The owner of this property in Keswick requested a visit to take a look at their Green Slate kitchen floor. The Slate tile was the Semi Riven variety which works well in a Kitchen due to the rough surface being anti-slip however that rough surface can also trap dirt.
Some areas needed a deep clean and other areas were still in good order but because the client was not sure of which sealer, they had used in the past it would be necessary to treat all three floors with the same process and strip off the original sealer first. All were interconnected and if we only covered one room and not the next there would be a difference in the finish between the floor areas.
Although the Green Slate floor was the main issue, I noticed that they had a small Quarry tiled hallway at the front of the property which looked tired, so I offered to renovate that as well. The process for cleaning and sealing Quarry tiles is virtually the same as Slate so it made sense.
Cleaning a Semi Riven Green Slate Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor
Before we do any work at all you will notice on one of the pictures that we apply a thin coat of clear silicone to the bottom of the units where it meets the slate, this stops water getting underneath and causing a capillary action forming and blowing the wood, or in this case MDF which is very absorbent more so than standard wood and will blow within 10 to 15 minutes of water being left to stand underneath it. Using the silicone stops this problem completely (assuming no gaps have been left for water to seep into).
Working in three separate zones I started by removing the original sealer with the application of a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product is a sealer and coatings remover. My method was to let the solution soak into the tiles for about ten minutes and then work it in using a coarse 200-grit milling pad fitted to a rotary buffer. These pads really get into the rough surface of the slate stripping off the old sealer and getting the tile clean at the same time. The slurry generated was rinsed away with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.
Next the Slate was treated to an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This process removes mineral deposits including old grout smears and really shows the tile at its best. The acidic nature of the product will also serve to neutralise the alkalinity in the tile caused by the application of Remove and Go earlier. Additionally Remove and Go is designed to strip off sealers, so I didn’t want any trace of it hanging around in the pores of the stone.
After a thorough rinse and extraction, the floor was left to dry off overnight.
Sealing a Semi Riven Green Slate Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor
I came back the next day to apply a fresh sealer to the floor checking first it was dry by taking a few moisture readings with a damp meter. Slate and Quarry tiles are porous, as it’s the top layer of Grout and without a sealer in place dirt can become lodged in the pores making it very difficult to lean.
The moisture readings confirmed the floor was dry enough to be sealed however my client was still unsure of the finish they wanted so before starting different sealers were applied on different parts of the floor so they could get an idea of how it would look.
After reviewing the results Tile Doctor Colour Grow was chosen, it’s a matt effect sealer which lifts the overall finish of the stone by enhancing its natural colours, it also worked well on the Quarry tiles and will provide many years of protection.
The client was very happy with the finished floor and especially how improved the grout looked which was an additional bonus. Before leaving I took time to explain how to maintain the floors going forward for which I always recommend a mild tile cleaner such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. Many of the products you find in supermarkets are simply too strong for cleaning a sealed floor and will strip the sealer off prematurely.