The pictures above are of a 12 metre squared Chinese slate floor in the kitchen of a property in Harrogate which had been laid ten years prior. You can see from the photographs that the grout had darkened and the slate itself had lost a lot of its character and colour.
Sealers typically last between three to five years so by now there was little protection left and so dirt had become trapped in the pores of the stone and grout making it difficult to keep clean. It was now overdue a deep clean and the application of a fresh seal.
I went over to survey the floor and provide a quote for stripping off what was left of the original sealer, cleaning the floor, and then resealing. I had been recommended by a previous customer so happy with my track record and the price I quoted, they asked me to do the work. They had received a quote from another firm which as it turned out was a lot more expensive than mine.
Cleaning a Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
Given there was little sealer left to remove I decided to start by scrubbing the floor with a strong concentration of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the slate for ten minutes. Then I worked the solution in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a very versatile product that will strip the sealer off a floor when used in a strong dilution with water, it will also remove deep seated dirt too.
Due to the riven nature of the tiles however I found the black pad was struggling to reach into the crevices of the tile so to achieve the desired result I resorted to scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees with a scrubbing brush. Its important that the floor is as clean as it possibly can be before sealing otherwise you simply lock the dirt in and it will never look clean.
Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
The floor was left to dry off overnight and I returned the next day to apply the new sealer. First, I checked to ensure that the floor was fully dry using a damp meter. The sealer would not cure properly if the floor damp and this can detract from the finished appearance.
I was happy with the readings, so I started to apply the first coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which I felt was the best product sealing Slate. The stone needed four coats; each one being left to dry before applying the next. Seal and Go is a stain resistant sealer which results in a low sheen silky appearance, it is good on surfaces such as the Chinese Slate which tend to be more porous and being water based it does not leave a smell as it dries.
The client was very happy with the result and mentioned to me that it had never looked that good even when new.
For aftercare cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which will keep the floor in the best condition. This is a pH neutral cleaner which can be used daily and won’t compromise the newly laid sealer like many of the stronger products you find in supermarkets.