Slate Floor with Granite Inlay Renovated in Harrogate

I was recently asked to survey an unusual stone floor at a house in in Harrogate comprising of Slate inlaid with Granite. The client advised that it had not been cleaned properly for 20 years and wanted it renovating! It was now definitely overdue a deep clean and professional attention. Fortunately, having worked on these floors for many years I knew I could make a substantial impact and transform its appearance. Fossilized slate is a beautiful stone when cleaned and sealed correctly.

 Slate and Granite Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Harrogate

The owner confessed they had actually been sealing the floor every two years but without a deep clean first, so they were effectively sealing in the dirt each time. I discussed with them the process I would use to clean and re-seal the floor and we agreed a price to carry to out the work.

Cleaning Slate and Granite Tiled Kitchen Floor

To remove the layers of old sealer and dirt used a set of Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing pads. The pads are attached to a rotary floor machine starting with the coarse 400-grit pad which was lubricated with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to help strip the floor of dirt and layers of sealer. After rinsing and extracting the soil I worked through the different grades of pads in sequence finishing with the 1500-grit and this time using just water for lubrication.

A set of diamond handheld burnishing blocks were then used to clean up the edges and corners where the large 17” pads struggle to reach. This ensures all areas are treated and free of dirt and old sealer.

The floor was then rinsed and extracted again to remove the remaining soil. I find a wet vacuum is an invaluable tool for this. The floor was then left to dry out overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing a Granite and Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor, first checking with a damp meter that the floor was dry, and the moisture reading was below the acceptable level. These results were fine, so I had a green light to continue and seal the stone.

The customer wanted a shine on the floor so rather than apply a satin sealer which I felt wouldn’t adhere to the stone properly I decided to polish the floor further with a the last of the four burnishing pads which is a very fine 3000-grit pad. You don’t need to use a lot of water with this last pad just a small amount sprayed onto the floor using a technique we refer to as a ‘Spray Burnish’.

To seal the floor, two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied. This is an impregnating matt sealer which intensifies the natural colours of this beautiful stone and provides long lasting durable protection.

 Slate and Granite Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Harrogate

Even I was impressed with the finished result but more importantly the client was over the moon. To keep the floor looking its best I recommended they use Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is pH neutral. You should always read the label in detail when choosing a floor cleaning product as many are too strong and not recommended for sealed stone surfaces as they will prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Renovating a Dull Black Slate Floor in Bentham, Lancashire

This is a Semi Riven Black Slate floor which had been installed throughout much of the downstairs floor at a property in Bentham which is right on the Eastern edge of Lancashire. The Black slate and Grout had seen some wear and was now more Grey than black and having recently installed a new Kitchen the owner wanted the floor to look its best.

Rough stone can be especially hard to maintain if the wrong sealer has been applied. With rough or textured stone, it’s always best to use an Acrylic Sealer (aka ” Topical sealer”) where possible. Unlike a Matt finish impregnating sealer a Topical Sealer is designed to sit on the surface of the Stone preventing dirt from getting caught in the nooks and crevices making it much easier to clean.

Rough Black Slate Floor Before Cleaning Bentham

After surveying the floor, I recommend burnishing the stone with a coarse pad to deep clean the stone and remove any remaining sealer, then seal with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a Topical sealer which we find always has provides good results on this type of floors. Happy with the price and keen to get the floor renovated we were given the go ahead and scheduled a date to return to do the work.

Rough Black Slate Floor Before Cleaning Bentham

Deep Cleaning a Semi Riven Black Slate floor in Bentham

The last thing we want to do is cause any damage to their beautiful new wooden kitchen. So before starting the cleaning process I applied clear silicone to the base of the new Kitchen units, this prevents water from the cleaning process seeping into the woodwork through capillary action.

Rough Black Slate Floor Applying Silicone Bentham

To get the tiles clean we burnished the stone floor with a coarse 200-grit Diamond pad fitted to a buffing machine running at slow speed and using water for lubrication. This gives a really deep clean and was followed up with the application of a black scrubbing pad to remove any excess resin released from the Slate which is quite common with Black stones due to the oil content. Once the Slate was clean, we turned our attention to the grout which was scrubbed with Tile Doctor Pro-clean. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum, once done the floor was left dry out.

Whilst at the property we managed to resolve a problem with a poorly laid slate tile in the hallway which the customer had often tripped over, so much so they had covered it with a rug, which was fine, but you couldn’t see the Slate. Rather than lift and relay the tile I managed to cut back the surface of the stone with a hand held flex machine using several different diamond grits. You can see from the pictures how this looks before, during and after the seal. A further advantage of treating the stone in this way is that the slate takes on a more polished finish as the rough texture is cut back. The results speak for themselves and the customer certainly won’t be tripping over the tile from now. With no further need for the rug they can get the full benefit of the slate floor.

Rough Black Slate Tile Before During After Surface Correction Bentham

Sealing a Riven Black Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the following day to apply a sealer first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. All was well, so we started to apply the first of several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. It was a large area across multiple rooms, so it took some time before the job was complete.

Rough Black Slate Floor After Cleaning Bentham

The sealer added a lovely subtle sheen to the floor and restored the black colour in the Slate, the grout was also much cleaner and floor look transformed from the grey dull appearance we first experienced. As usual before leaving we talked about aftercare, using warm water (not hot or cold) with a mop and bucket and half a cap of Tile Doctor concentrated Neutral Tile Cleaner. Using the correct cleaning product will ensure they get maximum life out of the sealer.

Rough Black Slate Floor After Cleaning Bentham

 

Source: Black Slate Cleaning, Renovation and Sealing Service in Bentham, Lancashire

Transforming Black Riven Slate in High Bentham, Lancashire

We were asked to come and advise a customer regarding their stone floor which the customer was struggling to keep clean. The property was in High Bentham which lies on the River Wenning, just West of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning High Bentham

We often get customers who give up looking after their tiles after a while as some stone like this Black Riven Slate need quite a bit of upkeep to keep them looking good and a standard mop and bucket at times isn’t enough to keep them looking pristine. In this case the sealant had worn away in the high traffic areas and the floor had a slightly rough texture to the surface which meant it was holding onto dirt making it difficult to keep clean. We proposed the floor should be cleaned and resealed, discussed the cost and agreed a time for the work to be carried out.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning High Bentham

Cleaning a Black Riven Slate Tiled Floor

To get the tiles clean we burnished the stone floor with a coarse 200-Grit Diamond pad fitted to a weighted buffing machine using water for lubrication. The floor was then rinsed and then the process repeated using a series of different graded pads, namely the 400 and 800 grit burnishing pads which further cleaned and resurface the appearance of the stone.

The grout was cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the grout lines by hand; Pro-Clean is a heavy-duty cleaner which gets to the really stubborn stains and it did a great job at getting the grout looking like it should. The cleaning process was then finished off by rinsing the floor with water and extracted the slurry with a wet vacuum. The floor was inspected and retreated to the same process where more work was required. We usually find leaving Pro-Clean on a stain for longer and assisting with a bit of steam helps to lift the dirt out of the pores of the stone.

Once cleaned thoroughly we rinsed the floor again and then extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible with a wet vacuum before leaving it to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Riven Black Slate Tiled Floor

We called back the following day to apply a sealer first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. All was well, so we started to apply the first of two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a third coat was attempted but the slate would not accept any more sealer, and this was removed with a cloth. It is important to know if you have reached FCS (Full Cure Sealability) if not then the pores of the tiles will still be open to accepting dirt and the job won’t last long. Over a very short period of time the tiles will diminish in stature and finish.

Slate Floor During Sealing High Bentham

The sealer really restored the black colour to the Slate and transformed the look of the floor. As always, we left the customer a free bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, using the correct cleaning product in future will ensure they get maximum life out of the sealer.

Slate Floor After Sealing High Bentham Slate Floor After Sealing High Bentham

The floor looked lovely when finished and the customer was very happy with the overall result.

 

Source: Riven Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in High Bentham, Lancashire

Slate Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored following Central Heating Installation in Lancashire

Rough Slate is notorious for homeowners to maintain as dirt can quickly become trapped in the rough surfaces. The example on this page is that of Brazilian Semi Riven Slate installed in the Kitchen of a house in the village of Hornby, which while naturally cleft from the rock loses none of its texture and style and yet has a much smother appearance than the typical rough Slates from China. Less processing means it’s not quite completely smooth but it is a lot less expensive to buy than say a honed or polished Slate which is more difficult to maintain due to various polishing techniques required to keep up the appearance. Brazilian Slate is in fact one of my favourite slates to clean and also one of the most rewarding of Slates to seal as the sealer really does bring out the colour and character of the stone.

Sealers provide a protective barrier on natural stone floors and without it dirt can penetrate into the pores of the stone making it more and more difficult to clean effectively. Unfortunately on this floor the new homeowners were unaware on what sort of Stone it was and had no idea how to look after it which resulted in the sealer wearing down prematurely and the floor becoming dull and un-inviting.

Semi-Riven Slate floor Before Cleaning Hornby Semi-Riven Slate floor Before Cleaning Hornby

Cleaning Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

To restore the appearance of the Slate floor we started by taping up the edges of the new kitchen units to protect the wood from splashing. This was followed with an application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean worked in with a black buffing pad fitted to a buffing machine running at slow speed (working at a slower speed results in less splashing). The pads can struggle to reach the edges and corners so these were cleaned by hand.

Once we had finished on the main floor area we then concentrated on the grout using a steam cleaner and more Pro-clean scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush.

Last step of the cleaning was to rinse the floor with water to remove any trace of cleaning products from the Slate and then dried off the floor the best we could with our high wattage wet vacuum machine and left the floor to dry off naturally over night.

Sealing Black Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiles

The next day we returned to seal the floor checking first that the floor had completely dried. The customer had requested a matt finish however we have worked on Brazilian Slate many times before and we knew how good they can look with this Satin finish sealer. Naturally its the customers decision so we offered to do a test piece and let them decide if they didn’t like it we would strip off the test piece and apply a Matt finish sealer like Tile Doctor Colour Grow instead.

The floor was dry so a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied to one Tile so that they could appreciate how it would look. Luckily the customer agreed with us and so we set about sealing the whole floor with Seal and Go.

To speed up the drying process Air Blowers were installed as we worked and it wasn’t long before the sealer was dry and the customers were able to walk on the floor and inspect every area before we left. I’m please to report that they were over the moon with the floor and my recommendation of sealer.

Semi-Riven Slate floor After Cleaning Hornby Semi-Riven Slate floor After Cleaning Hornby

To maintain the slate tiles going forward we always give our customers a free bottle of Tile Doctor pH neutral tile cleaner, which is a little incentive for them to provide some feedback via our website.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Hornby, Lancashire