Dealing with Scratched Slate Floor Tiles in a Surrey Kitchen

This property owner in Weybridge recently had a new fridge delivered by a well-known electrical retailer that has an unusual policy of not protecting its customers’ floors when installing heavy appliances. Predictably, the lack of care and consideration resulted in multiple unsightly scratches being left on the fantastic Slate tiled floor, mostly notably in front of the dishwasher, which was also newly installed.

Understandably, the property owner was not best pleased. He was keen to have the situation remedied as soon as possible. At Tile Doctor, we not only provide tile cleaning services but we also have the experience and equipment to hand all sorts of related issues including the restoration of scratched tiles. Happy to help. I travelled over to Weybridge to address the problem.

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Weybridge

Repairing and Sealing a Damaged Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The surface of the stone was damaged and the only way to repair it without the repair standing out was to strip and polish the whole floor. I therefore began the restoration by stripping the whole floor of its old sealer. The customer had marked all the deep scratches he wanted to have removed with sticky notes. I explained to him that burnishing, a type of polishing carried out using diamond encrusted handheld blocks in combination with a little water, would be perfect for this job.

The process of burnishing essentially grinds away the damaged layer and then re-polishes the stone, the process would remove the scratches and rebuild the shine. It involves the application of different grades of pads from coarse to extra fine and a little water to lubricate the process followed by a rinse with more water in-between each pad to remove the slurry generated by the process. After burnishing the floor is left polished but damp, however to save time I able to speed dry the whole floor using a powerful industrial air mover.

Once the floor was dry the final task was to re-seal the tiles. I did this using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensifying, impregnating sealer which soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within against ingrained dirt and stains for many years to come.

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles After Cleaning Weybridge

The customer was very satisfied with the service provided and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Great advice, open, honest and helpful. Turned up on time, explained the job well and it looks great. Very happy with the process and the finished results.”
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Surrey

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

Slate Tiled Floor Renovation after Building Work in North Bucks Kitchen

Sealing is a fundamental part of any stone floor installation. If your builder or tiler hasn’t sealed your floor, he’s done something wrong – and it can cause significant problems. To the untrained eye, it may be difficult to tell whether a floor has been sealed, but you will quickly see that an unsealed floor attracts a lot of ingrained dirt and loses its lustre easily over time.

This was a problem for one of my recent customers, who lives in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. They have a Slate tiled Kitchen floor which had been laid approximately 5 years prior, but had not been sealed properly on installation – and had not received any professional treatment since.

Consequently, the floor had become difficult for the customer to keep clean and it had lost its lustre and coloration due to ingrained dirt. Additionally, recent building works had left thick deposits of plaster on the tiles.

Slate Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Milton Keynes

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen

To begin restoring the Slate tiles, I applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a powerful alkaline-based cleaner for natural stone. I mixed a strong dilution of the product, spread it liberally across the area and left it to dwell for 20 minutes to seep into the pores of the stone.

Next, I scrubbed it into the stone using a brush fitted to a heavy weight rotary machine, before rinsing the floor with a high-pressure water and wet extraction unit.

The next stage of the cleaning process was to get rid of the plaster deposits and some of the heavier stains. To deal with these I needed to apply an even stronger cleaner, known as NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-Up Remover).

As its name suggests, the product uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate beneath difficult stains to dissolve them and lift them out. I did this in combination with a steamer to help loosen up some of the plaster.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen

After allowing the floor to dry overnight, I returned to the property the next day to seal the tiles. I did this using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a double-action sealer: not only does it provide a robust, topical seal, it also provides a durable low-sheen finish which is aesthetically pleasing.

Slate Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Milton Keynes

The sealer has done a fantastic job of emphasising all the natural colours in the Slate and the appearance of the entire floor has been lifted. The customer was really pleased with the restoration which certainly had been a long time coming.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Buckinghamshire

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

End of Tennancy Kitchen Floor Cleaning in Berkshire

If you’ve ever rented out a property for a long period of time, you’ll likely to have been concerned, at one point or another, about whether the tenant can be relied on to maintain the condition of carpets, walls and, of course, tiled floors.

This customer, who owns a property in Windsor (home to Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the Royal Family) had encountered this very problem. The property had been rented out to a tenant for the last five years, but the Slate tiled floor in the kitchen, which was itself only 10 years old, had not been maintained correctly.

Consequently, the sealer on the tiles was worn out and no longer capable of protecting the stone against ingrained dirt and stains. There were also lots of efflorescent salts on the floor, predominantly contained in the high trafficked areas of the kitchen. I was contacted to correct the situation and restore the entire floor by providing a deep clean and seal.

Slate Kitchen Floor Before Restoration in Windsor

Cleaning Dirty Slate Kitchen Tiles

To begin the restoration, I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water. Pro Clean is a high alkaline cleaner capable of stripping away any old sealer and eradicating any soils and grease on the floor.

The solution was spread liberally across the entire floor and left to dwell for a short period of time before being agitated and worked into the stone using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

This process left the stone fresh and clean, but the grout lines were still suffering from efflorescent salts. Efflorescence is the deposit of salts on the surface of porous materials such as natural stone tiles as moisture rises through the floor, causing unsightly stains. These alkali salts were neutralised by acid washing the floor using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner.

Slate Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Windsor

After deep cleaning the tiles, I left the floor to dry thoroughly for 24 hours, which is usually the minimum drying period that we would suggest.

Sealing Slate Kitchen Tiles

Returning to the property the next day, I ran some quick damp tests to check for any excess moisture that might have prevented me from sealing the floor. We will always do this as a precaution – especially with older floors that lack a damp proof membrane – because damp issues can damage the performance of the sealer and render it ineffectual.

Thankfully, the floor proved try and I sealed the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is an acrylic polymer sealer that provides an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish, as well as, of course, strong stain and ingrained dirt protection.

Slate Kitchen Floor After Restoration in Windsor

As you can see from the photos above, the restoration really brought this Slate tiled floor back to life after five years of poor maintenance. The customer was very pleased to have it restored back to its optimum condition – ready for the property to be rented out again!
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Berkshire

Amazing Transformation of a Slate Kitchen Floor

This is an interesting example of a Slate tiled floor that was the unfortunate recipient of a solvent-based topical coating which had become contaminated over time which completely altered its appearance. So much so, in fact, that the new owners of the property located in the village ofGamston, had not realised that this wasn’t what the floor was actually supposed to look like!

Slate Floor Gamston Nottingham Before Cleaning

The coating was hiding the natural beauty and character of the high mineral content Slate tiles. A previous tile cleaning company had tried and failed to remove this coating and clean the floor, having no real impact on the condition and appearance of the floor. This is because solvent-based topical floor coatings can only be removed using specialist chemical and mechanical techniques.

I knew that Tile Doctor’s range of products, combined with my knowledge of cleaning techniques, would be effective, and I was booked in to complete the job. Here’s how I did it.

Removing Solvent-Based Coatings and Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

To remove the solvent-based topical coating, I applied a heavy-duty coating remover from the Tile Doctor range, known as Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Remove and Go is, in fact, a highly versatile remover, formulated with a long dwell-time to strip away most coatings and sealers, epoxy grout haze, urethane coatings, synthetic finishes, adhesives and even paints.

Once applied, the product was allowed to dwell for thirty minutes. Following this, I agitated the solution with a weighted heavy-duty rotary floor machine fitted with a restorative scrubbing brush. The resulting chemical slurry was vacuumed away and the floor was rinsed thoroughly to remove suspended residues.
Next, working in sections, I forced dried the floor with an air mover and left it to dry off fully overnight so I could come back the next day and seal it.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The customer didn’t want a polished finish for the floor – instead requesting a natural look – so I opted to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which both enhances the natural shades in the stone and provides a matte finish. Colour Grow is also an impregnating sealer, meaning that it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them with sealer thus providing maximum protection against ingrained dirt and stains.

I applied three coats of the sealer to the floor, leaving 30-45 minutes between each coat. Once dry, the floor could be walked on within 45 minutes. I advised the customer not to subject the floor to heavy use for the next 48 hours whilst the sealer cured.

Slate Floor Gamston Nottingham After Restorative Cleaning

The sealer provides a low maintenance finish that should last for many years if proper care is provided. To clean the floor thereafter, I recommended that my very happy client use a damp mop in combination with Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner. The product needs to be diluted correctly and the floor mopped using a second bucket to rinse the mop so that the suspended soils are not deposited back on to the surface of the floor.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration in Nottinghamshire

Deep Cleaning a Neglected Kitchen Slate Tiled Floor

We always recommend regular maintenance for stone tiled floors, especially in areas of high traffic and high possibility of spillages, such as kitchens. Unfortunately, most house owners aren’t aware of this as was the case case of this particular Slate tiled kitchen floor at a property in Sunbury-on-Thames. In fact, the sealer hadn’t been refreshed for seven years and I suspect had worn off some years prior. The result? Well, you can see it from the photographs below

Slate Kitchen floor Before Cleaning Sunbury-on-Thames

Heavy soil and general kitchen spillages was now able to penetrate the pores of the stone leaving it looking stained and grubby.Cleaning using run-of-the-mill household products was proving near impossible and with the customer at a loss as to how to resolve the situation, I was called in to provide the professional attention these tiles so desperately needed.

Slate Kitchen floor Before Cleaning Sunbury-on-Thames

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first order of business was to break down what was left of the old impregnating sealer. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor, it was left to soak in for around ten minutes before being scrubbed into the stone. Remove and Go is a heavy-duty remover for old sealers, adhesive stains and paint splashes that is safe to use on stone, tile and grout.

Another product used was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a powerful high alkaline cleaner which works well on stone and is especially good at cleaning up grout lines.

This combination of products helped to eliminate all oil-based stains and day-to-day soils from the stone. Next, using a specialised stone rinse extractor and water, I flushed all the old sealer, cleaning products and resultant soil away.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I left the floor overnight to dry completely following the cleaning. Upon my return to the property I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer, an impregnating sealer which helps to protect the stone from spillages and ingrained dirt by filling the pores of the stone and acting as a barrier. This subsequently makes daily maintenance easier.

Slate Kitchen floor After Cleaning Sunbury-on-Thames

As you may have guessed from the product name, the sealer also enhances the natural colours in the stone. The photos below show just how significant a difference this make to the aesthetic appearance of the floor.

Slate Kitchen floor After Cleaning Sunbury-on-Thames

The customer was very pleased with the results and couldn’t quite believe seven years of poor maintenance could be remedied in just two days!
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning & Restoration Service in Middlesex

Restoring Old Slate Hallway Tiles

African Slate has a striking realism to it and its natural mix of light and dark shades is difficult to compare to anything else. This example of an African Slate tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a property in Mickleton, Gloucestershire, a town which is best known for its tradition of vegetable gardening.

African Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Mickleton

The floor was laid 15 years ago, but the owner had not maintained the sealer which would have protected the porous stone from dirt becoming ingrained. As a result, the floor was now in poor condition with the rich dark tones in the stone now dull, dirty and unremarkable. The owner had decided it was time to put it right so I was called in to make sure the tiles were restored to their original magnificence.

African Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Mickleton

Cleaning an African Slate Tiled Floor

My first job was to unclip the kickboards from the base of the kitchen units, and then also cover the units themselves with plastic to guard them against potential splashing from the cleaning process.

Next, to begin the process, I applied a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and three parts plain water. Pro Clean is a high alkaline cleaner which is so reliable when it comes to removing dirt that we use it on almost every job we do, from Slate and Quarry to Marble and Sandstone.

Once the product had been applied, I left it to soak into the stone for approximately fifteen minutes. Then, using my buffing machine fitted with a 17 inch black scrubbing pad, I scrubbed the solution into the stone to clean the floor, releasing the ingrained dirt and removing the stains in the process. All the subsequent cleaning slurry was vacuumed up with a wet vacuum and I rinsed the floor with plain water.

I repeated this process a couple of times to ensure the most thorough clean possible. Then once satisfied with the condition of the tiles, I turned my attention to the cleaning all the dirty grout lines, again using Pro-Clean. The main difference here was that I scrubbed the product in by hand using a special grout brush as opposed to using a buffing machine. The rinsing and vacuuming process was then carried out once again.

Sealing an African Slate Tiled Floor

Once the cleaning process had been completed, I covered the floor with dust sheets and left it to dry off overnight.

I returned to the property the next day to find the the floor dry and ready to be sealed. I proceeded to seal the tiles with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving roughly 30 minutes between coats.

African Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mickleton

Seal and Go is a robust sealer that works really well on floors like these and results in a durable low sheen finish that really emphasises the natural characteristics of the African Slate.

African Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mickleton

The customer was absolutely delighted with the restored appearance of the floor. In fact, it reminded her of how it looked when it was first installed 15 years ago! A complete transformation in just two days.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Gloucester

Slate Floor Tiles Refurbished in Cambridgeshire

This wonderful Slate tiled floor at a property near the old village of Duxford had been installed throughout the ground floor kitchen, utility room, dining room, and downstairs toilet, making it a very large area. As such, the property owner had struggled to keep the tile and grout looking it’s best and had tried many off the shelf supermarket-quality products without much success and you can see from the photographs the slate was now looking tired and the grout was quite stained and so we were called in to work our magic

Slate Floor Duxford Before Cleaning

While Slate is typically known for its durability, any kind of porous stone will over time become dirty and stained if the sealer is not maintained, sealers do fail eventually and usually in the highest traffic areas first where they become worn down the most.

Slate Floor Duxford Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dirty Slate Tile

Before starting the cleaning process, we protected the walls and skirting boards from coming into contact with products by covering them with plastic. I also opted to remove the kickboards from around the edges of the kitchen units, kickboards are usually just clipped into place and are easily put back later.

Slate Floor Duxford Before Cleaning Adding Protection

I then applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor, which is a multi-purpose stripper/cleaner designed to strip away old sealers and remove grout haze, adhesives and paints. It also draws out ingrained stains. The entire floor was blanketed in a thin plastic sheet to give the chemical time to emulsify the old sealers without drying out.

Slate Floor Duxford With Plastic Blanket

Next, I used our high-pressure extraction system to remove all the emulsified sealers. The system works by applying hot water under high pressure to the floor deep cleaning the tile, whilst simultaneously extracting the dirty water back to a tank on our van. This process did a great job of getting the floor clean and free of old sealers etc., and after completing the initial clean a thorough walk through of the floor was done to identify any stubborn areas that needed further treatment.

Slate Floor Duxford During Pressure Cleaning

Finally, the floor was left to dry overnight.

Sealing Slate Tiles

Upon arriving back at the property, the next day, I ran some quick damp tests to check that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. Once satisfied, I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which works really well on Slate giving it that much needed protection against dirt and stains, along with a full lustre finish that enhances the character of the floor, it was a large area and you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next so it took some time to complete as I’m sure you can imagine.

Slate Floor Duxford After Cleaning and Sealing

You should be able to see the floor was quite transformed after our visit and needless to say the customer was very happy with the result.

Slate Floor Duxford After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Grout Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cambridge

Dull and Tired Slate Floor Tile Renovation

This Slate tiled floor at this house in the Pontypool was laid over ten years ago in the kitchen/dining room. The floor had ground in dirt into the tiles and grout which the client wanted brought back to life.

Slate floor before cleaning Pontypool Slate floor before cleaning Pontypool

Repairing and Cleaning Dirty Slate Tiles

I could see the tiles would need to be deep cleaned so I started the cleaning process with a strong combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip away the old sealer and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get the tiles as clean as possible. The solution was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a rotary machine fitted with a black 17” scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soiled residue was extracted with a wet vacuum.

This process was repeated until I was satisfied all the sealer and dirt had been removed from the tile and then I concentrated my attention on the grout lines using more Pro-Clean and a stiff wire brush to get them as clean as possible.

With the tile and grout as clean as it was possible to get it, I gave the whole floor a final rinse to neutralise the cleaning products and then extracted as much moisture as possible from the floor with a wet vacuum and left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing Slate Tiles

When I returned to the property I made sure the floor had dried by checking for any dampness with a damp meter. If you neglect to remove all excess moisture from the surface of the tiles before sealing it will impact the effectiveness of the sealer.

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the floor from staining in the future and adds a nice sheen to the surface. The Slate was quite porous so I found eight coats of sealer were needed to fully seal the floor.

Slate floor after cleaning Pontypool Slate floor after cleaning Pontypool

I think you will agree the floor now looks amazing!
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Monmouthshire

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

Deep Cleaning Soiled Slate Tiles

On rare occasions we encounter extremely dirty tiled floors which have clearly not been cleaned for months, or even years. As you can see from the first photograph, this Slate tiled floor at a property in Gateside is an example of one of these extreme cases, being completely caked in thick layers of dirt that had amassed over a long time.

Slate floor before cleaning Gateside

While Slate is typically more hard wearing and rougher in texture many other types of tile, this doesn’t mean that it requires less frequent maintenance. With the floor measuring in at 20×20 metres, getting the tiles back to looking their best would be a big job, and certainly one that required the attention of a professional.

Slate kitchen floor before cleaning Gateside

Cleaning an Extremely Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

As the tiles were exceptionally dirty, I applied a strong dilution of our alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which can be used for both light soil buildup and very heavy soil buildup. After applying the product, I left it to dwell for a healthy period to allow it to break down the thick layers of dirt.

Slate kitchen floor after cleaning Gateside

I then used a black scrubbing pad fixed to a heavy rotary machine to scrub the tiles, extracting the resulting slurry using a wet vac machine. Due to how dirty the tiles were, I repeated this process several times until satisfied that the tiles were as clean as possible. Next, I paid attention to the grout, cleaning it by hand, again using Pro Clean. Once this was completed, I rinsed the floor a few times with clean water to remove any trace of chemical.

Slate floor after cleaning Gateside

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

I was keen to seal the floor the following day, so I installed a fan overnight to speed up the drying process. As many will already know, a tiled floor cannot be sealed until it is completely dry, or else the excess moisture will cloud the sealer.

Upon my return to the property the next morning, I used Tile Doctor High Shine to seal the floor as requested by the customer. This sealer is specifically designed for use on textured natural stone such as Slate, providing a durable, resistant and high shine surface seal. I applied four coats in total.

Slate kitchen floor after cleaning Gateside

The customer wasn’t at home when I finished the job, but he sent me a text later in the day to say just how impressed he was with the transformation of the floor. Another satisfied customer!

Slate kitchen floor after cleaning sealing Gateside

 
 
Source: Slate Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Glasgow

Getting the Best Our of Black Brazilian Slate Tiles

Tenuous link I know but I worked on this semi riven Black Brazilian Slate Tiles in the kitchen and dining room of a house in the seaside town of Thornton-Cleveleys around the time of the Rio Olympics. I love working on Slate as although it’s appearance can degrade without proper maintenance due to a build-up of dirt I knew they would look fantastic by the time I had finished.

Brazilian Black Slate Before Cleaning Thornton Cleveleys

The tile itself had lost its rich black colour and the grout lines had become stained, leaving the floor as a whole looking very unattractive. Out of interest honed Slate has a smooth, refined texture whereas the riven Slate has a rougher, more natural texture, and this can make it more difficult to keep clean. Needless to say, the customer was keen to have the tiles restored to looking their best.

Brazilian Black Slate Before Cleaning Thornton Cleveleys

Cleaning Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

To restore the appearance of the Slate, I cleaned the floor and removed what remained of the old sealer off using Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was scrubbed into the floor using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed with water, and the process repeated where necessary to tackle particularly stubborn areas of dirt.

As mentioned previously, the grout lines were in a particularly bad state, and would need special cleaning attention. I cleaned carefully with a strong 5-to-1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean with water, which is our high alkaline cleaner. The cleaning solution was scrubbed I’m using a stiff handheld grout brush, with the grout lines looking immediately cleaner. When I was satisfied that the grout lines had been restored to the best possible condition, I gave the floor a thorough rinse using the wet pickup function of a wet wax machine to get the floor as dry as possible and then left the whole floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests to check that the floor was completely dry. This is important as any excess moisture would have prevented me from sealing the tiles, since it can cloud the sealer and damage it performance.

Previously I discussed sealer options with the customer and they stated that they would prefer a Satin finish, so I applied a sealer called Tile Doctor Seal and Go, our topical sealer which will both protect the Slate from dirt and stains, and also gave it the desired finish. As you can see from the below photographs, the rich, dark shades in the Slate were really enhanced.

Brazilian Black Slate After Cleaning Sealing Thornton Cleveleys

The customer was very pleased with the finished result, but was also concerned about keeping the Slate clean in the long-term. For regular cleaning I advised the customer to use a pH neutral cleaner for aftercare called Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner. As a pH neutral cleaner, it will not erode the sealer compared to acidic cleaners you so often find in supermarkets.

Brazilian Black Slate After Cleaning Sealing Thornton Cleveleys

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Lancashire

Putting the Colour back Into a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

This customer, who lives in Paisley, one of Scotland’s biggest towns – and one with a rich history in the textiles industry – had not been completely satisfied with her Slate tiled kitchen floor since it had been laid. Having only been laid recently, the tiles themselves were in good shape, but they lacked the aesthetic quality desired by the customer.

She wanted them to be a richer, darker black in colour while keeping the matte look – as she had seen advertised in the tile shop – but once laid the tiles had been left looking rather unexceptional. The floor area itself was only small (at around 12 metres squared), and I was confident I could have it looking much nicer in no time at all using the right products.

Slate Floor Cleaned in Paisley

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin, I stripped away any previous sealer using a diluted mixture of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and Tile Doctor Remove and Go scrubbed into the tiles. This also helped to remove and bits of dirt and dust left on the floor. While the tiles, as mentioned, were in relatively good nick, I wanted to get the floor as clean as possible before giving it a fresh seal and my chosen combination of products did not let me down.

The floor was then neutralised with clean water, removing any outstanding cleaning chemicals, and the resulting cleaning slurry was promptly removed using a wet-vac machine. To finish the clean, I washed the tiles in pH Neutral Tile Cleaner, leaving it fresh and ready to be sealed.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I returned to the property to seal the Slate tiles making sure first that the tiles were dry. To restore the colour and texture of the Slate I started with an application of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which impregnates the pores of the stone and like a sealer provides a barrier to ingrained dirt once cured. To maintain the matt finish, as requested by the customer, I added a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal.

Slate Floor Treated with stone oil in Paisley

Just looking at the before and after photographs it’s clear to see that the customer got that the exact result she had requested. Stone Oil worked wonders to restore the rich, dark tones to the Slate that had been so sorely lacking previously. The customer can also be assured that the sealer will be keep the floor easy to clean for a long time to come.

Slate Floor Cleaned and seaeled in Paisley

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Glasgow

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

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 Appearance of Slate Flooring in Middlesex

Slate is a popular choice for tiled kitchen floors and when properly maintained looks fantastic, however like all natural stone products without an effective cleaning plan dirt will become ingrained in the stone and will start to lose its appearance.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Twickenham

This was the case with this fantastic Slate tiled kitchen floor in Twickenham which had the potential to look really nice, but hadn’t received the proper maintenance for a long while, leaving it looking very tired. It now needed what was left of its old surface sealer stripped off, followed by a deep cleaning of the tile and grout before having a fresh seal applied.

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I mixed a 50:50 solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This was applied to the floor and allowed to dwell. Remove and Go functions as a stripper that breaks down the old sealer, while Pro Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner that is safe to use on all types of natural stone flooring.

To use it to full effect, I machine scrubbed this solution into the floor to completely remove all dirt, stains, and old sealer. I also ran a stiff brush along the grout lines to remove the particularly stubborn dirt ingrained in the grout. The resulting cleaning slurry was then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor checked for stubborn marks which were retreated using the same process.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Twickenham

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to apply a new seal. It’s important to leave a tiled floor to dry completely before sealing and at this time of year 24 hours is usually enough. This is necessary to ensures there is no excess moisture in the tile as this has the potential to cloud the sealer and affect its effectiveness.

The customer required a low sheen finish and a floor that was easy to maintain. I opted to use Seal & Go, which provides exactly that. It is a water-based with a high sheen blend of acrylic polymers that offers a both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. Seal and Go is also a breathable sealer that will allow moisture to rise up through the tile and allow the floor to breathe.

Slate Floor After Cleaning in Twickenham

As you can see from the pictures, the lustre has been completely restored to the Slate tiles and the sealer will allow for easy maintenance for the customer in the future.

Slate Floor After Cleaning in Twickenham

 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Stone Restoration Service in Middlesex

Using Stone Oil To Add Colour To Slate Floor Tiles

These Slate kitchen floor tiles at a property in Oxford were in good physical condition, but had become dull over time due to heavy usage, and upon close inspection the grout was stained. The customer contacted me as she was keen to get the tiles back to looking their best. This would require a thorough clean and the application of a fresh sealer.

While Slate floor tiles are reputed to be hard wearing and damage resistant – and are therefore a popular choice for high traffic areas like kitchens – this does not exclude them from needing regular maintenance.

Slate Floor Tiles before refresh Oxford

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin, I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water. Pro-Clean is a versatile cleaner that when used in a weak dilution can be used as a regular cleaner for most types of natural stone floor, including more sensitive stones such as Limestone and Marble.

The cleaning was then spread across the surface area of the floor, and left it to dwell for ten minutes to allow the solution to seep into the pores of the stone and lift the ingrained dirt to the surface. Pro-Clean in a strong dilution also functions as a stripping product, meaning it works to strip away any old and ineffectual sealer.

I then scrubbed the solution into the floor using a stiff scrubbing brush, paying particular attention to the grout in order to break down the visible staining. The tiles and grout lines came up really well during the cleaning process – this became clear once I had rinsed the floor and removed the residue using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

With the customer eager to have the job completed quickly, I installed portable room dryers and utilised a heat gun to dry the floor, allowing me to seal it on the same day.

Once I had ensured the floor was completely dry, I commenced the sealing process by firstly applying a coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil, a product which is designed to bring out all of the natural dark shades in the Slate.

When this was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer, meaning that it soaks into pores of the stone to provide durable protection from within against ingrained dirt and stains. Colour Grow also enhances the natural colours in the stone even further.

Slate Floor Tiles after refresh Oxford
The customer was amazed by just how big a difference could be made to the tiles in the space of just a day. Although the tiles were generally in very good nick, my main task was to be liven them up – judging by the before and after photos, I think this was achieved. And, now that they have been treated to a fresh seal, the tiles will be prevented from quickly becoming dull again.

Source: Slate Tile and Stone Restoration Service in Oxfordshire

Putting the Lustre back on Slate Tiled Flooring

Slate tiles have been in use for centuries, often chosen for roofing and both interior and exterior flooring due to their hard-wearing nature. While the popularity of the material perhaps peaked a hundred or more years ago, punctuated by the so-called “Slate boom” in 1870s Europe, it is still seen used en masse in large construction projects globally, and Slate tiled floors remain a feature of many houses in the UK, both old and new.

Despite its natural durability, Slate still requires regular maintenance, especially when used as flooring in the high traffic areas of a house. This tired and dirty looking Slate tiled floor in the kitchen of a house in Hampton, Middlesex was in certain need of the old sealer being stripped off, following by a deep cleaning and the application of a fresh seal.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning In Hampton

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the job, we mixed a strong cleaning solution consisting of Tile Doctor Remove and Go stripper and Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Pro Clean is a heavy duty alkaline-based cleaner that is designed to tackle significant levels of soiled build up on natural stone floors.

This solution was then spread evenly across the surface area of the floor and left for roughly ten minutes to dwell and soak into the Slate, allowing it to start stripping off the old sealer.

Next, I fitted a black scrubbing pad to my rotary buffing machine and proceeded to agitate the solution, breaking up the dirt and general muck afflicting the tiles, as well as the old sealer. As the slurry of muck emerged I promptly rinsed it away with clean water, before extracting the excess moisture with a wet vacuum.

Slate Floor During Cleaning In Hampton

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

After being left to dry completely over night, the floor was ready to receive a new application of sealer. Since the customer requested a high sheen finish and a floor that was easy to maintain, we opted to go for the solvent based topical sealer known as Tile Doctor Seal & Go. The sealer acts as a layer of protection for the floor against dirt and stains.

Slate Floor After Cleaning In Hampton

As you can see from the pictures, the restoration has fully restored the lustre to these Slate tiles and has set up floor to be easy maintained for the customer in the future.

Slate-Floor-After-Cleaning-In-Hampton-1829

 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Stone Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Middlesex

Getting the Best From Slate Flooring

This slate floor was installed in the kitchen and adjacent dining area of this house in Shepperton, Middlesex and now as with all sealed floors the sealer had worn down and the floor was becoming difficult to clean leaving it looking dull and uninviting.

To remedy the old sealer would need to be stripped off, the floor deep cleaned and a fresh seal applied. I suspect the sealer had been eroded prematurely by the use of harsh cleaning chemicals and a steam cleaner. This had destroyed the sealer in parts and made the floor look very uneven. You do need to be very careful of supermarket cleaning products as many are designed for glazed ceramic tiles and contain acids which will eat through the sealer over time.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning In Shepperton Slate Floor Before Cleaning In Shepperton

Stripping old Sealers off a Slate Tiled Floor

To strip the remaining sealer off the floor and give the slate and grout a really deep clean I prepared a 50:50 mixture of Remove and Go and Pro-clean diluted with water. This powerful stripper/cleaner solution was then machine scrubbed into the floor to break up the dirt and old sealer, a stiff brush was also run over the grout lines to get them clean as well. The slurry was then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected and the process repeated where necessary until I was satisfied the slate and grout were as clean as they could be and free of any old sealer.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The floor was left to dry off and we returned later to seal the floor. Sealers can be affected if the floor is damp so a damp meter comes in very handy at this point to confirm the floor is dry before sealing.

We have a number of sealer products available that all have different effects and in this case the customer required a high sheen finish and a floor that was easy to maintain. Tile Doctor Seal & Go gives exactly that result and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, so we applied a number of coats and provided the customer with some advice on the use of pH neutral cleaning products for general cleaning going forward.

Slate Floor After Cleaning In Shepperton Slate-Floor-After-Cleaning-In-Shepperton-1968

You can see from the pictures that the process has restored the lustre to the slate and the sealer will protect the floor going forward making it easier to maintain.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Stone Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Middlesex

Dirty Slate Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Resealed

These photographs of a Slate tiled kitchen floor are from a house in Lochwinnoch in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. You can see that the slate and grout was looking very dull and any sealer that was present had failed leaving the stone in need of a deep clean and re-seal.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Lochwinnoch

Cleaning Slate Floor Tile and Grout

On the first day we stripped the floor of any remaining sealer using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with Remove and Go, this was left to dwell for 5-10mins before scrubbing it in with a scrubbing pad and then extracting the slurry with a wet vacuum. It was important to ensure all the sealer was removed in order to get an even finish and to avoid any compatibility issues when re-sealing later.

Slate Floor During Cleaning in Lochwinnoch

After this we focused on cleaning the grout using more Pro-Clean this time worked in using a stiff grout brush by hand. Once done the floor was given a thorough rinse using a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Neutral Clean to remove any trace of cleaning solutions that may impact the sealer and again using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The floor was left to dry off overnight and then we returned on the second day to seal the slate with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) which adds a nice sheen to the tile and gave the desired finish. Slate is quite porous so five coats of Seal and Go were required to ensure the floor was fully sealed.

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Lochwinnoch

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Maintenance Service in Lochwinnoch

Restoring a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

These photographs below are of a Slate Tiled Kitchen floor taken at a customer’s house in Henley-on-Thames which, as its name suggests, sits alongside the River Thames in Oxfordshire. My client’s Slate kitchen floor had recently been cleaned with unsuitable cleaning products which I suspect impacted the sealer leaving it looking dull. Sealers really to improve the look of a stone floor so unsurprisingly once the sealer had been damaged my client had been unable to find a cleaning product that could have any kind of positive effect on the tiles.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Henley-on-Thames

It’s fairly well known that many supermarket quality cleaners are only really designed for use on Ceramic or Porcelain tiled floors as they contain acids which strip away at sealers and acid sensitive stone floors, leaving the stone beneath vulnerable. So your select a cleaning product for your floor always read the small print on the back of the label and make sure you avoid anything that mentions not for use on acid sensitive stone; belter still Tile Doctor have a number of products for cleaning tiled floors including Neutral Cleaner and Stone Soap.

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

To clean the floor and remove any remaining sealer I first made a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner and then spread this over the floor, leaving it to dwell. This allows the cleaner to seep into the slate and get underneath, breakdown sealers and start to lift out ingrained dirt.

Following a dwelling period of roughly ten minutes, I agitated the floor periodically with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and scrubbed along the grout lines with a stiff grout brush. I then used a wet vacuum to extract the resultant slurry away and then followed up by rinsing the floor with clean water, and once again vacuumed up the residue.

Any stubborn areas were retreated until I was happy with the floor and then I left the floor to dry off completely overnight, in preparation for sealing the following day.

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

Upon my return to the house the following day, I ran some damp tests on different parts of the floor to check for any excess moisture which could potentially damage the performance of the sealer. Once I was satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This will provide a robust surface seal for the future, along with an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish.

This sealer works particularly well on Slate tiles and, being a water-based sealant, additionally Seal & Go does not emit an unpleasant smell as it dries. Slate is quite a porous stone so I applied six coats of seal to provide long-lasting protection.

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Henley-on-Thames

 
 
Source: Slate Tiled Floor Cleaning and Restoration service in Henley-on-Thames

Removing Years of Dirt from Slate Kitchen Tiles

I recently visited a client living in the market town of Woodstock in Oxfordshire to rejuvenate a fantastic multi-coloured Slate floor that had been hidden under several years’ worth of dirt in their kitchen. Slate is a typically hard-wearing tile used for flooring high traffic areas of houses and public buildings but does need sealing to bring out its best features and in this case the sealer had long since worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the stone.

Multi Coloured Slate Before Cleaning Woodstock

Cleaning a dirty Slate tiled floor

My first task in the cleaning process was to mix a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline cleaner safe to use on Tile and Stone, and NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover), which is a particularly powerful product that uses nano-sized particles to tackle muck in areas of the stone where typical cleaners simply can’t reach. I spread this solution across the floor and left it to seep into the stone, to get underneath and lift out the ingrained dirt.

After allowing the solution adequate time to dwell, I scrubbed the floor with a carbon brush to gradually reveal the fantastic natural colours of the Slate hidden beneath. Following this, I rinsed the entire floor several times with clean water, before soaking up the resulting soiled residue with a wet vacuum.

Multi Coloured Slate During Cleaning Woodstock

The next part of the cleaning process entailed paying particular attention to the grout lines. I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to scrub the grout lines and also to treat a small amount of efflorescence. The resulting residue was promptly extracted with the wet vacuum and I finished by giving the whole floor a rinse with Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a day to day tile cleaning product which is recommended for stone floors, many supermarket tile cleaning products are only suitable for ceramic tiles due to their acidic formula and can damage a floor over years of use so you should always read the label. I then left the floor to dry completely overnight.

Multi Coloured Slate During Cleaning Woodstock

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

On day two, the Slate tiled floor was dry and ready to seal. The floor had to be completely dry, as any excess moisture has the potential to the damage the performance of the sealer. Since my client had specifically requested a matte finish, I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that provides durable surface protection from within while also enhancing all of the natural mineral shades.

Multi Coloured Slate After Cleaning Woodstock

My client was very pleased with the results, particularly as they hadn’t realised they had such a great looking floor in their house when they had first purchased it!
 
 
Source: Slate Floor Cleaning and Restoration service in Oxfordshire

Slate Kitchen Floor Rejuvenated

This floor was installed in the house of a client in the town of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, I was asked if I could restore the Slate tiled kitchen floor back to its former glory. The client was having trouble cleaning the floor themselves due to the sealer being worn away and dirt now becoming ingrained into the pores of the slate. I suspect the life of the sealer had been reduced by the use of in-appropriate cleaning products; anything even mildly acidic will overtime eat away at the sealer and reduce its life.

Upon arriving at the house, I undertook some test cleaning to demonstrate to the client the results I would be able to achieve. Seeing how quickly I would be able to make a marked difference to the appearance of the tiles, the client quickly commissioned me to undertake a clean and seal for the entire floor.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing in Trowbridge

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

My first task was to mix a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and clean water. This was then applied evenly onto the floor and left to dwell for 15 minutes, allowing for the strong alkaline cleaner to soak into the stone to get underneath any ingrained dirt, and lift it to the surface.

Once the solution had rested on the surface for a short while, I paid particular attention to the grout lines, scrubbing them with a stiff grout brush. Next, I attached a polybrush to a rotary machine and scrubbed all of the tiles thoroughly. I then used a wet-vac machine to soak up any resulting residue.

However, upon further inspection, I noticed some further paint splashes and grout haze. I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to tackle the evident grout haze, and used a heavy duty scraper to remove the paint splashes. Once my client and I were happy with the result, I vacuumed up the slurry and gave the entire floor a thorough rinse. It was then left to dry completely overnight.

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor. Firstly, I tested the floor for evidence of damp using a damp meter and, once I was happy that there was no excess moisture to potentially damage the performance of the sealer, I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides a durable surface seal and leaves an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish.

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Trowbridge

I applied a total of six coatings of the sealer, resulting in a marked difference in the appearance of the tiles (as you can see from the photos). She was very happy with her refreshed floor, and I left her with some cleaning and maintenance advice for the future, before making my departure.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile and Grout cleaning and polishing service in Wiltshire

Deep Cleaning Dirty Slate Tiles

This slate floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in the town of Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire. As the name suggests, Burton-on-Trent sits alongside the River Trent, which runs through most of the northern Midlands. The old sealer on my client’s Slate tiled kitchen floor had completely worn off and, as a result, dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the stone which was now in need of restoration.

Slate is typically a very durable tile, having been used both residentially and commercially for hundreds of years but, in particularly high traffic areas like kitchens it’s important to maintain the sealer or dirt will get into the pores of the stone making the floor difficult to clean effectively and leading to the tile looking worse for wear. I was commissioned to get the floor back to good health and I prescribed a deep clean and re-seal.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Burton-on-Trent Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Burton-on-Trent

Cleaning a dirty Slate tiled floor

To start the cleaning process, I first diluted Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water and left it to soak into the floor for a while so it could get to work lifting out the dirt from the pores of the stone. Pro-Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner safe to use on natural stone which can be diluted in different strengths depending on the level of soil build-up. In this case, I opted for a reasonably strong solution due to the significant amount of ingrained dirt (as shown by the photographs).

After about ten minutes I started working in small sections to agitate the tiles with a scrubbing pad attached to a rotary machine. The pad and machine take a lot of the hard work out of the cleaning process although I usually do the grout by hand using a stiff scrubbing brush. Once I had finished the initial clean, I rinsed the entire floor with water, before repeating the process multiple times until I was satisfied that I had got the Slate tiles as clean as possible.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

After completing the clean, I left the house for a few days to allow the floor enough time to dry before being sealed. As any Tile Doctor will tell you, all moisture must be removed from a tiled floor before sealing it, as it has the potential to compromise the effectiveness of the sealer.

Once I was satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I sealed the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides a stain resistant surface seal and a nice, low sheen finish. Seal & Go is a water based product (so no smell) and is suitable for use on a wide variety of unsealed, porous surfaces as Slate, Victorian tile, Sandstone, and textured Quarry tiles.

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Burton-on-Trent Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Burton-on-Trent

As you can see, the overall results were fantastic and my client was really happy with the difference I’d been able to achieve.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning and maintenance services in Staffordshire

Sealing Black Slate Tiles

I recently visited a client’s house in the small town of Okehampton, an area with a lot of heritage. It was first settled by the Saxons, and like many other towns in the South West, grew as a result of the thriving medieval wool trade.

The client asked me to take a look at the black Slate tiled floor in her kitchen, which she noticed had gone quite dull in a short period of time. She mentioned that the sealer she had been sold and subsequently applied two years ago had completely gone, even though she believed it was supposed to last ten years. This is a common misconception in the tiling world; it seems that the tiling company my client had previously consulted did not sell her the appropriate cleaner, nor did they mention that sealer should, in fact, be topped up at least once a year.

Black Slate before cleaning and sealing in Okehampton

Cleaning a black Slate tiled floor

I cleaned the floor using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which can be used not only on Slate, but also on other types unpolished natural stone. This product is a multi-purpose stripper which will remove the old sealer from the floor whilst also lifting out any ingrained dirt and stains.

After applying a layer of Remove & Go, I left it to dwell for 20 minutes. I then used a black buffing pad, which is suitable for heavy duty wet scrubbing, to work the product deep into the tiles. After cleaning, the old sealer had been completely removed and the floor was ready for a new seal. I rinsed the floor several times with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product, before leaving it to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing a black Slate tiled floor

Tile Doctor Seal & Go was my choice of sealer for this floor, as it is designed for use on internal unsealed porous surfaces like Slate, as well as textured Quarry, Sandstone and Victorian tile. I applied four coats of Seal & Go for a stain resistant surface seal along with a high quality, low sheen finish.

Black Slate after cleaning and sealing in Okehampton

After cleaning and sealing, the floor was no longer looking dull – instead the fantastic shade of black was really emphasised. Both myself and my client were very pleased with the results. I hope to be back at some point within the next year to top up the seal (as is recommended) and maintain the condition of the floor in this high-traffic area of the house.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in Devon

Revamping Dirty Slate Tiles

The photographs below are from a property in the small village of Mayfield, located within the High Weald civil parish of Mayfield and Five Ashes in East Sussex. The village is perhaps best known for its annual carnival and torchlight procession however on this occasion I was there to revamp the Slate tiled kitchen floor. The tiles had been left worse for wear by the previous occupants where years of children and mucky dogs had taken its toll on the slate.

Slate floor before cleaning in Mayfield Slate floor before cleaning in Mayfield

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

Whilst I would normally utilise my buffing machine with a black buffing pad as part of the cleaning process for natural stone tiles, I was unable to do so in this case as the Slate tiles in the kitchen were riven which would of cut into and potentially shredded the pad.

As a result, I had to clean the floor by hand. I did this using a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to five parts clean water, which I worked into the tiles with a deck brush, followed by a hard brush. The solution needed will vary in accordance to the level of soil build-up on the floor. In this case, the soil build-up was light enough to use quite a diluted solution, but in a case where a floor is very heavily soiled I would recommend using a more concentrated solution of one part Pro-Clean to two parts water.

After a period of scrubbing with the hard brush, I sucked up the muck that had been removed from the surface with a wet-vac machine. I then continued with the cleaning process for several hours, before once again using the wet-vac machine up any excess moisture left by the cleaning solution. I left for a period of two days to allow the floor to dry completely before I returned to seal the floor. I instructed my client to keep the floor completely dry because any excess moisture would potentially impact negatively on the performance of the sealer.

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

To seal the floor I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensifying sealer which gets into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. In this case I applied two coats of Colour Grow to really bring out the range of fantastic natural colours and shades in the Slate, whilst also providing durable surface protection for this high-traffic kitchen area.

Slate floor after cleaning in Mayfield Slate floor after cleaning in Mayfield

My client was very impressed with the results. I hope she enjoys this brilliant feature of her new home, now full of life and colour once again.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in East Sussex

Cleaning Very Dirty Riven Slate Kitchen Tiles

I was recently contacted by a client who had just moved into a house in Crowborough, a town in East Sussex which by the way was once home to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. The riven Slate tiled floor in the kitchen had trapped bits of dirt and also food which had become ingrained in the tile. Needless to say, the new homeowner wanted to give the kitchen floor a thorough clean. However, she had tried every cleaning product she could find in the supermarket, but to no avail. Struggling to find a solution she sought out professional assistance and naturally I was happy to help.

Slate floor before cleaning Crowborough

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

My first task was to mix up a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The product was only slightly diluted with water, since the floor was quite heavily soiled and a higher concentration of Pro-Clean was needed to help remove several layers of dirt and food waste. Once applied to the floor, the solution was left to dwell for roughly five minutes before I began to work it into the stone with a deck brush. I did the best I could here to clean the floor without using my buffing machine as, since the floor was riven, my black buffing pad would have been ruined by the ridges.

Making up for the lack of a buffing machine, I made sure to scrub the floor with Pro-Clean for several hours to remove as much grime as possible. One the cleaning was finally completed I rinsed the floor several times with clean, hot water. I then used a wet-dry vac machine to remove any excess moisture to clear the floor for sealing when I returned 48 hours later. Upon leaving, I left my client with instructions to avoid spilling anything on the floor as, again, any liquid left on the surface might affect the performance of the sealer.

Slate floor during cleaning Crowborough

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

After a period of two days, I returned to commence the sealing. My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which is suitable for use on internal, unsealed surfaces such as Slate, textured Quarry, Victorian tile, and others. Seal and Go is also a water based sealer so you there’s very little smell given off whilst it dries compares to solvent based sealers. In this case, the client did not want the surface of the floor to be too shiny, so I only used two coatings of Seal & Go, whereas for a shinier result I would have used a few more.

Slate floor after cleaning Crowborough

My client was exceptionally pleased with the results, which had not only cleaned the floor but brought out the beautiful colours in the stone that had once been hidden under several layers of muck.

Slate floor after cleaning Crowborough

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in Crowborough

Removing Old Coatings From Slate Tiles

These slate tiles had been laid in the kitchen of a farmhouse in the village of Little Hampden around twenty years ago and since that time had become heavily soiled with a build-up of dirt and over applied sealants.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Farmhouse Floor Before Cleaning in Little Hampden

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

To get the floor clean a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor, allowed to soak in for a while and then scrubbed into the tile and grout with the aid of a commercial rotary machine. Once done the floor was washed down with water which was then removed along with the soiled cleaning solution using a wet vacuum.

The Pro-Clean removed the top soiling throughout the floor but it became clear that something stronger would be need to remove the heavy build-up of old sealants. Fortunately we have a product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is designed to strip floors of sealers so this was applied to the floor in a similar fashion as before and this tackled the problem. The next task was to clean the grout lines with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and give the whole floor a final rinse with more water to ensure any chemical residue is removed leaving the floor ready for sealing.

Sealing a Slate Floor

The floor was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to seal it to protect for years to come and improve the general look of the slate which really does look better when sealed.

To seal the floor I used a combination of products to get the best results. First a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealant which occupies the pores in the stone protecting it from within and then a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were added to add a nice subtle sheen to the floor.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Farmhouse Floor After Sealing in Little Hampden

Our customer was extremely pleased with the results and took up our offer of a Tile Doctor maintenance contract to enable her to keep the floor in pristine condition.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in South Buckinghamshire