The tiles pictured are Chinese Slate which were laid in the Kitchen of a house in Chepstow around nine years ago. The town of Chepstow is located on the Welsh side of the River Seven and has the River Wye running through it.
The floor had not been professionally cleaned and sealed since installation. During this time the old sealer had mostly worn off allowing dirt to get into the pores of the stone leaving it looking dull, uninviting and dirty. The grout lines had also collected dirt and many of the lines had darkened.
I discussed with the client the process to get the floor cleaned and restored and demonstrated the effectiveness of the process on a small test area. They were impressed and were happy to go ahead with my quote, so we scheduled in the work which would take two days.
Cleaning a Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
To get the floor clean and remove what was left of the old sealer I first made the floor wet and then added a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Tile Doctor Remove and Go to give it extra power. This cleaning cocktail was left to soak into the tiles for ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and by hand where necessary. This combination works well on really dirty floors such as this.
The scrubbing action released the years of dirt from the pores of the Slate and it wasn’t long before the cleaning solution turned black. This was then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum. We then gave the floor a thorough inspection. There were one or two areas that were particularly stubborn, so these areas were retreated using the same process and the grout scrubbed by hand using more Tile Doctor Pro Clean.
The floor was then given another rinse with water and then dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum. This got the floor dry, but it would need to be completely dry before sealing so it was then left to dry off fully overnight.
Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
I came back the next day to seal the floor first checking the moisture level of the stone by taking readings with a damp meter to ensure it was dry. I chose to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow for the sealer as the colour enhancing formula would be the best product to bring out the natural colours in the Chinese slate. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer which will provides durable protection as well as allowing the surface to breath. Three coats were applied, allowing each to dry before applying the next one.
The client was so happy, so much that she said it looked better than when first laid!
I discussed aftercare with her and recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, it’s pH balanced so it won’t prematurely erode the sealer which can be the problem with stronger products you find in supermarkets. It comes in concentrated form so one bottle lasts a long time.