How do I restore my flagstone flooring?

I have just moved into a 1852 built Victorian house. We have just discovered that in the kitchen and the small hallway that it has original flagstone flooring. Someone in the past has (stupidly) limmered (if that’s the word) over it. It’s like black smooth tar. I accidentally split a bottle of turpentine over the floor and it dissolved a very little hole in the tar. (That’s how I had knowledge it was flagstone underneath). I’d love to restore it back to flagstone. How do I do this? I know turpentine did it a bit but that would be really messy and expensive because it is a big room. How do I get rid of the tar and then what do I need to do after that anyway? I head somewhere that you need to pull all the flagstones up, and lay plastic underneath and level it out with sand and re-lay them. All ideas will be much appreciated thanks. 🙂

4 Comments on “How do I restore my flagstone flooring?

  1. Ask a professional for a quote on doing this. You might be in over your head on this. Flagstone is sort of rough and it would be very hard to clean. And you need to think about safety too. Turpentine fumes could start a fire in your house if you have natural gas or wood stove.

  2. The tar/asphalt/bitumen layer is to keep the damp sealed in.

    Get professional advice.
    Yes you will have to lift, clean and re-lay the slabs. Pressure washer will probably lift the tar off.
    No guarantee that the slabs cover the whole area and that they’re undamaged.
    You’d also be foolish not to insulate as well as damp-proof underneath them. Dig down Six 8+

  3. You really need to get advice from a paviour (flagger) and he should be able to give you a quote for the cost of restoration. This wont be a cheap fix as the ground below won’t have been damp proofed in Victorian period housing in fact most Victorian properties don’t even have a Damp Proof Course (DPC). After lifting the flagstones (usually Yorkshire, Welsh or Cumbrian slate) the earth beneath them will have to be excavated to a depth of approximately 150mm then a minimum 1000 gauge Damp Proof Membrane (DPM) laid over a sand blinding. Then a sand bedding for the flagstones to be relaid over. After lifting the slabs you could check if they can just be turned over as opposed to cleaning off the bitumen!

  4. if this is a uk question …your stone floor will be laid .on a bed of sand direct onto the earth …do restore correctly you have a choice …but to do this work up to building control standards’d need to excavate circa 450mm ..then lay 10mm mot …hardcore ..then 125 mm polystyrene sheets ..then 1200 gauge membrane ..turned up walls ..then 100mm concrete ..then finely re bed the flagstones …as for the flagstones ..either sandblasted …or reverse the slabs and lay upside down …never heard of the word ..limmered