Slate Floor Cleaning And Sealing | Abbey Floor Care
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Slate Floor Cleaning And Sealing | Abbey Floor Care

Is Your Slate floor frustrating You?

lady-in-leicester-worried-about-her-dirty-stone-floor

Cleaning slate is challenging - but that doesn't mean it's impossible.

Using a number of specialist processes  we can restore your slate floor to it's original beauty and finish.

From riven coloured chinese slate to honed welsh slte, we can restore a beautiful long lasting finish to your slate floor.

Take advantage of our FREE consultation by a trained and experienced Slate Restoration Expert as the first step in cleaning your slate floor.

Helpful Information About Slate

Slate is a wonderfully versatile stone that can be finished with a variety of finishes from rough texture, honed smooth or polished. We are very fortunate in the UK to have easy access to Welsh slate, recognised since roman times as the premium quality slate as it is harder wearing than most other slates.

However, Welsh slate also has a premium price and lower cost slate tiles are available from around the world. So if you are thinking of installing a slate floor, you need to research the source of the slate and check if it meets your needs.

Brazilian slate is quite hard, so it wears well. Chinese and Indian slates are softer, so they wears quickly and can flake from foot traffic. As with most things, you need to weigh up the cost against the characteristics of the stone.

Whilst slate has a low porosity, it will still absorb water and oil based spills, leaving annoying marks. So it is always better to apply a sealer on the tiles to help maintain their appearance.

Cleaning Slate Floors For Beautiful Results

We are mostly called in to clean slate when it has layers of sealer with ingrained dirt, so the finish looks dull and dirty. So the cleaning starts with getting all the layers of old sealer off the floor.

scrubbing-slate-tilesWe do this by using specialist strippers to break down the sealers and get them for rinsing off. We apply the stripper and leave it to do its work for up to two hours.

Most of the slate we clean is rough surface, and the sealer can be quite thick in the crevices of the stone.

So we use a rotary brushing machine and various brushes to make sure we have for all the sealer off the stone.

We may need to apply a second application of their are a lot of old sealer on the floor.

This is an important step as patches of old sealer will show up as dirty patches under the new sealer.

slate-floor-being-rinsedTo make sure all the old sealer and slurry is removed from the surface of the slate we use pressurised hot water "rinse and capture" equipment.

The enclosed cleaning head sprays clean pressurised clean, hot water onto the stone to release the slurry. This means there is no overspray to mark your walls of other furnishings.

The equipment immediately vacuums the slurry away out of your home into a rinse tank in our truck.

beautiful-slate-floorAfter checking that all the sealer is removed, we use high speed air dryers to help fry the floor ready for sealing. If we find that lose grout has come away, we can re-grout the areas.

Once the floor is dry, we apply a sealer to help protect the stone from spills and make it easier to keep clean. Leaving a beautiful slate floor ready for years of use.

So Why Use A Slate Sealer?

There are two issues to consider.

1. The location of the slate floor

The main reason a you should think about sealing slate floor tiles is the chance of oils and other liquids being spilled on them.

If the floor is in a kitchen or a bathroom, or anywhere in a home for that matter, there are lots of liquids that can stain a slate floor. Cooking oil, candle oil, soaps, coloured liquids.

While they are unlikely to soak through the slate, they can penetrate into the surface of the slate, leaving spots and marks. A stone sealer will help prevent the spill staining your slate.

2. The type of slate

Whilst the slate used on roof tiles has little porosity, slate can vary considerably in its porosity.

The highest quality slate, e.g. welsh slate can have a wide variation in the water absorbtion. There are also plenty of types of slate that are quite absorbent, e.g. Indian slate.

So to make sure you should always seal your slate floor.

Now you have to decide what type of sealer to use on your slate floor. There are two types of slate sealer, impregnating or surface sealer.

Penetrating Slate Sealer

slate cleaned and selaed with impregnating sealer abbey floor care
Slate sealed with impregnating sealer

If you want your slate to retain a natural matt finish, then penetrating slate sealers are your best choice.

Penetrating slate sealers site just below the surface of the stone, giving it water and oil repellence but not affecting the finish or the appearance of the stone.

Some penetrating slate sealers have additional polymers to enhance the colour of the stone, making it slightly darker.

So if you would like your slate floor slightly darker, then you can use one of the colour enhanced penetrating slate sealers.

Topical Slate Sealers

A topical or surface stone sealer sits on the surface of the stone, giving the slate tiles a slight sheen or high gloss.  They are usually made from a blend of polymers called acrylics.

Many of these acrylic topical sealers are tough enough to act as a wear layer on the stone. Many people prefer a surface sealer on

A surface sealer on rough-surface or riven slate tiles will be easier to clean with a surface sealer.

Once your slate floor has been sealed, it is a simple job to maintain it.

First dry sweep to remove dust and grit. Then just clean it using a micro fibre flat mop and a mild solution of stone cleaner.

It is important to use a stone cleaner because standard household cleaners can damage a stone sealer.

slate sealed with surface sealer by abbey floor care
Slate sealed with surface sealer

Should You Wax A Slate Floor?

Natural wax gives a stunning finish to a rough or riven slate floor. When the wax is laid onto a floor that has initially been sealed with an impregnating sealer, you have a beautiful, easy to maintain, long-lasting finish.

Wax is not necessarily harder-wearing than a modern acrylic surface sealer, but it does give a more natural sheen or polish to the stone

 

Wherever possible, we suggest finishing a slate floor with a natural wax. However, our recommendation will always be based on assessing your situation.

Sealed Slate Tiles Make A Beautiful Long Lasting Flooring

The right care and maintenance will keep it looking beautiful for years to come. Sealing your tiles may not be necessary, but you will only find out if you never spill anything on them. And then it may be too late. So it's a safer bet to seal your slate floor with an appropriate stone sealer.

So your only question should be to use a penetrating stone sealer or a surface sealer. Then you can enjoy your natural stone slate floor for years.

Colour Enhancing Slate Sealers

If you're looking for a greater depth of colour and lustre, using special colour enhancing sealers, we can give you a luxurious hard wearing finish. We can apply colour enhancing impregnating sealers and surface sealers, so there is a wide choice available to you.

With specialist cleaning and applying an appropriate slate sealer we can restore of your stone floors so you can enjoy them for years to come.

Looking After Your Slate Floor

Slate is a relatively soft stone. So walked in sand and grit can scratch the Slate surface like sandpaper. Unprotected furniture legs can cause deep scratches and even gouges when dragged across the floor. Some slates can be extremely porous and can easily be stained by food, plant pots, metal furniture legs, oils, ink, water etc.

You can greatly extend the life of your Slate floors by following a simple maintenance program and following the tips below.

Slate Cleaning Tips

  • The surface should be protected with a quality penetrating Slate sealer to help prevent staining.
  • Barrier matting is essential to prevent walked in sand and grit from spreading onto the floor and causing scratches and dullness.
  • Furniture legs should be protected with felt or plastic pads.
  • Standing objects and especially plant pots should be placed on special bases to prevent scratching and staining.
  • Cleaners specially formulated for natural stone should be used for cleaning.
  • Slate floors should be vacuumed or dust mopped with dry microfiber mop daily or at the least weekly to remove surface sand and grit and reduce the chance of scratches.
  • Slate floors should be damp mopped once or twice per week, and daily on heavy traffic areas to remove surface dirt and soil. Only use cleaners specially formulated for natural stone.
  • Spills should be removed immediately. Always blot, never wipe as the act of wiping can spread the spill.
  • Traffic areas should be professionally deep cleaned, resealed or polished where necessary on a yearly basis.
  • When regular Slate cleaning procedures fail to return an adequate surface, complete restoration may be necessary.  Loose or chipped tiles, cracks, dislodged filler, difficult stains and poor maintenance may only be rectified by surface grinding, colour matched filling and other intensive restoration techniques.

 

If you're looking for help with your slate floor.

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