Rejuvenating a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

Kitchen tiles are never the easiest to keep clean. Food and drink spillages are likely to happen on a daily basis, especially if you live in a busy household. Not to mention the dirt and dust that builds up over time if the tiles are not treated to regular cleaning and maintenance. At this house in Linwood, a small town about 14 miles west of Glasgow, the Slate tiled kitchen floor, measuring approximately 8-10 square metres, wasn’t in a great state. In particular, the grout was very noticeably stained.

The property owner called me to help bring the floor back to looking it’s best again.

Slate floor tiles before grout colouring in Linwood

Cleaning Dirty Slate Tiles and Recolouring Grout

I started the restoration by cleaning the tiles and grout with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This pH neutral cleaner is specially formulated for the regular cleaning of natural stone, unlike many supermarket-grade cleaners that are only really suitable for use on ceramics. The customer was also wary about the sealer on the Slate tiles being damaged, so I didn’t want to use anything stronger or acidic. Nonetheless, the Neutral Tile Cleaner did a fine job of removing any muck from the surface of the tiles and removing the stains from the grout.

Slate floor tiles during grout colouring in Linwood

I also recommended that the grout be recoloured in order to fully restore the appearance of the floor as a whole. I let the floor dry off completely following the clean, before applying our Natural Grey grout colourant, one of the ten different types of grout colourant we offer, which seals and rejuvenates the grout joints. Other colours include White, Black, and Cappuccino. In this case, I felt Natural Grey would match in best with the natural colours of the Slate. I then left the grout to dry before polishing off any excess colourant.

Slate floor tiles after grout colouring in Linwood

As you can see the grout nows looks much fresher and neater. The epoxy nature of the colourant will protect the grout from any future discolouration and make it much easier to clean. Certainly, the customer was very happy as she left the following
feedback:

“Steven contacted me quickly and we booked my job in. My Slate kitchen floor’s grout was discoloured, so we agreed he would clean and stain the grout. He came and carried out the work and he was excellent. Very happy with the work and his attitude was first class. Would highly recommend.”
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Renfrewshire

Post Installation Cleaning and Sealing of a Slate Floor

One of the worst examples of bad tiling practice is to leave a newly installed floor unsealed and therefore unprotected. This is exactly the problem that had occurred at this property in Lymm, West Cheshire. A builder has installed a new Slate tiled floor in the kitchen of this property, but had neglected to seal it, leaning the tiles exposed to dirt, stains, and other general muck so they quickly lost their appearance. To be fair I could not fault the installation but the floor now looked terrible.

Slate Floor Before Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

The property owner was keen to have the grubby Slate tiles refreshed and sealed, so she gave me a call. I agreed to complete the work and travelled to the property in Lymm – which incidentally means “place of running water” in Celtic – and was named after an ancient stream that ran through the village centre.

Cleaning a Grubby Slate Tiled Floor

Upon my arrival at the property I got straight to work, cleaning the tiles with our heavy duty remover/cleaner, Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was applied to the floor, left to soak in and then scrubbed into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to break down the layers of muck. Normally I would use Remove and Go to strip away old coatings and sealers, but here of course there was no sealer to begin with just a lot of ingrained dirt.

I also carefully scrubbed the grout lines with a special grout brush as I went along. The grout lines are often where dirt can be come easily ingrained, and it was no different here. The floor was then rinsed off with clean water, and any resulting could residue was quickly removed using a wet vac machine. Finally, the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property and started by checking that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. This involved running damp tests to check for excess moisture. When satisfied, I proceeded to seal the floor with a single coat of our impregnating, colour enhancing sealer, Tile Doctor Colour Grow followed by two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which gives the tiles a fantastic sheen finish.

Refreshing Grout with a Grout Colourant

The customer requested for the grout lines to be recoloured, but first I had to leave the property overnight to allow the sealer to dry. The next morning, I coloured the grout lines with white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which is just a question of applying the colourant with a small brush and then wiping the excess off the tiles. It’s not a tough job but it can be quite fiddley and it does make a real difference to the appearance of the grout.

Slate Floor After Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

As you can see from the After photograph the white Grout Colourant contrasted very nicely against the naturally dark Slate. The absence of a sealer had left the floor looking very dull but now, with a fresh, robust seal, it has been completely revitalised. My customer was exceptionally pleased with her hugely improved kitchen floor.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Grout Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cheshire

Deep Cleaning Slate Tiles in Glasgow

Slate is a hard-wearing product ideal for floors however it does need a sealer to bring out the best in it and sealers do wear off after a few years and this had happened with the Slate tiled floor in this post. The floor was now looking dull and the grout had also discoloured so time to call in Tile Doctor to breathe new life into the tile and grout.

Dark slate tiled floor glasgow before cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Floor

It’s not a good idea to apply a new sealer on-top of existing as it can affect the final result so the first task was to strip back the floor to the natural stone giving the Slate and Grout a thorough clean in the process.

To do this a strong solution of Tile Doctor Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak into the floor for about 20 minutes; Pro-Clean has a strong alkaline base so it’s safe to use on Stone as opposed to a weak acid cleaner. After twenty minutes it was worked into the slate and grout using a low speed bonnet machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad with the excess extracted using a wet vacuum.

This process was repeated three times to make sure all the old sealer and dirt was completely removed and after this the grout was cleaned by hand using more Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. Once done the whole floor was then neutralised with more water to ensure there was no trace of cleaning product remaining on the floor prior to sealing.

Grout Colouring

The floor was left to dry off overnight and returned the second day to colour the grout to dark grey which made a big improvement to the overall look of the floor; the grout colours we use come in 12 colours so we can usually find one that matches the customers’ requirements, once applied they also form a great barrier preventing future staining. Once the colourant has dried the floor was given a further clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is an everyday cleaning product we recommend for sealed floors.

Sealing a Slate Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry and we came back two days later to re-seal the tile for which we used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a great sealer for Slate tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection. I should mention that Seal and Go is also a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell whilst it’s drying.

Dark slate tiled floor glasgow after cleaning

We left the floor to dry overnight again and came back the third day to seal the Slate tiles for which we used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which give a subtle shine to the tiles and matched the customers requirements.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration Service in Glasgow