Limestone Pitting – What to do?

Q: I have limestone tiles on my home floors. Living in Egypt, they call it a low grade marble as it’s polished to look like marble. It is now pitting and really looks shabby after only several months. We had it professionally sanded and polished and it was great for a few weeks. At this point, we want to put new flooring down. Is there anything that we can put on top of these tiles or do we have to take them all up and start fresh? We thought about using HDF but I’m afraid to use it as it covers the whole living room and open kitchen and I think we’ll have a lot of marking especially in the kitchen. Any thoughts?
Thank you,
Jayne Ragheb

A: What more than likely has happened to your limestone is that after it was sanded and polished a proper sealant was not added to the floor to prevent moisture from getting into the limestone, which would explain the pitting. Based on how bad the pitting is, it is possible you can sand, polish and seal the limestone and keep it as a floor.
If you wish to put in a new floor you can mortar right over the top and install providing two things. First, and this is critical, is that the existing floor is down tight, if not that has to be fixed prior to installation. Secondly I would suggest that you use modified thin set as a setting bed.
Remember if the floor is not tight then the right thing to do would be to pull the floor and prepare the subfloor for a new floor. I would stick to tile or stone myself as nothing is as easy to live with and maintain as tile. Should you wish to look into laminate keep in mind that you will need to take certain precautions in regards to what furniture you can place over the floor since it will be floating, and in areas which will have more moisture you may want to add a thin bead of glue into the joints of the floor to act as an additional moisture seal.
In regards to marking, laminate is built to resist marking quite well and the finish applied to them is super tough. Assuming your not dragging heavy objects over the floor constantly you should have little worry about marks on the floor.

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