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.
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.
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.