Slate Tile Cleaning

Dark Green Riven Slate Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Oldham Kitchen

The pictures below are of a Dark Green Riven Slate floor that was installed around twenty years ago in the kitchen of a property in Oldham. The floor was renovated about 12 years ago, but the client did not follow recommendations from the previous contractor about the use of a Neutral Cleaning product or topping up the sealer each year. As a result, the slate had become progressively dirtier as the sealer wore down and dirt became ingrained in the stone making it difficult to clean. The slate was now dull and had lost its character, the grout was also looking grubby and there was talk of having it removed and replaced.

Riven Slate Floor Before Cleaning Oldham Riven Slate Floor Before Cleaning Oldham

I went over to Oldham to survey the floor and quote for renovating the floor. Whilst I was there, I discussed the fact that natural stone floors like this Slate floor need to be sealed in order to keep the dirt out of the pores of the stone. Once dirt becomes ingrained in the stone its very difficult to keep it clean and the only way to restore its original appearance is to give it a deep clean and apply a fresh sealer. Keen to have the floor restored and relieved to hear I could clean the grout they gave me the go ahead and we arranged a date for my return.

Cleaning a Natural Dark Green Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To get the floor clean I followed my usual technique of applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, leaving it to dwell for ten minutes and then working it in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. I also used more Tile Doctor Remove and Go along the grout lines and scrubbed it in with a scrubbing brush and a steam cleaner. The floor was then rinsed with water and all the soils extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was inspected, and any stubborn areas re-treated with a repeat of the process until I was satisfied the Slate tile and grout was as clean as it could be.

Riven Slate Floor During Cleaning Oldham

One problem I had was cleaning behind the big American fridge freezer, I had to wait until the adjacent floor was clean and fairly dry before I could move the fridge onto it, allowing me to get behind and clean the floor. Fortunately, the water pipe going to the fridge was just long enough to be able to easy mover fridge backwards.

Riven Slate Floor Before Cleaning Behind Fridge Oldham Riven Slate Floor During Cleaning Behind Fridge Oldham Riven Slate Floor After Cleaning Behind Fridge Oldham

Getting the Slate tile and grout clean took up the whole of day one and before leaving I put several specialist floor fans in place to assist with the drying process.

Riven Slate Floor During Cleaning Oldham

Sealing a Dark Green Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day the floor was clean and dry, in fact I always use a damp meter to check the moisture level in the stone to ensure its dry before sealing. The cleaning process had removed all the dirt from the stone but had also taken away some of the natural oils which now needed to be put back.

To do this I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which is an impregnating sealer designed to enhance the colour and texture of floors and improve mechanical strength once cured. Once the Stone Oil had dried, I followed with a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to add further protection. This is a no-sheen, natural-look sealer that provides maximum stain protection.

Riven Slate Floor During Sealing Oldham Riven Slate Floor During Sealing Oldham

Once the sealer had dried the floor looked fantastic, certainly my customer thought so and left the following on-line review:

“Kamila was quick to contact me and was helpful, friendly and professional. She has done a fantastic job stripping, cleaning and resealing my kitchen slate floor. I would highly recommend her work! Katy, Oldham”

We discussed maintenance cleaning and I re-iterated the point about using a Neutral Tile cleaner for the regular cleaning of the floor and the benefits of using the Tile Doctor maintenance program which they are considering.

Riven Slate Floor After Sealing Oldham Riven Slate Floor After Sealing Oldham

 

Professional Restoration of a Dark Green Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen in Greater Manchester

Rough Chinese Slate Kitchen Floor Revitalised in Cheadle

This small rough Chinese Slate floor in the kitchen of a house in the village of Cheadle near Stockport in Greater Manchester had not had any sealer put on it for many years and was very grubby (dishevelled as described by the customer) looking even after the customer had tried to clean it.

Sealers do take a lot of punishment, especially in a high traffic area such as a small kitchen and will wear off over time and once this happens the floor will start to lose its appearance as dirt becomes ingrained in the stone and it can no longer be cleaned effectively.

Dishevelled Chinese Rough Slate Before Restoration Cheadle

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floors

As we have to apply a liberal amount of water with this sort of work, the first step was to remove the Kicker boards at the bottom of the Kitchen units and silicone the Kitchen units that were fixed; this stops water seeping in and blowing the MDF allowing us to concentrate on cleaning the Slate without causing any damage.

I started the cleaning process by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get rid of the built up dirt and any remaining sealer, leaving it to soak into the Slate before scrubbing the floor with a black scrub pad fitted to buffing machine running at slow speed. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner/stripper that is safe to use on natural stone, we do have stronger products available if required but in this case a strong dilution of Pro-Clean was sufficient to tackle any remaining sealer.

This process gave the Slate and grout lines a good deep clean and after rinsing the floor with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum I repeated the process on stubborn areas until satisfied the floor was as clean and free of old sealer. Last stage of the cleaning process was to give the floor a final rinse and then get it as dry as possible using the wet vacuum to soak up the moisture.

Sealing Riven Slate Tiles

The floor was quite small so I was able to leave the floor to dry off over lunch time and then on my return managed to get it fully dry with a little heat from a heat gun. The customer wanted a mat finish so once dry I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which impregnates into the pores of the natural stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the Slate at the same time.

Dishevelled Chinese Rough Slate After Restoration Cheadle

For general cleaning of Sealed stone floors, we recommend the use of a PH Neutral Cleaner as anything with a strong PH will degrade the life of the sealer over time.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Floor in Greater Manchester

Brazilian Slate tiled cellar floor in Urmston, Manchester

This beautiful Brazilian Slate tiled floor was installed in the cellar of a house in Urmston, Manchester; the slate has never been sealed as so as you would expect it dirt soon became ingrained into the pores of the tile and it lost its appearance.

Brasilian Slate Floor in Urmston before cleaning

Cleaning slate Floor Tiles

I gave the floor a good deep cleaning using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean which is an alkaline cleaner safe to use on natural stone such as Slate; I should mention this is an industrial strength product and it’s very good at removing general dirt, grime and even grease. I let the product soak into the tile for five minutes before scrubbing it into the slate using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Pro-Clean was also used along the grout lines to get them clean, although this had to be scrubbed by hand with a stiff brush. Finally I gave the floor a through rinse using hot water to make sure that no chemical remained on the tile before sealing and then left for the evening so the floor could dry.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The next day I checked the floor was dry and then began to seal it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides stain protection and leaves a nice shiny finish.

Brasilian Slate Floor in Urmston after cleaning

I think you will agree the Brazilian slate tiles look much improved.
 
 

Brazilian Slate Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Urmston, Manchester

Riven Slate Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Bury

If your hiring a decorator beware, for some reason were seeing an increase in floors splattered with paint due to a lack of care. This was certainly the case on this Riven Slate tiled floor in Bury, Greater Manchester where decorators had made a right mess of this floor with plaster and paint.

riven-slate-floor-before-photo

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floors

I started the cleaning process by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner/stripper safe to use of natural tile and stone. The Pro-Clean was left to soak in for a while before being worked into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; this worked well and removed all of the plaster and most of the paint. The remaining suborn paint spots were dealt with individually by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a specialist coatings remover. The last step was to rinse the floor down with water three times in order to wash away any remaining chemical and neutralise they floor before sealing.

Sealing Riven Slate Tiles

I left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides good stain protection and a low sheen finish. You can see from the photographs the improvement in the floor.

riven-slate-floor-after-photo

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Floor in Bury, Greater Manchester

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