Can a stone floor be restored? A case study answer to this common question
Restoring a natural stone floor to its former glory is something that can be easily achieved with the assistance of experts in their field
We always argue that stone as a flooring, paving and tile material is timeless – less driven by trend and more by a love of natural beauty that can offset contemporary, traditional and rustic settings in an unrivalled way. It can remain in the same setting for decades, even centuries, and still exude charm and interest.
Our clients in this case study chose an antiqued, warm grey flagstone for their home in the country more than eight years ago. The softly pillowed limestone was hand-finished to replicate the look of a genuine old floor. It was laid throughout their kitchen-diner as well as utility spaces and a rear entrance lobby and boot room.
Their rural property has, over the years, been home to chickens, dogs and a busy family. Over time, the grout lines had become grubby as well as the surface of the tiles which had been walked over the most. After redecorating their kitchen, they decided to also refresh their stone floor.
They contacted us for recommendations on how best to deep clean their tiles and we put them in touch with Athena Stonecare.
Based in Buckinghamshire, the company is run by husband and wife team, Dave and Becca Cranfield. Along with their fully-trained team, they specialise in the restoration and maintenance of natural stone flooring, tiles, worktops and more.
In this case, a deep clean and then gentle resurfacing of the tiles and grout joints was enough to restore the floor to its former glory while still retaining the character it had gained from years of foot traffic.
The resurfacing process was achieved by sprinkling an abrasive honing powder on the tiles which is worked across them with a stiff polypropylene brush attached to a rotary machine (pictured). This removes a very thin surface layer from the tiles, taking away with it the dirt which could not be eradicated through simple cleaning. To prevent dust being created and ensure the process causes minimal mess or disruption, the machine also uses water to collect the residue that is removed.
Once the resurfacing was complete, the tiles were then sealed and finished with a satin wax to bring back the soft sheen and patina of the floor that had been gained over time.
We are often asked whether stone flooring is easy to maintain and we always say yes. Day-to-day cleaning can simply be achieved with a PH neutral cleaner and a deeper clean can be carried out with products specifically for the use on natural stone.
Depending on the density of the material used, some may need little resealing while others may need a fresh coat of sealer periodically to maintain the barrier between the stone and dirt that can build-up in its pours.
While some clients like the character that comes from the wear of an old-looking floor over time, others may prefer to restore the tiles to their newly-installed look.
Professionals such as Athena Stonecare will make sure this is carried out in the best way according to the material they are working with.
You can download a copy of their Athena Aftercare guide here which gives many useful tips for the ongoing maintenance of natural stone tiles.