Thatcham Tile Cleaning

Dirty Semi Riven Brazilian Slate Floor Renovated in Thatcham Berkshire

This customer in Thatcham, near Newbury in Berkshire had inherited a rare semi-riven Slate floor with their kitchen. However, years of dirt and contaminations had built up and left the Slate looking dull and the grout discoloured.

Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Floor Before Renovation Thatcham

Slate is a very popular floor and wall tile due to its low porosity; there are many varieties and textures of slate available, it does need to be sealed though to keep the dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone. Unfortunately, the previous owners had not maintained the sealer and owning four dogs had probably used a strong acid cleaner on the floor which will have shortened its life. Inevitably time took its toll on the tiles and it was now overdue a deep clean and new sealer.

Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Floor Before Renovation Thatcham

Cleaning a Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to apply a strong dilution of an alkaline detergent called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was applied and left to dwell for several minutes before agitating with a rotary floor buffer fitted with a scrubbing pad. A stiff brush was also run over the grout lines to get them clean.

I worked in sections and then used a hot water encapsulation system that is used a lot by carpet cleaners to remove the slurry and get the floor as clean as possible. After inspecting the floor, I could see a few stubborn areas than needed more work, so the process was repeated until I was satisfied the Slate tile and grout was as clean as it could be. The floor was then left to dry overnight

Sealing a Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following morning, we returned, the floor looked nice and dry but I took several moisture readings with a damp meter just to be sure. All was in order, and I was able to progress onto the next step of applying a fresh sealer to the floor.

For this type of tile and conditions I chose to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer (no smell as it dries) that works really well on Slate. Multiple coats were required and each coat is left to dry before applying the next. The seal is very hard wearing, perfect for high traffic areas such as the kitchen and it leaves a lovely sheen without making the floor appear too shiny.

Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Floor After Renovation Thatcham

The customer was very happy with the outcome and left the following feedback on our website:

“Extremely professional from point of contact till completion of the job, Dennis has done a magnificent job of my tiles. And I would highly recommend his services”

Before leaving made sure to leave a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Floor Cleaner to help maintain the floor going forward. This is a pH neutral product which makes maintenance of the floor easy and ensures that the newly applied sealant will stay in place and not be compromised. As mentioned before most people, including I suspect the previous owner, tend to use supermarket products which are far too harsh and break down the sealer taking them back to square one.

Semi-Riven Brazilian Slate Floor After Renovation Thatcham

 

Professional Restoration of a Brazilian Slate Tiled Kitchen in Berkshire

Exterior Slate Patio Paving Tile Renovation in Thatcham

Details below of a job I completed earlier in the summer in the Berkshire town of Thatcham which is just east of Newbury. The customer had a lovely Slate Patio installed the year before which had not been sealed by the builder and it had since become dull, light grey and unpleasing to the eye. Additionally there was a haze on tiles from sand and cement that had been used to point between the paving which the customer couldn’t remove.

Exterior Slate Before Renovation Thatcham
I first went round there to take a look at the job and work out a price; we often get asked to quote over the phone but it’s really difficult to do that without look at the job as you never know how things are going to work out unless you do a test clean. In this case I was able to demonstrate the process to the customer on one of the paving tiles which you can easily pick out in the photographs below.

Exterior Slate Before Renovation Thatcham
Happy with the demonstration I was given the job to do the whole patio so I arranged to a date to come back and do the work.

Cleaning Slate Patio Paving

On my return the first job was to tackle the sand and cement haze that was covering much of the slate patio. Fortunately for me the builder had not sealed the tiles so this was just a straightforward case of applying a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, leaving it to dwell for ten minutes and then scrubbing it into the paving with a mechanical scrubbing machine to release the sandy haze as well as breaking down the soils on the tiles.

You should be aware that Grout Clean-Up is an acid based product and Slate like most natural stone is acid sensitive so it’s important to remove it as soon as its done its job and rinse down the stone with water soon after.

To rinse the slate patio I used our specialist truck mounted systems which gently blasts the soils from the stone with hot pressurised water whilst simultaneously recapturing the waste back into a tank on the van. This action also neutralises the stones which is important before applying sealer. The Slate pavers were then allowed to dry and being a very hot day this only took a couple of hours.

Sealing a Slate Patio

After a long lunch I returned to find the Slate was dry but still looking rather grey so to restore the natural dark colours to the stone I applied a coating of Tile Doctor Stone Oil then after approximately 1 hour any excess stone oil was buffed off the tiles leaving it to fully dry off overnight.

The following day I returned to apply two liberal coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a solvent based no-sheen, natural-look penetrating sealer that will provide the needed protection from the elements and make it easier to clean in future.

Exterior Slate After Renovation Thatcham
My customer was very pleased with the final results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“I had my patio and path cleaned and sealed. The service from the whole team has been exemplary from start to finish and I am delighted with the work that has been carried out. My particular thanks to Dennis who was friendly, helpful and exceptionally professional. He explained everything he was going to do and why, kept me informed throughout and worked really hard to produce a fantastic finish on my patio and path. I’m really grateful and will most definitely be recommending to friends. Thank you”

Exterior Slate After Renovation Thatcham
 

Restoring the Look of a Slate Paved Patio in Berkshire

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Berkshire Tile Doctor

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