Enhancing a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor in Cirencester

This client from Cirencester got in contact about his Slate Tiled hallway floor which was now looking dull following renovations to the property by the owner who was a builder. If you have never been I can recommend you pay Cirencester visit, it’s a lovely old market town that dates to the Roman times and is incidentally is the largest town in the Cotswold District.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

I arrived at the property and could see immediately that the floor had never been sealed properly and so the appearance had just got worse over the few years since it was laid. Dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the slate making it impossible to clean effectively. The client realised that the only way to fix the problem was to have the floor properly treated. We agreed a price for the work and popped a date in the diary to come back.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

As the floor was in the hallway, we needed to protect the stairs and skirting with plastic sheeting before we started. I then started cleaning the tiles with a strong concentration of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this is a multi-purpose stripper which can remove most coatings and sealers and works best it left to dwell and soak into the stone for a long time before scrubbing it in. This also helps it work on ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up. My primary reason for choosing Remove and Go was to remove what was left of the sealer so after applying it to the floor I left it to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed it into the tiles with a black pad scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. The dirt soon turned the cleaning solution black and the slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, I worked on cleaning up the grout using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is good for neglected and heavily soiled areas and it makes short work of cleaning dirty grout. I had to scrub the grout by hand and once I was happy that the slate and grout was as clean as it could be the floor was given several rinses with water to remove the remaining dirt and remove any traces of cleaning products. Once this was done this completed the cleaning process, I was satisfied with our efforts and the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I checked the moisture level of the stone in several areas with a damp meter to check that the floor was dry. The sealer will not cure if the floor is not properly dried out. I chose a combination of sealers to achieve the look we were after. First, I sealed with one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow this is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. It’s also a colour enhancing sealer that works really well on Chinese slate to highlight all the colours. Once this was dry I followed with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which was perfect for finishing this floor.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

The customers response was ‘It never looked as good as that’, and he now realised the importance of sealing the floor correctly! I love the natural patterns in this type of floor, it is one of my favourites.

Chinese Slate Floor Cirencester After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Chinese Slate Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire

Badly Maintained Slate Tiles Rejuvenated in Gloucester

This Slate tiled floor in the hallway of a property in Gloucester had been laid 28 years ago, but during this time had received no proper maintenance. The property owner used to clean the tiles once a week using a steam cleaner to little effect.

Slate tiled hallway floor Before Cleaning Gloucester

In fact, we don’t normally recommend steam cleaning sealed surfaces as it will erode the sealer prematurely. After countless years of steam cleaning, I was confident that any traces of old sealer on this floor would be non-existent at this point.

This is, of course, a problem because a lack of sealer exposes the stone to ingrained dirt and stains. The effects of this are shown in the photos below: as you can see, the Slate had completely lost its lustre and naturally colourful patina.

Slate tiled hallway floor Before Cleaning Gloucester

I was asked by the property owner to provide this Slate tiled hallway with the restoration that was so long overdue, so I travelled to the house in Gloucester, a city situated near the Welsh border and between the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean.

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Hallway

I started the restoration by mixing a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. These two products serve different purposes. Remove and Go is a stripper designed to break down any traces of old sealer that might still have existed, as well as any paints and adhesive markings; NanoTech HBU is a potent cleaner which contains nano-sized cleaning particles that penetrate deep into the stone to get underneath tough dirt and stains to dissolve and lift them out.

This cleaning solution was spread over the floor and left to dwell for 30 minutes, before being scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine. A thick black slurry resulted from this process and this needed to be removed using a wet vacuum.

Slate tiled hallway floor During Cleaning Gloucester

Next, I repeated this cleaning process using Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our reliable alkaline cleaner, to provide a more thorough clean for the tiles and grout. The slurry was once again removed using a wet vacuum, before I then rinsed the whole floor with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals.

When satisfied with outcome of the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Hallway

Upon arriving back at the property, the next day, I ran some quick moisture tests to check that the floor was dry. Thankfully, there were no damp issues and I was able to seal the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving each coat to dry before applying the next.

Seal and Go is a water based sealer (so no smell as it dries) which adds durable stain resistance and a low-sheen finish that brings out the best in the slate.

Slate tiled hallway floor After Cleaning Gloucester

The customer’s reaction to the outcome of the restoration was fantastic. She never expected the floor to turn out so beautifully and was very pleased.

Slate tiled hallway floor After Cleaning Gloucester

 
 

Professional Restoration of an Unmaintained Slate Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire

Dark African Slate Tiles Rejuvenated in Mickleton

African Slate has a striking realism to it and its natural mix of light and dark shades is difficult to compare to anything else. This example of an African Slate tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a property in Mickleton, Gloucestershire, a town which is best known for its tradition of vegetable gardening.

African Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Mickleton

The floor was laid 15 years ago, but the owner had not maintained the sealer which would have protected the porous stone from dirt becoming ingrained. As a result, the floor was now in poor condition with the rich dark tones in the stone now dull, dirty and unremarkable. The owner had decided it was time to put it right so I was called in to make sure the tiles were restored to their original magnificence.

African Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Mickleton

Cleaning an African Slate Tiled Floor

My first job was to unclip the kickboards from the base of the kitchen units, and then also cover the units themselves with plastic to guard them against potential splashing from the cleaning process.

Next, to begin the process, I applied a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and three parts plain water. Pro Clean is a high alkaline cleaner which is so reliable when it comes to removing dirt that we use it on almost every job we do, from Slate and Quarry to Marble and Sandstone.

Once the product had been applied, I left it to soak into the stone for approximately fifteen minutes. Then, using my buffing machine fitted with a 17 inch black scrubbing pad, I scrubbed the solution into the stone to clean the floor, releasing the ingrained dirt and removing the stains in the process. All the subsequent cleaning slurry was vacuumed up with a wet vacuum and I rinsed the floor with plain water.

I repeated this process a couple of times to ensure the most thorough clean possible. Then once satisfied with the condition of the tiles, I turned my attention to the cleaning all the dirty grout lines, again using Pro-Clean. The main difference here was that I scrubbed the product in by hand using a special grout brush as opposed to using a buffing machine. The rinsing and vacuuming process was then carried out once again.

Sealing an African Slate Tiled Floor

Once the cleaning process had been completed, I covered the floor with dust sheets and left it to dry off overnight.

I returned to the property the next day to find the the floor dry and ready to be sealed. I proceeded to seal the tiles with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving roughly 30 minutes between coats.

African Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mickleton

Seal and Go is a robust sealer that works really well on floors like these and results in a durable low sheen finish that really emphasises the natural characteristics of the African Slate.

African Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mickleton

The customer was absolutely delighted with the restored appearance of the floor. In fact, it reminded her of how it looked when it was first installed 15 years ago! A complete transformation in just two days.
 
 

Professional African Slate Tiled Floor Restoration in Gloucestershire