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Problem and Solution:
Limestone has a natural texture that contributes to its natural interest; correctly installed limestone is a beautiful and durable material for floors, walls and counters. Unfortunately, the limestone in this example was not properly cleaned and conditioned as the final step in its installation. Small differences in height between one stone tile and the adjacent tile (called lippage) created traps for dirt. The result was a dirty floor that was impossible to clean.

Normal cleaning methods and household cleaners do not clean deeply into the pores of the stone. Over time, normal household dirt accumulates and disfigures the stone's appearance. If the limestone has absorbed the dirt and stains or if they are combined with waxes and sealers, the surest way to restore the original appearance is to remove the damaged surface and reveal the undamaged stone within.

The Limestone in this elegant townhouse continues from the front entry to the kitchen door. Over the years the different areas of the home had accumulated different soil and stains. HartzStone ground off the thin damaged surface and polished the newly exposed stone to its original warmth and beauty. Holes of various sizes occur naturally in Limestone, and HartzStone filled the larger ones with an epoxy, colored to blend with the colors of the natural stone. The smallest holes were left to provide the natural texture that Limestone has. Finally, HartzStone sealed the stone with a premium penetrating sealer that eases maintenance and provides some protection from spills, but does not alter the appearance of the Limestone.

An annual, professional, deep cleaning with pH neural cleaners and a renewal of the sealer will keep the Limestone looking good. One side benefit of the grinding the floor smooth is that the small differences between one stone tile and the next are corrected. The entire floor is level and smooth. The grout is now the same level as the stone and there are no irregularities to trap dirt. The floor will be easier to maintain and the reflections will be unbroken from tile to tile, as in the best European style.

For more information on limestone restoration and care, contact us at 203.885.3717.

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