identify sections with the most issues. We might have looked slightly odd doing it, but it certainly does the trick!

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Once this first step was complete, we removed powder-like residue that comes from doing this. Next we had to bevel the edges and then polish the exposed new layer of stone with special hand diamond block. We had to do this as, for a long time, the flooring had been maintained incorrectly (due to our ever-evolving knowledge of flooring and changes in technology). We then removed the damaged sections and cleaned the floor again using special diamond impregnated brush.

Finally, we set about cleaning it up using diamond impregnated brush, restoring it to its former glory while ensuring the floor’s overall appearance stayed true to its 15th-century roots. Customers decided to leave the floor unsealed.

The Finished Product

Our customers were delighted with the final outcome of this unique floor. We knew the floor was important to them, and they were thrilled that we managed to restore it without impacting its original appearance. It’s undoubtedly a floor to be proud of!