One of the questions we get asked the most is how to protect and seal natural limestone flooring which is incredibly porous and therefore prone to staining if it isn’t correctly treated.
It is essential that the tiles have a sealant treatment applied to them, not only to help prevent stains that could occur, but to also protect the tile surface, ensuring its longevity against everything from children and pets, to food and wine.
Essentially, the stone should be sealed until it is fully saturated and won’t absorb anymore sealant. Any experienced natural stone flooring fitter will know the process, but as a general rule of thumb we recommend at least 3 coats prior to grouting, and then as many coats as are required following grouting.
The sealant should be applied to the tile after its laid but prior to any furniture or cabinetry being placed on or fitted above it. We often recommend using Fila Fob Xtreme sealant which is water and oil repellent so it hampers the absorption of common watery and oily stains. It offers a protective base coat before waxing internal surfaces with rustic or textured finishes and provides natural effect breathing protection.
It won’t alter the original colour or appearance of the tile and is ideal for use in high footfall areas such as kitchens and hallways, as well as outside spaces.
The same applies for external limestone tiles, however, prior to grouting, the tiles should be sealed with one coat of pre-grout primer. Any water-based breathable sealer can be used. This will aid grout residue removal, and prevent staining during grouting.
Natural limestone, once sealed, is extremely durable but keeping your floor as free as possible of loose dust and grit is important. When it comes to cleaning we strongly recommend using specialist products. SmartSeal tile and stone cleaner is a PH neutral, non-abrasive and eco-friendly cleaning product. We wouldn’t recommend using cleaners that are not PH neutral as they can permanently damage your stone.
We always advise against using any of the substances below as they can strip the sealant out of the stone which can cause further issues at a later date: washing up liquids / degreasers / acids or alkalis / general supermarket floor cleaners / steam cleaners or bleach based cleaners.
For more information about the stone flooring we offer, click here, or for advice on which tiles to choose, we are pleased to offer you design advice at any stage of your project.
Please contact us by email to email@example.com or call us on 01371 821300.