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

Grout Haze Removed from Slate

These mixed milled slate floor tiles were installed in the Kitchen, Hall and toilet of a house in Broadwell, Warwickshire. The Slate was staining easily from drink spills and proving hard to clean; on top of that all the tiles were covered in a slight grout haze and had not been sealed or cleaned properly after installation. The customer needed the floor to be easy to clean and manage and was keen to bring out the rich colour and texture of the floor but keep a matt finish.

Slate Tiles Before Cleaning in Broadwell1 Slate Tiles Before Cleaning in Broadwell2

Cleaning black slate floor tiles

The first job was to give the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was worked into the pores of the Slate tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the resultant soiled solution and rinsed the floor down with water.

Removing Grout Haze from Slate

The next step was to tackle the grout haze which was evident across the tiles; for this we used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acidic product that you allow to dwell on the tile for a one to two minutes and then agitate with a scrubbing pad and then remove shortly afterwards with a wet vacuum washing the floor down quickly to ensure the acid is removed.

Further cleaning was required to some areas which had proven stubborn to clean earlier and for this we used Pro-Clean again mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which adds tiny abrasive particles to make a more effective cleaning product; again this was scrubbed in and then once we were happy with the result the floor was washed down with clean water in order to neutralise it before sealing.

Sealing Slate floor tiles

I left the floor overnight to dry then came back next day and used a damp test meter to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which matched their requirements in a sealer exactly as it provides a matt finish brings out the colour in the stone and offers great stain protection.

Slate Tiles After Cleaning in Broadwell1 Slate Tiles After Cleaning in Broadwell5

 
 
Source: Slate Problems solved in Warwickshire