Deep Cleaning Slate Tile and Grout in a Devon Kitchen

Honiton is an old market town in East Devon with some interesting history. Most of the main buildings in the centre town are Georgian – dating back to the 18th century – and the town has been the site of the annual Honiton Agricultural Show since 1890.

I visited this quaint area not too long ago to visit a customer. The customer’s Slate tiled kitchen floor, as you can see from the photograph below, was looking worst for wear. The sealer had worn off and dirt and grime had penetrated the pores of the stone, this made the tiles difficult to clean and the new owners of the house were having trouble improving the appearance of the floor. They thought that the tiles were laid about eight years previously but that there had been no real cleaning or maintenance on it.

Sealers are the sacrificial-lamb for tiles and stone floors and do a great job of protecting and enhancing the floor but only last around 2-4 years on normal-traffic floors such as this. Regular maintenance can extend this and topping up of the sealer once a year can see this continue indefinitely. Tile Doctor can help with any maintenance plans and can be discussed as part of any visit

Kitchen Slate Tiled Floor Honiton Before

I was called in to get this Slate tiled kitchen floor back to looking its best and easy to clean.

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

In this case the sealer that had been used was past its best and was attracting dirt and holding it in, so the only option would be to completely strip the floor and re-seal. The grout had also been discoloured over the years and there are a few options to get grout looking its best again.

Grout is more prone to discolouration than the tiles but usually comes up well using Tile Doctor products Remove and Go, Pro Clean or Duo Clean. If the grout is discoloured beyond repair a grout recolour is the best way forward and a variety of colours are available.

This floor was stripped of old sealers using Tile Doctor’s Remove and Go, a strong alkaline stripper and degreaser plus coarse buffing pad on a rotary scrubber to remove any traces of previous sealers plus normal kitchen oils and stains. The grout was also scrubbed for good measure using a special grout brush and the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water and a wet vac to ensure that any remaining chemicals were neutralised and removed.

This process left the floor fresh and clean – and ready to be left to dry completely overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

After leaving the floor to dry overnight, I returned to the property to seal it. Before doing so, I ran a few damp tests – aware that the property is reasonably old and may not have a damp proof membrane installed. Any excess moisture can cloud the sealant and damage its performance, but thankfully this floor proved to be dry.

I proceeded then to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is our impregnating sealer which enhances the dark natural shades in the Slate, as you can clearly see from the photo below. As an impregnating sealer, it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and block dirt and stains from becoming ingrained.

Kitchen Slate Tiled Floor Honiton After

The restoration was truly transformative and as you can see from the picture above the grout came up very well so a recolour wasn’t necessary.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Honiton Devon

Slate Kitchen Floor Restored at Wye Valley Cottage

Ross-on-Wye, an area located in South Hertfordshire and close to the Monmouthshire border in Wales, is known as the “birthplace of the British tourist industry” due to the Wye Valley’s picturesque river scenery, landscapes, and castles and abbeys. It is also known for the famous Ross and Monmouth Railway, which opened in 1873 and closed in 1959, and ran through the valley.

I visited an old cottage in the area to assist a customer with restoring a Slate tiled kitchen floor. Slate tiles are particularly popular because of their versatility and durability, and truly they can be an asset to any property if the sealer is maintained correctly. Slate tiles need to be sealed to prevent dirt penetrating the pores of the stone as ingrained dirt is difficult to remove and causes the stone to lose its appearance. In this case the floor had been laid around five years earlier and the sealer had worn off in places and was wearing very thin in others. As you would expect dirt had now become ingrained in the tile and the grout had also become stained in places. Overall this problem had left the floor looking very dull and unappealing, as you can see from the photograph below.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Ross-on-Wye Cottage

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go liberally across the floor to strip away any remaining old sealer that was likely to be ineffectual and not preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone. Next, I applied our strong alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean to tackle that ingrained dirt. This was left to dwell on the floor and then agitated using a 17-inch rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

After cleaning the floor, I rinsed the tiles thoroughly with water and used a wet vacuum to clear the area of the resulting slurry. Following this I concentrated on cleaning the grout lines using Pro Clean in combination with a wire brush, before leaving the floor to dry out completely for the next couple of days.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Later in the week, I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before doing so, however, I needed to test the floor for damp issues, especially since this was an old property and was unlikely to have a damp proof membrane installed. Running these damp tests are very important because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Thankfully, there proved to be no issues, and the floor was fine to seal. I did this using eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a water based product (so no smell) that provides a durable, satin finish, and is recommended for use on a variety of tiles, including Quarry, Victorian, Sandstone and Terracotta.

Slate Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed Ross-on-Wye Cottage

As you can see from the photo above, the restoration was transformative and really restored the lustre to this Slate tiled floor. Another satisfied customer!
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Monmouthshire