Slate Tile Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Slate flooring carried out in Derbyshire

Cleaning and Renovating Slate Floors

Slate is a very popular floor and wall tile due to its low porosity; there are many varieties and textures of Slate available as such Tile Doctor has spent many years researching the best cleaning and sealing methods and products. The semi-riven tile is particularly easier to maintain compared to the rough textured Slate commonly available due to its cheaper quarrying cost.

Porosity however small, is the main issue when maintaining Stone floors as dirt can easily become trapped in the pores and once that happens it becomes very difficult to clean. The solution is to prevent the ingress of dirt in the stone by applying a sealer such as Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works very well on Slate. However sealers do wear down with use and the application of unsuitable cleaning products, and so unless regularly maintained the floor will need to be stripped, deep cleaned and then resealed again every three to five years.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Welsh Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Before and After Cleaning and Sealing Ticknall Derby

Refreshing Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles in Ticknall

This post comes from a lovely house in Ticknall, Derbyshire where the owner had installed a Welsh Slate Tiled Floor in their Kitchen ten years earlier. Welsh Slate is renowned the world over for its quality however ten years of use in a high traffic area such as a Kitchen does take its toll and the customer complained that she wanted the tiles to look colourful with a matt finish but they always looked dull and dirty even after cleaning with mop.

Welsh Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Ticknall Derby
Interested to know the history of the floor I asked when it was last sealed and apparently it had not been redone since it was installed. It was clear to me that any sealer had long since long worn off and now dirt was becoming trapped in the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively.

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

To get the Slate clean I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which as well as cleaning deep into the pores of the tile should also deal with any remaining sealer. I left it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffer machine. After this I rinsed the floor with water and extracted the now soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum.

At this point it became apparent there were some stubborn stains in front of the oven that needed dealing with so I scrubbed in a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acid based product that is great for removing mineral deposits such as salts as well as grout smears. This worked well and the floor was now in ready for sealing so I gave the floor a good rinse to remove any trace of product and left it to dry.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was about 7 square meters in size and being relatively modern it had a Damp Proof Membrane and Underfloor Heating installed, as a result it was fully dry within three hours and ready to take a sealer.

With the floor now dry I started applying the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, thus acting as a shield against ingrained dirt whilst enhancing the natural colour of the tiles to provide an aesthetically appealing appearance. You may recall the owner had requested a matt finish so after applying a couple of coats the job was done.

Welsh Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Part Sealed Ticknall Derby
With the tiles clean and now protected with the colour enhancing matt sealer I asked the customer to inspect the floor. As you can imagine she was very pleased with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Mr Mall was a very efficient, hardworking and helpful worker. The end result was excellent and I am delighted with the outcome. Highly recommend…”

Welsh Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles After Cleaning and Sealing Ticknall Derby

Professional Deep Cleaning of a Stained Slate Kitchen Floor in Derbyshire

Refreshing Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles in Ticknall Read More »

Chinese Riven Slate Before and After Cleaning Sealing in Chesterfield

Poorly Maintained Chinese Riven Slate Tiles Restored in Chesterfield

This customer was very happy to find there was a Tile Doctor in Derbyshire, for a long time they had experienced problems with cleaning their fantastic Chinese Riven Slate tiled kitchen floor. The customer had attempted to carry out some amateur maintenance work on a couple of occasions but had never managed to achieve the results they had hoped for.

Thus the floor remained dull and afflicted with a large amount of ingrained dirt. I visited the property, located in Chesterfield, to see what could be done to restore the condition and appearance of the tiles.

Chinese Riven Slate Before Cleaning in Chesterfield Chinese Riven Slate Before Cleaning in Chesterfield
Chinese Riven Slate Before Cleaning in Chesterfield

Cleaning Dull and Dirty Chinese Riven Slate Tiles

In order to begin the cleaning process, it was first necessary to remove many layers of old and ineffectual sealer from the tiles. Dirt had become trapped in the sealer, and the was worsened by the fact that the customer had continued, year on year, to reseal the tiles without removing the existing sealer.

For stripping away the large amount of old sealer I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go and scrubbed it into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a poly brush. Remove & Go is a multi-purpose stripper formulated with a long dwell-time to remove
most sealers. And while it worked in most places, it couldn’t get rid of all the sealer. I opted in this scenario to mix the Remove & Go with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a powerful cleaner and remover that uses nano-sized particles to tackle the toughest of stains, substance build-up and ingrained dirt.

The combination of these two products worked exceptionally well not only to remove the old sealer, but also several years’ worth of muck, without any additional problems. I follow the cleaning with a through rinse with clean water to remove any chemicals left on the floor. Finally, I left the tiles to dry out overnight.

Sealing Chinese Riven Slate Tiles

When I returned to the property the following morning I had to make sure that the floor was completely dry by running several damp tests. This is exceptionally Important as any excess moisture can cloud my fresh sealer you choose to apply, potentially damaging its performance. I found a couple of damp places and worked on them with my heat gun until they were no longer a problem.

When the floor was completely dry I applied 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go sealer which is a water-based blend of acrylic polymers that gives you stain resistant surface protection and a long lasting low-sheen finish.

Chinese Riven Slate After Cleaning and Sealing in Chesterfield Chinese Riven Slate After Cleaning and Sealing in Chesterfield
Chinese Riven Slate After Cleaning and Sealing in Chesterfield

The customer was extremely happy with the results, leaving the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Tony was a thorough professional, committed to doing as perfect a job as possible. He understood the material he was working with and did not skimp on taking the necessary time to complete the restoration. He gave us advice about future care and treatments and at all times behaved with the utmost courtesy and respect. His presence in the house was quiet and unobtrusive so that the disruption seemed minimal. He could not have been more obliging and he left the site clean and tidy even before the final completion of the job. Seeing him work restored our faith in a craftsman’s skill and technique.”

Professional Chinese Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Restoration in Chesterfield

Poorly Maintained Chinese Riven Slate Tiles Restored in Chesterfield Read More »


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