Stone 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

Red Sandstone Floor Pavers Restored in Keswick, Cumbria

We love working with Sandstone, it’s very satisfying as we usually get called in when it looks really horrible and grubby and after some work it ends up looking stunning. The floor in this property in the famous Lake District town of Keswick had been covered with carpet for many years, so when we uncovered it as you can see from the pictures, it was clearly in needed of major attention and a great candidate for restoration.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Before Renovation Keswick

When the floors this bad there’s no point trying to get a decent clean just by using chemicals alone, so we often offer a system we have perfected at Tile Doctor called “Milling”. We discussed the project in detail with the client and agreed a price and a time to complete the work.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Fireplace Hearth Before Renovation Keswick Red Sandstone Flagstones Before Renovation Keswick

Restoring the Appearance of Red Sandstone

Milling involves the application of several coarse grades of hard diamond pads to the stone using water to lubricate the process, the water also helps make the removal of the soil easier and reduces dust. On this occasion we used coarse 50, 100 and 200-grit milling pads applied in sequence with a weighted rotary floor machine, the floor is rinsed with water between each pad and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

We worked our way across the floor using this process. Not only does this give the stone the deepest clean it has ever had but it also cuts back the stone a few millimetres and takes off a lot of roughness leaving the finish a lot smoother, this makes the now Milled Stone a lot easier to maintain in the future as it has a much smoother texture and finish.

Loose grout is a common problem on these older floors, so the next step was to rake out any broken and loose grout between the slabs, clean-up and repoint to match the existing. Once that had set, we gave the floor another lighter clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean run along the recessed grout lines with a rush to clean them up. I was then satisfied the floor was a clean and it could be, the floor now needed to dry our before we applied the sealer.

Sealing a Red Sandstone Tiled Floor

We returned the following day and checked the floor was dry using the moisture meter, we don’t recommend applying a sealer to a damp floor as the sealer will not cure properly. All was well, so we then applied several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer, this is a fully breathable, impregnating sealer that will protect the stone from staining whilst enhancing the natural red colour in the Sandstone.

Red Sandstone Flagstones Fireplace Hearth After Renovation Keswick Red Sandstone Flagstones After Renovation Keswick

Using a breathable sealer on old stone floors like this is highly recommend as these floors rarely have a damp proof membrane installed and so it’s important to give moisture a way of rising through the floor naturally and evaporating rather than being trapped under the floor where it can eventually build up in the walls.

As you can imagine from the after pictures the customer was happy with the overall outcome and relieved that their decision to remove the carpet had worked out.

Red Sandstone Flagstones After Renovation Keswick

 

Professional Restoration of a Red Sandstone Paved Floor in North Cumbria

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