This enquiry about a Limestone tiled shower came from a customer in Farley Hill which is a village near Reading. Unfortunately, in an attempt to freshen up their Limestone shower tiles ready for family visit they ended up etching them with a Limescale remover called “Viakal” leaving it in quite a sorry state.
Limestone being calcium based reacted with the acid in the product resulting in the surface becoming etched and ruining its appearance. Viakal can be brought from just about every household cleaning aisle however it is acidic and should never be used on natural stone; in fact, if you read the label, you will find they do mention this.
Naturally the owner was horrified but fortunately this problem happens a lot and lot and Tile Doctor have worked out a solution, so after finding us on the Internet we were asked to pop round and work our magic.
Acid Etched Limestone Renovation
To remove acid etching the solution is to burnish the stone and repolish using a set of six-inch diamond pads of different grits from coarse to smooth. However, given the extent of the damage was quite small I decided to start using a set of smaller abrasive diamond hand blocks instead.
The process started by applying a 50-grit hand block to cut back the stone and remove the etching, water is used along the way to help lubricate and remove the soiling. This was then followed by applying a 100, 200 and finally 400-grit block.
Once the etching was removed, I moved onto the application of a set of burnishing pads to re close the pores in the stone and restore its final appearance and colour. The pads are applied to the Limestone tiles in sequence using a handheld buffer with water for lubrication. As with the blocks the sequence runs from a coarse 400-grit to very fine 3000-grit rinsing off the watery slurry with more water as I went.
Sealing Limestone Tiles in a Wet Room
The limestone tiles were then left to dry out and then after an early lunch l returned to apply a protective sealer. The sealer opted for in this case was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as its name suggests restores colour and beauty to stone. Two generous coats were applied allowing an hour between coats.
Once done my customer was so relieved the etching and limescale had been removed and ecstatic with the transformation. It’s a beautiful shower that has had its beauty restored. My customer has vowed never uses Viakal anywhere near her shower again and instead would use a natural cleaner like Tile Doctor stone soap.