Bolivian Black Slate Floor Renovation in Blackpool

This kitchen floor in Blackpool was laid 20 years prior and comprised of Bolivian Black Slate inlaid with White Ceramic Tozzettos. The slate was now looking dull and unloved and the owner now wanted the floor deep cleaning and resealing to restore its appearance.

We visited the property in Blackpool to inspect the floor and discuss what would be needed to restore the floor. It was clear that the old seal had worn away with use which left the stone vulnerable to ingrained dirt and hard to keep clean. Additionally, there were a few broken tiles near the glazed patio doors that would need replacing but the rest of the floor was solid and just in need of some love and care.

Bolivian Black Slate with White Ceramic Tozzettos Before Cleaning Blackpool Bolivian Black Slate with White Ceramic Tozzettos Before Cleaning Blackpool

We discussed the process which would involve tile replacement, tile and grout cleaning and then sealing. I worked out a price to complete the job which was accepted and booked in for later in the month.

Cleaning and Repairing a Bolivian Slate Kitchen Floor

We cleaned the tiles with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was sprayed onto the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in. To scrub the floor, I used a rotary buffing machine fitted with a with a black scrubbing pad and approximately 15kg of additional weight to give the pad more bite. This removed what was left of the original matt sealer which was still evident in the less used parts of the floor. This process released the ingrained dirt from the stone into the cleaning solution which was then rinsed off the floor and extracted with a wet vacuum.

The grout was then deep cleaned with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed in with a narrow brush and finished with a wire brush on some of the more stained grout lines. After this the wet vacuum was used again machine to extract the loose dirt and sediment and the floor rinsed down with water a few times to restore the pH balance in the floor. With the cleaning finished the floor now needed to dry off so it would be ready for sealing the next day.

Bolivian Black Slate with White Ceramic Tozzettos During Repair Blackpool

Next step was to turn my attention to the cracked tiles near the patio door. I suspect the patio doors were not an original feature and there had been some settlement over the years in the underlying cement. The cracked tiles were removed, and old adhesive and grout scraped out. Fortunately, the customer still had some spares, so these were laid in place with rapid setting adhesive and then grouted in.

Bolivian Black Slate with White Ceramic Tozzettos Before Cleaning Blackpool

Sealing a Bolivian Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the 2nd day we applied a tester of 2 coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go in a corner area as the customer wasn’t sure if she should stick with a matt colour enhanced finish or satin. The customer liked the satin finish, so we applied four further coats of the Tile Doctor Seal and Go throughout. Each coat is left to dry before applying the next so this process can take some time.

The floor looked fabulous when finished in fact the customer said it almost looked like new, which wasn’t bad for a floor that was 20 years old!

Bolivian Black Slate with White Ceramic Tozzettos After Cleaning Blackpool Bolivian Black Slate with White Ceramic Tozzettos After Cleaning Blackpool

As usual before leaving we discussed aftercare which for the regular cleaning of the Slate I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner. Neutral Cleaner as its name suggest is pH neutral so it won’t damage the sealer which can be a problem for cleaning products you find in supermarkets which are basically too strong. You really do need to check the label when choosing a cleaning product for a natural stone or sealed floor as many products are made from a derivative of a bleach which will erode the sealer prematurely with regular use.

Bolivian Black Slate with White Ceramic Tozzettos After Cleaning Blackpool

 

Source: Black Slate Cleaning and Renovation Service in Lancashire

Revealing the Copper Tones in Slate Tiles in Oxfordshire

This customer had recently moved into a property in Abingdon and got in touch about having the coloured Slate floor tiles in the kitchen cleaned and sealed. There was a big variation in appearance from one end of the kitchen to the other and they had a hunch that the Slate had a lot more colours in it than they could see!

Coloured Slate Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Abingdon

I called in to survey the floor and could see that the main issue was the usual problem of the sealer wearing down in the high traffic areas allowing dirt to penetrate and build-up in the pores of the stone. I ran some tests on the tiles and carried out a test clean, the difference in the stone and grout was immediate, and the customer was happy to go ahead and have the whole floor done. We arranged to carry out the work later that month.

Cleaning a Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To clean the floor, I first spread a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean over a section of the slate tiles. It was then left to soak into the pores of the stone for ten minutes before working it into the slate with a mono rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I find the pad works well on tiles but can struggle in the recesses of the grout line, so I followed this up by running a stiff brush along the grout lines to get them clean as possible.

After scrubbing the floor in this manner, the dirt was released from the pores of the stone into the cleaning solution and I was then able to extract the resulting slurry from the floor using a wet vacuum. I worked in sections like this until the whole floor was completed. It was surprising how much dirt had been lifted and the Slate floor was a different colour after I had finished.

I then rinsed the floor with water a couple of times and then followed up by scrubbing the floor with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acidic product which cleans the stone further and removes any mineral deposits including grout smears. Being an acidic product, it also counters the alkalinity of Tile Doctor Pro Clean effectively leaving the floor with a neutral pH. I rinsed the floor a couple of times with water and then mopped the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Floor Cleaner.

That completed the first day, I left for the evening and the floor was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned on day two and tested the floor using the moisture meter to make sure it was dry. The readings were good, and I was satisfied it was dry enough to take a sealer. To seal the floor, I applied Tile Doctor Seal & Go which leaves the floor with a sheen finish that the customer wanted. The Slate was quite porous, so it took seven coats to fully seal the floor which took some time and you have to allow for each coat to dry before applying the next.

Coloured Slate Floor Tiles After Cleaning Abingdon

The floor was transformed by the time I had finished, and you can see from the after picture how clean the grout is and how the lovely Copper tones in the stone were now evident; the natural variations in colour were now as they should be. Clearly their hunch had been right!

The customer was very happy and left the following feedback which is always gratefully received as much of our work comes from recommendations.

“Very happy with the service we received. Barry did an excellent job restoring our floor and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.”

 

Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Putting new life into large format Slate tiles in Blackwood, Caerphilly

A client of ours recently moved into a relatively new property in the town of Blackwood where the black slate floor looked dull and the grout was stained. Large format slate tiles were installed though the kitchen and adjacent dining and utility room and they were keen to see if the floor could be brought back to life.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Renovation in Blackwood

I went over to survey the floor and could see that the old sealer was failing and letting dirt into the pores of the stone which was especially notable in the busier parts of the floor which had seen the most foot traffic. The solution would be to strip the floor of the old sealer, clean up the grout and reseal. I conducted a number of test cleans to work out the best way to how best to strip off the old seal and get back down to the natural stone. However, as it turns out removing the old sealer was proving to be quite a job and I was concerned that this task alone could potentially take days.

Unhappy with the way things were going I consulted the Tile Doctor help line and we deduced that the sealer applied previously was most likely a heavy duty/industrial product. My client had only just moved into the property and didn’t know the history of the floor so couldn’t help pin point what was used before. The way forward was to strip the old sealer off the floor using abrasive pads.

Now I had an efficient strategy for renovating the floor I was able to provide the customer with an accurate quote which was accepted, and we agreed a date to return and complete the floor.

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I pre-wet the floor with water and using a weighted floor buffer ran a coarse 100-grit milling pad several times across each tile. This process strips the dirt and sealer off the stone slowly turning the water into a grey slurry. Once the whole floor had been treated in this way, I rinsed the slurry off the floor and extracted it using a wet vacuum. The next step was to repeat the process using a 200-grit burnishing pad which being finer closes the pores in the stone and refines the surface further.

The next step was to clean up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. You apply a strong dilution to the grout lines and then scrub it in with a stiff brush. Fortunately, the slate tiles were large format size so there was less grout to deal with than usual. Once that was done the tile and of course grout was rinsed again with more water and then dried again using the wet vacuum.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles During Renovation in Blackwood

I have to admit the stripped slate looked pretty awful at this stage in the restoration, but we were now back to the natural stone which was clean and free of all sealers. I left the floor to dry off fully overnight confident in the knowledge that with the application of a fresh sealer it would look a lot different.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before doing so, however, I needed to test the Slate for moisture as you shouldn’t apply a sealer to a damp floor. The results were fine, so I proceeded to apply the sealer which for this installation I used several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

I chose Seal and Go for this floor as it works well on Slate resulting in a deep durable satin finish that the customer wanted. Additionally, being a water-based product, it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles After Renovation in Blackwood

Within two days the floor was transformed, the grout looked much cleaner and the stone looked new. My client was very happy with the work and left the following message on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Professional, polite and courteous. Paul went beyond the call of duty to help rejuvenate our slate tiled kitchen and utility room floor. He explained each step of the job and provided advice on aftercare and future maintenance. The results are great and I would gladly recommend the services available.
Andy E, Blackwood

 

Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Blackwood, Caerphilly

Incorrectly Sealed Copper Slate Floor Resealed in Heysham

This customer in the coastal village of Heysham had recently had these beautiful Copper Slate Tiles laid by a builder who had been working on the house. As part of the work he also sealed them with a solvent aerosol sealer. Floor tiles experience a lot of wear from foot traffic and as a result the sealer only lasted about two weeks before it had worn off and dirt had started to penetrate the pores of the stone. The photos below were taken two months after they were sealed.

Rough Slate Before Cleaning Heysham

Aerosol sealers are only good for wall Tiles where they experience minimum contact, we usually only recommend their use for shower cubicle or wet rooms and they need constant topping up every 6 months or so. In our experience floor surfaces receive a lot of abrasion from the traffic of shoes and so on which will diminish an aerosol applied sealer very quickly.

Rough Slate Before Cleaning Heysham

Cleaning Rough Copper Slate Tiles

It makes sense to clean tiled floors before applying a sealer otherwise you simply trap the dirt under the seal which will reduce its appearance. So before re-sealing the floor with something more effective it was treated to an abrasive clean using a 200-grit diamond encrusted floor burnishing pad fitted to a weighted buffer machine. The pad was run over the whole floor using water to lubricate and with the machine running at slow speed to reduce splashing.

Next step was to clean the recessed grout which pads can struggle to reach, this was done by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines and then scrubbing it in with a stiff grout brush by hand. Once done the residue from the tile and grout cleaning was rinsed off the floor with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Sealing Rough Copper Slate Tiles

The floor was left to dry off completely overnight and I returned the next day to re-seal, this time with a more suitable product. My sealer of choice for Slate is Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will not only protect the stone from dirt and staining but also adds a very pleasing sheen finish. The new sealer really brought out the black and copper colours in the stone and now looks amazing.

Rough Slate After Cleaning Heysham

For long-term care I always recommend customers avoid the use of steam cleaners and acidic or strong alkaline cleaning products which can prematurely reduce the life of the sealer resulting in dirt becoming trapped in the pores of the stone again. Naturally Tile Doctor have designed a product for this which is called Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, supplied in concentrated form when diluted with water it becomes pH neutral and safe to use on sealed surfaces. I always leave my customers with a complimentary bottle after cleaning their floor, so they are reminded what to use.

Rough Slate After Cleaning Heysham

 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Heysham, Lancashire

Regular Maintenance of Slate Floors

Natural stone products such as Slate need to be sealed for it to look its best, the sealer brings out the best in the natural features and also protects the stone from dirt becoming ingrained in its pores and once that happens it becomes difficult to clean effectively and starts to lose its appearance.

A good example of this is the Slate Tiled Floor shown below where that we were asked to maintain in Edinburgh, the sealer had worn off allowing the stone to dull and the grout to become stained.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning Slates Flooring and Grout

There was still evidence of the previous sealer on the floor so the first job was to strip that off completely using a 50:50 solution of two Tile Doctor products, Pro-Clean and Remove and Go. The two products combined together make a powerful cleaner/stripper combination which was left to dwell and soak into the tile and grout for 10-15minutes.

Next step was to scrub the solution into the floor using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and a stiff narrow brush was run along the grout lines. The now dirty solution was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the process repeated until all the previous sealers and coatings had been removed from the floor. The floor was then given a clean using just Pro-Clean to make sure all dirt had been removed again using a wet vacuum to extract the solution.

The final part of this process was then to give the floor a rinse with a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to remove any trace of strong cleaning products and the wet vacuum was used to get the floor as dry as possible ready for sealing the next day.

Slate Tiled Floor Stripped Ready for sealing Edinburgh

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The floor was left overnight to dry and the following day we returned to seal the floor checking first it was dry. Sealing was done by applying five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the floor going forward, adds a nice low sheen and works very well on Slate, Quarry and Victorian tiles.

Slate Tiled Floor After Sealing Edinburgh

The Slate floor came out really well and the tiles and grout now look like they were recently installed.
 
 
Source: Slate Floor Maintenance Service in Edinburgh

Deep Cleaning Slate Tiles in Glasgow

Slate is a hard-wearing product ideal for floors however it does need a sealer to bring out the best in it and sealers do wear off after a few years and this had happened with the Slate tiled floor in this post. The floor was now looking dull and the grout had also discoloured so time to call in Tile Doctor to breathe new life into the tile and grout.

Dark slate tiled floor glasgow before cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Floor

It’s not a good idea to apply a new sealer on-top of existing as it can affect the final result so the first task was to strip back the floor to the natural stone giving the Slate and Grout a thorough clean in the process.

To do this a strong solution of Tile Doctor Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak into the floor for about 20 minutes; Pro-Clean has a strong alkaline base so it’s safe to use on Stone as opposed to a weak acid cleaner. After twenty minutes it was worked into the slate and grout using a low speed bonnet machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad with the excess extracted using a wet vacuum.

This process was repeated three times to make sure all the old sealer and dirt was completely removed and after this the grout was cleaned by hand using more Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. Once done the whole floor was then neutralised with more water to ensure there was no trace of cleaning product remaining on the floor prior to sealing.

Grout Colouring

The floor was left to dry off overnight and returned the second day to colour the grout to dark grey which made a big improvement to the overall look of the floor; the grout colours we use come in 12 colours so we can usually find one that matches the customers’ requirements, once applied they also form a great barrier preventing future staining. Once the colourant has dried the floor was given a further clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is an everyday cleaning product we recommend for sealed floors.

Sealing a Slate Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry and we came back two days later to re-seal the tile for which we used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a great sealer for Slate tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection. I should mention that Seal and Go is also a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell whilst it’s drying.

Dark slate tiled floor glasgow after cleaning

We left the floor to dry overnight again and came back the third day to seal the Slate tiles for which we used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which give a subtle shine to the tiles and matched the customers requirements.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration Service in Glasgow