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 Worcestershire

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.

Black Slate Kitchen Floor Restoration St Johns Worcester

Black Slate Kitchen Floor Renovated in St Johns Worcester

I’m not sure what was previously used to seal these Black Slate floor tiles in the kitchen of a property in the St Johns suburb of Worcester but something had not gone well. The sealer had completely failed and was starting to peel off resulting in a very unsightly appearance.

Slate Kitchen Floor Before Restoration St Johns Worcester

The owner was not happy, as well as the peeling the floor had lost its colour and now looked terrible. I was called in to strip the old sealer off the Slate and replace with something more hard wearing.

I visited the property to survey the floor and investigate the full extent of the problems. After running a few tests, I discussed the process for restoring the Slate. They were happy to go ahead with my quote and we booked in a mutually convenient date for the work to commence.

Removing Sealer from a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To strip off the failed sealer the floor was sprayed with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel applied on top. Both these products are powerful strippers and Oxy-Gel is also a cleaner. Using a Black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine the products were worked into the floor.

This process did a good job of removing the old sealer and cleaning up the tiles and after the pad had been across the whole floor it was rinsed with water and the soiling extracted with a wet vacuum. The process was then repeated until I was satisfied that all the sealer had been removed and the ingrained dirt had been released from the pores of the stone.

Once the floor was clean, I moved my attention to the grout lines, these were flushed and scrubbed with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in by hand with a scrubbing brush. After another rinse and extract the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Slate Kitchen Floor During Restoration St Johns Worcester

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I returned to seal the tiles first checking they were dry using a damp meter. All was well so I moved onto applying the sealer which for this Slate floor I had chosen Tile Doctors newest sealing product called X-Tra Seal. This is an oil-based impregnator that works from withing by soaking into the pores of the stone, occupying the pores and thus preventing dirt from residing there.
Several coats of sealer were applied and by the time I had finished the floor was completely transformed. The new sealer had worked wonders on the Slate bringing out the dark colours and character whilst adding durable protection. The floor was now restored and looking how it should.

Slate Kitchen Floor After Restoration St Johns Worcester

For aftercare cleaning I recommended they use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which will help keep the floor in tip top condition. This is a pH neutral product which is mild enough to be used daily, it will ensure that the newly applied sealer is not compromised unlike some household cleaners which are simply too strong and can break it down.

The floor looked great as you can see from the pictures and the client was very happy with the completed work, another happy Tile Doctor client.


Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Worcestershire

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Slate Tiled Floor Before After Renovation Bromsgrove

Slate Floor Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Bromsgrove

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.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bromsgrove

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.

Slate Tiled Floor During Sealing Bromsgrove

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.

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing Bromsgrove


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