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.
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.
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.
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.
Professional Renovation of a Green Slate Floor in Hastings, East Sussex
Earlier this year I was contacted by a lady in Icklesham which is a small village near Hastings. My client requested a deep clean for her Limestone tiled kitchen floor which had, over time, become quite dirty, with the grout in particular being very much worse for wear. Limestone is a popular choice for tiled floors however it needs to be sealed to ensure dirt doesn’t get into the pores of the stone otherwise it becomes difficult to clean and if the sealer is not maintained it will wear down and the floor will lose its protection especially in high traffic areas such as kitchens.
Cleaning a Limestone tiled kitchen floor
My product of choice for cleaning this floor was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which I found to be particularly effective in lifting ingrained dirt out of the grout. I used a stiff grout brush to work the solution of Pro-Clean diluted with warm water to work the cleaner deep into the grout. I also used a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and more Pro-Clean to lift the dirt out of the Limestone tiles. It wasn’t long before the dirty grout lines began to disappear, and the floor was well on its way to looking great again.
Once I’d also cleaned the nearby utility room, bathroom and cloakroom in a similar manner, I gave the floor a thorough rinse with fresh water before using a wet-dry vac machine to remove the soiled water from the surface of the tiles. I removed as much moisture from the Limestone tile and grout as possible to speed up the drying process as it’s important to ensure a stone floor is bone dry before sealing it as any excess moisture will compromise the sealer.
Applying Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to Limestone tiles
I left the floor for three days to dry before returning and used a damp meter on my return to confirm the floor was in-deed dry, spring had arrived and the sunshine really helped. My choice of sealer for the Limestone tiles was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a product which soaks into the pores of the stone to enhance the colour of tiles whilst also providing durable protection. In this case two coats of Colour Grow were applied and as you can see from the photographs this really did bring out the fantastic natural colours in the Limestone and exaggerate the shading. At the same time, the added surface protection will help the floor stay looking great for longer, even with a lot of usage.
When she returned from dog walking, my client was so pleased with the final result that she almost screamed the house down! She was so pleased, in fact, that she promised to have me return every year to ensure her floor was maintained to a high standard. I was also really happy with my work, particularly in terms of getting the grout into far better condition than it had been before.
Cleaning and Sealing Limestone Kitchen Floor in Icklesham
The photographs below are of a Limestone tiled floor installed in the kitchen and dining area of a house in the historic town off Hastings. The house was being put on the market for sale and with two dogs, a cat and four adults having left their marks on this floor it was looking rather grubby and the owner had decided to get the tiles deep cleaned before any viewings took place. I ran a test clean on a small patch of tile to demonstrate I could achieve a good result which came out well and so we agreed a date.
Deep Cleaning Limestone Tiles
To get the Limestone clean and strip off any remaining sealer a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was poured onto the stone then left to soak in for around ten minutes. The solution was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. After a couple hours work and more Pro-Clean the floor looked much cleaner but very washed out which is to be expected as the remaining sealer was is no longer protecting the tile and left it to look exposed. Before leaving for the day I gave the floor a good rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and then left the floor to dry out for three days. Usually 48hrs will suffice but Limestone is particularly porous so it does take time for the moisture to evaporate and the floor to fully dry out.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
On my return I check the floor was dry and then proceeded to sealed the Limestone with Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Six coats were applied to give it a deep shine and a long lasting seal. The new sealer gave the floor the glossy appearance that the customer desired. She was over the moon with the transformation and hopefully this helped her sell the property.
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.
You can see from the photographs below that the Slate tiles were much worn, stained, faded and far from looking their best.
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.
Cleaning and Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor in Beckley, East Sussex
Photographs below of a job we did restoring the shine on a Limestone tiled floor at a house in the town of Hastings which is down on the south coast of England and well known as the location for that famous battle in 1066. The homeowner wanted an easy to maintain low sheen Limestone floor; we advised that Limestone is a soft sedimentary Stone and is not usually classed as a low maintenance surface however with the right treatment and equipment they should be able to maintain it which is a bit like buying a carpet without having a vacuum to keep it clean.
Cleaning and Polishing Limestone Tiles
To get the Limestone Tiled floor back to its original condition we used a set of diamond encrusted 17” Burnishing Pads fitted to a heavy rotary buffing machine. It’s important to give the floor a clean first to ensure there’s no dirt that could get picked up by the machine and cause deep scratches on the surface. You start off with the coarse red pad together with a little water which can remove sealers and then move onto the White pad which grinds off ingrained dirt again used with a little water. Next step is the Yellow Polishing pad which smooth’s the surface prior to the final Green pad which gives that high shine finish.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
The floor was washed down to remove any particles left over from the polishing and left to dry before we set about sealing using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is recommended for a number of stone surfaces and does well to lift the natural colours in the stone as well as providing on-going surface protection.
I think you will agree the process has really transformed this tired looking Limestone tiled floor; for maintenance we left the customer with a Green polishing pads and recommended that he purchase a rotary machine to use with it, A3 machines do a low cost reconditioned polishing machine for about £100.