Dull Slate Tiles Rejuvenated with Deep Cleaning and Sealing in Ross-on-Wye

Ross-on-Wye, an area located in South Hertfordshire and close to the Monmouthshire border in Wales, is known as the “birthplace of the British tourist industry” due to the Wye Valley’s picturesque river scenery, landscapes, and castles and abbeys. It is also known for the famous Ross and Monmouth Railway, which opened in 1873 and closed in 1959, and ran through the valley.

I visited an old cottage in the area to assist a customer with restoring a Slate tiled kitchen floor. Slate tiles are particularly popular because of their versatility and durability, and truly they can be an asset to any property if the sealer is maintained correctly. Slate tiles need to be sealed to prevent dirt penetrating the pores of the stone as ingrained dirt is difficult to remove and causes the stone to lose its appearance. In this case the floor had been laid around five years earlier and the sealer had worn off in places and was wearing very thin in others. As you would expect dirt had now become ingrained in the tile and the grout had also become stained in places. Overall this problem had left the floor looking very dull and unappealing, as you can see from the photograph below.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Ross-on-Wye Cottage

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go liberally across the floor to strip away any remaining old sealer that was likely to be ineffectual and not preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone. Next, I applied our strong alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean to tackle that ingrained dirt. This was left to dwell on the floor and then agitated using a 17-inch rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

After cleaning the floor, I rinsed the tiles thoroughly with water and used a wet vacuum to clear the area of the resulting slurry. Following this I concentrated on cleaning the grout lines using Pro Clean in combination with a wire brush, before leaving the floor to dry out completely for the next couple of days.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Later in the week, I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before doing so, however, I needed to test the floor for damp issues, especially since this was an old property and was unlikely to have a damp proof membrane installed. Running these damp tests are very important because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Thankfully, there proved to be no issues, and the floor was fine to seal. I did this using eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a water based product (so no smell) that provides a durable, satin finish, and is recommended for use on a variety of tiles, including Quarry, Victorian, Sandstone and Terracotta.

Slate Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed Ross-on-Wye Cottage

As you can see from the photo above, the restoration was transformative and really restored the lustre to this Slate tiled floor. Another satisfied customer!
 
 

Restorative Cleaning and Sealing of a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in the Wye Valley

Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Dinning Room brought back to life in Pontypool

This Slate tiled floor at this house in the Pontypool was laid over ten years ago in the kitchen/dining room. The floor had ground in dirt into the tiles and grout which the client wanted brought back to life.

Slate floor before cleaning Pontypool Slate floor before cleaning Pontypool

Repairing and Cleaning Dirty Slate Tiles

I could see the tiles would need to be deep cleaned so I started the cleaning process with a strong combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip away the old sealer and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get the tiles as clean as possible. The solution was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a rotary machine fitted with a black 17” scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soiled residue was extracted with a wet vacuum.

This process was repeated until I was satisfied all the sealer and dirt had been removed from the tile and then I concentrated my attention on the grout lines using more Pro-Clean and a stiff wire brush to get them as clean as possible.

With the tile and grout as clean as it was possible to get it, I gave the whole floor a final rinse to neutralise the cleaning products and then extracted as much moisture as possible from the floor with a wet vacuum and left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing Slate Tiles

When I returned to the property I made sure the floor had dried by checking for any dampness with a damp meter. If you neglect to remove all excess moisture from the surface of the tiles before sealing it will impact the effectiveness of the sealer.

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the floor from staining in the future and adds a nice sheen to the surface. The Slate was quite porous so I found eight coats of sealer were needed to fully seal the floor.

Slate floor after cleaning Pontypool Slate floor after cleaning Pontypool

I think you will agree the floor now looks amazing!
 
 

Dull Slate Tiled Floor Restored to health in Monmouthshire

Terracotta Tiles Ingrained with Dirt Cleaned and Sealed in the Forest of Dean

Terracotta may be one of the most aesthetically pleasing types of tiled floor, but as many of our customers will tell you can be particularly difficult to keep clean. This is due to the naturally high porosity of clay, which allows dirt to become very easily trapped. Quite commonly this situation is made worse by a lack of an adequate sealer to block the intrusion of muck. Of course, poor quality cleaning products also make it difficult for property owners to keep their Terracotta tiles clean, and a combination of the two problems can leave these floors looking a lot like this one, located in the kitchen of a house in the beautiful Forest of Dean.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Forest of Dean Before

The property owner was keen to have me restore some character to her dull Terracotta tiles. It was proving increasingly difficult for her to keep them clean due to the reasons described before, and the grout had also become very dirty. So, the customer turned to me for some professional assistance.

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor in the Forest of Dean

While these Terracotta tiles had been sealed previously it had, over time, lost its ability to protect the stone against ingrained dirt. To remove the old excess sealer my product of choice was the heavy duty soil remover and stripper, Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which I applied liberally across the surface and scrubbed in to the tile used a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This also helped to remove the trapped dirt and left the stone looking fresher.

Once the old sealer was removed – to be replaced with a fresh sealer once cleaning was complete – I was free to focus on the troublesome grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean, an alkaline cleaner that reliably breaks down dirt. When cleaning the grout, I opted to use a handheld grout brush that allowed for more precise, careful application of the product.

As per usual, the floor was given a good rinse and left to dry for 24 hours.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Upon returning to the property I checked the floor was completely dry, ready for sealing. My process for sealing actually involved the application of two different kinds of sealer; initially I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which has soaks into the pores of the tile and has the added bonus of enhancing its natural colours.

Once this had dried I then applied ix coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a product which forms a durable layer of protection of the surface of the tiles and at the same time provides a lovely sheen finish.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Forest of Dean After

The combination of the two sealers will certainly offer a long-term solution to the ingrained dirt problem, and the appearance-enhancing properties in the products really helped to transform the tiles from dull and dirty to lively and eye-catching. Nonetheless, before departing the property, I also left my very pleased customer with some cleaning advice for the future.
 
 

Professional Terracotta Floor Cleaning and Sealing in Monmouthshire