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

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

Enhancing Colour in a Chinese Slate Floor – Cirencester

This client from Cirencester got in contact about his Slate Tiled hallway floor which was now looking dull following renovations to the property by the owner who was a builder. If you have never been I can recommend you pay Cirencester visit, it’s a lovely old market town that dates to the Roman times and is incidentally is the largest town in the Cotswold District.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

I arrived at the property and could see immediately that the floor had never been sealed properly and so the appearance had just got worse over the few years since it was laid. Dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the slate making it impossible to clean effectively. The client realised that the only way to fix the problem was to have the floor properly treated. We agreed a price for the work and popped a date in the diary to come back.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

As the floor was in the hallway, we needed to protect the stairs and skirting with plastic sheeting before we started. I then started cleaning the tiles with a strong concentration of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this is a multi-purpose stripper which can remove most coatings and sealers and works best it left to dwell and soak into the stone for a long time before scrubbing it in. This also helps it work on ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up. My primary reason for choosing Remove and Go was to remove what was left of the sealer so after applying it to the floor I left it to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed it into the tiles with a black pad scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. The dirt soon turned the cleaning solution black and the slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, I worked on cleaning up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is good for neglected and heavily soiled areas and it makes short work of cleaning dirty grout. I had to scrub the grout by hand and once I was happy that the slate and grout was as clean as it could be the floor was given several rinses with water to remove the remaining dirt and remove any traces of cleaning products. Once this was done this completed the cleaning process, I was satisfied with our efforts and the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I checked the moisture level of the stone in several areas with a damp meter to check that the floor was dry. The sealer will not cure if the floor is not properly dried out. I chose a combination of sealers to achieve the look we were after. First, I sealed with one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow this is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. It’s also a colour enhancing sealer that works really well on Chinese slate to highlight all the colours. Once this was dry I followed with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which was perfect for finishing this floor.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

The customers response was ‘It never looked as good as that’, and he now realised the importance of sealing the floor correctly! I love the natural patterns in this type of floor, it is one of my favourites.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

 

Source: Chinese Slate Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cirencester, Gloucestershire