Slate Tile Cleaning

Removing Limescale from a Slate Shower Floor in High Wycombe

I received this enquiry from a client in High Wycombe who needed the Slate tiled shower floor cleaning. I visited site to view the problem and it turns out this was a bit of an understatement; the whole floor was completely covered in limescale, and this had turned the Slate tiles white over time.

Limescale Stained Slate Shower Floor Before Cleaning High Wycombe

Limescale is a big problem for High Wycombe which is classed as a hard water area which basically means the water contains high levels of calcium carbonate. These deposits are carried in the water and left on the tiles after each shower. You can install a water softener to alleviate the problem but that won’t solve this client’s current issue. There are numerous limescale removal products that you can buy in supermarkets however these are acidic and can etch natural stone if you are not careful. Always read the label!

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Shower Floor

The limescale build up on this floor was really bad so I felt the best approach would be to use a light acidic cleaning product to help remove the worst of it and then to refinish the appearance and removing any etching of the tiles using a series of diamond encrusted stone burnishing pads. I provided the client with a quote based on this solution and it was accepted.

To start removing the limescale I applied neat Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid cleaner that can remove grout smears and other mineral deposits such as in this case calcium carbonate deposits. I then used my handheld polishing machine with a very coarse 80-grit diamond brush attached and scrubbed it to remove the crust of the limescale.

I then applied more Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and watched the remaining scale fizz away; the floor was then rinsed to remove the soil using water and our wet vacuum. The next step was to apply a 400-grit six-inch diamond pad, again fitted to the hand polisher to buff the floor and prepare it for the new seal.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Shower Floor

After waiting for the stone to dry I was able to finish the floor with a fresh sealer. For this I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which was left to soak in and then buffed with a clean cloth to remove the excess. I then applied one coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil to restore the natural oil in the stone and buffed this in, I then finished with one more coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow and buffed the floor with a 3000-grit diamond pad to bring up the polished appearance of the stone even further.

Limescale Stained Slate Shower Floor After Cleaning High Wycombe

The client was delighted with the restoration and surprised at how we had managed to shift the limescale. the shower looked a lot more inviting! For aftercare I recommended cleaning with Tile Doctor Stone Soap which will help build patina and maintain the polished appearance of the stone.


Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Shower Floor in South Buckinghamshire

Tired Black Slate Kitchen Floor Renovated in High Wycombe

This Customer moved into a property in High Wycombe around a year or so ago and the Black Slate floor in the kitchen was more grey than black. The slate looked tired and had clearly not been well maintained. They had recently had a new kitchen fitted and had decided to retain the existing floor, so I was asked to bring it back to life. High Wycombe is a large town in Buckinghamshire well situated as close to London with great links to nearby Reading and Maidenhead.

Kitchen Slate Floor Tiles Before Renovation High Wycombe

I initially went to survey the floor and confirmed my suspicion that any sealer that was once present on the floor had now completely worn off. This is a typical problem with stone floors and without a sealer in place the Slate had lost its protection allowing dirt to become ingrained in the pores of the stone and difficult to remove. I carried out a test clean which went well, my quote was accepted and arranged a date to return to renovate the floor.

Kitchen Slate Floor Tiles Before Renovation High Wycombe

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

First, I taped up the plinths on the new kitchen and the skirting boards to ensure no solution would be splashed on them. I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the tiles, I left this to dwell for a short time so it could start working on breaking down the dirt and any old sealer. I then worked it in with a large black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine to get the dirt out of the slate. I also used a stiff hand brush along the grout lines with neat Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to really get the grout clean. The floor was then rinsed off with water and the slurry extracted with a wet vacuum.

There were a few problem tiles with stubborn marks which I managed to resolve with a further application of neat Tile Doctor Pro Clean and some assistance from a steamer. The floor was then inspected again and once I was happy it was left to dry off over the weekend.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following Monday to seal the Slate tiles first checking they were dry with a moisture meter; all was so I started applying the sealer. I selected to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go for this floor as it works really well on Slate. Seal and Go is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish. Four coats of Seal and Go were applied allowing each coat to dry before starting on the next one. Once done you could see the floor looked amazing and the new sealer gave the floor a lovely subtle sheen finish without being over shiny.

Kitchen Slate Floor Tiles After Renovation High Wycombe

The client was very happy with the result, the floor now appeared brand new and looked great under the new kitchen.

Before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare with the client and advised her to use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, this is a pH neutral product that won’t prematurely erode the sealer which is a big problem with most supermarket cleaning products. This should make it easy for the client to maintain the floor and only a small amount of product it needed to clean the floor.

Kitchen Slate Floor Tiles After Renovation High Wycombe


Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Floor in South Buckinghamshire

Restoring a Poorly Sealed Slate Kitchen Tiled Floor in Milton Keynes

Sealing is a fundamental part of any stone floor installation. If your builder or tiler hasn’t sealed your floor, he’s done something wrong – and it can cause significant problems. To the untrained eye, it may be difficult to tell whether a floor has been sealed, but you will quickly see that an unsealed floor attracts a lot of ingrained dirt and loses its lustre easily over time.

This was a problem for one of my recent customers, who lives in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. They have a Slate tiled Kitchen floor which had been laid approximately 5 years prior, but had not been sealed properly on installation – and had not received any professional treatment since.

Consequently, the floor had become difficult for the customer to keep clean and it had lost its lustre and coloration due to ingrained dirt. Additionally, recent building works had left thick deposits of plaster on the tiles.

Slate Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning in Milton Keynes

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Kitchen

To begin restoring the Slate tiles, I applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a powerful alkaline-based cleaner for natural stone. I mixed a strong dilution of the product, spread it liberally across the area and left it to dwell for 20 minutes to seep into the pores of the stone.

Next, I scrubbed it into the stone using a brush fitted to a heavy weight rotary machine, before rinsing the floor with a high-pressure water and wet extraction unit.

The next stage of the cleaning process was to get rid of the plaster deposits and some of the heavier stains. To deal with these I needed to apply an even stronger cleaner, known as NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-Up Remover).

As its name suggests, the product uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate beneath difficult stains to dissolve them and lift them out. I did this in combination with a steamer to help loosen up some of the plaster.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen

After allowing the floor to dry overnight, I returned to the property the next day to seal the tiles. I did this using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a double-action sealer: not only does it provide a robust, topical seal, it also provides a durable low-sheen finish which is aesthetically pleasing.

Slate Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Milton Keynes

The sealer has done a fantastic job of emphasising all the natural colours in the Slate and the appearance of the entire floor has been lifted. The customer was really pleased with the restoration which certainly had been a long time coming.

Restoration of a Dirty and Stained Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire

Slate Tiled Farmhouse Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Little Hampden

These slate tiles had been laid in the kitchen of a farmhouse in the village of Little Hampden around twenty years ago and since that time had become heavily soiled with a build-up of dirt and over applied sealants.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Farmhouse Floor Before Cleaning in Little Hampden

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

To get the floor clean a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor, allowed to soak in for a while and then scrubbed into the tile and grout with the aid of a commercial rotary machine. Once done the floor was washed down with water which was then removed along with the soiled cleaning solution using a wet vacuum.

The Pro-Clean removed the top soiling throughout the floor but it became clear that something stronger would be need to remove the heavy build-up of old sealants. Fortunately we have a product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is designed to strip floors of sealers so this was applied to the floor in a similar fashion as before and this tackled the problem. The next task was to clean the grout lines with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and give the whole floor a final rinse with more water to ensure any chemical residue is removed leaving the floor ready for sealing.

Sealing a Slate Floor

The floor was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to seal it to protect for years to come and improve the general look of the slate which really does look better when sealed.

To seal the floor I used a combination of products to get the best results. First a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealant which occupies the pores in the stone protecting it from within and then a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were added to add a nice subtle sheen to the floor.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Farmhouse Floor After Sealing in Little Hampden
Our customer was extremely pleased with the results and took up our offer of a Tile Doctor maintenance contract to enable her to keep the floor in pristine condition.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Refresh in Wiltshire

Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen floor cleaned and sealed in Tring Bucks

These Riven Slate tiles at house in Tring Buckinghamshire had been laid five years earlier and the original sealant had worn off especially around the high traffic cooker and fridge areas. This has led to dirt getting trapped into the pores of the tile and the whole floor becoming rather dull.

Slate Tiled Floor in Tring Bucks Before

Cleaning Riven Slate Floor Tiles

We started with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline tile cleaner designed for use on tile, stone and grout. It was scrubbed into the tile and grout lines to give the floor a deep clean and then rinsed with clean water. To strip the remaining sealant we used Tile Doctor Remove and Go spread throughout the floor and then left for 45 minutes to soften the sealant, then with the use of an aggressive black pad fitted to a rotary machine the remaining sealant was stripped from the tile. The last step was to rinse the floor with clean water to remove any cleaning products and neutralise it before sealing, it was then left overnight to dry.

Sealing Riven Slate Tiles

The next day we came back to seal the floor, the customer had previously requested a matt finish for the floor so Tile Doctor Colour Grow was chosen as the sealer, this product provides the desired matt finish but also lifts the natural colours in the stone as well as providing the necessary stain protection going forward.

Slate Tiled Floor in Tring Bucks After

Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in a London shop


South Buckinghamshire Tile Doctor

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