I thought you might be interested to know that I have numerous clients that I visit every year to maintain the finish on their floor. We call this service “a maintenance program” and is ideal for clients who wish to maintain a deep polish on their stone which will diminish with use and over time. The example below details a recent maintenance visit to a client in Epsom who has a Slate tiled Kitchen and Conservatory floor and likes the high gloss finish of the Slate topped up every year.
The process usually involves a basic clean and the reapplication of a fresh coat of sealer and polish. The big advantage with a maintenance plan is I know the history of the floor so there are no surprises and no need for a pre-site visit. On this occasion however my client wanted me to do something about the colour of the grout. The problem is he has three spaniels and three cats who gradually discolour the white grout with dirt. Although I clean it on each visit it was clear that the white grout was a problem and so he asked me to colour the grout in a charcoal colour to match the slate to make the problem less obvious.
Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Conservatory Floor
Over the years I had probably applied 15 plus coats of sealer to these tiles and grout. There is no way I could paint the grout colourant on top of the sealer as it just wouldn’t adhere. To resolve this, I started by using a Fein tool with an occulting abrasive blade along the grout line. It was painstaking work but did the job of removing the sealer and ironically any dirt.
I used a vacuum to clean up and then set about cleaning the floor and bringing up the polish on the Slate tiles using a 3000-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. A small amount of water is squirted onto the tiles during buffing to help the process but essentially the floor is dry. Once done the Slate tiles were now ready for a new application of sealer but not the grout.
Colouring White Grout Charcoal in Epsom
For the next four hours I painstakingly painted charcoal grey grout colourant into the grout lines being careful not to touch the tiles. Grout colourant is an excellent product but dries very quickly. Any excess must be removed immediately.
Normally I recommend using a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater before applying the colourant as you get a better bond with the colourant. On this occasion however the Fein Tool had already cleaned and roughened the surface of the grout, so it wasn’t necessary.
Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Conservatory Floor
Once the grout colourant was dry, I was able to move onto the last phase of the visit and apply the sealer. The three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were used to seal the floor which I find works well on Slate and as you can see from the photos gave the desired gloss effect the customer wished for. Each coat is left to dry before applying the next one.
I don’t normally recommend using a gloss effect sealer on Slate where you have pets who can scratch the tile, especially in a high traffic area such as a kitchen however he understands this but I guess he likes the shine.