If you need any advice on how to clean your old sandstone floors so they once again look new, or want to reseal your surfaces so they continue to look new, or would like a professional to do it for you, then you have come to the right place. Floor Doctors are sandstone cleaning, sealing and restoration experts.
What is Sandstone?
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed of sand-sized minerals or rock grains. Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar, one of the most common minerals in the Earth’s crust as well as calcite, gypsum or various iron compounds. Like sand, sandstone has a granular texture and may be found in almost any color, but the most common colors are tan, brown, yellow, red, grey, pink, and white. Since sandstone beds often form highly visible cliffs and other topographic features, certain colors of sandstone have been strongly identified with certain regions.
Cleaning Sandstone Floors
Sandstone floors can be prone to scratching, staining and fracturing. The tiles should be allowed to breath instead of being covered by synthetic sealers or urethane. Experts Floor Care offer the best solution to protect your sandstone using highly penetrating impregnating water based sealers, creating a barrier that provides protection against chemical attack, deterioration and contamination.
The primary cause for sandstone floors becoming dull and lackluster is foot traffic. Prolonged use will grind and pack in dust, sand and grit. Although the scratching that occurs is very fine, it eventually covers the majority of the surface and over time dulls the finish to the point where it loses its reflective properties. To make your stone surfaces smooth and reflective, we employ the use of high speed polishers.
Many older buildings have durable sandstone flooring, the chalky porous type with a smooth granular surface typical of most French and Spanish sandstone. This variety does stain easier than marble, varies in hardness and does become etched by acids including soft drink, as well as absorb oils and other liquids. Common colors are black, grey, white, yellow and brown.
Sandstone should be sealed with a penetrating sealer to prevent staining and reduce soiling and should only be cleaned with neutral pH detergents. Because it is soft, sandstone should never be cleaned at pressures above 800 PSI and then only if the grout is in good condition.
Professional regular maintenance will be required to maintain the honed or polished appearance of sandstone. Sandstone looks best with a honed or low/medium sheen appearance however some people insist on a high shine finish. Some low calcite Sandstone can be extremely difficult to polish and therefore vitrification would be required, vitrification however can give the stone an unnatural plastic appearance if repeated too often.
• Easy to clean
• It is less expensive than marble and granite
• It is moisture-resistant
• It feels cold and hard under-foot
• It requires sealing
• t reacts to acid
Sealing Sandstone Tiles
Sandstone can be highly porous – a tablespoon of water on a sandstone surface will be absorbed in seconds, although porosity does vary from piece to piece. Porosity is also affected by the finish – highly polished sandstone is a little harder to penetrate than sandstone with a honed(matte) finish.
To provide the best possible protection from oil and water-based stains; to maintain the look and slip resistance of your sandstone and to prevent damaging moisture from being trapped within the stone, it is recommended to seal your sandstone with a high quality, invisible, fully breathable impregnating sealer.
Sandstone’s calcite composition makes it susceptible to acid attack from spilt food and drink. Its high porosity can also mean oil will permeate the surface and leave staining if it is not properly sealed with a penetrating/impregnating sealer.
Sealing your sandstone will keep most stains suspended at the surface, sealing is the first important step towards protecting your sandstone against stains.
Two main sealing options exist for sandstone tiles
• Deep Penetrating Impregnating Sealer
(Transparent Finish/Color Enhancing Finish)
• Topical Sealer
A deep penetrating impregnating sealer protects sandstone and grout from water and oil based stains by chemically reacting with the surface pores using nano-technology to create a breathable protective barrier. An impregnating sealer protects the sandstone surface and grout from absorbing stains while also resulting in cleaning and maintenance becoming much easier. A penetrating impregnating transparent sealer enters the pores of your stone and, once cured will not alter the look of the tile or stone. A penetrating color enhancing sealer is designed to enhance and enrich the natural look of stone surfaces.
Experts Floor Care are the experts at applying all types of sealer and will ensure your sandstone looks its absolute best. Experts Floor Care experienced technicians can apply a topical sealer when especially required to create a high gloss, satin sheen or matte finish to your surfaces. Topical sealer is also helpful in situations where the old solvent based sealer can not be completely removed or when required to hide certain types of damage. Topical sealer’s have a life expectancy of around 3 years.
1. Any surface to be sealed should be clean and looking just as you want it before it is sealed – it may be impossible to remove stains after sealing without once again having to strip the sealer. Acidic cleaners should not be used on sandstone as they will cause damage.
2. Sandstone must have no other coating such as wax or a topical sealer before it’s sealed, so any such coating must be removed before sealing.
3. Floor must be thoroughly dry before applying any sealer.
Protection from Acid Etching
It is very difficult to seal sandstone against acid attack. Sandstone and other calcite based stone such as marble and travertine are prone to acid etching. Sandstone is immediately ‘etched’ (eaten / corroded) by any acidic material on contact – including lemon juice, cola, wine and champagne. For this reason the honed(matte) look is popular, as it doesn’t show etch marks as much as polished sandstone. In any case, acidic substances should be cleaned as soon as possible.
Sandstone Floor Care & Maintenance
Sandstone can be difficult to maintain if a proper maintenance cycle is not put in place from the point of installation. As it is usually not polished, the problem of scratching is not as big an issue as it is with marble, however if proper barrier matting is not introduced even a honed surface will lose its attractiveness. The most important factor to consider with the maintenance of sandstone is the possibility of staining.
• Clean spills right away
• Seal sandstone floors since it’s natural stone
• Place a mat at each doorway
• Use a Microfiber mop to clean floors
• Clean floors regularly
• Never use bleach, ammonia or vinegar to clean Sandstone floors
• Don’t use cleaners that are acidic
• Never use an abrasive cleaner or scouring pad.
Floor Doctors Sandstone Services
If you have sandstone surfaces that have become dull and not showing their true color, or perhaps you have recently installed your sandstone or your previous sealer is wearing off, Floor Doctors is your best choice to clean your sandstone surfaces effectively and efficiently and protect them against future staining and deterioration.
All porous tiles should be sealed, sealing your tiles helps prevent & reduce staining. Sealing your marble will keep most stains suspended at the surface, creating a barrier that provides protection against chemical attack, deterioration and contamination. Sealing is the first important step towards protecting your surfaces against stains.
Polishing is achieved by using very fine grade abrasive diamond discs until a reflective finish is achieved. These final grades reduce scratches which are not even visible to the human eye allowing the natural crystals on the surface to reflect light more effectively. Highly polished floors have much smaller pores to collect soil, dirt and grime, ensuring maintenance is made a lot easier.
Minor Tile Repair
Do you have cracked tiles, chipped tiles, loose tiles or discolored tiles in your walls, floors, stairs or around the swimming pool. Do you have spare tiles left over from installation? Floor Doctors have professional & experienced tilers in our team that can assist you with repairing your indoor & outdoor tiles and replacing the broken/damaged tiles.