slate tile cleaning

Deep Cleaning a Mixed Chinese Slate Floor in Clifton near Penrith

The pictures below are of Chinese Slate floor in the Kitchen of a property in the small village of Clifton just south of Penrith. We often get asked what the difference is between Rough and Semi Riven Slate, and this floor was a mixture of both.

If you look closely at the pictures and check out the darker parts of the floor you will see these smoother Semi Riven Slate, whereas the light copper-coloured parts of the floor were of the rougher textured variety. It’s not that unusual for stone to be mixed in this fashion as it can be supplied from different quarries in order to achieve a particular look.

Rough Chinese Slate Floor Before Cleaning Clifton Penrith

The blend of different slates makes little difference when it comes to cleaning as the process is essentially the same. I would advise though if you intend to clean the floor using a mop then you should opt for Semi Riven Slate as Rough Slate can shred your mops and make it harder to maintain. We tend to use industrial floor buffing machines which work well on both surfaces so are less effected.

Rough Chinese Slate Floor Before Cleaning Clifton Penrith

Cleaning a Rough Chinese Slate Kitchen Floor

There was a bit of wax on this floor so to remove this Tile Doctor Wax Away was applied. The product was left to stand for fifteen minutes before being scrubbed into the stone, rinsed and then the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

We then finished the cleaning with an Acid Rinse which involves scrubbing the Slate with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. This not only works well at cleaning up the stone and grout but also neutralises the alkaline pH left over from using Wax Away. I am very wary of the pH level of the floor as it could have an impact on the new sealer, giving the floor an acid rinse before sealing also ensures a better bond with the sealer.

Naturally, you can’t leave a strong product like Grout Clean-up on the Stone for long as it could etch the surface so once done the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water and extracted again with a wet vacuum. A mop and bucket and lots of sponges won’t do the job on a large area like this.

Sealing a Rough Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once we finished the clean, we left it to dry off overnight and came back the next day to apply the sealer. We were originally going to apply a satin finish sealer, but the client had a big dog with sharp claws which could of scratched and marked the sealer so decided against it. I advised the client to use an Impregnating sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which lifts the natural colours in the stone, but is not a topical shiny sealer as the seal soaks into the Slate and leaves a a nice matt finish instead. Only two coats of sealer were needed, and the floor looked like new again.

Rough Chinese Slate Floor After Cleaning Clifton Penrith

My client was very happy with the difference in the appearance of the stone and how much cleaner the grout was, so much so they the following feedback for us, which is always appreciated.

“Totally impressed with the team they couldn’t have been more professional and even left me with some cleaner. My horrible 12 year old slate tiles look fabulous”

As usual we left a free bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner for aftercare, it’s very important not to undo all that hard work by using a product which will damage the seal, using a pH neutral cleaner will keep the seal looking sharp and fresh for years to come.

Rough Chinese Slate Floor After Cleaning Clifton Penrith

 

Professional Restoration of a Rough Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen in North Cumbria

Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiles in Ulveston

This property in Ulveston had previously been used as a guest house and was now being refurbished and turned back into a home. The kitchen and conservatory had a Slate tiled floor and as you can imagine had seen a fair amount of wear from the numerous fried breakfasts that had been prepared in there. The owners had decided to replace the kitchen but were keen to keep the slate floor however it was in a bad state and looked as if it had never been cleaned and sealed for some time.

I did a small test using Tile Doctor Remove and Go (which you can see in the photograph below) and it came up really well, naturally we were booked to come back and finish the rest of the floor which I had estimated would take two days.

Slate Floor in Ulveston Test Area Slate Floor in Ulveston Test Area

Cleaning Slate Floor Tiles

Two weeks later I turned up at 9am as agreed and set up my equipment, the kitchen had already been removed so with the exception on the cooker little preparation was required. I worked in small areas using a high pressure spinner tool to remove as much dirt off the tiles as possible and a wet vacuum to remove the soiled water.

Slate Floor in Ulveston Before Cleaning Slate Floor in Ulveston Before Cleaning

Stubborn areas were treated with Remove and Go and then I moved onto the next job which was to clean up the grout. For this I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a alkaline tile and grout cleaner that is safe to use on natural stone. It was scrubbed in using a stiff brush and then rinsed off with clean water, again using the wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution. The floor was now clean but still damp so I tidied up my tools and left for the day.

Slate Floor in Ulveston After Cleaning Slate Floor in Ulveston After Cleaning

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The Next day I came back and inspected the floor to ensure it was dry and that I hadn’t missed anything. All was well so I started to seal the floor with five thin coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for slate as it adds a nice subtle sheen to the tile and being water based there is no smell as it dries. The sealer was applied using a paint pad applicator and each coat took around about twenty minutes to dry.

Slate Floor in Ulveston After Sealing Slate Floor in Ulveston After Sealing

When it was complete and the floor had dried I packed up my equipment and spent some time talking to the customer to check they were happy with the results (they were very happy) and to advise them on how to maintain the floor using with a neutral tile cleaner going forward which will help extend the life of the sealer.

Slate Floor Cleaning in South Cumbria

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