Renovating Riven Chinese Slate Tiles in a Water Damaged Kitchen, Shipdham

Slow leaking underfloor pipes are guaranteed to wreck the look of an expensive tiled floor and this is exactly what had happened at our client’s house in the village of Shipdham. The problem occurred in the Kitchen and due to the slow nature of the leak it was some time before the problem was diagnosed and repaired. This resulted in a huge damp problem affecting the riven Chinese Slate tiled floor, damaging the sealer and resulting in white efflorescence salts being regularly deposited across the whole area.

The old kitchen units had been removed and the floor partially excavated to access and repair the leaking pipework, after which a new section of slate tiles had been re-laid. The new and the old sections were noticeable, and part of my job would be to clean the old tiles to a standard where they would blend in with the new.

Riven Chinese Slate Floor Before Cleaning Shipdham

Cleaning a Riven Chinese Slate Floor in Shipdham

The first job was to deep-clean the floor using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with a small quantity of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which would help to dissolve the damaged sealer. This poured onto the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed into the slate with our rotary machine fitted with a brush attachment. This brush scrubs right into the uneven surface of the tiles and makes light work of what can be quite a physical job. This process releases a lot dirt and old sealer from the tile which is effectively removed using another machine that gives the floor a power rinse at the same time.

The grout lines and parts of the riven surface which were still soiled were cleaned by hand using angle head brushes and Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, which is a concentrated version of Pro-Clean in gel form which makes it a lot easier to contain in a small area. Having satisfied ourselves that the floor was finally clean, we left it to dry thoroughly overnight with assistance from our dehumidifier.

Sealing Riven Chinese Slate Tiles in a Shipdham Kitchen

On our return the following day, we damp tested the floor and found that the moisture content was a little higher than we would have liked and this would certainly cause a problem with the standard Tile Doctor acrylic sealer which is water based. In our experience water-based sealers are often only successfully applied if the conditions are ideal and the moisture content of the stone is very low. We chose, therefore, to use a slightly different product in the form of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is microporous and has a higher acrylic solids content than the standard product, making it ideal in situations where dampness in the tile is an issue but the client wants a sheen finish to make daily maintenance easier.

Six coats of Seal and Go Extra were applied in total, the result had the sheen finish the client wanted and the sealer enhanced the different colours in the slate in the process. The sealer will provide excellent on-going protection and being a fully breathable sealer, it will not be impacted by any damp issues as the floor dries out completely over time.

Riven Chinese Slate Floor After Cleaning Shipdham

With the work completed it the whole floor looked great and it was difficult to spot the repair, our client was certainly happy with the result and made the following comment:

Fantastic service and outstanding results. Our slate floor looks amazing. Very happy
Clair R, Shipdham

Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Shipdham, Norfolk

Deep Cleaning Old Slate Tiles

A customer in Telford recently bought this barn conversion in the village of Ince, Cheshire. The building had Riven Slate floor tiles installed on the ground floor from hallway and corridor through to the utility room and downstairs WC. The tiles were not looking their best and in fact the old polyurethane based sealer had gone yellow and started to peel off in places. The building was originally built in 1886 and is grade 2 listed and after an initial attempt to bring the floor back to life didn’t work out as planned the owner decided to get in touch.

Riven Slate Tiled Floor Ince Before Cleaning Riven Slate Tiled Floor Ince Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

To get the floor back to its original state so it could be re-sealed the old sealer would have to be completely removed from the tiles, fortunately we have a product available that does exactly that called Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Working in sections the tiles were covered with a dilution of Remove and Go which was left to soak into the slate for twenty minutes before being scrubbed in used a rotary machine fitted with a stiff brush head. The resultant soiled solution was then removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and the process repeated until all the old sealer had been removed and the floor was looking clean again. Additionally it was necessary to steam clean the whole floor and scrub stubborn areas with a hand brush. After the whole floor was clean I gave it a thorough wash down with fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning product and then used the wet vacuum to get as much water off the floor as possible and reduce drying time.

Riven Slate Tiled Floor Ince During Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

I left the floor to dry off for a couple of days and then returned to apply the sealer checking the moisture level of the floor first to ensure it was dry enough to take a sealer. I had discussed the various options for sealing and the customer wanted a satin finish so it was decided to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that provides the require finish and being water based can be applied without leaving a solvent smell as it dries, four coats of Seal and Go were needed to fully seal the slate.

Riven Slate Tiled Floor Ince After Cleaning Riven Slate Tiled Floor Ince After Cleaning

It was quite a large area and originally I had estimated it would take two days to remove the old sealer and get the tiles clean in the end however it took three days due to clean the floor due to the state of the tiles and a day to seal. The customer and his wife were really happy with the result and left the following feedback for me on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

I would like to commend Jozsef on his hard work and tile doctor on their faith and training in there staff to achieve such a high standard in an end result. The experience from start to finish has been a very pleasant one. Jozsef was very professional, polite and punctual, knowledgeable, very hardworking and trustworthy. Both my wife and I would not hesitate to recommend Tile Doctor & Jozsef.
Many Thanks again Mr & Mrs Pasquali
Source: a Tile, Stone and Grout Renovation in Shropshire

Removing Paint and Plaster from Slate tiles

If your hiring a decorator beware, for some reason were seeing an increase in floors splattered with paint due to a lack of care. This was certainly the case on this Riven Slate tiled floor in Bury, Greater Manchester where decorators had made a right mess of this floor with plaster and paint.

riven slate floor before photo

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floors

I started the cleaning process by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner/stripper safe to use of natural tile and stone. The Pro-Clean was left to soak in for a while before being worked into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; this worked well and removed all of the plaster and most of the paint. The remaining suborn paint spots were dealt with individually by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a specialist coatings remover. The last step was to rinse the floor down with water three times in order to wash away any remaining chemical and neutralise they floor before sealing.

Sealing Riven Slate Tiles

I left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides good stain protection and a low sheen finish. You can see from the photographs the improvement in the floor.

riven slate floor after photo

Source: Riven Slate Tile Cleaning in Bury