Slate Patio Tiles Treated for Grout Haze and Sealed in Brackley

Along with internal tiled floors at residential and commercial properties, we also specialise in the cleaning, restoration and sealing of all types of external tiled floors, including patios.

This customer, who lives in the small town of Brackley in Northamptonshire, had made the unfortunate mistake of sealing a brand new Slate tiled patio without removing the layer of grout haze smeared across the surface of the tile first. With the grout trapped between the tile and the new sealant the sealer was unable to fulfil its potential and the entire floor appeared really dull and patchy. The customer contacted me about setting the situation right.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Before Cleaning Brackley

Treating a Slate Tiled Patio for Grout Haze

My initial course of action was to remove the new sealer using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially designed to strip away sealant, as well as adhesives and paints in cases where building and decorating works have left the tiles stained. The product was applied liberally across the surface area of the patio and agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a special stripping pad. Of course, this was necessary because the grout haze could not be treated without removing the sealant first. The soiled cleaning solution was promptly soaked up using a wet-vac machine.

Once the tiles were exposed I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in more manageable gel form, all over the patio and allowed it to dwell for ten minutes to begin neutralising the grout haze. I then added a little water and worked the product into the patio with a stiff scrubbing brush and a rotary machine to ensure all grout haze was removed from the surface of the tiles. The remaining slurry was then removed using the wet vacuum, and I rinsed the area twice with plain water to ensure all cleaning products had been removed. It was them left to dry completely.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Being Cleaned in Brackley

Sealing a Slate Tiled Patio

I returned to the property several days later to give the patio a fresh seal now that it was free from grout haze. First, I gave the patio a vacuum and light mop to remove any dust and debris. The customer wanted the tiles as dark as possible, therefore I suggested we use Tile Doctor Stone Oil before sealing, as this would darken the Slate significantly.

Once this was agreed, I applied one coat of Stone Oil, allowed an hour for the product to dry, and then followed this applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is our impregnating, colour enhancing sealant which provides maximum protection against ingrained dirt and stains, as well as a durable no-sheen finish.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Removed and Sealed in Brackley

As you can see from the photographs, the Slate tiles experienced an impressive transformation. The fresh sealant, combined with the Stone Oil, really took the appearance of the tiles to a new level and, what’s more, it will be easier for the happy customer to keep it clean in the future.
 
 

Restoring the Appearance of a Natural Slate Patio in Northamptonshire

Grout Haze Trapped Under Sealed Slate Tiles in Woburn Sands

These pictures are off a brand new slate floor which the customer assumed would be much darker after she sealed it. Her builder had informed her that she only needed to give them a wipe over to remove the grout haze after he had laid them which she did before sealing however she was disappointed as they came up lighter and patchy than she had envisaged from what she had seen in the shop. The colour and patchiness was down to the fact that not all the grout had been removed and was now trapped between the tile and the new sealant.

Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Woburn Sands Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Woburn Sands

Removing Sealer and Grout Haze from Slate

To be able to remove the grout haze which was the root cause of the problem I would need to first remove the sealer. Fortunately we have a product called Tile Doctor Remove & Go which can do this so I applied it to the tiles, let is soak in for tem minutes and then scrubbed it into the Slate using a rotary machine fitted with a stripping pad. I then rinsed the floor with water and removed the soiled solution with a wet vacuum, repeating the scrubbing process where I felt it was necessary.

Once this was done I could deal with the Grout Haze by giving the tiles an Acid wash using Tile Doctors new Acid Gel product which being in a gel form is much easier to control. It was applied all over the floor and allowed to dwell for ten minutes to work on the grout haze, I then added a little water and worked the product in with a stiff scrubbing brush and a rotary machine to ensure all grout was removed from the surface of the tiles; the resultant slurry was then removed using the wet vacuum again.

It was important at this stage to ensure any trace of Remove and Go or Acid Gel was removed from the slate before sealing so I then gave the floor a thorough rinse with more water using the wet vacuum afterwards to remove as much moisture as possible. Before leaving for the evening I installed a fan to blow air across the surface of the tiles to assist in the drying process.

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

I returned the following day and did a small test patch on a spare tile the customer had with a colour sealant and she wanted it darker than the sealant alone could achieve as colour enhancing sealers will only ever slightly darken the colour. Therefore I suggested we apply Tile Doctor Stone Oil before sealing as this would darken the slate to the colour the customer was after and it works especially well on darker tiles. Once this was agreed I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil, allowed an hour for the product to dry assisted by a fan followed by 2 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to fully protect the tiles.

Grout Haze Removed From Slate Tiles Woburn Sands Grout Haze Removed From Slate Tiles Woburn Sands

The job took two days, the grout haze is gone and the Slate now looks how it should, my customer was very pleased and left the following message on our feedback system.

Phil did an absolutely fantastic job on my black limestone tiles in my kitchen after my DIY botch job at trying to seal them. They now look like the floor I wanted to achieve when I bought those tiles in the 1st place. Thank you so much! Ms L. Whittaker.
 
 

Dealing with Grout Haze on a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing Kitchen Slate Tiles in Corby

Another example of a tired Slate Tiled floor that was in need of a clean and seal, this time in the industrial town of Corby famous for its iron and steel works.

Slate floor before cleaning Corby Slate floor before cleaning Corby

Cleaning Slate Kitchen Tiles

To get the Slate tile and grout clean the a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied which was left to soak into the tile for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then using a stiff grout brush to clean along the grout lines.

Slate floor during cleaning Corby Slate floor during cleaning Corby

The floor was then thoroughly rinsed using clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum; there were a few stubborn areas that needed further attention which were re-treated. The last step of the cleaning process was to use a high pressure cleaning tool that extracts as well as washes, we normally use this tool for cleaning carpets but it also does a great job of giving a hard floor a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product before sealing.

Slate floor during cleaning Corby Slate floor during cleaning Corby

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry and we came back the next day to seal the slate using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied using a paint pad applicator. I usually use Seal and Go for slate tiles as it provides good stain protection with adds a nice sheen finish that adds to the look of the floor.

Slate floor during sealing Corby

The job took two days and the floor now looks transformed.

Slate floor after sealing Corby Slate floor after sealing Corby

 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Cleaning and Sealing Kitchen Slate Tiles in Towcester

These photographs of a Slate tiled floor were taken in the Kitchen of a house in Towcester where the slate was looking rather dull and had lost its appeal. This does happen with natural stone floor where the sealer which can add a shine to the stone becomes worn down and ineffective.

Towcester Slate Tiles Before Cleaning Slate Tiles Towcester Before Cleaning

Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles

We removed the kickboards from the kitchen units and lined the skirting boards with green Frog tape in order to protect them from cleaning fluids. The next step was to soak the floor in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which we let soak into the tile for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad and then using a stiff grout brush to clean out the grout lines.

Slate Tiles Towcester Scrubbing Slate Tiles Towcester Scrubbing

The floor was then thoroughly rinsed using clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was now free of sealers etc. and this showed up a few stubborn areas that needed to be retreated and washed down again. It’s important to give the floor a good rinse to ensure it’s free of any cleaning products as they can upset the sealer.

Slate Tiles Towcester After Cleaning Towcester Slate Tiles After Cleaning

Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry and we came back the next day to seal the slate using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied using a paint pad applicator. I usually use Seal and Go for slate tiles as it provides good stain protection with adds a nice sheen finish that adds to the look of the floor.

Slate Tiles Towcester After Sealing Slate Tiles Towcester After Sealing

The job took two days and the floor now looks much better and much easier to clean, certainly the customer was very pleased and left the following message on our feedback system.

Phil is extremely professional and provided excellent customer service. He explained the process in detail and did a thorough job and worked extremely hard. The job was completed in the time proposed with a brilliant result. We have no hesitation in recommending Phil to others. Thank you.
Pete and Angie, Towcester
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Slate Tile Flooring Cleaning In Northampton

Pictures below from rough slate tile flooring installed in the Kitchen and Toilet of a house in Northampton. The home owner had called us in to give the slate floor a clean and seal.

Kitchen Slate Floor Before Kitchen Slate Floor Before

Cleaning the Slate Tile Flooring

We cleaned the slate tiled floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean in order to strip any remaining sealer together with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The buffing machine doesn’t get into the grout lines so well so we had to use hand brushes for that. The floor was washed down with clean water and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Slate Tiled Flooring

We came back the next day to seal the floor using five coats Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides stain resistance as well as adding a low sheen to the floor.

Kitchen Slate Floor After Kitchen Slate Floor After

The home owner was very happy with work we did and left the comment below.

Effective and efficient service, would highly recommend Phil Vissian and the service provided.

Amanda, Northampton

Slate Tile Flooring Cleaning In Northampton