Cleaning and Sealing Multi Coloured Slate Flooring in Ravensthorpe

I recently visited a customer living in the village of Ravensthorpe, just outside Northampton to rejuvenate a 15-year-old multi coloured Chinese riven slate floor that needed a deep professional clean. Slate is a hard-wearing tile used for flooring high traffic areas but does need sealing to bring out its best features. In this case the sealer had long since worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the stone making it difficult to clean effectively.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Ravensthorpe

We discussed the client’s requirements and the cleaning process I planned to follow to rejuvenate the floor. I had to check on availability, so I e-mailed over a quote and some dates later that day. They were happy with my proposal and agreed for the work to be done whilst the customers were on holiday.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Ravensthorpe

Cleaning Riven Multi Coloured Slate Tiles

My first task was to test a small area to determine which products would give the best results. In this case, I decided to start with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong alkaline cleaner/coatings remover that’s safe to use on Tile and Stone. I spread this solution across a section of the floor and left it to seep into the pores of the stone and lift out the ingrained dirt.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Ravensthorpe

After allowing the solution adequate time to dwell, I scrubbed the slate with a carbon brush fitted to a rotary machine to gradually reveal the fantastic natural colours of the Slate hidden beneath the dirt. Happy with my choice of cleaning product I repeated this process in sections until it had been carried out throughout the entire area. Following this, I rinsed the entire floor several times with clean water, before soaking up the resulting soiled residue with a wet vacuum.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Ravensthorpe

The next part of the cleaning process entailed paying attention to the grout lines which were scrubbed using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The resulting residue was promptly extracted with the wet vacuum and I finished by giving the whole floor a rinse with Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a day to day tile cleaning product which is recommended for stone floors, many supermarket tile cleaning products are only suitable for ceramic tiles due to their acidic formula and can damage a floor over years of use so you should always read the label. However, I always leave my clients with a complimentary bottle of a suitable Tile Doctor product to maintain their floors.

Sealing Riven Multi Coloured Slate Tiles

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I returned on the second day to seal the floor. Before starting I checked the floor was dry using a damp meter which confirmed the Slate was dry and ready to seal. The floor must be completely dry before sealing as any excess moisture has the potential to the damage the performance of the sealer. Since my client had specifically requested a silk finish, I opted to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go which dries to leave a lovely subtle sheen that really enhances the look of the stone. Five coats were applied to ensure a good hard-wearing protection.

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor After Sealing Ravensthorpe

My client was very pleased with the results, particularly as they hadn’t realised how much colour it had lost over the years and left the following feedback on our website.

”I despaired of having a clean-looking floor again. Phil Vissian assured me that intensive deep cleaning and resealing could restore our fifteen year old, subtly coloured, Chinese riven slate kitchen floor. He has done a fantastic job. Looks like new, and I shall book Phil for an annual professional clean, so that it never gets as bad again.” Sally M, Northampton

Chinese Riven Slate Kitchen Floor After Sealing Ravensthorpe

 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

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Large Format Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Renovated in Blackwood

A client of ours recently moved into a relatively new property in the town of Blackwood where the black slate floor looked dull and the grout was stained. Large format slate tiles were installed though the kitchen and adjacent dining and utility room and they were keen to see if the floor could be brought back to life.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Renovation in Blackwood

I went over to survey the floor and could see that the old sealer was failing and letting dirt into the pores of the stone which was especially notable in the busier parts of the floor which had seen the most foot traffic. The solution would be to strip the floor of the old sealer, clean up the grout and reseal. I conducted a number of test cleans to work out the best way to how best to strip off the old seal and get back down to the natural stone. However, as it turns out removing the old sealer was proving to be quite a job and I was concerned that this task alone could potentially take days.

Unhappy with the way things were going I consulted the Tile Doctor help line and we deduced that the sealer applied previously was most likely a heavy duty/industrial product. My client had only just moved into the property and didn’t know the history of the floor so couldn’t help pin point what was used before. The way forward was to strip the old sealer off the floor using abrasive pads.

Now I had an efficient strategy for renovating the floor I was able to provide the customer with an accurate quote which was accepted, and we agreed a date to return and complete the floor.

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I pre-wet the floor with water and using a weighted floor buffer ran a coarse 100-grit milling pad several times across each tile. This process strips the dirt and sealer off the stone slowly turning the water into a grey slurry. Once the whole floor had been treated in this way, I rinsed the slurry off the floor and extracted it using a wet vacuum. The next step was to repeat the process using a 200-grit burnishing pad which being finer closes the pores in the stone and refines the surface further.

The next step was to clean up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. You apply a strong dilution to the grout lines and then scrub it in with a stiff brush. Fortunately, the slate tiles were large format size so there was less grout to deal with than usual. Once that was done the tile and of course grout was rinsed again with more water and then dried again using the wet vacuum.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles During Renovation in Blackwood

I have to admit the stripped slate looked pretty awful at this stage in the restoration, but we were now back to the natural stone which was clean and free of all sealers. I left the floor to dry off fully overnight confident in the knowledge that with the application of a fresh sealer it would look a lot different.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before doing so, however, I needed to test the Slate for moisture as you shouldn’t apply a sealer to a damp floor. The results were fine, so I proceeded to apply the sealer which for this installation I used several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

I chose Seal and Go for this floor as it works well on Slate resulting in a deep durable satin finish that the customer wanted. Additionally, being a water-based product, it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles After Renovation in Blackwood

Within two days the floor was transformed, the grout looked much cleaner and the stone looked new. My client was very happy with the work and left the following message on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Professional, polite and courteous. Paul went beyond the call of duty to help rejuvenate our slate tiled kitchen and utility room floor. He explained each step of the job and provided advice on aftercare and future maintenance. The results are great and I would gladly recommend the services available.
Andy E, Blackwood

 

Renovation of a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Monmouthshire

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Refreshing Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles in Ticknall

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This post comes from a lovely house in Ticknall, Derbyshire where the owner had installed a Welsh Slate Tiled Floor in their Kitchen ten years earlier. Welsh Slate is renowned the world over for its quality however ten years of use in a high traffic does take its toll and the customer complained that she wanted the tiles to look colourful with a matt finish but they always looked dull and dirty even after cleaning with mop.

Welsh Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Ticknall Derby

Interested to know the history of the floor I asked when it was last sealed and apparently it had not been redone since it was installed. It was clear to me that any sealer had long since long worn off and now dirt was becoming trapped in the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively.

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

To get the Slate clean I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which as well as cleaning deep into the pores of the tile should also deal with any remaining sealer. I left it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffer machine. After this I rinsed the floor with water and extracted the now soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum.

At this point it became apparent there were some stubborn stains in front of the oven that needed dealing with so I scrubbed in a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acid based product that is great for removing mineral deposits such as salts as well as grout smears. This worked well and the floor was now in ready for sealing so I gave the floor a good rinse to remove any trace of product and left it to dry.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was about 7 square meters in size and being relatively modern it had a Damp Proof Membrane and Underfloor Heating installed, as a result it was fully dry within three hours and ready to take a sealer.

With the floor now dry I started applying the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, thus acting as a shield against ingrained dirt whilst enhancing the natural colour of the tiles to provide an aesthetically appealing appearance. You may recall the owner had requested a matt finish so after applying a couple of coats the job was done.

Welsh Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Part Sealed Ticknall Derby

With the tiles clean and now protected with the colour enhancing matt sealer I asked the customer to inspect the floor. As you can imagine she was very pleased with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Mr Mall was a very efficient, hardworking and helpful worker. The end result was excellent and I am delighted with the outcome. Highly recommend…”

Welsh Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles After Cleaning and Sealing Ticknall Derby
 
 

Professional Deep Cleaning of a Stained Slate Kitchen Floor in Derbyshire

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