Earlier this year I visited a customer in the Worcestershire town of Bromsgrove who was considering replacing their Slate tiled floor due to the fact it was looking grey and unappealing. Realising this would be an expensive option I was asked to pop round and quote for renovating it instead.
After visiting to survey the floor and quote for the renovation I explained that my renovation plan was to use diamond pads to resurface and clean the slate and flush and clean the grout lines. I could then seal the Slate to restore the colour and protect the stone from ingrained dirt and staining. A quote was sent, excepted and a date agreed to start the work.
Removing Old Sealer and Deep Cleaning Slate Tile and Grout
There was still evidence of the original sealer on the floor and this would need to be removed before applying a fresh sealer. So, to bring the Slate tiles back to life my first step was to spray the Tile and Grout with a strong cleaning and coatings remover called Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and the slurry extracted with a wet vacuum.
With the old sealer removed I then moved onto to deep cleaning the tile and grout using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being a gel is extremely easy to control and is great for treating stubborn areas. This was worked into the tile and grout with diamond encrusted burnishing pads of different grits until I was satisfied the Slate was as clean as it could be.
After another rinse and extraction, I turned my attention to the Grout, pads can struggle to get into the recesses of the grout line so I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean onto the grout and worked it by hand with stiff grout brushes.
After a final rinse and extraction with the wet vacuum the floor was left to dry out overnight.
Sealing Slate Floor Tiles
The sealer stripping and cleaning took up most of the first day so day two I returned on day two to seal the floor, first checking the stone was dry enough to accept a sealer. I use a damp meter to check the moisture levels on various parts of the stone and all the readings were within tolerance. We do not recommend applying a sealer to a damp floor as the results can be patchy.
To seal the Slate and get the appearance my client was looking for I applied Tile Doctor X-Tra seal which is a very modern oil-based sealer that works well on dark Slate enhancing the black colours and giving a deep but subtle shine to the stone.
Once done the floor looked transformed and before leaving, I left a bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap with the client and gave them information about how best to maintain the floor. This product is pH neutral and cleans whilst maintaining the patina on the stone helping to keep the Slate in good condition.