Slate Shower Tiles Stained with Limescale Renovated in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Our client contacted Tile Doctor as they were having problems cleaning their Slate tiled ensuite bathroom. We visited the property in nearby Stevenage, a London commuter town which is between Letchworth Garden City and Welwyn Garden City. The bathroom had been fitted some time ago, but due to the hard water in the area, there had been a large build up of limescale. The dark slate tiles showed this up even more.

Slate Tiled Bathroom EnSuite Stevenage Before Cleaning

My client had tried numerous household products on the tiles, but nothing was shifting the heavy build up. I discussed with them what Tile Doctor could do and completed a small demonstration. They were surprised how easily we were able to improve the tiles. We agreed a price and a timescale and booked the work in for a few weeks’ time.

Cleaning and Restoring a Slate Tiled Ensuite Bathroom

The ensuite shower required intensive cleaning to the shower walls and floor where excessive limescale was present so we got to work cleaning with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, this is a strong alkaline based cleaner and degreaser, it is a gel so it works well on vertical surfaces where a long dwell time is required to break down dirt, grime, soap scum, oil based products. We left the product on the surface for approximately 10 minutes, removing all previous sealers and dirt. The residue was rinsed off and followed this up with a second clean using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up.

Grout Clean-Up is an acidic product designed to remove mineral deposits however you need to be careful with some types of stone as it can etch the surface if used incorrectly. To apply the product was diluted with water in a spray bottle and sprayed on to the wall tiles where it was scrubbed in and then rinsed off. The process was then repeated on the floor rinsing down thoroughly afterwards with water.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Ensuite Bathroom

Once the slate was clean and dry we proceeded to cut out the existing silicone sealant which was equally stained and was beyond cleaning. This is a slow job and care needs to be taken not to scratch the tiles. It is important to ensure all the old silicone is removed so there is a nice clean surface to reapply the new. This also gave the shower area more time to dry out.

We tested with the moisture meter to ensure the shower area was fully dry and then applied the sealer. We chose to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone, so dirt can’t become ingrained there, its also a colour enhancing sealer that provides durable protection. We applied the coats then lightly buffed off the excess with a soft cloth and allowed the slate to dry. The following day we returned to re-silicone all the edges and joints.

Slate Tiled Bathroom EnSuite Stevenage After Cleaning

We recommended to the customer to use a mild solution of Tile Doctor Stone Soap as a maintenance cleaner for the slate. The client was very happy with the result and could see that cleaning with the appropriate product would ensure the ensuite bathroom continued to look good. The whole job took a day and a half to complete.

 

Source: Shower Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Hertfordshire

Transforming Black Riven Slate in High Bentham, Lancashire

We were asked to come and advise a customer regarding their stone floor which the customer was struggling to keep clean. The property was in High Bentham which lies on the River Wenning, just West of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning High Bentham

We often get customers who give up looking after their tiles after a while as some stone like this Black Riven Slate need quite a bit of upkeep to keep them looking good and a standard mop and bucket at times isn’t enough to keep them looking pristine. In this case the sealant had worn away in the high traffic areas and the floor had a slightly rough texture to the surface which meant it was holding onto dirt making it difficult to keep clean. We proposed the floor should be cleaned and resealed, discussed the cost and agreed a time for the work to be carried out.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning High Bentham

Cleaning a Black Riven Slate Tiled Floor

To get the tiles clean we burnished the stone floor with a coarse 200-Grit Diamond pad fitted to a weighted buffing machine using water for lubrication. The floor was then rinsed and then the process repeated using a series of different graded pads, namely the 400 and 800 grit burnishing pads which further cleaned and resurface the appearance of the stone.

The grout was cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the grout lines by hand; Pro-Clean is a heavy-duty cleaner which gets to the really stubborn stains and it did a great job at getting the grout looking like it should. The cleaning process was then finished off by rinsing the floor with water and extracted the slurry with a wet vacuum. The floor was inspected and retreated to the same process where more work was required. We usually find leaving Pro-Clean on a stain for longer and assisting with a bit of steam helps to lift the dirt out of the pores of the stone.

Once cleaned thoroughly we rinsed the floor again and then extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible with a wet vacuum before leaving it to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Riven Black Slate Tiled Floor

We called back the following day to apply a sealer first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. All was well, so we started to apply the first of two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a third coat was attempted but the slate would not accept any more sealer, and this was removed with a cloth. It is important to know if you have reached FCS (Full Cure Sealability) if not then the pores of the tiles will still be open to accepting dirt and the job won’t last long. Over a very short period of time the tiles will diminish in stature and finish.

Slate Floor During Sealing High Bentham

The sealer really restored the black colour to the Slate and transformed the look of the floor. As always, we left the customer a free bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, using the correct cleaning product in future will ensure they get maximum life out of the sealer.

Slate Floor After Sealing High Bentham Slate Floor After Sealing High Bentham

The floor looked lovely when finished and the customer was very happy with the overall result.

 

Source: Riven Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in High Bentham, Lancashire

Enhancing Colour in a Chinese Slate Floor – Cirencester

This client from Cirencester got in contact about his Slate Tiled hallway floor which was now looking dull following renovations to the property by the owner who was a builder. If you have never been I can recommend you pay Cirencester visit, it’s a lovely old market town that dates to the Roman times and is incidentally is the largest town in the Cotswold District.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

I arrived at the property and could see immediately that the floor had never been sealed properly and so the appearance had just got worse over the few years since it was laid. Dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the slate making it impossible to clean effectively. The client realised that the only way to fix the problem was to have the floor properly treated. We agreed a price for the work and popped a date in the diary to come back.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

As the floor was in the hallway, we needed to protect the stairs and skirting with plastic sheeting before we started. I then started cleaning the tiles with a strong concentration of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this is a multi-purpose stripper which can remove most coatings and sealers and works best it left to dwell and soak into the stone for a long time before scrubbing it in. This also helps it work on ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up. My primary reason for choosing Remove and Go was to remove what was left of the sealer so after applying it to the floor I left it to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed it into the tiles with a black pad scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. The dirt soon turned the cleaning solution black and the slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, I worked on cleaning up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is good for neglected and heavily soiled areas and it makes short work of cleaning dirty grout. I had to scrub the grout by hand and once I was happy that the slate and grout was as clean as it could be the floor was given several rinses with water to remove the remaining dirt and remove any traces of cleaning products. Once this was done this completed the cleaning process, I was satisfied with our efforts and the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I checked the moisture level of the stone in several areas with a damp meter to check that the floor was dry. The sealer will not cure if the floor is not properly dried out. I chose a combination of sealers to achieve the look we were after. First, I sealed with one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow this is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. It’s also a colour enhancing sealer that works really well on Chinese slate to highlight all the colours. Once this was dry I followed with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which was perfect for finishing this floor.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

The customers response was ‘It never looked as good as that’, and he now realised the importance of sealing the floor correctly! I love the natural patterns in this type of floor, it is one of my favourites.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

 

Source: Chinese Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Renovating Scratched Slate Floor Tiles in York

The photographs below are of a Slate Tiled floor in a house in York, a walled city in North West Yorkshire which is very famous for its Viking heritage and its many landmarks, including the stunning York Minster. I visited the client to discuss what could be done to improve the look of the slate tiles which were installed in the kitchen and run into the downstairs cloakroom WC.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York Before Cleaning

I could see that the floor was suffering from the usual problem of dirt becoming ingrained into the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively. This happens as the protection provided by the sealer wears off with use and the stone becomes dull and lifeless with the trapped dirt; additionally, the floor had some bad scratches from chairs being dragged across the floor. Being a Kitchen, the area was in used to high family traffic, so it was in need of some care and attention. The client was happy to go ahead with my quote.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

I arrived the following week and started by taping up and protecting the surrounding areas and thresholds. Then working in sections, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (1 part Pro-Clean to 3 parts water) to the floor and left it to soak in and get to work breaking down what was left of the old sealer and dirt. This is a multi-purpose cleaner which works hard on stubborn areas. It was then scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. I then used more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the grout which was stained in places and this was scrubbed in by hand using a thin stiff grout brush.

The floor was then rinsed with water, and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum before moving onto the next section. We try and keep the mess to the absolute minimum. One area included a downstairs WC which was too tight to get the floor buffer in so there was no option but to scrub the tiles and grout by hand.

After cleaning all the slate and grout I inspected the floor and was pleased to see that the scratches were a lot less obvious after cleaning, so I suspect it was the old sealer that had been mostly affected. Had the scratches been deeper we would be looking at resurfacing the stone with milling pads which is a messy and more expensive process. The client was very pleased to hear that wouldn’t be required.

After a final rinse the floor was looking much better already and was left to dry off overnight aided by the hot summer weather.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and checked the floor was fully dried out by using my moisture meter. All the readings were fine so the lovely weather had done its job which was much appreciated by myself as this greatly helps the floor cleaning process.

I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer (so no smell) that leaves a lovely deep lustre to the floor. The scratches had all but disappeared and I was able to get on with the job quite quickly due to the bonus weather that helped he sealer dried a lot quicker than usual between each coat.

Slate Tiled WC Floor York After Cleaning

The customer was very pleased with the finished floor, and I think you can see from the pictures how much better it looks. It will be much easier for them to clean and maintain in the future.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor York After Cleaning

 

Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in York, North West Yorkshire

Renovating a Limescale Stained Slate Shower in Oxshott, West-Surrey

In the south east of England, we suffer from hard water which as many of you have experienced can calcify on our showers leaving white limescale staining. Without fitting a water softener this limescale causes a problem around the home, particularly when the tiles are dark.

A good example of this problem was this large dark grey slate tiled shower at a house in Oxshott where the limescale had completely ruined the look of the black slate. The problem was most evident on the slate tiles on the floor but had also stained the slate split face slate tiles on the shower wall.

Slate Tiled Bathroom Before Renovation Oxshot

Oxshott is a village in Surrey between Leatherhead and Esher, a survey in 2010 by the Daily Telegraph asserted it was “the village with most footballers” in England and mentioned other celebrities who chose to live in the village probably because Chelsea Football Club have their main training ground in nearby Stoke D’Abernon; It is a beautiful area and is no surprise it is also known as ‘the most expensive village in England’.

The wet room was not that old, but due to the limescale staining was prematurely in need of attention. We often get calls from customers where they have use supermarket products to treat hard water stains, however these products are generally acidic, and this can make the problem worse. I would recommend you always read the back of the bottle before to check it is safe to use on natural stone before applying.

After inspecting the shower, I agreed with the client the best course of action, agreed a price and booked the job in for a later date.

Limescale Stained Slate Wet Room Cleaning

I returned on the agreed date and started work by first removing the existing sealer by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a multi-purpose stripper that’s formulated for use on natural stone. The product also draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy grease build-up. For best results spray the product onto the tile and then leave for it to soak in and get to work breaking down the coatings etc. After ten minutes the product is scrubbed into the stone which in this case meant by hand. The soiled solution can then be rinsed off the tiles with water. The grout was then cleaned by hand scrubbing in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean followed by more rinsing.

The final part of preparation was to remove the limescale. This was done with a small handheld diamond block and a wire brush. The block is great for smoothing down all sorts of issues and being small it can get into tight areas. I then dried the whole room with an industrial blower. Slate cannot be sealed effectively when damp as it won’t cure properly. The blower is noisy but best in this situation and is very effective when a fast dry is needed.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Bathroom in Oxshott

After lunch I checked the area was nice and dry by testing the moisture content. I then sealed the whole area, wall and floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow, is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection as well as allowing the surface to breath and enhance colour. For this project it darkened the tiles nicely and will provide protection from staining, making them much easier for the client to maintain moving forward.

The client was very happy with the lovely result. The bathroom looked clean and fresh again, now it is just a case of trying to keep on top of the limescale.

Slate Tiled Bathroom After Renovation Oxshot

 

Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Oxshott, West-Surrey

Incorrectly Sealed Copper Slate Floor Resealed in Heysham

This customer in the coastal village of Heysham had recently had these beautiful Copper Slate Tiles laid by a builder who had been working on the house. As part of the work he also sealed them with a solvent aerosol sealer. Floor tiles experience a lot of wear from foot traffic and as a result the sealer only lasted about two weeks before it had worn off and dirt had started to penetrate the pores of the stone. The photos below were taken two months after they were sealed.

Rough Slate Before Cleaning Heysham

Aerosol sealers are only good for wall Tiles where they experience minimum contact, we usually only recommend their use for shower cubicle or wet rooms and they need constant topping up every 6 months or so. In our experience floor surfaces receive a lot of abrasion from the traffic of shoes and so on which will diminish an aerosol applied sealer very quickly.

Rough Slate Before Cleaning Heysham

Cleaning Rough Copper Slate Tiles

It makes sense to clean tiled floors before applying a sealer otherwise you simply trap the dirt under the seal which will reduce its appearance. So before re-sealing the floor with something more effective it was treated to an abrasive clean using a 200-grit diamond encrusted floor burnishing pad fitted to a weighted buffer machine. The pad was run over the whole floor using water to lubricate and with the machine running at slow speed to reduce splashing.

Next step was to clean the recessed grout which pads can struggle to reach, this was done by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines and then scrubbing it in with a stiff grout brush by hand. Once done the residue from the tile and grout cleaning was rinsed off the floor with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Sealing Rough Copper Slate Tiles

The floor was left to dry off completely overnight and I returned the next day to re-seal, this time with a more suitable product. My sealer of choice for Slate is Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will not only protect the stone from dirt and staining but also adds a very pleasing sheen finish. The new sealer really brought out the black and copper colours in the stone and now looks amazing.

Rough Slate After Cleaning Heysham

For long-term care I always recommend customers avoid the use of steam cleaners and acidic or strong alkaline cleaning products which can prematurely reduce the life of the sealer resulting in dirt becoming trapped in the pores of the stone again. Naturally Tile Doctor have designed a product for this which is called Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, supplied in concentrated form when diluted with water it becomes pH neutral and safe to use on sealed surfaces. I always leave my customers with a complimentary bottle after cleaning their floor, so they are reminded what to use.

Rough Slate After Cleaning Heysham

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Heysham, Lancashire

Renovating a Paint Stained Slate Floor in Hampton, Middlesex

It’s surprising how often I get asked to look at tiled floors stained with paint and other chemicals because of careless decorating work. Such was he reason that I was asked to renovate this Slate tiled floor that had been installed in the garden room of a house in Hampton, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. On this occasion the customers decorators had not covered the floor properly prior to painting which led to spots of paint and a white haze in places where they had tried and failed to rub the emulsion off the stone floor.

Slate Tiled Floor Hampton Before Cleaning

I went over to take a look and could see that the floor would benefit from been given a thorough clean, spot treating the decorating issues in the process and then given a fresh coat of sealer to protect the floor going forward and bring out the character of the stone. Having given the customer a quote which was accepted we agreed a date for me to return and given the floor a new lease of life.

Slate Tiled Floor Hampton Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The correct way to restore a floor such as this is to first strip off any existing coatings such as old sealers and take the tile back to its original condition. To do this I sprayed on a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left to dwell and soak into the old sealer and paint stains. Remove and Go is a stripper that as its name suggests is designed to be used on Tile, Stone and Grout. After ten minutes the product was worked into the slate tile and grout using a heavy duty rotary scrubbing machine. To help with the cleaning process, we also sprayed on Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is our go to Tile and Grout cleaning product.

The solution soon turned into a slurry as the dirt, old sealers and stains were lifted out of the pores of the slate. To remove the soil the floor was rinsed with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then inspected, and stubborn stains spot treated until I was happy with the condition of the tile and grout. The floor was given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I left the floor overnight to dry completely following the cleaning and returned the next day to finish the renovation. After testing for damp to ensure the floor was dry, two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied to fully seal the floor. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that penetrates int the pores of the stone to protect it from within. It worked really well on the Black Slate and restored the contrast in the tile while giving it the deep black look that the customer was expecting. The fresh sealer has the added benefit of making the floor easier to clean in the future

Slate Tiled Floor Hampton During Sealing

The floor now looks completely revived and the sealer will help keep it looking that way for some time to come.

Slate Tiled Floor Hampton After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Hampton, Middlesex

Renovating Riven Chinese Slate Tiles in a Water Damaged Kitchen, Shipdham

Slow leaking underfloor pipes are guaranteed to wreck the look of an expensive tiled floor and this is exactly what had happened at our client’s house in the village of Shipdham. The problem occurred in the Kitchen and due to the slow nature of the leak it was some time before the problem was diagnosed and repaired. This resulted in a huge damp problem affecting the riven Chinese Slate tiled floor, damaging the sealer and resulting in white efflorescence salts being regularly deposited across the whole area.

The old kitchen units had been removed and the floor partially excavated to access and repair the leaking pipework, after which a new section of slate tiles had been re-laid. The new and the old sections were noticeable, and part of my job would be to clean the old tiles to a standard where they would blend in with the new.

Riven Chinese Slate Floor Before Cleaning Shipdham

Cleaning a Riven Chinese Slate Floor in Shipdham

The first job was to deep-clean the floor using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with a small quantity of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which would help to dissolve the damaged sealer. This poured onto the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed into the slate with our rotary machine fitted with a brush attachment. This brush scrubs right into the uneven surface of the tiles and makes light work of what can be quite a physical job. This process releases a lot dirt and old sealer from the tile which is effectively removed using another machine that gives the floor a power rinse at the same time.

The grout lines and parts of the riven surface which were still soiled were cleaned by hand using angle head brushes and Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, which is a concentrated version of Pro-Clean in gel form which makes it a lot easier to contain in a small area. Having satisfied ourselves that the floor was finally clean, we left it to dry thoroughly overnight with assistance from our dehumidifier.

Sealing Riven Chinese Slate Tiles in a Shipdham Kitchen

On our return the following day, we damp tested the floor and found that the moisture content was a little higher than we would have liked and this would certainly cause a problem with the standard Tile Doctor acrylic sealer which is water based. In our experience water-based sealers are often only successfully applied if the conditions are ideal and the moisture content of the stone is very low. We chose, therefore, to use a slightly different product in the form of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is microporous and has a higher acrylic solids content than the standard product, making it ideal in situations where dampness in the tile is an issue but the client wants a sheen finish to make daily maintenance easier.

Six coats of Seal and Go Extra were applied in total, the result had the sheen finish the client wanted and the sealer enhanced the different colours in the slate in the process. The sealer will provide excellent on-going protection and being a fully breathable sealer, it will not be impacted by any damp issues as the floor dries out completely over time.

Riven Chinese Slate Floor After Cleaning Shipdham

With the work completed it the whole floor looked great and it was difficult to spot the repair, our client was certainly happy with the result and made the following comment:

Fantastic service and outstanding results. Our slate floor looks amazing. Very happy
Clair R, Shipdham

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Shipdham, Norfolk

Restoring Neglected Multi-Coloured Slate Kitchen Floor Near Barnsley

The owner of this house in Silkstone, which is a village situated in the foothills of the Pennines a few miles West of Barnsley, had inherited this Kitchen Slate floor from the previous owner of the house and in the years, they’d lived at the house they hadn’t done anything with the floor. Slate tiles are beautiful but like any natural stone you really need to maintain the sealer if you want them to stay that way, once the sealer wears off dirt can penetrate the pores of the stone resulting in a floor that always looks dull and dirty.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Barnsley Before Cleaning

In this case of this Slate floor the sealer had worn off many years prior and a thick layer of grime had built up on top of what was once an amazing looking floor. Stone floors never come with a care guide and the process of degradation happens so slowly, so you can understand how this could happen over time.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Barnsley Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dirty Slate Kitchen Tiles

Before starting I protected the wooden kitchen units from splashing using plastic sheeting. Next step was to soak the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and Pro-Clean combined into a strong cleaning and stripping cocktail. The solution was left to dwell for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine running at slow speed to break through the grime and the sealers and oils that the previous owner had used on the slate.

The pad is good at scrubbing the tiles but struggles to get into the grout so after the tiles were scrubbed I followed by running a stiff brush along the grout lines to give them a thorough clean.

The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the tiles with water and then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum. With the floor clear it was inspected, and problem areas re-treated using the same process.

Once I was satisfied that the Slate and the Grout was clean and clear of old sealers I gave the whole floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing Kitchen Slate Tiles

Returning to the property the next day, I ran some quick damp tests to check for any excess moisture that might have prevented me from sealing the floor. We will always do this as excess moisture can affect the sealer curing.

Our client had previously decided that they liked the look of our High Shine Sealer due to how it brings the stunning colours of the Slate out. High Shine Sealer is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable high-sheen finish. Four coats of sealer were applied and when the customer arrived home later that day they were totally blown away by the floor and how amazing it looked.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Barnsley After Cleaning Slate Tiled Kitchen Barnsley After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Silkstone, Barnsley

Reclaimed Slate Floor Renovation near Norwich

When the old Rowntree Mackintosh sweet factory at Chapelfield in Norwich was closed down and eventually demolished, our client acquired a quantity of the beautiful green/black slate flooring tiles which had formed part of the reception area of the plant. They had laid these tiles edge to edge with no grouting in their large kitchen/dining room extension at their home in the village of Wreningham and the result was perhaps one of the most impressive examples of high-quality slate flooring we have ever seen in any location.

The Slate floor tiles had been protected against oil and fluid spillages with the application of a penetrating sealer after installation at the property but, over the ensuing years, there had been some inevitable degradation of the sealer and the entire area was now in need of a thorough deep-clean and reseal in order to remove the coating of general grime, bring out the strikingly deep colour and restore the stain resistance.

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

As there was no topical finish to remove, we proceeded to deep-clean the surface of the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro Clean at a less powerful mix ratio of 1-part water to 5-parts cleaner. This solution was applied to the tiles and left to soak in for ten minutes before being worked in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to our rotary machine.

The resulting muddy slurry was then power rinsed off the floor with water and then extracted with our Ninja machine which has a very powerful vacuum. The high pH product was so effective, no further cleaning was necessary.

The whole area was then dried thoroughly using two large industrial fans which dramatically reduced the drying time, enabling us to move onto sealing later that afternoon. We don’t normally recommend cleaning and sealing in the same day as the floor has to be dry before sealing however in this case we were able to progress through the cleaning process much quicker than anticipated.

Slate Tiled Floor in Wreningham During Sealing

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Before sealing the floor was spot tested in different places using a moisture meter. All was well, so a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to the Slate tiles. Colour Grow is a penetrating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from with and as its name suggests also intensified the natural black/green colours of the slate in the process.

Once the first coat was dried I followed up with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which further enriched the colour and provided a pleasing mid-sheen finish to the floor surface.

Slate Tiled Floor in Wreningham During Sealing

The whole process really put the life back in the stone floor and the tiles which were once dull now look vibrant and colourful.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Wreningham, Norfolk

Slate Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored following Central Heating Installation in Lancashire

Rough Slate is notorious for homeowners to maintain as dirt can quickly become trapped in the rough surfaces. The example on this page is that of Brazilian Semi Riven Slate installed in the Kitchen of a house in the village of Hornby, which while naturally cleft from the rock loses none of its texture and style and yet has a much smother appearance than the typical rough Slates from China. Less processing means it’s not quite completely smooth but it is a lot less expensive to buy than say a honed or polished Slate which is more difficult to maintain due to various polishing techniques required to keep up the appearance. Brazilian Slate is in fact one of my favourite slates to clean and also one of the most rewarding of Slates to seal as the sealer really does bring out the colour and character of the stone.

Sealers provide a protective barrier on natural stone floors and without it dirt can penetrate into the pores of the stone making it more and more difficult to clean effectively. Unfortunately on this floor the new homeowners were unaware on what sort of Stone it was and had no idea how to look after it which resulted in the sealer wearing down prematurely and the floor becoming dull and un-inviting.

Semi-Riven Slate floor Before Cleaning Hornby Semi-Riven Slate floor Before Cleaning Hornby

Cleaning Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

To restore the appearance of the Slate floor we started by taping up the edges of the new kitchen units to protect the wood from splashing. This was followed with an application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean worked in with a black buffing pad fitted to a buffing machine running at slow speed (working at a slower speed results in less splashing). The pads can struggle to reach the edges and corners so these were cleaned by hand.

Once we had finished on the main floor area we then concentrated on the grout using a steam cleaner and more Pro-clean scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush.

Last step of the cleaning was to rinse the floor with water to remove any trace of cleaning products from the Slate and then dried off the floor the best we could with our high wattage wet vacuum machine and left the floor to dry off naturally over night.

Sealing Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

The next day we returned to seal the floor checking first that the floor had completely dried. The customer had requested a matt finish however we have worked on Brazilian Slate many times before and we knew how good they can look with this Satin finish sealer. Naturally its the customers decision so we offered to do a test piece and let them decide if they didn’t like it we would strip off the test piece and apply a Matt finish sealer like Tile Doctor Colour Grow instead.

The floor was dry so a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied to one Tile so that they could appreciate how it would look. Luckily the customer agreed with us and so we set about sealing the whole floor with Seal and Go.

To speed up the drying process Air Blowers were installed as we worked and it wasn’t long before the sealer was dry and the customers were able to walk on the floor and inspect every area before we left. I’m please to report that they were over the moon with the floor and my recommendation of sealer.

Semi-Riven Slate floor After Cleaning Hornby Semi-Riven Slate floor After Cleaning Hornby

To maintain the slate tiles going forward we always give our customers a free bottle of Tile Doctor pH neutral tile cleaner, which is a little incentive for them to provide some feedback via our website.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Hornby, Lancashire

Renovating a Dull and Scratched Slate Floor in an East Sussex Conservatory

This Slate tiled floor had been installed in the conservatory of a property in Eastbourne, which I’m sure your aware is a large and well-known seaside resort town on the south coast of England. The home owner contacted Tile Doctor to see if a deep clean and a fresh seal could turn this floor’s fortunes around.

The combination of durability and price makes Slate a popular choice for floor covering, it’s also available in a number of colours, ranging from plain black to a more diverse array of shades. The Slate tiles pictured below are a good example of the latter. Unfortunately, they were looking very tired and had many obvious scratches which were further spoiling their appearance. In other words, they were desperately in need of restoration!

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Eastbourne Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Eastbourne

The word Slate actually comes from the Old French word Esclate, which means ‘piece broken off’, or ‘to split and break’. Which makes sense as Slate tiles are actually made by splitting a larger piece along the grain.

Cleaning a Scratched and Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

To deep clean this floor, we used a combination of two Tile Doctor products. First was Pro-Clean, an alkaline-based cleaner which we use in the majority of natural stone cleaning jobs we undertake as it very reliably removes heavy soil build-up. The second product was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a very strong product which utilises nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate into the pores of the stone, getting underneath and dissolving any stubborn muck. The combined solution was applied to the floor and then covered in a thin plastic sheet so that it wouldn’t dry out and left to sweat for an hour.

The cleaning solution of Pro Clean and NanoTech HBU was then worked into the entire floor using a scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy rotary machine. The floor was rinsed with water and the resultant slurry removed with a wet vacuum. The revealed floor was much cleaner and fresher, and I was able to spot treat stubborn areas before giving it a final rinse.

The slate floor was then left to dry completely overnight so that it would be ready for sealing the following day.

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Eastbourne

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

To seal the tiles, we once again opted to use two different products. Firstly, we applied Tile Doctor Stone Oil, which is an impregnating sealer that adds colour making any imperfections blend back into the tile, which was useful as there were quite a few scratches on this floor.

Secondly, we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer formulated to provide long-lasting protection against ingrained dirt. It also leaves a high-quality sheen finish which really enhances the overall character of the floor.

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Eastbourne Coloured Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Eastbourne

The results of the restoration can be seen in the photos above. We were very pleased with the outcome and the customer was equally very happy. As you can see the patina of the Slate tiles is much more impressive – and it lends more personality to the entire room.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Eastbourne, East Sussex

Ruined Slate Tiled Floor Fully Restored in Bexhill

The photos below show what can only be described as a botched installation of a black Slate tiled living room floor by a non-expert builder. It may not be immediately obvious what the problems were – but the property owner was pulling his hair out with the situation (having spent a small fortune) as the floor was incredibly dirty. He decided to call us in to take a closer look at what could be done to put his mind to rest.

Black Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bexhill Black Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bexhill

This property was located in Bexhill, a large seaside town on the South East coast that is known for its abundance of Edwardian and Victorian architecture.

We arrived at the property and, upon closer inspection, we could see that the floor was covered in unsightly marks. At first glance I thought it might be grout smears (aka grout haze) which is a fine powder that is meant to be polished off after tiling, but it was in fact excess grout that had been left on the tile and then to compound the problem sealed over. To make things worse the slate tiles had not been laid completely flat and there was a great amount of lippage between them. However, despite all the problems I was confident we could resolve the issues for the customer and we set a date to come back and do the work.

Restoring a Poorly Installed Black Slate Tiled Floor

On our return we set about covering the skirting boards with a thin plastic sheet to protect them from any splashing from cleaning products.

Black Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Bexhill

Once this was done work started on the restoration beginning with an application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids that comes in a gel form that is easy to control. This is used to break down the existing sealer and – in combination with some diamond encrusted burnishing pads – to dissolve and grind away the excess grout which was marking the floor.

Black Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Bexhill

The floor was then rinsed with water and the soiled solution extracted using a wet vacuum. Following this the slate tiles were inspected and stubborn areas re-treated.

It’s worth noting we would not take this aggressive approach on acid-sensitive stone such as Marble, Limestone, Travertine and some types of Terrazzo. We would use a more neutral cleaning product, combined with the burnishing pads. Acidic products can cause etching on these sensitive types of stone, but thankfully Slate is hard-wearing and is compatible with Acid Gel.

Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry completely over the course of two days. We then returned to apply a fresh seal to ensure the floor was be protected for the future.

First, we applied Tile Doctor Stone Oil, which is an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer. It’s designed for low porosity stone like Slate and does a remarkable job of restoring the dark tones in the stone. Once this had dried it was followed by a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a high-quality and aesthetically pleasing sheen finish to the tile.

In the space of a few days, we were able to help the customer avert what initially seemed to be a crisis caused by amateur tiling. The customer was very relieved not to have to take a costly and drastic action like replacing the floor entirely. With the right products and cleaning methods, we were able to get these tiles looking the way they should have in the first place.

Black Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bexhill Black Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bexhill

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bexhill, East-Sussex

Builds Clean for New Slate Floor at Farnham Barn Conversion

Converting a barn into a property can be an exciting project, but it certainly doesn’t come without a range of challenges. If done correctly, they can look amazing and are well worth the effort.

A recent customer of mine had spent the last six months converting a barn into a residential property in the West Surrey town of Farnham. While the project had been a big success, the house had been subjected to high traffic from dozens of carpenters, electricians and builders. This had taken its toll on the newly installed Slate tiled floor – so the property owner asked me to restore it to its peak condition to complete the conversion once and for all.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Farnham

Before accepting the job, I strongly advised the customer that I should be the last workman out of the door. In my experience few tradesmen are known to take care of other peoples work and any further work being done in the property could potentially spoil the appearance of the Slate tiles.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Farnham

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

The customer was happy for me to proceed, so on the agreed date I returned and started the work by laying down a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean across the floor. Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner which breaks down all manner of dirt and grime.

This was a large area of tiles, so I worked on individual sections of 3m2, first soaking the Slate in Pro-Clean and then waiting ten minutes for it to soak in and then following with a nylon black scrubbing pad fitted to a 17-inch rotary buffing machine to work the cleaning product into the stone. The tiles immediately came up looking much cleaner. Any excess water and chemical slurry was vacuumed up promptly with a wet vacuum.

The tiler had done a good job of laying the floor and removing any excess grout as normally my next step at this point would be to give the floor an acid wash, but it wasn’t necessary.

Once the tiles had been cleaned to the best of my abilities and given a thorough rinse, I left the property for 48 hours to allow any water that had seeped into the tiles to evaporate. This is important as excess moisture problems can prevent the tiles from being sealed correctly.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

On returning to the property a couple of days later, I swept away any bits of dust and debris and then proceeded to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Farnham

This impregnating, colour-intensifying sealer enhanced the stunning natural brown, gold and orange shades in the stone. Two coats of the sealer were applied to achieve a brilliant natural-look finish and robust protection against future wear and tear.
Restoring the appearance of these Slate tiles put the finishing touches on this fantastic barn conversion. Needless to say, the customer was very pleased with the results.

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Farnham

 
 
Source: Slate Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in West Surrey

Semi-Riven Multicoloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed

Slate tiles do look incredible but like any natural stone you really need to maintain the sealer if you want them to stay that way. Unfortunately it’s usually the case that the sealer wears off overtime especially in the high foot traffic areas such as Kitchens and within a few years the tiles become dull with ingrained dirt.

This process happens so gradually it goes un-noticed until the floor becomes difficult to keep clean and a decision is made to have it sorted out. This was certainly the case with this Semi Riven Multicoloured Slate tiled kitchen floor at a house in the Berkshire village of Spencer’s Wood. The floor had been installed about fifteen years prior and over the years the Slate had become soiled to the point where domestic cleaners weren’t having any effect.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Spencers Wood Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Spencers Wood

Cleaning Dirty Slate Kitchen Tiles

To begin the restoration I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to dwell for about twenty minutes re-applying extra solution when it had dried. Remove and Go is our go to product for removing old coatings such as in this case sealers, although much of the old sealer had worn off it was still present in the less busy areas of the floor and to get an even final result I needed to ensure all of it was removed. Once the old sealer had started to weaken I agitated the product using a black pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. The rotary pad struggles to reach into the recesses of the grout lines so I also made sure to scrub the solution into the grout with a grout brush.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Spencers Wood Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Spencers Wood

I suspect there were multiple layers of sealer on this floor that had been applied over the years as some areas were proving particularly stubborn. Something stronger was going to be needed particularly in the grout lines. So I applied Tile Doctor HBU remover; HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and allowed this to dwell for thirty minutes while I cleaned other areas.

Once I was satisfied that the Slate and the Grout was clean and clear of old sealers I gave the whole floor a rinse with water using a wet extraction machine. One the soiled cleaning solutions were removed you could really see the difference that the combination of cleaning products had made.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Spencers Wood

The final step in the cleaning process was to give the floor an Acid Wash using a mild solution of Grout Clean-up which removes any surface grout (aka grout smears) and other mineral deposits from the slate to ensure they true beauty of the stone will be visible. Once this was removed the whole floor was rinsed with water to remove any trace of product and then dried as much as possible. After a final inspection the floor was left overnight to dry off fully.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Spencers Wood

Sealing Slate Kitchen Tiles

Returning to the property the next day, I ran some quick damp tests to check for any excess moisture that might have prevented me from sealing the floor. We will always do this as excess moisture can affect the sealer curing.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor During Sealing Spencers Wood

The customer was very happy with the clean and the floor was dry so we discussed sealer options to find out their preference for Matt or Satin finish. With the decision made to go with a Satin finish I began the application of the Tile Doctor Seal and Go which enhances the look of the stone with an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish, as well as providing on-going protection against ingrained dirt and staining.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Spencers Wood Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Spencers Wood

A total of five coats of Seal and Go were needed to seal the Slate tiles and as you can see from the photos the sealer really put the life back into the floor.
 
 
Source: Slate Floor Cleaning and Renovation Service in Berkshire

Grey Brazilian Slate Tiles Renovated in Bedfordshire

Brazilian Slate is amongst some of the highest quality available in the world and the grey variant is particularly striking when used for large areas of flooring. I mention this as I recently encountered a fantastic Grey Brazilian Slate tiled floor in what turned out to be one our largest domestic restoration projects to date.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham

The floor, located at a property in the ancient, yet picturesque parish of Studham in South Bedfordshire, covered over 200m2. Unfortunately, it had been installed several years ago with very minimal sealant to keep it protected. This sealant has since worn away and the tiles had suffered as a result. They have become ingrained with dirt, leaving them dull and difficult to clean. Thankfully, we at Tile Doctor are perfectly equipped to resolve these common and highly problematic situations.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham

The owner was also concerned that areas of the hallway portion of the floor were missing grout and asked if this could be resolved as part of our restoration work. As I mentioned before it was a very large installation with slate tiles laid in four bedrooms, a large hallway with stairs, corridor to the kitchen and dining area, the kitchen and dining area itself, the utility room and the main sitting room. In short, it was no small area and I could envisage being there some time!

Fortunately, the customer arranged to have all furniture moved into storage, so we could have a clear area to work on and were able to get straight to work on arrival.

Cleaning a Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor

Due to the size of the job, the cleaning process was carried out over the course of four days by two Tile Doctor technicians on site. Our first course of action was to mix a strong solution of our reliable high-alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was applied and agitated into the tiles and grout using specialised grout brushes and a rotary machine with a 17” black scrubbing pad. This not only cleaned the tiles but also removed any old sealant remaining on the floor.

The resulting slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum. We then applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to all the grout lines, brushing the product in with grout brushes and using the wet vacuum to remove any excess chemicals. Grout Clean-Up is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which removes grout smears from the surface of the tile to ensure there’s nothing that can detract from its natural appearance.

We rinsed and mopped the floor with plain water to neutralise the floor in preparation for sealing and performed a final go over with the wet vacuum. Each area was dried with fans and the cleaning process began again in the next room. This work was repeated in each area as we moved from room to room.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Grouting in Studham

Once the hallway was cleaned, the next course of action was to grout to the areas where it was missing. We did this by matching the colour to the original grout as best as possible. The new grout was then allowed to dry before any excess was removed and a quick clean was performed to avoid any grout haze.

Sealing a Brazilian Slate Tile Floor

Each area was given at least 24 hours to dry before sealing and then sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealant. This sealer works really well on Slate adding robust protection whilst achieving a light sheen finish which gave the customer the look they were hoping to achieve.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Sealing in Studham

The Grey Brazilian Slate floor was given a new lease of life and no longer looked dull, as can be seen in the photographs below. Additionally, the customer was delighted with the results and left us the following positive feedback:

“Excellent service. Very friendly and very professional. I would certainly recommend.”

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham

As I mentioned at the start of this post it was a very large floor and as you can imagine it took some time to complete but was well worth the effort.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Bedfordshire

Old Slate Floor Restored in Cumbrian Cottage

Stone and Tiled floors will degrade over time so much that they can appear to be simply beyond being restoration. It goes without saying that years of neglect will do this to any surface but it’s worth knowing that the appearance of Tile and Stone can be extended when treated to routine maintenance using the right products and methods.

I’m sure many other tile cleaning companies had passed up on the opportunity to restore this Slate Flagstone tiles at a cottage in Hawkshead, simply because they did not feel they had the resources to make a good job of it. The tiles were in such a rough state that the property owner felt like there might be no alternative other than to rip them up and replace them.

Slate Flagstone Floor Before Milling in Hawkshead Cumbria Slate Flagstone Floor Before Milling in Hawkshead Cumbria

However, while the floor was certainly past its best, it remained secure. Some areas had been concreted to reinforce them, but the floor was mainly suffering from an aesthetic problem, rather than a structural one.

We knew that a general clean and seal job would not do the trick, but Tile Doctor have developed a system to successfully salvage tiles in these situations. It is called ‘Milling’ – here’s how it works.

Milling a Slate Flagstone Tiled Floor

Milling is a process which uses very coarse diamond encrusted pads to remove the old, damaged surface layer of stone to re-face the stone with a new, smoother surface.

This not only makes the floor look completely like new; it also makes it much easier to start cleaning regularly again to maintain its appearance for the long-term. Additionally, it means that we can successfully seal the stone to protect it against ingrained dirt and staining.

Once we had completed the milling process the stone and grout was given a thorough scrub with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This was needed to remove the soil generated by the milling process and also to ensure the grout was clean. Once done the soil was rinsed away with water and this was then removed using a wet vacuum.

It had become apparent during the milling process that much of the grout had also failed so the next step was to rake out the grout and replaced with a flexible floor grout and the floor left to dry out completely.

Sealing a Slate Flagstone Tiled Floor

Since there was no damp-proof membrane present (due to the floor being very old), we sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that allows for moisture vapour transmission and therefore helps to eliminate damp issues.

Colour Grow is also a colour intensifying sealer, so it really helped to elucidate the natural dark shades in the Slate. The outcome of the restoration is pictured below.

Slate Flagstone Floor After Milling in Hawkshead Cumbria Slate Flagstone Floor After Milling in Hawkshead Cumbria

The customer was absolutely amazed by the transformation and left the feedback below on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“We found old flagstones under the carpet which were in need of cleaning. Russell came out to view work and he recommended painting areas of cement with grout paint to match flagstones. Pleased with the work carried out and help and information received from himself and Heidi.”

It can be hard to believe that floors which appear so far beyond salvation can be saved but this example goes to show that anything is possible with the right knowledge and techniques!
 
 
Source: Slate Floor Cleaning and Restoration Service in Cumbria

Getting the Best from Slate Patio Pavers in Berkshire

Details below of a job I completed earlier in the summer in the Berkshire town of Thatcham which is just east of Newbury. The customer had a lovely Slate Patio installed the year before which had not been sealed by the builder and it had since become dull, light grey and unpleasing to the eye. Additionally there was a haze on tiles from sand and cement that had been used to point between the paving which the customer couldn’t remove.

Exterior Slate Before Renovation Thatcham

I first went round there to take a look at the job and work out a price; we often get asked to quote over the phone but it’s really difficult to do that without look at the job as you never know how things are going to work out unless you do a test clean. In this case I was able to demonstrate the process to the customer on one of the paving tiles which you can easily pick out in the photographs below.

Exterior Slate Before Renovation Thatcham

Happy with the demonstration I was given the job to do the whole patio so I arranged to a date to come back and do the work.

Cleaning Slate Patio Paving

On my return the first job was to tackle the sand and cement haze that was covering much of the slate patio. Fortunately for me the builder had not sealed the tiles so this was just a straightforward case of applying a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, leaving it to dwell for ten minutes and then scrubbing it into the paving with a mechanical scrubbing machine to release the sandy haze as well as breaking down the soils on the tiles.

You should be aware that Grout Clean-Up is an acid based product and Slate like most natural stone is acid sensitive so it’s important to remove it as soon as its done its job and rinse down the stone with water soon after.

To rinse the slate patio I used our specialist truck mounted systems which gently blasts the soils from the stone with hot pressurised water whilst simultaneously recapturing the waste back into a tank on the van. This action also neutralises the stones which is important before applying sealer. The Slate pavers were then allowed to dry and being a very hot day this only took a couple of hours.

Sealing a Slate Patio

After a long lunch I returned to find the Slate was dry but still looking rather grey so to restore the natural dark colours to the stone I applied a coating of Tile Doctor Stone Oil then after approximately 1 hour any excess stone oil was buffed off the tiles leaving it to fully dry off overnight.

The following day I returned to apply two liberal coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a solvent based no-sheen, natural-look penetrating sealer that will provide the needed protection from the elements and make it easier to clean in future.

Exterior Slate After Renovation Thatcham

My customer was very pleased with the final results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“I had my patio and path cleaned and sealed. The service from the whole team has been exemplary from start to finish and I am delighted with the work that has been carried out. My particular thanks to Dennis who was friendly, helpful and exceptionally professional. He explained everything he was going to do and why, kept me informed throughout and worked really hard to produce a fantastic finish on my patio and path. I’m really grateful and will most definitely be recommending to friends. Thank you”

Exterior Slate After Renovation Thatcham

 
 
Source: Slate Patio Cleaning and Restoration Service in Berkshire

Removing Sticky Coatings from Slate Floor Tiles

A recent customer of mine had a Slate tiled conservatory that had not been used in a long time since it had become covered in a sticky oil residue and couldn’t be walked over. I can’t go into detail as to how it became it this sate however suffice to say my customer had not been successful in removing it and having tried a number of products and suggestions had decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to remedy the situation.

The customer lives in Bicester just off Junction 9 of the M40 and famous for its Bicester Village outlet shopping centre, which has recently been expanded and is popular for containing discount retail outlets for several major designer clothing stores as well as restaurants and coffee shops.

Slate Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning Bicester

Cleaning Conservatory Slate Tiles

I could see this was going to be a tricky job so to begin, I created a cocktail of cleaning products consisting of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. NanoTech HBU is one of our most powerful cleaners (HBU = Heavy Build-Up) as it uses Nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone to release ingrained dirt. Oxy-Gel is an alkaline-based cleaner and degreaser, which helps to break down oily and sticky residues.

I applied this cleaning solution across the floor and left it to work its magic for about four hours. Next, I rinsed the floor with fresh water and extracted the soil using a wet vacuum before proceeding to clean the tiles again using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean.

Once again, I rinsed away any remaining chemicals with fresh water, before giving the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. Giving the stone and Acid Wash removes grout smears, mineral deposits and efflorescence and really gets the stone clean. After completing the cleaning process with another rinse, I left the floor to dry for a couple of days.

Sealing Conservatory Slate Tiles

On my return to the property 48 hours later, I treated the tiles to fresh sealant to protect them from stains and ingrained dirt for the long term. To do this, I used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which works really well on Slate to provide a high-quality and highly aesthetic low-sheen finish.

Slate Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning Bicester

The customer was very pleased with the transformation – not least because it meant she could use the conservatory again!
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Oxfordshire

Transforming Multi-Coloured Slate Floors in Hertfordshire

Slate is a very popular choice for floor tiles due to it being hard wearing with a relatively low porosity making it more stain resistant. Some property owners opt for darker Slate, while others prefer wonderful multi-coloured Slate, such as that used in this kitchen in Datchworth, a small village in between the towns of Herford, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City.

Multi Coloured Sawn Slate Play Room Floor Datchworth Before Cleaning

What can be said for certain is that no-one likes a dull looking and dirty floor! Unfortunately, Slate tiles can easily lose their lustre if not treated to routine maintenance. This customer felt that her Slate tiles, which covered the kitchen, utility room and a child’s playroom, were well overdue a refresh. Here’s what we did.

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Utility Room

We followed our tried-and-tested process for restoring the natural lustre and appearance of Slate tiles.

To begin, we removed any old sealant on the tiles using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is both a coatings stripper and cleaning product. The product was applied liberally across the floor and worked into the tiles using a buffing machine fitted with a black buffing pad. Hand-held brushes were used to tackle the fine grout lines. This process removed old sealers and gave the tile and grout an initial clean.

Multi-Coloured Sawn Slate Kitchen Floor Datchworth Before Cleaning Multi-Coloured Sawn Slate Utility Floor Datchworth Before Cleaning

Next, we applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is our industrial strength tile and grout cleaner which was scrubbed into the Tile and Grout as before to remove remaining ingrained dirt. The resultant slurry was promptly removed using a wet vacuum.

To complete the cleaning process, we steam cleaned the Slate to remove any further residue trapped in the pores of the stone and any trace of cleaning product. The floor was then left to dry off overnight so it would be ready for sealing in the morning.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Utility Room

Upon returning to the property, we ran some quick damp tests, since even a small quantity of moisture can cloud the sealant and damage its performance. Thankfully, the tiles proved dry and we were able to seal the Slate using three applications of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

This impregnating sealer helps to enrich the natural colours in the stone, while offering a natural-looking matte finish and robust protection. Between each application of sealant, we machine-buffed the surface of the floor to help dry the stone naturally while maintaining the matte finish.

Multi-Coloured Sawn Slate Kitchen Floor Datchworth After Cleaning Multi-Coloured Sawn Slate Utility Floor Datchworth After Cleaning

This two-day job was truly transformative for these Slate tiles. Just compare the before and after photos above – the customer was certainly very impressed with the speed and quality of the work. Another satisfied customer.

Multi Coloured Sawn Slate Play Room Floor Datchworth After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Slate Floor Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Hertfordshire

Putting new life into a Welsh Slate Kitchen floor in Derbyshire

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

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Derbyshire

Restoring Bleach Damaged Slate Pool Tiles In in Northamptonshire

This very nice house in a village near Oundle in Northamptonshire features something we don’t see too often in residential property – an indoor swimming pool. The pool is surrounded by some very complementary and rustic looking Slate tiles which act as the flooring in the poolhouse.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

However, over the years, the Slate tiles had been badly damaged by the chlorine bleach which is used to sterilise the pool water. The cumulative effect of people splashing water onto the tiles or walking around wet on the floor had caused the sealant to break down and the bleach had left a white blotchiness on the stone. I was asked to rectify the situation by deep cleaning the tiles, resurfacing some of the damaged stone, and applying a fresh sealant.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

Cleaning Bleach-Damaged Slate Tiles

My first course of action in restoring these tiles was to clean the entire floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline-based cleaner for most types of natural stone. This product was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff brush fitted to a rotary machine. After cleaning, I rinsed the floor with fresh water and used a wet vacuum to soak up the resulting slurry. Although the pool was protected with a cover I had to take care not to allow any of my cleaning water to contaminate the pool.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

The process was effective in removing most of the white calcium deposits caused by the bleach, but not all of them. I tackled the more embedded stains with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids which treats stubborn smears such as these. The gel was brushed onto the tiles and left to dwell for 15 minutes, and then agitated using a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After rinsing the floor again, I found that there were yet still stubborn stains remaining that didn’t respond to chemical cleaning. I decided that removing these would necessitate a more aggressive approach, and so used a set of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads to literally remove the damaged layer of stone and resurface the face of some of the badly damaged tiles.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

Sealing Slate Tiles

The tiles were left to dry overnight after being cleaned and repaired. The next day, I returned to the property to applying the fresh sealant. For this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a sealant which impregnates the stone to provide maximum protection and enhances its natural colours.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

The customer was very impressed with the result and was very much keen to make sure the tiles remained in such good condition, so I made sure to provide the groundsman with instructions on routine maintenance.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

I informed him that each time the pool is used the entire area needs to be hosed and brushed down as no sealer can withstand continuous exposure to chlorine bleach. I also left a complementary tin of Colour Grow sealant with him for periodic top-ups, as well as information on the yearly maintenance plan we offer at Tile Doctor.
 
 
Source: Pool Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Renovating a Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle in Oxfordshire

Just Southwest of Bicester, Kidlington is one of the largest villages in England with a population of nearly 14,000. There are a lot of amenities, making it a great place for families to make their homes and I recently visited the area to see a customer with a Slate tiled shower cubicle in need of restoration.

Slate Bathroom Kidlington Before Cleaning Slate Bathroom Kidlington Before Cleaning

It’s not unusual to get asked to restore natural stone shower cubicles because they can suffer with mould, water marks and Limescale issues and can easily get into poor condition. Quite a lot of these problems can be avoided by rinsing the tiles down after a shower to remove traces of shampoos and soaps and ensuring the room has adequate ventilation. If you want to read more on this subject take a look at http://shower.tilecleaning.co.uk/

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle

The first process involved in restoring this cubicle was to cover the entire area in Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose cleaner designed to strip away any old sealers, synthetic finishes, adhesives and paint stains. It also helps to draw out ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up.

The product was left to dwell for roughly ten minutes before I scrubbed it into the tiles and grout with a stiff hand brush. Next, I rinsed the area with water to remove traces of chemicals and wiped it dry with a cloth.

Following this, I covered the tiles with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner formulated to remove grout smears and mineral deposits such as Limescale. The product was scrubbed into the grout a couple of times, before the area was rinsed again with water and wiped dry with a cloth. Grout Clean-up is an acidic product and so shouldn’t be left on stone for too long as it can damage it.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle

To seal the Slate, I used Tile Doctor Stone Oil, which is an easy-to -apply, impregnating sealer that is particularly effective on low porosity stone. It is formulated to restore the naturally dark colour and patina in the stone.

To finish I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that gives a natural look finish to the slate. I applied the sealer with a lint-free cloth, left it for about 30 minutes to cure and then wiped off any excess with a clean cloth.

Slate Bathroom Kidlington After Cleaning Slate Bathroom Kidlington After Cleaning

The results were fantastic and the customer was especially pleased with the clean, natural look the sealer had given the Slate.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Oxfordshire

Dealing with Scratched Slate Floor Tiles in a Surrey Kitchen

This property owner in Weybridge recently had a new fridge delivered by a well-known electrical retailer that has an unusual policy of not protecting its customers’ floors when installing heavy appliances. Predictably, the lack of care and consideration resulted in multiple unsightly scratches being left on the fantastic Slate tiled floor, mostly notably in front of the dishwasher, which was also newly installed.

Understandably, the property owner was not best pleased. He was keen to have the situation remedied as soon as possible. At Tile Doctor, we not only provide tile cleaning services but we also have the experience and equipment to hand all sorts of related issues including the restoration of scratched tiles. Happy to help. I travelled over to Weybridge to address the problem.

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Weybridge

Repairing and Sealing a Damaged Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The surface of the stone was damaged and the only way to repair it without the repair standing out was to strip and polish the whole floor. I therefore began the restoration by stripping the whole floor of its old sealer. The customer had marked all the deep scratches he wanted to have removed with sticky notes. I explained to him that burnishing, a type of polishing carried out using diamond encrusted handheld blocks in combination with a little water, would be perfect for this job.

The process of burnishing essentially grinds away the damaged layer and then re-polishes the stone, the process would remove the scratches and rebuild the shine. It involves the application of different grades of pads from coarse to extra fine and a little water to lubricate the process followed by a rinse with more water in-between each pad to remove the slurry generated by the process. After burnishing the floor is left polished but damp, however to save time I able to speed dry the whole floor using a powerful industrial air mover.

Once the floor was dry the final task was to re-seal the tiles. I did this using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensifying, impregnating sealer which soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within against ingrained dirt and stains for many years to come.

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles After Cleaning Weybridge

The customer was very satisfied with the service provided and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Great advice, open, honest and helpful. Turned up on time, explained the job well and it looks great. Very happy with the process and the finished results.”
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Surrey

Maintaing Slate Tiled Flooring at a Public House in Leamington Spa

The Drawing Board is a Gastropub and bar in Leamington Spa with a fantastic homely aesthetic. Leamington Spa itself is a spa town in Warwickshire, home to The Royal Pump Rooms, the most famous of the spa baths that were opened in England in the late-18th and mid-19th centuries.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Leamington Spa Pub Restaurant

I have eaten at the Drawing Board a few times in the past (great food!) and was really pleased to help the owner rejuvenate the Slate tiled floor in the bar area. He wanted the area cleaned and sealed to achieve a wet-look finish, however, because the pub is very popular amongst customers, I would only have a period of five hours to undertake the work. This meant an early morning start. I had carried out some maintenance work on the floor about 18 months ago, but during this time it had suffered a lot of foot traffic.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Leamington Spa Pub Restaurant

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in a Bar Area

To begin, I used our product called Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, which is an effective cleaner and coatings stripper, to remove the old acrylic coat on the tiles. Being in a gel form it’s easy to manage and holds in position allowing it to dwell on the stone and get to work on breaking the existing sealer down. Once applied it was left to soak into the Slate and then scrubbed in using a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and the now soiled Oxy-Gel and water was removed with a wet vacuum.

With the tiles stripped of any remaining coatings, I turned my attention to the deep cleaning the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline cleaner. The product was diluted with water and then scrubbed in manually using a stiff brush.

Following this, I rinsed the whole floor with fresh, cold water to remove any traces of product. Air movers were then installed to speed dry the stone as I needed to move quickly with only five hours to get the job done.

Once the floor was completely dry, I was able to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor High Shine, which is a a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers designed to protect and enhance the appearance of natural stone whilst leaving a high sheen finish. Another advantage of the sealer is that being water based it leaves no smell as it dries which was important as being a pub we didn’t want to put the customers off.

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration in Leamington Spa Pub Restaurant

I think you will agree the Slate floor looks significantly better and the new sealer will provide them with the protection they need to withstand heavy foot traffic. The owner of the pub was very pleased indeed!

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration in Leamington Spa Pub Restaurant

 
 
Source: Slate Cleaning and Sealing Service in Warwickshire

Restoring the Appearance of a Beautiful Slate Kitchen Floor in Essex

The single most important thing you need to do after having a new natural stone floor installed is to seal the tiles. The sealant acts as a barrier of protection for the stone against ingrained dirt, so without it the floor will become very difficult to keep clean.

This is the exact problem faced by my recent customer, who lives in the town of Thaxted in North Essex. Thaxted is a very historic place with over 1000 years of history and several fantastic medieval houses. The Slate kitchen tiles in the property had not been sealed after installation and, despite Slate being naturally durable and hard wearing, the tiles had quickly become dull and difficult to keep clean.

Despite valiant efforts at a DIY restoration, the customer required our professional assistance with deep cleaning and sealing the tiles to restore them back to their best condition.

Slate Tiled Floor Thaxted Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the cleaning process, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the floor and scrubbed it in using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product: it strips away any old sealer, adhesive and paint stains, and draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy soil build-up. The resulting slurry was then removed using a wet-vac machine.

Next, I focused my attention on the dirty grout lines, treating them with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then scrubbed in along the grout line using a stiff brush.

There was still evidence of some grout haze on the stone following installation some years back so the floor was then treated to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner designed to life grout smears haze (smears).

Once done I pressure washed the floor using a specialised spinning tool which blasts the tiles and grout with water to remove ingrained dirt from the most difficult-to-reach areas in the stone. The water is subsequently vacuumed back into a holding tank in my van without causing any splashing or overspill.

Sealing a Slated Tiled Floor

The customer was keen for the restoration to be finished within the space of a single day, so I installed a few Dri-Pod floor dryers to get the floor dry and ready to be sealed in no time. We typically leave at least 24 hours for these types of floors to dry naturally, but in this scenario the floor dryers were able to remove any excess moisture.

To complete the restoration, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra to the floor to seal it. This a special acrylic-based sealer that protects the stone and allows for moisture vapour transmission. The makes it ideal for situations in which no damp proof membrane has been installed.

The addition of the sealer gave the floor a beautiful lustre – as you can see from the photos below – and will make the floor much easier to keep clean in the future. After months of difficulty, the customer was over the moon that the floor had finally been restored to its peak condition.

Slate Tiled Floor Thaxted After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Slate Cleaning and Sealing Service in Essex

Slate Tiled Floor Renovation after Building Work in North Bucks Kitchen

Sealing is a fundamental part of any stone floor installation. If your builder or tiler hasn’t sealed your floor, he’s done something wrong – and it can cause significant problems. To the untrained eye, it may be difficult to tell whether a floor has been sealed, but you will quickly see that an unsealed floor attracts a lot of ingrained dirt and loses its lustre easily over time.

This was a problem for one of my recent customers, who lives in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. They have a Slate tiled Kitchen floor which had been laid approximately 5 years prior, but had not been sealed properly on installation – and had not received any professional treatment since.

Consequently, the floor had become difficult for the customer to keep clean and it had lost its lustre and coloration due to ingrained dirt. Additionally, recent building works had left thick deposits of plaster on the tiles.

Slate Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Milton Keynes

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen

To begin restoring the Slate tiles, I applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a powerful alkaline-based cleaner for natural stone. I mixed a strong dilution of the product, spread it liberally across the area and left it to dwell for 20 minutes to seep into the pores of the stone.

Next, I scrubbed it into the stone using a brush fitted to a heavy weight rotary machine, before rinsing the floor with a high-pressure water and wet extraction unit.

The next stage of the cleaning process was to get rid of the plaster deposits and some of the heavier stains. To deal with these I needed to apply an even stronger cleaner, known as NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-Up Remover).

As its name suggests, the product uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate beneath difficult stains to dissolve them and lift them out. I did this in combination with a steamer to help loosen up some of the plaster.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen

After allowing the floor to dry overnight, I returned to the property the next day to seal the tiles. I did this using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a double-action sealer: not only does it provide a robust, topical seal, it also provides a durable low-sheen finish which is aesthetically pleasing.

Slate Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Milton Keynes

The sealer has done a fantastic job of emphasising all the natural colours in the Slate and the appearance of the entire floor has been lifted. The customer was really pleased with the restoration which certainly had been a long time coming.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Buckinghamshire

Renovating Slate Hallway Floor Tiles in Gloucester

This Slate tiled floor in the hallway of a property in Gloucester had been laid 28 years ago, but during this time had received no proper maintenance. The property owner used to clean the tiles once a week using a steam cleaner to little effect.

Slate tiled hallway floor Before Cleaning Gloucester

In fact, we don’t normally recommend steam cleaning sealed surfaces as it will erode the sealer prematurely. After countless years of steam cleaning, I was confident that any traces of old sealer on this floor would be non-existent at this point.

This is, of course, a problem because a lack of sealer exposes the stone to ingrained dirt and stains. The effects of this are shown in the photos below: as you can see, the Slate had completely lost its lustre and naturally colourful patina.

Slate tiled hallway floor Before Cleaning Gloucester

I was asked by the property owner to provide this Slate tiled hallway with the restoration that was so long overdue, so I travelled to the house in Gloucester, a city situated near the Welsh border and between the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean.

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Hallway

I started the restoration by mixing a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. These two products serve different purposes. Remove and Go is a stripper designed to break down any traces of old sealer that might still have existed, as well as any paints and adhesive markings; NanoTech HBU is a potent cleaner which contains nano-sized cleaning particles that penetrate deep into the stone to get underneath tough dirt and stains to dissolve and lift them out.

This cleaning solution was spread over the floor and left to dwell for 30 minutes, before being scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine. A thick black slurry resulted from this process and this needed to be removed using a wet vacuum.

Slate tiled hallway floor During Cleaning Gloucester

Next, I repeated this cleaning process using Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our reliable alkaline cleaner, to provide a more thorough clean for the tiles and grout. The slurry was once again removed using a wet vacuum, before I then rinsed the whole floor with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals.

When satisfied with outcome of the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Hallway

Upon arriving back at the property, the next day, I ran some quick moisture tests to check that the floor was dry. Thankfully, there were no damp issues and I was able to seal the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving each coat to dry before applying the next.

Seal and Go is a water based sealer (so no smell as it dries) which adds durable stain resistance and a low-sheen finish that brings out the best in the slate.

Slate tiled hallway floor After Cleaning Gloucester

The customer’s reaction to the outcome of the restoration was fantastic. She never expected the floor to turn out so beautifully and was very pleased.

Slate tiled hallway floor After Cleaning Gloucester

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Gloucester

Restoring Discoloured Slate Shower Tiles in Oxfordshire

This house in Wantage was on the market to be sold but many potential buyers had been put off by the poor condition of the Slate tiled shower cubicle. Wantage is a lovely little market town in the south of Oxfordshire and a desirable location to live.

However, before this house could be sold, the shower cubicle needed to be renovated; as you can see from the photos below, there was a heavy build-up of limescale that needed to be removed.

Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage Before Cleaning Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage Before Cleaning

With the property owner keen to sell the house, he asked me to get the shower cubicle back to looking its very best. This would involve a deep clean, acid wash and seal.

Cleaning Limescale Damaged Slate Shower Tiles

To begin the restoration, I cleaned the walls using Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is a strong alkaline product which is powerful and sage to use on natural stone to eradicate dirt and residue that has built up over time. I scrubbed the Pro Clean into the tiles and grout lines, before rinsing the entire area with fresh water.

The next stage involved removing the heavy build-up of limescale. This was done using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. Being in this form makes it especially effective for use on sloped and vertical surfaces as it it’s easier to control and can dwell for a long time where required. The product deals with alkaline-based limescale and mineral salt deposits (efflorescence).

I scrubbed the Acid Gel into the affected areas with a stiff nylon brush, before rinsing with fresh water. I then needed to repeat this process twice more to make sure all the limescale was completely removed. Following this, I left the shower to dry before sealing.

Sealing Slate Shower Tiles

After letting the shower cubicle tiles dry, I sealed them using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer.

The sealer is specially formulated to really emphasise the different natural tones and shades in the stone, in turn lifting the appearance of the entire room. In this situation, two coats of Colour Grow were used to provide robust, long-lasting protection.

Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage After Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage After Cleaning and Sealing

The customer was very impressed with the finished result and I’m sure any prospective property buyers will be equally impressed by the feature bathroom! Another satisfied client.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Oxfordshire

Renovating Old Slate Flagstones in Devon Fishermans Cottage

These lovely old Slate flagstones were reclaimed form an old waterworks in Exeter about twenty years ago and had been laid in an old fisherman cottage in Dawlish during a sympathetic renovation, replacing an old floor that had been laid in the 1970s (which have a lot to answer for with old houses!). The flagstones really looked the part and were larger and thicker than usually available on the market new. Other than being dirty and a pain to clean because of the dogs living in the house, around the edges of some of the larger tiles there was some sort of fluorescent orange residue which was up to 10mm thick in places and as hard as the stone it was adhered to.

Dawlish is a lovely little fishing harbour village on the South-East Cornwall coast with lots of interesting history. For hundreds of years the practice of smuggling imported goods prospered in the area thanks to its convenient harbour. The village is home to only around 5,000 inhabitants.

As you can see from the photo below, the tiles – along with the grout lines – were very dirty and stained. No wonder the property owner was beginning to give up on salvaging them! However, I assured the customer that with the right cleaning products and techniques, I could make a significant improvement to the condition of the floor.

Slate Flagstones Before Cleaning in Dawlish

Burnishing and Cleaning Old Slate Flagstones

To tackle the orange residue staining I used a grout removal tool which allowed the natural texture of the stone to remain rather than smoothing off the whole edge.

The dirt and staining in the slate flagstones however was so deeply ingrained I felt it best to strip back the affected layer of stone using a process known as burnishing. This involves the application of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to the floor, effectively grinding away the muck to reveal a cleaner surface beneath. When dealing with polished stone such as Limestone, Marble and Travertine, we will normally use a system of four burnishing pads – each with a different level of grit – to gradually restore the shine to the tiles.

However, in the case of these rustic, unpolished Slate Flagstones, I opted only to use only the Coarse and Medium grit burnishing pads to cut back the affected layer of stone, leaving a surface that could subsequently be scrubbed using Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This is a multi-purpose product that strips away any old sealer, adhesive marks and paint stains, while also cleaning the stone and grout.

This process ensured all traces of old sealer were removed and that the whole floor was left fresh and clean. The resulting soiled solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the whole area rinsed with fresh water to remove any traces of cleaning product. To end the first day of work, the floor was left to dry overnight.

The village the cottage is situated in is very isolated to traffic; there is a car park at the top of the town and the only option is to walk the nearly half a mile each way to the cottage on the harbour so streamlining the kit used was a necessity! In the end two trips each way go the kit required there and back with the biggest machines being a wet vac and a rotary scrubber.

Sealing Old Slate Flagstones

Returning to the property the next day, I ran some damp tests to check if the floor was dry and ready to be sealed. This is particularly important in older properties like this, as it’s quite likely that there is no damp proof course present and moisture issues are far from uncommon.

Thankfully, the tiles proved dry and I could seal them using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer provides a robust seal, as well as a natural-look matte finish which really matches the character of these original Flagstones. It also really lifted the natural shades in the stone.

Slate Flagstones After Cleaning in Dawlish

The customer was ecstatic with the result. To make sure the floor can be kept looking great for many years to come, I recommended that the customer clean it regularly using a product called Tile Doctor Stone Soap. It’s specially formulated for the routine maintenance of natural stone floors; not only will it clean the floor very well, it will also continue to add to the natural patina of the stone.
 
 
Source: Slate Flagstone Floor Cleaning and Renovation Service in Devon