Slate Tile Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Slate flooring carried out in Bedfordshire

Cleaning and Renovating Slate Floors

Slate is a very popular floor and wall tile due to its low porosity; there are many varieties and textures of Slate available as such Tile Doctor has spent many years researching the best cleaning and sealing methods and products. The semi-riven tile is particularly easier to maintain compared to the rough textured Slate commonly available due to its cheaper quarrying cost.

Porosity however small, is the main issue when maintaining Stone floors as dirt can easily become trapped in the pores and once that happens it becomes very difficult to clean. The solution is to prevent the ingress of dirt in the stone by applying a sealer such as Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works very well on Slate. However sealers do wear down with use and the application of unsuitable cleaning products, and so unless regularly maintained the floor will need to be stripped, deep cleaned and then resealed again every three to five years.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham

Large Grey Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Studham

Brazilian Slate is amongst some of the highest quality available in the world and the grey variant is particularly striking when used for large areas of flooring. I mention this as I recently encountered a fantastic Grey Brazilian Slate tiled floor in what turned out to be one our largest domestic restoration projects to date.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham
The floor, located at a property in the ancient, yet picturesque parish of Studham in South Bedfordshire, covered over 200m2. Unfortunately, it had been installed several years ago with very minimal sealant to keep it protected. This sealant has since worn away and the tiles had suffered as a result. They have become ingrained with dirt, leaving them dull and difficult to clean. Thankfully, we at Tile Doctor are perfectly equipped to resolve these common and highly problematic situations.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Studham
The owner was also concerned that areas of the hallway portion of the floor were missing grout and asked if this could be resolved as part of our restoration work. As I mentioned before it was a very large installation with slate tiles laid in four bedrooms, a large hallway with stairs, corridor to the kitchen and dining area, the kitchen and dining area itself, the utility room and the main sitting room. In short, it was no small area and I could envisage being there some time!

Fortunately, the customer arranged to have all furniture moved into storage, so we could have a clear area to work on and were able to get straight to work on arrival.

Cleaning a Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor

Due to the size of the job, the cleaning process was carried out over the course of four days by two Tile Doctor technicians on site. Our first course of action was to mix a strong solution of our reliable high-alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was applied and agitated into the tiles and grout using specialised grout brushes and a rotary machine with a 17” black scrubbing pad. This not only cleaned the tiles but also removed any old sealant remaining on the floor.

The resulting slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum. We then applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to all the grout lines, brushing the product in with grout brushes and using the wet vacuum to remove any excess chemicals. Grout Clean-Up is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which removes grout smears from the surface of the tile to ensure there’s nothing that can detract from its natural appearance.

We rinsed and mopped the floor with plain water to neutralise the floor in preparation for sealing and performed a final go over with the wet vacuum. Each area was dried with fans and the cleaning process began again in the next room. This work was repeated in each area as we moved from room to room.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Grouting in Studham
Once the hallway was cleaned, the next course of action was to grout to the areas where it was missing. We did this by matching the colour to the original grout as best as possible. The new grout was then allowed to dry before any excess was removed and a quick clean was performed to avoid any grout haze.

Sealing a Brazilian Slate Tile Floor

Each area was given at least 24 hours to dry before sealing and then sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealant. This sealer works really well on Slate adding robust protection whilst achieving a light sheen finish which gave the customer the look they were hoping to achieve.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor During Sealing in Studham
The Grey Brazilian Slate floor was given a new lease of life and no longer looked dull, as can be seen in the photographs below. Additionally, the customer was delighted with the results and left us the following positive feedback:

“Excellent service. Very friendly and very professional. I would certainly recommend.”

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham
As I mentioned at the start of this post it was a very large floor and as you can imagine it took some time to complete but was well worth the effort.

Grey Brazilian Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Studham

Professional Renovation of a Grey Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor in Bedfordshire

Large Grey Brazilian Slate Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Studham Read More »

Limescale Treated on Slate Bathroom Tiles Ravenden Before After

Dealing with Limescale Stains on a Slate Tiled Bathroom in Ravensden

Our client in Ravensden had a rough slate tiled floor fitted into her en-suite bathroom approximately six years ago. The tiles were never sealed and due to the hard water in the area, plus shower products the floor developed a white crust in areas.

Limescale Treated on Slate Bathroom Tiles Ravenden Before Limescale Treated on Slate Bathroom Tiles Ravenden Before

Tile doctor deals with tile problems across the UK everyday and leads the way in developing new techniques to deal with tile related issues and so I was confident of finding a solution that could resolve the problem with a single visit.

Dealing with Limescale on a Slate tiled floor

Mindful of damp levels in the slate we used a small coarse 200 grit Tile Doctor Diamond pad on a six-inch hand held machine to take off the lime scale. This cleaned most of it off but in corners and some deep rough areas where the pad could not access were spot treated using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which was left to sit and dwell for 20 minutes then rinsed off the floor.

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

A turbo fan was used to speed up the drying of the floor and within a couple of hours it was dry enough to seal for which we used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores if the Slate protecting it from within and enhancing the look of the stone in the process.

Limescale Treated on Slate Bathroom Tiles Ravenden After Limescale Treated on Slate Bathroom Tiles Ravenden After


Slate Floor Problems Resolved in Bedfordshire

Dealing with Limescale Stains on a Slate Tiled Bathroom in Ravensden Read More »

Slate Tiled Floor Bedford Before After Cleaning and sealing Bedford

Cleaning and Sealing a Twenty Year Old Slate Floor in Bedford

Every now and again, I get called to work on tiled floors which have were laid some time ago and not properly maintained in a long time, as was the case with this customer in the town of Bedford at the heart of Bedfordshire. They had a twenty year old Slate tiled floor that was now in need of a thorough clean and a re-seal.

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

As you can see from the photos, the floor was very much worse for wear in some areas, with the tiles looking very dull and dirty. To clean the tiles I used a combination of a steamer and a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner suitable for use on many different types of natural stone floor, including Slate, Limestone, and Victorian tile – just to name a few.

The solution is scrubbed into the tiles to lift out the ingrained dirt and stains. Concentrated Pro-Clean is also strong enough to strip off the old sealer from the floor. After completing the clean and inspecting the tiles to ensure all of the problem areas had been successfully tended to, I rinsed the floor thoroughly with water to remove any trace of cleaning product. After rinsing the floor in such a way it is important to leave plenty of time for it to dry before sealing, so I left the house for 24 hours before returning.

Slate Tiled Floor Bedford after Cleaning and before sealing

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

Upon my return to the house, I inspected the floor to ensure it had dried completely, as any excess moisture remaining of the tiles has the potential to damage the performance of the sealer. The sealer I used was the new and improved Tile Doctor Seal & Go known as Seal and Go Extra, which has an acrylic base and a much higher content of solid. This means that when the sealer dries it is able to provide an even better level of protection for the stone.

I applied several coats of Seal & Go Extra to give the Slate tiles a stain resistant surface seal and the high quality finish the client had requested. Seal & Go Extra is suitable for use on internal and external, unsealed porous surfaces such as textured Quarry, Sandstone, Victorian tile and, of course, Slate.

Slate Tiled Floor Bedford After Cleaning and sealing

Old Slate Floor brought back to life in Bedfordshire

Cleaning and Sealing a Twenty Year Old Slate Floor in Bedford Read More »


Bedfordshire Tile Doctor

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