I recently made a trip down to South Molton, a small town which sits on the River Mole. The river, actually a tributary of the River Taw, gets its name from the two small towns it runs by, North Molton and South Molton. Anyway I digress, my client asked me to take a look at a Chinese Slate floor in her house, as it was in dire need of a good clean due to the original sealer having worn off over time allowing the dirt to become ingrained in the tile.
As this particular type of floor is naturally quite rough, I advised my client to have the Slate milled flat. This would not only make the floor easier to clean on a regular basis, but also it would reduce the hazard of people tripping over the exposed edges. However, the milling procedure is expensive due to the need to use a special grinding disc formed of diamond segments, which is then attached to a rotary machine and used on the stone. My client decided against this, instead opting for a thorough clean and seal. This would be the first time the floor had ever received a proper clean – it had not even been cleaned when the tilers first fitted it!
Cleaning a Chinese Slate floor
My choice of product for the cleaning was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner which, along with Slate, is suitable for use on other natural stone floors such as Limestone, Granite and Travertine. The product, diluted with clean water, was applied evenly to the floor using a Polybrush, as well as a rotary machine fitted with a buffing pad. This also helped to remove any remaining old sealer although, as aforementioned, the vast majority of the old sealer had already worn away.
Following this, I cleaned the grout using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up and a long-handled stiff grout brush. Grout Clean-Up penetrates below the surface of the grout to lift out grout haze and general dirt. After completing the cleaning I rinsed the floor several times with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product. The floor was then left to dry completely before sealing, as any moisture left over on the floor could have impacted on the sealer.
Sealing a Chinese Slate floor
When I returned to seal the floor I opted to use Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer, which is suitable for use on textured natural stone floors, as well as textured ceramic, textured porcelain, and a range of others. Five coats of High Shine Sealer were applied, providing the floor with durable surface protection and a nice high-sheen finish. This dramatically improved the appearance of the floor to the point that it is hard to believe this is the first time it has been treated to a proper clean and seal!
Both myself and my client were very pleased with the results. Chinese Slate is one of the most beautiful and characterful types of stone for tiled floors, so it was very rewarding to be able to make such a difference here.
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in Devon