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

Refreshing the Appearance of a Slate Tiled Kitchen

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

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

Dishevelled Chinese Rough Slate Before Restoration Cheadle

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floors

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

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

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

Sealing Riven Slate Tiles

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

Dishevelled Chinese Rough Slate After Restoration Cheadle

For general cleaning of Sealed stone floors, we recommend the use of a PH Neutral Cleaner as anything with a strong PH will degrade the life of the sealer over time.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Grout Cleaning and Sealing Service in Greater Manchester

Restoring the Look of a Chinese Slate Tiles

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.

Chinese Slate Before Cleaning in South Molton

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!

Chinese Slate After Cleaning in South Molton

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