Slate tile cleaning

Nine Year Old Chinese Slate Floor Renovated in Chepstow

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.

Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Chepstow

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.

Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Chepstow

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.

Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Chepstow

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.

Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Chepstow


Professional Restoration of a Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Monmouthshire

Large Format Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Renovated in Blackwood

A client of ours recently moved into a relatively new property in the town of Blackwood where the black slate floor looked dull and the grout was stained. Large format slate tiles were installed though the kitchen and adjacent dining and utility room and they were keen to see if the floor could be brought back to life.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Renovation in Blackwood

I went over to survey the floor and could see that the old sealer was failing and letting dirt into the pores of the stone which was especially notable in the busier parts of the floor which had seen the most foot traffic. The solution would be to strip the floor of the old sealer, clean up the grout and reseal. I conducted a number of test cleans to work out the best way to how best to strip off the old seal and get back down to the natural stone. However, as it turns out removing the old sealer was proving to be quite a job and I was concerned that this task alone could potentially take days.

Unhappy with the way things were going I consulted the Tile Doctor help line and we deduced that the sealer applied previously was most likely a heavy duty/industrial product. My client had only just moved into the property and didn’t know the history of the floor so couldn’t help pin point what was used before. The way forward was to strip the old sealer off the floor using abrasive pads.

Now I had an efficient strategy for renovating the floor I was able to provide the customer with an accurate quote which was accepted, and we agreed a date to return and complete the floor.

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I pre-wet the floor with water and using a weighted floor buffer ran a coarse 100-grit milling pad several times across each tile. This process strips the dirt and sealer off the stone slowly turning the water into a grey slurry. Once the whole floor had been treated in this way, I rinsed the slurry off the floor and extracted it using a wet vacuum. The next step was to repeat the process using a 200-grit burnishing pad which being finer closes the pores in the stone and refines the surface further.

The next step was to clean up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. You apply a strong dilution to the grout lines and then scrub it in with a stiff brush. Fortunately, the slate tiles were large format size so there was less grout to deal with than usual. Once that was done the tile and of course grout was rinsed again with more water and then dried again using the wet vacuum.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles During Renovation in Blackwood

I have to admit the stripped slate looked pretty awful at this stage in the restoration, but we were now back to the natural stone which was clean and free of all sealers. I left the floor to dry off fully overnight confident in the knowledge that with the application of a fresh sealer it would look a lot different.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property to seal the floor. Before doing so, however, I needed to test the Slate for moisture as you shouldn’t apply a sealer to a damp floor. The results were fine, so I proceeded to apply the sealer which for this installation I used several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

I chose Seal and Go for this floor as it works well on Slate resulting in a deep durable satin finish that the customer wanted. Additionally, being a water-based product, it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Dull Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles After Renovation in Blackwood

Within two days the floor was transformed, the grout looked much cleaner and the stone looked new. My client was very happy with the work and left the following message on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Professional, polite and courteous. Paul went beyond the call of duty to help rejuvenate our slate tiled kitchen and utility room floor. He explained each step of the job and provided advice on aftercare and future maintenance. The results are great and I would gladly recommend the services available.
Andy E, Blackwood


Renovation of a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Monmouthshire

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