Slate Tile Polishing

Maintaining a Slated Tiled Floor and Grout Recolouring in Epsom

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.

Slate Floor Before Annual Maintenance Epsom Surrey Slate Floor Before Annual Maintenance Epsom Surrey

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.

Slate Floor During Grout Maintenance Epsom Surrey Slate Floor with Cats Maintenance Epsom Surrey

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.

Applying Charcoal Grout Colourant Epsom Surrey

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.

Slate Floor After Maintenance Epsom Surrey Slate Floor After Maintenance Epsom Surrey

 

Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Kitchen and Conservatory in West Surrey

Repairing a Scratched Slate Tiled Kitchen floor in Weybridge

This property owner in Weybridge recently had a new fridge delivered by a well-known electrical retailer that has an unusual policy of not protecting its customers’ floors when installing heavy appliances. Predictably, the lack of care and consideration resulted in multiple unsightly scratches being left on the fantastic Slate tiled floor, mostly notably in front of the dishwasher, which was also newly installed.

Understandably, the property owner was not best pleased. He was keen to have the situation remedied as soon as possible. At Tile Doctor, we not only provide tile cleaning services but we also have the experience and equipment to hand all sorts of related issues including the restoration of scratched tiles. Happy to help. I travelled over to Weybridge to address the problem.

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Weybridge

Repairing and Sealing a Damaged Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

The surface of the stone was damaged and the only way to repair it without the repair standing out was to strip and polish the whole floor. I therefore began the restoration by stripping the whole floor of its old sealer. The customer had marked all the deep scratches he wanted to have removed with sticky notes. I explained to him that burnishing, a type of polishing carried out using diamond encrusted handheld blocks in combination with a little water, would be perfect for this job.

The process of burnishing essentially grinds away the damaged layer and then re-polishes the stone, the process would remove the scratches and rebuild the shine. It involves the application of different grades of pads from coarse to extra fine and a little water to lubricate the process followed by a rinse with more water in-between each pad to remove the slurry generated by the process. After burnishing the floor is left polished but damp, however to save time I able to speed dry the whole floor using a powerful industrial air mover.

Once the floor was dry the final task was to re-seal the tiles. I did this using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensifying, impregnating sealer which soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within against ingrained dirt and stains for many years to come.

Scratched Slate Floor Tiles After Cleaning Weybridge
The customer was very satisfied with the service provided and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Great advice, open, honest and helpful. Turned up on time, explained the job well and it looks great. Very happy with the process and the finished results.”

Professional Repair of a Scratched Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Surrey

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