Cleaning and Sealing Green Slate tiles in Hastings

I worked on this beautiful Green Slate tiled floor just before Christmas but I’ve been so busy with other jobs I’ve only just go around to writing about it. The slate floor was installed in the hallway and kitchen of a property in the seaside town of Hastings and the owner was keen to have the work done before the holidays.

Green Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hastings Green Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hastings

I had been to the property previously to survey the floor and quote for doing the work. It was clear that much of the sealer that had previously protected the slate from ingrained dirt had worn off and much of the floor had now lost is appearance. The solution would be to strip off what was left of the sealer, deep clean the stone to remove ingrained dirt and then apply a fresh sealer. The work should take two days to complete and fortunately for the client I was able to fit them in, December is after all one of our busiest periods.

Cleaning a Green Slate Tiled Floor in Hastings

After taping up the skirting boards to protect them during the cleaning process I sprayed the floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Remove and Go is a cleaner and coatings remover that’s safe to use on Tile and Stone and is ideal for removing sealers. It’s important to remove all the old sealer from the floor as it may not be compatible with the new sealer and can result in an uneven appearance later.

Green Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hastings Green Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Hastings

The Remove and Go was left to soak into the Slate for about ten minutes before being worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I also like to use stiff hand brush along the grout lines and to get into those hard to reach areas. The soil generated was extracted using a van mounted high pressure cleaning system that simultaneously rinses the floor and vacuum’s the soil away to a recovery tank.

The Green Slate was installed in several different areas on the ground floor of the property, so it made sense to do the work one section at a time and then inspect all the floors at the end. Any stubborn stains were spot cleaned by hand using more Remove and Go until I was satisfied.

Sealing Green Slate Floor Tiles in Hastings

I left the floor to dry off overnight and came back the next day to seal it, unfortunately moisture readings indicated more drying time was required. I was working on another stone floor the following week, so I agreed with the owner to come back on Saturday and seal the floor then.

Green Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Hastings Green Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Hastings

The sealer I used was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is highly recommended for Slate and will provide good stain protection whilst improving the appearance of the stone to give a low sheen finish. Slate is quite a porous stone, so it took five coats before it was fully sealed. I think you will agree the Green Slate floor looks transformed and I’m sure was appreciated by their guests over Christmas.

Green Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing Hastings

 

Professional Renovation of a Green Slate Floor in Hastings, East Sussex

Scratched and Dirty Slate Tiles Rejuvenated in Eastbourne

This Slate tiled floor had been installed in the conservatory of a property in Eastbourne, which I’m sure your aware is a large and well-known seaside resort town on the south coast of England. The home owner contacted Tile Doctor to see if a deep clean and a fresh seal could turn this floor’s fortunes around.

The combination of durability and price makes Slate a popular choice for floor covering, it’s also available in a number of colours, ranging from plain black to a more diverse array of shades. The Slate tiles pictured below are a good example of the latter. Unfortunately, they were looking very tired and had many obvious scratches which were further spoiling their appearance. In other words, they were desperately in need of restoration!

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Eastbourne Coloured Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Eastbourne

The word Slate actually comes from the Old French word Esclate, which means ‘piece broken off’, or ‘to split and break’. Which makes sense as Slate tiles are actually made by splitting a larger piece along the grain.

Cleaning a Scratched and Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

To deep clean this floor, we used a combination of two Tile Doctor products. First was Pro-Clean, an alkaline-based cleaner which we use in the majority of natural stone cleaning jobs we undertake as it very reliably removes heavy soil build-up. The second product was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a very strong product which utilises nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate into the pores of the stone, getting underneath and dissolving any stubborn muck. The combined solution was applied to the floor and then covered in a thin plastic sheet so that it wouldn’t dry out and left to sweat for an hour.

The cleaning solution of Pro Clean and NanoTech HBU was then worked into the entire floor using a scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy rotary machine. The floor was rinsed with water and the resultant slurry removed with a wet vacuum. The revealed floor was much cleaner and fresher, and I was able to spot treat stubborn areas before giving it a final rinse.

The slate floor was then left to dry completely overnight so that it would be ready for sealing the following day.

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Eastbourne

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

To seal the tiles, we once again opted to use two different products. Firstly, we applied Tile Doctor Stone Oil, which is an impregnating sealer that adds colour making any imperfections blend back into the tile, which was useful as there were quite a few scratches on this floor.

Secondly, we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer formulated to provide long-lasting protection against ingrained dirt. It also leaves a high-quality sheen finish which really enhances the overall character of the floor.

Coloured Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Eastbourne Coloured Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Eastbourne

The results of the restoration can be seen in the photos above. We were very pleased with the outcome and the customer was equally very happy. As you can see the patina of the Slate tiles is much more impressive – and it lends more personality to the entire room.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Scratched and Dirty Slate Tiled Floor in East Sussex

Poorly Installed and Stained Black Slate Floor Restored in Bexhill

The photos below show what can only be described as a botched installation of a black Slate tiled living room floor by a non-expert builder. It may not be immediately obvious what the problems were – but the property owner was pulling his hair out with the situation (having spent a small fortune) as the floor was incredibly dirty. He decided to call us in to take a closer look at what could be done to put his mind to rest.

Black Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bexhill Black Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bexhill

This property was located in Bexhill, a large seaside town on the South East coast that is known for its abundance of Edwardian and Victorian architecture.

We arrived at the property and, upon closer inspection, we could see that the floor was covered in unsightly marks. At first glance I thought it might be grout smears (aka grout haze) which is a fine powder that is meant to be polished off after tiling, but it was in fact excess grout that had been left on the tile and then to compound the problem sealed over. To make things worse the slate tiles had not been laid completely flat and there was a great amount of lippage between them. However, despite all the problems I was confident we could resolve the issues for the customer and we set a date to come back and do the work.

Restoring a Poorly Installed Black Slate Tiled Floor

On our return we set about covering the skirting boards with a thin plastic sheet to protect them from any splashing from cleaning products.

Black Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Bexhill

Once this was done work started on the restoration beginning with an application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids that comes in a gel form that is easy to control. This is used to break down the existing sealer and – in combination with some diamond encrusted burnishing pads – to dissolve and grind away the excess grout which was marking the floor.

Black Slate Tiled Floor During Cleaning Bexhill

The floor was then rinsed with water and the soiled solution extracted using a wet vacuum. Following this the slate tiles were inspected and stubborn areas re-treated.

It’s worth noting we would not take this aggressive approach on acid-sensitive stone such as Marble, Limestone, Travertine and some types of Terrazzo. We would use a more neutral cleaning product, combined with the burnishing pads. Acidic products can cause etching on these sensitive types of stone, but thankfully Slate is hard-wearing and is compatible with Acid Gel.

Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry completely over the course of two days. We then returned to apply a fresh seal to ensure the floor was be protected for the future.

First, we applied Tile Doctor Stone Oil, which is an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer. It’s designed for low porosity stone like Slate and does a remarkable job of restoring the dark tones in the stone. Once this had dried it was followed by a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a high-quality and aesthetically pleasing sheen finish to the tile.

In the space of a few days, we were able to help the customer avert what initially seemed to be a crisis caused by amateur tiling. The customer was very relieved not to have to take a costly and drastic action like replacing the floor entirely. With the right products and cleaning methods, we were able to get these tiles looking the way they should have in the first place.

Black Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bexhill Black Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bexhill

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Poorly Installed Black Slate Tiled Floor in Bexhill

Lower Courtyard Slate Patio Cleaning in Brighton

Brighton is a great location to work with a huge variety of property styles and tile installation but being such a popular location parking can be an issue. We need to park our van physically close to the property so we can make use of our powerful Truck mounted cleaning system that weighs in at 3/4 of a tonne! It’s a really clever system that uses water under very high pressure to clean the stone whilst at the same time recovering the waste back to a storage tank in the van making it a very clean operation even in the most awkward conditions.

I thought I would mention this first as I was asked to deep clean and seal the lower ground level Slate tiled courtyard patio at this property in Brighton which was located down a small side street where people rarely moved their vehicles due to lack of spaces available. Fortunately I was aware of the issue and managed to overcome it by arranging a parking suspension with Brighton and Hove City Council allowing me to park my van.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Parking Suspension Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning

This patio was open to the elements and was also used by the owner’s dog. Further due to its inaccessibility it had never been cleaned apart from with the general hosepipe sprayer. Any kind of porous stone will over time become dirty and stained if the sealer is not maintained, sealers do fail eventually and usually in the highest traffic areas first where they become worn down the most.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning Dirty Slate Patio

The first job was to pressure clean the entire area using the truck mounted system I mentioned earlier, it works well on patios removing all sorts of detritus that can build up over time.

With patio now clear I was able to see the condition of the slate which showed grout smears on the surface from installation as some stubborn staining that the pressure treatment had been unable to shift. To resolve this I mixed up a batch of Tile Doctor Cleaning Agent Oxy Gel together with Tile Doctor Acid Gel and applied it to all the problem areas. Liquids have a tendency to run (patios have a gentle slope to allow for rain run off) whereas Gel’s remain in place so they dwell on the problem areas longer and really get to work. I left the mixture in place for a short while before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush and then extracted it using truck mount system. The water from the truck mount also neutralised the acid which is important as you shouldn’t leave acid on natural stone for too long.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton During Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton During Cleaning

Sealing a Slate Patio

Fortunately there was no rain that night and being August also quite warm so I was pleased to find the Slate had tried off fully by the next day when we returned to seal it. To be certain however I ran some quick damp tests to check that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. Once satisfied, I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which works really well on Slate giving it that much needed protection against dirt and stains, along with a full lustre finish that enhances the character of the floor.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning

The client was elated both with the result and even more so after we explained how to maintain the look of the tiles with having a doggy in the house!

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning

 
 

Refurbishing a Slate Tiled Patio in East Sussex

Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Mayfield

The photographs below are from a property in the small village of Mayfield, located within the High Weald civil parish of Mayfield and Five Ashes in East Sussex. The village is perhaps best known for its annual carnival and torchlight procession however on this occasion I was there to revamp the Slate tiled kitchen floor. The tiles had been left worse for wear by the previous occupants where years of children and mucky dogs had taken its toll on the slate.

Slate floor before cleaning in Mayfield Slate floor before cleaning in Mayfield

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

Whilst I would normally utilise my buffing machine with a black buffing pad as part of the cleaning process for natural stone tiles, I was unable to do so in this case as the Slate tiles in the kitchen were riven which would of cut into and potentially shredded the pad.

As a result, I had to clean the floor by hand. I did this using a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to five parts clean water, which I worked into the tiles with a deck brush, followed by a hard brush. The solution needed will vary in accordance to the level of soil build-up on the floor. In this case, the soil build-up was light enough to use quite a diluted solution, but in a case where a floor is very heavily soiled I would recommend using a more concentrated solution of one part Pro-Clean to two parts water.

After a period of scrubbing with the hard brush, I sucked up the muck that had been removed from the surface with a wet-vac machine. I then continued with the cleaning process for several hours, before once again using the wet-vac machine up any excess moisture left by the cleaning solution. I left for a period of two days to allow the floor to dry completely before I returned to seal the floor. I instructed my client to keep the floor completely dry because any excess moisture would potentially impact negatively on the performance of the sealer.

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

To seal the floor I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensifying sealer which gets into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. In this case I applied two coats of Colour Grow to really bring out the range of fantastic natural colours and shades in the Slate, whilst also providing durable surface protection for this high-traffic kitchen area.

Slate floor after cleaning in Mayfield Slate floor after cleaning in Mayfield

My client was very impressed with the results. I hope she enjoys this brilliant feature of her new home, now full of life and colour once again.
 
 

Slate Tile Restoration in Mayfield

Thorough Clean And Seal Of Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor In Crowborough

I was recently contacted by a client who had just moved into a house in Crowborough, a town in East Sussex which by the way was once home to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. The riven Slate tiled floor in the kitchen had trapped bits of dirt and also food which had become ingrained in the tile. Needless to say, the new homeowner wanted to give the kitchen floor a thorough clean. However, she had tried every cleaning product she could find in the supermarket, but to no avail. Struggling to find a solution she sought out professional assistance and naturally I was happy to help.

Slate floor before cleaning Crowborough

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

My first task was to mix up a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The product was only slightly diluted with water, since the floor was quite heavily soiled and a higher concentration of Pro-Clean was needed to help remove several layers of dirt and food waste. Once applied to the floor, the solution was left to dwell for roughly five minutes before I began to work it into the stone with a deck brush. I did the best I could here to clean the floor without using my buffing machine as, since the floor was riven, my black buffing pad would have been ruined by the ridges.

Making up for the lack of a buffing machine, I made sure to scrub the floor with Pro-Clean for several hours to remove as much grime as possible. One the cleaning was finally completed I rinsed the floor several times with clean, hot water. I then used a wet-dry vac machine to remove any excess moisture to clear the floor for sealing when I returned 48 hours later. Upon leaving, I left my client with instructions to avoid spilling anything on the floor as, again, any liquid left on the surface might affect the performance of the sealer.

Slate floor during cleaning Crowborough

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

After a period of two days, I returned to commence the sealing. My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which is suitable for use on internal, unsealed surfaces such as Slate, textured Quarry, Victorian tile, and others. Seal and Go is also a water based sealer so you there’s very little smell given off whilst it dries compares to solvent based sealers. In this case, the client did not want the surface of the floor to be too shiny, so I only used two coatings of Seal & Go, whereas for a shinier result I would have used a few more.

Slate floor after cleaning Crowborough

My client was exceptionally pleased with the results, which had not only cleaned the floor but brought out the beautiful colours in the stone that had once been hidden under several layers of muck.

Slate floor after cleaning Crowborough

 
 

Restoration of Slate Flooring in Crowborough

Beckley Village Slate Tile Barn Renovation

This Slate tiled floor is in a barn in Beckley, near Rye, Hawkhurst, Tenterden and Robertsbridge. For years it had been used to store furniture, gardening equipment and worryingly, a leaky motorbike which had stained the slate.

Slate Floor in Beckley Barn Before Oil Staining
You can see from the photographs below that the Slate tiles were much worn, stained, faded and far from looking their best.

Slate Floor in Beckley Barn Before Slate Floor in Beckley Barn Before

Deep Cleaning Slate Tiled Floor

Firstly I swept out the whole area then applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to several areas where engine oil had leaked. After leaving it to soak in for fifteen minutes I began to strip and clean the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-clean worked in with a buffer machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. However it became apparent that some of the ridges on the slate were damaging the black pad so the remainder had to be done by hand with a deck brush. Once the stone was stripped and cleaned the appearance was even greyer than before. I assured the customer that once the sealer has been applied it would be transformed to a much darker colour.

Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles

After two days drying I returned to seal the floor checking first to ensure it was dry and no further work was required which is just as well as I had to wipe away what appeared to be stray dog paw prints. I got to work applying Tile Doctor Ultra Seal having previously estimated that four coats would sufficient to give it a dark finish; I should mention that Ultra Seal was chosen due to the fact that it’s provides a no-sheen natural look appearance.

Frustratingly it was quite a cold barn with little ventilation despite it being an unseasonably warm autumn day outside and this increased drying times. However by about four o’clock in the afternoon the job was finished and looking remarkably transformed. The customer was pleased with the improvement and is now moving forward with to fit out the barn as a yoga studio.

Slate Floor in Beckley Barn After Slate Floor in Beckley Barn After

 

Cleaning and Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor in Beckley, East Sussex

70m2 Slate tiles cleaned and Sealed in Chelwood Gate

This customer from Chelwood Gate which is a small village south of East Grinstead contacted me asking for the Slate tiles in their kitchen, utility room and living area to be cleaned and sealed. It was quite a large area, approximately 70sq metres.

Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate Before Cleaning Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning a large Slate Tiled Floor

Once we had cleared the large sofas and fridge freezer from the room I got to work cleaning and stripping the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I was slightly concerned by the large ridges on the tiles but made a start with the buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Straight away the pad was shredded on the ridges so it became clear the floor would have to be completed manually using a deck brush and elbow grease. Once the floor was clean and stripped of any remaining sealer I gave it a thorough wash down to remove any cleaning product and extracted as much water as possible with a wet vacuum Luckily the room was well ventilated with several exits and large doors which aided the drying process.

Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate During Cleaning

Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles

After two days I returned to a dried out floor which was ready for sealing. We have a number of different sealers available; each one has a different effect. After discussing this with the customer they requested a shiny surface with improved colouring, so for the next five hours I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that gives a nice shine which matched their needs.

Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate After Sealing Slate Tiled Floor Chelwood Gate After Sealing

You can see from the pictures the difference and amazing before and after result. We were unable to move one of the freezers in the utility room so I left the customer with a small bottle of Seal and Go to apply himself once the floor had dried enough to move the unit without scratching the sealer.

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in East Sussex

Resolving limescale problems on black slate tiles in Hove

Recently we were asked to resolve an unusual problem with Limescale deposits on Black Slate floor tiles installed in a WC at a house in Hove on the East Sussex coast. You can see from the photograph below how Limescale has left an unsightly white haze and water marks on the surface of the slate tile.

Black Slate Tiles in Hove Before

Cleaning Limescale from a Slate Tiled Floor

The first step was to remove the Limescale and any other sealer products from the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad, we also used a stiff brush along the grout lines and in those hard to reach areas around the toilet. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with clean water and any stubborn areas revisited with a repeat of the same process until we were happy the tiles were clean. Had the Limescale proved harder to shift we would applied a stronger product such as Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which can remove mineral deposits.

Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles

We left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a highly recommended sealer for Slate which provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish, slate is quite porous and it took five coats before it was fully sealed.

Black Slate Tiles in Hove After

I think you will agree the slate tiled floor looks transformed as well as being much easier to clean.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor in Hove, East Sussex

Black Slate tiled floor cleaned and sealed in East Sussex

This black slate tiled floor installed in a hallway of a client’s house in East Sussex had seen its share of foot traffic and as you can see from the photograph below the tiles had dulled and grout become stained.

Black Slate Tile Before Cleaning

Cleaning black slate floor tiles

We set about scrubbing the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad together with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaner especially recommend for stone floors due to its alkaline formula. It’s also quite good at stripping sealers from floors however this wasn’t too much of any issue in this case as most of the old sealer had been worn off.

The next step was to get into the grout lines with stiff brushes to give the grout a good scrub, this step has to be done by hand as the scrubbing pads can struggle to reach the grout. The next step was to remove the soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum and wash the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning product and neutralise the floor before the next step of sealing.

Sealing black slate floor tiles

Once the floor was dry we came back to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which put the shine back into the tile and will protect the tile and grout from stains going forward.

Black Slate Tile After Cleaning
 

Black slate floor tile restored in East Sussex