This first photo shows a classic example of a poorly maintained floor, which had faded and lost its colour due to it not being maintained or sealed for many years. In this case, the tiles were Chinese Slate, and were proving very difficult for the property owner to keep clean due to the lack of sealer to protect against dirt and stains. The grout in particular was quite discoloured and of increasing concern to the owner, prompting up the decision to contact me about a restoration job.
I agreed to the work – consisting of a deep clean and the application of a new sealer – and travelled down to the property in Norton near Daventry in Northamptonshire to see what results could be achieved.
Cleaning a Dirty Chinese Slate Tiled Floor
My primary concern when approaching this challenging restoration was to clean the grout which as aforementioned, had become dirty and discoloured. Most tiled floor owners will understand the pain of keeping grout lines clean; regular professional attention is often the easiest solution.
In this scenario, the grout was cleaned using a strong dilution of the alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, mixed with warm water. This was applied directly onto the grout lines using a spray bottle and scrubbed in using a hand held grout brush, as shown in the second photo.
With the grout taken care of it was now time to turn attention to the Slate tiles themselves which I tackled with more Pro-Clean but worked in this time using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This process also stripped away any traces of old, ineffectual sealers from the tiles. This process was followed by machine rinsing the floor with cold water to neutralise the chemicals in preparation for sealing.
Additionally, any particularly stubborn areas of old sealant were removed by hand brushes in combination with undiluted Tile Doctor Remove & Go remover. These areas were also rinsed to fully remove excess cleaning products.
Sealing a Chinese Slate Tiled Floor
I allowed the floor to dry completely overnight with a dehumidifier installed to assist the drying process. Upon my return to the property the next day I carefully checked the floor was completely dry, since even the slightest amount of excess moisture can cloud the fresh sealer and damage its performance.
Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry I applied five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go sealer to achieve a high shine finish, as per the customer’s request. This is the most popular finish for this type of flooring, as it its aesthetically pleasing whole with the assurance that the sealer is providing robust surface protection against stains and dirt.
The last photo shows the finished result with which the customer was extremely happy! Floors like this can so easily degrade into a terrible state without the right care so it’s always a great pleasure to make such a difference.