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