This house in Blackburn used to be used as an Old Mill 200 years ago and given the poor condition of the flagstone floor I suspect it was the same age. You can see from the photos below the rough state the Flagstone was in and I could see even a deep clean and seal wouldn’t do them justice.
High pressure water cleaning on an old floor like this without a damp proof membrane in place would have caused damp issues especially in the winter months. The client has considered having the floor sand blasted but they had a young baby, and the dust would have got everywhere.
Clearly another option was required and fortunately we had the solution.
Resurfacing a 200-Year-Old Flagstone Kitchen Floor
Our plan was to resurface the stone by grinding away the top layer with very coarse pads to reveal an uncontaminated surface underneath. We call this process milling and it requires a special set of Diamond pads fitted to a weighted rotary machine using only water for lubrication. The water also captures the dust that is generated as the stone is resurfaced and makes cleaning much easier.
It is however hard work and starts with the application of a very coarse 50-grit DRB pad and then moving onto a 100 and 200-grit DRB pad slowly refining the stone’s appearance until you are left with a smooth fresh surface. The water turns into a slurry due to the dust and is vacuumed off the floor after the application of each pad. On this occasion I used applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go as the last pad was run over the floor to make sure the surface was free of any contaminates that may have soaked into the stone over the years.
Following the milling process the old loose lime-based pointing was carefully knocked out and then replaced with a new breathable flexible pointing product which adheres well past standard grout and holds fast without cracking.
Sealing a 200-Year-Old Flagstone Kitchen Floor
The next day the floor was dry and ready to be sealed. For this we used two coats of a fully breathable sealer called Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal which brings out the colour and transforms the stone, it adds a little bit of a sheen to the stone as well. X-Tra seal is a very modern oil-based sealer penetrates the pores of the stone and copes very well on floors that have no damp proof membrane, its even recommended for external applications.
You can see the results for yourself, the stone is a lot smoother to the touch and easier to clean and even if it was sandblasted it would still be a rough finish so milling the stone was the best option for an old flagstone floor like this one.
Once finished the floor was transformed and our client was very happy with the work we had done.
One last point when caring for a sealed floor like this is it’s important not to clean the floor using strong bleach based cleaning products, even washing up liquid is too strong. It should be washed with a mild pH neutral cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner only that way will the sealer last the duration.