This was a very large natural slate floor installed throughout much of the ground floor at a property in East Surrey town of Oxted. The owner was unhappy with the state of the tiles and especially the grout however she wanted to ensure I would take maximum care around her Baby Grand piano. If you have read any of my previous articles you will know I am careful and take time to protect anything that could be stained or damaged with a non-marking film. I therefore assured her I would take maximum care in her home and that it wouldn’t be a problem.
I surveyed the floor and could see that the previous sealer had long since failed and dirt had penetrated the pores of the stone. This made it difficult to clean the floor effectively and resulted in a continually dull appearance. The grout had also trapped the dirt and had gone black as a result. The cure would be to strip the tile and grout of what was left of the original sealer, deep clean and then reseal. Happy with my quote we set a date for the work to start.
Stripping and Cleaning Slate Floor Tiles
When I arrived on the appointed day, I discovered that the owner had gone to some lengths to pad the piano with bumble wrap mostly to prevent any airborne chemical or dust damage.
Working in sections I started applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor which is a powerful coatings remover that would strip what was left of the old sealer from the floor. The product is left on the Slate for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with black pad. The machine is run at slow speed to minimise splashing and then the slurry is rinsed off the tiles with water and a wet vacuum.
I inspected the floor at this point to ensure the process was having the right effect and it became evident that there was no integrity in the grouting which was crumbling. This was a major problem and it became clear that the only way to resolve it would be to remove and replace all the grout.
Re-grouting a Large Slate Tiled Floor
Over the next couple of days, I cut out all the existing grout with a special tool. They were large format slate tiles however with most of the ground floor needing to be re-grouted it took some time to complete. Once all the grout was removed, I set about applying fresh grout using a colour that highlighted the Slate tiles better.
Sealing Tumbled Slate Kitchen Tiles
Once the grout had dried, I was able to start applying a new sealer to the Slate tiles. Slate responds well to Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the stone from within. It’s also a colour enhancing product that really brings out the best in natural stone such as Slate.
Two coats of Colour Grout were sufficient to seal the Slate tiles and I think you will agree the stone floor has come back to life and become a fine setting for the Baby Grand piano.
Before leaving my very happy customer to the enjoy, I left her with customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, a neutral and highly reliable cleaner for natural stone floors such as Slate. This will assist her in maintaining the appearance and condition of the tiles going forward. Another satisfied customer!