The photographs below are of rough Chinese Slate floor tiles installed at a house in Dorchester; they had not been deep cleaned in a long time and the combination of pets and grandchildren had taken its toll on the floor. Rough Slate from China is a relatively inexpensive product and although long lasting and value for money the texture of the Slate is difficult to maintain and thus difficult to keep clean even if fully sealed
Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles
To clean the tiles I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the Slate for a good ten minutes before working it in with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This action removed the ground in dirt and any old sealer and a stiff brush was then run along the grout lines with more Pro-Clean to get them as clean as possible. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly and any stubborn areas retreated; a wet vacuum was used to extract the soiled water from the surface of the stone in order to get it as dry as possible.
Sealing Chinese Slate Tiles
The floor was left to dry overnight and I returned the next day to seal using three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer which is a water based sealer (so no smell) that leaves a nice subtle shine to floor.
The slate and the grout looked really dull and dirty before we started and now the floor looks like it was recently laid.
For aftercare we don’t recommend the use of a Floor Steamer as they work on a 100 degrees and this damages the sealer; for regular cleaning use Tile Doctor Ph Neutral Cleaner using a two bucket system, whereby you apply the cleaning solution with a jug, wipe the floor and then squeeze off the excess into the second bucket, this stops you reapplying dirty water onto a clean floor..
Chinese Slate Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Dorset
This Shell Slate tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Lytchett Minster and had not been sealed after its installation over twenty years ago and had now become deeply ingrained with dirt which the owner could not remove however hard she tried.
Cleaning Shell Slate Tiles
To clean the tiles I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted one part cleaner to five parts water, the solution was applied it to the floor and then left to soak in for ten minutes before working it in with a Numatic buffing machine fitted with 17″ medium firm brush. Next the tiles were steamed using an Earlex steamer and stubborn stains cleaned by hand using sections from a cut-up black buffing pad and a Spid brass-coated wire brush where necessary. Being riven slate the floor was too uneven to successfully clean using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine as the sunken parts of the tile would have been missed and so cleaning tile by tile was the only option to ensure the slate was returned to the best possible condition. A stiff brush was also run along the grout lines before thoroughly rinsing the floor to remove any trace of cleaning product.
Sealing Shell Slate Tiles
The floor was left to dry overnight and I returned the next day to seal using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which is a penetrating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile preventing contaminates from lodging there and enhances the many beautiful colours of the Slate as well as leaving a subtle shine to floor.
The customer was very pleased with the result and said that she hadn’t before seen the true colour of her floor.
Shell Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Dorset
It helps to know the cleaning and sealing history of the floor, knowing this information can help with cleaning and sealing decisions. In this case however the slate tiled floor had been laid 15 years prior in a house in Sturminster Newton, around the time the house was built and had not been resealed since so that information was long forgotten.
Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floor
After testing I found it had been sealed with a wax based product which could easily be removed with Tile doctor Pro-Clean. I applied the pro-clean and agitated the solution and scrubbed the floor with a rotary scrubber followed up with a good rinse and hot pressure wash to remove any remaining solution.
Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor
After leaving the slate to fully dry for a few days the floor was sealed with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a topical sealer as opposed to a penetrating sealer. This low sheen sealer still has a adds a little shine and brings out the colour and darkens the slate tile. Interestingly enough she loved it but her husband hated it which just goes to show you can’t please everyone.
It wasn’t long before I got a referral to do the same work on the house next door, both floors were identical and after seeing the first one done the neighbour was keen for me to do hers. The job was the same but the neighbour preferred the raw rustic look of the slate prior to sealing so she chose to go with Tile doctor Ultra Seal which offers good protection but leaves a strong virtually invisible seal.
Both the photographs on this page are from the first house, unfortunately I forgot to take a photograph from the second floor to demonstrate the difference but basically it resembles unsealed slate.
Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Sturminster Newton, Dorset