professional professional slate floor claning abbey floor care

Slate Cleaning For Brilliant Results

  • Cleaning slate is challenging - but that doesn't mean it's impossible.
  • Using a number of specialist cleaning processes we can restore your floor to its original beauty and finish.
  • Take advantage of our FREE consultation by a trained and experienced Restoration Expert as the first step in cleaning your floor.

Helpful Information About Slate Cleaning

The main challenge with cleaning slate floors is to remove years of oils, polishes, waxes, dirt and grime without damaging the floor.

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 extremely hard-wearing.

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 wear 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 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.

Deep 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.

Cleaning starts with removing loose soil, surface dirt.

Scrubbing slate floor tiles by Abbey Floor Care

We use specialist cleaning products to break down the sealers and get them ready for rinsing off.

We apply the cleaner and leave it to do its work for up to two hours.

Most of the floors we clean have a rough surface, and the sealer can be quite thick in the crevices of the tiles.

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

We may need to apply a second application if there are extra dirt and sealer residues on the floor.

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

Pressurised Rinsing

slate-floor-being-rinsed by Abbey Floor Care

To make sure all the old sealer and slurry is removed from the surface of the slate we use pressurised water "rinse and capture" equipment.

The slurry is immediately captured and carried into a large industrial vacuum.

After checking that all the sealer is removed, we use mild cleaning solutions diluted in plain water to finish cleaning the floor

Air Drying

beautiful-slate-floor by Abbey Floor Care

Then we use high-speed air dryers to help dry the floor ready for sealing.

If we find that loose grout has come away, we can re-grout the areas.

Once the floor is dry, we apply a sealer to help protect the tiles from spills and make it easier to keep clean.

Leaving a beautiful floor ready for years of use

Slate Restoration Projects

Slate Cleaning Abergavenny Monmouthshire

Cleaning And Sealing Slate Floor In Abergavenny – Abbey Floor Care

This slate cleaning Abergavenny project focuses on cleaning a large area of Brazilian slate tile floors in a home in Abergavenny. The tiles were originally sourced from Mandarin Stone and installed 3 years ago. Following advice from the supplier, my client sealed the floor with a…

slate cleaning barrow in furness cumbria by abbey floor care

Renovating Slate Kitchen And Dining Area Floors in Barrow-In-Furness

Slate Cleaning Barrow In Furness Project Details These Slate tiles were installed in the kitchen and dining areas in Barrow-In-Furness. The client was not happy with the appearance of the Slate. After 10 years, the tiles had lost their sheen, the grout looked grubby and…

slate cleaning hitchin by abbey floor care

Slate Floor Cleaning Hitchin Hertforshire

This slate floor cleaning Hitchin project came about because my client was looking for a long term cleaning solution for her slate floor tiles. The tiles were originally sourced from Fired Earth over 15 years ago. My client had regularly cleaned and sealed the tiles…

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Our Stone Floor Restoration Experts Will Make Your Floors Look Beautiful!

So Why Use A Slate Sealer?

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 topical sealer.

Then you can enjoy your natural stone slate floor for years.

There are two issues to consider. 

1. The location of the slate floor 

The main reason you should use a sealer is to protect against oil and other liquid spills.

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 surface.

Cooking oil, candle oil, soaps, coloured liquids.

While they are unlikely to soak through the tiles, they can penetrate into the surface, leaving spots and marks.

A stone sealer will help prevent the spill from staining your slate.

 2. The type of slate 

As slate is used for roof tiles, we all think it is not a porous surface.

However, it can vary considerably in its porosity.

The highest quality material e.g. from Wales has very low water absorption.

However, there are plenty of varieties that are quite absorbent, e.g. Indian and Chinese.

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.. 

We offer 3 types of slate sealer:

  1. Impregnating Sealer
  2. Hybrid Sealer
  3. Surface Sealer 

Our tests have confirmed that our CeeTech Hybrid sealer outperforms any other sealer we have compared it against. 

The main reason is that CeeTech is a hybrid impregnating and film forming sealer. 

Also the product is a urethane sealer, which is much more hard wearing and longer lasting than impregnating or Surface sealers. 

However, the produce is significantly more costly to source and to apply. So we still offer these traditional sealing systems.

Hybrid Slate Sealer 

slate cleaned and selaed with hybrid slateg sealer abbey floor care

Our tests have confirmed that our CeeTech Hybrid sealer outperforms any other tile and grout sealer we have compared it against.

The main reason is that CeeTech is a urethane impregnating and film-forming sealer.

The sealer is a strong colour enhancing sealer, so it highlights the natural colour variations in the tiles.

However, the product is significantly more costly to source and apply.

So we still offer traditional sealing systems

Penetrating Slate Sealer

slate sealed with a penetrating sealer

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

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

Colour Enhancing Impregnating Sealers

If you're looking for a greater depth of colour and lustre, additional polymers enhance the colour of the stone, making it slightly darker.

Topical Or Surface Sealer

slate cleaned and selaed with impregnating sealer abbey floor care

A topical or surface stone sealers are a popular choice and sit 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 rough-surface or riven slate tiles as it will be easier to clean with a surface sealer.

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

Should You Wax A Slate Floor?

waxed slate floor by Abbey Floor Care

Natural wax gives a stunning finish.

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 tiles.

A wax finish, correctly maintained will give years of service.

However, our recommendation will always be based on assessing your situation.

Slate Cleaning Tips - Looking After Your Slate Floor.

Slate is a relatively soft tile, like Terracotta,and cleaning is similar to that used on natural stone floors and marble tiles.

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.

Remove Dry Soil

use a soft floor tool to vacuum a slate floor

Before you mop your slate floor, you must remove any dry soil and grit.

Mopping will be much easier because you won't be spreading soil over the floor.

Also, when grit gets wet, it turns into a cutting paste that will scratch the slate.

The scratches may be tiny and invisible, but over time the scratches build up and ruin the finish.

A good quality vacuum with a HEPA filter is the best way to remove dry soil.

Just make sure to use a soft floor tool so you don't scratch the tiles.

If you don't have a vacuum, you can use a soft-bristled brush or a dry microfiber mop.

Prepare A Solution of Slate Cleaner Or PH Neutral Suitable Stone Cleaner

Many sealer manufacturers have mild detergent cleaners to help maintain the sealer. If you are unsure or do not have a recommended slate tile cleaner, use a ph neutral floor cleaner.

Do not use acidic cleaners, standard floor cleaners, dish soap or other standard cleaning chemicals.

They all contain harsh ingredients that can damage the existing sealer or the tile and grout.

Clean the Floor

microfiber mop for cleaning a slate floor

For regular cleaning, use the recommended cleaner diluted with warm water and clean the floor with a microfiber mop, ideally a microfiber flat mop.

Do not over-wet the mop as it will reduce the mop's efficiency.

If you are using a microfiber flat mop, replace the mop head when the mop gets wet.

If you use a microfiber mop that can be wrung out, make sure to keep the mop damp rather than wet.

Start at the end of the room farthest from the door you want to finish at.

Use smooth strokes in a figure-eight action to clean all of the tiles.

If you are using a microfiber round mop, consider using a two bucket system to keep your cleaner dirt free.

If you are using a single bucket, when the water gets dirty, make up a new solution of cleaner and warm water becomes dirty.

Steam Cleaning Slate

do not use a steam cleaner on a slate floor Do not steam clean the floor.

Steam mops can damage sealers and cause the slate to flake prematurely.

Also, excessive use of steam over wets the mop head, reducing the efficiency of cleaning. becomes dirty.

So we do notrecommend using a steamer on a slate floor.

You are better off using a microfiber mop

Stain Removal

If you notice stains, they may need special treatment.

To prevent a spill from turning into a stain wipe it up immediately with a paper towel or clean absorbent cloth.

If the stain has penetrated the sealer, leaving a mark, you can attempt to remove it as follows.

Oil-Based Stains

Apply acetone to the stain and blot immediately with a paper towel or a clean, absorbent soft cloth.

Repeat until all of the stain has been absorbed into the paper towel.

If you are unsuccessful, then call in a professional stain removal service.

Non-Oil-Based Stains

Make a solution of strong cleaning solution of detergent or Hydrogen Peroxide and clean water.

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach, so be careful when using it.

Pour a small amount onto the stain and leave for 5 minutes.

Blot with a paper towel, working from the outside of the stain to the centre.

Repeat until the stain has been removed.

If you are unsuccessful, then call in a professional stain removal service.

Treating Scratches

Scratches can ruin the appearance of a slate floor, especially if the slate is smooth honed or the scratches are deep.

Whichever method you use, please do a test sample on a spare piece of tile or in an inconspicuous area.

1. Colour Enhancing Impregnating Sealer

First I suggest trying a little colour enhancing impregnating sealer.

Apply to the scratch with a fine brush or q tip.

The impregnating sealer will darken the scratch making it less noticeable.

If your floor has a topical sealer, apply the topical sealer over the impregnating sealer once it has dried.

2. Wet And Dry Paper.

You can try using wet and dry paper that is used on car bodywork with water to help remove the scratch and blend the repair in with the rest of the tile.

Start at 400 grit and finish at 2,000 grit, leaving a smooth finish.

Finish off with a colour enhancing impregnating sealer.

If your floor has a topical sealer, apply the topical sealer over the impregnating sealer once it has dried.

3. Fine Grade Steel Wool

You can try 0000-grade fine wire wool.

Do not use water as the steel wool will rust and possibly stain the tile.

This grade of wire wool is very gentle.

The process will create dust, so have a dry vacuum available to remove all of the dry dust.

Finish off by applying a colour-enhancing impregnating sealer.

If your floor has a topical sealer, apply the topical sealer over the impregnating sealer once it has dried.

Slate Surfaces In A Kitchen, Bathroom And Toilet.

Kitchens, bathrooms and toilets are areas where strong chemicals are often spilt; foodstuffs, toilet cleaner, liquid soaps, shampoo etc.

Any spill must be cleaned up immediately.

These areas should be inspected regularly for sealer wear and the sealer topped up to maintain the protection.

If you start to see watermarks, that means your slate has lost its protection.

So you will need to thoroughly clean the surface and apply a suitable protection.