Restoration Service

Cleaning, stripping, buffing, sealing, polishing, restoring and maintaining a wide range of residential and commercial flooring using professional equipment and environmentally friendly solutions to restore floors to their original condition. The service is performed with minimal disruption to your residence or business and scheduled around your individual circumstances.

Covering a range of hard floor coverings including Ceramics, Porcelain, through to Luxury Vinyl Tile, safety flooring, linoleum and rubber dimple flooring.

An Introduction to Stone
Stone Restoration
The Cleaning Process
Sealing Natural Stone
A Guide to the Final Seal
Vinyl Floor Restoring
Cleaning & Maintenance
Contact Creighton

A Brief Introduction to Stone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed by the consolidation of sediments, seashells and other organic matter. Calcareous stone. Each Limestone exhibits its own characteristic colours and markings and can vary greatly in density. Some Limestones have a similar appearance to traditional Marbles which can often lead to misclassification. Usually machine honed to give a smooth calibrated thickness. Some degree of edge chipping should be expected along with occasional surface pitting, fossilised shells, fissures, mineral striations and resin fill. Acid sensitive and porous.

Impregnating sealer is required. Surface sealing is recommended, and regular maintenance is necessary.

Traditionally the term Marble was used by stone masons to describe any stone that would take a polished finish. From a geological point of view however, Marble is defined as Limestone which has been subjected to thermal metamorphism. This process of metamorphism leads to a dense, closed surface although some material may have slight open veining or surface pitting. Marble has been used for centuries due to the vast spectrum of beautiful shades and mineral veining. Some Marble tiles or slabs with particularly prominent veining may have a mesh backing applied to the rear of the tile, predominantly to reinforce the material during transport and cutting. It is also common practice for resin filler to be applied to voids and open veins either before or after processing. Marble is a very dense stone that readily lends itself to a polish but is also available in Honed and Tumbled finishes. Honed has a smooth non polished surface, edges are either straight or bevelled which gives a contemporary/classic look. Tumbled has a rounded antique finish sometimes leaving the surface more open and slightly textured. Easily dulled, stained and etched. Acid sensitive and porous.

Impregnating sealer is required. Surface sealing is recommended, and regular maintenance is necessary

Travertine begins as a calcareous dispersion which is then deposited by hot mineral springs. The result of this method of formation is a honey-combed structure which when finished has visible surface pitting and voids. Travertine generally comes in either ‘cross-cut’ or ‘vein-cut’ formats. Vein-cut tiles are cut so that the surface plane of the tile runs parallel to the long veins present, cross-cut tiles are cut perpendicular to these veins. Once tiles are cut, they are then either filled with a colour matched resin or left unfilled. Generally, the voids are only left unfilled in Tumbled, Brushed or Split face finishes, these voids are filled during the grouting process. Although filling of the voids gives a smoother surface, through general usage, some small areas of fill may dislodge, or previously unexposed holes may become visible. This is not unusual, and the holes should be re-filled with a suitable resin or grout. Acid sensitive and porous.

Impregnating sealer is required. Surface sealing is recommended, and regular maintenance is necessary. In practice these stones require a base sealant to quell the porosity, followed by a liquid surface wax which provides a slight finish and forms an additional protective layer. Base sealants can be either solvent-based or water-based and the base sealant required differs depending on the density and finish of the material being sealed. Solvent-based and water-based sealant options should not be mixed.

A fine-grained metamorphic rock that is characterised by its ability to be split into broad sheets, Slate is a durable stone which presents a diverse range of colours and textures. Riven Slate has a naturally cleft surface and is rustic by its nature, with chips and chisel marks present on some surfaces and can be used both internally and externally. Some Riven Slate is ‘uncalibrated’ meaning it will vary in thickness both across individual tiles and from tile to tile. Honed slate is machined to create a smoother, more even surface. Not sensitive to acid and semi porous.

Slate is naturally less porous than many other stone. Depending on the chosen finish, an impregnating sealer can be used solely, or a liquid wax surface sealant can be added for surface protection. These sealants are resistant to wear and tear and also highly dirt and dust repellent. If the situation does not allow for use of a liquid surface wax, then a designated impregnator can be used to seal Riven Slate.

These are densely crystalline, metamorphic rocks that offer considerable shade variation, ranging from light cream/white to charcoal grey/black with many colours in between and often contain reflective crystals which glisten in the light. Highly textured.

Denser than limestone or sandstone but still needs impregnating and surface sealing.

The term Granite is generally used to refer to a large range of Igneous rocks originating from the slow crystallisation of molten magma cooling deep beneath the earth’s surface. Due to the nature of this material and the vast array of mineral crystals that serve to make up this stone, characteristics can vary greatly, and some may be acid sensitive, requires a penetrating sealer only.

A coarse-grained sedimentary rock formed by compressed sand deposited by water or wind. Sandstone is available in a Riven finish which is characterised by its granular, undulating surface, or a smoother Honed finish which varies in texture with some edge chipping. Sandstone is a hard (high quartz content) yet very porous stone that, if being sealed, requires thorough impregnation with suitable sealants. Not sensitive to acid.

A thorough application of base sealant is required to ensure that it is as protected as possible. If a matt or satin finish is required a topical sealant should be applied to the surface thereafter. If fixing externally, the material can either be left unsealed and allowed to weather naturally or sealed to offer protection.

Terracotta is a type of rustic ceramic made from natural clay which has been moulded and then kiln fired to bake the clay and produce rigid tiles. The clay is either moulded by hand to give a more rustic feel, or machine-moulded for a more consistent finish. All Terracotta tiles will be subject to edge chipping and variation which is part of the finished look of an authentic Terracotta floor. Terracotta when untreated is very porous and as such any unsealed tiles will look very different from your finished floor.

Two methods of sealing can be adopted; traditional oil and wax or the modern approach using synthetic sealers.

Traditionally, Terracotta tiles were sealed using a 50:50 mix of Boiled Linseed Oil & White Spirit, followed by a paste/beeswax treatment. Terracotta tiles are raw, exceptionally porous tiles, made from natural clays and so need to be thoroughly sealed. Terracotta tiles need to be clean and dry prior to applying the impregnating sealer, 1-2 more coats of the chosen base sealant should be applied. Depending on the desired finish and once the base sealant has dried a surface liquid wax can be applied across the surface.

Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic with a very low absorbency. They are usually made from kaolin clays and fired at around 1,200°C, due to this high firing temperature and high density they are very hard wearing. There are three types of Porcelain tiles; full bodied, part bodied and polished. Full bodied is where the tile has no glaze so the colour/design is the same all the way through, if there was any wear or chips to the tile it would be very difficult to see. Part bodied is where the tile colour/design is at the surface of the tile, any chips or wear would expose the backing underneath. Polished porcelain has been manufactured with a glaze applied to the surface, very hard throughout but the glaze has the same characteristics as ceramic tiles.

Tiles referred to as Ceramic are generally fired at lower temperatures than Porcelains and usually colour glazed to give a matt or gloss finish. Unlike natural stone they do not require sealing.

Absorption rates vary widely:

  • Porous bodied glazed ceramics with water absorption greater than 10%, only suitable for indoor use.
  • Medium water absorption from 6 to 10%, for indoor use only
  • Semi vitrified water absorption 3 to 6%, for indoor use only
  • Vitrified water absorption 0.5 to 3%, frost resistant, suitable for external use but may benefit from sealing
  • Fully vitrified water absorption below 0.5%, frost proof, suitable for external use.

Polished Limestone, Marble, Travertine and Honed Slate: These stones have lower porosity levels and so will not absorb as much sealant as other finishes, only require a penetrating seal.

Stone Restoration

This method is a very aggressive approach to refinishing stone. It uses a metal-bonded and diamond grit heavy weighted floor buffer to remove deep scratches and lippage. The top surface layer of the stone will be removed using metal bonded or resin diamonds and can remove stock of 5mm if required, grinding involves numerous grades of fine resin diamonds to achieve the desired polish. (this service is not available at this time)
Completed after the grinding phase, this method is a much less aggressive approach than grinding. Although similar, the materials and grits used are less coarse. Many projects may start with honing and skip the grinding phase because it can remove minor to moderate scratches and etch marks in a softer manner. If a floor has become dull and dirty but needs an appearance lift, abrasive cutting pastes can be used which lightly remove the top surface. This is a less costly stone honing technique than resin diamond polishing and will deep clean the stone. The results are not always as impacting as a full resin diamond cut, but the transformations dramatically improve the stone finish. (this service is not available at this time)
This is the next step in refinishing your stone after the honing phase; a higher grit and sometimes combinations of higher grit compounds are used to bring out a shine in your stone. It is important to remember Natural stone reflects light and does not need a topical coating or wax to achieve this desired finish, polishing will bring out the best in a stone floor. It is worth noting that old stone floors were never sealed and yet still look beautiful today.
The final stage in refinishing your stone is sealing. A protective sealant is applied to the surface of the stone to ensure protection from contaminants. This stage must be completed immediately after the stone has been ground, honed, or polished to ensure proper protection.

After restoring a stone floor, ongoing support is offered; using the correct cleaning techniques and maintenance programme your floor will remain pristine for a long period of time and minimise the need for further restoration in the near future.

Ceramic & Stone Cleaning Process

  • Step 1: Remove loose debris.

  • Step 2: Inspect the floor installation. Choose the cleaning technique and the appropriate cleaning solution for the type of floor covering.

  • Step 3: Deep clean the tiles and grout to remove dirt, grease and other forms of soiling such as chemical residues, grease, grout haze, and any old surface coatings.

  • Step 4: Vacuum floor to remove all grime. Rinse thoroughly to neutralise floor. Leave to dry.

  • Step 5: Once dry an impregnating sealer is applied to protect the floor’s surface and grout.

  • Step 1: Remove loose debris.
  • Step 2: Inspect the floor installation. Choose the cleaning technique and the appropriate cleaning solution for the type of floor covering.
  • Step 3: Deep clean the tiles and grout to remove dirt, grease and other forms of soiling such as chemical residues, grease, grout haze, and any old surface coatings.
  • Step 4: Vacuum floor to remove all grime. Rinse thoroughly to neutralise floor.
  • Step 5: Polish marble using appropriate pads; from coarse to fine grit. Work through pads until the customer’s desired finish is achieved.
  • Step 6: Vacuum floor to remove all grime. Rinse thoroughly to neutralise floor.
  • Step 7: Once dry an impregnating sealer is applied throughout the tile installation to protect the floor’s surface and grout. Leave to dry.

  • Step 8: Apply a topical seal if required for a matt or satin finish.

Sealing Natural Stone

Sealing is a process undertaken on the majority of stone as an extra precaution against staining. The sealing products used in the stone industry are “impregnators” which do not actually seal the stone, but more correctly act as a repellent rather than a sealer. The primary function of a sealer is protection; to render a porous tile or stone installation more resistant to staining. A secondary benefit of sealing will be to reduce or facilitate ongoing maintenance. 

These invisible impregnators are either water or solvent-based and are designed with low viscosity enabling the sealer to penetrate the porous tile or stone providing a safety net just below the surface. This sealer will keep contaminants out and allow interior moisture to escape; they reduce the capillary absorbency and prevent unwanted substances from entering the stone, leaving no surface sheen and not significantly altering the natural look of the tile or stone. Solvent based sealers may darken some surfaces. They are generally hydrophobic (water-repelling) but are also oleophobic (oil-repelling).

Colour intensifying impregnators show the same characteristics as their invisible counterparts. Additionally, they enhance the colour and accentuate the natural structure of the stone. Typically used on rough surfaces.

Topical Sealers on the other hand are coatings designed to protect the surface of the stone against water, oil, and other contaminants. The sealant closes the capillary system and produce an elegant shine, significantly reducing the water permeability of the stone. These products form a protective layer and prevent dirt from penetrating the surface. They are formulated from natural wax, acrylic, and other plastic compounds. When a topical sealer is applied, the maintenance programme is diverted from stone care to a programme focused on the maintenance of the sealer.

Topical sealers can alter the surface texture and finish as well as build up on the surface, creating a layer that is less durable than the stone. Topical sealers are not recommended for exterior applications because they can trap moisture within the top layer of the stone, which may lead to surface deterioration during freeze/thaw cycles. Topical sealers are usually never recommended on polished or very dense, smooth surfaced stone such as marble, granite and limestone. For a topical sealer to perform it requires either a very porous surface or a textured surface to achieve a mechanical bond. On dense smooth surfaces only penetrating type sealers are recommended as they do not need to bond to the stone surface but require only slight stone porosity for penetration.

The type of stone, its finish, its location, and how it is maintained all need to be considered when determining how to protect the stone. Neither impregnator nor topical sealers are able to protect stone against mechanical attacks which means that surfaces remain sensitive to scratches after being treated.

A guide to the final seal

  • Polished – suitable impregnator, leaves a natural finish

  • Honed – suitable impregnator, leaves a natural finish

  • Honed – suitable impregnator followed with a wax. Leaves stone with sheen to gloss finish, interior only

  • Unpolished rough and sawn – suitable impregnator, leaves a natural finish

  • Unpolished, rough and sawn – suitable impregnator followed with a top finish to form a sheen to gloss finish, interior only

  • Honed – suitable impregnator, leaves a natural finish

  • Honed – suitable impregnator followed with a wax. Leaves stone with sheen to gloss finish, interior only

  • Unpolished – suitable impregnator, leaves a natural finish

  • Unpolished – suitable impregnator followed with a wax. Leaves stone with a desired matt or satin finish, interior only

  • Polished – suitable impregnator, leaves a natural finish

  • Unpolished – suitable impregnator, leaves a natural finish

The above processes are meant as a guideline only and not necessarily deemed an industry standard. Manufacturers of impregnating and topical sealers may offer differing views on finishing products. Care should be taken, and all manufacturer’s instructions followed when treating Stone surfaces.

Vinyl Flooring

This information applies to Vinyl tiles, Luxury Vinyl Tiles, Karndean, Amtico, Safety flooring, Rubber Dimple flooring and Linoleum flooring.

After time your lovely floor has become less attractive and no matter how many times you clean your floor it never ever comes back to its original state. The reason for the lack of lustre is mainly due to the cleaning technique and products used. After cleaning a floor detergent residue can be left behind and as a result dirt will stick to the residue, over time this build up will never be removed unless the floor covering is completely stripped and redressed.

Professional cleaning and restoration are the only way to remove the layers of dirt and maintain the look of your floor.

At the point when your floors are dull and miserable, and your beautiful floor has lost its character and shine, it needs to be stripped and redressed. If your floor is scratched, stripping and redressing will have different results depending on the depth of scratch mark. Success in removing scratches can vary greatly. Scratches in the seal can simply be removed by stripping off the seal; very light scratches in the surface of flooring such as Amtico or Karndean can sometimes be removed with a stripping pad; deep scratches cannot be removed.

After removing the old dressing, the flooring is re-sealed to protect and prolong the lifecycle of the product.
The dressing or finishing is either a matt or gloss finish.

Cleaning & Maintenance

“There are no shortcuts when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.”

Hard floors need to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. They support large numbers of people every day; some wearing high heels, some tracking in mud and others wheeling prams or trolley cases.

High-shine floors tend to be harder to maintain economically than matt alternatives, often because the consumer uses unsuitable products or too much detergent on shiny floors. This produces smudges that need to be laboriously polished afterwards whereas with matt floors the streaks are less visible and are therefore often tolerated.

Among the latest floor coverings on the market are travertine and granolithic introduced for their upmarket look but these materials are very delicate and porous, so stains need to be removed promptly or problems will inevitably result.

Unfortunately, the use of harsh or acid cleaners can seriously damage natural stone, consumers using harsh cleaning methods and acid solutions are damaging stone installations every time they get the mop out.

All flooring requires some kind of maintenance particularly when cleaned using manual mopping methods. Softer, more porous materials need more protection plus a greater degree of buffing and polishing. The consequences of low or no maintenance would be dramatic. Spending the extra money on properly maintaining a floor is worth the expense as it will significantly increase the life of the floor. Coating is worthwhile because the floor will otherwise be unserviceable and need replacing within a few years. In terms of cost per square metre, replacing a floor covering is always much more expensive than regular cleaning and care. If a floor is not cleaned and cared for regularly the cleaning costs will increase, it is more difficult to clean a floor that has been poorly maintained.

It is fact that stone floors and tiles cost less to look after because costly coating and de-coating is not required for long term protection. However, maintenance cleaning requires more or less the same input and expense on any hard floor because there is no difference in the cleaning methods used. Parameters such as location, environment and traffic all have an impact on the cost of cleaning and maintaining hard floors.

The latest floor coverings on the market include linoleum, PVC and elastomers with a permanent polyurethane coating. Depending on the quality of this coating the user can dispense with maintenance cleaning for a number of years before recoating is required. Another new robust flooring material is enomer, a chlorine-free thermoplastic which requires no coating and needs only maintenance cleaning.

Finally, the reliable and robust Ceramic tile which are among the cheapest floor surfaces to maintain; they are durable, hygienic, stain-resistant and easy to clean. Ceramic is extremely resistant to tough mechanical maintenance methods and apart from the grouting between the tiles, ceramics are also acid resistant.

A maintenance programme can vary from monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or a yearly visit. The programme is designed to remove dirt, carry out stain removal to possibly deep cleaning heavily soiled floors.

Different types of flooring and the environment they serve will determine cleaning frequencies; a delicate marble will need much more attention than a tough linoleum industrial tile. It is a common misconception that you should only clean a floor when it is dirty, a maintenance programme will maintain a good, consistent level of appearance and performance.

Regardless of the cost, it is always less than the price of a premium rate quality installation replacement.

Committed to customer satisfaction and very passionate about solving problematic floor issues encountered on a range of hard floor surfaces.

If you have a hard floor issue whether at home or at work, contact Creighton for specialist advice or make an appointment for a site visit and demonstration. Let me restore the beauty back into your floor.

Floor Restoration Swansea