A couple of weeks before last Christmas I visited a property in Harrogate to renovate an Indian Slate tiled kitchen floor. The end of the year is always a busy time for Tile Doctors as understandably people want their floors looking at their best in time for the festive season.
The floor was in a poor state and in need of a deep clean and seal to bring back the natural beauty and colours of the stone. The Slate tiles were the small twelve-inch square variety which had resulted in a lot of wide grout lines that were so heavily stained I was unsure if grout cleaning would make a difference.
Having worked through the options I came up with a restoration plan that would include the option of colouring the grout if necessary to provide a consistent look. Unlike the grout touch-up pens you find in DIY stores the Tile Doctor grout colourants are very hard wearing and provide an easy to clean barrier over the grout that ensures it keeps its appearance.
Deep Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor
To begin the cleaning process, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the Slate tile and Grout and left it to soak in for ten to twenty minutes. This dwell time is important as it gives the product time to break down the dirt and any old sealers still present on the floor.
The floor was then scrubbed using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer to get the tiles as clean as possible. The pad can struggle to reach into recess of the grout lines, so I followed this up by scrubbing the grout with a stiff wire brush and more Pro-Clean. The floor was then rinsed with water, and the now soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum.
After cleaning all the slate and grout I inspected the floor and repeated the process on any stubborn areas that needed more work. After a final rinse the floor was looking much better already and was left to dry off overnight.
Applying Grout Colourant to a Slate Tiled Floor
The next day the floor had dried, and I inspected the grout which despite all the scrubbing it had received they day before was detracting from the overall look of the floor. Fortunately, I was prepared for this and set about applying a Light Grey grout colourant.
The grout colourant is applied using a small brush directly onto the grout line and then any excess is wiped off the adjacent tile before it gets time to set. Its quite easy to do however there was a lot to cover and because of the wide grout line several coats were needed to get a consistent look.
Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
The grout colourant dries quite quickly that afternoon I was able to move onto the last stage of applying a sealer to the stone. For this I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer (so no smell) that brings out the colour in the stone and leaves a lovely subtle satin finish.
After two days the floor was transformed, and all completed in time for Christmas guests. I think you will agree how much better it looks and with the new sealer it will be much easier for them to clean and maintain in the future. Certainly, my client was very pleased with the finished floor and took time to leave a glowing 5-star review which I’ve copied below.
For aftercare cleaning I recommended they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which has been especially developed for cleaning sealed floors. It has a pH neutral formula that won’t impact the sealer, this is an important feature as many of the products you find in supermarkets are simply too strong for use on sealed floors.