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 Green Slate Flooring in Hastings, East Sussex

I worked on this beautiful Green Slate tiled floor just before Christmas but I’ve been so busy with other jobs I’ve only just go around to writing about it. The slate floor was installed in the hallway and kitchen of a property in the seaside town of Hastings and the owner was keen to have the work done before the holidays.

Green Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hastings Green Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hastings

I had been to the property previously to survey the floor and quote for doing the work. It was clear that much of the sealer that had previously protected the slate from ingrained dirt had worn off and much of the floor had now lost is appearance. The solution would be to strip off what was left of the sealer, deep clean the stone to remove ingrained dirt and then apply a fresh sealer. The work should take two days to complete and fortunately for the client I was able to fit them in, December is after all one of our busiest periods.

Cleaning a Green Slate Tiled Floor in Hastings

After taping up the skirting boards to protect them during the cleaning process I sprayed the floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Remove and Go is a cleaner and coatings remover that’s safe to use on Tile and Stone and is ideal for removing sealers. It’s important to remove all the old sealer from the floor as it may not be compatible with the new sealer and can result in an uneven appearance later.

Green Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hastings Green Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Hastings

The Remove and Go was left to soak into the Slate for about ten minutes before being worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I also like to use stiff hand brush along the grout lines and to get into those hard to reach areas. The soil generated was extracted using a van mounted high pressure cleaning system that simultaneously rinses the floor and vacuum’s the soil away to a recovery tank.

The Green Slate was installed in several different areas on the ground floor of the property, so it made sense to do the work one section at a time and then inspect all the floors at the end. Any stubborn stains were spot cleaned by hand using more Remove and Go until I was satisfied.

Sealing Green Slate Floor Tiles in Hastings

I left the floor to dry off overnight and came back the next day to seal it, unfortunately moisture readings indicated more drying time was required. I was working on another stone floor the following week, so I agreed with the owner to come back on Saturday and seal the floor then.

Green Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Hastings Green Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Hastings

The sealer I used was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is highly recommended for Slate and will provide good stain protection whilst improving the appearance of the stone to give a low sheen finish. Slate is quite a porous stone, so it took five coats before it was fully sealed. I think you will agree the Green Slate floor looks transformed and I’m sure was appreciated by their guests over Christmas.

Green Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing Hastings

 

Source: Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Hastings, East Sussex

Stripping Multiple Coats of Sealer off a Slate Tiled Floor in Birmingham

A client contacted me regarding their slate tiled floor which had only been down a few years and was now looking dull and uninviting. The slate tiles were laid in a herringbone pattern and Interestingly they had only been cleaned and sealed about a year ago by another company, but it has soon started to look dull again. Naturally my client was disappointed with the result, especially considering how new the floor was.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley

The property was in the Birmingham suburb of Moseley and as per usual I paid them a visit to survey the floor and conduct a test clean. From what I could see the sealer the previous company had used was already failing and wearing off, this left the stone vulnerable allowing dirt to become ingrained in the stone. We discussed the overall procedure and I completed a test clean on part of the floor which went well so the customer was happy to proceed. Whilst I was there, we also discussed the effects of different sealers I would recommend for the tiles so they could select one that would give them the look they wanted.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the first day I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this was left to dwell on the slate while I cleaned up the grout with a stiff grout brush. I used this combination of products to ensure I stripped any coatings that may have been applied to the floor by the previous company and the original installer. With the grout scrubbed I turned my attention to the Slate tiles by scrubbing them with a black pad fitted to a weighted rotary buffer machine. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly, and the now soiled cleaning solution extracted with a wet vacuum.

Slate Floor During Cleaning Moseley

The kitchen area was quite large, so I did the clearing in three section inspecting each section afterwards before moving onto the next. There were some areas where the existing sealer was proving stubborn to remove which were re-treated until clean. I discussed this with the customer who explained that the previous company had left a tin of sealer and advised them that they should clean the floor and then apply more sealer. This meant every time they did, they were adding another coat of seal and if the cleaning was not effective it would result in trapping dirt under the sealer! After spending most of the day cleaning, it was agreed to let the floor dry out and see how it looked next day.

When I returned on the second day, I could see there were still traces of sealer on some areas of stone and grout, so I decided to clean the floor again with more Pro-Clean but this time working in in with an abrasive 400-grit burnishing pad. This did the trick on the slate, but the grout needed a handheld diamond block to remove the seal. The whole floor was then rinsed and allowed to dry.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

Although previously we had discussed the different options for sealing the client wasn’t sure which one to choose. To help them decide I dried some of the tiles with a heat gun and applied different sealers to they could see the different between the matt and sheen finishes. The client decided on Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which helps bring the colour out in the tiles, it’s also breathable and has a nice sheen to it but slightly less so than Tile Doctor Seal & Go. I applied four coats as soon as the floor had dried.

Slate Floor After Sealing Moseley

I left the client with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance. The client was very happy with the results, thanked me for my hard work and commented that the floor looked better than the day it went down.

Slate Floor After Sealing Moseley

 

Source: Slate Tile and Grout Cleaning and Sealing Service in Moseley, Birmingham