slate tiles

Slate Tile Cleaning and Grout Recolouring in a Linwood Kitchen

Kitchen tiles are never the easiest to keep clean. Food and drink spillages are likely to happen on a daily basis, especially if you live in a busy household. Not to mention the dirt and dust that builds up over time if the tiles are not treated to regular cleaning and maintenance. At this house in Linwood, a small town about 14 miles west of Glasgow, the Slate tiled kitchen floor, measuring approximately 8-10 square metres, wasn’t in a great state. In particular, the grout was very noticeably stained.

The property owner called me to help bring the floor back to looking it’s best again.

Slate floor tiles before grout colouring in Linwood

Cleaning Dirty Slate Tiles and Recolouring Grout

I started the restoration by cleaning the tiles and grout with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This pH neutral cleaner is specially formulated for the regular cleaning of natural stone, unlike many supermarket-grade cleaners that are only really suitable for use on ceramics. The customer was also wary about the sealer on the Slate tiles being damaged, so I didn’t want to use anything stronger or acidic. Nonetheless, the Neutral Tile Cleaner did a fine job of removing any muck from the surface of the tiles and removing the stains from the grout.

Slate floor tiles during grout colouring in Linwood
I also recommended that the grout be recoloured in order to fully restore the appearance of the floor as a whole. I let the floor dry off completely following the clean, before applying our Natural Grey grout colourant, one of the ten different types of grout colourant we offer, which seals and rejuvenates the grout joints. Other colours include White, Black, and Cappuccino. In this case, I felt Natural Grey would match in best with the natural colours of the Slate. I then left the grout to dry before polishing off any excess colourant.

Slate floor tiles after grout colouring in Linwood
As you can see the grout nows looks much fresher and neater. The epoxy nature of the colourant will protect the grout from any future discolouration and make it much easier to clean. Certainly, the customer was very happy as she left the following

“Steven contacted me quickly and we booked my job in. My Slate kitchen floor’s grout was discoloured, so we agreed he would clean and stain the grout. He came and carried out the work and he was excellent. Very happy with the work and his attitude was first class. Would highly recommend.”

Professional Tile and Grout Cleaning for a Slate Tiled Floor Restoration in Linwood

Cleaning and Sealing Heavily Soiled Slate Tiles in Gateside

On rare occasions we encounter extremely dirty tiled floors which have clearly not been cleaned for months, or even years. As you can see from the first photograph, this Slate tiled floor at a property in Gateside is an example of one of these extreme cases, being completely caked in thick layers of dirt that had amassed over a long time.

Slate floor before cleaning Gateside
While Slate is typically more hard wearing and rougher in texture many other types of tile, this doesn’t mean that it requires less frequent maintenance. With the floor measuring in at 20×20 metres, getting the tiles back to looking their best would be a big job, and certainly one that required the attention of a professional.

Slate kitchen floor before cleaning Gateside

Cleaning an Extremely Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

As the tiles were exceptionally dirty, I applied a strong dilution of our alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which can be used for both light soil buildup and very heavy soil buildup. After applying the product, I left it to dwell for a healthy period to allow it to break down the thick layers of dirt.

Slate kitchen floor after cleaning Gateside
I then used a black scrubbing pad fixed to a heavy rotary machine to scrub the tiles, extracting the resulting slurry using a wet vac machine. Due to how dirty the tiles were, I repeated this process several times until satisfied that the tiles were as clean as possible. Next, I paid attention to the grout, cleaning it by hand, again using Pro Clean. Once this was completed, I rinsed the floor a few times with clean water to remove any trace of chemical.

Slate floor after cleaning Gateside

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

I was keen to seal the floor the following day, so I installed a fan overnight to speed up the drying process. As many will already know, a tiled floor cannot be sealed until it is completely dry, or else the excess moisture will cloud the sealer.

Upon my return to the property the next morning, I used Tile Doctor High Shine to seal the floor as requested by the customer. This sealer is specifically designed for use on textured natural stone such as Slate, providing a durable, resistant and high shine surface seal. I applied four coats in total.

Slate kitchen floor after cleaning Gateside
The customer wasn’t at home when I finished the job, but he sent me a text later in the day to say just how impressed he was with the transformation of the floor. Another satisfied customer!

Slate kitchen floor after cleaning sealing Gateside

Professional Restoration of a Heavily Soiled Slate Tiled Floor in Ayrshire

Black Slate Kitchen Tiles Rejuvenated in Paisley

This customer, who lives in Paisley, one of Scotland’s biggest towns – and one with a rich history in the textiles industry – had not been completely satisfied with her Slate tiled kitchen floor since it had been laid. Having only been laid recently, the tiles themselves were in good shape, but they lacked the aesthetic quality desired by the customer.

She wanted them to be a richer, darker black in colour while keeping the matte look – as she had seen advertised in the tile shop – but once laid the tiles had been left looking rather unexceptional. The floor area itself was only small (at around 12 metres squared), and I was confident I could have it looking much nicer in no time at all using the right products.

Slate Floor Cleaned in Paisley

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin, I stripped away any previous sealer using a diluted mixture of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and Tile Doctor Remove and Go scrubbed into the tiles. This also helped to remove and bits of dirt and dust left on the floor. While the tiles, as mentioned, were in relatively good nick, I wanted to get the floor as clean as possible before giving it a fresh seal and my chosen combination of products did not let me down.

The floor was then neutralised with clean water, removing any outstanding cleaning chemicals, and the resulting cleaning slurry was promptly removed using a wet-vac machine. To finish the clean, I washed the tiles in pH Neutral Tile Cleaner, leaving it fresh and ready to be sealed.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I returned to the property to seal the Slate tiles making sure first that the tiles were dry. To restore the colour and texture of the Slate I started with an application of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which impregnates the pores of the stone and like a sealer provides a barrier to ingrained dirt once cured. To maintain the matt finish, as requested by the customer, I added a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal.

Slate Floor Treated with stone oil in Paisley
Just looking at the before and after photographs it’s clear to see that the customer got that the exact result she had requested. Stone Oil worked wonders to restore the rich, dark tones to the Slate that had been so sorely lacking previously. The customer can also be assured that the sealer will be keep the floor easy to clean for a long time to come.

Slate Floor Cleaned and seaeled in Paisley

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Glasgow

Slate Kitchen Floor Stripped Cleaned And Sealed Lochwinnoch

These photographs of a Slate tiled kitchen floor are from a house in Lochwinnoch in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. You can see that the slate and grout was looking very dull and any sealer that was present had failed leaving the stone in need of a deep clean and re-seal.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Lochwinnoch

Cleaning Slate Floor Tile and Grout

On the first day we stripped the floor of any remaining sealer using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with Remove and Go, this was left to dwell for 5-10mins before scrubbing it in with a scrubbing pad and then extracting the slurry with a wet vacuum. It was important to ensure all the sealer was removed in order to get an even finish and to avoid any compatibility issues when re-sealing later.

Slate Floor During Cleaning in Lochwinnoch
After this we focused on cleaning the grout using more Pro-Clean this time worked in using a stiff grout brush by hand. Once done the floor was given a thorough rinse using a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Neutral Clean to remove any trace of cleaning solutions that may impact the sealer and again using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The floor was left to dry off overnight and then we returned on the second day to seal the slate with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) which adds a nice sheen to the tile and gave the desired finish. Slate is quite porous so five coats of Seal and Go were required to ensure the floor was fully sealed.

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Lochwinnoch

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate tiled floor in Renfrewshire

Slate tiled kitchen floor cleaned and re-sealed in Huston

This particular Slate tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Huston, that’s Houston near Glasgow not the city in Texas. This is another example of a natural stone floor was overdue a deep clean and re-seal, any remaining sealer on the slate has worn off and the tiles have become dull and stained.

Slate tiled floor Huston before cleaning

Cleaning Slate Floor Tile and Grout

First we stripped any remaining sealer from the slate tiles by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak in before being worked into the stone using a black pad on a rotary bonnet machine; the resultant soiled cleaning solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated three times to make sure all the sealer and dirt was completely removed and extracted.

After this we focused on cleaning the grout using more Pro-Clean this time worked in using a stiff grout brush by hand. Once done the floor was given a thorough rinse using clean water again using the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the floor as dry as possible.

Changing the Colour of Grout

We then left for the evening to allow the floor to dry off overnight and returned the second day and coloured the grout to dark grey using a grout colouring kit to achieve an even grout appearance. This is rather painstaking work but the effect is well worth the effort, then once that had dried we gave the floor a quick clean using Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

After allowing to dry overnight again, we came back the third day to seal the slate tiles for which we used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) which added a nice sheen to the tile and gave the desired finish.

Slate tiled floor Huston after cleaning and sealing

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate tiled floors in Huston, Renfrewshire

Slate Tiled Staircase Cleaned and Sealed in Glasgow

These photographs were taken some time ago however I thought they might be interesting as Glasgow has an interesting mix of architecture and occasionally we are asked to clean some unusual buildings including this one which had a stone winding staircase faced with slate tile which was overdue for a clean and seal.

Slate tiled stairs in Glasgow before Slate tiled stairs in Glasgow before

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Staircase

Stairs are a high traffic area and if there was any sealer left on the slate treads it was minimal so I decided to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This was left on to soak into the slate tiles for about 20 minutes before being scrubbed in by hand (no room for a rotary machine).

Slate tiled stairs in Glasgow before
This was worked into the slate and grout until I was happy the tile and grout was clean. The soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor neutralised with more water to ensure no chemicals remained on the floor prior to sealing.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Staircase

It was a small area so it only took a few hours for the tiles to dry so later that afternoon I was able to seal the slate for which we used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle sheen finish and will protect the tiles from staining going forward.

Slate tiled stairs in Glasgow after Slate tiled stairs in Glasgow after


Cleaning and Sealing Slate tiled stairs in Glasgow

Slate Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in a Glasgow Kitchen

These Slate tiles were installed in the kitchen of a house in Glasgow and as you can see from the photograph below they were looking dull and tired and there was evidence of grout haze over a lot of the tiles. The Tile Doctor diagnosis was that a face lift was in order for which a deep clean and re-seal was prescribed.

Slate Tiles in Glasgow Kitchen Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Floor

The first step was to sweep up all the loose debris from the floor; we scrub the floor quite hard during our work so it’s important to remove any grit that could scratch the surface of the tile. We then mixed a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean and began to work the solution into the floor allowing it to dwell for around an hour first (This process helps to soften and break down the remains of the sealer on the stone). We used a hard deck scrubber to agitate the chemicals and loosen the dirt and old sealer from the floor which is then extracted from the surface using a wet vacuum and rinsed down with clean water several times to make sure all chemicals are removed.

The next step was to apply a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which was then scrubbed the floor once again with hard deck scrubber. This broke down and removed all of the cement/ grout haze that the installer had left over the surface of the tile, again the floor was then rinsed with water and extracted to remove any chemical residue.

The floor was scrubbed again this time using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to make sure all old sealer, cement, grout haze and dirt had been completely removed. We then give the floor a thorough and final rinse and mopped the tiles with Neutral Tile Cleaner to neutralise any remaining trace of chemicals and removed the solution using the wet vacuum before leaving the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Floor Sealing

Once the floor was dry it was then sealed using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which was chosen to provide the desired finish that the customer wanted.

Slate Tiles in Glasgow Kitchen After Cleaning and sealing

Slate Tiled Kitchen floor cleaned and sealed in Glasgow

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