Limestone seal

Daniel Nailor

Cleantalk Member
I’ve been asked to clean a limestone floor and seal afterwards.
After discussing options the customer is requesting a seal that will have a good shine.
Can anyone recommend the best seal to provide this finish?
Thank you in advance.
 

Mair Hunt

Cleantalk Member
I would mechanically polish the limestone and depending on the customers preference either finish with a 1500 or a 3000 grit than use an impregnating sealer myself. I prefer that then using satin wax finishes
 
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Daniel Nailor

Cleantalk Member
I would mechanically polish the limestone and depending on the customers preference either finish with a 1500 or a 3000 grit than use an impregnating sealer myself. I prefer that then using satin wax finishes
The customer has specifically requested a seal.
 

Mair Hunt

Cleantalk Member
Does the customer know and understand all of the options Daniel?

Any way as Limestone needs to breath being a natural stone a gloss seal is not a good idea. You can use a satin wax finish as an alternative. Tilemaster do one :smile:
 
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Thomas Wright

Cleantalk Member
Hi Daniel, you could try a number of different suppliers for a Limestone specific sealer: TileMaster and Tile Doctor are but two: but you'll want to apply either one coat of say e.g.Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours of darker Limestone’s. If however you are sealing a white or off-white Limestone and you do not wish to darken the stone apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which provides a natural look finish. Please note the second coat of sealer may be required if you find the stone is very porous. Or try TileMaster as they have a range of Limestone products that, dependent on whether the stone is 'unpolished', 'honed' 'textured' or 'polished', an impregnating sealer could be applied followed by a 'wax' type dressing. Moreover, and again dependent on the type of Limestone, it can be polished, by burnishing using the different diamond pads (grits) -say from 400/800/1500/300/8000, followed by one of the above companies impregnating sealers. These are a couple of different options, but it is dependent on your experience (particularly with the burnishing). I'd phone either of the above companies and ask their advice, both are strong on customer service - Just as good as the staff at WOC... There are other similar types of companies available: https://universealsealants.co.uk/shop-by-surface/limestone/ and https://www.pureadhesion.co.uk/tile-sealers-sealing/limestone-sealers.html to mention a couple. As the customer wants a 'shiny' finish then either the 'wax' dressing from 'TileMaster', or 'Gloss & Seal' from 'Universal' might be the best options for your floor. Hope this helps.
 
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Daniel Nailor

Cleantalk Member
Does the customer know and understand all of the options Daniel?

Any way as Limestone needs to breath being a natural stone a gloss seal is not a good idea. You can use a satin wax finish as an alternative. Tilemaster do one :smile:
I went through lots of options with the customer and she’s dead set she wants a breathable seal on it.
I know they’re available, but am asking for recommendations for a particular type people have previously had a good result with.
 
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Daniel Nailor

Cleantalk Member
Hi Daniel, you could try a number of different suppliers for a Limestone specific sealer: TileMaster and Tile Doctor are but two: but you'll want to apply either one coat of say e.g.Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours of darker Limestone’s. If however you are sealing a white or off-white Limestone and you do not wish to darken the stone apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which provides a natural look finish. Please note the second coat of sealer may be required if you find the stone is very porous. Or try TileMaster as they have a range of Limestone products that, dependent on whether the stone is 'unpolished', 'honed' 'textured' or 'polished', an impregnating sealer could be applied followed by a 'wax' type dressing. Moreover, and again dependent on the type of Limestone, it can be polished, by burnishing using the different diamond pads (grits) -say from 400/800/1500/300/8000, followed by one of the above companies impregnating sealers. These are a couple of different options, but it is dependent on your experience (particularly with the burnishing). I'd phone either of the above companies and ask their advice, both are strong on customer service - Just as good as the staff at WOC... There are other similar types of companies available: https://universealsealants.co.uk/shop-by-surface/limestone/ and https://www.pureadhesion.co.uk/tile-sealers-sealing/limestone-sealers.html to mention a couple. As the customer wants a 'shiny' finish then either the 'wax' dressing from 'TileMaster', or 'Gloss & Seal' from 'Universal' might be the best options for your floor. Hope this helps.
Thank you.
Just the kind of details I was after.

It’s a light sandstone, laid in quite a rustic fashion.
There is underfloor heating, which I’ve requested be turned off.
I plan to clean the area and allow to dry naturally over a couple of days, before applying the relevant seal/coating.
 
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Lake Pace

Cleantalk Member
Does the condition of stone require cleaning only or more on Restoration process?I personally don't seal porous stones.
Yes you can but you are damaging the beauty of it.(My personal preference)
You can finish with 3000 grit as Mair said and polish it with limestone Polish with your cream pads.
 
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Daniel Nailor

Cleantalk Member
Does the condition of stone require cleaning only or more on Restoration process?I personally don't seal porous stones.
Yes you can but you are damaging the beauty of it.(My personal preference)
You can finish with 3000 grit as Mair said and polish it with limestone Polish with your cream pads.
In all honesty, although I’ve had some basic training in polishing floors. I’m not confident enough yet.
I’m happy to clean and protect.
I’ve been clear with the customer in what I’m comfortable/capable to do.
If I feel it’s not currently within my capabilities I’ll walk away.
If I had an Excentr 43 I’d be a little more confident, as this is what I have seen/tried on natural flooring. I’m currently using a Cleanfix rotary, which is good for general cleaning.
 

Andrew Evans

Cleantalk Member
Hi Daniel the best advice I could offer is, and I hate saying this but do some more training.

Is it a limestone or Sandstone? you mention both? Both are very different and neither should have a topical seal put on top.

To achieve a gloss type finish the 2 main ways are 1 to grind the floor flat then go through the grits and finish with a polishing compound.

The other way which is very common and very wrong but is done by cowboy tilers who can not lay tiles flat.

You need a flat surface to shine naturally as it refracts the light similar to a mirror. If there is lots of lippage on the floor the light becomes obscured and the floor wont shine.

To get around this people use a high gloss sealer which is not good for the stone and will deteriorate and look pants fairly quickly.

You need to know if and what seal is on the floor and should do tests, assuming it is limestone then that is reasonably straight forward, if it is sandstone you will not and should not have a shine to it.

The only way to make a Sandstone shine is with a topical seal but due to its abrasive nature it wont last long and will look pants.

As for the underfloor heating that makes it easier for you, if it is a limestone ask them to turn it off, you don't need to let the floor cool down clean with diamond pads, rinse really well let it dry over night and you should be able to seal the following day. Having used your finishing pad first.

Sandstone on the other hand can be still cleaned with diamond pads but you needn't go as fine, but it may take several days to dry, with underfloor heating you can speed up the process.

My choice of seal would be either colour grow or ultra seal from tile doctor they do a topical Hi shine if needed they also do a breathable topical seal but it is still very Matte when dry.

But to emphasise I would never use a topical seal on either stone.

You will need a damp meter to test for moisture in the tile before sealing, I strongly suggest doing some training if you haven't and have a phone number handy if things go pear shape.

Also make sure that both you and the client are expecting the same result. So go and test before starting.

If your rotary weighs at least 40 to 50 kilos and is a slow speed then that will be fine.

Hope this helps
Andrew
 
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Daniel Nailor

Cleantalk Member
Hi Daniel the best advice I could offer is, and I hate saying this but do some more training.

Is it a limestone or Sandstone? you mention both? Both are very different and neither should have a topical seal put on top.

To achieve a gloss type finish the 2 main ways are 1 to grind the floor flat then go through the grits and finish with a polishing compound.

The other way which is very common and very wrong but is done by cowboy tilers who can not lay tiles flat.

You need a flat surface to shine naturally as it refracts the light similar to a mirror. If there is lots of lippage on the floor the light becomes obscured and the floor wont shine.

To get around this people use a high gloss sealer which is not good for the stone and will deteriorate and look pants fairly quickly.

You need to know if and what seal is on the floor and should do tests, assuming it is limestone then that is reasonably straight forward, if it is sandstone you will not and should not have a shine to it.

The only way to make a Sandstone shine is with a topical seal but due to its abrasive nature it wont last long and will look pants.

As for the underfloor heating that makes it easier for you, if it is a limestone ask them to turn it off, you don't need to let the floor cool down clean with diamond pads, rinse really well let it dry over night and you should be able to seal the following day. Having used your finishing pad first.

Sandstone on the other hand can be still cleaned with diamond pads but you needn't go as fine, but it may take several days to dry, with underfloor heating you can speed up the process.

My choice of seal would be either colour grow or ultra seal from tile doctor they do a topical Hi shine if needed they also do a breathable topical seal but it is still very Matte when dry.

But to emphasise I would never use a topical seal on either stone.

You will need a damp meter to test for moisture in the tile before sealing, I strongly suggest doing some training if you haven't and have a phone number handy if things go pear shape.

Also make sure that both you and the client are expecting the same result. So go and test before starting.

If your rotary weighs at least 40 to 50 kilos and is a slow speed then that will be fine.

Hope this helps
Andrew
Thank you for the response.
It is definitely limestone, if I stated otherwise it was a typo.
I have conducted some test of a couple of different cleaning chemicals in an inconspicuous area, with no ill affects.
I totally agree with you regarding training, and further training is scheduled for the spring.
I have no intention of attempting to burnish/high polish the stone at my current skill level.
A breathable topical seal is what I have advised.


I really do appreciate everyone’s input into this, and I fully take on board all advice.
 

Andrew Evans

Cleantalk Member
You're welcome Daniel, Stone care can be a minefield and cause lots of sleepless nights..... well it did for me.

Good luck and best wishes
 
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Jon Chrimes

Cleantalk Member
Lake mentions cleaning, ok, however my understanding is the TM3 is not fully sealed so whilst ok for a bit of agitation should not be used ' fully wet' as it would soon conk out!
If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will confirm .
 
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Andrew Blades

Cleantalk Member
Thank you for the response.
It is definitely limestone, if I stated otherwise it was a typo.
I have conducted some test of a couple of different cleaning chemicals in an inconspicuous area, with no ill affects.
I totally agree with you regarding training, and further training is scheduled for the spring.
I have no intention of attempting to burnish/high polish the stone at my current skill level.
A breathable topical seal is what I have advised.


I really do appreciate everyone’s input into this, and I fully take on board all advice.

I didnt think topicals were breathable?
 

Andrew Evans

Cleantalk Member
Hi Andrew there is one I know of which is a tile doctor one, it is called seal and go extra, it doesn't leave a shine though.
 
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Graeme H Smith

Cleantalk Member
Rarely post on here now but this thread sums up hard floor. Kinda ignore the customer they think the finish on a floor is like a volume switch.

Some people advise to grind as they bought a levi, others do not want to go down this route. Tell them about grinding and the cost. After that tell them that the best way (after grinding) is flexible pads aka Twisters and powder polish. Then a breathable impregnator - if you used a crystallising powder the impregnator is not much cop anyway as it does not penetrate after that.

Loads of hybrid diamond systems out there, went through loads of them and they are all about as average as each other.

No such thing as a breathable topical but a very thin acylic on porous stone might let something through. Seen and heard of a few claims which cannot be backed up of 'wonder' topicals usually are actually acrylics ask for the MDS - often not much on the sheet if they do not want you to what the product is.

The Tile Doctor breathable topical product is the same a chemical being punted on under different names by different companies. It actually just sinks in and looks like a normal impregnator but on some stone you can vaguely see it. It can be cocked up if you over apply it and is a total nightmare to get off - you will need MEK or some such nasty chemical. Its been used externally a lot on pavements etc for councils. It was proposed as the holy grail - a topical that was breathable but was not really. The only benefit is you could apply it and not worry about excess removal. Do not put it anywhere near a polished or semi polished surface.

If this custy wants a topical use a solvent based acrylic but only if you/she is desparate. The water based acrylics look really c**p on limestone - not that solvent based acrylics look much better.

The issue is now you'll some how have to explain there are no breathable topicals. Always remember if they say 'its does not look like I thought it would' you have a problem. Customers often think you get a nice finish from a bottle on limestones/marbles. Its your job to say you cannot and take them down the other route.

You can walk away from any job if you are not sure. Stone ends up being really simple in the end but to create simplicity you to eject a few peeps from your enquiry list - some just do not get it.

Its not about looking for big money, its about protecting yourself from a silly mistake on someones floor when you did not realy want to do it - they did.
 
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Andrew Evans

Cleantalk Member
Brilliant post Greame, you've summed up every single reason I dont do stone or clay tiles anymore. Maybe a bit of tile and grout that's it. To get to your level takes years great knowledge and skill set.

Great post
 
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