Slate Tile Cleaning

Removing Varnish from a Slate Tiled Floor in Walton on Thames

Our client had previously employed another company to tackle this large Slate floor in Walton on Thames but they hadn’t managed to remove the old sealer due to it being an old varnish seal. Varnish was used as a traditional way of sealing stone but can be damaged by scratching and it does little to improve the look of the stone. Varnish is also very difficult to break down which is a problem as it’s important to remove the old sealant before applying new, applying a new sealer onto Varnish simply wouldn’t work.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Walton-on-Thames

I visited the property to survey the floor and work out which combination of products and methods would work best and after some testing and I was able to confirm that not only could the old varnish be removed but once re-sealed with a modern sealer the slate would be transformed.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Walton-on-Thames

The client was over the moon to hear this news as they had thought there was nothing, they could do to improve the floor.

Removing Varnish and Deep Cleaning Slate Floor Tiles

With a price and schedule agreed I returned to the property at a later date and started by tackling the varnish. The method I used was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go, let it soak into the floor for ten minutes and then work it in with a heavy rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a black pad. The soil was then rinsed with water and extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum.

The floor was then inspected, and each tile checked to ensure the varnish was completely gone, any stubborn areas were then spot treated and scrubbed by hand. Once I was satisfied, I set about giving the stone a deep clean by repeating the same process with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. As before all the soil and cleaning products were then low pressure rinsed off the stone and vacuumed away. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following day to apply a new modern sealer. First, I tested the floor was dry using the moisture meter. It was in the acceptable readings range, so I was able to start applying the sealer straight away.

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Walton-on-Thames

For this floor I chose to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go, it works really well on Slate tiles and as you can see from the photographs it completely transformed the appearance of the stone. Seal and Go is a water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish, being water based it has the added advantage of not giving off any odour as it dries. The client had specified earlier that they didn’t want the floor to look shiny to the resultant silky appearance was the perfect solution. Thee coats were applied, and my client was very pleased with the finish.

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Walton-on-Thames

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen in South Middlesex

Renovation of Slate Tiled Patio in Brentford

This Slate patio that had been installed at a property in Brentford one year prior to our visit last year. It had not been sealed after installation and as you can see from the pictures it was now looking very tired after a very short period. Additionally, the pointing had not been cleaned off the slate entirely leaving a haze over the stone which detracted from its appearance.

Slate Patio Before Renovation Brentford

I explained the process to tackle the grout haze, clean the Slate then finally seal it. I worked out a quote which was accepted, and a date scheduled for my return to complete the work which would take a couple of days.

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Patio in Brentford

My first task was to sweep up all the detritus that typically builds up on a patio, especially grit and small stones which can get caught in the cleaning pads and scratch the surface of the stone.

Once that was done it was time to tackle the grout haze. This was done by applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to the slate and scrubbing it in with a heavy-duty scrubbing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This product is specifically designed to remove excess grout and cement from the surface of tile and contains concentrated phosphoric acid. You need to be very careful with the use of acids on stone as it can cause surface etching if left on too long. In addition, I wouldn’t recommend the use of the brick acid products you typically find in DIY stores which are stronger and are likely to cause damage.

Once satisfied all the soil and haze had been released from the stone the patio was rinsed off with water and the soil extracted away with a wet vacuum.

Slate Patio During Renovation Brentford

The next step was to seal the stone however it would need to be dry before that could happen. Fortunately, I had managed to find a couple of days where the weather was unseasonably warm and for once it hadn’t rained for a while. So, the next day I was able to return and apply a sealer to help protect the patio.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Patio Floor

I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this, it’s an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone which would otherwise become occupied by dirt. Tile Doctor Colour Grow is also rated for external as well as internal use and enhances the dark tones in the Slate. Additionally, It should cope well with the weather in this part of the UK as long as we don’t see a really severe drop in temperatures over the winter.

Two coats of Colour Grow were applied to the slate which restored the floor to a nice dark charcoal colour. The client was extremely pleased with the outcome and were keen to recommend us to their friends.

Slate Patio After Renovation Brentford

For aftercare the Patio should be regularly hosed down to keep the grit and debris from accumulating and for cleaning I recommended using Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH neutral product which is safe to use on sealed Stone.

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Patio in South Middlesex

Renovating a Limescale Stained Riven Slate Shower in Teddington

The client was thinking of having their riven Slate tiled bathroom re-tiled but before doing so they thought to give Tile Doctor a call about having it renovated first. The property was in Teddington which is a popular commuter area on the River Thames, it is on a long meander of the Thames between Hampton and Strawberry Hill

Thames Water define Teddington as a hard water area with high levels of calcium carbonate which leaves deposits known as Limescale. The tiles had not been professionally cleaned or sealed since installation ten years prior and now Limescale had built up on the tiles which was very thick in places.

Limescale Stained Slate Shower Tiles Before Renovation in Teddington Limescale Stained Slate Shower Tiles Before Renovation in Teddington

I visited the property to see how bad the problem was and to give the client a quote for the work. Whilst I was there a ran some cleaning tests on the shower tiles to work out the best solution. The tests were successful, and they were really pleased to see that their idea of restoring the tiles was a viable option. This would mean they could avoid the need to retile the whole bathroom, which would have been expensive and disruptive. They agreed to my price and we booked in a time to carry out the work, which would be completed over two days.

Removing Limescale from a Riven Slate Tiled Shower

Had this been polished Slate I would have used burnishing pads to grind off the limescale and polish up the stone. In this case however the slate had a riven appearance which means they have a rough surface. I didn’t want to alter the rough appearance as this is part of their natural beauty, so I decided on a different course of action.

The solution would involve hand scrubbing every tile using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in gel form sticks well to vertical surfaces. This action broke down the limescale and cleaned away all the dirt and product residue in the stone. The tiles were then rinsed down with water to remove any trace of product.

Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Shower

After allowing the slate to dry off overnight, I first checked the tiles were nice and dry with the moisture meter. If they were still damp the seal would be ineffective and would not cure. The tiles were nice and dry, so we then applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is a colour intensifying sealer which enhances natural colour and will provide durable surface protection going forward. The colours in the slate now look great and it has brought the bathroom back to life, as you can see from the pictures.

Limescale Stained Slate Shower Tiles After Renovation in Teddington Limescale Stained Slate Shower Tiles After Renovation in Teddington

The client was really pleased with the result and happy they had saved some money too. I recommended to them that spraying Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro on the Slate after showering as it will eliminate build-up from the use of soaps, shampoos and body-washes, and will help to keep the limescale at bay. We recommend this product as it’s designed for cleaning sealed surfaces and will not prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Riven Slate Tiled Shower in South Middlesex

Renovated Multi-Coloured Slate Floor in Staines Upon Thames

Except for general cleaning this multi-coloured slate floor had not been professionally cleaned since installation eleven years prior. Any sealer that had once been applied to the slate had long since worn off and dirt was now ingrained in the pores of the stone causing it to look dull and un-attractive. The property was in the lovely town of Staines Upon Thames, obviously situated on the banks of the River Thames and a popular place to live for London commuters.

Multi-Coloured Slate Floor Before Cleaning Staines-upon-Thames

I visited site to take a closer look at the floor and provide the client with an accurate price for renovating the stone. It turns out that the client had used all sorts of different household cleaners in an attempt to get the floor clean. Unfortunately, they were probably making the situation worse as these strong cleaning products would have actually stripped the sealant off the stone leaving it open to dirt. I carried out a test clean for them and they were very pleased to see how the floor could look. We agreed a price for the work and arranged a suitable date to carry out the work.

Multi-Coloured Slate Floor Before Cleaning Staines-upon-Thames

Cleaning a Multi-Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first task was to strip off what was left of the old sealer and deep clean the stone using a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50:50 with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This powerful cocktail was applied to the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

The grout was hand scrubbed using more of the cleaning solution along the grout lines until I was happy the floor was as clean as it possibly could be. The floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted by using the wet vacuum.

Once the floor was clear the Slate was inspected, and any stubborn areas were spot treated using the same process as before. After a final rinse and extraction, the floor was dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Multi-Coloured Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I came back the next day and checked the moisture levels of the tiles using a damp meter. The floor had dried well so I had a green light for applying a new sealer. For this I used four Coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. This product works really well on Slate and gave the tiles a nice sheen finish, the fresh sealer will also make maintenance cleaning far easier in the future.

Multi-Coloured Slate Floor During Sealing Staines-upon-Thames

The client was very happy with the result, the floor now looks great and the natural colours of the stone is so much more evident. For aftercare I recommended they throw away all those supermarket products and use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH neutral product that won’t prematurely erode the new sealer with use.

Multi-Coloured Slate Floor After Sealing Staines-upon-Thames

 

Professional Clean and Seal of Multi-Coloured Slate Tiles in Middlesex

Black Slate Tiled Floor Stained by Decorators in Hampton

It’s surprising how often I get asked to look at tiled floors stained with paint and other chemicals because of careless decorating work. Such was the reason that I was asked to renovate this Slate tiled floor that had been installed in the garden room of a house in Hampton, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. On this occasion the customers decorators had not covered the floor properly prior to painting which led to spots of paint and a white haze in places where they had tried and failed to rub the emulsion off the stone floor.

Slate Tiled Floor Hampton Before Cleaning

I went over to take a look and could see that the floor would benefit from been given a thorough clean, spot treating the decorating issues in the process and then given a fresh coat of sealer to protect the floor going forward and bring out the character of the stone. Having given the customer a quote which was accepted we agreed a date for me to return and given the floor a new lease of life.

Slate Tiled Floor Hampton Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The correct way to restore a floor such as this is to first strip off any existing coatings such as old sealers and take the tile back to its original condition. To do this I sprayed on a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left to dwell and soak into the old sealer and paint stains. Remove and Go is a stripper that as its name suggests is designed to be used on Tile, Stone and Grout. After ten minutes the product was worked into the slate tile and grout using a heavy duty rotary scrubbing machine. To help with the cleaning process, we also sprayed on Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is our go to Tile and Grout cleaning product.

The solution soon turned into a slurry as the dirt, old sealers and stains were lifted out of the pores of the slate. To remove the soil the floor was rinsed with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then inspected, and stubborn stains spot treated until I was happy with the condition of the tile and grout. The floor was given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I left the floor overnight to dry completely following the cleaning and returned the next day to finish the renovation. After testing for damp to ensure the floor was dry, two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied to fully seal the floor. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that penetrates int the pores of the stone to protect it from within. It worked really well on the Black Slate and restored the contrast in the tile while giving it the deep black look that the customer was expecting. The fresh sealer has the added benefit of making the floor easier to clean in the future

Slate Tiled Floor Hampton During Sealing

The floor now looks completely revived and the sealer will help keep it looking that way for some time to come.

Slate Tiled Floor Hampton After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Renovation of a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor in Richmond upon Thames

Neglected Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles Restored in Sunbury-on-Thames

We always recommend regular maintenance for stone tiled floors, especially in areas of high traffic and high possibility of spillages, such as kitchens. Unfortunately, most house owners aren’t aware of this as was the case case of this particular Slate tiled kitchen floor at a property in Sunbury-on-Thames. In fact, the sealer hadn’t been refreshed for seven years and I suspect had worn off some years prior. The result? Well, you can see it from the photographs below

Slate Kitchen floor Before Cleaning Sunbury-on-Thames

Heavy soil and general kitchen spillages was now able to penetrate the pores of the stone leaving it looking stained and grubby.Cleaning using run-of-the-mill household products was proving near impossible and with the customer at a loss as to how to resolve the situation, I was called in to provide the professional attention these tiles so desperately needed.

Slate Kitchen floor Before Cleaning Sunbury-on-Thames

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first order of business was to break down what was left of the old impregnating sealer. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor, it was left to soak in for around ten minutes before being scrubbed into the stone. Remove and Go is a heavy-duty remover for old sealers, adhesive stains and paint splashes that is safe to use on stone, tile and grout.

Another product used was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a powerful high alkaline cleaner which works well on stone and is especially good at cleaning up grout lines.

This combination of products helped to eliminate all oil-based stains and day-to-day soils from the stone. Next, using a specialised stone rinse extractor and water, I flushed all the old sealer, cleaning products and resultant soil away.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I left the floor overnight to dry completely following the cleaning. Upon my return to the property I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer, an impregnating sealer which helps to protect the stone from spillages and ingrained dirt by filling the pores of the stone and acting as a barrier. This subsequently makes daily maintenance easier.

Slate Kitchen floor After Cleaning Sunbury-on-Thames

As you may have guessed from the product name, the sealer also enhances the natural colours in the stone. The photos below show just how significant a difference this make to the aesthetic appearance of the floor.

Slate Kitchen floor After Cleaning Sunbury-on-Thames

The customer was very pleased with the results and couldn’t quite believe seven years of poor maintenance could be remedied in just two days!
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor Restoration in Sunbury-on-Thames

Lustre Restored on a Dull Slate Tiled Floor in Twickenham

Slate is a popular choice for tiled kitchen floors and when properly maintained looks fantastic, however like all natural stone products without an effective cleaning plan dirt will become ingrained in the stone and will start to lose its appearance.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Twickenham

This was the case with this fantastic Slate tiled kitchen floor in Twickenham which had the potential to look really nice, but hadn’t received the proper maintenance for a long while, leaving it looking very tired. It now needed what was left of its old surface sealer stripped off, followed by a deep cleaning of the tile and grout before having a fresh seal applied.

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I mixed a 50:50 solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This was applied to the floor and allowed to dwell. Remove and Go functions as a stripper that breaks down the old sealer, while Pro Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner that is safe to use on all types of natural stone flooring.

To use it to full effect, I machine scrubbed this solution into the floor to completely remove all dirt, stains, and old sealer. I also ran a stiff brush along the grout lines to remove the particularly stubborn dirt ingrained in the grout. The resulting cleaning slurry was then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor checked for stubborn marks which were retreated using the same process.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Twickenham

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to apply a new seal. It’s important to leave a tiled floor to dry completely before sealing and at this time of year 24 hours is usually enough. This is necessary to ensures there is no excess moisture in the tile as this has the potential to cloud the sealer and affect its effectiveness.

The customer required a low sheen finish and a floor that was easy to maintain. I opted to use Seal & Go, which provides exactly that. It is a water-based with a high sheen blend of acrylic polymers that offers a both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. Seal and Go is also a breathable sealer that will allow moisture to rise up through the tile and allow the floor to breathe.

Slate Floor After Cleaning in Twickenham

As you can see from the pictures, the lustre has been completely restored to the Slate tiles and the sealer will allow for easy maintenance for the customer in the future.

Slate Floor After Cleaning in Twickenham

 
 

Dull and Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Restored in Middlesex

Slate Tiles Cleaned and Sealed to Restore Condition and Lustre in Hampton

Slate tiles have been in use for centuries, often chosen for roofing and both interior and exterior flooring due to their hard-wearing nature. While the popularity of the material perhaps peaked a hundred or more years ago, punctuated by the so-called “Slate boom” in 1870s Europe, it is still seen used en masse in large construction projects globally, and Slate tiled floors remain a feature of many houses in the UK, both old and new.

Despite its natural durability, Slate still requires regular maintenance, especially when used as flooring in the high traffic areas of a house. This tired and dirty looking Slate tiled floor in the kitchen of a house in Hampton, Middlesex was in certain need of the old sealer being stripped off, following by a deep cleaning and the application of a fresh seal.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning In Hampton

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

To begin the job, we mixed a strong cleaning solution consisting of Tile Doctor Remove and Go stripper and Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Pro Clean is a heavy duty alkaline-based cleaner that is designed to tackle significant levels of soiled build up on natural stone floors.

This solution was then spread evenly across the surface area of the floor and left for roughly ten minutes to dwell and soak into the Slate, allowing it to start stripping off the old sealer.

Next, I fitted a black scrubbing pad to my rotary buffing machine and proceeded to agitate the solution, breaking up the dirt and general muck afflicting the tiles, as well as the old sealer. As the slurry of muck emerged I promptly rinsed it away with clean water, before extracting the excess moisture with a wet vacuum.

Slate Floor During Cleaning In Hampton

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

After being left to dry completely over night, the floor was ready to receive a new application of sealer. Since the customer requested a high sheen finish and a floor that was easy to maintain, we opted to go for the solvent based topical sealer known as Tile Doctor Seal & Go. The sealer acts as a layer of protection for the floor against dirt and stains.

Slate Floor After Cleaning In Hampton

As you can see from the pictures, the restoration has fully restored the lustre to these Slate tiles and has set up floor to be easy maintained for the customer in the future.

Slate-Floor-After-Cleaning-In-Hampton-1829

 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing of a Slate Tiled Floor in Middlesex

Maintaining A Slate Kitchen Floor In Shepperton

This slate floor was installed in the kitchen and adjacent dining area of this house in Shepperton, Middlesex and now as with all sealed floors the sealer had worn down and the floor was becoming difficult to clean leaving it looking dull and uninviting.

To remedy the old sealer would need to be stripped off, the floor deep cleaned and a fresh seal applied. I suspect the sealer had been eroded prematurely by the use of harsh cleaning chemicals and a steam cleaner. This had destroyed the sealer in parts and made the floor look very uneven. You do need to be very careful of supermarket cleaning products as many are designed for glazed ceramic tiles and contain acids which will eat through the sealer over time.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning In Shepperton Slate Floor Before Cleaning In Shepperton

Stripping old Sealers off a Slate Tiled Floor

To strip the remaining sealer off the floor and give the slate and grout a really deep clean I prepared a 50:50 mixture of Remove and Go and Pro-clean diluted with water. This powerful stripper/cleaner solution was then machine scrubbed into the floor to break up the dirt and old sealer, a stiff brush was also run over the grout lines to get them clean as well. The slurry was then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected and the process repeated where necessary until I was satisfied the slate and grout were as clean as they could be and free of any old sealer.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The floor was left to dry off and we returned later to seal the floor. Sealers can be affected if the floor is damp so a damp meter comes in very handy at this point to confirm the floor is dry before sealing.

We have a number of sealer products available that all have different effects and in this case the customer required a high sheen finish and a floor that was easy to maintain. Tile Doctor Seal & Go gives exactly that result and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, so we applied a number of coats and provided the customer with some advice on the use of pH neutral cleaning products for general cleaning going forward.

Slate Floor After Cleaning In Shepperton Slate-Floor-After-Cleaning-In-Shepperton-1968

You can see from the pictures that the process has restored the lustre to the slate and the sealer will protect the floor going forward making it easier to maintain.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Kitchen Floor in Middlesex

Cleaning a Slate Wet Room in Richmond

This bathroom in Richmond, Surrey was tiled in Slate on the walls and floor to create a wet room effect. Overtime the old sealer had perished allowing soiling and shower products to stain tile and grout there was also evidence of heavy Limescale deposits.

Slate Wet Room Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Slate Tiled Floor

We decided to give the tile and grout a deep cleaning using a strong mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean to make it more effective. To get the cleaning solution to stick to the wall tile and grout it was decanted into a spray bottle and sprayed on to the tile, this combines it with air making it lighter and allowing it to dwell on the vertical surface.

The solution was then worked into the Slate tile and grout by hand using a stiff scrubbing brush and then washed off using clean water, this process had to be repeated a number of times until we were happy that the tile and the grout were clean again. Pro-Clean is also an effective sealer stripper so will have removed any remaining sealer from the surface, this is important as the new sealer may not have been compatible with the old.

There were a number of areas that had stubborn Limescale deposits so we treated them with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a very strong product that as the name suggests will pretty much remove anything but is safe to use on Tile and Grout. Once this process was complete the whole area was given a thorough wash down with water a number of times to remove any remaining chemical and neutralise the surface ready for sealing.

Sealing Indian Slate Tiles

We left the floor to dry off overnight and came back the next day to re-seal the tile and grout. We choose to do this with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that will sit in the pores of the tile and grout rather than on the surface and help protect it for longer, it’s also a great product to use on natural stone such as Slate as it really brings out the natural colours in the stone.

Slate Shower After Cleaning

Certainly my customer was pleased with the results and left the following message:

Jon was friendly and professional, working to a very high standard and keeping me well informed throughout the process.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Shower room in Richmond

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