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

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

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

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

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

Deteriorated Slate Tiled Floor Rejuvinated in Southport

An unusual but attractive combination of semi riven black Slate with white Marble inserts had been installed in the hallway of this residence in the town of Southport. This floor had not been cleaned properly in some time, in fact the local Tile Shop had given the customer the incorrect tile cleaning product for the job which had slowly stripped the sealer off the tile leading to dirt becoming ingrained into the tile and making it difficult to clean which resulted in the deteriorated condition you see on the picture below:

Black Slate with White Marble Inserts Southport Before Cleaning

Cleaning Black Slate and Marble Inserts

The remedy was to give the floor a good deep clean and then reseal so I got to work and applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean onto the floor leaving it to soak in for fifteen minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. This process soon had the dirt running out of the floor and the soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum. The process was repeated for stubborn area and this time the grout was scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush and more Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a multi-purpose alkaline based cleaning product that’s safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout and given there was hardly any sealer left it wasn’t necessary to use a stronger dilution. Once I was happy with the floor it was washed down with more water to remove any trace of cleaning products and then the water removed using the wet vacuum and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Black Slate and Marble Inserts

We have a number of sealing products suitable for Slate and Marble each one with a different effect but given then floor was predominately slate I decided opt for four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides stain protection and leaves a nice low sheen finish.

Black Slate with White Marble Inserts Southport After Cleaning

Before leaving I let them know about Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is a cleaning product that has a near neutral PH and is specially designed for cleaning sealed floors.
 
 
Source: Slate Tile Cleaning Services in Southport