Pictured below is a Slate tiled kitchen floor that had been installed in the kitchen of a property in Harrogate around fifteen years prior. I discovered that the tiles had never been cleaned and resealed since installation and this explained why they were now looking dull and un-interesting. They had lost all character and it wasn’t until I started cleaning them that I realised the must be of the multicoloured Brazilian Slate variety.
As well as looking dull and unattractive, there was also some water damage to some tiles caused by a leak, this had resulted in some shaling and efflorescence staining. This had occurred some time ago and the floor had now dried out fully, so I was not expecting any further efflorescence issues going forward.
Brazil, I understand is the world’s 2nd biggest producer of Slate, it is also exceptionally durable and reasonably priced so its not surprising you see a lot of it over in the UK. Like any natural stone however it is porous and without a sealer to protect it and bring out those natural colours it soon ends up like the example on this pad.
Cleaning a Brazilian Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
I cleaned the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using my usual method of spraying the cleaning solution onto the Slate and grout and then leaving it for a ten minutes to soak in and get to work breaking down the dirt and old sealers. Although I doubted there was much sealer left on the floor after all this time you need to be sure to remove all of it to get the best result. The floor was then scrubbed with a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad, then after rinsing with water and extracting the soil I inspected the floor.
I detected there was still some sort of sealer present in some of less used parts of the floor, it was proving stubborn to remove so I suspect it may have been an old fashioned wax based product that was used. Not a problem though we Tile Doctors have a solution to every problem, so I spot treated the stubborn areas with Tile Doctor Wax Away to see if I was right. After scrubbing that in followed by another rinse and extraction with the wet vacuum I was pleased to see I was right and was happy all the old seal had now been removed. I gave the floor another rinse at the end of the day and dried it as much as possible with the wet vacuum, then left it to dry off fully overnight.
Sealing a Brazilian Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
I came back the next day and checked the floor was dry with a damp meter. The readings were good, so I was able to crack on and seal the tiles using several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Each coat was applied leaving time to dry between each layer. This gave the floor a uniform appearance which disguised the damaged tiles. It will also help to stop more cracking and reduce the appearance of the efflorescence. The sealer really brought out the natural colours in the Brazilian Slate and the floor looked transformed.
I’m sure you will agree it was a vast improvement, certainly my client was very happy and couldn’t believe the difference I had managed to achieve. Before leaving I recommended, they should invest in some Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which would ensure the newly applied seal was prematurely eroded away which is a problem with many of the stronger products you find in supermarkets.