Limestone is a popular choice for flooring due to its beauty and durability. However, limestone floors are not indestructible. Between consistent foot traffic, temperature changes, scratches, spills, staining, or even accidentally dropping heavy items, limestone floors can become chipped and damaged over time. If your limestone floor has been compromised, you may be wondering if it’s possible to repair it or if you’ll simply have to replace it.
The good news is that depending on the extent of the damage, it’s highly possible to repair your existing limestone floors rather than Let’s discuss all the essential information you need to bring your floor back up to its full potential.
How to Repair a Limestone Floor
For best results, the following process should only be completed by a trained stone care professional. However, these are the steps our technicians at NYC Statewide Stone Care typically follow when doing a limestone floor repair.
Vacuum or Sweep Up Cracked Debris
First, vacuum or sweep up any cracked debris on the floor, not only to prevent injury but also to prevent additional damage. Use a gentle motion and proper cleaning tools to avoid disturbing the other unaffected parts of the limestone floor. If your stone is polished and prone to scratching, be extra-cautious and use a soft-bristled broom or an upholstery attachment. Don’t use a vacuum with a beater brush as this may cause additional scratching as the debris moves on the floor.
Remove the Old Grout
Removing the old grout from limestone floor tiles can be a messy and time-consuming job, but it is an important step in the repair and restoration process of any limestone floor. First, use a small chisel to chip away any bits of grout that remain in the joints surrounding the tiles. Once you have removed all of the easier accessible pieces of grout by hand, cover up other areas with cloth or paper in order to protect them. Then, saturate the joints intently with liquid tile cleaner for about 10 minutes before continuing to drill out any remaining pieces of grout with carbide masonry drill bits. Be sure to keep your slow-speed drill steady and regulated at all times so as to not damage any tiles during this process. Another key part of this procedure is having good ventilation because drilling releases dust into the air. After you are finished, thoroughly clean and rinse off the stone floor using soft-bristle brushes and a pH-neutral cleaner.
Re-Grout the Floor
Once the floor is clean and dry it’s time to apply new grout. Start by vacuuming the grout lines to remove any remaining dust or debris. You may also want to apply masking tape to painted walls to protect them from stray grout; you can also apply masking tape around the joints to keep grout off the limestone floor tiles, but if the tiles have been recently sealed, you may just be able to clean the excess tile as you go. Next, apply new grout with a putty knife, directly into grooves between tiles. Wipe away any excess grout and allow the area to dry for an appropriate amount of time.
Repair Chips and Cracks with Epoxy
The next step in the process is to repair any chips and cracks that appear in the limestone. This is accomplished by utilizing a special epoxy that is expertly color-matched to your floor so when the repairs are complete, you won’t be able to tell the epoxy apart from the floor itself. (Again, trust the pros to complete this process.)
Polish the Floor
Next, you’ll want to apply a pro-level polish to the entire limestone floor. This not only removes excess traces of grout, but it also hones the epoxied repairs so that the finish matches the rest of the floor. Make sure you have a polishing powder and sealant that are specifically formulated for limestone. Our experts use a variety of light abrasives to create an even finish across the entire floor.
Seal the Floor
Finally, to protect the limestone floor from future staining and water damage, you’ll want to apply a sealant that is specificified for limestone floors. The sealant should be distributed evenly across the entire floor to avoid the “hazed” look of excessive sealant.
Consult with a Stone Care Professional
Limestone can be a tricky material to work with, so to make sure the job is done right, it’s always best to consult with a stone care professional whenever repairs are needed to ensure that your limestone floor is properly restored and will last you for years to come. At Statewide Stone Care, we have many years of experience in the Tri-State area repairing limestone floors, as well as other natural stone and tile floors, to the point that you won’t even be able to see the damage. If you’ve got damage limestone floors contact us today for a free evaluation and estimate for repairs.