If you’ve ever rented out a property for a long period of time, you’ll likely to have been concerned, at one point or another, about whether the tenant can be relied on to maintain the condition of carpets, walls and, of course, tiled floors.
This customer, who owns a property in Windsor (home to Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the Royal Family) had encountered this very problem. The property had been rented out to a tenant for the last five years, but the Slate tiled floor in the kitchen, which was itself only 10 years old, had not been maintained correctly.
Consequently, the sealer on the tiles was worn out and no longer capable of protecting the stone against ingrained dirt and stains. There were also lots of efflorescent salts on the floor, predominantly contained in the high trafficked areas of the kitchen. I was contacted to correct the situation and restore the entire floor by providing a deep clean and seal.
Cleaning Dirty Slate Kitchen Tiles
To begin the restoration, I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water. Pro Clean is a high alkaline cleaner capable of stripping away any old sealer and eradicating any soils and grease on the floor.
The solution was spread liberally across the entire floor and left to dwell for a short period of time before being agitated and worked into the stone using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.
This process left the stone fresh and clean, but the grout lines were still suffering from efflorescent salts. Efflorescence is the deposit of salts on the surface of porous materials such as natural stone tiles as moisture rises through the floor, causing unsightly stains. These alkali salts were neutralised by acid washing the floor using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner.
Sealing Slate Kitchen Tiles
Returning to the property the next day, I ran some quick damp tests to check for any excess moisture that might have prevented me from sealing the floor. We will always do this as a precaution – especially with older floors that lack a damp proof membrane – because damp issues can damage the performance of the sealer and render it ineffectual.
Thankfully, the floor proved try and I sealed the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is an acrylic polymer sealer that provides an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish, as well as, of course, strong stain and ingrained dirt protection.